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CDS Daily brief (27.04.23) | CDS comments on key events

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Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • Russian military attacked downtown Mykolayiv with four Kalibr missiles during the night, breaking four months of calm in the region. The attack resulted in the death of one person and 23 injuries, causing panic among the recently returned residents.
  • Overall, the Russian army attacked nine regions of Ukraine over the past day. At least 7 civilians died, and 33 were injured;
  • 2.5 million Ukrainian citizens have had their homes destroyed or damaged due to Russian aggression, and more than 170,000 people have had their homes completely destroyed.
  • The National Police has recorded 27 filtration camps and prisons in the temporarily occupied territories;
  • The Russian Federation intensified its repressive policy against the representatives of the indigenous people of Crimea – the Crimean Tatars;
  • Vladimir Putin signed a decree allowing for the deportation of Ukrainian citizens who reside in the Ukrainian territories illegally occupied by Russia.
  • The Russian military continues focusing its main efforts on offensive actions in the Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Maryinka directions.
  • While the enemy has practically stopped their offensive on the Kupyansk-Svatove- Kreminna line, it has intensified shelling from protected firing positions.
  • The Russian command is working to ensure security and improve logistics lines through the Kerch Strait to Crimea in preparation for a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive.
  • The Russian troops intensified the use of FAB-500 aerial bombs to strike Ukrainian strongholds in the urban areas of Bakhmut.
  • Possible operation situation developments: The probability of further missile and air strikes throughout the territory of Ukraine remains high.
  • Sea: Russia has once again suspended the Black Sea Grain Corridor operation.
  • PACE has recognized Russia’s deportation of Ukrainian children as genocide. So far, only 361 children have been returned home from Russian captivity, while more than 19,390 children (confirmed cases) are still hostages in Russia.
  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin opened the first nuclear power plant in Türkiye, which is significant economically and politically, given Erdogan’s tight race with the opposition leader for the highest office.
Humanitarian aspect:

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories, Iryna Vereshchuk, reported that as a result of Russian aggression, 2.5 million Ukrainian citizens have had their homes destroyed or damaged, with more than 170,000 people having their homes completely destroyed. This number does not include the temporarily occupied territories where the extent of destroyed housing cannot yet be assessed.

The eRobota grant programs, introduced by the Ukrainian government in the summer of last year, have been in great demand, with more than 4,000 entrepreneurs receiving financial support for business start-ups and expansion, totaling UAH 2.4 billion, according to the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Yuliya Svyrydenko.

Russian attacks

As a result of the night attack on Mykolaiv with 4 Kalibr missiles, one person died and 23 were injured, including a child. About 40 buildings were damaged, including 22 multi-storey buildings. “This was an unusual attack. We have not had shelling since December 31. So, it came out of the blue,” Vitaliy Kim, the head of Mykolayiv Oblast Military Administration, said. This attack caused a slight panic among the city residents, especially those who had recently returned. During the period of mass shelling, there were a little more than 200,000 people; now, it is more than 400,000.

Overall, the Russian army attacked nine regions of Ukraine over the past day.

  • The enemy fired seven rounds at Chernihiv Oblast. In the Novgorod-Siversky district, there were 89 mortar and barrel artillery shots fired, with approximately half targeting the bridge over the Sudost River in the Novgorod-Siversk community.
  • In Sumy Oblast, Russian troops attacked border communities. Four residential buildings were damaged in Seredyna-Buda. A residential building and outbuildings were damaged in the Esman community. In the Yunakiv community, two residents of the village of Basivka were injured.
  • Russian forces launched 83 attacks at Zaporizhzhia Oblast, including seven air strikes, five UAV strikes, two air defense missile strikes, and 69 artillery strikes. The attacks resulted in 26 instances of destruction, and two Ukrainian men born in 1976 and 1979 lost their lives. In addition, Russian aircraft carried out an attack in Hulyaipole, damaging residential buildings in Uspenivka, although no injuries were reported.
  • In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, the Russian aggressors fired more than 20 shells from heavy artillery, targeting the Chervonohryhorivka and Marhanets communities in the Nikopol district. As a result, a pumping station was damaged in the area.
  • At least 11 towns and villages in Kharkiv Oblast came under Russian fire. A private home and a car were damaged in Ustimivka. In Petropavlivka, Kupyansk district, a private residential building and an outbuilding were damaged. In Vovchansk, Chuhuyiv District, the fire and rescue department building was damaged. An employee of the State Emergency Service received a minor injury.
  • In Luhansk Oblast, the Russian army shelled the positions of Ukrainian troops 103 times during the day. Dibrova, Bilohorivka and Novoselivske were under artillery fire.
  • In Donetsk Oblast, the Russian military carried out 34 shellings throughout the day, causing damage to 58 objects in 16 towns and villages. Three civilians lost their lives, and four others were injured due to these attacks.
  • In Kherson Oblast, Russian forces carried out 65 shelling attacks during the day, 10 of which targeted Kherson itself. They hit areas in 28 different settlements and the Antoniv Bridge. A journalist from the Italian publication La Repubblica, Corrado Zunino, sustained a shoulder wound and his colleague, Bohdan Bitik, died on the spot. In total, one person died and three others were injured in Kherson Oblast due to Russian aggression.
Tribunal for the Russian Aggression

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, Moldova has joined the core group of 35 countries working towards establishing a special tribunal to hold accountable those responsible for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.

Ukraine is in favor of an international, not a hybrid, model of the tribunal over the Russian Federation. This approach will enable the international community to hold the Russian leadership accountable for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. According to Andriy Smirnov, Deputy Head of the Office of the President, Ukraine is the victim of this aggression, and relying solely on the Ukrainian side to make decisions may be perceived as lacking objectivity.

Occupied territories

To date, the National Police of Urine has recorded 27 filtration camps and prisons in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and 7 in the Russian Federation, said the deputy head of the National Criminal Investigation Department – the head of the Main Investigative Department Maksym Tsutskiridze.

The Russian Federation has continued its repressive policy against the indigenous people of Crimea, the Crimean Tatars, intensifying its actions in the last two months. According to Dmytro Lubinets, the human rights commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Russian security forces have conducted more than a dozen illegal searches in the homes of Crimean Tatars.

Vladimir Putin signed a decree allowing the deportation of Ukrainian citizens residing in the territories illegally occupied by Russia. By July 2024, these individuals will be forced to choose between obtaining Russian citizenship or being classified as foreigners with the possibility of being deported at the discretion of the occupation authorities. All would be defined as those who “pose a threat to the national security” of Russia or advocate “violent change in the foundations of the constitutional order” in Russia, finance “terrorist” and “extremist” activities, or participate in “unauthorized” actions will be deported and banned from entering the country anytime.

Operational situation General conclusion:
  • The Russian military concentrates its main efforts on offensive actions in the Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Maryinka directions;
  • Russian troops practically stopped the offensive on the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line but intensified shelling from protected firing positions;
  • The Russian command intensifies efforts to ensure security and improve logistics lines through the Kerch Strait to Crimea, preparing for a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Change in the line of contact (LoC):
  • Units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled over 54 Russian attacks in different directions;
  • Heavy fighting continues for the city of Bakhmut. The Russian forces carried out unsuccessful offensive actions in the direction of Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Ivanivske, Avdiivka, Severne, Pervomaiske, Maryinka;
  • The Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked in the vicinity of Makiivka, Nevske, Torske, and Bilohorivka. They pushed back units of the Ukrainian defense forces from their positions on the eastern outskirts of Spirne.
  • Ukrainian defense forces conducted reconnaissance northeast of Kupyansk and northwest of Svatove, near Masyutivka, Krokhmalne and Synkivka of Kharkiv Oblast and Novoselivske of Luhansk Oblast.
  • Over the past day, 17 combat clashes occurred in the Bakhmut direction. The Russian troops advanced to Persha Lisova Street in western Bakhmut; the fighters of the “Wagner” PMC reached the intersection of Tchaikovsky and Yuvileyna Streets, which allows them to advance along Yuvileyna Street in the direction of Khromove and cut the logistics lines of the Ukrainian Defense Forces to Bakhmut. The Russian forces advanced slightly to the north of Avdiivka, to the west of Novobakhmutivka, and achieved limited success west of the H20 Donetsk – Kramatorsk – Slovyansk highway.
  • The Ukrainian defense forces repelled Russian attacks in the areas of Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Bohdanivka, near Ivanivske, Khromove, and Klishchiivka; thwarted the Russian attempt to strike in the direction of Avdiivka itself and advance near Severne, Pervomaiske, Maryinka.
  • Units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces conduct active reconnaissance of crossings across the Dnipro River and on Velykiy Potemkin Island, south of Kindiyka and west of Veletenske. The Russian forces attacked the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces on Velykyi Potemkin Island and in the coastal areas near Kindiyka.
  • The enemy command is deploying over 80 observation posts on approaches to the Kerch Bridge.
Change in enemy disposition:
  • The Russian forces have transferred armored vehicles and artillery systems to the Turgeneve area in the Dzhankoy district of the occupied Crimea.
Escalation indicators:
  • Russian forces have increased the use of FAB-500 aerial bombs to strike Ukrainian strongholds in the urban areas of Bakhmut.
Possible operation situation developments:
  • In the short-term perspective, the Ukrainian Defense Forces will adhere to their chosen strategy of inflicting maximum losses on the enemy in close combat on the directions of the concentration of the main efforts.
  • The likelihood of further missile and aerial strikes across the territory of Ukraine remains high.
Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:
  • 7 Russian ships are patrolling the areas near the coast of Novorossiysk and Crimea. Three of these ships are corvettes that are carriers of Kalibr missiles and are located in the firing position near Novorossiysk. They may carry a total of up to 24 Kalibr missiles.
  • On the night of April 27, a group of Russian Navy ships launched a strike on Mykolaiv with 4 Kalibr missiles. Civilian infrastructure in the city center was damaged.
  • A patrol ship is located near the Kerch Bridge in the Sea of Azov.
  • Russian aviation from the Crimean airfields of Belbek, Saky, Dzhankoy, and Hvardiyske continues to fly over the sea. On April 27, 8 fighter aircraft from Belbek and Saki Air Force Bases were involved in monitoring surface and air conditions in the northwestern part of the Black Sea. The A-50U and Il-22AWACS were responsible for managing the air situation and operational-tactical aviation over the waters of the Sea of Azov.
  • The Kerch Strait Bridge railway branch will reportedly be commissioned ahead of schedule on April 28, 2023, following the explosion on October 8, 2022. The repairs took nearly 7 months to complete. The Russian Federation has reportedly implemented extensive security measures, with approximately 80 checkpoints and access points established for entry onto the bridge.
The “Grain initiative”.
  • Russia has once again suspended the operation of the Black Sea Grain Corridor.
  • On April 25, during a meeting at the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, Russian representatives rejected the proposed movement of ships along the humanitarian corridor for grain export initiative towards Ukrainian seaports. This has resulted in four vessels, including the AKDENIZ-M chartered by the UN World Food Program to deliver wheat to Ethiopia, being unable to leave the ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Pivdenny. These vessels are currently awaiting approval. Furthermore, one ship is waiting for passage to the port of Odesa in the Sulina area. False rumors spread on the Internet on the morning of April 26, claiming that Ukraine had banned the movement of commercial vessels within the grain initiative towards the ports of Greater Odesa, which is completely untrue.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 27.04.23

Personnel – almost 188,920 people (+510);

Tanks 3,694 (+2);

Armored combat vehicles – 7,178 (+16);

Artillery systems – 2,887 (+10)

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 542 (+3); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 293 (+1);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 5,805 (+13); Aircraft – 308 (0);

Helicopters – 294 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 2,461 (+21); Intercepted cruise missiles – 911 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).

Ukraine, general news

According to the head of the National Bank of Ukraine, Andriy Pyshnyi, inflation in Ukraine is expected to slow down to 14.8% in 2023 and return to single-digit levels in the following years. Specifically, it is projected to be at 9.6% in 2024 and at 6% in 2025.

International diplomatic aspect

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has recognized Russia’s deportation of Ukrainian children as genocide. During her address to the Assembly, the First Lady of Ukraine described the “terrible technology” used by the occupiers to abduct Ukrainian children, often by killing their parents or forcibly separating them from their families. “They also take away entire orphanages and boarding schools.”

So far, only 361 children have been returned home from Russian captivity, while more than 19,390 children are still hostages in Russia. “This is the number of children who are still in Russian captivity. And this is only the data that has been confirmed. But even this number is not final because we do not know what is happening to our children in the occupied territories,” Olena Zelenska said. “Many of the children are being subjected to a process of Russification. It’s huge violence to replace one identity for another, forcing them to absorb the Russian culture, language, and values to become good patriots”.

The Humanitarian Research Lab of Yale identified at least 43 re-education camps in Russia, in occupied Crimea and Belarus, where at least 6,000 Ukrainian children were detained, in two of them with military training, probably to fight against their own people, Paulo Pisco, the Rapporteur for the issue, stated. He concluded that “In these practices, together with the monstrous process of Russification, we see elements of the crime of genocide, considered the crime of crimes, for the complete denial of children’s right to have an identity, a culture and a normal and safe family environment in their own country.” “The Assembly emphasizes that the forced displacement of children from one group to another with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group is considered a crime of genocide under point (e) of Article 2 of the 1948 Convention on Genocide, which coincides with documented evidence of the deportation and forced displacement of Ukrainian children to the Russian Federation or to the territories temporarily occupied by Russia,” the resolution reads.

After experiencing a brief illness with a stomach bug, the President of Turkey appeared on TV to talk with the Russian President via video link at the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant opening ceremony in the southern province of Mersin. The $20 billion project, financed entirely by Russia, was built by its state nuclear energy company “Rosatom.” It will add 4,800 megawatts to Turkey’s energy balance, which is around 10% of its total consumption, and make the country a member of the elite group of nations that possess civil nuclear energy. Besides economic importance and prestige (the Turks will celebrate a centennial of the Republic on October 29), the event is crucially important for Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s re-election on May 14. Kilicdaroglu, a united opposition candidate, leads in eight out of ten polls, while Erdogan beats him in the two remaining polls. However, the most optimistic polls show Kilicdaroglu falling short of securing the 50 percent threshold.

Russia, relevant news

According to Kommersant, citing MVS TV channel, South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor is reportedly considering selling its plants in Russia to a Kazakh company and exiting the Russian market. However, the decision is still pending approval from Russian authorities.

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