The situation as of 8:00 a.m. on October 24, 2022
As the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces goes on in the south, Russian troops are preparing to evacuate their foothold on the right bank of the Dnipro river. At the same time, there is a threat of large-scale terrorist attacks that Russian troops may carry out in this area (blowing up the dam in Nova Kakhovka or Zaporizhzhia NPP). Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during calls to the Defense Ministers of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Türkiye accused Ukraine of preparations to use a “dirty bomb”, which may indicate that Russia is getting ready to use nuclear weapons.
Active hostilities continue in Donetsk region (districts of Bakhmut, Avdiivka) and Luhansk region (districts of Svatove and Kreminna).
In recent days, Russian troops conducted massive attacks on energy facilities in Ukraine, using missiles and Iranian UAVs. Despite the effective performance of air defense, some of the strikes reached their targets, damaging power plants in the western and central regions of Ukraine.
Ukrainian Armed Forces are trying to conduct counter-offensive actions in the direction of Kreminna-Svatove. According to the head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration Serhii Haidai, the most serious fighting is currently taking place near Svatove. Taking into account the preparedness of the Russian army for the Ukrainian counteroffensive, namely the construction of defensive lines and mining of the territories, the advance of the Ukrainian army has slowed down compared to the offensive in Kharkiv region, which was carried out in September.
In Donetsk region, Russian troops continue offensive operations in the area of Bakhmut and Avdiivka. They conduct heavy shelling, which leads to destruction of civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties. At least 13 civilians were killed and 25 people were injured in Donetsk region during October 20–23.
Russian troops are systematically shelling Zaporizhzhia with S-300 unguided missiles. In particular, on October 21, infrastructure and civilian objects were damaged due to another shelling. At least 5 people were injured. On the night of October 23, Zaporizhzhia was again attacked by kamikaze drones, and the surrounding settlements were hit by missiles.
On October 23, an explosion was recorded in the temporarily occupied Enerhodar in a hotel used by the Russian military and the occupation administration.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine proceed with the counteroffensive in the north of Kherson region, at the same time keeping under fire control the logistics infrastructure used to supply the Russian contingent on the right bank of the Dnipro river.
Russian troops are being forced to evacuate to the left bank of the Dnipro. According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, they have completely abandoned a number of settlements in Kherson region, and officers and medical personnel have been evacuated from Beryslav, near the front line of defense. Open sources also record information about the movement of military equipment from the right to the left bank of the Dnipro. However, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine predicts that the Russian military leadership may evacuate experienced military, and leave mobilized and less trained servicemen on the right bank to deter the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Russian troops continue to strike Mykolaiv using missile weapons and kamikaze drones. On October 20, a UAV attack damaged an educational institution in the city. On October 20, 21 and 23, Mykolaiv was shelled with S-300 missiles; residential and civilian infrastructure was damaged.
Shelling of Ukrainian territory
Russian troops continue massive missile attacks on the territory of Ukraine. According to the U.S. Institute for the Study of War, in this way Russia is trying to force the Ukrainian government to use additional resources to protect civilian and energy infrastructure instead of directing them to support the counteroffensive in the east and south.
On October 22, a large-scale rocket attack was carried out on the territory of Ukraine. During the day, the Russian army launched 40 missile strikes and 16 Iranian-made Shahed-136 attack UAVs. Due to the effective work of air defense forces, a significant part of them was destroyed, but others hit energy and critical infrastructure facilities in Volyn, Rivne, Kharkiv, Khmelnytskyi, Kirovohrad, Cherkasy, Zaporizhzhia, Odesa and Mykolaiv regions. Ukrenergo reported large-scale damage to energy facilities and main networks in the western regions of Ukraine. The facility in Volyn region suffered the greatest destruction. According to Lutsk Mayor Ihor Polishchuk, as a result of the missile strike on October 22, Russian troops caused critical damage and virtually destroyed the city’s energy facility. Deputy Head of the Presidential Office Kyrylo Tymoshenko informed that these strikes left more than a million households without electricity. Advisor to the Head of the President’s Office Mykhailo Podoliak believes that Russia is carrying out massive strikes on critical infrastructure to cause a new wave of refugees from Ukraine to Europe.
Also on October 20, Russian troops struck an industrial enterprise and an energy infrastructure facility in Kryvyi Rih district. On October 21, they conducted two attacks on Kharkiv. In total, 25 people were wounded in Kharkiv region in recent days.
According to the Office of the Prosecutor General, as of the morning of October 23, the number of children affected by the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine increased to 1250 (430 children were killed, 820 were injured). According to the governmental platform Children of War, as of October 23, 8709 children were deported, 237 went missing.
There is a risk that the Russian military might blow up the dam of the hydroelectric power plant in Nova Kakhovka. Ukrainian intelligence warned about the mining of the facility. The explosion of the dam may lead to a large-scale flooding of the Dnipro river, which will flood large areas of land downstream (including the city of Kherson). This will inflict damage to the energy system of Ukraine and will have a significant environmental impact.
The occupation administration of Kherson started the forced evacuation of the city residents. The urgency and nature of the so-called evacuation indicate that the Russian command does not expect to hold the regional center and the bridgehead on the right bank of the Dnipro. The deportation of the local population is carried out within this operation. The head of Kherson Regional Military Administration Yaroslav Yanushevych informed that on October 21, 46 children under the age of 5 were taken to the temporarily occupied Simferopol. In fact, this is a kidnapping of children. This case is not an isolated one – on October 7, 12 children with disabilities, who lived in Oleshky orphanage in Kherson region, were forcibly taken to Simferopol.
Repressions of civilians in Kherson region continue. In the temporarily occupied city of Skadovsk, representatives of the so-called “law enforcement agencies” of the occupation administration kidnapped and killed a well-known local activist Tetiana Mudrenko.
The National Resistance Center reported that in Kherson region, Russian troops are blocking mobile communications and dismantling telecommunications equipment from the telecentre to isolate Kherson and block the transmission of information of value for the Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Mayor of the temporarily occupied town of Enerhodar (Zaporizhzhia region) Dmytro Orlov informed that the town is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe. Due to constant shelling, the population is left without energy and water supply. Since the town is connected to the centralized heating system, which has not been working for six months, there are no prospects for the launch of gas supply there at the moment.
The G7 countries condemned the repeated kidnapping by Russia of the management and staff of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and called on Russia to immediately return full control of the plant to its rightful sovereign owner, Ukraine, withdraw all Russian personnel from the site and cease any attempts to place the plant under Russian control.
Ukrainian law enforcement officers continue to establish the facts of war crimes committed by the Russian army during the occupation of Ukrainian territories. The National Police in Kharkiv region reported finding 22 places of torture in the de-occupied territories of Kharkiv region. In addition, the police documented a new crime of the Russian army – the murder of a 10-year-old child by a sniper in Novyi Burluk in the first days of the full-scale invasion. Also, the bodies of killed Ukrainians continue to be found on the territory of Kyiv region de-occupied in spring. The body of another civilian killed during the occupation was found near Mykhailivka-Rubezhivka, which was the site of active hostilities. The head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration Oleksii Kuleba said that according to official data, during the occupation of the Kyiv region, Russian troops illegally took 147 civilian Ukrainians to the Belarusian and Russian territories. 43 civilians of the region are in captivity. Another 89 people were taken away and their fate is unknown. President of the International Criminal Court Piotr Hofmański called for international support for the court’s investigation of alleged war crimes committed by the Russian military in Ukraine.
On October 23, an explosion was recorded in the temporarily occupied Kherson. Representatives of the occupation administration reported the death of 1 person and injuries of 3 others. Kherson journalists, based on the data of Russian media, assume that it was an attempt on the life of a representative of the penitentiary system of the occupation forces.
According to the updated report of the Kyiv School of Economics, Ukraine’s losses from the full-scale war reached more than $127 billion. During the summer alone, Russia inflicted losses on Ukraine of over $31 billion.
After the summit of the EU leaders in Brussels on October 21, the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen stated that the EU leaders had reached a principle agreement on the allocation of regular monthly assistance to Ukraine in the amount of €1.5 billion (total amount of €18 billion per year) and instructed the finance ministers to develop a mechanism for the disbursement of these funds.
Following the meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi, EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso said that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development would invest more than €1 billion in Ukraine in 2022 to support the economy and would continue to provide funding of about €2 billion in 2023.
According to NBU Governor Andrii Pyshnyi, inflation in Ukraine will accelerate to around 30% at the end of this year, but will decline in the following years, provided that security risks are expected to decrease and monetary and fiscal policies are coordinated.
POLITICAL AND DIPLOMATIC EVENTS
On October 20-21, a two-day meeting of EU heads of state and government took place in Brussels. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi delivered an online address before the European Council meeting. During the event, the European Council adopted a resolution condemning the actions of Russia, as well as Belarus and Iran, aimed at supporting Russia in the war against Ukraine. In addition, the EU agreed on additional sanctions against Iran for supplying kamikaze drones to Russia, which are used to attack Ukrainian cities and critical infrastructure.
Along with the EU, the United Kingdom announced sanctions against Iran. France called on Tehran to immediately stop any form of support for the aggressive war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada strongly condemned Iran’s active support of Russia’s massive crimes in Ukraine, in particular through the sale of weapons and training of the Russian military in their use.
Ukraine accused Iran of violating UN Security Council Resolution 2231 of 2015, which is part of the nuclear deal with Iran. According to this resolution, restrictions are imposed on the export of Iranian weapons, including the supply of drones. In this regard, on October 21, a closed meeting of the UN Security Council was initiated. Its purpose was to bring Iran to justice for the supply of UAVs to Russia. The United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States urged for an inspection by the UN Secretariat team responsible for monitoring the implementation of the resolution and assured that they are ready to support the work of the Secretariat in conducting a technical and impartial investigation.
Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have prepared their own draft of new sanctions against Russia. They include a ban on cooperation with Russia in the field of nuclear energy, blocking imports of Russian diamonds, exports of all types of drones to Russia, an embargo on Russian liquefied gas, etc.
Efforts continue to bring Russia to justice for war crimes committed in Ukraine. The EU expressed its strong support for the investigation of the crimes of the Russian Federation under the auspices of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. The Parliament of the Netherlands supported the proposal to establish a special tribunal in The Hague to consider the case against the Russian leadership for the full-scale war in Ukraine. In its turn, Croatia filed an application to join the International Court of Justice in the case of Ukraine against the Russian Federation on genocide.
In recent days, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi has held meetings with President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Odile Renaud-Basso and President of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis. The main topics of the negotiations were strengthening cooperation, involvement in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine and enhancing financial support. During the visit, a Memorandum of Partnership between Ukraine and the Swiss Confederation on cooperation in the field of digital transformation was signed. In addition, members of the U.S. House of Representatives Mike Turner, James Himes and Eric Swalwell arrived in Kyiv. During the meeting with the congressmen, Volodymyr Zelenskyi informed them about the situation at the frontline and stressed the importance of transferring air defense systems to Ukraine. The parties also discussed tightening sanctions pressure on Russia. The President of Ukraine also had phone conversations with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, discussing the importance of establishing a permanent working group that would deal with the issues of financial support for Ukraine and increasing defense assistance to protect civilians and critical infrastructure.
Partner states continue to provide military assistance to Ukraine to counter Russian aggression. The Czech Republic has prepared a new package of military assistance to Ukraine in the amount of 22 million crowns. The Netherlands is preparing the sixth package of military assistance to Ukraine and will provide additional €500 million for military equipment.
Ukraine imposed personal sanctions against 3.8 thousand individuals who are representatives of Russian authorities and business. Also, restrictions were imposed against 1374 legal entities, the vast majority of which are Russian and related companies.
The Security Service of Ukraine detained the director of PJSC Motor Sich, former MP of Ukraine Viacheslav Bohuslaiev. He is suspected of high treason for supplying the company’s products (engines for military helicopters) for the needs of the Russian armed forces during the Russian aggression.
The information in the digest 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.