Russo Ukrainian war. Day 257: Russia forcibly transfers Ukrainian children to Russia

 

Daily review

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

The Russian military launched 4 missile and 24 air strikes, carried out more than 55 MLRS attacks, hitting  30 settlements in Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Sumy, and Kherson Oblasts. The Russian army sustained severe losses in Donetsk Oblast, conducted ground attacks near Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Vuhledar. Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in the direction of Svatove and Kreminna. Ukrainian shelling in Luhansk Oblast killed up to 500 Russian mobilized personnel in one day. Russian forces take defensive positions in Kherson Oblast. Ukrainian forces continued their interdiction campaign against Russian logistics in Kherson Oblast. Ukrainian personnel repaired two external power lines to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Russian occupation officials continued forced relocation of civilians in Kherson Oblast. Russian occupation officials continued to forcibly transfer Ukrainian children from occupied Ukraine to Russia. Wagner is creating training and management centers for local “people’s militias” in Kursk and Belgorod oblasts.

Daily overview — Summary report, November 7

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, November 7, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below:

Situation in Ukraine. November 6, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. November 6, 2022. Source: ISW.

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The two-hundred-fifty-seventh (257) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military large-scale invasion continues.
The enemy is trying to keep the temporarily captured territories, concentrates efforts on restraining the actions of the Defense Forces in certain areas. Conducts offensive actions in the Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Novopavlivka directions.
Over the past 24 hours, units of the Defence Forces have repelled attacks by occupiers in the areas of Yampil, Andriivka, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Pavlivka, Vodyane, Novomykhailivka in the Donetsk oblast and Bilohorivka in the Luhansk oblast.
During the past day, the enemy launched 4 missile and 24 air strikes, carried out more than 55 MLRS attacks.
Areas of 30 settlements in Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Sumy, and Kherson oblasts were hit by enemy attacks.
The situation in the Volyn and Polissya directions has not changed significantly.
The enemy shelled in other directions:
in the Siversky direction – from mortars, barrel and jet artillery, in the areas of the settlements of Hai of the Chernihiv oblast and Stukalivka, Popivka and Vorozhba of the Sumy oblast. In addition, the occupiers used attack UAVs;
Kharkiv Battle Map. November 6, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. November 6, 2022. Source: ISW.

in the Slobozhanskyi direction – from tanks and the entire range of artillery in the areas of Novoselivske, Myasozharivka, Vovchansk, Stelmakhivka, Berestove, Ohirtseve and Strilecha settlements;
in the Kupyansk and Lyman directions – from artillery of various types, in the areas of Serebryanka, Nevske, Makiivka, Bilohorivka, Ploshchanka, Spirne and Verkhnyokamianske settlements;
Donetsk Battle Map. November 6, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Donetsk Battle Map. November 6, 2022. Source: ISW.

in the Bakhmut direction – from tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery, in the areas of Andriivka, Soledar, Yakovlivka, Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Opytne, Mayorsk, Chasiv Yar, Klishchiivka and Zelenopillya settlements;
in the Avdiivka direction – from tanks and artillery of various calibers, in the areas of Avdiivka, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, Vuhledar and Opytne settlements;
in the Novopavlivskyi and Zaporizhzhia directions – from mortars, barrel and jet artillery, in the areas of the settlements of Hulyaipole, Hulyaipilske, Olhivske, Dorozhnyanka, Novopil, Shcherbaky, Novodanilivka, Vremivka and Pavlivka;
Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. November 6, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. November 6, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Southern Buh region – from tanks and artillery of various types, in the areas of Blahodatne, Davidiv Brid, Dudchany, Myrne, Nova Kamianka and Pravdyne settlements. In addition, the enemy continued to conduct aerial reconnaissance, actively using UAVs. Made more than 20 flies.
The russian occupying forces continue to grossly violate the laws and customs of warfare against the civilian population. The search for subversive groups and fire adjusters continues in Kakhovka settlement of Kherson oblast. Detainees are taken to Hornostaivka and under torture “beat out” the shows. Similar measures are taking place in Borivske and Shchedryshcheve settlements of the Luhansk oblast: mass searches, seizing of mobile phones, kidnapping of people who are taken to an unknown destination.
In Kherson, the occupiers, disguised in civilian clothes, occupy the premises of civilians and strengthen positions inside for conducting street battles. At the same time, ussian propagandist journalists are planning to shoot videos in the city on the topic of the alleged destruction of the civilian population by the Defense Forces of Ukraine.
According to the updated information, the defeat of the enemy in the previous days has been confirmed. So, in the settlement of Horlivka, Donetsk oblast, an attack was made on the area where the enemy’s equipment was concentrated. 5 combat vehicles were destroyed, 4 more were damaged. In the area of ​​the settlement of Mayorsk, the daily losses of the enemy are up to 30 people killed and more than 120 wounded of various degrees of severity. In the settlement of Lysychansk, a unit of the Akhmat battalion was damaged. The occupiers lost more than 30 killed and up to 15 wounded. The real number of dead is carefully concealed by the enemy.
During the past day, the aviation of the Defence Forces of Ukraine struck the enemy 22 times. 20 areas of concentration of personnel, weapons and military equipment, as well as 2 positions of the enemy’s anti-aircraft defence equipment, were affected. Our air defence units shot down 5 enemy UAVs.
Over the past day, soldiers of the Ukrainian missile forces and artillery hit 2 control points, 8 areas of concentration of manpower, weapons and military equipment, an ammunition depot, a radio electronic warfare station and other important military objects of the enemy.

Military Updates

90% of all taxes and fees of the citizens of Ukraine will go to the army and the security of Ukraine, as stated by Prime Minister Denys Shmygal.
The Russian military is building three lines of defense on the left bank of the Dnieper in the Kherson region and digging in on the Black Sea coast. According to OSINT journalist Benjamin Pitter, who studied satellite images, the Russians are currently digging three lines of trenches with bunkers on the left bank of the Dnieper. They are planned to be used as barriers along with natural ones, such as river channels and the river itself. According to Defense Express, the first line runs along the Dnipro, the other – at a depth of 5-10 km from it, the third – at 20-25 km. Some of the fortifications are located in more remote areas, for example, on the Black Sea coast, in Yagorlitsky Bay. The total length of the lines is 180-200 km, but they are still under construction.

Regional Update

In Sumy Oblast, the railway infrastructure section between Sumy and Konotop was damaged due to the shelling of the railway stations. “Ukrzaliznytsia” warned about the delay and changes in the train schedule.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1589312418664308736

In the Mykoliav Oblast,  Iranian kamikaze drones are hit down by special crews. The Russian military have to launched 15-20 in order for 1-2 to reach the target.

In Kherson Oblast,

In Berislav in the Kherson Oblast, the Russian military force local residents to leave the city by November 10, according to General Staff. The main reason for the occupiers is the alleged destruction of the dam of the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1589292232577757185

At least 20,000-25,000 Russian occupiers are based on the right bank of the Kherson Oblast, said Deputy Chairman of the Kherson Regional Council Yuriy Sobolevskyy. He also said that the “decision-making center” of collaborators “moved” to Henichesk and Skadovsk.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1589247445913026562

In Russia, in the Belgorod region, an oil depot explosion and fire were reported. According to the Russian authorities it was the result of shelling.

 

According to British Defence Intelligence, (last 48 hours): 

  • On 03 November 2022, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, stated that Russia had lost over twice the number of aircraft in Ukraine than in the Soviet-Afghan War. This amounts to 278 aircraft lost in Ukraine compared to 119 in Afghanistan

 

  • Whilst we cannot independently verify these figures, Russia’s continued lack of air superiority is likely exacerbated by poor training, loss of experienced crews, and heightened risks of conducting close air support in dense air defence zones.

 

  • This is unlikely to change in the next few months. Russia’s aircraft losses likely significantly outstrip their capacity to manufacture new airframes. The time required for the training of competent pilots further reduces Russia’s ability to regenerate combat air capability

Losses of the Russian army 

As of 7 November, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:

Large-scale outbreaks of diseases are observed among the military of the Russian Federation in Belarus due to poor nutrition and non-compliance with sanitary conditions. These include bronchitis, tonsillitis, pneumonia, exacerbation of asthma and infections of the gastrointestinal tract.

Humanitarian 

The invaders in the Kherson Oblast look for “saboteurs” and kidnap people to force testimonies. According to the General Staff, in Kakhovka, the Russians detain people, take them to Gornostaevka and torture them to get testimonies. Similar actions are reported in the Luhansk Oblast: mass searches are being carried out, mobile phones are confiscated, and people are kidnapped and transported in an unknown direction. At the same time, in Kherson, the invaders dress up as civilians and move into the homes of civilians, strengthening their positions inside the city. In addition, Russian propagandists also arrived at the scene and plan to shoot videos in the city, faking destruction of the civilian population by the Ukrainian Defense Forces.
Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Russian troops have damaged 1,100 medical institutions and has completely destroyed 144 medical institutions, informed the Ministry of Health. These facilities will have to be rebuilt from scratch. Another 95 healthcare facilities have been almost fully restored. And 204 institutions have been partially repaired. “Restoration of destroyed medical facilities is tentatively estimated at more than 38 billion hryvnia,” the Ministry of Health summed up.

Environment

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1589378357237800960

Legal 

The Czech Republic advocates for a special tribunal for the Russian authorities’ war crimes in Ukraine, as statedby Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky.

Support 

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1589301588853592064

The Bundestag urged to reconsider the ways of supplying ammunition to Ukraine after Switzerland’s refusal. The head of the Bundestag Committee on Defense called for a fundamental review of supply routes after Switzerland refused Germany to re-export Gepard ammunition to Ukraine.

Poland will help Ukraine to adapt Su-24 bombers to carry NATO missiles “Storm Shadow.” “Storm Shadow” is an air-to-ground cruise missile, it is invisible to radars, can be used at any time of the day, in difficult weather conditions and when used by the enemy means of radio-electronic countermeasures.

New Developments 

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1589359302870851584

The Kremlin is trying to interfere in the midterm elections for the US Congress, wrote The New York Times. Troll and bot factories support the Republicans to win in the House of Representatives. Russia hopes to weaken the US’ military support of Ukraine.
The Biden administration is privately asking the Ukrainian leadership to show openness to negotiations with the Russian Federation, writes the Washington Post. The request is intended to ensure that Ukraine’s support is maintained by other countries that face “voter fears that the war in Ukraine will drag on for years.”
Preparations for Ukraine’s accession to the European Union will take “more than a year or two,” stated the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Oliver Varheli.

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of 6 November, 2022:

Key Kremlin officials began collectively deescalating their rhetoric regarding the use of nuclear weapons in early November. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released a statement on “the prevention of nuclear war” on November 2, stating that Russia “is strictly and consistently guided by the postulate of the inadmissibility of a nuclear war in which there can be no winners, and which must never be unleashed.” The Russian MFA also stated that it is committed to the reduction and limitation of nuclear weapons.[1] Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on October 27 that Russia has no need to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine and claimed Russia has never discussed the possibility of using nuclear weapons, only “hinting at the statements made by leaders of Western countries.”[2] The deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, has similarly increasingly downplayed the fiery nuclear rhetoric he used throughout October and is now focusing on promoting Russian unity in the war in Ukraine.[3]

Putin and key Kremlin officials had increased their references to the use of nuclear weapons from Putin’s September 30 annexation speech and throughout October, likely to pressure Ukraine into negotiations and to reduce Western support for Kyiv. Putin made several general references to nuclear weapons in his September 30 speech but avoided directly threatening the use of nuclear weapons.[4] Putin’s rhetoric during this speech and throughout October was consistent with his previous nuclear threats and failed to generate the degree of fear within the Ukrainian government that the Kremlin likely intended.[5] Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Chief Kyrylo Budanov stated on October 24 that the Russian nuclear threat has remained at the same level even prior to the start of the war.[6] The Kremlin also escalated its nuclear rhetoric after Russian military failures in Kharkiv Oblast and during Ukrainian counteroffensives in Lyman and northern Kherson Oblast in early October. The Kremlin likely continued its thinly veiled nuclear threats to deflect from their military and mobilization problems and to intimidate Ukraine’s Western partners.

The Kremlin’s rhetorical shift indicates that senior Russian military commanders and elements of the Kremlin are likely to some extent aware of the massive costs for little operational gain Russia would incur for the use of nuclear weapons against Ukraine or NATO. The New York Times, citing senior US officials, reported that senior Russian defense officials discussed the conditions for nuclear use against the backdrop of growing nuclear narratives in mid-October.[7] The meeting reportedly did not involve Putin. Putin’s illegal September 30 annexation of four Ukrainian oblasts, much of whichRussian forces do not occupy, likely overcomplicated existing Russian military doctrine. Russian nuclear doctrine clearly allows for nuclear weapons use in response to “aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is in jeopardy,” which the Kremlin could conceivably apply to Ukrainian advances into claimed ”Russian” territory in Ukraine.[8] All of the current frontlines fall within claimed Russian territory, andPutin has not publicly defined what now constitutes an attack on Russian territory. It is possible that senior Russian military officials are equally confused about the application of Putin’s annexation order to existing military doctrine. ISW previously reported that Putin’s annexation order was likely a polarizing issue that ignited a fracture within the Kremlin, creating pro-war and pro-negotiations factions.[9] US officials also noted that they have not observed any indicators that Russia has moved its nuclear weapons or undertaken any preparatory steps to prepare for a strike.[10]

Kremlin-run television shows still air the occasional nuclear threat, which are common in Russia’s jingoistic domestic information space. For example, Russia’s State Duma Committee Chairman on Defense, Andrey Kartapolov, briefly discussed nuclear threats on Russian state TV on November 5 despite the general softening of the Kremlin’s narrative.[11] Russian state TV (alongside some populist figures) have previously amplified nuclear threats prior to Russian military failures in the autumn, and their rhetorical flourishes should not be misconstrued as indicators of the Kremlin’s official position. Figures such as the late Russian ultra-nationalist and then leader of the Liberal Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky made regular and outlandish nuclear threats on Russian state broadcasts for years, even threatening to drop a ”little” nuclear bomb on the residence of then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in 2018.[12] The Russian milblogger community largely did not interact with these nuclear narratives and continued to criticize that Russian military command for its conventional battlefield failures. Russian propagandists will continue to make these threats as a way of reminding domestic audiences of Russia’s might amidst clear military failures on the frontlines.

The Kremlin likely privately clarified its nuclear policies to deescalate with the United States and its allies. US and allied officials reported that US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has been in contact with Putin’s foreign policy advisor Yuri Ushakov and Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in an effort to reduce the risk of nuclear use.[13] The Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Andrey Kelin, also noted on October 26 that Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu made several calls to his counterparts, reportedly assuring them that Russia is uninterested in using nuclear weapons in the war.[14] China might have also played a role in pressuring the Kremlin to reduce its nuclear threats. Chinese President Xi Jinping stated on November 4 that “the international community should… jointly oppose the use or threats to use nuclear weapons, advocate that nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought, in order to prevent a nuclear crisis in Eurasia.”[15] Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe likely expressed a similar notion to Shoigu during an October 26 call.[16]

The Kremlin may conduct future rhetorical nuclear brinksmanship in an effort to prompt the United States and its allies to pressure Ukraine to negotiate; the Kremlin will be unable to directly force Kyiv to negotiate through nuclear threats. ISW continues to assess that Russian nuclear use in Ukraine remains unlikely and that the Kremlin is currently taking steps to deescalate its nuclear rhetoric. The Kremlin’s nuclear threats failed to undermine Ukrainian political and societal will to continue to oppose Russia’s invasion. As ISW wrote on September 30, “Ukraine and its international backers have made clear that they will not accept negotiations at gunpoint and will not renounce Ukraine’s sovereign right to its territories.”[17] The United States and its allies should not undermine Ukraine’s continued dedication to recapturing all Russian-occupied territory and halting Russia’s genocidal invasion.

Key inflections in ongoing military operations on November 6:

  • Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin confirmed on November 6 that the Wagner Group is creating training and management centers for local “people’s militias” in Kursk and Belgorod oblasts.[18]
  • Russian milbloggers amplified reports that the Russian 155th Naval Infantry Brigade sustained severe losses during the recent offensive push towards Pavlivka, Donetsk Oblast.[19]
  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in the direction of Svatove and Kreminna.[20]
  • Russian opposition sources reported that Ukrainian shelling near Makiivka, Luhansk Oblast may have killed up to 500 Russian mobilized personnel in one day.[21]
  • Russian forces continued establishing defensive positions on the west (right) bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast.[22] Ukrainian forces continued their interdiction campaign against Russian logistics in Kherson Oblast.[23]
  • Russian forces conducted ground attacks near Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Vuhledar.[24] Russian sources claimed that Russian forces broke through Ukrainian defenses near Bakhmut, made marginal gains south of Avdiivka, and remained impaled near Pavliivka in western Donetsk Oblast.[25]
  • Ukrainian personnel repaired two external power lines to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) on November 5, resuming the supply of electricity to the ZNPP after shelling deenergized the facility on November 3.[26]
  • Russian occupation officials continued to cite the threat of a Ukrainian strike on the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Station to justify the continued forced relocation of civilians in Kherson Oblast.[27]
  • Russian occupation officials continued to forcibly transfer Ukrainian children from occupied Ukraine to Russia under the guise of “vacation” schemes.[28]
  • Russian forces continued to struggle with domestic resistance to and poor provisioning of ongoing mobilization efforts.[29]

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