Key developments on Oct. 27:
- Russia has launched over 4,500 missiles against Ukraine since February
- Air Force says Russia runs out of missiles, changes war tactics
- Russian Defense Minister claims mobilization in the country complete, over 80,000 soldiers already sent to Ukraine
- Regular electricity supply to Kyiv likely restored in 2-3 weeks
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed on Oct. 28 that the country had mobilized 300,000 people with an average age of 35.
Shoigu alleged that 80,000 mobilized soldiers were sent to Ukraine, with nearly half of this amount already engaged on the front line.
Yet, a statistical analysis by Russian independent media outlet Mediazona suggests that around 492,000 men have likely been conscripted into the army since Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's announcement of a "partial mobilization" of 300,000 men on Sept. 21.
Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelensky says Russia has carried out 4,500 missile strikes on Ukraine and more than 8,000 air raids since the start of the full-scale invasion on Feb. 24.
He reported on Oct. 27 that Russian forces launched over 30 Shahed-136 drones in the last two days, and the Ukrainian military downed 23 of them.
"Enemy planes will fall. Enemy helicopters will fall. Shaheds (Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones) will fall. Only the Ukrainian people will not fall," he said in his regular evening address.
Air Force spokesman, Yurii Ihnat, said on Oct. 28 that Ukraine has shot down over 300 Iranian-made Shahed-136 kamikaze drones so far.
Zelensky earlier reported that Russia could have ordered as many as 2,400 Shahed-136 drones from Iran. Iran continues to deny supplying weapons to Russia.
Mobilization in Russia
While Russian authorities claimed the mobilization would be "partial," military enlistment offices have arbitrarily drafted those with no military experience, people with disabilities and severe diseases, and fathers of three or more children – who are all supposed to be exempt.
Russian media reported that five mobilized men died in combat in Ukraine just three weeks after Putin's announcement.
However, Russian military bloggers have claimed that the number of dead and wounded among newly mobilized service members is likely higher than official figures due to a lack of training, equipment, unit cohesion, and commanders, the Institute for the Study of War said on Oct. 13.
The U.K. Defense Ministry said in its intelligence briefing on Oct. 15 that mobilized Russian reservists deployed to Ukraine over the past two weeks were poorly equipped and likely forced to buy their own body armor.
Moscow changes war tactics
Ukraine's Air Force believes that Russia has changed its tactics in Ukraine to attacking only critical infrastructure sites, not military bases, due to a shortage of high-precision weapons.
As Moscow's stock of Iskander ballistic missiles has run out, the Kremlin started trying to buy missiles from Iran and North Korea, said Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat.
At the same time, Polish President Andrzej Duda said he believes Russia is trying to freeze the war using nuclear weapons as blackmail.
According to him, Russia's unproven claims about Ukraine possibly using a "dirty bomb" — a device that uses explosives to scatter radioactive waste — is an attempt to make the West stop providing aid, to freeze the war that "Russia cannot cope with," he said.
On Oct. 27, Putin claimed that Ukraine had the intention to detonate a "dirty bomb." The Kremlin provided zero evidence, Ukraine and NATO countries have denied Russian claims.
The U.K. Defense Ministry's Intelligence said on Oct. 28 that the Russian military has been transitioning to a long-term defensive position on most areas of the front line in Ukraine. However, the ministry said even if Russia manages to build up those defensive lines, its "operational design will remain vulnerable."
Russia's "severely undermanned, poorly trained force in Ukraine is only capable of defensive operations," the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote.
The General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces said on Oct. 28 that Russia is currently strengthening its units in the southern Kherson Oblast.
According to the Ukrainian military, up to 1,000 mobilized military personnel have joined Russian units on the right bank of the Dnipro River. These troops are settling in the houses of local residents who left the occupied territories, said General Staff spokesman Oleksandr Shtupun.
On Oct. 24, Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine's intelligence chief, said Russia was creating an illusion that troops were leaving Kherson. Instead, they are bringing new military units that are preparing to fight for the city, according to Budanov.
Zelensky confirmed that Russian statements about plans to retreat from Kherson were disinformation.
"Their most trained soldiers are in their positions, no one has left," Zelensky said.
Russia has recently intensified attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure sites with missiles and kamikaze drones, causing regular blackouts across the country.
Russian attacks on energy infrastructure in Kyiv Oblast on Oct. 27 have sharply worsened the electricity supply in Kyiv, leaving only 600-800 megawatt-hours, from the needed 1,000-1,200 MWh, according to energy supplier Yasno.
Longer power cutoffs "affecting a much larger number of consumers" were introduced to avoid a "complete blackout," according to the company.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said that the regular electricity supply in Kyiv will likely be restored in 2-3 weeks.
According to him, the capital is facing an electricity shortage of around 20% to 50%.
Klitschko said Kyiv has received new air defense equipment, which he hopes means "there will be no more (Russian) attacks using kamikaze drones."
Since Oct. 10, Russia launched over 300 strikes on Ukraine's power stations, destroying around a third of the country's energy-generating capacity. Russia openly admits that Ukraine's energy infrastructure is among its key targets.
Attacks and casualties
The General Staff reported on Oct. 28 that Russian forces launched three missiles and 14 airstrikes on Ukraine during the day, as well as carried out over 50 MLRS attacks.
According to the report, 30 settlements in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Kherson, and Mykolaiv oblasts were hit.
In the past 24 hours, Russian forces have killed four civilians and wounded nine in Donetsk Oblast, according to Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.
The bodies of five more people killed by Russian troops during the occupation have been discovered in the village of Shandryholove, Kyrylenko said.
Russian troops have also shelled Nikopol, Marhanets, and Chervonohryhorivka, in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Governor Valentyn Reznichenko reported on Oct. 28.
He said Russian forces were using Grad missile launchers and heavy artillery. In the city of Nikopol, several power lines, a dozen high-rises, and private residences were damaged.