Russo Ukrainian War. Day 269: 30% of Ukraine’s territory is mined

 

Daily review

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) does not recognize the illegal Russian seizure of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).  Russian forces continued limited ground assaults in Donetsk Oblast. 30% of Ukraine’s territory is mined.

Daily overview — Summary report, November 19

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, November 19, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below:

Situation in Ukraine. November 18, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. November 18, 2022. Source: ISW.

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The two-hundred-sixty-ninths (269) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military large-scale invasion continues.
The enemy is concentrating its efforts on restraining the actions of the Defence Forces in separate directions, at the same time, it is conducting offensive actions in the Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Novopavlivka directions.
Over the past day, units of the Defence Forces repelled attacks by russian occupiers in the districts of Bilohorivka, Zelenopilla, Klishchiivka, Pervomaiske, Vodyane and Novomykhailivka of the Donetsk oblast.
Over the past day, the enemy carried out 10 air strikes and 10 missile strikes, carried out 42 MLRS attacks.
The adversary continues to strike critical infrastructure and civilian homes, in violation of International Humanitarian Law, laws and customs of war. Thus, objects of the civil infrastructure of the city of Zaporizhzhia were hit by a missile.
The situation in the Volyn and Polissya directions has not changed significantly. The republic of belarus continues to support the armed aggression of the russian federation against Ukraine.
The enemy shelled in such other directions:
in the Siverskyi direction – from mortars and rocket artillery, in the areas of Atynske and Novovolodymyrivka settlements of the Sumy oblast;
Kharkiv Battle Map. November 18, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. November 18, 2022. Source: ISW.

in the Slobozhanskyi direction – from mortars and barrel artillery, in the areas of the settlements of Strilecha, Starytsa, Ohirtseve, Okhrimivka and Zarubinka in the Kharkiv oblast;
in the Kupyansk and Lyman directions – from tanks and the entire variety of artillery, in the areas of the settlements of Novomlynsk, Orlyanka, Kotlyarivka, Krokhmalne and Tabaivka of the Kharkiv oblast;
Novoselivske, Myasozharivka, Novoyehorivka, Ploshanka and Nevske in the Luhansk oblast and Torske, Andriivka and Berestove in the Donetsk oblast;
in the Bakhmut direction – from tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery, in the areas of the settlements of Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Bilohorivka, Verkhnyokamianske, Vesele, Zelenopillia, Kurdyumivka, Mayorsk, New York, Serebryanivka, Soledar, Spirne, Yakovlivka in Donetsk oblast;
Donetsk Battle Map. November 18, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Donetsk Battle Map. November 18, 2022. Source: ISW.

in the Avdiivka direction – from tanks and artillery of various types, in the areas of Vodyane, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, and Novomykhailivka settlements of the Donetsk oblast;
in the Novopavlivka and Zaporizhzhia directions – from tanks and artillery of various calibers, in the areas of Bohoyavlenka, Blahodatne, Vremivka and Vuhledar settlements in Donetsk oblast and Kamianske of the Zaporizhzhia oblast;
in the Kryvyi Rih direction – from tanks, barrel and jet artillery, in the areas of Mylove and Chervonyi Mayak settlements;
Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. November 18, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. November 18, 2022. Source: ISW.

in the Kherson direction – from tanks and artillery, in the districts of Antonivka, Beryslav, Odradokamyanka, Chornobayivka and the city of Kherson.
According to detailed information, in the period from November 10 to 16, about 500 wounded servicemen of the russian occupation forces, most of whom were recently mobilized, were brought to the hospital from the direction of Mayorsk to the city of Horlivka.
Fire damage to the enemy’s concentration area in Mykhailivka settlement of Skadovsky district has been confirmed. Personnel losses amounted to 40 dead and 70 wounded. They were taken to hospitals in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
During the day, the Air Force of the Defence Forces carried out 7 strikes on areas where the enemy’s personnel, weapons and military equipment were concentrated.
Soldiers of the Ukrainian missile forces and artillery over the past day hit the control post, more than 12 areas of concentration of manpower and anti-aircraft defence, and the means of air defence of the occupiers.

Military Updates

Shelling by Russian Troops. Icelandic Data Analyst. ~

Shelling by Russian Troops. Icelandic Data Analyst.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1593692231789121538

30% of Ukraine’s territory is mined, an area equal to two Austrias. The head of Ukraine’s State Emergency Service Serhiy Kruk informed that 30% of Ukraine’s territory is full of mines as a consequence of Russia’s invasion. He told that 8,000 square kilometers of the Kherson and Mykolaiv Oblasts, liberated in Ukraine’s latest offensive, are currently being cleared of explosives, for which SES specialists from western Ukraine have been deployed. Euromaidan Press. 

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1593725988600483841

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

  • On 16 November 2022, Russia conducted its largest-ever debt issuance in a single day, raising RUB 820 (USD $13.6 billion). This is important for Russia as debt issuance is a key mechanism to sustain defence spending, which has increased significantly since the invasion of Ukraine.

 

  • Russia’s declared ‘national defence’ spending for 2023 is planned at approximately RUB 5 trillion (USD $84 billion), a more than 40% increase on the preliminary 2023 budget announced in 2021.

 

  • Debt issuance is expensive during periods of uncertainty. The size of this auction highly likely indicates the Russian Ministry of Finance perceives current conditions as relatively favourable but is anticipating an increasingly uncertain fiscal environment over the next year.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of 19 November, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:

Army in Ukraine. MFA of Ukraine. ~

Army in Ukraine. MFA of Ukraine.

Humanitarian 

Three Russian missiles destroyed a residential area including a 2-storey residential building in Vilniansk of Zaporizhzhia Oblast at night on 17 November, Oblast head Oleksandr Starukh informed. More people could be under the rubble since four families lived there. 34 rescuers and 10 volunteers are continuing dismantling the rubble. Euromaidan Press. 

Environment

“Zelenskyy said ‘the difficult situation with energy supply persists in a total of 17 regions and in the capital’, but added that there were ‘significantly fewer emergency shutdowns” during the day as energy industry workers were racing to restore power,’ writes DW.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1593702261628313603

Legal 

Swedish prosecutor confirms Nord Stream blasts were sabotage: traces of explosives found. Read more here.

Support 

Ukraine to jointly produce heavy weapons, military equipment with at least six NATO countries. Read more here.

Swedish Parliament supported military aid package for Ukraine worth 284 mn USD. The aid package will comprise air defense systems and ammunition to them, personnel all-terrain vehicles, personal equipment including winter gear and body armor, aiming devices, tents, and masking nets. Euromaidan Press. 

New Developments 

Russian prisoner numbers fall by a record 23,000 amid Wagner PMC recruitment campaign. The number of male convicts in Russian jails has fallen by a record 23,000, the Russian independent media Mediazona reports, citing Russian official prison data. This is the largest such jump since 2010. Read more here. 

Hungary will not support a European Union plan to provide Ukraine with €18 bn in budget assistance next year, its PM Victor Orban said at a conference in Budapest, instead proposing an alternative of bilateral agreements. Read more here.

Pope Francis reiterated Vatican’s ready to mediate to stop the conflict in Ukraine. He also clarified that the Vatican appreciates any glimpse that could lead to a real ceasefire and real negotiations. Euromaidan Press.

“Ukraine has momentum. What it needs now are munitions,” wrote The Economist. On the offensive since August, Ukraine is running short of many different types of ammunition, including the air-defense interceptors needed to parry Iranian-supplied drones and Russian missiles, The Economist argues. Euromaidan Press. 

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of 18 November, 2022:

Russian officials are preparing for further covert mobilization efforts even as the fall conscription cycle is underway, likely further flooding the already overburdened Russian force generation apparatus in such a way that will be detrimental to the development of mobilized and conscripted servicemen. Russian Telegram channels actively discussed indicators on November 18 that the Kremlin is preparing for a second mobilization wave and circulated an image of a draft summons received by a citizen of St. Petersburg who was reportedly told to appear for mobilization in January 2023 despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of the formal end of partial mobilization on October 31.[1] Nationalist milbloggers additionally circulated claims that general mobilization will begin in December or January.[2] An independent Russian outlet published an investigation on November 18 showing that state structures and enterprises are continuing to prepare their employees for mobilization by sending them to various training programs and mobilization-related educational courses.[3] Another Russian outlet noted that the Odintsovo garrison military court in Moscow Oblast inadvertently confirmed that mobilization is continuing despite its formal end.[4] The court reportedly accused a mobilized soldier of beating his commander on November 13 “during the performance of his duties of military service or in connection with the performance of these duties during the period of mobilization,” which indicates that the court is operating on the legal basis that mobilization is still very much underway.[5] The Kremlin has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has no need to sign a decree formally ending the mobilization period, as ISW has previously reported.[6]

The continuation of covert mobilization efforts and potential preparations for another mobilization wave in tandem with the current fall conscription cycle are likely adding substantial strain to an already over-burdened Russian force generation apparatus. As ISW previously assessed, Putin likely ordered the end of partial mobilization in order to free up bureaucratic and administrative capacity for the November 1 conscription class.[7] However, it is evident that Russian authorities never fully halted mobilization efforts, which means that a limited number of mobilized recruits are still being forced through the training system at the same time as conscripts are going through their own training cycle. This will likely lead to even lower quality training for both mobilized recruits and conscripts as they compete for insufficient training capacity. Another wave of mobilization in the coming months will only worsen the situation and likely degrade the overall quality of the Russian troops that will be funneled to the frontline in Ukraine.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that it does not recognize the illegal Russian seizure and operation of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) or the illegal annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory, a sharp escalation in IAEA rhetoric. The IAEA’s Board of Governors issued a statement on November 17 that called on Russia to “immediately abandon its baseless claims of ownership of the plant” and to withdraw “military and other personnel” from the ZNPP due to “grave concerns” over the ZNPP’s integrity.[8] The IAEA issued a statement on November 18 that Russian strikes on November 17 partially or completely cut power to Ukraine’s Khmelnytskyy Nuclear Power Plant and Rivne Nuclear Power Plant, and IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi stated that these strikes demonstrate “the potential nuclear safety and security risks facing all of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities during this terrible war, not just the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.”[9] ISW recently assessed that the IAEA’s rhetorical shift suggests that Russian physical control and operational authority over the ZNPP alarms the IAEA.[10] Russian forces’ ongoing threats to both the ZNPP and Ukrainian nuclear power plants (NPPs) in unoccupied territory indicate that Russia is an unsuitable caretaker of the ZNPP, even though the Russian government relies on claims that it is a responsible operator of the ZNPP to legitimize its ongoing presence at the plant.[11]

Social media footage circulated on November 18 shows a Russian soldier opening fire on Ukrainians as other Russian soldiers were surrendering. The graphic footage shows Ukrainian troops in Makiivka, Luhansk Oblast, taking a group of Russian soldiers prisoner when one Russian soldier emerges from a house holding a gun and opens fire.[12] Drone footage shows the bodies of the deceased Russian soldiers after the incident.[13] Open-source analysts concluded that the Russian soldier opened fire initially, but it is unclear who killed the Russian prisoners, when, and under what circumstances.[14] However, the Russian information space immediately responded to the footage by widely accusing Ukrainian forces of a ”mass execution” of the Russian prisoners.[15] The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against Ukrainian Armed Forces and is reportedly trying to identify the Ukrainian servicemen in the video.[16]

Key Takeaways

  • Russian officials are preparing for further covert mobilization efforts even as the fall conscription cycle is underway, likely further diminishing the development of quality mobilized and conscripted servicemen.
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that it does not recognize the illegal Russian seizure of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) or the illegal annexation of other occupied Ukrainian territory, a sharp escalation in IAEA rhetoric.
  • Social media footage circulated on November 18 shows a Russian soldier opening fire on Ukrainians as other Russian soldiers were surrendering.
  • Russian forces reinforced rear areas in Luhansk Oblast and attempted to regain lost positions as Ukrainian troops continued counteroffensive operations along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
  • Russian forces continued limited ground assaults near Bakhmut and Avdiivka and in western Donetsk Oblast.
  • Russian occupation officials and military leadership are seemingly increasingly concerned about subsequent Ukrainian counteroffensive operations in southern Ukraine.
  • Russia continues to face exceedingly low morale and poor discipline among its forces against the backdrop of ongoing domestic backlash to partial mobilization.
  • Russian occupation officials and forces continued to intensify filtration measures in Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine and to undermine the Ukrainian national identity.

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