The situation as of 8:00 a.m. on September 12, 2022
The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue their successful offensive actions. According to Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the AFU, since the beginning of September, the Ukrainian military has liberated more than 3,000 square kilometers of occupied territory. In recent days, the achievements in the Kharkiv direction have been particularly significant. As a result of high-precision strikes in the depth of the defense, a combination of maneuvers of various units and encirclement of Russian forces, over the past 4 days the AFU managed to advance deep into the enemy’s defense by more than 50 kilometers and forced them to retreat from the territory of the Izium ledge. Due to the collapse of the Russian front, the threat of a Russian offensive on Sloviansk has been eliminated, and the positions of Russian forces in the Donbas have been seriously challenged. A new front line in northeastern Ukraine is now formed along the Oskil River, the left bank of which remains under occupation.
The September 11 Russian missile attacks on Ukraine were aimed at destroying critical infrastructure, in particular thermal power plants. As the heating season approaches, Ukraine’s energy facilities may become the main target of Russian shelling.
Battle for Donbas
Successful actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Kharkiv region are accompanied by AFU attacks against Russian positions in the north of the Donetsk region. Fighting continues for the town of Lyman.
The rapid retreat of Russian forces from Kharkiv region opened up opportunities for an offensive in the north of Luhansk region, including the Russian army being forced to retreat from a number of settlements in Luhansk region, particularly Svatove. The need to move reserves to form a new front line in this area weakens Russian positions in other directions. The head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, Serhii Haidai, reports that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have advanced into the vicinity of Lysychansk.
Intensive shelling continues, leading to the destruction of civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties. On the night of September 11, rockets were fired at residential buildings in Pokrovsk, killing 6 people and wounding 6 others. Also on September 11, Russian troops struck a multi-story building in Sloviansk. During September 8-11, 24 people were killed and 55 people were injured in the Donetsk region.
As a result of the counterattack, the AFU managed to liberate the main part of the temporarily occupied territories of Kharkiv region. Having launched attacks from the Balakliia area, the Ukrainian military broke deep into Kupiansk, an important point through which the Izium grouping of Russian troops was supplied. The threat of its encirclement led to a retreat of the Russian military from Izium in an eastern direction. There was also a retreat of Russian units north of Kupiansk towards the Russian state border. This opens up the possibility of liberating settlements north of Kharkiv.
Russian forces respond to the successful advance of the AFU by shelling civilian infrastructure in the Kharkiv region. As a result, 7 people were killed and 28 more wounded in the city and region between September 8-11.
The front line remains stable – Russian troops are concentrating on holding the occupied positions. In the territory of Zaporizhzhia region, shelling with tank weapons, as well as rocket and cannon artillery, continues unabated. On the night of September 12, the Russian military shelled the regional center, Zaporizhzhia.
The AFU continues offensive operations in the Kherson direction. They strike at the rear infrastructure and logistics routes of the Russian troops. In particular, the Ukrainian military destroyed another ferry crossing in Nova Kakhovka.
Systematic missile strikes continue in Mykolaiv, resulting in 9 casualties as of September 11. Russian Federation shelling also affected civilian infrastructure in Voznesensk, where 2 people were wounded.
Shelling of Ukrainian territory
Russian troops continue shelling the border areas of the Sumy region. On the morning of September 9, there was an airstrike on a hospital in Sumy region, which injured 7 people. On the night of September 10, an industrial infrastructure facility in the Dnipro region was hit.
Against the background of the collapse of their own forces in the Kharkiv region, the Russian military purposefully shelled energy infrastructure facilities in the Kharkiv, Sumy, Poltava, and Dnipropetrovsk regions. At once, power and water supply problems arose in these and other nearby regions of Ukraine.
In addition, Russian forces fired a total of 12 cruise missiles on Ukrainian territory during the evening of September 11, nine of which were shot down by the air defense. Seven cruise missiles hit targets in Dnipropetrovsk region, and two more missiles were destroyed by Air Force units in Poltava region. It was also possible to neutralize a missile in Cherkasy region.
The Office of the President of Ukraine with reference to the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine reports that Russian special services have created a fake Internet portal allegedly connected to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi. It has signs of a fraudulent resource created to misappropriate funds under the guise of an aid fund for Ukraine. Thus, the Russian Federation tried to discredit Ukraine and its top leadership.
The Security Service of Ukraine reported the detention of two Ukrainian residents who worked on the launch of the pro-Russian Tavria media center in the south of Ukraine. The main objective of the project was to mass spread propaganda in the region through specially created telegram channels, online television and radio broadcasting applications.
The head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine reported that as of September 9, confirmed casualties from Russia’s full-scale invasion totaled 14,059 civilian casualties (5,767 dead and 8,292 wounded in action). The actual numbers are probably much higher. According to the Office of the Prosecutor General, by the morning of September 11, the number of child victims of the Russian armed aggression in Ukraine had risen to 1,130 (383 children dead, 747 wounded). According to the government platform “Children of War,” 7,461 children were deported and 233 were missing.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has documented cases of children being forcibly transferred from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine unaccompanied to Russian-occupied territory or the Russian Federation itself. Although Article 50 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits changing the personal status of children, including their citizenship, Russian authorities have adopted a simplified procedure for granting Russian citizenship to children from Ukraine without parental care.
The UN Monitoring Mission to Ukraine confirmed that since February 24, at least 416 people have been victims of arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances in Ukrainian territories occupied by the Russian Federation, or in “areas controlled by Russian armed forces and affiliated armed groups at the time”. Of these, 16 people were found dead and 166 were released. In addition, some violations in the treatment of prisoners of war were documented. At the same time, the Russian Federation did not provide the UN Monitoring Mission with access to the prisoners of war held both on its territory and in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
On September 10, it was possible to resume external power supply for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which had been operating for three days with the energy of one of its reactors. This allowed ZNPP to shut down its last working reactor ahead of schedule on the night of September 11. With the plant completely stopped, an external supply is needed to cool the reactors and other safety support systems. Rafael Grossi, head of the IAEA, announced the beginning of consultations on the urgent creation of a nuclear safety and protection zone at ZNPP.
In Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, Russian troops are tightening filtration measures in response to a counterattack by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The administrative and police regime was strengthened, entry and exit from populated areas was prohibited, and a curfew was imposed. In Kherson, searches were conducted in the residential buildings of the Skhidnyi Microdistrict, from which the Antonivsky Bridge can be seen. In addition, according to the General Staff of the AFU, in the temporarily occupied territories of Kharkiv, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions, in preparation for so-called “referendums,” Russian troops are urging local residents who have left to return to their homes by October 1. Otherwise, they are threatened with the so-called “nationalization” of housing.
In the temporarily occupied Melitopol (Zaporizhzhia region), explosions have been recorded for several days. According to the mayor of the city, Ivan Fedorov, on September 8 they were heard in the homes of three people cooperating with the occupation administration.
The State Statistics Service reports losses of the Ukrainian economy caused by the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation. The real GDP of the state in the second quarter of 2022 decreased by 19.1% (including seasonal factor) as compared to the previous quarter, and by 37.2% as compared to the second quarter of 2021. Ukraine’s inflation rate in August increased by 1.1% compared to July and rose to 23.8% year-on-year.
Minister of Justice Denys Maliuska stated that Ukraine will demand compensation from the Russian Federation for the damages caused by the war. For this purpose, at a meeting of the UN General Assembly, the state will push for the adoption of a resolution on which the creation of an international mechanism of compensation is to be based.
As of September 5, experts at the Kyiv School of Economics’ “Russia Will Pay” project estimated the direct damage caused by the war to Ukrainian infrastructure at $114.5 billion. According to calculations made in early August, at least $188 billion more is needed to rebuild destroyed assets. In general, according to experts, the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine may require up to $350 billion.
POLITICAL AND DIPLOMATIC EVENTS
The fifth meeting of the Ukrainian Defense Contact Group, attended by defense ministers and officials from about 50 countries, was held September 8 at the U.S. air base in Germany’s Ramstein Air Force Base. As part of the event, allies and partners pledged to supply additional weapons and train Ukrainian fighters to counter Russian aggression. In particular, the U.S. approved a new $675 million military aid package for Ukraine. The U.S. State Department also announced its intention to allocate another $2.2 billion for long-term security support for Ukraine and its neighbors. In addition, the Norwegian government announced supplies of 160 Hellfire missiles, launchers and laser guidance units for them, as well as night vision devices to Ukraine. The FRG plans to supply Ukraine with 16 BIBER armored bridge-building vehicles and 10 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks, as well as about 6,000 munitions for them.
World leaders have stepped up their visits to Ukraine, expressing support for the Ukrainian people in opposing Russian armed aggression. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken arrived in Kyiv on September 8 to discuss military assistance in Ukraine. During his visit, he met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyi and visited the battle-damaged city of Irpin in the Kyiv region. The politicians discussed future security guarantees for Ukraine, the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukraine’s postwar recovery, pressure on Russia, reforms in Ukraine and the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi also held a meeting with Latvian President Egils Levits and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who were on a visit to Kyiv. During the talks, they discussed energy security, continuation of sanctions against Russia and strengthening of cooperation between the countries. Also, Ukraine and Poland agreed to build a hub to repair military equipment and conduct exercises with international partners. For her part, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrived in Kyiv for the second time since the start of the full-scale invasion. As part of her visit, she met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to discuss further provision of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine by Germany.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi and French President Emmanuel Macron had a telephone conversation during which they discussed the situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and also raised the issue of the visa ban for Russian citizens. The Ukrainian President also had his first-ever bilateral conversation with the President of Kenya, William Ruto, and thanked him for supporting Ukraine’s position in international organizations.
The European Commission has published recommendations on visa policy of the EU member states. They contain advice not to issue multi-annual visas to Russian citizens and in some cases to consider cancelling visas already issued. In this case, the Baltic States and Poland from September 19 impose stringent restrictions on entry of Russian citizens in their territories. This means that even people with Schengen tourist visas obtained in other countries will not be able to enter the respective countries.
The information in the digest is collected from official sources — reports of state authorities of Ukraine, Ukrainian and international news agencies. The accuracy of the data is carefully checked by the project team and corrected in case of fake news.