September 5,2023

Victory Chronicles-DAY 559

Ukrainian Defense Forces advance towards Novoprokopivka on southern front

Ukrainian forces are pushing forward and making gains towards the settlement of Novoprokopivka on the southern front. “Ukrainian Defence Forces have been conducting offensive operations on the Bakhmut and Melitopol fronts. We had success in the area of Robotyne – Novoprokopivka; we’re consolidating the lines reached, inflicting artillery fire on identified enemy targets and carrying out counter-battery measures,” – Pavlo Kovalchuk, Spokesman for the Ukrainian General Staff.

He said the offensive is continuing south of the town of Bakhmut on the Bakhmut front. Kovalchuk stressed that the Russian forces suffer losses in military personnel and equipment, repositioning their troops and using reserves.


Symbolic number of the Day

8 000

Russians attack eastern front line about 8,000 times every week. “In the East it is very intense on many fronts. Every week, about 8,000 attacks are carried out throughout the eastern front line. This takes about 400,000 shells,” said Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister.


War in Pictures


Russian Uragan rocket destroys house in Dnipro Oblast. Russian invaders shelled the Velykomykhailivska community in Synelnykyi district, Dnipro Oblast, with a Uragan rocket launcher on the evening of 4 September. “The enemy fired twice at Nikopol with heavy artillery. Fortunately, there were no casualties anywhere,” – said Serhii Lysak, Head ofthe  Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Military Administration. Lysak said one of the Uragan rockets hit a private residential building and destroyed it. In addition, two other residential buildings were damaged.


Video of the Day

Ukrainian forces destroy pile of Russian anti-tank mines and mortar mines with drone. This footage released by the 241st Territorial Defense Brigade, a part of the Territorial Defenses of Ukraine, shows troops using a weaponized drone to drop explosives on a pile of anti-tank and mortar mines.


ISW report


Russian forces reportedly attempted to expand minefields in southern Ukraine following the start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive in June. The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) reported that the Russian command determined at the start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive that Ukrainian forces might be able to easily breach the Russian doctrinal minefield depth of 120 meters leading Russian forces to aim to increase the depth of their minefields up to 500 meters. 

RUSI stated that Russian forces lacked enough mines to mine these larger areas as densely as Russian doctrine dictates, causing Russian forces to deviate from doctrine, including by using improvised explosive devices and a wider and differential distance between mines. RUSI stated that Russian forces tried to compensate for decreased minefield density by increasing the effectiveness of anti-tank mines by placing two on top of each other.

Ukrainian operations across several sectors of the front have likely further compounded these constraints on the Russian effort to expand minefields by forcing Russian forces to disperse their mining efforts along wide sectors of the frontline. Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces Spokesperson Oleksandr Shtupun stated on September 3 that minefields near the next series of Russian defensive positions in western Zaporizhia are less dense than the initial defensive layer that Ukrainian forces advanced through. ISW has previously assessed that Ukrainian forces may encounter denser minefields at certain sections of subsequent series of Russian defensive positions, however.


War Heroes

Senior Sergeant Oleksandr Shykovets, with the call sign Shrek, died on August 21, 2023 near the village of Robotyne, Zaporizhzhia Oblast. While performing his official combat duties, the fighter was fatally wounded as a result of enemy shelling with guided aerial bombs. On August 15, the defender turned 53 years old.

Oleksandr is a native of the Belarusian village of Velikoye Selo, Minsk region. He received a secondary specialized education as a ship repairman and completed his military service. In 1991, he settled in the city of Nizhyn, Chernihiv Oblast. In 1992-2004, he worked as a diesel engineer at the Nizhyn Deep Drilling Expedition. Then he was a construction worker and a driller abroad.

During the full-scale Russian invasion, in March 2022, the man voluntarily mobilized into the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He served in the 30th Battalion of the 117th Separate Territorial Defense Brigade. He was promoted to squad leader position and went to defend Sumy Oblast. In January 2023, he transferred to the 117th separate mechanized brigade. At first, he was a driver, and, in March, he became the commander of an engineering company. As part of his unit, he defended the southern direction.

“I am a wounded bird with one wing. Your body, Sasha, was torn apart by the KAB, and along with it – my heart and soul,” wrote the wife of the deceased, Oleksandra. “Sasha will forever remain in my memory as a wonderful man with a kind heart who knows how to love,” added his friend Olena. “He took an active part in thecity’s public lifey, had many acquaintances and friends. He was always humane, sincere, and ready to help in a difficult moment. He was socially active, and together with volunteers, he participated in the provision of the unit. Heroes do not die. Oleksandr Shikovets will remain forever in our hearts. His memory will live on in his deeds and in our common Victory over aggressors, terrorists and invaders. Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!” the Nizhyn City Council said. The defender was buried at the Gunkiv Cemetery in Nizhyn. The warrior is survived by his parents, wife, son, relatives, friends and fighters-in-arms.


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