October 24,2023

Victory Chronicles-DAY 608

Ukrainian defenders have partial success south of Robotyne

Ukrainian Defense Forces are conducting an offensive on the Melitopol front and have had partial success south of Robotyne. In total, the Russians launched 4 missile strikes and 68 airstrikes and fired 49 times from multiple-launch rocket systems at Ukrainian positions and populated areas. Russian terrorist attacks have resulted in casualties among the civilian population. Residential buildings and other civilian infrastructure facilities were destroyed and damaged. In addition, the Russian occupiers conducted another airstrike on Ukraine on the night of 23-24 October, using six Shahed-136/131 attack UAVs. Air defense destroyed all the attack UAVs. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported this.

About 110 settlements in Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson Oblasts came under Russian artillery fire. Ukraine’s Air Force launched seven attacks on clusters of Russian military personnel, weapons, and equipment and three attacks on Russian anti-aircraft missile systems over the past 24 hours.

Ukraine’s Rocket Forces and Artillery destroyed eight Russian artillery pieces, four clusters of Russian military personnel, weapons and equipment, an electronic warfare station, and a pontoon and bridge crossing. In addition, remote mining was carried out in two districts.


Symbolic number of the Day


Russia has concentrated 400,000 soldiers on the territory of Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence. “There are enough forces for separate operations on separate frontline sections. And the group of invaders in Ukraine in the temporarily occupied territories, we recall, is more than 400,000 Russian servicemen. And, of course, this is a considerable number of personnel.” Andrii Yusov, representative of Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU).

Yusov said there is a large number of weapons of the Russian army on the territory of Ukraine, while “new weapons will be recommissioned and delivered to the front”. Yusov noted that mobilization is continuing in Russia and continued throughout the summer. “Repetition of the scenario of February 2022 is out of the question. But in some areas, the enemy will continue to try to conduct separate offensive operations,” the DIU representative concluded.


War in Pictures


The Ukrainian anti-tank missile system “Stugna” mounted on the chassis of the American off-road vehicle HMMWV fires at enemy positions. Public relations service of the 1st Ivan Bohun Separate Mechanized Brigade.



Video of the Day

Mykolaiv paratroopers destroyed 5 occupants’ tanks and 4 armored personnel carriers at once. “The enemy has once again tested the resilience of the defense of the paratroopers of the 79th separate airborne assault brigade of the Air Assault Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who are performing combat missions in Donetsk Oblast. At dawn, the Russian occupiers began to storm the positions. To achieve the effect of complete surprise, the enemy used smoke. However, intelligence spotted the advance of the enemy column in time, and the paratroopers’ artillery began to fire on the enemy. 

When the enemy approached the required distance, anti-tank gunners entered the battle and began to burn the occupiers’ equipment with accurate fire from anti-tank missile systems. The paratroopers also actively used kamikaze drones and unmanned aerial vehicles with munitions in this battle. As a result, 5 enemy tanks and 4 armored personnel carriers, as well as two dozen infantry soldiers were destroyed,” reported the Public Relations Service of the 79th separate airborne assault brigade of the Air Assault Division of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.


ISW report


Russia’s domestic production of artillery shells, supplemented by increased ammunition imports from North Korea, will likely allow Russian forces to sustain sufficient rates of artillery fire in Ukraine in 2024, albeit at a relatively lower level than during 2022. 

Estonian Defense Forces Intelligence Center Head Colonel Ants Kiviselg stated on October 20 that Russia still has around four million artillery shells remaining, which Russian forces can use for “low intensity” warfare for an additional year. 

Kiviselg noted that there are reports that North Korea has shipped up to 1,000 containers of ammunition to Russia, each containing between 300-500 pieces of artillery ammunition. Kiviselg estimated that North Korea may have therefore provided between 300,000-500,000 pieces of ammunition to Russia, which can last up to one month at the current daily rate of consumption of around 10,000 shells a day.

Ukrainian military analyst Colonel Petro Chernyk reported on October 23 that Russian forces are currently firing between 10,000-15,000 shells a day, significantly lower than rates of fire in summer 2022 of 45,000-80,000 shells per day. However, Western sources and satellite imagery have confirmed that North Korean deliveries, likely mostly comprised of artillery shells, have drastically increased since Russian and North Korean authorities likely began more official military-technical cooperation in September, as ISW previously reported, and North Korea is likely to provide further deliveries.

Based on Western estimates of Russian artillery production capacity and continued North Korean artillery exports, Russia will likely be able to maintain generally sufficient rates of fire in the foreseeable future. While an overall decrease in Russian fire rates could impede the ability of Russian forces to conduct large scale offensive operations, Russian forces are unlikely to face widespread shortages which would chronically undermine defensive operations, and the drop in the rate of fire will not inherently provide Ukrainian forces an advantage. The degree to which Ukraine’s international partners sustain Ukraine’s ability to sustain an effective weight of fire relative to Russian forces will be a key determiner of respective capabilities in 2024.


War Heroes

The 31-year-old defender Olha Melster died near the village of Borivske, Luhansk Oblast. Her husband, Taras Melster, was in a trench with her during an enemy attack. He was also killed. 

Olha Melster was born in Kropyvnytskyi. In elementary school, she decided that she would be a designer. She studied at the Art Faculty of the Central Ukrainian State University named after Volodymyr Vynnychenko. During her first year, she started working in a jewelry workshop. She graduated with honors from her bachelor’s degree. The university donated her thesis, a decorative clay vase titled “The Passage of Time,” to an art museum. 

Once, Olha tried making gingerbread. After that, she decided to develop in this direction as an entrepreneur. She eventually sent her products to Spain, Poland, and the Czech Republic. The woman often helped charity projects: baked goodies for the military, children with cancer, and the homeless. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, she held online courses on making gingerbread. 

On the second day of the full-scale war, February 25, 2022, Olha and her husband Taras signed contracts with the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Before the war, neither of the spouses had ever held a weapon, served, or ever participated in combat. 

“On the day she was sent to the front, Olia cut her hair for the third time after meeting me. I found out about it later from her younger daughter, Katia. It still haunts me… I perceived her decision with her hair as her rejection of civilian life, her femininity, and what she loved and cherished. She got rid of something she valued very much because it prevented her from wearing her armor,” said Olha’s mother, Inga Dudnik.

Olga and Taras were the same age, both 31 years old. At the front, they served in a brigade that defended Sievierodonetsk. “Thank you for protecting us on the ground. Now you will protect us from the sky,” wrote the deceased’s mother. Posthumously, Olha and Taras were awarded the Order for Courage III degree. The couple was buried at the Far Eastern Cemetery in Kropyvnytskyi.


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