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CDS Daily brief (02.04.23) | CDS comments on key events

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Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • Indiscriminate Russian shelling of residential areas continues. 6 people died, and 11 were injured due to Russian shelling of downtown Kostyantynivka;
  • Overall, 7 Oblasts came under Russian fire over the past day;
  • A heat and electricity producing plant was damaged by shelling today and had to go off- grid;
  • Forceful evacuation of remaining children is ordered in Sloviansk, Donetsk Oblast. The decisions concern 34 kids;
  • The Russian war took the lives of 262 Ukrainian athletes;


  • The pace of the Russian assault on Bakhmut continues to decrease compared to the previous two-week period; the regrouping of Russian troops in the city continues;
  • The hypothetical Russian success in the Maryinka area will not contribute to the encirclement of Avdiyivka because the Russian forces do not have the strength to make a deep breakthrough;
  • The enemy sets up defensive lines in its rear because its command is not confident in its ability to hold positions on the front line.
  • Possible operation situation developments: After the Russian troops complete the regrouping in the Bakhmut area, an intensification of fighting should be expected.


  • Ukraine’s Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council published the 12-point plan for the de-occupation of Crimea.
  • A Brazilian emissary traveled to Moscow and Paris to broker a “peace.” Yet it is doubtful that Brazil would offer anything satisfactory to Ukraine.
  • “The arrest warrant for Putin might undermine efforts to reach a peace deal in Ukraine” is another possible message to promote “peace” on Russian terms.
  • A Russian propagandist killed by an explosion in a cafe in downtown St. Petersburg, Russian propaganda blames “Ukrainian terrorists”.
Humanitarian aspect:

Twenty-three families raising 34 orphans and children deprived of parental care remain in the Sloviansk Hromada, although the decision on mandatory evacuation was made on August 2, 2022. The Slovyansk city commission for the protection of children’s rights decided that guardians with minors should leave Donetsk Oblast as soon as possible. If they refuse, they will be stripped of their guardianship or guardianship duties, and the children will be evacuated forcibly.

According to Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister – Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine compiled a list of 4,396 orphans who were

illegally taken to the territory of Russia or the temporarily occupied territory and submitted it to Russia officially demanding that the children are returned.

Minister of Youth and Sports Vadym Gutzait said that the Russian war took the lives of 262 Ukrainian athletes. “It is very important for us that there are no athletes from Russia at sports competitions and the Olympic Games, because they all support this war and attend events held in support of this war,” the Minister stressed.

Russian attacks

On April 1, the Russian occupiers shelled seven regions of Ukraine, and there were victims among the civilian population.

  • In Chernihiv Oblast, the Novgorod-Siversky district was shelled twice during the day. No losses or destruction were reported.
  • Around 5 a.m. on April 2, Russians hit a milk truck with mortars in one of the villages of the Novoslobidska community in Sumy Oblast, killing 2 people. On April 1, the Russians shelled the territory of the Bilopillia and Esman communities. No consequences were reported.
  • Zaporizhzhia Oblast: during the past day, the enemy carried out 68 attacks on the civilian infrastructure of 16 towns and villages. 11 reports of destroyed properties have been filed.
  • Kharkiv Oblast: the Russian forces shelled at least 14 villages. A private house was damaged yesterday morning on the outskirts of the Kupyansk district. A 43-year-old civilian died due to Russian shelling in Kutkivka. A 46-year-old man was injured and hospitalized in moderate condition. At night, the buildings of an agricultural enterprise were damaged by an S-300 missile strike at Velykiy Burluk village. In the Dovhalivka village, a 59-year-old civilian man was injured by an explosion on a booby trap in his own yard. He was hospitalized in moderate condition.
  • In Luhansk Oblast, there was heavy artillery shelling of Nevske village. 5 houses were destroyed, and a local resident received a concussion. Novoselivske, Dibrova and Bilohorivka also came under Russian fire. The situation in the region remains difficult.
  • The Russian military fired rockets at populated areas of Donetsk Oblast, namely Avdiyivka, Bakhmut, Krasnohorivka, Toretsk, Severne, and Velyka Novosilka. In a day, 5 people were injured in the region.
  • Over the past day, the Russian forces fired at Kherson Oblast 60 times, firing 290 shells. The enemy shelled Kherson 6 times. 26 projectiles hit the residential quarters of the city, family and apartment buildings; 1 person died, and two more were injured. A 32-year-old electrician blown up by a Russian mine while restoring power lines in Posad-Pokrovske village died in the hospital from his injuries.

On the late morning of April 2, the Russian occupiers shelled the downtown area of Kostyantynivka in Donetsk Oblast; 6 people were killed, and 11 were injured. 16 apartment buildings, 8 private houses, a children’s preschool, the Kostiantynivka State Tax Inspectorate building, gas pipes, and 3 cars were damaged.


A heat and energy producing plant (TPP) was damaged and had to go off-grid due to Russian shelling, DTEK Company reported. Since the beginning of the energy terror, DTEK TPPs have been attacked 30 times. As a result, 3 DTEK workers died, and 28 were injured.

Occupied territories

According to the National Resistance Center of the Ukrainian MOD, Russian occupation authorities plan to set up courts in the occupied territories to hand down “extremism” sentences to the residents they deem disloyal. As the application of the method applied in the previously occupied territories suggests, people found guilty of “extremism” will be sent to the far-off Russian regions to serve their sentences, making this an exile. The Center stresses that the decisions of these courts are legally void.

Operational situation General conclusion:
  • The Russian military concentrates its main efforts on offensive actions in the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka directions;
  • The pace of the Russian assault on Bakhmut continues to decrease compared to the previous two-week period; the regrouping of Russian troops in the area of the city continues;
  • The continued offensive in the Maryinka area (30% of the attacks of the past day were carried out in this direction) does not yield significant results and breaks attacks in other directions, diverting reserves and resources, primarily artillery ammunition;
  • The Russian military redistributed resources, curtailing offensive actions near Vuhledar, reduced the intensity of attacks in the Bakhmut area;
  • The hypothetical Russian success in the Maryinka area will not contribute to the encirclement of Avdiyivka, because the Russian forces do not have the strength to make a deep breakthrough (in a year of fighting, the advance of the aggressor in this direction is about 2 km);
  • The enemy sets up defensive lines in its rear, because its command is not confident in its ability to hold its positions on the front line.
  • Units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled over 70 Russian attacks in different directions. Bilohorivka, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Maryinka and their suburbs remain at the epicenter of hostilities;
  • The Russian forces attacked unsuccessfully to the south of Kreminna and Verkhnyokamianske of Luhansk Oblast, Bohdanivka, Predtechne, Novokalynove, Avdiivka, Severne, Vodyane, Pervomaiske and Maryinka of Donetsk Oblast;
  • The Russian troops attempted several unsuccessful attacks near Kreminna, Chervonopopivka, Makiyivka, Dibrova, Hryhorivka, Bilohorivka, and Verkhnyokamianske. The Ukrainian Defense Forces advanced west of Chervonopopivka and northeast of Verkhnyokamianske. The most intense battles took place near Bilohorivka;
  • Heavy snowfalls in the Bakhmut area made it difficult to conduct military operations. However, there were still 25 combat clashes. Russian troops continued their assault on Bakhmut and conducted unsuccessful offensive operations in Bohdanivka and Ivanivske. Units of the “Wagner” PMC conducted assault operations in the southern and northern parts of Bakhmut, trying to break through the Ukrainian defenses in the south and southwest parts of the city;
  • The Ukrainian Joint Forces conducted a successful counterattack and achieved minor successes northeast of Vodyane, defeating units of the 3rd separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Army corps. At the same time, the Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked in the areas of Avdiivka, Novobakhmutivka, Severne, Pervomaiske and Maryinka. They tried to storm Stepove and Keramik and continued the offensive to the south and southwest of Kamianka.
Change in enemy disposition:
  • Russian motorized rifle and airborne units operating in the Lyman direction are mainly staffed by those called up for mobilization. Military units of the 2nd Army Corps also operate in the area. Units of the 24th separate SOF brigade were spotted in the Makiyivka area. The 13th BARS detachment conducts combat operations in the Kreminna area. In the Siversk area, the appearance of the “Prizrak (Ghost)” battalion of the 2nd Army Corps was noted;
  • In the Zaporizhzhia direction, the Russian engineering and sapper units set up mine and explosive barriers; fortified the Berdyansk airport with trenches and “dragon’s teeth”, and built defenses along the road leading to the airport;
  • Russian troops built defenses on the administrative border with the occupied Crimea near the Armyansk checkpoint, on the Perekop Isthmus, on the beaches of Yevpatoria and along the E97 and E105 highways.
Escalation indicators:
  • The Russian forces fired at Vuhledar with incendiary ammunition.
Possible operation situation developments:
  • After the Russian troops complete the regrouping in the Bakhmut area, an intensification of fighting should be expected.
Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:
  • The Russian fleet has returned part of the ships to their base points; it keeps a group of 5 surface ships and submarines in the sea. They are in their patrolling areas near the coast of Crimea. Among them, one frigate and one project 636.3 submarine are carriers of Kalibr missiles (up to 12 missiles on board) located in the area of the firing position southeast of Sevastopol.
  • Most Russian Navy ships are distributed among 4 bases: Sevastopol, Feodosia, Kerch and Novorossiysk.
  • One patrol ship is in 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. A total of 17 combat sorties were made 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.
  • Over the past three weeks, fortifications in the north and west of the Crimean Peninsula have been significantly expanded. Up to 20 Russian BTGs are concentrated north of the Crimean Peninsula. 90 aircraft and 60 attack helicopters are concentrated at Crimean airfields. Equipment transfer and accumulation continue, including in the Novoozerne area, notably anti-tank weapons.
  • On the last day of March, the Naval Forces of Romania and NATO allies completed the annual international “Sea Shield-2023” exercise. For ten days, training military operations of NATO allies took place on the Black Sea coast of Romania and the Danube Delta. In addition to Romania, 12 countries took part in the maneuvers, namely Albania, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Georgia, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Moldova, the Netherlands, the United States, Turkey and France, involving a total of more than three thousand servicemen (Ukraine also actively participated in these exercises before the start of the current hostilities). Up to 30 warships, 20 speedboats, 60 armored vehicles and a dozen aircraft took part in the exercises on the Romanian side. During the final operation of the exercises, the allied forces “repelled” an attack by a hypothetical enemy landing force that landed in a small town in a tributary of the Danube. In the Black Sea, Romanian military sailors conducted training on inspecting ships and neutralizing subversive reconnaissance groups of a hypothetical enemy.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 02.04.23

Personnel – almost 174,550 people (+560);

Tanks – 3,618 (+2);

Armored combat vehicles – 6,986 (+5);

Artillery systems – 2,687 (+4)

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 527 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 279 (0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 5,537 (+9); Aircraft – 306 (0);

Helicopters – 291 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 2,249 (+1); Intercepted cruise missiles – 911 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).

Ukraine, general news

NSDC Secretary Oleksiy Danilov announced the “12 steps of the de-occupation of Crimea”, which will go into the Strategy of Crimea’s Liberation, being elaborated by the NSDC Apparatus jointly with a wide range of specialists and experts. The steps include the departure of all Russian citizens who moved to the peninsula after its occupation in 2014, criminal liability and lustration for collaboration, voiding of all property operations not conducted in accordance with Ukrainian law, investigation of the crimes committed by propagandists, journalists and experts who supported

the occupation, helped militarize Crimean youth and stoked hatred towards Ukraine and Ukrainians, dismantling of the Kerch Strait Bridge to ensure freedom of navigation, etc. The plan instigates the “participation of identified groups actively supporting the Russian occupation in public works for the reconstruction of destroyed Ukrainian cities, processes of exhumation and reburial of victims of Russian aggression (for persons found guilty of such crimes by a court).” The information on Russian crimes will be publicly circulated. There will be an investigation of all facts of prosecution of those guilty of intimidating Ukrainians who opposed the occupation and illegal annexation. All Ukrainian and Crimean-Tatar activists will be released from Russian captivity.

International diplomatic aspect

Celso Amorim, a top foreign policy advisor to the Brazilian President, traveled to Moscow and Paris to discuss “peace” in Ukraine. Like his Chinese colleague Wang Yi, Celso Amorim didn’t bother to pop in Kyiv for “technically infeasible” reasons. Last week, Brazil opted out of joining the Declaration of the Summit for Democracy, for it “deplored the dire human rights and humanitarian consequences of the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine” and “demanded that Russia immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and call for a cessation of hostilities.” While in the election campaign, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that “this guy [Zelensky] is as responsible as Putin for the war.” Lula went on by bashing the Western leaders, “Putin shouldn’t have invaded Ukraine. But it’s not just Putin who is guilty. The U.S. and the E.U. are also guilty.” He also accused Joe Biden of weak leadership for inciting the war, not avoiding it by “taking a plane to Moscow to talk to Putin.” Brazil abstained during the vote of the General Assembly on the Territorial integrity of Ukraine on Dilma Rousseff’s watch. She was a Lula’s Worker’s Party member and her heir in the presidential office. While conservative Jair Bolsonaro was the President, Brazil voted in favor of the General Assembly resolutions on the “Aggression against Ukraine” (March 2, 2022) and on “Principles of the Charter of the United Nations underlying a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine” (February 23, 2023). So, it could be read as a symptom of the systematic pro-Russian views of the left party and a hardly convincing sign of an unbiased and impartial stance.

“The arrest warrant for Putin might undermine efforts to reach a peace deal in Ukraine,” Daniel Krcmaric, an associate professor of political science at Northwestern University, said. He suggested that the U.N. Security Council may call on the ICC to suspend the Ukraine investigation for a year. It’s highly unlikely that the U.S. and the E.U. would support such a damaging justice and moral move. It’s not acceptable for Ukrainian society or the country’s leadership. A just and lasting peace couldn’t be reached with impunity for war crimes.

Russia, relevant news

In St. Petersburg, an explosion occurred in a cafe belonging to Wagner PMC owner Yevgeny Prigozhin killing Russian propagandist and “a war correspondent” Vladlen Tatarsky and injuring 25 people. Russian propaganda immediately accused “Ukrainian terrorists”. Anton Krasovsky of RT claimed that anybody could be next, and his colleague Margarita Simonian asked whether the incident should be forgotten and forgiven.

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