DAY 386

Victory Chronicles
-DAY 386

March 16,2023


Above:  Tiraspol’s “Soviet House” is something like a city council in temporarily-occupied Transdnistria, Moldova.  Reuters reports that Moldova is no longer receiving Russian gas or enduring the “blackmail” imposed by gas giant Gazprom delayed payments.  The formerly soviet-occupied country secured 300 million euros ($318 million) in credits from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to open new lines to the west. Moldova’s energy minister pointed out that breakaway Transdnistria hasn’t paid for Russian gas in 30 years. A contingent of 1,500 Russian “peacekeepers” remain in the separatist region 30 years after Russia invaded and occupied a piece of newly independent Moldova. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Above: Ministry of Defence

  • Russian forces and officials continue to deport Ukrainian children and other vulnerable people to Russia under the guise of rest and treatment. Russian forces are resorting to gross deception of vulnerable people and Ukrainian are convinced to consent for their children to travel to Russia for health care but are later unable to retrieve their children.
  • Russian hackers appear to be preparing a renewed wave of cyber attacks against Ukraine, including a “ransomware-style” threat to organizations serving Ukraine’s supply lines, a research report by Microsoft said on Wednesday. Microsoft found that a sophisticated Russian hacking team, known as Sandworm, is testing “additional ransomware-style capabilities that could be used in destructive attacks on organizations outside Ukraine that serve key functions in Ukraine’s supply lines.”
  • Poland arrested six foreigners for spying for Russia.  The agents are charged with collecting data on supply lines including installation of dozens of secret cameras at airports and rail lines.
  • Moscow is trying to scare its population of an existential threat from Ukraine by installing air defense systems in visible places that will never see hostilities.  Russian independent opposition outlet The Insider reported that Moscow is installing S-400 air defense systems in residential areas and parks in Moscow, generating backlash for endangering civilians and cutting down forest land.
  • The Kremlin tasked the Russian Ministry of Defense to recruit 400,000 contract troops starting April 1. Russian federal districts receive recruitment quotas, for example, Chelyabinsk and Sverdlovsk oblasts each received orders for 10,000 contract servicemen.
  • Civilian men in Lipetsk, Penza, and Voronezh oblasts reported receiving notices to appear in military recruitment centers to ”update their military records.” ISW observed similar summonses prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and during the summer volunteer recruitment campaign. Russian recruitment centers use these summonses to lure and coerce men into enlisting.
  • Volunteer recruitment campaigns are unlikely to generate combat-effective forces, as Russian forces continue to lack competent junior officers and commanders and suffer from a general lack of professionalism within the ranks. Russian milbloggers express surprise at commanders’ ‘managerial illiteracy”. Another milblogger claimed that commanders of a military unit in southern Russia sunk two combat vehicles and killed several servicemen when trainingon how to cross water barriers.

General Staff’s Daily Video Digest with English subtitles


Above: Sviatohirsk, Donetsk. (BBC)

Ukrainian General Staff of the Armed Forces estimated enemy losses since February 24, 2022 (with daily additions)

  • Liquidated personnel, 162,560 (+1040)
  • Tanks, 3,504 (+12)
  • Armored personnel vehicles, 6,810 (+11)
  • Artillery systems/MLRS, 2,539/503 (+11/1)
  • Anti-aircraft warfare systems, 265 (+3)
  • Aircraft/helicopters, 305/289 (+1/0)
  • UAV operational-tactical level, 2,145 (+1/0)
  • Cruise missiles, 907 (0)
  • Warships/boats, 18 (0)
  • Vehicles and fuel tanks, 5,394 (+17)
  • Special equipment, 257 (0)


Above: Shelling of Kostyantynivka, Donetsk. (New York Times)

Glory to Ukraine!
Day 386 of the full-scale russian military aggression has begun.

  • The russian federation does not give up its intentions regarding the occupation of Ukraine, continues to conduct offensive actions, regardless of losses. The enemy is concentrating its main efforts on the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Mar’yinka, and Shakhtars’k axes. Over the past 24 hours, the enemy has carried out more than 75x attacks on the indicated axes.
  • Receiving strong resistance from the Defense Forces, the russian federation continues to use terror tactics against the civilian population of Ukraine, does not stop striking and shelling populated areas.
  • Over the past day, the enemy launched 3x missile strikes, in particular, on the object of the civil infrastructure of the city of Kharkiv. Also, the enemy carried out 29 airstrikes and launched 79 attacks from MLR
  • The probability of further enemy missile strikes throughout the territory of Ukraine remains high.
  • During the day, the enemy shelled the areas of Hrinivka, Tymonovychy, Berylivka settlements of Chernihiv Oblast; Yelyne, Starykov, Atynske, Volfyne, Stepne, Kindrativka, Pokrovka and Grabovske of the Sumy Oblast and Lemishchyne, Strelecha, Krasne, Staritsa, Vovchansk, Bochkove, Budarky, Ambarne and Kolodyazne of the Kharkiv
  • Kupyansk and Lyman axes: the enemy conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the areas of Hryanikyvka, Belogorivka, and Spirny. They carried out artillery shelling of the districts of Dvorichna, Hryanikyvka, Kupyansk, Krokhmalne settlements of the Kharkiv Oblast; Novoselivske, Nevske, Dibrova and Bilogorivka in the Luhansk Oblast, as well as Kolodyazi, Siversk, Spirne and Fedorivka in the Donetsk
  • Bakhmut axis: the enemy does not stop trying to storm the city of Bakhmut. Our defenders repelled numerous enemy attacks in the vicinities of Orihovo-Vasylivka and Bohdanivka settlements. Settlements near the contact line were shelled by the enemy, including Privillia, Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Hryhorivka, Bohdanivka, Bakhmut, Chasiv Yar, Predtechine, Oleksandro-Shulgyne, Kurdyumivka, Ozaryanivka, Dachne and Shumy of the Donetsk
  • Avdiivka, Mar’yinka, and Shakhtars’k axes: the enemy carried out unsuccessful offensive actions in the areas of Stepove, Kam’ianka, Avdiivka, Severne, Netaylove, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Mar’yinka, and Vugledar On the specified section of the front, during the past day, the most attacks were recorded in the Mar’yinka area – 12x, all of which were repelled by our defenders. Areas of Novokalynovy, Kam’ianka, Lastochkiny, Avdiivka, Tonenkoy, Georgiyivka, Nevelskyi, Pobyeda, Vugledar, Vremyvika, and Velikay Novosilka of the Donetsk Oblast were under enemy shelling.
  • Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes: the enemy is conducting defensive operations. Areas of settlements near the contact line, in particular, Olhivske, Malynivka, Gulyaipole, Charivne, Yehorivka, Mala Tokmachka, Novodanilivka, Novoandriivka, and Kam’ianske of the Zaporizhia Oblast, were shelled; Manganets – Dnipropetrovsk; Chervonyi Mayak, Tokarivka, Antonivka, Dniprovske of Kherson Oblast and the city of Kherson.

Support the Armed Forces! United we will win! Glory to Ukraine!


Above:  Volunteers are evacuating anyone with the desire to leave all along the front.  Here, an elderly lady is taken out of Kupyansk, Kharkiv.  (New York Times)

  • ISW assesses that Russian offensive operation in Luhansk Oblast is likely nearing culmination, if it has not already culminated, although Russia has committed most elements of at least three divisions to the Svatove-Kreminna line.
  • Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks northwest of Svatove on March 15.
  • Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line and south of Kreminna on March 15. Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations near Bilohorivka (12km south of Kreminna) and Spirne (26km south of Kreminna).
  • The 2nd mechanized battalion K-2 54 OMBr published video of tank operations near Lysychansk that used foggy weather to conduct a surprise fire attack against enemy positions.


Above: Ukrainian defender attaches grenades to a drone in Bakhmut. (Associated Press)

Above: “Hold out till April” – an eyewitness account of the Donetsk front.  Debate on Bakhmut rages and outside observers feel the tension rise.  On the surface, it seems like Ukrainian forces are on the verge of encirclement and many prominent voices call for immediate withdrawal.  The president and military are steadfast that Ukraine will defend the east.  (Dmitri)

Above: War Mapper’s approximate situation around the city of Bakhmut.

  • ISW assesses that the overall Wagner Group offensive on Bakhmut appears to be nearing its culmination. Ukrainian military sources have noted a markedly decreased number of attacks in and around Bakhmut, particularly over the last few days.
  • Russian forces continued advancing in and around Bakhmut on March 15. Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks northwest of Bakhmut near Orikhovo-Vasylivka (12km northwest), Yahidne (1km northwest), and Bohdanivka (6km northwest) and west of Bakhmut near Khromove (3km west). Geolocated footage posted on March 14 shows Wagner Group forces fighting for new positions about 4km northwest of Bakhmut, indicating that Wagner has advanced northwest of Bakhmut towards the Bohdanivka-Khromove line.
  • Geolocated footage posted on March 15 additionally shows that Russian forces have advanced to new positions in northern Bakhmut, just east of the AZOM complex.
  • Russian forces continued ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline on March 15. Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations in the Avdiivka area near Stepove (8km northwest of Avdiivka), Kamianka (4km northeast of Avdiivka), Severne (5km west of Avdiivka), and Novokalynove (13km northwest of Avdiivka); on the northwestern outskirts of Donetsk City near Nevelske, Pervomaiske, and Vodyane; and on the southwestern outskirts of Donetsk City near Marinka, Pobieda, and Novomykhailivka.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations in western Donetsk Oblast on March 15. Russian troops conducted unsuccessful offensive actions near Vuhledar, 30km southwest of Donetsk City.


Above: Repairs to a car damaged by shelling in Kherson region. (New York Times)

  • Russian forces continue constructing defensive fortifications in southern Ukraine. Satellite imagery posted on March 14 shows an increase in Russian fortifications near Chystopillia, Zaporizhia Oblast (just north of Tokmak) between December 4, 2022, and March 9, 2023. The satellite imagery also shows that Russian forces have increased the number of barriers and trenches along roads in Kherson Oblast leading into occupied Crimea over the past few months.

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