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CDS Daily brief (09.10.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

As of the morning of October 9, 2022, more than 1,219 Ukrainian children are victims of full-scale armed aggression by the Russian Federation, Prosecutor General’s Office reports. According to the official information of juvenile prosecutors, 421 children died, and more than 798 were injured. However, the data is not conclusive since data collection continues in the areas of active hostilities, temporarily occupied areas, and liberated territories.

The Russian military fired S300 missiles at two residential areas of Zaporizhzhia at around 2 a.m. on October 9. The missiles were fired from the temporarily occupied territories, the towns of Melitopol and Berdyansk. In addition, four Kh-22 cruise missiles (from the Tu-22M3) and two Kh- 59 guided air missiles (from the Su-35) were launched. About 20 private houses and about 50 high-rise buildings were damaged. A 9-story high-rise apartment building was severely damaged, and almost an entire section of the building collapsed. Some low-rise private buildings were destroyed completely. As of 18:00, Zaporizhzhia Oblast Military Administration (OMA) reported that 13 people, including one child, were killed, and 89, including 11 children, were injured. The information on victims is constantly updated. The previous devastating strike on Zaporizhzhya occurred on the night of October 6. Rescue workers completed cleaning up the rubble from the October 6 attack on the evening of October 9. They reported that 20 people, including one child, died in the attack.

Today at noon, in Myropilla, Sumy Oblast, the Russian military dropped a grenade from a drone in the very center of the village, in the recreation area near the store, head of Sumy OMA, Dmytro Zhivytskyi, reports. The store’s employee, a 41-year-old woman, was injured and died due to massive bleeding from shrapnel wounds. At the time of the attack, many people were near the store, and when the woman was rescued, the Russians dropped another grenade from the drone. Miraculously, no one was injured in the second explosion.

Kamikaze drones were also spotted over at least two central Ukrainian oblasts, namely Poltava and Dnipropetrovsk, local authorities reported. In Kremenchuk, Poltava Oblast, several drones were shot down.

In the recently liberated Lyman in Donetsk Oblast, the first 20 bodies were exhumed at the site of a mass civilian burial. It’s estimated that about 200 people were buried there, including children. Excavations of another mass grave — a mass grave of Ukrainian soldiers — are also underway, Donetsk Oblast police said.

Eight regions of Ukraine, including the liberated territories of Kherson Oblast, came under Russian attacks on October 8. The information was made public at the morning oblast military administration round-up of 9:00 a.m. Sunday, October 9. A resident of the village of Moschenka, Chernihiv Oblast, died from an MLRS strike. Generally, 20 civilians were killed, and another 68 were injured on October 8 due to Russian aggression in Ukraine, the deputy head of the Office

of the President, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said referring to the data of the Oblast military administrations.

Associated Press reports on the massive assault on the Ukrainian cultural values committed by the invading Russian troops. Russian soldiers looted artifacts in almost 40 Ukrainian museums, Ukraine’s Minister of Culture told the agency. One of the most valuable artifacts now gone is the golden tiara, inlaid with precious stones some 1,500 years ago during the rule of Attila the Hun. Russian troops carted away the priceless crown and a hoard of other treasures after capturing the Ukrainian city of Melitopol in February. Additionally, over 2,000 exhibits were stolen from Mariupol museums. Among them are ancient religious icons, a unique handwritten Torah scroll, a 200-year-old Bible and more than 200 medals.

Occupied territories

On October 7, around 8 a.m., the Russian military fired at a convoy of civilian cars from an unidentified aircraft. People were standing in line for a pontoon crossing to the left bank of the Dnipro River near the Daryivski bridge in Kherson Oblast, Andrii Kovany, press officer of the Kherson Oblast police, informed. Eyewitnesses reported the sound of a plane in the air, which fired shells during a U-turn. It hit a minibus, where at least five people died, and the same number were injured. The police have launched a criminal investigation into the Russian military’s violations of the laws and customs of war.

Automobile traffic across the Kerch Strait is experiencing significant difficulties on both sides of the bridge. According to eyewitnesses, only one lane is functional, and preference is given to cargo carriers. The head of the Crimean occupation authorities, Serhiy Aksynov, had promised, however, that passenger cars would enjoy priority. People have to wait in line to get onto the bridge for hours, Ukrinform reports. Lines are reported in the Kavkaz port as well. About 200 cars are waiting for a ferry crossing. According to Russian media reports, some drivers spent the whole night in line.

Operational situation

It is the 228th 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 tries to maintain control over the temporarily captured territories and concentrates its efforts on disrupting the counteroffensive actions of the Ukrainian troops in certain directions. Thus, almost forty combat clashes took place during the day. The tensest situation was in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions, where the Ukrainian defenders repelled more than 30 Russian attacks. The Russian military shells the positions of the Ukrainian troops along the entire contact line, carries out defense fortification in certain directions, and conducts aerial reconnaissance with UAVs.

The Russian forces continue to violate the norms of international humanitarian law, the laws and customs of war. Over the past day, the Russian military launched 3 missile strikes and 26 air strikes and carried out more than 75 MLRS attacks. At night, the Russian occupiers cynically struck Zaporizhzhia’s residential buildings and civilian infrastructure.

In addition, more than thirty Ukrainian towns and villages were shelled, particularly Kharkiv, Chasiv Yar, Popivka, Hrabovske, Makiivka, Spirne, Bilohorivka, Ivanhrad, Opytne, Klyshchiivka, Novomykhailivka, Vuhledar, Nikopol, Urozhaine, and Davydiv Brid. Near the state border, Lypivka and Mykolaivka of Chernihiv Oblast, Lisne and Ryasne of Sumy Oblast, Chervona Zorya, Veterynarne, Strelecha, Krasne, Ogirtseve, Hlyboke, Zelene, Starytsa, Ternova and Chuhunivka of Kharkiv Oblast were shelled.

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

The aviation of the Ukrainian Defense Forces made over 30 strikes, in particular, 24 on manpower, weapons and military equipment concentration areas and 9 on the Russian anti- aircraft missile systems. Ukrainian air defense units shot down 5 UAVs.

Over the past day, Ukrainian missile forces and artillery hit 2 enemy command posts, 9 areas of manpower, weapons and military equipment concentration, three ammunition depots, and eleven other important objects.

The Kremlin allegedly replaced Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff General Valery Gerasimov with Tula Governor Oleksiy Dyumin and Deputy Commander-in- Chief of the Ground Forces Lieutenant General Oleksandr Matovnikov.

The morale and psychological state of the personnel of the invasion forces remain low.

Kharkiv direction
  • Zolochiv-Balakleya section: approximate length of combat line – 147 km, number of BTGs of theRF 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.

Ukrainian troops continued their counteroffensive from Kharkiv Oblast in the direction of Svatove.

Russian troops repelled Ukrainian attacks southeast of Kupyansk, continued shelling Kupyansk and nearby villages and carried out artillery, air, and missile strikes at Kharkiv, Bogodukhiv, and near Izyum.

Collaborators [of Russian occupiers] began to be evacuated from Starobilsk to Luhansk.

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 enemy used different types of artillery at the Ukrainian Defence Forces’ positions in Pershotravneve, Novoyehorivka, Makiivka, Nove, Terny, Serebryanka, Bilohorivka and Hryhorivka.

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 areas around Verkhnokamianske, Yakovlivka, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Ivanhrad, Zaitseve, Vershyna, Zelenopillia, Opytne, Pervomaiske, Vodyane, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, and Pobeda.

Over the past day, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled Russian attacks in the areas of Terny, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Ivanhrad, Pervomaisk, Opytne, Nevelske and Pobeda. They struck railway stations in the Russian rear in Donetsk Oblast, namely Ilovaisk, damaging three diesel fuel tanks and the technical part of the station, and Karan in Andriivka, damaging the enemy ammunition storage area.

Zaporizhzhia 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 shelling damaged the infrastructure of more than twenty-five towns and villages, including Solodke, Zelene Pole, Novosilka, and Vuhledar. Russian troops continued to carry out artillery, air and missile strikes west of Hulyaipole, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, and attacked Zaporizhzhia with Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, which were shot down. The Russian military conducted artillery fire and attacked the infrastructure in Nikopol and Marhanets, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast with a UAV.

Ukrainian forces shelled Russian personnel and equipment concentrations in the areas of Polohy and Tokmak. As a result, Russian forces suffered losses, at least 85 servicemen were killed, and more than twenty Russian soldiers were taken to a local hospital in Tokmak.

In the Melitopol district, under the guise of searching and fighting partisans, the [Russian] occupying forces search and steal private cars from the local garage cooperatives.

Tavriysk direction
  • Vasylivka – Stanislav section: approximate length of the battle line – 296 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 42, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 7 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 114th, 143rd, and 394th motorized rifle regiments, 218th tank regiment of the 127th motorized rifle division, 57th and 60th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 5th Combined Arms Army, 37th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 36th 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, 70th, 71st and 291st motorized rifle regiments of the 42nd motorized rifle division, 10th, 16th, 346th separate SOF brigades, 239th air assault regiment of the 76th Air assault division, 217th and 331st parachute airborne regiments of the 98th airborne division, 108 air assault regiment, 171st separate airborne assault battalion of the 7th Air assault division, 11th and 83rd separate airborne assault brigade, 4th military base of the 58 Combined Arms Army, 7 military base 49 Combined Arms Army, 224th, 237th and 126th separate coastal defence brigades, 127th separate ranger brigade, 1st and 3rd Army Corps, PMCs.

More than 45 towns and villages near the contact line were shelled by enemy tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery, including Sukhy Stavok, Kvitneve, Myrne, Zorya and Ternovi Pody. The Russian forces attacked Mykolaiv, Ochakiv and several districts in Odesa Oblast with Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, but Ukrainian forces successfully shot them down.

Ukrainian troops struck three Russian manpower and equipment concentrations and a logistical point in the Beryslav district, Ukrainian aviation struck Russian anti-aircraft complexes in the Beryslav and Kakhovka districts, and hit five enemy fuel depots near Kiselyvka, Bilozerka district.

The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to concentrate along the front line in the area of Davydiv Brid and Mala Oleksandrivka, equipping strongholds in Bezimenna. Fighting continues north and northwest of Kherson, near the Ukrainian bridgehead across the Inhulets River and northeast of Beryslav. The Ukrainian Defense forces repelled a Russian attack near Ternovi Pody.

Russian troops unsuccessfully tried to advance in the area of Davydiv Brid and Mala Oleksandrivka.

Russian troops repelled Ukrainian attempts to advance in the areas of Sukhanove, Pyatykhatky, Sadky, Ishchenko, Bruskynske, Shchaslyve, and Mala Semynykha in the north of Kherson Oblast and near Dudchany on the west bank of the Dnieper. They hold positions in Snihurivka; combat continues on the outskirts of the town.

The Russian military and their proxies are fleeing, frightened by the success of the Ukrainian Defense Forces. Representatives of the occupying authorities of Nova Kakhovka are taking their families to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. According to available information, on October 7, a convoy of 12 minivans left for the city of Sevastopol.

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 Black Sea and to maintain control over the captured territories.

On October 9, thirteen enemy warships and boats were on a mission in the Black Sea, conducting reconnaissance and controlling navigation in the Black Sea waters. There are 24 Kalibr missiles ready for a volley on four carriers: two surface and two underwater (one frigate 1135.6, one “Buyan-M” missile corvette and two submarines of project 636.3). In general, the current activity of the maritime groups of the Russian Federation is characterized by low intensity. The rocket threat to [the territory of] Ukraine remains high.

The Russian military continues shelling Ukrainian ports and coastal areas. On the night of October 9, the Russian forces attacked Odesa and Mykolayiv with “Shahid 136” and other kamikaze drones. At least 7 “Shahed-136” UAVs have been launched from Kherson Oblast towards the cities of Mykolaiv and Nikopol. Most of them were shot down by air defense.

In the military aviation domain, the enemy continues to use attack aircraft from the military airfields of “Novofedorivka”, “Dzhankoy”, “Belbek” and “Gvardiyskyi” for the bombing on the border of the Mykolaiv and Kherson Oblasts.

Due to the Kerch Strait bridge explosion, plane movement intensified, bringing officials and specialized units to investigate and eliminate the consequences of the “incident”. Another batch of Chechen special forces arrived from the military airfield “Grozny” (Chechnya) to the military airfield “Belbek” on a Tu134AK passenger plane (registration number RA-65911). Servicemen from the Northern Fleet were delivered by the Il-62M passenger plane (registration number RA- 86495). Another batch of “Rosgvardiya” forces was delivered from the central part of Russia by Il-76MD military transport aircraft (registration number RA-86495). A Tu-154M passenger plane (registration number RA-85155) from the 224th Special Air Force Squadron of the Russian Air Force arrived from the Chkalov airfield near Moscow, carrying Vice Prime Minister Marat Khusnulin and other officials. Minister of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation Aleksandr Kurenkov and other officials arrived on the Sukhoi-Superjet-100-95B passenger plane (registration number RA-89066).

The movement of military equipment by road and rail transport from the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea in the direction of Kherson Oblast remains consistently intensive. Railway freight trains arrive in the territory of Kherson Oblast from the Crimean direction, unloading military equipment and ammunition at the “Kalanchak”, “Brylivka”, and “Novooleksiiivka” stations.

“Grain Initiative”: 13 ships with 230.7 thousand tons of agricultural products left for the countries of Africa, Asia and Europe from the ports of “Odesa”, “Pivdenny”, and “Chornomorsk”. Among them are bulk carriers ARGONAUT, carrying 71 thousand tons of wheat for Indonesia, ALI A (7 thousand tons of wheat for Lebanon) and MEHMET BEY (8 thousand tons of soybeans for Egypt). Since the launch of the “grain corridor”, 305 vessels have exported 6.8 million tons of Ukrainian food to the countries of Asia, Europe and Africa.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 09.10

Personnel – almost 62,500 people (+440);

Tanks 2,486 (+14);

Armored combat vehicles – 5,133 (+22);

Artillery systems – 1,477 (+18);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 348 (+3); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 180 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 3,890 (+15); Aircraft – 266 (0);

Helicopters – 235 (+1);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,086 (+7); Intercepted cruise missiles – 247 (+1);

Boats / ships – 15 (0).

Ukraine, general news

According to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, in next year’s budget, 45% of all funds will be allocated for the army and security of the country. Another 30% would be spent on pensions,

social programs, education and medicine. On the other hand, expenditures on the government apparatus are being reduced due to the revision of the state functions. In particular, this week, the government transferred more than 800 companies with assets worth UAH 45 billion to the State Property Fund. The purpose of this decision is to reduce the state’s share in the economy and remove ministries from managing companies, Shmyhal said.

International diplomatic aspect

“We don’t really have anything more to add to the reports about the explosion on the [Crimea] bridge,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby said. He thinks that both sides needed to find a way to negotiate an end to the war. Yet Putin had shown no interest and, “quite the contrary,” by mobilizing hundreds of thousand for his war effort and illegally annexing territories, he has demonstrated his intention to carry on his aggressive war. That’s why the US “are in touch almost daily with the Ukrainians and are going to continue to provide them security assistance.”

The bridge over the Kerch Strait [suffered a low yesterday] is a symbol of the so-called Crimean consensus (the total support of any of Putin’s actions at the expense of remaining rights and freedoms), fulfillment of Vladimir Putin’s promise to restore Russia’s “greatness,” and a sort of his personal totem. The bridge has strategic importance (the railway link for the militarization of the peninsula since 2018), and, with the all-out war in Ukraine, Russia used it to deploy numerous air defense units and equipment to the south of Ukraine and invested heavily into the infrastructure’s security. Moscow spent more than $48 million in 2022 to protect the bridge.

The Kremlin said it would retaliate for the humiliating blow. Putin tried to threaten Ukraine with all means he had (alluding to the nuclear ones) if Ukraine hit the newly annexed territories. Instead, the UAF has not stopped the liberation of Ukrainian oblasts, which Russians believe they have “legally” merged. There were explosions in Crimea, including Russia’s Black Sea Fleet’s HQ and now the bridge, deep into Russia-controlled territory. Therefore, it’s one more argument for our partners to provide Ukraine with ATACMS and other long-range capabilities.

“Our understanding is that Mr Putin wants to have a new grand bargain, a new deal with the West. It’s partly about Ukraine, no doubt. But the larger issue is really a new deal between Russia and the Western world,” a spokesperson for Turkey’s President Ibrahim Kalin said. It seems that there is way more goodwill in Ankara to negotiate peace than any appetite in Moscow for talks in good faith. Putin might rather be interested in setting a new status quo and getting an operational pause to replenish his wearied-off invasion forces for a future assault.

At the same time, President Volodymyr Zelensky rules out any negotiations with Vladimir Putin after illegally annexing yet another piece of Ukraine’s territory. It’s hardly possible to see the POTUS taking part in such negotiations or pushing the Ukrainian President for it.

Besides committing war crimes, Vladimir Putin has lost his remaining credibility, and his words mean nothing. In the meantime, “a new deal with the West” will remain a dream of a lonely tyrant. He tried to blackmail the US and Europe before the invasion. The Kremlin wanted the CEE
part of NATO to be disbanded and the US to “pack their belongings” and get out of the continent. As a small “gift” in this grand scheme, Putin thought to bring Ukraine and some other states into his sphere of influence. Such illusions were not acceptable before the full-fledged invasion. They are even more ridiculous after several humiliating defeats after Russia lost the ability to wage offensive operations and its mounting problems at the war theatre and home.

Centre for Defence Strategies (CDS) is a Ukrainian security think tank. We operate since 2020 and are involved in security studies, defence policy research and advocacy. Currently all our activity is focused on stopping the ongoing war.

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