Sitrep for October 8-10 (as of 15:00)
On the morning of October 10, Russian forces launched a massive attack, the largest one since February 24, on Ukrainian cities: Kyiv, Dnipro, Ternopil, Kharkiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Konotop (Sumy region), Kremenchug (Poltava region), Odesa. Almost all regions of Ukraine were attacked. The exact number of victims, dead and injured, is still unknown, but at least 5 people are reported to have been killed in Kyiv.
According to the Ukrainian authorities, 83 missiles were fired at the territory of Ukraine (according to an alternative estimate , there were at least 100 strikes in total), 43 of them were shot down by air defense systems, the rest hit the cities.
At the moment, Russian forces are known to have used not only missiles, but also kamikaze drones - Iranian Shahed-136 (Geran-2) loitering munitions. Some of them have been intercepted – there are photographs, presumably showing air defense work: a trace of the interception of these drones visible in the sky.
There were also photos of cruise missiles flying over the Odesa and Chernihiv regions and a video by the Russian Ministry of Defense showing the launch of cruise missiles from a ship.
Our team is inclined to believe that those were 3M-54 Kalibr cruise missiles (Let us recall that not so long ago we stated that Russia was running out of these missiles, but there must have been an emergency reserve for a special occasion).
According to the available information, many of the missiles hit random places with no military facilities nearby including Taras Shevchenko park, a pedestrian bridge in Kyiv, residential buildings, warehouses, streets, and a business center.
However, several energy infrastructure facilities were struck. In many other cities, local residents report strikes on either a power plant or energy infrastructure. We know of 11 important infrastructure facilities in 8 regions:
— Kharkiv suffered a complete power outage for a period of time
— In Lviv, due to lack of electricity the city’s combined heat and power plants were temporarily taken off line.
— Eyewitnesses reported a fire at the Kyiv Thermal Power Plant (the moment of impact was caught on video).
— In Zhytomir region, missiles also hit power facilities.
— Power outages are happening in Lviv, Rivne, Ternopil, and Kyiv.
— A missile hit the Kryvyi Rih Thermal Power Plant.
Reaction of Russian authorities
In today’s speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin directly admitted that the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff had prepared a plan for strikes at Ukraine’s energy infrastructure (he also spoke of communications and military facilities). This is a direct admission of a war crime, because the energy infrastructure belongs to civilian objects, and strikes against it are prohibited.
The fact that several regions of Ukraine are blacked out will not create a military advantage for Russia. Therefore, the Russian strikes can’t be called reasonable or proportional.
Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, condemned the actions of Russia and announced additional military aid for Ukraine from the EU.
Moldova claimed that three Russian rockets violated the country's airspace. They probably flew from the Black Sea towards Ivano-Frankivsk or Lviv.
Our team expects to see a reaction from the United States and Europe in supplying Ukraine with new types of weapons and increasing sanctions pressure on Russia.
The Russian Forces have been shelling Zaporizhzhia for the past three days, constantly hitting residential buildings. Every day, civilians have been killed, the number of casualties is still to be defined. Most likely, these strikes were also a response to what happened with the Crimean Bridge.
On the night of October 8-9, the Russian Forces hit the base of the 55th Artillery Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Zaporizhzhia region with Iranian Shahed-136 (Geran-2) loitering munitions.
The situation on the front line
As of October 10, a number of settlements were liberated in the Svatove direction: Novoyehorivka, Nadiya, Andriivka, and Stelmakhivka.
We believe that after Stelmakhivka, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will move towards Nyzhnia Duvanka in order to begin the gradual encirclement of Svatovo. Most likely they will use already proven tactics without getting involved in urban battles.
A lot of pro-Russian sources post videos of the delivery of reinforcements to Svatove and Kreminna.
On the Kherson axis, after Nova Kamyanka was liberated, the situation has stabilized, and we do not expect any visible progress here in the coming days.
The Crimean bridge explosion
A lot of fake videos have appeared in which the bridge was allegedly hit by a missile. There is also a version that on a screenshot from the video taken by a surveillance camera, one can see an explosion and an undamaged truck. However, this only proves that the surveillance camera on the bridge does not film a high quality video, and its matrix is not capable of correctly recording a bright flash in the dusk.
The version with some kind of watercraft that blew up the bridge from underneath also seems untenable, because it is impossible to quietly deliver almost a ton of explosives by water (this would require a whole barge).
We also can’t think of any missile capable of carrying such a powerful charge.
Fresh Maxar satellite images show the burnt section of the bridge. According to our team, only an explosion on the surface of the bridge could leave such traces (this indirectly confirms the truck version).
Another Russian Su-25 attack aircraft appeared to be lost, there is confirmation from the FighterBomber telegram channel.
The Defense Minister of Slovakia wrote that to honor Putin's birthday, Slovakia is transferring two more Zuzana-2 self-propelled gun-howitzers to Ukraine.
Former Azov commander Maksym Zhorin released a video shot in Kupiansk, where (allegedly) bodies of civilians were dumped in a pit. The video drew comments from the Russian propagandist Aleksandr Kots. He claims the video shows Ukrainians executing collaborators. To our team his arguments appear unsubstantiated.
A video appeared of a freight train loaded with tanks and personnel in Orsha (town in Belarus). It's worth noting the T-72 tanks on the train are of a fairly dated sort. They are also missing reactive armor blocks.
The cargo cars with soldiers in them that surprised many are not usually utilized for transporting military personnel these days, but are still used to carry a sentry detail, guarding freight trains with military hardware.
We still estimate the probability of the Belorussian army invading Ukraine as very low. Their army is even less organized and prepared for large scale military operations than the Russian one.