January 3,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 679

Ukrainian defenders drive Russians out of some positions near Verbove

According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ukrainian troops successfully repelled Russian attacks on several fronts. In Zaporizhzhya Oblast, Ukrainian troops forced the Russians to retreat from their positions near Verbove. 

In the Khortytsia sector, the defenders repelled seven attacks near Synkivka and Petropavlivka, preventing the enemy from breaking through the defense. In the Bakhmut sector, Ukrainian troops successfully repelled six enemy attacks near Bohdanivka, Klishchiyivka, and Andriivka. In the Avdiivka sector, Ukrainian troops are holding steady and inflicting significant losses on the enemy, repelling eight attacks near Novobakhmutivka, Berdychiv, Avdiivka, and another 16 attacks in Pervomayske and Nevelske. In the Kherson sector, the Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to expand their positions, and the enemy suffers significant losses. 

In general, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are actively depleting enemy manpower and equipment along the entire front line, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.


Symbolic number of the Day


The number of civilian casualties increased as a result of two Russian missile attacks on December 29 and January 2. The number of people killed in the Russian missile attack on Kyiv on December 29 has increased to 30, with one more person dying in hospital from their injuries. 29 people were injured in the attack. At the same time, 50 people were injured, and 2 people were killed in the massive enemy attack in the capital on January 2.


War in Pictures

In Lviv, a bust of UPA General Roman Shukhevych has survived in a museum that was completely destroyed by a Russian attack. The head of the Lviv Oblastal Military Administration, Maksym Kozytskyi, reported this. “You know that the wreckage of the enemy’s “Shahed” destroyed the museum of UPA General Roman Shukhevych… But we also have a real miracle: the bust of Roman Shukhevych by Mykhailo Chereshnevsky, which was considered lost due to the attack on the museum, actually survived! It was found under numerous rubble,” Kozytskyi wrote.


Video of the Day

On January 02, 2024, in Kherson Oblast, the Kherson Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the South Air Command destroyed 6 Russian drones: 5 Lancet strike UAVs and 1 ZALA reconnaissance UAV. The video captures the moment the Kherson Air Defense Missile Brigade destroys a reconnaissance drone. 


ISW report


Western provision of air defense systems and missiles to Ukraine remains crucial for Ukraine as Russian forces will likely attempt to adapt to Ukrainian air defense capabilities. Ukrainian military officials largely characterized the weapons composition of munitions used and the number of Russian strikes on January 1-2 as comparable to those on December 29, 2023.

Ukrainian forces notably shot down more Shahed drones and Kinzhal missiles on January 1-2 than on December 29, suggesting that Ukrainian forces may have adapted to the type of strike package Russian forces employed on December 29, likely after months of experimentation and testing Ukrainian air defenses using various weapons systems, strike routes, and air defense mitigation tactics.

Russian strikes on Ukraine are part of an ongoing tactical and technological offense-defense race wherein both sides are constantly experimenting and adapting to the other, particularly in the realm of long-range strikes and air defense. Western aid to Ukraine remains crucial as Russian forces will likely continue to experiment and innovate new ways to penetrate Ukrainian air defenses. ISW continues to assess that the end of Western aid to Ukraine would likely set conditions for an expanded Russian air campaign in Ukraine and eventually result in significant Russian advances further west, likely all the way to the western Ukrainian border with NATO member states.

UK outlet the Telegraph cited analysts on January 1 who stated that Ukraine may have to ration its air defense missiles in the face of decreasing Western aid in order to protect targets it deems to be the most important, which would likely expose critical frontline areas if Ukraine is forced to withdraw air defense systems to cover critical population centers.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on Western countries to expedite deliveries of air defense systems and ammunition to Ukraine and provide Ukraine with combat drones and long-range missiles. Several Western officials condemned the Russian strikes on January 2 and noted Ukraine’s need for air defenses.


War Heroes

36-year-old defender Petro Rudovskyi died on October 15, 2023, while performing a combat mission near the village of Rayhorodka, Luhansk Oblast. The defender received life-threatening mine-blast injuries. 

Petro Rudovskyi was born in the village of Dvirtsi, Lviv Oblast. He graduated from the Chervonohrad Professional Mining Lyceum. After that, he did his military service in Chervonohrad. He worked as a mechanic and electric and gas welder. He was engaged in repair work in Ukraine. Then, he worked in Poland at a private sawmill. He helped his mother a lot with agriculture. He liked to ride motorcycles. Shortly before the full-scale invasion, he bought a car and was happy to realize his long-held dream. 

After February 24, 2022, Petro returned from abroad, where he had a long-term job, and volunteered for the army. He served in the 68th separate ranger brigade. He was a gunner. “Petia was very kind. He did not know how to refuse people and tried to please everyone. He had a lot of friends. They often got together, supported each other, and helped with everyday tasks. He always remembered about everyone: to congratulate them on a holiday, to bring a present, to invite them to visit… The war did not change him. After he was wounded, he told me that he could not help but go again, because his comrades are there, and they are like brothers: one trench, one dinner, one mission. This is a terrible loss for us. The price of freedom he paid. We will always remember him!” said Khrystyna Lutskiv, the defender’s cousin. 

The Hero was buried in his native village. Petro is survived by his mother, grandmother, sister, brother, and their families.

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


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