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CDS Daily brief (25.02.23) | CDS comments on key events

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Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • Russia continues shelling residential areas, damaging infrastructure, injuring and killing civilians;
  • 461 children died, and more than 927 were injured due to the Russian aggression in Ukraine;
  • Russian occupation forces change the personal data of the children they take out of Ukraine, significantly complicating the task of finding them in Russia;
  • 1,311 people, including 741 civilians, are still missing in Kharkiv Oblast;
  • There has been no deficit in the Ukrainian electricity grid for over two weeks. The situation is stable, and even possible exports are discussed.
  • Russian troops currently occupy 1,877 Ukrainian towns and villages;
  • The so-called “power structures” of the occupied Donetsk Oblast will follow Russian legislation starting March 1, 2023.


  • The Russian military focus on offensive actions in the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk directions;
  • The Russian command cannot find a tactical solution in the Bakhmut area, so it resumed attacks south of the city.

Possible operation situation developments:

  • The Russian forces will try to break through to Lyman and capture Bakhmut, setting the conditions for capturing the Sloviansk-Kramatorsk agglomeration.


  • Poland has become the first nation to deliver Leopard MBTs to Ukraine.
  • The EU imposed an €11.4 billion worth restriction package.
  • The US imposed sanctions on physical persons and entities, including, for the first time, Rosatom-related entities. The US also increased customs duties on Russian aluminum, minerals, and chemical products.
  • China and Russia blocked the mention of Russia’s war against Ukraine in a final document of the finance chiefs of the Group of 20.
  • Volodymyr Zelensky considers a Chinese “peace” proposal not a concrete plan but some “thoughts.” Joe Biden dismissed China’s proposed “peace” plan, while Emmanuel Macron said that the “fact that China is engaging in peace efforts is a good thing.” Jens Stoltenberg doesn’t believe China has much credibility because it hasn’t been able to condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine.
Humanitarian aspect:

As of the morning of February 25, 2023, more than 1,388 children were injured in Ukraine due to the full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation. According to the official information of juvenile prosecutors, 461 children died, and more than 927 were injured to various degrees of severity, Prosecutor General’s office reported.

Russian occupation forces change personal data (the age) of the children they take from Ukraine to “re-education camps” in Crimea to avoid asking permission from the parents of minors, Kateryna Rashevska, an expert of the Regional Center for Human Rights, said. Personal data is also sometimes changed at the time of “adoption”. She said she couldn’t confirm that this practice is widely spread. However, several cases like this were recorded in Crimea. There are also very young children who are so heavily traumatized that they can’t remember their names. This significantly complicates searching for them when they are in Russia.

Rashevska also spoke about Russian “re-education camps” – a kind of “camps for Russification, militarization and indoctrination.” There are 7 camps like this in Crimea and 43 in the territory of Russia.

Rashevska also stressed that a legal mechanism needs to be developed to return Ukrainian children to Ukraine as soon as possible because some of them are turning 18, which means that boys will be drafted into the Russian army.

Russian troops currently occupy 1,877 Ukrainian towns and villages, President Zelensky said.

During the year, since February 24, a total of 2,272 persons were declared missing in Kharkiv Oblast. A significant number of them have been found, but 1,311 people are still missing, including 741 civilians, Volodymyr Tymoshko, head of the National Police Department in Kharkiv Oblast, said at a press conference.

Russian attacks
  • In Sumy Oblast: the Russian military shelled 4 territorial communities over the past day. A guided anti-tank missile struck a commuter minibus injuring 4 people. They were hospitalized with a shell shock;
  • In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast: the aggressor hit the Nikopol district with heavy artillery 9 times during the night, damaging gas pipelines and power lines, private enterprises, more than 30 houses, three lyceums and other buildings. No victims are reported.
  • The Russian army shelled Kherson Oblast 83 times in the past day, 34 settlements were hit by enemy artillery. The Russian invaders fired at Kherson nine times. Russian shells hit residential quarters, private and apartment buildings, buildings of a preschool educational institution and a medical institution. One civilian was wounded.
  • On February 24, the Russians injured 5 civilians in Donetsk Oblast: 2 in Chasiv Yar, 1 in Bakhmut, Donetsk and Kostyantynivka.
  • Today, February 25, the city of Avdiyivka in Donetsk Oblast is under heavy fire from the Russian army; at least one person was injured, Head of Donetsk OMA Pavlo Kyrylenko said. He stressed that one of the buildings damaged by an air strike was school No. 2, which opened only in 2021 after a complete reconstruction. The Lithuanian government had allocated more than 700,000 euros for the newest equipment for the school.

Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko predicts a stable situation with energy supply in the near future and hopes that limitations will no longer be needed. “It has already been the third week that electricity production fully covers consumption. We have adequate reserves”, Halushchenko said. Possible energy exports are also currently discussed.

Mine danger

Two people were blown up by a Russian landmine near the village of Dobryanka in the Vysokopillya district in Kherson Oblast when they were cultivating a field, Kherson OMA reported. “Unfortunately, the people who ignored the warnings of the State Emergency Service died on the spot from severe injuries,” OMA said. In addition, in Kherson, a 63-year-old man came across a booby trap at his summer home outside of town, which is next to the river port. The victim was hospitalized.

Occupied territories

In the temporarily captured territories of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Oblasts, the Russian occupiers intensified pressure on the civilian population, conducting house searches, Ukrainian General Staff reported. Russians have set up a torture chamber in Vasylivka, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, where pro-Ukrainian citizens are held.

The General Staff also reported that from March 1, 2023, all units of the so-called “power structures” (note: law enforcement) of the occupied parts of Donetsk Oblast would switch to working under Russian legislation.

Operational situation General conclusion:
  • The main efforts of the Russian military are concentrated on offensive actions in the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk directions;
  • The Russian command cannot find a tactical solution in the area of Bakhmut, so it resumed attacks south of the city.
  • Units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled about 70 Russian attacks in different directions;
  • Russian forces tried to improve their tactical position in the Masyutivka area, attempted to knock units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces out of Serebryansk Forestry, and forced them to withdraw from Dvorichne and Hryanykivka to the east of the Oskil River. The Russian military attempted several unsuccessful attacks near Ivanivske and Pivnichne in Donetsk Oblast. Units of the 7th air assault division of the airborne troops of the RF Armed Forces have gained a firm footing in Berkhivka and Yahidne; fighting continues in Stupki. The enemy conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in Pervomaiske, Nevelske, and Maryinka villages areas.
  • The Ukrainian Joint Forces units conducted a counterattack in the Kamianka area and stabilized the situation there. To the south of Avdiyivka, units of the 36th separate marines brigade stopped the Russian advance and firmly hold the defense strip north of

Vodyane and Opytne. The brigade successfully repelled several airstrikes and tank attacks.

Change in enemy disposition:
  • Up to 200 additional police officers from the special purpose regiment “Akhmat” arrived in the Bakhmut direction to prevent desertion.

Escalation indicators: none detected

Possible operation situation developments:
  • The Russian forces will try to break through to Lyman and capture Bakhmut, setting the conditions for capturing the Sloviansk-Kramatorsk agglomeration.
Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:
  • The enemy has built up its forces at sea. The Russian fleet has 9 surface ships at sea performing tasks south of the Crimean Peninsula. One of them, the project 1135.6 frigate, carries 8 Kalibr missiles.
  • Russian ships are scattered at the bases of Sevastopol, Feodosia, Kerch, and Novorossiysk in order to prevent their destruction in the event of an attack on individual ports of Crimea. Practically all bays of the internal raid of Sevastopol are closed by barriers, which was not the case even during the Cold War. In addition, 2-3 anti-sabotage boats are on duty 24 hours a day in Sevastopol Bay by naval drones. All these measures were taken after the attack on Russian ships at the Sevastopol raid on October 29, 2022.
  • The threat of a massive missile attack on the territory of Ukraine by carriers of sea-based cruise missiles persists. Up to 20 Kalibr missiles could be used.
  • One patrol boat was on duty in the waters of the Sea of Azov.
  • Russian aviation continues to fly from the Crimean airfields of Belbek, Saky, Dzhankoy and Hvardiyske over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Su-27, Su-30SM, and MiG-29K aircraft from Saky and Belbek airfields carried out control flights over the northwestern part of the Black Sea. A total of 25 sorties were made during the day.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 25.02.23

Personnel – almost 147,470 people (+650)

Tanks – 3,375 (+12)

Armored combat vehicles – 6,609 (+9);

Artillery systems – 2,373 (+10);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 475 (+1); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 247 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 5,235 (+11); Aircraft – 299 (0);

Helicopters – 288 (+1);

UAV operational and tactical level – 2,035 (+2); Intercepted cruise missiles – 873 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).

International diplomatic aspect

“I came here not only with a word of support. Poland, as the first European country, symbolically hands over to you, President Zelensky, the first four Polish Leopard tanks,” the Polish Prime Minister said. Mateusz Morawiecki added, “We will deliver more and urge our EU and NATO partners to do the same.”

The EU adopted an €11.4 billion worth restriction package on “critical technology and industrial goods, such as electronics, specialized vehicles, machine parts, spare parts for trucks and jet engines, as well as goods for the construction sector, which can be directed to Russia’s military, such as antennas or cranes.” Ninety-six Russian entities are added to the blacklist for procuring dual-use goods. The decision also includes seven Iranian entities manufacturing military UAVs. The broadcasting licenses of two Russian propaganda assets (RT Arabic and Sputnik Arabic) were suspended. Three Russian banks have been added to the list of entities subject to the asset freeze and the prohibition of making funds and economic resources available. “The 10th ! sanctions package targets the Russian military industry, propaganda, and financial system. The pressure on Russian aggressor must increase: we expect decisive steps against Rosatom and Russian nuclear industry, more pressure on military and banking,” President Zelensky twitted.

The US imposed sanctions over 60 individuals and entities complicit in the “administration of Russia’s government-wide operations and policies of aggression toward Ukraine.” Additionally, three entities involved in expanding Russia’s future energy production and export capacity are designated. Four individuals and 22 entities in Russia’s advanced technology sector (manufacturers and developers of hardware and software for Russia’s intelligence collection capabilities) are added to the blacklist. The US is the first nation to impose sanctions over three Rosatom-related entities, as well as three key enterprises that develop and operate Russia’s nuclear weapons. The US has raised tariffs on Russian $2.8 billion worth of exports of more than 100 metals, including aluminum, minerals, and chemical products.

China and Russia blocked the mention of Russia’s war against Ukraine in a final document of the finance chiefs of the Group of 20. The draft text included two paragraphs from the Bali declaration, but it became “unacceptable” this time. Those pieces were about how “most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed that it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy – constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity, and elevating financial stability risks.” “There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions. G-20 is not the forum to resolve security issues, we acknowledge that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy.”

Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia-allied China did not offer a concrete plan but some “thoughts.” While the US intel suggests China is leaning toward sending drones and ammunition to Russia, POTUS dismissed China’s proposed “peace” plan. “If Putin is applauding it, so how could it be any good?” Joe Biden said, “I’m not being facetious. I’m being deadly earnest. I’ve seen

nothing in the plan that would indicate that there is something that would be beneficial to anyone other than Russia if the Chinese plan were followed,” the President concluded. “Everything that goes towards peace is good, but this peace is possible only if Russia ends its aggression, withdraws its troops and starts respecting Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty, so Ukraine has to give its terms, but I think the fact that China is engaging in peace efforts is a good thing,” French President Emmanuel Macron elaborated on the plan. “China doesn’t have much credibility because they have not been able to condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine,” NATO Secretary- General Jens Stoltenberg said.

Russia, relevant news

The mobile application of MTS Bank, which has come under the new UK and US sanctions, has been removed from the App Store and Google Play.

The world’s two largest crypto exchanges, Huobi and KuCoin, did not freeze the cards of Russian banks that were previously subject to sanctions. Crypto exchanges still carry out traders’ transactions with debit cards from sanctioned banks, including Sberbank. This was reported by Politico, citing a report by the analytical company Inca Digital.

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