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CDS Daily brief (21.10.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

As of October 18, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recorded 15,956 civilian casualties: 6,322 dead and 9,634 wounded.

From October 10 to 20, Russian shelling damaged more than 400 objects in 16 regions of Ukraine, including dozens of energy facilities, Prime Minister Denysh Shmyhal said. Also, according to the Prime Minister, Ukrainian energy facilities are under constant cyber attacks. He stressed that Russia has made Ukrainian energy-producing infrastructure its key target. “Although the energy infrastructure has been under attack for more than a week, the situation remains difficult but under control,” Shmyhal said.

Minister of Community and Territorial Development Oleksiy Chernyshov said that 580 boiler houses and heating stations have been damaged since February 24, and 253 of them have already been restored.

6 people were injured as a result of Russia’s morning attacks on the city of Kharkiv, Oleh Synehubov, the head of Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration said. The first attack took place at about 8 a.m. and the second around 10 a.m. Industrial infrastructure was also destroyed in the Kyivsky district of the city.

At 08:38, the head of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast Military Administration Oleksandr Starukh said that the Russian military was attacking the regional center with S-300 missiles. A residential building and infrastructure facilities were destroyed. According to preliminary information, there are no casualties. Three people were wounded.

At around 10 p.m. on October 21 Kryvy Rih mayor Oleksandr Vilkul warned the city residents that missiles were launched at the city from the Caspian Sea and several swarms of drones from the south. The air alert signal sounded simultaneously in Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Poltava, Sumy, and Kharkiv Oblasts.

Gas supply has been partially restored in Donetsk Oblast. Centralized heating will be provided in 15 communities in the Oblast. Critical infrastructure facilities will be heated in 10 communities, and heating points will be installed, the head of Donetsk OMA, Pavlo Kyrylenko said. He stressed that this is an almost impossible accomplishment.

From October 24 to 28, all educational institutions of Kyiv Oblast will work remotely to ensure the security of the students, the Kyiv Oblast Military Administration said.

Since the beginning of 2022, language ombudsman Taras Kremin has received 2,177 complaints about violations of the language law in the sphere of advertising. Although the provision of the law, which obliges to place advertisements exclusively in Ukrainian, came into effect on January

16, 2020, complaints [about ads printed in Russian] are received even in the 8th month of a full- scale war.

Occupied territories:

The Russia-appointed deputy head of Kherson Oblast occupying administration Kirill Stremousov said that 46 orphans were “evacuated” from the Oblast orphanage to Crimea.

According to Mykhailo Svarychevskyi, the branch manager of Suspilne Kherson, the minivan that was hit on the Antonovskiy bridge today, belonged to the Suspilne Kherson TV channel. The car and equipment were part of the loot Russian propagandists tried to take out of occupied Kherson.

According to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian MOD, the detonation of the Kakhovka EPP dam was planned in advance. Most of the mining was carried out back in April. During the current week, additional mines were planted at the equipment of the Kakhovka HPP. The Ukrainian intelligence reported that 2 military tarpaulin-covered “Kamaz” trucks without drivers are placed on the dam. Both of them are fully loaded with boxes of explosives.

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 defend 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.

Over the past day, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled Russian attacks in the areas of Bilohorivka of Luhansk Oblast; Opytne, Bakhmut, Pobyeda, and Maryinka of Donetsk Oblast.

The Russian military shells the positions of the Ukrainian troops along the entire contact line and conducts aerial reconnaissance. In violation of the norms of international humanitarian law, the laws, and customs of war, it continues to strike critical infrastructure. Over the past day, the Russian forces have launched 3 missile and 24 air strikes and fired over 30 MLRS rounds.

Areas around more than 15 towns and villages were hit by Russian attacks, including the city of Mykolaiv, Nova Kamianka, and Mala Seidemynukha in Kherson Oblast and Hatyshche in Kharkiv Oblast. The Russian forces used cruise and guided anti-aircraft missiles for their strikes. In addition, the Russian military launched more than 20 “Shahed-136” UAVs.

Near the state border, tanks, mortars, and barrel artillery were fired in the areas around Starytsa, Krasne, and Khatnie of Kharkiv Oblast.

The aviation of the Ukrainian Defense Forces made 5 strikes over the past day. Impacts on 3 strongholds and areas of enemy weapons and military equipment concentration and 2 Russian anti-aircraft missile system positions are confirmed. Ukrainian air defense units shot down 15 unmanned aerial vehicles.

Over the past day, Ukraine’s missile forces and artillery hit 4 enemy command and control posts, 7 areas of manpower, weapons and equipment concentration, an ammunition depot, a piece of air defense equipment, a bridge, and a Russian pontoon bridge crossing.

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.

There is no change in the operational situation.

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 Russian military shelled Ukrainian positions in the areas around Berestove, Zarichne, Nove, Pershotravneve, Stelmakhivka, Terny, and Yampolivka with barrel and jet artillery.

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 positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the areas of Andriivka, Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Bilohorivka, Zelenopillia, Spirne, Ivanhrad, Yakovlivka, Vodyane, Mar’inka, Novomykhailivka, Pervomaiske and Semenivka with tanks and artillery.

The 5th and 7th assault detachments of the “Liga” PMC attacked in the direction of Zaitseve – Ivanhrad, Zaitseve – Klishchiivka, Vesela Dolyna – Bakhmut. They suffered losses and retreated.

Up to 2 reinforced platoons of the 6th motorized rifle regiment of the 2nd Army Corps, with support from the “Wagner” PMC, attacked in the direction of Bakhmutske to Pokrovske to the eastern outskirts of Bakhmut. They had no success.

The 2nd platoons of the 4th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 2nd Army Corps unsuccessfully tried to storm the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces near Spirne from Mykolaivka and Berestove.

During the past two days, the 2634th rifle battalion of the mobilization reserve was moved to the Nova Kamianka district, and the 1135th rifle battalion of the mobilization reserve was moved to the Oleksandrivka district (Maryine-Kurakhove direction). Both units are only partially manned because they previously participated in battles in the Novopavlivsk direction.

The Russian military has concentrated a sufficiently powerful tactical grouping south of Bakhmut and in the area of Toretsk. It consists of up to eight BTGs (mostly from the troops of the 1st 2nd Army Corps, “Wagner” PMC, separate units from the 150th motorized rifle division, 336th separate marines brigade. Part of the grouping’s units is armed only with light and heavy infantry weapons and has up to 40 tanks, 175 armored combat vehicles, and 7-8 divisions of barrel and rocket artillery (up to 70 guns of various types and up to 40 MLRS). The grouping is probably preparing for a breakthrough from the southeast to the Kramatorsk-Slovyansk agglomerations through Bakhmut and Kostiantynivka and the return of control over Lyman through a breakthrough from Kreminna. The plan bears signs of revenge for the defeats at Izyum and Lyman.

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 carried out shelling in the areas of Vremivka, Vuhledar, Dorozhnyanka, Neskuchne, Novodanylivka, and Stepove.

More than 30 wounded Russian personnel were simultaneously taken to the Melitopol hospital after the fire damage caused by the Ukrainian Defense Forces.

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 up to 20 towns and villages along the contact line were damaged by artillery fire. To conduct aerial reconnaissance, the Russian forces made more than 20 sorties by UAVs of various types.

Up to 2,000 mobilized Russian personnel have arrived in Kherson Oblast to replenish losses and strengthen units on the contact line. At the same time, the occupying authorities issued an order to prepare evacuation for the so-called “banking institutions”, and compiled evacuation lists of the medical workers and teachers brought from Russia. Social services facilities in Kherson stop working.

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 7 ships and boats located along the southwestern coast of Crimea. Among them is 1 cruise missile carrier (a corvette of project 21631) carrying a total of 8 “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, 16 Su-27, Su-30, and Su-24 aircraft from Belbek and Saki airfields were involved.

“The Grain initiative”. There are no obstacles to the continuation of the agreement on the “grain corridors”. As of October 20, 8 million tons of grain and other food products were exported as part of the Black Sea grain initiative, the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told journalists after he visited Azerbaijan. “There are no obstacles to extending the delivery contract. I was convinced of this again during the conversation with Zelensky yesterday evening (19.10 – ed.) and at the meeting with Putin. But in the meantime, if there is any obstacle, we have no impediments to overcome it,” Erdogan said. According to him, 8 million tons of grain and other food products have already been delivered to world markets by 363 vessels.

“62% of cargo from Ukrainian ports went to Europe, 19.5% to Asia, 13% to Africa, and 5.3% to the countries of the Middle East. 454,626 tons of wheat were shipped to the least developed countries; this number comprises only 5.7%,” Erdogan said.

On the evening of October 21, President Zelensky called the situation surrounding the grain initiative tense. “Russia is deliberately inciting the food crisis so that it becomes as acute as it was in the first half of this year,” he said. According to the president, as of today, more than 150 vessels are in the queue to fulfill contractual obligations for the supply of Ukrainian agricultural products. “This is an artificial queue. It arose only because Russia deliberately delays the passage of ships. Each day that ships with food are in the queue leads to an increase in social and political tension in the countries that consume our agricultural products. Here are just some of the countries to which food exports are delayed because of Russia: Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Iraq, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia. Our partners – the UN, Turkey, and others are fully informed about this situation,” the president emphasized. During the operation of the grain initiative, due to the inhibition of the aggressor country, Ukraine under-exported about three million tons of food – this is the annual amount of consumption for 10 million people.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 20.10

Personnel – almost 66,750 people (+100);

Tanks 2,573 (+6);

Armored combat vehicles – 5,258 (+3);

Artillery systems – 1,648 (+2);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 372 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 189 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,006 (+1); Aircraft – 269 (0);

Helicopters – 243 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,325 (+14); Intercepted cruise missiles – 329 (+0);

Boats / ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news

Ukraine’s losses from the full-scale war have reached more than 127 billion dollars. During the summer, Russia caused more than 31 billion dollars in losses, KSE Institute said in its “Russia will pay” report. The largest number of damages comes from the housing stock, namely 39.7% or

50.5 billion dollars. Compared to the beginning of June, this amount increased by 11.2 billion dollars. According to the latest data, a total of 135,800 private and apartment buildings were damaged and destroyed. Compared to June, the number of damaged houses increased by 15,000.

International diplomatic aspect

In 2023 the EU will provide Ukraine with €19 billion (1.5 billion a month) to help the government to run its business amid the war. However, Kyiv estimated its monthly needs at €3-4 billion euros “for the basics.” Facing the Russian energy terror (targeting energy and critical infrastructure) that might cause another refugee outflow to the EU, the block “step up its humanitarian response, particularly for winter preparedness.” Though dealing with the dividing issue of handling the arrival of unauthorized migrants without authorization (which caused the biggest crisis in 2016), many CEE countries voiced their readiness to host large numbers of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

John Kirby, a National Security Council official, said that errors in operating Iran-made drones by the Russian troops were the reason for several Iranian military and technical personnel deployments to the illegally annexed occupied Crimea. According to US intelligence, the Iranians weren’t involved in a military operation targeting Ukrainians. However, Iran still lies about non- involvement in sending kamikaze drones to Russia in phone talks between the Foreign minister and the EU’s top diplomat. Iran “wants an end to the war and an end to the displacement of people,” said the Iranian Foreign Minister.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has been heavily criticized for its passive role in carrying out its mission on Russia’s occupied territories. None of the hundred Ukrainian POWs freed in a swap with Russia met with representatives of the ICRC. Meeting in Geneva, Russian Ambassador Gennady Gatilov said that “practical arrangements” were holding up the ICRC trip to the prison in Olenivka, where at least 53 Ukrainian POWs had been murdered. He noted that it was unreasonable to think Red Cross teams could visit all of the more than 6,000 Ukrainian POWs.

The ICRC spokesman declined to specify the number of POWs or places of internment the organization’s staff had visited. He claimed it to be a part of a “confidential, bilateral dialogue” with the sides in the conflict.

For the first time in a while, the US Secretary of Defense held a telephone conversation with the Russian Defence Minister. Lloyd Austin emphasized the importance of maintaining communication lines amid the Ukraine war. The call was likely due to the reckless belligerent nuclear rhetoric of the Kremlin and its propaganda outlets. Though the situation with Russia threatening a nuclear strike on Ukraine is entirely different from the one the US and the USSR were having sixty years ago, it’s crucial to communicate to Moscow about catastrophic consequences should Russians decide to use the ultimate weapon.

Russia, relevant news

The number of Russian citizens called up for the military as part of partial mobilization has reached 260 thousand people, Nina Ostanina, head of the State Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs, said following a meeting with Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov.

St. Petersburg State University fired associate professor Denis Skopin for participating in a rally against mobilization, Kommersant reports. The US authorities did not issue visas to representatives of Rosatom and Rostekhnadzor, who planned to participate in the IAEA conference. A representative of the state corporation will speak at the event with a video message, Rosatom State Corporation said in a statement.

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