Day 233: prospects of fight for Kherson, Lukashenka readying for war

Prospect of fight for Kherson: analysts on Ukraine’s chances to retake southern city

As the Ukrainian Armed Forces successfully advance in the south, the prospect of the fight for Kherson nears. Russian forces are likely attempting to consolidate a new front line west from the village of Mylove in Kherson region, the UK defence intelligence said in its update on October 13. Western military officials estimate Ukraine could take Kherson up to the Dnipro as soon as next week, the Financial Times said. Meanwhile, representatives of the Russia-installed administration in Kherson released controversial statements on “evacuation”. 

The Ukrainian troops destroyed a Russian command post in the Beryslav district of Kherson region, Ukraine’s Operational Command South (Pivden) said on October 13. The damage to the Kerch Strait Bridge likely continues to slow down deliveries of Russian supplies and personnel to southern Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its report of October 13. Ukrainian online media “Krym Realii” published satellite imagery of over 1,000 trucks on the Russian side of the bridge waiting in a three-to-four-day line to cross the strait via the ferry. “Krym Realii” found that there are only four ferries operating with a capacity of 90 trucks and 300 people each, ISW said. Maxar satellite imagery also showed Russian military trucks using the ferry to cross the Kerch Strait.

“The Ukrainian Armed Forces prepared ground to deoccupy the territory on the right bank in Kherson region,” Ukrainian military analyst Dmytro Snehiryov told Radio NV. Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the south advances at a steady pace and is successful. Reports of it being halted are not true, he added. 

The Russian-appointed head of the Kherson occupation administration, Volodymyr (Vladimir) Saldo, asked Russian officials on October 13 to support a wide-scale evacuation of civilians from Kherson region to occupied Crimea and neighboring Russian oblasts to “protect” Kherson civilians from alleged Ukrainian missile strikes that target civilian facilities, repeating a Russian propaganda narrative. 

“Vladimir Saldo’s request signals Ukraine’s fightback in occupied region is gaining traction,” the Financial Times said.

An appeal from the Russian-installed head of the region raised fears that Kherson will become a new frontline, the Guardian said. 

Lukashenka readies for war?

The self-proclaimed president of Belarus Alyaksandr Lukashenka said that Belarus’s joint regional group of forces with Russia will number more than 70,000, mostly Belarusian troops. “Our army consists of about 70,000 troops. That’s the core. We will not demand 10,000-15,000 more troops from Russia now. They keep themselves busy with other problems, you name them. We will stick to that. We train the guys,” Lukashenka said.  

He also said that Poland suggested hosting nuclear weapons, and half of the Poles support the move, according to a survey.

Belarus and Russia agreed to deploy a joint regional group of forces in the west of Belarus. Lukashenka announced on October 10. “Responding to an escalation on the western border of the Union State, we agreed to deploy a regional group of forces of the Russian Federation and Belarus,” Lukashenka said. 

Russia’s missile terror: how many more rockets left?

Since its full-scale invasion, Russia has fired at Ukraine a total of 1,235 precision-guided long-range missiles worth USD 5.54-6.81 billion, “Ukrainska Pravda” said, quoting the data on Russia’s missile capabilities released by Ukraine’s Defense Ministry. 

Russia has used two-thirds of its precision-guided long-range missile capabilities, an infographic released by Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov shows. Russia has fired 776 Iskander missiles, 228 Kalibr missiles, and 231 Kh-101 and Kh-555 missiles.   

An Iskander missile is estimated to cost USD three million. Russia has spent USD 2,328 billion worth of the Iskander missiles it fired at Ukraine.

A Kalibr missiles costs USD 6.5 million, meaning Russia has fired USD 1,482 billion worth of missiles.

A Kh-101 costs USD 13 million, and a Kh-555 costs USD 7.5 million, open sources say. The total cost of the missiles that Russia fired since the full-scale invasion stands at USD 5.54-6.81 billion. 

Fake referendums undermine the legitimacy of Russian state altogether. Ukraine in Flames #218

Russia’s so-called “referendums” in the occupied regions of Ukraine, which Russia does not even control entirely, are yet another crime against the sovereignty of Ukraine the aggressor should be punished for. Why will the attempted annexation have no legal force, and how to bring the responsible to justice? We spell this out in Ukraine In Flames #218.


  • Zakhar Tropin, Associate Professor of the International Law Department at the Institute of International Relations of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
  • Denys Dolynskyi, Lawyer of Lawyers’ Union “Azones”
  • Oleksandr Moshnyagul, Political Scientist