October 26, 2022

Sitrep for October 25-26 (as of 11:00)

The situation on the frontline

Fighting continues in different sectors of the front, but neither side has made any progress yet. Ukrainian servicemen are recording a video from Bakhmut, demonstrating that the city is relatively intact and is fully under the control of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The fighting in the Kherson axis is evidenced by a report about another destroyed Russian T-62 tank.

At a captured Russian position, the Ukrainian servicemen found installed OMU corner reflectors that are used to create radar interference. Firstly, radar satellite imagery of the areas where they are installed looks light-exposed, and secondly, it interferes with the guidance of some missiles.

Additional details of the strike on the settlement of Kairy, conducted on the night of October 24, have appeared. The school building housing Kadyrov's "Neftepolk" (“Oil regiment”) was hit. As a result, 30 servicemen were killed and about 60 were injured.

"Neftepolk" was created in Chechnya at the beginning of the 2000s to combat illegal oil business. Its task was round-the-clock patrolling of oil production facilities and oil pipelines, blocking all channels of illegal oil transportation, and revealing underground mini-factories for oil refining. In fact, this regiment was part of Rosgvardia [the National Guard of Russia].

On October 25, the Armed Forces of Ukraine attacked occupied Svatove with two HIMARS MLRS rockets. There are no details of this attack yet.

In occupied Melitopol, a car exploded near a building, injuring five. The intended target is still unknown. The Ukrainian side has already declared its innocence and claimed that it was a showdown between the invaders;

In Bryansk Oblast of Russia, a railway line connecting to Belarus was blown up. Judging by the photos, it is likely that the railway will be repaired rather quickly.

On the evening of October 25, Russian forces struck Dnipro city. Missile fragments fell on a gas station, which eventually caught fire. At least two people were killed by the strike: a pregnant woman and a car wash operator. Four more people were injured;

The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine reports that in 8 months, Russian forces attacked Ukrainian power facilities 85 times, of which 51 cases were in October.

The Washington Post published an article about Russian strikes on the energy infrastructure of Ukraine. Ukrainian and Western experts say the attacks were carried out so methodically and purposefully that it is clear that the missiles were directed by electrical or energy experts. Such specialists know exactly what targets have to be hit in order to inflict maximum damage on the energy system of Ukraine. If this information is confirmed, then these people should be considered war criminals.

So far, Ukraine has managed to reroute its electricity flows. 90 percent of the consequences of the attacks can be handled within a day of an attack. However, the safety margin of the energy system is not unlimited, and it is not known how many resources it will take to keep the system running. Russian attacks are repetitive, and the same target may be struck several times, making the repairs futile.

Most of the substations and transformers are located in open areas, making them easy targets. Due to individual design features, they are often difficult to repair, and the production of parts for a specific installation sometimes takes months.

It is unlikely that Russia will be able to cause a total blackout on the entire territory of Ukraine. Nonetheless, interruptions of electricity supplies in the cities are expected to become longer.

The shutdown of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has reduced the production of electricity in Ukraine. However, since a significant part of the Ukrainian industry is now idle, the electricity demand has decreased considerably.

It is also reported that the US is working on supplying air defense systems to Ukraine, while representatives of Poland handed over a list of Ukraine's infrastructure needs to the EU.  It includes cranes, means of transporting concrete pillars, many kilometers of cables, more than a dozen types of various power transformers, underwater pumps, surge breakers and chainsaws.

A BBC investigation proves that Russian forces might have blown up a pipeline connecting Dnipro and Mykolayiv in April, leaving the city without drinking water.  The area where the explosions happened was under Russian control at the time. In satellite images from that period, one can see Russian armored vehicles near the places of explosions.

It is worth mentioning that such actions are a war crime, since they do not result in any military advantages and do not affect military infrastructure, only the civilian one.

Russian forces keep removing equipment from Kherson. Now the turn has come to city buses.

Looting continues elsewhere.  Evidence has emerged showing the removal of equipment and other property from a wine factory and a shipyard, where, for example, a crane was taken away.

The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, called on mobilized servicemen dissatisfied with the poor condition of their uniforms and weapons to obtain all of it as spoils in clashes with the Ukrainian military.

Tomsk entrepreneurs are beginning to see “contracts on the implementation of mobilization tasks”. This was reported by the owner of a grocery store and bakery. Apparently, at this point it is only about collecting information. The entrepreneur who spoke to TV2 believes that individual entrepreneurs [unlike companies] are not required by law to comply with “mobilization orders”, but since the power to make final decisions was transferred to the regional authorities, it is not known what actions will be taken in this regard.

According to the Spokesperson of the Ukrainian Air Force Yuriy Ignat, Iran can transfer a new type of drones, Meraj-521, to Russia. It is stated that they are analogous to US-made Switchblade drones. The range of Meraj-521 is 5 km. They are capable of carrying three types of warheads weighing between 0.5 and 1 kg.

German Chancellor Olag Scholz said that Germany will soon transfer three more Iris-T air defense systems to Ukraine. We would like to point out that besides the systems themselves, it is imperative to supply Ukraine with sufficient quantities of ammunition for them.

The United States is transferring two NASAMS anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine. The possibility of transferring old Hawk air defense systems is being discussed as well.

Ukrainian MInister of Defense Oleksiy Reznikov also reports that the Spanish Hawk systems mentioned in our earlier dispatches are not the only ones that will soon arrive in Ukraine. Apparently, he means those supplied by the United States.

Australia plans to supply military equipment worth $200 million to Ukraine. The package includes Bushmaster LTVs. Its wheeled chassis seems to be a disadvantage, thereby such vehicles can be a concern during mud seasons.

Bushmaster LTV

Our team considers that it would make more sense for the United States to hand over Bradley IFVs to Australia, whereupon Australia would send M113AS4 tracked APCs to Ukraine.

Bradley IFV

The UK Prime Minister Office announced that Rishi Sunak had a conversation with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy in order to highlight “the unwavering support of Ukraine by the United Kingdom''.

Moreover, Ben Wallace, well-known for his consistent stance regarding Russian aggression, keeps the position of the Secretary of State for Defense, representing additional confidence that the UK will keep providing Ukraine with the required support.

The Advisor to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak told on the air of “Nastoyaschee Vremya” (Current Time) TV channel that the President of the “Motor Sich” JSC Vyacheslav Boguslayev, suspected in collaboration with the Russians, could be exchanged for Ukrainian POWs.