We’re in the first days of Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast offensive, which has been “extremely aggressive,” as we reported here at SOFREP yesterday. Today, we provide you with the top three updates in the war for the past 24 hours.

UK Medic Killed

According to the foreign ministry, a British man was killed in Ukraine while volunteering as a medic. Craig Mackintosh had been killed in action on Aug. 24, and now his sister has launched an online fundraiser to repatriate his body.

“Our brother bravely volunteered to go … as a medic to help save lives in this war-torn country,” Lorna Mackintosh wrote on the GoFundMe page. “In the line of duty, helping others he lost his life. This selfless man is currently stranded in a morgue in Ukraine and there is no help to get him home.

“He needs to come back home to have the service he deserves. A true hero’s service surrounded by his family and friends,” she added.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said they would support the family in the process of repatriation.

Push for Southern Ukraine

According to the British Ministry of Defence, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have continued to bombard Russian forces. Their campaign in Southern Ukraine continues to be effective as infantrymen’s movements are backed by intense shelling by medium and long-range rocket and artillery strikes. Russian forces are trying to rush additional men and equipment to stop ground advances by Ukraine’s infantry.

Meanwhile, Russia’s focused on defense by prioritizing the protection of ground-based air defenses. Their S-300 and S-400 surface to air missiles systems were reportedly being hunted by Ukrainian air force jets using anti-radiation missiles (HARMs).

“Russian [sic] has previously claimed that it has recovered fragments of these types of weapons, which are designed to locate and destroy radars.”

“A substantial, sustained degradation of Russia’s radars with HARMs would be a major setback to Russia’s already troubled situational awareness,” the British intelligence added.

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It would also give Ukraine local air superiority to operate attack helicopters, and ground support aircraft near the front lines.

The Ukrainian formations are also exploiting “thinly held Russian defenses.” However, Russia’s pulling all the stops to push as many “soldiers” to plug the gaps using their mobile reserves. However, as we reported yesterday, the reserve units were old, and untrained Russians were probably forced to be on the frontlines. We are seeing reports that Ukraine has sufficient infantry reserves to relieve its assault forces every 24 hours to give them a rest, while preventing Russia from doing the same thing if it has the troops to do so.  After a few days of fighting on the line without relief or resupply, Russian troops on the line will degrade in combat ability and morale.

“Russia continues to expedite attempts to generate new reinforcements for Ukraine. Volunteer battalions of the new 3rd Army Corps had departed their home base near Moscow by Aug. 24, highly likely for deployment to Ukraine.”

“The operational effectiveness of these units is not known. The 3rd Army Corps is highly likely short of personnel and these troops have had limited training.”

Zaporizhzhia ON RED ALERT

Russian shelling on Zaporizhzhia “has not stopped since 5 a.m.” according to City Mayor Dmytro Orlov. Russian-appointed regional officials also said Ukrainian shelling around the region caused “at least three” civilian casualties and five injuries (including a child). However, these claims are not verified yet.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are now making their way to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plan to carry out a planned inspection. Still, there experienced hurdles from the Russian forces that have barred entry to the region since March.

Russians and Ukrainians continue to blame each other for the shelling around this sensitive, nuclear-reactive region.

IAEA spokesperson Fredrik Dahl said they were delayed for three hours on the Ukrainian-controlled side for the frontlines while on their way to the facility. It took a conversation with the IAEA chief Rafael Grossi to personally negotiate with Ukrainian military authorities to allow their team to proceed.

“Director general Grossi has personally negotiated with Ukrainian military authorities to be able to proceed and he remains determined that this important mission reaches the ZNPP today,” Fredrik Dahl told CNN on Thursday.

But finally, just a couple of hours ago, the IAEA experts arrived at the power plant to investigate potential risks during the shelling. We will monitor events to see what the IAEA analysis will be.

Lastly, Moscow has commanded Ukrainian Rosatom personnel to evacuate from Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plan. And according to Ukraine’s Intelligence Directorate, Russians in Rosatom are keeping their evacuation secrete “to avoid panic.”

Here’s the breakdown of Russian losses as of Sept. 1:

  • 2020 tanks
  • 4378 armored combat vehicles
  • 1139 artillery
  • 289 multiple launch rocket systems
  • 154 air defense systems
  • 234 military jets
  • 206 helicopters
  • 853 drones
  • 196 cruise missiles
  • 15 warships and boats
  • 3242 vehicles and fuel tanks
  • 105 special equipment
  • 48,000 eliminated personnel
    • over 900 elite military personnel
    • 151 service people with the GRU special forces
    • 245 members of the National Guard (including those from special forces units)
    • 67 Russian military pilots