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CDS Daily brief (01.04.23) | CDS comments on key events

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Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • The army of the Russian Federation shelled eight regions of Ukraine on March 31; there were killed and wounded civilians.
  • About 470,000 hectares of agricultural land in nine oblasts of Ukraine need demining.


  • The enemy continues to focus on conducting offensive actions in the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka directions;
  • The Ukrainian defense of Bakhmut remains strategically reliable.
  • The development of the situation in the areas of Bakhmut and Avdiivka will impact the further course of the war for both sides in view of the scope of hostilities and the consumption of resources.
  • The Russian forces will try to develop their tactical success north of Bakhmut into an operational one.
  • The probability of further missile and air strikes on the entire territory of Ukraine remains quite high;
  • Ukrainian strikes on Russian units’ areas of concentration on the left bank of the Dnipro River will force the Russian military command to change tactics to avoid the risk of defeat.
  • Sea: the enemy increased the grouping of surface ships and submarines at sea to 12; more than the average number of warships (about 10) are under repair in Sevastopol.


  • Instead of being kicked out of the U.N. for illegally and illegitimately holding a P5 seat and committing the crime of aggression and other crimes, Russia assumed a month-long presidency at the U.N. Security Council.
  • Vladimir Putin adopted Russia’s foreign policy concept, which is, in essence, a pamphlet full of misperceptions and propaganda aimed at cheering up the domestic audience and for the so-called Global South to portray Russia as one of the poles, the other nations should gather around for a more just and multipolar world.
Humanitarian aspect:

The Russian military has already killed 467 children in Ukraine and injured another 944 children. According to the Office of the Prosecutor General, these data are not final.

Russian attacks

The Russian Military shelled eight regions of Ukraine on March 31, according to the consolidated information of the regional military administrations made public on the morning of April 1.

Consequences of enemy shelling:

  • Early in the morning, the Russians shelled the territory of the Seredyno-Budsk community of Sumy Oblast with barrel artillery. As a result of the shelling, a resident of Sumy district was wounded.
  • In Chernihiv Oblast, the enemy attacked the Novgorod-Siversky district three times during the day with artillery. Three private houses were damaged.
  • On March 31, the Russian military attacked Kherson Oblast 54 times, killing 3 civilians and wounding 2. The Russians shelled Kherson five times. 27 shells hit residential quarters.
  • During the day in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Russian troops carried out 104 attacks on 19 settlements. The National Police received 46 reports about the destruction of buildings and civil infrastructure. In Zaporizhzhia yesterday afternoon, a rocket hit the territory of one of the cemeteries. The blast wave damaged 55 private houses. Two people received minor injuries. As a result of an enemy airstrike on Orikhiv with two missiles, two employees of REM were injured. A two-story administrative building and auxiliary farm buildings were damaged.
  • Yesterday the enemy attacked the   Marhanets   community   in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast twice with heavy artillery and UAVs. A car and farm buildings were damaged.
  • On March 31, Russian troops attacked six towns and villages in Donetsk Oblast. Enemy shelling killed 2 civilians in Avdiivka, 3 more people in the Oblast were injured. 12 civilian objects were destroyed and damaged: six residential buildings, a library, a vocational school, an administrative building, shops, and a gas pipe. On April 1, Russian troops launched a missile attack on Avdiivka again, hitting the administration building and an infrastructure facility.
  • During the past day, the Russian occupiers shelled the border villages of Kharkiv, Chuhuyiv and Kupyansk districts of Kharkiv Oblast. At noon on April 1, the Russians struck Dvorichna village. A 43-year-old man was killed.

On March 31, more than 90 people, including 9 children, were evacuated from the de-occupied territory of Kherson Oblast.


According to the plan approved at the National Mine Action Authority meeting, about 470,000 hectares of agricultural land in nine Ukrainian oblasts must be demined, said Serhiy Reva, representative of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, on the air of the national telethon. He added that of the identified 9 regions, the most challenging situation is in Kharkiv and Kherson Oblasts, which have been under occupation for a long time.

Operational situation General conclusion:
  • The enemy concentrates its main efforts on conducting offensive actions in the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka directions;
  • The Ukrainian defense of Bakhmut remains strategically reliable.
  • Units of the Defense Forces repelled more than 80 enemy attacks in various directions. Bilohorivka, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Maryinka and their outskirts remain at the epicenter of hostilities.
  • The enemy carried out unsuccessful offensive actions in the areas of Makiivka, Kreminna, Chervonopopivka, Dibrova, Bilohorivka and in the Serebryansk Forestry area in Luhansk Oblast; Bohdanivka, Ivanivske, Novobakhmutivka, Avdiivka, Pervomaiske and Maryinka in Donetsk Oblast. The enemy does not stop storming the city of Bakhmut, trying to take it under complete control.
  • The enemy conducted unsuccessful offensive actions near Stelmakhivka, Nevske, Makiyivka, Dibrova, Kuzmine, Hryhorivka, Bilohorivka, and Berestove. The Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled the attack of the 237th Air assault regiment of the 76th Air assault division in the Kreminna area.
  • Units of the “Wagner” PMC continued to attack northern and southern Bakhmut and unsuccessfully tried to advance westward toward Khromove. In the city itself, the PMC failed to make significant progress. The Russian occupiers unsuccessfully attacked in the area of Orihove-Vasylivka.
  • The Ukrainian Joint Forces launched a counterattack southwest of Bakhmut and recovered lost positions south of Ivanovske.
  • The enemy units launched an attack on Avdiivka from the western direction; the separatist illegal armed formation, the “Somalia” battalion, advanced in the Vesele district; the Russian occupiers unsuccessfully stormed the positions of the Joint Forces near Avdiivka, Novobakhmutivka, Novokalynove, Stepove, Severne, Vodyane, Krasnohorivka and Keramik, in in the western Maryinka; battles continue near Pervomaiske.
  • The Joint Forces stormed Russian positions in the direction of Pisky.
Change in enemy disposition:
  • The 3rd separate SOF brigade was deployed in the Kreminna area. It mainly performs the task of supporting the exhausted troops of the Western Military District in the capacity of infantry. Near Vuhledar, the 23rd BARS detachment was put into battle.

Escalation indicators: not identified

Possible operation situation developments:
  • The development of the situation in the areas of Bakhmut and Avdiivka will impact the further course of the war for both sides in view of the scope of hostilities and the consumption of resources. It already affects the course of operations in other directions and the strategic planning for the use of troops by the warring parties during the spring- summer campaigns;
  • The Russian forces will try to develop their tactical success north of Bakhmut into an operational one, by increasing pressure in the direction of Hryhorivka, on Orikhovo- Vasylivka and in general along the road to Slovyansk in the direction of Pryvillya. Reserves of at least two brigades should be expected to be deployed in this direction;
  • In the event of an enemy breakthrough into the Orlyivka – Lastochkine – Severne – Tonenke area and advance to the outskirts of Stepove, the situation in Avdiivka will turn to be like in Bakhmut, leaving the command of the Joint Forces with a choice of which city to leave, because fighting two major defensive battles at the same time is impossible due to the lack of resources;
  • The probability of further missile and air strikes on the entire territory of Ukraine remains quite high;
  • Ukrainian strikes on areas of concentration of the Russian Armed Forces units on the left bank of the Dnipro River will force the Russian military command to change tactics to avoid the risk of defeat.
Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:
  • After the end of the storm, the enemy increased the grouping of surface ships and submarines at sea to 12. They are in patrolling areas near the coast of Crimea. Among them, one frigate, one corvette and one submarine pr 636.3, carriers of Kalibr missiles (with a total of up to 20 missiles on board), are in the area of the firing position southeast of Sevastopol.
  • More than the average number of warships (about 10) are under repair in Sevastopol. These are ships of the old Soviet projects 775, 1171, 1124 m, and 1239. This fact is due to the their high operational density since the beginning of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the aging of these worn-out ships.
  • One patrol ship is in the Sea of Azov.
  • Enemy aviation continues to fly from the Crimean airfields of Belbek, Saki, Dzhankoy and Hvardiyske. A total of 14 combat sorties were carried out over the past day. Control of the air situation and operational-tactical aviation over the waters of the Sea of Azov was carried out by the A-50U and Il-22 AEW&C aircraft.
  • In the coming days, the missile frigate “Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov” project 22350 from the Russian Northern Fleet will join the Russian grouping of surface forces in the Mediterranean (Tartus base, Syria). The frigate follows a rather long (unusual) route around the African content to the Mediterranean Sea, accompanied by the Kama military tanker (with the introduction of sanctions, the replenishment of Russian ships in the ports of many countries is limited). “Gorshkov” is advertised by the Russian Federation as the first warship that has (may have) hypersonic missiles “Zircon” and even fired them. The frigate “Gorshkov” will replace the same type frigate of the Northern Fleet “Admiral of the Fleet Kasatonov” as part of the Mediterranean squadron of the Russian Federation ” (it was in the Mediterranean Sea for more than a year).
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 1.04.23

Personnel – almost 173,990 people (+630);

Tanks – 3,616 (+1);

Armored combat vehicles – 6,981 (+4);

Artillery systems – 2,683 (+8)

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 527 (+1); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 279 (+1);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 5,528 (+7); Aircraft – 306 (0);

Helicopters – 291 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 2,248 (0); Intercepted cruise missiles – 911 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).                                                                                                                                               –

International diplomatic aspect

Russia’s presidency at the U.N. Security Council is “the world’s worst April Fool’s joke,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister said. Article 23 of the U.N. Charter lists the P5 (five permanent members of the Council), which includes the U.S., the U.K., France, China, and… the Union of Soviet Social Republics. As a result of an operation of “changing the table plates,” the Russian Federation, in violation of the Charter, “inherited” a permanent seat at the most important international body.

One can understand the reason why Russia was assisted in keeping a permanent seat at the Security Council. It was a democratic hopeful at the time (which turned out to be an illusion even then), but most importantly, the most significant nuclear power had to be checked by continuing its legal obligations on strategic stability agreements. Yet the intention proved to be wrong. Besides constant nuclear saber-rattling, Russia has “suspended” the only remaining strategic arms control agreement, the New START Treaty [though the Treaty doesn’t provide such an option at all].

The Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations on December 14, 1939, for invading Finland. The League of Nations didn’t prevent WWII, not for the lack of finely crafted documents but because the two dictators conspired to tear Europe apart, while appeasement paralyzed the will to resist the impending catastrophe. The Russian Federation has launched the most significant conflict in Europe since WWII. It has already been committed and is committing every possible crime. Vladimir Putin and his lieutenants as presidents of the Security Council are the most terrible blow to the remnants of the U.N.’s reputation. It’s even more bizarre than the infamous shoe-banging incident with Nikita Khrushchev. Should the world wait for Russia to employ nuclear weapons against Ukraine or some of its neighboring countries so that the United Nations would expel Russia?

There’re three reasons why the international community needs to kick Russia out. Firstly, it’s a moral case. Instead of preventing or solving, Russia is the major Threat to the Peace, which breaches the Peace and Commits Acts of Aggression (Chapter VII). This claim has been backed by numerous General Assembly Resolutions, including on the Territorial Integrity (68/262 of March 27, 2014) and the Aggression (ES-11/1 of March 2, 2022). The ICC issued a warrant of arrest for Vladimir Putin, who is responsible for the war crimes. The devastating results of his decisions are apparent, and there is growing evidence of his genocidal plans.

Secondly, it is politically correct. As a revisionist power, Russia is demolishing the rules-based order. It preaches run-or-ruin doctrine. The Kremlin showed that it’s impossible to “park” Russia and cooperate on some issues while competing on others. The further presence and Russia’s influence are a bad example to other powers who may decide to sail Moscow’s course. Finally, as long as there is an illegal and illegitimate “continuation” of Russia’s presence in the Security Council, the damage to the U.N. Charter is irreparable.

On the eve of assuming the presidency over the U.N. Security Council, Vladimir Putin adopted Russia’s foreign policy concept. It is a pamphlet full of misperceptions and propaganda aimed at cheering up the domestic audience and for the so-called Global South to portray Russia as one of the poles of a more “just” multipolar world. The pole which other nations should gather around.

“More than a thousand years of experience of independent statehood [though Moscow had been found some 880 years ago and for 250 years was under the Golden Horde’s rule], the cultural heritage of the previous era, deep historical ties with traditional European culture and other cultures of Eurasia, the ability developed over many centuries to ensure the harmonious coexistence of various peoples, ethnic, religious and linguistic groups on a common territory [constant territorial expansion with genocidal wars] determine the special position of Russia as a distinctive states-civilizations [a concept borrowed from the Chinese political thought, aimed at rejecting universal idea of democracy and claiming superiority over others], a vast Eurasian and Euro-Pacific power [the Russo-Japanese war of 1905 denied Russia to play a significant role in the Pacific] that rallied the Russian people and other peoples that make up the cultural and civilizational community of the Russian world [which is a surrogate concept that designed to fool far-abroad and subjugate the near-abroad].

Traditionally, Moscow blamed everything on the West and its desire to preserve hegemony. The West is blamed for colonial practices, though since the current world order was established in 1945, none of the Western countries annexed an inch of a foreign territory, while Russia either annexed or illegally occupied vast parts of the territory of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. One can argue that there is an internal colonial system inside Russia with dozens of distinct ethnic, religious, and other groups being systematically suppressed. Moreover, the Kremlin throws a disproportionately high number of minorities into the “meat grinder” in Ukraine, which may constitute an ethnic cleansing.

The document claims the West is fearful of Russia as “one of the leading centers of development of the modern world,” which is challenging to “Western hegemony” therefore, the U.S. and “its satellites used the measures taken by the Russian Federation to protect their vital interests in the Ukrainian direction as a pretext for exacerbating the long-term anti-Russian policy and unleashed a new type of hybrid war. It is aimed at weakening Russia in every possible way, including undermining its creative civilizational role, power, economic and technological capabilities, limiting its sovereignty in foreign and domestic policy, and destroying territorial integrity.” So, it was the West that “provoked” Russia to “protect” its interests by waging the war of aggression against Ukraine. The authors of the concept forgot that Russia’s own justification for the war was “protection” ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking Ukrainians from a “genocide.”

The main tasks for achieving Russia’s strategic foreign policy goals include “building a just and sustainable world order,” “maintaining international peace and security, strategic stability,” and “formation of good neighborly relations with neighboring states” [whereas only a satellite Belarus and China may be quoted as those who Russia has “good neighborly relations” with]. Russia aims at creating an international system where there’s “sovereign equality of states” [though de facto denies the sovereignty of some nations], “rejection of hegemony in international affairs” [whereas claims the right to have zones of influence], “the supremacy of international law in the regulation of international relations, the refusal of all states from the policy of double standards’ [while Russia exempts itself from the jurisdiction of international law].

Russia claims to be interested in “the use of peaceful means, primarily diplomacy, negotiations, consultations, mediation and good offices, to resolve international disputes and conflicts, their settlement on the basis of mutual respect, compromises and a balance of legitimate interests.” Though it is the Kremlin, which is threatening with nuclear weapons, it claims to be interested in “ensuring strategic stability, eliminating the prerequisites for unleashing a global war, the risks of using nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction.” Touching upon strategic stability, Russia claims to pursue “strengthening and developing the system of international treaties in the areas of strategic stability, arms control, prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery, and goods and technologies related to their production.” However, it was Russia which violated the INF Treaty, “suspended” the New START Treaty and refused to negotiate its prolongation, and planning to deploy nuclear weapons to Belarus.

Russia is going to double down on propaganda “in order to counter the falsification of history [which means Russia’s monopoly on history and rejection of the USSR’s responsibility for conspiring and starting WWII with Nazi Germany], inciting hatred towards Russia [any criticism], the spread of the ideology of neo-Nazism [desire of any neighboring nation to be sovereign and independent from Russia], racial and national exclusiveness [while Russia claims it is a civilization- state with special “responsibilities”], aggressive nationalism [though it is Russian nationalism which is a driving force of the war against Ukraine] and strengthening the moral [which Russians claim to have a monopoly over], legal and institutional foundations of modern international relations, based mainly on the generally recognized results of the Second World War [dominant position of Russia].”

While Russia is militarizing Arctics, claiming its interest in “maintaining peace and stability” and “reducing the level of threats to national security,” it wants to “preserve Antarctica as a demilitarized space of the world” to secure unimpeded access to the region.

Russia shows its “good” will in offering Europe a better place in the “Greater Eurasian partnership and the multipolar world.” However, it denied Europe its agency, for “the awareness by the states of Europe of the non-alternativeness of peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial equal cooperation with Russia, increase the level of their foreign policy independence.” Though Moscow is angry with, as it calls it, the “Anglo-Saxon states,” it demands that they “abandon their unfriendly course towards Russia and respect its legitimate interests.”

The concept shows a further detachment from reality and an even more explicit display of a parallel world in which the Russian ruling elite lives. At the same time, the concept has many notions that China is willing to see Russia struggling on its behalf. It is precisely about the revisionist agenda that Xi Jinping expressed his support for. “Right now, there are changes — the likes of which we haven’t seen for 100 years — and we are the ones driving these changes together,” Xi told Putin before departing from Moscow home.

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