An update from the Ukrainian military expert Oleg Zhdanov for 13th September 2022.
16:00 Kyiv time
The last 24 hours were fairly quiet, we are somewhat coming to a more stable situation on the frontlines. The counter-offensive is slowly stopping, Ukraine is creating a new frontline and establishing itself in the reconquered areas, but in Kherson, the counter-offensive activities continue. The chance of the emergence of another, third frontline is currently hard to predict.
Russians continue attempting to establish control of Donetsk Oblast, this remains a worrying and problematic direction. They also attempt to prevent the development of counter-offensive opportunities in other directions.
The enemy is conducting air recon and shelling of Ukrainian forces; transfers troops; the danger of missile strikes remains. Terror tactics continue with missile strikes at Kharkiv and Lozovaya. Air strikes against areas and settlements including Belohorivka, Vesyolaya Dolyna, Zaytsevo, Yuryevka, New York, Pervomaysk, Kamenka, Sukhoy Stavok, Kostromka, and others. Shelling along the whole frontline.
In general, Russian invaders conducted in the past day two missile strikes, 25 air strikes, and 11 MLRS strikes at both military and civilian facilities.
Belarus border and northern direction
No changes, continued exercises in Belarus, though only Russians and Belarusians carry them out. What is uncharacteristic is that the exercises at training grounds involve older types of vehicles including an older version of T-72, and older anti-air Shylka vehicles (predecessor of Tunguska), this makes us believe the vehicles have been taken off long-term storage for preparing them for further use, but unclear where exactly. Russia is more likely to take these vehicles.
In order directions, there are mortar, tank and gun artillery shelling.
Sumy Oblast, for some reason, is getting more battering.
Kharkiv Oblast: newly recaptured areas are under Russian shelling.
Kramatorsk, Novopavlovskaya, and other south-eastern directions
These directions had no changes aside from regular shelling and positional fights. A number of air strikes have been observed.
Newly formed Russian units are suffering from low morale. To increase it, one of the LPR brigades saw its command stopping payments to those fighters who are absent from the unit or are undergoing treatment. Payments can only be processed if the commanders allow it. This shows how in these brigades people are attempting to avoid being on the frontline to survive.
Russians continue advancing and attacking positions in the Donetsk area, which is problematic, and in some areas, the situation is very difficult. Unofficial information says positions near Pisky are under heavy shelling.
Ukrainian aviation attacked seven strong points and personnel locations of the enemy, and also two anti-air system positions. Enemy losses are being clarified.
In the past day, artillery and MLRS also struck observation points, vehicle and personnel positions, an EW complex, and radio station “Zoopark” were attacked. Ammunitions were also hit.
In temporarily occupied and liberated territories, Ukrainian law enforcement is discovering numerous crimes conducted by invaders, similar to Bucha, including mass killings, and torture chambers.
Many liberated areas are heavily mined. The combined area of mined territories is 10x as much as the territory that was recently liberated. Even in Kyiv, every morning emergency services are still involved with demining.
Ukrainian defence forces are doing work to return liberated areas to regular life, including civil services, emergency services, and social payments. In Balakliia, pensions are returning very soon.
Ukrainian armed forces destroyed the 1st Guards Tank Army which contains Kantemirovskaya, and Tamanskaya divisions traditionally defending Moscow. While this army has always been used for parades, it also has a dark history in that it took part in Russian coups in the early 1990s.
Unofficial information says Russians have abandoned Kiselyovka in Kherson oblast which allows a direct route to Chernovayevka and Kherson. This has been reported by ISW. If true, this is big news.
In Kherson’s direction, reports of Russian soldiers surrendering at Snigeryovka. Similar reports about Kremennaya in Donetsk oblast.
- At Kupyansk, today an Iranian UAV was taken down. This is Shaheed-136 (“Geran’-2”), which is a kamikaze-drone. Reports that the quality of these UAVs is very low.
- The President of Turkey still wants to try and make a world leader out of himself, he wants to meet Putin soon to discuss the grain deal, and questions of Armenia and Azerbaijan where hostilities are taking place again. Erdogan wants to arrange a meeting between Putin and Zelensky, but he does not take into account the Ukrainian position, which is for Russia to leave to borders of 1991.
- In Kyiv, today a wave of school mining, the “telephone terrorism”, with children being evacuated.
- In Russia, the movement of city deputies is increasing. Out of 18 municipal regions, deputies are demanding Putin to resign for leading Russia to a defeat in war. They are demanding the SMO to be requalified into war, total mobilisation to be announced, and Ukraine to be completely bombed, so it’s too early to rejoice.
- In Nagorny Karabakh, an acute increase in hostilities saw the use of MLRS, resulting in deaths and wounded. Pashinyan woke up Putin by calling Moscow, asking for help. Russian military base in Armenia is on high alert, but it is full of conscripts since all professionals were sent to Ukraine.
- Ukraine officially appealed to the USA to provide ATACMS missiles with ranges of up to 300km. The USA have their own plans for this war so likely they will provide them soon.
- In Kharkiv Oblast, teachers from Russia were detained. Coming to Ukraine to teach is a crime and teachers are facing up to 12 years in prison with no amnesty. Likewise, the Geneva convention does not apply to them.
- Several European countries have stopped providing tourist visas to Russian citizens.