CDS Daily brief (27.05.23) | CDS comments on key events
- Опубліковано: CDS
- Категорія: DailyBrief
Snapshot of the day:
- The Russian military shelled nine oblasts of Ukraine within the past day, resulting in casualties and injuries.
- Due to Russian aggression, approximately 174,000 square kilometers of land in Ukraine are considered potentially contaminated with explosive objects.
- Food and essential goods shortages are reported in the temporarily occupied territories of Kherson Oblast.
- The Defense Forces are creating conditions for the encirclement of Klishchiivka.
- The ongoing success of the Defense Forces’ counterattacks on the flanks of Bakhmut has the potential to create complications for the Russian operation aimed at providing assistance to their forces.
- The destruction of the Karlivka reservoir dam poses a risk of flooding in the areas near Halytsynivka, Zhelane, Kurakhove and Krasnohorivka. However, it would not significantly impact the logistics of the Defense Forces in the Avdiivka area.
“The Grain Initiative”
- The UN has stated that the grain agreement has not fully resumed, despite Russia’s claims of its continuation. The agreement covers three Ukrainian ports, but since April 29, no vessel has been allowed to enter the “Pivdenny” port.
- Ukrainian military personnel have begun their training on the U.S. M1A1 Abrams tanks in Germany. German Iris-T SLM/SLS air defense systems are about to be sent to Ukraine. The Netherlands will likely send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.
- More than a hundred diplomats and other employees of the German diplomatic mission to Moscow will return home as Russia decided to cap their number.
- Russia demands Ukraine to renounce its aspirations to join E.U. and NATO, grant official status to the Russian language, and celebrate Christmas with Moscow, in addition to being “demilitarized” and “denazified” as a precondition for “just and lasting peace.”
- Ukraine’s Foreign Minister denied the information in the media that Chinese Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui offered Europeans to break from the U.S., pushing Ukraine for a ceasefire and territorial concessions.
- West condemns Russian nuclear proliferation, Moscow accuses West of a “large-scale hybrid war unleashed by Washington against us,” while Beijing keeps silent.
According to the consolidated report of the Oblast military administrations, the Russian military shelled nine oblasts of Ukraine within the past day, resulting in casualties and injuries.
- The enemy shelled the Novhorod-Siverskyi district of Chernihiv Oblast. One building in a village was burned down, and another one was damaged.
- Russian forces conducted nine shelling attacks of Sumy Oblast, during the night and morning. 6 households and a power transmission line were damaged.
- In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the aggressors shelled 16 towns and villages. In Hulyaipole, two women were injured, and in Novodanylivka, a 73-year-old woman was killed. Fifteen new cases of civilian infrastructure destruction were recorded. Today, Russian forces shelled Stepnohirsk with “Grad” rockets. Two people were injured, one of the victims is in critical condition.
- In the evening and morning, the enemy artillery targeted the Marhanets community in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Today, Dnipro observes a day of mourning for those who lost their lives in yesterday’s Russian missile strike. Two people were killed, and the fate of three individuals remains unknown. Thirty-two people were injured, with 13 of them hospitalized, five in critical condition.
- In Kharkiv Oblast, the enemy conducted artillery and mortar shelling of at least 23 towns and villages. There was damage to a number of residential households. Today a 61-year-old woman was killed, and a 60-year-old man was injured due to enemy shelling of Shypuvate village.
- Within the past day, the Russian army carried out 93 shelling attacks in Luhansk Oblast.
- In Donetsk Oblast, two people were killed, and five were injured in the past day due to enemy shelling. Thirteen residential buildings (including six apartment complexes), a cultural center, a vocational school, a railway track, a hospital, a kindergarten, a cinema hall, a sports hall, public utilities, and power transmission lines were damaged.
- During the night, air defense forces in Mykolaiv Oblast destroyed two enemy attack UAVs, Shahed-131/136. Yesterday afternoon, the enemy carried out artillery strikes on Ochakiv.
- During the day, the aggressors conducted 45 shelling attacks of Kherson Oblast, including two mortar strikes (with 5 shells) targeting Kherson. Russian military forces targeted areas of 21 towns and villages. In Kherson, a 50-year-old man was killed while being outdoors during the shelling. The enemy struck storage facilities in Zmiivka village, causing damage to buildings and agricultural machinery, Zolota Balka village and targeted the territory of an elevator.
According to the Ministry of Defense, approximately 174,000 square kilometers of land in Ukraine are considered potentially contaminated with explosive objects due to Russian aggression. The potentially-contaminated areas include regions where active combat operations have taken place or are currently ongoing, temporary occupied territories, and areas that have experienced aerial and missile strikes. Surveying measures have been conducted in de-occupied territories, covering an area of 45,000 square kilometers. Among these, 17,000 square kilometers are agricultural lands.
According to the Center for National Resistance, a crisis-level socio-economic situation is observed in most towns and villages in the temporarily occupied territories of Kherson Oblast. The most severe conditions are reported in the Novotroitske district, where all populated areas face food and essential goods shortages.
The National Resistance Center has reported that in the temporarily occupied Crimea, the Russians exhibit artifacts stolen from the historical and archaeological reserve known as “Kam’yana Mohyla” or Stone Grave. The State Historical and Archaeological Museum-Reserve “Kam’yana Mohyla” is a significant cultural site in Ukraine, located near the temporarily occupied Melitopol (in the village of Terpinnia) in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. It is recognized as one of the “Seven Wonders” of Ukraine. The National Resistance Center warns that similar actions are taking place with the Berdyansk Art Museum, where the Russian occupiers have already begun exporting the most valuable paintings.
- The enemy is concentrating its main efforts on conducting defensive operations on all fronts. They continue attempts to complete the capture of Avdiivka and Maryinka, and locally improve their tactical position on the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Maryinka directions.
- Units of the Defense Forces are creating conditions for the encirclement of Klishchiivka.
- The further success of the Defense Forces’ counterattacks on the Bakhmut flanks has the potential to complicate the Russian operation aimed at providing assistance to their forces in that direction.
- The destruction of the Karlivka reservoir dam poses a risk of flooding in the areas near Halytsynivka and Zhelane. There is a possibility of further flooding impacting Kurakhove and Krasnohorivka. However, it is not expected to significantly impact the logistics of the Defense Forces in the Avdiivka area.
Change in the line of contact (LoC):
- There were 25 combat clashes on various fronts.
- On the Kupyansk direction, the enemy continues its attempts to improve its tactical position and conducted unsuccessful offensive actions near Masyutivka in Kharkiv Oblast.
- On the Lyman direction, during the day, the enemy conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the area of Bilohorivka, made slight progress to the north of Novoselivka, and attacked along the eastern bank of the Zherebets River in the areas of Kreminna and Serebryansk Forest.
- Russian forces observed a 24-hour tactical pause in the Kreminna area.
- On the Bakhmut direction, the enemy conducted unsuccessful offensive actions towards Predtechyne. They partially regained previously lost positions west of Klishchiivka.
- The Defense Forces successfully conducted counterattacks near Orikhovo-Vasylivka and forced the PMC “Veteran” mercenaries to retreat one kilometer from their positions. The Defence Forces captured heights along the E40 highway, which connects Bakhmut and Slovyansk, near Orikhovo-Vasylivka. They also advanced towards Klishchiivka and crossed the Siversky Donets Canal, posing a threat to encircle the village and forcing Russian forces to retreat to the east.
- On the Avdiivka direction, the enemy conducted offensive actions towards Pervomaiske but had no success. They unsuccessfully attacked near Krasnohorivka. The Russian occupiers attempted to storm the southwestern approaches to Avdiivka and near Novokalynove. Russian forces destroyed the dam of the Karlivka reservoir with a missile strike, causing flooding downstream.
- On the Maryinka direction, the Defense Forces repelled numerous enemy attacks in the Maryinka area.
- On the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson directions, the enemy is defending.
Change in enemy disposition:
- The 123rd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps is being redeployed from Soledar to replace the units of the Wagner PMC in Bakhmut.
- Russian forces have used chemical weapons in the area of Avdiivka. The specific type of chemical weapon is yet to be determined.
Possible operation situation developments:
- The enemy will seek to improve its tactical position ahead of the Ukrainian counteroffensive by carrying out localized offensive actions on specific fronts.
- The Defense Forces will continue to shape the operational space, preparing favorable conditions for the conduct of the counteroffensive operation.
Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:
- As of midday on May 27th, there were 4 enemy ships at sea. They were patrolling areas near the coast of Crimea and Krasnodar Krai. One of the ships is equipped with up to 8 “Kalibr” missiles.
- In the Azov Sea, there is one enemy ship on patrol.
The current locations of the large landing ships are as follows:
- LLSs “Kaliningrad” and “Tsezar Kunikov” are located in SEVASTOPOL.
- LLSs “Yamal,” “Olenegorsky Gorniak,” “Georgiy Pobedonosets,” “Pyotr Morgunov,” “Korolev,” and “Minsk” are stationed in NOVOROSSIYSK.
- LLS “Orsk” is positioned 50 km south of the Kerch Strait. Additionally, the ships “Azov,” “Nikolay Filchenkov,” and “Novocherkassk” are currently undergoing repairs at the Sevastopol Ship Repair Plant.
- The enemy aviation continues flights over the sea from the Crimean airfields of Belbek, Saki, Dzhankoy, and Hvardiyske. Seven fighter aircraft from Saki and Belbek airfields were involved in controlling the surface and air situation in the northwestern part of the Black Sea: two Su-27/30 (Belbek), Su-30SM, two Su-24M, and two MiG-29K (Saki).
- The A-50U and Il-22 AEW&C aircraft were responsible for overseeing the air situation and managing operational-tactical aviation activities over the waters of the Sea of Azov.
- Enemy’s military transport aviation has performed one flight to deploy personnel and military cargo to the “Dzhankoy” airfield.
“The Grain Initiative”
- The United Nations has stated that the agreement on the safe export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports has not fully resumed, despite Russia’s claims of its continuation. It is noted that the agreement covers three Ukrainian ports, but since April 29, no vessel has been allowed to enter the “Pivdenny” port. The UN has expressed its close collaboration with Turkey and other stakeholders to restore full operations and remove all impediments that hinder activities and constrain the initiative’s scope.
- Ukraine has accused Russia of effectively excluding the “Pivdenny” port from the Black Sea agreement. On the other hand, Russia complains that it cannot export ammonia via pipeline to the “Pivdenny” port according to agreements with Turkey and the UN.
- On Friday, the UN confirmed that the export of fertilizers, including ammonia, was “not yet” taking place. A total of 54 vessels are expected to transit to Ukrainian ports today. The Joint Coordination Center (JCC), comprising representatives from Ukraine, Turkey, the UN, and Russia, has received 11 registration applications.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 27.05.23 (corrected)
Personnel – almost 206,200 people (+480);
Tanks – 3,794;
Armored combat vehicles – 7,449;
Artillery systems – 3,414;
Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 574;
Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 329;
Vehicles and fuel tanks – 6,183;
Aircraft – 313;
Helicopters – 298;
UAV operational and tactical level – 2,990;
Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,036;
Boats/ships – 18.
International diplomatic aspect
About 400 Ukrainian military personnel have begun training on the U.S. M1A1 Abrams tanks in Germany. Ukraine’s Ambassador to the country tweeted a photo of air defense systems and wrote that “these Iris-T SLM/SLS units/launchers/missiles soon will be in Ukraine.” Right after Bloomberg reported that the Netherlands will likely send an undisclosed number of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, Ukraine’s MOD twitted that “Four squadrons of F-16s (48 jets) are exactly what we need to liberate our country from the aggressor.” This decision is most likely not only motivated by Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine but also by the fact that 193 Dutch nationals (out of 298 passengers) were killed by the Russian military on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
More than a hundred diplomats and other employees of the German diplomatic mission to Moscow will return home as Russia decided to cap their number from the start of June. “In view of this unilateral, unjustified and incomprehensible decision, the Federal Government is now concerned with ensuring a minimum presence of intermediaries in Russia while also maintaining a diplomatic presence,” the German foreign said. Russia’s move will deny its subjects some of the Embassy’s services and cultural and educational opportunities because the measures target teachers at the German school in Moscow and staff at the Goethe Institute.
“We are convinced that a settlement is possible only if the hostilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the supply of Western weapons cease. To achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace, Ukraine must return to neutral non-aligned status, recorded in the 1990 declaration of its state sovereignty, and refuse to join NATO and the E.U. the new territorial realities that have developed as a result of the realization of the right of peoples to self-determination must be recognized,” Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister told the Russian propaganda outlet. Mikhail Galuzin also mentioned “demilitarization” and “denazification,” propaganda narratives aimed at justifying the war. The Russian diplomat further insisted that Ukraine grant official status to the Russian language. Moreover, Galuzin interfered in Ukraine’s religious affairs, criticizing the decision of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine to adopt the New Julian calendar, labeling it as the “height of madness, cynicism, and an orgy.” “Now Ukrainian schismatics will celebrate Christmas not on January 7, but on December 25, together with Catholics and Protestants.” Still considering Moscow as the Third Rome, the Russian official appears to be unaware that the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, Ukraine’s Mother Church, along with several other Orthodox Churches, celebrates Christmas on December 25.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister denied the information in the media that Chinese Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui offered Europeans to break from the U.S., pushing Ukraine for a ceasefire and territorial concessions. “None of them [European diplomats who talked to the Chinese envoy] confirms that there were any announcements or negotiations about recognizing as Russia those territories on which the Russian Federation is currently located in Ukraine,” Dmytro Kuleba said.
Meanwhile, Chinese MFA implicitly accuses the West of causing the conflict (“the Ukraine crisis is a tragedy that could have been avoided,” “the Ukraine crisis is essentially an eruption of the problems built up in the security governance of Europe”) and explicitly prize its “peace-making” efforts. “On the Ukraine crisis, China has held an objective and just position and actively promoted talks for peace. This has received broad understanding and support in the international community,” the MFA spokeswoman said. She added, “We stand firmly on the side of peace and dialogue and the right side of history.” So, Russia and China are trying to hijack Ukraine’s and its partners’ rhetoric of “just and lasting peace,” “stand firmly on the side of peace”, and being on the “right side of history.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry reacted to the news of potential sanctions imposed by Japan by stating, “The desire to attribute the non-evident intention to use nuclear weapons in relation to events in Ukraine to Russia is nothing more than cynical, unscrupulous speculation.” “It is the sovereign right of Russia and Belarus to ensure their security by means we deem necessary amid a large-scale hybrid war unleashed by Washington against us,” Russia’s Embassy in the U.S. said reacting on Joe Biden’s words that he had an “extremely negative” reaction to the decision of turning Belarus into a territory with nuclear weapons. The E.U. condemned a nuclear proliferation move. “This is a step which will lead to further extremely dangerous escalation,” E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement. He underlined that “the decision goes against commitments which Russia has undertaken in the Budapest Memorandum, whereby Belarus eliminated all nuclear weapons from its territory, and in the Joint Statement of the Leaders of the Five Nuclear-Weapon States of January 3, 2022.” So far, China has been silent on the issue at all.
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