Drones attack Moscow, new Russian aerospace forces chief appointed, explosions near Ukraine’s Izmail port

Novaya-Europe's round-up

Aftermath of the drone attack on Moscow. Photo: social media

Aftermath of the drone attack on Moscow. Photo: social media

It is day 546 of the war in Ukraine.

Drones attacked Moscow and its suburbs, damaging several buildings.

Explosions were reportedly heard near the Ukrainian port of Izmail as Russia attacked Ukraine’s Odesa region with drones.

General Viktor Afzalov has been appointed commander of Russia’s aerospace forces after the dismissal of Sergey Surovikin.

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has entertained the annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both internationally recognised as Russian-occupied territories of Georgia.

The ISW believes Russia’s second line of defence in Zaporizhzhia may be weaker than its first defensive lines.

Read the latest developments overnight in Novaya-Europe’s roundup.

Three drones attack Moscow and its suburbs

In the early hours of Wednesday air defence downed two drones over the Mozhaisk and Khimki districts of the Moscow region, city mayor Sergey Sobyanin reported.

A third drone crashed into a building under construction in Moscow’s International Business Centre damaging its glass façade after being intercepted by air defence systems. Telegram channels also reported damage to a shop and a residential building in Khimki, northwest of Moscow.

All Moscow airports briefly ceased operating after the incident.

The Russian Defence Ministry issued a statement saying the drones had been destroyed and blaming Ukraine for the attack.

Ukraine’s Odesa region shelled

An industrial and shipping complex caught fire following a three-hour-long Russian drone attack on the Odesa region of southern Ukraine, the head of the regional administration Oleh Kiper announced Wednesday morning.

Among other things, the blaze damaged grain storage facilities. It was extinguished by 6 AM.

“The enemy is targeting the region’s civil infrastructure,” Kiper wrote, adding that air defence had downed nine Shahed drones.

The Ukrainian Air Force said that the Russian army had launched several waves of Shahed drones against the southern part of the region. Another group of Iranian-produced drones were reported to have flown past the port of Izmail further west, where Ukrainian monitoring channels reported that explosions were heard.

New Russian aerospace forces chief appointed after Surovikin’s dismissal

Colonel General Viktor Afzalov has been appointed as acting commander in chief of Russia’s aerospace forces following the dismissal of General Sergey Surovikin, state news agency RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday.

“The former head of the Russian Air and Space Forces, Sergey Surovikin, has now been relieved of his post. Colonel General Viktor Afzalov, head of the Main Staff of the Air and Space forces, is temporarily acting as commander-in-chief,” RIA wrote citing a source familiar with the situation.

Viktor Afzalov. Photo: screenshot from video

Viktor Afzalov. Photo: screenshot from video

Afzalov had previously acted as commander of Russia’s aerospace forces when Surovikin was appointed to command Russian joint forces in Ukraine. Russian news outlet RBK reported earlier that Surovikin was on leave.

Former president Medvedev floats annexation of Georgian territories to Russia

In a newly published article for the Russian tabloid newspaper Argumenty i Fakty, the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev suggested the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which are legally part of Georgia, could become part of Russia.

“We don’t want a replay of 2008 [when Russian troops invaded Georgia]. We are ready to solve any issues by negotiating in accordance with the UN Charter. But if our concerns become real, we will act without hesitation. The idea of joining Russia continues to be popular in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and may well be implemented should compelling reasons present themselves,” Medvedev argued.

Medvedev said that such an outcome would be a “shameful fiasco” for the West and “a symbol of its catastrophic loss of influence”.

He also claimed that in 2008 Russia had ended its offensive against Tbilisi “after eliminating threats and receiving security guarantees”.

Most UN member states considerAbkhazia and South Ossetia to be Russian-occupied territories of Georgia.

The pro-Russian authorities in Abkhazia have made it clear on multiple occasions that they have no intention of joining Russia. In a similar move last year, South Ossetia suspended a decree that would have seen a referendum held on joining Russia.

ISW: Russia’s second defence line in Zaporizhzhia possibly weaker than first

The Ukrainian advance in the Robotyne area brings Kyiv’s forces closer to launching operations against Russia’s second lines of defence, and these may be weaker than the first defensive line, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) concluded in a recent briefing on the conflict in Ukraine.

The ISW said it had not observed the arrival of additional Russian forces in the western part of Zaporizhzhia “beyond the lateral transfer of the elements of the 7th VDV Division and the arrival of ‘Akhmat-Yug’ Battalion elements in August”.

“The lack of observed Russian formations and units at secondary lines of defence in western Zaporizhzhya may suggest that elements of units and formations already engaged in fighting may occupy these positions,” the ISW briefing concluded.

This suggests that Russia lacks operational reserves, meaning that its second lines of defence may be “significantly less heavily defended”, the Institute wrote, adding, however, that it could not make that assessment with any certainty due to a lack of information on Russian troop movements.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.