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CDS Daily brief (05.12.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, as of December 4, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recorded 17,181 civilian casualties, including 6,702 dead and 10,479 wounded. The residents of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts were the most affected. It is noted that the cause of deaths and injuries was mainly the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact zone, including shelling from heavy artillery, rocket salvo systems, rockets and airstrikes. However, OHCHR emphasizes that the actual figures for casualties are much higher, as information from some places where intense fighting continues is delayed.

As a result of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, 15 thousand of Ukrainians are considered missing, stated Dmytro Lubinets, the Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada for Human Rights, on Facebook.

Ukraine was again subjected to massive shelling. At least two people were killed. The country’s energy infrastructure was damaged, and power, water supply and Internet outages were reported. One of the missiles fell on the territory of Moldova.

More than 60 of more than 70 missiles were shot down by the Ukrainian Air Force. According to the command of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, 38 Kh-101 / Kh-555 cruise missiles were launched from eight Tu-95MS aircraft from the Caspian Sea and Volgodonsk, Rostov Region. 22 Kalibr-type missiles were launched from ships of the Black Sea Fleet. Six Kh-59 missiles and one Kh-31P were fired by Su-35 fighters and three missiles by Tu-22M3 bombers. These launches were carried out from the Black Sea.

Ten missiles were recorded in the airspace of Kyiv. Preliminary, 9 of them were destroyed, reported Kyiv Military Administration. 15 Russian rockets were shot down by the defenders of Operational Command “East”, said the head of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Military Administration (OMA), Valentyn Reznichenko. Air defense forces shot down up to 10 Russian missiles over Poltava Oblast.

Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal stated that energy facilities were hit in Kyiv, Vinnytsia, and Odesa Oblasts. However, the country’s energy system is functioning and remains intact. Due to today’s shelling, part of the power plants will not be able to work at full capacity for some time. In combination with frost, this will lead to an increase in the electricity deficit in the system. Therefore, emergency shutdowns are being introduced in all regions of Ukraine, Ukrenergo reported.

In Odesa Oblast, the region’s energy infrastructure was damaged due to massive shelling. There are hits on civilian houses and civilian infrastructure objects. Two wounded civilians are reported. Currently, there is no electricity or water supply in Odesa. If the situation does not improve, water

will be delivered to all areas of the city by special vehicles, Odesa Mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov commented on the current situation.

Emergency shutdowns continue in Kyiv Oblast. About 40% of consumers remain without electricity, Oleksiy Kuleba, head of Kyiv OMA said. Also, emergency shutdowns are in effect in Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk Oblasts, reports DTEK.

As a result of Russian strikes in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, two people were killed, 3 more people were injured, including a 2-year-old child.

In Zakarpattia Oblast, 80% of consumers were disconnected from the electricity supply due to enemy missile attacks, reported Viktor Mykyta, head of the Zakarpattia OMA.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Moldova said that employees of the department found fragments of a rocket near the city of Briceni, not far from the Ukrainian border. This is the second such case. “This once again proves that Russian missile terror poses a huge threat not only to the security of Ukraine but also to the security of neighboring countries,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine spokesman, Oleh Nikolenko. At the same time, there were interruptions in the power supply in Moldova, and possible blackouts, the country’s national energy company Moldelectrica reported.

Russian forces also shelled Ukrainian regions during the previous night:

  • After midnight, the Russians hit Kryvyi Rih in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast with three missiles. Oleksander Vilkul, the head of the administration, confirmed that the industrial enterprise, which was hit by a missile attack, is the ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih plant (Kryvorizhstal). One person was killed, and three were injured. “The scale of destruction is serious,” Vilkul said. Co-owner of ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih is Indian-British businessman Lakshmi.
  • At night, the occupiers attacked Zaporizhzhia with S-300 missiles. They aimed at the city’s industrial infrastructure.
  • In Vugledar, Donetsk Oblast, at least 8 houses were damaged by shelling, but there were no casualties. In Kurakhovo and Gostre, there is damage to kindergarten, high-rise buildings and private homes. In Bakhmut, an administrative building, a dormitory, a residential building and farm buildings were damaged.
  • During the past day, the Russian occupiers shelled Kherson Oblast 27 times – with artillery, MRLS, mortars and tanks. Russian shells hit the residential quarters and other civilian infrastructure. Two killed civilians were reported.
  • In the morning, Russian troops shelled the Bilopillia community in Sumy Oblast with mortars of 120 mm caliber. The power line is damaged.
Occupied territories:

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that in Lugansk Oblast, the Russian military is quartered in private houses. In villages along the left bank of the Dnipro River in the occupied territory, robberies of private houses have become more frequent. In Olgine, Kherson

region, the Russian Federation’s military is taking away agricultural product stocks from local agricultural enterprises.

The Skadovsk hospital, located on the territory of Kherson Oblast, temporarily occupied by the Russian military, is not provided with medicines, the oxygen station has stopped working, and there is no food to feed the patients, the Skadovsk City Council stated in Telegram. The message says that receiving qualified medical care in the Skadovsky district is impossible. The city council emphasizes that responsibility for the state of medicine in the occupied territory rests with the occupying administration and its collaborators.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (December 4) developments)

It is the 285th 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 Defense Forces have repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Ploschanka and Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast and Berestove, Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Opytne, Klishchiivka, Andriivka, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka in Donetsk Oblast.

During the past 24 hours, the enemy launched 7 missile strikes and 32 air strikes, and fired more than 50 MLRS rounds at the positions of Ukrainian troops and populated areas along the contact line. The enemy shelled Sopych, Svarkove and Zarutske in Sumy Oblast, Tymofiivka, Strilecha, Starytsia, Bugruvatka, Ohirtseve, Vovchansk, Bochkove, Mala Vovcha, Dvorichne, Tavilzhanka and Bohdanivske in Kharkiv Oblast.

The Republic of Belarus continues to support the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, providing territory and airspace for launching missile and air strikes.

During the past day, Ukrainian aviation made 18 strikes on the areas of concentration of enemy personnel, weapons and military equipment, 1 strike – on the positions of the enemy’s anti- aircraft missile systems. Ukrainian troops shot down an enemy Ka-52 helicopter and four UAVs.

Missile troops and artillery of the Defense Forces hit 2 enemy command and control points, an ammunition warehouse, an area for the concentration of personnel and 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 enemy is on the defensive, shelling from tanks and artillery the areas of Kyslivka, Kotlyarivka, Tabaivka, Krokhmalne, Berestove and Vyshneve in Kharkiv Oblast; and Novoselivske, Myasozharivka, Makiivka, Ploschanka in Luhansk Oblast, and Yampolivka and Andriivka in Donetsk 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 Russian forces are concentrating their primary efforts on conducting offensive actions and trying to improve their tactical position. They shelled with tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery areas of Soledar, Chasiv Yar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Kostyantynivka, Klishchiivka, Opytne, Kurdyumivka, Zalizne, Avdiivka, Pervomaiske, Vodyane, Vesele, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, and Novomykhailivka of Donetsk Oblast.

The enemy continues to increase its efforts south of Bakhmut. In the Kurdyumivka area, the Russian command deployed two additional consolidated battalions from the 106th airborne division. They have already been partially engaged in battle with the task of breaking through to the Bila Hora – Klishchiivka line, together with the advanced units of the “Wagner” PMC, and creating favorable conditions for the development of a further offensive both in the direction of Kostyantynivka and in the direction of Ivanovske and Bakhmut (from the south).

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. They shelled areas of Novosilka, Neskuchne, Zolota Nyva and Prechystivka in Donetsk Oblast and Novoandriivka, Novodanylivka, Zaliznychne, Hulyaipole, Chervone and Dorozhnyanka in Zaporizhia Oblast.

It has been confirmed that Ukrainian Defense Forces have destroyed the concentration of enemy manpower in the Yakymiv district. The enemy’s losses are up to 30 servicemen wounded and more than 10 killed.

During December 2-3, the Russian command continued to increase its efforts along Vasylivka – Tokmak line. In particular, the consolidated BTG of the 83rd separate airborne assault brigade (with up to 45 units of weapons and military equipment, including at least 33 BMD-2/3 and MT- LBs) was moved to this area through Melitopol and Myrne and Terpinnia villages.

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 shelled with artillery the areas of more than twenty towns and villages along the right bank of the Dnipro River.

In the Skadovsk district, the enemy strengthened the administrative and police regime and introduced a curfew. Movement between towns is prohibited 24 hours a day; movement within them is permitted only during the day.

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 situation at sea has not changed. The enemy has built up its forces at sea and has kept 21 surface ships there since the middle of the week. Among them are four cruise missile “Kalibr” carriers: two surface ships and two submarines. The total possible number of missiles in a salvo is 24.

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

Enemy aviation continues to fly from Crimean airfields Belbek and Gvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Over the past day, 12 combat aircraft from Belbek and Saki airfields were deployed.

On December 4, the sea washed another sea mine onto the coast of Odesa. The mine was destroyed. During the period from February 2022, more than 30 drifting sea mines were discovered on the western coast of the Black Sea, and some of them were washed ashore.

Repair of the Crimean bridge continues. Currently, 4 spans of the road branch in the direction of Taman – Crimea have been installed, the construction of communications is being completed, and the commissioning of this branch is planned for December 5. After that, similar works will be carried out on the road branch in the reverse direction. 4 spans will be dismantled and replaced. This one will also take about two months during the not-very-favorable Crimean winter. Passenger cars and light trucks are now allowed (up to 3.5 tons of axle load). The waiting time for inspection for light trucks to enter the bridge is 3-4 hours. At least 2 spans of one branch of the railway bridge will also be replaced. The work has not yet started. Light passenger trains run along the second branch of the railway bridge. Most likely, restrictions on heavy transport on the Crimean Bridge will be in force at least until the end of the first quarter of 2023 (road transport) and until the middle of next year (rail transport). Russian President Vladimir Putin drove across the Crimean bridge in a Mercedes car. On the passenger seat was Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, who reported to Putin on the progress of repair work on the bridge after the explosion in October. “We are driving on the right side. The left side of the bridge, as I understand it, is in working condition, but nevertheless, it needs to be completed. It suffered a little, it needs to be brought to perfect condition,” Putin said. The footage of the trip was distributed by Russian TV channels.

“Grain initiative”. BC CALLISTO — the second vessel within the framework of the program launched by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, in partnership with the World Food Program (WFP) of the United Nations, was dispatched from the port of Odesa. Yesterday, the first NORD VIND vessel arrived at the port of Djibouti, from where 25,000 tons of humanitarian wheat from Ukraine will be delivered to the residents of Ethiopia.

Two more NEVA and RUBYMAR bulkers are also being loaded in the Odesa port, delivering 55,000 tons of humanitarian wheat for Somalia and Sudan. In two days, the ports of Great Odesa sent 9 ships with 336,000 tons of agricultural products to the countries of Africa, Asia and Europe. Since the “grain initiative” implementation, the world has received 13 million tons of Ukrainian food.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 05.12.22

Personnel – almost 91,690 people (+540);

Tanks – 2,924 (+2)

Armored combat vehicles – 5,900 (+8);

Artillery systems – 1,914 (+6);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 395 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 211 (+1); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,497 (+18); Aircraft – 281 (0);

Helicopters – 264 (+1);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,582 (+9); Intercepted cruise missiles – 531 (0);

Boats/ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news

Today, Russia launched another massive missile strike on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure. At the same time, stocks of high-precision missile weapons in the Russian Federation fell to a critically low level, stated Andriy Yusov, representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine’s MOD. However, he noted that the Russians still have a sufficient number of short-range missiles of the S-300 type. Therefore, unfortunately, the front-line cities, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, and Sumy, may continue to suffer from the enemy’s actions. “We can talk about the fact that the whole world sees another terrorist act, another terrorist attack, I emphasize – on peaceful civilian infrastructure, primarily energy. And it is civilian objects and peaceful residents who suffer the greatest damage. And this is once again a reason for the whole world to think about recognizing Russia as a sponsor of terrorism and a terrorist state.” Yusov reminded that the intelligence predicted another missile attack by the enemy, and all relevant authorities were preparing for the attack.

Siemens offered the government of Ukraine to place three floating power plants: in the water areas of Odesa, Mykolaiv and Izmail. Floating power plants are connected to terrestrial networks using a kilometer-long cable. Barges burn liquefied natural gas, low-sulfur fuel oil, or biodiesel to generate electricity. Fuel for the floating power plant is supplied from an auxiliary vessel.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) opens a representative office in Kyiv. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, said this

while speaking at the 21st session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, which began today in the Hague, Ukrinform reports. Khan also noted that for the first time in history, the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC joined the Joint Investigative Group with Eurojust and six other countries.

International diplomatic aspect

“A large-scale humanitarian missile attack has now begun on Ukraine. Apparently on the power system… We can say that now there are 100 Russian missiles in the sky with almost humanitarian purposes. That’s what it should be called. Humanitarian strike. Good rockets,” Sergey Markov, a Russian MP, cynically posted on his Telegram channel. Ukrainian air defense is reported to intercept sixty missiles.

Several hours before the strike, “the Kyiv regime, in order to destroy Russian long-range bombers, attempted to strike with Soviet-made jet unmanned aerial vehicles at the Diaghilevo military airfields in the Ryazan region and Engels in the Saratov region,” the Russian Defense Ministry said. The air base of Engels is about 730 km south of Moscow or almost the same distance from the Ukrainian border, while Diaghilevo is some 185 km southeast of Moscow or 500 km from Ukraine. Reportedly, at least two strategic bombers (TU-95) were damaged or destroyed. The UAF doesn’t possess capabilities that might hit targets that far away. However, in October, the Ukrainian defense company announced the production of a UAV with a range of 1,000 km and a 75 kg warhead. It is still in testing mode.

The massive missile attack on the Ukrainian civilian infrastructure coincided with the signing of the so-called Budapest Memorandum twenty-eight years ago. Undersigned Russia, the US, and the UK gave their “security assurances” to Ukraine in exchange for the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal deployed in Ukraine during the Soviet times. Identical agreements were signed with Belarus and Kazakhstan. Russia didn’t honor the agreement even before its aggression against Ukraine in 2014.

Ironically, [under agreement] Ukraine transferred to Russia 575 out of almost 1,000 Kh-55 of its air-launched cruise missiles and destroyed the rest. Out of forty-four strategic bombers deployed in Ukraine, it transferred to Russia eight TU-160s and three TU-95MSs, and the rest was destroyed. It might happen that Russia attacked Ukraine with the same missiles launched from the same bombers Ukraine transferred to Russia as a part of the nuclear disarmament deal. Or it might be that a pair of former Ukrainian “Bears” (TU-95MS) took part in the Russia – China joint patrol over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea, sending their “greetings” to the United States, Japan and the rest of regional partners.

“The US secretly modified the advanced HIMARS rocket launchers it gave Ukraine so they can’t be used to fire long-range missiles into Russia,” the WSJ reports. And it’s a policy of self-restraint not to provide Ukraine with ATACMS missiles (with a range of 300 km) and Gray Eagle MQ-1C drones, not to mention modern jets and tanks. Inability to target Russian platforms that launch missiles and rockets at Ukrainian cities gives an advantage to Russia. Even with the new Western air defense systems provided to Ukraine, the UAF does not have the full capability to mitigate

the missile threat. Meanwhile, Ukraine is running out of S-300 missiles that it won’t be able to replenish because they are produced in Russia.

However, Ukraine showed the ability to innovate and target Russian platforms on an ad hock basis. Sinking the Moskva and several missile ships and [unconfirmed] damage to strategic bombers is not just making Ukraine safer; it contributes to peace and security on the European continent. Missile ships armed with Kalibr cruise missiles were produced to threaten NATO in the first place, as well as strategic bombers to pose a threat to Europe and the United States. So, if the “decommission” of two TU-95MS is confirmed, Russia would remain in its possession sixteen “Blackjacks” and fifty-eight “Bears.” In other words, Russia would have fewer platforms, thus twelve nuclear cruise missiles less aimed at Europe and the US. Moreover, Russia doesn’t produce strategic bombers since 1990th and faces enormous difficulties even with the production of Il-78 tanker aircraft. Therefore, enabling Ukraine with the necessary long-range capabilities would serve the Free world’s interest.

Tumso Abdurakhmanov, a prominent Chechen blogger and the republic’s strongman critic, was reportedly killed in Sweden. Russia has been carrying out extrajudicial killings for a long time all across Europe. Murdering Alexander Litvinenko with polonium 210 and poisoning Sergei and Yulia Skripal with the Novichok nerve agent in the UK, shooting dead Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin and a former Russian MP Denis Voronenkov in Kyiv are the most notorious cases. Before the all-out invasion, the US warned that the Russian invasion forces had lists of Ukrainians to be killed or sent to camps in the event of occupation. The further events proved it was true, and it is hard to imagine what could have happened had the Russians succeeded in seizing Kyiv and other major cities.

Europe has been giving Russia the benefit of the doubt for way too long, thus “encouraging” Putin to use the “third option” whenever he wants. Tumso Abdurakhmanov’s death and the Russian terror activities in Ukraine should push the West to give Russia what it deserves – a terrorist state’s status. “We’re working with Congress right now on legislation that would help us get around some of the challenges of using the State Sponsor of Terrorism designation, which, as you said, has some unintended consequences,” Secretary Antony Blinken told Jake Tapper of CNN State of the Union.

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