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CDS Daily brief (02.01.23) | CDS comments on key events

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Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • Russia massively attacked Ukrainian cities with drones, including Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast. Critical and energy infrastructure facilities were damaged. 41 UAVs were shot down.
  • The Ukrainian authorities have information that Russia is planning a long-term terrorist attack by the Shaheds, a bet on the exhaustion of the Ukrainian air defense system, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said.
  • The situation in the power system is fully under control. In Kyiv, the situation is more complicated; emergency shutdowns are being introduced.


  • ChoD Valery Zaluzhny summed up the results of 2022. During the ten months of the war, Ukraine liberated 28% of its territory, which Russia captured before and after the start of a full-scale invasion, or 40% of what Russia seized after February 24, 2022.
  • There is no significant change in the operational situation.
  • The enemy keeps trying to surround Bakhmut, attacking UAF positions in Soledar and trying to break through to Klishchiivka.
  • The enemy is regrouping troops as part of the formation of the new “Dnieper” operational grouping.
  • The enemy stopped using the drones’ previous starting positions south of Kherson Oblast due to their vulnerability to UAF’s long-range artillery.


  • Vladimir Putin has exempted Russian militaries and gauleiters from declaring their incomes, including looted items and bribes. Moreover, they will be paid $40,000 while alive and $67,500 after they have been liquidated.
  • Russia’s head of the Central Bank of Russia is charged by the Ukrainian Security Service and might find her name on the international wanted list.
Humanitarian aspect:

Russian shellings

On the night of January 1-2, Ukraine was subjected to massive attacks by Iranian-made drones. According to the Ukrainian Air Force, air defense systems shot down 42 drones and a Kh- 59 guided missile. The mayor of Kyiv said that out of 40 drones aimed at the capital, 15 were destroyed over neighboring Oblasts, three over Kyiv Oblast, and 22 more directly over the city.

The Ukrainian authorities have information that Russia is planning a long-term terrorist attack by the Shaheds, a bet on the exhaustion of the Ukrainian air defense system, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said in his address.

Russia began to change the tactics of shelling the territories of Ukraine, combining different types of weapons, the representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Vadym Skibitsky, stated. He noted that Russian troops have begun to use Iranian

drones and various missiles in various configurations, including high-precision ballistic missiles and redesigned S-300 missiles. Skibitsky linked the change in the tactics of Russian shelling with economic sanctions against the Russian Federation. According to him, Russian troops are experiencing a shortage of Iskander ballistic missiles, and stocks of Kalibr and air-launched cruise missiles Kh-101, Kh-555 are depleted. He once again repeated other Ukrainian officials’ opinion that Russia can have a maximum of 2-3 powerful strikes from high-precision weapons.

On January 1 2023, Russia attacked 11 Ukrainian Oblasts and Kyiv, heads of respective Oblast Military Administrations (OMAs) reported at 9 a.m. round-up on January 2. One Ukrainian civilian was killed on January 1, due to Russian shelling, and nine more people were injured, according to data published by the deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Kyrylo Tymoshenko.

  • As a result of a night drone attack on Kyiv Oblast, a critical infrastructure object and private houses were damaged. There are emergency power outages in the city. There are de-energized heat supply facilities.
  • At night, the Russians continued to shell various areas along the entire front line in Donetsk Oblast. Vuhledar, Maryinka, Avdiivka came under fire. There were about 30 hits in Zarichny, Torsky and Terny.
  • The Russian occupiers shelled the territory of Kherson Oblast 71 times on January 1. 1 killed and 4 injured civilians were reported. In Kherson, enemy shells hit power lines, a regional children’s hospital, a swimming pool, and private and apartment buildings. On the morning of January 2, the Russians attacked the center of Beryslav, shelling the city market. Presumably, they fired from a tank from the side of temporarily occupied Kakhovka. 5 civilians were injured, and three of them are in serious condition.
  • After 22:00, the Russians shelled the Myropillia community in Sumy Oblast with artillery. And around 11:00 p.m., the enemy fired mortars at the Krasnopillia community.
  • On January 1, the Russian occupiers shelled the border areas of Kharkiv Oblast. There was one injured in Kupyansk, 5 private houses were damaged.
  • Law enforcement officers recorded the destruction of civilian objects in the Polohy and Vasylivka districts of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • In the Kamiansk district of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, fragments of downed ammunition fell on a private enterprise, causing a fire. The occupiers hit Nikopol and Marhanets four times. The recreation center was damaged. On January 2, Russians shelled the Marganets and Chervonohryhorivka communities three times. A total of 5 residential buildings were damaged.

NEC Ukrenergo reported that as of 11:00 a.m. January 2, the situation in the power system was fully under control. However, the situation is more complicated in Kyiv, so emergency shutdowns are being introduced in the capital. Restoration work is already underway.

In the Donetsk Oblast, 90% of towns and villages have heat and electricity supply, stated Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Kyrylo Tymoshenko. “We had this separate task

— to connect Donetsk region [to heat]. This is news to many, everyone thinks there is nothing

there. But no – people live there, and the state takes care of them; there is electricity, heat, gas,” he said. Tymoshenko noted that delivering gas to Donetsk Oblast was a big challenge, but the task was accomplished.

In Kherson, as of January 2, 96% of all consumers receive electricity, 82% of the city’s heat supply has been restored, and 97% of the centralized water supply has been restored in all areas of the city, reported the Kherson City Council.

Occupied territories

The enemy blocked the village of Polovynkine of Luhansk Oblast, captured in February, for “filtration measures.” “The reason was successful airstrikes on enemy positions, for which the occupiers blamed the local population. It is known that as a result of the raid, 30 residents of the village were repressed and taken to Luhansk. “Collective responsibility” applies to the residents of the village,” published by the Center of National Resistance on its website.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (January 1) developments)

It is the 313th 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”).

During the past day, the enemy carried out 51 airstrikes, in particular, massively used 44 “Shakhed-136” unmanned aerial vehicles. Air defense units destroyed all strike UAVs. Two Orlan- 10 UAVs and a Kh-59 guided missile were also shot down. Anti-aircraft missile units, fighter aircraft of the Air Force and mobile fire groups were involved in repelling the attack. Equipment and weapons provided to Ukraine by Western partners are being used more and more actively.

The enemy fired 55 rounds of anti-aircraft missiles. [One of them] at the children’s hospital in Kherson. Chernihiv, Sumy, and Kharkiv Oblasts towns and villages were subjected to mortar and artillery shelling.

No signs of the formation of offensive groups of the enemy were detected in the Volyn, Polissia, Siversk and Slobozhansk directions.

The aviation of Ukrainian Defense Forces carried out 13 strikes on enemy concentration. Rocket and artillery units struck five areas of concentration of enemy manpower and military equipment.

The threat of enemy air and missile strikes on critical infrastructure remains throughout Ukraine.

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 trying to improve its tactical position in the Kupyansk and Lyman directions. Units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled the enemy attacks in the areas of Stelmakhivka and Bilohorivka of Luhansk Oblast.

The enemy command continues to believe that the further development of the offensive of the Ukrainian Defense Forces will take place in the Kupyansk direction. Hence, the Russian military regularly fires at the targets there.

In the Lyman direction, the enemy is taking measures to stabilize the front line in the Kreminna area and is trying to stop the advance of the Defense Forces.

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 continues to focus its efforts on conducting offensive actions in the Bakhmut direction and tries to improve its tactical position in the Avdiyivka direction.

The enemy command does not stop trying to surround Bakhmut, for which it is trying to attack the Ukrainian Joint Forces positions in the area of Soledar, where Russians carried out an air strike, and Klishchiivka, trying to break through to the city by attacking its eastern outskirts. The enemy conducted a series of supporting attacks in the Ozeryanivka and Opytne areas but failed to succeed.

Having not achieved significant success in the areas of Avdiivka and Marynka, the enemy tried to break the stability of the defense of the Joint Forces and attacked in the direction of Krasnohorivka but was repulsed.

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 defending previously occupied lines. The exchange of fire continued, and the primary efforts of fire means were concentrated in Vuhledar, Novosilka, and Orikhove areas. In the areas of Tarasivka, Basan, Polohy, Berdyansk, and Tokmak, the enemy lost more than 175 soldiers wounded, 12 units of weapons and military equipment and the enemy’s ammunition depot were 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 127thrifle 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 regrouping troops as part of the formation of the new “Dnieper” operational grouping, conducting defense and shelling the positions of the Defense Forces and civilian objects along the contact line.

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 storm continues in the sea. The enemy keeps 6 ships at sea; none of them is a carrier of Kalibr missiles. But at the same time, the Russian Navy keeps in Sevastopol ships and submarines, which can carry up to 32 Kalibr missiles, ready to go to sea in 2-4 hours.

One enemy patrol boat is in the waters of the Sea of Azov on the approaches to the Mariupol and Berdyansk seaports in order to block the Azov coast.

Enemy aviation continues to fly from the Crimean airfields of Belbek, Saki, Dzhankoy and Gvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. About 12 sorties of enemy aircraft over the Black Sea were recorded per day.

The enemy continued the massive use of Shahid-136 kamikaze drones, which the enemy is now launching from the eastern coast of the Sea of Azov. The enemy stopped using the drones’ previous starting positions on the Kinbur Peninsula and the south of Kherson Oblast due to their vulnerability to the long-range artillery of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The enemy continues shelling the port of Ochakiv with artillery and rocket launchers.

On January 1, near Odesa, a storm threw a sea mine onto the coast. The mine was timely discovered and destroyed by a group of marine engineers.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.2022 to 02.01.23

Personnel – almost 107,440 people (+720);

Tanks – 3,031 (0)

Armored combat vehicles – 6,093 (+9);

Artillery systems – 2,027 (+6);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 423 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 213 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,725 (+5); Aircraft – 283 (0);

Helicopters – 269 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,836 (+44); Intercepted cruise missiles – 723 (0);

Boats/ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny summed up the results of 2022. During the ten months of the war, Ukraine liberated 28% of its territory, which Russia

captured before and after the start of a full-scale invasion. According to Zaluzhny, in recent months, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have liberated about 40,000 square kilometers of Ukraine, which is 40% of what Russia seized after February 24, 2022. Currently, the front line stretches for almost four thousand kilometers, and active hostilities occur on a stretch of 1,500 kilometers.

The business worsened estimates of business activity in December 2022, the press service of the NBU reports. “The negative consequences of active hostilities, the risk of further terrorist attacks against critical infrastructure and its long-term recovery, the reduction of production, the reduction of real incomes of the population complicated economic activity and affected the deterioration of the expectations of enterprises of all sectors, which participate in the monthly surveys of the National Bank.” Enterprises of all sectors involved in the survey are determined to further reduce the total number of employees; the most pessimistic expectations are in the construction sector.

After the start of the full-scale aggression on February 24, the largest Ukrainian IT companies opened more than 30 new foreign offices, Forbes Ukraine reports. In part, this is a response to the mass migration of specialists abroad. The new largest concentration centres of Ukrainian IT are Poland, Germany, and Romania. As noted, according to the calculations of the Lviv IT Cluster, up to 57,000 specialists left Ukraine in the spring of 2022. However, in 10 months of 2022, the Ukrainian IT industry exported half a billion more services than in the same period of the previous year. Adaptability is a key quality of all Ukrainian wartime business, noted Forbes.

International diplomatic aspect

Vladimir Putin has signed a decree allowing Russian militaries and gauleiters sent to the illegally occupied territories of Ukraine not to reveal their annual incomes. They’re also exempt from declaring presents received there (which are basically looted items and bribes). It’s a sort of legalization of a de facto practice. Alexander Borodai didn’t reveal his income while on his way to the Russian “Parliament.” He was the first “Prime Minister” of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic. The leader of the Donetsk “separatists,” just like his “Minister of Defense”, Igor Strelkov (Girkin), is a Russian citizen and an officer of the Russian Security Service. Yet, Western media still refer to the Russian proxies as Ukrainian “separatists.”

The invaders will receive a lump sum payment of around $40,000 while alive and approximately

$67,500 after they have been liquidated. Being a gauleiter on the occupied territories is dangerous, often resulting in blowups.

The Ukrainian Security Service charged Elvira Nabibulina, the head of the Central Bank of Russia, with “actions committed by a representative of the authorities, with the prior conspiracy of a group of persons, to change the borders of the territory and the state border of Ukraine and violate the order established by the Constitution of Ukraine, which led to the death of people and other serious consequences. She planned and organized the introduction of the so-called “ruble zone” in the temporarily occupied areas, including employment of the illegally seized branches of Ukrainian financial institutions. She might face a 10 to 15 years sentence. Nabibulina will be put on the international wanted list. Elvira Nabibulina was considered a liberal-minded

economist and well-received in the West. She is the key figure behind keeping the heavily sanctioned Russian financial system afloat.

Though Elvira Nabibulina is not directly involved in the planning and carrying out of the aggressive war, she is one of the key enabling persons. Like with her predecessor, Hjalmar Schacht, who had been an important official of the Nazi regime, it will be challenging to bring her to justice. Hjalmar Schacht was charged with conspiracy and crimes against peace in the Nuremberg trial but didn’t plead guilty and thus was cleared of charges. However, Elvira Nabibulina’s involvement in crimes in the Ukrainian jurisdiction might help to make justice happen. Even more important is that she would be charged at the future trial because facing justice for the highest white-collar crime (planning and enabling a war of aggression) is the right precedent and the message to rogue regimes’ functionaries across the globe.

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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