Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Ukraine Downs 12 Russian Aircraft, Boosting Battlefield Pressure on Moscow. Battlefield Hotlines Let U.S. Military Keep Ukraine’s Weapons Firing; Sham referendum: even dead people are "voting"; Russians head to borders, take to streets to protest Putin’s draft, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
WSJ: Ukraine Downs 12 Russian Aircraft, Boosting Battlefield Pressure on Moscow
Ukraine dealt Russia’s Air Force some of its heaviest blows in months over the weekend, shooting down four war planes and eight Iranian-made drones that Russia has recently deployed, Ukrainian officials said, highlighting the losses Russians are taking as they try to boost control of the air.
The Ukrainian strikes follow some of the biggest gains by Kyiv since the start of the war and maintain Ukraine’s momentum on the battlefield. The losses raised the number of Russian planes downed to about 60 since the start of the invasion.
Russia’s Iranian-made drones attacked Odessa, a historic port city on the Black Sea, early Sunday. No one was hurt and one of the drones was shot down by air defenses, Ukraine’s southern command said.
Ukraine’s Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat said Ukrainian forces had shot down eight drones in the past 24 hours using small arms and air-defense systems. He said four Il-76 transport planes had flown to Russia carrying shipments of the Iranian drones, including the Shahed-136, which is used as a “suicide” drone to attack targets.
“We still need some more time to study the strengths and weaknesses of this drone,” he said speaking on Ukrainian television. U.S. officials have said Russia has been receiving the Iranian drones since late August.
Neither Russia nor Ukraine have managed to gain air superiority in the conflict, forcing both sides to focus on making costly gains on the ground. Earlier this month, Ukraine won back swaths of territory it took the Russians months to take over the summer.
Those advances in the northeastern Kharkiv region have forced Russia’s forces back to the sky, where they remain vulnerable, in a bid to gain intelligence on Ukrainian positions, Ukraine’s General Staff said on Sunday. --->READ MORE HERE
Photo composite: Eve Hartley
WSJ: Battlefield Hotlines Let U.S. Military Keep Ukraine’s Weapons Firing:
Near where weapons and equipment donated by the U.S. and other allies cross the border into Ukraine, a group of 55 U.S. troops and translators on iPads fielded repair queries about weapons that are already on the battlefield, via secure chat apps.
There are 14 chats for each major weapon system, forming a makeshift wartime telemaintenance network for fighters who are using weapons well beyond the limits for which they were designed.
Photos of barrels worn down by repeated firings arrived over chat from Ukrainians asking how to make the ordnance more accurate even with rifling stripped away. Front-line soldiers sent videos asking how to salvage weapons that otherwise would be considered irreparable and what fixes were needed to keep them working.
Ukrainian forces also sent sketches showing how they reverse-engineered a part that would take too long to arrive from an allied partner, and asked if it would work even if the created part wasn’t perfect.
“What this is doing is quickly returning equipment to the battlefield,” said a lieutenant colonel in charge of the chats.
Reporters weren’t allowed to use the names of troops leading the telemaintenance networks. Reporters who also met the troops agreed to not identify the type of app used for the chats, or where in Poland U.S. troops supporting the chats are based. --->READ MORE HERE
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