Russia’s war on Ukraine. Daily Snapshot. 16.06.2023
- Опубліковано: CDS
- Категорія: DailyBrief
Snapshot of the day:
- After the Russian sabotage of the Kakhovka HPP dam, 54 towns and villages in three oblasts (Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, and Mykolaiv) remain flooded. According to Ukraine’s Health Minister, the water in the Dnipro River is contaminated 28,000 times above the norm.
- Russia launched a missile strike on Kyiv and the Kyiv Oblast during the visit of African leaders. 6 ballistic missiles “Kinjal,” 6 cruise missiles “Kalibr,” and 2 reconnaissance UAVs were shot down over Kyiv Oblast.
- Over the past day, Russian occupiers attacked nine oblasts of Ukraine, resulting in casualties. On June 16, the Russians carried out a massive shelling of Kherson. 23 civilians were injured, including three children.
- The Defense Forces have continued their advance on three fronts in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
- The enemy is deploying reserves and launching counterattacks in an effort to impede the advancement of Defense Forces units towards the main defensive line.
- The enemy command is facing a challenging situation as they are limited in choosing the direction to deploy their reserves into battle.
- Possible operation situation developments: The Defense Forces will continue their offensive in the Polohy-Berdyansk, Velyka Novosilka-Berdyansk, Orikhiv-Melitopol directions, and partially towards Tokmak. However, there will be no significant breakthroughs from the Defense Forces in the coming week.
- The Defense Forces’ command is determined to expand the frontline as much as possible and intensify combat operations in multiple sectors to disperse the enemy’s reserves ahead of the main attack(s).
- On the Tokmak direction, the enemy’s military command may soon introduce up to two battalions of the 5th Separate tank brigade and units and the 1430th Motorized Rifle Regiment into combat.
- A group of African leaders were laying out their peace proposals when Russia launched a missile barrage on Kyiv.
- While not officially acknowledged, reports are circulating about a potential proposal to revoke the ICC warrant for war criminal Vladimir Putin. However, considering the gravity of the crimes committed and the operational structure of the autonomous international organization, it is highly improbable for such a proposal to be accepted.
- A monument honoring Slobodan Milosevic, an indictee of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, was erected in the center of Moscow.
- Germany will “immediately” deliver another sixty-four Patriot missiles, and Sweden announced another security package which includes Ukrainian pilots test-flying the country’s Gripen fighter jets. The U.S. National Defense Bill draft includes $80 million for ATACMS for Ukraine and the Lend-Lease extension to 2024.
- Ukraine will unlikely receive an invitation to NATO at the Vilnius summit; instead, it will get an institutional mechanism, assurances of long-term support programs and exemption from a MAP, which neither Finland nor Sweden was required to undergo.
- Vladimir Putin made several bizarre claims at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. He made an antisemitic remark towards Volodymyr Zelensky. Putin claimed that Russian forces had destroyed five Patriot air defense systems. However, Ukraine operates only two of these systems, and only one reported incident of minor damage was promptly repaired.
- Putin mentioned the possibility of hitting F-16 jets if used against Russia from air bases outside Ukraine. However, there is no consideration of deploying F-16s from foreign air bases, and Putin is well aware of Article 5 and the consequences of attacking a NATO nation.
Consequences of the Kakhovka dam destruction
54 towns and villages in three oblasts – Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, and Mykolaiv – remain flooded. Among these, 17 are located in the temporarily occupied territory of Kherson Oblast, said Oleksandr Khorunzhiy, the press officer of the State Emergency Service (SES), during a briefing at the Ukraine-Ukrinform Media Center. Over 1,900 houses (with 1,422 houses in Kherson alone), 201 [private] households, and 216 garden plots have been affected by flooding in these three oblasts. The SES has carried out the evacuation of 3,772 individuals and 268 animals. Psychologists in evacuation centers have provided psychological assistance to 413 individuals.
The water in the Dnieper River is contaminated 28,000 times higher than the norm after the destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Station, according to Health Minister Viktor Lyashko [in an interview with BBC]. Wastewater treatment facilities have switched to emergency disinfection modes. Currently, according to Lyashko statement, there have been no cases of cholera detected. Swimming in the Dnieper River, fishing, and using water (including for household purposes) is prohibited. Violation of the ban carries the risk of numerous diseases. The sea in Odesa is turning green due to the rapid proliferation of algae. This became possible after an increase in salinity along the coastal strip.
Russia launched a missile strike on Kyiv and the Kyiv Oblast during the visit of African leaders. Air Defense Forces destroyed 6 ballistic missiles “Kinjal,” 6 cruise missiles “Kalibr,” and 2 reconnaissance UAVs in the airspace of Kyiv.
- There are no damaged objects or buildings in Kyiv after the rocket attack.
- According to the updated information provided by the Head of the Kyiv Regional Administration, six people, including one child, were injured due to the Russian shelling of Kyiv Oblast. Over 30 houses were damaged.
Over the past day, Russian occupiers attacked nine oblasts of Ukraine, resulting in casualties.
- In Chernihiv Oblast, the enemy carried out five artillery and mortar shelling and launched two unguided rockets targeting Novhorod-Siverskyi District.
- Sumy Oblast was subjected to nine enemy shellings during the night and morning hours. A total of 51 explosions were recorded. Three private residential buildings, a household gas pipeline, and a power transmission line were damaged. Yesterday, the Russians conducted 21 shelling attacks along the border of Sumy Oblast throughout the day. Three children were injured.
- Russian forces carried out 71 shelling attacks on 14 towns and villages in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. There have been 24 reports of residential and property destruction. In the morning, the enemy struck Orikhove, resulting in a 55-year-old man being injured.
- In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, the aggressor shelled the Marhanets community of Nikopol District with heavy artillery during the night.
- The enemy shelled at least 16 towns and villages in Kharkiv Oblast. As a result of the shelling of Lyptsi, two residential buildings, a railway stop, and an outbuilding were damaged, and a fire occurred in the open area near Kupyansk.
- Over the past day, the Russians conducted 105 shelling attacks on Luhansk Oblast, firing 496 projectiles.
- Eleven people were injured in Donetsk Oblast during the past day. The enemy shelled at least 13 towns and villages. Seventeen residential buildings (including four apartment buildings), a cultural center, two vehicles, power lines, a school, agricultural machinery, a factory administrative building, a mobile network operator tower, and an administrative building were damaged.
- During the night, air defense forces in Mykolaiv Oblast destroyed two enemy attack drones.
- In Kherson Oblast, the Russians conducted 54 shelling attacks (firing 223 projectiles) during the past day, including 10 shelling attacks (37 projectiles) targeting Kherson. The enemy targeted areas in 27 towns and villages. As a result of Russian aggression, two people were killed, and two others were injured during the day. On June 16, the Russians carried out a massive shelling of Kherson. 23 civilians were wounded, including three children. Medical facilities, a kindergarten, a supermarket, apartment buildings, cars, and power lines were damaged.
Cases of Russian occupation forces’ violent abduction of pro-Ukrainian citizens and the establishment of new detention centers in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine have been reported by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to the GS, one of the new detention centers was set up by Russian occupiers on the premises of a public school in Velyki Kopany in Kherson Oblast. It has been established that units of the Russian Federal Security Service are conducting interrogations in the school gymnasium. The detained individuals are being subjected to harsh and inhumane conditions, including torture, by the Russian authorities.
Operational situation (previous day)
- The Defense Forces have continued their advance on three fronts in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
- The enemy seeks to prevent the Defense Forces units from reaching the main defensive line by deploying reserves and launching counterattacks.
- The enemy command is facing a challenging situation as they are limited in choosing the direction to deploy their reserves into battle.
Change in the line of contact (LoC):
- There were 30 combat clashes in various directions.
- On the Lyman direction, the enemy conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the areas of Stelmakhivka in Luhansk Oblast; Vyimka, Vesele, and Rozdolivka in Donetsk Oblast.
- Units of the enemy’s 6th Army launched assault at the positions of the Defense Forces on the Kupyansk direction.
- On the Bakhmut direction, the enemy unsuccessfully attacked the Orikhovo-Vasylivka area and continues controlling the Sacco and Vanzetti village.
- The Defense Forces conducted successful counterattacks in the areas of Rozdolivka-Krasnopolivka and Berkhivka-Yahidne, advanced in the Klishchiivka area, and launched several counterattacks in the Ozaryanivka and Kurdyumivka areas.
- On the Avdiivka direction, the Russian forces made unsuccessful advances near Avdiivka.
- On the Maryinka direction, the Defense Forces repelled all enemy attacks in the areas of Maryinka, Krasnohorivka, and Novomykhailivka. Units of the Defense Forces launched attacks near Pervomaiske and Opytne.
- On the Shakhtarsk direction, in the Vuhledar area, the Defense Forces succeeded in certain areas and are consolidating their positions on the reached frontlines.
- The enemy attacked in Novomykhailivka and Vodyane directions but did not succeed.
- On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the Defense Forces have successfully conducted offensive operations in the Novodanylivka – Robotyne and Levadne – Staromayorske directions. They are engaged in battles south of Velyka Novosilka, particularly in the Makarivka – Urozhaine area. They have made slight progress to the southwest of Novodonetske. Advanced units of the Defense Forces have reached the northwestern outskirts of Pryiutne village.
- The enemy’s 70th Motorized Rifle Regiment (part of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division) and the 60th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade launched a counterattack along the Mokri Yaly River, but their efforts did not yield any significant results. The enemy’s 394th Motorized Rifle Regiment (part of the 127th Motorized Rifle Division) is trying to impede the advancement of the Defense Forces towards Rivnopillia – Pryiutne. Units of the enemy’s 336th Separate Marine Brigade from the Baltic Fleet are being deployed along the Remivka – Volodyne line, likely in preparation for a counterattack.
- In the area south of Novodonetske, specifically near Novomayorske, the enemy is under significant pressure from units of the Defense Forces, particularly from the direction of Kermenchyk village. The enemy’s 37th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade and the 40th Separate Marines Brigade, operating between Staromlynivka and Shevchenkove villages, are preparing for counterattacks in this sector to recapture positions lost near Novodonetske. The 36th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade units are being deployed along the Yevhenivka – Petrivka villages line.
- Battalions of the 429th and 503rd Motorized Rifle Regiments (part of the 19th Motorized Rifle Division) are currently engaged in attempts to impede the advance of the forward units of the Defense Forces along the Kamianske-Nesteryanka villages line, near Lobkove and Pyatykhatky villages. Units of the 125th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 1st Army Corps, reinforced by a battalion from the 4th Military Base (South Ossetia), are deployed in the second echelon near Dolinka and Hrozove villages, in order to allow the enemy command to stabilize the situation to some extent in this sector.
- Since the start of the operation, the Defense Forces have advanced up to 3 km near Mala Tokmachka in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and up to 7 km near Velyka Novosilka in the western part of Donetsk Oblast, liberating 7 populated areas.
- The Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have carried out sabotage and reconnaissance operations on the eastern bank of the Dnieper River, specifically in the areas near Oleshky and Hola Prystan in Kherson Oblast.
Change in enemy disposition:
- The 23rd Battalion of the BARS “Sudoplatov” unit has been observed near Lobkove in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
- The Russian military command is currently in the process of forming the new 25th Army, with its headquarters to be located in Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast. Additionally, the formation of the 40th Army Corps of the Southern Military District is underway.
- In the area of Robotyne village, within the second echelon of the Russian group, there have been concentrations of at least 2 detachments, namely “Akhmat-Yug (South)” and “Akhmat-Vostok (East).”
- The enemy widely employs terrain remote mining systems “Zemledeliye.”
Possible operation situation developments:
- The Defense Forces will continue their offensive in the directions of Polohy-Berdyansk, Velyka Novosilka-Berdyansk, Orikhiv-Melitopol, and partially towards Tokmak. However, there will be no significant breakthroughs from the Defense Forces in the coming week.
- The command of the Defense Forces is determined to expand the frontline as much as possible and intensify combat operations in multiple sectors of the front. This strategy aims to disperse the enemy’s reserves ahead of the main attack(s).
- On the Tokmak direction, there are indications that the enemy’s military command is preparing to deploy up to two battalions from the 5th Separate Tank Brigade and units from the 1430th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the territorial forces into combat operations.
Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:
- As of June 16, there were 7 enemy ships at sea. They patrolled areas near the Crimean Bridge and the coast of the Taman Peninsula. Among them was one missile carrier with up to 8 missiles on board.
- The enemy aviation continues its flights over the sea from the Crimean airfields of Belbek, Saky, Dzhankoy, and Hvardiyske. To monitor the surface and air situation in the northwestern part of the Black Sea waters, nine fighter aircraft were deployed from Saky and Belbek airfields: five Su-27/30 (Belbek), two Su-24MR, and two MiG-29 UK (Saky).
- Control of the airspace and management of operational-tactical aviation over the Azov Sea waters were conducted by the A-50U AWACS aircraft, Il-22 relay aircraft, and Il-22PP electronic warfare aircraft.
- The press service of the Russian Black Sea Fleet has announced that the dismantling of the captured Ukrainian Navy vessels, including the missile corvette “Pridniprovya,” training boat “Kherson,” minesweeper “Chernihiv,” corvette “Khmelnytskyi,” minesweeper “Cherkasy,” and corvette “Lutsk,” has begun. Two weeks ago, these ships were towed from Striletska Bay in Inkerman (Sevastopol).
- The Russian Black Sea Fleet’s frigate “Admiral Grigorovich” of the 11356 project, which was previously deployed in the Mediterranean Sea during the Russian aggression against Ukraine and was denied entry to Sevastopol by Turkey, has now been relocated to the Baltic Sea. The frigate has entered a dock for repairs in the city of Baltiysk.
- The command of the Russian Navy has once again extended the repair and modernization period for the nuclear cruiser “Admiral Nakhimov” of the 1144 project, which has not been operational since 1997. It has been announced that the ship will supposedly be handed over to the Russian Navy by the end of 2024.
- The Russian Navy has announced its readiness to transfer the new frigate “Admiral Golovko” to the Northern Fleet of Russia. This frigate belongs to the Project 22350 series and is significant as it is the first ship to be equipped with a domestically produced gas turbine engine. The development of this engine by NPO “Saturn” in Rybinsk took seven years after Ukraine imposed sanctions on the supply of gas turbines. However, the quality and reliability of the domestically produced engine are still uncertain. Originally, the plan was to build 12 frigates of this series by 2021. In 2016, Minister Shoigu stated that Russia would have six of these ships by 2025, but in reality, there may only be three.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 16.06.23
Personnel – almost 218,500 people (+590);
Tanks – 3,965 (+10);
Armored combat vehicles – 7,683 (+16);
Artillery systems – 3,812 (+19);
Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 606 (+2);
Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 364 (0);
Vehicles and fuel tanks – 6,519 (+13);
Aircraft – 314 (0);
Helicopters – 301 (0);
UAV operational and tactical level – 3,357 (+24);
Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,199 (0);
Boats/ships – 18 (0).
International diplomatic aspect
“Putin “builds confidence” by launching the largest missile attack on Kyiv in weeks, exactly amid the visit of African leaders to our capital. Russian missiles are a message to Africa: Russia wants more war, not peace,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister twitted. Russians fired Kinzhal hypersonic missile for each African leader who came to Kyiv to lay out their peace plan.
“The main component that we brought here is that this war must be settled; there must be a negotiated peace through diplomatic means,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa started outlining the plan. “Today, during our visit, we witnessed missile strikes,” Cyril Ramaphosa expressed while discussing the importance of de-escalation. He emphasized the need to respect states’ and their people’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
It is worth noting that South Africa has not shown its support of either Ukraine or adherence to the U.N. principles, for it abstained during three the most important U.N. General Assembly’s resolutions on the territorial integrity of Ukraine (68/262 of 27 March 2014), Russia’s aggression against Ukraine (ES-11/1 of 2 March 2022), and on Principles of the U.N. Charter underlying a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine (ES-11/6 of 23 February 2023). Only Egypt and Zambia voted to condemn the Russian aggression and support the U.N. Charter-based peace for Ukraine.
This [peace-plan] viewpoint bears similarity to the first point of the Chinese position, which is also vaguely formulated and does not explicitly demand Russia’s withdrawal from all illegally occupied territories, including Crimea. The necessity of security guarantees for all parties, as also mentioned in the Chinese document, implies that both Ukraine, as a victim of unprovoked and illegal aggression, and Russia, as an internationally condemned aggressor, require such guarantees. However, this approach could leave Ukraine in a vulnerable position (outside of NATO), susceptible to future Russian aggression.
The unimpeded export of grain and fertilizers is the key reason why the African leaders traveled from far away. Humanitarian assistance to those affected and the exchange of POWs and children are mentioned, as well as post-war reconstruction.
There have been reports, although not officially confirmed, suggesting a proposal to revoke the International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant for war criminal Vladimir Putin. However, given the severity of the crimes committed and the established framework of the independent international body, it is highly unlikely that such a proposal would be accepted. Moreover, such a move would imply granting impunity, which is a significant factor driving Russia’s ongoing aggression and perpetration of war crimes, both within its neighboring regions and on a global scale. Nevertheless, following discussions with African leaders, Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated Ukraine’s commitment to its Peace Plan and stated that Ukraine would only be ready for peace talks with Moscow once Russia withdraws its forces from the occupied Ukrainian territory.
Meanwhile, in a controversial move, a monument honoring Slobodan Milosevic, who was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, has been erected in the heart of Moscow. The Trial Chamber carefully reviewed all the evidence and reached a decision that a reasonable judge could convict Slobodan Milosevic on all charges, except for certain crime scenes within some of them. Unfortunately, the sudden death of the war criminal prevented him from being convicted for his involvement in a brutal war, numerous war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
Germany will “immediately” deliver another sixty-four Patriot surface-to-air missiles to Kyiv, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced at the NATO ministerial in Brussels. Sweden announced another security package worth $23.7 million, including Ukrainian pilots test-flying the country’s Gripen fighter jets. The U.S. National Defense Bill (H.R. 2670) draft includes $80 million for ATACMS for Ukraine within the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. The draft also includes the Lend-Lease extension to 2024.
“We agreed that Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance. We will not discuss the invitation at the Vilnius summit, but (we will discuss how) we are bringing Ukraine closer to NATO. I am confident that we will find a good solution at the Vilnius summit,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said. “One (element) is to move Ukraine closer to NATO in practical terms, and this is an all-encompassing assistance package and a multi-year program that will help them move from Soviet-era doctrines to NATO standards doctrine and equipment to achieve full interoperability with NATO. That takes time. We have been working on this for many years, but the more we succeed in making Ukrainian forces fully interoperable with NATO, the closer they come to NATO in practical military terms,” Stoltenberg said. “And here we are now, very close to finalizing the agreement to establish the NATO-Ukraine Council, which will be something different from the Commission, where 31 allies meet Ukraine. This will be a body of 32: 31 allies and Ukraine equal sitting at the table with the same rights and the same possibilities to consult and make decisions together if we find that there are things to do. That is a different type of working together politically, and we will bring Ukraine closer to NATO in political terms,” the Secretary-General said.
Earlier, Germany’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that NATO allies might be ready to remove some hurdles on Ukraine’s path to membership. President Joe Biden has supported a proposal by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to announce that Ukraine does not need to implement a Membership Action Plan to join NATO, Axios reported. Neither Finland nor Sweden was required to fulfill a MAP.
Vladimir Putin made a public appearance at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where he made peculiar statements. In one statement, Putin made an antisemitic remark, claiming to have Jewish friends who criticize Volodymyr Zelensky and consider him a disgrace to the Jewish people. He did not mention the names of his supposed friends, but he may have been referring to individuals like the Rotenberg brothers (net worth $4.9 billion) and Yuri Kovalchuk (net worth $2.6 billion), who have faced frozen assets in the West and have reasons to hate Zelensky personally.
“I can personally say that I am proud of President Zelensky, that he did not run away and is doing everything to help the Ukrainian people. And not only me. I think that the whole world is proud of him,” Moshe Reuven Azman said. The Chief Rabbi of Ukraine added that are no neo-Nazis in Ukraine but “decent people in Ukraine who defend their homeland.”
“The war in Ukraine was started by the Ukrainian regime with the support of sponsors in the West in 2014. What is this if not war? This is what war is,” the Russian President admitted the obvious fact that there had been a war going on since 2014. However, it is worth noting that there have been numerous instances where criminal and administrative cases were brought against individuals for “discrediting the Armed Forces,” and people were imprisoned or fined for using the word “war.”
During his speech, Putin claimed that Russian forces had destroyed five Patriot air defense systems. However, Ukraine operates only two of these systems, and there was only one reported incident of minor damage that was promptly repaired. Additionally, Putin threatened that Russia could target any location in Kyiv, but on the same day, Ukraine’s Air Defense Forces intercepted a dozen of hypersonic Kinzhal missiles and Kalibr missiles.
Putin mentioned the possibility of hitting F-16 jets if they were used against Russia from air bases outside Ukraine. However, there is no consideration of deploying F-16s from foreign air bases, and Putin is well aware of Article 5 and the consequences of attacking a NATO nation. On the other hand, this statement highlights the emptiness of the threats regarding the transfer of Western-made modern jets.
Russia’s Foreign Minister threatened a “military-technical response,” which means attempts to target jets on Ukrainian soil as if the Russian Forces haven’t been trying to do it from day one. He also mentioned a bizarre claim that such jets might carry nuclear warheads, while neither Ukraine nor Western partners even discussed arming Ukraine with nuclear weapons.
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