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Ukraine war latest: Russian strike on post office in Kharkiv Oblast kills 6, injures 17

by Alexander Khrebet and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 22, 2023 10:36 PM 6 min read
Kharkiv Oblast regional prosecutor's office investigators on the site of the Russian Oct. 21 missile strike against a postal depot in the village of Korotych on Oct. 22, 2023. (Kharkiv Oblast Prosecutor's Office)
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Key developments on Oct. 22:

  • Prosecutors report 6 killed, 17 injured in Russia’s Oct. 21 missile attack on postal depot in Kharkiv Oblast
  • UK Defense Ministry: Russian troops have likely suffered up to 190,000 killed or ‘permanently wounded’ in Ukraine
  • Ukrainian pilots undergoing training nearly ready to fly F-16s
  • Air Force: Ukraine downs 3 Russian drones, 1 cruise missile overnight

A Russian missile struck a postal depot in the village of Korotych in Kharkiv Oblast late on Oct. 21, killing at least six civilian workers and injuring 17, the regional prosecutor’s office reported on Oct. 22.

The law enforcement agency retrieved fragments of an S-300 anti-aircraft missile in the depot of the privately-owned postal service Nova Poshta, according to the report.

The S-300 is a Soviet missile system designed for air defense. Russian forces have been using the repurposed missiles to strike ground targets in Ukraine.

All of those killed were postal employees, Serhii Bolvinov, the regional police’s chief investigator, said in a Facebook post on Oct. 22.

"One of the bodies was severely burnt. The identity has been preliminarily established, but we will conduct a DNA test to confirm," he said.

The regional prosecutor’s office also said that 16 of those injured, all men aged between 19 and 43, were hospitalized, and one other received medical care on site.

Korotych sits just 16 kilometers west of Kharkiv, 33 kilometers away from the Russian border, and some 135 kilometers from the front lines.

Kharkiv Oblast Deputy Governor Ievhen Ivanov told national television that the missile struck the postal depot less than 30 seconds after being launched from Russia.

Following the attack, the Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into the violation of laws and customs of war.

Due to its proximity to Russia and the front line, Kharkiv Oblast remains a frequent target of Russian strikes.

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More Russian attacks

Russian forces launched 10 missile strikes, 36 airstrikes, and 35 artillery barrages against Ukrainian forces and settlements throughout the past day, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said in its evening update on Oct. 22.

In a series of attacks overnight, Russian forces used three Shahed kamikaze drones, three Lancet drones, two unidentified drones, one guided Kh-59 cruise missile, and eight S-300 missiles from Russia and occupied Ukrainian regions, the Air Force reported in the morning of Oct. 22.

Air defenses shot down three Shahed loitering munitions launched from Chauda in occupied Crimea, and a Kh-59 missile that a Russian Su-34 aircraft fired from the occupied part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the Air Force said.

The Air Force report neither specified where the targets were shot down, nor the sites struck.

The General Staff also said that Russian forces struck a civilian site in Kostiantynivka in Donetsk Oblast.

In Kharkiv Oblast, Russian forces shelled the town of Kupiansk at around 7 a.m. on Oct. 22, hitting residential buildings and injuring three people, including two teenagers aged 15 and 17, Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported.

The two people injured, which includes a 15-year-old girl, are in critical condition.

In Kherson Oblast, Russian troops attacked the village of Stanislav overnight on Oct. 22, damaging over 30 houses, a power line, and a gas pipeline, Governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported.

The attack also damaged a school, grocery stores, a church, and a utility company.

Russian troops also struck an area near the city of Kherson with four guided bombs, Prokudin reported, without providing other details.

Russia's KAB “smart” bombs, ranging from KAB-250 and KAB-500 to KAB-1500, can be laser-guided or satellite-guided. The KAB-500L, equipped with a high-explosive warhead, is frequently used by Russia in its war against Ukraine, although multiple types of KAB bombs have been used.

No casualties were reported in the Kherson Oblasts attacks.

Russia also attacked four settlements in Donetsk Oblast, killing two civilians and injuring three others, the Prosecutor General's Office reported on Oct. 22.

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Russian casualties

Up to 190,000 Russian troops have likely been killed or "permanently wounded" in Ukraine since the start of the full-scale invasion in late February last year, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in its intelligence update on Oct. 22.

The total number of Russia’s casualties — including those who are recovering and are due to return to the battlefield — is up to 290,000 troops, the ministry said.

The number does not include the Wagner Group or their inmate units who fought in Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast, according to the report.

Moscow doesn’t disclose its casualties during Russia’s war against Ukraine.

However, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on Oct. 22 that Russia has lost 293,830 troops since Feb. 24, 2022.

The U.K. Defense Ministry said Russia’s recent assault in Donetsk Oblast’s Avdiivka has contributed to a "90% increase" in casualties among the Russian troops, recently recorded by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

Russian troops intensified their attacks at Avdiivka – a heavily fortified Ukrainian-held town a few kilometers north of occupied Donetsk – around Oct. 9 in an attempt to encircle the settlement. The renewed offensive is accompanied by heavy shelling of civilian areas.

Ukrainian forces repelled around 20 Russian attacks in the Avdiivka sector, totaling 82 combats between Ukrainian and Russian troops on the front lines over the past day, the General Staff reported on Oct. 22.

Russia has been trying to capture Avdiivka since 2014.

Ukrainian pilots undergoing training nearly ready to fly F-16s

The first group of Ukrainian pilots are almost ready to move from F-16 flight simulators to combat planes, Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat told national television on Oct. 22.

"We expect that the first group of F-16 pilots, who are already training on flight simulators today, will transfer to the cockpit of a training and combat aircraft in the near future,” Ihnat said.

Instructors will initially accompany the pilots before they embark on their own independent flights.

The first flights with instructors could begin in a few weeks, Ihnat said on Oct. 12.

Ukrainians will train on real F-16s at centers in Romania and the U.S. but are unlikely to use the aircraft on the battlefield before next spring, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Oct. 11.

The Netherlands and Denmark are leading the allied efforts to provide Ukraine with the fourth-generation American jets.

Amsterdam pledged to deliver a dozen F-16 jets to the training center in Romania.

Denmark pledged to provide 19 F-16 fighter jets, the Netherlands promised 42, and Norway has pledged up to 10.

Belgium announced it would deliver jets from 2025, but has not disclosed how many.

Biden all in on aid to Ukraine, yet House remains an issue
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