Summary of the daily livestream with Aleksey Arestovych, Ukraine’s Presidential Head of Office advisor for Day 321, January 10th 2023, kindly brought to you by Anastasiya: @Anastasiya1451A
Original video in Russian:
Russia is concentrating efforts in the towns of Bahmut & Soledar, Donetsk region. Ukraine is defending its current positions, exhausting Russian forces and accumulating resources for the next counteroffensive.
Russia has put Soledar in semi-encirclement, trying to take the town. The Russian command has refocused its efforts on Soledar from the previous direct attacks on Bahmut as the defences of Soledar aren’t as strong as in Bahmut. The Russian troops are trying to take Bahmut for 8 months, costing them thousands & thousands of lives. The Russian troops are composed of Luhansk mobilized troops (1/3), regular Russian troops & VDV (1/3) and Wagner troops (1/3), including the Wagner-recruited prisoners that are used as cannon fodder & human shield. Russia will try to overemphasise the capture of this town, with Prigozhin & Denis Pushilin making propagandistic statements claiming that the whole town is already occupied by Russian forces.
Even if Russian troops take Soledar, making a big propaganda show about it, the occupation of the rest of the Donetsk region would mean taking another 20 towns the size of Bahmut. It’s highly doubtful that Russia would find enough new Wagner cannon fodder in Russian prisons to take another town in this manner.
🔥Bahmut, Avdiivka & Mariinka
Heavy fighting continues in Bahmut, Avdiivka & Bilogirivka. The Russian forces have limited advance in Mariinka but sustained heavy losses.
Bahmut is much better located and defended. Moreover, everything beyond Bahmut (like Kramatorsk) is higher than Soledar & Bahmut, which would make further advance even more difficult, slowing Russian troops down even more.
Russian forces are regrouping with an additional 5 BTG of reinforcements arriving. This may be a preparation for an attack or Russia strengthening the defences, fearing a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Zaporizhzhja region.
Russia continues to shell Kherson residential areas. Ukraine responds by destroying Russian military installations in the Eastern bank of the Dnipro River.
🔥Kreminna & Svatove
Russia is trying to attack in the Yampil direction, to eventually attempt to attack Lyman. However, the Russian efforts are in vain. Especially considering the ongoing Ukrainian local counteroffensive efforts that stop & nullify Russian attempts to retake the initiative.
🔥Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities
Russia continues shelling and missile attacks on Kharkiv, Kherson, Zaporizhzhja city and Dnipro. There is danger of another missile mass attack between 15-20th of January remains.
🔥Russian General Staff & infighting in Russia
General Lapin was reinstated as the Head of the Land Armies of Russia. After the loss of Lyman, Lapin was heavily criticized (by Kadyrov & Prigozhin) and removed from the Russian Army command.
This shows the infighting between the military faction and the warlords (Kadyrov/Prigozhin) factions, who are trying to gain more power. Moreover, Putin may be reinstating Lapin to avoid giving too much power to Prigozhin, balancing the power division between different factions inside Russia.
Prigozhin is attempting to show his capacity to make at least some advances in Bahmut area and increase his political weight, while Russia is incapable to take any cities. Prigozhin has no official political status and biography (9 years in prison, Jewish ancestors, etc.) which is unacceptable within FSB/Kremlin apparatus. This puts him in the crosshairs of the military, FSB & Kremlin apparatus, with Prigozhin’s survival depending on his usefulness for Kremlin, media presence and Putin’s whim.
🔥Baerbock in Ukraine
Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visited the city of Kharkiv, which is frequently shelled by Russia. The effects of Baebock’s visit will be visible during the next Ramstein meeting on the 20th of January.
🔥Heavy-armoured vehicles competition in the West
The American Bradley APC, French APC, German Marders and Czech modernised T72 tanks have already been pledged or being transferred to Ukraine. It seems that the West has decided to transfer APC & tanks to Ukraine to aid the liberation of Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia.
Anti-Russian & anti-Pashinyan (Armenia’s pro-Russian/pro-militaristic PM) sentiment are increasing in Armenia. Armenia is feeling betrayed by Russia and there is talk of getting rid of Russian “peacekeepers” & Russia’s influence. Armenia may soon see the futility of subservience to Russia at the expense of Armenian lands, economy and strategic interests. Armenia may soon have a chance to leave Russia and start building more productive & mutually beneficial cooperation with its neighbours (Azerbaijan & Turkey).
🔥China & India
China has eased sanctions against Australian coal, signing a new contract with Australia after more than 2 years of an economical cold-war.
The US is conducting secret negotiations with China which is the only party that could help Putin. Now, there are signs that China is willing to “restore relationships with the US”. China trying to normalise relationships with the West while ignoring cheap Russian oil & gas is an alarming development for Putin’s regime.
Moreover, India (one of the main buyers of Russian oil) is considering joining sanctions and a price cap on Russian oil.
🔥Russia’s economic prospects
Sanctions & price caps on Russian oil & gas are affecting the Russian economy, limiting Russia’s capacity to conduct war. The economic situation in Russia will worsen even further over time, especially if India joins the price cap measures.
The worldwide campaign to demand medical care for Georgia’s ex-president Mikhail Saakashvili, who was poisoned while in Georgian prison, continues. So far there is no meaningful action from Georgian authorities to provide Saakashvili with adequate health care. Saakashvili has sent a letter to Feygin & Arestovych and the next steps of the campaign are already planned (which may involve something similar to Magnitsky Act) and the international pressure on Georgian authorities will not subside. Georgia should consider if they want to appease Russian imperialistic ambitions at the expense of its own prospects in NATO and the EU. #SaveMisha
Next stream is on Thursday, 12th of January.