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Ukraine advances against Russia near Bakhmut thanks to high morale, artillery: officials

20.09.2023 09:30
Ukraine’s recent gains near the eastern city of Bakhmut in its counteroffensive against Russia were possible thanks to a combination of high morale, combat coordination and sufficient artillery fire, according to sources in both Ukraine and Russia.

These assessments were reported by the Institute for the Study of War on Tuesday night.

The US think tank wrote: “Russian and Ukrainian sources credited superior Ukrainian combat coordination, more precise artillery fire, and stronger electronic warfare (EW) systems for recent Ukrainian advances south of Bakhmut amid continued discussions of significant Russian losses in the area.”

On Monday, Ukrainian troops who had participated in the recent liberation of Klishchiivka, 7 km southeast of Bakhmut, said that “high morale, sufficient training, sufficient resources for artillery fire and drone strikes, good coherence between Ukrainian units, and detailed reconnaissance,” had enabled Ukraine’s forces to advance, the ISW reported.

According to a prominent Russian war blogger, Ukrainian artillery units south of Bakhmut are increasingly accurate and precise, while Ukrainian forces also have an advantage in aerial reconnaissance as well as stronger EW systems, the ISW said.

Ukraine is seeking to encircle and recapture Bakhmut in the east, while also pushing through the southeastern Zaporizhzhia region in a bid to reach the port of Melitopol on the Sea of Azov, splitting Russian forces, according to news outlets.

Russia shells oil refinery in Ukraine’s Kremenchuk

Russia has attacked the Kremenchuk oil refinery in Ukraine’s central Poltava region with unmanned aerial vehicles, causing a fire to break out, the RBC-Ukraine news agency reported.

The strike was carried out overnight into Wednesday, according to officials. 

Poltava’s military administration said its air defences had performed well against Russian drones, but there were hits on the territory of the Kremenchuk oil refinery. 

The head of the regional military administration Dmytro Lunin said: “A fire has occurred. All relevant services are working at the scene. The operation of the plant has been temporarily suspended.”

He added there was no information yet about casualties, according to RBC-Ukraine.

Ukraine repels Russia’s night-time drone attack

In all, Ukrainian air defences brought down 17 out of the 24 Shahed kamikaze unmanned aerial vehicles launched by Russia against Ukraine on the night of September 19-20, according to the Ukrainian General Staff. 

The consequences of the drone attack were being clarified, officials said. 

Russia fired several waves of drones from its Kursk and Belgorod regions, and an air alert was issued in many of Ukraine’s provinces, the RBC-Ukraine news agency reported.

Later it turned out that one of the targets was Ukraine’s central Poltava region, including the Kremenchuk oil refinery, according to officials. 

The night attack came after Russia on Tuesday struck Kupyansk in Ukraine's northeastern Kharkiv region, with a guided bomb, killing six people, the Espreso website reported.

Ukraine’s Zelensky urges UN to stand united against Russia

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday addressed the United Nations General Assembly for the first time since Russia’s full-scale invasion of his country in February last year, the Reuters news agency reported.

Ukraine’s president urged world leaders to stand united against Russia’s invasion, which he said had to be stopped so the world could tackle pressing global challenges such as the climate crisis, according to Reuters. 

Zelensky said: "Ukraine is doing everything to ensure that after Russian aggression, no one in the world will dare to attack any nation," he said. "Weaponization must be restrained, war crimes must be punished, deported people must come back home and the occupier must return to their own land."

"We must be united to make it, and we'll do it," he added.

Zelensky also said in his speech that Russia was manipulating global food markets to seek international recognition of ownership of the territory it had captured from Ukraine, Reuters reported. 

Zelensky noted the worsening climate crisis and natural disasters, such as a recent earthquake in Morocco and floods in Libya.

He told the UN General Assembly: "We have to stop it. We must act united to defeat the aggressor and focus all our capabilities and energy on addressing these challenges."

Zelensky also accused Russia of kidnapping Ukrainian children, which he described as “genocide,” the RBC-Ukraine news agency reported.

Ukraine’s president also said he was working towards a peace summit based on his 10-point Peace Formula, and would present details at a special UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

Zelensky’s 10-point plan, unveiled last year, includes restoring Ukraine's territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities, and the restoration of Ukraine's state borders.  

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Wednesday is day 574 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, RBC-Ukraine, Reuters, ISW, global.espreso.tv