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CDS Daily brief (03.01.23) | CDS comments on key events

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Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • On January 2, Russia attacked 9 Ukrainian Oblasts. Tree Ukrainian civilians were killed, and ten more people were injured.
  • The Russian invaders continue to bring their personnel to the Zaporizhzhia NPP to replace Ukrainians who refuse to cooperate with them.
  • Another torture chamber was discovered in Kherson.
  • The Cabinet of Ministers is considering building a decentralized energy system, less vulnerable to Russian shelling.


  • From December 31 to the morning of January 3, the enemy struck Ukraine with 14 cruise missiles and used 94 kamikaze drones of the “Shahed-136” type.
  • There is no significant change in the operational situation.
  • The enemy is strengthening the grouping in the Novopavlivka direction with the units transferred from Kherson.
  • The enemy is increasing its efforts in the Avdiyivka area.
  • The enemy is strengthening its left flank in the Melitopol direction and trying to restore the troops’ logistics along Azov “corridor”.


  • The new Israeli government will “talk less” about the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The new minister announced the Foreign Ministry to “formulate a responsible policy.”
  • Germany breaks free energy dependence on Russia.
  • A new insurance policy of the International Group of P&I Clubs will likely complicate grain exports from Ukraine.
Humanitarian aspect:

As of the morning of January 3, 2023, more than 1,328 Ukrainian children suffered as a result of the full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation. According to the official information of juvenile prosecutors, 452 children died, and more than 876 were injured of various degrees of severity.

Russian shelling

From December 31 to the morning of January 3, the enemy struck 14 cruise missiles and used 94 kamikaze drones of the “Shahed-136” type on [Ukraine], said CHoD Valeriy Zaluzhnyi in his phone call with CJCS General Mark Milley.

On January 2, 2023, Russia attacked 9 Ukrainian Oblasts, heads of respective Oblast Military Administrations (OMAs) reported at 9 a.m. round-up on January 3. Tree Ukrainian civilians were killed on January 2 due to Russian shelling, and ten more people were injured, according to data published by the deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Kyrylo Tymoshenko.

  • In Chernihiv Oblast, the Russians shelled the Snovska community three times during the day from self-propelled artillery installations, mortars and barrel artillery. The night in the Oblast passed without shelling.
  • In Sumy Oblast, at night, self-propelled artillery units of the Russian troops hit the railway station in Krasnopillya. The enemy fired artillery at the Seredyno-Budska and struck the outskirts of Romashkove. The enemy fired at the Velykopysariv community from a Mi-24 helicopter. In Bilopolska hromada, a school and a power line were damaged by enemy fire.
  • Russian invaders shelled civilian infrastructure in 20 towns and villages in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Houses (apartments) of citizens and infrastructure facilities have been destroyed

– nine reports have been received in total. The consequences are clarified.

  • In Kharkiv Oblast, Russian troops fired artillery and mortars at the districts of the Slobozhansk direction and 13 villages in the Kupyansk direction. Private houses were damaged by enemy fire in Dvorichna village. A fire broke out in one of the buildings; while extinguishing it, the rescuers came under another fire. In Vovchansk, the roof of a building burned down due to strikes by Russian troops, and during firefighting, the personnel of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine also came under repeated fire.
  • In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Russian invaders once again shelled the Nikopol district at night with “Hurricanes” and heavy artillery. There were no casualties, and the consequences of the attack are still being investigated.
  • In Donetsk Oblast, at night, the troops of the Russian Federation launched a rocket attack on Kramatorsk, damaging 34 private houses, 8 multi-apartment houses and four cars. Late in the evening, the Russians fired missiles at Druzhkivka, hitting the technical facilities of the industrial enterprise. An enemy strike damaged the warehouse, the electromagnetic crane and the guardhouse. A hotel complex, a bus station, a church, a residential building, and the Hockey Club “Donbas” ice arena were damaged. The moment of the missile strike near Kramatorsk was caught live during the broadcast on a French TV channel. In the morning, the Russians shelled Kurakhove with artillery; they aimed at a residential quarter. 1 person died, 2 more were injured. One projectile hit a high-rise building directly. In addition, the water supply infrastructure facility was damaged. On January 3, the Russian occupiers shelled Kramatorsk in Donetsk Oblast again. An employee of the power grid repair team working on-site was injured.
  • On January 3, Russian invaders hit the communal transportation enterprise in Kherson; dozens of trolleybuses and the administration building were damaged, Kherson City Council reported.

Planned power outages were introduced in Kyiv Oblast again on January 3.

The Russian invaders continue to bring their personnel to the Zaporizhzhia NPP, seeking to replace Ukrainians who refuse to cooperate with them, reported Dmytro Lubinets, the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, on his Telegram channel. As Lubinets noted, since the beginning of the seizure of the ZNPP, the Russians have been forcing its workers to sign

contracts with “Rosatom”. Still, the Ukrainians refuse to do so, and most workers, despite pressure and threats, have not betrayed Ukraine.

Recently liberated territories

In Kherson, law enforcement officers discovered a torture chamber that the Russian invaders had set up in the basement of the regional police headquarters building, the police of the Kherson Oblast reported. During the inspection, law enforcement officers discovered and seized objects and other evidence indicating that the invaders used torture on the Kherson people. The police are conducting the necessary investigative actions; witnesses, the number of victims, and the identity of the torturers are being established. The pre-trial investigation of the criminal proceedings opened under Part 1 of Art. 438 (Violation of laws and customs of war) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

After the de-occupation in the liberated territory of the Kherson region, the police recorded 7 torture chambers and 8 places of imprisonment [Ukrinform].

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (January 2) developments)

It is the 314th 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 enemy, trying to take full control of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, is concentrating its efforts on conducting offensive actions in the Bakhmut direction, making attempts to improve the tactical position in the Lyman and Avdiyivka directions, and strengthening the grouping in the Novopavlivka direction at the expense of units transferred from Kherson.

Over the past 24 hours, the enemy launched 6 missile strikes, 52 air strikes and carried out 77 MLRS rounds, of which 6 missile and 30 airstrikes targeted civilian infrastructure. All 27 enemy “Shakhed-136” UAVs were shot down by Ukrainian air defense. Near the state border, the enemy fired at the Defense Forces positions and civil infrastructure in Chernihiv, Sumy, and Kharkiv Oblasts.

In the Volyn, Polissya, Siversk and Slobozhansk directions, the situation remains without significant changes; the enemy maintains a military presence in the border areas, and no signs of the formation of enemy offensive groups have been detected.

On December 28-29, 2022, the enemy conducted joint training of individual elements of the unified regional air defense system of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. They worked out directing regular pairs of Belarusian MiG-29 and Su-30sm fighters from the 61st air base (Baranovichi) from duty positions at the airfield and in the air with the help of a Russian DRLV A-50U aircraft of the operational group of the RF Air Forces. In addition, another series of

training flights were conducted in the airspace of the Republic of Belarus by MiG-31k aircraft, which are carriers of Kh-47m2 “Kinzhal” missiles, from the Russian unit based at Machulyshchi Air Base.

During the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian Defence Forces Air Force made 13 strikes on the enemy’s personnel, weapons and military equipment concentration area, 5 strikes on the positions of anti- aircraft missile systems. Ukrainian air defense units shot down an enemy Ka-52 helicopter and 3 Orlan-10 reconnaissance UAVs. Rocket and artillery units hit the area of the enemy’s manpower and military equipment concentration and the enemy’s radar.

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 and to reach the frontier along the Zherebets River in the Kreminna-Lyman direction. The main goal of the enemy’s actions in the Chervonopopivka area is to try to remove the threat to their advanced units on the right flank of the Lyman direction in the area east of Dibrova. The fresh BTG of the 35th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 41st Army was engaged there yesterday.

Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled the enemy attacks in the areas of Stelmakhivka, Makiyivka, Ploschanka, and Bilohorivka.

In the Novopskov region, the command of the 20th Army organized an accelerated training course for mortar units of the 252nd and 752nd motorized rifle regiments, manned with a mobilization reserve.

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 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 tries to attack the positions of Joint Forces units in Rozdolivka, Soledar, Krasna Hora, Pidgorodnie, Bakhmut, Klishchiivka, Kurdyumivka, to surround them in the area of the city from the north and south. Still, for a long time, Russian troops do not reach success.

Fighting continues in the Avdiyivka and Maryinka areas, where both sides try to improve their tactical position.

The units of the 33rd and 255th motorized rifle regiments of the 20th motorized rifle division were redeployed to the defense line of the 150th motorized rifle division in the Avdiivka area. This indicates that the enemy is increasing its efforts near the city because the forces of the 1st Army Corps of the so-called “Peoples militia of DPR” could not achieve significant progress. The mobilization reserve’s 103rd and 111th rifle regiments were moved here from the Crimean direction. We should expect them to enter the battle in the areas of Pervomaiske and Krasnohorivka. The enemy command plans to use the same tactics as near Bakhmut – creating a threat to encircle the city to force Ukrainian Joint Forces units to leave Avdiivka.

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 defends previously captured frontiers and concentrates efforts on restraining the actions of the Defense Forces units. It fires at the positions of Ukrainian troops and civilian objects along the entire line of contact.

The enemy is taking active measures to strengthen the left flank of the 58th Army in the Melitopol direction and is trying to restore the full logistical support of its troops along the entire Azov “corridor”.

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.

Along the Pishchanivka – Hola Prystan frontier, the enemy command deployed two battalions of the 126th separate coastal defense brigade of the Black Sea Fleet, the 1st motorized rifle battalion (MRB) of the 385th motorized rifle regiment (MRR) and the 2nd MRB of the 1821st MRR of Territorial Forces; another motorized rifle battalion is on the move from the territory of temporarily occupied Crimea. The enemy is actively mining areas near the Antonivskyi railway bridge (opposite Prydniprovske village and further along the Dnieper to the north) and near Kardashynka and Oleshki. In the Ivanivka – Vynogradne – Rybalche – Chulakivka area, the enemy intensified the fortification of the defense area east of the Black Sea Biosphere Reserve of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Presumably, the defense at this frontier will be managed by the headquarters of the 49th Army.

On December 31, 2022, the defense forces destroyed the enemy’s concentration of manpower and military equipment in the area of Chulakivka; the enemy’s losses amounted to about 500 servicemen, wounded and killed. On 01.01.2023, a concentration of enemy manpower in the area of Fedorivka was hit.

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 Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation keeps six ships at sea; none are carriers of Kalibr missiles. But at the same time, the Russian Navy maintains ships and submarines in Sevastopol, which can have up to 32 Kalibr missiles, ready to go to sea in 2-4 hours.

It became known that on January 1, during the massive shelling of Ukraine from the waters of the Black Sea, eight “Kalibr” cruise missiles were launched from a small missile ship of the “Buyan- M” type in the direction of the central part of Ukraine. Also, from the outskirts of Azovske village, four P-800 “Onyx” missiles were launched from the coastal anti-ship complex “Bastion” in the direction of the territory of Ukraine.

In the waters of the Sea of Azov, there is one patrol boat 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 17 sorties of enemy aircraft over the Black Sea were recorded during the last day.

“Grain Initiative”: 9 ships exported 432,000 tons of Ukrainian products to countries in Africa, Asia and Europe during the holiday weekend.

In particular, the bulk carrier HONORINE, with 27.5 thousand tons of Ukrainian grain, is on its way to Tunisia. The bulk carrier VELVET, with 57 thousand tons of wheat, was sent to Bangladesh. Today, 630,000 tons of agricultural products are loaded on 19 ships in the ports of “Odesa”, “Chornomorsk” and “Pivdenny”. No new ships are expected for loading. In the Bosporus, 94 vessels are awaiting inspection (69 vessels are empty for loading, and 25 are already loaded with agricultural products). The Russian side in the JCC systematically slows down inspections. Vessels are waiting for more than a month on average. However, the T-Med bulker with wheat on board has been awaiting inspection since the beginning of November last year. Since August 1, 620 ships have left the ports of Great Odesa, exporting 16.5 million tons of Ukrainian food to the countries of Asia, Europe and Africa.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.2022 to 03.01.2023

Personnel – almost 108,190 people (+750);

Tanks – 3,036 (+5)

Armored combat vehicles – 6,100 (+7);

Artillery systems – 2,033 (+6);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 424 (+1); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 214 (+1); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,735 (+10); Aircraft – 283 (0);

Helicopters – 270 (+1);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,839 (+3); Intercepted cruise missiles – 723 (0);

Boats/ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news

The Cabinet of Ministers is considering building a decentralized energy system that will become less vulnerable to Russian shelling. This particularly includes the construction of mini-power plants and small generation facilities, said Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal during the government meeting on January 3.

The Ministry of Digital Transformation, together with the Canadian eQualitie, handed over 172 SBL batteries to [Internet] providers in all regions of Ukraine. “29 providers from all regions of Ukraine received batteries. Mostly Kharkiv, Donetsk, Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv and Sumy. These are the regions that have the greatest difficulties with the Internet due to blackouts,” the message says. This will help power Internet networks without electricity and help people stay in touch with relatives and know the latest news.

International diplomatic aspect

“The images and testimony from Ukraine are horrific. Russian forces committed war crimes against a defenseless civilian population. I strongly condemn these war crimes,” former Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said last April. According to the new Foreign Minister Eli Cohen’s inaugural speech, the new government will talk less about the Russian aggression against Ukraine. “With regard to the Russia-Ukraine issue, we will do one thing for certain – in public – we will talk less”. He promised to continue the “significant humanitarian aid to Ukraine.”

It’s reported that the Ukrainian Foreign Minister wanted to talk to his Israeli colleague, but to no avail. An Israeli diplomat said that the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken asked the new Foreign Minister to convey messages to Russia in a phone call with Sergey Lavrov. “I hope Mr. Cohen understands that when he speaks to Russia’s Lavrov, he’s speaking to a representative of a war criminal regime that commits war crimes on an industrial scale every day. To stay quiet about Russia’s criminal behavior will not age well,” US Senator Lindsey Graham said.

Though an Israeli diplomatic official rejected the notion of policy change on Ukraine, the new minister announced the Foreign Ministry to “formulate a responsible policy,” suggesting precisely that. Benjamin Netanyahu said before the elections that the mediation offer “presumably would come up again.”

Germany has received the first US LNG ship at its new floating terminal in Wilhelmshaven. The government reports zero energy imports from Russia, though just before the all-out Russian invasion, it had been importing from Russia half of its coal and gas and a third of its oil.

During the holiday weekend, nine bulkers exported 432,000 tons of Ukrainian products to the countries of Africa, Asia, and Europe from the ports of Odesa. However, as of January 3, no single Black Sea bulker was bound to the Ukrainian ports. The BlackSeaNews presumes that it’s “most likely, the consequences of the fact that the International Group of P&I Clubs – an international association of mutual insurance – refused to re-insure war-related risks from 01.01.2023.” The lack of one of the three insurance policies (shipowner’s liability risks related to war) required for marine transportation will significantly complicate grain export.

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