January 25,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 701

Air Force on Il-76 crash: Russia seeks to discredit Ukraine

Ukraine’s Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk accused Russia of trying to discredit Ukraine after the crash of a Russian Il-76 transport plane in the Belgorod region. The Russian Ministry of Defense claims that the plane was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war who were to be involved in a prisoner exchange. However, Ukrainian authorities have not confirmed this information and insist on an international investigation. Oleshchuk believes that Russia is using a flood of fake news and propaganda to discredit Ukraine and reduce international support for the country. Despite these attempts, he assures that the Air Force will continue to protect Ukrainian civilians from Russian attacks. Ukraine’s military intelligence confirmed that a prisoner exchange was planned but did not take place, and further investigation into the Ukrainian prisoners on board the downed plane continues. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, called for an international investigation into the incident.

At the same time, photos and videos from the crash site of the Russian Il-76 plane, which Russia claims killed 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war, do not show “any signs that there were such a large number of people on board,” Chief Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said.


Symbolic number of the Day


Over the course of one day, there were 58 clashes between Ukrainian and Russian troops, resulting in various attacks and strikes from the Russian side. The Russians launched six missile strikes, 97 air strikes, and used multiple launch rocket systems 121 times to target Ukrainian troops and populated areas. They also employed 14 attack drones, but 11 of them were destroyed by Ukrainian air defense. Ukrainian forces successfully repelled multiple Russian attacks in different sectors.


War in Pictures


The public relations service of the 93rd Brigade “Kholodny Yar” showed a photo report on the work of the mortar crew of the 93rd Brigade, which is working on the positions taken from the enemy. Now, the enemy’s positions are within a mine’s flight distance from here. In fact, “gifts” for the enemy in the form of mines are sent regularly. The French mortar MO-120-RT-61 helps. “You break them, and they just keep going. It seems that there is no instinct for self-preservation,” says mortar operator Oleksiy. He describes the enemy’s current tactics towards Klishchiivka as follows: the occupants come from different directions, 2-3 people at a time, gather at a certain point and start storming from there. 

It allows to hit the enemy at a longer distance. The maximum range is up to 13.8 kilometers. Another significant advantage is the wheelbase, which allows us to change our position quickly,” said the mortar operators.


Video of the Day

Six people were injured in Odesa as a result of a drone attack, reported the Southern Defense Forces of Ukraine. “At night, the enemy attacked the southern regions with two waves of Shahed-131/136 UAVs. The main attack was focused on Odesa, 6 people were wounded. There was a pause of up to 15 minutes between air raid warnings. And the combat work was carried out in conditions of abundant approach of several drones simultaneously,” the statement said.


ISW report


The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported that Ukrainian hackers recently conducted cyberattacks on Russian intelligence and communications infrastructure. 

The GUR reported on January 24 that Ukrainian hackers conducted a successful cyberattack against the Russian “Planet” Scientific Research Center of Space Hydrometeorology’s Far East branch, specifically targeting the center’s database, servers, and supercomputers. The GUR reported that the attack destroyed a database that received and processed satellite data and contributed to products for over 50 Russian government agencies, including the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD), General Staff, and Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD). 

The GUR noted that the database contained two petabytes (two million gigabytes) of data potentially worth over $10 million. The GUR reported that the attack also rendered the center’s supercomputers inoperable and unable to be completely restored and brought down the center’s servers and physical infrastructure. The GUR stated that the attack will leave dozens of unspecified strategic defense companies without “critically important information” for a long time. The GUR reported on January 23 that unspecified “cyber volunteers” attacked Russian internet provider Akado-telecom, which services the Russian Presidential Administration, Federal Security Service (FSB), Federal Protective Service, Moscow Oblast governing bodies, Russian state-owned bank Sberbank, and others, causing a large-scale internet failure on January 21 and 22.


War Heroes

Defender Liubomyr Babiak, with the call sign Veselyi, died on August 13, 2023, near the village of Ivanivske, Donetsk Oblast. During the fighting, the defender received fatal injuries from explosions and shrapnel. The month after, on September 25, the fighter would have turned 47 years old.

Liubomyr graduated from Lviv Secondary Vocational School #50. He was a builder by profession. Before the war, he worked for the company “Excombud.” In his free time, he liked to fish.

During the full-scale Russian invasion, the man served in the ranks of the 80th separate airborne assault brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He was a mortar launcher. During his service, he was awarded the medals “For Military Service to Ukraine”, “War Veteran”, and posthumously – the Order “For Courage” III degree.

“He was sensitive and courageous, dreamed of living and raising children. He had many friends, loved Ukraine and was a patriot since childhood. He used to tell his children: “Everything we do here is for the sake of your bright future,” said Nadiia Roik, the deceased’s sister. Liubomyr is survived by his mother, wife, son, daughter, other relatives, friends and fighters-in-arms.

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


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