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CDS Daily brief (06.12.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

According to the official information of juvenile prosecutors, 443 Ukrainian children have died since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale aggression. In addition, according to the state child search portal “Children of War,” as of December 6, 2022: 853 children are wounded, 331 are considered missing, 13,028 are deported, and 7,998 were found.

As a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation during December 5, three civilians were killed, and 16 were injured, stated the deputy head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko with reference to the data of Oblast Military Administrations (OMAs).

The aftermath of enemy shelling as reported by OMAs on the morning of December 6, 2022.

  • At night, the Russians hit infrastructure facilities in Kurakhiv hromada and damaged power lines in Mariinka hromada of Donetsk Oblast. Isolated shelling of the old part of Avdiivka was also recorded. 7 people were injured in the Horlivka direction: 4 – in Ivanivske, 2 – in Bakhmut and 1 – in Toretsk.
  • The Russian military shelled the territory of the Kherson Oblast 17 times. They shelled civilian infrastructure facilities and residential buildings. One person is wounded.
  • At night, the Russians shelled Nikopol of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. More than 10 private houses, farm buildings, gas pipelines and power line were damaged. Private houses and a gas pipeline were damaged in the Marganets community.
  • The Chuhuyiv, Kharkiv and Kupiansk districts of Kharkiv Oblast were again under enemy artillery shelling. Houses, farm buildings, and warehouses were damaged. One killed is reported in the Kupiansk district.
  • At night, the Russians targeted the Stepne suburbs of Zaporizhzhia. Critical infrastructure facilities and residential buildings were damaged. Houses were also damaged in Orihiv, Huliaypole, Zaporizhzhia and Vasylivsky Districts.

On December 6, Russian troops shelled seven border communities of Sumy Oblast, firing a total of 226 mines and shells, the head of the Sumy OMA, Dmytro Zhivytsky, announced on his Telegram.

Russian troops fired ballistic missiles at one of Kryvyi Rih’s industrial infrastructure facilities, Oleksandr Vilkul, head of the Kryvyi Rih military administration, reported. The wounded employee of the enterprise was hospitalized. The object itself has very significant destruction.

Russian invaders fired four rockets at Kramatorsk in Donetsk Oblast, the Kramatorsk City Council informed. 39 private houses, an educational institution and an industrial zone were damaged.

The Russian occupiers fired at the Kherson Water Canal building and residential buildings. One employee of a utility company was killed, Kherson City Council reported

Odesa and Kyiv Oblasts suffered the most during yesterday’s attack, energy company Ukrenergo said. In most of the Odesa Oblast, power supply to critical infrastructure facilities: hospitals, boiler houses, and water supply lines has already been restored. However, it will take a few more days to restore electricity production to the level it was before the December 5 missile attack. Half of Kyiv Oblast remains without electricity. Power engineers work non-stop, said Oleksiy Kuleba, head of Kyiv OMA.

Another POW exchange took place on Armed Forces Day [celebrated in Ukraine on December 6]. As a result, 60 of Ukraine’s defenders returned home. Among them are defenders of Mariupol and, in particular, “Azovstal”, wounded and POWs kept in Olenivka.

Ukraine also returned the bodies of 49 fallen servicemen home, reported the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (December 5) developments)

It is the 286th 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 Russian occupiers continue their armed aggression against Ukraine. They do not stop striking civilian infrastructure objects and try to maintain control over the temporarily captured territories. Russian military concentrated its efforts on restraining the actions of the Ukrainian Defence Forces and continued engineering equipment of defensive lines and positions in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. In the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions, the enemy continues to attack, actively using aviation to support its ground groupings.

Over the past day, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks near Verkhnokamianske, Bakhmut, Andriivka, Yakovlivka, Soledar, Kurdyumivka, and Krasnohorivka of Donetsk Oblast.

Over the past day, the Russian Federation launched a massive missile attack on critical infrastructure facilities in Vinnytsia, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Odesa and other regions of Ukraine. The enemy launched 70 Kh-101, Kh-555, Kh-22, Kh-59, Kh-31p and Kalibr missiles. In total, more than 60 enemy missiles were intercepted by the Ukrainian Defence Forces air defence units. There is still a threat of the enemy launching missile strikes on the objects of the energy system and critical infrastructure throughout the territory of Ukraine.

Over the past day, the enemy carried out 17 airstrikes and fired 38 MLRS rounds. The Russian troops shelled with mortars and artillery Senkivka, Sosnivka in Chernihiv Oblast, Gomelivske, Manukhivka, Oleksandrivka, Slavhorod in Sumy Oblast, Volokhivka, Vilkhuvatka, Dvorichna, Krasne, Ogirtseve, Starytsia, Strilecha, Ternova in Kharkiv Oblast.

The enemy continues to keep its troops in the border areas of the Belgorod region.

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, the Air Force of the Defense Forces made 15 strikes on the areas of concentration of enemy personnel, weapons and military equipment, 5 strikes on the positions of the enemy’s anti-aircraft missile systems.

The Ukrainian missile troops and artillery hit 2 enemy command and control points, 8 personnel concentration areas and an important military target.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that the Armed Forces of Ukraine used UAVs for strikes on the long-range aviation base of the Russian Armed Forces “Engels-2” in the Saratov region (approximately 500 km from the state border of Ukraine) and “Diagilevo” in the Ryazan region (approximately 450 km). Two strategic bombers were hit and damaged. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine did not take responsibility for these strikes.

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. They fired from tanks, mortars and barrel artillery at Berestove, Kislivka, Kotlyarivka, Tabaivka, Pischane, and Krokhmalne in Kharkiv Oblast; Novoselivske and Stelmakhivka in Luhansk Oblast and Makiivka, Nevske, Terny in Donetsk Oblast. The enemy used army aircraft for strikes in the area of the Kotlyarivka.

Russian troops continued to defend their positions on the Svatove-Kreminna line from Ukrainian Defence Forces attacks. The units of the Russian 144th motorized rifle division managed to push back the units of the 92nd separate mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian Defense Forces and enter the village of Novoselivske, where fighting continued.

In the area of Ploshanka and Chervonopopivka, the enemy’s 752nd motorized rifle regiment unsuccessfully tried to regain lost positions. Units of the 95th separate airborne assault brigade of the Ukrainian Defense Forces drove the enemy back to their starting positions. Russian troops

attacked the positions of the 54th separate motorized battalion near Beilohorivka, but the attack was repulsed. The 4th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 2nd Army Corps of the so-called LPR tried to advance to Bilohorivka and Berestove in Donetsk Oblast. Ukrainian units of the 118th brigade of the Territorial Defense repelled all their attacks.

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 main efforts on offensive actions and tries to improve its tactical position. They shelled with tanks and the entire range of artillery 20 towns and villages, including Bilohorivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Klishchiivka, Bila Hora, Druzhba, Avdiivka, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, and Novomykhailivka in Donetsk Oblast. In addition, the enemy struck with combat aircraft the areas of Spirne, Kamianka, and Maryinka.

Units of the 71st separate jager brigade repelled enemy attacks on Yakovlivka. Heavy fighting continues on the approaches to Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut and Opytne. The Russian troops are trying to break through the south of Bakhmut to the west; fighting continues in the districts of Klishchiivka, Andriivka, and Kurdyumivka.

Units of the 100th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Army Corps of the so-called DPR tried to break through the Ukrainian defense at the junction of the 11th and 115th separate mechanized brigades’ defense strips in the area of Krasnohorivka and Vesele. None of the enemy attacks’ attempts was successful. These towns’ defense is crucial for the defense of Avdiivka.

The 56th separate motorized infantry brigade of the Joint Forces of Ukraine successfully repelled the attacks of the 1st and 5th separate motorized rifle brigades of the 1st Army Corps of the so- called DPR in the area of Vodyane, Pervomaiske and Nevelske.

In Mariinka, the 79th separate airborne assault brigade of the Joint Forces of Ukraine is fighting hard against the 11th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Army Corps of the so-called DPR. They repulsed another enemy attack on 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 enemy is on the defensive. They fired artillery of various types near Bohoyavlenka, Vuhledar, Prechistivka, Vremivka, Novopil in Donetsk Oblast, and Olhivske, Dorozhnyanka, Zaliznychne, Plavni in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

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 is conducting defensive operations. They fired from tanks and artillery at more than 16 towns and villages bordering the contact line, particularly Kherson, Zolota Balka, and Novosilka.

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 14 surface ships at sea. On December 5, during a massive missile attack on Ukraine, 22 Kalibr cruise missiles were used from surface ships and submarines. After the attack, the CM “Kalibr” carriers returned to the base points to replenish the weapons stockpile.

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.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 06.12.22

Personnel – almost 92,200 people (+510);

Tanks – 2,929 (+5)

Armored combat vehicles – 5,905 (+5);

Artillery systems – 1,915 (+1);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 395 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 211 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,505 (+8); Aircraft – 281 (0);

Helicopters – 264 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,587 (+5); Intercepted cruise missiles – 592 (+61);

Boats/ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news

On the Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine [celebrated in Ukraine on December 6], President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the positions of Ukrainian defenders in the east. He met with the Ukrainian military in Donbas and presented them with state awards.

In November 2022, the international reserves of Ukraine increased by 10.7%; on December 1, according to preliminary data, it amounted to 27.95 billion US dollars, the press service of the National Bank reported. This level is higher than at the beginning of the war: on the morning of February 24, gold reserves amounted to $27.42 billion. It is noted that USD 4,616.9 million was deposited into the government’s currency accounts at the National Bank last month. Of them: USD 2.5 billion – from the European Union, USD 1.5 billion – from the United States of America (through the World Bank Trust Fund), $517.8 million – from the placement of foreign currency bonds of the domestic state loan (OVDP) and USD 69.1 million – from other international creditors.

In November, the Government of Ukraine paid USD 605.0 million for servicing the state debt in foreign currency. In particular, USD 521.4 million in servicing and repaying foreign currency bonds, USD 37.0 million in debt to the EBRD, and USD 46.6 million in debt to other international creditors. In addition, Ukraine paid 118.8 million dollars to the International Monetary Fund.

At the same time, the Government allocated for financing the army and the security sector during the war 1 trillion 130 billion UAH, Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal said.

In recent months, massive Russian attacks have damaged 35% of key objects of major [energy] networks. Currently, the energy system has a capacity deficit of 19%, said Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal during a government meeting. He specified that 70% of these objects were hit twice or more. In particular, the enemy fired seven rockets at one of the substations in the Odesa region.

Since the beginning of the full-scale aggression, the Russians have damaged more than 350 objects of the Naftogaz Group, as well as more than 450 km of gas pipelines, Oleksiy Chernyshov, chairman of the board of Naftogaz of Ukraine, reported this in a column for “Interfax-Ukraine”. He said that before the start of the heating season, Ukraine had accumulated 14.5 billion cubic meters of gas, which was enough to get through the winter period. “But the massive missile attacks on the energy infrastructure provoked additional gas consumption by electricity generating enterprises. Therefore, given the current situation, we need to be ready to find additional volumes of natural gas and oil products in a short time, as well as to form additional reserve volumes.” – wrote the head of Naftogaz.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces Air Force explained why the [Irani-made] Shahed drones stopped flying [over Ukraine]. An Air Force spokesman noted that it is likely that the first batch, which was paid off, has already run out, and Russia has not used Iran’s Shahed kamikaze drones for three weeks due to the lack of new deliveries. In addition, according to him, weather conditions can also affect all types of lethal vehicles.

Power outages will not significantly affect the cost of food products in Ukraine and will not cause a shortage, reported Ukrinform with reference to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy. At the same time, Serhiy Karpenko, executive director of the Association “Poultry Union of Ukraine” (informed UBR.ua) said that the prices for eggs and chicken might increase due to constant blackouts. The lack of electricity destabilizes the work of poultry enterprises and leads to an increase in the cost of production, Serhiy Karpenko, executive director of the Association “Poultry Union of Ukraine”, informed UBR.ua.

As of mid-November, the primary set of vegetables and fruits in Ukraine rose in price by 47-48% annually. Onions, carrots, and imported products became the leaders of the price increase. As reported by Ukrinform, this was reported by the publication EastFruit based on the results of its own audit of the fruit and vegetable departments of supermarkets in large cities.

Ukraine demands to deprive the Russian Federation of the status of a member state of the International Atomic Energy Agency, stated the Minister of Energy of Ukraine, Herman Galushchenko, on the air of the national telethon. The minister is convinced that although the USSR was one of the founders of the IAEA, and Russia became the legal successor of the Soviet Union, its role and place in the organization should be revised after it committed acts of nuclear terrorism. The Russian occupation of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Ukrainian National Nuclear Power Plant, and the placement of armed personnel, heavy equipment and explosives on its territory completely violates nuclear safety rules.

This is the largest loss of the Ukrainian power system during the war. The station has 6 power units, which in February supplied the Ukrainian power system with more than 6,000 MW of electricity, reports Ukrinform.

International diplomatic aspect

“Ukrainian attack deep inside Russia escalate the war,” writes the New York Times. Unfortunately, the paper didn’t balance the catchy header by mentioning Russia’s eighth massive missile attack on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, leaving millions of Ukrainians in freezing cold darkness. The flawed logic may lead to the conclusion that Ukraine’s resistance escalates the war. In contra, such conclusions appeal to stop supporting Ukrainian self-defence with arms.

The market calmly reacted to the Russian oil price cap being enacted. The Brent fell from $88.11 on Monday to $83.01 the next day, while $47.90 – $52.15 a barrel was the price for the Urals leaving Primorsk port on Monday. After losing the Western market, Russia is facing the problem of selling about 118 million tonnes, or more than half of its export. One-third of tankers filled with Russian oil don’t disclose their final destination as a way to hide their gray export. “Russia has added 103 aging tankers in 2022,” FT reports. Turkey, India, and China have increased their imports. More than half of the shipments went to India, which bought at least 3.7 million tons in November. Russia generously agrees on discounts compared with Brent crude, as high as $33 a barrel in November.

Hungary blocked €18 billion EU assistance package for Ukraine to get €7.5 billion from the Union that had frozen under the rule of law conditionality mechanism. Last month the European Commission said it was not satisfied with Budapest’s progress on the 17 remedial measures to redress the rule of law and governance reforms concerns. Budapest has been playing a disruptive role in the EU and NATO, blocking various forms of cooperation with Ukraine for quite some time.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has visited troops in Donbas, just 40 kilometers from Bakhmut. To no avail, the invasion forces have been trying to make progress here since the all- out invasion started. The intensity of the fighting, number of casualties, and apocalyptic landscape remind of the bloodiest battles of the past wars, Stalingrad and Verdun alike. The President greeted the troops with the Armed Forces Day.

At the same time, the closest distance to the frontline Vladimir Putin found the courage to visit is the Kerch bridge, 330 km from Kherson. A rare public show was aimed at reassuring Russians that Russia is in Crimea forever, at least for some time.

“Assessing the totality of violations, NEPLP [The National Council and the Media Regulator of Latvia] has learned that the leadership of “Dozhd” does not understand and is not aware of the significance and seriousness of the violations and therefore cannot operate on the territory of Latvia,” stated the NEPLP chair. Latvia has revoked the license of “Dozhd,” a Russian TV channel, for, among other things, violating the license on mandatory subtitles in the Latvian language, voicing support for the Russians mobilized for the war in Ukraine, showing a map with the Crimean Peninsula as a part of Russia. In a typical Russian style, their representatives came to the

administrative violation hearing without an interpreter and wanted to speak in Russian. As a result, the hearing did not take place. Many Russian liberals voiced their support for the channel, with some turning to the language seen in the Baltic states and Ukraine as chauvinistic.

Russia, relevant news

The Swedish retailer H&M, operating in the Russian Federation since 2009, has confirmed the closure of all Russian stores, the retailer’s press service said.

On December 5, a traffic jam formed in Turkish territorial waters with 19 oil tankers anchored in the Bosporus and Dardanelles raids after introducing a price ceiling for Russian oil. This was reported by the Financial Times on the evening of December 5, citing data from shipping brokers, oil traders and satellite tracking services. The price ceiling, which was introduced on Dec. 5, prohibits tankers loading Russian oil from insuring goods being transported in the West if the price of oil is above the $60 price ceiling. After the introduction of restrictions, the Turkish authorities demanded to provide proof that the oil was insured.

Conflict Armament Research (CAR) has collected and studied fragments of missiles that the Russian military fired at Kyiv during a massive attack on the territory of Ukraine. Investigators found fragments of two Kh-101 cruise missiles produced in the summer and fall of 2022. CAR concluded that almost all advanced Russian weapons were created using foreign components and technologies from American or European companies. One of the authors of the investigation believes that Russia may have found a way to buy missile components to circumvent sanctions, or it had significant stocks of spare parts before the start of the war.

Vladimir Putin signed the law on the federal budget of the Russian Federation for 2023-2025. The budget will be in deficit with significant increases in military and war spending, reported RBC with reference to the official information. Expenses for security forces and the war in Ukraine in 2023 will amount to more than 9 trillion rubles, or 32% of all expenses.

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