DAY 489

Victory Chronicles
-DAY 489

June 27,2023

Ukraine’s biggest enemy is the Western belief that it cannot beat Putin. Now is the time to rethink that

Amid clear signs of the Russian leader’s vulnerability, we must think beyond helping Kyiv survive and aim for Zelenskyy to win. “The myth of Vladimir Putin’s unchallengeable power has been fatally undermined by the challenge from Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner army. By surviving – for now – Prigozhin has set a dangerous precedent for others in Russia who may wish to test their strength against the Kremlin”, writes British expert on security issues Keir Giles in a column for The Guardian.

“But the weekend’s events also showed a complete failure by Russia’s military, security, and intelligence agencies – in fact, by the state as a whole – to deal with the obvious challenge of an armed group apparently heading for Moscow. The evident confusion in Moscow and inability to respond to Prigozhin’s challenge also proves Russia is not invincible in its conflict with Ukraine. That critical weakness can only be encouraging for Ukraine in its efforts to beat back the Russian invaders. Russia, it seems, may be strong on the frontline, but it is systemically fragile and the Kremlin can be frightened into paralysis”. Read more


Symbolic number of the Day - 38

Throughout the day, there were 38 battles on the frontline. The Russian occupiers attempted to advance on the Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Marinka, and Kupiansk fronts but were unsuccessful everywhere. This is stated in the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine report on June 27.

Photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine 

War in Pictures

The forces of the Territorial Defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to prepare additional reserves. The Public Relations Service of the 119th separate brigade of the Territorial Defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported this. “Some with experience can be immediately seen with the naked eye. They behave more confidently and help instructors during classes. Some have recently joined the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. But everyone is diligently studying because they understand that the time will come when they have to apply the acquired knowledge and skills in real combat”, says the message of the press service of the 119th separate brigade of Territorial Defense.

Photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine 

Video of the Day

Aerial reconnaissance units from the 103rd Separate Brigade of Territorial Defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in close cooperation with the 14th Separate Mechanized Brigade, named after Prince Roman the Great, destroyed a Russian tank.


ISW report

The Kremlin is likely attempting to signal that Shoigu will maintain his current position and that Putin will not give into Prigozhin’s blackmail attempt. The Russian MoD reported that Shoigu visited an unspecified forward command post of the Russian Western Group of Forces in Ukraine on June 26 – his first public appearance since Prigozhin’s drive on Rostov-on-Don and Moscow. 

The Russian MoD previously identified that the Western Group of Forces operates on the Kupyansk-Svatove line in Kharkiv and Luhansk oblasts. Shoigu reportedly met with Western Group of Forces commander Colonel General Yevgeny Nikiforov and tasked the grouping with preventing Ukrainian advances on the frontline. Shoigu notably did not visit the SMD headquarters in Rostov-on-Don after Wagner’s occupation of the city ended and or otherwise connect with SMD forces in southern Ukraine after the armed rebellion concluded. It is currently unclear if the Kremlin will replace Shoigu and Gerasimov. Still, it is unlikely that the Kremlin would make such drastic command changes immediately since doing so would seem to be conceding to Prigozhin’s demands. ISW has previously assessed that Putin values loyalty, and Shoigu and Gerasimov have demonstrated their allegiance to Putin.

War Heroes

The Ukrainian amateur MMA fighter and protagonist of Tartak’s music video, Yuri Samanyuk, served as a scout. He died at 36 during the liberation of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Samanyuk, a well-known Ukrainian free-fight fighter and promoter of hand-to-hand Hopak, was the commander of an Oril separate mobile fire group of Kholodnyi Yar Brigade. Yuri Samanyuk took part in the battles for Kyiv Oblast, Kharkiv Oblast, Bakhmut, and Soledar and fought in other hotspots of the front.

His death was confirmed by Irina Rybakova, the press officer of the 93rd brigade, on Twitter. “Glib. He was not born for war. He was born for the Carpathians, children, music, friendship, his home, crafting, and the tastiest filter coffee in the world. Yura, this is a tragedy,” she wrote. 

Yuri Samanyuk received the callsign “Thirteenth” in the war. In peaceful life, in addition to MMA fights and the popularization of hand-to-hand Hopak on international venues, he was engaged in sports tourism, played folk musical instruments, and volunteered in camps for orphaned children. He also often starred in clips of Ukrainian musicians because he looked like an authentic Ukrainian Kozak. In particular, he played the main hero in Tartak’s “Dzh… Angel” music video.

A former soloist of the Tartak band, Alexander Polozhynsky, who also joined the ranks of the Armed Forces, wrote about Yuri on Facebook: “Yurko died. Just a few months ago, I recorded a festive birthday greeting for him, expressing confidence that we would still go on our planned but unrealized hike. And here it is. A cheerful guy, a good man, a smart person, a good athlete, a reliable friend, a skillful and brave warrior. He asked me if I was in Zaporizhzhia the day before yesterday – he wanted to meet. Another big piece of pain in my heart. I will miss you, my friend!” – wrote Polozhynsky.

Yuri Samanyuk is survived by his wife, Halyna Danchenko, and two children. The farewell with him will take place in Kyiv and then in Vorokhta, where the Ukrainian hero is from.

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