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CDS Daily brief (17.09.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

As of the morning of September 17, 2022, more than 1,145 Ukrainian children are victims of full- scale armed aggression by the Russian Federation, Prosecutor General’s Office reports. The official number of children who have died and been wounded in the course of the Russian aggression is 389, and more than 756 children, respectively. However, the data is not conclusive since data collection continues in the areas of active hostilities, temporarily occupied areas, and liberated territories.

On September 14, a family with two daughters aged 8 and 12 died due to enemy shelling in Kherson. It became known that on September 5, due to shelling by Russian troops, a 14-year-old boy died in Nova Husarivka, Izyum district, Kharkiv region. During the recording of crimes committed by the Russian occupiers in Izyum, it became known about the death of a family with two girls aged 5 and 8 on March 9.

2,500 Ukrainian educational institutions were damaged due to bombing and shelling by the armed forces of the Russian Federation. Of them, 289 were completely destroyed.

In Donetsk Oblast, on September 16, 2 civilians were killed by enemy shelling in Sviatohirsk and Bakhmut. Another 11 people were injured. Russian military shelled the Sloviansk TPP this morning. As a result, the equipment on the station’s territory was damaged, said Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of Donetsk Military Administration. Due to the shelling, water supply problems were reported in Mykolyivka.

5 wounded and 31 damaged houses were reported as the result of the Russian rocket attacks on Kramatorsk. According to the head of the Donetsk Military Administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko, the Russians used the S-300 complex. There is a child among the wounded. He added that the city is under shelling almost every day.

During September 16, thirty-seven civil infrastructure objects in Zaporizhzhya Oblast were damaged due to the Russian shelling. On the morning of September 17, the enemy launched a rocket attack on a village near Zaporizhzhya. The rocket attack destroyed a gymnasium, a sports club and a cultural center in Tavriyske. One person was wounded in Stepnohorsk, said the head of the Zaporizhzhya Military Administration, Oleksandr Starukh.

During the night of September 16-17, the enemy shelled the Nikopol district of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. The shellings damaged private houses, cars, a lyceum, a workshop of an industrial enterprise, gas pipelines and power lines.

At night, Russians shelled the Industrial District of Kharkiv. As a result of the strikes, a fire broke out at one of the enterprises. They also launched rocket attacks on Chuguiev, Kharkiv Oblast. An

11-year-old girl was injured; she later died in a hospital. Critical infrastructure, the private sector, an enterprise, and a gas station were damaged, the head of Kharkiv Military Administration, Oleh Synehubov, reported.

During September 16-17, the enemy shelled Mykolayiv Oblast. One civilian killed is reported. Wastewater treatment facilities and an electric substation were damaged.

Operational situation

It is the 206th 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 focus its efforts on attempts to fully occupy Donetsk Oblast, organizing defense, maintaining control over the temporarily captured territories and disrupting the offensive of the Ukrainian troops in certain directions.

The enemy fired at the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces along the contact line. Russian military takes measures to regroup troops in different directions, deploys reserves and conducts aerial reconnaissance.

The threat of air and missile strikes throughout the territory of Ukraine persists.

The enemy shelled residential areas and civilian infrastructure objects, violating the norms of International Humanitarian Law, laws and customs of war. Over the past 24 hours, the enemy has launched 4 missile strikes, 24 airstrikes and 72 shellings from rocket artillery systems.

The infrastructure of more than 58 towns and villages was damaged by the enemy air strikes, missile strikes and MLRS, including Kharkiv, Zolochiv, Druzhkivka, Siversk, Zakitne, New York, Veselyanka, Maryinka, Krasnohorivka, Poltavka, Mali Shcherbaky, Myrne, Velyke Artakove, Kryvyi Rih, Nikopol, Olhivske, Zaporizhzhya, Orihiv, Myrolyubivka, Ochakiv and Sukhyi Stavok.

Significant losses among units of the so-called “Union of Donbas Volunteers” have been confirmed. Wounded representatives of the battalion of this illegal armed formation, which took part in the storming of Avdiyivka, were denied medical care after they had been evacuated to Rostov-on-Don because they did not have the status of a regular military formation.

During the past day, the aviation of the Ukrainian Defense Forces struck 9 areas of concentration of enemy manpower and military equipment, 3 strongholds, a rear control post and 2 positions of anti-aircraft missile systems.

Air defense units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces destroyed one Su-24 aircraft, three cruise missiles and one enemy UAV in various directions.

The morale of the personnel of the invasion forces remains low.

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 enemy shelled, including from the territory of the Russian Federation, the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the areas of Kudiivka, Hoptivka, Strilecha, Vilkhuvatka, Anyskyne, Synyok, Kamianka, Prystin, and Dvorichna.

Ukrainian troops have liberated all of Kupyansk and are continuing their offensive to the east of the Oskil River.

Ukrainian forces cut Russian land supply lines through the Kharkiv Oblast, forcing Russian forces to reroute logistics from large bases and concentration points around Belgorod via the Valuiky railway line. Permanent damage to this railway line would seriously complicate the logistical support of the Russian defense of the Luhansk Oblast and the eastern part of the Kharkiv Oblast.

The 206th regiment of the so-called “LPR” 2nd Army Corps is leading the defense near Valuiky from the territory of Russia. This indicates that Russia is deploying proxy forces to cover Russian logistics and further suggests that Russia is increasingly relying on proxy forces to perform tasks even in the territory of the Russian Federation.

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.

Russian troops maintain positions in Lyman.

Ukrainian troops struck an area of Russian troops’ concentration, causing numerous casualties among Russian servicemen in Perevalsk of Luhansk Oblast.

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 enemy shelled the positions of Ukrainian Defense Forces near Bilohorivka, Rozdolivka, Vyimka, Odradivka, Soledar, Mykolaivka Druga, Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Yakovlivka, Vesela Dolyna, Vesele, Mayorsk, Avdiivka, Opytne, Netaylove, Zelene Pole, Poltavka and Novopil.

Over the past day, units of Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks, inflicting enemy losses in the areas of Bakhmut, Zaitseve, Avdiivka, Mykolaivka Druga and Novomykhailivka.

Russian troops used S-300 air defense missiles to attack Selidove.

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 enemy did not take active action.

In the temporarily occupied [by Russians] territories of the Zaporizhzhya Oblast, the so-called head of the civil-military administration recently announced the strengthening of “sanctions” against patriotic Ukrainian citizens. Fearing the resistance movement, the occupiers and

collaborators intimidated local residents with imprisonment for supporting representatives of the resistance movement. The activists are threatened with forced deportation to the self- proclaimed “LDPR”, where such activities are punishable by death.

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.

Five Ukrainian missiles hit the building of the Kherson administrative court, where the Russian occupation administration is located, and caused significant destruction.

Ukraine’s blockade campaign in the Kherson Oblast continues to impair Russia’s ability to manage the occupied territory and disrupts the logistical support of the Russian army.

Ukrainian strikes have cut off food and water supplies to Russian troops in Kherson. An unidentified Russian air assault unit based in Kakhovka is unable to supply its combat units.

The Ukrainian strikes significantly undermined the morale of Russian troops.

Ukrainian artillery units struck the concentration of Russians in Beryslav, Dar’ivka and Stara Zburivka, as well as the pontoon crossing in the Kozatsky district.

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 the contact line. As a result, more than 26 Ukrainian towns and villages were affected by the enemy fire.

The Russian occupiers left the village of Kiselyvka.

Russian troops fired cruise missiles from positions in the Black Sea at the port infrastructure in Ochakiv.

The enemy combatants of the “Volunteer Battalion named after Shaymuratov”, which operates in the vicinity of Mykolaiv, have not been in contact with their relatives in Ufa (Russia) for more than a week.

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.

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

The probability of enemy missile strikes from sea, air and occupied land remains exceptionally high. Along the southern coast of Crimea, there are four enemy cruise missile carriers (including a submarine). Up to 28 enemy Kalibr missiles are ready for a salvo. After a week of relative calm, Russians resumed missile attacks on the ports of Odesa, Mykolaiv and Ochakiv. The enemy employs cruise missiles and MLRS.

Enemy aviation continues to fly from Crimean airfields Belbek and Gvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Over the past day, 12 Su-27, Su-30 and Su-24 aircraft from Belbek and Saki airfields were involved. Currently, 31 aircraft, including 11 Su-30SM and 12 Su- 24M, are located on the base of the 43rd Separate Marine Assault Aviation Regiment (military unit 59882, Novofedorivka village, Saky district). On the outskirts of Armyansk and Yevpatoria, the activation of air defense forces and means were recorded.

A group of 5 large amphibious ships conduct training near the southern coast of Crimea, ensuring the combat coordination of the Russian marines. The rest of the enemy amphibious ships are in the ports of Novorossiysk and Sevastopol for restocking and planned repairs. There are no signs of the direct formation of an amphibious landing force to land on the southern coast of Ukraine.

Three enemy submarines of project 636.3 are in the port of Novorossiysk.

The patrol ship of project 22160, “Pavlo Derzhavin”, with the Tor-M2 air defense system on board, was towed from the sea mission area to the Sevastopol naval base due to engine failure. This ship is less than two years old. Due to Western sanctions, instead of German-made design

diesel engines (MTU company), it is equipped with Russian-made engines (from “Kolomensk Plant”), which have low reliability. Such breakdowns of ships with installed Russian or Chinese engines instead of German ones have been quite common in recent years.

Russian patrol ships and boats are on combat duty in the waters of the Sea of Azov on the approaches to the Mariupol and Berdyansk seaports.

A Russian merchant ship with military equipment and ammunition left the Sevastopol naval base to the Mariupol sea trade port.

The intensity of the movement of the enemy military equipment by road and rail transport in Crimea in the direction of the Kherson Oblast remains active. From the occupied Crimea, railway freight trains arrive in the territory of the Kherson Oblast, unloading military equipment and ammunition at the “Kalanchak”, “Brylivka”, and “Novooleksiiivka” stations.

The third dry cargo, chartered by the UN to transport Ukrainian agricultural products to African countries, left this morning from the port of Chornomorsk. The bulk carrier Ikaria Angel is to deliver about 30,000 tons of wheat to Ethiopia, where a humanitarian disaster is brewing. Due to the full-scale invasion of Russia into Ukraine and the blockade of the ports by the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, Ukrainian food was not delivered to the countries of Asia and Africa in time. In partnership with the UN World Food Program, Ukraine has already sent three ships with more than 90,000 tons of wheat to the people of Ethiopia and Yemen. The plan is to export another 190,000 tons, which UN partners currently purchase.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 17.09

Personnel – almost 54,250 people (+200);

Tanks – 2,202 (+3);

Armored combat vehicles – 4,701 (+11);

Artillery systems – 1,306 (+4);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 312 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 168 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 3,571(+21); Aircraft – 251 (+1);

Helicopters – 215 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 911 (+3); Intercepted cruise missiles – 236 (+3);

Boats / ships – 15 (0).

International diplomatic aspect

“We’re coming to a point right now where I think Putin is going to have to revise what his objectives are for this operation,” said the US Defence Intelligence Agency director. Russian Armed Forces turned out to be incapable of defeating the UAF, capturing the capital of Ukraine, overthrowing the legitimate government and installing a puppet one, and annexing new

territories. On the contrary, the Ukrainian counteroffensive was highly successful and degraded Russia’s capability for any large offensive operations anytime soon. Russia needs quite a long pause to replenish stockpiles of armaments and generate new forces. Unwilling to call for general mobilization for political reasons, Putin found it extremely difficult to bring new recruits to the Russian Armed Forces. He turned to hidden mobilization in depressed regions of Russia, private military companies (though outlawed in Russia), foreign mercenaries and even prisoners. In the coming weeks, he will increasingly need to find an opportunity to freeze conflict with at least some gains Russia got in February-March 2022.

While Russian propagandists still discuss possible ways of escalation of the war, foremost, missile strikes on energy and other critical infrastructure, as well as a tactical nuclear strike, Putin turned to a more cautious tone. “[Erdogan] proposes a meeting with President Zelensky, believing that it can lead to some positive result,” said Putin after meeting Erdogan. “The first condition is that they [the Ukrainian side] agree, but they don’t want to. Mr Zelensky … publicly said that he was not ready and did not want to talk to Russia,” continued the Russian President.

Indian Prime Minister delicately rebuffed Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, insisting that “now is not the time for war”. Modi told Putin of the need to “move onto a path of peace” and reminded him of the importance of “democracy, diplomacy and dialogue”. Mexican President said his government would present a plan to the United Nations to end Russia’s war in Ukraine. His plan foresees a “mediation committee” that includes the Indian Prime Minister, the UN Secretary- General and Pope Francis.

However, the immediate freeze of the conflict would mean that Putin would be able to attack again within a year timeframe. This view is shared by the majority of foreign and security policy experts (47,1%) that took part in the recent opinion poll conducted by the Razumkov Centre, a Ukrainian think tank. Suppose Ukraine manages to free the territories occupied by Russia since February 24 and signs a security guarantee agreement with Russia that will trigger a winddown of the sanctions. In that case, the Kremlin most likely relaunch its war on Ukraine within five years period. This view is supported by 56,9% of the experts. More than ten years would be needed for Russia to relaunch its aggression against Ukraine, should Ukraine free all its territories, Russia pays the reparations and renews its compliance with the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty. Such an opinion is shared by 52,9% of experts.

“I don’t think we should underestimate Putin’s adherence to his original agenda, which was to control Ukraine. I don’t think we’ve seen any reason to believe he has moved off that,” replied CIA Deputy Director David Cohen on the possible use of nuclear arms by Putin. Moreover, the US shouldn’t underestimate Putin’s “risk appetite,” while Moscow, early in the war, he made allusions to Russia’s nuclear arsenal and to massive retaliation in warning NATO not to get involved in the conflict. However, Mr Cohen said that the US intelligence community hasn’t seen “concrete evidence of planning for the use of WMD.ʺ

Speaking to CBS News, Joe Biden said that nuclear arms would “change the face of war unlike anything since World War Two”. However, POTUS hasn’t revealed possible scenarios of actions, preserving strategic ambiguity.

“The Kremlin knows it would be impossible for the US not to respond if it uses a tactical nuke or chemical weapon in Ukraine. China, North Korea and Iran are watching. Pentagon will have provided a list of options to the President. Most are likely non-nuclear. All would be devastating for Russia,” twitted Ben Hodges, a former commander of the US Forces in Europe. Lt. Gen Ben Hodges elaborated on a possible US reaction to Russia’s nuclear attack during the University of North Carolina discussion at Chapel Hill. He believes the US may enter the Russian-Ukrainian war and defeat the invasion forces. The US might annihilate the Russian Black Sea Fleet, based in the illegally annexed Crimea or the Baltic Fleet in the Kaliningrad exclave.

Washington DC has been signaling Moscow of unprecedented consequences of such a suicidal decision of Putin to employ an ultimately forbidden weapon.

Ukraine, general news

Zaporizhzhya NPP was provided with the necessary spare parts, materials and fuel. A convoy of 25 trucks passed enemy checkpoints and brought to Energodar what was needed to repair damaged power lines and power units at the ZNPP, Energoatom reported. The supply of chemical reagents necessary for the ZNPP operation and fuel for diesel generators, which feed the plant in the event of a blackout, have also been restored.The IAEA reported that the ZNPP had been reconnected to the Ukrainian power grid. Engineers repaired one of the four main external power lines, which was damaged after shelling by Russians.

The Ukrainian budget received a grant of $ 1.5 billion. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal noted that this is the last tranche of $4.5 billion from the World Bank Trust Fund. The funds will reimburse budgetary expenses for pension payments and social assistance programs.

The European Parliament voted to allocate 5 billion euros to Ukraine. This is the eighth package of financial assistance to Ukraine.

Ukrainian postal operator “Nova Poshta” brought parcels, internet from Starlink and a generator to the liberated Izyum. And tomorrow it will bring humanitarian aid, the company’s press release says.

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