Russia’s war on Ukraine. Daily Snapshot. 09.06.2023
- Опубліковано: CDS
- Категорія: DailyBrief
Snapshot of the day:
- On the night of June 9, Russia attacked Ukrainian gas production facilities. Two of them sustained damage;
- As of 21:00 on June 9, the level of water of the Kakhovka reservoir in the Nikopol area was 11.3 m. compared to the recent level of 17 m;
- Russia is preparing to defend Crimea and making plans to retreat into the depth of the peninsula;
- Ukrainian Defense Forces launched offensive operations on at least three sections of the front;
- Ukrainian Defense Forces failed to achieve operational surprise in Zaporizhzhia Oblast;
- Defense Forces have become more active on selected sections of the front and will develop a general offensive on the sections where they have achieved success;
- A successful attack by Ukrainian Defense Forces on Horlivka and Yasynuvata may lead to the loss of the entire Russian line of defense in the Donetsk direction, Donetsk and Makiivka themselves.
- The Intelligence Community is still assessing the information on Kakhovka dam explosion, but it’s inclined to believe that Russia is behind the dam destruction. More evidence seems to emerge to support this conclusion.
- International organizations are stepping up their efforts to cope with the accident immediate consequences and the necessity to provide humanitarian relief.
- The U.S. announced a new $2.1 billion security assistance package for Ukraine, including air defense systems, munitions, artillery rounds, and more.
- A group of Ukrainian POWs has been reportedly handed over to Hungary.
- Estonia has blacklisted several dozens of Russians, including the head of the Moscow Russian Orthodox Church. Iceland has decided to suspend operations of its Embassy in Moscow and has requested that Russia limit the operations of its Embassy in Reykjavík.
- The European Council settled on its general approach for an E.U. law that introduces criminal offenses and penalties for violating E.U. sanctions.
- Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak pledged to maintain financial and military support for Ukraine.
- Ukraine’s President and the Japanese PM “discussed the further involvement of security support from Japan. The Russians aren’t happy with the Japanese government’s decision to supply Ukraine with armored vehicles and all-terrain vehicles.
- Vladimir Putin announced that tactical nuclear weapons would be delivered to Belarus after July 7-8. China keeps ignoring that its “partner without limits” violate documents on non-proliferation they both signed up to.
- Russia receives Chinese-made armored personnel carriers – Radio Liberty
As of 21:00 on June 9, the water level in the Kakhovka reservoir in the Nikopol area dropped to 11.3 meters compared to its recent level of 17 meters. A large part of the station building is underwater; the embankment between the lock and the station also remains underwater and continues to collapse.
As a result of the flood after the explosion of the Kakhovska HPP dam, at least five people died, and 13 more are considered missing, the head of the Interior Ministry, Ihor Klymenko, said. In Kherson Oblast, four people were killed, 11 were injured by Russian shelling during the evacuation, and 13 people are considered missing. 48 towns and villages were flooded in the region, including 34 (3,625 houses) in the Ukraine-controlled territory and 14 in the temporarily occupied territory. 2,412 people were evacuated. In Mykolaiv Oblast, one person died, 23 towns and villages were flooded, and 825 people were evacuated.
The explosion at the Kakhovka HPP has created significant challenges in the agriculture, ecological, and social sectors in the southern region of Ukraine, particularly in terms of irrigation, the Minister of Agriculture, Mykola Solskyi, said. Restoration of the irrigation system should become a priority. According to the minister, it will take three to seven years.
The destruction of the Kakhovka HPP and the flooding of territories significantly impacted renewable generation in Ukraine. According to Artem Semenyshin, director of the Association of Solar Energy (ASEU), the disaster may cause the withdrawal of approximately 500 MW of renewable energy generation from the power grid, writes Energoreforma. On June 8, emergency aid from Romania and Poland balanced the power system. The total amount of aid is 1,200 MWh, Ukrenergo informs. Currently, electricity production meets the needs of consumers. However, hydroelectric plants are operating at reduced capacity to reduce the effects of the Russian detonation of the Kakhovka HPP.
As a result of massive Russian shelling, as of the morning of June 9, gas production facilities and power lines were damaged in two regions, the Ministry of Energy reports. Damage to two gas production facilities and a power transmission line in Zhytomyr Oblast was recorded. Also, due to artillery shelling, one of the operators of Ukrainian gas transportation system facilities in Zaporizhzhia Oblast was hit.
- The Russian military concentrates its main efforts on the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka directions;
- Ukrainian Defense forces launched offensive operations on at least three sections of the front. They switched from defensive to offensive operations in the Bakhmut direction and advanced from 200 m to almost 2 km on the flanks around the city. They have achieved tactical successes during counterattacks in the western part of the Donetsk region.
- Russian forces systematically and controllably responded to the start of the offensive by the Defense Forces in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The defense forces did not achieve operational surprise in their actions.
- The minefields installed by the engineering units of the 58th Army of the Russian Armed Forces played a crucial role in disrupting the attack of the Ukrainian Defense Forces on the morning of June 8. The effective use of the enemy electronic warfare units and enemy strike aircraft is noted.
- Russian tactics in the Zaporizhzhia direction are as follows: keep the tactical defense zone to the extreme, get exhausted, retreat to the second position. Afterwards, reinforcements are brought in to inflict fire damage on the Ukrainian attack units and swiftly counterattack to regain lost positions.
Change in the line of contact (LoC):
- 43 combat clashes took place on different fronts.
- The actions of the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK) and the Free Russia Legion, in coordination with the artillery of the Defense Forces, allowed for the defeat of enemy reserves that were being deployed to the combat zone. The pro-Ukrainian forces currently maintain control over the southern outskirts of the village of Novaya Tavilzhanka. Additionally, the Russian Volunteer Corps received reinforcements from the Polish Volunteer Corps.
- On the Lyman direction, Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensives in the area of Vesele of Donetsk Oblast, attacked near Bilohorivka and Berestove. Positional battles continued near Masyutivka.
- On the Bakhmut direction, Russian forces carried out offensive actions in the direction of Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Ivanivske, Stupochki, Bila Hora. They failed to achieve results.
- Ukrainian Defense Forces achieved tactical success near Berkhivka. They successfully neutralized units belonging to the 57th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 5th Army and the “Storm” detachments, forcing them out of their positions. Ukrainian forces have advanced westward from Andriivka along the western bank of the “Siversky Donets – Donbas” canal, securing an area 1.8 km wide and 1.2 km deep.
- On the Avdiivka direction, the Russian forces made unsuccessful offensive attempts near Severne, Opytne, and Pervomaiske.
- Ukrainian Defense Forces advanced near Vodyane.
- On the Maryinka direction, Ukrainian troops repelled all attacks by units of the 150th motorized rifle division of the 8th Army and the “Akhmat” detachments; continued to hold their positions in the western part of the city.
- On the Tavria direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces launched an offensive towards Mala Tokmachka and Polohy in order to break through the Russian defense along the Robotyne-Verbove line. They engaged in battles in the direction of Velyka Novosilka, broke through the first line of the enemy defense of the 70th and 291st Motorized Rifle Regiments of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division (58th Army of the Southern Military District), crossed the N08 highway between Polohy and Voskresenka, and inflicted further fire strikes on Russian military targets in Tokmak and Berdyansk.
- Russian forces carried out aerial and artillery strikes on the rear positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces near Vremivka and Novodonetsk. Through a counterattack, they partially regained the positions previously lost by the 70th and 291st Motorized Rifle Regiments.
- The enemy withdrew their units from Oleshky due to the flooding of the town.
Change in enemy disposition:
- The troops of the 58th Army are currently operating in the Orikhiv area, where they have been preparing for a defensive operation over the past two months.
- The 150th Motorized Rifle Division units of the 8th Army, along with the “Akhmat” units, supported by the artillery of the 39th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 68th Army Corps of the Eastern Military District, are repelling the attacks of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in Maryinka.
- In the southwestern part of the temporarily occupied Donetsk, the presence of the “Akhmat” units is noted.
Escalation indicators: not identified
Possible operation situation developments:
- The Defense Forces have intensified their activities on selected sectors of the front and will continue to advance on those where they have succeeded.
- In case Ukrainian Defense Forces liberate Zhovtneve and develop success at Staromlynivka of the Volnovakha district, conditions will be created to encircle two Russian brigades in the area of Velyka Novosilka. Subsequently, the offensive could be further developed towards Vuhledar or into the rear of the Russian defense near Hulyaipole;
- A successful attack by Ukrainian Defense Forces on Horlivka and Yasynuvata may lead to the loss of the entire Russian line of defense in the Donetsk direction, Donetsk and Makiivka themselves.
Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:
- As of June 9, there were 10 Russian ships at sea. They patrol the areas near Crimea and along the coast of the Taman Peninsula. At 20:00 on June 8, the frigate “Admiral Essen” launched a missile attack with two “Kalibr” missiles and returned to base.
- Due to the flooding along the Dnipro, there is a possibility of landmines drifting with the current of floodwaters in the Bugh-Dniprovske estuary canal and the northern coast of the Black Sea. Each mine contains 3 kg of explosive material and is equipped with a contact detonator. These mines, of Soviet production, were extensively used by the Russian armed forces to block landings near the left bank of the Dnieper River. On June 9, drifting objects resembling explosive hazards were observed in Odesa.
- Russian military personnel who were shelling the Ukrainian coast from Kinburn Spit are being evacuated by helicopters.
- The enemy’s aviation continues flights from the Crimean airfields of Belbek, Saki, Dzhankoy, and Hvardiyske over the sea. For the control of the surface and air situation in the northwestern part of the Black Sea waters, 12 fighter aircraft were involved from the Saki and Belbek airfields: five Su-27/30 (Belbek), three Su-30SM, two Su-24MR, and two MiG-29 UB (Saki).
- The air situation control and operational-tactical aviation management over the Azov Sea waters were carried out by A-50U AWACS aircraft, Il-22 relay aircraft, and Il-22PP jamming aircraft.
The “Grain Initiative”
- The British Ministry of Defense predicts that Russia will persist in obstructing the grain initiative’s operations as the “grain agreement” expires. The Black Sea grain initiative, which was extended for 60 days on May 17, 2023, has been hindered by Russia’s deliberate slowdown of inspections and active blocking of certain vessels. Currently, the rate of vessel inspections is significantly lower, with only one to two vessels being inspected per day compared to six to eight in autumn 2022.
- The British Ministry of Defense stated that Russia is likely attempting to leverage these obstruction tactics to secure concessions regarding the resumption of the Tolyatti-Odesa pipeline’s operation. This pipeline is used for exporting ammonia from Russia through Ukraine’s territory to Odesa. The situation is further complicated by recent damage to the pipeline, rendering it currently inoperative.
- British analysts anticipate that Russia will continue its obstructive rhetoric and actions regarding the Black Sea Grain Initiative in the weeks leading up to the next contract extension deadline. Presently, the “grain corridor” is valid until July 16, 2023.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 09.06.23
Personnel – almost 213,770 people (+1010);
Tanks – 3,901 (+10);
Armored combat vehicles – 7,600 (+24);
Artillery systems – 3,702 (+34);
Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 599 (+4);
Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 359 (+4);
Vehicles and fuel tanks – 6,410 (+26);
Aircraft – 314 (0);
Helicopters – 299 (0);
UAV operational and tactical level – 3,247 (+13);
Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,171 (0);
Boats/ships – 18 (0).
Ukraine, general news
According to the State Statistics Service, Ukraine’s annual inflation rate decreased to 15.3% in May. This represents the lowest level since March of the previous year, when prices rose by 13.7% compared to the previous year. In April 2023, inflation stood at 17.9%. Monthly, inflation accelerated from 0.2% to 0.5% in May. Core inflation, excluding volatile components, also slowed to 0.3% in May compared to 0.5% in April.
According to a study conducted by the employment portal Work.ua, companies in Ukraine posted 90,023 job vacancies in May. This figure represents a 9% increase compared to April and is similar to the data recorded in May 2021. The rise in the number of vacancies is particularly notable in the front-line regions and western regions of Ukraine. Kyiv, Lviv, and Dnipropetrovsk continue to have the highest number of posted job vacancies.
International diplomatic aspect
According to a White House official, shortly before the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka dam, U.S. satellites equipped with infrared sensors detected a heat trace consistent with a significant explosion, as reported by NYT. The Intelligence Community is still assessing the information, but it inclines to believe that Russia has been behind the accident. The Norwegian Seismic Array and Bucovina Seismic Array in Romania have also recorded signs indicating a powerful explosion.
The OSINT community expresses skepticism regarding the Russian version of the Ukrainian missile hit as the structures of the Kakhovka dam were designed to withstand forces much greater than the water pressure and a direct hit by powerful missiles. Though a dozen of precise hits by HIMARS severely damaged a bridge over the Dnieper River in the Kherson region yet it didn’t lead to its complete demolishing. This observation aligns with the assessment of Nick Glumac, an engineering professor and explosives expert at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who suggests that “even a direct hit may not take out the dam.”
The Director General of the IAEA, Rafael Mariano Grossi, has announced the launch of an assistance program for Ukraine in light of the flooding caused by the Nova Kakhovka dam. He intends to visit the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which is currently under illegal occupation, to assess the facility’s situation.
In the past two days, the World Food Programme and the national NGO Tarilka joined forces to distribute ready-to-eat meals to 18,000 individuals in the Kherson and Mykolaiv Oblasts. Additionally, Save the Children distributed one-month food supplies for approximately 5,000 people. UNICEF provided 115,000 water bottles, over 10,000 water purification tablets, sanitation supplies, and 1,700 hygiene kits. The International Organization for Migration contributed around 5,000 drinking water bottles and ten large water bladders (5,000 liters) to support the affected populations in Kherson Oblast. Save the Children also provided 3,000 water bottles and 1,000 hygiene kits. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) delivered dignity kits to aid approximately 600 elderly individuals impacted by the flooding in Kherson.
The U.S. announced a new $2.1 billion security assistance package for Ukraine, including additional missiles for Patriot air defense systems, HAWK air defense systems and missiles, Puma unmanned aerial systems, 105mm and 203mm artillery rounds, and more.
Estonia has reinstated the Magnitsky list, which entails a ban on entry into the country for 58 individuals, including Patriarch Gundyaev, the head of the Moscow Russian Orthodox Church. “Patriarch Kirill is one of the greatest adherents and proponents of Putin’s ideology. “It was about time he was blacklisted. He has justified and abetted the war against Ukraine,” Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said. Hungary has repeatedly advocated for Patriarch Gundyaev, ensuring his exclusion from the European Union’s sanctions list on multiple occasions.
The Russian Orthodox Church has announced that it transferred a group of Ukrainian POWs (at least eleven individuals) to Hungary. It is believed that the Sovereign Military Order of Malta may have played a role as a mediator in this process. While the release of Ukrainian POWs is seen as positive news, the Ukrainian government was not informed about the negotiations between the Hungarian and Russian parties. In response, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited the Hungarian Chargé d’affaires for a substantial discussion. The government of Viktor Orban has been viewed as a disruptive force within the EU and NATO, as it attempts to undermine a strong response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Orban and his party have shown particular interest in the Hungarian ethnic minority and have pursued a revisionist agenda. The activities of Hungarian diplomats, which have undermined Ukraine’s sovereignty and interfered in its domestic affairs, have been a longstanding source of tension in bilateral relations.
Iceland has decided to suspend operations of the Embassy of Iceland in Moscow and has requested that Russia limit the operations of its Embassy in Reykjavík so that the level of diplomatic representation be lowered.
The European Council has agreed on its general approach towards an E.U. law that will establish criminal offenses and penalties for the breach of E.U. sanctions. This directive, when adopted, will be an important tool to ensure that violating sanctions does not pay off. Member states will designate certain actions as criminal offenses, including helping persons subject to Union restrictive measures to bypass an E.U. travel ban, trading sanctioned goods and running transactions with states or entities hit by E.U. restrictive measures.
Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak pledged to maintain financial and military support for Ukraine. “We have stood shoulder to shoulder in our resolve to support Ukraine for as long as it takes in the face of Russia’s illegal, unjustifiable, and unprovoked war of aggression and to preserve a free, independent, and sovereign Ukraine,” the new Atlantic Declaration stated. “The fact of the matter is that I believe we’ll have the funding necessary to support Ukraine as long as it takes… I asked people to picture what would happen if we were not supporting Ukraine. Do we think Russia would stop in Kyiv?” POTUS said. The PM said that the U.K. will support Ukraine “for as long as it takes” for Russian forces to be withdrawn from Ukraine. He believes that the continues support for Ukraine should send a “strong signal to [Vladimir Putin] that there is no point in trying to wait us out.”
Ukraine’s President and the Japanese PM “discussed the further involvement of security support from Japan, particularly regarding practical cooperation in the field of humanitarian demining.” Irritated by the news that the Japanese government decided to supply Ukraine with armored vehicles and all-terrain vehicles, the Russian Foreign Minister made a demarche to the Ambassador of Japan. “The Japanese side was told that this step would lead to an escalation of hostilities and a further increase in the number of human casualties of the Kyiv regime,” Russia’s MFA statement reads.
Vladimir Putin announced that tactical nuclear weapons would be delivered to Belarus after July 7-8. Though China agreed that the “further spread of such [nuclear] weapons must be prevented” in the Joint Statement of the Leaders of the Five Nuclear-Weapon States on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races, particularly, and stated that States should “withdraw nuclear weapons deployed abroad” and insisted on reducing the “role of nuclear weapons in their national security policies” in the Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development, so far, Beijing has failed to react on the Russian proliferation of nuclear weapons unfolding in plain sight.
Vladimir Putin declared that Ukraine had initiated its counteroffensive. “The Ukrainian troops did not achieve the tasks assigned to them in any of the areas of military operations. These are absolutely obvious things,” he said. He believes that this success is achieved because of the courage and heroism of the Russian soldiers, the correct organization and proper command and control of the troops, and “the high efficiency of Russian weapons.” Vladimir Putin routinely put the responsibility for the war on the “current Kyiv regime, whose primary source of power is a coup d’état,” omitting the fact that since what he called a “coup d’état” the Ukrainians freely and democratically elected two presidents, while Russia has not experienced a similar level of democratic transition over the past two decades since Putin assumed power.
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