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CDS Daily brief (25.11.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

According to the official information of juvenile prosecutors, as of the morning of November 25, 2022, 440 Ukrainian children died, and more than 849 were injured of various degrees of severity as a result of the full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation.

On November 24, 11 civilians were killed, and 52 more were injured in Ukraine as a result of the Russian armed aggression, Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko said.

NEC “Ukrenergo” reported that as of 19:00 on November 25, the Ukrainian energy system has a significant deficit, i.e. 30% of consumption needs. “Phased restoration of the power system continues. Repair crews work around the clock,” the message said.

All four operating nuclear power plants in Ukraine, including the Russian-occupied ZNPP, have been reconnected to the national power system, the IAEA website reported on Friday.

Currently, only 30% of Kyiv’s need for electricity supplies is met, and the limitations do not allow implementing the scheduled hourly outages, Oleksandr Fomenko, Director General of DTEK Network, said. “We alternately turn on the power in the houses for 3-4 hours… In other words, the residents of Kyiv will have light in their homes for 4 hours, until it is off again for 8 hours,” he said.

Kharkiv Oblast‘s power engineers have restored power supply to almost all consumers who were cut off as a result of the latest Russian attack. Specialists continue their work to restore energy supply to another 5,000 consumers in Kupyansk, Oleg Sinegubov, the head of the Kharkiv OMA, reported.

The Russian Federation’s military shelled eight Oblasts of Ukraine on November 24: Sumy, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Mykolayiv and Kherson. Oblast military administrations reported about killed and injured civilians at the 9:00 a.m. roundup on Friday, November 25. The most significant number of victims (21 wounded and 7 dead) is recorded in the city of Kherson, which is under constant Russian artillery fire.

On Friday, November 25, 15 people were killed, and 35 were injured, including a child, due to shelling by Russian troops of Kherson, the press service of the Kherson City Council reported.

Free evacuation from Kherson has begun today, the Ministry of Reintegration reported. The first evacuation train provided by the government left Kherson for Khmelnytskyi with the first 100 Kherson residents. “Among them are 26 children, 7 bedridden patients and 6 people with reduced mobility,” the Ministry said.

Around 7 p.m. on November 25, the Russian forces fired S-300 missiles at the Chuhuyiv district of Kharkiv Oblast, the head of Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration Oleh Synehubov said. According to preliminary information, there are no victims.

Ukrainian border guards do not register an increased number of Ukrainian citizens seeking to leave Ukraine due to [the recent] massive rocket attacks, Leonid Baran, director of the Department of State Border Protection of the State Security Service of Ukraine (SSSU), said. According to him, the border guards do not observe car queues to leave Ukraine. On the other hand, in November, the (SSSU) recorded an 11% decrease in passenger traffic compared to October.

Immediately after the start of the Russian invasion, there was a significant increase in the number of Ukrainian asylum applicants (an increase from 2,370 in February to 12,890 in March was observed). However, since then, the number has decreased, from 1,510 in April to 915 in August. This is due to the fact that the vast majority of people fleeing Ukraine use temporary protection and do not apply for asylum, Eurostat data shows, writes “Evropeyska Pravda”.

To date, 772 Ukrainian enterprises have moved their production facilities to safer regions under the relocation program, and 605 of them have already resumed work at the new location. Thanks to this, over 35,000 jobs were preserved. In addition, more than 7,000 people found work at the relocated enterprises, Deputy Minister of Economy Tetyana Berezhna said.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (November 24) developments)

It is the 275th day of the strategic air-ground offensive operation of the Russian Armed Forces against Ukraine (in the official terminology of the Russian Federation – “operation to protect Donbas”). Over the past day, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces have repelled Russian attacks in the areas around Stelmakhivka and Dibrova in Luhansk Oblast and Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Opytne, Pervomaiske, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka in Donetsk Oblast.

Over the past day, the Russian forces have launched 6 missile attacks, 14 air strikes and fired 59 MLRS rounds on the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces and Ukrainian residential areas. The Russian military fired artillery at the areas around Vovkivka in Sumy Oblast; Strilecha, Krasne, Zelene, Starytsa, Ohirtseve, Vovchansk, and Dvorichna in Kharkiv Oblast; and used an attack UAV near Zelene.

During the past day, the aviation of the Ukrainian Defense Forces dealt 12 strikes on areas of enemy personnel, weapons and military equipment concentration and 2 strikes on the positions of the Russian anti-aircraft missile systems.

Ukrainian missile and artillery forces hit 4 enemy command and control points, 2 areas of personnel, weapons and military equipment concentration, a station for unloading weapons and military equipment, an ammunition depot, and a relay station.

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 Russian occupation forces are on the defensive, firing at the areas of Berestove in Kharkiv Oblast; Makiivka, Novoselivske, Stelmakhivka and Ploschanka in Luhansk Oblast and Torske in Donetsk Oblast. The enemy used UAVs in the Novoselyvske area.

Ukrainian troops continued their counteroffensive in the direction of Svatove and Kreminna. The Russian military managed to repulse the Ukrainian attack to the northwest of Svatove from the direction of Novoselivske and to the northwest of Kreminna near Chervonopopivka.

Russian troops counterattacked to restrain the Ukrainian troops in Kharkiv and Luhansk Oblasts and carried out an unsuccessful assault northwest of Svatove in the direction of Stelmakhivka. The Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled a Russian attack south of Kreminna near Bilohorivka, neutralizing a Russian reconnaissance and sabotage group 47 km northeast of the city of Kharkiv near Starytsya, Kharkiv Oblast.

Ukrainian forces continued to shell the areas of Russian troops’ concentration and their logistical support facilities in Luhansk Oblast. As a result of the strikes, about 50 Russian soldiers were killed, and 50 were wounded.

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 regiments 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 primary efforts on offensive actions. With tanks and artillery of various calibers, it shelled the areas of Andriivka, Verkhnokamyanske, Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Nevelske and Pervomaiske of Donetsk Oblast.

Russian troops continued their offensive in the direction of Bakhmut. The Ukrainian Joint Forces repulsed Russian assaults near Bakhmut, in the Kurdyumivka area, in the Spirne and Berestove areas, in the Krasnohorivka, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Severne, Novobakhmutivka, and Maryinka areas.

Near Spirne, the Russian military used incendiary weapons, which Protocol III of the Geneva Convention prohibits.

“Wagner” PMC detachments continue their attempts to break through Ukrainian defensive positions on the outskirts of Bakhmut. Regular units of the Russian Armed Forces led an assault in the direction of Yakovlivka, Bilohorivka, Novomykhailivka, Opytne, Nevelske, and continued to advance to Maryinka. Fierce battles are raging southeast of Soledar.

These Russian attacks in Mariintka, less than 1 km from the 2014 administrative border of Donetsk Oblast, are the result of more than 8 years of efforts by the Russian army.

Russian troops are on the defensive in the western part of Donetsk and the eastern part of Zaporizhzhia Oblasts. They repulsed a Ukrainian attack near Pavlivka, although units of the Ukrainian Joint Forces are in the city and partially control it.

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 Russian military is on the defensive, shelling the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces and the areas of Vuhledar, Prechystivka, Neskuchne, Vremivka, Zelene Pole in Donetsk Oblast and Olhivske, Hulyaipilske and Charivne in Zaporizhzhia Oblast with tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery. Russian forces launched an air strike in the area of Vuhledar.

The Ukrainian strike destroyed the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile complex near Orikhiv, a checkpoint near Vesele, and a concentration of enemy personnel in Melitopol. Ukrainian Defense Forces hit the areas of Russian manpower and military equipment concentration in Zeleny Yar of Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The Russian military lost 2 trucks and more than 15 WIA and 20 KIA servicemen.

In the village of Mostove, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the Russian occupying authorities forced the local population to get real estate and land titles reissued under the legislation of the Russian Federation. In case of refusal, they threaten to be “nationalized” by simply confiscating the real estate.

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 Russian military does not stop shelling the positions of Ukrainian troops and residential areas on the right bank of the Dnipro River with artillery. The Russian occupying forces used tanks, mortars, barrel and jet artillery to shell Antonivka, Zmiivka, Beryslav, Tokarivka, Mykilske, Chornobayivka, Bilozerka and Veletenske of Kherson Oblast and the city of Kherson.

Russian troops conduct positional defense, improving fortifications and transferring additional equipment to the line of defense along the M14 highway (the Kakhovka-Melitopol highway), building fortifications north of Radensk, along the E97 highway and strongholds near Zaozerne.

On November 23, Russian troops attacked the city of Kherson with incendiary munitions and continued shelling populated areas along the western (right) bank of the Dnipro River.

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.

There is no change related to the enemy forces at sea. The Russian fleet keeps 11 surface ships at sea. Among them are no Kalibr missile carriers.

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

With the liberation of the right bank of the Dnipro River [by Ukraine’s Forces], the Russian forces are unable to shell the Mykolaiv port; however, they continue to fire MLRS at the Ochakiv port. In addition, they began regular artillery shelling of Kherson. The shelling of Kherson had severe consequences, 10 civilians died on November 24.

“The Grain initiative”. According to the UN, since the extension of the “grain agreement” after November 19, no more than 5 ships with grain left Ukraine per day, compared to previous weeks or months, when up to 10 ships did. The UN spokeswoman for the Black Sea Grains Initiative, Ismini Palla, said that vessel movements were affected by the uncertainty regarding the continuation of the Grain Agreement, bad weather conditions in Istanbul, and the rotation of new staff and inspectors at the Joint Coordination Center (JCC). “We call on all parties to make every effort to agree on a sustainable and viable plan for moving forward,” she said. It is noted that inspections by the quadrilateral groups of vessels have slowed down significantly in recent weeks. Thus, in the seven days to November 23, 27 ships left Ukraine, compared to 36 in the previous week and 38 in the period from October 27 to November 2.

At the same time, only eight vessels departed Ukrainian ports between November 3 and 9, immediately after Russia briefly suspended its participation in the agreement, restricting the movement of vessels bound for Ukraine. It is noted that about 112 vessels are currently awaiting inspections in Istanbul waters, including some of them that have been idle for more than a month, the JCC said, adding that ways to increase the number of vessel inspections are currently being discussed.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 25.11

Personnel – almost 86,150 people (+430);

Tanks – 2,899 (+1)

Armored combat vehicles – 5,844 (+5);

Artillery systems – 1,895 (+6);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 395 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 209 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,404 (+4);

Aircraft – 278 (0);

Helicopters – 261 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,553 (+6); Intercepted cruise missiles – 531 (0);

Boats/ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news

Kyiv is not opposed to negotiations with the Russian Federation. Still, for this to happen, Russia “must stop confusing negotiations and an ultimatum,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, answering a question from the French newspaper Parisien.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) conducted counter-intelligence activities in the Chernivtsi- Bukovyna Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchy). Law enforcement officers discovered documents confirming the leaders of the diocese hold Russian citizenship. Correspondence of the leaders with their Moscow handlers, instructing them on the “peculiarities” of conducting church liturgies after a full-scale invasion, was also exposed. Representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church were tasked with spreading disinformation about the socio-political situation in Ukraine and the situation at the frontline. In particular, UOC priests were required to deny the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine and to talk about the alleged oppression of the “Moscow Church”, etc. SBU also found warehouses with large batches of pro-Kremlin literature that praises the aggressor country [Russia] and urges support for the [Russian] occupiers.

International diplomatic aspect

The deployment of the Patriot air defense system in Ukraine would be a completely new phenomenon in support of Kyiv; the German authorities are now discussing this proposal with allies, said German government spokeswoman Christiane Hofmann. Polish President Andrzej Duda stressed that from a military point of view, it would be best if they were located in Ukraine to also protect both Ukraine and Poland. “But the decision remains with the German side,” Duda said at a press conference in Kaunas.

“In view of the Russian war of aggression, our common message is: Russia’s bomb terror against the civilian infrastructure of Ukraine must stop. Russia must end the war and withdraw its troops. Immediately,” Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz said during a joint press conference with his French counterpart Elizabeth Born in Berlin. The Russian war poses great challenges to France and Germany this winter as well, primarily due to the high prices of energy and basic necessities. Therefore, the two most powerful EU countries agreed on joint steps in the energy field. The relevant document was signed as the result of the negotiations between the heads of government.

The European Union, which introduced the most favorable regime for trade with Ukraine after the beginning of the Russian military aggression, including the cancellation of all tariffs on the import of Ukrainian products and all trade protection measures, intends to continue this policy in 2023.

The permanent delegation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will boycott the organization after the permanent committee failed to change the rules to make it possible to expel Russia, Ukraine’s delegation member Yevgenia Kravchuk said. The boycott will continue “until this international organization forms its attitude towards the participation of Russians – propagandists and representatives of a terrorist state, a criminal state,” Kravchuk wrote on her Facebook page. In protest [of Russia’s presence], representatives of Estonia and Lithuania left the meeting of the standing committee together with Ukrainian delegates.

Russia, relevant news

The Russian Investigative Committee has formed a reserve of employees to serve in the new units in the annexed territories, the press service of the Investigative Committee reported. The move indicates that Russia intends to continue integrating captured Ukrainian territories into its system of government.

About 7,000 employees of foreign auto industry enterprises in Kaluga Oblast remain idle; they receive 2/3 of their wages, the Governor of the region, Vladislav Shapsha, said. Russian automotive industry is among those hit the hardest by the western sanctions and withdrawal of western businesses.

The Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation included Meta (Facebook parent company) in the extremist organizations’ register.

The Russian Ministry for Digital Transformation said that Russia had achieved digital sovereignty because almost all foreign IT companies had left the Russian market.

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.

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