Day 570 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Zelensky confirmed that Andriivka has been Captured, the Counteroffensive Continues

Ukraine | September 16, 2023, Saturday // 14:33|  views

Day 570 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:

  • Zelensky confirmed that Andriivka has been captured, the counteroffensive continues
  • ISW: The Russian army in Bakhmut is in danger
  • A Ukrainian minister has promised more drone strikes on Russian ships in the Black Sea
  • Russia showed Kim Jong Un the country's strategic nuclear bombers
  • Moscow has said it is ready to extend an agreement with Washington on joint space flights
  • Washington confirmed that Zelensky will meet with Biden at the White House

Zelensky confirmed that Andriivka has been captured, the counteroffensive continues

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that Kyiv forces have captured the village of Andriivka, located near Bakhmut, confirming a statement by the army, DPA reported.

"For Ukraine, this is a significant and much-needed result," he said of Andriivka’s liberation in his video address. Ukrainian troops are also operating in the neighboring settlements of Klishchiivka and Kurdiumivka, he added. Ukraine's General Staff announced Andriivka’s liberation earlier in the morning, yesterday after similar announcements the previous day proved premature.

There was similar confusion around the village of Klishchiivka, which Ukrainian troops fighting there first reported had been liberated, then retracted the claim of success, saying fighting around the village was still ongoing.

The Ukrainian General Staff said Russian forces fighting in Andriivka had suffered heavy losses.

Earlier, Ukrainian air defenses reported that they had shot down all 17 Russian combat drones that attacked the Khmelnytskyi Oblast in the western part of the country overnight.

Ukraine is trying to retake parts of Donetsk amid the Russian invasion. In May, the Russian army and Wagner mercenaries had taken control of the key city of Bakhmut, after months of fighting with heavy losses. Now the Ukrainian counteroffensive is trying to advance on the flanks of Bakhmut.

ISW: The Russian army in Bakhmut is in danger

On September 15, Ukrainian forces liberated Andriivka and continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and in the western part of the Zaporizhzhia region. The Russians fear a threat to their groups in Bakhmut. This is reported in the report of the American Institute for the Study of War.

According to ISW analysts, the Ukrainian General Staff reports that Ukrainian forces liberated Andriivka on September 14 and achieved partial success near Klishchiivka. Ukraine's 3rd Independent Airborne Assault Brigade reported that its personnel had "completely destroyed" the Russian 72nd Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade (3rd Army Corps) following the encirclement of Andriivka. The VSU also reported that the liberation of Andriivka opened up opportunities for a breakthrough on Bakhmut's southern flank and that fighting in the area was continuing.

As ISW notes, many Russian sources have attempted to either deny that Ukrainian forces liberated the settlement or downplay the significance of its liberation, claiming that "the complete destruction of the settlement during the fighting renders Ukrainian control of the settlement tactically insignificant."

"Other Russian military observers acknowledged that the tactical situation of Russian forces south of Bakhmut was deteriorating and expressed concern that Ukrainian forces could threaten the Russian grouping in Bakhmut," the report said.

In addition, one of the military correspondents claimed that Ukrainian forces pushed the Russians out of Klishchiivka and were trying to gain a foothold in the village, while others claimed that Russian forces controlled the village. Another military correspondent claimed that Ukrainian forces had tried unsuccessfully to enter Bakhmut itself from the southwest.

In addition, the Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces continued the offensive in the western part of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast and inflicted significant losses on Russian manpower and equipment near Verbovoye (18 km southeast of Orikhiv).

On September 15, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces announced that Ukrainian soldiers had liberated the village of Andriivka in the Donetsk region. The settlement was recaptured as a result of well-coordinated assault actions.

The settlement is a necessary springboard for further advance, since the task of the Ukrainian forces in this direction is to encircle Bakhmut, and this is impossible to achieve without Andriivka.

A Ukrainian minister has promised more drone strikes on Russian ships in the Black Sea

Ukraine will be able to carry out more attacks on Russian ships, a Ukrainian minister who played a key role in building the country's drone industry told Reuters.

"There will be more drones, more attacks and fewer Russian ships. That's for sure," Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said yesterday when asked about the recent attacks off Crimea.

This week, Ukraine carried out several attacks using drones and missiles against the Russian Black Sea Fleet in and around the Crimean peninsula, which Ukraine annexed from Russia in 2014.

In a sign of growing confidence, Ukraine recently claimed responsibility for the attacks in Crimea, having previously not directly confirmed its involvement in bombings at military facilities there.

Russia has acknowledged a Ukrainian missile attack that damaged a warship and a submarine this week, but says it has repelled all maritime drone attacks.

Fedorov also stated that the production of Ukrainian aerial drones increased more than 100 times in 2023 compared to last year.

"I think it will increase by about 120 to 140 times by the end of this year if compared to the previous year."

According to the minister, Ukraine is testing artificial intelligence systems that can detect targets several kilometers away and direct drones to them even if external communications are disrupted by electronic warfare measures.

"We need AI, for example, target-finding technology, just like the Lancet (Russian drone) does, so that a target can be located in electronic warfare and destroyed."

"Right now, this is all in the testing stage, but some drones we buy use artificial intelligence to recognize targets. In a forest, it can detect a target and recognize whether it's a person, a tank or a certain vehicle. These technologies are used actively."

Russia showed Kim Jong Un the country's strategic nuclear bombers

Russia showed Kim Jong Un the country's strategic nuclear bombers. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu showed the North Korean leader around a base about 50 kilometers from Vladivostok.

In addition to aircraft, some of Russia's most advanced missiles, including hypersonic ones, were on display on the runway.

Cameras recorded Shoigu praising one of the bombers that it "can go from Moscow to Japan and back." It is not yet clear whether Russia and North Korea have reached an agreement on the supply of arms. Pyongyang is believed to have a large stockpile of Soviet-era shells and missiles.

Moscow has said it is ready to extend an agreement with Washington on joint space flights

The head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Yury Borisov, expressed his readiness to extend the agreement with the US for joint space flights to the International Space Station (ISS), DPA reported.

A new agreement is being prepared to allow the joint flights to continue in 2024 and 2025, the head of Roscosmos said, quoted by the Interfax news agency. Moscow had previously said it would end space cooperation with the US.

The ICC is one of the few places where the two countries still work together after the war in Ukraine began.

Yesterday, the American astronaut Loral O'Hara began her mission in space aboard a Soyuz capsule together with her Russian colleagues Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub. As part of the agreement, US space shuttles also carry Russian cosmonauts.

Due to the otherwise extremely strained relationship between the two countries, Russia recently announced that it will end cooperation after 2024 and build its own orbital station. However, since building a space station takes several years, Moscow later announced that it was considering staying on board the ISS until 2028.

On the ISS, the three astronauts will join the current crew of NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Frank Rubio, Russian cosmonauts Dmitry Petelin, Konstantin Borisov and Sergey Prokopyev, as well as Dane Andreas Mogensen and Japan's Satoshi Furukawa. O'Hara and Chub are on their first space flight, and Kononenko is on his fifth, Reuters notes.

Russia's space program suffered a major setback last month when the Luna-25 spacecraft crashed during an attempt to land near the moon's south pole during the country's first lunar mission in 47 years.

Washington confirmed that Zelensky will meet with Biden at the White House

On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will meet at the White House with his American counterpart Joe Biden, confirmed a high-ranking American official, quoted by AFP.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the meeting with Zelensky, the second at the White House since the start of the war in February 2022, would come at a "critical time" as Ukraine seeks to advance its counteroffensive.

"It comes at a critical time when Russia is desperately seeking help from countries like North Korea to wage its brutal war in Ukraine," Sullivan told the media.

The Ukrainian president is expected to attend the UN General Assembly in New York at the beginning of next week. At the same time, the US Congress is debating a new package of military aid to Kyiv in the amount of 24 billion dollars. According to publications in American media, Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to visit Capitol Hill, where negotiations on the new aid package have been ongoing for several weeks. They are particularly severe in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where some conservative congressmen refuse to allocate more funds.

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Tags: Zelensky, Ukraine, Russia, Andriivka


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