October 18, 2022

Sitrep for October 17-18 (as of 13:00)

The situation on the front line

Unsuccessful attack  attempts by the RF Armed Forces are reported near Bakhmut, Soledar, Ivano-Dar'ivka and Tors’ke.

The 93rd brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine published a video showing a damaged T-90M tank near Bakhmut. We do not know whether the tank belonged to the 3rd Army Corps.

Russian tanksmen were reported to support the offensive of the Wagner group near Bakhmut.

The lull which set in at the Kherson front continues. Some of the pro-Russian Telegram channels that had reported about the critical situation and a possible attack by a large Ukrainian group in the direction of Beryslav more recently admitted that the actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were offensive reconnaissance. If there had been a full-fledged offensive, Russian forces could have published evidence of Ukrainian losses (in military vehicles and manpower) after they had repelled it.

As a result of the strikes in the Sumy region, 3 people were killed, 9 people were injured.

One of the temporary bridges over the lock of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant was either destroyed or removed.

At the same time, apparently, the barge bridge parallel to the Antonivsky bridge was completed.

Attacks on Ukraine with loitering munitions

Russian military expert Yan Matveev analyzed the hits on residential buildings in Kyiv with Russian kamikaze drones. He came to the conclusion that they were caused by the inaccuracy of the drones themselves, and not by the work of Ukrainian air defense. At the same time, it is quite possible to shoot down such a drone by firing a machine gun (but only professionals should do this).

Maxim Litavrin of MediaZona media outlet debunked a publication of the pro-Russian Telegram channel "War on Fakes", in which they wrote that allegedly a Ukrainian air defense missile flew at the apartment building hit yesterday in Kyiv. He also concluded that the unmanned aerial vehicles that crashed into residential buildings were not hit by either man-portable air defense systems or air defense missiles (one of these incidents was captured on video, where it is clearly seen that nothing changed the trajectory of the drone).

It became known that at least 5 people, including a pregnant woman, died under the rubble as a result of a kamikaze drone hitting an apartment building in Kyiv on October 17.

Today, on October 18, Shahed-136 loitering munitions strikes on Ukrainian territory continue. Kyiv city authorities report two dead and one wounded.

Western experts, commenting on possible deliveries of Iranian missiles to Russia, note that these missiles have already been tested in various military conflicts, and they are quite accurate and effective. At the moment, the USA threatens sanctions upon any third country that will help Iran to supply missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles to Russia, but sanctions cannot affect the production of these missiles.

Dmitry Peskov (Russian President’s spokesman) states that in the strikes against Kyiv and other cities they use Russian vehicles with Russian names - it is a reaction to statements by Western countries about possible additional sanctions due to deliveries of Iranian drones.

Incident in Yeisk

During the takeoff of a Su-34 fighter, while altitude gaining, the engine caught fire. The plane began to fall, the pilots successfully ejected, but the fighter jet hit an apartment building.

This is one of the worst accidents involving a combat aircraft in terms of the number of victims. Information on the number of victims varies. State-owned news outlet RIA Novosti, citing an official of the Ministry of Health of Russia, reports 13 dead, including 3 children, and 19 injured. Other sources report up to 19 dead.

Witnesses filmed the explosion, the fire caused by it, the distinctive sounds of secondary detonation, and even a conversation with the pilot. He indirectly confirmed that the crash was caused by a technical failure.

The Russian Ministry of Defense quickly admitted that the plane crashed into a residential building, but said it was a training flight without ammunition. However, the secondary detonations heard in the videos refute this assertion. Fuel tanks don't explode like that. The munitions of a GSh-30-1 cannon installed on this type of jet could have detonated, according to some experts. Due to the long and tedious process of charging a gun belt before a flight, it might have been left loaded. Alexander Kotz, a correspondent for the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper, also reported that the Su-34's gun shells had detonated.

Our team admits that this may be true, but it does not exclude the possibility of a combat flight with full ammunition (the town of Yeysk is relatively close to the front line).

The Russian Navy does not have Su-34 jets in service, and these jets are not used for training naval aviation pilots. This is important because the airfield in Yeysk (as well as the airbase in the village of Saki in the Crimea) is primarily a training center for naval pilots. The 859th Center for Combat Use and Retraining of Naval Aviation Flight Personnel is based at this airfield. However, it was also used to train other military pilots. Pre-war photographs taken at the airfield show a Tu-134UBL, an aircraft used for training pilots of strategic bombers.

Mobilization news

The Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced on October 17 that the “partial” mobilization objectives had been met, therefore mobilization was ended, and the issued draft notices were invalidated.

The Chairman of Agora International Human Rights Group Pavel Chikov noticed that the Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin didn't actually have power to end the mobilization, for it had been initiated by the order of Vladimir Putin and only he could stop it.

The Moscow region Governor Andrey Vorovyov made the similar announcement following Sergei Sobyanin.

Dmitry Peskov (the press secretary for Russian President) clarified the “procedure of the partial mobilization in the regions, which coped with the mobilization task, has already been fulfilled and stopped”, thus any announcements or orders by Vladimir Putin regarding the end of the partial mobilization across the whole country are not on the table so far.

Saint Petersburg draft offices declared that all the exemptions for the employees of the city`s companies and enterprises are abolished during the mobilization.

The identities of two citizens of Tajikistan, who had opened fire at the shooting range in the Belgorod region and had been killed, were identified. They appeared to be 23 y.o. Mehrob Rahmonov and 24 y.o. Ekhson Aminzod. According to Baza news outlet they had been “recruited as volunteers” (we don`t understand the meaning of this phrase) and had been brought to the training ground on October 11.

Radio Liberty Tajikistan (Radio Ozodi) journalists talked to Ehson Aminzod's brother. According to him, the deceased was not a citizen of the Russian Federation, he had arrived in Russia about 7 months ago, worked in a restaurant and had no intentions to take part in the war. Eskhon Aminzod disappeared on October 10th near the Lyublino metro station in Moscow.

A video has appeared showing the mobilized discussing how one of them, being very drunk, was handed a weapon.

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania issued a joint statement calling on the EU to help Ukraine establish the Special Tribunal for the Punishment of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine committed by Russia's leadership.

In the liberated Lyman, the bodies of 35 Ukrainian servicemen and 152 civilians have been exhumed. According to the police, the victims were mostly killed by shelling and explosions, but there are also bodies with signs of violent death (meaning torture and execution).

108 Ukrainian women were released from Russian captivity. According to Denis Pushilin (the head of Russian occupation government of the Donetsk region), the exchange took place according to the “110 for 110” scheme, civilian sailors and military personnel of the Russian army returned to the Russian side.

A fake account of General Surovikin and his fake quotes are circulating on the Internet. We get the impression that this account is managed via an auto-translator by a foreigner not fluent in Russian.