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CDS Daily brief (15.10.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

In Ukraine, due to the armed aggression of the Russian Federation during the past day, October 14, 11 people were killed, and 11 more were injured, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Office of the President, informed in his Telegram, referring to the data of the regional military administrations.

According to the October 15 morning round-up of Oblasts Military Administrations of Ukraine: 

  • At night and in the morning, the Russians shelled several energy and industrial infrastructure facilities in Zaporizhzhia. In total, 4 drones and 10 S-300 missiles were launched. No victims were reported.
  • In Sumy Oblast, the occupiers fired mortars at Bilopilska and Rychkivska communities in the morning.
  • At night and in the morning, the enemy continuously attacked the Nikopol region of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. 5 wounded civilians were reported. More than 10 high-rise apartment buildings and private homes, administrative buildings, a transport company, several shops, a garage cooperative, cars and several offices were damaged in Nikopol.
  • Around 7 in the morning, the enemy targeted one of the districts of Kyiv Oblast; the energy infrastructure object was seriously damaged. “Ukrenergo” is already working to restore a reliable energy supply. But at the same time, it warns about the possibility of emergency shutdowns. The deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, called on Kyiv Oblast residents to limit the use of electricity from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. due to the shelling of an energy infrastructure facility.
  • In Mykolayiv Oblast, the Russians shelled the outskirts of one of the villages of the Berezneguvate amalgamated community. No casualties were reported.
  • During the past day, the enemy shelled Kharkiv and Kharkiv Oblast, killing 2 people in Kharkiv and Izum and wounding 1 in the Kupyansk districts. A private house was damaged in Vovchansk.
  • On October 14, 2 residents of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast were killed by enemy shelling. Pavel Kirilenko, the head of the Donetsk Military Administration, reported that six more civilians were found in liberated Lyman, who the Russians killed during the occupation. Also, six people were injured in Lyman due to the Russian shelling on October 14.

The exhumation has been completed at the mass grave of Ukraine’s Armed Forces servicemen in the liberated Lyman. 34 bodies of Ukrainian Defenders were transferred to the morgue. Work continues on the second burial site, where more than 120 civilian bodies are located. The police found 35 graves in the de-occupied territories. During the day, information was received about four more burial places, the police of the Donetsk region reported in their Telegram.

In the village of Volokhiv Yar in Kharkiv Oblast, the radio astronomy observatory was severely damaged by Russian shelling. “We have a disaster with the national property, the world’s largest radio telescope of decameter wavelengths UTR-2 and the GURT telescope, which was under construction until recently… The observatory near the now well-known village of Volokhiv Yar was freed from the occupiers, who set up a firing position there. The territory has not been demined yet, more than a month after liberation, our employees can’t work there,” said Mykhailo Sydorchuk, a scientist at the Radio Astronomy Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. According to his information, the occupiers used the territory of the institute because it had underground collectors, a car park, garages, warehouses, and household appliances. It was all looted; in particular, the invaders appropriated cars, refrigerators, and unique specialized computer equipment. 

Occupied territories

The invaders take children from the temporarily occupied Energodar “on vacation” to the Krasnodar region of the Russian Federation, reported the [Ukrainian] mayor of Energodar, Dmytro Orlov, in Telegram. In this regard, he warned that if the front line in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia directions is “cut off” [due to the Ukrainian counteroffensive], there is a risk that the children will not be able to return. As earlier reported, the Mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, said that the Russia-installed “authorities” of the temporarily captured territories of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Oblast offered to take Ukrainian children to Crimea and Russia. According to him, the first group of children from Energodar was taken to Yevpatoria (Crimea).

The Russian invaders want to move the Crimean museums’ exhibits to Russia’s territory. The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine called on UNESCO and all international partners to respond to the decision of the so-called authorities of the temporarily occupied Crimea to begin the “evacuation” of museum collections. It is emphasized that under the pretext of “evacuation”, the Russian authorities can rob Crimean museums and institutions of other temporarily captured territories of Ukraine. Thus, the corresponding plan of “external evacuation” provides priority removal of the most valuable objects, particularly archaeological finds made of precious metals. “Such a mass removal of cultural values ​​from the territory of Ukraine by the Russian occupiers will be comparable to the looting of museums during the Second World War and should be qualified accordingly. The actions of the Russian Federation are a violation of international law and will result in both the responsibility of the aggressor state and the criminal responsibility of those involved at the national and international level,” the agency emphasized.

Operational situation

(please note that this part of the report is mainly on the previous day’s (October 14) developments)

The 234th 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 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 enemy continues shelling Ukraine’s critical infrastructure and civilian facilities. During the past day, the Russian fire hit civilian targets and residents of Kharkiv, Kostyantynivka, Soledar, Bakhmut, Chumaky, Lebedynske, Zaporizhzhia, Davydiv Brid and Myrne were affected. Enemy UAVs hit the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and the city of Ochakiv; six out of nine were shot down by Ukrainian defenders. Over the past 24 hours, the occupiers have launched six rocket strikes, thirty air strikes, and carried out forty-eight MLRS shellings. In the border areas, Rozhkovychi of Sumy Oblast, Bleshnya of Chernihiv Oblast, Gatyshche, Vovchanski Khutory, Starytsia and Dvorichne of Kharkiv Oblast were shelled.

According to available information, many wounded [Russian soldiers] are admitted to medical facilities in the temporarily occupied territories. About 100 wounded arrived in one of the hospitals of the city of Donetsk this week. Hospitals are overcrowded in Tokmak, Zaporizhzhia region. According to information from local residents, hospitals do not take civilians due to the workload of doctors and the lack of beds. The mortality rate among Russian combatants exceeds 50% due to the low quality of medical care and the refusal of the command of the Russian occupying forces to evacuate the seriously wounded to the territory of the Russian Federation.

During the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian Defense Forces aviation carried out about thirty strikes. Damage to twenty-five areas of enemy weapons and military equipment concentration and three anti-aircraft missile systems was confirmed. Ukrainian air defense units shot nine UAVs.

Ukraine’s missile troops and artillery struck four enemy command and control points, fifteen areas of manpower, weapons and military equipment concentration, twelve ammunition warehouses, one artillery system and twenty other important targets during the day.

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.

The operational situation is unchanged.

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 at the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces with mortars, barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of Verkhnokamianske, Vyshneve, Grekivka, Hryhorivka, Zarichne, Kovalivka, Makiivka, Nadiya, Novovodyane, Olhivka, Pershotravneve, Rozdolivka, Tabaivka, Terny and Yampolivka.

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 with mortars, barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Opytne, Klishchiivka, Odradivka, Zelenopillia, Kurdyumivka, Mayorsk, New York, Kamianka, Tonenke, Avdiivka, Pervomaiske, Vodyane, Opytne, Nevelske, Maryinka and Krasnohorivka.

The Ukrainian defense forces successfully repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Berestove, Yakovlivka, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Opytne, Ivangrad, Spirne, Nevelske, Maryinka, Bilohorivka, Terny, Novomykhailivka, and Krasnohorivka.

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 enemy did not conduct offensive operations and continued to engineer defensive lines and positions. It shelled more than twenty towns and villages with mortars, barrel and rocket artillery, including Velyka Novosilka, Vremivka, Zolota Nyva, Vuhledar, Pavlivka, Mykilske and Novodanylivka.

The destruction of enemy personnel and equipment in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast over the previous days has been confirmed. Thus, due to the effective actions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, about 100 enemy personnel, including more than 25 newly mobilized ones, were injured in the areas of Orihiv, Kinski Rozdory and Tokmak. Four enemy S-300 complexes were destroyed in the area of ​​Berdyansk.

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 more than thirty Ukrainian towns and villages along the contact line were affected by fire damage.

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 number of Russian naval groups remained unchanged. 14 enemy ships and boats are located along the southwestern coast of Crimea. Among them are three carriers of cruise missiles – two corvettes of project 21631 and a submarine of project 636.3 with a total number of missiles – 20.

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, 14 Su-27, Su-30 and Su-24 aircraft were deployed from Belbek and Saki airfields.

The enemy continues shelling Ukrainian ports and coastal areas. On the night of October 15, the enemy again attacked Odesa and Mykolaiv with “Shahed-136” kamikaze drones. 50-80% of drones are shot down by air defense.

The deadline for the completion of the Crimean bridge repair is set for July 1, 2023. Due to the damage to the Crimean bridge, the logistics of supplying Russian troops in the Kherson Oblast and Crimea is very complicated

“Grain initiative”: Seven ships of the grain caravan left Great Odesa ports on the morning of October 15. QUEEN SARA, BARON, GOLDEN SHARK, NEW LEVANT, MRC tankers HATICE ANA and LADY ELA followed dry cargo BEATRICE. A total of 341 ships have left the ports of Odesa since August 1. The total weight of Ukrainian food exported to the countries of Africa, Asia and Europe exceeded 7.5 million tons. Three dry cargo ships are moving to the Odesa coast; two of them will go to Chornomorsk, one to the port of Pivdenny.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 15.10

Personnel – almost 64,700 people (+400);

Tanks – 2,524 (+3);

Armored combat vehicles – 5,179 (+7);

Artillery systems – 1,582 (+16);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 365 (+3);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 186 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 3,951 (+7);

Aircraft – 268 (0);

Helicopters – 242 (+2);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,210 (+11);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 316 (0);

Boats / ships – 16 (0).

International diplomatic aspect

The US security assistance reaches $18.3 billion with the new announcement of the package worth $725 million. It includes additional ammunition for HIMARS, various artillery rounds, including precision-guided and Remote Anti-Armor Mine ones, anti-tank weapons, HARMs missiles, and more than 200 HMMWVs. The UK will provide Ukraine with AMRAAM rockets and hundreds of additional advanced air defense missiles. The British package also includes hundreds of aerial drones and additional 18 howitzers. France will deliver radar and air defense systems to Ukraine in the coming weeks. Though the French President did not detail what type of system he would donate, it’s said that it might be Crotale short-range anti-air missiles.

In the meantime, fourteen NATO members and Finland have agreed to develop the European Sky Shield Initiative. It’s a multi-national led by Germany endeavor aimed at strengthening NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense. The decision is triggered by the Russian barbaric actions in Ukraine, indiscriminate and deliberate targeting of civilians, civilian and critical infrastructure. The European nations will jointly procure air defense systems and missiles composed of interoperable off-the-shelf solutions. “The new assets, fully interoperable and seamlessly integrated within the NATO air and missile defense, would significantly enhance our ability to defend the alliance from all air and missile threats,” explained the idea NATO deputy secretary general Mircea Geoană.

Addressing the Congress of the Party of European Socialists, Olaf Scholz argued for a reform of the EU’s treaties so that new members could join. “A united European Union of 27, 30, 36 states, with then more than 500 million free and equal citizens, can bring its weight to bear even more strongly in this world,” the German Chancellor said. He also proposed changes to the unanimity principle when it comes to foreign affairs and tax policies. Both issues are important for Ukraine in the short and long run. The consensus principle allowed a state or a few ones to torpedo some crucial policies while weakening others. For instance, Hungary has been negatively influencing Russia’s sanctions policies. The appetite for the EU expansion means that the area of freedom, peace, security, and prosperity might include the Balkan states, the remaining Eastern European nations, and Georgia.

Poland has handed over 150 Starlink terminals to Ukraine, and the Lithuanian Foreign Minister called to “form a coalition of Ukraine’s allies to pay for Starlink, or find an alternative supplier.” “Ukraine’s internet connectivity is too important to be left in the hands of one private individual,” twitted Gabrielius Landsbergis. “We understand the fragility in those communications, and it’s important that not just command and control may remain intact on the battlefield but throughout (the country). We’re assessing our options and trying to do what we can to help keep these, these satcoms remain for the Ukrainian forces,” stated Deputy Press Secretary of the Department of Defense Sabrina Singh. Yet, Elon Musk, who had asked the Pentagon to take off the financial burden from SpaceX, changed his mind: “The hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free.”

Facing a new security challenge and on the occasion of the Defenders of Ukraine day, Ukrainian citizens donated $5.4 million in forty-eight hours for a private initiative to buy two “Shahedi Hunters,” an anti [Iranian] drone system. Once again, Ukrainians showed that the defense of their country is a whole society undertaking, and the Russian ruthless missile attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure have failed to achieve its goal of breaking the will to resist.

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