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CDS Daily brief (19.03.23) | CDS comments on key events

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Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • Russia attacked 9 Ukrainian Oblasts over the past day. At least 3 civilians were killed, and 18 were injured. On March 19, the enemy shelled a residential building in Zaporizhzhia Oblast with “GRAD” MRLS; 3 people died, and 2 were wounded.
  • The enemy intensified attacks on the State Emergency Service units, which perform civilian rescue operations and are protected by the Geneva Conventions.


  • The enemy continues to focus on the offensive operations in the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Maryinka, and Shakhtarsk directions;
  • The enemy lost its offensive potential in the Kupyansk and Lyman directions. There is a shortage of tanks and AFVs and a lack of artillery ammunition;
  • PMC “Wagner” turned out to be unable to fulfill the task of encircling Bakhmut, but it is making every effort to do so.
  • The enemy has been dropping compact emergency marine radio buoys ACR RLB-37 “GlobalFix” from UAVs near important UAF objects. The high-speed and accurate transmission device is used for more accurate strikes by aircraft or attack UAVs of the Geran-2 type.

Change in enemy disposition:

  • The enemy concentrate parachute airborne regiments and air assault regiments in the Kreminna area.
  • The combat coordination of the “Storm” type unit of 37th separate motorized rifle brigade is near completion. Though, there is a significant shortage of personnel and motivation.


  • Vladimir Putin should think twice about whether to attend the international fora hosted in countries either party to the ICC or unwilling to complicate their relations with the global democratic camp.
  • Vladimir Putin allegedly made a surprise visit to Mariupol; he is personally guilty of leveling and murdering tens of thousands of Ukrainians.
Humanitarian aspect:

Russian attacks

Over the past day, the Russian army carried out attacks on 9 regions of Ukraine. Among consequences are:

  • On March 18, the Russians struck Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, with cluster munitions. 2 killed and 10 wounded civilians were reported. 76 private houses, a high-rise building, 2 communal enterprises, a football arena, a State Emergency Service facility and Bernatsky Park were damaged. In Kostyantynivka, 1 civilian was killed, and 5 were injured. 20 private houses, a high-rise building, a school and a shop were damaged.
  • At least 13 towns and villages in Kharkiv Oblast were under artillery fire on March 18. A 51-year-old woman was injured; she is in serious condition. Private houses and commercial buildings were damaged.
  • The Russian occupiers shelled the Kherson Oblast 53 times. 2 wounded were reported. In Kherson, enemy shells hit private and apartment buildings.
  • On March 18, the Russian occupiers attacked the civil infrastructure of the Orihiv, Hulyaipole and Vasylivka districts in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The police recorded 10 such reports during the day. On March 19, the enemy shelled a residential building in Kamianske with the Grad MLRS. As a result of the shelling, three people were killed, and two more were injured. Earlier on March 19, Zaporizhzhia Oblast authorities said they were allowing the forced evacuation of children from the region “with a significant increase of the shelling.”
  • On March 18, the enemy shelled the Seredyno-Budsk and Novoslobidska Hromadas of Sumy Oblast. 1 private house was damaged.
  • The Russian occupiers shelled the water area of Ochakiv hromada and the Kutsurub Hromada area of Mykolayiv Oblast. There are no casualties. The information on damage is being clarified.

The city administration reported that from the frontline town of Chasiv Yar, Donetsk Oblast, all children were evacuated together with their parents.


Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Ukrainian pyrotechnics have surveyed more than 100,000 hectares of territory and neutralized 400,000 enemy shells, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his daily video address.

State Emergency Service

During the invasion of the Russian Federation, 68 Ukrainian rescuers died, more than 200 were injured, and five are in Russian captivity, said Serhiy Kruk, head of the State Emergency Service. He emphasized that lately, there have been extremely frequent attacks on the State Emergency Service units. “We fall under the protection of the Geneva Conventions. We are not the units that take part in combat operations, have weapons, etc. And we hoped that the rescuers would not die, that they would not be shot, captured. But in the first days of the war, we realized that the Russian aggressor despises international norms and rules.”

Since the beginning of the full-scale war, 1,700 fire trucks and fire equipment of the State Emergency Service were destroyed; 300 fire departments and more than 700 Emergency Service facilities were lost. “These are those who were damaged [by shelling], as well as those that remained in the occupied territory,” he said.

Occupied territories

The so-called “platoon commander” of the Russian security forces was killed on the territory of the temporarily occupied Kherson Oblast, Deputy of the Kherson Regional Council Serhiy Khlan

reported on Facebook. According to him, the [Russian] propagandists themselves confirm the information. According to the mass media, in the blown-up car was a collaborator Serhiy Moskalenko. He worked in the Nova Kakhovka “police department”. According to journalist Andriy Tsaplienko, the car detonation occurred in Yuvileyne village.

Operational situation General conclusion:
  • The enemy concentrates its main efforts on conducting offensive operations in the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Maryinka, and Shakhtarsk directions;
  • The enemy lost its offensive potential in the Kupyansk and Lyman directions. In the troops operating in these directions, there is a shortage of tanks by 50-60%, AFVs by 40%, the distribution of artillery ammunition does not correspond to the volumes of tasks;
  • PMC “Wagner” turned out to be unable to fulfill the task of encircling Bakhmut, but it is making every effort to do so.
  • Units of the Defense Forces repelled more than 83 enemy attacks in various directions. Bakhmut remains the epicenter of hostilities.
  • The enemy attacked in the areas of Kreminna, Dibrova, Verkhnyokamianske and Spirne in Luhansk Oblast, Bakhmut, Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Hryhorivka, Bohdanivka, Krasnohorivka, Kamianka, Avdiivka, Vodyane, Pervomaiske, Maryinka in Donetsk Oblast.
  • Units of the 26th tank regiment (the 47th tank division of the 1st tank army) were forced to leave their positions in the Volodymyrivka area and retreat due to significant losses.
  • The 138th separate motorized rifle brigade, reinforced by several BARS detachments, advancing along the R-79 highway toward Dvorichne, reached the left bank of the Oskil River. They used the tactics of human waves, lost a significant number of personnel and stopped due to a critical reduction in combat capability.
  • Due to the constant fire impact [by the Ukrainian Forces], the Russian forces on the Kreminna-Svatove-Troitske line are significantly weakened and are unable to conduct active offensive actions.
  • The most intense battles are near Torske, Kreminna, Bilohorivka and Spirne.
  • Combatants of the “Wagner” PMC are trying to advance northwest of Bakhmut to prevent Ukrainian counterattacks. They focus on advancing to the Siversky Donets-Donbas canal to complete the city’s encirclement. Mercenaries have also advanced in the Kurdyumivka area. Russian troops stormed Khromove and Bohdanivka.
Change in enemy disposition:
  • The 217th and 331st parachute airborne regiments of the 98th airborne division, the 104th, 234th, and 237th air assault regiments of the 76th air assault division and the 31st separate airborne assault brigade are concentrated in the Kreminna area.
  • In the area of Kuzemivka, the units of the 27th separate motorized rifle brigade lost their combat capability due to the fire impact of the artillery of the Defense Forces even before the start of the offensive.
  • The combat coordination of the “Storm” type unit is being conducted in the 37th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 36th Army of the Eastern Military District; the completion date is 24.03. The brigade has a significant shortage of personnel; therefore, the servicemen undergoing treatment and rehabilitation are called back. Military personnel complain about the low level of supplies. A deficient level of personnel motivation and a large number of attempts to avoid being sent to the area of hostilities in Ukraine are noted.
  • 1,000 Russian draftees are being transferred to Ukraine from the Obuz-Lyasnovsky training ground in the Brest region of the Republic of Belarus.

Escalation indicators: not identified.

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;
  • Control of the coast of the Sea of Azov will acquire strategic importance in the near future.
Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:
  • The number of enemy ships at sea during the last day has decreased due to weather conditions. The enemy ordered a search operation near the crash site of the American MQ-9 Reaper drone. 9 ships and vessels of the Russian Navy were patrolling the Black Sea region away from the coast of Crimea
  • Among the enemy’s ships at sea were two Kalibr surface-to-air missile carriers, but the number of missiles on them was probably much less than the standard one (16 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 22 combat sorties were made over the past day. Su-27, Su30SM, and MiG-29K aircraft from the Belbek and Saki aircraft carriers were involved in monitoring the surface and air situation in the northwestern part of the Black Sea. One of the Su-27 aircraft tried unsuccessfully to attack the Bayraktar UAV of the Ukrainian Navy.
  • 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.
  • The facts of dropping compact emergency marine radio buoys ACR RLB-37 “GlobalFix” from enemy UAVs near important Ukrainian AF objects were noted. This device is of a new generation of marine radio electronics that works in the Cospas-Sarsat satellite communication system. It has a certificate of approval of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping. The main characteristic of this device is the high-speed and accurate transmission of the coordinates of the location using satellite communication. It is used for more accurate strikes by enemy aircraft or attack UAVs of the Geran-2 type on the positions of Ukrainian troops.
“Grain initiative”.
  • The official website of the UN reported that the Black Sea Grain Initiative, signed in Istanbul on July 22, 2022, has been extended. The initiative facilitates safe navigation for exporting grain and related food products and fertilizers, including ammonia, from designated Ukrainian seaports. During the first two terms, about 25 million metric tons of grain and food were transported to 45 countries, helping to lower global food prices and stabilizing markets. The UN thanked the Government of Turkey for its diplomatic and operational support for the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 19.03.23

Personnel – almost 164,910 people (+710);

Tanks – 3,532 (+21);

Armored combat vehicles – 6,853 (+23);

Artillery systems – 2,568 (+8);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 507 (+1); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 268 (+3); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 5,408 (+4); Aircraft – 305 (0);

Helicopters – 290 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 2159 (0); Intercepted cruise missiles – 907 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).

Ukraine, general news

People from 110 countries have already joined the United24 platform, and the total amount of charitable contributions has crossed the mark of 300 million US dollars, President Volodymyr Zelensky highlighted in his daily video address.

International diplomatic aspect

“The world has received a signal that the Russian regime is criminal and that its leadership and accomplices will be brought to justice,” the Prosecutor General of Ukraine said about Vladimir Putin, who “has the official status of a suspect in the commission of an international crime.” So, Vladimir Putin should think twice about whether to attend the 15th BRICS summit at the South African city of Durban in late August 2023 or the G20 summit in New Delhi in September. The president’s spokesperson of the host country acknowledged that the government is aware of its legal obligation regarding the ICC warrant. “However, between now and the summit, we will remain engaged with various relevant stakeholders,” Vincent Magwenya said. India is not a party to the ICC, but allowing Putin to show up from now on might complicate its relations with the

U.S. and other democracies. “Germany will be obliged to arrest President Putin if he enters German territory and hand him over to the ICC,” Germany’s Federal Minister of Justice said. He added that, unlike national law enforcement agencies, the ICC could arrest a head of state. The Russian Investigative Committee head ordered his subordinates to produce the legal assessment of the German minister’s comment. Meanwhile, the Investigative Committee of Russia added persons who issued the ICC warrant to its sanctions lists.

Vladimir Putin allegedly made a surprise visit to Mariupol (even some hard-core Russian nationalists believe it was Putin’s double who traveled to Crimea and then Mariupol). Once home to 430,000 inhabitants, the Azov Upland city became a worldwide symbol of resistance after

outgunned and outmanned Ukrainian worriers held out in the AzovStal steel mill for nearly three months. Mariupol, the unofficial capital of the Ukrainian Greek minority, was literally wiped out. The government estimates the death toll of around 25,000, though the actual figure may be two- or threefold. The Russian assault destroyed 40% of high-rise buildings, once homes to 84,000 inhabitants.

“He [Putin] watched the ‘rebuilding of the city’… at night. After all, in the dark, you can’t see how many destroyed houses are there and where a pile of stones has been left instead of high-rise buildings,” the Mariupol City Council wrote on social networks. “He also visited the Mariupol Philharmonic, a building that survived. Where civilians were hiding during the massive shelling,” the council said.

On March 16, 2022, the Russian Army bombed the Mariupol Academic Drama Theatre killing up to 600 people, including many children. The deliberate attack was carried out despite the sign “children” written in Russian with letters big enough to be visible from the sky. The Russian propaganda channels claimed that the air force targeted the Azov regiment HQ, but later that news was deleted. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians, including children, who had survived siege and assault, were deported to Russia. It was the highest degree of cynicism that children from Mariupol were used by Russian propaganda during the celebrations of the first year of the all-out invasion. At the stage in Luzhniki Stadium on February 22, children from Mariupol were told to thank a Russian officer who “saved” them, though at least one girl had her mother killed by the Russian shelling.

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