Russo Ukrainian War. Day 273: Russian missile attack on a maternity ward kills a newborn baby

 

Daily review

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

The Russian Federation is actively transferring equipment to the Zaporizhzhia direction. Russia has damaged almost all thermal power plants and large hydroelectric power plants in Ukraine. Russian missile attack on a maternity ward kills a newborn baby in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast. 

Daily overview — Summary report, November 23

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, November 23, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below:

Situation in Ukraine. November 22, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. November 22, 2022. Source: ISW.

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The two-hundred-seventy-third (273) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military large-scale invasion continues.
Over the past 24 hours, units of the Defence Forces repelled the attacks of the occupiers in the areas of the settlements of Bilohorivka in the Luhansk region and Spirne, Berestove, Bakhmut, Kurdyumivka, Pivnichne, Novobakhmutivka, Krasnohorivka, Pervomaiske, Nevelske and Maryinka in the Donetsk oblast.
Over the past day, the enemy launched 5 rocket attacks on populated areas of the Kharkiv and Donetsk oblasts, carried out about 45 attacks from rocket salvo systems on the positions of our troops and towns and villages.
In the Volyn and Polissya directions, the situation has not changed significantly, and no signs of the formation of enemy offensive groups have been detected.
In the Siverskyi region, in the border areas of the Bryansk and Kursk regions, the enemy continues to conduct demonstration and provocative actions. Fired rocket and barrel artillery in the areas of the settlements of Semenivka in the Chernihiv oblast and Novovasylivka, Kustyne, Druzhba, Vilna Sloboda and Shalygine in the Sumy oblast.
Kharkiv Battle Map. November 22, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. November 22, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Slobozhansky direction, in the border areas of the Belgorod region, the enemy is holding a group of troops to carry out demonstration actions. The positions of our troops are periodically shelled with mortars and barrel artillery. The areas of the settlements of Strilech, Hlyboke, Krasne, Izbytske and Ohirtseve of the Kharkiv oblast were shelled. Made an attempt to infiltrate a subversive and intelligence group in the area of ​​Starytsa settlement. Theфу subversive reconnaissance groups were neutralized by the fire of our units. The enemy left.
In the Kupyansk and Lyman directions, the occupiers are conducting defense, carrying out shelling from tanks and artillery, in particular in the areas of the settlements of Kislivka, Tabaivka, Krokhmalne, Berestove and Vyshneve in the Kharkiv oblast and Novoselivske, Stelmakhivka, Makiivka, Ploshanka, Yampolivka and Bilohorivka in the Luhansk oblast.
Donetsk Battle Map. November 22, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Donetsk Battle Map. November 22, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Bakhmut and Avdiivka areas, the enemy is concentrating its main efforts on conducting offensive operations. The areas of the settlements of Spirne, Vyimka, Berestove, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Opytne, Andriyivka, Zelenopillya, Kurdyumivka, Yakovlivka, Klishchiivka, Avdiivka, Vodyane, Pervomaiske, Nevelske and Maryinka were shelled from tanks and the entire spectrum of artillery.
The enemy is on the defensive in the Novopavlivsk and Zaporizhzhia directions. Shelling of the positions of the Defence Forces and the areas of the settlements of Vuhledar, Prechystivka, Shakhtarske, Velyka Novosilka, Vremivka, Novopil in Donetsk oblast and Zeleny Hay, Dorozhnyanka, Temyrivka, Poltavka, Chervone and Orihiv in the Zaporizhzhia oblast was recorded.
Kherson and Mykolaiv Battle Map. November 22, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kherson and Mykolaiv Battle Map. November 22, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Kryvyi Rih and Kherson directions, the enemy is conducting positional defense, improving the fortification equipment of the positions, and does not stop the artillery shelling of the positions of our troops and settlements on the right bank of the Dnipro River. Used barrel and rocket artillery for shelling the settlements of Maryivka, Dnipropetrovsk oblast; Dudchany, Kachkarivka, Novotyahynka, Tokarivka, Poniativka, Antonivka and Dniprovske of the Kherson oblast and the city of Kherson.
Additional equipment is being observed by the enemy of defensive lines along the section of the Kakhovka – Melitopol highway in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.
In the city of Sevastopol, on the basis of one of the educational institutions, the training of operators of unmanned aerial vehicles of both russian and iranian production continues. The term of training of these specialists is up to three weeks. Currently, about 30 servicemen are being trained.
The occupying forces continue to suffer losses. So, in the village of Kalanchak of the Kherson oblast, the local hospital does not have enough beds to accommodate the wounded invaders. About 40 wounded occupiers were brought to the settlement of Velyki Kopani during the previous day.
According to detailed information, on November 21 of this year, in the Zaporizhzhia oblast, the destruction of the enemy S-300 anti-aircraft missile complex and 5 units of military equipment of various types in the area of ​​the settlement of Polohy was confirmed. In addition, 40 servicemen were injured. A checkpoint of the occupiers was destroyed near Vesele, Zaporizhzhia oblast, and 15 servicemen were wounded of various degrees of severity. In Melitopol, the enemy lost up to 30 people wounded.
During the past day, Ukrainian aviation made 3 strikes on the areas of concentration of personnel, weapons and military equipment of the occupiers, and soldiers of missile forces and artillery hit the enemy’s control post.

Military Updates

Shelling by Russian Troops. Icelandic Data Analyst. ~

Shelling by Russian Troops. Icelandic Data Analyst.

The Russian Federation is actively transferring equipment to the Zaporizhzhia direction. According to the adviser to the mayor of Mariupol Petr Andryushchenko, more than 100 pieces of equipment passed through Mariupol toward Zaporizhzhia. The transfer of equipment to the Donetsk and Luhansk directions was also noticed.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1595102236169965574

In 2023 Russia may use Iranian drones of its own production in Ukraine. According to CNN, Iran and Russia entered into an agreement in early November and Tehran begins to transfer drawings and components for drones to Moscow. Russia intends to manufacture thousands of new drones with Iranian components according to the received drawings.

Russia is running out of missiles – Ukraine’s Minister of Defense. The estimated quantity of the Russian missiles stored in stockpiles and recently produced in the Russian Federation has been shared by Ukraine’s Minister of Defense on his Twitter. According to the estimates of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Russia has significantly depleted its high-precision missile arsenal over the past eight months of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Read more here.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1595191142638882820

Regional Updates

A newborn baby killed in an overnight Russian missile attack on a maternity ward in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast. 

In the Kherson Oblast, one child dead, two injured by a Russian shelling.

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

  • Since September, Russia has likely launched hundreds of Iranian-manufactured uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) against Ukraine. These have been a mixture of one way attack (OWA) UAVs and more traditional reusable armed systems.

 

  • Russia has largely used these weapons against tactical military targets and the Ukrainian electricity grid. However, recently Russian commanders likely also wanted Iranian-sourced UAVs to prioritise medical facilities as targets of opportunity, and strike them with guided munitions if identified.
  • Russia likely conceived of the UAV campaign to make up for its severe shortage of cruise missiles, but the approach has had limited success. Most UAVs launched have been neutralised.

 

  • No OWA UAVs strikes have been publicly reported since around 17 November 2022. Russia has likely very nearly exhausted its current stock, but will probably seek resupply. Russia can probably procure UAVs from overseas more rapidly than it can manufacture new cruise missiles domestically.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of 23 November, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:

Losses of Russian Army. Source: Ukrinform. ~

Losses of Russian Army. Source: Ukrinform.

Humanitarian 

WHO documented 703 attacks on Ukraine’s health infrastructure: millions of lives under threat in Ukraine this winter. The lives of millions will be under threat in Ukraine this winter, the World Health Organization has said, according to BBC. Half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is either damaged or destroyed, and 10 million are currently without power, said Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe. Read more here.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1595206493992882177

Russians hit the humanitarian aid center killing one, and injuring two in Orikhiv, Zaporizhzhia Oblast – Oblast Head. Read more here.

Environment

Russia has damaged almost all thermal power plants and large hydroelectric power plants in Ukraine, said the head of Ukrenergo

A NATO intervention in Ukraine would prevent nuclear disaster: Opinion

Legal 

Ukraine accuses Russia of staging simulated surrender in Makiivka and claims there were no ‘executed POWs’. Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office has initiated proceedings over the incident in Makiivka (Luhansk oblast) in which at least 12 Russian fighters were killed.  While Russia is claiming that these were prisoners of war who had surrendered, examination of video footage has led the Luhansk Regional Prosecutor to classify this as the war crime of perfidy, with the Russians having, allegedly, imitated surrender, only for one of the soldiers to open fire on the approaching Ukrainians. Read more here. 

Support 

The World Bank Group has announced an additional assistance package for Ukraine of $4.5 billion. The total financial support provided to Ukraine by the World Bank reaches $17.8 billion.

New Developments

Most parts of Iranian drones are produced by the US and European companies. The investigation by Ukrainian intelligence showed that three-quarters of the components of Iranian drones are American-made. All evidence of the involvement of representatives of foreign countries in the supply of weapons and their components to Russia will be transferred to international organizations and economic sanctions to be imposed.
Ukrainian intelligence services officially commented on the searches in the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery. The SBU states that the purpose of the measures is “preventing the use of the monastery as a cell of the” Russian world ,” verifying data on the use of the premises of the UOC for harboring sabotage and reconnaissance groups, foreign citizens, storing weapons, etc.; protecting the population from provocations and terrorist acts.” Law enforcement officers inspect the territory and premises of the Lavra, look for objects prohibited for circulation there, and check persons on the territory of the Lavra for their involvement in illegal activities to the detriment of the state sovereignty of Ukraine.

In the Rivne region, priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) hid saboteurs and spread the “Russian world” propaganda. Propaganda materials were found on the territory of the monasteries of the diocese. Funds in the amount of UAH 800,000 and $17,500 were found in the administration of the Sarnensko-Polesye diocese of the UOC. An investigation has been launched into the activities of the managing eparch, Metropolitan Anatoly (Gladky).
The Kremlin is trying to incite electricity riots in Ukraine. After taking out Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, Russia tries to incite anti-blackout riots. Rolling blackouts are now Ukraine’s new normal after Russia struck more than 50% of the power infrastructure. Many places are without power for half of the day; some, like Odesa, have had no electricity for several days, and the Kremlin is busy attempting to incite riots against the power outages. But there’s one thing standing in the way: Russian trolls don’t know Ukrainian… Read more here.

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of 22 November, 2022:

The Kremlin appears to be setting information conditions for a false-flag attack in Belgorod Oblast, Russia, likely in an effort to regain public support for the war in Ukraine. Kremlin propagandists have begun hypothesizing that Ukrainian forces seek to invade Belgorod Oblast, and other Russian sources noted that Russian forces need to regain control over Kupyansk, Kharkiv Oblast, to minimize the threat of a Ukrainian attack.[1] These claims have long circulated within the milblogger community, which had criticized the Russian military command for abandoning buffer positions in Vovchansk in northeastern Kharkiv Oblast following the Russian withdrawal from the region in September.[2] Russian milbloggers have also intensified their calls for Russia to regain liberated territories in Kharkiv Oblast on November 22, stating that such preemptive measures will stop Ukrainians from carrying out assault operations in the Kupyansk and Vovchansk directions.[3] Belgorod Oblast Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov also published footage showcasing the construction of the Zasechnaya Line fortifications on the Ukraine-Belgorod Oblast border.[4] Wagner Group financier Yevgeniy Prigozhin clarified that Wagner is building the Zasechnaya Line after having changed its name from Wagner Line because “many people in [Russia] do not like the activity of private military company Wagner.”[5] Private military companies are illegal in Russia.

Russian claims of an imminent Ukrainian attack on Belgorod Oblast are absurd and only aim to scare the general public to support the war. Ukraine has no strategic interest in invading Russia and no ability to do so at such a scale. Ukrainian forces are continuing to liberate occupied settlements in western Luhansk Oblast following their victory in northern Kharkiv Oblast.[6] Support for Russia’s nonsensical invasion is declining among Russian residents of border regions and the rest of the country as a result of mobilization and military failures. Russian opposition outlets reported that relatives of mobilized men have ignited protests in 15 Russian regions since the end of October, with the most notable ones taking place in regions bordering Ukraine.[7] A Russian opposition outlet, Meduza, citing two unnamed sources close to the Kremlin, reported that the Russian Presidential Administration carried out an internal survey in different regions where many expressed apathy toward the war.[8] While ISW cannot independently verify Meduza’s report, emerging calls for demobilization among relatives of mobilized men suggest that Russian propaganda is ineffective in countering the real-life consequences of the war on the society.[9]

These ridiculous speculations about a fantastical Ukrainian invasion of Russia may also be part of the Kremlin’s effort to acknowledge and appease the Russian pro-war nationalist community. Russian milbloggers have repeatedly accused the Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) of failing to defend Russia, including the newly annexed territories.[10] The Kremlin, however, will unlikely be able to reinvade Kharkiv Oblast as demanded by these nationalist figures.

Prigozhin is also using fearmongering about a fictitious Ukrainian invasion threat and the construction of the Zasechnaya Line to solidify his power in Russian border regions and Russia. Belgorod Oblast officials previously halted the construction of the Wagner Line, and the line’s rebranding alongside other Prigozhin projects in St. Petersburg and Kursk Oblast signifies that he will continue to establish himself in Russia while ostensibly supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war.[11]

The Russian military has significantly depleted its arsenal of high-precision missiles but will likely still be able to attack Ukrainian critical infrastructure at scale in the near term. Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov released figures on November 22 detailing that the Russian military has only 119 Iskanders missiles, 13 percent of its initial February 2022 arsenal.[12] Reznikov’s figures also show that Russian forces have significantly depleted other key high-precision weapons systems with only 229 Kalibr missiles (45 percent of the initial February 2022 stock), 150 Kh-155 missiles (50 percent of the initial February 2022 stock), and 120 Kh-22/32 missiles (32 percent of the initial February 2022 stock) remaining. Reznikov’s figures show that Russian forces have substantially depleted stocks of 3M-55 “Onyx”, S-300, Kh-101, Kh-35, and Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missiles as well.[13]

Ukrenergo head Volodymyr Kudrytsky stated on November 22 that Russian forces have damaged almost all thermal power plants, large hydropower plants, and Ukrenergo hub substations in Ukraine.[14] Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stated on November 18 that more than half of the Ukrainian power grid has failed as a result of Russian missile strikes.[15] DTEK CEO Maxim Tymchenko urged Ukrainians to leave the country, if possible, on November 19 to ease demand on the Ukrainian power grid, and YASNO CEO Serhiy Kovalenko stated on November 21 that regular power outages will likely last at least until the end of March 2023.[16] Russian forces will likely be able to continue to reduce the overall capacity of Ukrainian critical infrastructure in the near term given the current state of the Ukrainian power grid. The depletion of the Russian military’s high-precision missile arsenal will likely prevent it from conducting missile strikes at a high pace, however. ISW continues to assess that the Russian military will fail to achieve its goal of degrading the Ukrainian will to fight through its coordinated campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure.

The Russian military is likely experiencing problems in replenishing its arsenal of high-precision weapons systems. Ukrainian Air Force Command spokesperson Yuriy Ignat stated on November 21 that Russia is experiencing problems with the supply of Iranian missiles to the Russian Federation.[17] Ignat speculated that diplomatic resources, negotiations, or other countries’ influence may have impacted Iran’s ability or willingness to supply Russia with ballistic missiles.[18] ISW has previously assessed that Russia is increasingly dependent on Iran for the provision of high-precision weapons systems.[19] Ignat also reported that Russia lacks the necessary components produced abroad to support the manufacturing of the number of missiles it needs for its campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure.[20] Reznikov stated that Russia manufactured 120 Kalibr and Kh-101 missiles and 360 Kh-35 missiles since February 2022, allowing the Russian military to partially offset the heavy use of these weapons systems in massive strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure.[21] Russia likely significantly strained the existing capacity of its military industry in producing these missiles.

Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko has traveled to Iran to discuss economic cooperation and possibly security ties. Golovchenko met with Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber and will likely meet Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials in the coming days.[22] Golovchenko’s visit to Tehran follows the Ukrainian Main Directorate of Intelligence reporting on November 17 that Iran may help Belarus produce artillery shells.[23]

Russian military movements suggest that Russian forces are likely reinforcing positions in eastern Zaporizhzhia and western Donetsk oblasts. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on November 22 that Chechen and Wagner Group formations deployed to Debaltseve, Donetsk Oblast, and that Russian forces are regrouping individual units in the area of Molchansk, Zaporizhzhia Oblast (just northeast of Melitopol).[24] Social media sources posted images on November 21 showing Russian trucks and vehicles in Melitopol moving from the south to the north throughout November.[25] Geolocated images show Russian military vehicles moving through Bezimenne and Mariupol in Donetsk Oblast carrying a notable amount of military equipment.[26] ISW has previously assessed that Russian forces have begun reinforcing positions in eastern Zaporizhzhia Oblast with personnel from Kherson Oblast and mobilized personnel.[27] Russian forces may be reinforcing positions in eastern Zaporizhzhia and western Donetsk oblasts to prepare for perceived threats of future Ukrainian operations or to support the effort to restart the Donetsk offensive.

Key Takeaways

  • The Kremlin may be setting information conditions for a false-flag attack in Belgorod Oblast.
  • The Russian military has significantly depleted its arsenal of high-precision missiles but will likely still threaten Ukrainian infrastructure.
  • The Russian military is likely struggling to replenish its arsenal of high-precision weapons systems.
  • The Belarusian prime minister traveled to Iran to discuss economic cooperation and possible security ties.
  • Russian military movements suggest that Russian forces are likely reinforcing positions in eastern Zaporizhzhia and western Donetsk oblasts.
  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations around Bakhmut and Avdiivka.
  • Crimean occupation officials demonstrated heightened unease—likely over Ukrainian strikes on Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) in the peninsula and ongoing military operations on the Kinburn Spit.
  • The Kremlin continues to deflect concerns about mobilization onto the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).
  • Russian sources continue to tout the forced adoption of Ukrainian children into Russian families.

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