CDS Daily brief (08.01.23) | CDS comments on key events
- Опубліковано: CDS
- Категорія: DailyBrief
Snapshot of the day:
- 50 Ukrainian POWs returned home today.
- Russia failed to observe its ceasefire, attacking 8 Ukrainian Oblast on January 7, killing 2 civilians and injuring another 9.
- Russian attacks on the Ukrainian energy system were planned not only by the Russian military but also by the Russian energy companies. Russian engineers knew Ukraine’s power grid because, before the full-scale invasion, it was integrated with the power systems of Russia and Belarus.
- There were no significant changes in the operational situation.
- Ukrainian Defense Forces slightly expanded and deepened the breakthrough of the first line of Russian defense to the east of Stelmakhivka, took control of Kolomyichikha and liberated Pidkuychansk, attacked Novoselivske, and reached the distant approaches to Zmiivka, 2.5–3 km away from Svatove.
- “Wagner” PMC captured Bakhmutske and, using small group tactics, advanced in the direction of Krasnopolivka, Krasna Hora and Pidhorodnie.
- A detachment of the new PMC “Patriot” is deployed In the Vuhledar area.
- None of the sides controls the Kinburn Split; combat continues. Russian military still use it to strike the Ukrainian coast of the Bug-Dnipro estuary and the port of Ochakiv and block shipping from Mykolaiv ports to the Black Sea.
- The Russian military is concentrating equipment and personnel in the occupied Azov Sea area. Russian aircraft became active in the Berdyansk seaport, probably to prevent the advance of Ukrainian forces in the direction of Polohy-Melitopol and to prevent depriving Russia of a land corridor to the occupied Crimea.
- Russian forces have used 591 sea-based Kalibr missiles. Only about 60 Kalibr missiles, 9% of the pre-war reserves, remained in the reserves of the entire Russian Navy, which can significantly restrict the enemy’s ability to conduct sea-launched missile attacks until new missiles are produced
- Possible operation situation developments: the Russian military tries to break through to the T0513 highway in Bakhmut area to complicate the logistics of the grouping defending the city; “Wagner” PMC will try to capture Opytne; the Russian forces will try to capture Soledar.
- Antonio Guterres failed twice in two months by ignoring calls to investigate Tehran’s supply of drones to Moscow and disbanding a fact-finding mission into the brutal murder of the Ukrainian POWs in Olenivka.
- Queen Margrethe II of Denmark withdrew her patronage of this year’s award of the Hans Christian Andersen prize because of a Russian chair of this year’s board.
- Russian MOD falsely claims 600 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a “retaliatory” strike for the Makiyivka attack of January 1.
The Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine caused the largest wave of refugees since the Second World War, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said. “More than 7.9 million people have left the country, and another 5.9 million are internally displaced,” said Katharina Lump, UNHCR representative in Germany.
As a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation over the past day, two people were killed and nine were injured in Ukraine, Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko said with reference to the Oblast Military Administration (OMA) data.
As of 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, January 8, Russian forces had attacked 8 Oblasts of Ukraine, namely Sumy, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Mykolayiv, and Kherson.
- Despite the ceasefire declared by Putin, Kherson Oblast was shelled 19 times.
- In Donetsk Oblast, the Russian military launched seven missile strikes at Kramatorsk and two at Kostiantynivka during the night. According to preliminary information, there were no casualties during the shelling.
- Despite Russia’s promise to cease fire for a holiday, the UN mission that delivered humanitarian aid to Orihiv came under fire, the head of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast Military Administration, Oleksandr Starukh, said.
During the day on January 8, Russia continued attacking residential areas far from the frontline. The city of Nikopol, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, was shelled twice. No victims were reported. The border areas of Sumy Oblast were fired at 144 times. There were no victims, but residential buildings and civilian infrastructure got damaged. Border areas of Chernihiv Oblast were shelled seven times.
50 more soldiers returned to Ukraine from Russian captivity, namely 33 officers, 17 privates and sergeants. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation, 1,646 people, both military and civilians, have been returned home.
As of 11:00 a.m. on December 8, persistent frosty weather is contributing to an increase in electricity consumption and, accordingly, the level of its deficit in the power system, compared to the warmer weather last week. To ensure the production-consumption balance, consumption limits have been communicated to the oblasts, NEC Ukrenergo said. Exceeding the limits leads to the application of emergency restrictions. However, at night, as of today, restrictions do not apply.
Russian attacks on the Ukrainian energy system were planned and carried out not only by the Russian military but also by the Russian energy companies, said Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, the chairman of the board of NEC Ukrenergo. He noted that Russian engineers knew Ukraine’s power grid “like the back of their hand” because, before the start of the full-scale invasion last February, it was integrated with the power systems of Russia and Belarus. The company emphasizes that now Ukrainian energy experts better understand the Russian strategy and take measures to minimize the consequences of attacks.
Since the beginning of the large-scale military invasion of the Russian Federation, 313,113 explosive devices and 2,891 kg of explosives, including 2,157 aerial bombs, have been defused. The territory with an area of about 77 thousand 611 hectares was surveyed, the State Emergency Service reported.
Mine danger remains high, however. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Russia has turned Ukraine into a large minefield with an area of 250 thousand square kilometers. Shmyhal noted that this fact makes travel difficult and interferes with the Ukrainian agricultural sector. For comparison, 250,000 square kilometers is larger than the area of the Korean Peninsula (about 221,000 km²) and the area of Romania (about 238,000 km²) or Great Britain (about 244,000 km²).
Russian war crimes
A group of British Politicians issued a joint statement calling for the creation of the Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and law professor Philip Sands drafted the statement. The document was signed, in particular, by Labor leader Keir Starmer, former NATO Secretary General George Robertson, former foreign minister David Owen, former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, and human rights lawyers Sheri Blair and Helena Kennedy.
Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, investigators of the National Police of Ukraine have initiated 57,357 criminal proceedings based on the facts of crimes committed on the territory of Ukraine by servicemen of the armed forces of the Russian Federation and their accomplices.
In the temporarily captured territories, in Melitopol and Pryazovske of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the invaders stopped broadcasting all Ukrainian TV channels and airing only Russian TV, Zaporizhzhia OMA reported.
The Russian occupation forces extended the [military] network of hospitals in the temporarily occupied territory, which is why civilian medical facilities are almost not operational. Thus, even the maternity hospital in Anthracite was closed, and women from there were taken to Luhansk, Luhansk OMA said.
Operational situation General conclusion:
There were no significant changes in the operational situation. Suffering heavy losses, the Russian forces conducted offensive operations in the Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Lyman areas, tried to improve the tactical position in the Kupyansk area and conducted defense in the Novopavlivka, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson areas.
There were no significant changes in the battle line.
- Over the past 24 hours, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces have repelled enemy attacks in the areas of 16 towns and villages, in particular Stelmakhivka, Makiyivka, Bilohorivka of Luhansk Oblast, Rozdolivka, Soledar, Bakhmut, Zalizne, Pervomaiske, Vodyane, and Pobieda of Donetsk Oblast.
- Fighting continues between Tavilzhanka and Lyman, units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces try to expand the bridgehead in Dvorichna, and units of the Russian Armed Forces try to push them beyond the Oskil River.
- Units of the Defense Forces managed to slightly expand and deepen the breakthrough of the first line of Russian defense to the east of Stelmakhivka, finally, take control of Kolomyichikha and liberate Pidkuychansk, attack Novoselivske, and reach the distant approaches to Zmiivka, located 2.5–3 km away from Svatove.
- Fighters of the “Wagner” PMC captured Bakhmutske and, using small group tactics, advanced in the direction of Krasnopolivka, Krasna Hora and Pidhorodnie. The Ukrainian units defending Soledar are in a very difficult tactical position, but the arrival of units of the 46th separate airborne brigade to the city stabilized the situation. A night counterattack by the forces of the 3rd Brigade of the National Guard of Ukraine “Azov” made it possible to regain control of most of the city.
- The Ukrainian Defense Forces managed to regain control of Dorozhnyanka in the Zaporizhzhia direction.
- The enemy managed to keep under control Oleshki in Kherson Oblast by the forces of the 10th separate SOF brigade. Still, it lost control over the Velykiy Potyomkinsky island after a counterattack by the Defense Forces.
- In the Vuhledar area, a detachment of the new “Patriot” PМC, owned by the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation S. Shoigu, is deployed.
- On December 31, Putin officially incorporated the so-called “1st Donetsk Army Corps”, “2nd Guards Luhansk-SiveroDonetsk Army Corps”, and “Donetsk Higher Combined Arms Command School” into the Russian Armed Forces. In the official statement, “eight years of combat experience” is stated as the basis for enrolling them in the “combat-capable units of the Russian army.”
- The tank military units of the Russian Armed Forces are gradually re-armed with old T-80 tanks. At the same time, the latest T-90s are gradually being transferred to the “Wagner” PMC (information is being verified).
Escalation indicators: None
Possible operation situation developments:
- In the Bakhmut area, the Russian military tries to break through to the T0513 highway, which will allow it to complicate the logistics of the grouping defending the city;
- Combatants of the “Wagner” PMC will try to capture Opytne;
- The Russian forces will try to capture Soledar.
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.
Russia brought 2 ships to sea for patrolling. There are no Kalibr missile carriers among them. But at the same time, the Russian Navy keeps ships and submarines in Sevastopol ready to go to sea in 2-4 hours, including to launch a missile strike. These ships can have at most 32 Kalibr missiles on board.
Meanwhile, according to Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov’s data, published on his Twitter account, since the beginning of the war, Russian forces have used 591 sea-based Kalibr missiles. As of January 6, 2023, only about 60 Kalibr missiles remained in the reserves of the entire Russian Navy, which is 9% of the pre-war reserves. This critically small number can significantly restrict the enemy’s ability to conduct sea-launched missile attacks on Ukraine until new missiles are produced (estimated at approximately 15-20 missiles per month based on the availability of spare parts).
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.
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 12 sorties of Russian aircraft over the Black Sea were recorded, including the area along the “grain corridor”.
The Russian military is concentrating equipment and personnel in the occupied Azov area. Russian aircraft became active in the area of the Berdyansk seaport. The purpose of this is
probably to prevent the advance of Ukrainian forces in the direction of Polohy-Melitopol, depriving the Russian Federation of a land corridor to the occupied Crimea.
Battles for the Kinburn Peninsula continue. Currently, none of the parties controls the Split. But the Russian military manages to use this area to strike the Ukrainian coast of the Bug-Dnipro estuary and the port of Ochakiv. This allows the Russian forces to block shipping from Mykolaiv ports to the Black Sea.
On January 7, 2023, the Minesweeping Group of the Naval Forces of Ukraine uncovered and destroyed two drifting enemy anti-ship mines in the sea near the Odesa coast.
Russian operational losses from 24.02 to 08.01.22
Personnel – almost 111,700 people (+430)
Tanks – 3,069 (+3)
Armored combat vehicles – 6,130 (+5);
Artillery systems – 2,065 (+3);
Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 431 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 217 (+2); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,801 (+3); Aircraft – 285 (0);
Helicopters – 272 (0);
UAV operational and tactical level – 1,849 (+5); Intercepted cruise missiles – 723 (0);
Boats/ships – 16 (0).
International diplomatic aspect
The UN Secretary-General failed again by disbanding a fact-finding mission into the brutal murder of the Ukrainian POWs in Olenivka, Donetsk region (see CDS reports January 6 and 7). On 29 July, the Russian MOD reported the death of dozens of the Ukrainian POWs, including the ones who laid their arms in the Azovstal. According to Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office, about 40 people were killed and 130 injured in the attack. On 18 August, Antonio Guterres announced setting up the mission chaired by General Carlos dos Santos Cruz of Brazil. “What happened there is unacceptable. All prisoners of war are protected under International Humanitarian Law… We will continue to do all we can to advance this, and other efforts correspond to the needs of the Ukrainian people,” the UN Secretary-General said, standing by the presidents of Ukraine and Turkey.
“We have not heard a word at the press conference about the Russian Federation not granting the mission access to Olenivka. There was no analysis of Russia’s actions… We have witnessed the UN’s conciliatory and neutral stance. [It has not said] anything to condemn the Russian side for doing everything within its power to prevent this international mission from getting [to Olenivka],” Ukraine’s Ombudsman expressed his dissatisfaction with the decision to disband the fact-finding mission.
The most recent previous failure of Antonio Guterres was giving up to the Russians’ pressure on the issue of an investigation of the Iran-made drones supply to Russia. “We are disappointed that the Secretariat, apparently yielding to Russian threats, has not carried out the investigatory mandate this council has given it,” US Deputy UN Ambassador Robert Wood told a Security Council meeting on 19 December. The Secretary-General neither established an investigation task force nor reported the facts, making an excuse in the UN-like language, “The Secretariat is examining the available information, and any findings will be reported to the Council, as appropriate, in due course.”
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark withdrew her patronage of this year’s award, the Hans Christian Andersen prize of the International Council for Books for Young People (IBBY). The reason was the appointment of a Russian illustrator as the head of the jury of honors. Though the IBBY condemned the Russian aggression in October, the next month, it selected Anastasia Arkhipova, a Moscow Union of Artists member, as a chair. Moscow’s Union promoted the war and even held a propaganda exhibition. Several local representative offices of the IBBY, in particular Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Sweden, and Ukraine, demanded the chair’s resignation. The Danish chairman refused to support the move, claiming that the members must keep talking to each other and not throw other people out.
As a result, Andrey Usachov from Russia has been nominated for the award. He has openly supported the war, called Ukrainians “Nazis,” and visited Russia-occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions half a dozen times to promote the Russian language and culture. “For the last thirty years, the Western ideology was acting in Russia (so much European “tolerant” crap has been published in our country, where “pioneers-heroes” [mostly fictional Soviet propaganda role models] were temporally substituted with gays), now the pendulum has swung the other way,” Andrey Usachov, a nomination for a prestigious European prize wrote. Ukrainians has been criticized for “cancelling” the Russian culture as many times as [a lot of] Westerners prefer to keep a blind eye on those who support and promote the genocidal war because they represent the “Russian culture.”
Russia, relevant news
The official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, General Igor Konashenkov, stated that the Joint Grouping of Russian Forces destroyed over 600 Ukrainian soldiers as a result of a massive missile attack on the points of temporary deployment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine personnel in Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast. There were more than 700 UAF fighters in dormitory No. 28, and more than 600 in dormitory No. 47, Konashenkov claimed. The representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense said that this strike was an “operation of retaliation” for the attack of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the base of the Russian military in Makiivka on January 1.
The speaker of the Eastern Group of Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine called the information from Moscow untrue. In the photos of the consequences of the attacks on Kramatorsk, published in the morning by Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of the Donetsk Oblast Military Administration, it can be seen that the buildings remained intact. Funnels are located in the ground next to the walls.
The light is on in one building, but the windows are broken. No direct damage to buildings is visible.
Foreign journalists, including those of Reuters and Italian La Republica, visited the site and found no evidence that the Russian claim was true.
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