Day 314 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russian Strike on a Sports Hall in Donbas and 80 Downed Drones by Kyiv

Ukraine | January 3, 2023, Tuesday // 11:50|  views

Aftermath of the Russian strike on Druzhkivka @nexta_tv, Twitter

Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:

Ukraine: 500 drones have been shot down since September 2022 so far

The spokesman for the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Yuriy Ignat, told a Ukrainian television channel on Tuesday that the country has shot down about 500 Iranian-made drones since September 2022. Speaking about the massive attacks by Russian drones carried out in the last two days, Yuriy Ignat noted that the Ukrainian military managed to shoot down all 84 drones.

In addition, he stated that if the enemy continues to bomb "at such a pace as during these two nights, then according to the information that has already been announced by our special services about a new batch of 250 drones, at least half of them have already been used".

However, the Ukrainian official cautioned that these numbers should not be misleading, as Moscow could still receive new supplies of drones from Tehran. He commented that Russia is currently using cheap Iranian drones in an attempt to wear out Ukraine's air defense systems.


British intelligence: Russia unlikely to breach Bakhmut in coming weeks

In mid-December, the Russian military and Wagner Private Army forces likely increased the frequency of their infantry attacks around the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. However, many of these operations were poorly supported, British intelligence wrote in its summary of the war today.

Over the past ten days, Ukraine has committed significant reinforcements to protect the sector, and the frequency of Russian attacks is likely to have decreased since the peak in mid-December. Both countries suffered heavy losses, the authors of the analysis noted.

Russian offensive operations in the area are now likely to be conducted only at the platoon or section level. Russia is unlikely to make a significant breakthrough in the Bakhmut area in the coming weeks, the British said.

Ukraine reported a Russian strike on a sports hall in Donbas and 80 downed drones

Russian military launched two rocket attacks on the town of Druzhkivka in the Donetsk region.

This was announced by the deputy head of the presidential administration in Ukraine, Kyrylo Tymoshenko. That night there was shelling against the city of Kramatorsk itself, near which Druzhkivka is located.

According to Tymoshenko, two blows were inflicted. One exploded in the city and injured two people, the other - in the nearby village of Yakovlevka. According to Ukrainian media, the "Altair" ice rink used by the "Donbas" hockey team was hit, and the head of the club confirmed on Facebook.

"Military Deployment Point"

Fedor Ilenko stated that this is "not just a building, but a second home for the club after 2014." and "hundreds of children's competitions, international tournaments" have taken place there, as it is "the largest hockey and figure skating school in Ukraine." According to the Telegram channel "Rybar", which closely follows the hostilities, there is actually a "deployment point" of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

This comes a day after Russia confirmed the death of dozens of Russian soldiers (Kyiv says hundreds) in an attack on a school in Makiivka, Donetsk region, where Moscow's forces are stationed.

The city is 80 km from Donetsk and is under the control of Ukrainian forces (as well as the nearby Kramatorsk). Donbas, which includes Donetsk and Luhansk regions, remains the focus of Russia's war in Ukraine. Footage from a French TV channel, which supposedly shows the attack on Druzhkivka, has spread on social networks.

"Nights Can Be Restless"

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that in the first two days of 2023 alone, more than 80 Iranian drones launched by Russia were shot down, and that with its new campaign, Russia aims to exhaust the Ukrainian population, air defense and energy of the country.

"Only two days have passed since the beginning of the year, and 80 Iranian drones have been shot down over Ukraine," he said, warning that more are likely to come. "We have information," he said, but added that Ukrainian air defenses continue to work successfully.

Russia, according to Western governments and the UN, is using Iranian drones against Ukraine (mainly so-called kamikaze drones or barrage munitions) along with its own Orlan-10 machines.

Iran has confirmed that it has in principle supplied such technology. While most of these drones are shot down, a small number that reach the target are sufficient to cause serious damage to targets - primarily Ukraine's energy system.

In the near future, this number may increase. Nights may be quite restless in the coming weeks,” said Zelensky.

Sevastopol reported a second drone attack in a week

The governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, reported on Telegram that according to preliminary data, a drone was shot down over the sea, TASS reported.

He clarified that the air defense system was activated in Sevastopol. "According to preliminary data, an unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down over the sea. All services are working in full-time mode," said Razvozhayev.

Shortly after, Razvozhayev announced that a second drone had also been shot down.

"Air defense systems shot down another unmanned aerial vehicle. Our military continues to cover the attack. I ask everyone to remain calm," he wrote on Telegram.

Sevastopol is the main base of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation. In the past few months, there have been several attempts to attack it with drones.

On December 30, Razvozhayev reported that two unmanned aerial vehicles had been shot down in the sea in the area of the city. By then, air defense systems had destroyed three more drones attempting to attack Sevastopol from the sea.

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Tags: Donbas, Ukraine, Russia, Crimea


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