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CDS Daily brief (20.10.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

Since October 10, Russia has carried out about 300 strikes on Ukraine’s energy system using missiles, artillery, and drones, Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said.

As of October 20, the police found 1,365 bodies of civilians killed during the occupation.

Staring at 11:24 p.m. on October 19, planned power outages began in Kyiv to avoid accidents. Kyiv residents are urged to consume electricity sparingly – turn on energy-consuming devices one at a time, and reduce electricity consumption as much as possible from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Businesses are asked to limit the external lighting of offices, restaurants, and shopping centers. On October 20, buses will run on 21 out of 38 city electric bus routes to save electricity in the city. Scheduled blackouts are also introduced in Kharkiv, Poltava and Sumy Oblasts.

On the night of October 20, the Russian military struck an industrial enterprise, and an energy infrastructure facility in the Kryvy Rih district, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, head of the Oblast Military Administration Valentyn Reznichenko said. No one was injured, but there was serious damage. However, the night passed without emergencies in the rest of the Oblast’s districts.

Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko said that this morning, around 07:20, Russian terrorists launched a rocket attack on the territory of a specialized children’s school in the village of Komyshuvakha, Donetsk Oblast. No victims were reported.

Russian troops shelled Mykolaiv from S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems on the morning of October 20, the head of Mykolaiv Oblast Military Administration, Vitaly Kim, said. No victims and destruction. “They only spoil our lawns,” Kim joked.

To date, 544 towns and villages have been de-occupied in Kharkiv Oblast. Thirty-two remain under temporary occupation, which is a little less than 2%, Oleg Sinegubov, head of the regional military administration, said.

In the de-occupied Lyman of Donetsk Oblast, law enforcement officers completed the exhumation at the site of the largest mass burial: they discovered the bodies of 111 civilians and 35 military personnel, the National Police reported.

22 places of torture have been identified in the liberated parts of Kharkiv Oblast, Volodymyr Tymoshko, head of the Main Directorate of the National Police in the Kharkiv Oblast, told a press briefing. They were identified based on the testimony of witnesses or victims. The torture chambers were found in Vovchansk (2), Kupyansk (4), Shevchenkove (2), Izyum (4), Kozachya Lopan (3), Liptsy, Velykiy Burluk, Pisky-Radkovsky, Borova etc. According to Tymoshko, it is

currently impossible to name the total number of people who went through these torture chambers, since some people are currently in the Russian Federation.

Occupied territories:

The probability that the Russian occupiers will fire on the civilian population of Kherson Oblast is high, Ukrainian General Staff warns. On the morning of October 19, the occupying forces sent messages around the occupied territories calling for the evacuation of the Nova Kakhovka residents, allegedly due to a planned shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. A similar assessment was shared by the Institute for the Study of War. The Russian forces are setting information conditions for a false flag attack on the Kakhovka HPP to justify or cover up their retreat in Kherson Oblast. On the evening of October 20, President Zelenski said that the dam and equipment of Kakhovka HPP were mined and that Russia was preparing for a manmade disaster.

The Russian occupation forces are starting to flee from the city of Enerhodar, where Zaporizhzhya NPP is located, NAEC “Energoatom” said. Yesterday, October 19, and on the night of October 20, they started moving looted property from the places of their compact residences and the occupying “administration” of the city. Local residents recorded a mass robbery of the Skifsky hotel. The Russian invaders “took it out and packed everything they could into buses and trucks: TVs, refrigerators, furniture, kettles and other household items”, the message from Energoatom reads.

According to the legally elected Mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, schools in the city are “guarded” by armed military personnel, mostly Chechens. In the morning, after the classes start, they lock the schools, preventing parents from entering the building. Then, after an additional check, they let the students out at the end of the school day. Fedorov also said that the occupying forces come to people’s houses, break down doors, and take people captive. Over the past two weeks, they have taken hundreds of people and released only a few. Fedorov believes that with martial law’s introduction, terror will only increase.

Operational situation

(please note that this part of the report is mainly on the previous day’s (October 20) developments)

It is the 240th 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. It concentrates its efforts on disrupting the counteroffensive actions of the Ukrainian troops and at the same time, does not give up attempts to conduct the offensive in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions.

The Russian military shells the positions of the Ukrainian troops along the entire contact line, fortifies defensive positions and frontiers in certain directions, and conducts aerial

reconnaissance. In violation of the norms of international humanitarian law, the laws and customs of war, it strikes critical infrastructure and residential quarters.

Over the past day, the Russian forces have launched 3 missile and 20 air strikes and fired up to 10 MLRS rounds. Up to 20 towns and villages were hit by the Russian fire, particularly Terny, Bakhmut, Vuhledar and Komyshuvakha of Donetsk Oblast. Near the state border, the villages of Mykolaivka and Kostobrody of Chernihiv Oblast, Dvorichne, Krasne and Strilecha of Kharkiv Oblast were shelled with mortars and barrel artillery. Attack UAVs were used.

The Russian military has once again launched a massive attack on the civilian infrastructure of Ukraine using attack UAVs. The Ukrainian Defense Forces shot down 15 out of 20 UAVs.

The military and political leadership of the Russian Federation are officially ending the partial mobilization. At the same time, the forced delivery of subpoenas to certain categories of Russian citizens continues. In the Mosrentgen settlement of Moscow Oblast, the mobilized were placed in the deployment point of the 27th separate motorized rifle brigade for medical examination and subsequent transportation to the combat zone. Significant problems arise in the course of implemented mobilization measures.

The occupation authorities continued the forced mobilization of the male population in the temporarily occupied territories. At the same time, the evacuation of the civilian population began in separate directions.

The aviation of the Ukrainian Defense Forces made 6 strikes over the past day. Hits on 2 areas of enemy weapons and military equipment concentration, 2 strongholds, and 2 Russian anti-aircraft missile systems are confirmed. Ukrainian air defense units shot down 15 “Shahed-136” unmanned aerial vehicles.

Over the past day, Ukraine’s missile forces and artillery hit 1 command post, 2 areas of manpower, weapons and equipment concentration, and 2 Russian ammunition depots.

The Republic of Belarus continues to support the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. The threat of the Russian Armed Forces resuming the offensive on the northern front is growing. The western part of Ukraine may be chosen as the direction of attack to cut the main logistical arteries of the weapons and military equipment supply to Ukraine from partner countries. On the Republic of Belarus territory, aviation and other units of the Russian Armed Forces are being deployed at the relevant airfields and other military infrastructure facilities, particularly those transferred under the full control of the Russian army. As a part of the same effort, preparations for covert mobilization are being carried out on the territory of the Republic of Belarus. At the same time, this country continues to provide its territory for ballistic missile and UAV launches.

The Republic of Belarus has deployed Russian MiG-31 aircraft at its airfields, which can be armed with Kinzhal-type cruise missiles.

The defense forces are taking measures to ensure reliable protection of the Ukrainian state border and the city of Kyiv from the north.

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

The Russian forces fired at the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces with mortars, barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of Zarichne, Bilohorivka, Torske, Terny and Yampolivka.

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.

There is no change in the operational situation.

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 fired from tanks and rocket artillery in the areas of Bakhmut, Soledar, Zelenopillya and Yakovlivka.

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 forces did not conduct active offensive actions. They inflicted fire damage on the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces and civilian infrastructure in the areas of more than 35 towns and villages along the entire line of contact.

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 towns and cities along the contact line suffered fire damage. To conduct aerial reconnaissance, the Russian military made up to 40 UAV sorties of various types.

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 is comprised of 9 ships and boats located along the southwestern coast of Crimea. Among them are 2 cruise missile carriers (a corvette of project 21631 and a 636.3 submarine) carrying a total of 12 “Kalibr” missiles.

Russian aviation continues to fly from the Crimean airfields of Belbek and Hvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Over the past day, 14 Su-27, Su-30, and Su-24 aircraft from Belbek and Saki airfields were involved.

The Russian military continues targeting Ukrainian ports and coastal areas with missiles and drones. Ukrainian defenders shot down 14 Iranian Shahed-136 kamikaze drones within two hours on the night of October 20 over Mykolaiv Oblast. As the Air Force Command reported, nine drones were shot down by the forces and means of the “South” Air Command air defense. The soldiers of the Navy and the National Guard destroyed two drones each, and one more was destroyed by law enforcement officers of the National Police.

According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, 63% of cruise missiles are shot down by Ukrainian air defense. Since October 10, the Russian military has launched 154 missiles over Ukraine, which is an increase of almost 7 times compared to the first ten days of the month (there were 21 missiles).

Oleksandr Sukhanov, the deputy head of the Transportation Ministry of the Russian Federation, will resign due to the explosion on the Kerch Strait Bridge. Oleksandr Sukhanov primarily took care of the transport industry security issues and oversaw operations of the Government Security Department (UVO) of the Transportation Ministry, including the Kerch Strait Bridge security.

“Grain initiative”: 8 million tons of Ukrainian agricultural products have already been shipped. Today, October 20, within the “Grain Initiative” framework, 2 ships with 82 thousand tons of agricultural products left the port of Pivdenyi. In particular, the ATLANTIS ALMERIA tanker and the ARIS T bulker left the port. The food is headed for countries in Asia and Europe.

8 million tons of agricultural products have already been exported since the departure of the first vessel with Ukrainian grain. A total of 362 ships with food left Ukrainian ports for the countries of Asia, Europe and Africa.

Russia is threatening to “reconsider cooperation” with the UN Secretary-General if the UN sends experts to verify the origin of the drones used by the Russian military to damage Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and strike cities. Such statements were made after a closed session of the UN Security Council, convened at the initiative of the USA, France and Great Britain. Experts assume that the statement referred to the so-called “grain initiative”, launched after personal efforts and agreements with the Kremlin reached by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 20.10

Personnel – almost 66,650 people (+370);

Tanks 2,567 (+13);

Armored combat vehicles – 5,255 (+20);

Artillery systems – 1,646 (+9);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 372 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 189 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,005 (+6); Aircraft – 269 (0);

Helicopters – 243 (+1);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,311 (+25); Intercepted cruise missiles – 329 (+6);

Boats / ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news

In an interview with the Canadian TV channel CTV News, President Volodymyr Zelenskyi rejected Russia’s accusation that Ukrainian special services organized the explosion on the Kerch Bridge on October 8. Instead, the president suggested that the explosion on the bridge could have been the result of infighting between the Russian special services and the military.

Head of the President’s Office, Andriy Yermak, said that Ukraine has already destroyed almost 50% of the military potential of the Russian Federation which is NATO’s main threat. “Ukraine’s membership in NATO will definitely strengthen the Alliance,” Yermak stressed.

According to the National Bank’s forecast, inflation will accelerate to about 30% at the end of this year, but will decrease in the following years, subject to the expected decrease in security risks and a coordinated monetary and fiscal policy, the NBU Chairman Andrii Pyshnyi said at a briefing.

The President of Ukraine signed two decrees imposing sanctions against the Russian Federation, designating almost 4,000 individuals and companies. In particular, sanctions are imposed on the occupation administrations’ representatives (Kyrylo Stremousov, Volodymyr Saldo, Volodymyr Rogov, Kostyantyn Ivashchenko, etc.). There are also military personnel and mercenaries (in particular, the financier of the “Wagner” group Yevhen Prigozhin), as well as mercenary recruiters (in particular, the commander of the “Palestine Liberation Army” Muhammad Al-Salti, the leader of the Syrian group Al-Ahdat al-Omaria Abu Ghani Shammut). Sanctions were also imposed against Russian propagandists Olga Skabeeva, Volodymyr Solovyov and members of his family, Tigran Keosayan. The restrictions are applied for 10 years.

42% of Ukrainians began to communicate in Ukrainian more, and 14% completely switched from Russian to the Ukrainian language, according to a survey conducted by Gradus Research ordered by “Suspilne” public TV. 54% of residents of small cities (with a population of 50 thousand and less) and 60% of residents of large cities began to communicate in Ukrainian more. Sociologists

explain this by the fact that residents of small towns often communicated in Ukrainian even before the war.

International diplomatic aspect

On the background of the increasing Russian missile and (Iranian-made) drone attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, the Israeli government reiterated its policy of not supplying any weapons to Kyiv. A diplomatic note from the Ukrainian embassy in Israel was leaked, indicating the interest in obtaining air defense and anti-drone systems.

Though some experts interpreted the words of the Israeli Defence Minister that the Russian use of Iranian drones against Ukraine is a “change of paradigm” as a sign of readiness to provide anti- drone systems, it doesn’t seem to be the case. And the rumors that the Minister postponed his telephone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart five times in a row support that hypothesis.

Benjamin Netanyahu, a former Israeli Prime Minister that might return to the office again in the coming weeks, justified the refusal to send any weapons to Ukraine by the possibility of those arms falling into the wrong hands and firing back at Israel. He knows what he is talking about. After the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008, Russians acknowledged their backwardness facing Israeli-made UAVs operated by the Georgian Armed Forces. So, they approached Israelis, asking to sell them various drones and set up their production. The Israeli government has been mulling over the proposal for quite some time, fearing letting out their technology and the possibility of weapons finding their way to their enemies. It was on Netanyahu’s watch that the deal was cleared with the promise from Moscow not to send S-300 air defense systems instead, as well as clear skies over Syria. The bilateral production project was established. In 2016 the Israeli government halted the deal under US pressure; Russia supplied four S-300PMU2 batteries to Iran, and, perhaps, as gratitude, Israeli drone technology was used during an attack against Israel that same year. It was reported that in April 2022, Iran returned some S-300 systems back to Russia to be used against Ukraine, replacing them with the Iranian-made Bavar-373 system.

In a closed-door UN Security Council meeting, the US, UK, and France accused Iran of providing drones to Russia in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 of 2015, which banned the transfer of drones with a range beyond 300 km. Though the “expert briefing” laid out proof of Iranian drone supply to Russia, representatives of both countries denied their involvement. Moreover, the Russian diplomat threatened to revise Moscow’s relations with the UN and not prolong the “grain agreement” if the UN sent an expert team to investigate the drone issue on the ground. There might be 450 drones that attacked Ukraine, given that the Ukrainian military claimed to shoot down 223 of them, while US officials estimate Ukraine’s success rate at about 50%.

The UK introduced sanctions targeting “the individuals and businesses personally responsible for providing the drones used in these barbaric strikes.” The violation of the UN Security Council Resolution might be a fatal blow to a new version of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (so- called Iran nuclear deal). The Biden Administration has been pushing for an agreement but found

resistance from the Iranian side and criticism from the Hill and the Israeli ally. If the GOP retakes the Senate in November, the draft of the JCPOA might be shelved for good. Meanwhile, the Biden administration announced several criminal charges and sanctions related to physical persons and entities engaged in a scheme of US military technologies procurement by Russia aimed at use in its war effort in Ukraine.

The UK Prime Minister Liz Truss steps down. Whoever of the Tories is at Dawning 10 after her, support for Ukraine won’t be diminished. It’s been speculated that Boris Johnson may try his fortune. Rishi Sunak, who lost the leadership race to Liz Truss six weeks ago, Penny Mordaunt, who came third in the summer leadership contest, and once again Ben Wallace, though he didn’t make a bid last time, might be in the race. However, suppose there’re general elections, just a bit less enthusiastic about supporting Ukraine. In that case, Labour might come to power (some 52% support Labour, while the popularity of the Conservative party is at 23%).

The UK Defence Minister informed the Commons about an incident with a Russian SU-27 fighter releasing a missile in the vicinity of the UK RAF RC-135 Rivet Joint, a spy plane, in the international airspace over the Black Sea. The Russians explained it was “a technical malfunction of the SU-27 fighter.” It’s unlikely so, given the track record of Russian jets and warships increasingly behaving recklessly and dangerously since the illegal annexation of Crimea. In June last year, the HMS Defender was reportedly shut at by the Russians while the UK warship was passing by in the vicinity of the Crimean Peninsula.

Russia, relevant news

Mobilization in Russia will exacerbate labor shortages and undermine consumer confidence, so the economy has resumed its decline, says the report compiled by the analytical department of the Central Bank of Russia. The mobilization in Russia has already hit consumer confidence and business activity and is likely to weigh on the economy in the coming months.

One trillion rubles will be allocated from the National Welfare Fund, created under the leadership of President Putin, to cover the deficit of the federal budget in 2022, according to the resolution signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. The amount of money in the National Welfare Fund of the Russian Federation as of October 1 was to 10.79 trillion rubles. It decreased by 1.08 trillion rubles in September. Finnish company Orion Pharma has started the liquidation of its Russian office. It is planned to be closed by the end of 2022, the Russian newspaper Vedomosti reported citing its sources in the company.

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