Victorious news of 609th day of war: Ukrainian success in Melitopol direction, vehicles confiscated from Libya to be transferred to Ukraine, Russians ready to fight against Putin as part of Ukrainian regular army
Russian citizens will become part of the regular Ukrainian army and go to war against the Kremlin, this year Ukraine will not only defend itself but also respond to Russian shelling, and heavy Russian losses in Avdiivka
Ukrainian Armed Forces' success near Verbove
In the Melitopol sector, the Ukrainian Defence Forces achieved a partial success west of Verbove and destroyed 27 pieces of enemy military equipment, said Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, commander of the Tavria operational and strategic grouping of troops.
Missile and artillery units completed 1,228 firing missions over the course of the day.
Total enemy losses amounted to 409 people. Three Russian soldiers surrendered. Ukrainian defenders also targeted 3 tanks, 8 armoured personnel carriers, 7 artillery systems, 4 UAVs, and 4 units of enemy vehicles. One enemy munitions depot was also destroyed. Another 18 units of the occupying Russian troops' weapons and military equipment were damaged.
Russian forces are under stress
Oles Maliarevych, sergeant with the 92nd Detached Assault Brigade, noted that the initiative is on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near Bakhmut.
"The situation near Bakhmut is on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. There is movement forward, sometimes not as powerful as we would like. But we must understand that 10-20 metres and 1-2 enemy positions per day is also a victory," Maliarevych stressed. According to the military, in the Bakhmut sector, the Defence Forces do not allow the Russian enemy to relax, regroup and bring up new reserves.
"The Ukrainian Armed Forces put pressure on Russian invaders every day, and perform combat missions to keep the enemy forces under stress and destroy them," the military emphasised.
Ukrainian forces targeted Russian army in Avdiivka
Serhiy Tsehotskyi, officer with the 59th Detached Motorised Infantry Brigade, said that the Russian troops tried to install flags on a spoil tip near Avdiivka but were destroyed by the Ukrainian Defence Forces.
"The situation around Avdiivka has not changed over the last day. Yesterday, Russian forces climbed onto the spoil heap, but they were all eliminated. Their flags were destroyed by our FPV drone," emphasized Tsehotskyi.
According to the officer, the enemy does not stop its intentions to storm Avdiivka.
"Russian forces are using FPV and 'kamikaze' drones. Artillery duels are taking place, but the enemy is not conducting any active actions. We understand the intentions of the invaders towards Avdiivka and are doing everything to prevent this from happening," emphasised Tsehotskyi.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces are currently setting new records for the destruction of Russian soldiers and their equipment near Avdiivka. Since the beginning of October, Ukrainian soldiers have targeted 410 tanks, or 8% of all tank losses of the Russian army in Ukraine. Over the same period, the Defence Forces eliminated a record 706 armoured combat vehicles.
Russia is afraid of sabotage, so it is stepping up its defences
The Russian army is strengthening the protection of railway warehouses in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Additional security measures are being taken at the railways in Feodosia, Simferopol, Dzhankoi and Kerch.
"The Russian forces are strengthening the protection of railway warehouses due to constant sabotage. In recent days, there have been reports of additional security measures introduced by the Russian transport police in a number of cities and towns: Dzhankoi, Kerch, Feodosia, and Simferopol," the statement says.
In addition, Russian troops are mobilising additional personnel to provide escorts for cargo and passenger trains. At the same time, security measures have also been strengthened in the technical sector: operatives are constantly on duty there.
According to the Atesh movement, security measures have been stepped up due to "constant sabotage" and attempts to breach the security of railway facilities.
"The security measures demonstrate Russian occupiers' serious concern about the safety of rail transport and emphasize the importance of ensuring the stability and reliability of the transport infrastructure in the region," the movement said.
Russia will be punished for strikes on energy infrastructure
This year, Ukraine will not only defend itself, but also respond to Russian attacks on energy infrastructure, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
"We are preparing for terrorist attacks on energy infrastructure. This year, we will not only defend ourselves but also respond. Russian enemy is well aware of this," he said in a statement.
Zelenskyy stressed that Russia had withdrawn its Black Sea Fleet from Crimea and was now moving its aircraft further away from Ukraine's borders.
In addition, the president received reports on the arrival of new equipment, and ammunition, as well as contracts and geography of supply.
Ukrainian Armed Forces will have a battalion of Russians ready to fight against the Kremlin
Ukraine is recruiting a new battalion, Siberia, which consists entirely of Russian citizens. These soldiers will become part of the regular Ukrainian army and will go to war against the Kremlin. The battalion has brought together dozens of Russians and representatives of ethnic minorities in Russia who have traveled through third countries to join the Ukrainian army.
"Unlike volunteer groups such as the Russian Freedom Legion, which have declared their support for Ukraine, the soldiers are part of the regular Ukrainian army and expect to be sent into combat very soon," the statement says.
The Siberia battalion is made up of Yakuts and Buryats from Russia's vast Eastern Siberia region who have said they want independence from Russia and see Ukraine's victory in the war as a step towards that goal. They first underwent rigorous security checks to ensure that they were supporters of Ukraine, then signed a military contract, adopting army call signs to protect their identities.
Ukraine plans to recruit more Russian citizens, especially members of national minorities, to fight the war against Putin.
European Parliament wants to transfer military equipment confiscated in Libya to Ukraine
Members of the European Parliament propose to transfer 146 pieces of armored vehicles confiscated from Libya under the UN embargo to Ukraine.
"MEPs want to find a practical use for 146 armoured vehicles confiscated last year in two operations by the EU's IRINI naval mission within efforts to enforce a U.N. arms embargo on Libya," the statement says
The initiative was put forward by Dutch liberal lawmaker Bart Groothuis.
"We call upon you to transfer the seized vehicles of the IRINI operation, and similar military equipment or ammunition from this or other EU operations, to Ukraine," the letter reads. This Friday, Groothuis's letter will be sent to member states of the Political and Security Committee and the European Peace Fund Committee, which manages the EU's extrabudgetary funding allocated to Ukraine.
This decision was made in connection with the US plans to send ammunition seized from Iran to Ukraine.
"Because the U.S. is doing it, so why can’t we???" Groothuis added.