Russian troops at a welcoming ceremony as they deploy in Belarus, north of Ukraine, January 2022

Wednesday’s Coverage: Kyiv Strikes Again in Russian-Occupied Crimea

Source: Institute for the Study of War


A spokesman for Ukraine’s military intelligence directorate, Andriy Yusov, says Moscow has told the Russian staff of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant not to go to work on Friday.

Yusov said the directive was sent to Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom on Thursday afternoon.

Earlier today, Russia set up the pretext that Ukraine is “planning a provocation” at the plant. Ukrainian officials believe Russia, trying to avoid any mission by the UN or the International Atomic Energy Agency — and to maintain its use of the complex as a military base — is setting up a “false flag” attack to blame Kyiv.


After meeting UN Secretary General António Guterres, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the UN must ensure the security of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the south of the country.

Zelenskiy said he and Guterres also discussed the July 22 deal to lift the Russian blockade of Black Sea ports, but “particular attention was paid to the topic of Russia’s nuclear blackmail at the Zaporizhzhia NPP”.

This deliberate terror on the part of the aggressor can have global catastrophic consequences for the whole world. Therefore, the UN must ensure the security of this strategic object, its demilitarization and complete liberation from Russian troops.

Guterres has appealed for the Russians to allow access for a mission from the UN and International Atomic Energy Agency, but Moscow has said it will not admit any group that goes through Kyiv. Russia also rejected any demilitarization or withdrawal from the military base which it has established.

The Russians threatened today to shut down the plant, Europe’s largest, on the pretext that it might be shelled by the Ukrainians.

Zelenskiy said he and the UN head also spoke about “the issue of illegal and forced deportation of Ukrainians” and “the release of our military personnel and medics from captivity”.

The two men, along with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, held their discussions in Lviv in western Ukraine.


Russian forces have killed one person and injured two in its latest strikes on the port city of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine.

Mayor Oleksandr Sienkevych said the Russians attacked about 1 p.m.


The latest Russian attacks on the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine have killed three civilians and wounded six.

Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said the towns of Avdiika and Kurakhivka and the village of Netailove were struck.


Estonia says it has repelled the most intense cyber-attack it has faced since 2007, following the removal of a Soviet-era tank monument from a region with a predominant ethnic Russian population.

Russian hacker group Killnet claimed responsibility for the attack which it claimed had blocked access to more than 200 state and private Estonian institutions.

But the Estonian government said the attack went “largely unnoticed”: “With some brief and minor exceptions, websites remained fully available throughout the day.”

Estonian authorities removed the Soviet tank from its pedestal in the eastern city of Narva, the most significant removal among 200 to 400 monuments which the government has pledged to take down by the end of 2022.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said, “We will not afford Russia the opportunity to use the past to disturb the peace in Estonia.”

Estonia was a Soviet republic from 1944 until 1991. Almost 25% of its population of 1.3 million are ethnic Russians.

The government said this month that monuments are being removed, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine had “opened wounds in our society of which these communist-era monuments remind us”.


Ukraine Presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych says of Vladimir Putin’s invasion:

Russian forces have achieved only minimal advances, and in some cases we have advanced, since last month.

What we are seeing is a “strategic deadlock.”

The Ukraine Defense Ministry added:

The Rashists [Russians] are urgently moving their planes and helicopters deep into the peninsula and to the airfields of the Russian Federation following the recent strikes in Crimea.

The occupiers are carrying out measures to partially transfer aviation equipment from forward-based airfields in Crimea to reserve airfields and airfields permanently based on the territory of the Russian Federation.


Russian strikes in and the city of Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine has killed at least 12 people in the past 24 hours.

Seven civilians were slain and 16 injured on Thursday and at least five more were killed and 18 wounded early Friday.

Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synehubov said the attackers launched eight missiles from Russian territory on Kharakiv city at around 04:30 a.m. local time. At least three people, including a child, have been killed.

Separate strikes on residential buildings in the town of Krasnograd, southwest of Kharkiv, killed two civilians and injured two more.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said a block of flats was destroyed in Thursday’s strikes. He vowed, “We will not forgive, we will take revenge.”


Russia has replaced Black Sea Fleet commander Igor Osipov, amid a series of naval setbacks, explosions in occupied Crimea, and a possible Ukrainian counter-offensive in the south of the country.

Viktov Sokolov has been named as Osipov’s replacement.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: A Russian paratrooper has spoken out against Vladimir Putin’s invasion, telling London’s Guardian, “I don’t see justice in this war. I don’t see truth here.”

Pyotr Filatyev fled Russia this week after he published a 141-page journal of his service in a paratrooper unit. He was evacuated after being wounded and contracting an eye infection.

We were sitting under artillery fire by Mykolaiv.

At that point I already thought that we’re just out here doing bullshit, what the fuck do we need this war for? And I really had this thought: “God, if I survive, then I’ll do everything that I can to stop this.”

Extracts of his memoir ZOV — the markings on Russian army vehicles which are a pro-war symbol — have been published in Russia’s remaining independent press, and he appeared by video in an interview on TV Rain.

The Russian investigative site iStories, banned by authorities inside the country, has published a confession from another Russian soldier about shooting and killing a civilian in Andiivka in eastern Ukraine.

“Most in the Army Are Unhappy with Putin”

Filatyev Filatyev describes his 56th Guards Air Assault Regiment invading southern Ukraine from occupied Crimea at the start of the invasion in late February.

But the regiment had no effective logistics or objectives. It was poorly-equipped and soon exhausted.

“It took me weeks to understand there was no war on Russian territory at all, and that we had just attacked Ukraine,” Filatyev said.

Occupying the port city of Kherson, the paratroopers, the elite of the Russian army, captured the Kherson seaport and immediately began grabbing “computers and whatever valuable goods we could find”. They ransacked kitchens for food.

Like savages, we ate everything there: oats, porridge, jam, honey, coffee….We didn’t give a damn about anything, we’d already been pushed to the limit. Most had spent a month in the fields with no hint of comfort, a shower or normal food.

What a wild state you can drive people to by not giving any thought to the fact that they need to sleep, eat and wash. Everything around gave us a vile feeling; like wretches we were just trying to survive.

He says of the looting:

[The soldier] knows that this is worth more than one of his salaries. And who knows if he’ll be alive tomorrow anyway. So he takes it.

not trying to justify what he’s done. But I think it’s important to say why people act like this…what a person will do in these kinds of extreme situations.

Filatyev talks of how the regiment was pinned down in trenches for almost a month near Mykolaiv, successfully defended by Ukrainian forces. Troops deliberately shot themselves to escape the front and collect 3 million roubles (£48,720) in compensation.

“Most people in the army are unhappy about what’s going on there, they’re unhappy about the government and their commanders, they’re unhappy with Putin and his politics, they’re unhappy with the minister of defence, who has never served in the army,” he says.

“I Can’t Stay Quiet Any Longer”

Filatyev remained in Moscow for some time, thinking, “So I leave, I go to America, and who am I there? What am I supposed to do? If I’m not even needed in my own country, then who needs me there?”

He stayed in a different hotel each night for two weeks. Still, he says, it should not have been difficult to find him. “I don’t understand why they still haven’t snatched me up,” he said at a train station before leaving the Russian capital. “I’ve said more than anyone has for the last six months. Maybe they don’t know what to do with me.”

Last Saturday night, he left the country, “I am just terrified of what happens next. What will we pay for that? Who will be left in our country?”

But why take the risk, even as he is now outside Russia, of speaking out?

Filatyev answers, “I simply can’t stay quiet any longer, even though I know that I probably won’t change anything.”