Shortly after the counter-offensive in Cherson, the Ukraine unleashes a rapid advance against Russian troops in Kharkiv - apparently with success. Putin justifies attack on Ukraine and shoots down Western sanctions. Chancellor Scholz assures President Zelenskyj of further help. The 196th day of the war at a glance.
Russia faces a three-front war
According to British information, heavy fighting is taking place in Ukraine on several fronts: near the city of Kharkiv in the north-east, in the Donbass region in the east and in the Kherson region in the south. The Russian attackers are probably planning primarily to continue the advance on the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, according to the Ministry of Defense in London, citing intelligence information. However, the troops encountered problems. "Commanders face the dilemma of whether to deploy operational reserves in support of this offensive or defend against continued Ukrainian advances to the south." The Ukrainian advances made the situation of the attackers more difficult, it said.
Russia conquers small village
In fact, Ukrainian troops currently seem to be making headway mainly in the Kharkiv region. There they seem to have advanced deep behind Russian lines within two days using ambush-like tactics. Even if the Ukrainian military leadership is still silent on concrete successes, there are numerous photos and videos from social media. In addition, reports from Russian soldiers are said to confirm the advance of Ukrainian troops. Ukraine generally reported attacks on seven Russian command posts. In addition, 13 "objects where Russian forces are concentrated" were attacked, the Ukrainian military said in its regular situation report. Where these goals lie remained open. In addition, Russian attacks on several cities in the Donetsk region in the east, including Bakhmut, were repelled. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, at least the settlement of Kodema in eastern Ukraine has been conquered.
Ukraine records successes with raid tactics
Ukraine, on the other hand, apparently made advances around the city of Balaklija. After reports about the recapture of Werbiwka were circulating yesterday, there were now videos and reports about Ukrainian troops who are said to have captured the village of Bairak. The places are north and south of Balaklija. In the suburbs of the city itself, there is said to be fighting. Among other things, Balaklija is an important transport junction, through which a railway line and several major roads run. If the city were captured, the Ukrainian troops could more easily advance against the Russian-occupied and strategically important Izyum. In addition, Ukrainian troops are said to have advanced further north in the direction of Sevchenkove and taken control of some smaller towns on the way there.
Ukrainian supreme commander claims responsibility for Crimean attacks
The Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Valery Saluschnyj, ventured a military look back in a long report he co-authored. In it he confirmed that the explosions on the Crimean peninsula a few weeks ago were caused by Ukrainian rocket attacks. At that time, among other things, the Saki airfield was shelled, and numerous aircraft were destroyed. Specifically, he wrote that the war is currently far away for many "average Russians" and that they hardly notice the losses, failures and, above all, the costs of the fighting. Ukraine's goal was to bring the war closer to the people. That would have happened, for example, through the "successful rocket attacks on the enemy air bases, above all the Saki airfield".
Expert: Russian troops could have problems in winter
In contrast, the analyst at the independent Russian investigative organization Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), Kyrylo Mykhailov, dared to look ahead in an interview with NV Radio. According to Mykhailov, intercepted telephone conversations between Russian troops indicate that Moscow's mobilized "volunteer" force is struggling with an acute shortage of proper winter gear. "I don't think the Russian army is capable of solving this problem fast enough," Mykhailov said. Any combat missions are more difficult to conduct in winter, Mykhailov added. However, the Ukrainian army receives winter equipment "both from international partners and from Ukrainian civilians" and has a "certain advantage" over the Russian armed forces.
Despite all the military successes, Russia is apparently determined to hold the referenda on the annexation of Ukrainian territories. After the planned "vote" in the Kherson region had already been postponed, President Vladimir Putin's party "United Russia" announced a new date: "It would be right and symbolic" to hold such a referendum on November 4, the Day of National Unity in Russia, said Andrei Turchak, General Secretary of the United Russia party. After the vote, "Donetsk, Luhansk and many more Russian cities would finally return to their home ports." The "Russian world," which is currently "formally separated by borders," would "regain its unity," Turchak added.
Putin wants to use war to strengthen his own sovereignty
The head of the Kremlin himself has again defended the war of aggression against neighboring Ukraine, which was ordered more than six months ago, as allegedly necessary to protect Russia. "I can say that the main gain is the strengthening of our sovereignty - and that is an inevitable result of what is happening right now," Putin said in Vladivostok. Referring to the war, he adds: "We haven't lost anything and won't lose anything."
Russia in trouble over Western sanctions
Putin, on the other hand, conceded that Russia is losing a lot, at least economically. He said the domestic economy is defying sanctions, which he described as Western financial and technological aggression. At the same time, he also admitted at the Economic Forum in Vladivostok that there were difficulties in some sectors and regions. Companies that rely on supplies from Europe are struggling. Blame it on the West with its sanctions, Putin continued. That is why the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline is currently not in operation. Russian energy giant Gazprom can restore suspended gas flow through the tube if a crucial turbine is returned, Putin said. He rejected accusations that Russia was using energy as a weapon of war.
EU Commission wants to cap gas prices
And the European Union in particular would like to keep tightening the screw on sanctions. The EU Commission is pushing for a price cap for Russian gas. President Ursula von der Leyen justified the Brussels authorities' proposal with the skyrocketing prices. Russia's income must be reduced, and President Vladimir Putin is using the money to finance the war of aggression in Ukraine. In addition, the EU Commission wants to introduce a cap on the profits of electricity companies that could produce cheaply. Companies in the fossil energy industry should therefore make a solidarity contribution in order to be able to compensate for the high burdens on people.
Russia accuses West of abusing grain deal
In addition to the "collective West," Russia is now also a thorn in the side of the grain agreement agreed with Ukraine, Turkey and the UN. Russia claimed that most of the grain did not end up in poor countries, but in Europe. In fact, the majority at 20 percent is said to have gone to Turkey, 15 percent to Spain and 10 percent to Egypt. A total of 30 percent would end up in poorer countries. However, clear quotas were not part of the agreement. Vladimir Putin has already announced talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Meanwhile, Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that since grain exports resumed, around 100 ships carrying 2.5 million tons of agricultural products have left Ukraine, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.
Scholz assures Selenskyj of further help
Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz spoke on the phone with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj and exchanged views on the military, humanitarian and economic situation in Ukraine and the possibilities for further concrete support, including reconstruction. The Chancellor stressed that Germany would not let up in supporting Ukraine militarily, but also politically, financially and humanitarianally. In this context, the Federal Chancellor speaks about the intensive preparations for the reconstruction conference in Berlin on October 25 of this year. The Ukrainian arms coordinator, Rustem Umerov, had previously commented on the subject of arms deliveries and demanded more arms from Germany. "The German equipment that has been delivered so far is not even enough to last another month," he told the "Spiegel". "We need at least ten times as much, of everything. The combat intensity is extremely high, and this intensity is deadly. We have now been promised that the industry will reproduce, but financiers must still be found who will then pay for the defense industry ." Ukraine needs more howitzers and infantry fighting vehicles, as well as air defense weapons.
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