June 21,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 849

Ukrainian drones attack 4 Russian oil refineries and Russian radar stations

According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ukrainian drones launched attacks on four Russian oil refineries, as well as radar stations and electronic intelligence centers in the Bryansk region and Crimea. 

The targeted oil refineries were Afip, Ilya, Krasnodar, and Astrakhan. The General Staff mentioned that they are still gathering information about the extent of the damage caused to these Russian targets. 

Additionally, on June 20th, units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Security Service of Ukraine attacked a Russian fuel and lubricant depot in the Tambov region, and the Enem oil depot in the Republic of Adygea. The Enem oil depot reportedly experienced at least five explosions, followed by a fire. Confirmation of damage to the Russian fuel and lubricants base in the Tambov region has also been reported.


Symbolic number of the Day


Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine for European Integration Oleksandr Balanutsa and EU Military Staff Commander Lieutenant General Michael van der Laan have discussed the continuation of the EU’s EUMAM mission to train Ukrainian military personnel. 

Over 52,000 Ukrainian service members, including fighters, non-commissioned officers, and officers, have been trained, exceeding initial expectations by over three times. With the formation of new brigades, high-quality training remains essential. Initiated in 2022 and originally planned for two years, the mission’s extension is under discussion. The EU Military Staff Commander expressed support for Ukraine’s defense efforts against Russian aggression.


War in Pictures


One person has been killed and two others have been injured as a result of targeted shelling in the Polohiv district in Zaporizhzhia. The attack, carried out by Russian troops, caused the destruction of two residential buildings and resulted in a fire. Two individuals, a 58-year-old woman, and a 32-year-old man, were found trapped in the rubble and were rescued by emergency responders who then handed them over to medical professionals. Unfortunately, the body of the 32-year-old man was also discovered in the wreckage. Alongside the search and rescue efforts, firefighters were able to extinguish the fire that had started due to the shelling.


Video of the Day

The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine released a video of repulsing an enemy assault in the Siverskyi sector. 7 occupants and 2 armored vehicles were destroyed there.

“An enemy armoured group supported by a tank and 2 infantry fighting vehicles was moving towards our positions. The anti-tankers of the border brigade “Revenge” destroyed 2 enemy infantry fighting vehicles with a Corsair ATGM, and a unit of the Armed Forces shot down an occupant tank. Thanks to the coordinated actions of the Defense Forces, the enemy attack was repelled, 7 occupants were eliminated, 1 was seriously wounded,” the State Border Guard Service said in a statement.


ISW report


Putin’s nuclear threat is part of an ongoing Kremlin nuclear blackmail campaign aimed at dissuading Ukraine’s allies from decisively committing to defeating Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and is therefore highly unlikely to result in actual nuclear escalation. 

A Russian strategic defeat in Ukraine does not threaten Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity (but it can threaten the stability of Putin’s regime). The Kremlin did not engage in nuclear escalation following Russia’s devastating defeats around Kyiv, Kharkiv, or Kherson oblasts in 2022, and these defeats certainly did not threaten Russian sovereignty or territorial integrity. Putin’s own nuclear threats have been riddled with contradictions since 2022. Putin claimed that Ukraine was not aggressive towards Russia but was threatening the occupied “Donbas republics” before Putin illegally annexed them.

Putin also noted in his discussion of the potential changes to the Russian nuclear doctrine that Russia does not need the ability to launch a preventative nuclear strike. Both of these statements are incompatible with the notion that Russia is fighting an existential war. Putin indicated that Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory with Western-provided weapons do not cross a supposed Russian “red line” that would result in Russian nuclear escalation after Ukrainian forces struck Belgorod Oblast with HIMARS armed with GMLRS.

ISW has also routinely assessed that the threat of a nuclear escalation will continue to be the core asset of Russia’s ability to manipulate the perceptions of foreign decision makers via its reflexive control campaign. ISW continues to assess that Russia cannot defeat Ukraine or the West — and will likely lose — if the West mobilizes its resources to resist the Kremlin.


War heroes


Ilya Renkas, a 25-year-old senior fighter, with the call sign Rex, died on January 4, 2024, defending the city of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast. Repelling an enemy assault, the fighter was fatally wounded.

Ilya Volodymyrovych was born in Nosivka, Chernihiv Oblast. He graduated from high school in Brovary, Kyiv Oblast. He mastered the profession of car repair mechanic at the Brovary Professional Lyceum and worked in his specialty at a service station. He was fond of Ukraine’s history.

On February 25, 2022, he and his twin sister went to the military enlistment office. The girl was refused, and Ilya was mobilized into the Armed Forces of Ukraine on March 9. At first, he fought in Chernihiv and Donetsk Oblasts in the ranks of the A7105 military unit. In July 2023, he was transferred to the 110th Separate Mechanized Brigade named after Major General Marko Bezruchko. The guy performed various duties: senior scout, sniper, radio operator, and mechanic-driver of a medical center.

During his lifetime, Ilya received three awards that were very dear to him: the “Defender of the Fatherland,” the “Cross of the Brave,” and the “Golden Cross.”

“My brother was extremely wise, intelligent, and brave,” Ilona Renkas said. The fighter was buried in the village of Mykhailivka, Zhytomyr Oblast, next to his father’s grave. Ilya is survived by his mother, Antonina Vasylivna, sister Ilona, daughter Eva, and grandmother Hanna Dmytrivna.

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


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