Центр оборонних стратегій

CDS Daily brief (13.01.23) | CDS comments on key events

Download in PDF

Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • The government formed the State Agency for Reconstruction and Development of the Infrastructure of Ukraine to manage housing reconstruction.
  • The shelling in the Zaporizhzhia direction, as well as the number of Russian troops, increased.
  • The amount of damage to the Ukrainian environment from Russia’s armed aggression already amounts to more than 46 billion dollars. Ukraine will demand compensation for from the Russian Federation.
  • 5 MPs were stripped of their mandates by a Parliament vote. The speaker Stefanchuk stressed that the decision was legal.
  • The Armed forces of Ukraine enjoy the highest trust among Ukrainians – 96%. The trust in the President Zelensky increased to 84%, compared to 27% in December 2021.


  • There were no significant changes in the operational situation.
  • Possible operation situation developments: The battles in the Bakhmut and Soledar areas should be considered a model for future larger-scale clashes in the spring of this year; Artillery-infantry combat becomes the leading tactic of hostilities.
  • Sea: The struggle to control the Kinburn Spit highlighted the importance of strengthening coastal defense and surface fleet capabilities to protect the Ukrainian coast and coastal waters (40-100 miles offshore). This lesson confirmed the need for the Navy of Ukraine to build up possible “sea denial” and “sea control” capabilities;


  • The coming “Ramstein” meeting is likely to be a turning point in the Leopard 2 tanks delivery to Ukraine after the US and German defense minister’s talks a day before.
  • The EU has inaugurated its first mainland orbital launch complex at Esrange Space Center in Sweden. Satellite capabilities are crucial for the Ukrainian success on the battlefield, so it will be of great importance for the security of the European continent.
Humanitarian aspect:

Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets has a third round of consultations with his Russian counterpart Valentina Moskalkova. According to Lubinents, the return of military and civilian captives held in Russia was discussed. He also said that the Russian side started providing some information, although incomplete. He also said that 23 people from the list of over 300 people Ukraine considered missing and most likely dead were found, and they are alive.

As a result of hostilities, about 40% of the territory of Kyiv Oblast is contaminated with mines. The territories within Bucha, Brovary and Vyshhorod districts are the most contaminated with explosive objects, reports Oleksandr Pavlyuk, commander of the forces and means of defense of Kyiv.

As part of the “Build back Army” project, almost 4,500 unemployed Ukrainians were involved in socially useful work, and UAH 29 million was allocated to pay for their work, the press service of the Ministry of Economy reported. The largest number of unemployed were recruited in Poltava Oblast – 1,257 people, Sumy Oblast – 887 people, Kyiv Oblast – 809 people.

Russian attacks

On the night of January 13, Russian forces shelled a public transport garage in Kherson – 16 buses, cars and warehouses were damaged, one person was injured, Yaroslav Yanushevich, head of Kherson OMA, said.

The head of the Kharkiv OMA, Oleg Synegubov, reported that the occupiers fired upon an urban- type village of Dvorichna in the Kupyansk district, and two women aged 59 and 64 were killed. Another 63-year-old woman was injured and was hospitalized.

The intensity of shelling in the Zaporizhzhia direction increased to a hundred a day. The shelling of Hulyaipole, Orikhiv, and Stepnohirsk does not stop. The enemy is using artillery and aviation, said Oleksandr Starukh, the head of Zaporizhzhia OMA.

Energy system

On Friday, there is a power deficit in Ukraine’s power system, but as the weather warms over the weekend, consumption is expected to decrease, the Ukrenergo press service reported. Currently, the shortage of electricity is especially pronounced during the morning and evening peaks of consumption.


The amount of damage to the Ukrainian environment from Russia’s armed aggression already amounts to more than 46 billion dollars, the Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine Ruslan Strelets said. Ukraine will demand compensation for these losses from the Russian Federation. The war damaged almost a third of Ukrainian forests. At least 23,300 hectares were burned entirely. The war also “poisoned” a significant part of the Ukrainian land. Damage caused by soil pollution is estimated at 18 billion dollars. In total, Ukraine has documented almost 2,300 environmental crimes since the beginning of the large-scale invasion.

Occupied territories

In Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the number of foreign “tourists” – Russians, Buryats, Ossetians, Kadyrivians – exceeded the number of local residents who are forced to remain under occupation, legally elected mayor of Melitopol Ivan Fedorov said. According to Fedorov, the invaders live in the homes of people who left the occupation, change into civilian clothes and eavesdrop on conversations on the streets, as well as move around the city in school buses saying “children” on them and cars with Ukrainian license plates.

Operational situation

General conclusion:

  • Russia continues to try to gain control over Donetsk Oblast within its administrative border.
Battle line:

There were no significant changes in the battle line.

  • Units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled Russian attacks in the areas of Stelmakhivka, Makiyivka, Bilohorivka of Luhansk Oblast; and Spirne, Rozdolivka, Sil, Krasna Gora, Pidhorodnie, Bakhmut, Klishchiivka, Predtechne, Kurdyumivka, Vodyane, Nevelske, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Velyka Novosilka of Donetsk Oblast.
  • Massive Russian attacks, supported by TOS-1 heavy flamethrower strikes, inflicted casualties on the 46th separate airborne brigade and forced it to withdraw to the west bank of the Bakhmutivka River, which now forms most of the front line along the T0513 road.
  • From the positions on the prevailing heights west of Soledar, units of the 12th brigade of the National Guard of Ukraine, the 3rd separate SOF regiment, with the support of the tanks of the 17th separate tank brigade, managed to push the Russian forces away from the T0513 highway.
  • The Ukrainian 24th separate mechanized brigade holds its position in the Krasna Hora area, although it has suffered several surprise attacks and incurred weapons and combat equipment losses.
  • Fighting continues in Pidhorodnie; the Russian army is trying to advance in the direction of Bakhmut. Units of the 71st separate hunting brigade retreated from Opytne to the outskirts of Bakhmut; Opytne is under the control of Russian troops.
  • In Klishchiivka, units of the 53rd separate mechanized brigade and the regiment named after D. Dudayev defeated the attacking units of the Russian forces and thwarted their attempt to seize the village. The Russian military also attacked Ukrainian positions southwest of Klishchiivka but was also repulsed by units of the 28th separate mechanized brigade and the 4th brigade of the National Guard of Ukraine.
Enemy disposition:
  • No changes in the disposition were noted.
Escalation indicators: None.

Possible operation situation developments:

  • The battles in Bakhmut and Soledar areas should be considered a model for future larger- scale clashes in the spring of this year.
  • Artillery-infantry combat becomes the leading tactic of hostilities.
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.

  • Stormy weather will continue at sea until the end of the week. Russia keeps four surface ships on duty at sea without Kalibr missiles on board. The submarine of project 636.3, which went out to sea the day before, returned to the base.
  • 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 11 sorties of Russian aircraft over the Black Sea were recorded, including the area along the “grain corridor”.
  • The ports of Mykolaiv, Ochakiv and Kherson have been blocked for almost a year.
  • Kinburn Spit: The situation on the Kinburn spit as of January 13 remains difficult due to weather conditions. Stormy winds make it difficult to get a clear vision of the results of the work of the Defense Forces of Ukraine. Russian troops continue shelling Ochakivska and Kutsurubska communities. On January 12, two barges were hit in the port of Ochakiv, which sank and blocked a large part of the exit from the Bug-Dnipro estuary channel to the Black Sea.
  • The struggle for control of the Kinburn Spit highlighted the importance of strengthening coastal defense and surface fleet capabilities to protect the Ukrainian coast and coastal waters (40-100 miles offshore). This lesson confirmed the need for the Navy of Ukraine to build up possible “sea denial” and “sea control” capabilities capable of stopping and repelling a more powerful adversary at sea and from the sea direction. Given the very close geographical location of the adversary, Ukraine must first ensure its maritime security in coastal areas on land and coastal waters and only then plan to expand its efforts in the open sea.
  • Constant and accurate fire control of enemy positions on the Kinburn Spit can provide sufficient firepower to push the Russian military eastward to the Kinburn Peninsula. This approach proved successful during the liberation of Snake Island in May 2022.
  • Amphibious raids by Ukrainian marines and special forces must be supported by fire from sea platforms. Maneuverable and powerful high-speed landing craft with automatic guns and short-range anti-tank missiles would be highly effective in supporting such raiding group efforts. It is important that such boats, which can conduct effective “sea control” in the coastal zone (with a displacement of under 100 tons), can be delivered to the area of operations and removed from it by air or land. These boats will become even more important given the need to restore Ukrainian sovereignty over the coast and water area of the Sea of Azov. The boats, currently in service with the Navy of Ukraine, are much less powerful and maneuverable. They will have a minimal contribution to the success of such operations at sea. Larger class warships, such as corvettes or frigates, in the closed waters of the northwestern Black Sea, would be easier targets for enemy air and sea dominance than a more powerful battleship.
  • “The Grain Initiative”: in 2023, the first million tons of Ukrainian agricultural products were shipped to countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Today, 11 ships with 313.5 thousand tons of agricultural products left the ports of Greater Odesa. Immediately, three bulk carriers are heading to African countries. Bulk carrier LADY LITEL with 31 thousand tons of wheat, is destined for Libya; bulk carrier EAST WIND 1, with 25 thousand tons – for Tunisia and bulk carrier LADY HATICE with 11 thousand tons of food – for Morocco. The port of Chornomorsk moored the bulk carrier ANTHEIA, which was chartered by the UN World Food Program for the delivery of Ukrainian wheat to Afghanistan. Currently, 17 ships are being processed in the ports of Greater Odessa. 519,000 tons of Ukrainian agricultural products are loaded onto them.
  • Five vessels are moving along the “grain corridor” for loading. In the Bosphorus, 104 vessels are waiting for inspection by the Joint Coordination Center. Since August 1, 644 vessels have left the ports of Greater Odessa, exporting 17.3 million tons of food.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.2022 to 13.01.2023

Personnel – almost 114,130 people (+740)

Tanks – 3,098 (+4)

Armored combat vehicles – 6,167 (+8);

Artillery systems – 2,086 (+4);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 437 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 218 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,833 (+7); Aircraft – 286 (+1);

Helicopters – 276 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,856 (0); Intercepted cruise missiles – 723 (0);

Boats/ships – 17 (0).

Ukraine, general news

The Verkhovna Rada has stripped MPs Viktor Medvedchuk, Taras Kozak, Andriy Derkach, Renat Kuzmin and Andriy Aksyonov of the [pro-Russian] “Opposition Platform – For Life” of their mandates. Four of them were stripped of their mandate because they had lost Ukrainian citizenship, and Aksyonov asked the Rada to dismiss him voluntarily. Commenting on the decision, the Rada Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk said that the decision was absolutely legal and that cleaning of the Ukrainian parliament will not stop there.

In a speech at the government meeting, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that the government expects to close all chapters of accession negotiations and sign an agreement on Ukraine’s

membership in the EU within two years. Journalists, however, stress that according to the procedure currently applied by the European Commission, the opening of accession negotiations (after which Ukraine will need to adapt its legislation to European acquis under 35 negotiating chapters, “closing” them one by one) is possible no earlier than the fall of 2023.

Tamila Tasheva, the Ukrainian President’s representative to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, published an article spelling out her position on the persecution of collaborators in the currently occupied Crimea after its liberation. Tasheva stressed, “if a resident of the occupied peninsula did not promote the occupation, did not engage in propaganda and did not support the war and the like, he should not bear criminal responsibility for cooperation with the occupation administrations.”

On January 13, the government formed the State Agency for Reconstruction and Development of the Infrastructure of Ukraine by reorganizing the State Agency for Infrastructure Projects of Ukraine and joining it with the State Agency for Highways of Ukraine. “This will allow optimizing work processes to avoid chaos in the planning and implementing projects,” PM Denys Shmyhal said. The agency will be in charge of rebuilding destroyed housing.

According to the KMIS survey conducted December 4-27, 2022, the Armed Forces continue to be the most trusted [institution] in Ukraine, and over the last year (between December 2021 and December 2022), the level of trust has increased from 72% to 96%. In December 2021, 27% of respondents trusted the President of Ukraine (and the balance was negative -23%, i.e. more people did not trust than trusted), but over a year the indicator increased to 84%, and the balance is currently +80%.

International diplomatic aspect

Defense ministers of the United States and Germany will meet in Berlin on January 19 on the eve of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (“Ramstein”) meeting. It is highly likely that Germany will run out of excuses not to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. “Washington and Berlin have coordinated sending aid and military hardware to support Ukraine in the war against Russia. Last week they jointly agreed to send infantry fighting vehicles. Allies have also proposed sending German-built Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine,” the US DOD Press release reads. “We’re absolutely supportive of any type of defense capabilities that our international allies and partners can provide to Ukraine, including tanks,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said at the DOD briefing.

“Today, we know that the brave Ukrainian forces effectively use small satellites to track the movements of Russian troops,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the inauguration of the EU’s first mainland orbital launch complex at Esrange Space Center near the city of Kiruna in Sweden. Meanwhile, Poland provided Ukraine with 8,000 more Starlink stations that will be used at the “Points of Invincibility,” community centers for those affected by war or blackouts. There are more than 30,000 stations in operation, donated by the US, Poland, some other countries, foreign private entities, and Ukrainian volunteers. Satellite capabilities are crucial for the Ukrainian successes because the Russians have tried to disrupt communications

since the beginning of the offensive. Moreover, satellite internet and homegrown elements of the C4ISR gave the UAF an advantage on the battlefield.

Russia, relevant news

Inflation in Russia at the end of 2022 amounted to 11.94% after being 8.39% in 2021, as the Russian statistic agency Rosstat data indicates. Inflation in 2022 was the highest since 2015, when it was 12.9%, Interfax reports.

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.

We publish this brief daily. If you would like to subscribe, please send us an email to cds.dailybrief@gmail.com

Please note, that we subscribe only verified persons and can decline or cancel the subscription at our own discretion

We are independent, non-government, non-partisan and non-profit organization. More at www.defence.org.ua

Our Twitter (in English) – https://twitter.com/defence_centre

Our Facebook (in Ukrainian) – https://www.facebook.com/cds.UA

Our brief is for information only and we verify our information to the best possible extent