Overview:

  • Missile strikes on Kyiv injure dozens of civilians
  • Russian drones hit outskirts of Odesa
  • Zelensky has fruitful meeting in Oslo
  • Cyber spies knock out Russia’s federal tax system
  • Russian troops advance around Bakhmut and Avdiivka
  • AFU holds firm on left bank of Dnipro River

More than 50 wounded in the capital as Russian missiles hit a hospital, other civilian targets

The Ukrainian Air Force said it had shot down all 10 Russian missiles that targeted Kyiv on Wednesday, but still, 53 people were reported injured in the fallout, including two children, AFP reported. Among the civilian targets was a children’s hospital.

“The enemy used ballistic weapons,” the Kyiv City Military Administration said. Officials specified that most of the injuries were caused by “glass shards, household items, and the shock wave” as debris from the downed missiles rained down in the eastern and southern districts of the city.

This was the second time in a week that Russian airstrikes targeted the capital.

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Downed Shahed drones cause injuries and damage in Odesa

Russian drone strikes also targeted Odesa on Wednesday. The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) said nine Shahed drones had been downed, but almost a dozen people were wounded, and vehicles were destroyed on the outskirts of the port city. Other reports said that 11 buildings were hit in the strikes.

An AFP journalist witnessed the destruction left by a strike on a civilian hangar where trucks and cars were stored. “Pieces of the metal roof were lodged in the branches of nearby trees.

“Inside the hangar, some cars had shrapnel holes, some were burnt out, while others had been crushed by the roof falling. Some cars parked outside were also damaged,” the AFP reported.

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“It turned out that when the drones were downed, not all of them were completely destroyed,” said AFU spokesperson Nataliya Gumenyuk. 

Two people were reported to be hospitalized, and at least another nine suffered minor injuries.

Norway pledges $1.8B to Ukraine during Zelensky’s visit

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said on Wednesday that his country will provide Kyiv with an aid package worth some $1.8 billion, Ukrinform reported an announcement that came as President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Oslo to meet with his Scandinavian counterparts. He explained that Norway is increasing its “financial and humanitarian support” by about $800 million over last year.

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In all, Norway has committed $6.8 billion, allocated over five years.

Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland have together provided aid to Ukraine worth some 11 billion euros over the course of the full-scale Russian invasion.

“The Nordic countries will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” read a joint statement from the five nations. “Russia must end its aggression and withdraw its forces immediately and unconditionally from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.”

Zelensky said that Norway is “an example to other countries.”

“It is important for me to thank you personally for all the extraordinary support that Ukraine receives from Norway,” Zelensky said in his address. “Norway became the first country to approve a long-term support program for us, for our families, for Ukraine. Your example became an example for other countries.”

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Intelligence cyber units hack Russia’s central tax databases

Ukraine’s Main Military Intelligence Directorate (HUR) said that its cyber units successfully infiltrated Russia’s Federal Tax Service, breaking into its central servers and “eliminating the configuration files that allowed the databases to function,” the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported.  

The hack affected 2,300 regional services throughout Russia and occupied Crimea. The HUR reported that Russian authorities have been unsuccessful for five days in trying to repair the databases, and estimated that the system will remain inoperative through January 2024.

The FNS denied the HUR’s report and claimed that all tax services were operating normally. However, Russian opposition outlet Meduza noted that the FNS “reportedly informed a Russian Telegram channel that users may have problems accessing its online services but that the FNS refused to explain the reasons for the problems,” the ISW wrote.

Operations: Bakhmut

The ISW reported Wednesday that Moscow’s forces made confirmed gains around Bakhmut, citing geolocated footage. The images appear to show Russian troops taking up new positions north of Klishchiivka (7 km southwest of Bakhmut) and north of Sakko I Vantsetti (15 km north of Bakhmut)

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Meanwhile, Ukrainian military observer and blogger Kostyantyn Mashovets posted that elements of the Russian 123rd Motorized Rifle Brigade (2nd Luhansk People’s Republic Army Corps) and 137th Airborne (VDV) Regiment (106th VDV Division) are operating north of Yakovlivka (17 km northeast of Bakhmut) and marginally advanced near Bilohorivka (22 km northeast of Bakhmut), the ISW wrote.

Several Russian military observers stated that Moscow’s forces also controlled a section of the Hryhorivka-Bohdanivka road (6-9 km northwest of Bakhmut), although ISW said it could not confirm the claims.

Operations: Dnipro River

The AFU continues to hold down its positions on the left bank of the Dnipro despite frequent attacks and poor weather, according to reports.

Russian military bloggers claimed that fighting is ongoing near Krynky (2 km from the Dnipro River). Mashovets, the Ukrainian military commentator, observed that Russian elements of the 328th and 337th VDV Regiments (both part of the newly formed 104th VDV Division) continued attacking Ukrainian positions in Krynky from the southwest. Direction. He quoted an unnamed Ukrainian source as saying that “Russian forces continue to suffer equipment losses near Krynky,” the ISW noted.

According to a Russian observer, the units taking part in the attacks on AFU positions include Russian 126th Coastal Defense Brigade (22nd Army Corps, reportedly part of the forming 18th CAA).

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Operations: Avdiivka

Russian bloggers described “extremely unfavorable” weather conditions in Avdiivka, including ice, which are negatively impacting Russia’s aerial reconnaissance drones.

Nonetheless, Russian forces continued to advance near Avdiivka on Wednesday, the ISW wrote, citing geolocated footage showing Moscow’s forces making marginal gains southeast of Stepove (3 km northwest of Avdiivka).

 

The AFU’s General Staff noted that its forces repelled at least 51 Russian attacks around the city, while several Russian bloggers claimed that the Kremlin’s troops advanced in the industrial zone southwest of Avdiivka and just east of the city’s coke and chemical plant, although ISW could not find any evidence to support those claims.

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