Ukraine Daily Summary - Saturday, October 22

Ukrainian troops kill 10 Iranian instructors in Russian-occupied territories -- Russian forces will likely attempt to blow up Kakhovka dam to cover withdrawal from Kherson -- Russia, Belarus bluff to make Ukraine 'divert its forces to guard northern border' -- Belarus provides Russia with 24 more tanks -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Saturday, October 22

Russia’s war against Ukraine


The police station of Velykyi Burluk, Kharkiv Oblast, on Oct. 2, 2022. Russian forces took it over during the occupation and the building was heavily damaged during Ukraine’s September counteroffensive. (Alexander Query/ The Kyiv Independent)

Ukrainian military confirms it hit Antonivskyi Bridge near Kherson. Ukraine’s Armed Forces, however, deny Russian media reports that three civilians were killed and nine injured as a result of the attack, Hromadske reports. The occupiers contradict themselves, as they had repeatedly claimed they enforced people to stay home after curfew, spokeswoman of Operational Command “South” Nataliia Humeniuk said. People who died must have been Russian soldiers, she added.

Media: Ukrainian troops kill 10 Iranian instructors in Russian-occupied territories. KAN, an Israeli radio station, cited an unnamed Ukrainian source. Iranian citizens who trained Russian troops to use Iranian-made combat drones have been killed over the past week in Russian-occupied parts of Kherson Oblast and in Russian-occupied Crimea, KAN reported. Tehran has denied the accusations of supplying Russia with Shahed-136 combat drones despite abundant evidence of their use by Russian troops.

ISW: Russian forces will likely attempt to blow up Kakhovka dam to cover withdrawal from Kherson. The Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update that Russian forces will likely attempt to blow up the dam at the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant to cover their withdrawal and prevent Ukraine’s forces from pursuing Russian forces deeper into Russian-occupied Kherson Oblast. According to the ISW, Russia “has every reason to attempt to provide cover to its retreating forces and to widen the Dnipro River, which Ukrainian forces would need to cross to continue their counteroffensive.”

Belarus provides Russia with 24 more tanks. The T-72A tanks were sent towards Russian-occupied Donetsk, according to Belarusian Hajun, a civic watchdog that monitors the movement of military equipment in Belarus. In total, the country has transported at least 94 tanks and up to 44 Ural military trucks to Russia in recent weeks, Belarusian Hajun reported.

Lukashenko denies Belarus preparing to join Russia’s war in Ukraine. “We are not going anywhere. No war for now. We don’t need it,” said Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, cited by state-controlled media Belta. Lukashenko also dismissed the reports by independent Belarusian media regarding covert mobilization in the country, claiming that the authorities are “simply checking the lists,” which is done “every year.”

UK intelligence: Russia, Belarus bluff to make Ukraine ‘divert its forces to guard northern border.’ Russia has unlikely managed to deploy 15,000 troops to Belarus to join the Belarusian military in their new Group of Forces, as Alexander Lukashenko announced on Oct. 14-15, according to the U.K. Defense Ministry. Russia can’t generate combat-ready formations of the claimed size, while the Belarusian troops “maintain a minimal capability to undertake complex operations,” reads the report.

PM: Russia damaged more than 400 facilities in 16 Ukrainian regions from Oct. 10 to Oct. 20. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that these include dozens of energy enterprises. “The situation remains difficult but under control,” Shmyhal said.

Report: Damage caused by Russian attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure reaches $127 billion. Damaged and destroyed housing has the largest share of total losses – $50.5 billion, as Russia has destroyed roughly 135,800 civilian buildings in Ukraine since February, according to the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE). The losses caused by Russian attacks on Ukraine’s roads, railways, bridges, and other critical infrastructure sites amount to $35.3 billion; business losses amount to $9.9 billion, the KSE reported.

Read our exclusives here

How Russia organized its torture chamber network in Kharkiv Oblast. Survivors’ accounts from torture chambers in the parts of Ukraine liberated from Russian soldiers reveal that the torture of civilians was far from a spontaneous act of certain Russian units: It appears to have been an organized effort to terrorize local populations.

Photo: Alexander Query/ The Kyiv Independent

Learn More

Ukraine war latest: Intelligence says Russia prepares ‘terrorist attacks’ in Kherson Oblast in anticipation of Ukraine’s ‘speedy’ advance. Ukraine amplified its claim about Russia preparing to blow up a major dam holding an enormous reservoir in the Moscow-held part of Kherson Oblast on Oct. 21.

Photo: Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate

Learn More

The human cost of Russia’s war

Governor: 6 people injured after Russia’s strike in Kharkiv. Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov said six people got wounded after Russia had hit an industrial enterprise in Kharkiv on the morning of Oct. 21. Emergency works are ongoing; the information about damage and casualties is being clarified, said Syniehubov.

Russia’s attacks kill 2 in Donetsk Oblast, injure 3 in Zaporizhzhia. In the past 24 hours, Russian forces have killed two people and wounded one in Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko reported on Oct. 21. Russia also hit Zaporizhzhia with S-300 missiles in the morning on Oct. 21, injuring three people and damaging a residential building, a school, and several critical infrastructure sites.

Governor: Russia kidnaps 46 children from Kherson. Russian forces took 46 children from the Kherson Regional Children’s Home to Russian-occupied Simferopol, Kherson Oblast Governor Yaroslav Yanushevych reported on Telegram. The children are under five years of age, Yanushevych said.

UN: Over 6,000 civilians killed by Russia’s war against Ukraine. The UN’s human rights agency has recorded 15,956 civilian casualties since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion on Feb. 24. According to the agency, 6,322 civilians have been killed, including 397 children, and 9,634 have been injured. Rosemary DiCarlo, the under-secretary-general for political and peacebuilding affairs said at a UN Security Council meeting on Oct. 21 that “the actual figures are likely considerably higher.”

General Staff: Russia has lost 66,750 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. Ukraine’s General Staff reported on Oct. 21 that Russia had also lost 2,573 tanks, 5,258 armored fighting vehicles, 4,006 vehicles and fuel tanks, 1,648 artillery systems, 372 multiple launch rocket systems, 189 air defense systems, 269 airplanes, 243 helicopters, 1,325 drones, and 16 boats.

International response

US, Russian defense ministers speak about war against Ukraine. According to a statement by the Pentagon, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stressed the importance of “maintaining lines of communication amid the ongoing war against Ukraine“ during his call with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Reuters: UK, France, Germany urge UN to investigate Russia’s use of Iranian-made drones. According to a letter signed by the countries’ UN envoys, Russia’s use of Shahed-136 kamikaze drones in the war against Ukraine violates a UN Security Council resolution approving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Reuters reported. Under the deal, Iran scaled down its nuclear program to get relief from economic sanctions.

German firm provides Ukraine with radars for IRIS-T air defense systems. Hensoldt, a German company, reported that it had supplied four TRML-4D radars for cutting-edge IRIS-T systems, which include both surface-to-air and air-to-air versions. The radars are able to detect and track 1,500 targets within a radius of up to 250 kilometers. They can also differentiate between various types of air targets, focusing on high-speed and low-flying cruise missiles, as well as aircraft and helicopters.

German minister: Russia commits genocide in Ukraine. Tobias Lindner, minister of state at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, said carpet bombings, killings of civilians in Mariupol, Vladimir Putin’s denial of the Ukrainian nation’s existence, and mass deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia are signs of a genocidal war. “The crimes that are being committed now should be qualified as genocide, and with such qualification, they should be brought to court,” said Lindner.

US State Department: Russia exploring supply arrangements with North Korea. Russia’s leadership is working on agreements with North Korea on providing the wares for its war against Ukraine that Russia is “unable to produce or to acquire through other means” due to export controls and sanctions, according to the U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price. Russia may be turning to countries like Iran and North Korea “out of desperation,” but “it doesn’t make it any less dangerous,” said Price.

In other news

Poroshenko ally Hranovsky charged in corruption case. Oleksandr Hranovsky, a former member of parliament from ex-President Petro Poroshenko’s party, was charged with abuse of power for alleged embezzlement at the Odesa Portside Plant, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) said. The corruption scheme caused losses worth Hr 93.3 million ($2.5 million) in 2015, according to the NABU. Hranovsky, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, has denied the accusations.

Want to get the news faster? Follow our website:

Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Denys Krasnikov, Dinara Khalilova, Oleg Sukhov, Natalia Datskevych, and Lili Bivings.

If you’re enjoying this newsletter, consider becoming our patron on Patreon or donating via GoFundMe. Start supporting independent journalism today.