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CDS Daily brief (14.12.22) | CDS comments on key events

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Humanitarian aspect:

According to Prosecutor’s General office, as of December 14, more than 1,298 Ukrainian children are victims of the full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation: 443 were killed, and 855 were injured. However, this number is not final, as work is ongoing to establish child victims in places of active hostilities, in temporarily occupied and liberated territories.

In the Novopetrivka village of Mykolaiv Oblast, law enforcement officers exhumed the bodies of three minor girls who died due to Russian aggression, reported the Mykolaiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office. According to the conclusions of forensic experts, they died from mine and explosive injuries in June 2022 in their yard hit by the enemy shell.

Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights/Ombudsman, Dmytro Lubinets, stated that “For the first time, we recorded the fact of torture of children [by Russian military].” According to him, there was a special room for minors in one of the detention premises for civilians during the occupation of Kherson. “According to [the testimony of] the people who were kept there, they knew Ukrainian children were next to them. The [Russian] occupiers themselves called it a “children’s cell”. According to Lubinets, the “children’s room/cell”, like the others, was damp, and the children were given water every other day and “practically were not fed.” Children were subjected to psychological pressure. In particular, they were told that their parents allegedly abandoned them, Lubinets said. “One of the boys, 14 years old, was taken away only because he photographed the broken Russian equipment. After that, he was detained and kept there under torture.” He mentioned another case that occurred in Balaklia (Kharkiv Oblast), where the boy was kept in the torture chamber for 90 days [Lubinets provided details of his physical torture].

Almost 5 million Ukrainians became internally displaced persons within Ukraine [since February 24], and more than seven million Ukrainians went abroad, which is 20% of the actual population of Ukraine. 13 million Ukrainians remained to live in temporarily occupied territories or in the area of hostilities, reported Dmytro Lubinets during the presentation at the Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform.

The Office of the President of Ukraine announced another POW exchange with Russia. Andriy Yermak, head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, confirmed that 64 Ukrainian soldiers were released from Russian captivity, and the bodies of four fallen Ukrainian defenders returned home. Among the released Ukrainian military are those who fought in the Donetsk and Lugansk directions, in particular, Bakhmut and the US citizen Murekezi Suedi.

In his evening address on the 294th day of the all-out war, President Zelensky said that [some of] defenders released from Russian captivity in [this] exchange are seriously wounded and provided with necessary medical assistance.

Consequences of enemy shelling as of the morning of December 14:

  • In the morning, the enemy attacked Kyiv Oblast with kamikaze drones; 13 of them were destroyed. No victims were reported. Remnants of drones damaged civilian objects in Kyiv city a private house in Kyiv Oblast. Not a single object of the energy structure was damaged after the morning attack by kamikaze drones, said Ukrenergo
  • During the past day, the enemy shellings damaged the civilian infrastructure of the Polohy and Vasylivka districts in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • The Russians attacked the Nikopol district of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast all night with “Grads”, “Hurricanes”, and heavy artillery. In Nikopol, several private houses, a service station, a gas pipeline and power lines were damaged. In Marhanets – dozens of private houses and farm buildings, cars, gas furnaces and electricity grids.
  • As a result of the enemy shelling, two houses and an enterprise building were damaged in Kurakhovo and Kurakhivka of Donetsk Oblast. In Krasnohorivka, a house was directly hit. In Paraskoviivka, a kindergarten, 4 houses and an enterprise were damaged.
  • During the current day, the enemy carried out 23 air strikes and seven missile strikes on the civilian infrastructure of Kurakhove and Kostyantynivka, Donetsk Oblast, according to the summary of the General Staff.
  • [During the past day], the Russian invaders shelled the territory of Kherson Oblast 42 times. In Kherson, the occupiers targeted a yacht club, a school, a sports facility, and private and apartment buildings. One killed and one wounded civilian were reported.

Today, December 14, the Russian occupiers fired at the building of the Kherson Oblast Military Administration around 11 a.m. According to preliminary information, the occupiers shelled the city with multiple rocket launchers from the temporarily occupied territory. As a result of the shelling of Kherson on December 14, at least six civilians were injured.

All elevators in Kherson buildings will be turned off, said Kherson City Council. This is due to the dangerous situation in the city, constant enemy shelling and the inability to ensure the safe maintenance and operation of the elevators. However, elevators will work in hospitals.

In the city of Izyum in Kharkiv Oblast, since the de-occupation, 36 residents have been blown up by explosive devices installed by the [Russian] invaders; unfortunately, ten victims lost their limbs [due to these injuries], reported by the Izyum City Council. Unfortunately. The Russian mine exploded in Kyiv Oblast, near the border with Belarus; one person was injured.

This week, the situation in Ukraine’s energy system improved somewhat,

the deputy head of the Office of the President, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, announced on the air of the telethon. “We managed to get on schedule for planned outages in most areas,” he said. According to Tymoshenko, there were emergency shutdowns during the day in only a few Ukrainian regions.

Only a small part of Ukrainians plan to change their place of residence for the winter period despite the energy crisis caused by Russia, so international organizations should help those who stay, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) report’ conclusions, reports Ukrinform. “About 18 million people – 40% of the population of Ukraine – need urgent

humanitarian assistance. We must support them in the winter, especially those without access to shelter or heat. IOM calls on interested parties to step up their efforts, as the needs are growing day by day,” said Anh Nguyen, head of the IOM office in Ukraine. Even in the case of long-term outages of all major utilities and unclear repair times, two out of three respondents say they will not leave their homes. At the same time, there is already a lack of resources for survival, as 43% of all households in Ukraine have exhausted their savings, according to the IOM. To reduce costs, 63% of respondents reported that they moderate the consumption of gas, electricity and solid fuel.

Occupied territories:

The Russian military is still trying to force employees of the Zaporizhzhia NPP to sign contracts with [Russian Federation’s] Rosatom enterprise, the Ukrainian Energoatom reported. According to the company’s statement, the Russians are telling the ZNPP employees that from January 1, 2023, Energoatom will stop paying their salaries. The Ukrainian company calls these statements “shameless lies.”

The Russian invaders almost stopped letting civilians leave Ukraine’s temporarily occupied territories. During the day, only 9 people left through Vasylivka [checkpoint], said Oleksandr Starukh, the head of Zaporizhzhia OMA, on the air of the national telethon, Ukrinform reports.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (December 13) developments)

It is the 294th 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, the Defense Forces units repelled Russian attacks in the areas of Hryanikyvka in Kharkiv Oblast; Novoselivske, Chervonopopivka, Serebryanske and Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast and Bilohorivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Kurdyumivka, Nevelske, Maryinka, Pobyeda and Novomykhailivka in Donetsk Oblast. At the same time, the enemy launched 1 air and 11 missile strikes, 3 of them on the civilian infrastructure of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts. The Russian military fired more than 60 MLRS rounds. [In border area] the enemy shelled the areas of Leonivka, Buchka and Hai of Chernihiv Oblast; Kucherivka and Kindrativka in Sumy Oblast, and Strilecha, Starytsia, Tyhe, Ambarne, Vilkhuvatka, Khatnie, Mylove, Dvorichna and Krasne in Kharkiv Oblast.

Missile forces and artillery of Ukraine’s Defense Forces hit 2 enemy command and control points and 4 areas of enemy personnel concentrations.

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 military shelled by tanks, mortars, barrel and jet artillery areas of Kupyansk, Kotlyarivka, Tabaivka, and Berestove in Kharkiv Oblast; Novoselivske, Stelmakhivka, Myasozharivka, Grekivka, Ploschanka, Nevske, Chervonopopivka and Pishchane of Luhansk Oblast and Novosadove Terny of Donetsk Oblast.

The enemy has concentrated up to 30 BTGs in the northern part of Luhansk Oblast. Up to nine of them are in the second echelon or concentrated in reserve. They are supported by up to 10 artillery divisions of various types. The grouping has about 22,000-24,000 military personnel, up to 270 tanks, 770 AFVs, 540 guns and mortars, 130 self-propelled guns, and about 1,100 pieces of anti-tank means. BTGs are concentrated in the following areas:

  • 61st separate marines brigade – in Tavilzhanka village;
  • 200th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 14th Army Corps (AC), reinforced by two battalions of the 344th motorized rifle regiment of the Territorial Troops – in Vilshana and Pershotravneve villages,
  • consolidated BTG of the 467 of the Joint educational center of the Western Military District (fully staffed by instructors of the educational center) – in Nova Tarasivka village,10th tank regiment tp of the 6th motorized rifle division of the 3rd AC – in Arapivka and Ivanivka villages,
  • 9th BARS detachment – in Orlyanske village.

The grouping is tasked to cover in the Pokrovske direction to prevent the Ukrainian Defense Forces from entering Troitske – Pokrovske – Svatove road.

On the night of December 12-13, more than 15 servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces were destroyed in the Novoaidar area.

Because of the significant number of wounded Russian military personnel, the so-called occupation authorities issued a “decree” transferring Hospital No. 15 in Yuvileyne and Hospital No. 3 in Luhansk to the needs of the military.

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 inflicted fire damage near Serebryanka, Verkhnyokamyanske, Spirne, Bilohorivka, Vesele, Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Opytne, Klishchiivka, Kurdyumivka, Avdiivka, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Georhiivka, Maryinka, and Novomykhailivka in Donetsk Oblast.

Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, and Pidgorodne remain under Ukrainian control. Ukrainian Defence Forces in this area are under the command of the 57th separate motorized infantry brigade headquarters. To the south, the front line has stabilized east of Klishchiivka, but the Russians control Andrivka.

The Russians are trying to bypass Bakhmut, advancing to the northeast (Soledar district) and south of it (Opytne and Klishchiivka) in order to block the Ukrainian supply channels to Bakhmut.

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 fired at the areas of Vremivka, Vuhledar, Neskuchne, Prechystivka in Donetsk Oblast and Plavni, Hulyaipole, Dorozhnyanka and Olhivske in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the enemy lost up to 100 personnel wounded; and the ammunition depot was destroyed.

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 continues to shell Ukrainian Defence Forces positions and civilian infrastructure of towns and villages along the right bank of the Dnipro River, including Chornobayivka, Antonivka, Mykilske, Tokarivka, Novokairy, Respublikanets, Mylové of Kherson Oblast and the city of Kherson.

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.

Due to stormy weather conditions, the enemy keeps only 8 surface ships at sea. They are located along the southwestern coast of Crimea.

There were no Kalibr cruise missile carriers at sea for six days. But the time for their deployment to firing positions on the outer Sevastopol raid is estimated at 3-4 hours. The possible number of missiles is up to 36.

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 warplanes from Belbek and Saki airfields were deployed.

“Grain initiative”: 4 ships with 69.5 thousand tons of agricultural products for Asia left the ports of Great Odesa. Among them are tankers SELINA II, MED PACIFIC, with 54 thousand tons of sunflower oil for India. Currently, 21 vessels are being processed in the ports of Great Odesa.

665.8 thousand tons of Ukrainian agricultural products are loaded onto them. 1 vessel carrying

63.5 thousand tons of agricultural products moves along the “grain corridor”. In the Bosphorus,

81 vessels are awaiting inspection (61 for entry, 20 for exit). The situation with the queue is consistently difficult – the Russian Federation registers no more than 3 vessels per day, when 12 are required.

Since August 1, 554 vessels have left the ports of Great Odesa, exporting 13.9 million tons of Ukrainian food to Asia, Europe and Africa.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 14.12.22

Personnel – almost 96,000 people (+740);

Tanks – 2,970 (+4)

Armored combat vehicles – 5,937 (+7);

Artillery systems – 1,931 (0);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 404 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 211 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,562 (+13); Aircraft – 281 (0);

Helicopters – 264 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,617 (0); Intercepted cruise missiles – 592 (0);

Boats/ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news

Ukraine will soon introduce a free exchange program of incandescent lamp bulbs for LED, First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Economy Yuliya Svyridenko announced on Tuesday. Such a simple method can help Ukraine consume 7-10% less electricity during peak load.

The government expects Ukraine’s economy to shrink by 3-9% in 2023 after a more than 30% drop in GDP this year under a worst-case scenario that involves continued Russian airstrikes on the country’s energy facilities, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said in an interview with Bloomberg. If the attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure stop, the Prime Minister added, the economy may show a slight recovery.

International diplomatic aspect

“At this point, we have no credible information that would indicate that there’s been any diversion of Ukrainian assistance into illicit means. Again, and I think the results on the battlefield, in this case, speak for themselves,” Pentagon Press Secretary said. He went on by saying that there’s a small team at the Defense Attaché Office that “does conduct inspections in terms of capabilities that we are providing to Ukraine. In terms of the numbers associated with that mission.”

Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder declined to confirm or reject rumors about the possible delivery of Patriot air defense systems, “we do maintain a robust dialogue with our Ukrainian partners with our allies, and our international partners on Ukraine security assistance needs to include battlefield

capabilities that they may need as well as air defense.” At the same time, AP reports that “The US is poised to approve sending a Patriot missile battery,” and the approval is likely to come later this week.

A joint investigation by Reuters and the Royal United Services Institute revealed: “the global supply chain that continues to feed Russia with Western computer components and other electronics.” Though the US Department of Commerce says about slashing Russia’s access to semiconductors from all sources by nearly 70 percent, Russian customs data found that since the invasion, Russia’s declared value of semiconductor imports has risen sharply. At least $2.6 billion of computer and other electronic components flowed into Russia in the seven months to October

31. At least $777 million of these products were made by Western firms whose chips were found in Russian weapons systems. The supply chains include Hong Kong, Turkey, and other trading hubs. Export control requires intelligence, cooperation between nations, and law enforcement actions to make it impossible to circumvent restrictions. It’s important to deny Russia the ability to rearm its invasion forces, as well as curb China’s access to and ability to produce cutting-edge semiconductors.

Brooklyn Federal Court charges five Russian nationals – including a suspected FSB officer – and two US nationals with conspiracy and other charges related to a global procurement and money laundering scheme on behalf of the Russian government in which the defendants allegedly conspired to obtain military-grade and dual-use technologies from US companies for Russia’s defense sector and to smuggle sniper rifle ammunition, in violation of new US sanctions.

Russia, relevant news

Holcim, the world’s largest cement producer, has signed an agreement to sell Russian assets to local management. The company will operate in Russia under a new brand.

The share of unsold apartments in new buildings across Russia reached 66 million square meters, or 66% of the total volume of housing under construction, reported RBC with reference to the calculations of INFOLine-Analytics, which were carried out on the basis of data from the unified housing construction information system.

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