Russo Ukrainian War. Day 277: Ukraine to sign declarations on joining NATO with several states of the Alliance

 

Daily review

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

Russian forces continued offensive operations in the directions of Bakhmut and Avdiivka and establishing fortifications in eastern Kherson Oblast. Ukraine will sign declarations on joining NATO with several states of the Alliance by the end of the year.

Daily overview — Summary report, November 26

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, November 26, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below:

Situation in Ukraine. November 26, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. November 26, 2022. Source: ISW.

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The two-hundred-seventy-seventh (277) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military large-scale invasion continues.
The enemy continues to regroup troops in order to strengthen units and units in the Lyman, Avdiivka and Novopavlivka directions.
Over the past day, units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine repelled the attacks of the occupiers in the areas of the settlements of Stelmakhivka in the Luhansk oblast and Bilogorivka, Mariinka, Verkhnyokamianske and Spirne in the Donetsk oblast.
The enemy launched 2 missile strikes on civilian objects in the city of Dnipro and carried out 38 MLRS attacks on the positions of our troops and civilian objects, in particular, the city of Kherson.
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, enemy units are performing the task of covering the section of the russian-Ukrainian border and conducting demonstration and provocative actions.
Kharkiv Battle Map. November 26, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. November 26, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Slobozhanskyi direction, the occupiers fired tanks, mortars and barrel artillery at the areas of the settlements of Strilecha, Krasne, Chuhunivka, Izbytske, Ohirtseve, Bochkove, Budarka and Ambarne of the Kharkiv region.
In the Kupyansk direction, the enemy is concentrating its main efforts on conducting offensive operations. In the Lyman direction – leads the defense. Fired tanks and artillery in the areas of the settlements of Berestove, Kupyansk, Kurylivka, Tabaivka, Krokhmalne of the Kharkiv oblast; Nevske in Luhansk oblast and Yampolivka and Torske in Donetsk oblast. In the area of ​​Stelmakhivka, the russian occupiers used TOS-1A heavy flamethrower systems.
Donetsk Battle Map. November 26, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Donetsk Battle Map. November 26, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Bakhmut and Avdiivka areas, the enemy continues to focus its main efforts on conducting offensive operations. It caused fire damage in the areas of Andriivka, Spirne, Berestove, Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Klishchiivka, Kurdyumivka, Avdiivka, Vodyane, Pervomaiske, Maryinka, and Novomykhailivka settlements in the Donetsk oblast.
The enemy is on the defensive in the Novopavlivka and Zaporizhzhia directions. Fired from tanks, mortars, barrel and jet artillery at the positions of the Defense Forces and the areas of settlements of Novoukrayinka, Vuhledar, Vremivka, Novosilka and Novopil of the Donetsk oblast and Poltavka, Malynivka, Chervone, Zaliznychne, Dorozhnyanka, Novodanilivka and Plavna in Zaporizhzhia oblast.
Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. November 26, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. November 26, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Kryvyi Rih and Kherson directions, the enemy used mortars, tanks, barrel and rocket artillery to destroy the settlements of Respublikanets, Prydniprovske, Antonivka of the Kherson oblast and the city of Kherson.
On November 25, it was confirmed that the areas where the enemy’s manpower was concentrated in the Melitopol, Polohy and Mykhailivka settlements of the Zaporizhzhia oblast were hit by fire. The losses of the occupiers amounted to more than 100 people wounded, about 10 units of military equipment of various types were destroyed and 2 ammunition depots.
According to the available information, preparatory measures are underway in the russian Federation and in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine to conduct, from December 10 of this year, another wave of covert mobilization into the ranks of the russian occupying forces.
Over the past day, Ukrainian rocket launchers and artillerymen hit 2 control points, 11 areas of concentration of enemy personnel, weapons and military equipment, as well as one other important enemy object.

Military Updates

Shelling by Russian Troops. Icelandic Data Analyst. ~

Shelling by Russian Troops. Icelandic Data Analyst.

️“A day in Ukraine is like a month or more in Afghanistan,” said Camille Grand, defense expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations and former NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment. Ukraine fires thousands of artillery shells a day in its war with Russia. NATO forces in Afghanistan fired 300 rounds a day.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1596594388930596868

“Providing Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine does not require NATO approval,” said NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg. It is known that Germany previously noted the need to coordinate air defense supplies to Ukraine with NATO. However, according to Stoltenberg, the corresponding decision should be made by individual countries: “Concrete decisions on specific systems are national decisions. Sometimes there are end-user agreements and other things that they need to consult with other allies. But, in the end, this decision must be made by national governments,” said the NATO Secretary General.
Regional Updates
In Donetsk Oblast, the Russian military fired at Chasov Yar. 3 injured, according to the head of the Donetsk OVA Pavel Kirilenko. A direct hit destroyed the entrance of a five-story residential building, damaged an unfinished building and a warehouse.
In Kherson Oblast, the village of Chornobayevka went under fire. 1 child injured. Since Kherson Oblast liberation, 32 civilians were killed by shelling. Supplying Kherson with energy has started. Full restoration of electricity in the city will take several days
In Kyiv, electricity, water, heating and communications have been almost completely restored. Repair work in the power grid system is at the final stage. Emergency blackouts continue.
In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast,  two Russian missiles hit a transport infrastructure facility in Kryvyi Rih, causing serious destruction. In Dnipro, three Russian missiles hit residential area, 7 private houses damaged. 13 injured, 4 hospitalized.
In Zaporizhzhia Oblast,  Russian troops launched a missile strike, resulting in a fire on the territory of one of the agricultural enterprises,

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

  • The area around the towns of Pavlivka and Vuhledar in south-central Donetsk Oblast has been the scene of intense combat over the last two weeks, though little territory has changed hands.
  • Both Russia and Ukraine have significant forces committed to this sector, with Russian Naval Infantry having suffered heavy casualties.
  • This area remains heavily contested, likely partially because Russia assesses the area has potential as a launch point for a future major advance north to capture the remainder of Ukrainian-held Donetsk Oblast. However, Russia is unlikely to be able to concentrate sufficient quality forces to achieve an operational breakthrough.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of 26 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 General Staff of Ukraine ~

Losses of Russian Army. Source General Staff of Ukraine

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1596262703655317505

Humanitarian 

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1596627356197818370

️12 Ukrainian POWs exchanged, according to the head of the OP Andriy Yermak. 4 fighters of the Navy, two National Guardsmen, border guards, one of the TPO, as well as three civilians – a spouse and a man who was considered missing. Among the military – two officers, seven privates and sergeants, defenders of Mariupol, Chornobyl nuclear power plant, and Zmiinyi (Snake) Island. Over the past week,  98 Ukrainian POWs exchanged.

Environment

Another nuclear unit was put into operation, the capacity is being increased to the planned level on the other nuclear units, according to Ukrenergo.  75% of consumption needs covered, but 25% of electricity is still in short supply. Restriction mode is still observed throughout Ukraine.
73% of the mobile network restored in Ukraine. The most difficult situation remains in the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk Oblasts. According to the Ministry of Digital Transformation, communication has improved in the Kirovohrad, Dnipro, Volyn, Mykolaiv, Poltava, Kharkiv, and Zhytomyr Oblasts. In these regions, operators connected half of the base stations.
Next week, a drop in temperature is expected in Ukraine. According to the Hydrometeorological Center, the temperature will drop to 5 degrees Centigrade below zero (23 Fahrenheit.) Rain, snowfalls, and light frosts are predicted in the capital in the coming days.
 Lithuania sent 114 transformers of different capacities to restore the energy system of Ukraine, the press service of the Ministry of Energy reported.
Canada will allocate 10 million Canadian dollars, equivalent to about 7.5 million US dollars, for the purchase of generators for critical infrastructure in Ukraine, as announced by the Minister for International Development of Canada.
In Europe, authorities began to patrol pipelines, fearing new explosions and sabotage as was the case with Nord Stream, writes The Wall Street Journal. Now the military fleet, aviation, and unmanned submarines are engaged in the protection of pipelines and drilling rigs at sea. Police and special forces were deployed at oil and gas facilities.

Legal 

Russian occupying forces plan to deport 10.500 Ukrainian children from the occupied Luhansk region, reported the Center of National Resistance.  70% of those surveyed “require special medical care” in the Russian Federation. Human rights activists claim that the parents are likely to follow and will be prevented from returning to Ukraine.

Lecturer beaten, ‘tried’ and imprisoned in Russian-occupied Crimea for a Ukrainian patriotic song. Read more here.

Support 

The Pentagon has set up a repair center for Ukrainian artillery in Poland. According to the NYT, the US defense departments informs that a third of the approximately 350 Western-made howitzers transferred to Ukraine is inoperative. Since it is problematic to repair artillery in the field, the Pentagon’s European Command has established a repair center in Poland. Work on the restoration of weapons damaged in Ukraine has been carried out at the repair base for the past few months, the publication reports.
Ukraine will receive three more Iris-T air defense systems from Germany, Olaf Scholz said during the 5th German-Ukrainian economic forum.  There is one such system in Ukraine, and it has shown 100% effectiveness against Russian missiles.
The UK will provide the Armed Forces of Ukraine with Sea King helicopters as part of its ongoing support, the UK Ministry of Defense announced. In addition, 10 crews of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have already been trained by British instructors.
Luxembourg handed over six Czech-made Primoco One 150 drones to Ukraine, the Ministry of Defense of the country reports. One 150 UAV from Primoco UAV can be in flight for up to 15 hours. The range from the ground station is up to 200 km.
Polish, Lithuanian & Ukrainian Prime Ministers held a Lublin Triangle meeting in Kyiv, signed a cooperation agreement. The Lublin Triangle of Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania was created in 2020 for closer cooperation, reflecting the shared history. Read more here.

Lithuania has prepared a new assistance package for the energy sector of Ukraine for 2 million euros, said Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte. Also, heaters and generators for other basic things to help the citizens of Ukraine survive harsh winter and bring victory closer.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1596561421596332034

The Belgian Council of Ministers approved the delivery of ten unmanned underwater vehicles and two mobile laboratories to Ukraine, said Belgian Defense Minister. “These drones can detect all underwater threats: both mines and spy equipment. These are new high technologies that will provide them with significant assistance. The Belgian army already has such devices,” she said. The Minister added that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will receive two mobile laboratories that can be quickly deployed near the place of an occurrence of incident of a chemical, bacteriological, radiological or nuclear nature.

New Developments 

Ukraine will sign declarations on joining NATO with several states of the Alliance by the end of the year. Belgium became the second country to sign a joint declaration with Ukraine. Belgium declared its readiness to provide practical support for Ukraine to achieve progress in the introduction of EU and NATO standards. The first country was the Czech Republic.

In the Russian Federation, as well as on the territory of the temporarily occupied cities of Ukraine, preparations for covert mobilization continue, – General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to some reports, mobilization will begin on December 10 this year.
Zelenskyy announced the launch of the international program Grain from Ukraine. The goal of this program is to provide grain to the impoverished countries of Asia and Africa. According to the President, Ukraine is one of the guarantors of world food security and will fulfill its obligations despite the Russian invasion. As part of the initiative, by the beginning of next spring, it is planned to send at least 60 ships from the ports of Ukraine, at least 10 per month, to countries that are at risk of famine and drought, all of which are in dire need of assistance,” Zelenskyy said.
Qatar will allocate $20 million for the purchase of agricultural products for African countries as part of the “Grain from Ukraine” initiative – Deputy Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani
 20 states have announced the allocation of significant amounts for the Grain From Ukraine initiative.
  • Belgium – 10 million euros;
  • France – 6 million euros (in addition to 14 million previously allocated to the UN World Food Programme);
  • Austria – an additional 3.8 million euros for the delivery of grain from Ukraine to Sudan and Ethiopia;
  • Hungary – allocates $3.5 million for the transportation of food from Ukraine, and will also provide logistical support;
  • Poland allocates 20 million euros;
  • The Netherlands will allocate 4 million euros;
  • Canada donates 30 million Canadian dollars;
  • Germany will contribute 15 million euros
  • Qatar will allocate $20 million
The Ukrainian delegation will boycott the work of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly due to the presence of Russia. “The Standing Committee of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly was unable to change its rules to expel the Russian delegation. We, the Ukrainian delegation, are boycotting work in the OSCE PA until this international organization can form its attitude towards the participation of Russians in it – propagandists and representatives of a terrorist state, a criminal state, ”said Yevgenia Kravchuk, a member of the delegation.

Most of the political factions in the Bundestag reached an agreement on a joint resolution recognizing the Holodomor as a genocide of the Ukrainian people. “Voting will take place next week. It has already been decided: the Bundestag considers this a genocide,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said, thanking the German politicians.

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of 25 November, 2022:

The overall pace of operations along the frontline has slowed in recent days due to deteriorating weather conditions but is likely to increase starting in the next few weeks as temperatures drop and the ground freezes throughout the theater. Ukrainian and Russian reporting from critical frontline areas throughout eastern and southern Ukraine, including Svatove, Bakhmut, and Vuhledar, indicates that operations on both sides are currently bogged down by heavy rain and resulting heavy mud.[1] Temperatures are forecasted to drop throughout Ukraine over the next week, which will likely freeze the ground and expedite the pace of fighting as mobility increases for both sides. The temperature in areas in Ukraine’s northeast, such as along the Svatove-Kreminna line, will dip to near-or-below-freezing daily highs between November 28 and December 4. It will likely take the ground some days of consistent freezing temperatures to solidify, which means that ground conditions are likely to be set to allow the pace of operations to increase throughout Ukraine over the course of the weekend of December 3-4 and into the following week. It is unclear if either side is actively planning or preparing to resume major offensive or counter-offensive operations at that time, but the meteorological factors that have been hindering such operations will begin lifting.

Russian officials are continuing efforts to deport children to Russian under the guise of medical rehabilitation schemes and adoption programs. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on November 26 that the Russian occupation administration in Luhansk Oblast conducted medical examinations of 15,000 children between the ages of two and 17 and found that 70% of the children (10,500) are in need of “special medical care” that requires them to be removed to Russia for “treatment.”[2] The Resistance Center stated that Russian officials intend these forced deportation schemes to lure children’s families to Russia to collect their children after the children receive treatments, at which point the Resistance Center assessed Russian officials will prevent those families from returning home to Ukraine. The Center‘s report is consistent with ISW’s previous assessment that Russian officials are conducting a deliberate depopulation campaign in occupied Ukrainian territories.[3]

Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova additionally posted an excerpt from a documentary film chronicling the story of the children she adopted from Mariupol.[4] Lvova-Belova has largely been at the forefront of the concerted Russian effort to remove Ukrainian children from Ukrainian territory and adopt them into Russian families, which may constitute a violation of the Geneva Convention as well as a deliberate ethnic cleansing campaign.[5] Lvova-Belova’s documentary is likely meant to lend legitimacy to the ongoing adoption of Ukrainian children into Russian families, just as the guise of medical necessity is likely intended to justify mass deportations of Ukrainian children to Russian territory.

Russian officials may be attempting to counterbalance the influence of Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin through the promotion of other parallel military structures. The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on November 26 that Russian officials appointed a Viktor Yanukovych-linked, pro-Kremlin businessman, Armen Sarkisyan, as the new administrator for prisons in Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine and that Sarkisyan intends to use the role to create a new “private military company.”[6] The GUR reported that Sarkisyan modeled his effort to create a new private military company on the Wagner Group’s recruitment of prisoners in the Russian Federation and that Russian-Armenian businessman Samvel Karapetyan is sponsoring the effort.[7] Karapetyan is the owner of Tashir Holding company, a longtime subcontractor for Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom.[8] The GUR reported that Sarkisyan’s attempt to create a new private military structure is an attempt to create a counterweight to Prigozhin’s de facto monopoly in the field of Russian private military companies.[9] It is likely that high-ranking Russian officials have approved Sarkisyan’s efforts as private military companies are illegal in Russia.

Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov reported that he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 25 and claimed that they discussed the participation of Chechen units in the war in Ukraine and the creation of new Russian military and Rosgvardia units comprised of Chechen personnel.[10] ISW has previously reported that Kadyrov routinely promotes his efforts to create Chechen-based parallel military structures.[11] Russian officials may be further promoting Kadyrov’s existing parallel military structures and Sarkisyan’s efforts to create a private military company to counteract the growing influence of Prigozhin, whom ISW has previously assessed uses his own parallel military structures to establish himself as a central figure in the Russian pro-war ultranationalist community.[12]

Russian forces are likely using inert Kh-55 cruise missiles in their massive missile strike campaign against Ukrainian critical infrastructure, further highlighting the depletion of the Russian military’s high-precision weapons arsenal. The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported on November 26 that Russia is likely removing nuclear warheads from aging Kh-55 missiles and launching the missiles without warheads at targets in Ukraine.[13] The UK MoD suggested that Russian forces are likely launching the inert missiles as decoys to divert Ukrainian air defenses.[14] Ukrainian officials have previously reported that since mid-October, Russian forces have extensively used the non-nuclear variant of the missile system, the Kh-555, to conduct strikes on critical Ukrainian infrastructure.[15] The Russian military’s likely use of a more strategic weapon system in the role of a decoy for Ukrainian air defenses corroborates ISW’s previous reporting that the Russian military has significantly depleted its arsenal of high-precision missiles.[16] The use of more strategic weapons systems in support of the campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure suggests that the Russian military is heavily committed to the strike campaign and still mistakenly believes that it can generate strategically significant effects through that campaign.

Key Takeaways

  • The overall pace of operations in Ukraine is likely to increase in the upcoming weeks as the ground freezes throughout the theater.
  • Russian officials are continuing efforts to deport Ukrainian children to Russia.
  • Russian officials may be trying to counteract Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin’s growing influence through the promotion of other parallel Russian military structures.
  • Russian forces are likely using inert Kh-55 missiles designed solely to carry nuclear warheads in its campaign against Ukrainian infrastructure, highlighting the Russian military’s depletion of high-precision weapons.
  • Russian forces continued defensive operations against ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive operations along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations in the directions of Bakhmut and Avdiivka.
  • Russian forces continued establishing fortifications in eastern Kherson Oblast.
  • Russian tactical, logistical, and equipment failures continue to decrease the morale of Russian troops and drive searches for scapegoats.

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