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CDS Daily brief (12.11.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

In Ukraine, 279 children are currently considered missing since the beginning of the full-scale war with the Russian Federation, and 7,460 have been found, according to the data from the “Children of War” state portal. In addition, 11,028 children are considered deported, and 96 are returned [home].

Juvenile prosecutors also informed that 430 children died as a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, and more than 829 were injured.

Over the past day, November 11, due to Russian armed aggression against Ukraine, eight civilians were killed, and 13 more were injured, according to data from Oblasts’ military administrations, published by the deputy head of the Office of the President, Kyrylo Tymoshenko.

As of 9 a.m. this morning, Oblast Military Administrations reported that the Russian army struck eleven Oblasts of Ukraine over the past 24 hours.

Consequences of enemy shelling on the morning of November 12:
  • In the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Russian troops shelled civilian infrastructure in the past day. Twenty-seven reports were received about the destruction of houses (apartments) and infrastructure objects due to enemy shelling. Detailed information is being clarified.
  • In the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, the enemy again shelled the Nikopol district. The Russians also shelled Marganets, Nikopol and Chervonohryhorivka communities. No civilian casualties, but damaged houses were reported. Detailed information is being clarified.
  • In the Kharkiv Oblast, the enemy shelled the civilian population of the Kupyansk, Chuhuiv and Kharkiv districts along the contact line and the border with the Russian Federation. The shelling damaged farm facilities and fires broke out. An 80-year-old woman was injured by enemy shelling in the Chuguyiv district. In Kharkiv, two boys were wounded by the exploded cluster munition. There is a high level of mine danger in the region.

Over the past 24 hours, on November 11, rescuers provided assistance and evacuated 110 civilians from unsafe territories in the Donetsk Oblast; the police evacuated another 188 people, reported the Donetsk regional military administration. Since November 2, a free evacuation train has been evacuating people from Donetsk Oblast to Ternopil Oblast. According to Ukrinform, more than 1.2 million people left the Oblast, where 1,670,000 people lived before the full-scale invasion. By winter, at most 235,000 people involved in the defense and support of critical infrastructure should remain in the region.

Power outages and critical infrastructure:

Emergency blackouts were introduced in Kyiv and eight regions, NEC “Ukrenergo” stated. It is noted that this is a temporary forced step to balance the power system. The damage suffered by the energy infrastructure during yesterday’s enemy attack led to an increase in the load on the working part of the power grid.

Liberated and occupied territories:

The Russian occupiers declared Genichesk the “temporary capital” of the occupied Kherson Oblast after the Ukrainian Armed Forces entered Kherson. This city was occupied on February 24, the first day of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation.

The head of the press center of the Southern Defense Forces, Natalya Gumenyuk, said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine had liberated more than 3,000 square kilometers in the south of Ukraine. In the liberated territories, the Ukrainian military found a lot of abandoned weapons, ammunition and military equipment as the invaders retreated in a hurry.

In the liberated Kherson, there is currently a shortage of water, medicine, bread, and food in general, but humanitarian cargoes are already starting to arrive in the city, said the adviser to the Kherson City Mayor Roman Golovnya. He stated that according to his personal calculations, there are currently around 70-80 thousand people in the city, compared to 320 thousand before February 24. Russia has completely destroyed the entire energy system of Kherson, said Dmitry Sakharuk, Executive Director of DTEK. It may take about a month to restore the regular power supply. Joint-stock company “Khersonoblenergo” will start working on restoring the electricity supply in Kherson immediately after the permission of the Ukrainian military.

The military administration, the National Police and the Security Service of Ukraine resumed their work in Kherson. A curfew is being introduced from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, announced the head of Kherson Military Administration, Yaroslav Yanushevich, in a video message. The authorities are also restricting the possibility of leaving and entering Kherson while the demining of the liberated territories continues, Yanushevich said.

Russian invaders took about 15 thousand paintings from the museums of the Kherson Oblast, reported by the Center of National Resistance. At the same time, as noted, the invaders took away not only cultural values. “The Russians, according to tradition, stole sanitary ware, including toilets and household appliances,” the Center said. As was earlier reported by Ukrinform, the invaders brought the exhibits stolen from the Kherson Art Museum to the temporarily occupied Simferopol (Crimea) in trucks without the plates.

Residents of the occupied left bank of the Kherson Oblast receive messages from the occupation authorities with a call to evacuate. It became known that the Russians are starting to evacuate collaborators from Nova Kakhovka with their families.

The Russians released only 227 people from the temporarily occupied territories through the checkpoint in Vasylivka during the day, the Zaporizhzhia Oblast Military Administration reported in Telegram. Earlier, the Mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, reported that the invaders let people out of the captured territories only if they had “special passes”, which can be obtained only by prior appointment at the [Russian Occupation] commandant’s office. In Melitopol, the queue is scheduled a month in advance.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (November 11) developments)

It is the 262nd 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”). In the liberated towns and villages of the Kherson Oblast, units of the Defense Forces are carrying out stabilization measures.

The enemy is improving the fortification equipment of the defensive lines on the left bank of the Dnieper and is trying to maintain the temporarily captured territories while at the same time conducting offensive operations in the Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Novopavlivka directions.

Over the past 24 hours, units of the Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Masyutivka and Orlyanka in Kharkiv Oblast; Novoselyvske, Myasozharivka, Makiivka and Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast and Soledar, Bakhmut, Krasnohorivka, Verkhniokamianske, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Maryinka and Pavlivka in Donetsk Oblast.

The enemy does not stop shelling the Defense Forces units along the entire contact line, conducts aerial reconnaissance, and continues to strike critical infrastructure, violating the norms of International Humanitarian Law, laws and customs of war.

During the past 24 hours, the enemy launched 4 missile strikes and 23 air strikes, and carried out more than 70 MLRS rounds. More than 25 towns and villages in Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Vinnytsia, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson and Mykolaiv Oblast were hit. In addition, near the state border, Bologhivka, Vilkhuvatka, Krasne, Ohirtseve and Starytsia were shelled in the Kharkiv Oblast.

In the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts, the enemy continues to use the buildings and territory of religious organizations, educational and healthcare institutions to accommodate military personnel, military equipment and the equipment of firing positions for mortars and artillery.

The formation of a Russian-Belarusian grouping of troops on the territory of the Republic of Belarus continues. There is still a threat of the enemy launching missile and air strikes from the territory of Belarus.

Over the past day, Ukrainian aircraft has carried out 16 strikes, hitting 13 areas of concentration of enemy personnel, weapons and military equipment, and 3 positions of the enemy’s anti- aircraft missile systems.

Ukrainian missile forces and artillery units hit 2 enemy command and control points, 9 areas of concentration of manpower, weapons and military equipment and 2 other important military targets.

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

In the temporarily occupied territory of the Donetsk Oblast, relations between the mobilized servicemen and the occupiers from the Chechen Republic remain tense. Thus, another conflict in the city of Makiivka, Donetsk Oblast, resulted in the injury of 3 people.

Kharkiv direction
  • Topoli – Siversk section: approximate length of combat line – 154 km, number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 23-28, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 5.5 km;
  • Deployed enemy BTGs: 26th, 153rd, and 197th tank regiments (TR), 245th motorized rifle regiment (MRR) of the 47th tank division (TD), 6th and 239th TRs, 228th MRR of the 90th TD, 25th and 138th separate motorized rifle brigades (SMRBr) of the 6th Combined Arms (CA) Army, 27th SMRBr of the 1st Tank Army, 252nd and 752nd MRRs of the 3rd MRD, 1st, 13th, and 12th TRs, 423rd MRR of the 4th TD, 201st military base, 15th, 21st, 30th SMRBrs of the 2nd CA Army, 35th, 55th and 74th SMRBrs of the 41st CA Army, 275th and 280th MRRs, 11th TR of the 18th MRD of the 11 Army Corps (AC), 7th MRR of the 11th AC, 80th SMRBr of the 14th AC, 2nd and 45th separate SOF brigades of the Airborne Forces, 3rd and 14th separate SOF brigades, military units of the 1st AC of so-called DPR, 2nd and 4th SMRBrs of the 2nd AC, PMC

The enemy fired at the Defence Forces’ positions in Bilohorivka, Kyslivka, Krokhmalne, Makiivka, Nevske, Novoselivske and Stelmakhivka in Luhansk Oblast; Berestove, Kupyansk and Tabaivka in Kharkiv Oblast, and Serebryanka and Terny in Donetsk Oblast.

Donetsk direction
  • Siversk – Maryinka section: approximate length of the combat line – 144 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 13-15, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 9.6 km;
  • Deployed BTGs: 68th and 163rd tank regiments (TR), 102nd and 103rd motorized rifle regiments of the 150 motorized rifle division, 80th TR of the 90th tank division, 35th, 55th, and 74th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 41st Combined Arms Army, 51st and 137th parachute airborne regiment of the 106 airborne division, 31st separate airborne assault brigade, 61st separate marines brigade of the Joint Strategic Command “Northern Fleet,” 336th separate marines brigade of Baltic Fleet, 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 shelled from tanks and artillery the areas of Andriivka, Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Verkhnokamianske, Zalizne, Klishchiivka, Mayorsk, Opytne, Soledar, Yakovlivka, Avdiivka, Vesele, Vodyane, Kamianka, Kostyantynivka, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Nevelske and Novomykhailivka.

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 (SMRBr) of the 29th Combined Arms (CA) Army, 38th and 64th SMRBrs, 69th separate cover brigade of the 35th CA Army, 5th separate tank brigade, 37th of the 36th CA Army, 135th, 429th, 503rd and 693rd motorized rifle regiments (MRR) of the 19th motorized rifle division (MRD) of the 58th CA Army, 70th, 71st and 291st MRRs of the 42nd MRD of the 58th CA Army, 136th SMRB of the 58 CA Army, 46th and 49th machine gun artillery regiments of the 18th machine gun artillery division of the 68th Army Corps (AC), 39th SMRB of the 68th AC, 83th separate airborne assault brigade, 40th and 155th separate marines brigades, 22nd separate SOF brigade, 1st AC of the so-called DPR, and 2nd AC of the so- called LPR, PMCs.

The enemy shelled the Defense Forces’ positions in the areas of Bohoyavlenka, Velyka Novosilka, Vremivka, Vuhledar, Neskuchne, Pavlivka, and Prechistivka in Donetsk Oblast, Dorozhnyanka, Hulyaipole, Zeleny Hay, Malynivka, Olhivske, Stepove, Charivne, Chervone, and Shcherbaky in Zaporizhia Oblast.

Ukrainian Defense forces hit the area of enemy concentration. As a result, the enemy lost more than 100 people wounded.

Tavriysk direction
  • Vasylivka – Sofiivka section: approximate length of the battle line – 296 km, the number of BTGs of the RF Armed Forces – 39, the average width of the combat area of one BTG – 7,5 km;
  • Deployed BTGs of: the 8th and 49th Combined Arms (CA) Armies; 11th, 103rd, 109th, and 127th rifle regiments of the mobilization reserve of the 1st Army Corps (AC) of the Southern Military District; 35th and 36th CA Armies of the Eastern Military District; 3rd AC of the Western Military District; 90th tank division of the Central Military District; the 22nd AC of the Coastal Forces; the 810th separate marines brigade of the Black Sea Fleet; the 7th and 76th Air assault divisions, the 98th airborne division, and the 11th separate airborne assault brigade of the Airborne Forces.

The enemy shelled from the artillery the areas of Vyshchetarasivka in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and Havrylivka, Dudchany, Zolota Balka, Mykhailivka and Novooleksandrivka in Kherson Oblast.

Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:

The forces of the Russian Federation continue actions to carry out two operational tasks against Ukraine:

  • projection of force on the coast and continental part of Ukraine by launching missile strikes from surface ships, submarines, coastal missile systems and aircraft on targets in the coastal zone and deep into the territory of Ukraine and readiness for the amphibious marine landing to assist ground forces in the coastal direction;
  • control of the northwestern part of the Black Sea by blocking Ukrainian ports and preventing the restoration of sea communications (except for the areas of the BSGI “grain initiative”) by carrying out various attacks on ports and ships and hidden mine laying.

The ultimate goal is to deprive Ukraine of access to the Black Sea as much as possible, to expand and keep the captured territories of Ukrainian coastal regions.

The enemy has significantly increased its grouping and keeps 21 surface ships and boats at sea. They are located along the southwestern coast of Crimea. Two ships on patrol carry 16 Kalibr missiles.

Four combat ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which were in the port of Tartus (Syria) at the beginning of the aggression, continue to stay in the Mediterranean Sea due to Turkey’s ban on their return (based on the Montreux Convention). These are the frigate (project 11356) “Admiral Hryhorovych”, missile corvette (project 21631) “Orekhovo-Zuyevo” (both ships are carriers of Kalibr missiles), submarines (project 636.3) “Krasnodar” and “Novorossiysk” (the last made the transition to the Baltic Sea in October for repair).

In the Sea of Azov, the enemy continues to control sea communications, keeping one ship on combat duty.

Enemy aviation continues to fly from Crimean airfields Belbek and Gvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Over the past day, 17 combat aircraft from Belbek and Saky airfields were involved. The enemy monitors the waters adjacent to the grain corridor, thus keeping itself ready for the renewal of blockade actions of Ukrainian ports.

Russia has forbidden ships loaded outside its borders to pass through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov. The reason for this decision is not specified. As reported in the Main Directorate of Maritime Affairs under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of Turkey: “According to the official notification we received from the Maritime Administration of the Russian Federation, the passage of vessels loaded outside the territory of the Russian Federation to the north through the Kerch Strait, which provides passage to the Sea of Azov, prohibited”.

As experts previously noted, after the liberation of Kherson, the Armed Forces of Ukraine acquired a new zone of reach by HIMARS ammunition. This includes the Perekop Isthmus in Crimea and the entire Tavria steppe north of the peninsula. Perhaps the Russian Federation is preparing for the further advance of Ukrainian troops and hostilities, including in the Sea of Azov waters.

Grain initiative: as of the morning of November 12, 4 ships with 120,000 tons of agricultural products left the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdenny for the countries of Asia and Europe. Currently, 25 vessels are being processed in the ports of Greater Odesa. 741 thousand tons of Ukrainian agricultural products are loaded onto them. Yesterday, the ports of Great Odesa accepted 4 ships with 148,000 tons of agricultural products for loading. Currently, 7 vessels are moving along the “grain corridor”, loading 198.2 thousand tons of agricultural products. In particular, the bulkers will export 40,000 tons of wheat for Ethiopia (BUZBURUN M) and 40,000 tons for Yemen and Afghanistan (GOKOVA M). Since September 1, 442 ships have left the ports of Great Odesa, exporting 10.3 million tons of Ukrainian food to the countries of Asia, Europe and Africa.

Meanwhile, negotiations between the UN and the Russian Federation regarding the grain agreement’s continuation after its expiration on November 19 are ongoing in Geneva (Switzerland). Russia reiterated its desire for unimpeded access to world markets for its food and fertilizer exports at talks with UN officials in Geneva. The Russian Federation insists that its

economic interests are not considered during the agreement’s implementation. Currently, there is no information about continuing the agreement between the UN and the Russian Federation.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 12.11

Personnel (KIA)- almost 80,210 people (+810);

Tanks – 2,838 (+24)

Armored combat vehicles – 5,730 (+34);

Artillery systems – 1,829 (+12);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 393 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 205 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,279 (+20); Aircraft – 278 (0);

Helicopters – 261 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,506 (+1); Intercepted cruise missiles – 399 (0);

Boats / ships – 16 (0).

International diplomatic aspect

“Ukraine is the party of peace in this conflict, and Russia is the party of war,” National Security Advisor to POTUS Jake Sullivan said. “Russia invaded Ukraine. If Russia chose to stop fighting in Ukraine and left, it would be the end of the war. If Ukraine chose to stop fighting and give up, it would be the end of Ukraine.” It was a reaction to media speculations that the Biden Administration is pushing President Zelenskyy for talks with Russia and possibly to cede territories as a “compromise.”

After intriguing for too long, the Kremlin announced that Vladimir Putin wouldn’t attend the G20 summit in Bali. Though he could have relied on welcome from the leaders of developing nations, his ego wouldn’t bear their asking eyes why his war is so poorly run, and he has just lost his face with the Kherson retreat. He could have faced sharp criticism from the Western leaders, while there was a slim chance of Putin talking to the US President. He might have felt humiliated because other leaders wouldn’t be willing to pose in the summit’s family picture. Anyway, it’s Sergey Lavrov who won’t appear in the joint photo and will face the negative attitude his country deserves. The Western diplomats are going to ignore Russia’s Foreign Minister while criticizing Russia and underlying its international isolation.

At the same time, Putin’s junior partner Medvedev expressed his belief that “it is Russia today that is shaping the future world order and not the United States with Britain or “dark” Kyiv. And this new equal world order will be built.” He thinks that Russia is “fighting” with NATO and the West alone. He went on to threaten with the “entire arsenal of possible means of destruction” of Ukraine or NATO or the West that Russia is fighting within his out-of-touch reality. And it hasn’t been done yet “out of our [Russia’s] inherent human kindness.”

After flying from Moscow to Geneva and back for sixteen hours via the Black Sea (due to the closed skies of the EU) with no success in revising the “grain deal,” Russia decided to impose new restrictions on the Kerch Strait passage. After the illegal annexation of Crimea, Russia seized control over the Kerch Strait, which allowed it to sail in and out of the Sea of Azov. Moscow has been impeding freedom of navigation in the Sea of Azov since 2018. Now, it banned the passage of cargo ships loaded in ports other than in Russia. It’s a clearly discriminatory decision that runs against the requirements of international maritime law, including UNCLOS. Moreover, it makes transporting goods from the Azeri, Kazakh, and Turkmen ports in the Caspian Sea impossible.

Three former PwC partners decided to set up a new firm that will work for clients connected to Russia. “Kiteserve is fully independent of PwC Cyprus and is not a member of the PwC network,” stated PwC Cyprus. The firm pulled out 20 of its 30 employees from PwC and about half of its clients. Claiming to cut all ties, the Kiteserve occupies the same premises that its “mother” company though physically “separated.” How the new company will navigate the sanctions- charted territory remains to be seen.

“We will not supply lethal weapons to Ukraine,” stated the South Korean Ministry of Defence after concluding an agreement with the US on providing artillery shells to the United States. It is still possible that the ROK ammunition would backfill US-made rounds that were and will be sent to Ukraine.

“When victory comes, it will be our joint success,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister encouraged the Australian Prime Minister to assist in providing weapons for the UAF. Anthony Albanese said that his government would commit a further 30 Bushmasters, taking the total to 90.

Dmytro Kuleba couldn’t be more right, saying it would be a shared victory over the aggressor. Ukraine’s success in restoring its territorial integrity with international assistance, from defense aid to sanctions, is a bold message to China and smaller countries who might cherish ideas of forcefully annexing neighboring territories or waging aggressive wars. It would strengthen the rules-based world order Russia has been trying to undermine. And it’s also true that Kherson was liberated with Ukrainian sacrifice, will, and determination backed by capabilities provided by the Western partners.

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

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