December 1, 2022

Sitrep for November 30 — December 1 (as of 3:00 pm)

The Voroshilovsky district of Donetsk was reportedly hit.

The authorities of the so-called "DPR" stated that it was a Ukrainian strike with BM-21 Grad MLRS and published a video. The rockets hit a residential five-story building.

The situation on the frontline

Regular shelling continues along the entire front line. Analyst Def Mon marked on the map a significant aggravation of the situation in the area of Kozacha Lopan on the Kharkiv axis — the intensity of Russian shelling increased there.

Def Mon also notes that the alleged reinforcement of the Ukrainian group on the Donetsk and Bakhmut axes did not happen. It is still unknown where the Ukrainian troops no longer involved in the military operations on the right bank of the Dnipro were redirected after the end of the fighting there. Perhaps the AFU are accumulating forces for an offensive on the Zaporizhzhia axis in order to break through the corridor to Berdyansk, Melitopol or Mariupol.

We are not ready to unequivocally agree with him as fighting has noticeably intensified, although there have been no significant changes. So, we hypothesized that both sides could have been reinforced, and neither of them managed to make any significant breakthrough as a result.

Besides, Def Mon considers the Svatove — Kreminna axis to be promising for the AFU. Having liberated these territories, the AFU are considered to be able to hit the positions of Russian forces in Luhansk and railway lines on this axis with HIMARS MLRS.

In fact, the distance from Kreminna to Luhansk is 90 km (moreover, Kreminna is closer to Luhansk than Svatove), while GMLRS rockets’ range is only 80 km. So, the strikes on Russian positions in Luhansk will most likely become possible after the liberation of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk.

German magazine Der Spiegel warns of the threat of new Russian missile strikes on Ukraine. Der Spiegel supports the already known data on the movements of Tu-95MS strategic bombers from the airfield in the Ryazan region to the Engels-2 military airfield in the Saratov region with new Maxar satellite images of this airfield.

The images show about 20 Tu-95 MS and Tu-160 MS strategic bombers. In addition to aircraft, the images also show tankers, ammunition boxes, vehicles, and repair materials. Analysts also drew attention to the carts that are used to transport Kh-55 or Kh-101 cruise missiles.

A video has appeared showing how the 71st Separate Jaeger Brigade of the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces defends its positions near Bakhmut. The geolocation of this video indicates that the Wagner Group moved westward from their previous positions by about 2 km in two months (compared to the geolocation of previous videos).

On November 30, in the village of Myrne, 30 km from Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia region, a local club was shelled. According to the RIA Melitopol Telegram channel, mobilized soldiers from Russia were stationed there.

In the liberated village of Pravdyne, Kherson region, another mass grave was found. Details are not yet known.

On November 30, the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid received a package addressed to the Ukrainian Ambassador to Spain, Serhiy Pohorelzev.

Since the package didn’t have a return address nor looked like a typical piece of diplomatic mail, the mailroom employee handed it over to security. A security guard took the package outside and was attempting to open it when he heard a click. He tossed the parcel away just in time before it detonated. The security guard suffered a concussion and hand injuries as a result. The Spanish police have classified the explosion as a terrorist act. The newspaper El Mundo reported that also on November 30, a similar package loaded with explosives was received by the Zaragoza-based defense company Instalaza that manufactured missile launching systems and night vision cameras.

On convicts fighting in the war

Many pro-Russian Telegram channels are disseminating a video featuring convicts recruited into the Wagner Group. They are often called kashniki [the K-men] because their personal numbers start with the letter “K”. They tell of how things are going great for them, that they capture territories, and how some of them are even promoted to commanders. A notable detail can be seen in the video, however: these K-men are so ill-equipped that there isn’t a helmet in sight.

The Ukrainian President’s Chief of Staff Andrii Yermak described how the convicts turned Wagner Group mercenaries are being utilized at the front line: they are transported to their starting positions unarmed, handed assault rifles at the spot, and ordered into storming Ukrainian positions without body armor or helmets.

An interview with a captured Wagner Group mercenary recruited from prison has been published. He was serving a 15-year sentence for murder when a promise of becoming a free man in six months lured him to join the Wagner Group. Notably, he doesn’t want to call his mother and tell her that he is alive because he is afraid of being returned to Russia and executed like in the case of Yevgeny Nuzhin.

Olga Romanova,  Executive Director of the civil rights movement “Rus’ Sidyashchaya”   [Russia Behind Bars] said that the Russian Army evacuated about five thousand Ukrainian convicts from the Kherson region. The movement thinks that there is a plan to re-examine prison sentences of the Kherson region residents convicted in Ukraine according to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and assign them tougher punishments in order to convince them to sign contracts with the Wagner Group and be sent to the war in Ukraine.

Alexander Kots, a journalist of the pro-Kremlin Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper, published a photo of the war criminal and former separatist commander Igor Strelkov (Girkin) claiming that the image was taken on the Svatove axis.

The Ukrainian side has published a response to the video previously published by the Russian paratroopers of a Russian Lancet loitering munition striking a Ukrainian D-20 howitzer.

The response video shows the howitzer only sustained damage to one of its wheels. Once the wheel was replaced, the howitzer returned to action.

The German Parliament recognized Holodomor, the 1930s famine in Ukraine, as an action of genocide against the Ukrainian people joining more than 20 countries who arrived to the same recognition earlier. The United States set up a commission in 1984 that investigated the famine and found that the man-made famine was an act of genocide against the people of Ukraine carried out by the Soviets.

The Turkish company Karpowership and Ukrenergo, the Ukrainian electricity transmission system operator, are discussing the possibility of placing three electric power generator vessels near the port of Odesa with the combined capacity of 300 megawatt.

According to the company spokesman, the vessels could supply up to one million customers with electricity when operating at full capacity. The vessels have already been built and are fully operational. Once they arrive in Odesa, it would take three weeks to hook them up to the grid.

US diplomats are setting up a task force which will coordinate provisioning Ukraine with generators, transformers and other equipment needed for the restoration of the power grid.

The head of the US State Department Antony Blinken confirmed to CNN that NATO is considering the possibility of investing in the production of  Soviet-era  weapons systems used by the Ukrainian Army.

On December 5, the embargo on Russian crude oil shall enter into force. Most European countries have already abandoned maritime supplies of oil from Russia, but Italy and Bulgaria had significantly increased their purchases before the embargo was introduced.

Russian propagandist Sergei Mardan, known for his calls for the construction of concentration camps for Ukrainian teachers and for Iranian drones “falling on the heads of Ukrainians” while being on air on Komsomolskaya Pravda radio, was fired.

Mediazona [an independent Russian media outlet] published an article entitled “I am an occupier, no one called me here.” It is the diary of a Russian engineer who worked in Mariupol for a month. He talks about the attitude of locals towards the workforce from Russia. What he describes accurately conveys what is now going on in occupied Mariupol.