February 8,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 715

Russian attack helicopter downed on Avdiivka front

The Ukrainian military successfully shot down a Russian Ka-52 attack helicopter using a man-portable air defense system in the Avdiivka sector. 

The incident took place on February 7 within the area of responsibility of the Tavria operational and strategic grouping. Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, the Commander of this grouping, confirmed the destruction of the Russian helicopter by one of the mechanized units under his command. 

The Alligator helicopter was shot down and subsequently crashed as a result. This information on Russian losses for that same day was also included in the morning report by the General Staff. 


Symbolic number of the Day


According to a report from Human Rights Watch (HRW), more than 10,000 people were buried in Mariupol between March 2022 and February 2023, with at least 8,000 deaths attributed to Russian aggression. 

The report is based on 240 interviews conducted by HRW and Truth Hounds, along with an analysis of photos, videos, documents, and satellite images. It is emphasized that the actual number of dead may be higher, as some graves may contain multiple bodies or remain buried under rubble or in makeshift graves. 

The researchers documented 14 attacks on civilian areas, including hospitals, a theater, warehouses, and residential buildings used as shelters. HRW found no evidence of a significant Ukrainian military presence in or near these areas, making the attacks illegal. The report also identifies 17 units of Russian and Russian-aligned forces operating in Mariupol during the mentioned period.


War in Pictures


The Public Relations Service of the 58th Mechanized Infantry Brigade published a photo report about Volodymyr, a defender nicknamed “Jus,” who is fighting as part of the electronic warfare unit of the 58th Mechanized Infantry Brigade. He and his comrades have shot down dozens of enemy drones. Recently, he had to battle with a Russian tank, from which he emerged victorious. The defender was on duty at the forefront to fight Russian drones. As darkness fell, the Russians launched an assault. Volodymyr had to put down his anti-drone rifle and take up a hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher.

“We were in full readiness, people were in place and waiting. I took the RPG and prepared my shots. When the distance was reduced to 150 meters, I hit the tank twice, and then made a couple more control shots. The tank stopped and the crew fled. At that time, my comrades were fighting with the Russian infantry, I joined them, threw a grenade and fired my assault rifle,” Volodymyr recounted the events.


Video of the Day

The press service of the 45th Airborne Brigade released a video of artillery operations in the Eastern sector. Ukrainian defenders destroyed 4 tanks, 2 armored personnel carriers, a field ammunition depot, an anti-aircraft mount, an ATV, and Russian occupants.


ISW report


The February 7 strike package is emblematic of the constant air domain offense-defense innovation-adaptation race in which Russia and Ukraine are engaged. Ukrainian air defense managed to shoot down the majority of the Kh-101/555/55 cruise missiles and Shahed drones, which may suggest that Russian forces fired the Kh-101 series missiles and Shaheds in order to distract Ukrainian air defense. Ukrainian forces did not shoot down any of the Kh-22 cruise missiles, Iskander-M ballistic missiles, or S-300 surface-to-air missiles, by contrast. Russian forces may have specifically designed this strike package to distract Ukrainian air defense with the Kh-101s and Shahed combination with the intention of helping the other missiles make it through to their intended targets. The unconfirmed reports of 3M22 Zircon strikes are also noteworthy as Zircons are typically fired from naval vessels at other vessels or coastal targets, so Russian forces may have had to adapt the Zircon launchers to strike targets so far inland.

 Russian forces additionally appear to have integrated North Korean missiles into their strike packages, which may have been harder for Ukrainian forces to detect and shoot down. ISW has previously assessed that Russia is experimenting with the strike packages it can launch at Ukraine to achieve the maximum desired effect, and that Ukraine in return continues efforts to adapt and respond to new Russian strike packages.


War Heroes

Defender Sviatoslav Kovshykov, with the call sign Sviat, died on July 20, 2023, near the village of Oleksandro-Shultine, Donetsk Oblast. While performing a combat mission, he came under enemy mortar fire and sustained an explosive injury. They managed to evacuate him, but the defender died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. A month earlier, on June 21, he turned 29 years old. 

Sviatoslav was born in the city of Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia Oblast. He graduated from local school #16. Then he studied at the Faculty of Philology of Berdiansk State Pedagogical University, but did not graduate. In 2015, he moved to Kyiv, where he worked in construction. He loved reading, playing football and traveling.

In 2023, the man joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He served in the 401st separate rifle battalion (military unit A4802). He held the position of grenade launcher.

“He was sensitive, educated, erudite, sociable, fluent in three languages, wrote poetry, translated in verse, and had a great sense of humor. He loved football and was a great goalkeeper. A wonderful son and friend. He loved his family very much, so when his hometown was occupied, he volunteered to go to the front to make Ukraine free. All of him, without exception,” said Olha Ivanivna, the mother of the fallen fighter.

The defender was cremated. The urn with the ashes will be kept in the columbarium of the Baikove cemetery until Berdiansk is liberated. Then the fighter will be buried in his hometown. Sviatoslav is survived by his mother Olha, brother Valeriy and grandmother Svitlana Artemivna.

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


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