Several Russian planes shot down in one day

The Ukrainian General Staff claimed that troops shot down two Russian Su-30SM Flankers, one Su-25SM Frogfoot, one Su-34 Fullback, five drones and one cruise missile. Footage showed the Su-34 trailing fire from its right engine over the front line in Kharkiv Oblast, with a later clip showing a fireball and a crash site in the area.

Later videos showed an Su-30SM crashing after being hit by a missile, with two parachutes seen descending nearby. Ukraine’s takedown claims cannot be independently confirmed at this time, although several aircraft appear to have been shot down.

The cause of this spike in sorties and downings is unclear, but it is possible that pressure on the Russian Air Force to halt Ukraine’s advance on the battlefield and complicates the ability of his forces to hold the reconquered territory has increased. Ukrainian medium- and long-range forward-deployed air defenses mean that even high-end tactical jets cannot operate at altitude, pushing them down into the MANPADS envelope. We see the results of this reality today.

Drones are a growing concern. Russian forces sent waves of Iranian drones against targets away from the front lines on September 23. Losses like the one on Saturday and throughout the war in Ukraine are exactly why Russia wanted Iranian drones in the first place.

Drones can be durable and cost effective. Jets, helicopters and pilots are not. This is especially true for strikes in western regions of Ukraine where Russian air power cannot operate without extreme risk. Using drones for smaller targets beyond the front lines instead of ranged land attack cruisers and ballistic missiles, which are very expensive and less and less available, opens up a whole new set of tactics. and target access for Russia. Suicide drones can also detect Ukrainian air defense radars and attack them from great distances, potentially impacting Ukraine’s ability to deny Russian airpower access beyond the front lines. . Even if they are shot down, they consume Ukraine’s precious stock of surface-to-air missiles. We wrote about the appearance of Iranian drones in Ukraine and their recent use, which you can read here.

However, Kyiv is not too fond of Iran providing the drones. Ukraine not only condemned the drone deliveries, but also stripped the title of Iranian ambassador and reached out to Israel for any intelligence it can provide on Tehran.

Before you jump into the latest updates from Ukraine, The war zone readers can keep up to date with our previous continuing coverage here.

The last

The impact of the mobilization continued to be felt in Russia on Saturday, with misfortunes ranging from disturbing to comical. Recently mobilized conscripts have shared videos of the equipment Moscow has for its reservists. Because nothing says desperate measures like rusty AKs through and through.

However, when reservists bring their own equipment, the military would confiscate it for use elsewhere. It’s unclear to what extent this applies and whether it’s strictly medical supplies or things like uniforms, tools or navigational gear.

The general trend of conscripted men stumbling dead drunk continues. And while we’re not entirely sure, there’s probably a vodka-flavored overlap with the guy shown below doing Lada bodywork with his forehead.

Mobilization clearly does not translate into military discipline either. The video below is a good example. Conscripts tell Russian soldiers in uniform exactly what they can do with their drill training.

In the Siberian city of Omsk, things seem to have gotten seriously worse long before anyone thought to order the base. The mobilized conscripts fought with local police, who the conscripts said should accompany them into the Ukrainian trenches.

Mobilization unrest has spread across Russia, as evidenced by videos and an assessment by the Institute for the Study of War.

In addition to protests and Molotov cocktail attacks on government and military recruitment centres, unrest remains very clear on Russia’s borders. Google traffic data still shows traffic jams on roads leading to Kazakhstan, Finland and Georgia.

The Russian exodus to Georgia is particularly ironic considering the last time so many Russians crossed the Caucasus, the Russians invaded.

Elsewhere, the president of the Council of the European Union called on members of the alliance to welcome Russians who do not want to support their country’s war in Ukraine in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

Michel told Politico the EU should be willing to give refuge “to those who don’t want to be instrumentalized by the Kremlin.” Michel further called for the suspension of Russia from the UN Security Council.

Despite the chaotic effects of mobilization inside Russia, accounts from the front line suggest combat units are severely undermanned. A message on Telegram reports that there are brigades, nominally several thousand soldiers, which number only 60 infantry.

Combat brigades bleeding down to two platoons of infantry is an abominable attrition rate. Moscow’s desperate measures may be necessary at this point, however ineffective, if they are to continue the war.

One thing is for sure, Ukraine doesn’t care what caliber of Russians it has to fight.

As for the war itself, the latest update from the UK MoD reports Russian strikes on dams on the Siverskyy Donets River trying to flood the crossings downstream. However, any subsequent flooding is “unlikely to have caused significant disruption to Ukrainian operations”.

Amid Ukraine’s continued advance, the New York Times reported on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had placed himself in the middle of his commander’s operations. Specifically, Putin reportedly refused Kherson’s withdrawal demands.

History hasn’t exactly been kind to autocrats with operational control, as the heavily meme Führerbunker scene from 2004’s “Downfall” comes to mind. Putin, however, made a significant change by firing Deputy Defense Minister for Logistics General Dmitry Bulgakov from his post.

Bulgakov’s replacement would be Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, the former head of the National Defense Management Center. Mizintsev’s reputation precedes himself, having earned the nickname “Butcher of Mariupol” for his role in Russia’s assault on the port city this spring.

New photos of the Antonivksky Bridge show the damage after months of strikes by Ukrainian HIMARS. If Putin gives in to the reported wishes of his generals, they will need another way over the Dnieper.

According to a report from the wall street journal.

We wrote about the particular lack of technical support for Ukrainian soldiers, in particular with the FGM-148 Javelin missile, which you can read here.

The Russian military’s less than buttoned-up operational security continues to pay off for Ukraine:

Another piece of sensitive Russian equipment fell into the hands of Ukraine and possibly Western intelligence:

Finally, the Ukrainian military hasn’t lost its sense of humor through it all, posting the below tweet of its ghillie’d-up snipers with a caption once again referencing the fight of good against evil of the Lord of the Rings in which they see themselves:

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