Russian occupiers continued forcibly deporting Ukrainian children from occupied territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to Russia on the pretext that they needed special medical care, the Institute for the Study of War said on Tuesday. He also presented the current situation on the front.
Russian forces continue to defend their positions along the Svatovo-Kreminna line. The Russians are continuing their advances around Bakhmut, but have not yet managed to surround the city, the Institute for the Study of War reports, summarizing the current situation at the front. He added that the Russian army also carried out offensive operations in the vicinity of Donetsk. Ukrainian sources cited by ISW report that small Russian shock troops are trying to penetrate Ukrainian positions in the region.
ISW about the removal of Ukrainian children by the Russians
On December 5, Russian forces launched another wave of missile attacks against civilian and energy infrastructure Ukraine. The aggressor struck in the Kiev, Odessa, Vinnytsia and Zaporizhia regions. Ukraine’s General Staff reported that Ukrainian air defenses shot down 60 out of more than 70 missiles fired. Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the presidential office of Ukraine, said that Russian airstrikes damaged a power line in the Sumy region, according to the latest report of an American think tank.
The Institute also reports that the Russian occupiers continued forced deportations to Russia Ukrainian children from the occupied territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions under the pretext that they require “special medical care”.
Attacks on Russian air bases
Ukrainian forces likely launched attacks on two Russian strategic airbases on Monday, inflicting little damage but demonstrating the ability to hit Russian rears and disrupt the ongoing campaign of attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, the ISW writes.
The Russian Ministry of Defense and several bloggers reported that Ukrainian forces used drones to strike the Engels-2 and Diaghilev airbases. The ISW points out that both bases house Russian strategic bombers, which Russia has been using to attack Ukraine since the beginning of the war. According to the Russian ministry, the target of the attack was Russian long-range aircraft.
“Ukrainian forces were probably trying to disrupt Russian attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure and demonstrate Ukraine’s ability to attack Russian strategic assets,” the ISW assesses. As he adds, the Ukrainian authorities have not yet admitted to carrying out strikes on these bases.
A wave of criticism and fears of Russian bloggers
The Institute for War Studies reports that Russian bloggers have criticized the Russian command for failing to foresee and prevent Ukrainian attacks on two strategic military bases.
Several well-known bloggers claimed that Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups must have launched an attack on the Engels-2 air base from Russian territory. In their opinion, either Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups are active in Russia, or – if the drones were launched from Ukrainian territory – Moscow is also within the range of Ukrainian strikes.
Some bloggers believe that the attacks on the Engels and Diaghilevo air bases threaten Russia’s position as a nuclear power, as they damaged aircraft capable of carrying many types of nuclear weapons.
Main photo source: Viacheslav Ratynskyi/PAP/EPA