File picture of Rustem Umerov, Minister of Defense of Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine, 06 September 2023. EFE/EPA/ANDRII NESTERENKO

Russia attacks Odessa again, keeps up pressure on eastern front

Kyiv/Moscow, Oct 12 (EFE).- Russia again attacked port infrastructure in the southern region of Odessa on Thursday. It continued offensives on the eastern front, while Ukraine received a new military assistance package of nearly $500 million from its partners to cover the needs of its armed forces for the winter.

“Damage to port infrastructure and residential buildings was recorded in the Izmail district,” wrote the head of the Odessa military administration, Oleh Kiper.

The drones injured an elderly woman and caused a fire, he added.

The air force said that Russia launched 33 Shahed kamikaze drones Wednesday night, 28 of which were shot down by Ukrainian defenses.

Nadia, 72, poses for a photo on a sofa in the basement of her house in Velyka Novosilka, Donetsk region, Ukraine, 12 October 2023.EFE/EPA/KATERYNA KLOCHKO

Russia confirms attack in Odessa

The Russian Defense Ministry on Thursday acknowledged the attack in Izmail but claimed it was aimed at a warehouse of Ukrainian war equipment.

“Near the town of Izmail in the Odessa region, a warehouse with military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was destroyed,” defense spokesman Igor Konahsenkov said in the daily war report.

According to the spokesman, “aviation, drones, missile forces and artillery of the Russian Armed Forces inflicted losses on (Ukraine’s) living forces and war equipment in 129 areas”.

More aid for Kyiv

Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov reported receiving new aid of almost $500 million from its allies.

He said the new allied assistance was intended to cover the Ukrainian army’s needs during the winter, including ammunition and anti-aircraft defenses.

“As for deliveries, we will receive everything on time,” Umerov was quoted as saying by Ukrainska Pravda.

The Ukrainian minister also revealed details of his meeting with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Brussels, saying that Washington had promised to maintain aid to Ukraine “as long as it is necessary.”

Austin reassured his Ukrainian colleague that the US can provide military assistance to Ukraine and Israel amid fears that the war in the Middle East could undermine support for Kyiv.

At the same time, Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov admitted Thursday that the supply of military hardware to Ukraine could decrease if Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip drags on.

Budanov also stated that Russia has the resources to extend military action until 2026.

Russia maintains pressure on Avdiivka

The battle for the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka continues to focus the efforts of both sides these days. A Russian offensive is underway, with Moscow’s troops advancing on the city’s outskirts.

“Geolocated imagery from October 10-11 confirms that Russian troops advanced southwest of Avdiivka near Sieverne and northwest of Avdiivka near Stepove and Krasnohorivka,” the US-based Institute for the Study of War said in its daily report.

According to the analytical center, the Russian offensive operations in Avdiivka demonstrate the ability of Moscow’s troops to learn from their mistakes on other fronts and apply the lessons learned.

At the same time, the ISW believes that it will be difficult for the Russian army to complete the encirclement of this Ukrainian stronghold in the Donetsk region, which is well fortified and defended.

Meanwhile, its hypothetical capture would not give Moscow any new advantages for the future advance in Donetsk, the ISW experts asserted.

Kyiv, in turn, acknowledged the “tense” situation in Avdiivka but reiterated that its forces “maintain their positions” in the town, which once had more than 30,000 inhabitants. EFE

A man enters a damaged house in Velyka Novosilka, Donetsk region, Ukraine, 12 October 2023. EFE/EPA/KATERYNA KLOCHKO