Neither side appears to have made significant gains on day 59, Saturday 23rd April. Shelling, missile attacks, and airstrikes continue across all fronts.
Odessa and Kherson
Several Russian missiles were launched at targets near Odessa. While at least one missile struck its target, reports indicate that several were shot down by Ukrainian air defence near Odessa and the port of Pivdenniy. The Russian Air Ministry released a statement saying that its missile strikes had destroyed a depot of Western-supplied weaponry near Odessa.
Daily reports of explosions in Mykolaiv indicate that shellfire exchanges continue across the Kherson-Mykolaiv front, with the Russians presumed to have the advantage in firepower. Readers will recall that the Russian army is organised around Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs) which consist of a large contingent of vehicles, MLRS, and (mobile) artillery. Russian military doctrine emphasises the use of firepower, while the Ukrainians appear to rely more on infantry operations (given the large quantities of advanced infantry weapon systems shipped into the region from NATO).
A Russian Orlan-10 drone was downed near Zaporizhzhia, allegedly by electronic warfare (EW). The Ukrainian army has been supplied with a number of handheld jammers or ‘anti-drone guns’ by NATO backers.
Explosions were reported near Pavlohrad and Dnipro as a result of continuing Russian missile attacks against these cities. Dnipro in particular appears to possess significant air defence capabilities.
Recent reports appear to confirm that despite statements made by Vladimir Putin last week, Russian ground forces have indeed attempted to assault the Azovstal complex in Mariupol, where the last defenders of the city are holed up. The outcome of such operations remains unknown, but the industrial plant appears to remain in Ukrainian hands.
Russian jets have been particularly active over East Donbas recently, according to various footage. The following images show the aftermath of MLRS shelling in Horlivka, as well as a Russian jet (believed to be an Su-25 ‘Frogfoot’, specialised for close air support of ground operations).
There do not appear to have been any significant gains for either side in the East Donbas region on Saturday 23rd April, despite continuing bombardment.
The Czech Republic has sent 122mm self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine as part of ongoing efforts to supply the country with heavy artillery.