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CDS Daily brief (13.11.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

As of the morning of November 13, 2022, the official number of child victims has not changed – 430. The number of injured children has increased to more than 830, the Prosecutor General’s Office reported.

National energy generating company “Ukrenergo” reported   that   on Sunday, November 13, schedules of emergency electricity shutdowns were introduced in the city of Kyiv and seven oblasts, namely Kyiv, Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, Kharkiv, Poltava, and Sumy. The introduction of emergency shutdowns does not cancel the scheduled hourly shutdowns, which will continue to operate after stabilizing the situation in the regions mentioned above. No blackouts are expected in other areas of Ukraine.

The State Emergency Service of Ukraine strongly recommends that Ukrainians who want to return to their de-occupied hometowns wait for permission from local authorities who check the de-occupied area with pyrotechnic units. There are many cases when the retreating Russian army mined residential buildings, civilian cars, and even the bodies of the dead, the SES stressed.

The head of the Kherson Oblast Military Administration, Yaroslav Yanushevich, called on the residents of the liberated territories to evacuate due to the high risk of Russian shelling. He also stressed that before fleeing, the Russian troops caused severe damage to the city’s critical infrastructure, which provides electricity, heat, and water supply to make the city uninhabitable in winter.

In Kherson Oblast, 16 schools were completely destroyed, and 48 were damaged, making it impossible to resume classes. Russian forces also burned Ukrainian books and destroyed furniture purchased for the New Ukrainian School, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Andriy Vitrenko said. Currently, 157 Ukrainian schools operate in Kherson Oblast, working in the online format. More than 65,000 students are presently studying the Ukrainian curriculum in the region.

In the liberated territory of Kherson Oblast, torture chambers organized by the occupiers were discovered, in particular, in police stations, First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Yevgeny Yenin said. He said that media representatives would be invited to visit as soon as the territory is made safe.

The Russian military continued shelling Ukrainian residential areas and critical infrastructure. According to the heads of respective Oblast Military Administrations (OMA),

  • At night on November 13, the Nikopol district of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast was again affected by the Russian enemy MLRS and artillery fire. Nikopol was hit the hardest. Two women, aged 46 and 82, were injured. More than 40 high-rise and private buildings, more than two dozen commercial buildings, and several gas pipelines and power lines were damaged.
  • At 2 a.m., the Russian forces shelled one of the villages of the Zaporizhzhia district with MLRS, damaging power lines, residential buildings, and cars.
  • In Toretsk, Donetsk Oblast, the Russian military fired at a hospital, a maternity hospital, and a prophylactic clinic. Fortunately, there were no casualties, but the buildings were seriously damaged.
  • Border areas of Sumy and Chernihiv Oblasts were also shelled, but no damage or victims were reported.

The water pipeline from Kherson to Mykolaiv is damaged in four places. There is also damage to the     pumping     station     at     the     water     intake     location,     but     it     can      be repaired. Mykolaivvodokanal utility provider is waiting for the Mykolaiv Oblast State Emergency Service of Ukraine to clear the area of mines to start the repairs. Mykolayiv has been without a centralized water supply since the first days of the occupation.

On November 12, law enforcement officers discovered the bodies of 2 people who died during the occupation in Yampol and Yarova, the head of Donetsk OMA Pavlo Kyrylenko said. During the day, the Russians killed two more civilians in Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast. Since the beginning of the war, more than 1,200 civilians have been killed in the region, and more than 2,500 have been wounded.

Occupied territories:

Russian occupying forces take out the Ukrainian harvest from all granaries and elevators in the Mariupol district with grain trucks. Grain trucks bear number codes “23” and “26”, which denote Russian Krasnodar and Stavropol regions. Stolen grain is transported through Mariupol to Rostov- on-Don, Petro Andryushchenko, adviser to the Mariupol mayor, said.

According to Luhansk Oblast Military Administration, in some districts of Rubizhne, Lysychansk, and Sievierodonetsk [occupied by Russians], the Russian authorities had claimed that the provision of certain utilities was renewed; however, none of these cities has water, electricity, gas, and heating even in half of the households. In Lysychansk, “the local occupation authorities ordered not to wait for water and electricity until spring and learn to live in winter without these benefits of civilization, like most Russians. Potable water is delivered once a week – 20 liters per person. Everyone chooses to drink or wash, Luhansk OMA stressed.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (November 12) developments)

It is the 263rd 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”).

Over the past 24 hours, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled the enemy attacks in the areas of Stelmakhivka and Novoselivske in Luhansk Oblast and Torske, Bakhmut, Bilohorivka, Spirne, Toretsk, Krasnohorivka, Pervomaiske, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka and Pavlivka in Donetsk Oblast.

Stabilization measures are ongoing in the liberated towns and villages of Kherson Oblast. The Russian forces continued to build engineering fortification of the defensive lines on the left bank of the Dnipro River.

Over the past day, the Russian forces have launched 4 missile strikes and 16 air strikes and fired over 40 MLRS rounds. Areas around more than 30 towns and villages in Zaporizhzhia, Cherkasy, Kharkiv and Donetsk Oblasts were affected. Near the state border, the villages of Ternova, Bologhivka, Vilkhuvatka, Zelene, Kolodyazne, Ohirtseve and Starytsia were shelled with mortars and barrel artillery.

The Russian-Belarusian grouping of troops on the territory of the Republic of Belarus continues to form. Social tension is increasing significantly in Brest Oblast, especially in the areas where the incoming units of the Russian Armed Forces are stationed. In particular, local hospitals are overloaded with Russian servicemen, many of whom fall ill due to unsatisfactory living conditions in tent camps. Doctors are forced to deny service to citizens of the Republic of Belarus who need treatment.

Over the past day, the aviation of the Ukrainian Defense Forces made 13 strikes against the enemy, hitting eight areas of weapons and military equipment concentration and five anti- aircraft missile systems positions.

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 Russian military fired at the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the areas around Novoselivske, Stelmakhivka, Rozdolivka, Siversk, Kyselivka, Nevske, Makiivka, Ploschanka and Tabaivka.

A Russian intelligence group was spotted in an attempt to cross the state border of Ukraine in the area of Ternova. After being subjected to fire damage, the enemy retreated.

Units of the Russian occupation troops tried to carry out assault operations in the direction of Lysychansk – Bilohorivka (Luhansk Oblast), Lysychansk Refinery – Verkhnokamyanske and in the area of Bilohorivka (Donetsk Oblast), but failed. The Russian military tried to storm the positions of the Ukrainian Joint Forces in the area of Stelmakhivka from the side of Kryvoshiyivka and in the area of Torske from the side of Dibrova, but they did not succeed. Fighting continues in the area of Spirne and Novoselivske.

The Russian military has increased the volume of ammunition supplies and the movement of the Russian occupation troops’ servicemen. Intensive transportation of construction materials and concrete structures has been observed in the last week.

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 Russian military shelled the areas around Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Mayorsk, Ozaryanivka, Ivanhrad, Verkhnokamyanske, Zelenopillya, Spirne, New York, Avdiivka, Maryinka, Vodyane, Kamianka, Krasnohorivka and Novomykhailivka with tanks and artillery.

In Mariupol, Russian personnel are increasing (probably due to the arrival of units that retreated from the Kherson direction). The newly arrived units are quartered in the empty houses and apartments of Mariupol residents.

The Russian military launched massive attacks in many directions and partially succeeded in Pokrovske – Bakhmut direction. Units of the Ukrainian Joint Forces were forced to leave three platoon strong points. Battles continue in the directions of Zaitseve – Ozaryanivka and Ivanhrad

– Opytne. Joint Forces’ units hold back the enemy’s advance in Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, and the Mayorsk railway station.

The Russian forces conduct intensive assault operations, trying to find a place to break through the defense of the Joint Forces. The command of the Russian occupation troops continues to implement the intention of encircling Avdiyivka from the north and southwest and advancing to the Krasnohorivka area and further to Berdychi (from the northern direction), Tonenke area and

further to Orlivka (from the southwestern direction). The Russian military carried out assaults in Novoselivka Druga – Vesele and Oleksandrivka – Mar’inka directions. They were stopped and retreated.

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 Russian military shelled positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the areas of Vremivka, Vuhledar, Novoukrainka, Pavlivka, Poltavka, Paraskoviivka and Prechystivka, Hulyaipole, Zaliznychne, Shcherbaky, Malynivka, Novodanilivka, Novopil, and Olhivske.

The Russian command is intensifying its efforts in the Vuhledar direction. Units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continued their offensive in the Pavlivka area, trying to gain full control over the village. The Russian forces continued their attempts to advance in Novomykhailivka but failed.

In the areas of Kostyantynivka, Marfopil, Stepanivka, Mezhyrich, Polohy, Voskresenka, Kamianka, Komysh-Zorya, Hryhorivka, Shevchenkove, Basan, Chkalove, Novozlatopil, Vyshneve, Stepove (Polohy district), Staromlynivka, Novopetrykivka, Stepne (Donetsk Oblast) the Russian military is concentrating forces and means, building ammunition and oil & lubricant warehouses, building artillery firing positions. In addition, the Russian occupiers are redeploying troops from the Berdyansk direction to the Kamianka, Hryhorivka area (Polohy district).

The Russian forces conducted aerial reconnaissance by UAVs to track changes in the position of AFU units, adjust artillery fire and prepare for offensive actions. Enemy EW units operated from the Stepnohorsk area (Vasylivka district).

The Russian forces systematically use the Melitopol – Tokmak, Chernihivka – Tokmak railway, and the Melitopol – Vasylivka, Melitopol – Tokmak highways to move military cargo. The Ukrainian Defense Forces inflicted damage on Russian units in the Svitlodolinske area and damaged railway communications on the Melitopol – Tokmak section, interrupting train traffic.

On November 12, another reinforcement from mobilized Russian citizens arrived in occupied Melitopol. After arriving in the city, the above category of enemy servicemen buys out food, civilian clothes, and a large volume of alcoholic beverages.

A significant number of personnel and equipment from Kherson Oblast arrived in Myrne, Obilne, Spaske, and Melitopol. The movement of fuel tanks, tented trucks, and engineering equipment through Melitopol has increased. The Russian military is building new fortifications, mining the terrain and bridges, and has intensified measures to protect important objects and patrolling.

Tavriysk direction
  • Vasylivka – Stanislav 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 Russian military shelled the areas of Mylove, Zolota Balka and Mykhailivka with artillery.

In the area of Dnipryany, a building where up to 500 enemy soldiers were stationed was hit with a high-precision strike. As a result, the occupiers took two trucks of dead invaders to Tavriysk. 56 seriously injured people were taken to the nearest hospital, of which another 16 died soon after.

Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:

The forces of the Russian Black Sea Fleet continue to stay ready to carry out two operational tasks against Ukraine:

  • to project force on the coast and the continental part of Ukraine by launching missile strikes from surface ships, submarines, coastal missile systems, and aircraft at targets in the coastal zone and deep into the territory of Ukraine and readiness for the naval amphibious landing to assist ground forces in the coastal direction;
  • to control 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 attacks on ports and ships and concealed mine laying.

The ultimate goal is to deprive Ukraine of access to the Black Sea and extend and maintain control over the captured territory and Ukraine’s coastal regions.

The Russian fleet keeps 18 surface ships and boats at sea. They are located along the southwestern coast of Crimea. Among them, one ship (Buyan-M type corvette) is on patrol carrying 8 Kalibr missiles.

In the Sea of Azov, the Russian military continues to control sea communications, keeping 1 ship and 1 boat on combat duty.

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, ten combat aircraft from Belbek and Saki airfields were involved.

The Grain initiative: Currently, 33 vessels are being processed in the ports of Greater Odesa. 920,000 tons of Ukrainian agricultural products are loaded onto them. On November 12, 2 ships with 27,000 tons of agricultural products left the port of Chornomorsk for Asian countries.

Since September 1, 444 ships have left the ports of Greater Odesa, exporting 10.3 million tons of Ukrainian food to the countries of Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Ukraine is interested in the continued functioning of the “grain corridor”, but Russia must stop the sabotage to impede its operation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba said on the telethon air on Friday, November 11. “Ukraine is interested in extending these agreements,” Kuleba emphasized that stalling the agreement is a silent sabotage that Russia engages in daily. According to Kuleba, in the days when the “grain agreement” worked without Russian inspectors, the number of ships that passed, loaded with grain and left increased critically. “As soon as Russia returned, problems began. Therefore, there are two tasks. It is not enough to leave Russia in the grain corridor; it must also be forced to stop the silent sabotage of this initiative from within,” the minister added.

During a conversation with journalists, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the “grain initiative” could pave the way for a “peace corridor” between the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 13.11

Personnel – almost 80,860 people (+650);

Tanks 2,840 (+2)

Armored combat vehicles – 5,742 (+12);

Artillery systems – 1,837 (+8);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 393 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 206 (+1); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,295 (+16); Aircraft – 278 (0);

Helicopters – 261 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,507 (+1); Intercepted cruise missiles – 399 (0);

Boats/ships – 16 (0).

International diplomatic aspect

Democrats’ control over the Senate decreases worries about tangible changes in the Congressional support for Ukraine. Though it was President Trump’s national security team that abandoned Obama’s de facto ban on arms supply and started sending defensive weapons to Ukraine, a fraction of Republican populists began to question the Ukrainian policy. More traditional Republicans don’t believe in isolationism and support Ukraine’s fight for survival as an independent nation against revisionist Russia.

The shocking video of a Wagner mercenary smashing the head of another “soldier of fortune” with a sledgehammer as the punishment for his betrayal and Prigozhin’s approval of the inhumane execution means the following:

Firstly, it’s a natural behavior for Russian mercenaries and many regular units. There was even more brutal footage of the torture and beheading of a Syrian POW, as well as evidence of torture and murder of soldiers and civilians in Mali, the Central African Republic, and elsewhere Wagner mercenaries operate. While those war crimes are primarily the focus of humanitarian organizations, the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, with the support of international partners, gather evidence of war crimes committed by Russians, including Wagner mercenaries, in Ukraine for future trial.

Secondly, Russia is a lawless entity, and there won’t be any serious investigation or punishment for the brutal murder. The dehumanization of Ukrainians and appeals to commit atrocities of a genocidal scale is a recurring theme on Russian TV and even more on social networks. Igor Mangushev performed on stage with a scull of allegedly Ukrainian Azovstal fighter. Alexey Milchakov publicly admitted he was a Nazi and loved killing Ukrainians. None of them was investigated for these actions.

Thirdly, this kind of “corrective” measure is aimed at coping with low discipline and morale among mercenaries and regular units. In no way would such actions lead to better fighting. They instead might result in more willingness to surrender and stay as a POW in Ukraine.

Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor, clarified the US position on negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow after several articles in the US press had claimed that the Administration was pushing Ukraine towards negotiations and concessions. He rejected the allegation about the push and repeated the position that it’s up to Ukraine to decide when and what desirable outcomes to pursue in talks with Russians. The National Security Advisor believes peace is based on the principles of sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine. He doesn’t believe in Russia’s readiness to find a diplomatic solution because of the new illegal annexations. Mr. Sullivan reiterated the Biden Administration’s unwavering support for Ukraine, including arms supply, which puts Ukraine in the best position on the battlefield and at the negotiations’ table when the right time comes.

Russia, relevant news

About 700,000 Russian citizens left for Georgia after Vladimir Putin announced “partial” mobilization in the country, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili said.

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