Above: A large portion of the border region between Belarus and Ukraine is covered with marshes and swamps. (Belarus Tours)
- Belarusian Minister of Defense Lieutenant General Viktor Khrenin stated on November 30 that the actions of bordering NATO members suggest that preparations are underway to conduct military operations in the eastern direction (i.e., against Belarus). Russian media reported his comments as saying explicitly that NATO is preparing for offensive operations in the eastern direction (which is a nonsensical accusation).
- Khrenin likely made the comments about NATO military activities on the borders with Belarus in support of what ISW has previously assessed is an ongoing information operation aimed at fixing Ukrainian forces on the border with Belarus in response to the threat of Belarus entering the war. ISW has also previously assessed that Belarus is highly unlikely to enter the war.
- Russian opinion polling suggests that the Russian public may be tiring of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russian opposition media outlet Meduza reported on November 30 that it had gained access to the results of an opinion poll commissioned by the Kremlin for internal use that shows that 55 percent of Russians favor peace talks with Ukraine and 25 percent favor continuing the war. Internal Kremlin polling reportedly placed the percentage of Russians supporting negotiations with Ukraine at 32 percent in July and the percentage favoring the continuation of the war at 57 percent.
- The Kremlin continues efforts to stifle domestic dissent through legislation that broadens the definition of “foreign agents” and those amenable to foreign influence. Russian media began reporting on November 23 that the Russian government approved new restrictions on the ability of those deemed “foreign agents” to post materials created by foreign-influenced sources and conduct public activities, which will enter into effect on December 1.
- Russian and Ukrainian sources indicated that partial mobilization continues, despite official Russian claims otherwise. Russian and Ukrainian sources reported that the Russian information space has been circulating rumors that male employees of the Russian Presidential Administration are temporarily banned from traveling on business trips or vacations abroad due to the possibility of mobilization orders.
Above: Russia is firing cruise missiles with dummy nuclear warheads at targets in Ukraine in order to overwhelm and exhaust the Ukrainian air defense system, a senior Pentagon official said on Nov. 29 during a press briefing. (New Voice of Ukraine)
Ukrainian General Staff of the Armed Forces estimated enemy losses for last 24 hours
- Liquidated personnel, 89,440 (+560)
- Tanks, 2,915 (+1)
- Armored personnel vehicles 5,877 (+5)
- Artillery systems/MLRS, 1,904/395 (+2/0)
- Anti-aircraft warfare systems, 210 (0)
- Aircraft/helicopters, 280/261 (0)
- UAV operational-tactical level, 1,562 (0)
- Cruise missiles, 531 (0)
- Warships/ boats, 16 (0)
- Vehicles and fuel tanks, 4,441 (+12)
- Special equipment, 163 (0)
Above: Graveyard of enemy missiles in Kharkiv. (Business Ukraine)
- russian occupiers launched 2 missile strikes on civilian objects in the settlement of Kivsharivka in the Kharkiv oblast and the city of Slovyansk in the Donetsk oblast, carried out 47 airstrikes and 35 MLRS attacks on the positions of our troops.
- There is still a threat of missile strikes by the russian invaders on the objects of the energy system and critical infrastructure throughout the territory of Ukraine.
- In the Siversky direction, the enemy fired mortars and artillery systems at the areas of the settlements of Manukhivka, Vorozhba, Prohody, Mykhailivske and Mayske of the Sumy oblast.
- In the direction of Slobozhanskyi, areas of the settlements of Vysoka Yaruga, Strilecha, Krasne, Hlyboke, Starytsa, Ohirtseve, Hatyshche, Ambarne, Petro-Ivanivka and Dvorichne of the Kharkiv oblast were hit by the entire range of artillery.
- The enemy is defending in the Kupyansk and Lyman Fired from tanks and artillery of various types in the areas of settlements Pershotravneve, Orlyanske, Kislivka and Tabaivka in the Kharkiv oblast and Novoselivske, Stelmakhivka, Makiivka, Ploshchanka, Nevske, Chervonopivka in the Luhansk oblast. Carried out airstrikes near Makiivka.
- In the Bakhmut and Avdiiv areas, the enemy continues to focus its main efforts on conducting offensive operations. Objects in the areas of Spirne, Bilogorivka, Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Opytne, Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka, Kurakhove, Nevelske, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka settlements of the Donetsk oblast were hit by fire from tanks and artillery. Airstrikes were carried out in the Avdiivka district.
- Enemy tank and artillery shelling was recorded in the areas of the settlements of Velyka Novosilka, Bohoyavlenka, Vuhledar, Prechystivka, Zolota Nyva, Neskuchne and Novopil in the Donetsk oblast and Olhivske, Zahirne, Orihiv, Novoandriivka and Mali Shcherbaky in Zaporizhzhia. The enemy also carried out airstrikes in the areas of Vuhledar, Olhivske and Stepove.
- In the Kherson direction, the district of Kizomys was hit by rocket artillery fire. The enemy does not stop artillery shelling of units of our troops and settlements on the right bank of the Dnipro River, in particular the city of Kherson.
Above: Above freezing temperatures and heavy rain bog down war. (Ukranews)
- Russian forces continued efforts to defend against Ukrainian counteroffensive operations and regain lost positions along the Svatove-Kreminna line on November 30.
- The Ukrainian General Staff noted that Russian troops shelled Chervonopopivka and Ploshchanka, indicating that Ukrainian troops have actually advanced into these settlements.
- Russian troops additionally attacked Ukrainian positions south of Kreminna near Bilohorivka, and Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces shelled Lysychansk (29km southeast of Kreminna).
Above: Firefighters extinguish a fire after Russian shelling in Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, on November 29. (CNN)
Map via ISW
- Russian forces continued to make incremental advances south of Bakhmut on November 30. Geolocated footage posted between November 28 and 29 shows Ukrainian troops claiming to be encircled by Russian troops on the eastern side of Kurdiumivka, about 12km southwest of Bakhmut.
- Russian forces continued ground attacks northeast of Bakhmut on November 30. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian troops repelled attempted Russian attacks near Bakhmutske (10km northeast of Bakhmut) and Bilohorivka (20km northeast of Bakhmut).
- Russian efforts around Bakhmut indicate that Russian forces have fundamentally failed to learn from previous high-casualty campaigns concentrated on objectives of limited operational or strategic significance. Russian forces have continually expended combat strength on small settlements around Bakhmut since the end of May; in the following six months, they have only secured gains on the order of a few kilometers at a time.
- The costs associated with six months of brutal, grinding, and attrition-based combat around Bakhmut far outweigh any operational advantage that the Russians can obtain from taking Bakhmut. Russian offensives around Bakhmut, on the other hand, are consuming a significant proportion of Russia’s available combat power, potentially facilitating continued Ukrainian counteroffensives elsewhere.
- This pattern of operations closely resembles the previous Russian effort to take Severodonetsk and Lysychansk earlier in the war. As ISW assessed throughout June and July of this year, Ukrainian forces essentially allowed Russian troops to concentrate efforts on Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, two cities near the Luhansk Oblast border of limited operational and strategic significance, in order to capitalize on the continued degradation of Russian manpower and equipment over the course of months of grinding combat.
- Russian forces additionally continued ground attacks in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area and routine fire in western Donetsk Oblast on November 30. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian troops unsuccessfully attacked Pervomaiske, Nevelske, and Marinka, all along the western outskirts of Donetsk City.
Above: Shoot and scoot on the front lines. (Washington Post)
Map via ISW
- Ukrainian media outlet Hromadske posted a video on November 30 showing Ukrainian forces positioned under the Antonivskiy bridge on the west bank of the Dnipro River engaging in small arms and RPG fire with Russian forces across the river on the east bank.Ukrainian soldiers interviewed by Hromadske stated that they are part of units in extremely forward positions tasked with preventing Russian sabotage and reconnaissance groups from crossing the river.
- A Ukrainian official acknowledged that Ukrainian forces are conducting operations on the Kinburn Spit on November 30. Mykolaiv Oblast Head Vitaly Kim announced on November 30 that Ukrainian forces are conducting an operation on the Kinburn Spit under informational silence conditions. ISW has previously assessed that Ukrainian forces would be better equipped to conduct potential operations on the east bank of the Dnipro in Kherson Oblast from locations on the Kinburn Spit.