The January 14 Russian attack on Ukrainian critical infrastructure was not surprising. It was to be expected, right after the military appointments announced by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to allow for better coordination and expansion of the special operation Russian armed forces. Ukraine is struggling to resume normalcy after the first massive Russian bombardment last Saturday, the first of the year.
As in previous massive attacks, Russian troops used decoys (swarms of kamikaze drones) to identify Ukrainian air defense positions. This has also allowed them to “unload” the Ukrainian air defense system, that is, to render it ineffective and then launch cruise missiles. The effect at the moment is devastating
Among the affected areas is Kharkiv: a total of four attacks on an energy infrastructure facility and an industrial enterprise. Two attacks occurred in the Losevo station area, where the KhTZ plant and the 330 kV Losevo substation are located. Electricity and water supply were partially lost in the city, and the subway came to a halt.
In Zaporozhia, missiles were reportedly fired at one of the city’s industrial enterprises. The attack was confirmed by the regional administration. In Odessa, explosions were heard in the residential area of Kotovsky, as well as in the vicinity of Dachny and Usatovo. Electric transportation is at a standstill in the city. In Lviv, local authorities reported a strike on an energy infrastructure facility. In Ivano-Frankivsk, energy infrastructure hit. In Vinnycja: attacked an energy infrastructure facility, it is TPP Ladyzhinskaya. In Dnepropetrovsk: explosions, in one of the districts, electricity and water were completely lost. Communication problems began in the city. In Mikolaev: explosions in the region.
In Kiev and Odessa regions, emergency blackouts were carried out in advance. After initial reports of attacks, similar measures were taken in Ivano-Frankivsk, Zaporozhia, and Zhytomyr regions.
During a raid in Dnepropetrovsk, a house in the residential area of Pobeda near the Salyut cinema was hit. It is not yet known exactly what caused it: it could be an intercepted cruise missile that went off course or a consequence of Ukrainian air defense work. At least 30 civilians were killed.
Russian forces also struck targets in Ukrainian Kherson. After arrivals in the area of the “Fregat” hotel downtown, problems with the light began. The Ukrainians reported that it was a Russian attack, the Russians said they are investigating, although according to social sphere analysts it could be an S-300 activated to shoot down a Russian cruise missile.
But the massive bombardment on January 14-15 did not only involve critical infrastructure: Russian troops attacked Ukrainian armed forces in Kindrativka in Sumy region, as well as in Staritsa, Volchansk, Budarki, Strelechya and Chugunovka in Kharkiv region.
In the direction of Starobil’s’k, Russian armed forces attacked Ukrainian positions in Dvurechnaya, Sinkovka, Krakhmalny, Novoselovsky, Makeevka, and Nevsky. As of January 16, there are no changes on the front line in the Kup “jans’k-Svatove area. Enemy commanders are rotating and scouting the positions of the Russian Armed Forces.
In the Svatove-Lymanske sector, Russian soldiers of the 3rd Motorized Infantry Division of the 20th Army, supported by armored vehicles, are advancing on the Ploshchanka-Makiivka line near the Zhuravka bundle, retaking positions lost in the fall. At the same time, the Russian Armed Forces successfully stormed several Ukrainian Army strongholds in the direction of Zarechnoye-Torske. The Ukrainian Armed Forces command plans to launch a counterattack by reinforcements deployed in the vicinity of Dibrova and Chervonopopivka.
Ukrainian formations shelled Kreminna, Tarasovka, Rubizhne, Novopskov, and Svatove with MLRSs. At least four civilians were killed and civilian infrastructure damaged.
In the Bachmut direction of the front, Russian missile and artillery forces hit targets in Bachmut, Vesele , Druzhba, Kirovo, and west of Spirne.
In the Donetsk direction, RF forces worked on targets in Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka, Georgievka, Marinka, and Vodyany.
The Ukrainians, in turn, fired at Donetsk and Gorlivka.
In the Yuzhnodonetsk direction, Russian forces hit targets in Vuhledar, Prechistovka, Zolotoy Niva, and Bolshaya Novoselka.
In the Zaporozhia region, Russian armed forces attacked Ukrainian targets in Hulyaypole, Zaliznychny, Orekhovo, Stepovoe, Charivny, and Plavny.
Ukrainian formations fired on the town of Pologi, killing four civilians. In the southern sector of the front, Russian troops attacked positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Kherson, Antonovka, and Dmitrovka.
According to unverifiable witness accounts, Ukrainian troops used phosphorus ammunition against humanitarian refugee convoys in Soledar.
On the 16th, it is learned that targets hit by Russian missile strikes include an industrial plant in Zaporizhzhia, the Burshtyn thermal power plant in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, an energy infrastructure facility in Lviv, and other targets in the Kiev, Vinnycja, Kharkiv, and Dnipropetrovsk regions.
Also on Jan. 16, it is reported that in the Bryansk region of Russia, Ukrainian forces attempted a missile attack on nearby towns in the region. Russian air defense assets intercepted the missile in the Klintsovsky district, with no casualties. The Ukrainians unsuccessfully attacked one of Bryansk’s electrical substations using a drone. One of the launched projectiles failed and the other was disabled by the facility’s security guard. Ukrainian formations shelled shopping centers in Shebekino, Belgorod region. There were no casualties.
In the Kharkiv region, Ukrainian troops are setting up defensive positions in case of a possible new offensive by the Russian Armed Forces. Javelin missile defense systems have been delivered to positions along the border with Russia.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces command has mobilized up to 5,000 troops in the Sumy region to replace defense units that left for Soledar’s direction. In the northern Chernihiv region, Ukrainian engineering units undermined access to border settlements. They equipped fortifications near Avtunychi and Repka.
Soledar direction: fighters from PMC Wagner completed house-to-house razing in Soledar. In the western part of the city, the area of the seventh salt mine was taken under control. At the same time, remnants of Ukrainian troops are still present in underground communications. Russian units are advancing into the village of Sol from different directions, as well as on the outskirts of Blahodatne West of Berestove, Russian Armed Forces stormed a stronghold of the Ukrainian 54th detachment, killing five Kiev soldiers. Southwest of Soledar, Russian Forces attacked Ukrainian positions from the north, east and south. The Russian military also advanced in the vicinity of Paraskoviivka.
Ukrainian units plan to counterattack PMC Wagner positions east of Bachmut near the Champagne wine factory. Southwest of Bachumt, the Wagnerians have taken 60th Brigade Division positions south and southeast of Kleshcheyevka. The loss of an important settlement will allow Russian forces to take control of fire on the Chasov Yar – Bakhmut highway.