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Huge Russian missile airstrike have little influence on Ukraine frontline

(221007-N-NS602-1322) ARABIAN GULF (Oct. 7, 2022) Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vessels (USV) operate with USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), HMS Bangor (M109), HMS Chiddingfold (M37) and USCGC Robert Goldman (WPC 1142) in the Arabian Gulf during exercise Phantom Scope, Oct. 7. During the bilateral exercise between the United States and United Kingdom, USVs operated in conjunction with crewed ships and naval command centers ashore in Bahrain. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Roland Franklin)

Russian forces carried out large-scale missile strike throughout Ukraine on the 2nd consecutive day on October 11. According to the Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces fired close to 30 Kh-101 as well as Kh-55 cruise missiles from Tu-95 as well as Tu-160 strategic bombers. They also damaged critical infrastructure in Lviv, Vinnytsia, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, and Zaporizhia Oblasts. [1] Ukrainian air defense has reportedly defeated 21 cruise missiles as well as 11 UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) (UAVs). 2: Social media videos show the aftermath of strikes throughout Ukraine. [3The Russian forces continued to launch assaults on Ukrainian infrastructure with Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones. 4. In the Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian air defenses destroyed eight Shahed-136 drones in Mykolaiv Oblast on the night between October 10 and 11. [5]

Army General Sergey Surovikin’s previous experiences as the commander of Russian Armed Forces in Syria likely does not explain the huge wave of missile attacks across Ukraine over the past few days, nor does it signal a change in the trajectory of Russian capabilities or strategy in Ukraine. The Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) representative, Andriy Yusov, linked the recent strikes due to Surovikin’s selection as the theater commander, and said on October 11 on the 11th of October that “throwing rockets at civilian infrastructure objects” is consistent with Surovikin’s tactics in Syria. Surovikin’s tactics in Syria are not. Surovikin has been as a commander in Ukraine (as the Commanding Officer of the Russian Aerospace Forces and then reportedly of the southern grouping from Russian military) since the beginning of the war, and so do a variety of top Russian commandos also connected to Russian operations in Syria. 7. Army General Aleksandr Dvornikov, who was appointed in April to the role that Surovikin currently holds, also was in charge of Russian forces in Syria from 2015 to 2016 and became known for deliberately and brutally targeting civilians. 8. Colonel General Aleksandr Chayko, the former commander of the Eastern Military District who took active part in initial stages of the conflict in Ukraine, also served as Chief of Staff of Russian forces in Syria from 2015 and into 2016. [9] As ISW noted in April that all Russian military district as well as airborne commanders have served at least one tour in Syria as either chief of staff or the commander of Russian forces, and Russian forces deliberately attacked civilian infrastructure such as breadlines and hospitals throughout the duration of active Russian involvement in that war. In the 10th century, disregard for international law, and an enthralling enthusiasm to savagely attack civilians was the norm for Russian forces in Syria before, during, and after the rule of Surovikin. It is now an integral part of Russian method of warfare.

Surovikin’s appointment won’t result in a further “Syrianization” of Russian operations in Ukraine due to the fact that the battlefield in Ukraine is very distinct from the battlefields in Syria and direct comparisons to the Surovikin’s Syrian “playbook” obfuscate the reality that Russia has its own unique issues in Ukraine. Russia cannot continue to “Syrianize” the war largely due to its inability to achieve air supremacy, which precludes its ability to carry out the same massive carpet-bombing campaign across Ukraine that it was able to carry out in Syria. ISW has previously assessed it is likely that Russian actions in the air would be significantly different in areas of contested airspace or a more challenging air-defense environment, as is the case in Ukraine. 11] It is extremely unlikely that the role of Surovikin as commander of the theatre will trigger fundamental changes of Russian military and air operations within Ukraine in the long run, as while Ukraine’s Western supporters continue to supply Kyiv in the form of air defenses needed to stop Russia from gaining air superiority.

Russian military officials could have coordinated the appointment of Surovikin and the October 10 cruise missile strikes against Ukrainian crucial infrastructure to help improve the image from that of the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD). Whoever was appointed as director of the theater would have been responsible for the cruise missile strikes, which Ukrainian intelligence reports claimed had been in the works as early as October 2 (and which Surovikin certainly did not plan, prepare for, and take part in on the day of the appointment). [12The 12 Russian bloggers have recently praised both the massive strike on the 10th of October and Surovikin’s appointment and correlated the two as positive events for Russian operations in Ukraine. This story could be linked with the ongoing Russian information operations in order to repair the image of Central Military District Command Colonel General Aleksandr Lapin following Russian failures around Lyman within a wider campaign to boost public opinion about the Russian military establishment. The Russian MoD is clearly invested in repairing its public image, and the informational consequences of the October 10 missile strikes and the appointment of Surovikin, a hero in the extremist nationalist Russian information space, are likely to serve the most vocal voices within the space.

The Russian Federation is likely extracting ammunition and other materials from Belarusian storage bases–activity that is incompatible with setting conditions for a massive Russian or Belarusian ground assault on Ukraine and Belarus. The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on October 11 that a train carrying 492 tons of ammunition from the Belarusian 43rd Missile and Ammunition Storage Arsenal in Gomel arrived at the Kirovskaya Railway Station in Crimea on an unspecified recent past date. [13] The GUR reported that Belarusian officials plan to send an additional 13 trains with weapons, equipment, ammunition, and other unspecified materiel from five different Belarusian bases to the Kamenska (Kamensk-Shakhtinsky) and Marchevo (Taganrog) railway stations in Rostov Oblast on an unspecified future date. Open-source social media footage confirms this claim. Geolocated footage shows the presence of at most two Belarusian trains transporting Belarusian T-72 tanks, Ural military trucks in Minsk and Tor-M2 surface-to air missile launchers in Orsha (Vitebsk Oblast) on the 11th of October. 14 Belarusian equipment movement into Russia indicate that Russian and Belarusian forces are likely not establishing assembly areas in Belarus. Belarusian supplies and equipment movements into Crimea as well as Rostov Oblast show it is likely that Russian forces are not as confident regarding the security of Russian ground lines of communication running through northern and western Luhansk Oblast given the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive in the region. The Ukraine’s General Staff reiterated that it supervises Belarus and has not seen indicators of the formation of offensive groups in Belarus on the 11th of October. [1515 Russian and/or Belarusian forces remain unlikely to attack Ukraine from Belarus in the manner that ISW previously analyzed. [16]

Belarus remains a co-belligerent partner in Russia’s war against Ukraine, nonetheless. Belarus materially supports Russian military operations in Ukraine and supplies Russian forces with havens from which they can strike Ukraine using precision munition. Russian forces struck Kyiv with Shahed-136 drones that were launched from Belarusian territory on October 10. 17 The GUR also stated that Russia has deployed 32 drones of the Shahed-136 type to Belarus on October 10, and that Russia will be deploying eight more to Belarus on October 14. [18]

Key Takeaways

  • Russian forces conducted massive missile strikes across Ukraine in the Ukraine for the second day in row.
  • Army General Sergey Surovikin’s previous experience as commander of Russian Armed Forces in Syria is not likely to be related to the massive surge of missile attacks across Ukraine in recent days, nor does it suggest a shift in the trajectory of Russian capabilities or strategy in Ukraine.
  • HTML0 Russian Federation is likely extracting ammunition and other materials from Belarusian storage facilities and is not compatible with the idea of Russian forces are setting conditions for a ground assault on Ukraine from Belarus.
  • HTML0Russian sources stated that Ukrainian forces continued to engage in counteroffensives to the east along the Oskil River and in the direction of Kreminna-Svatove.
  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian troops continued ground attacks in the western and northern regions of Kherson Oblast.
  • HTML0Ukrainian forces are continuing an interdiction campaign to target Russian military, technical, and logistics assets and areas of concentration in Kherson Oblast.
  • Russian military forces continue to carry out ground attacks throughout Donetsk Oblast.
  • Russian reports of explosions in Dzhankoy, Crimea, indicated panic over losing further logistics capabilities in Crimea after an explosion at the Kerch Strait Bridge explosion.
  • Russian federal subjects announce new extensions and phases of mobilization in select regions, which could indicate that they have not met their mobilization quotas.
  • Russian and officials of the occupation administration continue conduct filtration activities in Russian-occupied territories.

We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.

  • Ukrainian Counteroffensives—Southern and Eastern Ukraine
  • Russian Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);
  • Russian Subordinate Main Effort—Capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast
  • Russian Supporting Effort—Southern Axis
  • Russian Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts
  • Activities in Russian-occupied Areas

Ukrainian Counteroffensives (Ukrainian efforts to liberate Russian-occupied territories)

Eastern Ukraine: (Oskil River-Kreminna Line)

Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued to conduct offensive operations east of the Oskil River in the direction of Kreminna and Svatove on October 11. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian forces repelled Ukrainian forces near Krokhmalne in Kharkiv Oblast (20km northwest of Svatove) and Stel’makhivka in Luhansk Oblast (15km northwest of Svatove).[19] The Russian MoD also claimed that Ukrainian forces unsuccessfully attempted to cross the Zherebets River southwest of Svatove in the direction of Raihorodka and Novovodiane, Luhansk Oblast, on October 11.[20] [21] A Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces are regrouping and restoring combat capabilities near Kupyansk to prepare for assaults near the Pershotravneve-Kyslivka line.[22] The milblogger also claimed that Ukrainian forces are concentrating personnel and equipment in the Lyman-Svatove direction to launch an offensive on Svatove and Kreminna with a strike group of up to 40,000 personnel.[23]  ISW makes no effort to forecast Ukrainian operations or to evaluate the likelihood of Russian forecasts about them.

Russian sources claimed that Russian forces conducted a local counterattack and recaptured territories west of Kreminna while continuing to establish defensive positions in the Kreminna-Svatove area on October 11. Russian milbloggers claimed on October 11 that Russian forces conducted counteroffensive operations east of Lyman and recaptured Terny, Torske, Novosadove, Makiivka, and Nevske, although ISW cannot independently verify any of these claims.[24] Russian sources posted videos on October 11 purporting to show Russian forces constructing trenches with BTM-3 entrenching machines along the Svatove-Kreminna line, with one source dubbing the effort a Russian-made “Maginot” line (referring to the massive belt of French fortifications built between the two world wars that the Germans simply drove around).[25] Luhansk Oblast Head Serhiy Haidai also reported that Russian forces are continuing to mine territory in Luhansk Oblast to slow Ukrainian counteroffensive operations.[26] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted routine indirect fire along the Oskil River-Kreminna line on October 11.[27]

Southern Ukraine: (Kherson Oblast)

Russian sources continued to claim that Ukrainian troops conducted ground attacks in northern and western Kherson Oblast on October 11. The Russian MoD claimed that two Ukrainian battalion tactical groups (BTGs) conducted offensive operations in the direction of Borozenske and Piatykhatky—both along the current Davydiv Brid-Dudchany frontline in northern Kherson Oblast and about 35km from the critical Russian-controlled town of Beryslav.[28] A Russian milblogger similarly indicated that Ukrainian troops are preparing to advance south of the Davydiv Brid-Dudchany line and conducting artillery preparations for subsequent attacks on Russian positions in the direction of Beryslav.[29] Russian milbloggers additionally indicated that Ukrainian troops are attempting to reinforce positions in the Davydiv Brid area (western Kherson Oblast near the Mykolaiv Oblast border and along the Inhulets River) to prepare for advances to the southeast.[30] Several Russian sources reported that Ukrainian troops attempted to attack toward Bruskynske (6km south of Davyvid Brid), Ishchenka (8km southeast of Davydiv Brid), and Sadok (12km southeast of Davydiv Brid).[31] ISW offers no evaluation of these Russian claims regarding likely future Ukrainian operations or force groupings.

Ukrainian military officials largely maintained their operational silence regarding Ukrainian ground attacks in Kherson Oblast but reiterated that Ukrainian forces are continuing an interdiction campaign to target Russian military, technical, and logistics assets and concentration areas.[32] Geolocated social media footage posted October 11 shows the aftermath of October 10 Ukrainian strikes on a medical college dormitory in Beryslav that Russian forces were reportedly using as quarters.[33] Imagery posted on October 11 additionally shows damage to the Antonivsky Bridge in Kherson City following a Ukrainian HIMARS strike.[34] Geolocated footage shows a Ukrainian RAM II loitering munition striking a Russian Osa air defense system near Kyselivka, 17km northwest of Kherson City.[35]

In brief Huge Russian missile strikes have no influence on Ukraine frontline. Exclusive Dive The massive Russian missile strikes are having no influence on Ukraine frontline.


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