London: Russia uses punitive battalions for attacks in Ukraine
8:39 a.m.: According to British information, Russia has its attacks against Ukrainian positions carried out primarily by former prisoners and disgraced soldiers. The units called “Storm-Z” were probably initially planned as relatively elite groups that could take the tactical initiative, the British Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday, citing intelligence findings. “Since spring 2023 at the latest, the ‘Sturm-Z’ have become de facto penal battalions staffed with convicts and regular soldiers who have committed disciplinary violations.”
Several reports suggested that these units received little logistical and medical support but were nevertheless repeatedly pushed to attack. “Russian troops have often defended themselves effectively,” it said in London. “However, the existence of ‘Storm-Z’ highlights Russia’s enormous difficulties in assembling combat infantry capable of conducting effective offensive operations.”
Moscow is recruiting female soldiers for war in Ukraine
11:20 p.m.: Russia has begun recruiting women for combat missions in its war against Ukraine, according to media reports. The independent Internet portal istories wrote on Monday that female snipers and drone operators were being recruited into the “Redut” mercenary unit, which is subordinate to the Russian Defense Ministry. So far, women in the Russian military have only been employed as medics and in the kitchen.
The female soldiers are offered a half-year contract with a monthly salary of around 2,200 euros. In the event of an injury, there is a bonus of 30,000 euros; in the event of death, around 50,000 euros should be paid out to the surviving dependents. Corresponding advertisements appeared on the Russian social network “Wkontakte”. A female recruit told stories that they were primarily looking for women who were already experienced in handling weapons. Beginners would be trained on the weapon within a month.
Russia has been waging a war of aggression against its neighboring country for 20 months. Losses on both sides are considered high. According to the British Ministry of Defense, Russia has so far suffered around 150,000 deaths or serious injuries.
Zelenskyj calls for continued support for Ukraine
10:53 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj wants to continue to use international conferences to promote support for his country in its defense against the Russian war of aggression. “The world’s attention to Ukraine, to the protection of freedom and international law must be maintained – we are doing everything we can to achieve this,” Zelensky said in his daily video address on Monday.
In his speech, Zelenskyj also focused primarily on the situation at the front and, among other things, praised the steadfastness of the Ukrainian soldiers in the Avdiivka sector of the front. Fighting has been going on for months over the small town in the immediate vicinity of the city of Donetsk, which has been controlled by Russian forces since 2014. In the past two weeks, the Russian military has significantly increased the pressure in the area. With an offensive, Moscow is trying to encircle the Ukrainian troops stationed there. So far, the Russians have not succeeded in doing this.
Analysis of satellite images shows: Russia loses more than 100 military vehicles within 10 days
6:58 p.m.: As a Ukrainian team was able to determine after evaluating satellite images and presenting the results on “X”, the Russian military has lost a large number of military vehicles within a short period of time.
Accordingly, between October 10th and 20th, the Russians suffered the loss of 109 vehicles in the small Ukrainian town of Avdiivka alone. The true number of vehicles destroyed may be even higher. However, due to poor image quality, it was not possible to clearly determine whether around a dozen vehicles were actually demolished vehicles.
Most of the destroyed vehicles are said to be BMP-1 and BMP-2 armored personnel carriers. The operation, according to the Ukrainian team’s analysis, was initially aimed at achieving a quicker result and advancing on Avdiivka from the Russian side via its flanks, but the resistance and capabilities of the Ukrainian defenders have proven to be far stronger than the Russians had envisaged in their plans had planned.