August 18,2023

Victory Chronicles-DAY 541

Explosions rock Zaporizhzhia

Explosions were heard in Zaporizhzhia during an air-raid warning on. At that time, an air-raid warning was issued in Zaporizhzhia Oblast and several eastern regions. The all-clear was given in Zaporizhzhia Oblast at 12:34. Yurii Malashko, Head of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast Military Administration, reported that Russian forces launched a missile attack on one of the districts of Zaporizhzhia. The scale of destruction and the number of victims are being clarified.

Secretary of Zaporizhzhia City Council Anatolii Kurtiev said that the blast wave blew out apartment and balcony windows and stairwells in three multi-story buildings due to the strike in Zaporizhzhia. Two educational institutions sustained minor damage. 


Symbolic number of the Day


Approximately 480 people have been evacuated from Kup’yans’k district in Kharkiv Oblast as of the morning of 18 August, and the authorities are preparing evacuation routes in case of a threat of occupation of the city of Kupiansk.

Local authorities state that approximately 480 people, including about 130 children, have already left with volunteers. Some people are evacuating in their own vehicles. They are either going to nearby settlements or across the oblast. Some people still refuse to evacuate from the settlement of Synkivka, which is being attacked by the Russian military.


War in Pictures


A drone attacked Moscow on the night of 17-18 August; an explosion was heard near the Moscow-City business center, and the Expocentre (Russian exhibition company) building was damaged. 


Video of the Day

“At night, the enemy made a treacherous attack on Komyshuvakha – two hits by guided aerial bombs hit the residential quarter.” – informs Zaporizhzhia Oblast State Administration. The local educational institution was destroyed. The blast wave and debris damaged nearby residential buildings: facades were gutted, and windows were broken.

The enemy thus commits international crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and will necessarily be responsible for, among other things, war crimes under Article 8, namely: deliberate attack on the civilian population, deliberate attack on civilian objects, attack on unprotected and non-military targets, cities, villages, buildings or their shelling using any means, deliberate attack on buildings intended for the needs of religion, education, art, science, hospital and the use of weapons, ammunition, equipment and methods of indiscriminate action. Fortunately, local residents were not injured.


ISW report


“Vostok” Battalion commander Alexander Khodakovsky suggested that Russia freeze the war in Ukraine along the current frontlines, reintroducing a narrative that had been largely dormant since Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin’s armed rebellion. 

Khodakovsky stated that Russia will not be able to topple Ukraine militarily in the near term and that Russian forces are unlikely to easily occupy additional Ukrainian cities, echoing comments Prigozhin had made in April 2023. Khodakovsky concluded that Russia will likely have to come to a “truce” and that Russia may enter a phase “of neither peace nor war” with Ukraine. Khodakovsky suggested that Ukraine would be sufficiently weakened in this state of frozen conflict and that Russia would be able to exert more influence over Ukraine in such a situation than it currently can during the ”Special Military Operation.”

Prigozhin’s April 14 essay suggested that Russia freeze the war in Ukraine to set conditions for a future victory without negotiations. Russian sources have periodically claimed that a Kremlin faction is interested in freezing the war along the current frontlines for similar reasons as well as over concerns about domestic political stability and the economic fallout from the war. Discussion of this narrative has waned with Prigozhin’s relative silence following Wagner’s June 24 rebellion and the arrest of ardent ultranationalist Igor Girkin, who routinely called on the Kremlin to resist the faction that aims to freeze the war.

Khodakovsky may be reintroducing the narrative into the Russian information space on behalf of the faction allegedly interested in freezing the war, although Khodakovsky likely has limited influence on the Russian leadership itself. ISW continues to assess that a temporary ceasefire in Ukraine and protraction of the war will only benefit Russia by allowing Russian forces to reconstitute and letting Russia wear down Western support for Ukraine.


War Heroes

During a combat mission on the left bank of the Dnipro River, 22-year-old Special Forces officer Bohdan Seniuk was killed. 22-year-old Bohdan Seniuk (call sign Baghdad) has defended Ukraine since the first day of the full-scale Russian invasion. He died while performing a combat mission on the left bank of the Dnipro River. 

Bohdan was born in Ivano-Frankivsk, and later his family moved to Ternopil. In 2012, he joined Plast, was a member of the organization, and participated in many events and trips. After school, Bohdan entered Ivan Franko University in Lviv. He studied history and archeology. With the beginning of the full-scale invasion, he volunteered for the military and defended his bachelor’s degree in Sievierodonetsk when he was in the ranks of the Armed Forces.

In the spring of 2022, Bohdan took part in the battles for Kyiv Oblast and later fought in Bakhmut, Sievierodonetsk, and Kherson Oblast. He received a mild concussion. In October 2022, he moved to another special unit. On March 13, 2023, he was awarded a decoration for combat merit from the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine. On August 6, Bohdan was killed during a combat mission on the left bank of the Dnipro River. The circumstances and exact place of his death are still being clarified. “Bohdan is 22 years old forever. We will continue to fight for him. Sleep well, my friend…” – Plast added.

“Impeccable taste. He took everything from life, loved it fiercely. Ambitious and handsome. He was one of the best machine gunners in his unit. Baghdad never gave up on him, he dreamed a lot, wanted to go to Africa and see the world. A historian, he understood the equipment of medieval infantrymen and practiced fights in armor himself. He was a Christian and a true friend. He went from Lviv to Kyiv in the first days of the war, when most people were traveling in the opposite direction. He should have acted in movies, played the main roles,” recalls Sergeant Andrii Kuzmych about his comrade.


Latest news

  • UK Defense Ministry: Russia increases propaganda activities in occupied Ukrainian territories
  • Defense Ministry: 2 killed, 4 injured in Russian attacks over past day
  • F-16s for Ukraine: Denmark and Netherlands confirm receipt of US approval
  • US State Department: Victory in war will come when Russia gets out of Ukraine completely
  • CNN: Ukrainian forces likely used analogs of US-made cluster munitions in recently liberated Urozhaine 


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