December 12, 2022

Sitrep for December 10–12 (as of 1:30 pm)

The situation on the frontline

Due to the muddy season, it is all quiet almost on the entire frontline, except for the Svatove and Bakhmut axes where some activity continues.

The frontline on the Kupiansk axis has remained almost unchanged. However, OSINT analyst Def Mon believes that Russian forces are trying to take Kupiansk area under fire control in order to prevent the AFU from creating a bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Oskil River.

In his opinion, the AFU are trying to advance from Kyslivka in the direction of Nyzhnia Duvanka in order to cut off the Russian northern supply route to Svatove.

A more interesting situation is developing near Kreminna. Judging by the map of Russian strikes, the AFU have already approached the settlements of Chervonopopivka, Zhytlivka, and Dibrova (southwest of Kreminna).

If Ukrainian forces can take them under their control, then Kreminna will be in a semi-encirclement. In this case, Russian forces will have to retreat towards Rubizhne (the river prevents their retreat to the south). Ukrainian forces will have the opportunity to occupy a drier area on a hill, bypassing the swamps.

Judging by the strikes on Yakovlivka and the statements of the General Staff of the AFU about attacks in this area, Yakovlivka (north of Bakhmut) is still a contested territory, contrary to the statements of the pro-Russian side.

The situation to the south of Bakhmut has also remained virtually unchanged. Moreover, Def Mon compares the frontline position at the moment and at the end of August to demonstrate that the situation is far from being that dangerous “despite a lot of dramatizing by German "journalists" (this is a stab at Julian Röpke known for his emotional statements).

Apparently, the tactics of the pro-Russian forces on this axis is as follows: a part of pro-Russian units divert Ukrainian forces onto themselves by making frontal attacks on Bakhmut (using soldiers as "cannon fodder"), while others advance around Bakhmut from the north and south.

Since, according to the weather forecast, there will still be muddy weather this week, we do not expect large-scale changes on the frontline. But we assume that, with luck, the AFU will be able to liberate Kreminna.

Another important factor affecting the progress of both sides is the supply and equipment wear and tear.

Situation with weapons for Ukraine

The Wall Street Journal published an article about one of the most important problems for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Due to intensive use of Western weaponry, it needs to be sent out for maintenance quite often. Under constant attacks, it is necessary to take them to NATO countries, which is complicated and expensive. In addition to logistical problems, the situation is also affected by difficult relations between Ukraine's allies. For example, Poland didn’t allow Germany to set up a repair center for  Panzerhaubitze self-propelled artillery howitzers delivered to Ukraine. At the same time, U.S. and British allies maintain their equipment in Poland.

To simplify procedures, a maintenance system was developed under which military vehicles  are first handled by Ukrainian military personnel who have been trained abroad, consulting Western specialists via video link if necessary.

If this is not enough (for example, rebarreling services are required), then the military vehicles have to be sent to other countries.

According to a Ukrainian artilleryman, sometimes the training of hiscrews is insufficient. For example, a crew must remove and clean certain parts of a howitzer every two days, but it does not do so, which causes gun corrosion and makes it beyond repair.

Strikes on Ukrainian territory.

Dnipropetrovsk region was struck on the night of Dec. 10, Nikopol suffered most of all, 4 people were injured.

Most likely, strikes were from the side of Enerhodar and the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (which could be an attempt to invite retaliation). In our opinion, attacks on the Dnipropetrovsk region are impractical from a military point of view.

As a result of another Kherson shelling at night and in the morning of the 10th of Dec. the center of the city  was left without electricity along with Shumensky district and Stepanivka village.

The Odesa region was attacked by kamikaze drones on the night of Dec. 10. It was stated that 10 drones out of 15 were shot down by air defense forces. According to the Operational Command South of Ukraine, the goal of the attack was energy infrastructure facilities. Thousands of people were left without electricity.

Almost daily strikes on Donetsk continue. The South bus station and the Planetarium were hit with BM-21 Grad MLRS on Dec. 9. The Voroshilovsky and Kalininsky districts were hit on Dec. 10.

Ukrainian forces struck the “Prival okhotnika” [Hunter’s Rest] recreation facility in occupied Melitopol on the evening of Dec.10.

It is stated that 6 rockets were fired, 2 of them were intercepted by an air defense system and 4 reached the target. According to Ukrainian sources, a unit of the 19th Motorized Rifle Division of the 58th Combined Arms Army (based in North Ossetia) was located there. Ukrainian officials reported approximately 200 killed, while the Russian side reported  2 killed and 10 injured. We consider the losses stated by Ukraine inflated, because if there were 200 killed, there should have been the same number of injured at least, but the  hotel was too small to accommodate 400 people. Russian data are, on the contrary, understated, in our opinion.

On the evening of Dec. 10, Ukrainian troops attacked the Zhdanov's Guest House inn in Kadiivka (Stakhanov). The strike was reportedly carried out with  HIMARS MLRS, and the Wagner Group mercenaries were housed  in the inn.

At the end of October, Buryatmyasprom [manufacturer of sausages and semi-finished meat products from the constituent Republic of Buryatia] produced 1980 cans of stewed beef for mobilized soldiers from Buryatia and sent the cans to the frontline. A month and a half later, Buryat stew appeared at suspiciously low price in grocery stores in Armyansk (located on the isthmus of Crimea).

Since 2014, there have been several times when Russian humanitarian aid appeared in the grocery stores of the so-called DPR/LPR.

The Biden administration says Russia's cooperation with Iran has turned into a full-fledged defense partnership. This means not only the supply of Iranian drones and missiles to Russia, but also Iran’s access to modern Russian weaponry: air defense systems, helicopters and modern combat aircraft. US officials say that Iranian pilots have been trained in Russia to fly Su-35 fighters since the spring, and that Iran might receive the first aircraft as early as next year.

It's possible that Iran will receive the fighter jets, which were originally produced for Egypt. It became known about the Egyptian contract in 2018, and in 2019, Ivan Safronov wrote about it in the Kommersant newspaper. The supply of the produced fighters failed because of the US Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. For the past two years, these Su-35 fighters have been staying at an aircraft factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

In an attempt to prevent such a development of relations between Russia and Iran, on Dec. 9, the United States imposed sanctions against the Russian Air and Space Forces, the 924th State Center for Unmanned Aviation of the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Command of the Military Transport Aviation.

A video has appeared confirming the use of an ISDM Zemledeliye remote-mining engineering system by Russian forces.

Azerbaijan has supplied Ukraine with a package of humanitarian assistance, including 5 electric transformers and 50 generators.

The German Federal Agency for Technical Relief will transfer 470 electric generators to Ukraine.

Currently, Ukraine's damaged power infrastructure is one of the nation's biggest problems. Besides generators and floating power plants, it is necessary to provide more air defense systems, including point-defense ones (placed near or on the object to be protected).

The Russian Army is experiencing serious problems with the supply of uniforms. In the future, there will be even more complaints that mobilized servicemen are freezing. Winter uniforms issued to Russian troops are of low quality, and they wear out easily. Due to the lack of consideration for how quickly uniforms wear out, replacements are not available.

The pro-Russian Fighterbomber Telegram channel released images of Russian fortifications made of bags filled with snow, apparently built for photo reports.

Frank Haun, head of the KNDS defense industry holding company, estimates that the Bundeswehr could only protect a small city like Augsburg in case of military conflict.