CDS Daily brief (20.02.23) | CDS comments on key events
- Опубліковано: CDS
- Категорія: DailyBrief
Snapshot of the day:
- The Russian military continues shelling Ukrainian civilian infrastructure and residential areas.
- More than 600 mobilized and cadets from the Russian Federation were placed in the bomb shelter of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, awaiting to be deployed to Donetsk Oblast.
- The enemy continues to focus on offensive actions in the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk directions;
- The Russian Armed Forces do not have enough free reserves to dramatically increase the scale or intensity of the offensive.
- Change in enemy disposition: the enemy formed a grouping of troops in Luhansk Oblast, involving a significant part of the troops of the Western Military District and reinforced by elements of the Central Military District.
- Possible operation situation developments: The enemy will continue its efforts to capture Bakhmut by February 24, to enter the approaches to the Sloviansk-Kramatorsk agglomeration and to take control of Avdiivka, Maryinka and Vuhledar.
- The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is carrying out several reforms aimed at formalizing and professionalizing the Armed Forces and preparing for a long war in Ukraine as a regular army operating according to classical rules.
- US President Joe Biden made a previously unannounced visit to Kyiv and met with Volodymyr Zelensky. During the meeting, the US president promised Ukraine a new $460 million aid package, including more ammunition for HIMARS and Howitzers and more Javelins, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars.
- Senator Lindsey Graham called on the Biden Administration to kick off Ukrainian pilots’ training on F-16 and designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, so China wouldn’t dare to send weapons to Russia.
- Beijing is not happy with the US lecturing on weapons for Russia and played the blame game.
- The Lithuanian President called the allies to “cross these red lines, which are in our minds and do not reality really exist,” and supply everything Ukraine needs for its victory.
- Japan has announced a new $5.5 billion financial aid for Ukraine.
Consequences of enemy shelling on the morning of February 20
- Around 5 a.m., the enemy shelled the Kupyansk district of Kharkiv Oblast. In the Novoosynove village, a private residential building was destroyed. A woman may be under the rubble. Rescuers are working on the spot. In Kurylivka, shelling damaged the buildings of the agricultural enterprise. The enemy attacked Strilecha village in the Kharkiv district in the morning. Two wounded civilians were reported. During the past day, the enemy shelled at least 11 border towns and villages of Kupyansk (1 wounded), Chuhuyiv (1 wounded) and Kharkiv districts (2 wounded).
- The Russian occupiers shelled the Kherson Oblast populated areas 75 times; 3 killed and 8 wounded civilians were reported. In Kherson, enemy shells hit residential buildings.
- On February 19, the Russians launched 3 rocket strikes on Donetsk Oblast: an industrial enterprise was damaged in Kramatorsk, a car service station and an adjacent 3-story building in Yasnohirka, and the territory of a former mine in Kleban-Byk. Three people died in the region: in Avdiivka, Bakhmut and Bohdanivka.
- Yesterday, the Russians shelled the Kutsurub community of Mykolaiv Oblast. A private house was damaged. Its residents received minor injuries. The water area and port infrastructure of the Ochakiv community were also under artillery fire. There are no casualties.
- Over the past day, the occupiers shelled civilian infrastructure in the Orihiv, Hulyaipole and Vasylivka districts of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
More than 600 Russian conscripts and cadets arrived on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP and were placed in the bomb shelter for non-standard equipment. They are waiting to be transferred to the Donetsk section of the front, reported NAEC Energoatom in Telegram. At the same time, the occupiers set up a machine gun position on the roof of the fifth power unit. They placed roadblocks at all entrances to the clear overpasses, through which personnel from the special corps get directly to the power units. In addition, the Russian military continues to erect fortifications and build military structures around the plant’s power units and its dry spent nuclear fuel storage facility.
In the occupied Skadovsk and Kalanchak in Kherson Oblast, the Russians threatened to confiscate property if the locals refused to get Russian passports and to re-register their businesses under Russian legislation. Moreover, in the absence of a Russian passport, pensioners are threatened with being left without pension payments, as the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported.
Operational situation General conclusion:
- The enemy continue to focus on conducting offensive actions in the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk directions;
- The Russian Armed Forces do not have enough free reserves to dramatically increase the scale or intensity of the offensive this winter.
- Units of the Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Hryanykivka in Kharkiv Oblast; Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast; Vasyukivka, Dubovo-Vasylivka, Berkhivka, Bakhmut and Ivanivske in Donetsk Oblast.
- The Defence Forces conducted a series of successful counterattacks in the Paraskoviivka area, along Patrisa Lumumba Street and in the Opytne district. Intense fighting is taking place in the Berkhivka area.
- The enemy launched an unsuccessful attack near Novodanylivka, Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
Change in enemy disposition:
- The enemy formed a grouping of troops in Luhansk Oblast, involving a significant part of the troops of the Western Military District. Its units are reinforced by elements of the Central Military District, 1st and 2nd Army Corps of the 8th Army, and Airborne Forces. The 3rd (252nd, 752nd motorized rifle regiments) and 144th (254th, 488th motorized rifle regiments, 59th tank regiment) motorized rifle divisions of the 20th Army were fully deployed at the Svatove-Kreminna frontier. The 4th tank division, 26th tank regiment of the 47th tank division, 27th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st tank army, and 6th tank regiment of the 90th tank division of the Central Military District were deployed at the Svatove-Kupyansk frontier. The 4th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 2nd Army Corps, units of the 76th Air assault division and 98th airborne division operate in the Bilohorivka area.
- The 2nd motorized rifle division (1st, 15th motorized rifle regiments, 1st tank regiment), which is in the grouping’s reserve, was moved from the training grounds on the territory of the Republic of Belarus to Luhansk Oblast.
Escalation indicators: not indicated.
Possible operation situation developments:
- The enemy will continue its efforts to capture Bakhmut by February 24, to enter the approaches to the Sloviansk-Kramatorsk agglomeration, and to take control of Avdiivka, Maryinka and Vuhledar.
- The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is currently carrying out several reforms aimed at formalizing and professionalizing the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and preparing for a long war in Ukraine as a regular army operating according to classical rules. The return to doctrinal structures is a turning point in the structure of Russian forces and the campaign plan.
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 7 surface ships and submarines in the sea, which perform tasks south of the Crimean peninsula. Among them, one submarine of project 636.3 is a carrier of Kalibr missiles, with up to 4 missiles on board.
- 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, 14 sorties of enemy aircraft over the Black Sea were recorded.
- The enemy continues shelling Kherson from the Velykyi Potyomkinsky and Bilohrudy islands of the Dnipro delta, using sabotage and reconnaissance groups, artillery and mortars. The enemy continues shelling the Ochakiv port. Another artillery strike was noted on the morning of February 20.
- “Grain initiative”. Ethiopia and Somalia have already received 110,000 tons of grain as part of the Grain from Ukraine humanitarian initiative. On February 15, the vessel Mv Valsimitis began loading 25,000 tons of grain for Kenya in Chornomorsk. It was also decided to send cargo to Yemen, Sudan and Nigeria. Each ship with grain sent within Grain from Ukraine provides food for an average of 90,000 people.
- One hundred forty-five vessels are waiting in line for inspection by the Joint Coordination Center, of which 122 are headed to Ukrainian ports for agricultural products. Such a queue is due to the intentional delay of inspections on the part of the Russian side; at most, 20% of the required and ordered inspections are carried out daily. This led to a systematic decrease in freight traffic within the framework of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and a shortage of 10 million tons of Ukrainian food by countries in Africa and Asia.
- On February 20-26, 2023, negotiations are taking place between Ukraine, Turkey, the UN and the Russian Federation regarding the extension of the Grain Agreement from the end of March 2023; the inclusion of the Mykolaiv port in the agreement and the acceleration of ship inspections will be considered.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 20.02.23
Personnel – almost 143,680 people (+820)
Tanks – 3,316 (+6)
Armored combat vehicles – 6,553 (+8);
Artillery systems – 2,334 (+7);
Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 471 (+2); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 243 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 5,209 (+13); Aircraft – 299 (+1);
Helicopters – 287 (0);
UAV operational and tactical level – 2,018 (+2); Intercepted cruise missiles – 873 (+2);
Boats/ships – 18 (0).
Ukraine, general news
Naftogaz of Ukraine suffered losses of more than 1 billion US dollars due to damaged and destroyed infrastructure due to Russian shelling. Oleksiy Chernyshov, the chairman of the board of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine, said in an interview with NV. “All these damages are mainly in Kharkiv Oblast, which has been suffering from shelling since the beginning of the full-scale war.” At the same time, Chernyshov emphasized that it is quite possible to rebuild the destroyed infrastructure. Still, it is impossible to return the people who died due to shelling.
International diplomatic aspect
President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv. He has been visiting Ukraine many times as Senator and Vice President but for the first time as a head of state. He became the first US President to visit the county since 2008. The visit was meant to show the US ironclad support for Ukraine on the eve of the year of all-out invasion (24.02.2022). However, it coincided with the anniversary of the initial Russian invasion nine years ago. Back then, it started with the illegal annexation of Crimea and a proxy war in Donbas. The visit is “historic and unprecedented” because it was paid to a country at war (with only marine boots on Ukrainian ground which are guarding the embassy), and it is a crucial show of US support for the nation, which is fighting for its freedom and, at the same time, for mending the rules-based world order. The air defense sirens went on when Joe Biden was paying his respects to the fallen. The US and Ukrainian leaders talked about Ukraine’s needs in terms of energy, infrastructure, economic support, and humanitarian needs. They touched upon Ukraine’s Just Peace formula and the forthcoming UN General Assembly session on Ukraine. “This conversation brings us closer to victory,” Volodymyr Zelensky said.
The Biden Administration has announced a $450 million assistance package that will include more ammunition for HIMARS and Howitzers and more Javelins, anti-armor systems, and air surveillance radars. Additionally, the POTUS has authorized $10 million to provide emergency assistance to keep Ukraine’s energy infrastructure up and running. However, there was no decision on ATACMS or F-16 jets. “I’m not going to get into the specifics of those because we’re not announcing new capabilities today. But what I will say is that there was a good discussion on the subject. I think the two presidents both laid out their perspectives on a number of different capabilities that have been thrown around in the press, both recently and over the course of several months,” Jake Sullivan replied to a question on long-range fires and western jets.
Senator Lindsey Graham criticized Vice President Kamila Harris for her accusation of Russia committing crimes against humanity, the assumption which Lindsey Graham supports, but failing to “give the victim of the crime against humanity the defensive weapons they need to stop the crime.” “We need to do two things quickly. Make Russia a state sponsor of terrorism under US law, which would make it harder for China to give weapons to Russia, and we need to start training Ukrainian pilots on the F-16 now,” Senator Graham said.
“The US side is not qualified to lecture China, and we would never accept the US dictating or even coercing pressure on Sino-Russian relations,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson replied on the comment of the US Secretary of State warning for Beijing not to send weapons to Russia.
“Who is calling for dialogue and peace, and who is handing out knives and encouraging confrontation?” the Chinese diplomat concluded with the Kremlin propaganda narrative.
“This is very important that we cross these red lines, which are in our minds and do not reality really exist. Maybe sometimes Russia tries to set up those red lines instead of us,” the Lithuanian President told CNN about long-range fires and modern jets. “My message is: Do not waste time. Be decisive, be united, and take decisions as quickly as possible,” Gitanas Nauseda added.
Japan has announced a new $5.5 billion financial aid for Ukraine. “Ukraine is still suffering from the Russian invasion, and its people need help to restore their daily lives and infrastructure, which was severely damaged by the Russian attacks,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.
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