Missile bombardment continues across the nation as Ukraine establishes 4,000 invincibility centers to provide services in case of losses of infrastructure services. Dozens of missiles struck Ukrainian cities, hitting critical infrastructure and knocking out power. This came just after the European Parliament designated Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The Russian military conducted another set of massive, coordinated missile strikes on Ukrainian critical infrastructure in a misguided attempt to degrade the Ukrainian will to fight. Ukrainian Air Force Command reported on November 23 that Russian forces launched 70 cruise missiles and five drones at Ukrainian critical infrastructure targets. Ukrainian Air Force Command reported that Ukrainian air defenses shot down 51 of the Russian cruise missiles and all five drones. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces struck residential buildings, thermal power plants, and substations in the city of Kyiv as well as in Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Lviv, and Zaporizhia oblasts. Ukrainian, Russian, and social media sources claimed that Russian forces also struck targets in Ivano-Frankivsk, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Cherkasy, Dnipropetrovsk, Sumy, Poltava, Kirovohrad, and Kharkiv oblasts. Ukrainian officials reported widespread disruptions to energy, heating, and water supplies as a result of the Russian strikes. ISW has previously assessed that the Russian military is still able to attack Ukrainian critical infrastructure at scale in the near term despite continuing to deplete its arsenal of high-precision weapons systems. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar stated that the Russian military mistakenly believes that the destruction of energy infrastructure will direct Ukrainian efforts to protect rear areas and divert Ukrainian attention away from the front in eastern and southern Ukraine. Malyar stated that Russia’s campaign against critical infrastructure will not weaken the motivation of Ukraine’s civilian population, and the Ukrainian Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov asserted that Russian missile and drone strikes will not coerce Ukraine into negotiations.
The work of the Points of Invincibility, also called Invincibility Centers, in the cities of Ukraine will be activated if, as a result of Russian missile strikes, electricity supplies cannot be restored within hours, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video statement on Tuesday.
"As a result of this day, more than 4,000 such centers have already been prepared. More planned. If massive Russian strikes take place again and if there is an understanding that electricity supplies cannot be restored within hours, then the work of the Points of Invincibility will be launched," he said.
According to the president, it will be possible to get basic services in them "electricity, mobile communications and the Internet, heat, water, first aid kit. Completely free and around the clock."
Eastern Ukraine: (Eastern Kharkiv Oblast-Western Luhansk Oblast)
Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in the directions of Svatove and Kreminna on November 23. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian artillery units thwarted a Ukrainian assault within 14km northwest of Svatove in the direction of Novoselivske. A Russian milblogger posted videos purporting to show Russian forces striking a Ukrainian reconnaissance and sabotage group in the direction of Svatove. The Russian MoD also claimed that Russian artillery units repelled a Ukrainian assault within 6km northwest of Kreminna near Chervonopopivka. A Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces attempted the assault toward Chervonopopivka to cut a section of the R-66 highway that connects Kreminna to Svatove. A Russian source claimed that Ukrainian forces are concentrating forces in Kharkiv Oblast in preparation for a possible major offensive against Svatove. ISW does not assess claims about future Ukrainian operations.
Russian Subordinate Main Effort—Donetsk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)
Russian forces continued to conduct offensive operations in the direction of Bakhmut on November 23. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults near Bakhmut, within 14km south of Bakhmut near Kurdiumivka, and within 30km northeast of Bakhmut near Spirne and Berestove. A Russian milblogger claimed that Wagner Group units are continuing to attempt to push through Ukrainian defensive positions on the outskirts of Bakhmut and that Russian forces conducted assaults within 26km northeast of Bakhmut on Yakovlivka and Bilhorivka, Donetsk Oblast. The milblogger also claimed that there is fierce fighting southeast of Soledar (12km northeast of Bakhmut). Russian sources continued to claim that Ukrainian forces are suffering heavy losses in the Bakhmut area but did not provide specific information on said losses. Social media sources posted geolocated footage showing Russian forces firing incendiary munitions near Ukrainian positions near Spirne. Protocol III of the Geneva Convention prohibits the use of air-delivered incendiary munitions against military targets within a concentration of civilians.
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said it will send Ukraine up to $400 million in artillery ammunition, weapons and supplies in its latest drawdown package to help the nation defend itself against Russia.
The security assistance package announced Wednesday includes more ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, high-speed anti-radiation missiles, or HARMs, and 200 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement.
It also includes 150 heavy machine guns with thermal imagery sights that Ukraine could use to shoot down Russian drones, the Pentagon said, as well as 10,000 120mm mortar rounds and additional munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, or NASAMS, air defense systems developed by Norway’s Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace and U.S. firm Raytheon Technologies.
“With Russia’s unrelenting and brutal missile and [unmanned aerial systems] attacks on Ukrainian critical energy infrastructure, additional air defense capabilities remain an urgent priority,” the Pentagon said. “The additional munitions for NASAMS and heavy machine guns will help Ukraine counter these urgent threats.”
The package also includes 150 Humvees, more than 100 light tactical vehicles, more than 200 generators, spare parts for 105mm Howitzers and other equipment and more than 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition.
A surge in the cost of shipping oil between the world’s ports is buoying energy prices, even as a gloomy economic outlook has dragged down crude near its lowest levels of the year.
Economic fallout from the war in Ukraine has severed many of the short oil- and petroleum-product trading routes across the Baltic and North seas. Now, as Europe scrambles to find new suppliers and Russia looks to send exports elsewhere, tankers are spending more time on water before reaching their destinations.
Many shipments now spend five times longer in transit to refineries or wholesalers than they would have before the conflict, tanker operators and analysts say. The upshot is that fewer vessels are available in a global fleet that has little prospect of quickly expanding in size, a boon for shipping companies.
Average tankers have earned more than $40,000 a day for four months, their longest such stretch in 15 years, according to London-based shipbroker Clarksons. The spot price for modernized ships known as very large crude carriers, which can stretch more than three football fields in length and carry two million barrels of oil, surpassed $115,100 a day on Nov. 18. That is an 11-fold increase from that class of ship’s average daily rate last year.
The price increases come at a key moment for oil markets, with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their Russia-led allies set to meet Dec. 4 amid flagging global demand and tensions with the U.S. The following day, Western governments will begin imposing sanctions against Russian energy exports that analysts expect will push traders to redirect more shipments on longer routes.
“That’s where the real tightness is,” said Natasha Kaneva, head of global commodities strategy at J.P. Morgan. While Russia appears to have access to enough oil tankers to transport its crude, she added, it faces a shortage of ships equipped for carrying petroleum products.
Tanker rates occasionally jump in response to geopolitical shocks, such as when the U.S. in 2019 sanctioned dozens of ships operated by a leading Chinese company for alleged ties to illicit Iranian oil trades.
Tanker operators “appreciate years like this one when they’re making money hand over fist,” said Omar Nokta, a shipping analyst at Jefferies.
Russia claims that it is prepared to enter negotiations to end the war in Ukraine and asserts that Kyiv is the party which insists on continuing the conflict.
Based on our analysis:
- Russian forces continue to try to seize more Ukrainian territory, in particular in the eastern Donbas region. Russia is concurrently waging a missile strike campaign against Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. 3/6
- While recent ground attacks have largely failed and resulted in no significant territorial gains, Russia continues to reposition its ground assets in an effort to take additional territory. 4/6
- Despite major setbacks recently, Russia is still trying to maximize the amount of Ukrainian territory it occupies, and it is not working to set conditions for productive diplomatic engagement. 5/6
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