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CDS Daily brief (15.02.23) | CDS comments on key events

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Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • Yale University’s Humanitarian Research Lab reported about Russian government-run brainwashing and military training camps for Ukrainian forcefully transferred children and their further illegal adoption.
  • The UN humanitarian aid and refugee agencies seek $5.6 billion for Ukrainians and nations.
  • 9 Oblasts came under Russian fire on February 14. Killed and wounded civilians were reported.
  • The last minor was evacuated from Vuhledar, and more than 300 adults remain in the city, refusing to evacuate.
  • For the fourth day in a row, the Ukrainian energy system operates with a zero deficit.
  • Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said he would remain in office by president Zelensky’s decision.
  • According to the poll, a third of Ukrainians report losing their jobs after February 24, 2% – housing, and more than half – health.


  • The enemy is trying to take full control of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts and continues to focus on conducting offensive operations in the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk directions.
  • The enemy switched from operations of BTGs to using regiments in full force, reinforcing them with jet or anti-tank divisions; tank regiments are reinforced with howitzer divisions.
  • Possible operation situation developments: the enemy command will continue offensive actions in the Kupyansk and Lyman directions.


  • “Time is of the essence” is the key message at the NATO ministerial meeting.
  • Sweden will provide Archers, 51 infantry fighting vehicles, and anti-tank weapons. Germany assures of sufficient stocks of ammunition for Gepards till summer and launching production of new ones. Germany criticized Switzerland for refusing to provide Ukraine with ammunition for Gepards.
  • The Netherlands will finance the delivery of Leopard MBTs, not of its own, which are under lease.
  • The UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Lithuania will send a package of support worth £200 million.
  • The US thinks of imposing sanctions on more Russian banks. The US is to impose “export bans worth more than €11 billion.”
Humanitarian aspect:

Yale University’s Humanitarian Research Lab released a report on the Russian government’s systematic forceful relocated “at least 6,000 children from Ukraine to a network of [43] re-education and adoption facilities in Russia-occupied Crimea and mainland Russia.” The report

says that the majority of camps have engaged in pro-Russia brainwashing and even military training. Many children were suspended for the return to their parents in Ukraine. So, Russia has been systematically engaged in eradicating Ukrainian identity, which is one of the signs of genocide.

The UN humanitarian aid and refugee agencies are seeking $5.6 billion to assist some 15,2 million Ukrainians in Ukraine and ten host nations.

Russian attacks

On February 14, the Russian Federation troops attacked nine Ukrainian regions, Ukrinform reported.

Consequences of the attacks:

  • Russian military shelled civilian infrastructure in 12 towns and villages in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. 19 reports were received about the destruction of housing and infrastructure facilities.
  • In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, the enemy hit Nikopol with heavy artillery.
  • A high-rise residential building was heavily damaged in Kupyansk in Kharkiv Oblast at night due to a missile fire. This morning, two private residential buildings were damaged by shelling in Kupyansk. On February 14, areas of at least 20 towns and villages of Kharkiv Oblast were under enemy fire.
  • In Donetsk Oblast, one civilian was killed, and another was wounded during the day. The Russians shelled populated areas along the entire front line with mortars, artillery, and Grad rocket launchers. During the day, Russian troops fired rockets at Kostiantynivka (one person was injured, the Palace of Culture, where the humanitarian aid distribution point is located, four high-rise buildings, and a car were damaged) and Kramatorsk (damaged premises of a medical institution, private houses).

On the morning of February 15, the occupiers shelled Pokrovsk and destroyed a five-story building. According to preliminary information, one civilian was killed, and rescuers got another person from under the rubble. Twelve residents were injured; the rescue operation is continuing.

  • Kherson, its suburbs, and the districts of more than 30 towns and villages were affected by enemy artillery fire. Twice in a day, the Russian military shelled one of Kherson’s medical facilities; they also fired at an ambulance station in Beryslav, Kherson Oblast. The premises were destroyed, and medical vehicles were damaged. The ambulance driver was injured.

Another 64 people were evacuated from the territories of the Kherson Oblast liberated from the Russians, including eight children and one person with reduced mobility.

The last minor was evacuated from the front-line Vuhledar. A 15-year-old teenager was taken with his family to a safe area, according to the National Police. About 300 people, who refused to evacuate, remain in the city.

In Snihyrivka, Mykolaiv region, the bodies of 27 people were found killed during the occupation of the city by Russian troops. The bodies of the dead have signs of violent death: bullet wounds, injuries from ammunition explosions, and the like, said Dmitry Kozak, head of the Mykolayiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office. The Ukrainian military liberated Snihyrivka on November 10, 2022.


For the fourth day in a row, the Ukrainian energy system operates with a zero deficit, reported Energy Minister Herman Galushchenko. “All 9 power units of the NPP are working, providing more than half of the volume of electricity produced in Ukraine. Favorable weather conditions this winter allow hydro generation to work powerfully, the volume of electricity production from renewable energy sources is increasing,” the minister noted.

Occupied territories

The invaders in the temporarily occupied territories are trying to forcefully stop children’s education in Ukrainian online schools, reported the Center of National Resistance. “Thus, in the temporarily occupied territories, “juvenile affairs commissions” were created, which, with the help of fake courts, issue fines to parents for the education of their children in Ukrainian schools,” the message reads. The commissions arrange raids, especially at the places of residence of children who miss many classes in “Russian schools”, paying attention to laptops and tablets, which can be used to study. It is noted that Russian schools on temporarily occupied territories have a purely propagandistic nature, and that is why it is important for Russians to limit children’s access to education and immerse them in the world of the “Russian world”.

Operational situation General conclusion:
  • The enemy, trying to take full control of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, continues to focus its main efforts on conducting offensive operations in the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk directions.
  • The Defense Forces units repelled enemy attacks in the areas of more than 20 towns and villages. Among them are Hryanykivka in Kharkiv Oblast; Nevske, Kreminna, Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast; Fedorivka, Bakhmut, Ivanivske, Vodyane, Pervomaiske, Maryinka, Pobyeda, Novomykhailivka, Vuhledar and Prechystivka of Donetsk Oblast.
  • The enemy tried to develop its tactical success near Hryanykivka with the forces of the 138th separate motorized rifle brigade, but the Defense Forces repulsed the attack. The units of the Russian 30th separate motorized rifle brigade pushed back units of the 80th separate airborne assault brigade of Ukrainian Air Assault Forces from Kreminna by 500- 1000 m. However, this way, they entered the open area east of Yampolivka and Zarichne, where they came under the Defense Forces’ fire and suffered heavy losses. Russian troops entered Lyman Pershy, advanced to the area of Synkivka and began an offensive near Masyutivka.
  • Units of the Ukrainian Joint Forces completed their withdrawal along the Bakhmutka River frontier; the enemy began a cautious advance of forward units from the 106th airborne division. All enemy attacks on Ivanovske were repulsed. Russian troops advanced within one kilometer southeast of Vasyukivka, slightly advanced north of Bakhmut in the Dubovo-Vasylivka area and southwestern Bakhmut.
  • Russian troops equipped new trenches and barricades along the T2202 route between Chaplynka in Kherson Oblast and Armyansk in Crimea.

Change in enemy disposition: not indicated.

Escalation indicators: the enemy has practically abandoned operations in BTGs and moves to use regiments in full force, reinforcing them with jet or anti-tank divisions; only tank regiments are reinforced with howitzer divisions.

Possible operation situation developments: the enemy command will continue offensive actions in the Kupyansk and Lyman directions.

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.

  • The enemy has 6 surface ships in the sea, which perform tasks south of the Crimean Peninsula. The others returned to their bases after completing course assignments for crew training. Project 1135.6 frigate has up to 8 Kalibr missiles on board, ready for immediate use.
  • One patrol boat is on duty in the Sea of Azov waters.
  • 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, 24 sorties of enemy aircraft over the Black Sea were recorded. Up to 5 Su-25SM attack aircraft flew from the “Dzhankoy” military airfield in the direction of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast several times at low altitudes to carry out an air strike.
  • The intensity of the movement of military equipment by road and rail transport from Crimea to the Kherson Oblast remains stable, and freight trains unload military equipment and ammunition at the stations “Kalanchak”, “Brylivka”, and “Novooleksiivka”.
  • The occupiers constantly initiate certain activities along the islands in the Dnieper delta. This is connected with the work of sabotage and reconnaissance groups.
  • The Russians take watercraft from the civilian population of the Dnieper left bank and equip them for the needs of sabotage and intelligence groups. Weapons are installed on them, ammunition is loaded, and they are being prepared for moving around the islands.
  • About 200 representatives of the Russian Guard arrived in Lazurne (Skadovsky district, Kherson Oblast) “to strengthen counter-subversive measures.” The occupiers resettled on the territory of the “Chaika” recreation center, and for their safety, the movement of local residents in the settlement was restricted.
  • In January 2023, the actual volume of Russian crude oil exports from Black Sea ports to EU countries under the embargo was 1.27 million tons. Compared to December 2022, this sanctioned export increased by 25% or by about 250 thousand tons. Russian oil was transported to 4 EU countries: Greece – 961,124 tons (75% of the total volume), Spain – 159,058 tons, the Netherlands – 103,755 tons, and Slovenia – 50,344 tons.

Of the 12 tankers transporting Russian crude oil to EU countries in January 2023, 8 tankers are owned and operated by companies registered in Greece, Denmark and Cyprus; the remaining 4 are companies registered in Turkey, the Marshall Islands and subsidiaries of the Russian “Sovcomflot”, registered in Dubai. To Slovenia, the Netherlands and Spain, tankers with Russian crude oil arrived directly at the ports, to Greece – to anchorages in the territorial sea (in the 12-mile zone).

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 15.02.23

Personnel – almost 139,770 people (+690)

Tanks – 3,290 (+4)

Armored combat vehicles – 6,507 (+7);

Artillery systems – 2,303 (+4);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 466 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 236 (+2); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 5,161 (+6); Aircraft – 298 (0);

Helicopters – 286 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 2,011 (0); Intercepted cruise missiles – 857 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).

Ukraine, general news

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said he would remain in office by president Zelensky’s decision. When asked by Reuters journalists whether he was going to head the Ukrainian Defense Ministry in the coming months, Reznikov said: “Yes, it was my president’s decision.” In early February, Ukrainian media reported that Reznikov would leave his post and Kirill Budanov, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine, would take his place.

A third of Ukrainians report losing their jobs after February 24, 2% – housing, and more than half

– health, according to the results of the survey “Legal Protection of Victims of Russian War Crimes”, conducted by the sociological group “Rating on the territory of Ukraine on December 23-26”. As noted by 2% of respondents, their housing is destroyed and uninhabitable, 6% – their housing is partially damaged, and another 2% – housing was destroyed but has already been restored.

Since the beginning of the war, the income level of 6% of respondents has increased, 36% has almost not changed, 17% has slightly decreased, and 30% has significantly decreased. 10% of respondents lost almost all their income. The income situation is worse among residents of the south and east of Ukraine.

46% noted that during the war, their physical health did not change, 32% deteriorated faster, and 21% significantly deteriorated.

Almost every tenth respondent noted that they or their close relatives had been injured or incapacitated due to the war. Of them, 66% documented the facts of the injury.

17% have relatives among their loved ones with whom they have lost contact. 5% have relatives who died due to the war, and 3% have relatives forcibly deported to the Russian Federation or occupied territories.

International diplomatic aspect

“Time is of the essence,” and Kyiv has a “window of opportunity to tip the balance,” Jens Stoltenberg told the NATO defense ministers gathering in Brussels. “With the decision to send the tanks, we are doing what we can. A bit too late, but it’s done … Everyone is expecting a terrible Russian offensive … Time is pressing,” Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck said.

Sweden will provide Ukraine with Archer Artillery System, 51 infantry fighting vehicles, and anti- tank weapons. NATO Secretary-General stated that the allies had increased production of 155 mm artillery rounds. Germany’s Defense Minister stated that ammunition stocks for Gepard systems “should suffice until the summer,” while a contract on the production of new reserves with Rheinmetall was signed last week. Meanwhile, Germany’s Vice-Chancellor, Robert Habeck, has criticized the Swiss government for refusing to send ammunition for Gepard.

The Netherlands clarified that it had no intention to deliver Leopard MBTs from its own stocks because they’re leased from Germany. Yet it will finance the delivery of tanks from another country.

The UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Lithuania will send a package of support worth £200 million that will include military equipment, including spare parts for tanks and artillery ammunition.

“We have immobilized about 80% of the assets in the Russian banking sector. We are looking at additional banks and financial institutions to see how Russia deals with the outside world. It is very possible that there will be more action,” Head of the Office of Sanctions Coordination Ambassador James O’Brien informed. The European Commission has called for “export bans worth more than €11 billion, to deprive the Russian economy of critical technology and industrial goods.” It will include electronics, specialized vehicles, machine parts, spare parts for trucks and jet engines, as well as new export controls on “47 new electronic components that can be used in Russian weapons systems, including drones, missiles, helicopters.”

“Support for Ukraine will continue,” a Swiss Government working group on Russian assets proclaimed, but “the expropriation of private assets of lawful origin without compensation is not permissible under Swiss law,” its fining reads. Switzerland froze financial assets worth £6.74 billion.

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