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CDS Daily brief (23.11.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

Russian Federation launched another massive rocket attack on Ukraine. The enemy launched 67 cruise missiles from the air (“Kh-101/Kh-555”) and sea-based (“Kalibr”). Air Force of Ukraine, in cooperation with other components of the Defense Forces, destroyed 51 cruise missiles and 5 kamikaze drones of the Lancet type.

The missile attack led to the temporary blackout of all nuclear power plants, most thermal and hydroelectric plants. Power transmission facilities are also affected.

Emergency power outages were applied in most regions of Ukraine. Zaporizhzhia NPP went to full blackout mode. Emergency protection was activated at the Rivne, South Ukrainian and Khmelnytsky NPPs. Because of this, all power units were automatically disconnected. Currently, they work in project mode, without generation into the power system.

Moldova Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Spinu also reported massive power outages due to missile strikes on Ukraine.

Minister of Internal Affairs Denys Monastyrskyi reported that 10 people died as a result of today’s missile attack on Ukraine.

The Kyiv City Military Administration reported the Defense Forces of Ukraine shot down 22 enemy missiles over Kyiv. Still, the residential districts of the capital suffered from enemy fire. As a result of the impact, three people died, and eleven were injured. There is also damage to some elements of critical infrastructure. Rescuers have already extinguished fires caused by Russian missiles. Water supply was stopped throughout Kyiv due to damaging power substations. Services are working to restore electricity supply to critical infrastructure facilities of water and heat supply. After that, the power companies will start restoring electricity for household consumers. Full restoration of the water supply is expected soon. Kyiv metro is gradually resuming regular operation, but complete restoration will take some time.

In Kyiv Oblast, enemy missiles hit critical infrastructure facilities, high-rise buildings in Vyshhorod and the private households in Chabany. According to the preliminary information, five people died, and 27, including six children, were injured due to enemy attacks. 6 energy workers were injured due to an attack on critical infrastructure, reported Andrii Nebytov, head of the National Police of the Kyiv Oblast.

In Kryvyi Rih, miners were stuck in a mine due to the blackout caused by Russian missile attacks on the Ukrainian energy infrastructure. The rescue operation is in progress. From 200 to 700 miners remain underground at eight Pavlograd mines in the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, stated the head of the Independent Trade Union of Mineworkers of Ukraine, Mykhailo Volynets.

The entire city of Lviv, Yavorivskyi, and Chervonohradskyi districts remained without electricity during the day due to the enemy attacks on critical infrastructure. Mayor Andriy Sadovy also reported a temporary suspension of heating and water in Lviv. By late evening, electricity and water supply were restored in 50-70% of the city.

There was no electricity supply in Zaporizhzhia. There is also a partial lack of water supply and interruptions in communication, City Council Secretary Anatoly Kurtev said.

Almost the entire Dnipro remained without electricity. The city’s mayor, Boris Filatov, said that the city’s hospitals operate on generators. In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, electricity is gradually restored for critical infrastructure. Power was restored to some hospitals. As of 21:30, only 15% of Dnipro city has light, Ukrinform reports.

There is no water in Odesa, and the work of all boiler houses has been stopped, Mayor Trukhanov reports.

There were no strikes on the critical infrastructure of Kharkiv. Still, due to damage to the general system, emergency shutdowns were applied in Kharkiv and Kharkiv Oblast, Oleg Synehubov, head of Kharkiv OMA, said. In Kharkiv, people were evacuated from the subway due to an electricity blackout, mayor Igor Terekhov said.

Chernihiv Oblast lost its power supply, Chernihiv OMA reported.

Khmelnytskyi has been entirely de-energized, including critical infrastructure and water station, reported the mayor of the city Oleksandr Semchyshyn.

Zhytomyr city council also reported a lack of water and heat supply due to blackouts caused by enemy missile strikes on critical infrastructure.

In the event of a significant [prolonged] interruption in the electricity supply, the “points of invincibility” have been activated in most of Ukraine’s regions. They have electricity, mobile communications, the Internet, heat, water and medications around the clock. Rescuers have already deployed more than 800 such points in Ukraine, and additional stationary points will be operational in the coming hours, stated deputy head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko. A map of such points across the country is published on the government website nezlamnist.gov.ua.

Ukrainian railway company Ukrzaliznytsia reported power outages in Kyiv, Dnipro, Mykolaiv, Lviv Oblast, Vinnytsia Oblast, Sumy Oblast, and Kharkiv Oblast. The departure of some trains was delayed. Backup power was applied to restore Kyiv, Kharkiv and Vinnytsia.

At night, the Russians shelled Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast, 1 killed and 6 wounded civilians were reported. In the morning, around 07:40, the enemy shelled Kupyansk in Kharkiv Oblast, killing 2 and wounding 2 civilians.

In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the Russians hit the maternity ward with two rockets. A newborn baby died, and his mother suffered minor injuries. Two doctors received medical assistance. Minister of Internal Affairs Denys Monastyrskyi stated that the Russian Federation carried out a planned shelling of a maternity hospital, where there were only women in labor, babies and medical personnel.

A 13-year-old boy died of injuries in a regional hospital in the Kherson Oblast. He and his father were returning home from church when the Russians opened artillery fire. In addition, two more children were injured in Kherson Oblast: one boy lost his arm, and the other was wounded in the abdomen.

Another POW exchange took place today. Among those released are defenders of Mariupol and “Azovstal”, as well as National Guard servicemen who were taken prisoner at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant in the first days of the invasion. In total, 35 military personnel and one civilian returned home. Unfortunately, he has an amputated leg.

Occupied territories:

The Russian occupiers robbed a cargo bound for the Zaporizhzhia NPP, reported “Energoatom”. At the Vasylivka checkpoint, the occupiers “removed for their own needs” 45 heaters out of 300 that “Energoatom” sent to the ZNPP. After that, the transport was allowed to continue.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (November 22) developments)

It is the 273rd 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”). During the day, the Russian occupiers inflicted a massive attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure: up to 65 Kh-101 cruise missiles were used, 51 of which were shot down by the Defense Forces. Residential buildings, TPPs and substations in Kyiv; Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Lviv and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts were hit.

In addition, this night, the enemy launched two missile strikes on the Zaporizhzhia Oblast and fired 5 MLRS at the positions of Ukrainian troops. The enemy shelled the area of Kustyne in Sumy Oblast with MLRS. In the border areas of the Belgorod Oblast, the enemy continues to hold units for forward presence actions, periodically shelling the positions of Ukrainian troops, towns and villages of Kharkiv Oblast near the state border of Ukraine.

During the past 24 hours, the aviation of the Defense Forces made 4 strikes: 3 – on the areas of concentration of enemy personnel, weapons and military equipment and 1 – on the position of the anti-aircraft missile complex. In addition, Ukrainian missile troops and artillery simultaneously struck the concentration area of the enemy personnel, weapons and military equipment and the position of the anti-aircraft missile complex.

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, 76th Air assault division, 106th airborne division, 2nd, 3rd, 14th, 24th and 45th separate SOF brigades of the Airborne Forces, military units of the 1st AC of so-called DPR, 2nd and 4th SMRBrs of the 2nd AC, PMCs.

The enemy is on defense. Russian troops are firing from tanks, mortars and barrel artillery, particularly Kyslivka, Krokhmalne and Berestove in Kharkiv Oblast and Makiivka and Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast.

During the past two days, the enemy command organized a series of offensive actions against the Defense Forces units, which approached the city of Svatove at a fairly close distance. Two reinforced companies of the 423rd motorized rifle regiment (MRR) of the 4th tank division of the 1st Tank Army tried to attack the forward positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the directions Pidkuychansk – Stelmakhivka and Pidkuychansk – Kolomyichykha, but was defeated.

The company of the enemy’s 9th MRR of the 18th motorized rifle division (MRD) of the 11th Army Corps from the positions in the Kuzemivka area attacked the Ukrainian Defense Forces positions in the Novoselivske district. Still, it was pushed back to its original position.

The enemy is preparing a counterattack in two directions: Torske – Zarichne and Nevske – Makiivka. It plans to involve at least four BTGs:

  • two consolidated BTGs from the 59th tank regiment, 254th and 488th MRR of the 144th MRD of the 20th Army,
  • one consolidated BTG from the 33rd and 55th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 41st Army (partially staffed with mobilized troops),
  • a consolidated battalion from the 3rd and 24th separate SOF brigades).

In addition, a reserve is being accumulated as part of the consolidated BTG of the 76th Air assault division, which has already moved from the Kherson direction to the Svatove direction during November 19-20.

Presumably, this strike group will be reinforced by no less than one more BTG from the 106th parachute airborne regiment, which, according to certain information, has already begun advancing from the Luhansk region to the north.

In the same directions, the enemy deployed up to six artillery divisions from the 288th artillery brigade, 99th and 147th self-propelled artillery regiments.

In Luhansk Oblast, the Defense Forces hit an enemy ammunition depot, killing about 50 enemy personnel and wounding up to 50. More than 30 seriously wounded enemy servicemen from the northwestern outskirts of Horlivka have recently been brought to the city hospitals.

In the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk Oblast, the Russian occupiers continued to forcibly resettle pro-Ukrainian residents. Thus, under the pretext of counter-subversive actions, about 20 local farmers were taken out of Denezhnikove and Shtormove of Luhansk Oblast during the past 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 31st separate airborne assault brigades, 61st separate marines brigade of the Joint Strategic Command “Northern Fleet,” 336th separate marines brigade of Baltic Fleet, 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 is concentrating its primary efforts on conducting offensive actions. It shelled with tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery objects in the areas of Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Klishchiivka, Zelenopillya, Avdiyivka, Vodiane, Pervomaiske and Nevelske.

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, 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 is on the defensive. Areas of about 10 towns and villages were affected by the enemy’s artillery fire. The Russian troops lost up to 15 personnel killed and up to 20 wounded.

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); 35th and 36th CA Armies; 3rd AC; 90th tank division; the 22nd AC of the Coastal Forces; the 810th separate marines brigade of the Black Sea Fleet; the 7th and the 98th airborne division, and the 11th and 83rd separate airborne assault brigades of the Airborne Forces, 10th separate SOF brigade.

The enemy troops conduct positional defense. They used barrel and rocket artillery to shell Maryivka in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and Kherson, Tokarivka, Antonivka and Dniprovske in Kherson Oblast.

Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:

(update to be provided shortly)

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.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 23.11

Personnel – almost 85,410 people (+410);

Tanks – 2,897 (+2)

Armored combat vehicles – 5,832 (+5);

Artillery systems – 1,887 (+5);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 395 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 209 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,396 (+3); 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

Despite the continuation of energy terror and massive missile strikes on the critical civilian infrastructure of Ukraine, the banking system remains stable, stated the press service of the

National Bank of Ukraine. According to the NBU, payment cards are serviced, and non-cash payments function normally.

Ukraine needs generators as a strategic reserve in the event of a complete and continuous blackout, which may last for weeks, stated [via video conference mode] Andrii Yermak, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, during the official launch in Strasbourg the Eurocities project to help Ukraine in the supply of generators.

International diplomatic aspect

The European Parliament overwhelmingly (494 – ayes, 58 – nos) voted for a resolution recognizing “Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and as a state which uses means of terrorism.” “We called a spade a spade. Russia is not only a state sponsoring terrorism but the state, which is using means of terrorism,” said Andrius Kubilius, a Lithuanian MEP who championed the resolution.

The resolution sends “a strong signal. The symbolic value of such resolution cannot be underrated,” wrote a spokesperson for the European Conservatives and Reformists, the right- wing parliamentary group that tabled the motion. Mostly symbolic nature of the document derives not only from its nonbinding nature but the absence of a legal framework that would trigger the EU mechanisms. Ukraine has been unsuccessfully calling on the Biden Administration to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. Besides statutory restrictions (on aid, export of defense and dual-use goods, export controls, and financial restrictions), such a status implies secondary sanctions that would deter other countries, foreign companies, and natural persons from doing business with Russia.

To confirm the acquired status, Russia conducted a massive missile strike on critical infrastructure in Kyiv, Lviv, and other major cities. “Due to a decrease in frequency in the energy system of Ukraine, emergency protection was activated at the Rivne, South Ukrainian, and Khmelnytsky nuclear power plants, as a result of which all power units were automatically shut down,” Energoatom stated.

“More cruel missile strikes across the country as Russia tries to punish Ukraine for daring to be free. I have seen the strength of the people of Ukraine, and I know Russia’s attempt to dominate Ukraine by plunging it into the cold and dark will fail. We stand with Ukraine,” US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink twitted.

“Read my lips. Neither your rockets, your “shahids,” nor your shelling of maternity hospitals will bring your desire for negotiations closer for a step or a millimeter. The only desire is to destroy the “rushist” monster. Negotiations with a terrorist country are only through the breech-sight of the Ukrainian Defense Forces!” twitted the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council.

Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking via video conference at the meeting of the UN Security Council, emphasized that Russia, as a terrorist state, cannot participate in the votes related to its

aggression. The president called on the UN to condemn Russian missile attacks on the energy infrastructure: “While Ukraine offers a ten-point peace plan, the Russian Federation responds with missiles. We are waiting for a reaction to Russia’s terror. We need air defense systems. It’s time to support the Ukrainian peace formula.” Zelensky also invited UN representatives to come and see what Russia has done to Ukrainian infrastructure. According to the President, Russia is doing everything to “make the energy generator a more powerful tool than the UN charter.” He noted that the shelling of Ukraine’s critical infrastructure is the Russian formula of terror, from which not only Ukraine suffers but also neighboring states.

“Let’s remember long-suffering Ukraine. This Saturday marks the anniversary of the horrifying genocide of the Holodomor, the 1932-1933 mass killing by famine artificially provoked by Stalin. We pray for the victims of this genocide, and we pray for the many Ukrainians, children, and women, the elderly, and children who today are martyred by aggression,” the Pontiff proclaimed to a general audience. Though Pope Francis didn’t name the aggressor, his reference to the Holodomor as genocide is really important. Genocide is recognized as the gravest of all crimes. Nevertheless, this has not prevented today’s Russia from plotting and conducting a genocidal invasion in plain sight. Moscow’s boldness owes much to the sense of impunity engendered by a complete lack of accountability for the crimes of the Soviet regime. Impunity was one of the reasons for the current war and mass atrocities.

The UK has already delivered at least one of three promised Sea Kings helicopters suited for search and rescue missions, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said. It’s the first western piloted aircraft to be provided to Ukraine since the war began. Besides its operational value, it’s an excellent move to prove wrong the self-restraining policies of not supplying jets and tanks to avoid direct confrontation between NATO nations and Russia. So, there will be a good argument for Germany and across the Atlantic to revisit the irrelevant policy restriction. Earlier, it was reported that the UK had sent Ukraine an advanced model of the laser-guided Brimstone missile with double the range of the previous design. Secretary Wallace said the UK would also send an additional 10,000 artillery rounds.

“Congress is likely to allocate well more than the $38 billion the Biden administration requested for Ukraine’s military and economic needs as part of a year-end governing funding bill. And that extra infusion is set to advance with the help of senior Republicans, even as influential conservative groups urge a pause,” said Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It’s music for Ukrainian ears because there have been loud voices against carrying on assistance at such a scale at such a crucial time.

The House Freedom Caucus members are about to table a resolution of inquiry on funding all assistance for Ukraine from 20 January to 15 November. The draft looks more like an investigation because, along with the official documents, charts, and tables, the Freedom Caucus demands “notes from the meetings, audio recordings, recordings (including telephone and email records), correspondence, and other communications, and any financial statements detailing purchases).

Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators called on the Biden Administration to reconsider its hesitancy to provide Ukraine with the MQ-1C Gray Eagle tactical drones Kyiv has been asking for a long time. “The long-term upside of providing Ukraine with the MQ-1C is significant and has the potential to drive the strategic course of the war in Ukraine’s favor,” the senators wrote. “Most importantly, armed UAS could find and attack Russian warships in the Black Sea, breaking its coercive blockade and alleviate dual pressure on the Ukrainian economy and global food prices,” highlighted the undersigned Senators.

Sinking Russian missile ships and subs would benefit all. Ukraine will degrade Russia’s ability to target its cities with Kalibr missiles. It will make Europe better off because that weaponry is primarily designed to wage war against Europe and can carry a nuclear warhead. Russia will lose its power projection capabilities in the MENA region. The developing world will have more food to lessen starvation and maintain social and political stability.

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