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CDS Daily brief (21.11.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

Most likely, Ukraine will have to live in a mode of power outages at least until the end of March, Yasno CEO Serhiy Kovalenko wrote. If there are no new attacks on the power grid, under the current conditions of power generation, the power shortage can be evenly distributed across the country, which means that there will be blackouts everywhere but of a shorter duration. However, he noted that there are also different forecasts of the development of this situation, and they are entirely dependent on Russia’s attacks.

Russian forces continued shelling Ukrainian residential areas and civilian infrastructure within their reach. According to the information provided by the heads of respective Oblast Military State Administrations,

  • On November 20, the Russian forces shelled three border communities of Sumy Oblast. In the Bilopillya community, the cultural center, bakery, shop, power line, and gas pipeline were damaged. The other two communities saw no damage.
  • The Russian forces attacked the Nikopol district of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast at night with Grad RS and heavy artillery. Almost 60 shells were fired. A 78-year-old man was injured in Nikopol. In the city, Russian shells damaged private houses, a boat, and cars.
  • On November 20, 3 civilians were wounded by the Russian forces in Donetsk Oblast, namely 2 in Bakhmut and 1 in the village of Kostyantynivka.
  • In the evening of November 20, the Russian military launched a missile attack with the S- 300 system on the Shevchenkove village of Kupyansk district, Kharkiv Oblast. The rocket hit a 2-story apartment building. A residential building nearby was also damaged. A 38- year-old woman died, and at least 2 people were injured.
  • The Russian forces shell the recently liberated city of Kherson. As a result of hitting a five- story building in the district of Ostrov on November 20, a man was slightly injured. Windows were broken in some houses. Shelling continued in the afternoon of November 21. One person died and at least four people were hospitalized.
  • 23 reports about the destruction of civilian houses (apartments) and infrastructure facilities as a result of shelling by Russian military were received in Zaporizhzhya Oblast.

The consumption of electricity in Kyiv Oblast has increased significantly. In order to avoid mass accidents on power equipment, NEC “Ukrenergo” issued an order to carry out emergency power outages on November 21, Kyiv Oblast Military Administration warned. Emergency outages were also applied in Kyiv.

In Kherson recently liberated from the Russian forces law enforcement officers discovered new torture chambers. At least four places of detention for Ukrainians, which the occupiers set up in

a temporary detention center, a pre-trial detention center, and a district police department, are known, the press service of the Prosecutor General’s Office said. During an examination, parts of rubber batons, a wooden bat, an apparatus used by the occupiers to torture civilians with electricity, an incandescent lamp and bullets from the walls were seized.

More than 800 cultural objects were destroyed or damaged by Russian troops in Ukraine, the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy said. Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko emphasized that in today’s war Ukrainians struggle for the right of their own culture to exist.

The police launched a criminal investigation into the looting of the Kakhovka branch of the Kherson Regional Museum of Local History, as well as the looting of the Kherson Museum of Local History by the Russian occupiers in the Oblast center.

Occupied territories:

According to President Putin’s decree, the so-called Central Banks of the Russian proxy DNR and LNR recently annexed by the Russian Federation will be transformed into Ltd. and transferred to the Russian Promsvyazbank.

In the occupied Makiivka of Donetsk Oblast, two fuel tanks on the territory of the oil depot and three stationary containers have been burning since early morning, the local militants reported. According to the Russian militants, the fire was caused by “the impact of an explosive object”. The fire was reported at 3:06 Kyiv time, it was assigned the third rank of severity.

The legally elected Ukrainian Mayor of Melitopol Ivan Fedorov said that this week he talked with a large number of former prisoners and was told of an increasing number of torture cases. They said that there are people who have been in captivity for more than 8 months. And in recent months, the Russian occupiers deliberately bring mobilized people to the places where Ukrainian citizens are being held, so that they can practice beating civilians on people who are in captivity. According to Fedorov, torture by an electric current is regular. Once Russian occupiers kept women standing in a sea container for 9 days straight.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (November 20) Developments)

It is the 271st 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 Russian military is trying to maintain control over the temporarily captured territories, concentrates its efforts on restraining the units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, 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 Bakhmut, Bilohorivka, Kurdyumivka, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, Pervomaiske, Pidhorodne, Spirne, Stelmakhivka and Yakovlivka in Donetsk Oblast.

Over the past day, the Russian forces have launched 2 missile strikes and fired over 60 MLRS rounds. Civilian infrastructure objects in the city of Kupyanks, Khrarkv oblast, were subjected to the Russian missile strike.

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 at the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the areas of Ambarne, Bochkove, Veterynarne, Ohirtseve and Starytsa in Kharkiv Oblast.

Russian security services are planning attacks on critical infrastructure facilities in Belarus in order to pressure the Belarusian military to join the war in Ukraine.

During the current day, the aviation of the Ukrainian Defense Forces struck the Russian forces 6 times, dealing 3 strikes on areas where the occupiers were concentrated and 3 on the positions of anti-aircraft missile systems.

On this day, missile and artillery forces units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces hit 2 control points, an ammunition depot, 5 areas of personnel, weapons and military equipment concentration, and 2 other important enemy targets.

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 was recorded, in particular, in the areas of Krokhmalne and Tabaivka of Kharkiv Oblast; Makiivka, Nevske, Novoselivske, Ploshanka and Stelmakhivka in Luhansk Oblast and Berestove in Donetsk Oblast.

Fighting continues on the Svatove-Kreminna line, in particular in the Novoselyvske area. Since the beginning of the counteroffensive in the east, Ukrainian troops have liberated 12 towns and villages in Luhansk Oblast.

The defeat of a caravan of Russian occupation troops in the area of the village of Syrotine has been confirmed. Forced resettlement of local residents continues in the temporarily occupied territories of Luhansk Oblast. In particular, residents of Bilovodsk were forcibly relocated to the city of Luhansk.

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 is concentrating its main efforts on offensive actions, firing from tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of Andriivka, Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Bilohorivka, Verkhnokamyanske, Vesele, Klishchiivka, Kurdyumivka, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, Ozaryanivka, Opytne, Pervomaiske, Rozdolivka, Soledar, Spirne and Yakovlivka in Donetsk Oblast. Russian troops continued offensive actions in the Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Western Donetsk directions.

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 is on the defensive. The areas of Bohoyavlenka, Vremivka, Vuhledar, Zolota Nyva and Prechystivka of Donetsk Oblast were affected by the Russian artillery fire; Dorozhnyanka, Zaliznychne, Malynyvka, Orihiv, Stepove and Charivne in Zaporizhia Oblast and the city of Nikopol in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.

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 advanced units. In order to identify the positions of Ukrainian troops and adjust the artillery fire, it conducts aerial reconnaissance with UAVs. It fired barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of Vesele, Vysuntsi, Klapaya and the city of Kherson.

Russian forces continued to transfer some units from the eastern bank of the Dnipro River to other operational areas but still maintain a significant presence of forces in the south of Kherson Oblast.

In Lyubymivka, under the guise of searching for sabotage and intelligence groups, the occupying forces illegally break into private houses and loot the property of local residents.

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

The occupying authorities of Sevastopol acknowledged the death of 75 servicemen of the Russian Federation who are residents of Sevastopol in the war in Ukraine. The deaths of the crew members of the “Moskva” cruiser and the “Vasily Bekh” rescue tug were publicly acknowledged for the first time. This fact was made public during the construction of a cypress trees alley in one of Sevastopol’s districts in honor of the dead, which the occupation authorities turned into a propaganda show.

The Crimean occupying authorities informed of the installation on platforms of four road spans of one Kerch bridge highway branch. The installation will continue until the end of December 2022. After that, the bearings of another branch of the highway will be replaced. Thus, the advertised quick restoration of traffic on the bridge a few days after the explosion on October 8 was a very dangerous farce.

The Grain initiative: in two days, 8 ships with 342,000 tons of agricultural products left the ports of Greater Odesa for the countries of Africa, Asia and Europe. Currently, 4 ships are moving along the “grain corridor” to be loaded with 130.5 thousand tons of agricultural products.

Since August 1, 483 vessels have left the ports of Greater Odesa, exporting 11.6 million tons of Ukrainian food to the countries of Asia, Europe and Africa.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 21.11

Personnel – almost 84,600 people (+390);

Tanks 2,892 (+6)

Armored combat vehicles – 5,822 (+5);

Artillery systems – 1,870 (+2);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 393 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 209 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,378 (+7); Aircraft – 278 (0);

Helicopters – 261 (0);

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

Boats/ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news

Ukraine celebrates the Day of Dignity and Freedom today. It was established to mark the beginning of the Revolution of Dignity (Euromaidan) of 2013-2014. Addressing the people on this occasion, President Zelenskiy said, “Everyone saw what kind of people we have. Ready to give the last. Ready to stand to the last. They did not lose their dignity, courage, or self-belief. And they united so as not to lose their freedom. Not to lose independence. Not lose Ukraine. We can

remain without money, without gasoline, without hot water, without electricity, but not without freedom, and this remains unchanged.”

International diplomatic aspect

“Due to intensive Russian shelling, at least 12 “hits” were recorded at the Zaporizhzhya NPP site,” stated Energoatom, Ukraine’s state nuclear power operator, on 20 November. It explained the reason behind the attacks: “The nature and list of the damaged ZNPP equipment indicate that the attackers aimed at and disabled precisely the infrastructure that was necessary to start-up the 5th and 6th power units and to restore electricity production by the Zaporizhzhya NPP for the needs of Ukraine.”

“We were fortunate a potentially serious nuclear incident did not happen,” IAEA Director General stated with regard to the powerful explosions near the ZNPP caused by shelling. “Next time, we may not be so lucky,” Grossi added. Russia ignores the IAEA Board of Governors’ call to “immediately withdraw its military and other personnel from the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, in order for the competent Ukrainian authorities to regain full control of the plant to ensure its safe and secure operation, and in order for the Agency to fully and safely conduct its safeguards verification activities.” While after the right signaling from the US and joint warning from Joe Biden and Xi Jinping not to turn to nuclear arms, Russia decreased its nuclear saber- rattling, it still threatens Ukraine, Europe, and the whole world with a nuclear disaster threat. Russia’s illegal seizure of the ZNPP and its “legal” integration into the Rosatom structure, which is the most significant hijack in history, hasn’t been punished by sanctions.

In his address to the 68th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the 300 gathered lawmakers from the 30 Allies and partner countries to recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. The lawmakers passed that call to urge Allied governments to “state clearly that the Russian state under the current regime is a terrorist one.” “The adoption of this resolution is an important political step that reflects the mood in Western parliamentary circles, and therefore influences the leadership of countries in decision-making,” Yehor Chernev, Ukraine’s permanent representative to the NATO PA, posted on his Facebook. On a separate note, the European Parliament will vote on a resolution naming Russia a terrorist state on 23 November.

Secretary-General called on all NATO members to “be prepared to support Ukraine for the long haul,” for “Russia is willing to suffer substantial casualties. And is willing to inflict horrific suffering on Ukrainian people.” The Resolution states that NATO governments should “increase military, intelligence, financial, training, and humanitarian support to Ukraine, including by accelerating deliveries of the weapons that Ukraine needs to protect itself and to restore its territorial integrity.”

The Italian government will ask the Parliament to approve a new law on military and civilian assistance to Ukraine throughout 2023. It dispels doubts and worries in Ukraine that the government, made up of three partners, two of which are considered pro-Putin, could have changed its mind on the issue of further support of Ukraine in its self-defense against the Russian

invasion. The defense minister assured that his country will continue supplying arms “in the times and ways that we will agree with our Atlantic allies and with Kyiv.”

The Resolution also urged national governments to increase sanction pressure on Russia and put an end to their dependency on Russian energy that has been weaponized. However, on the eve of energy restrictions that will come into effect on 4 February, Europeans are rushing to fill their reserves with Russian oil and its products. Russian diesel destined for the Amsterdam-Rotterdam- Antwerp storage region rose 126% within almost two weeks of November. Overall, Russia’s share in Europe made 44% in November, while in October, it was at 33%. The UK imported Russian oil worth £778 million, including about £200 million that circumvented sanctions and didn’t appear as originating from Russia, according to The Times.

“In April–July 2022, Russian crude oil Black and Azov seas exports included 6-7 EU countries, over August–October 2022, that number dropped to only 4, with Italy and Greece accounting for 80% of the total export,” the monitoring group of the BlackSeaNews and Black Sea Institute of Strategic Studies reports. “Russian crude oil exports to non-EU states are now 69% dependent on just two countries — India and Turkey. In October 2022, Turkey became the absolute leader in importing Russian crude oil from its Black Sea ports, which seems to be Turkey’s conscious policy rather than a random fluctuation,” the Report reads. The monitoring group suggests that “the introduction of a European embargo on the maritime import of Russian oil may lead to the collapse of Russian Black Sea crude oil export volume in half.”

While Vice Speaker of the Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev stated that “real normalization [relations with Ukraine] is possible only after the change of government in Ukraine,” Putin’s press secretary said that regime change in Ukraine isn’t a goal of the war. Whatever messaging comes from Moscow at the moment, one can hardly take it at face value.

Russia, relevant news

Russia does not intend to supply oil and oil products to countries that apply the price cap principle, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on increasing the tax burden on the gas and oil industries in 2023-2025.

Russian propaganda campaign related to the video with a purported shooting of Russian POWs by Ukrainian soldiers continues. On Tuesday, the Russian State Duma will consider a statement in connection with the appearance of the videos. According to the first vice-speaker of the chamber, Alexander Zhukov, statements are submitted by two committees, namely the Defense and International Affairs committees. The Press secretary of Russian President Dmitriy Peskov also made several statements related to the video.

The governor of Belgorod Oblast, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said at a press conference that a defensive barrier would be built on the region’s border with Ukraine. The move appears to be senseless

given the fact that Russia is the aggressor state and the fact that Ukraine has stated on multiple occasions that it has no intention to capture Russian territory.

Almost all regions of Russia have decided to partially cancel New Year’s holiday events in connection with the military action in Ukraine, only celebrations designed for children will take place, the Russian news agency TASS reported.

A new stage of mobilization is not discussed in the Kremlin, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

Polish authorities denied Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov the opportunity to participate in the 29th meeting of the OSCE Council of Foreign Ministers, as they consider it necessary to “isolate Russia as much as possible”, Deputy Foreign Minister of Poland Pavel Yablonsky said.

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