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CDS Daily brief (14.10.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

As of the morning of October 14, 2022, more than 1,233 Ukrainian children are victims of full- scale armed aggression by the Russian Federation, Prosecutor General’s Office reports. The official number of children who died and were wounded during the Russian aggression is 423, and more than 810 children, respectively. However, the data is not conclusive since data collection continues in the areas of active hostilities, temporarily occupied areas, and liberated territories. According to the state child search portal “Children of War,” as of October 14, 243 children considered missing, 8,140 — deported, and 6,603 — found.

According to the World Health Organization, during the full-scale invasion, the Russian Federation carried out 620 attacks on medical facilities in Ukraine. In addition, according to Hans Kluge, director of the WHO Regional European Bureau, mental health problems are likely to “exacerbate”. At a press conference on the impact of the war on the health of the population of Ukraine, he said that “Ten million people … are at potential risk of developing mental disorders, including acute stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder,” noting that the estimate was made before the recent escalation in Ukraine.

The Russian Federation troops shelled eight Ukraine regions during the past day, according to the morning round-up of Oblasts Military Administrations of Ukraine.

  • Russian military targeted Zaporizhzhia with three S-300 missiles this morning. There are confirmed hits on infrastructure objects with a fire that broke out at one of the sites. According to preliminary information, there are no victims.
  • In the Sumy Oblast, the Russians shelled the Druzhbivska community at night with rocket artillery (10 hits) and Bilopolska, Vorozhbyanska, Znob-Novgorodska, Velikopysarivska communities. No victims are reported.
  • In the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, the enemy shelled the Nikopol and Synelnyky districts. One person was injured. Private houses and an industrial enterprise were damaged. The Russians attacked the Nikopol district with “Hrads”, heavy artillery and drones. Private homes, water pipes and power lines were damaged in three other districts. The air defense forces destroyed four enemy kamikaze drones over the Oblast during the night.
  • In the Kharkiv Oblast, the enemy continued to launch missile attacks on the civilian population, including Kholodnogirsk, Chuhuiv and Slobozhansk districts (a road and infrastructure object were damaged); no casualties were reported. During the day, the enemy massively shelled Kupyansk and its neighbourhoods. Over the past day, six people were hospitalized in the Kupyanskyi district, including a 16-year-old boy, one person – in the Chuhuyiv district, and another 16-year-old boy was injured in the Izyum district. Demining continues; during the day State Emergency Service neutralized 702 explosive objects.
  • In the Donetsk Oblast, the Russians shelled Kostyantynivka at night; a high-rise apartment building was damaged. The invaders also shelled Pisky, Nevelske, Vodyane, and Pervomaiske. Two people were killed, and another six were injured.

In the aftermath of yesterday’s massive rocket attack by Russian forces on Mykolaiv, the number of victims increased to eight, among them a child. Rescuers retrieved the last victim’s body from the rubble of a residential building hit by a Russian rocket on October 13. According to the mayor of the city Alexander Senkevich, four high-rise residential buildings were damaged.

In Zaporizhzhia, the number of victims of the October 9 Russian missile attack increased. The bodies of 15 people have already been found under the rubble of a multi-story building hit by a Russian rocket; six are still considered missing.

At Kyiv National University, work has begun to repair the damage caused by the massive Russian rocket attack on October 10, but the exact amount of damage is currently unknown.

It is already possible to get to almost all liberated territories of the Kherson Oblast (except for the last five liberated villages) with appropriate permission, deputy of the Kherson Regional Council Serhii Khlan reported during a briefing in Ukrinform. According to Khlan, the main task in the de-occupied territories is restoring the energy supply. Mobile communications and the Internet are also being restored. In addition, people are helped with building materials. In particular, there is a big problem with slate.

Occupied territories

The Russian invaders hardly let people out of the temporarily occupied territories at the checkpoint in Vasylivka, Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov informed during a briefing at the Ukraine- Ukrinform media center. “From September 27, the queue in Vasylivka began to pile up. There were 1,200 cars with 6,000 residents. Currently, there are more than 1,000 cars with more than 4,000 residents.” However, the number insignificantly decreased not because the people were allowed to pass but because they decided not to stay [in line]. “Now a new evacuation route emerged through Melitopol-Berdyansk-Mariupol-Novoazovsk,” Fedorov said. Fedorov noted that earlier, more than 1,000 residents from all temporarily occupied territories of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, and Donetsk Oblast could leave daily [to Ukraine-controlled territory] across the demarcation line in Vasylivka. Currently, there is no such possibility because the occupiers let only 20-30 vehicles pass. Moreover, there are days when no cars are released. For example, they declared last Saturday and Sunday off.

In Kherson, the occupiers shot the conductor of the regional philharmonic orchestra, Yuriy Kerpatenko. The Kherson Regional Prosecutor’s Office reported that the investigation had been launched. It is noted that, according to the investigation, representatives of the aggressor country shot the conductor in his own home in the city of Kherson because he refused to cooperate with them. Before that, the occupiers tried to persuade the man to cooperate with threats. He stopped contacting relatives in September.

In the occupied Kherson Oblast, under the guise of going on vacation, lists are being compiled for the deportation of schoolchildren [to Russia], deputy of the regional council Serhiy Khlan said during a briefing at the Media Center Ukraine. He explained that the collaborators organized

holidays in schools (from October 6 – on the Dnieper right bank of the Oblast, from 15 – on the left bank). He urged parents not to succumb to forced deportation, even despite Russia’s statements about [children’s] “recovery” and [promises of] provision with everything necessary.

Operational situation

(please note that this part of the report is mainly on the previous day’s (October 13) developments)

The 233rd day of the strategic air and 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 attempts to implement its plans to reach the administrative border of the Donetsk Oblast and to maintain control over the captured parts of the Kherson, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv Oblasts.

The Russian military shells the positions of the Ukrainian troops along the entire contact line, fortifies positions in certain directions, and conducts aerial reconnaissance. They also continue increasing reserves, drafting for mobilization, and recruiting mercenaries.

The enemy does not stop striking Ukraine’s critical infrastructure and civilian facilities. During the past 24 hours, the Russian fire hit civilian targets and residents of Brody, Nalyvaykivka of the Kyiv Oblast, Mykolaiv, and Nikopol. Near the state border, the villages of Ukrainske, Atynske, Velyka Rybytsia in Sumy Oblast, Mykolaivka in Chernihiv Oblast, and Strilecha, Ohirtseve, Starytsia, Gatyshche, Dvorichna and Hryanikivka in Kharkiv Oblast were shelled with mortars and barrel artillery.

Russian military carried out strikes with cruise, aviation, anti-aircraft guided missiles and attack- UAVs of Iranian production. In general, the enemy launched 2 rocket and 16 air strikes over the past day and fired more than 70 MLRS rounds. During October 13, Russian troops launched missile attacks on critical infrastructure and civilian objects in Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Mykolaiv Oblasts and launched kamikaze drone strikes throughout Ukraine. Rocket attacks were also carried out on objects in Rivne, Ternopil, Lviv, and Chernivtsi Oblasts.

To replenish the losses in manpower, the Russian military leadership continue recruiting mercenaries, including citizens of other countries. According to available information, about four hundred foreign combatants arrived in the temporarily occupied territory of the Republic of Crimea on October 9. It is planned to further involve them in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine.

In Primorsko-Akhtarsk (Krasnodar Krai, Russia), the sending of mobilized soldiers to training centres has been suspended until November 1 due to unpreparedness for accommodation, training and comprehensive provision for a large number of personnel.

During the past 24 hours, Ukraine’s Defense Forces aviation carried out 25 strikes on enemy targets, damaging more than 19 enemy weapons and military equipment concentration areas

and 6 anti-aircraft missile systems. In addition, Air Defense units shot down 5 cruise missiles and 9 UAVs. Ukraine’s missile forces and artillery struck 3 enemy command and control points, 5 areas of concentration of manpower, weapons and military equipment, 2 ammunition warehouses, and an EW station.

The morale and psychological state of the personnel of the invasion forces remain low. Russian troops are looting shops in occupied Kherson and preparing pontoon crossings for escape from the right bank to the left bank of the Dnieper.

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.

In the Svatove direction, the command of the enemy’s troops continues active measures to stabilize the front line and organize the defense system. To the northwest and west of Svatove, the enemy concentrated up to eight consolidated BTGs from the 11th Army Corps, 6th Army, 1st Tank Army, 41st Army, and Rosgvardia (Russian National Guards). The total number is 3.5-4 thousand personnel, 45-50 tanks, up to 130 BMP/APC, about 100 other BBM, up to 50 guns and up to 40 MLRS. The main task of this tactical group is to hold the Svatove area.

In the Tavilzhanka area, the enemy BTG from the 11th Army Corps, with the support of the artillery from the 45th high power artillery brigade of the Western Military District, conducts a defense to prevent the advance of Ukrainian forces from the direction of Dvorichne.

The reinforced motorized rifle company of the 55th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 41st Army continues to hold its positions in the village of Vilshana, trying to restrain the actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine between the Dvorychne and Kupiansk bridgehead. However, it would soon be knocked out of its positions and forced to withdraw in the direction of Pershetravneve – Verkhnya Duvanka.

In the area of Kotlyarivka – Kiselyvka – Nova Tarasivka, the enemy forces of the 15th separated SOF detachment “Vyatich”, the 21st separated SOF detachment “Tyfun” and the BARS-9 detachment with the support of the consolidated BTG from the units of the 4th and 47th tank divisions of the 1st Tank Army, the BTG of the 200th separate motorized rifle brigade trying to hold the line of defense along the R-07 road Kupyansk – Svatove.

In the area of Kuzemivka, Kryvoshyivka, the enemy forces of the “Orel” SWAT detachment, consolidated BTG of the 15th motorized rifle regiment of the 2nd motorized rifle division of the

1st Tank Army, and a BTG of the 27th separate motorized rifle brigade continue to hold the line of defense, periodically counterattacking on the flanks to prevent the advance units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces from bypassing them.

Russian troops continued to maintain defense around Kreminna. The enemy controls the directions of Svatove – Kreminna and Kreminna – Rubizhne.

In the Svatove direction, the enemy is deploying two additional BTGs (incomplete) from the 15th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 2nd Army and from the 60th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 5th Army (which is odd because the 5th Army is deployed partly east of Nova Kakhovka, partly – near Mariupol).

In the Volodymyrivka area, the enemy troops are equipping a new battalion defense area.

Russian soldiers voluntarily surrendered to Ukrainian troops in the area of Krokhmalne. Ukrainian forces took control of Pishchane, Berestove and Tabaivka and attacked Orlyanka and Kotlyarivka; the fighting continues.

The Ukrainian defense forces are strengthening their positions west of Kreminna and trying to cross the Zherebets River.

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 fired with the artillery of various types at the Ukrainian Defence Forces’ positions in Spirne, Terny, Zarichne, Nadiya, Olhivka, Torske, Bilohorivka, Yampolivka and Travneve.

Ukrainian units repelled enemy attacks of the 3rd motorized rifle division units of the 20th Army on Terny.

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 fired from tanks, mortars, barrel and jet artillery along the entire line of contact, in particular, in the areas of Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Ivangrad, Zelenopillia, Soledar, Mayorsk, Chasiv Yar, Opytne, Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka, Vodyane, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, Nevelske, Pervomaiske, Zolota Nyva.

Over the past day, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks in the directions of Opytne, Vesele, Nevelske, Odradivka, Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Ozaryanivka, Nova Kamianka, and Suhy Stavok.

The joint forces of the so-called “LPR” and “DPR” captured Ivangrad; fighting continues on the outskirts of Opytne village; the enemy attacked Maryinka. “DPR” troops are also fighting on the western outskirts of Donetsk and preparing for an offensive on Nevelske.

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 areas of Vugledar, Novoukrainka, Vremivka, Novoandriivka, Novodanylivka, Dorozhnyanka, Gulyaipole and Komyshuvaha were shelled. Russian troops also struck Nikopol with the Grad anti- aircraft missile system.

The increase in the number of Russian troops was noted in Energodar on the territory of the ZNPP. The Russian military uses the station as a base due to the fact that the NPP would never be fired upon [by Ukrainian troops].

The enemy is intensifying policing regime measures. At checkpoints around Melitopol, FSB representatives are present together with ordinary military personnel to conduct thorough searches.

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.

Areas of towns and villages near the contact line were damaged by fire. Nikopol and Vyshchetarasivka were directly affected by enemy fire. Russian troops continued to shell Ukrainian positions in Pravdyne, Soldatske and Ternovy Pody.

Russian troops made an unsuccessful assault in the direction of Kostromka and Sukhyi Stavok on the eastern bank of the Ingulets River. The enemy conducted a reconnaissance attack in the area of Sukhyi Stavok.

The Ukrainian Defense Forces strengthen their positions north of Ishchenka, repelling the enemy’s attack.

Units of the Ukrainian 46th separate airborne brigade carried out raids in the districts of Borozenske and Bezvodne.

Artillery of the Ukrainian Defense Forces continued shelling Russian pontoon and barge crossings across the Dnipro and Ingulets rivers. They destroyed a command and observation post in the Berislavsk district and five enemy ammunition depots, and struck the area of concentration of Russian forces in Tokarivka, killing 150 Russian servicemen.

Damage to the Kerch bridge continues to slow down the delivery of Russian cargo and personnel to southern Ukraine. Only four ferries with a capacity of 90 trucks and 300 people operate on the crossing.

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.

In the open sea, the Russian naval group numbers 15 units located along the southwestern coast of Crimea. Among them are 3 carriers of cruise missiles, namely two corvettes of project 21631 and a submarine of project 636.3 carrying a total of 20 missiles. Since the beginning of the week, the Russian Federation has used more than 20 Kalibr missiles at Ukraine.

In the Sea of Azov waters, enemy patrol ships and boats are located on the approaches to the Mariupol and Berdyansk seaports to block the Azov coast.

Enemy aviation continues to fly from Crimean airfields Belbek and Gvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Over the past day, 11 Su-27, Su-30 and Su-24 aircraft from Belbek and Saki airfields were involved. During the past day, the A-50U long-range radar

reconnaissance and targeting aircraft also operated over the Crimean peninsula. On the outskirts of Yevpatoria, air defense forces were activated by unidentified flying objects.

On the road approaches to Simferopol and Sevastopol, reinforced checkpoints have been installed, which are manned by personnel of “Rosgvardiya” (Russian National Guard), the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB, using armored personnel carriers. There are huge queues at the Kerch crossing, gathering up to 1,000 trucks. The so-called “Crimean Ministry of Transport” continues an information campaign to encourage drivers of vehicles to transport by an alternative route through the south of Ukraine captured by the Russian Federation.

The enemy continues shelling Ukrainian ports and coastal areas. On the night of October 14, the enemy again attacked Odesa and Mykolaiv with “Shahed-136” kamikaze drones. Three drones were shot down by air defense. Iranian instructors are present for the launch of Shahed-136 kamikaze drones in the temporarily occupied territories of the Kherson Oblast and Crimea. According to the available information, the Iranians are based in Zalizniy Port, Hladkivka (in Kherson Oblast) and Dzhankoi (Crimea). They teach the Russians to use kamikaze drones and directly control the launch.

“Grain Initiative”: More than a hundred vessels have gathered in the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul, awaiting inspections by coordination center inspectors operating under the Grain Initiative. The insufficient number of inspectors is the reason for the many-day delays of ships that left or headed to the ports of Odesa. Last week, an anti-record was set – 120 dry cargoes and tankers were waiting for inspection. Ships are waiting for inspection for more than ten days, and some are delayed for 20 days, which affects the timing of food delivery.

The UN Black Sea Grain Initiative coordinator, Amir Abdullah, confirmed the insufficient number of inspectors. He stated that there is no agreement in the coordination center to increase their number. The Russian side is the opponent to increasing the number of inspectors, putting “sticks in the wheels” of the coordination center. This way, it tries to disrupt food delivery to the world’s poorest countries. However, the accumulation of the vessels indicates the need to continue the grain agreement. The grain initiative expires on November 19, so Ukraine, Turkey, and the UN are currently negotiating to extend the agreement for another 120 days.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 14.10

Personnel – almost 64,300 people (+500);

Tanks 2,521 (+10);

Armored combat vehicles – 5,172 (+5);

Artillery systems – 1,566 (+10);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 362 (+5); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 186 (+3); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 3,944 (+9); Aircraft – 268 (0);

Helicopters – 240 (+6);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,199 (+17);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 316 (0); Boats / ships – 16 .

Ukraine, general news

Defenders Day is celebrated in Ukraine on October 14th. Today, for the first time in the realities of the full-scale Russian aggression and daily shelling of peaceful civilian cities. Ukrainian defenders are traditionally honored on this day, including branches of the military, as well as medics, rescuers, and volunteers. This date was chosen in 2014 to establish a national holiday for the defenders of Ukraine – as a sign of respect for those who stood up for defense against the beginning of Russian aggression in the east and south of our country in 2014. It coincides with the Intercession of the Holy Mother of God holiday (as the protection of all the defenders), the Day of the Cossacks and the Day of the Creation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (УПА).

“More than 40,000 women currently serve in military positions in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. 8,000 of them are in officer positions,” stated the commander of the Joint Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Serhiy Naev. According to Nayev, currently, more than 5 thousand women are in the areas of active hostilities. Among them are commanders of batteries, platoons, [armored] vehicles and commanders of UAV units, as well as snipers.

Trains would be running to Kramatorsk after a six-month break [after the Russian shelling of Kramatorsk station, that killed 60 civillians, including 7 children], Ukraine’s Railroad company “Ukrzaliznytsia”, announced. The trains Kyiv-Kramatorsk would operate daily in both directions, making stops in Lubny, Myrgorod, Poltava, Krasnograd, Lozova and Slovyansk.

Ukraine’s National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption proposes to apply sanctions to another 529 Russians for involvement in pseudo-referendums. In particular, deputies of the State Duma, the chairman of the Constitutional Court, the chairman of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation and the leaders of the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Oblasts, who were involved in Russia’s illegal annexation of the part of the territory of Ukraine.

International diplomatic aspect

“We’re just following his recommendation,” Elon Musk reacted to a former Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany’s “F*** off is my very diplomatic reply” comment on Musk’s fishy “peace plan.” It was in the background of the news of the Starlink service disruption at Ukraine’s battlefields and the announcement that SpaceX was “not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time.”

On the day of the all-out invasion, Russian state hackers targeted the American satellite company Viasat. It resulted in an instant and significant loss of communication in the most crucial period of the war, for the UAF command and control were heavily dependent on Viasat’s services. In parallel, there was a massive attack on the Ukrainian governmental IT infrastructure. Therefore,

the delivery of Starlink equipment and services was crucial for Ukraine’s defense and for restoring and keeping governmental and humanitarian activities in war-affected areas.

SpaceX sought the Pentagon to step into the Ukrainian project in September. So, contrary to social media buzz, the twitter-exchange crossfire has not been the reason for the company’s decision to wind down its support of Ukraine. The company claims that funding for Ukraine’s government needs, foremost the UAF, would cost more than $120 million this year and up to

$400 million the next year. So far, about 20,000 Starlink satellite units have been donated to Ukraine (including some 15% at the company’s expense), and the operation has already cost SpaceX $80 million.

However, according to @blockpost_ua, the figures are a bit exaggerated. Out of 20,000 pieces of equipment, 5,000 were provided by USAID, 5,000 by the Polish Government, 5,000 by the other EU countries, 5,000 by private companies and donors (including SpaceX), and several thousand pieces donated by Ukrainian and foreign private individuals. So even if there are 25,000 pieces bought at the total price of $659, though SpaceX provided discounts in many cases, the total cost would be $16.5 million.

The total subscription fee for all officially donated devices (20,000) would amount to $17 million, though the company provided some devices free of charge, and recently the monthly fee was cut by half to $60. SpaceX also provided Ukraine with 50 Tesla Powerwall, highly reliable batteries worth about $1 million. So, overall expenses aren’t reaching even $35 million, way less than the company claims to spend ($80 million) and asks Pentagon to cover in the future. Elon Musk played an essential role in Ukraine’s struggle for survival, and Ukrainians are grateful for what he and his company have done. Still, some less pleasant aspects [connected to alleged speculation on the origins of Musk’s “peace plan” and disruptions of Starlink on the battlefield during Ukraine’s counteroffensive] should be taken into consideration as well.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov said that Starlink terminals are working and will continue to work. Furthermore, as reported by Ukrinform, the adviser to the head of the President’s Office, Mykhailo Podoliak, said earlier that Ukraine will find a solution for the continuation of the Starlink system and expects that the company will provide a stable connection by the end of the negotiations.

The US Treasury coordinates the activities of relevant institutions of 32 nations aimed at filling the gaps in sanctions policy over the Russian defense industry. “Given the stage we are in at war, the key for us is to keep going after critical things that we know they need right now, that we want to make sure they can’t get over time, to be able to reinforce their military and continue to wage this war,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo. The US warned it could impose sanctions on physical persons, companies, and countries involved in supplying components and supporting Russian defense companies.

Though imposed sanctions and export control restrictions have affected Russia’s ability to replace weapons and equipment lost in Ukraine, there have been cases of sanctions evasion. Just days

before the US Treasury meeting with counterparts, Reuters reported that “a publicly traded American technology company, Extreme Networks (EXTR.O), was providing MMZ Avangard with computer networking equipment for its office IT systems.” MMZ Avangard, a Russian state- owned company producing the S-400 air defense system, was sanctioned back in 2014. But with the help of shell companies, it was able to acquire the necessary components. MMZ Avangard’s parent, Almaz-Antey, was involved in the disinformation campaign related to the false accusation of Ukraine downing flight MH17. The Dutch-led joint investigation team concluded that the passenger plane was hit by the Buk-M1 missile originating from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Federation and fired from the Russia-occupied territory of Ukraine.

Belarusian self-proclaimed president announced the formation of a joint regional grouping of the troops of Russia and Belarus, 70,000 strong with some 10-15,000 Russian troops. He went on with demagogy about Poland seeking to deploy nuclear arms on Belarus territory. Although supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from the beginning, Lukashenko is trying to avoid his Armed Forces being directly involved in fighting in Ukraine. He doubled down his anti-Ukrainian and anti-Western rhetoric and donated hundreds of tanks, artillery pieces, and ammunition to Russia but didn’t go for physical involvement.

However, one shouldn’t rule out the direct participation of the Belarusian troops in Ukraine, either with Lukashenko’s consent or without it. The commanding and middle-ranked officers received military education in Russian institutions and have been indoctrinated with a Russia- centric worldview. At the same time, conscripts are not motivated to fight a foreign war and are well aware of the course of the war and the casualties of the Russian forces during the Battle for Kyiv. Whatever the strength of the Belarusian Forces, they won’t change much a dynamic in the war, though they might distract some resources of the UAF. The direct involvement of Belarus in the war would undermine the precarious position of Lukashenko, who has no comparable resources to mobilize and no demographics to cover up losses like Russia’s endured.

Russia, relevant news

Danone sells the remaining business in Russia and finally leaves the country. Danone has announced that it has transferred control of its Russian dairy and plant products business to a new owner. One of the world’s largest food brands estimated its exit from the Russian market at about one billion euros.

Meanwhile, a number of foreign companies continue to carry out their activities and regularly pay taxes to the budget of the Russian Federation (more than 20 billion dollars a year), despite Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine. Those include retailers Leroy Merlin, Auchan, alcohol companies Bacardi-Martini, InBev Efes, banks Raiffeisen, UniCredit, FMCG Nestle, etc.

Most Russians support mercenaries. According to the Levada Center poll, 64% of respondents are aware that mercenaries and private military companies are fighting on the side of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. At the same time, 63% of Russians consider their use permissible, and only 26% are against it. Most of all, the use of PMCs is supported in Moscow – 81%.
From October 4, the Kyrgyz bank “Kompanion” suspended the service of Russian payment cards “Mir” “in connection with the decision of the processing center.” As reported by Interfax, other Kyrgyz banks did not report the suspension of Mir card services. It is noted that on September 15, the OFAC of the US Treasury Department warned that non-American banks, concluding agreements with the Russian National Payment Card System (NSPK, the operator of the Mir payment system), risk being involved in actions to circumvent US sanctions, expanding the territory of use of the Mir system outside Russia. The clarification is that the NSPK itself is not on the sanction lists. After that, banks in Turkey and other countries that previously accepted Mir cards began to refuse to work with the Russian payment system. As reported by Ukrinform, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka would not allow the use of Russian Mir cards in the country due to US sanctions.

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