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CDS Daily brief (20.11.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

NEC “Ukrenergo,” said that on Sunday, November 20, planned shutdowns will be applied in all regions of Ukraine from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. “Additional emergency shutdowns are not planned. Already today, we managed to somewhat relax the restrictions on consumption,” the company’s message said.

The President’s Office reported that on November 19, the Russian occupying forces killed three more civilians and wounded 16.

Over the past day, the army of the Russian Federation attacked seven regions of Ukraine, damaging civilian infrastructure, including the following:

  • On the night of November 20, at least 40 Russian shells hit residential areas in Nikopol, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, injuring a 59-year-old man, Valentyn Reznichenko, head of the military administration of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast said. He added that 4 other communities in the Oblast also got shelled at night. These communities had no casualties, but private houses and farm buildings were damaged.
  • During the past day the troops of the Russian Federation struck ten villages in Donetsk Oblast. 21 civilian objects were destroyed and damaged, including 18 residential buildings, farm buildings and a recreation center. The Russian forces fired mortars at Vuhledar, injuring a child born in 2007. There is a wounded civilian in Bakhmut, the National Police reported.
  • In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the Russian forces shelled civilian infrastructure. 30 reports were received about the destruction of houses (apartments) of citizens and infrastructure facilities. During the past day, the evacuation of the civilian population from the temporarily occupied territory was carried out.
  • A fire broke out in Kupyansk, Kharkiv Oblast, due to the shelling of a grain storage facility. No casualties were reported. In addition, private homes and commercial buildings were damaged. 2 people were injured in the Oblast; both received blast injuries and shrapnel wounds and were hospitalized in serious condition.
  • In Mykolayiv Oblast, the Russian military struck the water area and a village in the Ochakiv community with an MLRS system at night. As a result, a fire broke out in the commercial building.
  • In Bilozerka, Kherson Oblast, during the distribution of bread, Russian forces fired at a humanitarian aid distribution point, injuring 5 people.

Over the past day, no Russian shelling was recorded in Sumy Oblast, Dmytro Zhivytskyi, head of the Sumy Oblast Military Administration, said. He stressed that it was a rare quiet day in the region’s border areas.

52 base and 3 mobile cellular communication stations have been restored in the liberated territories of Kherson Oblast, the head of the Kherson Oblast Military Administration Yaroslav

Yanushevich said. Gas distribution stations in Bilozerka and Stanislav have also been repaired, bringing gas supply to more than 6,300 customers in 13 villages. Bilozerka hospital also has gas. In Velyka Oleksandrivka, the gas supply was restored for 626 customers. In addition, periodic centralized water supply was restored in 5 towns.

Occupied territories:

On the morning of November 20, IAEA experts reported that more than 10 explosions were heard in the vicinity of the Zaporizhzhia NPP. Several buildings, systems and equipment were damaged at the ZNPP site, but none of them is currently critical to nuclear safety and security. In turn, Energoatom reported that the Russian invaders shelled the ZNPP all morning – more than 12 hits were recorded on the plant’s infrastructure. The nature and list of the damaged equipment of the ZNPP indicate that the attackers targeted and disabled precisely the infrastructure necessary to start power units 5 and 6 and restore the electricity production by the Zaporizhzhia NPP for the needs of Ukraine, Energoatom stressed.

In the temporarily captured Myrne territorial community in Kherson Oblast, Russian invaders break into the homes of families with school-age children, trying to prevent them from studying online in Ukrainian schools, the head of Kherson OMA Yaroslav Yanushevich said. The occupiers broke the closed gates to enter the yard and broke down the doors to the apartments to make sure children were not using gadgets to study online.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (November 19) developments)

It is the 270th 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”). Russia continues armed aggression against Ukraine and does not stop striking industrial facilities. It concentrates its efforts on restraining the Ukrainian Defense Forces, continues engineering fortification of the defense line, and continues to conduct offensive actions in certain directions.

Over the past day, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces have repelled Russian attacks in the areas around Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast and Spirne, Yakovlivka, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Opytne and Klishchiivka in Donetsk Oblast.

Over the past day, the Russian forces have launched 1 air strike and 4 missile strikes and fired 59 MLRS rounds. In violation of the international humanitarian law norms, laws and customs of war, civil infrastructure objects in the cities of Sviatohirsk and Kramatorsk were subjected to the Russian missile strike.

Russian military keeps its units in the border areas of the Russian Bryansk and Kursk Oblasts. The Russian forces may possibly carry out armed provocations at the state border or attempt to

infiltrate Ukraine with subversive and intelligence groups from the territory of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.

In the border areas of Belgorod Oblast, the Russian military continues to cover the Russian- Ukrainian border with designated units and conducts forward and provocative actions. It fired mortars in the area of Starytsya in Kharkiv Oblast.

Over the past day, Ukrainian soldiers shot down the Orlan-10 UAV and hit the Russian control post and an ammunition depot.

An analysis of the Russian cruise missile wreckage intercepted by Ukrainian air defense near Kyiv on 11/15 showed that most downed Kh-101 missiles were manufactured in October and November 2022, indicating their critical shortage.

Among the wreckage of the downed Kh-55 missiles (a small-sized strategic cruise missile that moves around the terrain and is designed to hit small-sized stationary targets whose coordinates are known in advance), the remains of volume-weight models of nuclear warheads were found.

Every day, the Russian Air Force carries out an average of about 150 sorties, most of which comprise the air defense system. The Armed Forces of Ukraine reduced the number of fighter sorties to 10 per day, while the intensity of military aviation sorties is maintained at the same level.

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 occupation forces defend captured frontiers. Russian mortar and artillery shelling were recorded, particularly in the areas of Krokhmalne and Tabaivka of Kharkiv Oblast; Novoselivske, Stelmakhivka, Makiivka, Ploschanka and Nevske in Luhansk Oblast and Berestove in Donetsk Oblast.

On the Kupyansk – Svatove section, the Ukrainian Defense Forces repeatedly used M142 and other MLRS to attack Russian bases and supply warehouses in the Svatove and Starobilsk areas.

After weeks of fierce fighting, the Ukrainian Defense Forces managed to finally take control of Makiivka. They are developing an offensive through the forests to the east of Makiivka towards Ploschanka. Heavy fighting continues in the Novoselivske area; units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces have entered the village and are getting entrenched. To the south, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces reached the P07 and P66 routes at several points, particularly in Zhytivka and crossed the former in the Kuzemivka area.

Russian troops failed the counterattack in the direction of Torske and Terny, suffering heavy losses, although they delayed the advance of the Ukrainian Defense Forces on Kreminna.

In Luhansk Oblast, the Russian occupiers set up additional checkpoints to identify and detain deserters.

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 with tanks and artillery the areas around Verkhnokamyanske, Spirne, Bilohorivka, Rozdolivka, Vesele, Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Opytne, Klishchiivka, Andriivka, Kurdyumivka, Ozaryanivka, Krasnohorivka, Pervomaiske, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, Vuhledar and Vremivka. Ukraine’s intelligence notes a significant increase in the number of Russian forces in the area, which may indicate the arrival of troops from the Tavriysk direction.

Units of the Russian Armed Forces, primarily ex-convicts from the “Wagner” PMC, continue constant shelling along the entire front line from Bilohorivka on Siversky Donets in the north to Kurdyumivka in the south. They attack in different directions in small joint groups the size of a company comprised of infantry, several tanks, an infantry combat vehicle, an armored personnel carrier and an MT-LB. Most of such attacks are unsystematic, poorly prepared and organized, so artillery, mortars and anti-tank missiles on distant approaches to the strongholds of the Armed Forces of Ukraine easily repel them. Russian losses are huge. The general military units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation were unable to conduct rapid offensive actions for which they were equipped and trained.

The situation between Avdiivka and Vuhledar remains extremely difficult. Units of the Ukrainian Joint Forces counterattacked the village of Mayorsk twice, attempting to regain the lost positions, but they did not succeed both times. Fierce battles occur in the Kamianka area; both sides bring

reinforcements, attack and counterattack. To the south of Avdiivka, the Russian forces attacked a relatively broad front: from Pisky to Nevelske, from Pisky to Pervomaiske, from Pisky to Vodyane, and from Donetsk to Opytne, which the enemy managed to surround.

Russian assaults on Maryinka turned into fierce urban battles with the support of a large amount of artillery from both sides. However, the Ukrainian side had an advantage because the Russian artillery could not use UAVs in bad weather, which was unsuitable in low temperatures, rain and snow.

The enemy continues to gain a foothold in Pavlivka.

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 defended the captured frontiers; it shelled positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the areas of Novopil, Nove, Chervone, Hulyaipole, Dorozhnyanka, Zaliznychne, Mala Tokmachka, Orihiv, Plavni, Stepnohirsk, and Vyshchetarasivka.

Large artillery duels remain in the area of Vuhledar. In this direction, the Russian military has deployed and widely uses the Lancet kamikaze UAVs, which hit at least a dozen artillery guns of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and various other equipment, particularly the French-made Caesar self-propelled gun.

Ukrainian Defense forces repelled several assaults on Velyka Novosilka.

The results of fire damage inflicted on the Russian manpower concentrations by units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in Vasylivka, Novobohdanivka, Mykhailivka (Vasylivsky District) and Komysh-Zorya in the temporarily occupied territory of Zaporizhzhia Oblast have been confirmed. The Russian forces lost more than 160 WIA. In addition, about 10 pieces of military equipment of various types and an ammunition depot were destroyed.

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 conducts positional defense and improves the fortifications and logistical support of the troops. It does not stop artillery shelling of the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces and towns and villages on the right bank of the Dnipro River. It conducts aerial reconnaissance of the positions of Ukrainian troops and adjusts artillery fire. The Russian forces fired tanks, barrel and jet artillery at the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the districts of Kachkarivka, Tokarivka, Antonivka, Chornobayivka and the city of Kherson.

The command of the Russian occupying forces plans to transfer individual units withdrawn during the retreat from the right bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast to continue fighting in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. Mobilized persons, most of whom make up these formations, are very indignant at the prospects of implementing these plans.

The Russian Armed Forces withdrew their troops 15 km east of the Dnipro.

The Ukrainian Defense Forces liberated Heroyske on the Kinburn spit. They are fighting in the Oleshky area, and have struck air bases and supply depots in the deep operational rear of the Russian troops with HIMARS anti-aircraft missiles.

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 (with the exception of 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.

There is no change related to the forces at sea. The Russian fleet keeps 8 surface ships and a submarine at sea. Due to stormy conditions, ships patrol along the southwestern coast of Crimea. Among them is one submarine carrying 4 Kalibr missiles.

In the Sea of Azov, the Russian military continues to control sea communications, keeping 2 boats 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, 13 combat aircraft from Belbek and Saki airfields were involved.

In Odesa Oblast, the night of November 19 to 20 passed without air raid warnings and, fortunately, without shelling. The situation in Odesa remains fully under control. The defense forces continue to carry out the assigned combat tasks. Power engineers and regional management managed to balance the operation of the region’s energy system as much as possible. The port of Ochakiv, however, was again fired upon with MLRS missiles from the Kinburn strait.

The Grain initiative: The Joint Coordination Center (JCC), on Saturday, November 19, renewed the navigational guidance in connection with the extension of the “grain agreement” until March 18, 2023. “Today, the SCC extended the validity of its navigation guidance for the operation of the maritime humanitarian corridor for a new period established within the framework of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. It includes an extended survey in the areas of the anchorage in the Sea of Marmara,” the message reads. It is noted that “the new guidance issued by the Turkish authorities entered into force today, November 19, and will be in effect until March 18, 2023.”

On Saturday, five dry cargo ships left Ukrainian ports; they transported 244,143 tons of grain and other food as part of the initiative. Two vessels, Captain Adams (62 thousand tons of corn) and Tasos (65 thousand tons of wheat), are heading to the Republic of Korea. The vessel Panagia Kanala will deliver 44,900 tons of rapeseed to Belgium. The dry cargo ship Odysseus N will transport 62,843 tons of sunflower meal to China. The ship Annabella will transport 9.4 thousand tons of soybeans to Egypt.

The SCC also reports that 70 vessels are awaiting permission to enter Ukrainian ports, and 26 loaded vessels are being prepared for inspection in Turkish territorial waters.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 20.11

Personnel – almost 84,210 people (+330);

Tanks 2,886 (+1)

Armored combat vehicles – 5,817 (+2);

Artillery systems – 1,867 (+1);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 393 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 209 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,371 (+3); Aircraft – 278 (0);

Helicopters – 261 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,537 (+1); Intercepted cruise missiles – 480 (0);

Boats/ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news:

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on other countries to ban Russian state TV. “Incitement of genocide on Russian state TV is in full swing. They admit Russia bombs out Ukraine’s critical infrastructure to inflict unbearable conditions of life on civilians, and they call for more strikes. Russian state propaganda in the EU and elsewhere must be fully banned,” Kuleba said on Twitter.

International diplomatic aspect

Russia’s war is criminal in every aspect. It’s a blatant violation of international law. The invading troops, composed of ordinary Russians, commit war crimes daily and at a scale. Along with “ordinary Russians,” convicted criminals also commit crimes. Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Office filed 48,195 cases of war crimes and crimes of aggressive war.

“Over just two months, September and October, more than 23,000 inmates vanished from Russian prisons. The sharpest drop in the prison population of the decade coincided with the private military company Wagner Group’s efforts to enlist convicts to fight in Ukraine,” reports Mediazona, a Russian independent media. “The exact number of newly drafted inmates is not known. Neither is the number of those killed in action. But the scale of prisoner involvement is clearly in the thousands,” the Russian media concludes. With 325,000 people behind bars out of some 140 million population, Russia is among the top five countries with the most significant number of prisoners.

In the joint Statement on the occasion of World Children’s Day, the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy stated, “Russia’s illegal aggression is having a devastating impact on the country’s 7.5 million children.”

Eighteen embassies in Kyiv issued a Statement about the appalling and long-lasting impact of Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine’s children. “It is not possible to confirm the precise number of children that have been direct casualties… The true toll is likely to be significantly higher, not to mention the devastating and long-term impact on the mental health of the younger generation. In addition, hundreds of thousands of children have been forced from Ukraine either by fleeing to countries of safety or through reported forced deportation and abduction by Russian armed forces, sometimes without their parents’ knowledge. We are also deeply concerned by reports that some children deported to Russia have been forcibly adopted,” the Statement reads.

To date, 437 children have been killed and 838 wounded. According to Ukraine’s National Information Bureau, 11,129 children were illegally deported to Russia, and as few as 103 of them were returned to Ukraine.

Russia has accused Ukraine of killing a dozen of its soldiers in Makiyivka of Luhansk Oblast after a video was spread on social media. Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister said the Ukrainian side would investigate the incident. Olha Stefanishyna added that the Ukrainian military has “absolutely no interest in executing anyone” and has direct orders to take “as many prisoners of war as possible” so they can be exchanged for Ukrainian POWs. In the meantime, Ukraine’s ombudsman expressed his opinion that it was Russian troops that committed a war crime by staging a surrender.

Perfidy is prohibited by Article 37 of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts: “It is prohibited to kill, injure or capture an adversary by resort to perfidy. Acts inviting the confidence of an adversary to lead him to believe that he is entitled to, or is obliged to accord, protection under the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, with intent to betray that confidence, shall constitute perfidy.” Thomas C. Theiner, an Italian military expert, believes that the Ukrainian soldiers followed surrender procedures with “enemy forces larger than one’s own force.” “The machine gunner’s task is to fire immediately if an enemy soldier moves without being asked to do so,” which, after all, saved the lives of Ukrainian soldiers. Had a man in a black uniform not opened the fire, men in Russian uniform would have been searched for weapons, their hands tied, and the whole group moved to a safe place in the status of POW.

The Russian government, at the same time, hasn’t provided the International Committee of the Red Cross with access to the detention facility in Olenivka village of the Donetsk region, where 53 Ukrainian POWs were murdered and 75 wounded.

“Do you know what this missile strike is? That’s more than 20 million people without electricity. Such was the damage to the power system, such was the urgent emergency shutdown. The reactors at two of our nuclear power plants also shut down due to missile damage to the energy industry,” President Zelensky explained in his video address. He said that Russia launched more than 4,700 missiles and rockets against Ukraine.

According to intelligence sources, the Washington Post reported Moscow and Teheran closed a deal to establish the production of Iran-designed combat UAVs in Russia. Dr Colin Kahl believes Russia’s missile barrages are partially designed to exhaust Ukraine’s air defense capabilities. “We know what the Russian theory of victory is, and we’re committed to making sure that’s not going to work by making sure that the Ukrainians get what they need to keep their air defenses viable,” the US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy said.

France has delivered two Crotale air defense systems and two MLRS to Ukraine. So far, France has supplied Ukraine with eighteen Caesar howitzers and $569 million worth of military aid, making it the fifth most significant contributor to Ukraine’s defense capabilities.

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