January 18,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 694

78 combat clashes on frontlines in past day

According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, there were 78 combat engagements on the front line in Ukraine in the past day. The enemy carried out 9 missile and 128 air strikes, as well as 77 attacks from multiple rocket launchers on Ukrainian troops and populated areas. These attacks resulted in deaths and injuries among the civilian population, as well as destruction and damage to residential buildings and other civilian infrastructure. 

Ukrainian air defense forces successfully destroyed 22 enemy drones out of the 33 that were used in an attack. Several localities came under enemy air strikes, and more than 130 settlements were targeted by enemy artillery fire. The enemy also maintains a military presence in certain sectors, conducts sabotage activities, and increases the density of minefields along the state border. 

However, Ukrainian defenders have successfully repelled enemy attacks and inflicted losses on the occupation forces, weakening the enemy along the entire front line. The Armed Forces of Ukraine have reported destroying over 372,820 Russian occupants since February 24, 2022.


Symbolic number of the Day


France plans to produce 78 Caesar self-propelled howitzers for Ukraine by early 2025, according to Defense Minister Sébastien Le Coronne. The first batch of six Caesars will be delivered to Kyiv in the coming weeks, with another 72 howitzers scheduled for delivery by early 2025. The goal is to produce 78 howitzers in just over a year. Lecorne also called on European allies to co-finance the effort. Ukraine currently has 49 Caesar howitzers, which have proven their tactical effectiveness. Lecorne said that the cost of the Caesars is about 3-4 million euros each, which, in his opinion, is an acceptable price for Paris’ allies.


War in Pictures


The town of Kupiansk in Kharkiv Oblast suffered casualties and destruction as a result of yesterday’s attack by Russian troops. According to Oleh Syniehubov, the head of the Kharkiv Oblast military administration, a woman was killed, and two men were wounded in the attack. The attack targeted a residential building, and emergency services are currently inspecting the affected areas.


Video of the Day

During aerial reconnaissance in the Kherson sector, operators of one of the Ukrainian Special Forces units discovered a BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher system. The Russian army used it to fire at civilians in Mykolaiv Oblast. When the Grad tried to leave the fire area, the SDF operators struck the target with an FPV drone. As a result of the fire, the following were destroyed: a BM-21 Grad, a crew (two enemy soldiers) and the driver of the combat vehicle.


ISW report


A Ukrainian intelligence official reported that Russian forces lack the necessary operational reserves to conduct simultaneous offensive efforts in more than one direction in Ukraine. 

Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Deputy Chief Major General Vadym Skibitskyi reported on January 17 that Russia does not have enough reserves to conduct large-scale offensive operations in several directions at the same time. Skibitskyi stated that it is impossible for Russian forces to conduct strategically or operationally significant offensive operations without “powerful” reserves and implied that Russia does not have such reserves.

Skibitskyi noted that mobilization measures are ongoing in Russia, likely referring to the current Russian crypto-mobilization campaign that relies heavily on volunteer recruitment and the coercive mobilization of convicts and migrants. It is unclear if Russia’s ongoing crypto-mobilization campaign has provided or would be able to provide the increased number of personnel that an intensified Russian offensive effort would require. Skibitskyi reported on January 15 that Russia recruits about 30,000 personnel per month, which the Russian military uses to replenish losses and form reserve regiments, and that Russia would need to conduct “mobilization” (likely referring to another “partial mobilization” like Russia conducted in September 2022 or a large-scale general mobilization) to establish a “powerful strategic reserve.”

Skibitskyi’s statements suggest that although the Russian military is able to generate enough manpower to conduct routine operational-level rotations in Ukraine, Russian forces may not necessarily be able to generate manpower at a rate that would allow Russian forces to quickly re-establish the operational reserves necessary for simultaneous offensive efforts in several directions.


War Heroes

44-year-old defender Yevhen Zhyhaylo, with the call sign Zhoga, died on November 14, 2023, as a result of an enemy mortar attack near the village of Ivanivske, Bakhmut district, Donetsk Oblast.

Yevhen was born and lived in Kyiv. After graduating from High School, he entered the Kyiv Electrical Engineering College, but, to support his family in difficult times, he had to leave school and work. For 10 years, he was professionally engaged in hand-to-hand combat and had weapons skills. He worked as a member of a personal security detail but eventually changed his profession to a transportation department manager. He was very fond of fishing, which later became a family hobby. He also loved to read, wrote poetry, adored playing the guitar, and taught himself to play the harmonica. He was always a fighter for justice, so he never stood aside. He participated in the Revolution of Dignity. He was the father of two daughters he loved very much, always interested in and proud of their success. He was always there for his girls. 

With the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the man joined the ranks of the Kyiv Territorial Defense and then the 242nd separate battalion of the 241st Separate Brigade of the Territorial Defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He aspired to become a combat medic. During this difficult period, he found another large and friendly family – his fellow fighters, the “Fighting Beavers,” who were always by his side and fought together for the sake of a free country.

“During the great war, the eldest daughter saw her father’s tears for the first time during a video call when he said how much he missed his children. Yevhen was the most loyal friend, a reliable and faithful person who could always be relied on. He was always ready to help, even at the expense of his personal life,” said the deceased’s family.

While defending his country, Yevhen received medals “For Courage,” “For the Defense of the Hero City of Kharkiv,” “Defender of the Motherland”, and “For the Defense of Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast.” Posthumously, he was awarded the honorary “Combatant’s Cross” badge and the “Cross of Freedom” medal.

The defender was buried in the village of Hatne, Kyiv Oblast. In the memory of those who knew the Hero, he will forever remain a loving father, husband, son, loyal friend, and fighters-in-arms.

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


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