CDS Daily brief (24.01.23) | CDS comments on key events
- Опубліковано: CDS
- Категорія: DailyBrief
Snapshot of the day:
- Over the past day, the Russian forces shelled 8 regions of Ukraine, killing at least five civilians and wounding another 7;
- The amount of gas and coal Ukraine has in storage (11 billion cubic meters of gas and almost 1.2 million tons of coal) is enough for the sustainable end of the heating season;
- Ukraine handed over to the Russian side a list of 748 sick and seriously wounded POWs who are currently in Russian captivity for verification;
- At least 110 people abducted from the temporarily occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts are kept in Simferopol pre-trial detention center No. 2.
- The Russian military continues combat operations to surround Bakhmut and tries to cut the logistics routes of the Ukrainian Joint Forces in this area;
- The Russian command is taking preparatory measures for the counteroffensive operation in the East of Kharkiv Oblast and operational deployment of reserves after the next stage of mobilization in the Russian Federation.
- Possible operation situation developments: the Russian military command is preparing to conduct a counteroffensive operation in the Kupyansk and Lyman directions; the probable starting time is the beginning of February; the Russian command is preparing for the mobilization deployment of troops in the areas close to the operational zones.
- Boris Johnson called on the allies to provide Ukraine with everything it needs for victory and stop talking about ‘escalation.’ He doesn’t believe Putin may turn to the nuclear option fearing the loss of all the world’s swing voters and, worse – China.
- Twelve countries have agreed to supply Ukraine with around a hundred Leopard 2 tanks, according to a Ukrainian official. It was reported that Germany approved reexport license for fourteen Polish Leopard 2 MBTs for Ukraine and will send an equal number of its own tanks. Meanwhile, CNN reported that the Biden Administration is finalizing a decision to send Abrahams to Ukraine after being tired of persuading the Germans that Leopard 2 is a more appropriate option than the American M1.
- The tank factor will reduce Lukashenko’s willingness to join the war’s losing side even more.
- There was a record increase in the transit of goods to Russia through Georgia in 2022, namely 448,335 vehicles passing through the corridor.
According to the information made public in the morning round-up of Oblast Military State Administrations, over the past day, the Russian forces shelled eight regions of Ukraine, namely Luhansk, Donetsk, Sumy, Chernihiv, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Mykolayiv, and Kherson.
There are victims among the civilian population. Three people died, and 3 people were wounded in Donetsk Oblast. A young woman was killed by MLRS shelling in Sumy Oblast, leaving two children without a mother, and three people were wounded. One person was killed by shelling in Kherson, and another was wounded in Kharkiv Oblast.
The situation remains difficult near Bakhmut and Soledar in Donetsk Oblast.
The capacity deficit of the Ukrainian power system remains significant, consumption remained at Monday’s level, but electricity production increased somewhat, the press service of NEC “Ukrenergo” reported. Since “Ukrenergo” restored the 330 kV line, the company said the reliability of the power output of one of the power plants in the southeast of the country increased. About 55% of the total electricity consumption is provided by eight NPP units operating in the government-controlled territory.
About 11 billion cubic meters of gas are stored in Ukrainian gas storage facilities, and almost 1.2 million tons of coal are stored in warehouses. This is enough for the sustainable end of the heating season, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal, said in today’s Cabinet meeting.
Ukraine handed over to the Russian side a list of 748 sick and seriously wounded soldiers who are currently in Russian captivity, the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets, reported. The lists are meant for verification, the establishment of POW location and the state of their health. The verification results (as well as the list of wounded Russian prisoners of war provided to the Ukrainian side) will be the subject of further negotiations on the issue of the POW exchange, the commissioner noted.
The Russian State Duma adopted a bill on the integration of education systems in the newly occupied territories in the first reading. Amendments to the second reading are expected to be prepared by February 7 when the final vote is planned.
In the temporarily occupied Crimea, the Russian Federation continues covert mobilization by drafting local residents who are citizens of Ukraine, the Ukrainian General Staff reports. “Starting January 20, 2023, in the city of Sevastopol, the Russian military commissariat is tasked with replenishing Russia’s losses in the so-called “special military operation” by drafting local civilians to the units of the Black Sea Fleet.” All civilian employees are required to fill out forms to indicate information about their military rank in reserve and whether they hold a driver’s license.
In Simferopol pre-trial detention center No. 2, the Russian occupiers illegally detain at least 110 people abducted from the temporarily occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts, reported the head of the board of the Crimean human rights group Olga Skrypnyk. Skrypnyk
noted that among those detained are Ukrainian activists, journalists, volunteers, and foreign citizens involved in volunteer activities.
Operational situation General conclusion:
- The Russian military continues combat operations with the aim of surrounding Bakhmut from the north and south and tries to cut the logistics routes of the Ukrainian Joint Forces in this area;
- The Russian command is taking preparatory measures to conduct a counteroffensive operation in the East of Kharkiv Oblast and operational deployment of reserves after the next stage of mobilization in the Russian Federation.
- Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled Russian attacks in the areas of Chervonopopivka, Luhansk Oblast; Bilohorivka, Rozdolivka, Sil, Krasna Hora, Verkhnyokamianske, Bakhmut, Vyimka, Rozdolivka, Stupochki, Paraskoviivka, Klishchiivka, Novobakhmutivka, Krasnohorivka, Pervomaiske, Vodyane, Maryinka in Donetsk Oblast;
- In Luhansk Oblast, the Russian military carried out a number of unsuccessful attacks in the area of Svatove, Kreminna, and was unable to regain the positions it had lost in previous battles. It holds positions in the areas of Ploschanka, near the Zhuravkova ditch.
- In Donetsk Oblast, Units of the “Wagner” PMC attacked near Klishchiivka intending to advance in the direction of Ivanivske and cut the T0504 Kostyantynivka – Chasiv Yar – Bakhmut highway.
- The enemy captured the northern part of Opytne and slightly advanced to the east of Vodyane.
- Units of the 150th motorized rifle division of the 8th Army conducted assault operations in Maryinka.
- In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the Russian forces carried out unsuccessful attacks in Mali Shcherbaky area and Novodanylivka.
- The Ukrainian defense forces repelled Russian attacks on Stelmakhivka, Novoselivske, Terny, and Serebryansk Forestry and tried to advance in the direction of Kuzemivka; restored the tactical position near Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast.
- The Ukrainian defense forces have regrouped and are holding positions along the line Mali Shcherbaky – Shcherbaky – Novoandriivka – Novodanylivka in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
The formation of a strike grouping in the Kupyansk and Lyman directions continues.
Escalation indicators: None detected.
Possible operation situation developments:
- The Russian military command is preparing to conduct a counteroffensive operation in the Kupyansk and Lyman directions; the probable starting time is the beginning of February;
- The Russian command prepares for the mobilization deployment of troops in the areas close to the operational zones.
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.
- There are 11 enemy warships at sea. Among them are 4 Kalibr cruise missile carriers, including 1 submarine. The possible number of missiles on board is up to 28 units.
- In the Sea of Azov, on the approach to the Mariupol and Berdiansk seaports, one patrol boat is located with the purpose of blocking the Azov coast.
- The intensity of the movement of military equipment by road and rail from Crimea to Kherson Oblast remains stable. On the territory of Kherson railroad freight trains unload military equipment and ammunition at the “Kalanchak”, “Brylivka”, and “Novooleksiyivka” stations.
The “Grain initiative”.
- During the past week, only two or three grain carriers per day left Ukrainian ports within the framework of the grain corridor. This is the lowest indicator for half a year of the “grain corridor” operation, the press service of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food reports. The key reason for the declined vessel loading rates is an artificial obstacle to the work of the “grain initiative” by Russian inspectors.
- Over the past seven days, Ukraine has shipped 871,000 tons of agricultural products within the framework of the grain corridor. Those are corn – 387,000 tons, wheat – 287,000 tons. In particular, the fourth vessel left the port of Chornomorsk under the “Grain from Ukraine” initiative. The bulk carrier Amira Hana will deliver 30,000 tons of wheat to the port of Djibouti, and from there, Ukrainian grain will be sent to Ethiopia. In total, Ukraine has already delivered 238,300 tons of wheat to Ethiopia, which is on the verge of famine. The largest volume of agricultural products since the start of the “grain initiative” was sent to Africa in October. 25 ships were loaded at that time; the total tonnage was 571,400 tons.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.2022 to 24.01.2023
Personnel – almost 122,170 people (+690)
Tanks – 3,152 (+2)
Armored combat vehicles – 6,284 (+8);
Artillery systems – 2,148 (+2);
Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 448 (+1); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 220 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 4,944 (+8); Aircraft – 289 (+2);
Helicopters – 281 (+4);
UAV operational and tactical level – 1,897 (+3); Intercepted cruise missiles – 749 (0);
Boats/ships – 18 (+1).
Ukraine, general news
Several top Ukrainian officials get dismissed. Among them are:
- Kyrylo Tymoshenko, Deputy Head of the Presidential Office (had filed a resignation a day earlier). In the evening, Tymoshenko was replaced by former Head of Kyiv Oblast Military Administration Oleksiy Kuleba (dismissed earlier today).
- Oleksiy Symonenko, Deputy Prosecutor General, was dismissed after a journalist investigation regarding the official’s vacation in Spain.
The Cabinet of Ministers dismissed the following officials:
- Vyacheslav Shapovalov, Deputy Defense Minister in charge of the rear support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, filed his resignation amidst the MOD corruption allegations [with meals procurement contracts]. The Ministry praised his work but said resigning was a European way to deal with the situation).
- Vitaliy Muzychenko from the post of Deputy Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine;
- Ivan Lukerya from the post of Deputy Minister of Development of Communities and Territories of Ukraine (resigned due to “bureaucratic reasons”);
- Vyacheslav Negoda from the post of Deputy Minister of Development of Communities and Territories of Ukraine;
- Anatoliy Ivankevych from the post of Deputy Head of the State Service of Sea and Inland Water Transport and Shipping of Ukraine;
- Viktor Vyshnyov from the post of Deputy Head of the State Service of Sea and Inland Water Transport and Shipping of Ukraine for issues of digital development, digital transformations and digitalization.
In addition, five heads of Oblast Military Administrations were dismissed, namely Oleksandr Starukh (Zaporizhzhia), Valentyn Reznichenko (Dnipropetrovsk), Oleksiy Kuleba (Kyiv Oblast), Dmytro Zhyvytsky (Sumy) and Yaroslav Yanushevich (Kherson).
On January 23, the head of the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption, Oleksandr Novikov, issued an order to the Minister of Defense, Oleksiy Reznikov, to conduct an official
investigation into the activities of the head of the state procurement department Bohdan Khmelnytskyi.
International diplomatic aspect
“Just what the hell are we waiting for?” Boris Johnson posed a rhetorical question in his op-ed for the Daily Mail. He is sure “Ukraine is winning and will win this war,” but it needs “‘deep fires’
- longer-range artillery that can take out Putin’s positions from afar… planes to strike those positions from the air, and armored cars and tanks to recapture and hold the ground that Putin has stolen.” Boris Johnson called on the allies to abandon talks about ‘escalation,’ “Why should we fear to provoke him [Putin] when he has already shown what he will do without the slightest provocation? How can he ‘escalate’ when he has already reached such a pitch of barbarism that he is systematically pulverizing the homes of civilians?”
Boris Johnson doesn’t believe in Putin’s nuclear escalation, “If Putin were so insane as to go nuclear, he would in a trice lose all the world’s swing voters – from Africa, the Middle East, Asia
- who are currently willing to cut him so much slack. Worse, from his point of view, he would lose the Chinese.”
“The Scholz Chancellery doesn’t want Ukraine to win (they don’t want Ukraine to lose either – but a stalemate). Why? – A decisive victory in this conflict has system-transforming potential,” suggested Dr. Benjamin Tallis, Senior Research Fellow at Alfred von Oppenheim Center for the Future of Europe.
Twelve countries have agreed to supply Ukraine with around 100 Leopard 2 tanks should German agree, according to a senior Ukrainian official’s comment to ABC News. Poland was threatening to send its tanks in case Germany refused to consent. However, the media reported that Germany had approved the Polish request for an export license for fourteen Leopard 2. Moreover, Spiegel reported that Olaf Scholz made up his mind and will send at least fourteen Leopard 2A6. Norway may donate eight out of its thirty-six Leopard 2. Furthermore, according to CNN, the Biden administration is finalizing plans to send US-made Abrams tanks aimed at breaking the German deadlock. The Americans have been encouraging the Germans to lead the tank delivery. The US didn’t rule out the possibility of sending Abrams but insisted that the German option would be more appropriate.
With the previously announced assistance, modern MBTs will create “the most powerful armored force in the Ukrainian military; that will give them something that allows them to move quickly, take damage, and conduct breakthrough operations,” Jack Watling of the RUSI told the Economist. General Ben Hodges added that an even bigger disappointment than the absence of tanks is the lack of longer-range precision-guided weapon systems to hit logistics hubs and command and control centers deep into the Russian rear. General Ben Hodges believes that combining armor and deep strikes would make the Russian position in Crimea untenable and force them to give up the peninsula. He is right in defining Crimea as the “decisive terrain.”
Besides the advantage on the battlefield, the decision is a clear sign of unwavering support for Ukraine and its goal to restore its territorial integrity in internationally recognized borders. It shows that another self-drawn red line in the minds of some European leaders has been crossed. It will be a massive blow to the Russian troops’ morale, which suffered immensely from long- range artillery, especially high-precision HIMARS strikes.
The tank delivery will serve as an additional restrain factor to Belarus. The so-called President was angry about western armaments pouring into Ukraine. “On the one hand, they [Ukrainians] ask us that we would in no way fight with Ukraine so that our troops do not move there. The non- aggression pact is offered to be concluded. And on the other hand, they prepare this rattling mixture and arm them. Poland and Lithuania were generally crazy. Why do they need it?” Lukashenko said. For the first time, he mentioned a “non-aggression pact” that recalls a historical precedent. The Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact had been an agreement between the Communist and Nazi regimes until one of the allies turned against the other. In the case of Lukashenko, Belarus has been an aggressor state even before concluding any papers he would honour only in fear of a hard blow.
Russia, relevant news
The press service of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Wagner PMC, published his letter to the Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin in which Prigozhin proposed to ban the discrediting of combatants, including former convicts, and to punish those who “publish negative information against them, as well as disseminate information about their past offenses.”
According to the Georgian state treasury, there was a record increase in the transit of goods to Russia through Georgia in 2022, namely 448,335 vehicles passed through the corridor.
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