CDS Daily brief (23.02.23) | CDS comments on key events
- Опубліковано: CDS
- Категорія: DailyBrief
Snapshot of the day:
- Ukrainian MOD leadership named the ten victories of Ukraine on the eve of the year of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
- Russia carried 5 thousand missile strikes, 3.5 thousand air strikes and almost 1.1 thousand UAV strikes during a year of the war.
- Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, 1,863 Ukrainians have been freed from enemy captivity.
- Almost 70% of Ukrainians did not believe in the possibility of a full-scale Russian offensive by February 24, 2022.
- The Russian military attacked nine regions of Ukraine on February 22, resulting in killed and wounded civilians.
- Ukraine spends the entire peacetime state budget on the Armed Forces.
- The activity of enemy artillery suggests that the enemy considers the Lyman, Bakhmut, and Vuhledar directions as the main ones;
- The enemy is trying to break into Bakhmut from the north, stopping the attacks south of the city;
- According to Ukrainian military intelligence, the enemy sent more than 90% of the 316,000 mobilized personnel to the front line, indicating that it lacks enough combat- ready reserves.
- Possible operation situation developments: The enemy will try to break through to Lyman and capture Bakhmut, creating the prerequisites to capture the Sloviansk- Kramatorsk agglomeration.
- Sea: there is no significant change in the situation. Enemy ships are dispersed at various base points to prevent their destruction in the event of an attack on individual Crimean ports. The threat of a massive missile strike on the territory of Ukraine on February 24 by carriers of sea-based cruise missiles remains. Up to 20 Kalibr missiles.
- Since October 2022, the “Grain Initiative” has provided only 40% of exports due to the inhibition by the Russians of vessel inspections in the Bosphorus. Since August 1, 2022, Ukraine has exported 22.1 million tons of food. Due to the enemy’s inhibitions, the world does not receive at least 3 million tons of Ukrainian grain monthly.
- The duration of the “Grain Initiative” expires on March 18. Consultations regarding its extension are underway.
- The UN Secretary-General described Russia’s invasion as an “affront to our collective conscience.” The German Foreign Minister believes there is a peace plan, and “it’s called the UN Charter.” Hungary and China sided with Russia rhetorically.
- The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted for the Resolution on “Principles of the Charter of the United Nations underlying a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine.”
- Boris Johnson, MP, and Sen. Lindsey Graham called [in WSJ piece] to step up support for Ukraine by providing long fires and jets, designating Russia a state sponsor of terrorism and Wagner Group as a foreign terrorist organization.
- British Challenger-2 MBTs could start to arrive in Ukraine in “the spring,” while the US M1 Abrams in a year timeframe. Finland will send three Leopard-2 mine-clearing tanks.
- The EU citizens strongly support the Ukrainian fight for freedom with various tools, including financial, asylum, sanctions against Russia, and weapons for Ukraine.
General, humanitarian aspect A year Russian war on Ukraine:
On the eve of the year of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian MOD held a briefing, updating on the frontline situation and highlighting the results of the year. Deputy Minister Hanna Malyar named 10 victories of Ukraine. Also, in a statement, she emphasized that the enemy did not manage to capture either the sea or the air [domains] or even hold the territory captured at the beginning. “The kremlin could not achieve strategic success in any direction”.
Among the ten victories named by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine are:
- Successful defense of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Kharkiv in February-April and expulsion of the occupiers from Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy Oblasts in March-April;
- Massive resistance of civilians to Russian invaders in the temporarily occupied territories;
- The sinking of the flagship missile cruiser “Moskva” of the Black Sea Fleet in April;
- Expelling the enemy from Snake Island in June;
- Destruction of the logistics system of Russian troops in the south and east of Ukraine in June-August;
- Expulsion of the Russian occupiers from Kharkiv Oblast and Kherson Oblast in September- October;
- Successful actions of the Ukrainian air defense system [to deter massive Russian attacks on civilian and energy infrastructure] in October 2022-February 2023;
- Deterring the enemy offensive in the east of Ukraine in December 2022-February 2023
Five thousand missile strikes, 3.5 thousand air strikes and almost 1.1 thousand UAV strikes were carried out by the Russians during a year of full-scale war, the Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Brigadier General Oleksiy Gromov, stated at a briefing.
Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, 1,863 people have been freed from enemy captivity, said the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) spokesman, Artem Dekhtyarenko. The first release of Ukrainian POWs took place as early as March 17, 2022.
Almost 70% of Ukrainians did not believe in the possibility of a full-scale Russian offensive by February 24, 2022, according to the survey results by Gradus Research “Public attitudes towards the anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Russia”, reports Ukrinform. Only 3% of respondents thoroughly prepared for a full-scale war. Another 20% declare that they were partially prepared. The other 73% of surveyed citizens say they were unprepared for such a development.
The Russian army has carried out attacks on nine regions of Ukraine in the past day; there are killed and wounded civilians, according to the consolidated report of the regional military administrations as of 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 23.
- The enemy shelled Chernihiv and Sumy Oblasts. Several private homes were damaged in Sumy Oblast. As a result of an anti-tank guided missile hitting a bread delivery car near the village of Vodolagy, the driver and passenger were injured.
- In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the Russian invaders shelled the civilian infrastructure in 13 towns and villages during the past day. Twelve reports were received about the destruction of housing and infrastructure facilities.
- In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, the Russian military shelled the Nikopol district three times yesterday and hit Marhanets and Myrove communities with heavy artillery. In Marhanets, the enemy shells severed the power line that feeds the pumping station. Thirty-five thousand families were left without water, but the supply was restored shortly. About 10 private houses and commercial buildings, a car, and a gas pipeline were also damaged.
- Yesterday morning, the Russians hit Kharkiv with four S-300 air defense systems. The territory of industrial enterprises was targeted. Two civilians were injured. During the day, the enemy shelled the areas of more than 18 towns and villages near the contact line. In Vovchansk, 6 residential buildings, farm buildings, and a lyceum were damaged. One civilian was wounded in the Kupyansk district. In Izyum, an employee of a forestry farm hit a petal mine and was hospitalized with an explosive wound. In Dvorichna, Russians fired at rescuers when clearing debris after the previous attack on the morning of February 23 on a 4-story administrative building resulting in two women dying under the rubble.
- In the Donetsk Oblast, the Russian army shelled Avdiivka with “Grad” surface-to-air missiles, hitting the old and central parts of the city. On the morning of February 23, the enemy shelled Yampil. A man was killed due to a direct hit to the house, and his wife was wounded. Six houses were damaged.
- In the Mykolaiv Oblast, the enemy conducted an artillery and mortar shelling of the water area of the Ochakiv community. No casualties were reported.
- Towns and villages on the right bank of the Dnipro river in Kherson Oblast were hit by the artillery fire of the Russian troops. During the day, two people were killed in the region. 99 people were evacuated from the territories of the Kherson Oblast liberated from the Russians, 16 of them children.
- Today, an enemy reconnaissance drone was shot down over Kyiv Oblast, Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat stated.
The air of radio stations Sputnik and Vera in Crimea was hacked, interrupted with the Ukrainian national anthem and a message from the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, was transmitted. “Crimea, Donbas and the entire south of Ukraine will return home forever. We will find every traitor to Ukraine, wherever they hide. To all patriots: the time to act has come! Wait. We are coming to you,” the head of Ukrainian military intelligence said.
Russian state propagandist mass media in Crimea began advertising “employment” with PMC “Wagner”; corresponding banners appeared on the streets and in public transport. Since the beginning of the year, the crime situation in the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea, particularly in the city of Sevastopol, has significantly worsened. The reason for this was the appearance of ex-prisoners who fought as part of the so-called “Wagner” PMC and were amnestied after the end of the contract.
Operational situation General conclusion:
- The enemy concentrates its main efforts on conducting offensive actions in the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk directions;
- The activity of enemy artillery suggests that the enemy considers the Lyman, Bakhmut, and Vuhledar directions as the main ones;
- The enemy is trying to break into Bakhmut from the north, stopping the attacks south of the city;
- According to Ukrainian military intelligence, the enemy sent more than 90% of the 316,000 mobilized personnel to the front line, which confirms that the enemy does not have significant unused combat-ready reserves.
- The Defense Forces repelled the enemy attacks in the areas of Kamianka, Dvorichna, Gryanivka, Kotlyarivka, Berestovka in Kharkiv Oblast, Nevske, Chervonopopivka, Kreminna, Kuzmine, Dibrova Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast, Ivanivka, Yampolivka, Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Dubovo-Vasylivka, Berkhivka, Yahidne, Maloilyinivka, Bakhmut, Novobakhmutivka, Vesele, Avdiivka, Pervomaiske, Vodyane, Nevelske, Maryinka, Pobyeda, Vuhledar, Prechystivka in Donetsk Oblast.
- Russian troops advanced to the E40 highway south of Zaliznyanske and north of Bakhmut.
- Fighting continues on the southern edge of Vuhledar and between Pavlivka and Mykilske, where the Defence Forces control the dominant high ground in the area.
- Units of the enemy 205th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 49th Army attacked the positions of the Defense Forces in Kherson Oblast.
Change in enemy disposition:
- Units of the 51st parachute airborne regiment of the 106th airborne division operate in the Ivanivske area, joined by the remnants of the “Wagner” PMC units.
Escalation indicators: the enemy is increasing the number of personnel on the offensive lines.
Possible operation situation developments:
- The enemy will try to break through to Lyman and capture Bakhmut, creating the prerequisites to capture the Sloviansk-Kramatorsk agglomeration.
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 is no significant change in the situation at sea. The enemy has 5 surface ships at sea, which perform tasks south of the Crimean peninsula. There are no Kalibr missile carriers.
- Enemy ships are dispersed at various base points to prevent their destruction in the event of an attack on individual Crimean ports. Two frigates of project 1135.6, two submarines of project 636.3, a patrol ship of project 22160 and 7 amphibious ships are located in Sevastopol. One “Buyan-M” corvette in Feodosia ready to go to sea. Two “Buyan-M” corvettes are in Kerch, ready to go to sea. One “Buyan-M” corvette, three submarines (two of them of project 636.3), a patrol ship of project 22160, and 5 landing ships are in Novorossiysk.
- The threat of a massive missile strike on the territory of Ukraine on February 24 by carriers of sea-based cruise missiles remains. It is possible to use up to 20 Kalibr missiles.
- One patrol boat is on duty in the Sea of Azov waters.
- Enemy aviation continues to fly from the Crimean airfields of Belbek, Saky, Dzhankoy and Hvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. A total of 27 sorties were made during the day.
- The Russians are strengthening the defense lines in the north of the Crimean peninsula: defensive structures are being erected outside the range of the HIMARS missiles available in the Armed Forces.
- On February 22, 2023, the Ukrainian Defense Forces struck separate targets in the port of Mariupol. One of the targets was the A500 “Donbas” vessel of the Ukrainian Navy, seized by the Russian occupiers. At the time of the impact, the ship was stationed near one of the berths of the Mariupol port. After it was hit, smoke rose from the bow of “Donbas”. Currently, there is no exact information on the extent of damage to the ship, but it is known that the occupiers used it as a warehouse. In September 2018, together with the tugboat A380 “Korets”, the ship “Donbas” moved from Odesa to Berdyansk, where it was used as a headquarters. After the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian
Federation, the ship was sunk near the pier of the Mariupol port, but the Russian occupiers lifted it.
- Since October 2022, the “Grain Initiative” has provided only 40% of exports due to the inhibition by the Russians of vessel inspections in the Bosphorus. The Russian side unilaterally first reduced the number of inspection teams to 3, then resorted to prolonging the time of the inspections and checking indicators outside the area of their competence. As a result, on average, at most 6 inspections are conducted per day, which is a critically low indicator. The inhibition by the Russian inspection of Grain from Ukraine leads to a shortage of food and an increase in its price on world markets because Ukraine is one of the leading suppliers of sunflower oil and a leader in the export of wheat, corn and barley.
- Due to the actions of the Russian Federation, a queue of more than 150 ships has formed in the Bosphorus, and most of them have been waiting for inspection for several weeks.
- In total, since August 1, 2022, Ukraine has exported 22.1 million tons of food. Due to the enemy’s inhibitions, the world does not receive at least 3 million tons of Ukrainian grain monthly.
- On March 18, the duration of the “Grain Initiative” expires. Currently, consultations regarding its extension are underway.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 23.02.23
Personnel – almost 145,850 people (+790)
Tanks – 3,350 (+16)
Armored combat vehicles – 6,593 (+24);
Artillery systems – 2,352 (+7);
Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 471 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 244 (+1); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 5,215 (+3); Aircraft – 299 (0);
Helicopters – 287 (0);
UAV operational and tactical level – 2,029 (+3); Intercepted cruise missiles – 873 (0);
Boats/ships – 18 (0).
Ukraine, general news
Ukraine spends the entire peacetime state budget on the army. At the same time, social and humanitarian sectors are financed with the support of international partners. In general, during the year of the war, Ukraine lost more than 30% of its GDP. The budget deficit is already $38 billion, said the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal
Ukraine’s National Agency for Prevention of Corruption (NAPC) included the French corporation “Auchan” in the list of international sponsors of the war. The reason is that the company refused to boycott Russia and did not close its business in the Russian Federation. In addition, in its decision, NAPC relied on investigations by The Insider, Le Monde and Bellingcat. “Since the
beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Russian subsidiary of the French company Auchan has supplied goods to the Russian military in the occupied Ukrainian territories under the guise of “humanitarian aid” and also helped with the implementation of mobilization measures in the Russian Federation,” the NAPC said in a statement.
International diplomatic aspect
The UN Secretary-General described Russia’s invasion as an “affront to our collective conscience” and called the member states to vote on a Ukraine-backed draft of a “just and lasting peace” resolution. “We do have a peace plan right here in front of us. It’s called the Charter of the United Nations. Its principles, which apply to every state, are very simple: sovereign equality, territorial integrity, and the non-use of force,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said.
Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto pushed the Russia-favored view on the matter: “Based on our experience, it became already pretty obvious that neither delivery of weapons, nor sanctions, those measures do not save lives. To the contrary, they contribute to the prolongation and the risk of escalation of this war, and they bring more suffering,” “Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable way to resolve the Ukraine crisis,” pushed demagogical narrative deputy permanent representative of the PRC to the UN Dai Bing.
The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted for Resolution A/ES-11/L.7 on “Principles of the Charter of the United Nations underlying a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine.” It was supported by 141 nations, while 32 abstained. Russia was backed by six friends: Belarus, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Mali, Nicaragua, and Syria. The Resolution recalls the “purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter,” reaffirms that “no territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal,” and recalls the order of the “International Court of Justice of 16 March 2022 [including the demand for Russia to stop all its military activities].” The document calls for a “comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine in line with the principles of the UN Charter,” reaffirms its “commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters,” demands that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, and calls for a cessation of hostilities,” calls for “full adherence by the parties to the armed conflict to their obligations under international humanitarian law” and emphasizes the need to “ensure accountability for the most serious crimes under international law.”
Though the Resolution isn’t capable of stopping the war or making Russia obey norms and principles of international law, it serves as an essential indicator of Russia’s isolation and support for Ukraine. Ten friends of Russia voted against the territorial integrity of Ukraine in March 2014, four friends of Moscow supported its aggression in March 2022, and now six friends sided with Russia. The number of nations supporting Ukraine increased from 100 in 2014 to 141 in 2022, remaining the same in 2023.
“Making sure that Russia loses is the best long-term investment we can make in global security,” Boris Johnson and Lindsey Graham wrote for the WSJ. They argued to provide Ukraine with fighter jets and long-range fires, “with the right tools, including more long-range artillery, they can punch through the land bridge, cut off Crimea, and deal a knockout blow to Russian forces.” They proposed a slightly different approach to ordinary Russians. Instead of persuading the Russians that the West isn’t against Russia or Russians, the approach that has obviously failed and has no prospects, the politicians call to “show the people of Russia what they are losing under Mr. Putin’s misrule,” which means foremost more painful sanctions. “We must show them that the mills of justice may grind slowly, but they grind small,” they argued for bringing Russians to justice for war crimes committed in Ukraine. They called to “designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism” and “Wagner Group as a foreign terrorist organization.”
British Challenger-2 MBTs could start to arrive in Ukraine in “the spring,” UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said. Finland will send three Leopard-2 mine-clearing tanks to Ukraine, the Finnish defense ministry announced. “I think there are options that are less than two years, less than a year and a half. But again, we have to look at the pros and cons of each of them,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said about the timeline of delivering M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Though Ukraine needs a lot of armor, American tanks are not critical, as German Leopards could be, delivered in greater numbers with more suitable logistics and support.
According to a Eurobarometer poll, EU citizens almost entirely (91%) support providing humanitarian support to Ukraine. Ukrainian refugees are welcomed in the EU (88%). The majority of the EU citizens support both financial support to Ukraine (77%) and economic sanctions against Russia (74%). Swedes, Poles, and Danes (95%, 90%, and 90%) support sanctions the most, while Slovaks and Cypriots (44% and 43%) oppose them the most. The EU citizens are slightly less supportive of the EU financing the purchase and supply of military equipment to Ukraine. Still, nevertheless, it’s more than two-thirds (65%) for the funding and a third (29%) against it. Swedes and Poles are leading the ayes (92% and 89%), while Bulgarians and Slovaks are leading the nays (57% and 56%).
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