Центр оборонних стратегій

CDS Daily brief (03.03.23) | CDS comments on key events

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Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • Over the past day, the Russian forces attacked 9 Oblasts of Ukraine, killing and injuring civilians;
  • Ukraine returned home the bodies of another 17 fallen defenders.
  • The Russian occupiers appointed Melitopol as the capital of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Zaporizhzhia, the regional center of the Oblast, has never been under the control of Russian troops.
  • The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports that the Russian military took 200 residents of Boyove village in Kherson Oblast in an unknown direction.
  • A Ukrainian court sentenced a Russian pilot to 12 years in prison for dropping 8 bombs on the Kharkiv TV tower.
  • The Ukrainian state project “I want to live”, designed to help Russian military personnel safely surrender to captivity, has already received almost 10,000 applications.
  • More than 3 million Ukrainians lost jobs during the year of the war. In Kyiv – almost 20% of residents.


  • The enemy focus on conducting offensive operations in the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Shakhtarsk directions;
  • The Russian Armed Forces use Terminator self-propelled artillery and T-90M tanks in the Kreminna direction, which indicates that the Russian military command prioritizes this direction;
  • The enemy reduced activity on the northern and southern flanks to surround Bakhmut and simultaneously increased efforts to push the Ukrainian Forces out of the city.
  • The enemy is increasing the intensity of attack aircraft.
  • Russian intentions to create its own naval drones in Sevastopol has not progressed beyond “stirring the air”.


  • The U.S. reiterated that it doesn’t provide Ukraine with intelligence or information to target locations inside Russia.
  • The U.S. has announced a $400 million military assistance package, which includes various ammunitions and Armored Vehicle Launched Bridges.
  • So far, Ukraine has received only one-sixth of the promised 155 mm shells.
  • Germany has asked Switzerland to sell mothballed Leopard 2, whit it guaranteed wouldn’t be sent to Ukraine.
  • The U.S. blacklisted dozens of companies in China, Russia, Belarus, and Taiwan for the CCP surveillance programs and for contributing to Russia’s military.
  • Two Kansas men were arrested and charged with violating sanctions by exporting aviation-related technology to Russia and providing repair services for the equipment.
  • Sergey Lavrov was given a stage to push lies at the Raisina Dialogue event in New Delhi but was laughed at when he claimed that Russia wants to stop the war in Ukraine that the West had “started” against Russia.
Humanitarian aspect:

According to the official information of the juvenile prosecutors, to date 461 Ukrainian children died, and more than 930 were injured of various degrees of severity due to the full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation, the Office of the Prosecutor General reported.

During the year, Russian armed forces damaged 3,126 educational institutions in Ukraine with massive bombings and shelling; 438 were completely destroyed.

Ukraine returned home the bodies of another 17 fallen defenders from the temporarily occupied territories, reported the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories. In total, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation, the Ministry managed to return the bodies of 1,426 defenders of Ukraine to their relatives.

Russian attacks

The Russian Federation army shelled nine Ukraine regions during the past day.

  • In the morning, the occupiers fired mortars at the border areas of Sumy Oblast near Starykove village. No victims were reported.
  • The occupiers shelled Kherson Oblast 65 times. 1 killed and 17 wounded civilians were reported. Residential buildings were damaged in Kherson.
  • Yesterday, the occupiers attacked the civil infrastructure of the Orihiv, Hulyaipole and Vasylivka districts of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • On March 2, 2 civilians were killed by enemy fire in Velyka Novosilka of Donetsk Oblast. Another 5 people were injured in the region. In Bakhmut, 18 high-rise buildings and a private house were damaged. 14 homes were damaged in Vasyukivka. In Pereizny, 3 houses were destroyed, and 10 were damaged.
  • In the morning, the Russian occupiers hit Ochakiv in Mykolayiv Oblast. A health care institution and a preschool educational institution were damaged. No victims were reported.
  • Yesterday, the enemy shelled the border villages of Kharkiv, Kupyansk (1 killed civilian reported) and Chuhuyiv districts of Kharkiv Oblast. In Kupyansk, an administrative building and a healthcare facility were destroyed, and an agricultural enterprise and a granary were also damaged.
  • At night, the Russians attacked the Nikopol district of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast twice. The Marhanets community also came under fire. No victims were reported.

After the March 2 overnight attack on a high-rise building in Zaporizhzhia, the number of victims has increased to 5. Another 10 people are considered missing; 8 are wounded. Rescue operations are ongoing. As reported earlier, on the night of March 2, Russian troops shelled the city of Zaporizhzhia. One rocket hit a five-story residential building, completely destroying one section and more than 10 apartments.

In Kherson Oblast, the cars of volunteers and police came under Russian fire. Volunteers were seriously injured. Cars were fired upon near the Zmiivka when the investigative-operational group was going to the call, and the volunteers were heading to the village to evacuate the pensioner and bring humanitarian aid. The police car was slashed with shrapnel, and “only a pile of metal remained from the volunteers’ car,” the police said in a statement. As a result of the shelling, two police officers and three civilians were injured.

Occupied territories

The Russian occupying authorities of the annexed part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast declared Melitopol the capital of the Oblast. The corresponding decree was signed by “interim governor” Yevgeny Balitsky. The decision was made “for the purpose of effective public administration and the provision of high-quality and efficient public services to the population.” Zaporizhzhia Oblast was formally annexed by Russia in September 2022. The regional center of the Oblast, the city of Zaporizhzhia, has never been under the control of Russian troops.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports that the Russian military took 200 residents of Boyove village in Kherson Oblast in an unknown direction. In its daily morning report, GF says that representatives of the Russian-appointed occupying “authorities” are trying to force local residents to give up their land plots in favor of the Russian “administration” through pressure. According to the report, most villagers refused to transfer their plots to the balance of the occupying authorities. In response, Russian troops evacuated about 200 residents of Boyove for “filtration measures.” The Russian military personnel are planning to settle in the houses of the deported people, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.


A Ukrainian court sentenced the Russian pilot who bombed the Kharkiv TV tower to 12 years in prison. On March 6 of last year, he crossed the state border of Ukraine on a Russian combat aircraft and dropped 8 FAB-500 aerial bombs with a total weight of 2.5 tons in TNT equivalent on the Kharkiv radio and television station. Ukrainian defenders shot down the enemy pilot’s plane. He ejected and was captured.

The coalition, which is working on the parameters of the future special tribunal against Russia for the crime of aggression against Ukraine, already includes 29 states, announced the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba. “On January 26, the first meeting of this coalition on the creation of a special tribunal was held, 21 states took part in it. Now there are 29 of them. Among these states, one is from Latin America, that is, progress is obvious,” – noted the Minister. It was agreed to hold the second meeting on creating a special tribunal on March 21-22 in Strasbourg.

Operational situation General conclusion:
  • The enemy concentrates its main efforts on conducting offensive operations in the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Shakhtarsk directions;
  • In the Kreminna direction, the Russian Armed Forces use Terminator self-propelled artillery and T-90M tanks, which indicates that the Russian military command prioritizes this direction;
  • The enemy reduced activity on the northern and southern flanks, which tried to surround Bakhmut, and simultaneously increased efforts to push the Defence Forces units out of the city.
  • Units of the Defense Forces repelled 85 enemy attacks in various directions.
  • Russian troops repelled an attempt by the Defense Forces to regain their positions in Hryanykivka. Fighting continues in the Kreminna area between units of the Defense Forces and a Russian grouping consisting of the 144th motorized rifle division, 98th airborne division, and 3rd separate SOF brigade.
  • With the support of artillery and aviation, the enemy is storming the village of Khromove and the southwestern outskirts of Bakhmut in the area of the WOG gas station and school No. 3 on the T0504 highway with the forces of the assault groups of the Airborne Forces and PMC “Wagner”. The enemy is also advancing to the northern and eastern outskirts of Bakhmut. The city’s garrison is completing its gradual withdrawal from its positions to the east of the Bakhmutka River.
  • Units of the 150th motorized rifle division of the 8th Army of the Southern Military District continue unsuccessfully to storm Ukrainian positions in Maryinka. Units of the 20th motorized rifle division of the 8th Army are trying to advance south of the village.
  • Russian forces conduct assaults near Vuhledar at least five times daily in small groups of 10 soldiers or fewer but mostly maintain a defensive position in the area.

Change in enemy disposition: not detected.

Escalation indicators:
  • The enemy is increasing the intensity of attack aircraft (at night – Su-34 bombers, during the day – Su-25 attack aircraft).
Possible operation situation developments:
  • The enemy will try to disrupt the stability of the defense of the Ukrainian Joint Forces in the Bakhmut area;
  • The intensity of the fighting will continue in Kreminna and Vuhledar areas.
Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:
  • The enemy has increased its forces at sea; it has 13 surface ships; two submarines performing tasks south of the Crimean peninsula. On board of two submarines of project 636.3 are up to 8 Kalibr missiles. In the morning, the frigate “Admiral Makarov” was still at sea but returned to Sevastopol.
  • The enemy’s ships are scattered around the bases of Sevastopol, Feodosia, Kerch, Novorossiysk, and Novoozerne.
  • One patrol boat is on duty in the waters of the Sea of Azov.
  • The grouping of ships in the Mediterranean Sea includes 16 ships, boats and security vessels:
    • frigate “Admiral Hryhorovych”, corvette “Orekhovo-Zuevo”, submarine “Krasnodar”, a reconnaissance ship, two minesweepers, two anti-sabotage boats and two repair shops of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation;
    • frigate “Admiral Kasatonov” of the Northern Fleet;
    • corvettes “Soobrazitelny” and “Stoyky”, the meridian class intelligence collection ship “Vasily Tatishchev”, and sea tugs “Yakov Grebelsky”, “MB-119” of the Baltic fleet of the Russian Federation.
  • 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, 26 sorties were made. 3 flights of military transport aircraft of the Russian Air Force were made to Saki and Belbek airfields to deliver personnel.
  • Three months after the first statement about creating its own naval drones in Sevastopol, RF resumed talks about it. Representatives of the Russian authorities of the city hold meetings, participate in forums and look for partners, but the matter has not progressed beyond “stirring the air”. On February 28, 2023, Volodymyr Nechaev, Sevastopol State University’s rector, spoke before the city’s Russian parliament deputies and was asked whether SevSU plans to develop unmanned sea drones. SevSU already has several departments and R&D centers, but none of the scientists and industry joined the maritime drone project. Institutes and enterprises await instructions from above or funding, or perhaps both. And the project does not even exist on paper; the matter has not progressed beyond declarations of intentions.
“Grain initiative”.
  • At the G20 meeting in India, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called on Russia to continue the UN-brokered agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain. Blinken said it was critical that the G20 advocates for the continuation and expansion of the grains initiative to strengthen food security for the most vulnerable. He warned that the current deal expires this month, and Russia has not agreed to extend the vital arrangement.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 03.03.23

Personnel – almost 151,370 people (+765)

Tanks – 3,405 (+8)

Armored combat vehicles – 6,673 (+15);

Artillery systems – 2,402 (+4);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 484 (+4); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 247 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 5,281 (+17); Aircraft – 301 (+1);

Helicopters – 289 (+1);

UAV operational and tactical level – 2,061 (+3); Intercepted cruise missiles – 873 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).

Ukraine, general news

The Serhiy Prytula Foundation handed over 24 armored personnel carriers, purchased with public donations, to the Ukrainian military. It is noted that this is the first batch of machines. Another 77 are following, including 8 models: FV103 Spartan, Samaritan, Sultan, Stormer, Shielder, FV432 Bulldog, FV434, and Samson. “In the fall, we started fundraising for “Spartans”. You exceeded all expectations, and we collected UAH 236 million in 1.5 days! With these funds, we managed to contract 101 units of tracked armored vehicles. The largest batch of armored vehicles for our army, purchased by the people!”.

During the year of the full-scale invasion of Russia, more than 3 million Ukrainians lost their jobs. The government has launched the YeRobota program to improve the situation, said the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal, during a press conference. The program provides Ukrainians with grants for starting a business, developing entrepreneurship and training. The first wave of applications for micro-grants to create or develop business started on February 1, 2023.

From February 24, 2022, almost 20% of Kyiv residents lost their jobs. At the same time, 45% of internally displaced persons living in the capital are currently unemployed, according to the results of the Sociological Group “Rating” study. Among the Kyivans who lost their jobs, about 40% are going to find employment in Kyiv shortly. Among the IDPs, more than 60% are such.

The Ukrainian state project “I want to live”, designed to help military personnel from the Russian Federation safely surrender to captivity, has already received almost 10,000 applications, reported the Coordinating Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War. “During the six months of the project’s operation, despite the regular attempts of Roskomnadzor to block access, the “I want to live” website was visited by more than 14 million people, 84% of whom are visitors from the territory of Russia,” the message reads. In addition to the Russian military, their relatives and loved ones contact the hotline. Often, mobilized Russians who have arrived in Ukraine do not have access to the Internet or communications.

International diplomatic aspect

“The notion of the U.S. providing intelligence or information to the Ukrainians to target locations inside Russia is nonsense. We are not at war with Russia, nor do we seek war with Russia. Our focus is purely on supporting Ukraine to defend itself,” Brigadier General Pat Ryder replied to a question of possible involvement in an alleged attack across the Ukrainian border.

The U.S. has announced a $400 million military assistance package that will include more ammunition for HIMARS, howitzers, Bradley IFVs, Armored Vehicle Launched Bridges, demolitions munitions and equipment, and other maintenance, training, and support.

“We discussed Ukraine’s need for shells. We are very grateful to all the countries that promised to provide shells, but the situation is such that when we talk about shells of 155 mm caliber, Ukraine, so far, has received only one-sixth of the promised,” the Estonian Foreign Minister said.

The German government approached Switzerland to request mothballed Leopard 2 tanks by Rheinmetall. “The tanks will not be sold on to Ukraine. We guarantee that they will remain in Germany or with our partners in NATO and the EU to plug gaps that have emerged through the transfer of Leopard 2 tanks and to improve the supply with spare parts in general,” the AP quoted the request letter. Switzerland refuses to provide Ukraine with its weapons or permit others to do so, justifying it with a neutrality status.

The U.S. added 37 companies to a trade blacklist, including units of Chinese genetics company BGI and Chinese cloud computing firm Inspur for contributing to the CCP surveillance programs. Three additional firms in Russia, Belarus, and Taiwan were added to the blacklist for contributing to Russia’s military.

Two Kansas men were arrested and charged with “conspiracy, exporting controlled goods without a license, falsifying and failing to file electronic export information, and smuggling goods in violation of U.S. law.” They face up to 35 years in prison for allegedly exporting aviation-related technology to Russia and providing repair services for the equipment.

“We strongly support the principles of freedom, rule of law, sovereignty and territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes without resorting to threat or use of force and freedom of navigation and overflight, and oppose any unilateral attempt to change the status quo, all of which are essential to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” stated the Quad’s foreign ministers (the U.S., India, Japan and Australia) after the talks. In the meantime, the foreign ministers of PRC and Russia stated about “a unanimous rejection by the two [Qin and Lavrov] of attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, or imposing unilateral approaches using blackmail and threats, or to oppose the democratization of international relations.”

Sergey Lavrov was provided with an excellent opportunity to push Russian lies at the Raisina Dialogue event in New Delhi. He played whataboutism several times, lectured a modest moderator, and repeated the Kremlin propaganda themes about the constant and decades-long “violations” by the West. However, his words that Russia wants to stop the war in Ukraine that the West had “started” against Russia triggered Homeric laughter in the audience.

Russia, relevant news

Apple Corporation has suspended warranty service for MacBooks and iPads in Russia. Interfax writes that one of the reasons for this decision the company’s support service called the limitation of deliveries to the Russian Federation, including spare parts.

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