March 13,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 748

Freedom of Russia Legion claims it took Tetkino, Kursk Oblast under control

According to the Legion of Freedom of Russia, a group of military volunteers have taken full control of the town of Tyotkino in the Kursk region of Russia. 

They claim that Russian soldiers are rapidly leaving the city, abandoning their positions and heavy equipment. 

“We decided to exercise our constitutional right to vote. Here behind me is the instrument (a machine gun – ed.) with which Russian volunteers decided to cast their vote. We are casting our vote for a Russia without Putin, for the liberation of Russia from Putin. Today, a joint operation of 3 Russian units has begun: the Freedom of Russia Legion, the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Siberian Battalion. We are citizens of Russia, we are going home to liberate our homeland from Putin’s dictatorship,” said Alexei Baranovsky “Buttercup”, a volunteer of the Freedom of Russia Legion.

The Volunteer Corps of Russia has also published a video showing Russian soldiers fleeing and leaving settlements, equipment, and citizens behind.


Symbolic number of the Day


President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has called for a meeting of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief’s Staff to discuss pressing issues such as the situation on the frontlines, weapons supplies, and the progress of fortification construction. Zelenskyy emphasized the importance of fortifications, with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal providing a report on the pace of construction. The president expressed confidence in the progress being made but also stressed the need for timely completion of the ambitious task of building a three-lane defense spanning 2,000 kilometers. 


War in Pictures


During the night of March 11-12, the Russians dropped a guided aerial bomb on a residential neighborhood in Kupiansk, Kharkiv Oblast. The bomb struck a five-story residential building, causing its destruction and sparking several fires. The fires affected three apartments on the first and second floors of one entrance, as well as another apartment in a different entrance, resulting in a total fire area of 150 square meters. By 04:15, rescuers were able to extinguish the fires. The State Emergency Service of Ukraine reported these events. 


Video of the Day

While conducting reconnaissance in the Zaporizhzhia sector, operators of reconnaissance UAVs of the 3rd separate Special Forces regiment discovered a mobile complex of the operational and tactical level “PALANTIN” electronic warfare system. “The complex was conducting electronic reconnaissance, suppressing the existing communication systems of the Defence Forces in this area. The SSO operators accompanied the target and provided information to the missile and artillery unit of the Defence Forces for further destruction. As a result of the fire, the enemy target was destroyed,” the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported. 


ISW report


ISW report

A Ukrainian military source noted that Russian forces are increasingly using grenades equipped with chemical substances in the Zaporizhia direction, in potential violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to which Russia is a signatory. 

Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces Spokesperson Captain Dmytro Lykhovyi stated on March 11 that Russian forces used at least 60 grenades equipped with a suffocating and tear-inducing substance on Ukrainian positions in the Tavriisk direction (Avdiivka through western Zaporizhia Oblast) between March 4 to March 10 alone, noting that most of these attacks occurred in the Zaporizhia direction.

Lykhovyi suggested that Russian forces are most likely equipping grenades with chloropicrin (PS) or a similar substance. PS is a lung-damaging riot control agent (RCA) that shares the characteristics of tear gas — it is not necessarily lethal but can have extremely irritating and harmful impacts when inhaled.

The CWC prohibits the use of PS and other RCAs in warfare, and Russia has been a signatory to the CWC since 1997.


War heroes


Senior fighter Volodymyr Ponka, with the call sign Chip, died on 24 August 2023 on the territory of the Serebrianka forestry near the city of Kreminna, Luhansk Oblast. During the storming of enemy positions, he sustained a fatal mine blast injury as a result of enemy mortar fire. In June, the fighter turned 22 years old.

Volodymyr was born in Dokuchaevsk, Donetsk Oblast. He studied at a local school. In 2014, he and his mother left the occupied city and moved to Volnovakha. He finished school there. In 2020, he received a degree in floristry at the Velykoanadolsk Forestry and Forestry College. In 2022, he graduated from the Petro Vasylenko Kharkiv National Technical University of Agriculture with a bachelor’s degree in woodworking and furniture technology and a degree in furniture technology engineering. He planned to enter a master’s program but decided to defend his homeland. During his studies, he worked as a waiter and a realtor. In his spare time, he played football. He dreamed of starting a family and raising children.

With the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Volodymyr and his mother were once again forced to look for a new home due to the occupation of Volnovakha. The boy went to Kyiv. On 18 January 2023, he joined the ranks of the 12th Special Forces Brigade of the Azov National Guard. After training, he was promoted to the position of senior machine gunner and went to the front line.

“My only son was always smiling, hard-working, kind, responsive and responsible. He always came to the aid of his friends. We have been displaced twice. In 2014, Volodymyr could not defend his homeland because he was a minor, and when he lost his home for the second time, he decided to volunteer for the defence. Vova really wanted to return to his native Dokuchaіvsk…” said Victoria Ponka.

Posthumously, the National Guard fighter was awarded the Order for Courage, III class. The young hero was buried at St Nicholas Cemetery in Zaporizhzhia. Volodymyr is survived by his mother, grandparents, girlfriend, friends and fighters-in-arms.

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


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