Sitrep for October 29–31 (up to 13:00)
The situation on the frontline
In many pro-Russian sources, there are reports of a Russian offensive in the Vuhledar direction. As of now, the Russian troops have reached the outskirts of Pavlivka and are fighting with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The troops complain about mud impeding progress.
In the Svatove direction, Ukrainian forces are gradually moving forward. Svatove is now within range of Ukrainian artillery. Starobilsk, an important logistics center for pro-Russian forces, is within range of GMLRS shells.
Also within reach is the Urazovo station, an important railway junction in the Belgorod region.
As a result, we assume that the Russian forces will have to look for other ways to resupply the Svatove direction (through Luhansk, for example).
Fighting continues in the Kherson direction, but there are still no significant changes, as the Russians managed to build a defensive line. That being said, we receive lots of reports of loot being captured from both sides.
Ukrainian Chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate Kyrylo Budanov says that Kherson could be liberated by the end of November. According to him, the most combat-ready Russian units are now in Kherson: paratroopers and marines, whilst the group is constantly replenished with mobilized soldiers.
It should be noted that the statement about the liberation of Kherson is fully consistent with the conclusions of American intelligence.
In the Donetsk direction, pro-Russian forces are trying to break through to the settlements of Opytne and Vodyane, but without much success yet.
On October 29 (the day after the meeting between Shoigu and Putin, where it was said that mobilization was "over"), a resident of Krasnodar received a summons. At a draft board, he was told that there was no decree on the end of mobilization so he would be mobilized and sent to the Kherson region.
The mayor of Stary Oskol, Andrei Chesnokov, answering questions on his VKontakte (social network) page, said that there was no official decree on the end of "partial" mobilization.
There are reports about the dismissal of General Lapin from the post of commander of the "Center" direction. It is unclear whether he himself left his post (according to one version, he went on sick leave), or whether it was a resignation, but Lieutenant General Andrei Mordvichev was appointed temporary commander. At the same time, we assume that Lapin will retain command of the Central Military District, while Mordvichev will command only the "Center" direction, i.e. the "Center" grouping of forces. Our team believes that one of the most critical factors that led to this personnel reshuffle was high casualties (dead and prisoners of war) among the mobilized, as well as a noticeable advance of Ukrainian forces in this direction.
Andrei Mordvichev commanded the 8th Combined Arms Army and took an active part in the capture of Mariupol. In addition, he is known for allegedly being killed in action this spring.
Russia withdrew from the grain deal.
Joe Biden said the move is outrageous and will lead to increased hunger; Russia has no reason to do so.
According to the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov, due to Russia's withdrawal from the agreement, on October 30, a ship carrying grain for Ethiopia was not able to leave one of Ukrainian ports.
On October 31, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN agreed on the movement of 14 ships in the Black Sea as part of a grain deal, making Russia face the fact.
"PMC Wagner Center" business space opens in St. Petersburg. It will provide free rent to inventors, developers, engineers, IT specialists and designers who will produce anything that contributes to "boosting defense capability of the state." According to unverified information, they will try, among other things, to reverse engineer Starlink modules in order to understand how they can be counteracted.