CDS Daily brief (02.05.23) | CDS comments on key events
- Опубліковано: CDS
- Категорія: DailyBrief
Snapshot of the day:
- A Unified Register of Missing Persons has been launched to collect and centralize data on missing individuals.
- On May 1, the Russian forces launched attacks on nine regions of Ukraine. There are injured and killed civilians.
- All children have been evacuated from the city of Orikhiv in Zaporizhzhia Oblast due to ongoing Russian shelling. Up to 80% of residential buildings and infrastructure in Orikhiv have been destroyed.
- The Ukrainian authorities have stated they will not prosecute residents of annexed territories who obtained Russian passports “under duress”.
- About 70,000 hectares of agricultural land have been surveyed as part of the humanitarian demining effort in Ukraine.
- The Ukrainian Parliament has officially labeled Russia’s political regime as “ruscism” and condemned its ideological foundations and social practices as totalitarian and misanthropic.
- On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, Ukraine’s Parliament voted to establish the National Military Memorial Cemetery in Kyiv. The cemetery will serve as a place to honor the defenders of Ukraine and remember the grave danger that Russia poses to Ukraine and other European nations.
- The Ukrainian Defense Forces have regained the initiative in some areas of Bakhmut, and the Russian forces have not been able to cut Ukrainian logistical lines.
- Russian forces have reduced the pace of artillery shelling on the western coast of Kherson Oblast.
- The Russian military attempts to create a unified command structure for Russian paramilitary units operating in Ukraine. Still, the emergence of new PMCs has created problems with material and technical support, coordination, and intelligence.
- The Russian military command is attempting to capture and consolidate advantageous defensive positions in anticipation of a potential Ukrainian counterattack.
- Denmark will provide Ukraine with an additional $250 million in security assistance.
- Ukraine’s MFA reacted to the German DPA article expressing skepticism of Berlin about Kyiv’s chances to acquire NATO membership. “Ukraine is not a problem, but an advantage for NATO,” Ukraine’s MFA spokesperson stated.
- Ukraine’s documentary “Chernobyl 22” won the main prize at Oberhausen’s International Short Film Festival.
In Ukraine, a Unified Register of Missing Persons has been launched to collect and centralize data on missing individuals. The register will gather information such as full name, place and date of birth, marital status, place of residence, the territory where the person went missing, circumstances surrounding their disappearance, and physical characteristics of the missing person.
According to “RBK-Ukraine,” since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, ten thousand people were reported missing, with the vast majority having been found. However, official data indicates that 23,000 people are still considered missing as a result of hostilities under special circumstances.
The Russian forces launched attacks on nine regions of Ukraine on May, 1, using aviation, drones, heavy artillery, and missile systems, according to the consolidated information from regional military administrations as of 9:00 am on Tuesday, May 2.
- In Chernihiv Oblast, the enemy carried out six attacks over the course of a day, including two at night. They used mortars, multiple rocket launchers, and dropped rockets from a helicopter and bombs from an aircraft, striking the Novhorod-Siverskyi and Koryukivskyi districts. In Lyzunivka, a bomb explosion killed a 14-year-old boy, and a man and a woman were injured. The former school building and six private houses were destroyed, while another 15 were damaged. As a result of the shelling, a gas pipeline was also damaged in the Semenivka community.
- In Sumy Oblast, the Russian military conducted six shelling attacks on the border during the night and morning hours. Approximately 20 explosions were reported.
- In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the Russian military attacked 15 residential areas 56 times within the past day. Air raids hit Hulyaipole and Orikhiv. The enemy carried out 51 artillery attacks and three UAV attacks on villages on the front line. As a result of the shelling, four people were injured in Hulyaipole.
- In the Dnipropetrovsk oblast, the Russian forces carried out artillery shelling of Nikopol overnight. According to the updated information in Pavlohrad, due to rocket attacks on the morning of May 1, 24 high-rise buildings, 80 private houses, 7 cars, 5 schools, 5 kindergartens, 5 shops, a clinic, a bank, and a dormitory were damaged. There are power outages. In the Verbkivska community, more than 50 private houses, a school, and a kindergarten were damaged. In the Mezherichska community, two educational institutions, a cultural center, and a kindergarten were damaged. In the Yuriivska community, a medical institution was damaged.
- In Kharkiv Oblast, the Russian army shelled at least 11 towns and villages. Yesterday, three private residential buildings, utility structures, and a bus were damaged in Kucherivka village. A 65-year-old man was injured. As a result of the shelling of Vovchansk, a 57-year-old man was injured. In Vilkhuvatka village, a house and a utility structure were damaged.
- In Donetsk Oblast, the Russian armed forces conducted 12 artillery and S-300 missile system attacks, targeting Kramatorsk, Toretsk, Novoselivka Persha, Avdiivka, Siversk, and Bakhmut. The attacks resulted in damage to 17 residential buildings, including four apartment buildings, a utility building, and a school. Over the day, two people were injured in the region.
- In Mykolaiv Oblast, the Russian military shelled the waters of the Ochakiv community with mortars during the night. There were no casualties. On May 1, Kutsurub was hit by MLRS fire, resulting in two injuries and damage to private homes. The town currently has no electricity, gas, water, and internet.
- The Russian military carried out 71 shelling attacks, firing a total of 363 shells at Kherson Oblast, in the past 24 hours. Eleven of these attacks targeted Kherson city, resulting in 41 shells hitting the area and causing a 30-year-old man to sustain injury. The aggressors also targeted 27 other settlements and a factory in Kherson. In the Beryslav district, Tyahynka village was hit by enemy artillery, causing damage to approximately ten residential buildings. There were no reports of casualties. Kizomys in the Bilozerka community was attacked again. Andriy Yermak, the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, stated that the Russians dropped two guided bombs. “Seven people were affected: three were killed, five were injured. Terrorists,” Yermak wrote. Russian troops shelled Urozhaine village. A 17-year-old teenager was injured, according to the Oblast military administration.
According to Svitlana Mandrych, the deputy mayor of Orikhiv, all children have been evacuated from Orikhiv in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. There are currently no children left in the town. However, six children from two families are still in Novopavlivka, and authorities are assessing the need for their evacuation. The ongoing Russian shelling has destroyed up to 80% of residential buildings and infrastructure in Orikhiv, and approximately 1,700 residents remain in the community.
The Ukrainian authorities have stated they will not prosecute residents of annexed territories who obtained Russian passports. According to Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to the President of Ukraine’s office, individuals who received Russian passports “under duress” will not face any claims from the authorities. He added that those who need a Russian passport to avoid repression and torture should not refuse the document. Podolyak emphasized that there is a significant difference between those who passively received Russian passports and those who became active helpers of the Russian authorities. The latter group, including those who held positions in the occupation administrations and organized referendums, will face criminal responsibility.
Mariupol city council reports that high school students are being coerced into writing letters of gratitude to Russian occupiers. The students have been given template letters of gratitude, and each student is required to thank the Russian occupier for their “special military operation” and repeat the Russian propaganda about the Nazis and the unity of the people.
According to Denis Bashlyk, the Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, about 70,000 hectares of agricultural land have been surveyed as part of the humanitarian demining effort in Ukraine. However, the process is slow due to limited resources, with the number of sappers and machines available being the main factors affecting the demining speed. Ukraine currently needs tens of times more specialists for humanitarian demining than are currently working. The largest area of contaminated land is in the south and east of Ukraine, with over 470,800 hectares planned to be surveyed and demined across several regions.
Operational situation General conclusion:
- The enemy is concentrating its primary efforts on conducting offensive operations on the Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Maryinka fronts;
- Ukrainian Defense Forces have regained the initiative on the battlefield in some areas of Bakhmut, and Russian forces have not been able to cut Ukrainian logistical lines in Bakhmut.
- Russian forces have reduced the pace of artillery shelling on the western coast of Kherson Oblast over the past three days;
- The strategic bombers Tu-95 and Tu-160 involved in the missile and air strike carried fewer missiles than their maximum capacity, indicating a shortage of resources.
- The Russian military command is attempting to create a unified command structure for Russian paramilitary units (PMCs) operating in Ukraine under the control of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. New PMCs such as “Potok”, “Veterany”, “Yenisey”, “Scythian”, “Tiger”, “Ibris”, “Lynx” and “Wolves” have appeared in Ukraine, which has exacerbated problems with their material and technical support, C2, intelligence, and coordination.
Change in the line of contact (LoC):
- Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled over 41 enemy attacks in various directions. Bakhmut and Maryinka remain the epicenters of hostilities.
- Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive actions towards Novoselivka and Bilohorivka, where the most intense battles occur, including with Chechen formations.
- The enemy is slowly advancing in Bakhmut, achieving insignificant successes on the T0513 Bakhmut-Siversk highway south of Sacco and Vanzetti and within western Bakhmut. Heavy fighting continues near Khromove.
- Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled Russian attacks near Avdiivka, Pervomaiske, Maryinka, and Novomykhailivka. The enemy attacked Severne, southwest of Avdiivka, near Krasnohorivka, and have made some progress in western Maryinka, advancing slightly towards the eastern outskirts of Vuhledar. The Defense Forces counterattacked near Vodyane.
Change in enemy disposition:
- Units of the 126th Separate Coastal Defense Brigade of the 22nd Army Corps of the Russian Black Sea Fleet are operating in the area of Velykiy Potemkin Island. Additionally, approximately 400 Wagner PMC mercenaries are being trained in the Berdyansk district of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and another 200 are being trained near Luhansk.
- Russian troops have built three to four lines of defense within Svatove.
- Russian sniper units from anti-terrorism subdivisions of Russian special services operate in Bakhmut.
Possible operation situation developments:
- In the short-term perspective, the Ukrainian Defense Forces will adhere to their chosen strategy of inflicting maximum damage on the enemy in close combat on the main concentration areas.
- In anticipation of a Ukrainian counterattack, the enemy’s military command is trying to capture and consolidate advantageous defensive positions.
- The enemy’s command will have significant difficulties with command and control of the diverse forces and means gathered in the operational grouping “Dnieper” and “East”.
- The offensive of the Defense Forces on the Orikhiv-Tokmak-Melitopol axis with the simultaneous crossing of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast, combined with marine and airborne landings, will put the enemy command in a difficult operational situation in terms of holding its left flank.
Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:
- As of May 2, there were 8 enemy ships in the sea. They are patrolling areas near the coast of Novorossiysk and Crimea. Among them are two Project 636.3 submarines, which carry “Kalibr” missiles, up to 8 missiles combined.
- The location of large landing ships:
- LLS “Kaliningrad” – Sevastopol;
- LLSs “Caesar Kunikov”, “Yamal” of the Black Sea Fleet, “Korolev”, “Minsk”, “Piotr Morgunov”, “Olenegorsky Gorniak”, “Georgy Pobedonosets” of the Pacific Fleet – Novorossiysk;
- LLS “Orsk” – Feodosia Bay.
- LLSs “Azov”, “Nikolay Filchenkov”, and “Novocherkassk” are currently undergoing repairs in Sevastopol.
- The reconnaissance ship “Ivan Khurs” is located 170 km northwest of Sinop (Turkey).
- In the Azov Sea, near the Kerch Strait Bridge, there is an anti-sabotage corvette.
- The enemy’s aviation continues flights over the sea from the Crimean airfields Belbek, Saky, Dzhankoy, and Hvardiyske. Eight fighter jets from the airfields of Saky and Belbek, including four Su-27/30, two Su-30SM, and two MiG-29K, were involved in controlling the surface and air situation in the northwestern part of the Black Sea waters. The A-50U and Il-22 AWACS aircraft were responsible for controlling the air situation and managing operational-tactical aviation over the waters of the Sea of Azov.
- According to the monitoring group BlackSeaNews, there have been over 30 explosions in various areas of the Crimean peninsula since January 1, 2023, with 24 of them being confirmed drone attacks. Out of the total number of attacks, 12 were recorded in the Sevastopol area.
“The Grain Initiative”
- Negotiations on an UN-mediated agreement to allow for the safe export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea are scheduled for Wednesday, May 3, 2023, and all parties to the talks will participate.
- The agreement brokered by the United Nations and Turkey last July allows for the safe export of grain trapped by the Russian invasion from Ukrainian Black Sea ports. Russia has indicated that it will not allow the agreement reached last July to continue after May 18, 2023, because several requirements to facilitate the export of its own grain and fertilizers were unmet.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 02.05.23
Personnel – almost 191,420 people (+460);
Tanks – 3,701 (+1);
Armored combat vehicles – 7,193 (+1);
Artillery systems – 2,930 (+9)
Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 544 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 298 (+3); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 5,851 (+6); Aircraft – 308 (0);
Helicopters – 294 (0);
UAV operational and tactical level – 2,477 (+1); Intercepted cruise missiles – 947 (+15);
Boats/ships – 18 (0).
Ukraine, general news
Ukraine’s Parliament has defined Russia’s political regime as “ruscism” and condemned its ideological foundations and social practices as totalitarian and misanthropic. The Parliament understands “ruscism” as a “new type of totalitarian ideology and practice that underlies the regime formed in the Russian Federation under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin and is based on the traditions of Russian chauvinism and imperialism, the practices of the communist regime of the USSR and National Socialism.”
The key features of that political regime are:
- systemic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms; the cult of power and militarism;
- the cult of the leader’s personality and the sacralization of state institutions;
- self-aggrandizement of Russia and Russians at the expense of violent oppression and/or denial of the existence of other peoples;
- use and spreading of the Russian language and culture, the Russian Orthodox Church, the media, political and public institutions, promoting the ideas of the “Russian world” among other peoples for the purpose of implementing an expansionist state policy;
- systematic violation of norms and principles of international law, sovereign rights of other states, their territorial integrity and internationally recognized borders, non-compliance with the principle of non-application and threat of use of force;
- creation, financing and armed support of illegal armed formations and separatist movements on the territories of other sovereign states;
- creation and support of terrorist organizations;
- use of prohibited methods of waging war and systematic commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity;
- systematic organization and implementation of mass murders, executions, torture, deportations, creation of artificial conditions for the occurrence of hunger and other types of mass physical terror, genocide, and persecution for ethnic, national, religious, political and other motives;
- regular application of the practice of economic and energy blackmail to other countries;
- regular threat of using nuclear weapons against other countries and creating man-made disasters.
The Putin regime has all features of Ur-Fascism as defined by Umberto Eco, yet it has its own homegrown features reflected in Ukrainian Parliament’s definition.
Ukraine’s Parliament voted to establish the National Military Memorial Cemetery in Kyiv. Ukrainian heroes will rest in peace at a memorial Bykivnya on the left bank of the Dnipro River. The Bykivnya Memorial Reserve is Ukraine’s largest burial place for victims of the mass political repressions of the Bolshevik regime in 1937-1941, including ordinary people and the political and intellectual elite. In addition, over three thousand Polish POWs (officers and soldiers) were murdered there by the Soviet NKVD in 1940. This atrocity was part of the larger war crime committed by the Bolsheviks in Katyn, where a total of 21,857 Polish POWs were massacred following the joint invasion of Poland by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Along with starting a new tradition of honoring the defenders of Ukraine, the memorial would serve as a reminder of the grave danger murderous Russia has been posing to Ukraine and other European nations.
International diplomatic aspect
The Danish Defence Minister, Troels Lund Poulsen, explained that allocating an additional $250 million in security assistance for Ukraine is to support the capabilities the Ukrainian side lacks for a successful defense against Russian aggression. “This means that we are helping Ukrainian air defense. There is a demand for it”. “This will help support the capabilities that the Ukrainian side lacks for a successful offensive now that the Ukrainians are planning to retake the territories occupied by the Russians,” Troels Lund Poulsen said.
Ukraine’s MFA reacted to the German DPA article expressing Berlin’s skepticism about Kyiv’s chances to acquire NATO membership. On the eve of the Vilnius summit, German journalists cited unnamed sources claiming that “steps towards NATO membership can distract from “much more important support for Ukraine.” Moreover, according to the DPA, new commitments to NATO may push Russia to more aggressive war.”
Contrary to common beliefs, Ukraine didn’t fall in 72 hours, furiously fights back, and is making the “biggest contribution to Euro-Atlantic security,” MFA’s spokesperson wrote on Facebook. Ukraine rejects the motion that something could provoke Russia, for uncertainty is the only thing that provokes it. “Ukraine’s non-alignment did not help deter Russia from aggression. Diplomatic efforts of Ukraine, France, and Germany within the framework of the Minsk process also did not help to prevent a full-scale Russian invasion. Because Moscow’s goal is the complete destruction of Ukraine, instead, progress towards Ukraine’s accession to NATO will force Russia to moderate its aggression.” “The current international support for Ukraine in countering the Russian invaders does not contradict, but on the contrary, complements the process of acquiring NATO membership. The future of Euro-Atlantic security is being decided on the battlefield in Ukraine, and our country’s accession to NATO will guarantee the strategic security of the entire Alliance.” “Ukraine is not a problem, but an advantage for NATO,” Oleg Nikolenko concluded.
Ukraine’s documentary “Chernobyl 22” won the main prize at the International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen. “While working on the film “Chernobyl 22″, we conducted more than twenty in-depth interviews with witnesses of Russian war crimes in the Zone [the special restricted zone around the Chornobyl NPP]. These people are very different: from nuclear plant workers to self-settlers and environmentalists. Their testimonies are united by one observation: the Russians found themselves in the Chornobyl zone without having any idea where they actually ended up.” The invading Russian forces occupied the defunct NPP in the first days of the all-out invasion. It was reported that the Russian troops were digging trenches in the Red Forest [radioactive areas restricted for attending] and operating at the station itself. Though the Chornobyl nuclear disaster of 1986 is a well-known world event, Russian troops did not know of it at all. It shows both, disregard for human lives on the part of Russia’s political and military leadership and the low level of historical education. HBO Chernobyl miniseries of 2019 (ranked 9.4 by IMDb) have brilliantly shown the real causes of the disaster and crimes of the communist political leadership that led to the catastrophe and caused unnecessary sacrifices. The Kremlin ideologists viewed the film as an ideological threat and filmed its own version in 2021.
Centre for Defence Strategies (CDS) is a Ukrainian security think tank. We operate since 2020 and are involved in security studies, defence policy research and advocacy. Currently all our activity is focused on stopping the ongoing war.
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