Центр оборонних стратегій

CDS Daily brief (19.09.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

After midnight on September 19, Russian troops fired a missile at the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant. According to preliminary information, the “Iskander” missile hit 300 meters near the nuclear reactors. The shock wave damaged the NPP buildings, and more than 100 windows were broken. One of the hydraulic units of the Oleksandrivska HPP, which is part of the South Ukrainian energy complex, shut down for a short period. Three high-voltage power lines were also disconnected. Currently, all three power units of the station are operating in regular mode. There are no casualties among the staff.

Russia refuses to release about 50 women from captivity, two of whom were extracted from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol and are currently pregnant, Olena Tolkachova, the head of the patronage service of the “Azov” regiment, told Ukrainiska Pravda. One of the women is about to give birth, and the other is four months pregnant. A total of 2,000 people were extracted from Azovstal, and more than 900 of them were from “Azov”. Their whereabouts are not known exactly. Tolkacheva also said that when bodies are exchanged, the Russian side brings bodies of Ukrainian soldiers so badly decomposed that it’s sometimes even impossible to get a DNA sample for identification.

Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin told the “Left Bank” publication that five children between the ages of 4 and 16 had been identified as victims of sexual violence committed by the Russian military. Kostin said there are more cases like this; however, identifying and collecting evidence is really hard.

At around 2:30 a.m. on September 19, the   Russian forces   fired 8 missiles   at   the   city of Zaporizhzhya, Oleksandr Starukh, head of Zaporizhzhya Oblast Military Administration, said. City infrastructure was targeted, according to preliminary information. Another S-300 missile strike was carried out at around 5 a.m. in the morning. One missile hit the Dnipro River bank in the city, and the other one hit a village near the city, injuring a woman.

According to the head of Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration, 6 civilians were injured by landmine explosions in the de-occupied territories during the past day. 2 people hit a mine in a car in Derhachi district, 2 more in Izyum district, and 2 in Chuhuyiv district. All of them were hospitalized with injuries of various severity.

Last night, the Russian forces fired 6 S-300 missiles and 3 Smerch MLRS rockets at Mykolaiv. As a result, several private houses and a warehouse of an industrial enterprise were damaged. Before dawn, the Russian military attacked the Mykolaiv district with two Kh-59 cruise missiles from Su-35 fighter jets. One rocket was destroyed in the air; the second fell into a private garage. There are no casualties, operational command South reported.

According to the Head of Kyiv Oblast Military Administration, Oleksiy Kuleba, 27 out of 117 medical facilities damaged by the Russian military in Kyiv Oblast have already been completely restored. However, work continues on another 41, particularly on the completely destroyed Makariv and Hurivshchyna dispensaries.

On Kremyanets mountain near Izyum, Kharkiv Oblast, the Russian invaders destroyed stone Polovtsian women [monument] dating back to the 9th-13th centuries, the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets, said.

As of this morning, 2,532 educational institutions in the liberated territories have been damaged, including 287 completely destroyed, Minister of Education and Science Serhiy Shkarlet said.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Ukraine increased to almost 37,000 last week, which is 50% more than was registered a week earlier (24,000 cases), Deputy Minister of Health, Chief State Sanitary Doctor Ihor Kuzin, said. He said there would be no lockdowns, although some quarantine measures could be taken at the regional level.

Occupied territories

Ukrainian OSCE employees Dmytro Shabanov and Maxym Petrov were convicted of “treason” and sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment by the illegal court of the so-called LPR. Shabanov worked as a security assistant at the Stakhanov forward patrol base of the OSCE mission, and Petrov worked as an interpreter. They were detained in the occupied Luhansk Oblast in mid-April. Later, Shabanov was accused of “transferring classified information to representatives of foreign special services.” The Russian proxies claim that Shabanov was allegedly recruited by “a resident of the US CIA in Ukraine who worked in the SBU.” They also falsely claimed that Shabanov “underwent special training in the USA” and then allegedly collected information about the movement of militants. OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, and OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid issued a statement condemning the sentencing of the two Ukrainians as a result of so-called “legal proceedings” and calling for their immediate release.

Representation of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea said that the occupation administration issued a decree to hold so-called class hours in schools covering the following topics: for elementary school students “Heroes of special operations”, for students of 5-7 grades “Friends and enemies of the Russian Federation”, for students of 8-9 grades – “LPR, DPR, Crimea, Kherson – this is Russia”, and for students of 10-11 grades “There is such a profession – to defend the motherland!” The advantages of contract service in the Russian Armed Forces.

Operational situation

It is the 208th day of the strategic air-ground offensive operation of the Russian Armed Forces against Ukraine (in the official terminology of the Russian Federation – “operation to protect Donbas”). The enemy continues to concentrate its efforts on establishing full control over the

territory of Donetsk Oblast, organizing defense and maintaining control over the captured territories, and disrupting intensive actions of the Ukrainian troops in certain directions.

The enemy fired at the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces along the contact line. Russian military takes measures to regroup troops in different directions, deploys reserves and conducts aerial reconnaissance.

The Russian military continues to shell civilian infrastructure, violating the norms of International Humanitarian Law and laws and customs of war. Over the past 24 hours, it has carried out three missile and twenty-two air strikes, as well as more than 90 rounds of MLRS fire targeting objects on the territory of Ukraine. This morning, the enemy carried out three more missile strikes.

The infrastructure of more than 30 Ukrainian towns and villages sustained damage, particularly Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhya, Soledar, Bilohirya, Novopil, Pershotravneve, Temyrivka, Sukhy Stavok, Myrolyubivka, Petrivka, Bereznehuvate, Bilohorivka, Spirne, Krasnohorivka, Stepove and Olhivske.

The threat of air and missile strikes throughout the territory of Ukraine persists.

Due to the significant shortage of human and materiel resources, the Russian forces continue to resort to non-standard replenishment. For example, 400 people serving time for criminal offenses were sent from the Russian city of Tambov to strengthen units fighting in Ukraine. In Krasnodar Krai, “Afghan soldier” NGOs were tasked with collecting money from the local population to purchase warm clothes for the regional volunteer battalion.

It is planned to form up to four rifle battalions (up to 2,000 people in total) based on the 36th separate motorized rifle brigade (Borzya) of the 29th Combined Arms Army of the Eastern Military District. Officer positions in the newly created units will be filled with the teaching staff of the Far Eastern Higher Military College (Blagoveshchensk).

During the day, the aviation of the Ukrainian Defense Forces struck 16 areas of the Russian manpower concentration and 5 positions of anti-aircraft missile systems.

Over the past 24 hours, Ukrainian missile forces and artillery have fired at more than 14 enemy targets, including 6 control points, 3 strongholds, and personnel and military equipment concentration areas. Enemy air defense, EW and 3 ammunition depots were located in the affected area.

The morale and psychological state of the personnel of the invasion forces remain low.

Kharkiv direction
  • Zolochiv-Balakleya section: approximate length of combat line – 147 km, number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 10-12, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 13.3 km;
  • Deployed enemy BTGs: 26th, 153rd and 197th tank regiments, 245th motorized rifle regiment of the 47th tank division, 6th and 239th tank regiments, 228th motorized rifle regiment of the 90th tank division, 1st motorized rifle regiment, 1st tank regiment of the 2nd motorized rifle division, 25th and 138th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 6th Combined Arms Army, 27th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Tank Army, 275th and 280th motorized rifle regiments, 11th tank regiment of the 18th motorized rifle division of the 11 Army Corps, 7th motorized rifle regiment of the 11th Army Corps, 80th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 14th Army Corps, 2nd and 45th separate SOF brigades of the Airborne Forces, 1st Army Corps of so-called DPR, PMCs.

The Russian forces shelled the positions of the Ukrainian troops with tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of Hoptivka, Strilecha, Kozacha Lopan, Vysoka Yaruga, Kudiivka, Vovchansk, Budarky, Hatyshche, Dvorichna, Kupyansk, Mykolaivka, Kamianka. They inflicted air strikes in the areas of Dvorichna (with Mi-8) and Kamianka (with Mi-8 and Su-25).

In the southeastern corner of Kharkiv Oblast, the enemy military units of the 1st tank army cannot hold the front line along the Oskil and Siverskyi Donets rivers. Still, they also have no clear withdrawal plan. They were forced to leave Yarova east of Sviatohirsk but still maintain the defense to the north and southeast of it.

The Russian troops’ command is gradually restoring its grouping in the Russian Belgorod Oblast, which yesterday tried to attack the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the area of the village of Hoptivka. About four BTGs remained of the two brigades of the 6th Combined Arms Army and the 11th Army Corps (although the claim is that there are eight). In the same area, several company groups from the 14th Army Corps, 20th Combined Arms Army and 1st Tank Army are moving to the defense.

The Russian military carried out provocative offensive actions in the direction of Zhuravlyovka (Belgorod Oblast, Russia, up to 2 km from the Ukrainian state border) and Hoptivka (Kharkiv Oblast), employing units of the 25th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 6th tank army. It had no success and retreated. Around Kupyansk, the Russian forces carried out remote mining of the area.

The missile battery of the 448th missile brigade (Kursk) of the 20th Combined Arms Army of the Western Military District, which had performed tasks in Belgorod Oblast (Volokonovske), was returned to the permanent deployment location.

Despite the retreat from Kharkiv Oblast, the Russian military will continue to inflict damage on targets in the liberated territory and try to keep the occupied part of Kharkiv Oblast under control.

Kramatorsk direction
  • Balakleya Siversk section: approximate length of the combat line – 184 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 17-20, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 9.6 km;
  • 252nd and 752nd motorized rifle regiments of the 3rd motorized rifle division, 1st, 13th and 12th tank regiments, 423rd motorized rifle regiment of the 4th tank division, 201st military base, 15th, 21st, 30th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 2nd Combined Arms Army, 35th, 55th and 74th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 41st Combined Arms Army, 3rd and 14th separate SOF brigades, 2nd and 4th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 2nd Army Corps, 7th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Army Corps, PMCs.

The Russian forces shelled the Ukrainian Defense Forces with tanks, mortars, barrel and jet artillery in the areas of Kryva Luka, Pyskunivka, Raihorodok, Bilogorivka, Ozerne, Serebryanka, Hryhorivka. In addition, they launched a rocket attack on Kramatorsk (with an S-300 anti-aircraft missile at civil infrastructure).

Russian proxy units prepare to defensive in Kremina, Lysychansk and Zolotarivka. They conduct sporadic unsuccessful counterattacks in the direction of Bilohorivka.

The enemy deployed elements of the “Pole-21” radio suppression system in the areas around Lysychansk (Luhansk Oblast, “Lysychansk Gelatin Plant”) and Peremozhne (Luhansk Oblast) to protect their objects from the Ukrainian Defense Forces missile strikes and UAV actions.

During the last two days, the movement of at least three enemy engineering and sapper units of the platoon-company level was recorded through Starobilsk to Svatove and from the south to the Svatove district. The columns contain a variety of earthmoving equipment. A pontoon-bridge unit from the PMP Floating Bridge was moved through Novaidar in the direction of Sievierodonetsk (Luhansk Oblast) to establish crossings over water obstacles in the Kramatorsk direction.

Donetsk direction
  • Siversk – Maryinka section: approximate length of the combat line – 235 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 13-15, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 17 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 68th and 163rd tank regiments, 102nd and 103rd motorized rifle regiments of the 150 motorized rifle division, 80th tank regiment of the 90th tank division, 35th, 55th and 74th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 41st Combined Arms Army, 31st separate airborne assault brigade, 61st separate marines brigade of the Joint Strategic Command “Northern Fleet”, 336th separate marines brigade, 24th separate SOF brigade, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 15th, and 100th separate motorized rifle brigades, 9th and 11th separate motorized rifle regiment of the 1st Army Corps of the so-called DPR, 6th motorized rifle regiment of the 2nd Army Corps of the so-called LPR, PMCs.

The Russian military fired at the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces near Rozdolivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Vesela Dolyna, New York, Yuryivka, Rozivka, Zaitseve, Avdiivka, Opytne, Karlivka, Kostyantynivka, Maryinka, and Pervomaiske.

Over the past day, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces have repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Mykolaivka Druga, Vesela Dolyna and Bakhmut.

The Russian proxy formations, reinforced by the PMC detachments, unsuccessfully attacked Bakhmut from the east and south.

Zaporizhzhya direction
  • Maryinka – Vasylivka section: approximate length of the line of combat – 200 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 17, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 11.7 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 36th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 29th Combined Arms Army, 38th and 64th separate motorized rifle brigades, 69th separate cover brigade of the 35th Combined Arms Army, 5th separate tank brigade, 37 separate motorized rifle brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army, 135th, 429th, 503rd and 693rd motorized rifle regiments of the 19th motorized rifle division of the 58th Combined Arms Army, 70th, 71st and 291st motorized rifle regiments of the 42nd motorized rifle division of the 58th Combined Arms Army, 136th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 58 Combined Arms Army, 46th and 49th machine gun artillery regiments of the 18th machine gun artillery division of the 68th Army Corps, 39th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 68th Army Corps, 83th separate airborne assault brigade, 40th and 155th separate marines brigades, 22nd separate SOF brigade, 1st Army Corps of the so-called DPR, and 2nd Army Corps of the so-called LPR, PMCs.

The Russian forces did not take active actions.

The Russian military fired at the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces using tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of Vuhledar, Prechystivka, Velyka Novosilka, Mykilske, Neskuchne, Bilohirya, Novosilka, Stepove, Orikhiv, Hulyaipilske, Olhivske, Kamianske, Temyrivka, Zaliznychne, Novoandriivka, Mala Tokmachka, Mali Shcherbaky, Novopil, Zelene Pole, Chervone, and Novopavlivka.

Taking into account the possible offensive of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the direction of Orikhiv, Polohy and Hulyaipole, in the dark time of the day, the enemy strengthens the positions of the 123rd rifle regiment of mobilization reserve of the 1st Army Corps with units, probably from the 503rd motorized rifle regiment of the 19th motorized rifle division of the 58th Combined Arms Army.

Kherson direction
  • Vasylivka–Nova Zburyivka and Stanislav section: approximate length of the battle line – 252 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 27, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 9.3 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 114th, 143rd and 394th motorized rifle regiments, 218th tank regiment of the 127th motorized rifle division of the 5th Combined Arms Army, 57th and 60th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 5th Combined Arms Army, 135th, 503rd and 693rd motorized rifle regiments of the 19th motorized rifle division, 70th, 71st and 291st motorized rifle regiments of the 42nd motorized rifle division, 51st and 137th parachute airborne regiments of the 106th parachute airborne division, 7th military base of the 49th Combined Arms Army, 16th and 346th separate SOF brigades.

The Russian forces command is trying to hold both the bridgehead on the right bank of the Dnipro River and the city of Kherson itself at any cost. Over the past two days, the Russian military has concentrated up to 15 railway cars of ammunition and other materiel items and a BTG from the 35th Combined Arms Army (38-40 units of combat equipment, including at least 8 tanks) near the river crossings.

Kherson-Berislav bridgehead
  • Velyka Lepetikha – Oleksandrivka section: approximate length of the battle line – 250 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 22, the average width of the combat area of one BTG –11.8 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 108th Air assault regiment, 171st separate airborne assault brigade of the 7th Air assault division, 4th military base of the 58th Combined Arms Army, 429th motorized rifle regiment of the 19th motorized rifle division, 33rd and 255th motorized rifle regiments of the 20th motorized rifle division, 34th and 205th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 49th Combined Arms Army, 224th, 237th and 239th Air assault regiments of the 76th Air assault division, 217th and 331 Air assault regiments of the 98th Air assault division, 126th separate coastal defense brigade, 127th separate ranger brigade, 11th separate airborne assault brigade, 10th separate SOF brigade, PMC.

The Russian forces shelled Ukrainka, Tavriyske, Pravdyne, Lymany, Ternovi Pody, Myrne, Novohryhorivka, Pervomayske, Partyzanske, Kvitneve, Shyroke, Blahodativka, Bilohirka, Bezymenne, Novorossiysk, Velyke Artakove, Lozove, Vysokopillya, Osokorivka, Trudolyubivka, Myrolyubivka, Petrivka, Bila Krynytsia, Pravdyne; and to the north Oleksandrivka, Kobzartsi, Vesely Kut, Novovoznesenske, Olhyne. In addition, they carried out airstrikes in the areas of Myrolyubivka (with five Su-25s and eight Mi-24s), Bilyaivka (with two Mi-24s), Vysokopillya (with two Mi-24s ).

As a result of the successful actions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, the enemy retreated from Mala Seideminukha to the Kalynivske district.

Employing units of the 56th air assault regiment of the 7th air assault division, the Russian military attacked in the direction of Myrne, Pravdyne, but did not succeed and retreated.

The 126th separate coastal defense brigade of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, with the support of forces and means of one of the BTGs of the 64th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 35th Combined Arms Army, is trying to prevent the threat to its left flank.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine are confidently expanding their Inhulets bridgehead. The Russian defense areas near Chkalov and Tamarin are already under their fire control.

Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:

The forces of the Russian Black Sea Fleet continue to project force on the coast and the continental part of Ukraine and control the northwestern part of the Black Sea. The ultimate goal is to deprive

Ukraine of access to the sea and connect unrecognized Transnistria with the Russian Federation by land through the coast of the Black and Azov seas.

Due to the stormy weather, the number of enemy ships at sea has significantly decreased in the Black Sea. Currently, there are 6 warships at sea providing reconnaissance and blocking shipping in the Azov-Black Sea waters. Among them is one cruise missile carrier, namely a small missile ship of project 21631 “Buyan-M”. Up to 8 Kalibr missiles can be ready for a salvo.

Three large enemy amphibious ships of project 775 are located along the southwestern coast of the Crimean Peninsula.

Russian missile and artillery attacks on Mykolaiv and Ochakiv have resumed. The Russian military uses cruise missiles, S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, MLRS, and artillery. On the night of September 19, the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Mykolaiv Oblast was shelled.

Russian aviation continues to fly from the Crimean airfields of Belbek and Hvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Over the past day, 8 Su-27, Su-30, and Su-24 aircraft from Belbek and Saki airfields were involved.

9 amphibious ships are in the ports of Novorossiysk and Sevastopol for replenishment and scheduled maintenance. There are no indications of preparation for an amphibious assault on the southern coast of Ukraine.

All 4 submarines of project 636.3 are at their bases (in Novorossiysk and Sevastopol).

The movement of enemy military equipment by road and rail transport through the temporarily occupied Crimea in the direction of Kherson Oblast remains intensive. There are indications that the Russian Federation is moving its troops, equipment and ammunition to the right bank of the Dnipro by the river fleet vessels that they captured in Kherson. Thus, it replaces broken bridges and pontoon crossings.

On September 19, a humanitarian grain caravan of six ships left the ports of Odesa for the mouth of the Danube. The dry cargo ship FULMAR S is the first to arrive, making its third voyage with Ukrainian food. The bulk carriers ARCTURUS, GULMAR, AKSON SARA, ESENCE and TOMAHAWK are lined up in the wake of the FULMAR S. Notable that in this caravan, there are two giants at once – the 225-meter ARCTURUS and the 229-meter TOMAHAWK.

Four more vessels are currently on their way from the mouth of the Danube to the Odesa coast to docks for loading. To date, 3 million 900 thousand tons of Ukrainian agricultural products have been exported from the ports of Ukraine as part of the grain initiative. The dynamics for the first 18 days of September suggest that the export of agricultural products in September 2022 may amount to 5.4-5.5 million tons.

The Iranian drones already used by Russian forces in the war against Ukraine were probably delivered to Russia on board the Oboronlogistika LLC [“Defense logistics”] vessel. In September, the Russian cargo ship Sparta, owned by Oboronlogistika, was spotted arriving at the port of Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf. On September 2, the company reported that equipment “intended for the construction of facilities in the energy sector of Russia” was allegedly delivered to Novorossiysk on board a RORO (a vessel for transporting wheeled equipment). “Despite the specific conditions of sanctions pressure, Oboronlogistika aims to implement a promising logistics scheme with a friendly country. Iran has rich experience of development against the background of tough Western sanctions and has a high transit potential, which makes the port of Bandar Abbas a major hub in the Persian Gulf,” the Russian company reported. Soon after, Iranian Shahed-136 drones began to be used against the Armed Forces of Ukraine. On September 16, the statement mentioned above was removed from the company’s website.

“Oboronlogistika” operates three ships of the same type – Sparta, Sparta II, and Sparta IV. It is worth adding that on August 26, S-300PMU-2 anti-aircraft missile complexes were delivered from Syria to Novorossiysk on board the ship Sparta II owned by the same company. On August 29, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine handed the Embassy of Turkey a note on violation of the requirements of the Montreux Convention, which prohibits the passage of military vessels into the Black Sea and vessels with military cargo during a war in the region.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 19.09

Personnel – almost 54,650 people (+170);

Tanks – 2,212 (+2);

Armored combat vehicles – 4,720 (+2);

Artillery systems – 1,313 (+4);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 312 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 168 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 3,581 (+3); Aircraft – 251 (0);

Helicopters – 217 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 920 (+2); Intercepted cruise missiles – 238 (0);

Boats / ships – 15 (0).

Ukraine, general news

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy discussed with Larry Fink, the head of the world’s largest investment company BlackRock, the possibilities of attracting public and private investments to Ukraine. “We have demonstrated that we know how to win on the battlefield. Another important task for us is to achieve victory in the economy”, Zelenskiy said. “We are able and willing to restore a normal investment climate”, he added.

According to a pessimistic forecast, farmers will reduce the amount of winter wheat, rye and barley crops by 20% this year. However, winter rapeseed crops will remain at the same level as

last year, First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Taras Vysotskyi said in a comment for Ukrinform. According to the deputy minister, farmers in the de-occupied territories, particularly in Kharkiv Oblast, will also have enough time to sow winter crops.

As of September 9, the funds of legal entities in the banking system increased by UAH 120 billion. In addition, individual Hryvnia deposits increased by 32% compared to the beginning of the war, Deputy Chairman of the NBU Council, Vasyl Furman, said. The increase in deposits shows that citizens trust the banking system, the Deputy Chairman of the NBU Council emphasized.

International diplomatic aspect

Russian strikes had increasingly picked out civilian targets over the past weeks, even when no immediate military benefit could be perceived, stated the UK Defence Ministry. A Russian missile struck close to the South Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant. Though it didn’t cause damage to the three reactors, it destroyed other industrial equipment. The Russian nuclear terrorism derived from the impunity for its previous criminal actions, particularly the illegal seizure of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant and the defunct Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant at the beginning of the all-out invasion.

Commenting on the Russian shelling of the Southern Ukrainian NPP, the Minister of Energy of Ukraine, Herman Halushchenko, said that this way, the Russian Federation wants to “get at least some concessions out of Europe by its energy blackmail.” “We see Europe’s resilience in countering Russia’s energy aggression. But stopping Russian nuclear terror in Ukraine requires double efforts. If the “nuclear winter” comes, the problem of high electricity prices will no longer be relevant. The world must finally retaliate against the terrorist country. It is not too late, and a nuclear catastrophe is only a threat, which, unfortunately, is becoming more and more real every day,” he stressed.

The Baltic states closed their borders to the lion’s share of Russian citizens after the EU failed to properly address the issue by introducing mostly symbolic restrictions. “Russia is an unpredictable and aggressive state. Three-quarters of its citizens support the war. It is unacceptable that people who support the war can freely travel around the world, into Lithuania, the EU,” said the Lithuanian Interior Minister. Even bearers of Schengen visas issued in other countries will not be allowed to cross the border. However, there’re exceptions for humanitarian reasons, Russian dissidents, diplomats, family members of EU citizens, transportation employees and Russians with residence permits or long-stay national visas.

“It’s time to erase the non-existent border between our states, as it has long been erased in our hearts, and hold a referendum on the issue of joining the Donetsk People’s Republic to the Russian Federation,” a pseudo non-governmental organization from Donetsk appealed to the Russian proxy “government”. Russia planned to hold a “referendum” on Kharkiv region’s accession to the Russian Federation in early November with some 75% approval results, Ukrainian media reports with references to intelligence sources.

Russia still plays with the idea of annexing more Ukrainian territories in a pretend “legal way”. A sham referendum in Crimea in 2014 didn’t provide Russia with “legality” of its actions. Only ten countries voted against the UN General Assembly’s resolution on the territorial integrity of Ukraine (Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, DPRK, Nicaragua, Sudan, Syria, Zimbabwe and Venezuela), while 100 voted aye and 58 abstained. Only Russia, Syria and North Korea recognized “the independence” of a puppet Donetsk People’s Republic. Ironically, Russia plays legal games while Russians haven’t been enjoying even relatively free and fair elections nor a slight likeness of the rule of law for decades, if ever. The predatory nature of Putin’s regime raises the question of doubting the territorial integrity of Russia itself.

“Despite the tense own material situation, the Bundeswehr will provide Ukraine with another four Panzerhaubitze 2000 artillery pieces, supplemented by another ammunition package,” the German Defense Ministry announced.

Russia, relevant news

The largest banks in Turkey, Is Bankasi and DenizBank, have stopped servicing Russian Mir cards. According to Bloomberg, the decision was made against the backdrop of the possible imposition of US sanctions. When using the Mir card, Russian government agency TASS reports, ATMs report a transaction confirmation error and return the card. Bunge, an American agro-industrial company, has agreed to sell its Russian business, including a sunflower oil plant in Voronezh, to entrepreneur Karen Vanetsyan, the controlling shareholder of Exoil Group, Kommersant reports.

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