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CDS Daily brief (04.01.23) | CDS comments on key events

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Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • Ukraine has lost a significant share of its exports, namely 35%
  • Russian forces intensified repressions in the occupied territories in response to Ukrainian strikes
  • Indiscriminate shelling of Ukrainian civilian targets continues


  • The Russian forces concentrate their efforts on offensive actions in the Bakhmut area.
  • The Russian military is on the defensive in the Novopavlivka, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson directions.
  • The situation in the Kreminna area is gaining importance for enemy forces, as it is under the threat of encircling part of the forces by AFU. The commanders of the 20th and 41st armies arrived at the forward C2 points.
  • Almost 108,910 Russian servicemen have been killed since Feb 24 (+720 in one day)


  • Ready to send wheeled tanks to Ukraine, France crosses yet another self-imposed restriction on weapons delivery to Ukraine.
  • Russia rules out the Italian offer of a peace brokerage but talks to Turkey.
  • German Foreign Minister sees no prospects of peace since Putin has nothing on his mind but to destroy Ukraine.
Humanitarian aspect:

Russian attacks

Russian attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure continue. Over the past day, January 3, the Russian army killed five civilians in Ukraine and injured 13 more, Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko informed. The Russian Federation’s army shelled nine Ukraine regions during the past day.

The city of Nikopol, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, was subjected to shelling at night. As a result of the shelling, 3 residential buildings, 2 farm buildings, a car, a gas pipeline and a power line were damaged. No victims were reported.

As a result of a missile strike on the outskirts of Zaporizhzhia, carried out by the Russians late in the evening on January 3, an infrastructure object was destroyed, and residential buildings located next to it were damaged. Two people were injured.


In the liberated parts of Kherson Oblast, 75 towns and villages out of 228 have an electricity supply, 46 out of 186 have a water supply, 53 out of 88 have a gas supply, reported Yaroslav Yanushevich, the head of the Kherson OMA. In the city of Kherson, more than 95% of residents

are provided with electricity and water, and about 80% have central heating in their homes. The situation is the worst in the Korabel district, which is constantly shelled by the Russian army.


Landmines continue to pose a danger to civilians. On the way out of Mala Oleksandrivka, Kherson Oblast, a car with civilians came across Russian explosives. Two men died, and one more was wounded. In the Izyum district of the Kharkiv region, as a result of the detonation of the ammunition, Serhiy Hotsulyak, the head of the pyrotechnic work group of the emergency and rescue squad of the special purpose State Emergencies Service in the Ternopil region, died.

Law enforcement

Since the beginning of the full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation, as of the beginning of January, the State Bureau of Investigation has been investigating 1,180 criminal cases regarding crimes against the foundations of national security.

Among them are 952 criminal investigations into treason, 184 criminal investigations into collaboration, 12 criminal investigations of accomplices of the aggressor state, and others. 491 people have been charged, 308 people have been declared wanted, and 1,342 people are being checked for involvement in treason and collaborative activities. 137 indictments have already been sent to the court.

Occupied territories

According to the National Resistance Center of the Ukrainian MOD, the high-precision strikes on the places of Russian concentration in the occupied territories forced them to intensify repressions against the local population. In the Kakhovka district (Kherson Oblast), Russian soldiers raided the houses of local residents to check their electronic devices for correspondence with relatives in Ukraine and the transfer of information. At the same time, the Russians blocked the village of Titarovka (Luhansk Oblast) for exit and entry and detained dozens of locals on suspicion of working for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The village is located near the village of Polovynkine, where the invaders also repressed the local population.

In Mariupol, the invaders are gradually turning the seaport into a military base, said Petro Andryushchenko, adviser to the Mariupol mayor. At the end of December, all residents of Mariupol were dismissed from the port (except for some specialists-collaborators), and workers were brought in from Moscow. Work has begun on dividing berths into conventionally civilian and conventionally military ones. Although the waters in the port are shallow due to silt, this does not exclude the supply of military equipment during the spring shipping period. In the third decade of December, part of the workers from Mariupol were “seconded” to the occupied Crimea. After that, contact with them was lost, and their whereabouts were unknown to relatives.

Operational situation

(Please note that this section of the Brief is mainly on the previous day’s (January 3) developments)

It is the 315th 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 Russian forces concentrate their efforts on offensive actions in the Bakhmut area and try to improve the tactical position of their troops in the Kupyansk, Lyman and Avdiivka directions. The Russian military is on the defensive in the Novopavlivka, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson directions.

Over the past 24 hours, the Russian military launched 7 missile attacks and 18 air strikes, fired more than 85 MRLS rounds, in particular hitting civilian infrastructure in Kramatorsk of Donetsk Oblast, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. Territorial communities located near the state border in Chernihiv, Sumy, and Kharkiv Oblasts were shelled by the Russian military. There are victims among the civilian population.

The situation in the Volyn, Polissya, Siversk and Slobozhanskiy directions is without significant change. The Russian military maintains a presence in the border areas, however, no signs have been detected that offensive groupings are being formed.

Aviation of the Ukrainian Defense Forces made 12 strikes on the Russian concentration areas and a strike on the position of their anti-aircraft missile system.

Ukrainian missile and artillery troops hit 2 enemy control posts, 5 areas of Russian manpower and military equipment concentration, an ammunition depot and a Russian UAV control post.

The threat of Russian air and missile strikes persists throughout the territory of Ukraine.

As of today, the Russian military command in Ukraine is not capable of conducting two offensive operations simultaneously with the existing operational groupings of troops.

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 is trying to improve its tactical position in the Kupyansk and Lyman directions. For this purpose, it attacked the areas of Stelmakhivka and Bilohorivka. Employing up to five BTGs from the 74th and 55th separate motorized rifle brigades, the Russian military could knock units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces out of Chervonopopivka and take the village under its full control. Units of the 144th motorized rifle division, despite the introduction of reserves into battle (units of the 76th air assault division), were forced to retreat to Kreminna south of Dibrova without achieving their tactical goals.

The situation in the Kreminna area is gaining importance for the Russian forces because the Ukrainian Defense Forces set up the conditions to encircle a significant share of enemy forces to the west of Kreminna. To respond to the crisis, the commanders of the 20th and 41st armies arrived at the forward C2 points of the 144th motorized rifle division and the 90th tank division.

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 Russian forces continue to focus their efforts on offensive actions in the Bakhmut area and try to improve their tactical position in the Avdiyivka area. The Russian command persistently tries to surround Bakhmut. For this purpose, they attacked the Ukrainian Joint Forces’ positions in Soledar, Krasna Hora, Bakhmut, Mayorsk, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, Pobieda and Krasnohorivka.

Northeast of Avdiyivka, the concentration of units of the 109th rifle regiment of mobilization reserve of the 1st army corps of the so-called «DPR people’s militia» continues.

The deployment of short-range counter-battery radars 1l271 “Aistyonok” was noted in the combat formations of the “Kalmius” artillery brigade of the 1st army corps. This may indicate that the Russian military is concentrating counter-battery efforts in the direction of Pesky – Pervomaiske.

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

In the Melitopol direction, the command of the 58th Russian Army withdrew the tank BTG of the 42nd motorized rifle division into reserve due to significant losses and plans to equip it with combat equipment in the next two days. Two echelons with 22 tanks and armored combat vehicles arrived at the Dzhankoy station in Crimea. They will probably be handed over to the 42nd motorized rifle division.

The following have been confirmed: the destruction of 2 ammunition depots, up to 10 units of military equipment, the destruction of 2 Russian concentration points, the elimination and wounding of up to 260 servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the areas of Tokmak, Melitopol, Berdyansk, Polohy and Vasylivka on January 2.

Tavriysk direction
  • Vasylivka – Sofiyivka 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 military is regrouping troops to form the new operational grouping of troops “Dnieper”, conducting defense and shelling the positions of Ukrainian 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 at sea. There is no change regarding the number of ships. The Russian fleet keep three ships in the sea, and none of them was a Kalibr missile carrier. 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.

In the Sea of Azov, on the approach to the Mariupol and Berdiansk seaports, 2 patrol boats are located with the purpose of blocking the Azov coast.

The following vessels passed through the Kerch-Yenikal Strait over the past day in the interests of the Russian Federation:

  • 23 vessels in the direction of the Sea of Azov, of which 5 vessels moved from the Bosphorus Strait;
  • 18 vessels in the direction of the Black Sea, of which 6 ships continued their movement in the direction to the Bosphorus Strait.

Russia continues to violate the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea of 1974 (SOLAS) by turning off automatic identification systems (AIS) on civilian vessels in the waters of the Sea of Azov.

On January 3, another anti-ship mine was discovered in the Black Sea off the coast of Odesa, torn from its mounting by a storm. A Ukrainian Navy unit liquidated it.

Russian aviation continues to fly from the Crimean airfields of Belbek and Hvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. During the day, about 15 sorties of Russian aircraft over the Black Sea were recorded.

Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 04.01.23

Personnel – almost 108,910 people (+720);

Tanks – 3,038 (+2)

Armored combat vehicles – 6,106 (+6);

Artillery systems – 2,039 (+6);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 424 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 215 (+1); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,745 (+10); Aircraft – 283 (0);

Helicopters – 270 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,842 (+3); Intercepted cruise missiles – 723 (0);

Boats/ships – 16 (0).

Ukraine, general news

In 2022, Ukrainian businesses exported goods worth 44.1 billion dollars, 35% less than in 2021, Deputy Minister of Economy – Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka said. He stressed that during peacetime, such indicators would be disastrous. However, they are a sign of heroism during the war. As Kachka noted, more than half of the 99.8 million tons of products exported in 2022 were exported by sea transport – 53.8 million tons, which is 55% less than in 2021. 33.7 million tons (+3.4% by 2021) were exported by rail. 12 million tons were exported by road transport, which is 32.4% more than a year earlier.

In 2022, 37,900 new cars were registered in Ukraine. Therefore, relative to 2021, the market of new cars has decreased by 63%, reaching the lowest level since the beginning of the century, the Association of Automobile Manufacturers of Ukraine reports.

International diplomatic aspect

France is about to cross yet another self-imposed Western restriction on weapons delivery to Ukraine. After a telephone conversation between the presidents, Champs-Élysées will deliver light-wheeled tanks AMX-10RC. It might influence Berlin to greenlight delivery of full-fledged tanks needed for clearing Ukrainian territory from the invaders with the significantly reduced number of casualties on the Ukrainian side.

Meanwhile, injured in his bottom, former Russian Deputy Minister Dmitry Rogozin has sent a blaming letter with attached shrapnel in an envelope to the French President. The infamous politician claims that it’s a fragment of a shell from a 155-mm French artillery system Caesar. He blamed France for “betraying” the ideals of Charles de Gaulle and becoming a “puppet” of America, “fueling” conflict between the “Slavic” people and “supporting” French mercenaries fighting in “Novorossiya.” He threatened Emmanuel Macron with responsibility for “crimes.” However, he didn’t explain why he decided to celebrate his birthday in the illegally occupied territory of Ukraine in a company of war criminals.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson rules out a possibility of a mediation role of Italy by saying that Moscow cannot regard it as either an “honest broker” or a possible guarantor of the peace process. Meanwhile, in his conversations with the Ukrainian and Russian presidents, the Turkish President is trying to find room for de-escalation. However, it is improbable that Erdogan’s efforts can bear fruit. German Foreign Minister is right that Vladimir Putin had nothing on his mind but to destroy the neighboring country of Ukraine. Annalena Baerbock believes it’s so “important to keep up the delivery of weapons so Ukraine can defend itself and protect people’s lives… That is why we must stand by Ukraine for as long as necessary.”

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