Key developments on Oct. 10:
- ISW: Ukrainian troops advance in the southeast, east as weather worsens
- Official: Death toll of Hroza strike rises to 53
- Ukraine’s military: Russia, Belarus plan false flag attack on Belarusian soil
- Russian forces hit infrastructure in overnight drone attack
Ukrainian forces advanced in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and near Bakhmut amidst reports of poor weather conditions, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its Oct. 9 report.
Oleksandr Shtupun, spokesperson for the Ukrainian army's Tavria Group fighting on the southern front lines, reported that the counteroffensive gained ground west of Verbove, 18 kilometers south of Orikhiv in Zaporizhzhia Oblast and near Klishchiivka and Andriivka, southwest of Bakhmut.
Amid reports of these advancements, Russian military commentators claimed that heavy rains near the front line are limiting combat operations. One report said that the weather impaired visibility, disrupting both Ukrainian and Russian forces' use of reconnaissance drones.
The ISW noted that weather conditions vary at different sectors of the front, but overall, conditions are worsening.
The ISW has previously reported that the winter season will likely not stop the Ukrainian counteroffensive, though it will present challenges to certain operations.
Official: Death toll of Hroza strike rises to 53
The death toll of Russia's Oct. 5 missile strike against the village of Hroza in Kharkiv Oblast has risen to 53, Serhii Bolvinov, the head of the investigative department of the regional police, reported on Oct. 10.
The final death toll may increase, and some of the body parts haven’t been identified yet, Bolvinov said, adding that five people still remain missing.
Russian Iskander ballistic missile hit a local cafe during a memorial service for a fallen soldier who was being reburied in the village on Oct. 5.
Russian forces hit infrastructure in overnight drone attack
Russian forces launched yet another air attack against Ukraine overnight on Oct. 10, targeting the south with 36 kamikaze drones, the Air Force reported.
Air defenses shot down 27 Shahed drones in Odesa, Mykolaiv, and Kherson oblasts.
Russian kamikaze drones hit the transport infrastructure in an attack against Odesa Oblast that lasted for three hours, according to Governor Oleh Kiper.
Kiper didn't provide further details on the facility and the scale of the damage. No casualties were reported.
Air defense intercepted a drone over neighboring Mykolaiv Oblast, Governor Vitalii Kim said. He didn’t report any damages or casualties.
Kherson Oblast Governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported that air defenses shot down three drones in the region.
Russia launched the drones from the Cape Chauda in the southeastern part of occupied Crimea, the military said.
Earlier on Oct. 8, the Air Force's spokesperson Yurii Ihnat said Russia would likely launch a record number of Iranian-made kamikaze drones against Ukraine in the coming fall and winter months.
The official pointed out that Russian forces launched over 500 Shahed-type drones in attacks against Ukraine in September alone.
In addition, Russian forces launched two missile strikes and 62 air attacks, as well as conducted 30 attacks with multiple rocket launchers against Ukrainian forces and settlements across Ukraine over the past day, the General Staff reported on the evening of Oct. 10.
Russian shelling of an educational institution in the village of Uhroidy in Sumy Oblast on Oct. 10 killed a child and injured a girl born in 2009, according to the regional military administration.
"The school premises were damaged, the windows were broken, and the roof was damaged," the secretary of the Krasnopillia community's council told Suspilne.
Russia, Belarus reportedly prepare false-flag operation against Belarus
Russian and Belarusian special forces plan a false-flag attack on Belarus intending to blame Ukraine, the National Resistance Center of the Ukrainian military reported on Oct. 10.
The military alleges that the plot involves a drone dropping munitions on an oil depot in the town of Pryluki, by the Polish-Belarusian border, a provocative move likely aimed at increasing support for the war in Belarus.
Belarusian sources also said that the Wagner Group mercenaries had been involved in the plot earlier this year and had conducted reconnaissance on possible targets.
Earlier on Aug. 4, Ukraine's Security Service reported on another false-flag plot in Belarus, also involving critical infrastructure. The plot details were similar – an attack would be carried out on the Mozyr oil refinery, which would then be attributed to Ukraine.
Russian forces have been using Belarusian territory to launch missiles and drones against Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale invasion in late February last year.
However, the Belarusian military has not officially joined Russia's war against Ukraine.