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CDS Daily brief (07.12.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

According to the information from the state child search portal “Children of War”, as of December 7, 2022, 333 children are missing, 13,112 children have been deported to Russia, and 8,017 children have been found.

A report “Forced deportation of children from the temporarily occupied territories to the Russian Federation”, produced by the Institute of Strategic Studies and Security with financial support from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, was presented today. The report studies the Russin efforts to forcefully relocate Ukrainian children to Russia. According to the director of the Institute, human rights defender and lawyer Pavlo Lysyansky, the forced deportation of adults and children is an action planned and prepared in Russia aimed at the genocide of the Ukrainian people.

If there are no new attacks, Ukraine may return to the scheduled rather than emergency electricity outages as early as this week, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, the chairman of the board of Ukrenergo, said. At the same time, the general director of Yasno, Serhiy Kovalenko, said that the blackouts in Ukraine will last at least until the end of March. According to him, the situation with electricity is most difficult in Odesa and Kyiv Oblasts.

As a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, 4 civilians were killed, and 16 people were injured over the past day, Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko said.

According to the information provided by the heads of relevant military administrations at 9 a.m. this morning, on December 6, the troops of the Russian Federation carried out attacks on nine regions of Ukraine, particularly using drones. One drone was shot down in Zhytomyr Oblast. A woman was killed in Vovhchanks Community in Kharkiv Oblast, and another woman was wounded in the Kupyansk community. Three civilians were wounded in Donetsk Oblast.

Over the past day, on December 6, the Russian forces shelled Kherson Oblast 51 times, killing two civilians and wounding one more, the head of the Kherson Oblast military Administration Yaroslav Yanushevich said. The invaders hit the peaceful settlements of the region with artillery, MLRS, tanks and mortars.

The Russian military attacked Dnipropetrovsk Oblast at night with kamikaze drones, heavy artillery, and “Uragan” MLRS, the head of the Oblast military administration, Valentyn Reznichenko, said. Residential and business property was hit. No people were injured.

This night, the Russian military attacked two communities of the Zaporizhzhia district with drones and S-300 missiles, the head of Zaporizhzhia OMA Oleksandr Starukh said. According to preliminary information, three people were wounded, including a 15-year-old girl.

In the middle of the day on December 7, the Russian military shelled Kurakhove, Donetsk Oblast with multiple rocket launchers. A market, a bus station, gas stations, and residential buildings came under fire. 8 people died, and 5 were injured, Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko said.

The Zhytomyr Oblast Council appealed to the President, the Verkhovna Rada, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and the National Security and Defense Council to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchy UOC (MP). The Oblast Council appeal said, that the goal is “to stop the use of the UOC (MP) as an instrument of aggression against Ukraine, to eliminate threats related to the use of this organization to interfere in the internal affairs of Ukraine, with the aim of blocking attempts by the Russian authorities to destabilize the situation.”

Members of the Uman city council of Cherkasy Oblast supported the ban of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate on the territory of the Uman territorial community. The decision was made in response to an electronic petition.

Occupied territories:

According to the adviser to the Mariupol mayor, Petro Andryushchenko, Russian occupying forces demolish buildings they had ruined by bombardment when capturing the city. At least one apartment building is demolished in the city every day. In general, the number of demolished houses is more than 30 in all city districts.

In Melitopol, Zaporizhzhya Oblast, an attempt was made on the life of the deputy head of the city’s occupation administration, Mykola Volyk. An explosive device went off near the entrance to his house.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (December 6) developments)

It is the 287th 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”). In the Lyman, Bakhmut, and Avdiivka directions, the Russian military concentrates its efforts on offensive operations. In other directions, it is trying to hold the captured territories. It concentrates its efforts on restraining the units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, building defensive lines and positions, and conducting reconnaissance.

Over the past day, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces have repelled Russian attacks in the areas of Bilohorivka of Luhansk Oblast and Verkhnokamyanske, Spirne, Yakovlivka, Bakhmut, Bila Hora, Kurdyumivka, Novobakhmutivka, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka in Donetsk Oblast. Over the past day, the Russian forces launched 10 missile strikes, 33 air strikes and fired 75 MLRS rounds. Residential buildings and civilian objects of the cities of Kramatorsk, Kryvyi Rih, and the village of Stepne of Zaporizhzhia Oblast were hit by rockets. The Russian military carried out

artillery and mortar attacks on Hremyach in Chernihiv Oblast and Esman, Pavlivka, Kindrativka, Zapsillia and Myropyllya in Sumy Oblast. The areas of Strilecha, Krasne, Ternova, Ohirtseve, Starytsya, Hatyshche, Vovchanski Khutory, Volohivka, Chuhunivka and Kamianka of Kharkiv Oblast were shelled by tanks, mortars and barrel artillery. The threat of Russian missile strikes on energy and critical infrastructure facilities persists throughout the territory of Ukraine.

Russian units continue to train at the training grounds of the Republic of Belarus. This country continues to support the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, providing territory and airspace for missile and air strike launches. Dissatisfaction with the military-political leadership of the Republic of Belarus is growing among the soldiers of the border service and the Armed Forces due to the threat of involving the republic in a war with Ukraine.

The Russian military continues to suffer losses. The number of killed soldiers among those mobilized from the Russian Kursk Oblast is increasing, as reported by the local mass media. In addition, due to information about human losses, the war in Ukraine has less and less support from the younger Russian generation. Rumors about a possible invasion of the Ukrainian Armed Forces spread in the city of Kursk and the region. For this reason, the fortification of defensive positions in the border areas with Ukraine continues.

During the day, the aviation of the Ukrainian Defense Forces dealt 22 strikes on areas of the Russian personnel, weapons and military equipment concentration and 4 strikes against Russian anti-aircraft missile systems.

Over the past day, Ukrainian forces shot down 14 “Shahed-136” type attack drones, one “Orlan- 10” UAV and two more Russian drones, whose type is being checked.

Units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces missile and artillery troops hit one enemy command and control point, 3 areas of Russian personnel, weapons and military equipment concentration and the area of an artillery unit concentration and a Russian ammunition depot.

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 forces are on the defensive. They fired tanks and artillery in the areas around Dvorichna, Kupyansk, Kyselivka, Kotlyarivka, Tabaivka, Krokhmalne, Pishchane, Berestove and Pershotravneve in Kharkiv Oblast; Makiivka, Ploshanka, Nevske, Novoselivske and Stelmakhivka in Luhansk Oblast; Terny, Yampolivka and Liman in Donetsk Oblast.

On December 3 and 4, units of the 423rd motorized rifle regiment of the 4th tank division of the 1st tank army, the 9th and 18th motorized rifle division of the 11th Army Corps launched several counterattacks on the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces along the P07 route. This strike had some success in advancing Russian units to Novoselivske; the fighting now continues in the village.

Ukrainian defense forces attacked from Kyselivka to the north and liberated 5 villages in the Ivanivka area.

In the Svatove area, the Russian military finished forming an assault grouping made up of two BTGs from servicemen of the 59th tank regiment, 254th and 488th motorized rifle regiments of the 144th motorized rifle division, consolidated BTG of the 33rd and 55th separate motorized rifle brigades, consolidated BTG of the 3rd motorized rifle division and BTG from the 76th air assault division and conducted an unsuccessful counterattack in the direction of Nevske and Makiivka. As a result, it was forced to leave several armored vehicles on the battlefield, including a T-90 tank and several BMPs.

The intelligence of the Ukrainian Defense Forces detected the movement of the 106th airborne division in time, so its counterattack on Chornopopivka did not come as a surprise. The battle continues. The enemy garrison of the 144th motorized rifle division units on the defensive in Kreminna was reinforced by two incomplete tank companies consisting of approximately 19 tanks.

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 regiment 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 concentrate its primary efforts on offensive actions. In particular, the districts of Bilohorivka, Verkhnokamyanske, Spirne, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Klishchiivka, Bila Hora, Kurdyumivka, Druzhba, Zalizne, Avdiivka, Vodyane, Pervomayske, Nevelske, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka of Donetsk Oblast were shelled by tanks, mortars, barrel and jet artillery.

Fierce fighting continues around Bakhmut; about 2,000 civilians, including about 300 children, remain in the city.

The Russian units continued their offensive on Bilohorivka, where due to constant counterattacks by the Ukrainian Joint Forces they suffered significant losses. They attacked in the direction of Berestove, Yakovlivka, Soledar and Bakhmutske. On the eastern outskirts of Bakhmut, units of the “Wagner” PMC broke through to Patrice Lumumba Street. Units of the Ukrainian Joint Forces suffered losses and retreated.

Units of the “Wagner” PMC stormed Kurdyumivka and Andriivka, aiming to break further west and cut the T0504 road. Kurdyumivka is partially under the control of the Russian forces.

Units of the Ukrainian Joint Forces conducted an unsuccessful attack on Pervomaiske.

The Russian forces have captured and taken under control about half of Maryinka, but the front line has stabilized as both sides are exhausted. Units of the Ukrainian Joint Forces counterattacked in the Novomykhailivka area, but the fire of Russian attack helicopters and artillery stopped this attack.

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 in the direction of Novopavlivka. Russian artillery and mortars fired in the areas of Vuhledar, Bohoyavlenka, Prechystivka and Zolota Nyva of Donetsk Oblast.

In Zaporizhia Oblast, the Russian military is trying to improve its tactical position, shelling more than 10 towns and villages with tanks, mortars and artillery, particularly Vremivka and Novopil of Donetsk Oblast and Olhivske, Dorozhnyanka, Hulyaipole, Zaliznychne, Stepove and Plavni of 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 Russian forces are on the defensive. They are building up groupings of troops. The Russian military fired artillery at more than 15 towns and villages near the contact line, particularly Osokorivka, Zolota Balka, Dudchany, Antonivka, Bilohrudove of Kherson Oblast, cities of Kherson and Mykolaiv.

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 Russian fleet has 14 surface ships and a submarine at sea. There is one cruise missile carrier among them, namely a project 636.3 submarine with 4 Kalibr missiles.

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

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

The threat from Shahid-136 kamikaze drones has intensified again. Last night, after a three-week break, the Russian military launched up to 20 such drones from the occupied southern territories of Ukraine. Most of them were shot down by the Air Defense Forces of Ukraine.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 07.12.22

Personnel – almost 92,740 people (+540);

Tanks – 2,935 (+6)

Armored combat vehicles – 5,909 (+4);

Artillery systems – 1,923 (+8);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 395 (0);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 211 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,526 (+21); Aircraft – 281 (0);

Helicopters – 264 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,601 (+14); Intercepted cruise missiles – 592 (+61);

Boats/ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news

Ukraine works with international partners. In particular, it asked for help from the former Soviet republics to restore its energy sector after several rounds of Russian missile attacks on critical infrastructure facilities. The production of new units for the energy industry is a rather lengthy process, so the Ukrainian side “accepts help in the form of used equipment that is in working condition,” stated the Minister of Energy of Ukraine Herman Halushchenko. Of the former Soviet republics, Ukraine is negotiating with Azerbaijan. “The Baltic countries also help us significantly. I would like to single out Lithuania, which has already transferred a large amount of equipment,”

– Halushchenko said.

The Security Service of Ukraine conducted counter-intelligence (security) measures at the facilities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Russian Patriarchy in the Cherkasy, Volyn, and Kherson Oblasts. The SBU explained that, taking into account the armed aggression of the Russian Federation, these measures are carried out, among other things, to prevent the use of religious communities as a cell “Russian world” and to protect the population from provocations and terrorist acts.

People from 110 countries joined the United24 platform in seven months of operation. The total amount of charitable contributions exceeded 237 million dollars, the press service of the Ministry of Digital Transformation reports.

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov assured that in the spring of 2023, the Armed Forces of Ukraine would be in Luhansk, Donetsk and Sevastopol. According to him, this winter will be a key stage in the struggle for Ukraine’s independence.

International diplomatic aspect

“We have neither encouraged nor enabled the Ukrainians to strike inside of Russia. But the important thing is to understand what Ukrainians are living through every day with the ongoing Russian aggression against their country and our determination to make sure that they have in their hands, along with many other partners around the world, the equipment that they need to defend themselves, to defend their territory, to defend their freedom,” Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin commented on the issue of allegedly Ukrainian drone strike on the Russian strategic bombers’ air bases. He went on by saying that the US is “absolutely not” “prevent Ukraine from developing its own long-range strike capability.” “Ukraine has a guaranteed right to self-defense stemming from Article 51 of the UN Charter,” German Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said, adding, “Ukraine is not obliged to limit defense efforts to its own territory.”

“We have no limitation on distance, and soon we will be able to reach all targets inside Russia — including in Siberia,” FT quoted a Ukrainian official. “In Ukraine, we know how hard it is to defend against these kinds of air attacks. Soon Russia will also have no safe zones,” the official warned.

“Polish nationalists sleep and dream of how to take the western regions of Ukraine, “and this is what they will do,” said Vladimir Putin during today’s meeting with the Civil Society Development Council. The statement continued Russian policy to build a parallel reality. He blamed Russia’s aggression on Ukrainian politicians who came to power after what he calls a coup d’etat in 2014 and their ignorance of the “legitimate” interests of the residents of Donbas and the “legitimate” desire of Russia to protect them. He went on talking nonsense that the only real guarantor of the territorial integrity of Ukraine can only be Russia. Putin, who remained in power for twenty years and defamed the constitution for that aim, didn’t mention the competitive, free, and fair election of the second consecutive head of state since 2014, not to mention the Parliament.

Vladimir Putin said that the danger of nuclear conflict is growing but proclaimed that Russia “is not going to brandish nuclear weapons like a razor” because Russia would use it only in its defense. “We are not crazy; we are aware of what nuclear weapons are,” he exclaimed. In a traditional unrelated whataboutism manner, he said that American tactical nuclear weapons are positioned in Europe. Russian President didn’t mention the nuclear blackmail rhetoric he and his subordinates and propagandists employed, triggering a firm response from the United States, their European allies, and even China. Putin didn’t explain how NATO’s extended deterrence is now more “threatening” than in 1966 when it was formalized, not to mention that Russia still possesses the world’s largest nuclear arsenal of strategic and tactical arms.

US lawmakers agreed to provide Ukraine with at least $800 million in additional security assistance next year within the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative as a part of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. The Bill also temporarily waves restrictions on contracts for munitions to support Ukraine.

“I think there’s still strong bipartisan and bicameral support for Ukraine. We understand that Ukraine is fighting for democracies around the world, and the role of democracies is on the line here in this war,” Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-Nh) commented on the chances of Congressional approval of a $37.7 package for Ukraine. “On Ukraine, there is strong, strong support in both houses and both parties. Is there a handful of people who are dissidents? Yes. But the media here focuses on those that do dissent,” Senator Jim Risch (R-Id) explained lone voices arguing against supporting Ukraine. “The hallmark to date of our efforts in support of Ukraine has been very strong bipartisan support. I don’t see signs of that ending,” said the US Secretary of State during the press conference.

Senator Jim Risch criticizes the Biden Administration for their self-deterrence approach in dealing with Russia. “Some people in the administration — not all of them — say, ‘Oh, you know, we don’t want to escalate.’ That’s nonsense. I want Putin to wake up in the morning worried about what he’s going to do that might cause us to escalate. We have to escalate, or you lose the war.”

He expressed his support of the idea of sending Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine, as well as fighter jets, “When we fought in Korea, when we fought in Vietnam, the Russians supplied the enemy with jet aircraft and trained the pilots. It’s time to return the favor, as far as I’m concerned.”

The US offers Ukraine to consider the “production of clean hydrogen and ammonia using secure and safe SMR [steam reforming of natural gas] and cutting-edge electrolysis technologies in Ukraine.” It’s a promising technology that allows development while meeting climate change requirements.

Russia, relevant news

According to the Russian business publication Kommersant, electrical power generating companies may delay the implementation of 20% of the program to modernize old thermal power plants. 26 projects with a total capacity of almost 6 GW and a cost of 76 billion rubles may be delayed. Most companies asked for a one-year delay, while Inter RAO and TGC-2 asked for a year and a half. Inter RAO explains the delay by the failure of Power Machines to deliver turbines on time, TGC-2 complains about the increase in the cost of equipment.

In Russia, students can only get a deferral from the army once. If they were given it while studying at college, they wouldn’t be able to use it at the university, the press service of the Ministry of Education and Science told TASS.

A new idea that Ukraine should pay for the damages caused to the four Ukrainian oblasts Russia has invaded, occupied and claimed its own, has appeared in President Putin’s rhetoric. Putin talked about it today in his meeting with the Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights members via videoconference. Most likely, it will be voiced later on as a part of the Russian “negotiating position”.

The company owned by the former Russian Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev, “Agrocomplex named after N. I. Tkachev”, seized 400 thousand acres (161.8 thousand hectares) of land that belonged to the Ukrainian agricultural companies Agroton, Nibulon and HarvEast Holding, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing Ukrainian intelligence and prosecutors.

Due to US and EU sanctions, from January 1 to November 27, Russia reduced the volume of fish exports in monetary terms by 8%, Russian Federal Center Agroexport said.

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