December 15, 2022

Sitrep for December 14–15 (as of 9:30 am)

The situation on the frontline

To date, there are practically no changes on the frontline. Russian forces continue unsuccessful attack attempts on the settlements of Avdiivka, Marinka, Bakhmutske, and Yakovlivka. The AFU continue to repel these attacks successfully.

On the morning of Dec.14, Kyiv was attacked with loitering munitions. According to the mayor of the city Vitali Klytschko, ten of them were shot down over Kyiv and the Kyiv region.

Later, President Zelenskyy reported that all thirteen attacking drones were shot down, none of them reached the target. There is a photo of one damaged administrative building — perhaps fragments of a downed drone or an air defense missile fell on it.

On the night of Dec. 14, Russian forces hit the towns of Nikopol and Marhanets in the Dnipropetrovsk region with MLRS. No one was injured or killed, but residential buildings, household facilities, cars, gas pipelines and power lines were damaged.

On the morning of Dec. 14, Russian forces hit the Regional State Administration building in Kherson with MLRS, two floors were damaged as a result.

On the evening of Dec. 14, air defense was working again in Klintsy, Bryansk region of Russia. According to head of the region Aleksandr Bogomaz, all the launched missiles were shot down.

On the night of Dec. 15, Donetsk was hit. Separatist resources claim that these have been the most massive strikes on the city since 2014. 40 rockets were fired from BM-21 Grad MLRS. Residential buildings, office buildings and cars were damaged, there is no information about casualties yet. We will try to figure out the direction of the strikes.

Head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office Andriy Yermak said that as a result of a prisoner exchange with Russia, 64 servicemen returned to the Ukrainian side and the bodies of four fighters were taken away yesterday. According to Anastasia Kashevarova [pro-Wagner propagandist], the exchange was carried out with the Wagner group, not with the Russian Defense Ministry. In confirmation of this, we see a video where the bodies of the dead mercenaries are received by Yevgeny Prigozhin [Russian oligarch, confidant of Vladimir Putin, and owner of the Wagner Group] personally. This is the second such case, and it confirms that the Wagner group has its own prisoners of war to exchange.

More than a month ago, servicemen of the 155th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade complained to the Governor of the Primorsky region about the fact that they are sent without command, provision, and support to frontal attacks on Pavlivka right under Ukrainian artillery fire from the Vuhledar direction, which causes them heavy losses. The Military Prosecutor's Office of the Pacific Fleet reviewed these complaints and did not find any violations of the marines' rights.

Former Jane's [global open-source intelligence company specializing in military] expert Tom Bullock, analyzing photos from Belarus, noted that, in his opinion, there were also Russian units that had already fought in Ukraine. Probably, they were removed from the frontline and sent to Belarus to train mobilized soldiers at the Baranavichi training range.

A group of 90 Ukrainian judges will be trained in the UK  to prosecute war crimes trials. It is expected that the vast majority of the war crimes ]committed during the Russian military aggression will be tried in Ukraine by Ukrainian judges. To this date, 14 Russian soldiers have been sentenced in Ukraine, but more than 43,000 war crimes have already been recorded.

Czech ShKH vz.77 Dana wheeled self-propelled artillery systems have been sighted in Ukraine. In comparison to Zuzana 2 (a later modification of 155mm caliber), Dana systems have a Soviet 152mm caliber.

A batch of FV103 Spartan tracked armored personnel carriers, purchased by the Poroshenko [opposition party leader and former president of Ukraine] Foundation, has also arrived in Ukraine.

French Mamba (SAMP-T) surface-to-air missile systems will soon arrive in Ukraine. Italy is expected to transfer the radars, and France is expected to transfer the launchers.

US officials are discussing the possibility of providing Ukraine with JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) kits that convert unguided bombs into precision-guided munitions.

US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said the US has evidence that a deal was made by Iran and Russia to supply the latter with ballistic missiles.

During his visit to Tehran, Russia’s Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov said that Iran and Russia face similar "threats and challenges" and signed both a cooperation program and an agreement on assembling a joint task force to fight crime.

In Russia, on the M-4 Don highway, a video was filmed showing a convoy of GAZelle utility trucks assuming the role of legendary “Tachanka'' [Russian Civil War-era horse-drawn platform with a heavy machine gun in the back]. There is a mount in the cargo body of those vehicles on which a machine gun can be installed.

The State Duma [lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia] adopted in the first reading a bill that would abolish punishment for crimes in the annexed territories if they were committed in the interests of Russia. As an example of such a crime, one of the authors of the bill cited "violation of territorial integrity." Amendments to the bill will be discussed on Dec. 17.