Sitrep for November 29–30 (as of 3:00 pm)
The situation on the frontline
The Russian Ministry of Defense stated that the settlements of Bilohorivka (Donetsk region) and Pershe Travnya came under Russian control. However, there is no visual confirmation of this fact yet.
Judging by satellite images, the Russian forces managed to increase the length of the fortifications almost to 9.5 km on the Svatove — Kreminna axis.
On November 29, the Bryansk and Kursk regions were hit.
According to the Governor, in the Bryansk region, an unknown drone dropped a munition on a diesel fuel tank, causing a fire.
The Sudzhansky district of the Kursk region was hit by the AFU, as a result a power supply facility was damaged and the Sudzhansky and Korenevsky districts were partially left without power. As far as we know, there were no casualties.
On the morning of November 30, Russian artillery shelled the Sumy region. According to the head of the regional military administration Dmitro Zhivitskyy, at least 20 hits were recorded in the town of Bilopillia. As a result, a 15-year-old teenager, who was outside during the shelling, was killed. In addition, the shells hit the territory of the local hospital during the reception hours, when many patients were there.
An air raid alert announced yesterday in the entire territory of Ukraine was later canceled, and a Russian massive missile attack did not take place. Why is it important and how does it work?
An air raid alert is usually announced as soon as Russian strategic bombers, which usually launch cruise missiles, take off. But sometimes while tracking the flight route and intercepting radio transmissions, it becomes clear that this is a training flight, and then the air raid alert is canceled.
However, regarding the previous massive missile attack, the Ukrainian authorities stated that the missile attack had been preceded by a training flight, which gradually turned into a sortie. Besides, a training flight can be a rehearsal before a forthcoming missile strike.
For some time there have been no reports of strikes or interceptions of Shahed-136 (Geran-2) loitering munitions. According to an infographic by researchers based on reports of the Ukrainian Armed Forces of interceptions of these drones, they haven’t been actively used since November 18.
Probably, the stock of drones purchased from Iran has run out, and the delivery of a new batch of them or the start of a semi knockdown in-line assembly of these drones in Russia is expected.
Almaz-Antey Corporation presented a "new domestic drone" called Dobrynya, which is supposed to be produced fully domestically.
However, it turned out to be a Chinese racing drone (you can buy it online for $570) with a slightly changed body and new stickers on it.
It is claimed to be a competitor to DJI drones, which are convenient for reconnaissance and artillery fire adjustment, as they are good at following an object, maintaining the desired height and returning home in case of signal loss. However, such functionality should not be expected from racing drones.
According to British intelligence, the Russian Army in Ukraine gave up the idea of using battalion tactical groups. As our team explained earlier, in the current invasion of Ukraine, the RuAF did not fight with battalion tactical groups.
What is a "battalion tactical group"? It is a small structural unit in the RuAF, which is created on the basis of a motorized rifle unit (usually 2-3 companies) and is reinforced by air defense, engineers and artillery. A battalion tactical group usually numbers from 400 to 700 people. But, most importantly, it is an almost independent structure: the commander of a battalion tactical group can make decisions himself in a rapidly changing situation on the battlefield without coordinating every step with the General Staff.
One of the main problems of the Russian army is the significant deficiency in commanders capable of making competent decisions independently.
The Russian army is now fighting using large units and formations such as the 1st Tank Army, army corps and divisions. The conduct of military operations by battalion tactical groups has proved itself well in case of low-intensity local conflicts (the Russian military intervention in the Syrian civil war, the War in Donbas in 2014-2015). However, this structure of the Armed Forces turned out to be ill-suited to the realities of a full-scale war due to a shortage of commanders and equipment as well as the problem of understaffing.
Therefore, the report by British intelligence is actually out of date.
Judging by numerous Russian attacks south of Donetsk (e.g., on Pavlivka and Vuhledar), their plan is to push Ukrainian troops away from the railways. This would allow Russia to set up a supply route for its troops from Donetsk to the southern regions of Ukraine by rail. The plan, however, is still far from being implemented. Due to the limited capacity of the Crimean Bridge and the Russian withdrawal from the Dnipro's right bank, and the territories up to Armiansk being in the effective range of HIMARS MLRS, the supply route through the Perekop Isthmus connecting Crimea with the mainland is also problematic.
Thus, Russian troops have to resort to other methods to supply their forces in the occupied regions in the south of Ukraine. Photos and satellite images of the Kavkaz seaport (located in the Taman Bay) show that landing ships and civilian ferries are being loaded in this port, possibly, to supply Mariupol.
The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said that 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed so far as a result of Russia’s full scale invasion. Later her statement was edited. Dana Spinant, the Commission's Director for Political Communication, called this statement "inaccurate." According to her, the number was intended to cover total losses of the AFU, which include the killed, other irreplaceable losses (prisoners, missing in action and seriously wounded who will not return to the front) and those wounded servicemen who can continue to fight after their recovery.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry stated that French LRU MLRS, which are a modification of the M270 systems, have arrived in Ukraine. Ukraine now has four types of GMLRS rocket launchers: HIMARS, M270, Mars II, and LRU.
One of the most sought-after weapons by Ukrainian forces is the Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has already promised to supply more of these modern weapons to Ukraine. However, it turned out that many self-propelled anti-aircraft guns of the previous generation are awaiting utilization (dismantling). If they could be returned to service and transferred to Ukraine, they would be very useful.
Starlink raises the monthly service price for terminals and subscription fees for users all over the world, including Ukraine.
The U.S. announced $53 million to support the purchase of power grid equipment to Ukraine to help fight Russian attacks on energy infrastructure.
Germany will send to Ukraine more than 350 power generators and provide financial assistance for repair of energy infrastructure in the amount of €56 million.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Community and Territorial Development reports that to date, 592 heat supply facilities have been damaged in Ukraine, 316 of which have been restored.
Many pro-Russian sources now publish a story about an Odesa resident who hung a Russian flag on his balcony and was allegedly sentenced to 15 years in prison for high treason. Actually, in addition to treason, the court found him guilty of collecting data on military facilities in the city, recruiting former policemen, and attempting to kidnap an Odesa entrepreneur who was involved in volunteer work.