February 10, 2023

Sitrep for February 9-10 (as of 2:30 p.m.)

At midnight on Feb. 10, the RuAF began to attack the territory of Ukraine with kamikaze drones. The attacks were reported in the Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Mykolaiv regions. Presumably, the purpose of those was to overload the air defense of Ukraine, making them expend anti-aircraft missiles and reveal air-defense positions (for subsequent adjustment of cruise missile routes).

At 5 a.m., the RuAF began the second wave of attacks not only with kamikaze drones but also with 3M-54 Kalibr cruise missiles and S-300 (SA-10 Grumble) air defense system missiles. As of 5 a.m. (at the very beginning of the attack), the Ukrainian Air Force announced that they had shot down 5 out of 7 kamikaze drones and 5 out of 6 Kalibr cruise missiles.

On the morning of Feb. 10, an air raid alert was announced throughout Ukraine. The work of air defense systems (or strikes) was reported in the Lviv, Zhytomyr, Vinnytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Poltava regions. In the Lviv region, an unexploded missile fell near a bus stop; no one was injured.

Yet some energy facilities were still hit, resulting in blackouts in Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Khmelnitsky, Vinnytsia, and Lviv.

According to Head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration Oleh Synyehubov, as a result of this missile attack on Kharkiv, as of 2:30 p.m., eight people were known to have been wounded, two of whom were in serious condition.

Spokesman of the Air Force Command of the AFU Yuriy Ihnat stated that the air defense systems detected one of the Russian missiles flying in the airspace of Moldova at that time, but, taking account of previous experience, it was decided not to shoot it down.

The Ministry of Defense of Moldova claimed that a Russian missile has crossed its airspace en route to a target in Ukraine. Due to this, Moldova's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned Russia's ambassador. Yuriy Ihnat stated that this missile attack is the largest in terms of the amount of S-300 missiles launched (the precise number has not yet been announced). Ukrainian authorities stated that 13 missiles were shot down in the Odesa region, and 10 missiles were shot down over Kyiv. According to the mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klytschko, damaged power grids are recorded, restoration work is underway, no injuries have been reported. After recovering the information that A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft had returned to Belarusian air bases, the air raid alert was gradually lifted.

Another video showing an execution of a Russian POW by firing squad has turned up. The footage depicts a war crime: the executed person clearly did not pose any threat to Ukrainian soldiers, his both hands were raised and empty. The second POW (who wasn’t executed in this video) also did not hold anything in his hands. We are convinced that he would have been executed immediately should he hold a grenade. It is probable that by saying “grenade”, the cameraman suggested looking for it in the POW’s pockets. The video does not show when the third person was killed. It is possible that it happened during a fight, not in the process of surrender. Judging by the video showing blood near his head, it’s impossible to state for sure that he was executed.

The first recorded destruction of a BMPT [Terminator] tank support fighting vehicle was reported. The video captures three explosions near the BMPT, it was destroyed only after the fourth shot when the top turret was hit. Judging by the lack of any activity near the machine during the whole video, it can be said that the BMPT was abandoned for some reason (e.g. it ran out of fuel, got broken, etc.). The video was geolocated around Shypylivka near Bilohorivka.

The situation on the front line

Russian troops attempt to move in the direction from Soledar and Blahodatne to the northwest to the Zaliznyanske area in the Bakhmut direction. They are trying to reach the M03 road connecting Bakhmut with Sloviansk. A satellite image can be used to estimate the number of attacks in the area.

The most important point to the south of Bakhmut is located close to the village of Ivanivske. Road T-0504 intersects Ivanivske and connects Bakhmut with Kostiantynivka. Russian troops are trying to cut the road. We can estimate the intensity of the fighting based on satellite images.

Many pro-Russian Telegram channels write about the situation near Vuhledar, where we observe an “escalation of involvement”. Russian forces repeat the same mistakes made during the assault on Pavlivka and the initial attacks on Vuhledar. They send military columns one after another for their destruction “until the last soldier.”  We can estimate the intensity of the fighting based on satellite images.

The pro-Wagner Telegram channel Grey Zone comments on the videos from this direction recorded from the Ukrainian side and write that the command does not make any conclusions from mistakes and sends columns to attack over and over again. The channel compares what is happening with the action of the film "Purgatory" about the Chechen war.

According to the former separatist commander and military blogger Igor “Strelkov'' Girkin, the number of killed only among tankmen adds up to many dozens, and even more among marines, special forces, and motorized riflemen. What is important, he says, is that all these losses turned out to be one-sided: the advancing columns are shot "like at a shooting range."

A video of the destruction of a Russian Mil Mi-24 (or Mil Mi-35M) helicopter by Ukrainian artillerymen near the village of Tokarivka, Kharkiv region (Kupiansk direction) has appeared. It is stated that the helicopter was hit by a man-portable air defense system at first but was able to land. The crew was evacuated by a rescue Mil Mi-8, and the left on-the-ground helicopter was allegedly hit and destroyed. However, it is possible that the Russian military could have planted the explosives themselves during the evacuation and blown it up after leaving.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says that, when it comes to military assistance to Ukraine, “nothing is off the table.” They talked with Zelenskyy mainly about the supply of air defense systems and long-range missiles. The possibility of training Ukrainian pilots to fly British Eurofighter Typhoon multirole air-superiority fighters was also discussed.

In yesterday's sitrep, we mentioned the air strike on the Chernihiv region, which didn’t happen in a long time. It was reported that as a result of this strike, two people were killed, and two others were injured. In the newly published photos from the damaged industrial facility, an evacuation of a wounded man in military trousers caught our attention. It is likely that soldiers were present at this facility.

Lithuania will provide Ukraine with thirty-six L70 surface-to-air systems (actually, these are Bofors anti-aircraft guns) to destroy UAVs.

The Defense Minister of Belgium said that the Ukrainian soldiers had arrived in the country to receive extensive training in the use of underwater mine clearance drones.

SpaceX’s President Gwynne Shotwell said the company took steps to prevent the Ukrainian soldiers from using Starlink satellite internet service for controlling UAVs because the service was "never meant to be weaponized." It is important to understand that not ordinary Starlink terminals are meant, but special small-type kits, on the basis of which controlled UAVs were made, capable of operating even with jammers turned on.

Igor “Strelkov” Girkin published a post where he suggested that the recruitment of convicts by the Wagner Group had been terminated on a command "from above." He believes that after some time, this will seriously affect the group since it will worsen its ability to successfully attack positions, as is happening now near Bakhmut. There will be nothing to make up for heavy losses of infantry. Strelkov also writes that without normal military discipline and order in the rest of the operational forces, it is impossible to win the war with “death battalions.” At present, according to numerous reports, the Army is showing many "signs of decay."

The State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] has passed a law on booking slots in queues for crossing the border. It will be valid only for freight transport and will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2023.