Russian attacks overnight damage energy infrastructure, homes in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast

Russian attacks overnight on Dnipropetrovsk Oblast damaged apartments, shops, and other civilian buildings, Governor Serhii Lysak said on Oct. 16.

One missile was shot down by Ukraine's air defenses. Another hit the area around the regional capital of Dnipro, Lysak said, without providing further details.

In Nikopol, a number of shops and buildings were damaged by strikes, as well as a five-story building and several houses.

Energy infrastructure, including a gas pipeline and four power lines, was also damaged in the overnight attacks, leaving almost 1,500 families without electricity.

In the Marhanets community, homes, energy infrastructure, and a church were also damaged. No casualties were reported, according to Lysak.

Putin and Russians change rhetoric on Russian offensive on Avdiivka

Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) have noticed that the Russians, including their dictator Vladimir Putin, have changed their rhetoric about the Russian army's offensive on the city of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast and "temper expectations" about their advance.

 Analysts say Russian President Vladimir Putin may be trying to reduce expectations of a significant Russian advance around Avdiivka.

In an interview with Russian state-controlled TV, Putin claimed that Russian troops were conducting "active defence" on the Avdiivka, Kupiansk and Zaporizhzhia fronts.

Experts believe that Putin's description of Russian offensive operations near Avdiivka as "active defence" rather than "active combat operations" may be an attempt to reduce expectations of a significant Russian advance.

"Russian forces are unlikely to make significant breakthroughs or cut off Ukrainian forces in the settlement in the near term, and potential advances at scale would likely require a significant and protracted commitment of personnel and materiel," the reports stated.

The ISW reports that the Russian information space, in general, is also tempering its initial optimism about the prospects for Russian offensive operations around Avdiivka.

The review noted that Russian troops pursued the offensive operations aimed at encircling Avdiivka on 15 October but have not made any further progress so far amid a likely slowdown in Russian operations in the area.

Both Ukrainian military observers and Russian sources said Russian troops had failed to achieve the desired hasty breakthrough and faced heavy casualties and likely a slower-than-expected pace of advance.

However, Russian troops are likely to carry on their offensive at this reduced pace in the near term and remain a threat to Ukrainian forces in the area, although they are unlikely to achieve a decisive breakthrough or encircle Avdiivka.

Analysts also point out that the slowdown in Russian offensive operations may result from a temporary adjustment to the tactical situation, and the Russians may intensify their attempts to surround Avdiivka in the coming days.