Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in western Zaporizhia Oblast and near Bakhmut on September 30. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations in the Melitopol direction (western Zaporizhia Oblast) and near Bakhmut. Russian milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted unsuccessful ground attacks near Klishchiivka (7km southwest of Bakhmut), Andriivka (10km southwest of Bakhmut), Robotyne (10km south of Orikhiv), Novoprokopivka (13km south of Orikhiv), and Verbove (18km southeast of Orikhiv). A fringe Russian milblogger reportedly affiliated with the Russian Airborne (VDV) forces implicitly recanted claims from September 24 that Ukrainian forces occupy half of Verbove (18km southeast of Orikhiv). The fringe milblogger claimed on September 29 that elements of the 7th Guards VDV Division still hold Verbove despite suffering losses.
The Kremlin has seemingly not yet clarified what Ukrainian territories it claims that Russia has annexed, leading to continued confusion among Russian government and occupation officials a year after the illegal annexation of occupied territories. Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech in honor of the so-called “Day of Reunification of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Luhansk People’s Republic, Zaporizhia, and Kherson Oblasts with Russia” on September 30 in which he reiterated boilerplate rhetoric about the international legitimacy of the illegal Russian annexation referenda, the West’s alleged role in starting the war in Ukraine, and the unity between Russia and occupied Ukraine. Sevastopol occupation governor Mikhail Razvozhaev posted a map on his Telegram channel in honor of the holiday that showed the entirety of Crimea and Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson oblasts as Russian territory. The Kherson Oblast occupation administration posted a different map that showed Russian territory roughly extending to the current frontlines in the four most recently annexed territories. Russian Security Council Deputy Chairperson Dmitry Medvedev, a notable nationalistic and extreme voice in the Russian government, ambiguously claimed that the war in Ukraine will continue until “the original Russian territories are liberated.” Medvedev’s unclear statement and occupation officials’ disparate maps indicate that the Kremlin has yet to clarify what territories it claims to have annexed or intends to annex.
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in western Zaporizhia Oblast and near Bakhmut on September 30.
- The Kremlin has seemingly not yet clarified what Ukrainian territories it claims that Russia has annexed, leading to continued confusion among Russian government and occupation officials a year after the illegal annexation of occupied territories.
- Russian forces conducted a series of drone strikes primarily targeting Vinnytsia Oblast on the night of September 29 to 30.
- Russian milbloggers claimed on September 30 that the Russian military command removed the commander of the Russian 205th Motorized Rifle Brigade following recent outrage from milbloggers about the brigade’s command.
- An organization with alleged ties to Russian First Deputy Presidential Chief of Staff Sergey Kiriyenko is reportedly categorizing Russian internet user data in an effort to disseminate tailored information to specific domestic populations as part of a wider attempt to control the Russian information space.
- Russian forces conducted offensive operations near Kupyansk, Kreminna, Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, and in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area and marginally advanced along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Russian authorities have started to conscript citizens in occupied Ukraine who have Russian passports.
- Russian authorities continue to forcibly deport children from occupied Ukraine to Russia in order to assimilate Ukrainian children into Russian culture.