December 22,2023

Victory Chronicles-DAY 667

Ukrainian Armed Forces successfully shot down three Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers on the southern front on December 22. Commander of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Mykola Oleshchuk, reported the incident and expressed gratitude towards the fighters. Oleshchuk said that at night, the Ukrainian military received a message from the occupiers, which was written on the wing of one of the downed drones. It read “Die!”.

“Great idea! Here is our answer! Today at noon, three Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers were shot down on the southern front!” Commander of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said. He praised the fighters for their combat work and highlighted the successful retaliation against the Russian forces.


Symbolic number of the Day


Since February 2022, Russia has fired 7,400 missiles at Ukraine, with approximately 1,600 being destroyed. This includes various types of missiles such as the S-300, S-400, X-22, and Iskander ballistic missiles. Due to a lack of air superiority, the Russian forces heavily rely on long-range missiles and drones to strike Ukraine. 

In response, Ukraine has fortified its skies with air defense systems such as Berlin’s Gepard and Washington’s Avenger, which can intercept UAVs and cruise missiles. To counter more advanced threats, Ukraine is deploying American MIM-23 Hawks, NASAMS, and Patriot PAC-3 systems. Additionally, they are using the Eurosam SAMP/T air defense systems provided by France and Italy. These efforts aim to enhance Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s missile attacks and ensure the safety of Ukrainian territory.


War in Pictures


A Russian drone that crashed in the Solomiansky district of Kyiv caused a fire in a residential building. One person was hospitalized, and debris fell in other parts of Kyiv. Authorities stated that air defense was active in the area and advised residents to find shelter. Russia has been increasing its attacks on critical energy infrastructure in Kyiv, employing missiles and drones, particularly as winter approaches.


Video of the Day

The 59th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade named after Yakov Handziuk published a video of the fighters of the 10th Separate Motorized Infantry Battalion destroying two Russian tanks with the help of ATGMs.


ISW report


The failure of Russian operations in Ukraine to achieve Russian President Vladimir Putin’s maximalist objectives thus far is not a permanent condition, and only continued Western support for Ukraine can ensure that Putin’s maximalist objectives remain unattainable. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on December 20 that Putin has already failed to achieve his principal objective of “erasing [Ukraine] from the map and subsuming it into Russia.”

The Russian military has failed to force Ukraine to capitulate to Putin’s maximalist objectives to replace the Ukrainian government with one acceptable to the Kremlin under veiled calls for “denazification,” to destroy Ukraine’s ability to resist any future Kremlin demands under calls for “demilitarization,” and to prohibit Ukraine’s right to choose its own diplomatic and military partnerships under calls for Ukrainian “neutrality.”

The Kremlin has also pursued additional undefined objectives for territorial conquest in Ukraine that have resulted in the illegal annexation of parts of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson oblasts and the occupation of small parts of Kharkiv and Mykolaiv oblasts, none of which represents either a departure from or the full accomplishment of Putin’s initial “principal” objectives.

Putin has recently re-emphasized that his maximalist objectives in Ukraine remain unchanged, and Putin and senior Kremlin officials have increasingly expressed expansionist rhetoric indicating that these objectives do not preclude further Russian territorial conquests in Ukraine. 

Russian victory on Putin’s terms does not necessarily portend the full-scale annexation of Ukraine into Russia and the erasure of a Ukrainian state altogether, to be sure, but they certainly entail at least the destruction of the current Ukrainian state and its recreation into an entirely Russian-dominated entity, for which the full-scale Russian military occupation of Ukraine will very likely be required.


War Heroes

Staff Sergeant Roman Andrushko, with the call sign Ramses, died on August 21, 2023, while performing a combat mission near the village of Novoyehorivka, Luhansk Oblast. The fighter was 31 years old.

Roman was born in the town of Sudova Vyshnia, Lviv Oblast. He graduated with honors from a vocational school in the village of Ivano-Frankove, Lviv Oblast, where he received a degree in carpentry. For some time, he worked abroad, then at the Yablunevyi Dar enterprise, and his last job was at the Mayola plant.

During the full-scale Russian invasion, the man joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He served in the 420th separate rifle battalion (military unit A4821). He held the position of platoon sergeant. Together with his comrades, he defended the eastern direction of the front.

“A very kind and sympathetic person who will always come to the rescue. He has been a volunteer since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. He used his car to deliver aid to the combat zone. After joining the Armed Forces, he defended the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine. After completing training, he went to the combat zone in Donetsk Oblast. There, while performing combat missions, he proved himself to be a highly skilled, well-rounded fighter. On one of these missions, under Roman’s command, they bravely repelled an attack by superior enemy forces, helped to hold their positions and save the lives of the fighters, after which they launched a counterattack and captured new enemy positions. He was awarded more than one letter of honor,” wrote family friend Myroslava Pakholchuk.

“Roman was a loyal and true friend. He had golden hands – no matter what he did, he succeeded. He was a loving son to his parents, the best brother, and a caring father to his son Tymofii. He was also a very cheerful and sociable person,” said his brother’s wife Olha Andrushko. The defender was buried in his hometown. Roman is survived by his parents, younger brother, and his family, son, relatives, friends, and fighters-in-arms.

*Roman’s story on the Heroes Memorial – a platform for stories about the fallen defenders of Ukraine.


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