November 13,2023

Victory Chronicles-DAY 628

Ukraine repels most attacks at Marinka and Avdiivka over past day

Ukrainian forces repelled most Russian attacks in the direction of Marinka and Avdiivka in the Donetsk Oblast over the past day, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported on November 13.

In the direction of Marinka, Ukrainian forces repelled 24 Russian attacks. In Avdiivka, which Russian forces are still trying to encircle, Ukrainian troops repelled 17 attacks. In early October, Russian forces intensified ground attacks on Avdiivka and surrounding settlements in an attempt to encircle the city. The campaign has been supported by heavy shelling and airstrikes, which continue to cause civilian casualties.

According to the Ukrainian military, on November 11, Russian forces lost some 10,000 troops, more than 100 tanks, over 250 other armored vehicles, and seven Su-25 aircraft in the month of fighting near the frontline town. Across the entire front line, there were 69 clashes on the last day, according to the General Staff report. Russia carried out seven missile strikes, 34 airstrikes, and 59 rocket strikes over the past day.


Symbolic number of the Day

84 million

The Norwegian government has allocated another €84 million for humanitarian support to Ukraine, and the funds will be directed primarily to humanitarian support for people who have lost their homes.


At dawn on November 12, 2023, the Russian army launched a missile strike on Kherson. The strike targeted the Oblast library named after Honchar. Oleksandr Prokudin, Head of the Kherson Oblast Military Administration, reported this.

In the morning, Russian shells hit the building of the Kherson Oblast Library named after O. Honchar. A fire broke out, and it took over an hour and a half to extinguish. Moreover, the occupiers struck the Dnipro district of Kherson in the morning.

A 64-year-old man was killed in his own yard. He received an explosive injury. The deceased man’s wife has been hospitalized. The 64-year-old woman has explosive, closed craniocerebral injuries, shrapnel wounds to the legs, and a concussion. Her condition is of moderate severity.


Video of the Day

Fighters of the “Stalevyi Kordon” (Steel Border) raised the Ukrainian flag in the village of Topoli, Kharkiv Oblast, in the gray zone bordering Russia. “We remind the enemy who are the masters of our land,” the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine said in a statement.


ISW report


The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) is pursuing three simultaneous and overlapping force generation efforts as it seeks to manage short- to medium-term requirements in Ukraine while also pursuing long-term restructuring to prepare for a potential future large-scale conventional war against NATO.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov have explicitly framed Russia’s announced long-term force restructuring as increasing conventional capabilities against NATO. The Russian MoD is also creating new formations intended as reinforcements for Russia’s war in Ukraine separate from the peacetime Russian force structure, specifically the several new formations reportedly forming entirely in occupied areas of Ukraine and under the command and control of operationalized “groupings of forces” in Ukraine rather than under existing Russian military districts. The MoD appears to be undermining its long-term restructuring effort, however, by rushing some new formations – which were likely intended to form a strategic reserve or be the basis of long-term force restructuring – as rapid reinforcements to Russian forces in Ukraine. The Russian MoD’s use of ongoing force structure changes to rush newly created and understrength formations to Ukraine will likely impede the accomplishment of the parallel objective of restructuring Russian ground forces to orient on conventional warfare with NATO as the main adversary.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu first proposed a series of force structure changes and intended military reforms in December 2022, and Russian President Vladimir Putin approved select changes in January 2023. These changes include re-dividing the Western Military District into the Moscow and Leningrad Military Districts; the creation of “self-sufficient groupings of troops” in occupied Ukraine; the formation of a new army corps, three new motorized rifle divisions, and two new air assault divisions; and the reorganization of seven existing separate motorized rifle brigades into motorized rifle divisions. The Russian military is already in the process of implementing these changes at the military district level, is standing up several of these new formations from the army to brigade level, and has already deployed several of these formations to Ukraine.

This special edition will focus on the implications of force structure changes ordered in 2023 (and changes that are reportedly under consideration but have not yet been confirmed to have begun) on Russian operations in Ukraine into 2024. ISW will assess the likely ramifications of the MoD’s mid-to-long-term force restructuring on the Russian military threat to both Ukraine and NATO in a report forthcoming in 2024.


War Heroes

Fallen Police Lieutenant Oleksandr Sapada honored for heroic sacrifice

On August 23, 2023, Police Lieutenant Oleksandr Sapada met his untimely end during a combat mission near the village of Kurdiumivka in Donetsk Oblast. The 33-year-old warrior’s life was abruptly cut short by enemy artillery fire, just two months shy of his 34th birthday.

Originally from the village of Horobiivka in Kyiv Oblast, Oleksandr, after his military service, dedicated his life to law enforcement. He served at the police station in Chornobyl while simultaneously pursuing studies at the National Academy of Internal Affairs. As an esteemed employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Oleksandr actively participated in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) since 2014.

Amid the full-scale invasion, Oleksandr continued his unwavering commitment to defending Ukraine from Russian invaders. He served as a platoon commander in the Myrotvorets Battalion within the United Assault Brigade of the National Police of Ukraine, known as “Liut`” (Rage).

“Oleksandr was and is a hero for all of us. He showed courage and strength while defending his homeland. He dedicated his entire life to the service of our country. Despite being a commander, he never stood aside from the guys; he was always close to them. He used to say: who else but us?” remarked Iryna, the grieving mother of the fallen defender.

Describing Oleksandr as kind, cheerful, and fair, his wife, Valentyna Kovalenko, expressed, “My husband was brave and performed combat missions with honor and dignity, always the first to fight for the freedom of his country without fear for his life.”

Oleksandr, laid to rest in his native village, leaves behind a grieving mother, stepfather, sisters, wife, stepson, and a circle of relatives, friends, and colleagues. In a heartfelt tribute, Valentyna wrote, “He gave his life so that we could live in a free and independent Ukraine. He fought for our peaceful nights, for our peaceful life, for the future of our children, our people, our country, without sparing his own life.”

The sacrifice of Police Lieutenant Oleksandr Sapada stands as a poignant reminder of the profound dedication and selflessness exhibited by those who courageously defend their homeland.


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