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CDS Daily brief (01.12.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

Russian troops again fired at the DTEK Energo enterprise. As a result, two employees of the DTEK Energo power plant were injured. Since February 24, DTEK Energo enterprises have already suffered 16 Russian terrorist attacks.

According to the Oblasts Military Administrations’ (OMAs) morning round-up, two civilians were killed in Ukraine as a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation over the past day, and 6 more people were injured.

The army of the Russian Federation shelled seven regions of Ukraine. Consequences of enemy shelling as of the morning of December 1, reported by the OMAs:

  • The Russian military shelled Vuhledar in Donetsk Oblast. At least six houses were damaged. In the morning, the center of Avdiyivka was subjected to massive artillery. In Bakhmut, 2 people were injured, and a house, a warehouse and an administrative building were damaged. There is one injured civilian in Torske, and a house was destroyed.
  • In the morning, the Russians shelled Kherson; the city was left without electricity. During the day, Russian troops shelled Kherson 12 times, resulting in one person being killed and another being injured.
  • In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the Russian occupiers shelled the civil infrastructure of the Polohy and Vasylivka districts during the last day.
  • In Kharkiv Oblast, the enemy shelled the border communities of the Kupyansk, Vovchansk and Lipetsk districts. Fires broke out in houses, outbuildings, and warehouses.
  • The Russians shelled the Nikopol district of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast all day long with “Hrads” and heavy artillery. Several private houses, commercial buildings, gas pipeline, and power lines were damaged in the Chervonohryhorivka community. In the afternoon of December 1, the Russian occupiers shelled Nikopol again. A 56-year-old man was injured. Several high-rise buildings and power lines were mutilated in the city.

Another 50 Ukrainian defenders returned from Russian captivity. Among them are defenders of Mariupol and “Azovstal”, POWs who were in Olenivka, wounded, in particular, in battles in the Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia directions. President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine has already returned 1,319 Ukrainian defenders from Russian captivity.

Since the beginning of the full-scale war with Russia, more than 14.5 million Ukrainian citizens have left Ukraine, and at least 11.7 million of these people have gone to the countries of the European Union, Dmytro Lubinets, the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, informed. In addition, 4.7 million internally displaced persons are registered in Ukraine

Kyiv remains the target of Russian aggression, Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said at the Kyiv Security Forum. “In Kyiv, where there were no military operations and no front line, 678 buildings

were destroyed, 350 of which were residential buildings. More than 150 people were killed, four of them children. We could never have thought that the city center would be shelled, and rockets would fall even on a children’s playground.”

Occupied territories:

In Mariupol, temporarily captured by the Russian military, an increase in morbidity and mortality among the civilian population is registered, reported Petro Andryushchenko, adviser to the Mariupol city mayor. He also noted that the average weekly number of deaths from natural causes reached the mark of 250 cases, which is 100 cases more than in October or a 1.7-fold increase in deaths in just the last two weeks. Earlier, he reported that currently, in Mariupol hospitals, patients are left in corridors without normal conditions; there are also almost no pharmacies in the city, so it is very difficult to get medicines.

The enemy has flooded the main pumping station of the Kakhovka Main Canal, and there is a threat that the south [of Ukraine] will remain without irrigation, deputy of the Kherson Regional Council Serhii Khlan confirmed. As reported by the Center for Journalistic Investigations with reference to the management of the Kakhovka Main Canal, on November 30, all the underground premises located below the water level were flooded at the main pumping station; these are four floors with a total height of 16 meters. According to experts, the ventilation system, drainage pumps, all ten central pumping units, and elevator shafts were flooded. Control cabinets are damaged. Electricity supply has been stopped throughout the territory of the Canal. Divers’ access to the main pumping station building is required to understand the nature of damages and their elimination. However, the [Russian] occupiers have not allowed the employees to enter the territory. Military personnel from the so-called “DPR” and “LPR” are stationed there, as well as the new “leadership” of the Canal, appointed by the invaders.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (November 30) developments)

It is the 281st 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 continues striking civilian infrastructure objects, violating the norms of International Humanitarian Law, the laws and customs of war. The Russian military concentrates its main efforts on conducting offensive actions in the Bakhmut and Avdiyivka directions.

Over the past day, the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Novoselivske, Stelmakhivka and Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast and Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, Bakhmut, Kurdyumivka, Krasnohorivka, Kamianka, Vodyane, Pervomaiske and Maryinka in Donetsk Oblast.

In order to prevent the advance of the Defense Forces in the Svatove and Lyman directions, the enemy is carrying out engineering equipment of the defense line, redeploying personnel, ammunition, and fuel to equip new units and those that have suffered losses.

Over the past day, the enemy launched 2 rocket attacks on civilian objects in Komyshuvakha, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and carried out 41 airstrikes and 28 MLRS shelling of Ukrainian troops’ positions and populated areas, including the city of Kherson. The Russian military shelled Seredyna Buda, Bachivsk, Bilopillya, Budky and Krasnopillya of Sumy Oblast; and Veterynarne, Kozacha Lopan, Vysoka Yaruga, Strilecha, Krasne, Starytsia, Ohirtseve, Budarky, Chuhunivka, Dvorichna and Zapadne of Kharkiv Oblast. The enemy continues to keep its troops in the border areas of the Belgorod region.

Russian military continues training its separate units at the training grounds of the Republic of Belarus. There is still a threat of the enemy carrying out missile strikes on the objects of the energy system and critical infrastructure throughout the territory of Ukraine.

During the past day, the aviation of the Ukrainian Defense Forces made 17 strikes on the areas of concentration of enemy personnel, weapons and military equipment and four strikes on the positions of anti-aircraft missile systems.

Ukrainian units shot down a UAV (probably of the “Orlan-10” type).

Over the past 24 hours, Ukrainian missile forces and artillery have hit 7 areas of concentration of enemy personnel and anti-aircraft weapons, a fuel warehouse, and 5 other important military 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, 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 the defensive. Russian troops shelled the areas of Kupyansk, Kyslivka, Kotlyarivka, Tabaivka, Krokhmalne, Berestovka, Druzhelyubivka in Kharkiv Oblast and Novoselivske, Stelmakhivka, Makiivka and Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast.

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 enemy concentrates its primary efforts on conducting offensive actions. Russian troops shelled with tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery the areas of Verkhnokamianske, Spirne, Vyimka, Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Chasiv Yar, Opytne, Klishchiivka, Pivnichne, Zalizne, New York, Avdiivka, Vodyane, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka.

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. The enemy’s artillery shelled the areas of Vuhledar, Bohoyavlenka, Prechystivka, and Velyka Novosilka in Donetsk Oblast; Zagirne, Orikhove, Novoandriivka, Mali Shcherbaky, and Plavni in Zaporizhia Oblast, and Nikopol in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.

The Russian occupation forces continue to use civilian facilities in the temporarily occupied territories. Thus, they set up a field hospital in a school in one of the settlements of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

During November 28-29, the evacuation of wounded Russian personnel by a convoy of trucks and buses moving towards Melitopol was recorded.

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 defend previously occupied lines. They fired with artillery and tanks at the towns and villages on the right bank of the Dnipro River. The enemy does not stop shelling Kherson and its suburbs.

A decrease in the number of Russian soldiers and military equipment is observed in Oleshky. Enemy troops withdrew from certain settlements of Kherson Oblast and dispersed in forest strips along the Oleshky – Hola Prystan road. The majority of these troops are mobilized Russian personnel.

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.

The enemy has 7 surface ships at sea. There are no “Kalibr” cruise missile carriers among them.

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

At the same time, there are currently 9 enemy ships in the Mediterranean Sea, 5 of them carrying Kalibr cruise missiles, with a total salvo of 76 missiles. It is worth noting that the use of Kalibr missiles at targets in Ukraine from the Mediterranean Sea is impossible due to the need for the missiles to fly through the airspace of NATO countries (Turkey or Greece).

Enemy aviation continues to fly from Crimean airfields Belbek and Gvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Over the past day, 18 combat aircraft from Belbek and Saki airfields were deployed.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 01.12

Personnel – almost 89,440 people (+560);

Tanks – 2,915 (+1)

Armored combat vehicles – 5,877 (+5);

Artillery systems – 1,904 (+2);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 395 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 210 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,441 (+12); Aircraft – 280 (0);

Helicopters – 261 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,562 (0); Intercepted cruise missiles – 531 (0);

Boats/ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news

Since the beginning of the full-scale war, the Ukrainian army has lost up to 13 thousand soldiers, stated the adviser to the head of the President’s Office, Mykhailo Podolyak. “We have official estimates from the General Staff, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief gives official estimates. And they range from 10 to 12.5-13 thousand KIA. That is, we are openly talking about the number of dead,” Podolyak said. On November 30, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that according to her estimates, “more than 20,000 civilians and 100,000 military personnel died in Ukraine.” But later, the European Commission admitted they were mistaken and removed this information. “Undoubtedly, Ms Ursula made a mistake – that’s obvious. That’s why they deleted this video, removed these numbers,” explained Podolyak.

The use of Soviet-made cruise missiles, equipped with a non-explosive warhead, is aimed at the distraction of the Ukrainian air defense system, Colonel Mykola Danylyuk, a representative of the Central Military Scientific Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said at a briefing. “The deliberate launch of these missiles is aimed at conducting demonstration actions, distracting the attention of the Ukrainian air defense system, exhausting it at the time when modern Russian Kh-101 and 3M-14 missiles of the Kalibr complex are directed at critical infrastructure objects, residential quarters, which can significantly increase the efficiency of their use.”

The number of vacancies for Ukrainian IT specialists increased by 15% in the third quarter of 2022, with Game Development, .NET, Analytics, Java, PHP and Python becoming the most popular categories, reports Ukrinform with reference to the Just Join IT company. Among the companies that published vacancies in the “Friendly Offers” category in the third quarter of 2022 were: Netflix, Meta, Volvo, Brainly. Just Join IT is one of the largest job boards for IT professionals in Central and Eastern Europe. The “Friendly Offers” category was created in response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and aims to help Ukrainian IT professionals looking for work in Europe. During the entire existence of the category, more than 800 companies from all over the world published 25,000 vacancies for Ukrainian programmers.

International diplomatic aspect

The US Army awarded a $1.2 billion contract to Raytheon Technologies for Ukraine’s six National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS). Overall, the Biden Administration cleared the delivery of eight systems, with two NASAMS deployed in November. Germany sent to Ukraine three Biber Armoured Bridgelayer, eight naval surface UAVs, twelve border patrol vehicles, spare

parts for Мі-24 helicopters, and more. Berlin is expected to send seven more Gepard self- propelled anti-aircraft guns.

Sergey Naryshkin, Russia’s chief spy [chief of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service], pushes the bizarre claim that Poland wants to annex Western Ukraine due to historical claims and as compensation for military aid to Kyiv. Russian intelligence used to push various dubious claims even before Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.

Uninvited to the Berlin Security Conference, Munich Security Conference, and the OSCE Foreign Minister’s meeting in Poland, Sergey Lavrov decided to become a security conference himself. He repeated a weary claim that the US and NATO are “directly” participating in the war with Russia “not just by providing weapons but also by training personnel.” He admitted that the reason behind targeting critical infrastructure, leaving millions of Ukrainians without heating, electricity, and water, is intended to “knock out energy facilities that allow you to keep pumping deadly weapons into Ukraine in order to kill the Russians.” Such a confession of the blatant violation of humanitarian law will serve as material evidence in further trials over the crime of aggression.

The EU leadership intends to help set up, together with the International Criminal Court, a specialized court to prosecute war crimes committed during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. France has begun working with its European and Ukrainian partners on proposals to set up a special tribunal on Russia’s crime of aggression against Ukraine. However, a mention of a tribunal is missing in the joint statement of the presidents of the US and France. The leaders “reiterate their steadfast resolve to hold Russia to account for widely documented atrocities and war crimes, committed both by its regular armed forces and by its proxies, including mercenary entities such as Vagner and others, through support for international accountability mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court, the Ukrainian prosecutor general, UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry, and the OSCE Moscow Mechanism, sanctions, and other means.”

In October, the Ukrainian Parliament called on the other states to set up a special tribunal to bring top Russian political and military figures to justice for the crime of aggression. Russia isn’t a party to the Rome Statute. Therefore, Putin and his entourage hope to get on with the committed crimes because of immunity, not to mention a veto power in the UN Security Council to block any UN action and the nuclear weapons as an ultimate impunity “guarantee.” So, a UN General Assembly and other international institutions, as well as individual countries’ backed special tribunals, would make it possible to bring the criminals to justice. Seventy-five years ago, the international community had to establish the legal framework to make the Nazi criminals pay for their crimes. So, a Nurnberg-like trial is needed to fill the legal and institutional gaps to put an end to impunity, thus warning other powers that none can hide behind immunity and institutional hurdles.

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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