1. Zhdanov: Ukrainians are being scared by the “most combat-capable” third army corps from Mulino, which is about to be transferred to the front. I see two directions that they would very much like to strengthen today. The first is the Donetsk direction (and, most likely, the corps will go there) to fulfill the political tasks that Putin personally set regarding capturing the Donetsk region. The second option they could send him is to the south of Ukraine to strengthen the group closed on the right bank, says military expert Oleg Zhdanov. But the situation there – I don’t know if they understand – is this: heavy equipment and weapons will not be transported across the Dnipro. From a military perspective, sending the third army corps is pointless to strengthen the grouping of troops. But judging by the situation that is developing today in the Kremlin, if it is true that Putin is currently personally managing this operation (which I highly doubt – he will appoint some general anyway and broadcast his tasks through him), then the situation in the Kremlin unpredictable in any case. In this regard, what orders does Putin give, and what does he focus on in this situation that is developing at the front? Returning to the Third Army Corps. For it to be the most combat-ready, it would be staffed mainly by mercenaries. Putin concluded that mercenaries, who have to be paid a lot of money, are the most motivated infantry. Then they fight. There was a figure for payment — 360,000 rubles per month. But there it depends on nationality. They also have gradation by ethnicity. There is information that the Third Army Corps’s equipment is the newest. Why so? Where did you get it from? The thing is that Mulino is the first tank army – the same “court” army that guards Moscow. She had, among other things, parade sets of equipment that participated in parades on Red Square. It indicates that the last reserve is going into battle. I will say this: this is the last reserve of the ground forces of the Russian Federation. If they have already taken out the previous T-90 tanks from the boxes (we haven’t seen them on our territory for a long time), if they have taken out the T-80BVM (the latest modernization of the T-80 tank) from the boxes, then this indicates that the last reserve is going to fight. (Source: NV).
2. Ukraine will continue to wear down the enemy – RUSI expert. Ukraine keeps Russia on its toes and is preparing a major offensive around Kherson, Justin Bronk, an expert at the Royal United Defense Research Institute (RUSI), said in an interview with BBC Radio 4. Ukraine is trying to keep the Russian army guessing about plans for a future offensive and succeeding in this, he said. “Of course, over the past month and a half, Russia managed to transfer large forces from the Donbas towards Kherson. But it is not known what the morale of these troops is,” says Bronk. He predicted that Ukraine would continue to strike with HIMARS as they were successful in cutting off Russian supply routes. However, he says he expects to see more of a “strategy of attrition” from Ukraine, “pushing Russia along a broad front, trying to break Russian morale and inflict casualties.” (Source: BBC).
The Internal Situation in Ukraine
1. A military analyst, and professor of strategic studies at the University of St. Andrews, Phillips O’Brien, based on an analysis of data from open sources, assesses the situation that this is a pre-planned operation since the Ukrainian army accumulated ammunition in front of it and began to counteract Russian forces along the entire front line in the region. At the same time, there are signs of a coordinated media awareness campaign. With the attacks taking place along the whole contact line in the Kherson region, Ukraine’s actions look like a lot of probing operations designed to find weak spots in the defense, points where more helpless or demoralized troops are stationed. The fire from a long distance on the bridges continues, which shows that Ukraine is determined to prevent the Russian troops from escaping – especially with equipment. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are also trying to avoid the supply of the Russian group. He tends to be very wary of expectations of a crushing Ukrainian breakthrough and encirclement of Russian troops – unless they collapse quickly: will fight hard.” (Source: Twitter).
Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine
1. On August 31, the Russians struck Energodar again, as a result of which the building of the Energodar City Council was damaged. Yevhen Yevtushenko, head of the Nikopol Military Administration: “On the opposite bank, the Russian army is shelling Energodar. The purpose of this action is to create a suitable picture for the IAEA commission and to form a pool of local residents who, under media cameras, inform the commission about the shelling of the city from our side of the reservoir.” Mayor of Energodar Dmytro Orlov published a photo of the city council building with broken windows and a damaged facade but did not specify what exactly happened. Local Telegram channels claim that the administration building was struck by a drone. (Source: UP).
South Ukraine, Crimea, Transnistria
1. “During the combat day, our rocket and artillery units practiced strikes against four command posts of enemy troops and four transport arteries – Kakhovka, Darevsky, and two Antonovsky bridges,” the UAF said in a report released on Wednesday night. According to the command, the degree of damage to these bridges limits their use as much as possible. It is also reported that Ukrainian aviation inflicted 16 strikes on strongholds, ammunition depots, and areas of concentration of workforce, weapons, and equipment of the Russian army. (Source: BBC).
2. Ukrainian forces launched new rocket and artillery strikes on three bridges in the temporarily occupied areas of the Kherson region. In this way, the Armed Forces intend to consolidate their inoperable status, reports the Southern Operational Command press service. The military specifies that rocket and artillery units have carried out more than 22 fire missions in the southern direction. “Including on three bridges – Antonivskyi automobile, Antonivskyi railway, and Daryivskyi – to secure their inoperable status,” the command emphasized. Also, on August 30, Ukrainian bombers struck two areas of enemy concentration in the Kiselyvka and Kostyrka areas. In total, according to the command in the southern direction, the Armed Forces eliminated 159 Russian occupiers and 60 pieces of equipment. Earlier, the head of the Kherson OVA, Yaroslav Yanushevich, reported that due to effective strikes by Ukrainian forces on bridges in the Kherson region, the occupiers were cut off from supplies from Crimea. (Source: NV).
Kharkiv and Sumy Regions
1. On the night of August 31, the Russian military hit Kharkiv with 3 rockets from Belgorod, one rocket exploded on the territory of Russia. Head of Kharkiv Regional Military Administration Oleg Synegubov: “At around midnight, 3 rockets were launched from the city of Belgorod in the direction of Kharkiv. One exploded on the territory of the Russian Federation, and another one exploded in the air over the territory of the Shevchenkiv district of Kharkiv.” According to the head of the Military Administration, the last rocket hit near an educational institution in the Kyiv district, as a result of which residential buildings and office premises were damaged, fires broke out, and two women (81 and 71 years old) were injured. Active fighting continues on the contact line. The enemy uses barrel and rocket artillery, and aviation against the Armed Forces. According to Synegubov, the Ukrainian defenders are resolutely repulsing the enemy, destroying manpower and equipment. (Source: Telegram).
1. Russian cargo planes have quietly picked up the first of scores of Iranian-made combat drones for use against Ukraine, U.S. officials said, in a move that underscores deepening ties between Moscow and Tehran while also highlighting Russia’s struggles to supply its overstretched military. Transport planes departed Iran on Aug. 19 hauling at least two types of unmanned aerial vehicles, both capable of carrying munitions for attacks on radars, artillery, and other military targets, according to intelligence gathered by the U.S. and other spy agencies. But while the weapons could provide a significant boost for Russia’s war effort against Ukraine, the transfer has been marred by technical problems, security officials from the United States and an allied government said in interviews. In early tests by the Russians, the Iranian drones experienced numerous failures, the officials said. “There are a few bugs in the system,” said an allied security official whose government closely monitored the transfer. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity and that his nationality not be revealed to discuss sensitive intelligence. “The Russians are not satisfied,” the official said. The initial delivery of the Mohajer-6 and Shahid-series drones to Moscow is believed to be the first installment of a planned transfer of hundreds of Iranian UAVs of various types, Biden administration officials said, also speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity. The arrival of the Iranian drones could help fill a crucial gap in Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. Russia, which has 1,500 to 2,000 military surveillance UAVs, has relatively few attack drones of the type that can precisely strike targets deep inside enemy territory. Ukraine, by contrast, has used Turkish-made combat UAVs to wreak havoc on Russian armor, trucks, and artillery since the early weeks of the conflict. (Source: WP).
1. The countries of the European Union agreed to create a special mission to train the Ukrainian military. This was stated by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell at an informal meeting of EU defense ministers, which is taking place in Prague. “It’s not just about combat operations, but in general about how the war is conducted, this is what military personnel will be trained to do,” Borrell said after the talks. According to him, many EU countries are already helping Ukraine train or retrain soldiers, so there is a need to consolidate efforts for better coordination. The head of EU diplomacy did not elaborate on how the special mission will work. It is assumed that the Ukrainian military will be trained in neighboring countries – members of the European Union. Barrell’s idea is not supported by all participants in the Prague meeting. On the eve of the Minister of Defense of Luxembourg Francois Bausch questioned whether this is the right way to provide assistance. Bausch advocates negotiations on this issue at a bilateral level with overall coordination from the EU. A similar opinion is shared by Austrian Defense Minister Claudia Tanner. In addition, at a meeting in Prague, where the foreign ministers of the EU countries also arrived, they will discuss restrictions on visas for citizens of Russia and Bilorus. Ukraine, a number of Baltic countries, Poland, and the Netherlands are in favor of a complete ban. Germany and France advocate the abolition of the simplified visa regime, which will lead to an increase in the cost of a Schengen visa and an increase in the time it takes for Russians and Belarusians to obtain it. (Source: CT).2. Recent shipments of American weapons to Ukraine were intended for a counteroffensive in the south. CNN writes about this with reference to an unnamed official of the Administration of US President Biden. According to him, over the past few months, the USA has been helping the Ukrainian military with the supply of specific weapons upon request. In general, there were many requests for additional ammunition, artillery, and Javelin anti-tank missile systems. According to the official, the United States has fulfilled most of the Ukrainians’ requests and continues to do so. CNN reminds us that the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, and the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, is constantly in contact with the Ukrainian side to determine its needs depending on the situation on the battlefield. (Source: Babel).