Russia-Ukraine War Newsletter – OCTOBER 16-22, 2023

Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on October 23, 2023 

  • Russian troops are trying to capture Avdiivka near Donetsk city, but intense attacks do not bring them success and only lead to significant losses in equipment and personnel.
  • On the night of October 17, the Armed Forces of Ukraine used the US-transferred ATACMS missiles for the first time, striking airfields in Berdyansk and Luhansk, which are used by the Russian army.
  • The Ukrainian military has intensified operations on the banks of the Dnipro in the Kherson region, controlling bridgeheads on the left bank of the river.
  • On the evening of 21 October, Russian troops launched a missile attack on the logistics terminal of “Nova Poshta” in the Kharkiv region, killing 6 and injuring 16 employees of the company.
  • In his speech, US President Joseph Biden linked support for Ukraine and Israel to vital national interests of the United States. He compared Putin to Hamas and called on his fellow countrymen to support Israel and Ukraine, continuing the role of the “arsenal of democracy.” Biden sent a request to Congress for $61.4 billion in funding to support Ukraine in its defensive war against Russia.
  • On October 17th, the European Parliament supported the European Commission’s initiative to establish the Ukraine Facility with a budget of 50 billion euros for the years 2024-2027.
  • The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine had found additional evidence that Russian forces had committed “indiscriminate attacks” and war crimes in Ukraine, including rape and the deportation of children to Russia.


Russian troops intensified their offensive to capture the city of Avdiivka. The Ukrainian military manages to hold its positions, repelling attacks and inflicting significant losses on the enemy. In particular, in a few days, the Russian army lost hundreds of people and dozens of tanks and armored vehicles near Avdiivka. Having failed to achieve success in frontal attacks, the Russian army is trying to apply positional warfare tactics in this direction, digging tunnels to the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and using robotic devices to bring supplies and ammunition to the front lines.

The intensification of operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the left bank of the Dnipro was recorded. It is likely that Russian troops do not control the entire river bank, and the Ukrainian military has bridgeheads in the area.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to strike at the rear infrastructure of Russian troops. In particular, on the night of October 17 ATACMS missiles, which were transferred by the United States of America, were used for the first time. The airfields in Berdyansk and Luhansk were attacked. According to the Ukrainian military, runways at these facilities were damaged and nine Russian helicopters were destroyed as a result of this attack. In addition, Ukrainian sources reported a successful UAV strike on a Russian military camp in the Kursk region of the Russian Federation, and a missile hit near the weapons depot of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the temporarily occupied Crimea.

Russian troops are striking the territory of Ukraine. On the night of October 17, Ukrainian air defense shot down 6 kamikaze drones and 1 missile, which were used against the southern regions of the state. On the evening of October 18, a UAV hit an infrastructure facility in the city of Sumy; a missile attack on the city of Pavlohrad was reported. On the night of 19 October, Russian troops resorted to combined strikes, using both drones and missiles, including “Iskander” ballistic missiles. On the night of October 21, an industrial facility in the city of Kryvyi Rih was damaged. On the night of October 23, drones attacked several regions simultaneously – Odesa, Kirovohrad, and Khmelnytsky.

The losses of civilians on the territory of the frontline regions of Ukraine as a result of the actions of the Russian military during the week amounted to at least: in the Donetsk region – 5 people killed and 11 people wounded; in the Kherson region – 4 people killed and 19 people wounded. In the Kharkiv region on the evening of October 21, Russian troops launched a missile attack on the logistics terminal of “Nova Poshta”, as a result of which 6 employees of the company were killed and 16 were injured. In addition, 1 person was killed and 9 people were injured in the region during the week. On the night of October 18, 5 people were killed and at least 5 people were injured as a result of a missile attack on Zaporizhzhia. In Dnipropetrovsk region, 3 people were killed and 6 people were injured during the week. On the evening of 18 October, 2 people were killed as a result of a russian strikes in the Mykolaiv region.

Despite Russian attacks, the transport corridor from Ukrainian Black Sea ports continues to operate. At the same time, the mine threat remains relevant. In particular, on October 16, a Liberian-flagged tanker was slightly damaged off the coast of Romania as a result of a collision with a mine.


According to the report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, the Russian authorities are carrying out indiscriminate attacks and war crimes against the civilian population in the occupied territories of Ukraine, including the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions. These crimes include torture, rape, deliberate killings, as well as the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia. 

The Russian Federation, through Qatar’s mediation, has agreed to return four children taken by Russian forces during the occupation of parts of Ukrainian territory. Preliminary data suggest that more than 19,500 Ukrainian children remain in Russia, forcibly deported from the occupied territories of Ukraine. However, there is currently no universal transparent mechanism for returning these deported Ukrainian children from Russia to Ukraine.

According to a joint report by the Government of Ukraine and the UN titled “Assessment of Needs after the Catastrophe at the Kakhovska Hydroelectric Power Plant Dam,” the destruction of the dam has caused Ukraine nearly $14 billion in damages. The breach of the Kakhovska Hydroelectric Power Plant dam resulted in the flooding of 620 square kilometers of land in the Kherson, Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Zaporizhia regions of Ukraine, directly affecting 100,000 residents. The initial estimate for reconstruction needs is $5.04 billion, with the final figure subject to increase after more detailed assessments. Short-term reconstruction measures for 2023-2024 require $1.82 billion.

On October 17, 2023, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved the bill No. 9296-D about the strengthening of financial monitoring for Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) to comply with the requirements of the IMF and the EU. These politically significant individuals will now hold this status for life. 


On October 17, the European Parliament supported the European Commission’s initiative to create a 50 billion euro Ukraine Facility for the years 2024-2027, in the form of grants and loans to support Ukraine’s recovery, reconstruction, and modernization. Additionally, US President Joseph Biden intends to strengthen military and macroeconomic support for Ukraine in 2024. In his speech, he linked support for Ukraine and Israel to US national security issues, comparing Putin to HAMAS and called on his fellow countrymen to support Israel and Ukraine, continuing to play the role of the “arsenal of democracy.” Biden has sent a request to Congress for $61.4 billion in funding to support Ukraine in its defensive war against Russia.

President of Ukraine held meetings with the Prime Minister of Romania, Marcel Ciolacu, and with the US Special Representative for Economic Recovery in Ukraine, Penny Pritzker, who were visiting Ukraine.

This week, President Zelenskyy had important discussions with international partners in order to consolidate global leaders and discuss relevant issues on the Ukrainian agenda. He conducted phone calls with President Joseph Biden of the United States, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa. The main topics of the negotiations were the situation on the frontlines, humanitarian support, the functioning of the grain corridor, participation in the upcoming meeting of national security advisors to implement the Ukrainian Peace Formula, the implementation of defense agreements, strengthening Ukraine’s long-range military capabilities, and enhancing Ukraine’s air defense.

Germany delivered another package of military assistance to Ukraine, which included self-propelled anti-aircraft installations GEPARD, 155mm caliber shells, bridge-laying equipment, reconnaissance drones, and other equipment. As reported earlier, the US provided Ukraine with approximately 20 long-range ATACMS missiles, which have already been tested in combat, and an agreement has been reached to transfer these missiles with a range of up to 165 km on a permanent basis. Croatia handed over Mi-8 helicopters to Ukraine. In turn, on October 18, Ukraine and Romania signed a Memorandum of Support and Expansion of Mutual Military-Technical Cooperation. France significantly increases the production of 155mm ammunition and CAESAR self-propelled howitzers to increase supplies to Ukraine.

The European Union will start consultations with member countries in the coming days regarding a new 12th package of sanctions against Russia. The package may include a ban on the supply of Russian diamonds, further restrictions on Russia’s ability to bypass sanctions, the inclusion of companies in third countries that assist Moscow in this, and an expansion of the list of banned goods that Russia can use for military purposes.

The first round of negotiations has begun with the French Republic regarding the conclusion of a bilateral security guarantees agreement, as provided in the Joint Declaration on Ukraine’s Support. France became the fifth G7 country, after the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan, with which Ukraine initiated bilateral negotiations.

Russia has stated that it will not adhere to the UN Security Council’s restrictions on providing Iran with missile technology, as approved by UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Currently, Iran has accumulated enriched uranium more than 18 times beyond the limit and has built an extensive network of nuclear facilities for its use. In September 2023, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany announced that they would continue to limit Iran’s missile program unilaterally.

The information in the newsletter is collected from official sources—reports of state authorities of Ukraine, Ukrainian and international news agencies. The accuracy of the data is carefully checked by the project team and corrected in case of fake news.