November 17, 2022

Sitrep for November 16-17 (as of 1 pm)

On November 17, most of Ukraine’s territory was attacked again with cruise missiles and loitering munitions. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy published a video of a massive explosion in the city of Dnipro.

Developments on the front line

Shellings were reported along the entire front line, except for the Kherson region.

The General Staff of the AFU reported about yet another Russian attack on Bilohorivka, Donetsk region. This proves that the settlement was not captured by Russian forces.

The fighting in the Pavlivka area dwindled, however, the result of the Russian offensive is still unclear.

A dangerous situation is developing near Avdiivka in the Donetsk direction.

Russian forces have launched attacks in several directions: Novokalynove (north of Avdiivka), Vodiane (south of Avdiivka) and Avdiivka itself.

This seems like an attempt to "semi-encircle" Avdiivka. Taking Vodiane will allow Russian forces to advance towards Tonenke and Orlivka, cutting off Avdiivka's supply routes and posing a threat of encirclement.

Despite the gravity of the situation, Ukrainian forces in Avdiivka have been resisting the Russian onslaught since February 24.

Missile crash in Poland

Initially, Ukrainian officials, including President Zelenskyy, claimed that it wasn't a Ukrainian missile that crashed in Poland. On November 17, they softened their stance, reporting that it is impossible to determine with full confidence whose missile it was.

Such strong statements from Ukrainian officials could be due to the habit of soldiers not to inform the higher leadership of bad news in a timely and accurate manner.

Meanwhile, it appears Ukraine's Western partners share the view that Moscow is politically accountable for the missile, regardless of its ownership or origin.

Financial Times correspondent for Ukraine Christopher Miller shared how a diplomat from one of the NATO countries commented on Zelenskyy’s statement: “This is becoming more and more strange. No one blames Ukraine, and yet they openly lie to us. It destroys trust.”

CNN, citing an unnamed US official, writes that the Ukrainian military officials informed the US that their air defense system was trying to intercept a missile near the site of the incident in Przewodow around the same time. There is no exact information about whether this particular air defense missile rally fell in Poland, however, this information has formed a part of the situation assessment in Washington.

A conspiracy theory has emerged that a Russian missile was directed into Polish airspace due to erroneously entered coordinates. Our team considers this version highly implausible.

We remind you that the supply of modern air defense systems to Ukraine can reduce the number of such incidents.

Some experts note that for a territory of such a large country as Ukraine, there are many potential targets. Subsequently, it will not be possible to replace all Buk and S-300 air defense systems with similar western systems. Therefore, European and American partners need to not only supply modern air defenses, but also help Ukraine maintain the current Soviet air defense systems in working order.

On November 15 and 16, there were multiple strikes in the Dnipropetrovsk region. Hits were recorded at 10 private houses, civilian vehicles and various other buildings. No casualties have been reported yet.

On November 16, in the Mykolaiv region (where water supply is now being restored), a  KamAZ truck of maintenance men was blown up on an anti-tank mine. No one was injured.

On November 16, the Khmelnytskyi Nuclear Power Plant was temporarily out of power due to rocket attacks. The power lines that supply power to the plant were damaged, which caused a shutdown of both existing reactors for two and a half hours.

On November 16, separatists reported hits in the Luhansk region. The strikes were reportedly carried out with HIMARS MLRS (as in most such statements), except for one case when 122 mm artillery was used.

Tracking Ukrainian attacks at Russian targets is much more difficult because the Ukrainian side does not always directly report them.

One of the declared points was the village of Bilokurakyne, where on November 16 a column of 2S7 Pion self-propelled 203 mm cannons was filmed being unloaded from a train. Probably, they became the targets of strikes in this settlement.

Fighterbomber pro-Russian Telegram channel reported that on the night of November 17, the Dzhankoy airfield (in Crimea) was attacked. UAVs were reportedly used, and explosions can be heard in the video. The consequences are not yet clear, but the same channel claimed that they "got off lightly".

On the night of November 17, Chaplynka, Kherson region, was attacked. Secondary detonation reported.

In Mariupol, a temporary bridge was built across the Kalmius river, probably to provide an overland supply route for Russian troops stationed in Zaporizhzhia or the southern part of the Kherson region.

Mobilization update

On the example of the mobilized soldiers from Novosibirsk, one can see a typical situation. They were drafted on September 25-26, sent to training, and in early November - to the line of contact. In the month and a half that had passed before being sent to the front, people were taken to shooting grounds three or four times (many draftees complain that they are undergoing marching drills instead of combat training). Once on the front lines under shelling, the mobilized write reports about their refusal to participate in hostilities and ask to be transferred to work in rear, because they do not consider themselves prepared for war.

In the Krasnodar region, two Aleksandr Smirnovs were mixed up and one was mobilized instead of the other.

There is news that the military registration and enlistment offices of Belarus are publishing tenders for printing a large number of draft notices. We believe that the Belarusian military officials learned from the mistakes of the Russian ones and decided to clarify the personal data of all those liable for military service in advance. Imminent proclamation of martial law in Belarus, mobilization and invasion of Ukraine seem improbable to us.

According to Olga Romanova, the founder of the human rights organization “Rus Sidyashchaya” ("Russia Behind Bars"), the Wagner Group has already executed at least 40 of its mercenaries. The list of reasons for execution is quite large: desertion, attempted surrender, looting, sexual relations, alcohol, drugs.

The Bell (a Russian independent online media outlet) conducted an investigation and identified the authors of one of the largest pro-Russian military Telegram channels, which is called Rybar. They turned out to be Moscow programmer Denis Shchukin and RIA FAN (media outlet associated with Yevgeny Prigozhin) war correspondent Abbas Dzhuma.

On November 15, the US imposed sanctions on Abbas Dzhuma as part of a sanctions package against those involved in the purchase, supply, and use of Iranian drones. As of now, we can't say for sure how exactly Dzhuma was involved.

The Washington Post journalists interviewed several residents of Kherson, who told what had been happening in the city during the occupation. According to them, the Russian servicemen used a juvenile prison to torture detainees. The article also contains evidence of the murders of detainees.

According to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Denys Monastyrsky, burial places of 63 people tortured by the Russian servicemen have been found in the Kherson region as of now.

The first group of Ukrainian servicemen, trained in the UK under the guidance of Dutch instructors, has completed the course. For five weeks, they were trained in weaponry, first aid, combat operations, and the laws of war.

Video recordings show that the vehicles supplied by Western partners to Ukraine withstood the mine test with honor: an Oshkosh FMTV truck and an International MaxxPro MRAP armored vehicle.

Oshkosh FMTV
Oshkosh FMTV
International MaxxPro MRAP
International MaxxPro MRAP

Croatia will transfer 14 Mi-8 helicopters to Ukraine under a circular delivery format; in return, it will receive American Blackhawk helicopters.

Germany will supply to Ukraine:

  • munitions for Mars II MLRS;
  • Three Oshkosh M1070 tank trucks (Ukraine’s ex-president Petro Poroshenko bought another one);
  • 15 cars for border guards;
  • spares for M2 heavy machine guns;
  • 24 MG3 machine guns for armored recovery vehicles (probably for previously supplied Bergepanzer 2);
  • 116 portable heating systems.

The White House has asked Congress for 37.7 billion dollars more in additional aid to Ukraine.

Preliminary supply plans from the outcome of the Ramstein 7 conference:

  • Poland, Sweden, and Spain will supply artillery systems, short-range air defense systems, and munitions;
  • Canada will supply equipment, including winter gear, as part of the 500 million Canadian dollars aid package that was already announced;
  • Germany will transfer artillery and ammunition for M270 MLRS;
  • Greece will supply 155 mm artillery shells.

Photos of Stremousov's (recently deceased pro-Russian deputy head of Kherson) car with bullet holes have appeared.

However, there are no such traces in the photos taken right after the accident in which he reportedly died. Most likely, someone shot at the car after the accident.