CDS Daily brief (16.03.23) | CDS comments on key events
- Опубліковано: CDS
- Категорія: DailyBrief
Snapshot of the day:
- The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine (UN Commission) presented a report. Many Russian authorities’ violations of IHL amount to war crimes, including intentional killings, attacks on civilians, illegal detention, torture, rape, and forced displacement and deportation of children. Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian energy can be equated to crimes against humanity.
- Over the past day, there were killed and wounded civilians and damage to civilian infrastructure due to the Russian attacks.
- The enemy continues to focus on conducting offensive operations in the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Maryinka, and Shakhtarsk directions;
- During the last three days, a decrease in the number of enemy attacks has been observed;
- During the last 10 days, the enemy concentrated its efforts on storming Avdiyivka;
- The enemy unsuccessfully attacked the Maryinka area 12 times;
- The enemy is unable to solve the problem of supplying ammunition to the front line.
- Possible operation situation developments: In the short term, the enemy will concentrate its efforts in the areas between Bakhmut and Bilohorivka and in the Kreminna-Lyman direction.
- “Ukraine matters. It matters not just to Ukraine or to the United States; it matters to the world. This is about the rules-based international order,” Lloyd Austin said during the Defence Consultative Group’s meeting. “Ramstein 10 inspires optimism: strengthening air defense, ammo supplies, training and forming an ‘armored fist,'” Ukraine’s Defence Minister wrote.
- The German Chancellor and MEPs are calling for a speedy supply of ammunition to Ukraine.
- Russian hackers have increased their attacks on Ukraine and its partners and are set to act in concert during a possible spring offensive.
- After the deliberate downing of the UAV, Russians believe they did nothing wrong and claimed the right over international air space, not to mention the illegally occupied territories. Meanwhile, they threaten with the war over their right to fly in international air space.
The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine (UN Commission) presented a report which outlines the main results of its work since its creation in March 2022. It reports that the Russian authorities have committed numerous violations in the field of human rights and international humanitarian law in many regions of Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Many of
these violations amount to war crimes, including intentional killings, attacks on civilians, illegal detention, torture, rape, and forced displacement and deportation of children.
The Commission also concluded that the Russian armed forces carried out attacks using explosive weapons in populated areas with a clear disregard for the harm and suffering caused to the civilian population. The Commission was struck by the extent of the destruction it has observed during its visits. The Commission documented cases of indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, as well as the failure to apply preventive measures, which is a violation of international humanitarian law.
In addition, the Commission found that starting on October 10, 2022, serial attacks by the Russian armed forces on the energy infrastructure of Ukraine and the use of torture by the Russian authorities could be equated to crimes against humanity.
The Commission also found reasonable grounds to conclude that the invasion and attacks of the Russian armed forces on the territory and armed forces of Ukraine qualify as “acts of aggression against Ukraine”. According to the report, the Commission developed a separate list of identified violators and military units responsible for crimes and violations. This list is not included in the report.
The Russian troops continue shelling peaceful Ukrainian regions. Over the past day, there were killed and wounded civilians and damage to civilian infrastructure due to the Russian attacks.
Some of the consequences:
- During March 15, the Russians attacked Kostyantynivka in Donetsk Oblast. 6 people were injured, a school, 5 high-rise buildings, 20 private houses and 11 civilian cars were damaged. Preliminary, at least 1 killed and 1 wounded civilian were reported in Bakhmut. There is also 1 wounded each in Gostre and Illinivka and 2 more in Zvanivka.
- Yesterday, the Russian occupiers shelled Kharkiv and the border villages of Chuhuyiv, Kupyansk, Kharkiv and Bohodukhiv districts. In Kharkiv, an educational institution was damaged. In Lemishcheno village, 7 private houses and infrastructure objects were practically destroyed.
- Russian occupiers attacked Kherson Oblast 88 times. 3 wounded civilians were reported. In Kherson, enemy shells hit private and apartment buildings. On March 16, Russia attacked Kherson with drones. According to the head of the administration, Oleksandr Prokudin, one of the city’s medical institutions was hit. According to preliminary data, doctors and patients were not injured.
- Over the past day, law enforcement officers received 10 reports of the destruction of houses and other civilian objects in the Zaporizhzhia, Polohy and Vasylivka districts of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
- In the morning, there were 3 enemy shellings (2 artillery, 1 grenade launcher) of the Bilopilsk community of Sumy Oblast. 23 artillery hits and 110 shots from the AGS grenade launcher were recorded. No casualties or destruction were reported.
Ukraine’s General Staff reported that in the occupied city of Tokmak, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the so-called Russian occupying authorities, together with representatives of the FSB, are threatening locals who have refused Russian passports to take their children to the eastern regions of Russia. In addition, the parents themselves are threatened with deportation to Vasylivka, Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
Stabilization shutdowns have been partially applied in several districts of Kyiv, reported DTEK energy company.
Operational situation General conclusion:
- The enemy concentrates its main efforts on conducting offensive operations in the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Maryinka, and Shakhtarsk directions;
- During the last three days, a decrease in the number of enemy attacks has been observed;
- During the last 10 days, the enemy concentrated its efforts on storming Avdiyivka, tried to bypass the units of the Defense Forces defending the city from the south to the west;
- The enemy unsuccessfully attacked the Maryinka area 12 times;
- The enemy is unable to solve the problem of supplying ammunition to the front line due to the lack of freight transport, the poor condition of field roads and the need to disperse warehouses, pulling them away from possible long-range strikes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
- Units of the Defense Forces repelled more than 75 enemy attacks in various directions.
- The enemy unsuccessfully carried out offensive actions in the districts of Hryanykivka, Bilohorivka, Spirne of Luhansk Oblast, Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Bohdanivka, Stepove, Kamianka, Avdiyivka, Severne, Netaylove, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Maryinka and Vuhledar of Donetsk Oblast.
- The enemy advanced to the approaches to Zaliznyanske. Over the past 5 days, the enemy has been storming the positions of the Defense Forces near the E40 highway and Orikhovo-Vasylivka, trying to advance in the direction of Bohdanivka and Khromove but regularly being forced to retreat approximately 500-600 meters from road 0506.
- The Defense Forces conducted a successful counterattack south of Ivanovske and drove the enemy away from this village and the local section of the T0504 highway.
- In the Avdiyivka area, the enemy holds Krasnohorivka. They are slowly advancing in the Vodyane area; they have finally taken control of Pervomaiske and are trying to advance to Netaylove. The Defense Forces hold Kamianka.
Change in enemy disposition: not detected.
Escalation indicators: not detected.
Possible operation situation developments:
- In the short term, the enemy will concentrate its efforts in the areas between Bakhmut and Bilohorivka and in the Kreminna-Lyman direction.
Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:
- The number of enemy ships at sea increased even more during the last day. More than 20 ships and vessels of the Russian Federation are patrolling the Black Sea region at a distance of about 70-80 nautical miles from the coast of Crimea, where the American MQ- 9 Reaper drone fell into the sea, damaged by a Russian Su-27 fighter (38th Fighter Aviation Regiment, Belbek Air Force Base). The depth of the place of fall is 1200-1500 meters. Aviation was also involved in the search operation: a Be-12 aircraft (Kacha airfield), two MiG-29Ks, one Su-27/30 38 (Belbek airfield), and one Su-30SM (Saki airfield),
- Among the enemy’s ships at sea are four surface and one underwater carrier for Kalibr missiles, but probably the number of missiles on them is much less than the standard one (36 missiles).
- One patrol ship is on duty in the waters of the Sea of Azov.
- Enemy aviation continues to fly from the Crimean airfields of Belbek, Saki, Dzhankoy and Hvardiyske. A total of 32 combat sorties were carried out over the past day. Two flights of military transport aircraft of the Russian Air Force were conducted to Dzhankoy airfield and one to Saki airfield to deliver personnel. Control of the air situation and operational- tactical aviation over the waters of the Sea of Azov was carried out by the A-50U AEW&C aircraft.
- In February, only 71 ships were inspected by the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul for loading Ukrainian agricultural products at the entrance to the ports of Great Odesa. This is 17 vessels less than in January. Such a negative dynamic is a consequence of the systemic destructive policy of Russia, which is aimed at inhibiting the inspection of ships in the territorial waters of Turkey. In particular, all parties to the JCC, including the Russian Federation, agree to carry out 9 to 12 inspections per day. However, the Russian inspectors, without explaining the reasons, perform at most 6. After that, the Russian inspectors stop their work, making it impossible for the inspectors of Turkey, the UN, and Ukraine to work. In addition, there was a systematic stoppage of inspections after 3:30 p.m., although the official working day of inspectors continues during daylight hours. Also, the Russian side, contrary to the procedures of the JCC, requires the inspection of ship documents that have nothing to do with the subject of the inspection itself. In this way, the Russian Federation prolongs the duration of the ship’s inspection. Therefore, only 149 inspections were conducted in February (in January – 173) against the planned 296. The trend continues in March when negotiations are underway regarding extending the “Grain Initiative”. The result of such actions is a stable queue of vessels (from 120 to 140 vessels), and Ukrainian ports face the problem of a shortage of new fleet for loading. Today, 86 vessels heading for loading are awaiting inspection in Turkish territorial waters.
- From August 1, 2022, 814 vessels exported 24.4 million tons of Ukrainian food to the countries of Asia, Europe and Africa from the ports of Great Odesa. In connection with the shortage of the new fleet and the queue in the territorial waters of Turkey, the export
of agricultural products through the “grain corridor” does not exceed 3.4 million tons per month; this is despite the ability to give the world 6 million tons of products of Ukrainian farmers.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 16.03.23
Personnel – almost 162,560 people (+1,040);
Tanks – 3,504 (+12);
Armored combat vehicles – 6,810 (+11);
Artillery systems – 2,539 (+11);
Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 503 (+1); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 265 (+3); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 5,394 (+17); Aircraft – 305 (+1);
Helicopters – 289 (0);
UAV operational and tactical level – 2,145 (+13); Intercepted cruise missiles – 907 (0);
Boats/ships – 18 (0).
International diplomatic aspect
“Ukraine matters. It matters not just to Ukraine or to the United States; it matters to the world. This is about the rules-based international order. It’s about one country’s ability to wake up one day and change the borders of its neighbor and annex its neighbor’s sovereign territory,” the U.S. Defense Secretary said during the 10th Ramstein meeting. “We have to deliver swiftly and fully on our promised commitments, and that includes delivering our armored capabilities to the battlefield and ensuring that Ukrainian soldiers get the – get the training, spare parts, and maintenance support that they need to use these new systems as soon as possible,” Lloyd Austin described the goal of this meeting. “Ramstein 10 inspires optimism: strengthening air defense, ammo supplies, training and forming an ‘armored fist,'” Ukraine’s Defence Minister wrote. Sweden has announced it would provide Ukraine with 10 Leopard MBTs and key air defense components. Norway is partnering with the U.S. to donate two NASAM systems. Canada will donate approximately 8,000 rounds of 155mm ammunition and 12 air defense missiles, and 1,800 rounds of 105 mm tank training ammunition. Ottawa will also send two additional Leopard 2 MBTs. Poland decided to supply Ukraine with four Mig-29 fighter jets. So far, nine countries have committed to providing Ukraine with 150 Leopard MBTs. Israel has approved the export licenses for the possible sale of anti-drone jamming systems, Axios reported. If true, this will be the first weapon system the country decided to provide Ukraine with.
“It is very important that we quickly supply Ukraine with the necessary ammunition and do so quickly,” the German Chancellor told lawmakers of the lower house of parliament. During the debates at the European Parliament, MEPs called on the European Council to publish and speed up the implementation of a €2 billion plan to boost ammunition deliveries to Ukraine introduced by Josep Borrell to the E.U. defense ministers last week. “I appeal to countries that have stocks of ammunition: why do you need it? Why are you holding on to it?! Others are now dying for
your interests, and we must help Europe and Ukraine,” Nicolae Stefanuta, a Romanian MP, told the European Parliament.
According to Microsoft, Russian government hackers have recently increased their cyber espionage attacks against Ukraine and its partners. Cyber experts believe Russia is preparing to launch more aggressive and potentially destructive attacks in concert with Russia’s expected spring offensive.
The U.S. released a video of an intentional attack of the Russian pilot on the U.S. MQ-9 drone over the Black Sea. Senior officials at Russia’s Ministry of Defense gave the order for Russian fighter jets to harass a U.S. drone, CNN reported, referring to two U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence. “Whatever’s left of that, that’s floating, will probably be flight control surfaces, that kind of thing. Probably nothing of real intrinsic value to them in terms of re-engineering or anything like that. We’re not overly concerned about whatever they might get their hands on,” a White House National Security Council spokesperson said. “They completely ignore the fact that after the start of a special military operation, our military declared the relevant areas of the Black Sea, adjacent in certain places, as areas with a limited status for the use of any aircraft,” Russia’s Foreign Minister said. “A deliberate attack on a Russian aircraft in neutral airspace is not just a crime under international law, but an open declaration of war against the largest nuclear power,” Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S. threatened Americans. So, after the deliberate downing of the UAV, Russians believe they did nothing wrong and claimed the right over international air space, not to mention the illegally occupied territories. Meanwhile, they threaten with the war over their right to fly in international air space.
Russia, relevant news
The Russian division of the international anti-corruption organization Transparency International announced the liquidation of a legal entity created in Russia in 1999. As noted, after the authorities of the Russian Federation declared Transparency International an “undesirable” organization, the further work of the Russian unit became practically impossible.
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