Ukraine Daily Summary - Thursday, September 28

'Good Russians' - Who are they? [podcast] -- Severed pig heads placed at Russian propagandists' homes -- Ukraine's military confirms Wagner fighters return to front -- Ukraine advances in Bakhmut, Melitopol directions -- and more

Thursday, September 28

Russia’s war against Ukraine

An aerial view of the destruction of Bakhmut, as seen on Sept. 27, 2023. The front-line city of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast was nearly destroyed by heavy battles. (Photo by Libkos/Getty Images)

General Staff: Ukraine advances in Bakhmut, Melitopol directions. Russian troops reportedly launched unsuccessful attacks near Sieverne and Marinka in Donetsk Oblast and south of Novodarivka in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

Cabinet appoints three deputy defense ministers. The Cabinet of Ministers on Sept. 27 appointed three new deputy ministers of defense, Taras Melnychuk, the Cabinet’s representative in parliament, announced.

Ukraine’s military confirms Wagner fighters return to front. The spokesperson said that of roughly 8,000 Wagner fighters in Belarus, some departed for Africa, and around 500 are returning to Ukraine’s eastern front. Russia’s Defense Ministry is renegotiating contracts with these mercenaries to serve either as combatants or instructors, Yevlash clarified.

Media: Severed pig heads placed at Russian propagandists’ homes. Timofey Sergeytsev, a columnist for the Russian-state run news agency Ria Novosti, Mikhail Tereshchenko, a photographer for state news agency TASS, and military expert Konstantin Sivkov said they had found the heads at their homes over during the week of Sept. 19-26.

WSJ: Scholz blocks transfer of Taurus missiles to Ukraine due to fear of Russia. Other members of Germany’s ruling coalition have approved sending Taurus missiles to Ukraine. On Sept. 4, German MP Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann wrote on Twitter that “he (Scholtz) alone blocks this decision within the coalition”.

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Ukraine to boycott UEFA football competitions involving Russia. UAF called for preserving the previous decision by UEFA and the International Association Football Federation (FIFA) not to allow the participation of Russian teams in international competitions.

SBU detains two Kyiv residents suspected of coordinating Russian strikes. According to the report, the two suspected collaborators were providing the Russian military intelligence (GRU) with coordinates to target critical infrastructure in the city, namely energy facilities.

UK Defense Ministry: New Russian offensive unlikely in coming weeks. The U.K. report pointed out that “Russia has only rarely maintained an uncommitted army-size grouping which could potentially form the basis of a major new offensive thrust” since the start of the full-scale invasion.

Official: Russia starts building railway links to occupied cities in Donetsk Oblast. Russia started building direct railway links to the occupied Ukrainian cities Mariupol, Volnovakha, and Donetsk, which could decrease Moscow’s logistical dependence on the Crimean Bridge, Petro Andriushchenko, an advisor to Melitopol’s exiled mayor, said on Sept. 27.

Bloomberg: Egypt in talks with Russia to buy 1 million tons of wheat. The discussions reportedly concern deliveries for this season. However, Bloomberg added that it is unclear how close are the two countries to a deal.

Read our exclusives

Ukraine war latest: Ukraine sends letter to G7 on use of Western parts in Shahed drones

A letter from the Ukrainian government to G7 nations says that some of the components used in the manufacture of Shahed-type drones come from companies based in the West, The Guardian reported on Sept. 27.

Photo: Oleg Pereverzev/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)

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Holding elections during full-scale war doesn’t make sense, experts say

When Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a fake vote to extend his mandate in March 2024, Ukraine will not be allowed to hold an election due to the martial law imposed amid Russia’s aggression.

Photo: Ukrainian Presidency/Handout via Getty Images

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A power grab or a weapon against Russia? Ukraine’s ‘TV marathon’ explained

One of the war-time projects most treasured by the Ukrainian government is Ukraine’s TV marathon – a united news programming produced by the country’s biggest media outlets altogether, which broadcasts 24/7 on all major Ukrainian TV channels.

Photo: Screenshot, 1+1 television channel

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Why are Ukrainians skeptical of “good Russians?”

Human cost of war

1 killed, 1 injured in Russian attacks on Kherson. Oleksandr Prokudin, governor of Kherson Oblast, said that there was “massive shelling” in the region and that a 41-year-old Kherson resident was killed in his own home.

Russian shelling kills 1, injures 4 in Donetsk Oblast. Russian forces used tanks, high explosive aerial bombs, and guided munitions in attacks in civilian areas of Donetsk Oblast that killed one and injured four others on Sept. 27, the regional prosecutor’s office reported on Facebook.

General Staff: Russia has lost 276,990 troops in Ukraine. This number includes 320 casualties Russian forces suffered just over the past day, the General Staff said.

International response

US announces new sanctions on firms involved in production of Shahed drones. Despite the existence of these sanctions, international companies have still found ways to bypass them and continue to do business, including supplying drone components, with Iran and Russia.

CNN: House Republicans to reject Senate deal as US shutdown nears. The bill includes an additional $6.1 billion in funding for Ukraine, comprising $4.5 billion for defense equipment and $1.6 billion in fiscal budget support.

Media: Germany investigating possible Russian war crimes in Ukraine. The German Federal Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into the alleged shooting of civilians, including a German citizen, by Russian troops at the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the German news agency Tagesschau reported on Sept. 27.

Bulgarian parliament approves providing Ukraine with S-300 missiles. The primary reason for the need to transfer the missiles, argued Parliamentary Defense Committee Head Hristo Gadzhev, was the missiles were too old to be of use to the Bulgarian military, and that even their original manufacturer would be unable to repair them.

Swiss parliament again votes down re-export of arms to Ukraine. The proposed amendment was rejected by 135 lawmakers and only approved by 48.

Polish opposition leader calls for unwavering military aid to Ukraine. “The Polish state should not budge from its position, military support of Ukraine should not be questioned,” said Donald Tusk, Poland’s former prime minister.

Trudeau apologizes for honoring Nazi veteran. “This was a mistake that has deeply embarrassed Parliament and Canada,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In other news

Baku claims 192 Azerbaijani troops killed, 511 wounded in Karabakh offensive. During Baku’s recent offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, 180 Azerbaijani soldiers, 12 service members of the Interior Ministry, and one Azerbaijani civilian were killed, the state-run Azerbaijani Press Agency reported on Sept. 27, citing the country’s Health Ministry.

Azerbaijan detains former Nagorno-Karabakh PM. Russian-Armenian investor and billionaire Ruben Vardanyan held senior positions in several Russian companies and founded one of Russia’s largest investment banks, Troika Dialog.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Toma Istomina, Martin Fornusek, Nate Ostiller, Oleg Sukhov, Li Luo, Olena Goncharova, and Abbey Fenbert.

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