Russo-Ukraine War - 16 March 2023 - Day 386
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 over the last week, Russian attempts to assault the Donetsk Oblast town of Vuhledar have almost certainly slowed. This follows repeated, extremely costly failed attacks over the previous three months.
One factor in Russia's heavy losses in this sector has been Ukraine's successful adoption of Remote Anti-Armour Mine systems (RAAM). RAAM is a specialist artillery shell which scatters anti-armour mines up to 17km away from the firing unit. In some instances, Ukraine has launched the mines over and behind advancing Russian units, causing disarray when Russian vehicles attempt to withdraw.
Russia's only notable recent tactical success has been in the Bakhmut sector, which is dominated by Wagner Group mercenary forces, currently engaged in a public feud with the Russian Ministry of Defence. There is a realistic possibility that Russia's MoD has been insistent in its drive for success in Vuhledar, partially because it wants its own success to compete with Wagner's achievements.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that during the day of March 16, Russian forces launched 2x missile and 16x air strikes, launched 25x MLRS attacks. The threat of missile attacks remains high across Ukraine.
Volyn, Polissya, Sivershchyna, and Slobozhanshchyna axes: no significant changes. During the day of March 16, Russian forces shelled the vicinities of settlements fo Berylivka, Tymonovychi (Chernihiv oblast), Atyns'ke, Volfyne, Stepne, Kindrativka, Pokrovka, Hrabovs'ke (Sumy oblast), Lemishchyne, Kozacha Lopan', Hlyboke, Hatyshche, Budarky, Ambarne, Kam'yanka, and Zapadne (Kharkiv oblast).
Kup'yans'k and Lyman axes: Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensives in the vicinities of Hryanykivka, Kreminna, Kuz'myne, Verkhn'okam'yans'ke, and Spirne. The Russian invaders fired artillery at the vicinities of settlements of Dvorichna, Hryanykivka, Krokhmal'ne (Kharkiv oblast), Nevs'ke, and Bilohorivka (Luhansk oblast).
Bakhmut axis: Russia continues to assault the city of Bakhmut. Ukrainian defenders repelled the Russian attacks in the vicinities of Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Bakhmut, Ivanivske, and Hryhorivka. In particular, Vasyukivka, Zaliznyans'ke, Hryhorivka, Novomarkove, Bakhmut, Ivanivs'ke, Maiors'k, Zalizne, and New York (Donetsk oblast) were shelled by Russian forces.
Avdiivka, Mar'inka and Shakhtars'ke axes: Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensives towards Kam'yanka, Avdiivka, Nevel's'ke, and Mar'inka. The Russian invaders continue preparations to resume their offensive on Vuhledar. In particular, Kam'yanka, Avdiivka, Lastochkyne, Vodyane, Nevel's'ke, Netaylove, Krasnohorivka, Mar'inka, Heorhiivka, and Vuhledar (Donetsk oblast) 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 Malynivka, Hulyaipole, Mala Tokmachka, Mali Shcherbaky, Kam'yans'ke, Zaporizhzhia (Zaporizhzhia oblast), Zolota Balka, Beryslav, Vesele, Ivanivka, Inhulets', Antonivka, Zelenivka, Zymivnyk, Dniprovs'ke (Kherson oblast), and the city of Kherson.
Russia continues to export looted grain from Ukraine. According to reports, a Russian self-propelled barge loaded with wheat was being transported by Russian tugboats from the seaport in the city of Berdyans'k (Zaporizhzhia oblast).
Residents of the temporarily occupied territory of Zaporizhzhia oblast continue to undergo forced passportization. Thus, in the city of Tokmak, the Russian so-called "authorities" put in office by the occupation forces, together with representatives of the russian FSB, threaten local citizens of Ukraine rejecting the Russian passports with deportation of their children to the eastern oblasts of Russia. The parents themselves are threatened to be taken to Vasylivka (Zaporizhzhia oblast).
During the day of March 16, Ukrainian Air Force launched 7x air strikes on the concentrations of Russian troops and military equipment. Ukrainian missile troops and artillery units attacked 3x command posts, 2x concentrations of troops and military equipment of the Russian adversary, 2x radar stations, and 1x Russian fuel and lubricant depot.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reproted that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (RF Armed Forces) hit 93 artillery positions and 186 points of accumulation of equipment and personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) per day.
The command post of the 59th brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near Kamyshevka, the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system (SAM) in the Yasenovo area and the Osa-AKM air defense system near Konstantinovka were destroyed. The AN / TPQ-50 counter-battery radar station in Minkovka was also hit.
MiG-29 of the Ukrainian Air Force was shot down by Russian fighters in the Novovodyanoe area, and air defense systems intercepted eight rockets from HIMARS and Uragan, one HARM anti-radar missile, and nine unmanned aerial vehicles.
Up to 50 Ukrainian servicemen, two vehicles and an M777 artillery system were destroyed in the Kupyansk direction. More than 35 enemy soldiers, a tank, two Grad rocket launchers and a D-30 howitzer were liquidated in the Kherson sector.
The situation in the Donbass
During the day, over 100 Ukrainian servicemen, two infantry fighting vehicles, two armored vehicles, one Akatsiya self-propelled artillery mount and a D-30 howitzer were destroyed in the Limansky direction.
In the Donetsk direction, up to 275 soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were killed, two tanks, two armored combat vehicles, two pickup trucks, a Uragan rocket launcher, a D-20 howitzer, Gvozdika and M109 Paladin self-propelled guns were liquidated.
At the same time, in the South-Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions, enemy losses amounted to 60 people, four tanks, an armored car, a D-20 howitzer and one M777 artillery system.
Fierce battles also continue in Bakhmut and its environs.
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