Sunday, December 31, 2023

From the Heroic to the Mundane: 12hrs of Positional War Near Bakhmut; 74 RU Sailors Killed, 27 Wounded on Destroyed Novocherkassk Ship; What and Where are RU's $300B in Frozen Reserves; UKR Repels 12 Attacks in Kupyansk Direction, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Francis Farrell/The Kyiv Independent
From the heroic to the mundane: 12 hours of positional war near Bakhmut:
“I’ll let you in on a secret, there will be an assault at dawn tomorrow."
Sviatoslav, a 57-year-old sergeant responsible for the mental support of the mortar unit, lowered his voice as he said the words.
“Get some sleep, as you can be sure there will be some work in the morning.”
On the other side of the room sits a younger, stocky man, rugged up in a winter coat and concentrating on his phone. Thirty-two-year-old Viktor “Wind” is going to lead the mortar team for his first time on tomorrow’s shift.
“This is his debut,” said Sviatoslav.
“He already knows how to dial in on targets, how to use Kropyva (Ukrainian tactical artillery program), and this is the first time he will lead the team, and then we will send him home for a well-earned vacation.”
Viktor and the others on shift soon leave the room to get some rest before the early start. Sleep before a mission is often as uneasy as it is valuable.
The unit, stationed in a village about 20 kilometers from the front line, is part of Ukraine’s 42nd Mechanized Brigade, fighting on the southern flank of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast, near the destroyed hamlet of Andriivka.
Ukrainian forces retook the ruins of the village in September, but could not push further into Russian-held territory. Consistently one of the hottest parts of the entire front line, the Andriivka sector has showcased the kind of slow but brutal positional fighting that has defined the war in Ukraine over 2023. The Kyiv Independent embedded with the unit for a 12-hour shift, but the other men usually fight here for five days at a time.
At 3:30 a.m., by the light of red flashlights, the men load ammunition, food, and other supplies into two cars slated to head out to the positions.
Trips back and forth from the front-line positions are always made “in the grey:” that is, at dawn or dusk, when there is just enough light for the driver to see the road but not enough for enemy drones to notice the movement.
The inside of the car is quiet for most of the way, with the driver’s eyes fixed on the couple of meters of road directly ahead. He must find the perfect balance of speed: too fast and he could easily run into one of the many shellholes or destroyed pieces of equipment along the way. Too slow, and the sun could rise and expose the car to drones; or worse, the team could arrive late for the morning assault. --->LOTS MORE HERE
Photo: Astra  
74 sailors were killed and 27 wounded on destroyed Novocherkassk ship:
Activists from the Cyber Resistance movement have obtained a letter verifying that 74 Russian sailors were killed and 27 wounded on the Novocherkassk, the Russian landing ship that Ukrainian forces destroyed on 26 December.
Source: National Resistance Center with reference to the intercepted letter
Details: In the letter, Nikolai Yevmenov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, proposes that mourning should be declared in the city of Novocherkassk in connection with the deaths of 74 Russians.
The letter was intercepted thanks to access to the mailbox of Ksenia Goncharova (Shachina), a propagandist from the NASHI ("Ours") TV show on the Russia 1 channel.
Explosions rocked Feodosiia in occupied Crimea at around 03:00 on 26 December. It was reported that a vessel thought to be carrying Iranian-made ammunition had been blown up and a fire had broken out in the port. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++What and where are Russia's $300 billion in reserves frozen in the West?+++++

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