The latest Ukrainian counter-offensive has further reduced the already low morale of Russian units, which were considered elite troops before the war began on February 24. The independent Belarusian media outlet Vot Tak published images of intercepted documents left behind by Russian soldiers of Unit 31135 of the 1st Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 2nd Guards Motorized Rifle Division escaping from Izyum. In the signed documents, dated August 30, the authors of the letters ask the unit commanders to release them due to prolonged “physical and moral exhaustion.” According to Ukrainian intelligence, 90 percent of the regiment had written such reports as early as May.
The division in question is one of the three divisions of the 1st Guards Tank Army, which before the war in Ukraine was considered Russia’s best mechanized force and would play a key role for Moscow in a large-scale war between Russia and NATO.
Well-known Russian pop singer Alla Pugacheva has come under pressure in her homeland after criticizing Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. She had complained that Russian soldiers were dying for “illusory goals” while at the same time Russia was being internationally ostracized by the war.
“These poets, harlequins and jugglers just need a chance to sing and dance, smirk and vulgarly smart-shit,” wrote the head of the Russian President’s Human Rights Commission, Valery Fadeyev. The Russian rap singer Timati, who is loyal to the Kremlin and known in Germany for the song “Welcome to St. Tropez”, also complained about the singer’s alleged lack of patriotism. But there was also praise for Pugacheva’s statements: Julia Navalnaya, wife of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, shared the critical words on Instagram. Other show greats also attested to the singer’s admirable courage and honesty. The German rock star Udo Lindenberg expressed solidarity with his “long-time friend and colleague”.
Ukraine says it has sunk a Russian barge in Kherson Oblast. The barge should bring troops and equipment across a river at Nowa Kachowka. “Attempts to build a pontoon bridge did not withstand the shelling of the Ukrainian armed forces and were aborted,” the Ukrainian military wrote on Facebook, adding cynically: “The barge (…) became an addition to the occupier’s submarine fleet. “
Ukraine is taking its complaint about the Russian war of aggression to the highest stage of world public opinion, in front of the United Nations General Assembly. The Ukrainian head of state is scheduled to speak on Wednesday – exceptionally via video link instead of at the lectern of the General Assembly. Russia had tried to only allow Zelenskyj to speak in the foreseeable, unlikely event that he would have come to New York in person. The member states rejected this condition with a majority, so that the Ukrainian head of state is now involved.
According to information from the US Department of Defense, the Russian military is having a hard time recruiting forces for its war against Ukraine. Ukrainian troops have inflicted significant casualties among Russian soldiers, and “we see the Kremlin making increasing efforts to find new recruits to fill its thin ranks. But the Russians are doing so badly that many Russians are reluctant to go to war,” said a senior official, referring to video circulating on social media in which a representative of the private Russian military company Wagner is trying to sell Russians Convince prison inmates to join the struggle in Ukraine.
“We believe this is part of Wagner’s campaign to recruit over 1,500 convicted felons. Our intelligence suggests that Wagner suffered heavy casualties in Ukraine, particularly – and unsurprisingly – among young and inexperienced fighters.”
After consulting with his military officials, Zelenskyy said that the Ukrainian forces had a firm grip on the situation in the liberated areas near Kharkiv in the east. He thanked individual army brigades, but also the SBU secret service, whose leadership he replaced in July. In the meantime, the SBU is making sure “that the occupiers can’t stay anywhere on Ukrainian soil”.
At the same time, the head of state called for quick action: speed is important in stabilizing the liberated regions, in normalizing life there and in advancing the troops. Support from abroad must also keep up with this pace, he demanded. The Ukrainian General Staff said Russian troops fired on civilian objects in 24 locations on Monday. The cities of Kramatorsk, Avijivka, Zaporischschja and Mykolaiv were mentioned, among others. The leadership of the Russian-led separatists in Donetsk reported an attack by Ukrainian artillery that killed 13 people. The information could not be independently verified.
That will be important on Tuesday
Russian President Vladimir Putin is not flying to New York this year for the UN general debate, where his Ukrainian counterpart Zelenskyy will address the general assembly via video link. Instead, Putin will welcome new foreign ambassadors to Moscow on Tuesday. He usually uses such appointments in the Kremlin to comment on the international situation.
They drive up in an SUV, pay their fee with 100 euro bills and complain about fruit with bruises: Ukrainian refugees are causing displeasure at the food bank in Weimar. Volunteers are fed up with being bullied.
According to military expert Mick Ryan, the recapture of Ukraine can also be attributed to clever military deployment planning. Russia, on the other hand, is currently proving “historically” poor operational skills. Against this background, the Ukrainian armed forces seem to sense a possible collapse of the Russian positions in the east.
For more than six months, the village of Shevchenkove in eastern Ukraine was occupied by Russia. It was released last week. With the Russian soldiers, the propaganda newspapers and the portraits of Putin have also disappeared from the village of 7,000 inhabitants. Now people are returning to normal life.