Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
7 November 2016, 6 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Stanytsia Luhanska, Shchastya and Popasne. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Luhanske village, Troitske and several other locations with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy mortar shelling of Ukrainian positions near Avdiyivka. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled several Ukrainian positions along the front with mortars, tanks and artillery. The heaviest shelling by Russian-terrorist forces was at Krasnohorivka and the Pavlopil-Shyrokyne line. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and five Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.
2. Ukraine’s PM speaks with US Vice President
Ukraine’s Prime Minister V. Groysman spoke with US Vice President J. Biden on 3 November. The White House reported, “The Vice President welcomed the successful implementation of Ukraine’s electronic asset declaration system and commended Prime Minister Groysman for his continuing strong support for reforms, including those focused on the health care and education sectors. The Vice President and Prime Minister Groysman agreed on the importance of continued reform progress, especially on the need to maintain the independence of the National Anticorruption Bureau, to move forward with robust, transparent, and competitive privatizations of key state-owned enterprises, and to adhere to all of Ukraine’s IMF commitments.”
3. Centre for European Policy Analysis publishes report on lessons of Russia’s war against Ukraine
The Centre for European Policy Analysis published a report, Land warfare in Europe: Lessons and recommendations from the war in Ukraine. The report states, “Since its eruption in 2014, the war for Ukraine has been a humanitarian crisis, a set-back for the rules-based international order, and-importantly for this analysis-a proving ground for new Russian strategies, tactics, and weapons. […]During the Russo-Georgian War (2008), Russian forces woefully underutilized Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for ISR missions-creating a deficiency of real-time reconnaissance and targeting in the battlespace. Now in Ukraine, Russia has changed course. It has fully embraced the use of drones and- significantly-fielded high-tech ECM suites to deny the use of UAVs to opposing forces. As such, the use of ISR from drones and sensor nets has been a game-changer for Russia’s mass strike fire missions. New MLRS systems like the Tornado, as well as other older variants like the 122-mm Grad, mobile howitzers and mortars, are making mass fire barrages relatively cheap and lethal for Russia. This is especially true for thermobaric and DPICM payloads. In Ukraine, artillery has become so deadly it has accounted for 70-85 percent of all causalities. […]Lessons from Ukraine should cause concern for NATO planners. Today, many allied armies are still grappling with the hangover of Iraq and Afghanistan. They have collected years of experience deploying to out-of-area, counter-insurgency or peacekeeping missions. Their doctrines, capabilities, and force postures are underprepared for the new challenges of Land Warfare. […] Many of today’s NATO armies are primed to fight low intensity insurgencies overseas, but notably under-prepared for fulfilling their original mission: defending real estate at home.” The Report’s recommendations state, “NATO Member States need to invest more money in defense; and spend these finite resources on the right things. Land Warfare capabilities are an excellent place to start […]The ability to both protect forces from indirect fire and suppress it are essential capabilities. Equipping frontline units with counter-battery radars […] and intensified training in counter-battery fire during NATO exercises could be highly advantageous. […]Preparations to establish air superiority over a battlefield should include special attention to the survivability and endurance of UAVs. Russia is not only learning to use these platforms, but also to deny their use to opponents. […]NATO armies should give careful consideration to the survivability of the IFVs in their inventories. Russia’s use of thermobaric warheads and mass strike artillery could significantly degrade the combat power of NATO’s last-gen IFVs under certain circumstances.” The full report is available at http://cepa.org/briefs/land-
4. Maple Arch 2016 Exercise begins in Ukraine
Exercise Maple Arch 2016 began at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre in Starychi, western Ukraine. Soldiers from Ukraine, Canada, Poland, and Lithuania are participating the exercises, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported. “The military maneuvers will last about two weeks. They contribute to the improvement of international military cooperation between the armed forces of the participating countries and increase the level of interaction between multinational forces,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense stated.
5. Saakashvili resigns as Odessa governor
Mikheil Saakashvili resigned as the Head of the Odessa oblast State Administration (governor). Saakashvili, the former President of Georgia, was appointed governor of Odessa by President Poroshenko in May 2015.