- Partisans in Zaporizhzhia region detonate car carrying Russian soldiers
- Russians again hit Kherson in air strikes from across the Dnipro
- Drone attacks also hit civilian areas in Dnipropetrovsk region
- Russians make gains on left bank, and outside Donetsk
- Ukraine’s drones on battlefield swarming at a fever pitch
- VIDEO: SBU stages mock takeover of nuclear plant in counter-sabotage test
Ukrainian attack within occupied Melitopol may have killed four Russian soldiers
The Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) released news on Monday that a group of partisans in occupied Melitopol managed to blow up a vehicle carrying Russian soldiers. What is known about casualties at this point is that all four troops were wounded, and some may have been killed, the HUR said. “The streets adjacent to the scene were blocked, and several cars with medics arrived,” its statement read. “The exact number of losses of the enemy is being clarified.”
Melitopol is one of the important gateways from the mainland to the Crimean peninsula, and an important hub of activity for Ukrainian patriots behind enemy lines.
As reported by Kyiv Post earlier on Monday, the Ukrainian partisan movement Atesh reportedly penetrated a military unit in Feodosia, Crimea to gather intel on facilities of the 18th Guards Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment of Sevastopol and Feodosia.
“While the guards were busy doing important things on their phones, we were able to quickly reconnoiter and record everything,” Atesh said, noting that they were able to persuade some of the Russian conscripts to advise “when and where it was better to take photos and videos.”
SBU stages drill to practice response to simulated hostile takeover of a nuclear facility
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) conducted counter-sabotage exercises in a city in the northern Rivne region, in a simulated operation near an actual nuclear plant along the border with Belarus, the SBU’s press office revealed on Monday. The Special Operations unit gained control of the unnamed city’s “plant” and took the facility’s CEO’s family member “hostage.”
As one unit in the simulated sabotage operation locked down the territory around the “power plant,” the other “kidnapped” the son of the plant’s CEO, demanding that the facility be shut down, via psychological manipulation and threats. The drill was carried out in concert with local law enforcement and the National Guard.
“In addition to in-depth inspections of residents and critical infrastructure facilities, the [units practiced] coordination of the Security and Defense Forces of Ukraine in the event of a breakthrough into the territory,” the SBU statement read.
Russians continue to shell civilians in Kherson from left bank
“It is loud in Kherson now,” Roman Mrochko wrote. “The enemy has been attacking the city from the temporarily occupied left bank for a long time.” He urged local citizens to take shelter in a safe place and stay away from windows.
State news agency Ukrinform reported that at least one civilian was wounded after a Russian drone dropped an explosive in nearby Beryslav. Ukrainian air defenses destroyed several of the incoming drones in the area.
⚡️During the day of January 15, 2024, the "🇺🇦South" Air Command destroyed 2 🇷🇺Russian reconnaissance UAVs: "ZALA" in the Kherson region and "Merlin-VR" in the Mykolaiv region. pic.twitter.com/wJFWcFRdZO— 🇺🇦Ukrainian Front (@front_ukrainian) January 15, 2024
Drone strikes also hit Nikopol
“The aggressor launched nine kamikaze drones in the Nikopol region today. He fired twice from artillery. The district center, the Marhanets and Myrivka communities were affected by the enemy’s strikes,” Serhiy Lysak wrote. No one was injured.
The russian🇷🇺 army attacked residential areas in the Nikopol region today with death drones.— FarleyFella (@Farleymarley16) January 11, 2024
In the morning, Nikopol city itself was hit. In the afternoon - the Marganets community was targeted. 2 houses and a gas pipeline were damaged. Fortunately there were no casualties. pic.twitter.com/QPJCKpszHU
As ground freezes, Russians likely planning renewed mechanized-vehicle strikes, ISW says
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that online voices are circulating of possible stepped-up Russian offenses as the ground grows colder and harder in eastern Ukraine, while the AFU’s drone activity has been increasing dramatically in those same areas.
The ISW noted that former Roscosmos (Russian space agency) head and “ultranationalist figure” Dmitry Rogozin claimed that the frontlines in the Zaporizhzhia region are “buzzing like a bee hive” due to the large number of Ukrainian drones operating in the area. He added that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have devoted “half a dozen drones to striking each valuable target in western Zaporizhzhia and that intense Ukrainian drone use is complicating Russian personnel rotations.”
Meanwhile, the ISW has assessed that freezing temperatures in Ukraine are likely holding back operations along the front, but will likely create more favorable terrain for mechanized maneuver warfare as the ground freezes in the coming weeks.
“ISW also assesses, however, that Russian forces will be unable to make operationally significant breakthroughs,” the think tank projected.
Russian forces marginally advanced west of Donetsk City on Monday, the ISW reported. Geolocated footage seems to show that Moscow’s troops slightly advanced on the eastern outskirts of Heorhiivka (west of Donetsk City).
Once again, the ISW is reporting that Russian forces marginally advanced in western Krynky on the east bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region. Geolocated footage published on Monday shows that Russian troops advanced northward to the shoreline in western Krynky.
Russian sources claimed that “freezing weather conditions are inhibiting Ukrainian boat movements and landings on the east bank because the Dnipro and Konka rivers and channels are frozen,” the ISW wrote.
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