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CDS Daily brief (10.12.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

During the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine, [Ukrainian] law enforcement officers recorded 47,000 war crimes committed by the invaders, including torture, rape and murder, reported Ukrinform with reference to the press service of the National Police.

During the past day, as a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation, 2 Ukrainian civilians were killed, and 17 more were injured; the Russian army shelled nine regions of Ukraine, according to consolidated information from Oblast Military Administrations (OMAs) as of 9:00 a.m., December 10:

  • At night, the enemy attacked Odesa Oblast with kamikaze drones. Energy infrastructure and housing stock were damaged. There is no electricity in most of the districts and communities.
  • Russian military shelled Kherson at night and in the morning. They carried out 51 shellings of the Kherson Oblast. According to Deputy Head of the Office of the President, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, eight people were injured, and two people died. Due to damage to power lines, 2.5 thousand households were left without electricity.
  • Last night, Russia launched a missile attack on the Velikopysarivska community of Sumy Oblast. 20 private houses, an apartment building, a fire station, a bank branch, 5 stores and cars were damaged.
  • In Vuhledar of Donetsk Oblast, 3 houses were damaged by shelling. The Russians fired at Kurakhove, Hirnik and Izmailivka, damaging 17 homes. In Bakhmut, 2 wounded civilians were reported. A house and a shop were damaged in the town.
  • In Kharkiv Oblast, a fire broke out in warehouses in Kupiansk due to the enemy shellings. An administrative building and an infrastructure object were damaged in the Zolochiv community.
  • Komyshuvakha, Hryhorivske and Yulyivka of the Zaporizhzhia district were hit by enemy rockets.
  • In the morning, the enemy attacked with MLRS the waters of the Ochakiv community of Mykolayiv Oblast. No victims were reported.
  • At night, the enemy again attacked the Nikopol district of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. 4 wounded civilians were reported; 11 high-rise and private buildings, a kindergarten, administrative and office buildings, a car wash, a parking lot, several cars, a gas pipeline and power lines were damaged.

The occupiers fired at the maternity ward in Kherson. As a result, the building is damaged; preliminary, no victims were reported, stated the Office of the President of Ukraine.

Residents of Odesa and Odesa Oblast remain without electricity due to night shelling, Ukrenergo stated. Repair crews are now trying to revive critical infrastructure facilities: hospitals, water supply, and sewage plants. However, restoration of power to residential customers may take longer due to the extensive damage.

The ruined building of Mykolayiv Oblast Military Administration (OMA) will be demolished because it cannot be restored. Such a conclusion was reached after the appropriate examination, the head of the Mykolayiv OMA, Vitaliy Kim, said in a comment to Radio Svoboda. On the morning of March 29, the [Russian] occupiers targeted the 9-story building of Mykolaiv OMA. A total of 28 people died then.

Occupied territories:

The Russian forces intensified counter-sabotage measures at the checkpoints around the occupied Berdyansk. They increased the number of military personnel, and checks of civilians began to be carried out more thoroughly. People without local registration are not allowed into the city, the General Staff of Ukraine reports.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (December 9) developments)

It is the 290th 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”). On December 9, Putin clarified his December 7 statements in which he suggested that Russia was preparing for a “long-term” war.

Over the past day, units of the Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Ploshanka, Nevske, Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast and Yakovlivka, Bakhmutske, Pidhorodnie, Bakhmut, Opytne, Kurdiumivka, Druzhba, Nevelske, Pobyeda and Novomykhailivka in Donetsk Oblast.

Over the past 24 hours, the enemy launched 5 missile strikes, about 20 air strikes, and more than MLRS 60 rounds. The Russian forces shelled with missiles Velyka Pisarivka in Sumy Oblast and Komyshuvakha, Hryhorivske and Yulyivka in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. In addition, Khodyne and Basivka of Sumy Oblast and Strilecha, Krasne, Zelene, Ternova, Starytsia, Ohirtseve, Chuhunivka and Kamianka of Kharkiv Oblast were hit by mortar and barrel artillery fire. The threat of missile attacks on the energy system and critical infrastructure throughout the territory of Ukraine remains.

The enemy suffers losses from “friendly fire” in addition to the losses due to the actions of the Ukraine Defense Forces. This is a consequence of the low training of Russian tank and artillery crews and a lack of interaction and communication between units.

Over the past day, units of the Ukrainian missile forces and artillery hit 4 enemy command and control points and 5 areas of concentration of personnel, weapons and military equipment.

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 shelled the areas of Dvorichna, Synkivka, Kupyansk, Kyslivka, Tabaivka, Pishchane, Krokhmalne, Berestove and Pershotravneve in Kharkiv Oblast, Novoselivske and Stelmakhivka, Grekivka, Makiivka, Ploschanka, Nevske, Chervonopopivka in Luhansk Oblast, Torske and Hryhorivka in Donetsk Oblast.

Russian troops continued to conduct the defense in the Svatove area, setting up defensive lines. According to some information, their total length is already 55 km north from Svatove to Troitske and 40 km south from Svatove to Kreminna. A large number of Russian mobilized forces operate in the Svatove area.

Russian forces continued counterattacks in the Kreminna area, while Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive actions in the area. They repulsed a Russian assault near Bilohorivka, but the enemy is trying to advance west of Kreminna in the direction of Lyman and conducting offensive actions on the Kremin-Makiyivka line. They slightly advanced in this area. Battles took place near Chervonopopivka and Ploshanka.

Russian forces repelled Ukrainian attacks near Ploschanka, in the direction of Nevske, and an attempt to break through Russian positions near Lysychansk. Ukrainian Defense Forces struck the Russian rear in Pervomaisk with HIMARS.

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.

Russian forces shelled more than twenty towns and villages, including Verkhnokamyanske, Berestove, Bilohorivka, Vesele, Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Opytne, Klishchiivka,

Andriivka, Bila Hora, Kurdyumivka, Ozaryanivka, Dyliivka, Druzhba, Zalizne, Avdiivka, Berdychi, Pervomaiske, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka.

The enemy continued offensive actions around Bakhmut. The Ukrainian Joint Forces repulsed a Russian assault near Klishchiivka.

Russian forces attacked near Druzhba from the direction of Horlivka. Enemy units also stormed Bakhmut and to the city’s north and south. They struck Ukrainian positions in Bakhmutske and continued to break through Ukrainian defenses near Spirne. The 3rd motorized rifle battalion of the 1st Army Corps of the so-called DPR gained control of Mayorsk. They began to attack Ukrainian positions in the Novomykhailivka area and struck Ukrainian positions in Vesele.

Ukraine’s Joint Forces repulsed the Russian assault near Maryinka, but the enemy entered Vodyane and partly advanced to Pervomaisk.

Joint Forces conducted an unsuccessful attack near Pisky. It was repulsed by the “Sparta” and “Somalia” battalions of the 1st Army Corps of the so-called DPR with the support of the 238th artillery brigade of the 8th Army of the Southern Military District.

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.

[Enemy] artillery and mortar attacks were recorded near Vuhledar, Prechystivka, Novoukrainka, Zolota Nyva, Velyka Novosilka, Vremivka, Vyschetarasivka, and Novopol in Donetsk Oblast. In addition, the enemy inflicted fire damage on Chervone, Dorozhnyanka, Zaliznychne, Hulyaipilske, Orihiv, Novodanylivka, Novoandriivka, Stepove, Kamyanske, Chervonodniprovka of Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk Oblasts.

The Russian troops continued to defend. They repulsed the Ukrainian Defence Forces’ attacks in the direction of Volodymyrivka and Pavlivka, Donetsk Oblast, and Novodarivka, Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

The Ukrainian Defense Forces continued to attack the concentration of Russian troops near Berdyansk, Tokmak, Melitopol, Enerhodar, Dniprorudne, Polohy and Vasylivka on all strategic

logistics lines, wounding 240 enemy personnel and destroying three ammunition depots and 20 military equipment units.

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 at Antonivka, Chornobayivka and Kherson; civilians were injured. The enemy entrenched on Velikiy Potemkin Island, located in the Dnipro River, west of Kherson.

Ukrainian Defense forces struck Hola Prystan (on the Kherson-Armyansk highway) and Chaplynka (on the Nova Kakhovka-Armyansk highway). Ukrainian forces’ campaign to block Russian military assets and logistics centers in southern Ukraine has degraded Russian forces, their supply lines, and their morale.

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 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 number of enemy ships in the sea has insignificantly decreased. The enemy keeps 10 surface ships and boats at sea. They are located along the southwestern coast of Crimea. There are no Kalibr cruise missile carriers.

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, 18 combat aircraft from Belbek and Saki airfields were deployed.

On the night of December 9-10, the enemy again attacked coastal cities in the south of Ukraine with kamikaze drones “Shahid-136” and “Shahid-131”. A total of 15 drones were used, 10 of which were shot down by Ukrainian air defense. The enemy managed to damage the energy facilities of Odesa and Odesa Oblast.

“Grain Initiative”: Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the President of Turkey, Erdogan, with a call to guarantee the security of Mykolaiv Oblast and Mykolaiv ports, in particular. According to him, if Mykolaiv Oblast joins the grain initiative, it will help solve the global food crisis. The President of Ukraine stated this during a speech at the TRT World Forum 2022, which is ongoing in Istanbul as of December 10.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 10.12.22

Personnel – almost 93,760 people (+370);

Tanks – 2,940 (+3)

Armored combat vehicles – 5,917 (+5);

Artillery systems – 1,927 (+1);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 397 (+2); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 211 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,535 (+4); Aircraft – 281 (0);

Helicopters – 264 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,603 (0); Intercepted cruise missiles – 592 (0);

Boats/ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news

As a result of the Russian shelling of the Ukrainian energy infrastructure, some facilities were completely destroyed, stated the Deputy Prime Minister of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure, Oleksandr Kubrakov, in a comment to CNN.

“ATM national roaming” has started working in Ukraine: commissions for withdrawing cash from cards of other banks have been cancelled, stated the National Bank of Ukraine. According to the National Bank, 10 banks have already joined the “roaming” network. In addition, it provides for the establishment of uniform extended limits for cash withdrawals.

International diplomatic aspect

“The people of Ukraine want peace more than anyone else in the world. But peace cannot be reached by a country under attack laying down its arms,” said Oleksandra Matviichuk, the head of Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties, while receiving this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

At a meeting with his “pocket” human rights council, Vladimir Putin said that the war “can be a long-term process. But then you mentioned that new territories had appeared. This is such a

significant result for Russia … The Azov Sea has become an internal Russian sea. Even Peter I had fought for access to the Azov Sea.”

“Every time I talk to Putin, he confirms very clearly that we are talking about conquests… He wants to reconquer part of the Ukrainian territory by force,” Olaf Scholz told the “Bild” newspaper. Nevertheless, the German Chancellor believes that despite differences of “opinion,” there’s a need for the negotiations with Putin to continue.

The European Council reached an agreement on how to overrun the Hungarian blocking of an

€18 billion assistance package for Ukraine throughout 2023. The Council will submit a legislative package to the European Parliament for possible adoption next week. The loans with a 10-year grace period will cover Ukraine’s immediate needs, rehabilitation of critical infrastructure, and initial support towards sustainable post-war reconstruction, with a view to supporting Ukraine on its path towards European integration.

Romania’s navy destroyed a naval mine near its port of Constanta. It might be one of those mines Russia used to harass the sea lines of communications (SLOC) from the Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea at the beginning of the all-out invasion. It might also be a newly planted mine to undermine the export of Ukrainian grain to the world markets and countries in need under the “Grain from Ukraine” program. It’s the fourth time that Romania has destroyed mines within the SLOC. Tukey has defused at least four naval mines since the Russian invasion.

Meanwhile, Belarus told the UN that it would allow, without preconditions, the transit of grain from Ukraine through its territory for export from Lithuanian ports. In return, Minks asks to allow its export of fertilizers currently under sanctions. With 17.6% (12.2 million tonnes) of market share, Belarus had been the world’s third largest exporter of potash, a key ingredient in fertilizer, before the sanctions were imposed. Over 90% of export went through the port of Klaipeda in Lithuania. “An offer by Belarus to transport Ukrainian grain through its territory to Lithuania is just another attempt to escape sanctions. Ukrainian grain already travels through Poland and other countries to Baltic ports. It is a trap. Let’s not fall into it,” the Lithuanian twitted.

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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