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CDS Daily brief (14.09.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

On today’s visit to the recently liberated Balakliia, Kharkiv Oblast, President Zelenskyy said that during the occupation of Izyum and Balaklia in the Kharkiv Oblast, the Russian forces behaved the same way as they did in Kyiv Oblast: they tortured residents, destroyed kindergartens and schools, and other infrastructure.

On the evening of September 14, the Russian military launched a missile attack on Kryvyi Rih (hometown of president Zelenskyy). At 7:47 p.m., the head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration, Valentyn Reznichenko, informed that the Russian forces hit critical infrastructure facilities with seven Kh-22 cruise missiles launched from strategic aviation aircraft. As a result of the impact, water supply structures were seriously damaged, and several districts of Kryvyi Rih were left without water. Also, due to the shelling, the water leakage is 100 cubic meters per second, reports Deputy Head of the President’s Office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko. “The water level in the streets of the city is constantly monitored. We also monitor the private sector in the Ingulets and Central City districts, where there is a risk of flooding.”

The Russian forces again shelled the Nikopol district of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. They fired 75 shells from heavy artillery. Two communities – Marganets and Nikopol – came under fire. Civilian infrastructure was damaged, but no causalities were reported, Head of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Military Administration, Vadym Reznichenko, said.

On the evening of September 14, the Russian military launched two missile strikes on the outskirts of Zaporizhzhya, Oleksandr Starukh, head of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast Military Administration, said. According to preliminary information, there were no casualties.

Mortar shelling near the village of Halahanivka of Chernihiv Oblast was recorded last night. However, no losses and destruction were reported, the head of Chernihiv Oblast Administration said.

During the past day, the Russian forces shelled populated areas of Izyum, Kupyansk and Chuhuyiv districts of Kharkiv Oblast. According to the Center for Emergency Medical Assistance, three people were hospitalized.

At night, the enemy S-300 rocket struck the town of Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, destroying a private house; the enemy shelling of Myrnograd damaged a school; the shelling of Mykolaivka damaged the sports complex. Five people died, and 16 were wounded in the Oblast during the day on September 13. The Oblast remains without gas and partly without water and electricity. The mandatory evacuation of the population continues, the head of Donetsk Oblast Military Administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko, reported.

Mykolaiv was hit by S-300-type missiles at night. An educational institution, infrastructure facilities and residential buildings were damaged. According to preliminary data, two people were killed, three were injured, and three were treated on an outpatient basis.

Bereznehuvate community, Mykolayiv Oblast, located on the front line, remains under constant fire. On Tuesday afternoon, there was the shelling of Krasny Yar village, and Bereznehuvate station was shelled in the evening. Also, at 23:50, shelling was recorded on the outskirts of Bereznehuvate. There are no casualties. The villages of Shyroke amalgamated community and territories outside of its boundaries got shelled throughout the day on September 13, head of Mykolayiv Oblast Military Administration Vitaliy Kim reported.

Sixteen communities have been completely freed from the Russian invaders, 6% of Kharkiv Oblast is still temporarily occupied by Russian forces, the head of the Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration, Oleh Synehubov, said. This is down from 32%, which were under Russian occupation before the start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

While restoring the critical infrastructure in the recently liberated Balaklia, Oleksandr Strelets, the service foreman of the electric lines at the Kupyansky high-voltage power station, died after hitting a booby trap left by the Russian invaders, Balaklia Municipal Council said.

Occupied territories

According   to   a   member   of   the    Mejlis   of   Crimean   Tatar   people    Eskender   Bariev, the Crimean occupation authorities clamped down on the Bakhchisaray wedding participants, where guests danced to a Ukrainian patriotic song (See CDS Brief of September 12, 2022). The owner of the “Arpat” restaurant in Bakhchisarai was handed down 15 days of administrative arrest, the DJ was given 10 days and had to apologize on camera, the groom’s mother got 5 days, the mother of the bride and the wife of the owner of the restaurant were fined 50 thousand rubles each, the dancer got an admin arrest for 10 days.

First-grade pupils in Mariupol are forced to use Russian textbooks for their studies. They are told that Mariupol is Russia, and their homework is to learn the Russian anthem, Petro Andryushchenko, the advisor to the city mayor, said.

Ukrinform reports, with reference to its sources, that the number of Russian citizens and Ukrainian collaborators in Kherson who want to resign from the local police has increased significantly due to the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kherson Oblast. They claim that they resign due to the “inability of the management to ensure proper working conditions.”

Over the past day, Ukrainian police launched 27 criminal investigations into the crimes of the Russian army and their accomplices in the territory of Kherson Oblast. Breaking into a public children’s library and a bank and seizing all of their assets is among the crimes, Kherson Oblast police reported.

A draft law stipulating criminal liability for obtaining a Russian passport in the temporarily occupied territories was elaborated by experts from the Prosecutor General’s Office, SBU, the Ministry of Reintegration, human rights defenders and MPs, the Reintegration Ministry reported. The Ministry stressed that obtaining a Russian passport in the temporarily occupied territories is justified only if a person thus tries to return to the territory controlled by Ukraine through Russia and third countries.

Operational situation

It is the 203rd day of the strategic air-ground offensive operation of the Russian Armed Forces against Ukraine (in the official terminology of the Russian Federation – “operation to protect Donbas”). The enemy continues to concentrate its efforts on establishing control over the territory of Donetsk Oblast, maintaining control over the temporarily captured territories and disrupting the offensive of the Ukrainian troops in certain directions.

Shelling of the Ukrainian Defense Forces’ positions along the contact line continues. The Russian military is trying to regroup its troops in certain directions and conducts aerial reconnaissance. The threat of air and missile strikes throughout the territory of Ukraine persists.

The Russian forces continue attacking civilian infrastructure objects, violating the norms of International Humanitarian Law, laws and customs of war. The infrastructure of more than 33 Ukrainian towns and villages was damaged by enemy air strikes, missile strikes, and shelling from MLRS, including in Kharkiv, Lozova, Siversk, Bilohorivka, Mykolaivka, Verkhnokamyanske, Soledar, Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Vesela Dolyna, Zaitseve, Yuryivka, New York, Pervomaiske, Kam’yanka, Vremivka, Stepove, Mali Shcherbaky, Sukhy Stavok, Kostromka, Bila Krynytsia, and Myrne. The Russian forces shelled the border villages Senkivka in Chernihiv Oblast and Stepne in Sumy Oblast.

Over the past 24 hours, the Russian forces have launched 3 missile strikes, 33 air strikes and fired 58 MLRS strikes at military and civilian targets on the territory of Ukraine.

The Russian army suffers significant manpower losses every day and tries to compensate them in different ways. The military leadership continues to search for those willing to fight among prisoners, particularly in the Russian Tula Oblast [prison] colonies. Recruiters promise convicts to have their criminal records removed in exchange for 3 months of service; for recidivists or those convicted of severe crimes, the term of service will be 6 months. However, no interested parties signed the contracts.

Sergey Mironov, the leader of the “A Just Russia – For Truth” party, called for “social mobilization” under which ordinary Russians would pay more attention to the war in Ukraine rather than total military mobilization. The bill to simplify the delivery of conscription notices was submitted to the Russian parliament. It is likely to pass. It will allow Russian military commissariats to send conscription notices by mail rather than present them in person. In addition, it will oblige men who do not receive a notification by mail still report to the local conscription point.

The Russian military leadership is taking measures to replenish its army with junior officers. According to available information, the early graduation of the 5th-year cadets of the “Nakhimov Black Sea Higher Naval School” was announced in December this year. Also, early graduations will take place in other educational institutions of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

Recruitment of so-called “reservists” to the Russian 3rd Army Corps continues. There is a large number of people with drug and alcohol addiction among the already recruited personnel.

The fact of forced mobilization in the Ukrainian city of Horlivka (occupied by Russia) shows the problems with unit staffing. The local so-called “military commissars” and “police” were tasked to recruit 6,000 people by September 19. The search and arrest of men continue in the city, which in turn causes mass dissatisfaction among local residents.

During the past day, to support the ground groupings, Ukrainian Air Forces carried out 12 strikes on Russian manpower and equipment concentration places.

Air defense units of the Ukrainian Forces destroyed two Russian aircraft (Su-25 and Su-24M), one Mi-8 helicopter and an unmanned aerial vehicle.

Units of the Ukrainian missile troops and artillery fired at 9 control points of the brigade and battalion levels and three areas of concentration of the Russian manpower and combat equipment.

The morale of the personnel of the invasion forces is considerably deteriorating due to significant losses and unwillingness to fight. The number of deserters in the Russian units is increasing.

Kharkiv direction
  • Zolochiv-Balakleya section: approximate length of combat line – 147 km, number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 10-12, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 13.3 km;
  • Deployed enemy BTGs: 26th, 153rd and 197th tank regiments, 245th motorized rifle regiment of the 47th tank division, 6th and 239th tank regiments, 228th motorized rifle regiment of the 90th tank division, 1st motorized rifle regiment, 1st tank regiment of the 2nd motorized rifle division, 25th and 138th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 6th Combined Arms Army, 27th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Tank Army, 275th and 280th motorized rifle regiments, 11th tank regiment of the 18th motorized rifle division of the 11 Army Corps, 7th motorized rifle regiment of the 11th Army Corps, 80th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 14th Army Corps, 2nd and 45th separate SOF brigades of the Airborne Forces, 1st Army Corps of so-called DPR, PMCs.

The Russian forces shelled the infrastructure of Basove and Kupyansk with tanks, mortars and artillery.

Ukrainian troops crossed the Oskil River in Borova.

Ukrainian Defense forces shot down an Iranian-origin Russian kamikaze UAV “Shahed-136” (Russian name – “M412 Geran-2”) in Kupyansk.

Kramatorsk direction
  • Balakleya Siversk section: approximate length of the combat line – 184 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 17-20, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 9.6 km;
  • 252nd and 752nd motorized rifle regiments of the 3rd motorized rifle division, 1st, 13th and 12th tank regiments, 423rd motorized rifle regiment of the 4th tank division, 201st military base, 15th, 21st, 30th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 2nd Combined Arms Army, 35th, 55th and 74th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 41st Combined Arms Army, 3rd and 14th separate SOF brigades, 2nd and 4th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 2nd Army Corps, 7th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Army Corps, PMCs.

The Russian forces shelled Yaremivka, Tetyanivka, Raihorodok, Siversk, Bilohorivka, Kryva Luka, Spirne, Verkhnokamyanske, Dronivka, Hryhorivka, and Zvanivka.

Ukrainian troops are fighting in the area of Bilohorivka (30 km east of Lyman), trying to break through the Russian defenses in the west of Luhansk Oblast and in the area of Lysychansk- Sievierodonetsk.

The Russian military did not have time to build a solid defense line east of Oskil. Still, it started forming two position areas, where the remaining Russian troops from Izyum are gradually retreating. The first area – Nyzhnya Duvanka – Naugolne – Kuzemivka – Svatove (up to two BTGs probably from the composition of units of the 41st Combined Arms Army); the second area – south of Svatove along the border Miluvatka – Krasnorichenske (remnants of two BTGs from military units of the 41st Combined Arms Army, remnants of two BTGs of the 3rd motorized rifle division of the 20th Combined Arms Army, up to one and a half BTG of the 1st Tank Army).

The units of the Russian Armed Forces, which have lost combat capability and are no longer able to participate in high-intensity battles, are trying to independently and gradually withdraw to the north through Nove and Makiivka in the direction of Svatove. New enemy units from those defeated in Kharkiv Oblast started forming there.

In the Lyman area, up to three BTGs of the 2nd Combined Arms Army are trying to hold back the advance of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to gain time to organize a defensive line on the eastern bank of the Oskil River.

Along the Bilohorivka-Verkhnokamyanka frontier, the Russian military concentrated at least four BTGs from the “mobilization reserve”, “Wagner” PMC and units of the 55th separate motorized rifle brigade and 90th tank division.

Donetsk direction
  • Siversk – Maryinka section: approximate length of the combat line – 235 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 13-15, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 17 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 68th and 163rd tank regiments, 102nd and 103rd motorized rifle regiments of the 150 motorized rifle division, 80th tank regiment of the 90th tank division, 35th, 55th and 74th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 41st Combined Arms Army, 31st separate airborne assault brigade, 61st separate marines brigade of the Joint Strategic Command “Northern Fleet”, 336th separate marines brigade, 24th separate SOF brigade, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 15th, and 100th separate motorized rifle brigades, 9th and 11th separate motorized rifle regiment of the 1st Army Corps of the so-called DPR, 6th motorized rifle regiment of the 2nd Army Corps of the so-called LPR, PMCs.

The Russian military shelled the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces using tanks, mortars, barrel and jet artillery in the areas of Yuryivka, New York, Mykolaivka, Mykolaivka Druha, Zaitseve, Soledar, Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Yakovlivka, Maryinka, Krasnohorivka, Pervomaiske and Novomykhailivka.

The Ukrainian Defense forces successfully repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Spirne, Mayorsk, Odradivka, Vesela Dolyna, Vodyane, Avdiivka, Bezimenne and Novohryhorivka.

Fighters of the “Wagner” PMC captured Mykhailivka Druha. Russian troops reached the outskirts of Bakhmut and took positions in the industrial zone on the eastern outskirts of Bakhmut. They regularly shelled the positions of Ukrainian troops along the Bakhmut and Avdiyivka-Donetsk front line.

Ukrainian guerrillas attacked a Russian patrol in Mariupol with explosives while it was trying to erase the “Ї” symbol painted on a building [Ї is a letter of the Ukrainian alphabet used as a symbol of resistance in the occupied territories]. The attack left three Russian occupiers wounded.

Zaporizhzhya direction
  • Maryinka – Vasylivka section: approximate length of the line of combat – 200 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 17, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 11.7 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 36th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 29th Combined Arms Army, 38th and 64th separate motorized rifle brigades, 69th separate cover brigade of the 35th Combined Arms Army, 5th separate tank brigade, 37 separate motorized rifle brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army, 135th, 429th, 503rd and 693rd motorized rifle regiments of the 19th motorized rifle division of the 58th Combined Arms Army, 70th, 71st and 291st motorized rifle regiments of the 42nd motorized rifle division of the 58th Combined Arms Army, 136th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 58 Combined Arms Army, 46th and 49th machine gun artillery regiments of the 18th machine gun artillery division of the 68th Army Corps, 39th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 68th Army Corps, 83th separate airborne assault brigade, 40th and 155th separate marines brigades, 22nd separate SOF brigade, 1st Army Corps of the so-called DPR, and 2nd Army Corps of the so-called LPR, PMCs.

The Russian forces shelled the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces near Velyka Novosilka, Novodonetske, Vremivka, Novopil, Hulyaipole, Zaliznychne, and Chervone.

Kherson direction
  • Vasylivka–Nova Zburyivka and Stanislav section: approximate length of the battle line – 252 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 27, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 9.3 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 114th, 143rd and 394th motorized rifle regiments, 218th tank regiment of the 127th motorized rifle division of the 5th Combined Arms Army, 57th and 60th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 5th Combined Arms Army, 135th, 503rd and 693rd motorized rifle regiments of the 19th motorized rifle division, 70th, 71st and 291st motorized rifle regiments of the 42nd motorized rifle division, 51st and 137th parachute airborne regiments of the 106th parachute airborne division, 7th military base of the 49th Combined Arms Army, 16th and 346th separate SOF brigades.

There is no change in the operational situation. Russian occupiers move into the homes of local residents in the villages of Chaplynka district of Kherson Oblast, in some places evicting the owners from their houses.

The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian MOD reported that the Russian authorities in Crimea called on their families to flee to Russia. Russian FSB employees are selling their homes on the peninsula and urgently evacuating their families due to the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Currently, the occupiers are trying to strengthen their grouping near the temporarily occupied Kherson by drawing upon “available reserves”. For this purpose, a redeployment of 4 battalions of the so-called “Kadyrov’s” is planned. However, these units are currently significantly understaffed. Most of the personnel are not Chechens but mercenaries from the poorest regions of the Russian Federation.

Kherson-Berislav bridgehead
  • Velyka Lepetikha – Oleksandrivka section: approximate length of the battle line – 250 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 22, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 11.8 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 108th Air assault regiment, 171st separate airborne assault brigade of the 7th Air assault division, 4th military base of the 58th Combined Arms Army, 429th motorized rifle regiment of the 19th motorized rifle division, 33rd and 255th motorized rifle regiments of the 20th motorized rifle division, 34th and 205th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 49th Combined Arms Army, 224th, 237th and 239th Air assault regiments of the 76th Air assault division, 217th and 331 Air assault regiments of the 98th Air assault division, 126th separate coastal defense brigade, 127th separate ranger brigade, 11th separate airborne assault brigade, 10th separate SOF brigade, PMC.

The Russian forces shelled Tavriyske, Myrne, Ternovi Pody, Partyzanske, Chervona Dolyna, Bilohirka, Novohredneve, Bezymene, Sukhy Stavok, Bila Krynytsia, Olhyne, Vysokopillya, Kamiane. They constantly conduct aerial reconnaissance with UAVs.

Ukrainian troops carried out attacks in three main directions along the Kherson-Mykolaiv front line: the north of Kherson Oblast to the south of the border with Dnipropetrovsk Oblast; the west of the Kherson Oblast along the Inhulets River; to the northwest of the city of Kherson.

The Ukrainian Defense Forces have liberated Oleksandrivka. They consolidate their positions in Olhyne and prepare for attacks along the Arkhangelske line in the direction of Novopetrivka. Ukrainian units attacked Davydiv Brid. They are regrouping near Sukhyi Stavok for an offensive in the direction of Bruskynsk along the T2207 route. Fighting continues in the area of Ternovi Pody. The Ukrainian Defense Forces try to advance south towards Chornobayivka and Kherson.

Russian troops tried to advance on Bezimenne to the south of Sukhyi Stavok. They also tried to attack along the line Ternovi Pody – Lyubomirivka.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces continue the campaign to block the Russian military’s logistical and transport assets in the south of Ukraine to support operations on the Kherson-Mykolaiv front line.

During the day on September 13, Ukrainian aviation dealt 11 strikes on the concentration of Russian manpower and equipment. Ukrainian troops continue shelling Russian military and logistical facilities on the territory of Kherson Oblast.

Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:

The forces of the Russian Black Sea Fleet continue to project force on the coast and the continental part of Ukraine and control the northwestern part of the Black Sea. The ultimate goal is to deprive Ukraine of access to the sea and connect unrecognized Transnistria with the Russian Federation by land through the coast of the Black and Azov seas.

Along the southern coast of Crimea, there are six enemy cruise missile carriers, including two submarines. Up to 40 enemy Kalibr missiles are ready for a salvo.

Additionally, 14 other enemy warships and vessels of the auxiliary fleet of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla are at sea, providing reconnaissance and blockade of navigation in the Azov-Black Sea waters.

Four large amphibious ships are maneuvering near the southern part of the occupied Crimea. These maneuvers are possibly related to the combat coordination of the recently created marine infantry grouping based on the 382nd separate battalion of the Russian marines (based in the city of Temryuk, Krasnodar Krai, Russia). The rest of the amphibious ships (8 units) are in the ports of Novorossiysk and Sevastopol for replenishment and scheduled maintenance. There are no signs of preparation for an amphibious assault on the southern coast of Ukraine.

Russian aviation continues to fly from the Crimean airfields of Belbek and Hvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Over the past day, 10 Su-27, Su-30 and Su-24 aircraft from Belbek and Saki airfields were involved.

On September 14, as part of the implementation of the “grain initiative”, 5 ships with 153,000 tons of food left the ports of “Odesa”, “Chornomorsk” and “Pivdenny”, the press service of the Infrastructure Ministry reported. They are headed for the countries of Asia and Europe. During the 1.5 months of operation of the “grain corridor”, 3.1 million tons of agricultural products were exported through the ports of Odesa. A total of 134 ships with agricultural products for Asian, European and African countries have left Ukrainian ports.

There are certain systemic indicators that the Russian Federation may not extend the grain agreement, which expires in November 2022 (120 days). Increasingly, Russian officials (led by Putin) claim that the interests of the Russian Federation regarding the export of its agricultural products from Russian ports are not considered. A separate memorandum on this issue was developed and signed (together with the agreement) between the Russian Federation and the UN. The text of this memorandum is classified, but experts consider its content’s relevance to the UN’s main activity doubtful.

In case the Russian Federation withdraws from the grain agreement, they most likely would continue missile attacks from ships and coastal missile systems of the Russian Federation in Crimea on ships sailing to the ports of Ukraine. The Russian Black Sea Fleet currently has 9 surface and 4 underwater carriers of Kalibr missiles available for this purpose in the Black Sea (total possible salvo of 86 Kalibr missiles) and 8 ships with Soviet-made anti-ship systems (40 anti-ship missiles in total), Bal (X-35 missile) and Bastion (P-800 Onyx missile) complexes. In addition, enemy aviation use is possible.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 14.09

Personnel – almost 53,650people (+350); Tanks – 2,180 (+5);

Armored combat vehicles – 4,665 (+3);

Artillery systems – 1,290 (+11);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 311 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 167 (+2); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 3,501 (+32); Aircraft – 246 (+2);

Helicopters – 215 (+2);

UAV operational and tactical level – 908 (+4); Intercepted cruise missiles – 233 (0);

Boats / ships – 15 (0).

Ukraine, general news

Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser to the head of the President’s Office, emphasized how important it is for Ukraine to receive weapons from international partners. “First of all, it is necessary to protect critical infrastructure facilities with air defense systems. Because Russia will fight only civilians. Secondly, the liberation of Luhansk or Donetsk will cause a domino effect, collapse the Russian front and lead to political destabilization in the Russian Federation. It’s real. We need the will (weapons),” Podolyak emphasized.

NSDC Secretary Oleksiy Danilov told Polish publication Wirtualna Polska that the IAEA’s visit to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant captured by the Russian military did not yield the desired results. One could talk about results if Russians had left the station. Danilov believes that the world underestimates the nuclear terrorist threat of the Russian Federation.

International diplomatic aspect

Russian media reports that Vladimir Putin decided to go to war anyway, ignoring the enormous concession his chief emissary Dmitriy Kozak negotiated at the beginning of the all-out invasion. Putin ruled out a deal on the neutral status he had pretended to be seeking. Instead, he signalled that after launching the war, his aims expanded to annexing new Ukrainian territories. The Kremlin’s spokesperson denied the whole thing. Whatever was a compromise in the first days of the invasion, it’s not relevant anymore.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy rules out the possibility of giving up on NATO membership and giving up illegally occupied territories, including Crimea. Kyiv Security Compact, a concept of possible security guarantees agreement, was presented at the Office of the President. The concept looks more thoughtful and coherent than previously announced ideas. However, the document is rather a tool to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend itself than security guarantees. The paper aims to beef up Ukraine’s ability to defend itself until it becomes a member of NATO. It implies a framework document and bilateral agreements on mechanisms and the legal obligation of participating states to provide Ukraine with various assistance and impose costs (sanctions) on Russia. Besides the issue of legally binding status, an important part is missing. There’re no mechanisms of security guarantees to non-nuclear states from the threats posed by nuclear power. Anyway, until drafts of the Kyiv Security Compact and relevant bilateral agreements are made public, it’s too premature to judge the idea’s viability.

European Union Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen delivered a State of the Union (speech). She stated that from the day of the all-out invasion, “a whole continent has risen in solidarity,” and it will be the case as long as necessary. She radiated enthusiasm and hope to say, “We have brought Europe’s inner strength back to the surface.” Russia’s brutal war gave a new impetus to the EU and NATO. Ukrainian struggle for freedom and the European future has given the Europeans a feeling of purpose and understanding that neither peace and security nor democracy is for granted. Ursula von der Leyen stressed that this is a “war on our values and a war on our future. This is about autocracy against democracy”. She shared her conviction that “with courage and solidarity, Putin will fail, and Ukraine and Europe will prevail”. In the face of coming hardship, it’s crucial that Europe stays united in support of Ukraine and in imposing the cost on Russia, regardless of the pain this struggle for the future of the continent brings.

After the telephone conversation between the French and the Russian presidents, Russian forces unleashed a missiles attack on the Kharkiv Thermal Power Plant that caused a total blackout in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions and a partial one in the Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk and Sumy regions. The phone conversation between the German Chancellor and the Russian Presidents was followed by a missile hit to hydraulic structures that might have caused the drawing of Kryvyi Rih, a native city to the President of Ukraine.

Russia, relevant news

The editor-in-chief of the Russian propaganda publication “Komsomolskaya Pravda”, also known as Putin’s favorite newspaper, Vladimir Sungorkin, unexpectedly died of a stroke during an expedition to Primorye at the age of 68, “Komsomolskaya Pravda” informed.

According to an internal document of the Russian Ministry of Finance prepared for a high-level meeting, the Russian financial sector suffered hundreds of billions of dollars in direct losses from the sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies due to the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine, Bloomberg reported. The report includes only sanctions on the financial sector.

A French court has rejected a request to lift the arrest of the yacht Amore Vero detained in early March in the city of La Ciotat in the south of the country. The head of Rosneft, Igor Sechin, may be the beneficiary of the company-owner and commercial operator of the vessel, AFP reports.

The Italian Eni has reduced the share of Russian oil purchases from 18% (2021) to 7% (Q2 of this year). In addition, the company is selling its stake (8.33%) in the RSK Raffinerie GmbH refinery in Schwedt (Germany), where oil is supplied from Russia via the Druzhba pipeline, Russian business publication Kommersant reports.

The Speaker of the Russian parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, suggested that the State Duma classify the discussion on a “special operation” in Ukraine.

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