Espreso. Global

Volunteer fighters cross Russian border. Intelligence operation and Russia's losses in Avdiivka. Weekly military results

16 March, 2024 Saturday

Raids by Russian units fighting on Ukraine's side continue. Volunteers from the Freedom of Russia Legion, the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) and the Siberian Battalion have entered areas of Russia's Belgorod and Kursk regions

Pro-Ukraine Russian volunteers control Russian settlements

In the Kursk region, fighting is taking place near the village of Tetkine. The village is currently controlled by Russian volunteer soldiers. In the Belgorod region, fighting continues in the settlements of Spodaryushino and Kazinka. Military equipment, tanks and MLRS were used there on March 15.

Raids by Russian units continue. Volunteers are trying to ensure that Russians have an alternative in understanding how the situation in the Russian Federation should develop. The information, political and propaganda effect prevails over the military one. Volunteers fight in a civilized manner, they warn, then act. They warned people to evacuate, they announced that they would strike at Russian military targets.

Map of Russian border incursions

About 20,000 Russian troops are stationed in the border areas of Kursk, Belgorod, and Bryansk regions. Regular units of the Russian army, the Russian Guard and border guards are deployed there. They are involved in hostilities to hold these areas. If the fighting by Russian volunteer groups continues, the Russians will have to keep moving forces to these areas. It is important that the actions of Russian volunteers have military, information and propaganda components. If such raids are large-scale, they could become another significant element of the Ukrainian Armed Forces' efforts to counter the aggressor. 

What is behind attacks on Russian refineries and how they harm Kremlin

There are about 30 large oil refineries in Russia and about 80 smaller ones. Ukrainian long-range strike drones have targeted some of the largest refineries in Russia. This is a reflection of the strategy reported by Ukraine's Security Service and Intelligence Service. They warned that critical infrastructure facilities affecting the Russian economy, military and industrial capacities would be targeted. 

On March 15, Ukrainian drones attacked a refinery in the Kaluga region. This led to the following consequences for Russia. First, oil refining in Russia has significantly decreased. In general, since the beginning of January this year, when targeted attacks on refineries began, refining has decreased by about 11-12%. In fact, out of 300 million tons per year, 30 million are no longer being processed. The price of gasoline and diesel in Russia has also increased. The country lifted export restrictions for six months. So, one way or another, this will cause some difficulties for Russians with fuel. Firstly, it will impact civilian users, and later, we hope, it will affect military units. Of course, this is an optimistic perspective, but as we can see, the use of drones is quite effective, given that we can now accurately destroy critical facilities on the territory of plants at such a long range. 

The drone models used in the attacks have already been identified, this is the new Liutyi drone. It has a flight range of up to 1,000 kilometers and a warhead weight of 75 kilograms. A Bober drone with a flight range of 800 kilometers was also used. The main task now is to scale up the use of these drones at refineries and airfields where Russian military aircraft are stationed.

Front situation: Avdiivka sector

Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Syrskyi said that the Russian army has been trying to break through the defense of Ukrainian troops in the areas of three brigades for a long time. In particular, the 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade Magura, which holds Berdychi, the 3rd Separate Mechanized Brigade, which is located near Orlivka and Tonenke, and the 59th Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which holds Pervomaiske. The entire area is now under constant Russian pressure. But Russia's advance is insignificant. The line is held due to the fact that there were additional reinforced reserves, artillery, and electronic warfare equipment. Now, some algorithm of defense against Russia's superior forces and its aviation has been worked out to some extent. 

This area is extremely difficult to defend, given that it passes through certain reservoirs. We hope that the Ukrainian Armed Forces will continue to use the strategy of maximizing the damage to hostile manpower. Giving up part of the territory, even for a temporary period, is very expensive for Russia. Syrskyi noted that Russia suffers significant losses in these areas. Due to the fact that significant Russian forces are concentrated in other parts of the front, there is some stabilization. However, it is not yet possible to talk about stabilization around the western front beyond Avdiivka, as the front is too active.


Russia's strategy in this area has not changed. It intends to reach Kupyansk-Vuzlovyi, push the Ukrainian Armed Forces beyond the Oskil River, and near Terny and Yampolivka push Ukrainian troops to the right bank of the Zherebets River. Despite the Russian intentions, there have been no significant changes on the front line. We hope that the Ukrainian General Staff is fully aware of the risks. Most likely, the evacuation is preemptive so that the Armed Forces can operate effectively in these areas. The logic is absolutely justified, especially in areas where Russian aircraft and artillery are operating.

Rheinmetall plant in Ukraine

Rheinmetall is one of the largest powerful European associations with facilities around the world for the production of ammunition. Rheinmetall is to produce about 600,000 rounds of ammunition by the end of the year. It will be the largest manufacturer among all European countries. The head of the company announced that ammunition production will also be launched in Ukraine. This will take about a year. According to him, artillery ammunition will be extremely useful and necessary. Ukraine needs the potential of European companies. The production of ammunition will be the basis for cooperation with Rheinmetall.

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