Центр оборонних стратегій

CDS Daily brief (19.11.22) | CDS comments on key events

Download in PDF

Humanitarian aspect:

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, 437 children have died, and more than 837 have been injured, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine.

Over the past day, as a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, three civilians were killed, and six were injured, reported the deputy head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko based on the data of the regional military administrations.

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

Consequences of enemy shelling on the morning of November 19

  • At night, the enemy fired five S-300 missiles at one of Zaporizhzhia’s districts, the Zaporizhzhia   Regional   Prosecutor’s    Office    reports.    Enemy    rockets    hit    one of infrastructure facilities, killing one person. The central heating pipeline was damaged. 123 high-rise buildings remained without heat.
  • After 21:30, the occupiers opened artillery fire on the border regions of Sumy Oblast.
  • On November 18, the enemy shelled the Kupyansk, Chuhuyiv and Kharkiv districts of Kharkiv Oblast. Roofs of buildings were damaged in Kupyansk. Residential and commercial buildings were partially destroyed in Vovchansk.
  • Yesterday, the enemy carried out anti-aircraft missile strikes at the water area of the Ochakiv community of the Mykolaiv Oblast. No casualties were reported.
  • At night, the Russians shelled three communities of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast from Grads and heavy artillery, damaging housing, farm buildings and cars. No victims were reported.

Three servicemen of a separate marine infantry battalion have returned from Russian captivity, the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced on Facebook. They were provided with primary medical and psychological assistance.

Voluntary evacuation from the de-occupied territories of the South of Ukraine has already begun, and the state will bear all the related costs, including transportation, accommodation, and medical care, stated Minister of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk at a briefing in Mykolaiv. According to her, the residents of de-occupied Kherson, with whom she spoke, expressed their desire to evacuate, in particular, vulnerable categories of citizens who cannot help themselves. The head of Mykolayiv Military Administration, Vitaly Kim, noted that lists of those willing to evacuate are being comprised in the de-occupied communities of the region. Furthermore, a transit point has been created in Mykolayiv where people can stay for a week before departure. From there, they would move to the different regions of Ukraine, where places to live have been arranged.

Residents of Kherson are asked not to hurry back to return to the city. Demining work is still ongoing; the enemy is shelling the city, and many problems need to be solved to restore normal life, said Yuriy Sobolevskyi, the first deputy chairman of the Kherson Regional Council. He noted that work on demining roads and city infrastructure facilities is still ongoing. There are risks of shelling – the enemy is on the other side of the Dnipro river.

Russian troops fired at a humanitarian point in a village of Kherson Oblast during the distribution of bread, resulting in five people being injured, Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko announced on his Telegram.

In Mykolaiv Oblast, in the village of Kyselivka, the Russian invaders completely destroyed the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which survived two world wars, reported Suspilne with reference to the rector of the parish, Father Oleksandr. “The building has no roof, and the oldest icons have been destroyed by rain and falling plaster. The temple has been completely destroyed, and restoring it is impossible, ” says Suspilne.

In Odesa, electricity was restored to more than 400,000 homes of residents, Maksym Marchenko, the head of Odesa Military administration, reported in Telegram. He noted that problems in the power system do not disappear and require efforts to stabilize.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (November 18) developments)

It is the 269th 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 is concentrating its efforts on restraining the actions of the Defense Forces and, at the same time conducting offensive in the Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Novopavlivka directions.

Over the past day, the Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Bilohorivka, Zelenopillia, Klishchiivka, Pervomaiske, Vodyane and Novomykhailivka in Donetsk Oblast. The enemy carried out 10 air strikes and 10 missile strikes, and 42 attacks from MLRS. They continue to strike critical infrastructure, violating the norms of International Humanitarian Law, laws and customs of war. Thus, objects of the civil infrastructure in Zaporizhzhia were hit by a missile. Near the state border, the enemy fired mortars and rocket artillery at the Defence Forces’ positions near Atynske and Novovolodymyrivka in Sumy Oblast, Strilecha, Starytsia, Ohirtseve, Okhrymivka and Zarubinka in Kharkiv Oblast.

The Republic of Belarus continues to support the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. On the section of the border Derazhychy – Loyev, Gomel Region, the enemy reinforced its BTG from the 103rd separate airborne brigade. In the same direction, the operation of the enemy’s radar and at least one EW station is recorded.

An increase in the flight activity of the Russian Air Force, armed with the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic aviation missile system, is recorded at the Machulyshchi air base. The unit prepares for striking targets on the territory of Ukraine from the launch lines in the airspace of the Republic of Belarus by performing regular flights of MiG-31K aircraft from the complex.

From November 15 to 18, the Russian command delivered to the territory of Belarus another batch of anti-aircraft guided missiles for S-300/400 anti-aircraft missiles (from 20 to 30 transport and launch containers). In the Republic of Belarus, the so-called “mass verification of military registration data” is being conducted, which will allegedly last “until the end of this year.” According to the country’s Ministry of Defense, “from the middle of November until the end of the current year, these data will be verified for everyone registered. In this regard, a significant number of the country’s citizens will participate in these events in November.”

In several areas of the front, personnel of the Russian occupation forces began to receive individual military equipment of Iranian production, in particular ballistic protection means. According to Ukrainian specialists, these samples have reduced combat properties and quality compared to similar samples of Western or Ukrainian production.

The command of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, after the attack on ships by unmanned surface drones, has strengthened the surveillance on the external raid and increased the forces and means allocated for the protection/defense of the water area. From now on, at least 2 guard/patrol ships of project 22460 “Okhotnik”, anti-sabotage boats of project 21980 “Grachonok”, and other vessels are involved. Furthermore, permanent sonar reconnaissance of the waters of Sevastopol Bay and the adjacent waters of the Black Sea is organized. In addition, permanent control of the surface and air situation in the areas adjacent to Sevastopol is organized by the designated forces and means of the Black Sea Fleet.

During the day, the Defense Forces aviation made 7 strikes on enemy concentration areas. Ukrainian missile forces and artillery hit the enemy command and control post, more than 12 concentration areas and the enemy’s mobile air defense system.

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 shelled the positions of the Defense Forces in the Novomlynsk, Orlyanka, Kotlyarivka, Krokhmalne and Tabaivka areas in Kharkiv Oblast; Novoselivske, Myasozharivka, Novoyehorivka, Ploshanka and Nevske in Luhansk Oblast and Torske, Andriivka and Berestove in Donetsk Oblast.

The movement and concentration of forces and assets of the enemy’s 106th airborne division in Luhansk Oblast continues for the third day. The advanced units of the division have already arrived there and are concentrating in designated areas. The division’s logistic command center has been deployed, and the deployment of the command and communication system of the unit is underway. Separate units of the 106th airborne division were spotted in the Mariupol region during their march in the north-eastern direction.

In addition, the enemy continues to gradually increase the number of tactical reserves in the Svatove and Kramatorsk directions. Thus, northwest of Starobilsk, the deployment of the enemy’s BTG (probably from the 1st tank army) – up to 50 armored vehicles, in particular tanks, and automotive equipment is recorded.

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 with tanks and artillery the areas of Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Bilohorivka, Verkhnokamianske, Vesele, Zelenopillia, Kurdyumivka, Mayorsk, New York, Soledar, Spirne, Yakovlivka, Vodyane, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, and Novomykhailivka.

About 500 wounded servicemen of the Russian occupation forces, most of them recently mobilized, were brought to Horlivka hospitals from Mayorsk.

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 Defence Forces’ positions near Bohoyavlenka, Blahodatne, Vremivka and Vuhledar in Donetsk Oblast, Kamianske, Mylove and Chervonyi Mayak.

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 enemy shelled with artillery Antonivka, Beryslav, Odradokamyanka, Chornobayivka and Kherson.

The enemy’s concentration area in Mykhailivka of the Skadovsk district was hit. Losses of personnel – up to 40 dead and 70 wounded. They were taken to hospitals in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

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 enemy has 8 surface ships and a submarine at sea. Due to stormy conditions, part of the ships returned to their bases. At sea, enemy ships patrol along the southwestern coast of Crimea. Among them is one submarine carrying 4 Kalibr missiles. Two ships were spotted on the western coast of Crimea, near the Black Sea port (judging by the length and exterior, they may be missile corvettes). So far, no movement of ships towards Kherson Oblast or the Kinburn Spit has been observed.

In the Sea of Azov, the enemy continues to control sea communications, keeping 1 boat 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, 15 combat aircraft from Belbek and Saki airfields were deployed.

On the Kinburn spit, the Armed Forces of Ukraine hit the area of the enemy’s manpower, weapons and equipment concentration. From there, the Russian military fired at port tugs and grain barges in the Dnipro-Buzka estuary. As a result, seven enemy personnel and two armored vehicles, and the enemy base were destroyed.

At a meeting on November 18, the head of the occupying authorities of Crimea, Aksenov, told his staff that in Crimea, by order of Putin, they began to create fortifications “for the safety of the inhabitants of the peninsula.”

The Russian Federation continues to repair the Crimean Bridge. It seems that the initial statements about the speedy traffic restoration were propaganda, and the repair will be delayed at least until the middle of next year. 3 hundred-meter road sections on both branches of the highway, about 300 meters of the railway track, plus engineering communications are being completely replaced.

Grain initiative: The grain agreement has been extended for 120 days. Discussion of possible additions is ongoing. They relate to two issues: the inclusion of the Mykolaiv seaport in the agreement and the acceleration (simplification) of the ship maintenance procedure.

For Ukraine, the “grain initiative” is now the main corridor for exporting Ukrainian grain, which is vital for Ukrainian farmers and the world because it restrains the growth of food prices. For some countries, primarily African, this news is particularly important. About 11 million tons of grain were exported thanks to the “grain initiative”. However, this year less grain was exported compared to the previous. The most difficult period was from March to July. The blockade of seaports caused a very sharp rise in grain prices worldwide, worsened by drought in Europe and some countries’ intention to increase their grain reserves. The unprecedented growth of prices was halted only by the work of the “grain corridor”. The Russians understand this very well and try to use it [to their advantage]. Before the war, Ukraine exported 90 percent of its agricultural products by sea, up to 7 million tons per month. Before the “grain corridor”, Ukraine developed railway, road and river transportation routes towards the EU and exported up to 3 million tons through them in March-May. But still, these routes are costly and lengthy compared to sea corridors.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 19.11

Personnel – almost 83,880 people (+420);

Tanks – 2,885 (+6)

Armored combat vehicles – 5,815 (+7);

Artillery systems – 1,867 (+2);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 393 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 209 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,368 (+2); Aircraft – 278 (0);

Helicopters – 261 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,536 (0); Intercepted cruise missiles – 480 (0);

Boats/ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news:

Russia’s missile attack against Ukraine on November 15 caused 0.5 billion to 1 billion US dollars of direct damage to the Ukrainian economy, announced the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada committee on finance, tax and customs policy, Danylo Hetmantsev. Hetmantsev reminded that the Ministry of Economy adjusted its macro forecast in the direction of the fall in GDP to 39% in October, stressing that these attacks did not decrease in November, so the fall, according to the parliamentarian, will continue. At the same time, he emphasized that, in addition to direct losses, there are also indirect losses, when, in particular, enterprises cannot work due to power outages.

Work to restore the energy system continues in Ukraine; the most problematic regions are currently Kyiv, Odesa and Kharkiv Oblasts, said President Volodymyr Zelensky, in his video address to Ukrainians on November 19. On Saturday, President Zelensky held a meeting of the Staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, during which the situation at the front was discussed, in particular, the provision of the military and the situation in the energy sector.

In Ukraine, all medical institutions that provide inpatient and emergency medical care are equipped with generators, stated the Minister of Health Viktor Lyashko. According to him, the Ministry of Health started preparing for the winter season in the summer, providing hospitals with generators and Starlink devices. Currently, the Ministry of Health and the World Bank have started a project to purchase another 1,100 generators that should be provided to Ukrainian hospitals shortly. In addition, another 170 generators for medical facilities will be provided by the WHO, Lyashko noted. According to him, every medical institution should rearrange the system and be ready to work in complete blackout conditions, providing heat, water supply and additional alternative power sources.

International diplomatic aspect

“The UK and our allies will continue to stand with Ukraine as it fights to end this barbarous war and deliver a just peace,” said the UK Primer Minister meeting the Ukrainian President in Kyiv. Rishi Sunak announced a major new package of air defense to help protect Ukrainian civilians and critical national infrastructure from an intense barrage of Russian strikes. The £50 million

package of defense aid comprises 125 anti-aircraft guns and technology to counter deadly Iranian-supplied drones, including dozens of radars and anti-drone electronic warfare capability.

“It is heartbreaking to see these disabled Ukrainian soldiers here in the halls of Congress being used as pawns to pressure our Congress to give America’s hard-earned tax dollars to Zelensky,” twitted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene announcing her “audit of funds to Ukraine.” After taking over the House, the first GOP news conference revealed that one of the major priorities would be going after President Joe Biden. Whenever Hunter Biden’s name appears, there would be a reference to Ukraine and, related to it, unfound conspiracies of Ukraine “meddling” in the 2016 elections on the rival’s side. So far, Ukraine has been enjoying strong bipartisan support from both chambers.

Russian occupants in Mariupol are planning to re-erecting two of Vladimir Lenin’s monuments in the city. The ressentiment of eclectic nature drives Russia. On the one hand, tzar Nikolay II is called a “saint” by the Russian Orthodox Church, symbolizing the political elites’ neo-imperial ambitions. On the other hand, Russians glorified the Soviet Union and the most brutal figures like Lenin, who murdered the whole tzar family, and Stalin, who murdered more Soviet subjects than Adolf Hitler.

Meanwhile, Ukrainians have launched an e-petition on President’s website aimed at swapping a monument to Russian empress Catherine II for the raccoon retreating Russian troops had hijacked from the Kherson Zoo. CCTV has frequently filmed Russian troops looting Ukrainian private apartments, shops, and offices. Washing machines and toilets are among the most popular items besides jewelry, smartphones, laptops, and TV sets. But the raccoon video went viral and triggered a lot of mocking.

The statue of the Russian (actually German) royal in Odesa has been controversial for years. But now it’s unacceptable to leave her at the place because Putin’s regime instrumentalized her in claiming Crimea and Southern Ukraine to be “traditionally” Russian lands. Contrary to Moscow narratives, Catherine II didn’t establish the city of Odesa. Before Russian invaders came, there was a Greek settlement for more than a millennium, the Huns lived there, and the Republic of Genoa built a fortress. After taking control over the southern territories in 1324, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania established a settlement called Kachibei, renamed Khadzhibey by Ottomans, who conquered the region later. In 1789 the fortress was seized by Russian troops led by Catalan Jose de Ribas and Ukrainian Cossacks led by Anton Holovaty and Zakhary Chepiga. And then, out of the blue, Catherine II “established” Odesa in 1794…

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.

We publish this brief daily. If you would like to subscribe, please send us an email to cds.dailybrief@gmail.com

Please note, that we subscribe only verified persons and can decline or cancel the subscription at our own discretion

We are independent, non-government, non-partisan and non-profit organisation. More at www.defence.org.ua

Our Twitter (in English) – https://twitter.com/defence_centre

Our Facebook (in Ukrainian) – https://www.facebook.com/cds.UA

Our brief is for information only and we verify our information to the best possible extent