Bloody battles persist along Klishchiivka and Andriivka railroad line, Russia shifts tactics – military expert Zgurets
Previously, Russian troops used to attack in groups of about 5-8 people. Now they are trying to move in small teams of 2-3 people to create a network of small fortifications
New appointments in Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense
Let me start with the appointments in the Ministry of Defense. On October 5, the Ukrainian government announced that Defense Minister Rustem Umerov would have three new deputies. These positions had been vacant. Three people have been appointed: Dmytro Klimenkov, Ivan Havryliuk and Stanislav Haider.
First of all, I will start with Dmytro Klimenkov, because he has been appointed to the position responsible for procurement. Dmytro Klimenkov has worked with Rustem Umerov for a long time at the State Property Fund, and It's evident that Umerov has placed a high level of trust in him. For the first time, a person will be responsible for two areas at once: arms procurement within the amount of UAH 300 billion for the next year, as well as procurement of non-lethal systems, such as food, clothing, and so on. All this will now be concentrated in the hands of Dmytro Klimenkov.
Ivan Havryliuk will be responsible for military and technical policy. At one time he was the chief of the rear in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. He worked in Germany in the coordination commission that ensures the supply of weapons to Ukraine. He will be re-profiling Ukraine's defense industry to cooperate with NATO on the range of products that will be produced by Ukrainian companies. In other words, it will be a chain connecting Ukraine with its foreign partners.
Stanislav Haider is a deputy who will be responsible for the development of the Ministry of Defense. He will ensure transparency and accountability for the development of the Ministry of Defense as a structure. This is about removing any accusations of corruption and creating a system that makes corruption impossible. This is in line with the hints of Ukraine’s foreign partners, in particular the US, regarding all structural changes in various ministries to get rid of corruption.
Let's begin with the situation in Bakhmut. In this region, following the expulsion of Russian troops from Klishchiivka and Andriivka two weeks ago, intense combat has now erupted along the railway line that runs close to these settlements. The conflict has extended to Kurdyumivka, where Russian forces are still maintaining their position, while the Ukrainian Armed Forces are advancing on this settlement from two directions.
Over the past day, Russian troops deployed aircraft 6 times. There were 9 combat engagements, which were unsuccessful for the invaders. To reinforce their troops in and around Bakhmut, Russia is deploying a substantial number of personnel and equipment. In the specific context of Bakhmut, there are approximately 10,000 personnel present. When considering the broader area around Bakhmut, extending from Lyman to Avdiivka, we are looking at approximately 50,000 Russian personnel.
The primary objective of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is to consolidate the positions gained from Russian troops and establish the conditions necessary for the eventual destruction of their forces and equipment. The immediate liberation of Bakhmut may not be feasible at this stage, but the strategic importance lies in systematically weakening the enemy through artillery strikes. This approach is crucial in reducing Russia’s capabilities and preventing the relocation of their units to other areas along the front.
It's noteworthy that Russia appears to be altering its tactics on the ground. Previously, they used to attack in larger groups consisting of about 5-8 individuals. However, according to my friend in the area, the Russians are now attempting to advance in smaller groups of 2-3 individuals, with a focus on fortification. This involves digging holes and creating small fortifications, likely to establish positions that can be used when Ukrainian forces actively employ artillery. Currently, Ukraine possesses a significant amount of artillery, which has been effective in targeting and neutralizing Russian forces in and around Bakhmut.
Major Rodion Kudryashov, deputy commander of the 3rd separate assault brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said that after the liberation of Andriivka and Klishchiivka by Ukraine, Russia faced a certain problem. Namely, the defense line that ran from Bakhmut to Horlivka was cut right in front of these settlements. All this time, Russia has been trying to regain its lost ground. Its troops have been using all the advantages they have, including a large number of artillery pieces and a large amount of ammunition. It also uses a large number of personnel, trying to plug the hole that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have created in these areas. However, the initiative on the front line is on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which allows them to control the enemy's movements, their presence on the front line, and enemy logistics. The situation in the Bakhmut sector remains tense but under control.
Gunsmiths' Exhibition in Slovakia and the first results
Let's move on to the weapons topic and first talk about Slovakia. The President of Slovakia opposed the provision of a new military aid package to Ukraine in connection with the results of the parliamentary elections. These days, the international defense exhibition IDEB-2023 is taking place in Bratislava, with the participation of manufacturers from nearly 20 countries, including representatives of Ukraine. In particular, Ukrainian products are represented there by the National Association of Defense Industries of Ukraine (NAUDI). Among these companies is Ukrainian Armor.
Roman Shelenh, Head of Marketing at Ukrainian Armor LLC, said that the joint NAUDI stand features companies such as Ukrainian Armor with Novator vehicles in two different modifications, 5-seater and 10-seater. Also presented is a joint project of the Ukrainian Armor and the Kramatorsk Heavy Machine Tool Plant - the 155 mm Bohdana howitzer. Ukrspecsystems presented a MINI SHARK reconnaissance drone. In addition, Ukrainian companies producing braking parachutes for fighter jets and P-18 radars and 3D radars are represented at the exhibition.
The head of the marketing department at Ukrainian Armor LLC explained that the participation of Ukrainian companies in the exhibition is a search for technological partners who can help supply the element base and the latest equipment. All foreign partners are from countries that are members of NATO, so the standards are appropriate. First, the focus is on the fact that companies should make every effort to supply the Ukrainian Armed Forces. And in the future, when we overcome Russian aggression, we will start exporting high quality weapons that have been tested on the battlefield. All parties are interested in such close cooperation.
Mr. Shelenh said that this year's exhibition resulted in achievements and some agreements on the possible organization of training centers in Ukraine for the needs of the Air Force and Ukrainian Armed Forces. There are agreements on cooperation to improve the ballistic resistance of armored vehicles. Negotiations have also been held with companies that manufacture and supply counter-sniper and acoustic systems and counter-battery radars to NATO countries. We always emphasize that we are ready and willing to jointly produce this equipment at Ukrainian defense companies. We are ready to place the necessary equipment at our sites for the joint production of some high-tech items. Therefore, technical negotiations are currently underway.