UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS

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DAY 296

Victory Chronicles
-DAY 296

December 16,2022

ISW KEY TAKEAWAYS: MOSCOW MAY BE PLANNING TO ASSAULT KYIV OVER THE WINTER

Above: Independence Square in downtown Kyiv hosted two people’s revolutions for freedom, now fortified against threat of muscovy enslavement.  (Atalayar)

  • Putin is using two simultaneous military efforts to pursue his ultimate objective of securing major territorial concessions: current offensive pushes in Donetsk Oblast, particularly around Bakhmut and in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area and the ongoing campaign of massive missile strikes on critical Ukrainian infrastructure are intended to create realities on the ground that Russia will likely demand Ukraine recognize as the basis for negotiations.
  • Russia may be setting conditions to conduct a new offensive against Ukraine— possibly against Kyiv—in winter 2023.
  • Ukrainian Commander in Chief Valerii Zaluzhny noted that Russia is currently preparing 200,000 troops for deployment—an expanded estimate which likely incorporates servicemembers from the autumn 2022 conscription cycle who are training alongside the remaining mobilized recruits.The combination of ongoing training efforts for both mobilized recruits and the Fall 2022 conscript class, alongside indications that Russia is preparing for another wave of “partial” mobilization, indicate that Russia is trying to generate the combat capability for a renewed offensive in the early months of 2023.
  • The following indicators support a forecast cone that Russia may be setting conditions to attack Ukraine from Belarus in winter 2023:
    • Russia’s military presence in Belarus has been growing since fall 2022.
    • Russian forces in Belarus do not have specific plans to return to Russia after completing their training.
    • Russian forces may attempt to attack Kyiv. Commander Zaluzhny stated “I have no doubt [Russian forces] will have another go at Kyiv” on December 15.
    • Elements of the 1st Guards Tank Army—in principle the Russian military’s most elite heavy formation that could form the core of a strike force—are reportedly training in Belarus as of December 15.
  • Russian forces are replenishing their operational-tactical command with retired officers and those released from reserve due to heavy officer losses.
  • The Russian State Duma conducted the first reading of a law that will eliminate criminal liability for crimes in occupied territories if they were committed in the interests of the Russian Federation.
  • The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that Russian forces forcibly relocated 40 Ukrainian children from Severodonetsk, Luhansk Oblast to Stavropol Krai, Russia under the pretext of “rehabilitation.”

GENERAL STAFF DAILY ENEMY LOSSES

Above:  Woman waves a Mariupol flag at the public exhibit of destroyed enemy equipment in Kyiv. (The Spec)

Ukrainian General Staff of the Armed Forces estimated enemy losses for last 24 hours

  • Liquidated personnel, 97,270 (+680)
  • Tanks, 2,980 (+5)
  • Armored personnel vehicles, 5,952 (+6)
  • Artillery systems/MLRS, 1,946/410 (+3/4)
  • Anti-aircraft warfare systems, 211 (0)
  • Aircraft/helicopters, 281/264 (0)
  • UAV operational-tactical level, 1,648 (+4)
  • Cruise missiles, 592 (0)
  • Warships/boats, 16 (0)
  • Vehicles and fuel tanks, 4,563 (0)
  • Special equipment, 172 (0)

CIVILIAN MISSILE STRIKES

Above: “The southern Ukrainian city is ‘completely disconnected’ from power supplies amid Russian attacks. Kherson has been hit with fatal shelling 86 times in the past 24 hours.” (CNN)

KHARKIV-LUHANSK

Above:  Only 40 miles from the enemy border, Kharkiv withstood the ruzzian onslaught. (Kharkiv Izvestia)

Map via ISW
  • Ukrainian forces reportedly continued counteroffensive operations in the direction of Svatove and Kreminna on December 15. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian forces thwarted Ukrainian assaults in the direction of Sofiivka, Luhansk Oblast (22km northwest of Svatove).Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Ukrainian General Staff, Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov reported that Ukrainian forces advanced up to 1.5km in the vicinity of Dibrova (5km southwest of Kreminna).

LUHANSK-DONETSK-ZAPORIZHZHIA

Above:  The Telegraph

Map via ISW
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations around Bakhmut on December 15. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults within 33km northeast of Bakhmut near Verkhnokamianske, Yakovlivka, Soledar, and Vesele. Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Ukrainian General Staff, Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov, reported that Russian forces are attempting to break through Ukrainian defenses near Verkhnokamianske in order to advance towards Bilohorivka, Luhansk oblast from the south.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area on December 15. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian assault near Marinka (28km southwest of Avdiivka).


Wagner mercenary forces spearheaded by recruited prisoners have reportedly reached the eastern edges of Bakhmut. (Wall Street Journal)

KHERSON-ZAPORIZHZHYA-CRIMEA

Above: Fire broke out at a Black Sea beach resort hotel in southern Kherson where ruzzian intelligence operatives were “vacationing”, allegedly. (TSN)

Map via ISW
  • Russian forces continued defensive measures south of the Dnipro River and conducted artillery strikes against the west (right) bank of Kherson Oblast on December 15.
  • The Main Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate (GUR) additionally reported that Russian troops are reinforcing the coastline in Molochne, occupied Crimea with mines, trenches, and fortifications out of apparent fear of Ukrainian amphibious assaults.
  • Ukrainian troops continued strikes against Russian concentration areas in Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts. Geolocated imagery posted on December 15 shows the aftermath of a Ukrainian strike on a Russian-occupied hotel in Zaliznyi Port, about 60km southwest of Kherson City.
  • Ukrainian strikes destroyed Russian ammunition depots and units of military equipment throughout Zaporizhia Oblast in Tokmak, Polohyi, and Berdyansk.
  • Ukrainian partisans conducted a sabotage attack on a power transformer substation in Berdyansk, Zaporizhia Oblast on December 13. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that Ukrainian saboteurs blew up the power transformer substation and its supporting power lines which supported the Kosa microdistrict where Russian forces are quartering mobilized forces.

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