Sitrep for October 20-21 (as of 14:00)
The situation on the front line
The pro-Russian journalist Semyon Pegov (a.k.a. Wargonzo) reported about Russians strikes on Ukrainian forces in the village of Myrne on the Kherson axis. It might mean that Ukrainian troops have advanced from the settlement of Pravdyne to Myrne, or possibly even further, additional confirmation is needed though.
On the night of October 20-21, Ukrainian forces hit the Antonivsky bridge. The main target was probably a barge pontoon bridge running parallel to the Antonivsky bridge. The video captured both the strike itself and the work of air defense systems.
According to pro-Russian sources, representatives of “Tavria”, a local TV and radio company set up by the occupying authorities, came under fire; 4 people were killed. One of them was a journalist who used to work on the Moscow 24 and RT TV channels and in the Moscow city government.
It is important to note that the attack took place at night, during the curfew, which was announced not only by the occupation administration, but also by the decree of the Russian President declaring martial law in the region. During the curfew, civilians are not supposed to be on the streets. This fact was also stated by the spokesperson of the Southern Defense Forces Nataliya Humenyuk. Nevertheless, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation opened a criminal case into the attack on civilians by the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the barge crossing in the Kherson region.
First photos of the consequences of the strike on the Antonivsky bridge and the crossing made of barges emerged. Despite the poor quality of the images, it can be seen that three barges near the left bank of the Dnipro river were destroyed. They can be replaced quite quickly, which is the main advantage of the barge crossing actually.
Electric public transport was put out of action in Mykolaiv on October 20 for the purpose of saving electricity The head of the Mykolaiv Regional Military Administration Vitaliy Kim had previously warned about it.
Electricity was also turned off in the right-bank part of Kyiv.
The head of the Republic of Buryatia (national region of the Buryat people in Russia) Aleksey Tsydenov refused to pay out 195,000 roubles salaries to the mobilized. According to him, the mobilized are entitled to the standard salary without bonuses (circa 20,000 - 25,000 roubles) while they are deployed at training grounds in Russia . This contradicts the promises of Vladimir Putin, who specially emphasized that all the mobilized were entitled to a salary of 195 thousand roubles, even during the training period in Russia.
Our team assumes that the burden of these payments was laid right upon the regional budgets, but not every regional budget possesses such funds. Probably, this is why the Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin ordered to transfer 1 trillion rubles from the National Prosperity Fund to cover the federal budget deficit.
In the Krasnoyarsk region, there was a funeral of four mobilized men who had been killed immediately after being sent to the war zone, probably in the Kherson region.
Pskov students collect empty tin cans to start the production of trench candles for Russian servicemen.
Ukrainian volunteers have been making such lights for the Armed Forces of Ukraine for a long time. They are suitable for lighting and heating dugouts and boiling water.
According to eyewitnesses, in Kherson, Russian soldiers load fire engines and stolen civilian vehicles onto ferries and transport them to the left bank of the Dnipro.
Residents of Enerhodar report about a similar situation as well. According to them, Russian servicemen have been taking out loot of the occupied areas since October 19. A major robbery of the «Skifskiy» (“Scythian”) Hotel was also recorded. Russian servicemen took out equipment, furniture and other things from there.
Our team links the activation of marauders to the fact that customs control might have been abolished on the border of the occupied territories with Russia.
A Ukrainian drone filmed a video of Russian servicemen carrying washing machines out of a residential building and loading them into a car with the Z symbol. Our team thinks such things primarily happen due to the poor supply of Russian forces. The servicemen are moving washing machines to their location to be able to wash clothes. But, along with that, they take out a large number of valuable things from Ukrainian houses.
Ruslan Pukhov, a member of the Public Council of the Defense Ministry of Russia, actually admitted that the Geran-2 unmanned aerial vehicles are of Iranian origin. He spoke on the RBC TV channel and, apparently unaware that the recording had already begun, said that the drones are indeed Iranian, but the authorities do not admit this, so this topic should not be raised.
The New York Times writes that the Russian command has withdrawn S-300 anti-air systems and from 1200 to 1600 servicemen from Syria.
The British Defense Ministry claimed that a Russian fighter jet fired a missile at a British warplane that was patrolling over the Black Sea. Russia claims that it was not an intentional shot, but a technical malfunction.
The Ukrainian soldiers use a Swedish AGM-114 Hellfire anti-ship missile. As it turned out, it can also be launched from the ground at surface targets.
The Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, stated: “Russian attacks on Ukrainian targets using combat drones are a war crime that will not achieve its goal.” According to him, by the spring of 2023, Germany will train a Ukrainian Brigade of up to 5,000 soldiers. Russia’s mass strikes on targets in Ukraine only strengthen the confidence of Ukraine’s Western partners in the need to increase arms supplies.
The US Congress is preparing to pass a $50 Billion aid package bill to Ukraine before January 2023. This will make it possible to supply Ukraine for another year.
The New Yorker published a long article about how Western countries armed Ukraine.
The Human Rights Watch organization released a report about torture in Izyum during Russian occupation. It provides evidence of how people were kidnapped, tortured with electric shocks and water, beaten, threatened with weapons, and forced to stay in an uncomfortable position for long periods of time. Local residents indicated seven places in the city where the abducted people were held. Some of those abducted commited suicide after being tortured.