UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS

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DAY 532

Victory Chronicles
-DAY 532

August 9,2023

Factory warehouse containing pyrotechnics explodes near Moscow: dozens injured

An explosion has rocked an optical-mechanical plant producing observation devices and sights in Moscow Oblast. The explosion thundered at the plant in Sergiyev Posad near Moscow. A full evacuation was announced there. Security forces and the head of the district have arrived at the scene. The Telegram-based news outlet Baza reports an explosion at a pyrotechnics warehouse. At least 22 people have been injured, and there may still be people under the rubble. Over a dozen ambulances have arrived at the scene. This is one of the oldest optical-mechanical plants. It produces optical aviation sights, thermal direction finders, target seekers, laser detection stations, observation devices, night vision devices, binoculars, etc.

Latest news

Symbolic number of the Day - 20,000

As many as 20,000 Ukrainian recruits have already undergone basic training in the British-led multinational Operation Interflex. That’s according to the official Facebook page of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “Operation Interflex is giving Ukrainian recruits the skill sets needed to be a survivable and lethal force on the frontline against Russian aggression. The UK continues to stand with Ukraine,” the post reads. The Armed Forces of Ukraine thanked the UK for the support and assistance provided to Ukraine.

War in Pictures

The Russian occupying forces have attacked the Nikopol district of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast three times since the evening of 8 August, killing an 18-year-old young man and injuring three other men.

“The aggressor has attacked the Nikopol district three times since the evening. They [the Russian army] deployed heavy artillery to fire on Nikopol and Marhanets communities”, said Serhii Lysak, Head of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Military Administration.

Video of the Day

Sicheslav paratroopers destroyed another enemy tank, reported the Public Relations Service of the 25th separate airborne brigade of the Airborne Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“When we hit and see the result, we get inspired and have the strength to work harder and more efficiently,” says paratrooper Yamaha. “The people of Sicheslav have once again proved that it is impossible to pass by them or drive by unnoticed! All Russian evil that gets into the sights of the paratroopers is immediately destroyed!”, the press service of the paratroopers said. 

ISW report

Ukrainian forces appear to have conducted a limited raid across the Dnipro River and landed on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast, although it remains unclear whether Ukrainian troops have established an enduring presence on the east bank. 

Several Russian milbloggers reported on August 8 that Ukrainian forces landed up to seven boats, each carrying around six to seven people, on the east bank of the Dnipro near the settlement of Kozachi Laheri, broke through Russian defensive lines, and advanced up to 800 meters deep. A Russian milblogger noted that the Russian command recently redeployed a “prepared grouping” of Russian airborne (VDV) personnel from the Kozachi Lopan area to Zaporizhia Oblast and replaced them with mobilized fighters from an unspecified unit, thereby weakening Russian defensive power in this area.

Kherson Oblast occupation head Vladimir Saldo downplayed reports of the Ukrainian landing and claimed that Russian artillery fire repelled the Ukrainian boats and that there are no Ukrainian troops near Kozachi Lopan. However, the majority of prominent Russian milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian forces managed to utilize tactical surprise and land on the east bank before engaging Russian forces in small arms exchanges, and Saldo was likely purposefully trying to refute claims of Ukrainian presence in this area to avoid creating panic in the already-delicate Russian information space. 

Hotspots on available NASA Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) data from the past 24 hours in this area appear to confirm that there was significant combat, likely preceded or accompanied by artillery fire. By the end of the day on August 8, many Russian sources had updated their claims to report that Russian forces retain control over Kozachi Laheri, having pushed Ukrainian forces back to the shoreline, and that small arms skirmishes are occurring in shoreline areas near Kozachi Laheri and other east bank settlements.

War Heroes

Military pilot Mykhailo Matyushenko, with the call sign “Did” [“Grandfather”], died in an air battle with the occupiers over the Black Sea near Zmiinyi Island. The hero was 61 years old.

Mykhailo was born in Kharkiv. From a young age, he was fond of sports and later became a master of sports in swimming. For some time, he worked as a children’s coach. He graduated from the Hrytsevets Kharkiv Higher Military School of Pilots and the Gagarin Moscow Air Force Academy. He has flown many types of military and civilian aircraft. He served in various military units. In 2011, he retired from the army and worked as the head of a Kyiv airline.

When the Russian-Ukrainian war broke out in 2014, the man returned to the Armed Forces. He was an instructor pilot in one of the Air Force brigades. He participated in the ATO in Donbas. In 2018, he retired. He headed the public formation Shchyt [“Shield”] of the Bucha community in the Kyiv Oblast.

With the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Mykhailo returned to the ranks and participated in the defense of Kyiv Oblast. He served in the 40th Tactical Aviation Brigade.

“He was a successful man and never bragged about what he was really doing. Only now we have the right to tell the truth: The “Ghost of Kyiv” was led by a pilot from Bucha. Since Colonel Matyushenko took over, the 40th Tactical Aviation Brigade has not suffered any losses in the air. This means that all pilots from the Kyiv Ghosts returned alive. “One night, Ded rushed into an air battle in an L-39, imitating a MiG-29 attack on a pair of Su-30s. And what do you think? They retreated!” his brothers-in-arms recall one of the episodes. Later, he decided to strengthen the southern and eastern fronts: “When my grandfather learned about the irretrievable losses of trained bomber crews, the decision was made. That’s how the new operation began.” For Mykhailo Matyushenko, this was his last mission. He did not return from another flight, and he was searched for a long time. May you fly forever, Colonel Matyushenko!” wrote Bucha Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk.

It was only in the fall that the fallen officer’s body was found off the coast of Bulgaria. He was buried in the city of Bucha in Kyiv Oblast. On April 12, 2023, in Bucha, Soldiers of the Internationalists Street was renamed in honor of Mykhailo Matyushenko.

On August 6, 2023, on Ukraine’s Air Force Day, Colonel Matyushenko was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine and the Order of the Golden Star. Mykhailo is survived by his wife, family and friends.

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