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CDS Daily brief (28.11.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

Four civilians were killed, and 11 more were injured in Ukraine on November 27 as a result of Russian armed aggression, reported the Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko with reference to the data of the regional military administrations.

In Donetsk Oblast, on November 27, the troops of the Russian Federation shelled ten towns and villages; there were killed and wounded civilians. Law enforcement officers have recorded 13 enemy shellings over the past day. Eight civilian objects were destroyed and damaged, including 7 apartment buildings and private houses. The Russians fired artillery at a children’s playground in Kurakhove, killing and wounding civilians. 4 apartment buildings were damaged. Residents of Avdiivka and Georgiivka were also injured as a result of the fire.

During the full-scale invasion, 101 women serving in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine died at the frontlines, 50 were reported missing, and more than 100 women were injured, announced the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksiy Reznikov, during the sixth women’s forum. In total, almost 60,000 women serve in the Armed Forces [both in military ranks and civilian]. 5,000 are directly involved in the hostilities. 350 women were awarded state awards, and two received the title of Heroes of Ukraine posthumously.

During the rocket attack, the Russians damaged the pumping station of the Mykolaivvodokanal (Mykolayiv Water Pump Station), located in Kherson Oblast. Because of this, it is difficult to predict when drinking water will finally be available in Mykolaiv, the city mayor, Oleksandr Sienkovych, said. Earlier, the head of the Mykolayiv Military Administration, Vitaly Kim, predicted that after Kherson’s de-occupation, the drinking water supply to Mykolaiv could be restored in the coming weeks. Currently, the city receives only technical water from the Buh estuary.

Over the past week, Russian invaders shelled Zaporizhzhia Oblast more than 400 times, said Oleksandr Starukh, the head of Zaporizhzhya Military Administration, at a briefing at the Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform. According to him, 88 shellings were recorded in 17 communities over the past day, but there were no casualties. However, three people were killed over the last week, and six others were injured due to enemy attacks in the region. Starukh added that because of the situation, the organized evacuation of 700-800 people from unoccupied territories to safer areas of Ukraine is carried out every day. At the same time, the departure of people from the territories temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation remains complicated. Only 29 people, including two children, managed to leave the part of the region controlled by the [Russian] invaders yesterday.

Naftogaz, Ukraine’s national oil and gas company, reported that Ukraine had started the heating season despite constant shelling – 99.7% of boilers are operational. In addition, 316 [of damaged] heat supply facilities were restored. This is 53.3% of the total number of affected objects.

Ukrenergo energy company stated the emergency shutdowns of units at several power plants. Therefore, emergency shutdowns continue in the territory of Ukraine. At the same time, electricity consumption continues to increase due to worsening weather. Currently, the capacity deficit is 27%.

Emergency power outages continue in Kyiv. DTEK energy company does everything possible to supply electricity for 2-3 hours twice a day, the company’s press service reports.

According to the decision of “Ukrenergo”, emergency shutdowns of the electricity supply continue in Kyiv Oblast. About 40% of the region is currently without power. These are still the consequences of last week’s massive Russian rocket attack.

Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said that the power cuts in Kyiv may continue until spring. He noted that there would be no complete evacuation from the city, but only partial is possible in the worst-case scenario. Klitschko urged residents of the capital to be ready for anything and stock up on water and non-perishable food. He emphasized that the authorities in Kyiv are doing everything to prevent a complete blackout and complete disconnection.

Occupied and liberated territories:

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that the Russian occupiers forbade the entry of [Ukrainian] workers who refused to sign contracts with Rosatom to the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP.

In Kharkiv Oblast, law enforcement officers exhumed the bodies of five civilians who died due to an airstrike by the Russian army, among them a baby who was only 1 year and 9 months old, reported the press service of the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office.

“Suspilne” reports that the results of the DNA examination confirmed that the Russian occupiers killed the children’s books writer Volodymyr Vakulenko during the occupation of Kharkiv Oblast. Later it became known that Volodymyr Vakulenko, kidnapped by the Russian invaders in the Izyum district, buried his records in the garden; they will be transferred to the Kharkiv Literary Museum.

Museum workers from Izyum (Kharkiv Oblast) saved the Gospel of 1707 from the invaders. The exhibit was replaced and hidden, like other valuable items from the collection, Dina Lystopad, an employee of the Izyum Regional History Museum, who evacuated to Kropyvnytskyi, reported to “Suspilne” media. Currently, the saved Gospel is in a warehouse under the protection of the military. According to the NSDC, the city of Izyum suffered the most airstrikes, amounting to 476. It was also shelled by artillery, tanks, and mortars. The town was under full [Russian] occupation from April to September. The infrastructure and residential multi-apartment buildings in Izyum have been destroyed by 80%.

In Kherson Oblast, law enforcement documented another crime committed by the military of the Russian Federation: in March of this year, Russian soldiers shot a car with civilians and ran

over it with a tank, reported the Prosecutor General’s Office. The law enforcement officers established the probable place of burial. They will be exhumed for examination. In the course of investigative actions, more than 50 entrance and exit holes on the vehicle were recorded.

In the Kherson Oblast, a Coordination Headquarters was created to resolve issues of the residents’ evacuation, Yaroslav Yanushevich, head of Kherson Military, reported. The Headquarters maintains a single database of applications from those willing to evacuate — from the hotlines of all participating volunteer funds and authorities.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (November 27) developments)

It is the 278th day of the strategic air-ground offensive operation of the Russian Armed Forces against Ukraine (in the official terminology of the Russian Federation – “operation to protect Donbas”). The enemy is concentrating on restraining the Ukrainian Defense Forces’ actions. Russian military continues to transfer personnel and military equipment to equip units that have suffered losses. It is expected that some enemy units will be transferred from the territory of the Republic of Belarus after they acquire combat capabilities.

Over the past 24 hours, Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled the enemy attacks near Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmut, Andriivka, Novobakhmutivka, Opytne, Vodyane, Pervomaiske, Nevelske and Novomykhailivka of Donetsk Oblast.

The enemy launched 4 rocket attacks on civilian objects in Rozumivka in Zaporizhzhia Oblast and Musiyivka in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and fired more than 50 MLRS rounds at the positions of Ukrainian troops and peaceful Ukrainian towns. The threat of missile strikes by the Russian occupiers on critical infrastructure facilities throughout Ukraine remains.

The units of the Belarusian special operations forces, which are part of the regional grouping of the troops of the so-called union state of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, perform the task of strengthening the section of the [Ukraine-Belarus] border.

Enemy mortar and artillery shelling were recorded near Yanzhulivka, Mykolaivka and Galaganivka in Chernihiv Oblast and Vilna Sloboda in Sumy Oblast. In addition, the areas of Strilecha, Starytsa, Ohirtseve, Vovchansk, Bochkove, Budarki, Chuhunivka and Ambarne of Kharkiv Oblast were hit by mortars and rocket artillery.

The Russian occupiers kept shelling populated areas of Ukraine in order to discredit the Ukrainian Defense Forces by shifting the responsibility to them. In addition, the enemy spreads misinformation that the Ukrainian military detains Ukrainian citizens from the liberated territories to increase the exchange fund, accusing them of collaborating with the occupiers.

During the day, Ukraine’s missile and artillery units struck four areas of concentration of enemy personnel, weapons and military equipment and one other important military target.

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 troops are on the defensive. They shelled with different types of artillery the districts of Bologhivka, Kamianka, Kupyansk, Kurylivka, Tabaivka, Krokhmalne and Berestove in Kharkiv Oblast; Makiivka, Nevske and Belohorivka in Luhansk Oblast and Yampolivka and Torske in the Donetsk Oblast.

The headquarters of the 1st Tank Army from the C2 post, located near Mistky (Luhansk Oblast), is commanding the combat operations of the enemy grouping. Two enemy units of the 144th motorized rifle division (MRD) and the 4th tank division are conducting combat operations in the Svatove area, the 2nd separate motorized rifle brigade of the “2nd Army Corps of the so-called “People’s Militia of LPR” in Krasnorechinske area, and the 752nd motorized rifle regiment of the 3rd MRD in Chervonopopivka area.

A week ago, the 80th separate airborne assault brigade of the Ukrainian Air assault division pushed the Russian Armed Forces out of Makiivka. The Russian 1823rd battalion of the mobilization reserve, which is part of the 150th MRD, was initially abandoned by the command staff and was left without ammunition and other material means. Then they left their positions and chaotically moved towards the rear of the Russian grouping, coming under fire from other Russian units several times. The Russian command is deploying blocking detachments on the probable retreat routes of its own troops.

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 continues to focus its primary efforts on conducting offensive operations. They shelled from tanks and artillery the areas of Serebryanka, Spirne, Yakovlivka, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Opytne, Klishchiivka, Andriivka, Kurdyumivka, Vesele, Avdiivka, Vodyane, Pervomaiske, Krasnohorivka, Kurakhove, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka in Donetsk Oblast.

Units of the 6th motorized rifle regiment of the “1st Army Corps (AC) of the so-called “People’s Militia (PM) of DPR” unsuccessfully attacked Bakhmutske and Soledar; assault units of the “Wagner” PMC – the southern outskirts of Bakhmut and Kurdyumivka; units of the 100th separate motorized rifle brigade (SMRBr) and 1st separate tank battalion of the “1st AC of the so-called PM of DPR” – Krasnohorivka; the 5th SMRBr of the “1st AC of the so-called “PM of DPR” – Nevelske and Pervomaiske; 11th SMRBr of the “1st AC of the so-called “PM of DPR” – Maryinka. Units of the 3rd SMRBr of the “1st AC of the so-called “PM of DPR” tried to break through the defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the Zaitseve-Mayorsk frontier.

Ukrainian Joint Forces are firmly holding Bakhmut, but there are growing challenges to provide for the local population that remains in the city, including up to 300 children.

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 carried out artillery fire on Vuhledar, Novoukrayinka, Prechystivka, Zolota Nyva and Neskuchne of Donetsk Oblast. The Russian troops are conducting defensive actions. They are firing mortars, barrel and rocket artillery on the Defense Forces’ positions and the populated areas of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, which are not far from the contact line.

The damage to Russian military object in the area of Energodar was confirmed: 6 pieces of military equipment of various types were destroyed, and about 30 Russian servicemen were wounded. Furthermore, due to the Ukrainian Defense Forces’ actions, about 80 Russian invaders were injured in Polohy and Chernihivka areas.

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 troops are in positional defense. They do not stop artillery shelling of Ukrainian troops and populated areas on the right bank of the Dnipro River, particularly Kherson.

About 30 pieces of damaged enemy military equipment under repair were detected in Hola Prystan.

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 in the enemy forces at sea. The enemy kept 9 surface ships at sea. Among them is one carrier of Kalibr missiles.

In the Sea of Azov, the enemy continues to control sea communications, keeping 2 boats on combat duty.

Russian aviation continues to fly from Crimean airfields Belbek and Gvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Over the past day, 17 combat aircraft from Belbek and Saki airfields were involved.

The enemy continues shelling the coastal towns Ochakiv and Kherson, using artillery and MLRS from the Kinburn spit on the left bank of the Dnipro River.

“Grain Initiative”: 7 ships with 248 thousand tons of agricultural products for Asia and Europe left the ports of Great Odesa on November 27. Currently, 19 vessels are being processed in the

ports of Great Odesa. 740,000 tons of Ukrainian agricultural products are loaded onto them. 4 vessels are moving along the “grain corridor” to load 105,000 tons of agricultural products.

Since August 1, 501 ships left the ports of Great Odesa, which exported 12.2 million tons of Ukrainian food to the countries of Asia, Europe and Africa.

There are currently 77 vessels in the queue for inspection in Turkey. However, due to the position of the Russian Federation, there are 5 times fewer inspections per day than earlier. And the ports of Great Odesa use up to 50% of their capacities. As a result, in November, it is expected that Ukraine will not exceed 3 million tons of grain exports. Whereas in October, this figure was equal to 4.3 million tons, and technically Ukraine can export 6 million tons per month.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 28.11

Personnel – almost 87,900 people (+590);

Tanks – 2,908 (+3)

Armored combat vehicles – 5,861 (+5);

Artillery systems – 1,899 (+2);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 395 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 209 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,416 (+4); Aircraft – 278 (0);

Helicopters – 261 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,555 (0); Intercepted cruise missiles – 531 (0);

Boats/ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news

Russia has carried out over 16,000 missile strikes against Ukraine over the past nine months. 97% of Russian targets are civilian objects, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said. “We are fighting against a terrorist state. Ukraine will win and bring war criminals to justice.”

“Ukroboronprom”, a concern of the defense industry of Ukraine, established the serial production of 152 mm artillery ammunition. On this occasion, the Concern even organized a flash mob, and famous Ukrainian personalities wrote their most “sincere wishes” to the occupiers on shells.

The petition to ban the structures of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine [after a series of SBU searches in Russian Church premises throughout Ukraine that revealed Russian propaganda and threat to national security] has gained the necessary 25,000 signatures [of Ukrainian citizens], its initiator Oleksiy Goncharenko said. The president must now consider the petition. The petition also calls for the return of the Kiev-Pechersk, Pochaev and Svyatogorsk Lavra to state ownership.

Ukraine imported electricity from Romania for the first time. On Sunday, November 27, the state trader “Energy Company of Ukraine” carried out a test import of electricity. As ECU emphasizes, the import of electricity can become an additional tool for stabilizing the energy system of Ukraine. Test deliveries are necessary to check the technical feasibility of importing electricity from Europe if required.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba emphasized during a joint press conference with the ministers of foreign affairs of the Northern European and Baltic countries that transformers and air defense systems are needed to restore Ukraine’s energy system. He noted that by providing Ukraine with air defense equipment, the partners also save and restore the energy infrastructure.

International diplomatic aspect

“We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, and Ukraine, strongly condemn the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine that has caused enormous suffering to the Ukrainian people… We stand in full solidarity with Ukraine. We will never recognize the illegal attempted annexation of Ukraine’s territories, including Crimea… We will continue working together in providing political and practical support to ensure Ukraine’s ability to defend its independence and territorial integrity… The sovereignty and equality of all the states are under threat unless we respond decisively to Russia’s aggression,” reads the Joint Statement. The total commitment of these Baltic and Nordic nations to Ukraine in finances and weapons reaches €1.37 billion. Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Norway, along with Poland, are the top five countries in terms of their security assistance [to Ukraine] as a percent of their GDP.

“Only the military defeat of Russia can solve this conflict,” set the mood of the team of North Europeans Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström. Such encouragement is vital in the foreground of a new wave of articles and calls for negotiations.

The Economist published an article, “A Ukrainian attempt to retake Crimea would be bloody and difficult. And Western support can hardly be relied on,” arguing that liberating Donbas and the peninsula would “much more humiliate Russia.” The newspaper believes that President Zelensky’s commitment to “return all lands,” which is overwhelmingly supported by Ukrainians, is not necessarily chime with Western backers who fear an operation to retake Crimea or the Donbas “might drive Russia into escalation, perhaps even past the nuclear threshold.”

Ukraine has already paid a heavy price to survive as an independent state. It would be a grave mistake to allow Russia to regroup for the next attempt to eliminate the Ukrainian state and the nation. Besides humanitarian issues related to the suffering of Ukrainians on the occupied territories and the need to restore territorial integrity as one of the cornerstone elements of the international order, there are other reasons. Ukraine has to defeat Russia and degrade its offensive potential to secure its own existence and preserve peace and security in Europe for years to come. Crimea is the sword of Damocles. Leaving it in the Russian hands means agreeing on the permanent threat to Ukraine, the Black Sea region, Europe as a whole, and the MENA region.

Nuclear blackmail has been a factor since 2014, and Vladimir Putin publicly admitted ordering nuclear forces to be in a state of high readiness. The US rhetoric and actions (ICBM test, making public deployment of USS Rhode Island into European waters, etc.) have had a calming effect on the Kremlin. So, instead of stepping back in the face of the blackmail, thus encouraging the dictator to repeat the “success story” elsewhere, there’s a need to keep being firm on deterrence.

“Sexual violence is the most cruel, most animalistic way to prove mastership over someone. And for victims of this kind of violence, it is difficult to testify in war times because nobody feels safe”, Ukraine’s First lady said in her address to the international conference on preventing sexual violence in conflicts. “This is another weapon in their arsenal in this war and conflict. That’s why they’re using this systematically and openly,” Olensa Zelenska added. “There are indications that sexual violence is being used as a weapon of war,” said Pramila Patten, the UN Secretary- General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. A number of investigated cases of sexual violence by Russian troops in some areas around Kyiv were well organized that “speaks to planning on a more systematic level,” believes Wayne Jordash, a British lawyer that helps the Ukrainian government to bring criminals to justice.

Pope Francis recognized Russia as an aggressor against Ukraine, but with a caveat. He said, “When I talk about Ukraine, I talk about brutality because I have a lot of information about the brutality of the invading troops. In general, the cruelest are probably those who are from Russia, but do not belong to the Russian tradition, for example, Chechens, Buryats, and so on.” Russia’s Foreign Ministry favorably reacted: “In the nineties and the beginning of the 2000s, we were told exactly the opposite, that these are Russians, Slavs, who are torturing the peoples of the [Northern] Caucasus, and now we are being told that it is the peoples of the Caucasus who are torturing the Russians.”

Like many intellectuals in the West, it seems that Pope Francis can’t believe that the nation of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy is not shy to commit genocide in plain sight in the 21st century. They don’t want to believe that those atrocities and war crimes were committed by Russians of different nationalities, including ethnic Slavs and Orthodox Christians. The Slavs and Orthodox Christians committed war crimes in Chechnya and other Caucasian Republics. It is Russians of various ethnic origins, including ethnic Russians, who committed numerous crimes in Georgia and who have been committing war crimes in Syria, Libya, Mali, the Central African Republic, and many other places. Now Kadyrovets (Chechens who betrayed their national cause) are side by side with ethnic Russians committing crimes against Ukrainians. By the way, Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, intentionally called Ukrainians “Russians”, for it is the official policy of Russia to deny the very existence of Ukrainian identity and language, thus, a right to have an independent [from Russia] state. In other words, it’s an ideology of genocide.

Russia, relevant news

35% of Russians began to save more on food since March of this year, according to the data from the “All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion” (WSIOM). In addition, almost the same number of respondents began to save more on hairdressing, cosmetics and beauty salons.

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