Russian attacks come closer to EU border - CDS

14 March 2022, 12:11 PM

The Centre for Defense Strategies (CDS) is a Ukrainian security think tank. Operating since 2020, it focuses on security studies, defense policy research and advocacy. This is CDS’s overview of the main developments in Russia’s war against Ukraine occurring on March 13.

Attack on the Yavoriv military base (International Center for Peacekeeping and Security) in Lviv oblast: Overnight, Russian troops launched a new terrorist attack on peace and security near Ukraine’s border with the EU.

An air strike was carried out on the International Center for Peacekeeping and Security in Lviv oblast, which is strategically located several tens of kilometers from the border with Europe. It was at this very site that international training missions (US, UK, Canada, Lithuania) and international exercises (such as Rapid Trident) were held.

Video of day

According to preliminary data, as many as 30 cruise missiles were fired. Some of them were shot down by Ukrainian air defense. As a result of the shelling, 35 people were killed, 134 people were injured (civilian and military). They are now being treated in a hospital in Lviv oblast (updated). Foreign military instructors worked at the base, and information about the number of injured foreigners has not been confirmed. Lviv hospital has requested help for procuring medicine.

Humanitarian aspect: Today, 10 green corridors were planned, some were implemented. Around 5,000 people were evacuated from Luhansk oblast (Rubizhne, Lyschansk) and thousands of civilians were evacuated from Kyiv oblast (information will be updated at 21:00).

In total, according to the information from the Minister of Occupied Territories, about 140,000 people have been evacuated in recent days.

There are plans to finally reach Mariupol and Chernihiv tomorrow, where the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the occupying forces continues. An evacuation train was fired upon in Donetsk oblast. The conductor was killed and Ukrzaliznytsia is trying to evacuate passengers including about a hundred children. In Mariupol, the situation continues to be severe for the last 12 days.

Some 400,000 Mariupol residents are still trapped in the city. Mariupol is of strategic importance for the Russian Federation to secure a land corridor to occupied Crimea. The city has no electricity, water, heating. Food and water reserves are running out, and there is almost no mobile connection.

The situation is becoming more complicated as the enemy constantly shells residential neighborhoods. According to reports, no less than 22 bombings occurred in the past 24 hours.

Over the course of the 12-day blockade of the city and the shelling of residential areas, 1582 civilians from Mariupol were killed by the Russian occupation forces according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Mariupol City Council has reported about 2187 dead residents.

According to the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, breaking the blockade of Mariupol is a priority for the leadership of Ukraine, as the constant defense of the city continues.

Pope Francis in his Sunday sermon called Mariupol a martyr city. For two days now, a humanitarian convoy with 90 tons of food and medicine has been trying to reach Mariupol via a green corridor. Today it was again blocked by occupying forces and forced to return to Berdyansk.

 Negotiations are underway to resume the delivery on March 14.

Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast:  From a humanitarian perspective, Kyiv is ready and has activated its reserves: the city has a two-week supply of food for two million people. Today, Russian artillery struck a psycho-neurological boarding school near Pushcha Vodytsia.

No one was injured as staff and patients were evacuated early. In Irpin, Kyiv oblast, the occupiers fired on foreign journalists, killing American Journalist Brent Renaud, who previously worked for the New York Times. Another journalist was injured and taken to Okhmatdyt Hospital in Kyiv for medical treatment. The situation in Irpin remains difficult.

In the center of the city, where the fighting is taking place, civilians were killed by shelling standing in their yards, information about the recovery of the bodies of the dead is still being verified.

There were no “green corridors” in Sumy oblast. The evacuation has interrupted by the occupiers. It is planned to resume tomorrow. In recent days, around 80,000 civilians were evacuated from Sumy oblast. In Trostyanets, the occupation failed. In the morning, the Russian military launched an airstrike on Chernihiv. A 9 story dormitory was destroyed and the building caught fire. Seven people were rescued, 1 person died, one was injured. Mykolaiv was under fire again.

The chairman of the Mykolaiv regional state administration reported about 9 victims because of the shelling. In Mykolaiv oblast, Russian aviation bombed a school burying those inside under rubble. In occupied Kherson, despite intimidation from the Russian occupiers shooting the air, rallies by locals against the Russian invaders continue. Meanwhile, according to the mayor of Skadovsk, Kherson Oblast, the city is completely liberated from Russian troops.

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In Zaporizhzhia oblast, occupiers kidnapped the mayor of Dniprorudne. Prior to that, the occupiers kidnapped the mayor of Melitopol and tortured him for refusing to cooperate. Today in Melitopol the chairman of the regional council was kidnapped. The occupiers came to him with a house search, after which they took him away. Mass rallies against the occupiers continue in the temporarily occupied Melitopol, despite the ban on peaceful assemblies announced by Russian troops. The collaborant Halyna Ivanchenko, who was appointed by the Russians to run the city, is suspected of treason (Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine). In Enerhodar (a satellite city of the Zaporizhzhia NPP), the occupiers are terrorizing civilians, kidnapping people and taking away cars. This information was published by “Energoatom”.

In Popasna, Luhansk oblast, Russian forces used phosphate munitions banned by the Convention overnight. An evacuation train was fired upon in Donetsk oblast. The conductor was killed and UkrZaliznytsa is trying to evacuate passengers including about a hundred children. In Donetsk oblast, the Advika Coke Plant is on fire. Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, according to official data in Ukraine, 85 children have died and almost 100 have been injured. Most of the victims were in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Sumy, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Zhytomyr regions.

Ukraine in general: The pension Fund of Ukraine has already sent 38.3 billion hryvnas to banks and Ukrposhta, the full amount for the payment of pensions this month (Prime Minister of Ukraine). It is planned to abolish excise duties on fuel and reduce VAT.

This will help stabilize prices and prevent deficits. The Russians carried out an unsuccessful phishing cyber-attack on the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. Nuclear and energy security: Power has been restored to the Chornobyl NPPН.

The cooling systems of the spent nuclear assemblies will again work normally, no longer drawing on backup power supply (Energoatom). Fires have started in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, but firefighter have been unable to put them out due to the temporary occupation of the nuclear power plants. At the same time, 211 employees of the nuclear power plant have been held hostage for 18 days.

 Fires have been noted near the Polissya, Babor, Stechanka settlements, as well as in Rudnya-Veresnya, Kyiv Oblast. Rosatom is said to be “advising” the staff of the Ukrainian nuclear power plants, but Ukrainian Energy expert Volga Kasharna believes that Ukrainian nuclear power plants to not need any consultations with Rosatom employees.

International diplomacy aspect: US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has waned Russia that it could face extremely serious consequences if chemical weapons are used against Ukraine.

A few days ago, the President of the United States also spoke about this. According to the American Intelligence Community, Russia could resort to false flag provocations, accusing Ukraine, as well as use of chemical weapons against Ukrainians.

According to the Pentagon, there are no signs that “indicate an imminent chemical and biological attack right now.” Russia is already using weapons prohibited by international law and may well use chemical weapons to facilitate the capture of Ukrainian cities.

The threat of tactical nuclear weapons also remains unresolved. At present, there is a need not only for statements on the grave consequences of the possible use of weapons of mass destruction, but also for specific military and technical measures.

Moscow can hardly be restrained by threatening diplomatic language and sanctions. The US Secretary of State has authorized the supply of $200 million in emergency security assistance to Ukraine, which has already reached $1.2 billion since the beginning of the year.

Some American experts have expressed the opinion that if the United States began to supply weapons earlier, war could have likely been avoided. Also, the strong resistance of the United Armed Forces has disproven allegations that the Ukrainian army will repeat the tragedy of the armed forces of present-day Afghanistan, and that since the United Armed forces will not withstand the Russian offensive, assistance must be provided in preparing the resistance forces for hostilities in the occupied territories. So far it has not been proven that the United Armed forces will need a lot of time to master more complex and powerful weapons given the lack of its supply. The Biden administration is trying to balance the shortage of oil in world markets and, consequently, the rise in prices as a result of sanctions on Russia. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are trying to get weapons and other concessions needed for the war in Yemen to increase oil supplies. It is not known whether the United States went to meet the UAE, but the latter promised to lobby for increased production in OPEC.

Meanwhile, Russia is blocking the implementation of the Biden Administration’s landmark foreign policy project, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to address Iran’s nuclear program until sanctions against Russia are lifted. A State Department spokesman said that Washington was not going to lift sanctions from Moscow but was working on an alternative agreement with Tehran that would exclude Russia from the process.

A CBS News poll found that two-thirds of Americans (63%) support sanctions against Russian gas and oil, even if it raises energy prices. 36% do not agree with this. 82% support sanctions as punishment for Russia and aid to Ukraine. Situation in the Russian Federation: Due to sanctions Russia has lost an access to about half of the gold and foreign exchange reserves ($300 billion).

According to Finance Minister Siluanov, Russia will pay its national debt in rubles until Western countries unfreeze gold and foreign exchange reserves. This moves Russia closer to default. In Moscow at an antiwar protest, police detained around 300 people.

AACSB (Association for the Development of University Business Schools, Business Graduates Association, AMBA (Association of MBA Programs), EFMD have decided to suspend the accreditation of diplomas of Russian universities. Toyota intends to leave Russia. Bosch has said it has cut off supplies to Russia. It also shut down two plants in St. Petersburg.

The world’s largest brewer, AB InBev, has divested from Russian companies and is providing assistance to 1,800 Ukrainian employees and their families, including housing and financial support. There is already a shortage of some food products in Russia including sugar and buckwheat.

Operating situation: The main goal of Russian Troops in the south of Ukraine is to create a land corridor from Transnistria to Krasnodar Territory and cut off Ukraine from the Black and Azov Seas. The enemy has introduced its reserve forces from Crimea and is trying to advance in the south of Ukraine to capture the seaports in Mykolaiv and Odesa, with further plans to attack Kryvyi Rih.

The enemy’s naval landing party has been formed, information suggests that the party will depart from western Crimea and work east for a landing in Odessa, to be surrounded by enemy troops in Mykolaiv. Defenders of Mykolaiv continue the defense of the city and inflict considerable losses to the occupiers. Missile attacks and air raids continue in Odessa.

The situation in Mariupol remains very difficult. The Marines and National Guard of Ukraine keep defending while being surrounded by the enemy, who continuously use heavy artillery, MLRS systems, tanks and aircraft. The occupiers are going to the outskirts of the city and bombing civilian infrastructure.

Thanks to the heroic defense of the Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol, Mykolaiv and Odessa, the Russian occupiers are still unable to accomplish the task of creating a Transnistrian-Krasnodar Territory corridor and cutting off Ukraine from the sea. In the north of Ukraine, near the city of Kyiv, 155 separate brigades of Marines (unit 30926, Vladivostok) of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy, were almost completely wiped out by the famous Land Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

As a result of ill-considered decisions and very poor logistics, the brigade had 600 people killed and about the same number wounded servicemen. Operational situation (by operational directions) The enemy continues its offensive operation against Ukraine in the Polissya, Siversky, Slobozhansky, Donetsk, Tavriya, and Pivdennobuzhsky directions.

The occupiers are taking measures to restore combat capability and regroup troops to continue their offensive. Enemy aircraft inflict missile and bomb strikes on civilian infrastructure in Chernihiv, Sumy, Mykolaiv, Mariupol, Avdiivka, Volnovakha and suburbs of large settlements throughout Ukraine, as well as on Ukrainian Armed forces groups.

During the regrouping of enemy troops, additional units are being trained to conduct military action in Ukraine. Thus, according to available information, during March 9-10, 800 servicemen of the 102nd Military Base (Gyumri, Armenia) of the Southern Military District were transferred to the Russian Federation for combat deployment.

1,500 members of the 40th Separate Marine Brigade (Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky) of the Pacific Fleet were sent to the Republic of Belarus by rail. The 820th Missile Attack Warning Center (Solnechnogorsk) is selecting personnel to take part in hostilities against Ukraine.

To urgently replenish the losses of the occupying forces of the Russian Armed Forces, part of the "peacekeeping" contingent is being transferred from Nagorno Karabakh (Azerbaijan) to Ukraine.

Also, according to available information, many mercenary militants from other countries (Syria, Serbia) are involved. The enemy did not carry out offensive operations in the Volyn direction. The military leadership of the Republic of Belarus continues to strengthen the protection of the border with Ukraine. The possibility of direct participation of the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus in the military operation against Ukraine on the side of the occupiers in the Volyn direction remains.

On the territory of the Republic of Belarus Kulichykha region, 17 km from the State Border of Ukraine, the enemy deployed a contingent for the repair and restoration of military equipment. In the Polissya direction, the enemy holds positions near the settlements of Poliske, Ivankiv, Lypivka, Kopyliv, Motyzhyn, Buzova, Horenychi, Irpin, Sinyak, Kazarovychi and Sukholuchye, and does not carry out active offensive operations. The enemy makes attempts to establish a system of logistics and restores military equipment.

In the northern direction, the enemy holds positions near the settlements of Lyubech, Slavutych, Kovryta, Zolotynka, Mena, Branytsia, Kalita, Bogdanovka, Lukash, Romny, Nedrigailiv with the help of separate units from the Central Military District.

They do not carry out offensive operations, as they try to establish a system of logistics. In the direction of Brovary - Boryspil, the enemy is blocking the E95 highway, continuing measures to regroup troops, replenish supplies and conduct reconnaissance.

The enemy has moved to the defense and maintenance of a network of checkpoints on key routes. It is likely that after the regrouping of troops and the introduction of additional units, offensive operations will be resumed in order to capture the left bank of Kyiv.

In the Slobozhansky direction, the enemy maintains positions in the areas of the settlements of Severodonetsk, Svatove, Kupyansk, Velyka Pisarivka, Moskovsky Bobryak, Lebedyn, continues to form additional units, consolidates captured territory, regroups troops, restores combat capability of units, replenishes stocks of ammunition and fuel and lubricants to block Kharkiv and capture the city of Izyum. In the Donetsk and Tavriya directions, the enemy held positions near the settlements of Borova, Ternove, Novokrasnyanka, Luhanske, Horlivka, Panteleimonivka, Novotroitskoye and Gulyaypole but was pushed back by defenses (unfavorable frontiers?).

Enemy artillery fires on the positions of our troops in the area of Severodonetsk, with its support the enemy captured the eastern outskirts of the village of Rubizhne.

The enemy did not conduct active offensive operations in the South Buzh direction, but actively carried out air reconnaissance, continued to advance in the direction of Kryvyi Rih. The enemy’s advance in the direction of Arkhangelsk and Novovorontsovka was stopped. In all areas of the offensive, the enemy actively uses civilian infrastructure for cover. Kyiv and Kyiv oblast

● a pontoon-bridge crossing in the Gostomel area was destroyed by a fire raid of the Armed Forces of Ukraine; Kharkiv

 ● According to the press service of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, on the night of March 13, due to the Russian shelling, about 15,000 houses in the Kharkiv region were left without gas supply. The gas infrastructure of one of the districts of Kharkiv region has suffered enormous damage due to shelling from the MLRS “Hurricane”. In another area, hostilities almost completely destroyed a high-pressure gas pipeline. Specialists of JSC Kharkivgaz and JSC Kharkivmiskgaz managed to carry out large-scale repairs of gas pipelines in Kharkiv district; Lviv

● The occupiers launched an air strike on the International Center for Peacekeeping and Security. According to preliminary data, they fired 30 cruise missiles; Luhanks oblast

● Residential sector of Severodonetsk, Rubizhne Lysychansk and Popasna are under constant fire. There are casualties among the civilian population. Despite the constant shelling, power engineers managed to connect 13,000 subscribers, gas companies - 7,000; Donetsk oblast

● Mariupol is under siege, fighting occurs on the outskirts of the city. The humanitarian column is advancing - slowly but surely. It is Loud all over the front. In Kramatorsk, air alarms sounded through the night and morning. Planes flew over the Estuary, Slavyansk, Svyatogorsk. The air strikes last night has hit Svyatogorsk Lavra (a large orthodox monastery in Sviatogorsk)

●  Kramatorsk-Lviv evacuation train was damaged due to a Russian air raid. One person was killed and another was injured;

● The Ports Administration of Ukraine has lost contact with the Mariupol branch; Sumy

● Twice at night there was an air threat in Sumy district. During the night, artillery of the Russian Armed Forces fired several times at peaceful villages in the Okhtyrka district and Okhtyrka itself. Russian enemies fire mainly from Trostyanets;

● In Trostyanets, the occupiers robbed a branch of Ukrposhta, broke into an ambulance substation and stole medicines and equipment. Chernihiv

● At night - three air raids occurred on Chernihiv. Extent of estruction and casualties are being clarified.

 ● Defensive battles are occurring around Chernihiv. Yesterday 2 settlements in the Kyiv direction were liberated. The total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02 to 13.03 are approximately personnel - almost 12,500,000 people (-); prisoners of war - up to 3,000; tanks - 374 (+12); armored combat vehicles (BBM) - 1226 (+21); artillery systems - 140 (+5); rocket-propelled grenade launchers (MLRS) - 62 (0); air defense systems - 34 (+1); aircraft - 74 (+16); helicopters - 86 (+3); automotive equipment - 600 (+15); light speedboats / ships - 3 (0); fuel tanks - 60 (0); UAV operational and tactical level - 7 (0).

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