Sitrep for October 19-20 (as of 14:00)
The situation on the front line
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have probably paid attention to the method of “divination” based on their reports (determining the AFU line of control according to statements about Russian strikes on certain settlements) and now they report attacks only on half of the front. The strikes on the right bank of the Dnipro are no longer mentioned, apparently in order to strengthen information security.
However, if you look at FIRMS satellite imagery data, you can see that the intensity of hostilities is not decreasing.
On the evening of October 19 and the morning of October 20, many pro-Russian sources reported that Ukrainian offensive operations had begun in the Nova Kam’yanka – Beryslav axis. They also reported active use of drones, including Bayraktar TB2s, but only for reconnaissance purposes (avoiding areas covered by Russian air defenses).
Russian forces continue attacks on Ukrainian cities.
- The Head of the Ukrainian Military Administration of Kryvyi Rih, Oleksandr Vilkul, reports that on the night of October 18-19, an energy infrastructure facility was hit. Many settlements of the Kryvyi Rih region were left without electricity supply.
- In the Vinnytsia region, Ladyzhyns’ka TPP, presumably, was the target of an attack.
- In the Ivano-Frankivsk region, the Burshtynska Thermal Power Plant was attacked.
- A video of the destruction of a Russian X-101 cruise missile on approach to TPP-6 in Kyiv was published. We believe that it could have been shot down by the last echelon of air defense, the so-called "point defense," for example, by a Gepard self-propelled air defense system.
Wreckage of a German-supplied IRIS-T missile was found in Kyiv.
According to Ihor Terekhov, the head of Kharkiv, more than 150 thousand Kharkiv residents have lost their homes as a result of constant shelling. Those who have become homeless and continue to stay in the city are housed in university dormitories.
On October 19, in Belgorod, a shell hit an infrastructure object. Some time later, a fire began at the Yuzhnaya substation due to overvoltage, and power was cut off in some of the city's homes.
On October 19, Putin declared martial law in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, the “LPR”, and the “DPR”. In addition, a "medium response level" was introduced in Crimea, Krasnodar, Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Kursk, and Rostov regions.
Separately, we note that this special regime established in the border territories, although a little different from martial law from a legal point of view, still strongly resembles it.
Volodymyr Saldo, the Russian-appointed governor of the Kherson region, announced that all agencies of the regional civilian administration are moving to the left bank of the Dnipro. Approximately 60 thousand people will be transferred to the left bank of the river within six days, according to the occupation administration. Several videos have already been released showing the evacuation process.
As in St. Petersburg, military commissariats [enlistment offices] in the Pskov region now say that employees should have submitted exemption documents before mobilization was announced.
The mobilized citizens of Kurgan recorded a video recently in which they complained about not receiving money and not having their loan payments frozen. Russia’s Internet censorship agency Roskomnadzor blocked this video at the request of the Prosecutor General's Office.
While the governor of Novosibirsk region Andrey Travnikov earlier announced that the "first stage" was over, "partial" mobilization continues there.
Another mobilized person died 10 days after receiving a draft notice. On September 28, Artem Nedbaev from Kamensk-Uralsky received his call-up papers, and by October 8, he had already died from wounds.
European countries have agreed to impose new sanctions on Iran for providing Russia with loitering munitions.
In addition, the United States, Great Britain and France will raise the issue of the supply of Iranian drones to the Russian Federation at a closed session of the UN Security Council.
The Minister of Defense of Israel Benny Gantz said Israel will not sell weapons to Ukraine, but may help with early warning systems, although Ukraine had previously claimed it had no need for such systems. This position of Israel is based on the concern that Russian forces may obtain Israeli weapons as spoils and hand them over to Iran.
Earlier, Ukraine made a request to Israel for air defense systems to combat Iranian drones. If Israel supplies its systems to Ukraine, the use of Iranian missiles on Ukrainian territory may help Iran study Israel's weaponry and learn how to counter it.
Germany delivered a new shipment of military aid to Ukraine. It included:
- armored engineering vehicles;
- 7 bridge systems;
- 10 Bergepanzer 2 armored recovery vehicles;
- 35 loaders;
- 195 generators;
- 200 tents;
- 4,000 sleeping bags;
- 240,000 winter hats;
- 80,000 winter pants;
- 116,000 winter jackets;
- 167,000 small arms rounds.
In yesterday’s sitrep, we mentioned the transfer of Marder infantry fighting vehicles by Germany to Greece as part of a circular supply scheme. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba claimed that Greece has already begun the transfer of its BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine.
The extension of the “grain deal”, established in July, is in jeopardy. Russia is pushing for the revamped deal to include the removal of sanctions on export of components needed to make fertilizers.
On the morning of October 20th, the Ukrainian military released numerous videos of captured Russian equipment. Some of the equipment captured on video are a T-62 tank, Msta-B howitzer, a KAMAZ Vystrel armored vehicle, and a Tigr armored vehicle, to name a few.
A video has appeared showing Ukrainian artillerymen in action with a Pion self-propelled artillery cannon using cluster shells. They can be used against military targets (besides, Ukraine, like Russia, did not sign the convention on cluster munitions), so there are no violations of international humanitarian law in this incident. The concern from our team was only caused by dirt on the projectile - this is very dangerous and can lead to a rupture of the gun barrel.
Additionally, videos of the use of 9M22S incendiary rockets in a forest belt near Donetsk also appeared. Since the affected area was only the forest zone, such shelling is permissible from the point of view of international humanitarian law.
RIA FAN, a Russian media outlet linked to Wagner handler Yevgeny Prigozhin, shows where the so-called "Wagner Line" passes in the Donetsk direction. For the most part, this defense line protects the territories captured before February 24, 2022, and does not protect the north of the Luhansk region.
At the same time, Yevgeny Prigozhin himself confirms that defense lines are also being built on the territory of the Belgorod region, and a people's militia is being created there; instructors of the Wagner group will train citizens who are preparing to defend the borders of the region.
Trucks with concrete pyramids were spotted in the occupied territory of the Luhansk region; They will be used in the defense line to build fortifications.
RT (Russia Today, a Russian state-controlled international news television network] published a report showing the Wagner group operating a Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile system and a Buk surface-to-air missile system.
Earlier we saw columns of the Wagner forces in Libya with Pantsir systems mounted on KAMAZ and MAN chassis.
Igor Girkin (“Strelkov”), a former separatist commander and military blogger who reportedly recently rejoined the Russian army, was found in the Rostov region. The photo was geolocated somewhere between Rostov-on-Don and Taganrog.