Espreso. Global

Victorious news of 572nd day of war: Ukraine demonstrates new capabilities of its drones, missiles, army liberates Ukrainian territories on southern front

18 September, 2023 Monday

The International Court of Justice will consider the second case in Ukraine's lawsuit against Russia - under the Genocide Convention; Sean Penn's documentary about the war in Ukraine is released in the US

Ukrainian defenders liberate territory near Bakhmut and on southern front

During another week of full-scale war, Ukrainian defenders have liberated 2 square kilometers in the Bakhmut sector and 5.2 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory on the southern front. In the Bakhmut sector, the Russians tried to break through the Ukrainian defense in the areas of Orikhiv-Vasylivka, Bohdanivka, Klishchiyivka and Kurdyumivka in the Donetsk region to no avail.

After the Ukrainian Armed Forces liberated Andriivka and Klishchiyivka, the enemy is trying its best to regain the lost ground. So Ukrainian soldiers are holding back Russian attacks there and consolidating their positions.

At the same time, in the Avdiivka and Maryinka directions, the enemy is unsuccessfully trying to establish full control over Maryinka and the surroundings of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region.

Getting Russia out of its comfort zone

The head of the Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, says Ukraine has expanded its campaign against Russia, using drones and missiles to attack military and economic targets.

Last week, the world saw Ukraine's new capabilities with a series of missile and drone strikes on ships, a submarine and air defense in Crimea.

"Drones will certainly facilitate operations to liberate our territories. Drones are not afraid of this, they do not feel sorry for them," Budanov said.

According to the intelligence chief, one of the ways Ukraine is countering Russia is by using drones to achieve three key objectives: destroying Russian air defense assets; paralyzing Russian military vehicles and aircraft; and striking Russian military industrial facilities, as happened when a drone hit a rocket fuel plant in the Tver region, north of Moscow.

"We want to take them out of their comfort zone," Budanov said.

Hearings on genocide against Russia resume

The International Court of Justice in The Hague resumed hearings in the case of Ukraine v. Russia "Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide".

"The peculiarity of the process is that two warring parties that do not interact with each other either on political or diplomatic platforms will meet in the main UN court and will clarify what experts say is an atypical issue. Moreover, 32 other states have intervened in the dispute, and this is unprecedented," the statement says. 

Russian officials continue to accuse Ukraine of genocide. On Monday, Russia repeated its accusation that the "Russophobic and neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv" is using the 1948 Genocide Convention, to which both countries are parties, as a pretext to "drag" the case to court.

Russia wants the case dismissed, calling it a "hopelessly flawed" case that challenges Moscow's argument that its invasion of Ukraine was to prevent genocide. Russia says the court has no jurisdiction. The hearings, which will last until September 27, will not address the merits of the case, but instead focus on legal arguments over jurisdiction.

Some experts say a ruling in Kyiv's favor would not stop the war, but could affect future reparations payments.

Evacuation of Russian special services in Tokmak

Askad Ashurbekov, deputy of the Zaporizhzhia Regional Council, says that Tokmak is already within the range of the Ukrainian Armed Forces' barrel artillery. 

"Tokmak is one of the key centers for the occupying Russian forces. The enemy used the city as a base for amassing ammunition and manpower. The advance of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the south already allows us to attack logistics centers and the accumulation of enemy soldiers. Evacuation of Russian special services and some so-called authorities has already begun from Tokmak. Despite the fact that Tokmak has not yet been liberated, our military has already solved an important strategic task," he emphasized.

According to him, Tokmak is being used less and less by the Russian forces as a base for a large number of troops and ammunition.

"Tokmak is already within the range of Ukrainian artillery. And this significantly reduces the enemy's defense capabilities. Russians can no longer accumulate large amounts of ammunition close to the front line. The enemy's logistics chains are growing, and the defense line is weakening. Taking into account military tactics, the Ukrainian Armed Forces may not need to fight to liberate the city. Perhaps the Defense Forces will bypass the city and force the Russian troops to withdraw from Tokmak," Ashurbekov noted.

In addition, according to the General Staff, during the day, the Defense Forces' aviation launched 8 strikes on the invading Russian troops' military positions. 

Missile troops destroyed 2 manpower concentration areas, an anti-aircraft missile system, 6 artillery pieces, and an enemy control center.

‘Superpower’: released in the US

On Monday, September 18, the Paramount+ network will release a documentary about the war in Ukraine, Superpower, directed by Hollywood actor and director Sean Penn. In the film, Penn documents the first stage of the Russian invasion. According to the original plan, the film was supposed to show the path of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy from comedian to president. Instead, critics write that Superpower has become a documentary proof of the strength of the Ukrainian people in the face of the Russian invasion.

“When Penn was brought into an undisclosed bunker in the Presidential Palace, the Russian invasion had begun. Penn talked to President Zelensky as explosions rocked the city. He became an inadvertent front-row witness to this historic ‘David and Goliath’ struggle. Through moments of levity, inspiration and on the ground storytelling, it becomes clear that Ukraine’s Superpower lies in the strength of its leader, its people, and ultimately, its heart,” emphasizes the Rotten Tomatoes film critic.

During his speech at the pre-screening, Sean Penn called on the White House to support Ukraine more decisively with weapons, saying that American officials need to "move beyond pure caution."

The release of the film comes as President Zelenskyy visits the United States this week, where he will attend a meeting of the UN General Assembly and meet with US President Joe Biden. At the same time, the Biden administration has asked Congress to approve more than USD 21 billion in additional defense and other assistance to Ukraine.

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