December 13, 2022

Sitrep for December 12–13 (as of 9:00 аm)

On the evening of Dec. 12, there were reports about explosions in the border areas of the Bryansk region of Russia. In the town of Klintsy, located about 60 kilometers from the border with the Chernihiv region of Ukraine, a powerful explosion occurred, presumably near the military base, where, according to open sources, a motorized rifle regiment was stationed.

In the village of Klimovo, located about 30 kilometers from the border with Ukraine, there were explosions and, presumably, a fire broke out. There is a Russian military airfield in this area.

More detailed information is not yet available.

The situation on the frontline

There has been less and less news from the frontline in recent days, so it can be called a full-fledged operational pause.

On Dec. 12, the General Staff of the AFU noted in the evening sitrep that Russian forces were concentrating their efforts on conducting offensive operations on the Lyman and Zaporizhzhia axes in addition to the already familiar ones (Avdiivka, Bakhmut and Svatove), but without specifying particular settlements. Russian attempts to advance from Kreminna in the direction of Lyman have been reported by various Russian sources for some time, but the Ukrainian General Staff has not confirmed that until now.

Many pro-Russian sources report that a large number of Ukrainian forces are accumulating on the Zaporizhzhia axis, and they, most likely, will attack from Huliaipole. These sources include Igor Girkin (Strelkov), a former Russian separatist commander and military blogger, who reports that a dangerous situation has developed there for Russian forces due to the large number of Ukrainian mechanized units. But so far, apart from the statements, we see nothing and assume that various planted rumors may be part of the information confrontation.

In the suburbs of Melitopol, in the village of Kostiantynivka, a road bridge was blown up. According to the occupation administration, saboteurs placed explosives under the bridge's pillars.

This will somewhat complicate the supply of Melitopol from the Donetsk region.

This incident may also indirectly indicate the preparation of a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Zaporizhzhia direction.

Russian forces continue attempts to encircle Avdiivka. It became known that there were not very successful attempts to attack Kamianka with heavy armored vehicles and TOS-1A MLRS.

In Skadovsk, an attempt was made on the life of Vitaliy Bulyuk, the first deputy head of the occupation administration of the Kherson region. His car was blown up, the driver was killed on the spot, and Bulyuk was lightly wounded.

We have said that to avoid attacks like those that took place at Engels and Dyagilevo air bases, Russian forces need to either take some air defense systems out of the frontline or relocate strategic bombers further east. At the Engels air base, military personnel invented another method of "protection" and made an "amulet" out of tires – the inscription "DEATH TO NAZIS."

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaking at a parliamentary session, said that Western partners should help Ukraine by providing not only air defense systems and aircraft to intercept missiles and loitering munitions but also long-range systems (such as ATACMS) to destroy the launch sites of these missiles and drones. He believes this is necessary to protect Ukrainians and end the war as soon as possible.

British Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace agreed and said that the destruction of Ukraine's civilian infrastructure by Russia is not just a war crime but a crime that should not go unpunished. He also emphasized that he is studying what else the UK can deliver to Ukraine almost every day. And, if Russia continues to strike at Ukraine's civilian infrastructure, he will facilitate transferring long-range weapons from UK stocks to Ukraine.

Poland and Germany will initiate the deployment of German Patriot SAM systems on the Polish-Ukrainian border in the coming days.

France handed over six TRF1 towed howitzers to Ukraine.

Russian lawyer and human rights activist Pavel Chikov posted the story of a mobilized man who claimed to have been beaten, buried alive and subjected to mock execution for his alleged contacts with journalists. Roman Martynov was mobilized in the Bryansk region on September 24th. After one exercise with an assault rifle at the shooting ground, on October 1 he was sent to the frontline in the so-called LPR. The following day he refused to fight and, like many other “refuseniks”, was thrown "to the basement." A short time later, a story broke in many Russian media outlets about the refuseniks kept in basements. Martynov was suspected of leaking information to journalists and tortured. Having left the basement, passed a medical examination and received a temporary exemption from military service, he reached out to lawyer Maxim Grebenyuk from the Voenny Ombudsmen [Military Ombudsman] project and filed a crime report addressed to the head of the Main Military Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia.

Probably, such torture of refuseniks is a typical situation not only for the Wagner group, but also for the Russian army. Many soldiers take such threats seriously, and this is also why less and less information from the mobilized reaches their relatives and the media.