October 18,2023

Victory Chronicles-DAY 602

Ukraine continues assault operations near Bakhmut, seeing some success in Melitopol direction

Ukraine’s Defense Forces pursue their assault missions toward the town of Bakhmut and have sealed some gains in the area of the Robotyne on the Melitopol axis, reported the spokesman for the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Andrii Kovaliov.

“Ukraine’s Defense Forces continue offensive operations in the Bakhmut and Melitopol directions. They pursue assault efforts south of Bakhmut, inflicting losses on enemy manpower and equipment, and are gaining a foothold in the area. In the Melitopol direction, our Defense Forces continue offensive operations and see partial success in the area south of Robotyne, Zaporizhzhia Oblast,” Kovaliov said.

According to the official, the enemy unsuccessfully tried to regain lost positions in the area of Klishchiivka on the Bakhmut axis, as well as southwest of Robotyne in the Melitopol direction.

In the Avdiivka area, the enemy keeps trying to besiege the town of Avdiivka, where Ukrainian soldiers on Sunday repelled more than five Russian assaults. On the Marinka and Shakhtarske axes, the Ukrainian troops repelled over 20 Russian assaults near Marinka and Novomykhailivka and another two – south of Zolota Nyva and south of Prechystivka, Donetsk Oblast.


Symbolic number of the Day


Over the past day, October 17, the Russian army launched 70 strikes on Kherson Oblast, injuring six people. “Over the past day, the enemy launched 70 strikes, firing 404 shells from mortars, artillery, Grad MLRS, IFVs, tanks, aircraft and UAVs. The enemy fired 16 shells at the city of Kherson,” Head of the Kherson Oblast Military Administration Oleksandr Prokudin. According to Prokudin, the Russian military hit the residential neighborhoods of the settlements, the building of an educational institution, a railway transport company, a park and an embankment in Kherson.


War in Pictures


Russian troops have targeted a private residential area in the city of Dnipro during a missile attack, with preliminary reports indicating that they have killed one person and wounded four others.

“The enemy targeted private residential buildings in the Dnipro district. According to early reports, one person has been killed. Three people were injured. We are establishing the aftermath of the attack. Six houses are known to have been damaged. Details later,” said Serhii Lysak, Head of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Military Administration.


Video of the Day

Avdiivka sector. The defenders of the 59th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade named after Yakiv Handziuk are successfully destroying the occupants’ manpower and equipment, holding their positions securely.


ISW report


The Ukrainian ATACMS strikes on operationally significant Russian airfields in Ukraine will likely prompt the Russian command to disperse aviation assets and withdraw some aircraft to airfields further from the frontline. Russian forces notably operated rotary-wing aircraft from the Berdyansk airfield in the early months of the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive in western Zaporizhia Oblast to great effect against large mechanized Ukrainian assaults.

Previous satellite imagery of the Berdyansk airfield showed that Russian forces dispersed aircraft across the airfield, and Ukrainian forces were likely only able to conduct strikes on individual aircraft with previously available long-range missiles. The cluster munition–armed version of the ATACMS long range missiles will allow Ukrainian forces to conduct strikes on Russian airfields that can more widely destroy Russian aircraft and other assets. Russian milbloggers immediately drew parallels between the Ukrainian strikes on the Berdyansk and Luhansk City airfields and a series of Ukrainian HIMARS strikes on the Chornobaivka airfield in Kherson Oblast during the 2022 Kherson counteroffensive.

The arrival of Western-provided HIMARS allowed Ukrainian forces to conduct repeated strikes on the Chornobaivka airfield, which caused significant Russian aviation losses, and Russian command withdrew military equipment and aviation from the airfield due to their inability to combat Ukrainian HIMARS strikes. Russian milbloggers noted that Russian forces adapted their airfields to Ukrainian long-range strike capabilities but that ATACMS are a new missile threat which will similarly force the Russian command to adapt once again.

The Russian military has consistently shown it can adapt to new Ukrainian strike capabilities — but only after suffering initial and pronounced losses from Ukrainian capabilities Russian commanders realistically should have prepared for.


War Heroes

Defense intelligence specialist Vitalii Sleziuk, with the call sign Ninja, died on July 12, 2023, while performing a combat task near the village of Bilohorivka, Luhansk Oblast, exactly 2 months before his 35th birthday.

Vitalii was born in the village of Zhyvachiv, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. After high school, he graduated from Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University, where he majored in design. He was a private entrepreneur. 

During the full-scale Russian invasion, in June 2022, the man joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He served in the 81st separate airmobile brigade. He was a sniper of the 2nd category of the reconnaissance section of the reconnaissance platoon of the reconnaissance company. He underwent training in the UK, where he received a call sign for his agility and accurate shooting. After returning from training, he and his brothers-in-arms defended Mykolaiv, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. In early 2023, he was wounded near Soledar. But after treatment, he returned to the front line, this time for the last time.

“He was the best brother who loved life, dreamed and planned for the future. He was a true warrior, a loyal friend, a man of his word, a man of courage, a model of unbreakable strength and fortitude. A reliable, courageous, devoted, loving husband, father and son,” said Mariana, the deceased’s sister. The defender was buried in his native village. Vitalii is survived by his parents, twin brother, sister, son, other relatives, friends and fighters-in-arms.


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