Sitrep for September 28-30 (as of 15:00)
Russian President Vladimir Putin has recognized the independence of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. Further, the issue of annexing the occupied territories to Russia will be considered at a meeting of the State Duma (on October 3), and then the Federation Council (on October 4) [lower and upper houses of Russia’s parliament, respectively]. Our team considers that to be the next stage of escalation.
The situation on the front line
Ukrainian forces are expanding the bridgehead east of Kupiansk and liberating new territories. On the morning of September 30, visual confirmations of Yampil’s liberation by Ukrainian troops appeared, the pro-Russian Telegram channel Rybar had reported that the day before. Accordingly, now it can be stated that Lyman (until 2016 it was called "Krasnyi Lyman") is in an operational encirclement.
Let us recall that a few days ago, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that the Ukrainian counteroffensive on Lyman had failed and more than 70 Ukrainian servicemen had been killed.
If the Armed Forces of Ukraine manage to liberate Zarichne as well, then it will be possible to speak about a pocket, not just an operational encirclement.
Many pro-Russian sources call the current situation a betrayal, since the same thing that happened to the Russian forces in the Kharkiv direction is being repeated.
Besides, in recent days, evidence of the presence of mobilized soldiers at the front has appeared - they have been sent to build a line of defense in Svatove.
On the morning of September 30, a convoy of civilian vehicles (presumably these were volunteers or people who took their relatives or their property from the occupied territories) driving to pro-Russian territory was hit at the entrance to the city of Zaporizhzhia. According to the latest data, 23 people were killed and 34 were injured as a result of the strike on this convoy. Judging by the crater, it was a very powerful missile, but it is still unclear which one.
We don’t have sufficient data to make a judgment on who exactly made the strike; however, the Russian side has been known to make similar strikes on civilian convoys in the past.
More shellings by Russian Forces:
- In Dnipro during the night of September 28–29, a family fell victim to a strike: two children, their mother, their grandmother, and a small dog. The father of the family is an UAF artilleryman currently serving near Lyman;
- A bus depot in Dnipro was hit during the night of September 29–30: 52 buses burned down and 98 more sustained damage;
- A bus stop in Mykolaiv was hit on September 29. 2 people were killed, 12 were wounded. Photographs of the aftermath.
News of the mobilization in Russia
Head of Russia’s constituent Republic of Dagestan Sergei Malikov issued a decree on mobilizing 13 thousand people and threatening that those responsible for the mobilization would be sent to the front unless they hit the quota. In response, authorities in Derbent dispatched a police car to drive through the city and announce that all men were to report to the draft office, passport and military ID in hand. After Vladimir Putin demanded that only those “fitting the criteria” are to be called up, Sergei Malikov became outraged at the Derbent officials and forced the head of the local draft office to make a public apology. We are not surprised that the files at the draft offices are in complete disarray: the previous mobilization happened in the 1940s and nobody expected the current one. After reviewing the problems hampering the mobilization, the President sacked the Deputy Defense Minister for Logistics.
In an attempt to obstruct the flow of men fleeing the mobilization, Russia deployed pop-up draft offices at the border with Georgia. Those willing to leave are served military summons and then, on that basis, are forbidden to cross the border out of Russia. Similar mobile draft offices have now been deployed in Leningrad Region near the Finnish border and in Astrakhan Region at the border with Kazakhstan.
News about the 3rd Army Corps
Comments from various Russian sources are appearing about the recently formed Russian 3rd Army Corps. Many of them note that there was practically no real training in the Corps. After seeing the quality of training, some of those who signed up immediately quit. Another significant chunk was fired after the visit of Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov for telling him how bad the situation was. Thus, the Corps came out to be a crowd of untrained people with the latest equipment, which they essentially don't know how to use. They are also very angry now, as their short-term contracts have turned into perpetual ones, and some are not receiving their due payments.
After the appearance of 3rd AC on the frontline, their tactical sign turned out to be “a bear’s paw in a circle”. Previously we saw such a sign on military vehicles on a train in Vladimir.
One of the field commanders of the separatist forces, Oleksandr Khodakovsky, unflatteringly spoke of the units of the 3rd AC, comparing them to a wild animal born and raised in a zoo.
Ukrainian observer Konstantin Mashovets writes that elements of the 3rd Army Corps are being deployed on positions near Vuhledar, more in the Mariupol direction rather than the Melitopol direction.
Official American sources specify that the 18 HIMARS MLRS launchers, the transfer of which was announced in the latest aid package, will be delivered in a few years (when they are manufactured).
The Republic of Korea will provide Ukraine with $2.9 billion worth of military aid. It includes, among other things, Chiron MANPADS and missiles for shooting down low-flying (less than 7 km) aircraft.
The first results of the use of the "Prytula satellite" - a satellite that was acquired by the Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation for the needs of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine - have been published. More than 60 units of Russian military equipment concealed in treelines in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions are reported to have been destroyed based on the data provided by the satellite. The cost of the destroyed equipment already exceeds the cost of the satellite.
The New York Times published a thorough investigation of Russian soldiers’ phone calls intercepted in the Kyiv region. In these calls, the soldiers admit that the commanders would order the killing of civilians to prevent them, as commanders explained, from sharing the coordinates of Russian positions with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have accused members of the Russian National Guard from the Kemerovo and Krasnoyarsk regions of shooting cars with civilians in Hostomel, Kyiv region, on February 25. Having failed to complete the combat mission of capturing Kyiv, the national guardsmen retreated and held positions in Hostomel, where for more than six hours they were shooting at cars with civilians trying to evacuate.
The Security Service of Ukraine named Lieutenant General Andrey Mordvichev responsible for the attack on Mariupol and the siege of Azovstal.
The residents of Izyum, whose houses can’t be made ready for the heating season and the upcoming winter, are offered to evacuate to other settlements in Kharkiv, Poltava or other regions.