As Ukrainian soldiers continue their push into portions of their country’s territory temporarily occupied by Russian troops, Serhiy Haidai, who leads the Ukrainian government of the Luhansk region, recently reported that Ukrainian personnel took out some 200 Russian soldiers in a single assault in occupied Svatove on a local military hub.
Svatove is in the Luhansk region, across which Russian troops made substantial territorial gains in earlier stages of the war, and information on the blast was shared in English by sources including Michael MacKay, whose career includes time as an international election observer in Ukraine. “200 [Russian] militants died in the bus station in temporarily-occupied Svatove when it was bombarded by the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” MacKay said Sunday on Twitter. “This is reported by Serhiy Haidai, head of Luhansk Regional State Administration, on his Telegram channel. The bus station had been taken over as a dormitory for russian fascist militants. It was a military target.” The Kyiv Independent also reported the number of fatalities from what available information indicated was a Ukrainian strike. In recent stages of the war, Ukrainian troops have increased the pace of their strikes on Russian soldiers in both eastern and southern portions of the country.
A recent update from the U.K. Ministry of Defense says Russian military personnel are responding to the increasing rate of Ukrainian counteroffensive operations with increased strikes on civilian targets inside the country. “As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government,” the update from September 18 explained. Ukrainian troops are aiming for the liberation of key areas, including the city of Kherson, which Russian soldiers took over months ago and where concerns have circulated about a sham referendum on the question of politically joining the Russian Federation. As Ukrainian troops continue their push, they are also discovering evidence of additional atrocities perpetrated by Putin’s invaders, like a mass grave of some 450 people in the area of Izium, a Kharkiv-region city used for Russian attacks on Donetsk that Ukrainian troops recently liberated. As elsewhere in Ukraine, signs of torture were also uncovered.
Russia is losing combat aircraft at a notably fast rate inside Ukraine, including an Su-25 fighter jet that was recently shot down in the Kherson region. Defense authorities in the U.K. cite the Russian air struggles in Ukraine as one of the defining factors in the country failing in its broader objectives of the violent subjugation of Ukraine. “Russia has highly likely lost at least four combat jets in Ukraine within the last 10 days, taking its attrition to approximately 55 since the start of the invasion,” the September 19 update from the U.K. said. The explanation added that Russian pilots’ lack of “situational awareness” is also a consideration. “Russian pilots’ situational awareness is often poor; there is a realistic possibility that some aircraft have strayed over enemy territory and into denser air defence zones as the front lines have moved rapidly,” officials said.