Overview:

  • Zelensky calls out Russian dictator’s “imitation” of elections, as Putin exit polling at 88%
  • Moscow’s troops allegedly raise flag in Tonenke, struggle near Stepove
  • Iskander missiles destroy homes, injure five civilians in Mykolaiv
  • Air Force downs more than a dozen UAVs, as kamikaze drones terrorize the South
  • AFU repels two more Russian attacks on left bank

“This imitation of ‘elections’ has no legitimacy and cannot have any,” Zelensky says

As Russian presidential elections start winding down, and exit polls show the incumbent garnering about 88 percent of the “vote”, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Vladimir Putin is nothing short of a dictator, as he stands to overtake Joseph Stalin as the longest-serving leader in Russia since the tsars.

“These days, the Russian dictator imitates another ‘election’,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter. “Everyone in the world understands that this person, like many others throughout history, has become sick with power and will stop at nothing to rule forever. There is no evil he would not do to maintain his personal power.”

“There should be a fair response to everything the Russian murderers did in this war to secure Putin’s eternal rule,” Zelensky continued. “Only one thing scares him the most: accountability. This imitation of ‘elections’ has no legitimacy and cannot have any.”

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Iskander-M missiles likely the kind used in Mykolaiv attacks, Ukraine’s forces say

Ukraine’s Southern Defense Forces reported that Russian missiles hit Mykolaiv on Sunday, destroying homes and businesses and injuring at least five people. The military spokespeople noted that the tempo of the missile strikes mirrored tactics recently used upon targets in Odesa.

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“The enemy continues to terrorize the south. In the afternoon, they insidiously attacked an infrastructure facility in Mykolaiv with ballistic missiles, firing two missiles, likely Iskander-M, from temporarily occupied Crimea. The tactics are identical to the previous attack on Odesa: after hitting with one missile, they repeated the attack on the same site a few minutes later,” the post says.

Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych reported that the air strikes destroyed roofs and blew out windows of private homes, and damaged a number of civilian cars.

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Air Force films Russian drones being knocked out of the air

Battling regular Russian UAV strikes in Odesa particularly and throughout the southern regions generally, Ukraine’s air defenses posted a great video of anti-aircraft artillery taking down at least one of the kamikaze drones.

The video is of fighting on Sunday night when Russian forces launched 16 Shahed assault drones on Ukraine, Air Force spokespersons wrote, with 14 of them shot down over the Odesa region.

Shahed drones also hit a critical infrastructure building in the Kharkiv region over the weekend, injuring two men.

Operations: Avdiivka front

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported over the weekend that Russian forces have likely captured Tonenke (west of Avdiivka) and Nevelske (southwest of Avdiivka). Geolocated footage published on Saturday shows elements of the Russian 110th Motorized Rifle Brigade “advancing into and raising a flag in Nevelske.”

 

One Russian military blogger wrote that Moscow’s troops have not been as successful on the northern flank of Berdychi near Stepove, because “Ukrainian forces still control tactical heights and conduct counterattacks in the area, but that it is more difficult for Ukrainian forces to counterattack near Orlivka and Tonenke,” the ISW reported.

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Also in the Donbas, geolocated footage published on Sunday indicates that Russian forces marginally advanced northeast of Marinka (immediately west of Donetsk City).

 

 

Operations: Dnipro River

Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) continue to hold down their hard-earned positions on the left bank of the Dnipro River, as invading forces twice on Sunday tried unsuccessfully to dislodge AFU units, returning to their bases each time, Ukraine’s Southern Defense Forces reported on social media.

Moscow’s troops have been trying for weeks to push defending forces back westward across the river toward Kherson. Still, the positions that amphibious troops first set up in places like Krynky have withstood continual Russian assaults.

The AFU also claimed on Sunday that defending forces also repelled four Russian assaults in the areas of Robotyne and northwest of Verbove in the Zaporizhzhia region, and suffered significant losses there. State media Ukrinform highlighted that the enemy attacked Mala Tokmachka and Makarivka in the Zaporizhzhia region with tactical aircraft, launching nine guided aerial bombs.

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