Ukraine at D+596: Russian hacktivists disagree over Hamas and Israel.
N2K logoOct 13, 2023

Some Russian hacktivists see Hamas as a distraction.

Ukraine at D+596: Russian hacktivists disagree over Hamas and Israel.

Russia continues to commit more resources to its offensive against Avdiivka in the Donetsk Oblast, where Ukrainian forces hold fortified positions, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported Thursday. So far there's no breakthrough, and the offensive's objectives are unknown, but Russia has committed a great deal of armor to the battle (and has lost about a battalion's worth of tanks). And, as it has for weeks, Ukraine continues its slow advance in the vicinity of Bakhmut.

Grain program.

Russian drone strikes again hit Ukrainian grain facilities, including the Danube ports near the Romanian border. Romania has found fragments of Russian drones in its territory, the AP reports.

The UK's Ministry of Defence describes Russia's target program directed against grain facilities. "Russian Air Force Long Range Aviation (LRA) aircraft have not conducted a strike against Ukraine since 21 September 2023, a period of 21 days. While such breaks have not been unusual, the last similar break in strikes occurred between 9 March and 28 April 2023, a period of 51 days. In that instance it was likely that LRA had almost depleted its stocks of capable AS-23 missile munitions following its winter campaign against Ukrainian critical national infrastructure. This time, it is likely that Russian LRA are preserving existing stocks of AS-23 missiles as well as using this pause to increase useable stocks in anticipation of further heavy strikes against Ukraine over the winter. Recently, Russia has focused its airstrikes against grain-related facilities across the south of Ukraine, using SHAHED one-way-attack uncrewed aerial vehicles (OWA UAVs.) This included strikes against Ukrainian Danube River ports, which likely required a high level of accuracy due to the target’s proximity to the Romanian border. It is likely that Russia used SHAHED OWA UAVs on these targets because of their better accuracy over other types of air-launched missiles."

Russian hacktivist groups squabble online.

KillNet has been outspoken against Israel during the current fighting Hamas initiated last weekend, as has Anonymous Sudan. The Cyber Army of Russia disagrees sharply, not because it wishes to engage on behalf of Israel, but because the Cyber Army sees war in the Middle East as a distraction from Russia's main concern: the war in Ukraine. Cyble's Cyber Express reports that the Cyber Army of Russia is seeking to organize sentiment against KillNet under the hashtag #STOPKillNet.