April 1,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 768

Russians hit Kharkiv with guided bombs, causing destruction: buses, lorry and car on fire

Late on March 31, Russians launched a targeted attack on the city of Kharkiv using guided bombs, resulting in significant destruction. The attack caused damage to an educational institution, a student dormitory, and a residential building. It also resulted in the burning of two buses, a truck, and a car. 

Fortunately, no casualties or injuries were reported. The attack was part of a broader assault, with approximately 15 settlements in the Kharkiv Oblast, including Sinkivka, Petropavlivka, and Ivanivka, also coming under artillery and mortar fire. Several other settlements, including Kozacha Lopan, Hirtseve, and Vovchansk, were targeted by air strikes. 

Another incident occurred in the village of Borova, Izium district, where a Russian-guided aerial bomb damaged a World War II monument, a government agency’s facade, and a car.


Symbolic number of the Day


In March 2024, air defense units of the Land Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine successfully destroyed 326 enemy reconnaissance and combat unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This was reported by the Commander of the Land Forces, Lieutenant General Oleksandr Pavliuk. Among the destroyed drones are 151 Shahed-131/136, 45 Zala, 13 Superkam, 92 Lancet, 21 Orlan-10 and 4 unidentified drones. Pavliuk said that during intense combat operations, the Army units effectively intercepted many enemy tactical UAVs, including FPV UAVs, using various electronic warfare systems.


War in Pictures


Yesterday, Russian troops launched multiple attacks on the de-occupied Kherson Oblast, firing mortars, artillery, and missiles, as well as using UAVs. As a result, several settlements, including Kherson. These attacks caused damage to 27 objects, including residential buildings, a critical infrastructure facility, gas pipelines, a pumping station, cars, and other structures. Tragically, a 69-year-old man was seriously injured and died, and his 67-year-old wife sustained injuries in the Borozenske attack. Furthermore, in the Stanislavska community, an agricultural company’s site was attacked by an FPV drone, resulting in a fire and damage to a pumping station. The Russian army also targeted Kherson, damaging an apartment building and a gas pipeline. Police, rescuers, and medics were dispatched to the sites to collect evidence, document the damage, assist victims, and eliminate the consequences.


Video of the Day

47th Separate Mechanized Brigade destroyed Russian ground robotic platforms with AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher. Both were destroyed by FPV drones of the 47th separate mechanized brigade’s attack UAV company in the Avdiivka sector.  Public relations service of the brigade.


ISW report


Ukrainian forces appear to have repelled a Russian battalion-sized mechanized assault near Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, on March 30 — the first battalion-sized mechanized assault since Russian forces began the campaign to seize Avdiivka in late October 2023. A Ukrainian serviceman reported on March 31 that Russian forces, including elements of the Russian 6th Tank Regiment (90th Tank Division, Central Military District [CMD]), committed 36 tanks and 12 BMP infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) to a large-mechanized assault near Tonenke on March 30.

 Geolocated imagery published on March 31 shows a large number of destroyed and damaged Russian armored vehicles and tanks along a road northwest of Tonenke (west of Avdiivka). The Ukrainian serviceman stated that Ukrainian forces destroyed 12 Russian tanks and eight IFVs during the assault and noted that the frontal assault failed to breakthrough the Ukrainian line. This appears to be the first report of any elements of the 90th Tank Division participating in assaults following the Russian seizure of Avdiivka and ISW previously assessed that elements of the 90th Tank Division, alongside other Russian units and formations, likely represent a sizeable uncommitted operational reserve that the Russian military command can commit to continue and intensify efforts to push west of Avdiivka. The elements of the 6th Tank Regiment appear to have failed in their March 30 attack near Tonenke, however, suggesting that elements of Russia’s uncommitted operational reserve near Avdiivka may be too degraded or otherwise unable to lead further Russian advances westward in the short term.

The scale of the Russian mechanized assault on March 30 is significant. Russian forces have not conducted a mechanized assault this large since the beginning of the Russian localized offensive effort to seize Avdiivka in late October 2023, when Ukrainian forces reportedly destroyed almost 50 Russian tanks and over 100 armored vehicles on October 19-20, 2023. Ukraine’s ability to defend against the March 30 assault, particularly near Avdiivka where Ukrainian forces have been forced to quickly withdraw to new, defensive positions following the loss of the settlement, is a positive indicator for Ukraine’s ability to defend against future large-scale Russian assaults and the expected summer 2024 Russian offensive operation. Ukrainian officials, justifiably so, continue to warn about Ukraine’s ability to defend against the expected summer Russian offensive effort in the face of ammunition shortages, manpower limitations, and delayed Western assistance.

Ukrainian forces may have had to expend a significant amount of material to defend against the Russian assault near Tonenke, highlighting Russia’s ability to conduct assaults that force Ukraine to expend outsized portions of its already limited material and manpower reserves to defend against. Ukraine’s demonstrated ability to skillfully defend against a large-scale Russian assault in a particularly critical part of the front despite Ukraine’s challenges suggests that Ukrainian forces can achieve significant battlefield effects if they are properly equipped.

The Russian command may be prioritizing the Avdiivka area in Donetsk Oblast. The Russian military command’s willingness to commit a battalion’s worth of tanks to an attack near Avdiivka indicates that this assault was a priority effort. The Russian command may focus their forecasted late spring/summer 2024 offensive operation on western Donetsk Oblast in hopes of building upon Russian forces’ steady but marginal advances in this sector. Ukrainian officials have recently warned that Russian forces are accumulating personnel along the Kharkiv-Luhansk axis, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast, but ISW continues to assess that Russian forces will likely only be able to launch a concerted large-scale offensive operation in one operational direction at a time due to Russia’s own manpower and planning limitations.


War heroes

19-year-old fighter Serhii Bai, with the call sign Neo, died on October 27, 2023, on the territory of the Serebrianka Reserve near the village of Dibrova in the Luhansk Oblast. During an enemy artillery shelling, he covered his fighter-in-arms, saving his life, but was mortally wounded himself.

Serhii was born in the village of Staryi Tarazh, Ternopil Oblast. He was a 4th year student of the Professional College of Kremenets Oblast Humanitarian and Pedagogical Academy named after Taras Shevchenko. He worked as a sales assistant at the Zhuk store during his studies.

During the full-scale Russian invasion, he wanted to join the ranks of the defenders and defend his native country, which he loved very much. He fought in the ranks of the 12th Special Forces Brigade of the Azov National Guard. He was an external pilot (operator) of unmanned aerial vehicles of the Special Forces battalion. Despite his young age, he distinguished himself with courage and bravery while performing combat missions.

“We were amazed that he knew all the calibers in millimeters… He knew no fear, he loved the military, but not the war. Everybody knew that Neo was a man to follow… If I ever have children, they will definitely know about Serhii… He was the best, and the best go first… I will get a tattoo of Neo – he will always be on my body and in my heart… Neo will always be a light for me in this ugly life…” – from the memories of his fellow fighters.

“Time is passing… The state of shock has passed and the fact of my brother’s death, his loss for us, for Ukraine, is knocking on our consciousness, bringing unbearable pain, not allowing us to breathe, but not wanting to be perceived, not in any way I don’t know, and no one probably knows how long it takes to perceive this. My memory constantly scrolls through the memories of our Sirozha: conversations, meetings, joint trips that will never happen again… Life at such a high price ceases to bring positive emotions… For me, my brother-defender will always be a pride and an example of courage,” wrote Oksana Reznik, the deceased’s older sister.

The Azov fighter was buried in his native village. Serhii is survived by his parents, two sisters, a brother, relatives, friends and fighters-in-arms.

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


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