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CDS Daily brief (16.01.23) | CDS comments on key events

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Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • The number of victims of the Russian strike on Dnipro on January 14 has grown to 40 civilians (including 3 children). Attacks on residential areas continue;
  • As Ukraine is recovering from the 12th wave of Russian attacks on its critical infrastructure, emergency shutdowns have been introduced in 9 regions;
  • Russian families have [illegally] adopted at least 400 Ukrainian children, Ukrainian human rights defenders say;
  • The Russian Federation intensified the deportation of Ukrainian citizens from occupied territories, mostly Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Oblasts.
  • 95% of Ukrainians are confident that Ukraine is going to win the war with Russia, and 63.2% expect victory within a year or even sooner; 79.7% of surveyed Ukrainians primarily identify as citizens of Ukraine and only 1.4% as citizens of the former Soviet Union;


  • Russia continues its attempts to gain control over Donetsk Oblast within its administrative border;
  • Possible operation situation developments: the enemy prepares defensive lines and positions in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts, which complies with planning a defensive operation in these directions; concentrated enemy assets in Luhansk Oblast, in particular, troops transferred from the Kherson direction, may indicate the preparation for an offensive operation in this direction.
  • Russian troops completed the clearing of captured Soledar and achieved minor territorial gains to the southwest of Bakhmut near Andriivka;
  • Ukrainian forces repelled Russian attacks in the areas of 17 towns and villages in Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts;
  • Russian forces continued to attack Bakhmut and areas to the north, east, south, and southwest and achieved minor territorial gains to the southwest of Bakhmut near Andriivka.
  • Occupation authorities in Sevastopol claim that 7 UAVs were shot down. The explosions were heard over Belbek airfield north of Sevastopol;

Sea: the movement of vessels in the Bosphorus Strait is temporarily suspended as a dry cargo heading from Ukraine ran aground.


  • The Polish PM heads to Berlin to persuade Germans to unblock MBTs delivery to Ukraine.
  • Reacting to the news of Western tanks supply, Dmitri Peskov said that they are “burning and will burn just like the rest” of equipment and won’t change the situation on the ground. Quite an escalation!
  • Erdogan and Putin discussed the “grain deal” and energy cooperation. The Turkish President tried to sell his mediation role between Ukraine and Russia and discussed POWs swaps.
  • Turkey put forward an initiative to establish a “humanitarian corridor” between Russia and Ukraine while ombudsmen from the fighting countries exchanged lists of POWs and WIAs for a swap.
  • Russia is playing with a “super torpedo” that, so far, hasn’t been successful in testing.
Humanitarian aspect:

The number of victims of the Russian missile strike on Dnipro on January 14 has grown to 40. Rescuers reported that as of 1:00 p.m. on January 16, 39 people were rescued (including 6 children), 40 people died (including 3 children), and 75 people were injured (including 14 children). Forty-six reports of missing persons have been received, of which the whereabouts of 12 persons have been established.

According to Kateryna Rashevska, a Regional Center for Human Rights lawyer, Russia has deported from 260,000 to almost 700,000 minors, as well as from 1.5 to 2.5 thousand orphans. At least 400 children have already been [illegally] adopted by Russian families. “The children were deported to at least 57 regions of Russia. Their geography is completely different: Sakhalin, Astrakhan, Murmansk, Dagestan,” said Rashevska. She added that the purpose of such actions of the Russian Federation is the genocide of the Ukrainian people and nation.

Russian attacks

Consequences of enemy shelling as of the morning of January 15: During January 15, 7 people were wounded in Donetsk Oblast, 9 in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and 2 in Kharkiv Oblast. In Kherson Oblast, 2 people were killed and 14 wounded, Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko said.

Russian attacks on residential areas continue.

  • On the night of January 16, the city of Zaporizhzhia and its outskirts got hit. The missile landed next to a five-story residential building. Five people were injured, including two children, 9 and 15 years old. They were hospitalized.
  • On   the   night   of   January   16,   the   Russian   forces   shelled   the   Nikopol    district of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast with heavy artillery several times. No causalities were reported. In Chervonohryhorivka, over a dozen private houses, commercial buildings, power lines, and gas pipelines were damaged.
  • In the morning, the Russian occupiers attacked a high-rise building, a boarding school and a children’s hospital in Kherson, killing one person. There were no patients at the children’s hospital; windows in the 6-story building got shattered.
Energy system

The deficit in the energy system caused by the decrease in electricity production due to missile attacks on power plants has increased significantly, and emergency shutdowns have been introduced in 9 regions, Ukrenergo said. As of 11:00 a.m., restoration of the power system is

underway after the 12th massive enemy missile strike on January 14. The situation on Monday was made even more difficult by the weather and the start of the work week.

Occupied territories

According to the National Resistance Center of the Ukrainian MOD, the Russian occupation forces intensified the deportation of Ukrainian citizens to the Russian Federation, mostly from Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Oblasts. Voronezh, Sverdlovsk, Kursk, Rostov Oblasts of the Russian Federation, and Krasnodar Krai received additional funds for the accommodation of Ukrainian citizens. However, the money is embezzled, and people are placed in dilapidated resorts and dormitories with no proper sanitary conditions, the Center reports. In order to create the motivation for the so-called “evacuation”, the Russian occupation authorities first stopped the operation of social institutions and intensified the shelling to make the life of the locals unbearable. After that, first, a voluntary and then a forced “evacuation” is announced.

In 2022, the Ukrainian undercover [partisan forces] eliminated at least 12 politicians and 7 law enforcement officers who committed treason with regard to Ukraine, mainly in the occupied parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts, the “Chesno” movement reported.

Operational situation General conclusion:

Russia continues to try to gain control over Donetsk Oblast within its administrative border.

  • Units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled Russian attacks in the areas Makiivka, Bilohorivka of Luhansk Oblast and Verkhnyokamianske, Krasnopolivka, Spirne, Sil, Bakhmut, Klishchiivka, Novobakhmutivka, Velyka Novosilka, Prechystivka, Krasnohorivka, Pobyeda, Novomykhailivka, Vodyane, Mayorsk and Maryinka of Donetsk Oblast;
  • Russian troops completed the clearing of Soledar, attacked the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces to the north, west, and southwest of the town, and seized a mine west of Soledar near Dvorichiya;
  • Russian forces continued to attack Bakhmut and areas to the north, east, south, and southwest of the city, and achieved minor territorial gains to the southwest of Bakhmut near Andriivka.
Enemy disposition:
  • Russian troops increased their presence in the occupied Kherson Oblast, where a part of the “Wagner” PMC forces from Soledar arrived;
  • The enemy restored the bridge across the Henichesk-Arabat spit, which improved the logistics of the Russian grouping in the occupied Kherson Oblast.
Escalation indicators: None.

Possible operation situation developments:

  • The Russian military prepares defensive lines and positions in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts, which complies with the concept of planning a defensive operation in these directions;
  • The enemy concentrates assets in Luhansk Oblast, in particular, it has moved part of the troops from the Kherson direction, which may indicate the preparation for an offensive operation in this direction.
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.

  • During the past day, 17 surface ships, boats and a submarine were taken out into the open sea. Among them were 6 Kalibr cruise missile carriers (two project 11356R frigates, three project 21631 small missile ships, and one project 636.3 submarine), which carried out more than 20 launches in the direction of the central part of Ukraine on January 14, 2023. Currently, the number of Kalibr missiles on the ships at sea may be up to 30.
  • On January 14, Su-35S multi-purpose fighters took twice off from the Belbek military airfield. Each shift included five aircraft, which fired a total of 10 Kh-59 tactical cruise missiles.
  • The intensity of the movement of military equipment by road and rail from Crimea to Kherson Oblast remains stable. Railway freight trains arrive on the territory of Kherson Oblast from the Crimean direction, unloading military equipment and ammunition at the “Kalanchak”, “Brylivka”, and “Novooleksiiivka” stations.
  • 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.
  • 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, 18 sorties of enemy aircraft over the Black Sea were recorded.
  • On the night of January 16, many explosions were heard in the sky over Sevastopol. Their epicenter was in the Belbek airfield area (northern part of Sevastopol). The [Russian] occupying authorities announced that the Russian air defense allegedly shot down 7 drones.
  • According to space intelligence data, as of the beginning of January 2023, there were about 60 aircraft on the territory of the Belbek airfield, including 9 MiG-29, 3 MiG-31, 34 Su-27/30, 6 Su-35S, 1 Su-30SM, and 4 Su-34. In addition, there were up to 5 helicopters and at least 2 anti-aircraft gun-missile complexes “Pantsyr”.
  • Starting from the end of July 2022, drone attacks on Sevastopol became regular. Since then, there has been an increased threat (“Yellow”) in the city of Sevastopol.
  • “The Grain initiative”. The movement of vessels in the Bosphorus Strait is temporarily suspended due to a dry cargo that was heading from Ukraine and ran aground. The Turkish rescue vessel Nene Hatun, tugboats Kurtarma-5, 8, 9 and boat KEGM-8 were immediately dispatched to the scene for the 142-meter bulk carrier MKK-1, which ran aground in Umuryer while sailing from Ukraine to Istanbul. Due to the incident, vessels’ movement in the Bosphorus Strait has been suspended, and a rescue operation is currently underway.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.2022 to 16.01.2023

Personnel – almost 116,080 people (+790)

Tanks -3,118 (+12)

Armored combat vehicles – 6,204 (+21);

Artillery systems – 2,099 (+5);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 438 (+1); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 220 (+1); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,870 (+24); Aircraft – 286 (0);

Helicopters – 276 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 1,872 (0); Intercepted cruise missiles – 749 (0);

Boats/ships – 17 (0).

Ukraine, general news

More than 95% of polled Ukrainians are confident in the victory of Ukraine in the war with Russia. At the same time, the absolute majority of respondents (63.2%) expect it within the next year or even sooner. Only 26% answered that the war would last more than a year, according to the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology survey on December 19-25, 2022.

Currently, 90.4% of Ukrainians are interested in politics (60.5% are somewhat interested in politics, and 29.9% are very interested), while the number of those who are very interested in politics has increased by more than 20 percentage points compared to November 2021.

79.7% of surveyed Ukrainians primarily identify as citizens of Ukraine. Civic identity increased from 62.6% in 2021 to 79.7% in 2022. In 2022, 7.9% of Ukrainians identified mainly as residents of their village or city. 3.9% of Ukrainians primarily call themselves representatives of their ethnic group/nation, and 1.7% are residents of their region. 3.3% of respondents consider themselves “citizens of the world”, and 1.6% of people identify themselves primarily as citizens of Europe. And only 1.4% of Ukrainians still believe that they are primarily citizens of the former Soviet Union.

The survey was conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology via phone interviews (cell phones only) between December 19 and 25, 2022.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held another meeting of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief Staff. Its participants analyzed the situation in Donetsk Oblast and the south of Ukraine and discussed the “maximum effective” countermeasures to missile strikes. In addition, the provision of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with ammunition and the training of commanders of the tactical unit were discussed in the meeting.

International diplomatic aspect

While the German Defense Minister steps down after months of criticism, the Polish Prime Minister is heading to Berlin with the mission to persuade his partners to unblock MBTs delivery to Ukraine. “I call on the German government to act decisively and deliver all types of weapons to Ukraine,” Mateusz Morawiecki said.

“These tanks are burning and will burn just like the rest,” the Kremlin’s spokesperson replied on the news of Western tanks being sent to Ukraine. He also said that the new supplies would not change the situation on the ground and blamed the Western countries for bringing “more troubles” to Ukraine. However, Dmitry Peskov didn’t mention that Russia’s spearhead mechanized forces, including the 4th Guards Tank Division that lost up to eighty percent of its tanks (131 tanks) and troops, have been decimated. According to Oryx, Russia has lost 1,450 tanks since the war began, nearly 900 of which have been damaged or destroyed. The UAF captured the rest, making Russia the largest tank supplier to Ukraine.

Turkish President talked to his Russian counterpart, trying to sell his role in brokering a lasting peace between Ukraine and Russia. Erdogan and Putin discussed the “grain deal” and supply of Russian fertilizers, as well as gas deals between the two countries and Syrian issues. The Kremlin reports that the POWs swap was also discussed, while Putin accused Ukraine of intensifying hostilities and “hypocrisy” by refusing the so-called “Christmas truce.”

The Turkish ombudsman put forward an initiative to establish a “humanitarian corridor” for the wounded soldiers and civilians strapped on the battlefield through Turkish mediation. Though an agreement was reached about a swap of only 40 persons, Ukrainian and Russian ombudspersons exchanged the lists of POWs and WIAs (a list of 800 names from Ukraine and 200 from Russia). They also discussed the issue of returning Ukrainian children and other civilians forcefully deported to Russia.

“The first Poseidon ammunition loads have been manufactured, and the Belgorod submarine will receive them in the near future,” the Russian propaganda media reported. Russia claims Poseidon super torpedoes are “practically indestructible” and capable of causing huge ocean swells that, along with the radioactive fallout, would make [American] coastal cities uninhabitable. So far, attempts to test the torpedo have been hampered by technical issues, according to US sources. Though the war in Ukraine showed that Russia was much better at

pretending than actually possessing advanced military technologies, anyone should pay serious attention to its nuclear arms. One thing is obvious, the inability to secure the accuracy of its weapons and technologically outpace the competitors (like in stealth technology), Russia outpaces them in size. It was the case with ICBMs when the Soviet Union compensated for their inaccuracy with enormous yields. There might be legitimate doubts about the Russian ability to innovate and produce advanced weapons, for they still rely heavily on Soviet design.

Russia, relevant news

€105 million of Russian bank deposits have been arrested in Cyprus, said Cypriot Finance Minister Konstantinos Petridis.

The Hyundai plant in St. Petersburg began laying off employees; the process will continue until February 17, 2023 – TASS, citing employees of the enterprise.

National Bank of Georgia: in 2022, the transfer of funds to Georgia from Russia exceeded $2 billion, which is more than 5 times higher than in 2021.

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