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CDS Daily brief (12.01.23) | CDS comments on key events

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Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • Russia continued attacking Ukrainian residential areas, killing 2 and injuring 8 civilians during the last day.
  • Over 55% of energy infrastructure facilities destroyed and damaged by the Russian aggressor were restored in Ukraine. Due to the expected warming this weekend, the energy supply is expected to improve, however, currently emergency outages persist in 9 regions of Ukraine.
  • Since the full-scale Russian aggression, 320,000 residents have left the territory of Luhansk Oblast, controlled by Ukraine.
  • 145 bodies from the mass graves near Izyum in Kharkiv Oblast remain unidentified. There are signs of gruesome torture on the bodies discovered in the mass graves of Kharkiv Oblast.
  • More than 2.4 million Ukrainians live in damaged or destroyed housing.
  • Ukrainian parliament amended the legislation on the procedure for military service under contract by foreigners and stateless persons in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations.
  • The [Russian] occupiers began to replace Ukrainian driver’s licenses and plates with Russian ones in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine
  • More than 2.4 million Ukrainians live in damaged or destroyed housing, as of autumn 2022,; 316,000 of them submitted applications for compensation via the Diya government portal.


  • The enemy is making maximum efforts to capture Soledar. They try to reach the administrative border of Donetsk Oblast. The most intense fighting continues in Soledar, Paraskoviivka, Bakhmut and Klishchiivka areas.
  • There is no clear front line in Soledar. Units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces hold the western part of the city. The Defense Forces control the M03 highway; continuous Russian attacks block the T0513 road.
  • Sea: Russia keeps two surface warships and a submarine with 4 Kalibr missiles on duty at sea. Three submarines went to sea from the port of Novorossiysk, accompanied by the large landing ship “Petr Morgunov”, going to Sevastopol. The reason could be the loading of missile ammunition onto submarines [to be transferred to Sevastopol] after its use during missile attacks on Ukraine at the end of 2022.


  • The German Chancellor is facing mounting pressure but shows no sign of readiness to change his stance on Leopards’ delivery to Ukraine.
  • Russia’s MFA spokesperson rejected Ukraine’s peace plan, that Turkey’s Foreign minister voiced support for. Russia yet again shows no interest in stopping its aggressive war.
Humanitarian aspect:

Russian attacks

As a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation over the past day, January 11, two civilians were killed, and 8 more were injured in Ukraine, Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko said with reference to the Oblast Military Administration (OMA) data. According to the information made public by OMAs in the morning round-up, Russian troops attacked 9 Ukrainian Oblasts on January 11.

Consequences of enemy shelling as of the morning of January 11
  • At night, the Russians once again shelled the Nikopol district of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Several private houses and farm buildings were mutilated in the Marhanets community.
  • The Russian occupiers shelled the territory of Kherson Oblast 90 times on January 11; 1 killed and 5 wounded civilians were reported. On January 12, Russians attacked Yantarne village near Kherson; the enemy shell hit a residential building, killing a 27-year-old man and injuring a 47-year-old woman.
  • Shelling continued along the entire front line in Donetsk Oblast at night and in the morning. 6 houses were damaged in Vuhledar. In Kurakhove, the Russians targeted the administration building, 3 high-rise buildings and the territory of the enterprise. One killed civilian was reported in Paraskoviivka, Soledar community. Intense shelling continues in Soledar.
  • At night, the Russian occupiers attacked Zaporizhzhia. Infrastructure objects and houses in one of the residential neighborhoods were damaged. The civil infrastructure of the Orihiv, Hulyaipole, Polohy, Vasylivka and Zaporizhzhia districts also came under fire.
  • Last day, the enemy continued shelling the border towns and villages of Kharkiv Oblast. Private houses, a trade pavilion and commercial buildings were damaged. Enemy shells also hit one of the enterprises in Vovchansk. As a result of the January 12 shelling of the Kupyansk district, two civilians were injured, the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office reported.
Energy system

Energy [companies’] employees, together with local authorities and utility workers, restored more than 55% of energy infrastructure facilities destroyed and damaged by the Russian aggressor, Oleksiy Chernyshov, Chairman of Naftogaz of Ukraine, reported on his Facebook account. According to him, where the situation allows, housing, hospitals, schools and kindergartens are provided with heat in full.

Due to the expected warming this weekend, the situation with the energy supply is expected to improve. Therefore, the number of scheduled blackouts will decrease, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, chairman of the board of NEC Ukrenergo, said on the national telethon. However, as of 11:00

a.m. on January 12, a significant power deficit persists, especially in the morning and evening hours. Emergency blackouts were used in nine regions of Ukraine, reported NEC Ukrenergo.

Due to the state of the networks, Kyiv is provided with 60% of the required volume of [power] generation. Of this available volume, 40% goes to critical infrastructure facilities; the rest is distributed among [private/residential] consumers.


The DNA examination of the bodies of the fallen Ukrainian defenders, who were returned from Olenivka colony [prison], Donetsk region [controlled by Russia], is ongoing. The Ministry of Reintegration noted at the meeting with the victims’ families, who are worried about the pace of the identification process, that the DNA examination, in this case, takes a lot of time. The meeting participants agreed to take measures to speed up the bodies identification by finding more relevant laboratories. It was previously reported that after difficult negotiations and with the mediation of the International Committee of the Red Cross, it was possible to return 54 bodies of Ukrainian defenders from Olenivka. On 29 July 2022, a single barrack in Olenivka prison was damaged by an explosion [allegedly by Russian fire], killing 53 Ukrainian (POWs) and leaving 75 wounded. The prisoners were mainly Ukrainian defenders of the Azovstal complex, the last Ukrainian stronghold in the siege of Mariupol.


Since the full-scale Russian aggression began, 320,000 residents have left the territory of Luhansk Oblast, controlled by Ukraine, the head of the Luhansk OMA, Serhiy Haidai, stated at the Ukraine- Ukrinform Media Center briefing. According to him, there were officially 650,000 residents plus 200,000 displaced people in Luhansk Oblast, controlled by Ukraine, after the partial [Russian] occupation in 2014 [before the full-scale Russian invasion on February 24]. Haidai noted that Luhansk Oblast residents went to different places, including Russia, and partly to Europe. Still, the vast majority settled in those regions of Ukraine that were not directly affected by the war. “Now, in every region of our country, immigrants from Luhansk Oblast live,” he said.

Liberated territories

145 bodies from the mass grave near Izyum in Kharkiv Oblast remain unidentified, Volodymyr Tymoshko, head of the Main Directorate of the National Police in the Kharkiv Oblast, said in an interview with Ukrinform. “We assume that these are local residents. There are whole families who died and may not have had relatives in Izyum or in other places. Therefore, we take samples for research from all people who believe their relatives have died or disappeared,” said Tymoshko. The process of exhumation in the liberated territories of Kharkiv Oblast is ongoing.

“Since the beginning of the large-scale counter-offensive, since September 7, 918 bodies have been recovered from the de-occupied territories, of which 721 are civilians, including 25 children. Thirty are bodies whose gender cannot be established due to significant damage. A total of 651 persons have been identified,” Tymoshko informed. He told about the tortures, including severe beatings, electric torture, gas masks [for suffocation], pulling out nails and sawing teeth. Also, “Examinations of the bodies recovered in the de-occupied territories showed that torture had taken place, which was connected, I would say so, to harm the genitals. As a rule, in men,” Tymoshko said. According to his information, police investigators have evidence of the detention of entire families in torture chambers, including minor children. As reported earlier, after the de-

occupation of almost the entire territory of Kharkiv Oblast, law enforcement officers discovered 25 torture chambers.

In Mariupol, which was temporarily captured by the Russian military, the invaders, instead of the promised reconstruction, demolished the historical landmark of the city – the House with a Clock, where the workshop of monumental art of Viktor Arnautov, was located, Petro Andryushchenko, adviser to the Mariupol city mayor, reported on his Telegram channel.

Representatives of the Russian occupation administrations are accelerating measures to illegally integrate the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine into the Russian administrative and legal system, Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Hanna Malyar, announced during a briefing. According to her, the occupiers began to replace Ukrainian driver’s licenses with Russian ones and issue Russian-style license plates with a digital designation of the Russian Federation region.

Operational situation General conclusion:
  • The enemy is making maximum efforts to capture Soledar.
Battle line:
  • During the week, 355 combat clashes occurred in the east of Ukraine. With the support of artillery and aviation, the enemy is trying to cut off, surround and defeat the grouping of Ukrainian troops and then reach the administrative border of Donetsk Oblast. The enemy is active in the direction of Bakhmut. The most intense fighting continues in Soledar, Paraskoviivka, Bakhmut and Klishchiivka areas.
  • Ukrainian Defense Forces units repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Stelmakhivka and Kreminna in Luhansk Oblast and Rozdolivka, Sil, Krasna hora, Paraskoviivka, Pidhorodnie, Bakhmut, Klishchiivka, Mayorsk, Pervomaiske and Krasnohorivka in Donetsk Oblast. The Defense Forces covered Kreminna in three directions.
  • There is no clear front line in Soledar. Units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces hold the western part of the city; Ukrainian 24th separate mechanized brigade controls mine No. 4, Krasna Hora and positions on the northern and western outskirts of Pidhorodnie. The Defense Forces control the M03 highway, but the T0513 road is blocked due to continuous Russian attacks in the direction of Blahodatne. The evacuation of the wounded by the Defense Forces, using armored vehicles, is not interrupted.
Enemy disposition:
  • General of the Army V. Gerasimov was appointed commander of the United Group of Forces of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, former commander General of the Army S. Surovikin was transferred to the position of his deputy, General of the Army O. Salyukov and Colonel General O. Kim were appointed as other deputies.
Escalation indicators:
  • The enemy continues to maintain a high intensity of attacks by small groups.
Possible operational situation developments:
  • The probable departure of the Ukrainian Defence Forces units from Soledar to a previously prepared line on the prevailing heights west of the city will put Russian units in a “target” position.
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.

  • By the end of the week, stormy weather will remain at sea. Russia keeps two surface warships and a project 636.3 submarine on duty at sea. There are 4 Kalibr missiles on board the submarine. 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.
  • Two patrol boats are stationed 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 Hvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. During the day, 10 sorties of enemy aircraft were recorded over the Black Sea, including the area along the “grain corridor”.
  • On January 11, 2023, three submarines of project 636.3 went to sea from the port of Novorossiysk, accompanied by the large landing ship “Petr Morgunov” (project 117111) and made the transition to Sevastopol. The reason for being in Novorossiysk could be the loading of missile ammunition onto submarines after its use during missile attacks on Ukraine at the end of 2022. There is a presumption that due to the limitation of the capacity of the Crimean bridge and the assumed dangerous transportation of missiles along the occupied land corridor to the Crimea (after the surrender of the right bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast), the occupiers decided to load the Kalibr missiles in Novorossiysk. It is also possible that part of the missile ammunition was taken on board by the landing ship “Petr Morgunov” for delivery to Sevastopol.
  • In the ten days since the beginning of 2023, 5 cases of sea mine washed ashore on the coast of Odesa and the region were recorded. This happened due to stormy weather conditions. Units of the Navy of Ukraine destroyed all of them.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.2022 to 12.01.2023

Personnel [KIA] – almost 113,390 people (+430)

Tanks – 3,094 (0)

Armored combat vehicles – 6,159 (0);

Artillery systems – 2,082 (+4);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 437 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 218 (+1); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,826 (0); Aircraft – 285 (0);

Helicopters – 276 (+1);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,865 (+3); Intercepted cruise missiles – 723 (0);

Boats/ships – 17 (0).

Ukraine, general news

On Thursday, President Volodymyr Zelensky held another meeting of the Staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief [Stavka] regarding the situation at the front, particularly in Bakhmut and Soledar. In addition, the members of the Stavka considered the issue of strengthening the defense forces with the help of equipment and weapons from partners.

As of autumn 2022, more than 2.4 million Ukrainians live in damaged or destroyed housing, said Deputy Prime Minister for the Reconstruction of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov. “More than 316,000 Ukrainians have already submitted applications for compensation via the Diya [government portal]. And this is far from a complete list of victims, which is updated daily,” he noted.

Social networks were the primary source of news over the past month for 95% of Ukrainian immigrants in Poland; they are using Telegram as the leading social network, according to the study “Media consumption and civic activism of Ukrainians who found temporary shelter from the war in Poland” of the “Opora” Civic Network. YouTube was chosen by 51% of respondents and 12% as the main source. It is better suited for watching TV channels and personal interviews.

The Verkhovna Rada amended the legislation on the procedure for military service under contract by foreigners and stateless persons in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations. As the Ukrinform correspondent reports, 321 people’s deputies voted for the relevant decision.

International diplomatic aspect
  • Chancellor’s spokesperson said that the German position on delivering no tanks to Ukraine wouldn’t change because of the UK decision to send Challenger 2 MBTs, disregarding the official requests of the Polish initiative for a joint supply of Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
  • Germany should not “stand in the way when other countries make decisions to support Ukraine,” Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens) said. Norbert Röttgen, a member of the Bundestag from the CDU, criticized the Chancellor for his unwillingness to send tanks to Ukraine. A former chair of the Foreign Relations Committee fears it will lead to a devastating military stalemate. Norbert Röttgen is sure that Ukraine must win the war, and a political solution would be possible after that.
  • “Berlin and its partners must do everything to help Ukrainians liberate their entire territory. They need unconditional military support now, including German Leopard tanks,” Stefanie Babst, a former Deputy NATO Assistant Secretary, wrote in the Internationale Politik Quarterly. There’s a need for a Western “clear-eyed, robust, and long-term “Rollback Putinism” strategy,” she argued, noting that “many of our partners have already arrived at this logical conclusion—but not Germany.” Putting doubts on the current German strategy or, rather, the lack thereof, Stefanie Babst asks a rhetorical question “Who wants to be led by Germany?” It seems that there should be an American impetus for Germany to turn on a “lead Europe” mode finally.
  • Although there’s no need to collect numerous facts and statements on Russia’s disregard of international law (Ukraine’s peace plan is based on this), the Russian official yet again showed no interest in stopping Russia’s aggressive war. “We are well aware of Turkey’s assessment of Zelensky’s so-called peace plan. We cannot agree with it. Ankara’s support for this venture of the Kyiv regime is unlikely to contribute to the search for optimal ways to achieve peace in Ukraine,” Russia’s spokesperson reacted to Turkey’s Foreign Minister’s comment.

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