April 18,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 785

Strike on Dzhankoi airfield: Ukraine's intelligence reports hitting 4 Russian S-400 systems

Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence has announced that a successful operation by the Ukrainian Armed Forces at the Dzhankoi military airfield in Crimea on April 17, 2024, resulted in the destruction or severe damage of four S-400 missile launchers, three radar stations, an air defense control center, and “Fundament-M” airspace surveillance equipment. The exact number of enemy aircraft affected and the casualties among Russian occupying forces have not been determined yet.


Symbolic number of the Day


According to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, since February 24, 2022, the Russian occupiers have killed 543 children and injured 1,296 others in Ukraine. The majority of the children were injured in the Donetsk Oblast, followed by Kharkiv, Kherson, Dnipro, Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, and Mykolaiv. The casualties continue to rise.


War in Pictures

On April 18, 2024, the town of Selydove experienced shelling with four rockets, resulting in the death of a woman born in 1961. The shelling caused damage to various structures, including an administrative building of an agricultural enterprise, a shop, and private residential buildings. Additionally, the power lines were also damaged. As a consequence of the shelling, the traffic on the road connecting Selydove and Pokrovsk was blocked. 


Video of the Day

Ukrainian drones have executed precise strikes, leading to the destruction of Russian tanks and armored vehicles, resulting in significant losses for Putin’s army. During a battle near Krasnohorivka, the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ 59th Brigade targeted a weak point in a Russian T-72B3 tank, leading to a devastating explosion. Similarly, the 79th Brigade’s video depicts an armored vehicle suffering a comparable detonation, causing its turret to be violently thrown into the air. Several videos gathered by a group showcase the destruction of numerous Russian tanks and armored vehicles within a short span of time. 


ISW report


Ukraine’s Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reportedly targeted Russian aviation assets in the Republic of Mordovia, the Republic of Tatarstan, and Samara Oblast on April 17. GUR sources told Ukrainian outlet Suspilne on April 17 that GUR agents targeted a S9B6 “Container” over-the-horizon radar station at the base of the 590th Separate Radio Engineering Unit in Kovylkino, Mordovia, but did not specify how the GUR conducted the strike or whether the strike successfully damaged the radar station. The “Container” radar station reportedly has a 3,000-kilometer detection range and 100-kilometer detection height and is over 680 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian air defense destroyed a Ukrainian drone over Mordovia, which if accurate, could explain the lack of footage showing the aftermath of a strike in Kovylkino. Ukrainian special services sources additionally told Ukrainian outlet RBK-Ukraine on April 17 that the GUR also targeted the Gorbunov aviation plant in Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan.

Geolocated footage shows that Russian air defense likely downed at least one Ukrainian drone near the Shahed-136/131 drone production plant near Yelabuga, Tatarstan. The GUR also cryptically stated on April 17 that unspecified actors destroyed a Russian Mi-8 helicopter at the Kryaz airfield in Samara Oblast and posted footage of a fire at the airfield, suggesting that the GUR may have also been responsible for a strike in Samara Oblast.

Ukrainian strikes against Russian aviation assets in occupied Crimea, as well as within Russia, appear to represent a fairly coordinated and wide-reaching series of strikes specifically targeting Russian aviation, air defense, and radar detection capabilities.


War heroes


Senior Sergeant Vitalii Melnyk, wit the call sign Butan, died on November 17, 2023, while performing combat missions near the village of Pavlivka, Volnovakha district, Donetsk Oblast. The fighter was 53 years old.

Vitalii was born and lived in Kyiv. In 1994, he graduated from the Kyiv Shipbuilding College with a degree in Radio Instrumentation. Since September 2018, he worked as a mechanic adjuster at Papyrus-Universal LLC. He was a jack of all trades and a real skillful host. He liked to wear embroidered shirts. He wrote poetry. He spent a lot of time with his beloved wife and son. The couple loved to go to the theater.

With the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, the man stood up to defend his homeland, because he considered it his duty. He fought in the ranks of the 58th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade named after Hetman Ivan Vyhovskyi of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He held the position of senior rifleman-operator of the 15th separate battalion. In the summer of 2023, during the defense of Donetsk Oblast, he was wounded in the Bakhmut direction.

“For the rest of my life, I will remember Vitalii as a brave, courageous, strong hero! He was kind, sincere and cheerful, as well as a true Ukrainian who loved Ukraine above all else, loved life, loved his wife very much and always honored the memory of his veteran grandfather,” said his sister Liudmyla Chepurko.

The warrior was buried on November 27, 2023, at the Alley of Glory at Berkovetsky Cemetery in Kyiv. Vitalii is survived by his parents Dmytro and Halyna, his brother Vadym, his wife Liudmyla, his son Artem, as well as relatives, friends and fighters-in-arms.

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


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