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CDS Daily brief (08.05.23) | CDS comments on key events

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Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • Russian forces attacked 10 Ukrainian Oblasts over the past day, killing and injuring civilians;
  • Ukrainian air defense shot down all 35 Shakhed UAVs fired at Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast;
  • A Red Cross warehouse was destroyed in Odesa Oblast, and a Red Cross hospital was damaged in Mykolaiv Oblast;
  • 20,558 unemployed people from 17 Ukrainian regions participate in community work provided by the Government Employment Service under the “Recovery Army” project;
  • The Russian occupation authorities evacuate local occupation administrations from Kherson Oblast;


  • General Gerasimov couldn’t integrate PMCs and Chechen units, which have operational autonomy but rely on Russian logistics, into a unified command system in the military operation zone.
  • The Russian military command lowered the priority of the offensive in Bakhmut in favor of accumulating resources for a defensive operation at the expense of reducing the supply to PMCs in this direction.

Possible operation situation developments:

  • The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to destroy enemy artillery and target its operational rear facilities throughout the operational zone, preparing favorable conditions for the start of a counter-offensive.
  • The Russian military has shifted to a defensive posture across the entire theater of military operations.
  • Destroying Russian EW systems is a priority task for the Ukrainian Defence Forces to support the combat effectiveness of HIMARS and other strike systems that use GPS.
  • The fragmentation of the Russian military command and control system in the theater of operations will continue.


  • Poland handed over ten MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine.
  • The E.U. is set to address the sanction circumvention in the 11th sanctions package. Russia still receives dual-use goods from Western countries and increased its grey exports via Central Asian countries. China isn’t happy about the possibility of its companies being sanctioned for selling goods that might be used in military equipment and weapons.
  • Ukraine’s President proposed the Parliament establish May 8 as the Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in the Second World War of 1939-1945. He has also signed a decree to celebrate Europe Day on May 9. While European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will visit Kyiv on May 9 to mark Europe Day, Vladimir Putin will celebrate Moscow’s version of Victory Day in the company of the presidents of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and the Armenian PM.
Humanitarian aspect:

According to official information from juvenile prosecutors, as a result of the full-scale Russian invasion, 480 Ukrainian children have died and more than 964 have sustained injuries of varying degrees of severity.

Under the “Recovery Army” project, the Government Employment Service has provided community work opportunities for 20,558 unemployed people from 17 Ukrainian regions. The highest number of work referrals was issued in Poltava, Kharkiv and Kyiv Oblasts.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, 1,433 medical facilities have been damaged, and 177 have been completely destroyed, according to First Deputy Minister of Health Serhiy Dubrov. He added that repair work is underway on slightly damaged facilities, but larger hospitals that have been completely destroyed will require a lot of time and resources to rebuild.


As of May 8, the power system is operating with a capacity reserve. However, due to shelling, there is a power outage in six regions, primarily in areas near the front line, according to the Ministry of Energy press service.

Last week, electricians restored the electricity supply in 119 towns and villages in Donetsk Oblast. However, due to constant bombardment, the residents of 104 towns and villages are currently without electricity.

Russian attacks

On the night of May 8, the Russian military again attacked Ukraine with Iranian “Shakhed” strike UAVs. All 35 drones were destroyed by Ukrainian air defense, Ukrainian General Staff said.

Over the past day, the Russian Federation troops attacked ten Oblasts of Ukraine. Some of the consequences include:

  • As a result of falling UAV debris, a private house and power lines were damaged in Kyiv Oblast. In Kyiv, falling debris damaged houses and objects of social infrastructure in several districts. Five people were injured.
  • The enemy shelling of Zaporizhzhia Oblast has intensified, with 99 impacts recorded in 21 towns and villages, resulting in three injuries.
  • Yesterday, the Russian military launched attacks on towns and villages in four districts of Kharkiv Oblast using various types of weapons, resulting in injuries to seven civilians.
  • Over the past day, in Donetsk Oblast, two civilians were injured by Russian troops. The region was shelled 24 times during the day, with 14 villages coming under Russian fire.
  • A missile attack in Odesa resulted in the complete destruction of a 1,000-square-meter warehouse rented by the Odesa regional organization of the Red Cross Society of Ukraine. The fire also destroyed all of the humanitarian aid stored in the warehouse, causing the organization to suspend its operations in the Oblast. The body of the warehouse guard was also recovered from the debris.
  • A mobile hospital of the Red Cross Society of Ukraine in Mykolaiv Oblast sustained significant damage. Some of the medical equipment, technical resources, and furniture inside the mobile hospital became unusable. Fortunately, there were no casualties or fatalities.
  • The troops of the Russian Federation shelled Kherson Oblast 42 times on May 7, firing a total of 282 shells and injuring two civilians. On Monday, May 8, the Russian forces attacked the Kherson and Beryslav districts of Kherson Oblast, wounding nine civilians, including a minor, reported the Office of the Prosecutor General.
Occupied territories

In Skadovsk, Kherson Oblast, the Russian invaders close down district and city administrations. On the night of May 6-7, they loaded documents, office equipment, and other state property into motor vehicles. By the morning of May 7, a significant part of the Russian occupation administration had left the city, along with their families. Similar situations are being observed in Mykhailivka, Petrivka, Shevchenko, Shyroke, Ulyanivka, and Krasne of Kherson Oblast.

Operational situation General conclusion:
  • The Russian military concentrates its main efforts on offensive actions in the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Maryinka directions;
  • The commander of Russian forces in the military operation zone, General Gerasimov, was unable to integrate paramilitary formations, such as PMCs and Chechen units, which retain operational autonomy but are dependent on the logistics of Russian forces, into a single command and control system.
  • The Russian military command has reduced the priority of the offensive in Bakhmut in order to accumulate resources for a defensive operation. This has led to a reduction in the supply of PMCs in that direction.
Change in the line of contact (LoC):
  • Units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces repulsed over 55 Russian attacks in different directions;
  • The Russian forces unsuccessfully tried to improve their tactical position near Synkivka in Kharkiv Oblast, Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast, and Spirne in Donetsk Oblast. They unsuccessfully attacked near Bohdanivka, Ivanovske, Chasiv Yar, Stupochky, Predtechyne, New York, Avdiivka, Pervomaiske, and Maryinka.
  • Units of the “Wagner” PMC advanced further west in Bakhmut and near Sacco and Vanzetti, they captured two quarters in the northern and western parts of Bakhmut. Artillery supporting the mercenaries increased the intensity of shelling after receiving ammunition from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
  • Near Khromove, units of the 92nd separate mechanized brigade pushed the Russian forces out of their positions, and only the numerical advantage of the airborne units of the Russian Armed Forces allowed them to hold on to the remaining positions. In the course of the battle, units of the “Wagner” PMC suffered heavy losses.
  • The Ukrainian Defense Forces maintain a presence on the islands in the Dnipro River Delta.

Change in enemy disposition: not identified.

Escalation indicators:
  • The Russian forces fire incendiary munitions at Bakhmut.
Possible operation situation developments:
  • The Ukrainian Defense Forces will continue to destroy the enemy’s artillery and demolish objects in their operational rear throughout the operational zone, preparing favorable conditions for a counteroffensive.
  • The Russian military has shifted to a defensive posture across the entire theater of military operations.
  • Destroying Russian EW systems is a priority task for the Ukrainian Defence Forces to support the combat effectiveness of HIMARS and other strike systems that use GPS.
  • The fragmentation of the Russian military command and control system in the theater of operations will continue, with operational group commanders assuming greater responsibility against the backdrop of weakened centralized control of the military, resulting in the inability to conduct coordinated operations under a single plan, including the repulsion of potential counterattacks by the Defense Forces.
Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:
  • As of May 8, there were 11 Russian ships at sea. They patrol the areas near the coast of Crimea. Four of them are carriers of Kalibr missiles, namely the “Admiral Makarov” frigate and three “Buyan-M” corvettes.
  • Russian aviation continues to fly from the Crimean airfields of Belbek, Saky, Dzhankoy and Hvardiyske over the sea. 7 fighter aircraft from Belbek and Saki Air Force Bases, namely two Su-27/30, three Su-30SM, and one MiG-29K, were involved in monitoring the surface and air conditions in the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Control of the air situation and management of operational-tactical aviation over the Azov Sea waters was carried out by A-50U and Il-22 airborne early warning aircraft.
  • The activity of enemy tactical aviation continues from the Azov and Black Seas and the temporarily occupied territories. It carries out air strikes on the territory of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Oblasts with guided bombs of the type FAB-500M-62. From the Black Sea waters (in the area of Cape Tarkhankut, Crimea), 6 Kh-22 cruise missiles were directed towards Odesa Oblast from Tu-22M3 missile carriers. Most of the missiles did not reach their targets due to malfunctions, but 2 hit civilian objects.
  • The European patrol mission “Frontex Black Sea” suspended its mission in the Black Sea to protect maritime borders after the dangerous interception of an L-410 Polish Border Service patrol plane by a Russian Su-35S fighter.
  • As a result of airstrikes on military facilities in Crimea on the night of Saturday to Sunday, two military ships and land infrastructure facilities were damaged in the waters of the Sevastopol Bay. 2 Russian servicemen were killed, 7 were wounded. As a result of the attack on the objects of the military infrastructure in the vicinity of the military airfield “Novofedorivka”, 8 servicemen were killed, and 20 were injured.
  • Along the western coast of the Black Sea, occupied by the Russian Federation, and in the northern regions of Crimea, engineering fortifications and earth defense structures are being built. The intensity of the movement of military equipment by road and rail transport from Crimea to the Kherson Oblast remains stable; freight trains unload military equipment and ammunition at the stations “Kalanchak”, “Brylivka” and “Novooleksiyivka”.
  • In the Kherson direction, the Russian military operates with the forces of the “DNEPR” grouping, which includes units of the 49th Army, 22nd Army Corps, and the 7th Airborne Assault Division. The Russian forces continue shelling Ukrainian positions and villages along the right bank of the Dnipro River with mortars, UAVs, aviation, tanks, rocket and barrel artillery. Over the past day, Kherson, Zolota Balka, Vesele, Kozatske, Antonivka, Yantarne, Zelenivka and Kizomys were under Russian fire. The use of guided aerial bombs by Russian forces continues to pose the greatest threat to the civilian population. Over the past day, the village of Kizomys alone was attacked 5 times by Russian aircraft. As a result of the strikes, 3 houses were completely destroyed, 7 private households and a gas pipeline were damaged in the village.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 08.05.23

Personnel – almost 194,970 people (+540);

Tanks – 3,730 (+7);

Armored combat vehicles – 7,253 (+5);

Artillery systems – 3,018 (+8)

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 554 (0); Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 306 (+0); Vehicles and fuel tanks – 5,958 (+6); Aircraft – 308 (0);

Helicopters – 294 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 2,614 (+42); Intercepted cruise missiles – 947 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).

Ukraine, general news

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has signed a decree establishing May 9 as Europe Day in Ukraine. He has also submitted a draft law to the Verkhovna Rada proposing May 8 as a Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in the Second World War. The decision constitutes a significant break from the Russian colonial view of WWII history. Russia celebrates the Victory Day on May 9th, and it’s one of the centerpieces of modern-day Russian propaganda.

“We will not allow the joint victory of the nations of the anti-Hitler coalition to be appropriated, and we will not allow lies as if the victory could have taken place without the participation of any country or nation… We will honor our historical unity – the unity of all Europeans who destroyed Nazism and will defeat Ruscism,” Zelensky said. He underlined that, like then, Ukraine is not

“alone against evil. We fight against it together in the same way – with the entire Free world.” While European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will visit Kyiv on May 9 to mark Europe Day, Vladimir Putin will celebrate Moscow’s version of Victory Day in the company of the presidents of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and the Armenian PM.

International diplomatic aspect

Poland handed over ten MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine, the country’s Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said.

The E.U. has issued 237 export authorizations worth $550 million for sanctioned dual-use goods to Russia. The Baltic nations and Poland have been raising concerns within the E.U. that the Central Asian countries help Russia to circumvent sanctions and secure access to dual-use goods as their imports of those goods increased (Kazakhstan by 62%, Kyrgyzstan by 83%, and Uzbekistan by 30%). The volume of “parallel” (grey) imports to Russia exceeded $20 billion (2.4 million tons of goods) last year, according to the Kommersant. The Russian demand for warehouses in post- Soviet countries increased by 40-50% at the beginning of spring. As a result of sanctions’ circumvention and export authorizations that exploited legal loopholes, around 770 parts imported from the E.U. to other countries have been found in Russian military equipment and weapons used in its war against Ukraine.

“There are now 130 suspected cases. In 29 cases, they lead to administrative and criminal violations, 14 of which have legal consequences,” a Swedish official said about the investigation of potential Russian sanctions violations. Meanwhile, the CIS countries have boosted their imports from Germany in a scheme to help Russia to circumvent sanctions. According to Bild analysis based on the data by the Eastern Committee of the German Economy reported that the country’s 2022 export to Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Georgia doubled, while German exports to Tajikistan increased by 150%, to Belarus by 77%, and to Kyrgyzstan by 994%. Kazakhstan’s import of cars and parts skyrocketed by 507%, and that of Armenia – by 761%. German chemical products exports to Kazakhstan increased by 129% and to Armenia – by 110%. Uzbekistan’s import of German electrical equipment increased by 105%, and that of Armenia – by 344%.

The E.U. is set to address the issue. “This [11th] package will be focusing on the implementation of sanctions, their effectiveness, and how we avoid the evasion of sanctions,” European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said. The E.U. ambassadors will meet on May 10 to begin discussions on the latest proposals. The draft proposal includes a scheme of warning countries suspected of sanctions’ circumvention with following sanctions over firms and individuals in these countries; a ban on access to the European ports for vessels engaged in circumvention of the price cap and other Russia-related sanctions and restrictions; and authorization for Brussels to enact restrictive measures against serious acts of corruption.

“We noted the relevant reports. China is firmly opposed to illegal sanctions or long-arm jurisdiction over China because of Sino-Russian cooperation,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson reacted to the F.T. article about possible E.U. sanctions against seven Chinese companies accused of selling equipment to Russia that could be used in weapons.

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