Russo-Ukraine War - 09 March 2023 - Day 379
A number of claims and counterclaims are being made on the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the ground and online. While GlobalSecurity.org takes utmost care to accurately report this news story, we cannot independently verify the authenticity of all statements, photos and videos.
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 on 07 March 2023, Belarusian President Alexandr Lukashenko confirmed that one of Russia's small fleet of A-50U MAINSTAY D airborne early warning and control aircraft deployed in Belarus had been damaged. The aircraft was almost certainly attacked by a small uncrewed air system.
The MAINSTAY has likely now been moved to a repair facility at Taganrog in Russia. The transit flight reportedly took place at a lower than usual altitude, likely because of damage to the pressurised cabin.
The MAINSTAY was likely providing situational awareness for MiG-31K FOXHOUND D fighter aircraft modified to launch the AS-24 KILLJOY air launched ballistic missile which Russia sees as a key strategic capability. The modification saw the jets' internal radar removed to balance the airframe, making pilots reliant on external sources of situational awareness, such as MAINSTAY. It is a realistic possibility that joint Russo-Belarusian air activity will now be forced to rely on ground control and fighter escort until another MAINSTAY can be deployed.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that during the day of March 9, the Russian Federation launched yet another massive missile attack on the critical infrastructure of Ukraine and civilian homes. There were hits, civilians were killed. The Russian aggressor does not abandon its intentions to occupy Ukraine. Having no significant successes on the battlefield, Russia continues to use tactics of terror, committing gross violations of the rules of International Humanitarian Law.
during the day of March 9, Russian forces launched a total of 84x missiles of various types. 34x missiles were destroyed by Ukrainian defenders, another 8x did not hit their targets. Russian forces also launched 12x air strikes, in particular, employing 8x Shahed-136 UAVs. Half of them were shot down.
The level of missile threat across Ukraine remains high.
Russia continues its attempts to surround the city of Bakhmut, and to subsequently reach the administrative borders of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. The Russian invaders' main focus is the offensive operations on Kup'yans'k, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Shakhtars'ke axes.
Volyn, Polissya, Sivershchyna, and Slobozhanshchyna axes: no significant changes. The Russian military units remain stationed on the territory of the Republic of Belarus, but no formation of any offensive groups were found. At the same time, Russia continues engineering development of terrain in the border areas of Kursk oblast (Russia).
During the day of March 9, Russian forces fired mortars and artillery at the vicinities of settlements of Yeline (Chernihiv oblast), Atyns'ke (Sumy oblast), Kozacha Lopan', Strilecha, Krasne, Vovchans'k, and Bolohivka (Kharkiv oblast).
Kup'yans'k and Lyman axes: Russia attempts to break through the defence of Ukrainian troops. The Russian invaders fired artillery at numerous settlements including Dvorichna, Hryanykivka, Zapadne, Kyslivka, Berestove (Kharkiv oblast), Nevs'ke, Chervonopopivka (Luhansk oblast), as well as Rozdolivka (Donetsk oblast).
Bakhmut axis: Russia does not stop its assault at the city of Bakhmut. Ukrainian defenders have repelled numerous attacks in the vicinities of Bakhmut and Ivanivske. Vasyukivka, Min'kivka, Dubovo-Vasylivka, Bohdanivka, Bakhmut, Kurdyumivka, and Maiors'k (Donetsk oblast), among other settlements, were shelled by Russian forces.
Avdiivka and Shakhtars'ke axes: Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations towards the settlements of Krasnohorivka, Kam'yanka, Avdiivka, Sjeverne, Pervomais'ke, Nevel's'ke, Mar'inka, Pobjeda, and Vuhledar (Donetsk oblast). Avdiivka, Vodyane, Heorhiivka, Nevel's'ke, Krasnohorivka, Pobjeda, Vuhledar, Prechystivka, and Neskuchne (Donetsk oblast), among other settlements, were shelled by Russian forces.
Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes: Russia is defending. Russian forces shelled the vicinities of settlements near the line of contact, including: Novosilka, Novopil' (Donetsk oblast), Hulyaipole, Zaliznychne, Huliaipilske, Mala Tokmachka, Novodanylivka, Novoandriivka, Kam'yans'ke (Zaporizhzhia oblast), Mykhailivka (Kherson oblast), and the city of Kherson.
The Russian invaders have intensified looting in certain settlements of the temporarily occupied Kherson oblast. The Russian occupants are taking looted property, household appliances from Hola Prystan' and Nova Zbur'ivka using trucks that were used to deliver ammunition to their units.
During the day of March 9, Ukrainian Air Force launched 7x air strikes on the concentrations of Russian personnel and military equipment.
During the day of March 9, missile troops and artillery units hit 1x command post, 6x concentrations of Russian personnel, 2x logistics centers, 3x ammunition depots, 1x electronic warfare station, and 1x anti-aircraft missile system at its firing position.
Statements of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
The Russian Ministry of Defense during a briefing announced a massive retaliation strike against targets in Ukraine in response to a terrorist attack organized by Kiev in the Bryansk region on March 2. Thus, key elements of the military infrastructure of Ukraine, enterprises of the military-industrial complex and energy facilities providing them were hit with high-precision weapons. During the attack, the bases of attack drones were destroyed, the transfer of reserves and railway transportation of foreign weapons was disrupted, and facilities for the repair of military equipment and the production of ammunition for the Armed Forces of Ukraine were disabled.
The Ministry of Defense also reported that attacks were carried out on units of Ukrainian troops in the Kupyansky, Limansky, South-Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions. About 230 Ukrainian servicemen and a large amount of equipment were liquidated.
Over 135 military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, 3 combat armored vehicles, 7 pickup trucks and cars, 4 howitzers were destroyed in the course of active offensive operations in the Donetsk direction.
In the Kherson direction, enemy losses amounted to 4 combat armored vehicles, 5 vehicles and 2 howitzers.
Operational-tactical and army aviation, missile forces and artillery hit 78 artillery units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at firing positions, manpower and equipment in 102 districts. In the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), a UAF ammunition depot and a US-made AN/TPQ-50 counter-battery radar were destroyed.
Fighter aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the Zaporozhye region shot down a MiG-29 of the Ukrainian Air Force in an air battle. A Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter was shot down in the DPR.
Air defense systems intercepted 6 HIMARS multiple rocket launcher (MLRS) shells, destroyed 5 Ukrainian drones in the DPR, Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), Kharkiv and Kherson regions.
In the morning, it became known that the supply of electricity to the Zaporozhye NPP from the territory controlled by Ukraine was cut off. By the evening, power supply at the facility was restored, as reported by Renat Karchaa, adviser to the general director of Rosenergoatom.
The power structures of the Zaporozhye region commented on the information about the presence of a 40-strong group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the area of the settlement of Prishib, 50 kilometers from Melitopol. According to TASS, Ukrainian units are deployed in another area - in the Dnipropetrovsk region, not far from Gulyaipol.
From the beginning of the day, Ukrainian troops opened fire on Donetsk, as well as the settlements of Volnovakha and Horlivka. A civilian was killed in Volnovakha, another civilian was injured. In Donetsk, 3 civilians were injured, damage to residential buildings was recorded.
Units of the Wagner PMC continue their offensive in the Bakhmut direction. According to military correspondent Alexander Simonov, the most fierce battles unfolded in the southern quarters of Bakhmut. Across the line of contact, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are making attempts to counterattack, but to no avail.
Oleg Makarenko, Commander of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic, has been removed from his post. The corresponding decree was signed by the acting head of the DPR Denis Pushilin.
Ombudsman of the Republic Daria Morozova said that on March 7, 39 DPR servicemen were released from Ukrainian captivity. She noted that this is the largest group in recent times.
Retired Lieutenant Colonel of the People's Militia of the LPR Andrei Marochko said that Russian units are occupying forest belts and advancing in the Makeevka area in order to take control of a number of strategic heights around the settlement.
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