April 23,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 790

Russian forces using chemical weapons to storm Ocheretyne, situation 'difficult'

Russian troops are using chemical weapons in their attempt to capture the village of Ocheretyne in Donetsk Oblast, according to the spokesman for the Khortytsia operational and tactical group. 

The situation is characterized as “challenging.” While details about the specific chemicals are not provided, there have been multiple reports of tear gas and asphyxiation grenades being deployed from drones since the conflict began, with a rise in such incidents in 2024. The deployment of riot control gases in warfare contravenes the 1925 Geneva Protocol.

The focal point of the Russian military effort in Ukraine is the town of Chasiv Yar, with an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 Russian troops attempting to capture the town and its surrounding areas. Chasiv Yar is considered a strategic location for Russia’s potential advance toward Kostiantynivka, Kramatorsk, and Sloviansk. In this region, Ukrainian forces, including the 217th Guards Airborne Regiment, are engaging Russian paratroopers. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy anticipates that Russia aims to seize Chasiv Yar by May 9, coinciding with Russia’s Victory Day celebrations.


Symbolic number of the Day


In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the occupants made 514 attacks on 6 different localities over the last day. The enemy conducted air strikes on Robotyno and Mala Tokmachka, and 182 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) of various types attacked Gulyaypole, Levadne, Robotyno, Mala Tokmachka, Malynivka and Novoandriivka. In addition, Gulyaypole, Levadne and Robotyne received 13 attacks from multiple rocket launchers, while Gulyaypole, Mala Tokmachka, Novoandriivka, Robotyne, Levadne, and Malynivka received 317 artillery shells. Although there were 5 reports of residential buildings being destroyed, no civilians were injured.


War in Pictures


In Odesa Oblast, special equipment of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine is taking care of the aftermath of Russian strikes. In particular, the Magirus Wolf R1 tactical firefighting robot is involved in responding to the Russian attack. This is not the first time the robot has been engaged in firefighting. It has also been used to extinguish large-scale fires in Zhytomyr, Lviv, Ternopil, Khmelnytsky, and Volyn Oblasts.


Video of the Day

A video captured a dramatic rescue operation in which a Bradley fighting vehicle saved three wounded Ukrainian fighters near Novobakhmutivka. The video shows the Bradley guiding a squad of fighters to storm Russian trenches before approaching a shell crater where two injured men were hiding. After picking them up, the Bradley engages the Russians with a 25mm chain gun to support the assault. Moving forward, the vehicle heads towards a Russian trench to rescue a third wounded fighter who is lying on the ground. The footage captures the fighter crawling to the vehicle, while his comrades rush to assist him. The Bradley successfully transports all three men off the battlefield. 


ISW report


Kremlin mouthpieces are seizing on concerns about a future Russian offensive operation against Kharkiv City to conduct a likely coordinated information operation in an effort to create outsized panic among Ukrainians. ISW assesses that the likelihood of a successful Russian ground offensive against Kharkiv is very low if Ukraine receives renewed US military aid rapidly. The Ukrainian Center for Combatting Disinformation warned as early as February 2024 that Russian Telegram channels are spreading claims that Ukrainian officials were fleeing Kharkiv City, and Russian sources claimed in early April that there is a “mass exodus” of civilians from Kharkiv City.

The Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security recently identified a Russian information operation claiming that Ukrainian officials prevented civilians from leaving Kharkiv City and noted that Russian forces are seizing on concern about a possible Russian offensive operation against Kharkiv City to sow panic and a feeling of “impending, inevitable catastrophe” in Ukraine.

Russian state TV propagandist Vladimir Solovyov claimed on March 28 that Russian forces should destroy Kharkiv City “quarter by quarter” and suggested offering Ukrainian civilians 48 hours to leave the city, presumably before being killed in Russia‘s destruction of the city.  Russian neo-nationalist publication Tsargrad amplified claims from several unspecified military sources on April 16 that a Russian offensive operation to capture Kharkiv City is inevitable and that the situation in Kharkiv City will become “worse than Bakhmut and Avdiivka.”

Tsargrad claimed that there is “no doubt” that Russian forces will seize Kharkiv City but that “blockade tactics,” such as “cutting off electricity, gas, and water” for civilians, are the most reasonable way for Russian forces to seize the city and avoid large-scale losses. A prominent Russian milblogger claimed that Russia’s April 22 strikes against Kharkiv City are an indication that Ukrainian civilians should leave Kharkiv City “while they still can” and that it does not make sense for civilians to hide in and protect their apartments if Ukrainian forces are “hiding in the basement,” implying that Russian forces may deliberately target residential infrastructure.

Another Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainians should abandon Kharkiv City before their “neighbors” kill them, likely referring to Russian forces. Ukrainian officials have previously discussed the possibility that Russian forces might launch a ground operation against Kharkiv city later this summer, and ISW continues to assess that the Russians lack the forces necessary to seize the city as long as Ukrainian forces defending it are adequately supplied, as they will be if the US restarts military assistance soon.


War heroes

Fighter Volodymyr Orshevskyi died on January 9, 2023 in the village of Chervonopopivka, Sievierodonetsk district, Luhansk Oblast. The fighter received a life-threatening shrapnel wound. On January 1, he turned 39 years old.

Volodymyr was born in Chernivtsi Oblast. He received his early education at a gymnasium in Hlyboka village, and continued his studies at the local vocational school №22, specializing in electrical equipment repair. After completing his military service, he lived with his family in the village of Prosykuryany. During peacetime, he worked in forestry and at a sawmill.

With the onset of a full-scale war, Volodymyr chose to defend Ukraine. He enlisted in the Armed Forces of Ukraine in August 2022. Following his training, he was deployed to the front line as a member of the 25th separate airborne brigade.

Volodymyr Vasylovych was awarded the Order “For Courage” III degree posthumously. “He was the best husband, a caring father, a cheerful person. Everyone loved him, respected him, and he helped everyone,” said Natalia Orshevska, the deceased’s wife.

The fighter was buried in the village of Prosika. Volodymyr is survived by his mother, wife, daughter, son, brother and sister.

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


Latest news

  • CNN: Most of the weapons the US will soon give to Ukraine are already in warehouses in Germany and Poland
  • WSJ: U.S. Takes Aim at Chinese Banks Aiding Russia War Effort
  • Bloomberg: Germany Urges US to Send Kyiv Another Patriot Missile System
  • Ukraine’s National Guard chief: Russians would take years to capture Kharkiv
  • Lithuania hands over a batch of M577 armored vehicles to Ukraine

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