Russo-Ukraine War - 26 December 2022 - Day 306
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On 24 February 2022, Ukraine was suddenly and deliberately attacked by land, naval and air forces of Russia, igniting the largest European war since the Great Patriotic War. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" (SVO - spetsialnaya voennaya operatsiya) in Ukraine in response to the appeal of the leaders of the "Donbass republics" for help. That attack is a blatant violation of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. Putin stressed that Moscow's goal is the demilitarization and denazification of the country. The military buildup in preceeding months makes it obvious that the unprovoked and dastardly Russian attack was deliberately planned long in advance. During the intervening time, the Russian government had deliberately sought to deceive the world by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
"To initiate a war of aggression... is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." [Judgment of the International Military Tribunal]
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that Russian forces have largely focused on constructing defensive positions along many sections of the front line in Ukraine since October. This includes laying additional fields of anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, almost certainly going beyond Russian doctrinal guidelines.
Minefields only present an effective obstacle for trained troops if covered by observation and fire. A major challenge for the Russian forces will likely be a shortage of surveillance assets and trained personnel to effectively monitor large areas of the new minefields.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that during the day, Russian forces carried out 19 MLRS attacks from rocket salvo systems. The threat of Russian air and missile strikes remains on the entire territory of Ukraine.
The Russian occupiers continue to focus their efforts on conducting offensive actions in the Bakhmut and Lyman directions, in the Kupyansk, Avdiivka, and Zaporizhzhia directions - they are trying to improve the tactical position. Russia is defending in the Novopavlivsk and Kherson directions.
In the Volyn, Polissya, Siversk, and Slobozhanskyi directions, the situation has not changed significantly, and no signs of the formation of Russian offensive groups have been detected.
In the Slobozhansk direction, the districts of Starytsa, Ohirtseve, Vovchansk, and Ridkodub of Kharkiv oblast were hit by artillery fire.
In the Kupyansk and Lyman directions, Russian forces inflicted fire damage in the areas of more than 20 settlements. Among them are Novomlynsk, Dvorichna, Zapadne, Tabaivka and Berestove in Kharkiv oblast; Ploshchanka and Dibrova in Luhansk oblast and Torske in Donetsk oblast.
In the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions, Russian forces shelled the areas of more than 30 settlements. In particular, these are Berestove, Bilohorivka, Soledar, Bakhmut, New York, Avdiivka, Vesele, Nevelske, Marinka and Novomykhailivka of the Donetsk oblast.
In the Novopavlivsk direction, Prechystivka, Velyka Novosilka and Vremivka in Donetsk oblast came under fire from the Russian occupiers.
In the Zaporizhzhia direction, Russian forces shelled more than 15 settlements with tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery. Among them are Novopil in the Donetsk oblast and Olhivske, Malynivka, Dorozhnyanka, Charivne, Bilohirya, Mala Tokmachka, Novodanilivka, Novoandriivka and Mali Shcherbaky in Zaporizhzhia oblast.
In the Kherson direction, Russia continues artillery shelling of populated areas along the right bank of the Dnipro River. In particular, the civilian infrastructure of Novooleksandrivka, Havrylivka, Respublikanets, Novokair, Tomaryne, Tyahynka, Mykilske, Prydniprovske, Inzhenerne, Antonivka and Kherson was affected.
On December 24, the Defense Forces struck the area where the Russian forces' manpower was concentrated near the Polovynkyno Starobilsk district of the Luhansk oblast. The Russian occupiers lost up to 150 soldiers dead and wounded.
On December 25, in the temporarily occupied territory of the Kherson oblast, the Russian invaders lost up to 50 servicemen killed and up to 100 wounded. About 5 units of military equipment of various types were also destroyed.
Russia continues to use the network of civilian healthcare facilities in the temporarily occupied territory to treat wounded servicemen of the Russian occupation forces and mercenaries of private military companies. Thus, in the village of Bilovodsk, Starobilsk district, Luhansk oblast, up to 300 wounded representatives of the "wagner" PMC are being treated. In addition, in Pervomaisk, on the territory of the so-called "military hospital", deployed on the basis of a multidisciplinary lyceum, up to 300 occupiers who were injured in the area of the city of Bakhmut are also being treated.
In the settlement of Tokmak, Zaporizhzhia region, the Russian invaders intensified administrative and police measures. Military personnel, together with local collaborators, search for patriotic Ukrainian citizens, check personal laptops and phones, and search residences.
During the day, the aviation of the Defense Forces of Ukraine struck the area of Russian forces concentration, and Ukrainian units of missile forces and artillery hit 4 control points and 6 areas of concentration of Russian manpower.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced the defeat in the past day of 63 artillery units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), 79 areas of accumulation of personnel and equipment. Rocket launcher "Grad" was destroyed in Kamyshevakh, Zaporozhye region.
Air defense systems shot down seven drones, two rockets and two HARM anti-radar missiles.
Today, in the border zone of the Bryansk region, a Ukrainian sabotage group was liquidated, which tried to go deep into Russian territory to carry out terrorist attacks. It included four militants, the commander had repeatedly crossed the border. They found explosives and automatic weapons of American and German production.
The situation in Donbass
There is information about the development of the offensive of Russian units on Soledar from the village of Bakhmutskoye. By evening, it was reported that a school building near the local village council was occupied.
Attempts are continuing to dislodge the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the outskirts of Maryinka, for which the enemy is firmly hooked. In street battles, tactics worked out for decades of mutual cover for tanks and infantry are used.
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