Ukraine Daily Summary - Thursday, October 20

Russia setting stage for false flag operation near Kherson -- Martial law in occupied territories imposed to suppress local resistance -- Russian proxies in Kherson plan to relocate or deport up to 60,000 city residents -- Lockheed Martin ready to boost HIMARS production to 96 units per year -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Thursday, October 20

Russia’s war against Ukraine


People clear blast debris and leaves outside a house where a couple was killed in a Russian drone strike two days beforehand on October 19, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Recent Russian attacks around Kyiv and across Ukraine have targeted power plants, killing civilians and employees of the key infrastructure. (Photo by Ed Ram/Getty Images)

Putin ‘imposes’ martial law in occupied areas of Ukraine to give proxies more power. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin signed a “decree” on Oct. 19 “imposing” martial law in occupied areas of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, following its sham “referendums” there. According to the Russian state-controlled news agency RIA Novosti, it will “come into effect” on Oct. 20. “Heads of regions will be given additional powers to ensure security,” said Putin.

Foreign Ministry: Martial law in occupied territories ‘imposed’ to suppress local resistance. In an official statement, the Foreign Ministry wrote that the goal of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s declaration of martial law in Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts was to “suppress the resistance of the residents (of these oblasts) who oppose the Russian occupation.

Russian proxies in Kherson plan to relocate or deport up to 60,000 city residents. Moscow-installed proxy in Kherson Oblast Vladimir Saldo on Oct. 19 announced an “organized displacement of the civilian population” from municipalities around Kherson to the territories “on the Dnipro River’s left bank.” He said that all Russian top proxies, including himself, will move too, but didn’t specify to where exactly.

ISW: Russia setting stage for false flag operation near Kherson. The Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update that Russian forces are setting information conditions to conduct a false-flag attack on the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant near Kherson. Russian authorities are alleging a planned Ukrainian strike on the plant, likely to “set conditions for Russian forces to damage the dam and then blame Ukraine while using the resulting floods to cover their own retreat further south into Kherson Oblast,” the ISW said.

Explosions reported in Kyiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernihiv, Vinnytsia oblasts. At least two explosions were reported in Kyiv. In Kyiv Oblast, according to its governor Oleksiy Kuleba, air defense is hitting targets. Vinnytsia Oblast Governor Serhiy Borzov also reported at 2 p.m. that the region is under Russia’s missile attack. Ukraine’s media reported explosions in Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernihiv.

Air Force: Ukraine downs 4 out 6 Russian cruise missiles, 10 kamikaze drones on Oct. 19. Russian Tu-95 and Tu-160 bombers launched six cruise missiles on Ukraine at 12 p.m. on Oct. 19, four of which were shot down in Kyiv, Vinnytsia and Chernihiv oblasts, according to Ukraine’s Air Force. Russia also attacked Ukraine with Iranian-made Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, from “the northern direction, in particular, from the territory of Belarus,” Air Force reported. Ten drones were shot down.

Russian missile hits power plant in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. A fire broke out at the Burshtyn coal-fired power station after it was hit by a Russian cruise missile on the afternoon of Oct. 19, according to Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast Governor Svitlana Onyshchuk.

Zelensky: 3 power plants destroyed by Russia in past 24 hours. Russia’s intense bombardment of Ukrainian electricity infrastructure continued on Oct. 19, with three power plants destroyed by Russian missile and drone strikes in Ukraine in just one day, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his regular address to Ukrainians.

Zelensky doesn’t rule out potential failure of Ukraine’s electricity system. The Ukrainian leadership is preparing for “a number of different scenarios” of further serious damage to the energy infrastructure of Ukraine after over a week of Russian missile and drone strikes on electricity facilities across the country, according to a statement released by the President’s Office.

Electricity supply to be limited across Ukraine from Oct. 20. The supply of electricity will be greatly limited, with more regular blackouts a realistic scenario if consumption isn’t reduced accordingly, warned Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the President’s Office.

Zelensky: 233 Iranian kamikaze drones shot down over Ukraine in past month. The number of Iranian Shahed-136 loitering munitions shot down, along with “tens of missiles” was named by President Volodymyr Zelensky during his regular address to Ukrainians.

Military advisor: Likelihood of new attack from Belarus low but could rise in spring. Russia is highly unlikely to be able to gather enough forces in Belarus for a renewed attack on Ukraine from Belarus territory, according to Yevhenii Sylkin, strategic communications advisor for Ukraine’s Joint Forces Command, as reported by Ukrinform.

Wagner Group founder claims that Russia creates defensive lines, ‘people’s militia’ in Belgorod Oblast. Wagner Group, the state-backed private military company that has played a key role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is overseeing the fortification of Belgorod Oblast along its border with Ukraine, according to Yevgenii Prigozhin, the group’s founder and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s close ally.

Politico: Upcoming US midterm elections cause uncertainty over future funding to Ukraine. Despite U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy hint earlier that he would reduce aid to Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden’s aides privately believe McCarthy, if he becomes speaker of a Republican-led house of representatives, will keep funding to Ukraine flowing, Politico reported.

Read our exclusives here

As Ukraine sets its sights on liberating Kherson, Russian proxies try to push people out. As Ukrainians push toward occupied Kherson, the Russian occupiers on Oct. 18 said they would move up to 60,000 Ukrainian civilians to occupied parts of Ukraine or Russia.

Photo: Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Learn More

Intensified Russian attacks on Ukraine infrastructure unlikely to achieve Kremlin’s goals. Massive Russian missile and drone attacks on Kyiv and energy infrastructure all over Ukraine are becoming a regular occurrence. One apparent aim of Russian attacks on energy and civilian infrastructure is to bully Ukraine’s population into submission.

Photo: Getty Images

Learn More

Ukraine war latest: Putin ‘imposes’ martial law in Ukraine’s occupied regions as his proxies flee Kherson. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a “decree” on Oct. 19 to “impose” martial law in occupied territories of four Ukrainian regions that he had claimed as part of Russia in an illegal annexation attempt in September.

Photo: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images

Learn More

The human cost of Russia’s war

Russia’s Oct. 18 attacks kill 4 civilians, injure 12 in Donetsk Oblast. According to Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko, people were killed in Kurakhovo, Bakhmut, Kurdiumivka, and Siversk. Also, the bodies of eight more civilians were found in liberated Lyman, Kyrylenko added.

Three wounded in Russian drone attack on Chernihiv. Two of the three victims of the kamikaze drone attack on the city of Chernihiv on Oct. 19 are in intensive care, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office. No fatalities have been recorded, he said.

Russia hits Zaporizhzhia Oblast, injures 8 and causes blackouts. Russian troops attacked a critical infrastructure facility in Orikhiv, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, injuring eight civilians, according to Oleksandr Starukh, the oblast governor. “(Russia’s) attack lasted almost seven hours. Private houses, the building of the city council, and an educational institution were (also) damaged,” Starukh said. At the moment, there’s no electricity and water supply in Orikhiv, Starukh said.

General Staff: Russia has lost 66,280 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. Ukraine’s General Staff reported on Oct. 19 that Russia had also lost 2,554 tanks, 5,235 armored fighting vehicles, 3,999 vehicles and fuel tanks, 1,637 artillery systems, 372 multiple launch rocket systems, 189 air defense systems, 269 airplanes, 242 helicopters, 1,286 drones, and 16 boats.

International response

Spain to send generators to Ukraine to help with electricity crunch. On Oct. 19, Spain’s Defense Ministry announced the provision of four sets of 400-kilowatt and one set of 150-kilowatt electricity generators to Ukraine, as the country’s energy infrastructure continues to be deliberately bombarded by Russian missiles and kamikaze drones.

Lockheed Martin ready to boost HIMARS production to 96 units per year. The American defense industry giant has already taken steps to prepare to raise production of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System from 60 to 96 per year, funding the fast-tracked production of some parts, the company’s CEO Jim Taiclet said during an earnings call, according to the Breaking Defense media outlet. The announcement comes amid increased international demand for the system following incredible success on the battlefield in the hands of the Ukrainian army.

US charges, sanctions Russians with shipping military equipment to Russia. The U.S. charged five Russian nationals with sanctions evasion and for shipping U.S.-made military technology to Russian customers, some of which has been used in Ukraine, Reuters reports.

Media: EU to introduce new sanctions on Iran for joining Russia’s war against Ukraine. The European Council will introduce a motion on sanctions on three high-ranking Iranian military officials as well as on Shahed Aviation Industries, manufacturers of the kamikaze drones of the same name, an unnamed European diplomat told Interfax Ukraine.

EU parliament awards Sakharov Prize to Ukrainian people. The winner of the prestigious human rights award, named in honor of Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, was announced by President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola on Oct. 19. “They are standing up for what they believe in,” Metsola wrote on Twitter. “Fighting for our values. Protecting democracy, freedom & rule of law. Risking their lives for us.”

Want to get the news faster? Follow our website:

Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Denys Krasnikov, Daria Shulzhenko, Toma Istomina, Francis Farrell, Lili Bivings, and Anastasiya Gordiychuk.

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