Russo-Ukraine War - 25 March 2023 - Day 395
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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 Russia's assault on the Donbas town of Bakhmut has largely stalled. This is likely primarily a result of extreme attrition of the Russian force. Ukraine has also suffered heavy casualties during its defence.
The Russian situation has also likely been made worse by tensions between the Russian Ministry of Defence and Wagner Group, both of whom contribute troops in the sector.
Russia has likely shifted its operational focus towards Avdiivka, south of Bakhmut, and to the Kremina-Svatove sector in the north, areas where Russia likely only aspires to stabilise its front line. This suggests an overall return to a more defensive operational design after inconclusive results from its attempts to conduct a general offensive since January 2023.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that during the day of March 25, Russian forces launched 1x missile and 23x air strikes, more than 20x MLRS attacks at the positions of Ukrainian troops and civilian infrastructure in various settlements.
The likelihood of missile and air strikes across Ukraine remains high.
Russia is focusing its main efforts on the offensive operations on Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Mar'inka axes. Thanks to professional and coordinated actions, Ukrainian defenders have repelled more than 50x Russian attacks on the above axes.
Volyn, Polissya, Sivershchyna, and Slobozhanshchyna axes: no significant changes in the operational situation, no signs of the formation of offensive groups were found. The units of the armed forces of the of the Russian Federation continue their combat training at the training grounds of the Republic of Belarus. The Russian adversary continues to maintain military presence in the border areas of Kursk and Belgorod oblasts (Russia). During the day of March 25, Russian forces fired at the vicinities of settlements of Horodyshche (Chernihiv oblast), Kharkivka, Studenok, Iskryskivshchyna, Vorozhba, Bilopillya, Myropillya (Sumy oblast), Chervona Zorya, Veterynarne, Krasne, Vovchans'k, Vil'cha, Volokhivka, Zemlyanky, Ambarne, Kolodyazne (Kharkiv oblast).
Lyman axis: the Russian adversary conducted unsuccessful offensives in the vicinities of settlements of Syn'kivka, Kreminna, Bilohorivka, and Vyimka. The Russian invaders fired artillery in the vicinities of settlements of Dvorichna (Kharkiv oblast), Kup'yans'k, Makiivka, Nevs'ke, Dibrova, Bilohorivka (Luhansk oblast), Vyimka, and Vesele (Donetsk oblast), among others.
Bakhmut axis: Russia continues to assault the city of Bakhmut that is held by Ukrainian defenders, as well as the vicinity of Predtechyne (Donetsk oblast). The Russian forces shelled the settlements of Vasyukivka, Zaliznyans'ke, Novomarkove, Hryhorivka, Bakhmut, Ivanivske, Kostyantynivka, Dyliivka, and Druzhba.
Avdiivka and Mar'inka axes: Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations towards the settlements of Keramik, Tonen'ke, Pervomais'ke, and Mar'inka (Donetsk oblast). None of them have been successful. Russian forces launched numerous artillery strikes at the of settlements near the line of contact, namely: Avdiivka, Lastochkyne, Krasnohorivka, Heorhiivka, Mar'inka, Vuhledar, Velyka Novosilka, Vremivka, Neskuchne (Donetsk oblast).
Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes: the Russian adversary continues to defend. The Russian invaders are shelling Hulyaipole, Zaliznychne, Luhivs'ke, Mala Tokmachka, Kam'yans'ke (Zaporizhzhia oblast), Beryslav, Burhunka, Antonivka, Belozerka (Kherson oblast), and the city of Kherson.
The Russian occupiers continue to rob the residents of the temporarily occupied territory of Kherson oblast. In particular, Russian mercenaries are actively taking away private light vehicles with trailers and trucks in the village of Krasne (Kakhovs'kyi district) to load local residents' looted property.
During the day of March 25, the Ukrainian Air Force launched 11x air strikes on the concentrations of Russian forces' personnel and military equipment. In the meantime, missile and artillery units hit 2x command posts, 3x concentrations of Russian manpower.
Statements of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
During the briefing, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that during the day, as a result of strikes on the positions of Ukrainian troops, about 400 enemy troops were destroyed, as well as a large number of military equipment.
Operational-tactical and army aviation, missile forces and artillery hit 76 artillery units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, manpower and equipment in 112 districts.
Air defense systems intercepted 6 HIMARS multiple rocket launcher (MLRS) shells, destroyed 11 UAVs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, including one Bayraktar TB-2, in the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics and Zaporozhye region.
Employees of the engineering troops of the RF Armed Forces are repairing one of the 6 hydroelectric generators at the Kakhovskaya HPP. Now the needs of the station are provided by one generator, one more is in reserve, 3 are out of order.
Kyiv massively and forcibly mobilizes residents of the Snigirevsky district into the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said the head of the district, Yuriy Barbashov. According to him, people are taken directly from their homes, after which they are thrown into the hottest spots of the front.
Russian units from a machine gun shot down a Ukrainian drone in the Zaporozhye direction, said Vladimir Rogov, a member of the main council of the administration of the Zaporozhye region.
Next week the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi will visit Zaporozhye NPP. It is noted that he intends to personally assess the situation with nuclear safety at the facility.
During the day, Ukrainian formations opened fire on Donetsk, as well as the settlements of Gorlovka, Makeevka, Aleksandrovka and Yasinovataya. As a result of the attacks in Oleksandrivka, a civilian was injured, and another one was reported wounded in Yasinovataya. In Donetsk, a civilian was injured in the explosion of a mine "Petal", shelling of the Armed Forces of Ukraine caused damage to residential buildings.
Russian units in the South-Donetsk direction destroyed a Polish-made Krab self-propelled artillery mount. The enemy positions were opened with the help of Orlan unmanned aerial vehicles, the blow was delivered by the Lancet loitering ammunition.
Military correspondent of the FAN Alexander Simonov reported on the situation in the Bakhmut district of Sobachevka, where fighting continues beyond Mariupolskaya Street, not far from the district and city administrations.
Since the beginning of the day, the settlement of Svatovo has been shelled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. During the attack, Ukrainian troops used the HIMARS multiple launch rocket system. As a result of the attack, a 19-year-old civilian was killed, a girl was injured, a residential building was destroyed, and several other housing constructions were damaged.
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