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Shoigu in Ukraine. Battles for supply lines in Bakhmut and Vuhledar. Dead Russian marines. What’s happening on the front line?

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Bakhmut: “Everything is littered with the bodies of Russian soldiers.”

The Ukrainian army continues to control Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. Footage published by the Armed Forces of Ukraine shows a Ukrainian soldier standing at the entrance to the town, refuting information from Russian Telegram channels that said Bakhmut was “practically taken.”

“Do you see where I am? The city of Bakhmut. I want to tell you a little bit about the situation we have here on the front. The fact is that Russian Telegram channels wrote that Bakhmut is almost encircled, that it is already theirs. But, as you can see, it's not theirs. No gunfire can be heard anymore, everything is fine. This is further proof that Russian news are just fake news and you shouldn’t listen to them.
And in general, very heavy fighting is going on about 10 kilometers from Bakhmut. And I want to say that heavy fighting is going on, but our guys are hanging in. In addition to holding the city, they’re also advancing in some areas.
I would also like to add that they [the Russian military] were previously pushing very hard on Bakhmut, but now they’ve shifted their main attacks to Vuhledar and Soledar. That's where they send convicts and young mobilized men. Everything is littered with bodies – their bodies.”

AFU reserve colonel and military expert Roman Svitan told The Insider that the importance of fighting in the Vuhledar direction is related to the location of the railroad, which is of strategic importance for the Russian army:

There are problematic [for the Russian army] villages near Donetsk – Marinka, Pisky and Krasnohorivka in between. Ukrainian troops are very heavily entrenched there, they have been there for nine years, and no one can move them. The Russians broke our defense system in Pisky with artillery, but they can't break Marinka.
Vuhledar covers the rear of these settlements from the west. Therefore, they need to take it first. Vuhledar’s second important feature is the settlement of Volnovakha, which is two dozen kilometers away, and from there runs the only railroad that connects Russia to Melitopol and to the Kherson or Zaporizhzhia groupings. Since Russian troops move by rail, they need that railroad going through Volnovakha – there’s only a few dozen kilometers from there to Vuhledar. One break through Volnovakha – and the entire Russian Zaporizhzhia and Kherson groups will be left without supplies.

Meanwhile, media outlets associated with Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner PMC have published footage from Bilohorivka (a point on the Bakhmut – Lysychansk highway near Soledar), where the mercenaries allegedly managed to break through the AFU’s defenses.

“The first footage from Nizhnyaya [likely meaning «lower» in the geographical sense] Bilohorivka, where Wagner PMC fighters broke through the AFU defenses and are now sweeping the area. Sorry for the quantity and quality, the guys now have no time for photo shoots,” writes the author of the propagandist channel.

Fierce fighting near Kreminna

According to reports by War Monitor, fighting continues near the town of Kreminna in the Luhansk region in the areas between the R66 highway and the line of settlements east of the Zherebets river.

Ukrainian forces have been spotted west of Chervonopopivka, and fierce battles continue east of Nevske – Terny:

Russian army losses

The AFU’s 109th Mountain Assault Battalion showed the aftermath of another Russian army breakthrough attempt. “No commentary or cheerful background music needed here. The jokes are over. The number of your bodies will only grow. You never understood where you were going, or you just didn't want to [understand]. But this is where you die,” the video description reads.

The location of the video is not specified.

The AFU also reported a “trophy” Russian Granat-4 drone with the “USSR” inscription on its hull (photo taken in the Kharkiv region):

Russian marines: “Fighting is heavy, we’ve lost a few men, but we're alright.”

Oleg Kozhemyako, the governor of Primorsky Krai in the Russian Far East, published videos on his Telegram channel, ostensibly showing marines from the 155th Brigade and fighters of the Tigr (“Tiger”) Battalion outside Pavlivka. The servicemen deny sustaining heavy losses and say they are “alright” and that the Russian forces are faring well.

“There have been reports that the 155th Brigade, our detachment, no longer exists. We want to say we’re holding the line. The brigade is fighting. There have been losses, unfortunately. Fighting is heavy in Pavlivka. It's tough. We’ve lost a few men, wounded and killed. But we keep the pressure on our adversary,” insists a man in one of the videos.

However, the authenticity of this video raises doubts – there are no 155th Brigade marines in the footage, writes the author of Russian pro-war Telegram channel Romanov Lite, who was allegedly contacted by the real unit’s soldiers. Here's what his sources claimed:

“The governor of Primorsky Krai contacted his [own] Tigr, and the video shows them. They have one company standing at roadblocks and guards, and another company at an observation post at the front line.”

The Tigr Battalion are volunteers who were recruited and financed by the authorities of Primorsky Krai. They were indeed assigned to the 155th Brigade, but they are soldiers nonetheless directly dependent on the governor. Kozhemyako earlier described their task as “helping fellow countrymen involved in the war.”

Shoigu at the front

According to an official report, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu inspected the command post of Russia's Joint Group of Forces in Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry said:

“At the command post, Army General Sergei Shoigu received a report from Army General Sergey Surovikin, commander of the Combined Group of Russian Forces, on the current operational situation.”

Shoigu presented Russian servicemen with Hero of Russia honours, Orders of Courage, and other state awards.

Iranian drones

Iran supplied its drones to Russia after the start of the war in Ukraine, claims Ukrainian intelligence. This is evidenced by the parts of the drones, which were manufactured later than February 24, 2022.

“The propeller of the Mohajer-6 drone wasn’t made until February this year. That’s in terms of the manufacturing. And it also took time to get it to the Russian Federation. That means they were delivered this year,” explains a representative of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR).

Russia regularly uses Iranian drones against Ukraine. Both Russia and Iran deny the supply of the unmanned aerial vehicles.

In October, Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies and member of the Public Council at Russia’s Defense Ministry, asked the hosts of an RBC TV show not to “rock the boat” and not to focus on the Iranian drones. “We all know they’re Iranian, but the government won’t admit it,” Pukhov blurted out on live TV without realizing that the mics were on.

Protests by the wives of Russia's mobilized soldiers

The wives of mobilized soldiers are protesting in Russia’s Voronezh and Kursk regions, writes media outlet Verstka. Their husbands were sent to the front line without weapons, and they cannot retreat as “they will be shot by their own [comrades].” In Kursk, around 50 people marched to the building of the military prosecutor's office and regional administration.

One of the rally participants, Kristina Robakidze, said that her husband, Alexei Pupynin, called her the day before, on 7 November. An audio recording of the conversation containing her husband's account of frontline conditions has been cited by Verstka:

“We’re already considered missing, people are being sent out for slaughter. We rebelled, we're not going anywhere. We’re staying here. This is the *** Ministry of Defense. Help us. It's very difficult. We do not want to be meat. <...> There are no weapons at all. The artillery is working, but it's not hitting where it should, just close by. We have weapons from 1985. Our armor is easily shattered by shrapnel. People's helmets just fall apart.”

The relatives of the draftees spoke to Kursk regional governor Roman Starovoyt and reportedly asked him to “get the boys out of the line of fire.”

“Starovoyt heard us. And he said that they would deal with it,” a rally participant told Verstka.

Read more in The Insider's summary of November 7's news: Hundreds of Russian marines killed near Vuhledar and new shipments of surface-to-air systems. What’s happening on the front line in Ukraine?

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