January 15,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 691

Russians actively conduct airstrikes in southeast for three days in row, using chemical weapons

Russians have been conducting air strikes in the southeast for three consecutive days, with 41 strikes recorded in the past day alone. The Tavria operational and strategic group, responsible for the area, have been actively engaging in offensive actions, with an average of 50 combat engagements per day for the past week.

The situation is particularly difficult in the Avdiivka and Maryinka sectors, but Ukrainian troops have been inflicting significant losses on the Russian-terrorist forces. In the past day, 485 Russians and 44 pieces of military equipment were destroyed, including armored combat vehicles, artillery systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, and a Russian drone control center. Additionally, the Russians have been reported to be using chemical weapons on the Tauride front, specifically K-51 chloropicrin grenades. 

These grenades cause skin irritation, tearing, and in high concentrations, fighters may experience vomiting and difficulty breathing. Gas masks and wind have been helpful in protecting Ukrainian fighters from the effects of these chemical weapons.


Symbolic number of the Day


According to Governor Vadym Filashkin, Russian troops have intensified attacks on the city of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast. In the first two weeks of the year alone, 250 bombs were dropped on the city, compared to 146 airstrikes in all of 2022. Avdiivka, located north of Donetsk, has been under Russian occupation since 2014. Ukrainian troops are defending the city and preventing Russia from making significant gains. Commander Oleksandr Tarnavsky explains that Russian troops probably want to avoid entering the city and engaging in street fighting. Despite the ongoing shelling, 1,131 civilians remain in Avdiivka, out of the approximately 31,000 people who lived there before the invasion. Over the past day, one person was injured and 71 people, including nine children, were evacuated from the frontline city.

War in Pictures


The Public Relations Service of the 43rd Separate Mechanized Brigade published a photo report on the training of new recruits. “A good level of physical fitness saves lives in combat conditions. Today we would like to emphasize the importance of a good level of physical fitness among the military. Our defenders are doing an incredible job facing various challenges on the front line. Flexibility, speed, strength and endurance are not just fitness motivation, they are a means of survival. Good physical fitness allows you to act effectively in any circumstances and speeds up your response to danger. Thanks to good training, our servicemen and women can respond quickly and effectively in critical situations, saving their own and their colleagues’ lives. Physical training is the key to survival in combat conditions!” the 43rd Brigade said in a statement.


Video of the Day

Polish Krab and Soviet 2S3 Akatsiya in Bakhmut Region. Artillery on the Frontline. Winter brings new challenges to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as Russia started to advance from multiple directions. The Bakhmut region remains one of the toughest, as Russians are trying to reclaim the territories they lost this summer. United24 visited two artillery units to learn what Winter warfare is like, what makes the Polish-made AHS Krab so good, and why Ukraine needs more modern Western equipment.


ISW report


Representatives from 83 countries met to discuss the implementation of Ukraine’s Peace Formula on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 14. Ukrainian Presidential Administration Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak also met with Romanian State Secretary Julian Fota to discuss bilateral security guarantees pursuant to the G7’s July 2023 joint declaration of support for Ukraine, making Romania the 9th country to begin bilateral security negotiations with Ukraine.

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis and Yermak noted the importance of involving China in peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. Cassis argued that the West “must find a way to include Russia” in the peace process and stated that “there will be no peace if Russia does not have its say.” It is unclear what Cassis meant by the call for Russia to “have its say.” ISW has long assessed that Putin does not intend to negotiate with Ukraine in good faith and that Russia’s goals in Ukraine — which are tantamount to full Ukrainian and Western surrender — remain unchanged.


War Heroes

Border guard Yurii Zavadiak, with the call sign Borman, died on August 28, 2023, while performing a combat mission near the village of Andriivka, Bakhmut direction, Donetsk Oblast. He was 33 years old.

Yurii was from the village of Imstychovo, Zakarpattia Oblast. He received his secondary education at a rural secondary school. He worked abroad. He loved the land, nature, and animals.

With the outbreak of full-scale war, the man was mobilized into the ranks of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. He served in the 94th (Chop) Border Guard Detachment.

“Yurii was a very kind person, always happy to help. During the full-scale invasion on 24.02.2022, he was abroad, but he could not stand aside and returned home to defend the state,” said his sister Mariana Tsitsak.

“He was a sincere person. He was characterized by restraint and politeness. Yurii loved his land and never shied away from any work. He was most fond of taking care of his pets. Any work in the agricultural sector was within his power. The hero could have lived and lived, created a family and continued to develop, but fate decreed otherwise…” the Bilkivska community noted.

Posthumously, senior defender Zavadiak was awarded the Order “For Courage” of the III degree. The defender was buried in his native village. Yurii is survived by his sister.

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


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