DAY 520

Victory Chronicles
-DAY 520

July 28,2023

Explosion in Olenivka caused by thermobaric grenade launcher – Prosecutor General’s Office

A year ago, an explosion in the former correctional facility, which was situated in the Donetsk Oblast’s temporarily occupied urban-type settlement of Olenivka, where Russian invaders had been keeping Ukrainian prisoners of war, was caused by the use of a rocket thermobaric grenade launcher. The Information Policy Department made the relevant statement at the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

The Main Investigative Department of the Security Service of Ukraine is conducting the pre-trial investigation. During the pre-trial investigation, a comprehensive examination of the weapons, traces and circumstances of their use was conducted. According to the expert opinion, the explosion was caused by using a rocket thermobaric grenade launcher.

Following the forensic molecular and genetic analysis, 33 bodies of those killed in the Olenivka correctional facility on the night of July 29, 2022, were identified. They were brought back to the Ukrainian-controlled territory. Currently, 24 more bodies of those who might have been in that correctional facility are undergoing relevant examination procedures.


Latest news

  • US to transfer Skydio autonomous drones to Ukraine to document war crimes – USAID
  • Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Maliar: There are signs that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for invaders to resist – Ukrinform
  • China helps Russia evade sanctions and likely supplies tech used in Ukraine, U.S. report says – NBC News
  • Wagner is used to aggravate tense border situation, does not present threat to Ukraine – Ukrainian Border Guard
  • The head of the Belarusian Red Cross admits the branch helps Russia abduct children from Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine – Belarus Weekly


Symbolic number of the Day - 4,007

Ukraine’s Armed Forces destroyed over 4,007 Russian drones to date. The Armed Forces of Ukraine killed 560 Russian soldiers and destroyed 4 tanks, 14 armored vehicles, 30 artillery systems and 11 drones on 27 July, reported the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Facebook.

War in Pictures

Zelenskyy inspects cathedral damaged by a Russian missile strike in Odesa. During his working visit to Odesa Oblast on 27 July, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy inspected the damage to the Transfiguration Cathedral caused by the recent massive Russian bombardment. Zelenskyy examined the scale of the damage to the cathedral and its current state. The President was informed that experts are currently working to determine the possibilities of rebuilding the structure.


Video of the Day

Ukrainian military announced that they had liberated the village of Staromaiorske in Donetsk Oblast. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has posted a video of the military reporting on their progress. “The 35th Brigade, as well as the Arey battalion of the comradely territorial defense liberated, the village of Staromaiorske while carrying out the mission. Glory to Ukraine!” wrote President Zelenskyy. 

ISW report

The Kremlin reportedly distributed a manual to Russian state media on framing the anniversary of the Baptism of Rus on July 28, likely as part of continued information operations and propaganda narratives to advance Russian military objectives. Russian opposition news outlet Meduza reported on July 27 that it obtained the manual but did not publish the manual itself, which reportedly directs Russian state media to frame the Baptism of Rus as “a key turning point in Russian history” and “the point of formation of statehood.”

The manual reportedly emphasized that a “common faith” allowed the “East Slavic tribes” to unify as “one people.” The manual reportedly instructs state media to paint Russian President Vladimir Putin as the one who “brought the mission of defending the Orthodox faith back to Russia” and reportedly labels the Ukrainian government an “apostate regime” and a “satanic regime” that is trying to “destroy” Orthodoxy in Ukraine and “the spiritual ties of the fraternal peoples.”

These Kremlin-dictated religion-based narratives come as Russia is itself committing systematic religious repressions and persecutions throughout Ukraine, including against Orthodox Christians, in an effort to destroy Ukrainian cultural and national identity. The Kremlin reportedly issued a similar manual to state media in May aimed at controlling the narratives about a potential upcoming Ukrainian counteroffensive, and the distribution of these manuals demonstrates the Kremlin’s use of various information operations to spread propaganda messages and discredit Ukraine in the international arena.

War Heroes

Mykhailo Hrytsak, a senior inspector of the personnel sector of the Kramatorsk Regional Police Department, died on July 22, 2023, in Donetsk Oblast. While performing his duties, he was fatally wounded due to enemy fire from a Smerch MLRS.

Mykhailo Hrytsak was 37 years old. He was from the village of Ivanopillia, Kostiantynivka community. He graduated from Luhansk National Agrarian University. After serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, he decided to choose the profession of law enforcement. For 10 years, he was a police officer, taking care of security and protecting citizens.

When the full-scale invasion began, Mykhailo sent his family to a safe location and stayed to help civilians near the front line. He traveled to rocket attack sites and documented Russian war crimes under fire. He dreamed of victory, trained hard, and honed his skills to save more people. His colleagues describe him as a brave, experienced serviceman, sincere, open, and positive person. 

“Honest, conscientious – that was Mykhailo Hrytsak. A person you could rely on, who would not let you down. He was brave, he faced danger. If he was afraid, he never showed it. This is a very painful loss for us,” said Dmytro Kirdyapkin, head of the Kramatorsk Police Department No. 2. Mykhailo Hrytsak is survived by his parents, wife, and 11-year-old daughter.

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