This Week in the Russia-Ukraine War (October 6)

A snapshot of recent news from sources around the world on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

The EU is ordering more ammunition to replenish stocks and continue to supply Ukraine. – Pixabay/Republica

Political Developments

Washington is primarily concerned about corruption in Ukraine undermining the country’s effort to defend itself against Russia, according to a U.S. strategy document shared with Politico. Corruption perception could “undermine the Ukrainian public’s and foreign leaders’ confidence in the war-time government,” weighing on the foreign assistance that has helped Kyiv against Moscow.

Ukrainian accession to the European Union is “only a matter of time,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on October 2. He added that Kyiv has undertaken a number of reforms in order to support its membership bid for the political and economic bloc.

The delivery of S-400 air defense systems to India has been delayed over the war in Ukraine, according to Air Force Chief Vivek Ram Chaudhari. India has contracted for five battalions of S-400s, with three systems delivered thus far. Chaudhari said India expects the remaining batteries will arrive over the next year.

Military Assistance to Ukraine

The U.S. Department of Defense is telling Congress that it needs additional funding if it is to continue its support for Ukraine. Another American military assistance package will be headed to Ukraine “soon,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told media this week. Over the weekend, the U.S. Congress staved off a potential government shutdown with a new funding law that does not include aid to Ukraine.

The Biden administration has previously sought congressional approval for $24 billion in assistance funding for Ukraine and will push for that measure to be taken up again, according to CNN.

La Tribune reported on October 2 that French firm Turgis & Gaillard signed a drone joint production agreement with Ukraine’s Antonov during French Minister of Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu’s recent visit to Kyiv. The two sides will produce an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) based on the Aarok design, and may have initial samples completed as early as next year.

Turkish company Baykar Makina said over the weekend that it is investing $100 million in Ukraine across three projects, including a manufacturing plant in the country and a service center. CEO Haluk Bayraktar told media that the manufacturing facility will take around 18 months to construct and open. 

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak urged Ukraine’s partners to deliver it more anti-aircraft weapons, particularly those suited to fight drones.

Berlin will deliver another IRIS-T air-defense system and over a dozen Gepard anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine, sources told Bloomberg this week, with a focus on protecting Ukraine’s southern coast. German defense company Rheinmetall announced on Wednesday that it has received a contract from the German government to deliver automated reconnaissance systems to Ukraine. The company will provide SurveilSpire systems to help Ukraine detect and defeat incoming drones. Through the three quarters of 2023, Germany has approved the export to Ukraine of military equipment worth EUR3.3 billion, according to the Ministry of Economy. 

But the German government remains disinclined to deliver the TAURUS strike missile to Ukraine.  Germany’s reluctance is due to fear that delivering these missiles could lead to a confrontation with Russia.

The Spanish government announced on Thursday that it will deliver six MIM-23 HAWK surface-to-air missile systems to Ukraine, which come in addition to Spanish HAWK systems delivered to Ukraine already. Denmark is sending more ammunition to Ukraine.  The country will contribute $14.1 million as a part of an overall European ammunition support package to acquire 155mm shells for the Ukrainian military. Rome, meanwhile, is readying another military assistance package for Ukraine, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said this week.

Ukraine’s troops have begun receiving repaired Leopard 2 main battle tanks back into active duty service. The first batch of damaged vehicles went into Polish Armaments Group facilities in July and will now return to the battlefield.

Battlefield Updates

The Russian government is not planning another round of conscription for its armed forces, according to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. He said on October 3 that 335,000 people have signed contracts with the military this year, including 50,000 in the month of September. Shoigu stated, “The armed forces have the necessary number of military personnel to conduct the special military operation. Since the start of the year, more than 335,000 people have entered military service under contract and in volunteer formations.”

The Ukrainian military conducted strikes on a plant in western Russia that manufactures the Kh-59 cruise missile, the Ukrainian Main Directorate of Intelligence said on Monday. Four drones targeted the Smolensk Aviation Plant, according to the report, with three striking the facility.

Ukraine has launched new attacks on targets inside Russian-occupied Crimea.  Among the weapons used are the Ukrainian-developed Neptune.  The attacks occurred on October 3. Ukrainian attacks on October 4 hit a Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system stationed in Belgorod, the SBU told Reuters.

Ukraine’s fleet of drones are targeting Russian hardware and personnel.  The Ukrainian Army uses the R18 octocopter, a drone designed entirely in Ukraine.  Most of the drones used by Ukrainian forces are from China.

Ukrainian officials said its air defense forces have shot down 24 attack drones.  The drones were launched from Chauda in the Crimea and targeted Odesa, Mykolaiv, and Kirovohrad oblasts.

On Thursday, Ukrainian officials said at least 51 people were killed by a Russian missile strike on the village of Groza in the Kharkiv region. Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klymenko said Kyiv believes that Russia fired an Iskander missile at the village.

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