Sitrep for November 1–2 (as of 15:00)
The situation on the front line
The Ukrainian offensive continues on the Svatove axis. After analyzing and geolocating a number of videos, analyst Def Mon has moved the line of action of the Armed Forces of Ukraine even further to the east.
On the Vuhledar axis, Russian forces are advancing south and east of Pavlivka, which is still under Ukrainian control. Pro-Russian sources posted a video showing the use of long-range 2S7 Pion self-propelled 203mm cannons and MLRS to hit Ukrainian positions on this axis.
On November 2, a video appeared showing Russian forces firing incendiary munitions at Bakhmut. Most likely, these are 9M22S rockets for BM-21 Grad MLRS, as those are most commonly used in the conflict.
Since, according to our observations, there are still civilians in Bakhmut, the use of air-delivered incendiary munitions to hit inhabited town blocks is a war crime, even if there is a headquarters of Ukrainian troops or any other military facility there. Since the territory is controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, there is no doubt that it was the Russian forces who committed this crime.
On November 1, Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that there won't be any decree on the end of mobilization, as it is not needed, but mobilization is definitely over. And some military commissariats continue conscripting people due to the effect of "inertia".
Pavel Chikov, head of "Agora" International human rights group, pointed out an interesting thing: the decree announcing mobilization says that all contracts of servicemen during mobilization are extended until the end of mobilization. And the mobilized are equal in status to contract servicemen. Accordingly, since mobilization is complete, all restrictions on layoffs are eliminated.
Pavel Chikov also noted that unlike martial law, where it is directly prescribed how it is introduced and canceled, the law on mobilization does not prescribe such a procedure. And there is no term "demobilization" in the Russian legislation.
A number of regions have begun announcing the end of the "partial" mobilization. We expect that there will be new waves of mobilization, because when the number of personnel in the Russian army increases, losses will inevitably increase as well, and it is necessary to replenish them.
Viktor Sobolev, a member of the Defense Committee of the State Duma, did not exclude the introduction of general mobilization if "the situation develops negatively".
Mobilized soldiers from the Bryansk region were outraged that after the draft they were placed in terrible conditions, did not start training, were deprived of their salary, and even refused to study the terms of their contract. Employees at the local military commissariat in the village of Klimovo told them: "Why do you need a contract? You'll be dead in two weeks!" Two weeks later the first obituaries of mobilized people from this military unit actually appeared.
According to the data department of "Novaya Gazeta. Europe", at least 100 mobilized men have already died, and one in five of them died before reaching the front.
"Belaruskii Hayun” monitoring group reports that the approximate number of Russian soldiers who have arrived in Belarus is 3,600. Most of the arrivals are mobilized citizens of the Russian Federation. Presumably, they arrive in Belarus for training, including by Belarusian instructors.
Another 20 BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles have been handed over to Russia. They have already left Belarus in the direction of Luhansk. In total, in the last month, Lukashenko has transferred 94 T-72A tanks, 36-44 Ural trucks, and 20 BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles to Russia.
News regarding the "grain deal" has emerged. Turkish-flagged vessels continue to export provisions from Ukraine despite the Russian statement about the suspension of participation in the "grain deal". The Russian command did not dare to bombard the Turkish vessels, and apparently, there were not enough resources to set up cordons to block the humanitarian corridor.
On November 2, three days after Russia suspended its participation in the grain deal, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that Russia had resumed its participation. Apparently, Ukraine provided guarantees that the Black Sea grain corridor would not be used for military operations against Russia.
Russian forces continue to attack the territory of Ukraine. On the night of November 1, the cities of Dnipro and Poltava were attacked with loitering munitions, causing fires. The head of the Poltava regional military administration Dmitry Lunin stated that at least 4 Shahed-136 loitering munitions hit Poltava, and at least ten drone strikes took place within the region. According to Lunin, the drones were launched from the direction of Huliaipole, Zaporizhzhia region.
According to President Zelenskyy, Russia has already damaged about 40 percent of Ukraine's energy infrastructure.
The European Union has pledged to supply Ukraine with electricity in the event of a serious shortage because the shortage of electricity affects water supply and heating.
The spokesperson for the Ukraine Air Force Yuriy Ignat said that with the air defense systems currently available to Ukraine, defending against the Iranian-made missiles that could soon be supplied to Russia would be difficult.
The United States informed that it is conducting inspections of American weapons in Ukraine in order to expose or confirm any cases of weapons being diverted to the black market. To date, only one such case has been confirmed: a car with an anti-tank guided missile in the trunk exploded near Moscow.
The New York Times reported that about a hundred of Ukrainian servicemen are about to complete their training in Germany on operating the NASAMS air defense system.
There is new information about the attack on Russian warships in the Sevastopol Bay. Satellite images of the Sevastopol port have been published that show two Project 11356R (Admiral Grigorovich-class) frigates.
Only three such ships have been built for the Russian Navy: Admiral Grigorovich (currently in the Mediterranean), Admiral Essen, and Admiral Makarov (both currently in the Black Sea). The images show that one of the frigates is moored stern on and is most likely intact. The other ship was first seen being towed by tug boats and then moored star-board side (just the side that, according to the videos, the Ukrainian uncrewed surface vessel targeted). It is impossible to tell from the satellite images whether there is damage or how serious it is. The fact that the frigate was towed doesn’t necessarily mean it is damaged; however, it is quite possible that it is moored the way it is in order to undergo repairs (and it looks like that there is a crane next to it).
Satellite images have been published of the aftermath of a helicopter explosion at the Veretye airfield in the Pskov region of Russia. Two helicopters were destroyed, the third one was damaged.
It should be noted that on October 31, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine had released news that three helicopters (two Ka-52 and one Mi-28) exploded at the Veretye airfield and two more were damaged. Later it turned out that the Mi-28 remained intact and a malfunctioned explosive device was found on it. Perhaps Ukrainian intelligence at least knew about the impending sabotage.
On October 31, in Kherson, something yet again was burning near a police station.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine informs that the occupation administration of Kherson region has been moved to Skadovs’k.
On the Donetsk-Mariupol-Melitopol-Chonhar route, active road construction is underway, blown-up bridges are being rebuilt. Likely, trucks are still not allowed to cross the Crimean bridge.
The Headquarters of the Territorial Defense of the so-called Donetsk Republic announced a criminal case against a resident of Mariupol, Irina Navalnaya, who was charged with preparing a terrorist attack. According to the case, she was planning to detonate a bomb near the administration building of the Primorsky district “in order to disrupt the referendum on the Donetsk Republic joining the Russian Federation”.
The founder of the Wagner Group private military company, Evgeny Prigozhin, when questioned by journalists whether he was concerned that the governor of St. Petersburg, Alexander Beglov, may respond to Prigozhin pressing charges against him by filing a case against Prigozhin for “mercenary activity” (article 359 of the criminal code of the RF), exploded and responded that “tens of thousands of those mercenaries are fighting for Mother Russia” and that the critics should “shut their mouths”.
In Mariupol, the occupying forces almost completely painted over the mural called “Milana” It was created in 2018 by Kyiv street artist Sasha Korban and features a girl, Milana, who was orphaned because of the war in Donbass. In 2015, during the shelling of Vostochny district of Mariupol, her mother was killed while protecting the girl with her own body. The Bellingcat investigation team has completed a detailed investigation identifying the perpetrators.