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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 646: SBU blows up second fuel train in Russia’s Buryatia, disrupting logistics

SBU operation results in a second explosion on the Baikal-Amur Railway, specifically, disrupting Russian military logistics. However, Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy said the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive “did not achieve desired results,” urges Western support for arms production.

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Military

Battle of Avdiivka: Russia strangles Ukrainian stronghold. Avdiivka stands firm against the Russian onslaught even though the forces of the opposing sides are unequal.

Ukraine’s Air Force confirms Patriot use to down three helicopters, two jets in Russia in May. Ukraine’s Air Force spox confirms downing five Russian airframes in May with Patriot missiles. He expects more drone activity this winter, citing Russia’s 1,000+ missile and 1,000+ drone attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure last winter.

Ukrainska Pravda: SBU blows up second fuel train in Russia’s Buryatia, disrupting logistics. A Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) operation results in a second explosion on the Baikal-Amur Railway, specifically targeting a fuel train on a key bridge, disrupting Russian military logistics, per Ukrainska Pravda’s security sources.

ISW: Russian offensives continue near Avdiivka and Bakhmut. Despite ongoing Russian offensives near Bakhmut and Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast, the Ukrainian General Staff reports that Ukrainian forces have repelled all attacks., as detailed by ISW.

Frontline report: Kherson Oblast sees Ukrainians secure new positions and target Russian command centers. In Kherson Oblast, Ukrainian forces secure new positions, launch HIMARS raid targeting Russian command centers, and improve troop rotation during bad weather conditions, while Russians express concerns about communication issues.

As of 01 Dec 2023, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the invasion to the present day:

      • Personnel: 330040 (+1280)
      • Tanks: 5564 (+13)
      • APV: 10372 (+32)
      • Artillery systems: 7931 (+22)
      • MLRS: 912 (+2)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 602 (+2)
      • Aircraft: 323
      • Helicopters: 324
      • UAV: 5976 (+22)
      • Cruise missiles : 1567
      • Warships/boats: 22
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 10399 (+938)

Intelligence and technology

UK intel: Russian firm aims to equip naval suicide drone with 600 kg munitions. UK Defense Ministry reports Russian pursuit of one-way attack uncrewed surface vehicles (OWA USVs) to rival Ukraine’s capabilities.

International

Not only Merkel and Schroeder: Germany’s Russia problem runs deep despite war in Ukraine. The German parliament, Bundestag, is a ‘theme park’ for spies, as German intelligence services are ‘castrated’ by numerous control mechanisms, an American expert highlights.

US imposes sanctions on three companies and vessels for carrying Russian oil above price cap. “Enforcement of the price cap on Russian oil is a top priority for the United States and our Coalition partners,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo.

Russia not re-elected to International Maritime Organization’s Council. “In the last decade, no country has done more to undermine freedom of navigation than Russia,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, commenting on the decision of IMO members.

Reuters: Switzerland freezes Russian assets worth $8.8 billion. The asset freeze now includes an additional 300 Russian individuals and 100 companies sanctioned by Switzerland over the past year.

Slovak carriers block Ukrainian border checkpoint. Slovak truckers have initiated a blockade of truck traffic at the Vyšné Nemecké-Uzhhorod border crossing, the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service reported.

Russia expands Armed Forces by nearly 170,000 personnel. According to the decree issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 1 December, the established strength of the Armed Forces will be expanded to 2,209,130, including 1,320,000 military personnel.

Majority of Russian billionaires see wealth increase in 2023, Bloomberg index shows. The ranking shows 25 Russian billionaires among the world’s 500 most affluent, with a combined wealth increase of $38.575 bn in 2023, despite only three seeing a decrease

New developments

Zelenskyy: Counteroffensive didn’t achieve desired results. Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy says the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive “did not achieve desired results,” urges Western support for arms production, emphasizing Ukraine’s military self-sufficiency as a deterrent to Russia.

Ukrainian army may receive Coral domestic anti-air missiles in 2024. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry named strengthening air defense, including the development of Coral anti-aircraft missiles, among its priorities for 2024.

Poll: 33% of Russians back war’s continuation, 40% want troop withdrawal from Ukraine. A Russian poll from October 2023 reveals a significant drop in support for Russia’s Ukraine war, with only 12% consistent backers. Additionally, 40% favor a withdrawal of Russian troops, while 33% support the war’s continuation, a decrease from earlier in the year.

Read our earlier daily review here

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