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CDS Daily brief (28.05.23) | CDS comments on key events

Snapshot of the day:

General, humanitarian:

  • Russia launched a massive drone attack on Ukraine; 58 out of 59 UAVs were shot down by Ukrainian air defense, over 40 of them over Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast;
  • Overall, Russia attacked 12 Ukrainian Oblasts over the past day;
  • Ukraine aims to complete the sowing of this year’s crops by June 5-10.


  • In the Bakhmut direction, the intensity of hostilities is gradually decreasing;
  • In recent days, the frequency of Russian attacks in the Avdiivka-Donetsk area has decreased, possibly due to the redeployment of troops from the 1st Army Corps of the 8th Army to Bakhmut.
  • The main tactic of the Russian artillery in the south of Ukraine is counter-battery fire.


  • Senator Lindsey Graham called on the Biden Administration to supply ATACMS missiles and cluster munitions to Ukraine and dubbed ‘Russians dying’ as ‘the best money the U.S. has spent. 
  • “I was just in Kyiv under fire. I saw why Ukraine could win,” Max Boot published his opinion in WP. “The Ukrainians have already far outperformed expectations, and there is no reason they cannot continue to do so — as long as the West continues to give them the unstinting support they need, expect, and deserve,” Max Boot wrote. Forty-four percent of Americans support the provision of F-16s to Ukraine, while a third oppose it.
  • On the occasion of the 1541 anniversary of Kyiv, the Russians launched a massive kamikaze-drone attack throughout the night. 


Three people considered missing after the May 26 Russian missile attack on the medical facilities in Dnipro have been found dead under the rubble. This brings the total death toll of the attack to 4 people.  

Luhansk Oblast residents have filed over 36 thousand complaints over destroyed or damaged property as the result of the war, the head of Luhansk Oblast Military Administration said. 

Russian attacks

On the night of May 27-28, Russia launched a massive Shahed-136/131 drone attack against Ukraine. According to the May 28 evening estimate, the Ukrainian air defense shot down 58 out of 59 UAVs launched from the North (Russian Briansk Oblast) and from the south (Krasnodar Krai). 

The Russian army attacked 12 regions of Ukraine over the past day, according to the consolidated information of the regional military administrations as of 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 28.

  • In Kyiv Oblast, the air alert lasted for more than five hours. As a result of falling debris, forest and grass litter fires broke out in several places. Over 40 UAVs were shot down over Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast. At least one person was killed, and one person was injured by falling debris in the city. It is the 14th UAV attack at Kyiv since the start of May. Civilian infrastructure was destroyed or damaged in several districts of the capital.
  • In Zhytomyr Oblast, the Russian military struck an infrastructure facility; at least 26 houses and educational and healthcare facilities were damaged.
  • Air defense forces shot down two Russian drones over Cherkasy Oblast. No casualties or damage were reported.
  • Chernihiv Oblast was shelled four times during the day. Novgorod-Siversky district and Semenivka hromada were hit. There were several fires, a tractor and a car were damaged. A girl born in 2009 was injured and taken to the hospital. 
  • The Russian military attacked six communities in Sumy Oblast. In the Krasnopillya community, 11 private households and power lines were damaged by the explosion of a KAB bomb. 
  • 77 instances of shelling were recorded in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. 21 towns and villages were damaged by Russian fire. 12 civilian objects: residential buildings and property were affected. Airstrikes affected 3 villages. Four UAV attacks were carried out on Mala Tokmachka and Olhiv. Four civilians were injured by landmines. 
  • The enemy forces shelled Nikopol in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast twice during the night. Six private houses and two farm buildings were hit. A gas pipeline and powerline were damaged. 
  • The Russian invaders attacked the border towns and villages of Kharkiv Oblast. Vovchansk and the Kupyansk district came under Russian fire. Civilian infrastructure was damaged. Two people were killed and four were injured in different villages of the Kupyansk district. 
  • In Luhansk Oblast, Russian forces continued to fire artillery at front-line settlements. During the day, they carried out 94 shellings. 
  • The Russians carried out 19 shellings of Donetsk Oblast, using “Iskander” missile complexes, airstrikes, artillery, mortars, and tanks. 15 villages were under fire. 30 residential buildings (one of them multi-apartment) and other infrastructure objects were damaged. One person died, and three were wounded. 
  • The enemy attack on Mykolaiv Oblast with UAV Shahed-131/136 was intercepted. Yesterday, Russian forces carried out artillery strikes on the water area of the Ochakiv community. There were no injuries or damage. 
  • There were 73 instances of shelling of Kherson Oblast (335 shells fired) during the past day, including three artillery shelling of Kherson. The Russian military targeted 26 towns and villages in the region. A 61-year-old woman was injured in Sadove. A lyceum was damaged in the city of Kherson.

Operational situation

General conclusion: 

  • The Russian military concentrates its main efforts on defensive operations in all directions, trying to complete the capture of Avdiivka and Maryinka, improve its tactical position in the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Maryinka, Shakhtarsk directions;
  • In the Bakhmut direction, the intensity of hostilities is gradually decreasing;
  • In recent days, the number of Russian attacks in the area of Avdiivka-Donetsk has decreased, which may be related to the transfer of troops of the 1st Army Corps of the 8th Army to Bakhmut;
  • The main tactic of the Russian artillery in the south of Ukraine is counter-battery fire.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • 21 military clashes took place in different directions.
  • In the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked near Masyutivka. Fighting continued near Dvorichna and Synkivka; the Russian military advanced near Movchanove and destroyed a platoon stronghold of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in this area.
  • In the Lyman direction, Russian troops advanced to the northwest of Bilohorivka, Luhansk Oblast, and recaptured several recently lost positions to the southeast of this village.
  • In the Bakhmut direction, Russian troops conducted unsuccessful offensives west of Khromove and in the direction of Predtechyne.
  • Ukrainian Defense Forces are holding dominant positions on the heights to the north and south of Bakhmut, but they suspended combat operations on May 26 and 27 to carry out other tasks. Units of the Defense Forces continue to control positions on the southwestern outskirts of Bakhmut.
  • In the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces tried to advance in the direction of Severne and Pervomaiske but were unsuccessful. Russian troops conducted reconnaissance in the direction of Novokalynove from Krasnohorivka, and repulsed a counterattack of the Ukrainian Defense Forces across the H20 route from Novokalynove.
  • The Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 14 Russian attacks in the area of Maryinka.
  • Russian forces are on the defensive in the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson directions. The Russian Aerospace Forces carried out airstrikes on the Beryslav district of Kherson Oblast, struck Mykolaiv Oblast and the Obvodna railway station in the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast with “Shahed” UAVs.
  • Defense Forces struck targets in the Polohy and Berdyansk districts of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

Change in enemy disposition: 

  • Units of the 31st separate airborne assault brigade of the Russian airborne forces were transferred from the Svatove-Kreminna frontier to reinforce the flanks of Bakhmut.
  • The 10th separate tank battalion of the 1st Army Corps operates in the Avdiivka direction. Units of the 110th separate motorized rifle brigade (former 100th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Army Corps) operate in the Nevelske direction.
  • Units of the 37th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 36th Army of the Eastern Military District operate in the Vuhledar direction.

Escalation indicators: 

  • Russian troops prepare for large-scale provocations to create a radiological hazard at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

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 the afternoon of May 28, there were 7 Russian ships at sea. They patrolled the areas near the coast of Crimea and near the Russian Krasnodar Krai. One ship is carrying up to 8 Kalibr missiles.
  • Places where ships/submarines of the Russian Navy are currently based:
  • Black Sea:
  • Frigate “Admiral Essen” (repair), pr. 636.3 submarine, diesel electric submarine “Alrosa”, frigate “Ladny”, “Pytlivy”, reconnaissance ships “Priazovye”, “Ivan Khurs” – SEVASTOPOL;
  • Frigate “Admiral Makarov”, corvettes “Vyshniy Volochyok”, “Grayvoron”, “Inigushetia”, three pr. 636.3 submarines, patrol ships “Dmitry Rogachev”, “Vasily Bykov” – NOVOROSIISK;
  • Corvettes “Askold”, “Zyklon” – KERCH;
  • Project 12700 trawler – FEODOSIA,
  • One Russian ship is on patrol in the Sea of Azov.
  • Russian aviation continues to fly from the Crimean airfields of Belbek, Saky, Dzhankoy and Hvardiyske over the sea. Five fighter aircraft from Belbek and Saki Air Force Bases were involved in monitoring the surface and air conditions in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, namely two Su-27/30 (BELBEK), Su-30СМ and two Mig-29К (SAKY). 
  • 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.
  • 53 units of aviation equipment were detected on the territory of Dzhankoy airfield (Crimea), including 49 helicopters (in particular, 19 Mi-24/28 helicopters, 17 – Mi-8, 9 – Ka-52) and 4 Su-25 aircraft. This airfield has the largest concentration of helicopters in Crimea involved in operations in the south of Ukraine.
  • Currently, the Crimean defense grouping personnel and equipment deployed at the positions are: over 12,000 personnel, up to 30 tanks, up to 60 armored combat vehicles, more than 30 artillery systems, and six multiple rocket launcher systems (MLRS).

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 28.05.23 (taking into account corrections made by the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces)

Personnel – almost 206,600 people (+400);

Tanks – 3,797 (+3);

Armored combat vehicles – 7,456 (+7);

Artillery systems – 3,426 (+11)

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 574 (0);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 329 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 6,192 (+9);

Aircraft – 313 (0);

Helicopters – 298 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 2,993 (+3);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1056 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0)

Ukraine, general news

According to First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy, Taras Vysotskyi, Ukraine plans to complete the sowing campaign between June 5 and June 10. The plan to sow 13 million hectares has been almost 90% completed.


While meeting Ukraine’s President, Lindsey Graham dubbed ‘Russians dying’ as ‘the best money the U.S. has spent. The senator called on the Biden Administration to supply ATACMS missiles and cluster munitions to Ukraine. Russia’s Investigative Committee launched a criminal case on the “fact of Russophobic statements by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham” about the “murder” of Russians. However, the investigative body hasn’t investigated those guilty of “planning, preparing, initiating or waging a war of aggression,” a criminal offense in Russia that may lead to twenty years behind bars (article 353 of the Criminal Code). Neither the Investigative Committee explained how killing military personnel fighting the aggressive war on the territory of another sovereign state might be called “Russophobia.”

“I was just in Kyiv under fire. I saw why Ukraine could win,” Max Boot published his opinion in WP. He rightly highlighted that “from afar, the war in Ukraine can look like a bloody stalemate with no winners and no choice but a negotiated solution” and the “Ukrainians’ confidence that they can expel the Russian invaders from all of their soil… can seem delusional.” However, the nation showed resilience, determination, and the ability to build up necessary capabilities on the fly. While Russia is unable to escalate, for it has tried everything except for weapons of mass destruction, Ukraine, with Western support, has been preparing for the counteroffensive. “The Ukrainians have already far outperformed expectations, and there is no reason they cannot continue to do so — as long as the West continues to give them the unstinting support they need, expect, and deserve,” Max Boot wrote.

The Economist/ Yougov poll in March showed that 44% of Americans supported the provision of F-16s to Ukraine, while a third opposed it, and almost a quarter were unsure about their attitude. Two-thirds of Democrats and forty-one percent of Republicans supported sending long-range missiles to Ukraine. Fifty-six percent of Democrats and nearly thirty percent of Republicans supported sending F-16s to Ukraine.

“Throughout its history, Kyiv has seen various atrocities from invaders. The City survived them all and will survive them all. None of them will be here! Kyiv and all our cities, all of our Ukraine will put an end to the history of Moscow despotism, which has enslaved many different peoples for a very long time,” President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the nation on the occasion of the 1541 anniversary of the Ukrainian capital. The Russians “congratulated” Kyivans with a massive kamikaze-drones attacks throughout the night. Fifty-eight out of fifty-nine Shahed drones were downed that night in Ukraine, forty of them over the sky of Kyiv.

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