October 27, 2023

Institute for the Study of War: Ukraine makes marginal advance in Kherson

Institute for the Study of War

Ukrainian forces marginally advanced on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast and continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast. Geolocated footage published on October 27 indicates that Ukrainian forces advanced further south under the Antonivsky road bridge north of Oleshky (7km south of Kherson City and 4km from the Dnipro River). The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and in the Melitopol (western Zaporizhia Oblast) direction.

Russian forces launched a series of missile and drone strikes against Ukraine on the night of October 26 to 27. The Ukrainian Air Force reported that Russian forces launched one Iskander-M ballistic missile from Voronezh Oblast and six Shahed-131/136 drones from the near Primorsko-Akhtarsk, Krasnodar Krai, and that Ukrainian forces destroyed five Shaheds over Kherson and Mykolaiv oblasts. Ukrainian Air Force Command Spokesperson Colonel Yuriy Ihnat reported on October 27 that Russian forces launched over 500 Shaheds targeting critical infrastructure and military facilities in Ukraine in September 2023. Ihnat also stated that the composite materials for the fuselage of modernized Shaheds make them harder to detect and that weather conditions do not affect Russian Shahed operations.

Germany and Denmark announced new military aid packages to Ukraine on October 27. The Danish Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced a package of military materiel support for Ukraine valued at 3.7 billion kroner (about $520 million) that includes T-72 tanks, BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, artillery ammunition, and drones. The German government announced a military aid package valued at around 5.4 billion euros (about $5.7 billion) that includes MARS II anti-aircraft missiles and an additional IRIS-T SLM air defense system. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Ukrainian forces marginally advanced on the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast and continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast on October 27.
  • Russian forces launched a series of missile and drone strikes against Ukraine on the night of October 26 to 27
  • Unspecified actors attempted to assassinate Russian-backed former separatist Ukrainian politician Oleg Tsaryov on October 27.
  • Russian authorities reportedly arrested Russian citizens who allegedly used Telegram channels, including some that identify themselves as insider sources, to extort money from Russian officials.
  • Russian authorities have likely coerced Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) into joining a “volunteer” formation that will fight in Ukraine, which would constitute an apparent violation of the Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations near Avdiivka on October 27 but did not make any confirmed advances. US National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby stated on October 26 that Russian forces have suffered thousands of casualties and have lost at least 125 armored vehicles in recent offensive operations near Avdiivka.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, southwest of Donetsk City, in western Donetsk Oblast, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia and advanced near Bakhmut.
  • Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov announced the formation of a second Chechen volunteer formation named for a second Chechen figure who fought against imperial Russian rule.
  • Russian occupation authorities cracked down against pro-Ukrainian Telegram channels operating in occupied Ukraine.
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