Issue 78, 12 May 2022

Situational report CAO 12MAY2022

Key takeaways

  • Russian forces probably took Rubizhne and Attacks on Severodonetsk could commence over the coming days, however, they will come at a great price.

General outlook

Through open-source research and reading various official press releases, one could get the impression that Russia made gains on 12MAY.

According to the Ukrainian General Staff (UGS), Russian forces are trying to develop several tactical offensive operations in the Lyman, Severodonetsk, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Kurakhove directions. The priority is establishing complete control over Rubizhne, capturing Lyman and Severodonetsk. Some sources indicated that Rubizhne had fallen, but this information is unconfirmed. Similarly, there were reports of fighting in Pryvillya, suggesting Russian troops crossed the Siversky Donets River south of Rubizhne. Voevodivka is now also reportedly fully taken.

Consequently, a Russian attack on Severodonetsk could probably occur over the next few days. However, Ukrainian positions in the city are probably deeply entrenched. Moscow will again have to commit a lot of resources to take the city, which will again delay further advances.

In the Lyman direction, Russian units had crossed the Siversky Donets River and were trying to establish their presence on the right bank of the river around Oleksandrivka. They also tried to advance toward Novoselivka, but were pushed back.

South of Donetsk, the attackers try to push towards Novomykhailivka and Marinka, but again without success.

Near Avdiivka, Russians had been fighting over Novoselivka and Novobakhmutivka for several weeks, but to no avail.

In Bryansk and Kursk regions, border areas had been reinforced with additional border service personnel. Russians also conduct artillery and missile strikes on Ukrainian settlements in the Chernihiv and Sumy Oblasts from these regions.

There were no changes in southern sectors. Russians are focused on conducting artillery strikes to weaken defensive lines while simultaneously reconnoitring Ukrainian positions using UAVs. They are also preparing its units to establish a river crossing operation near Nova Kakhova.

There were no apparent changes in the situation north of Kharkiv.

Russian military activity

According to the Russian MoD, Russian forces conducted multiple artillery, air and missile strikes on 11MAY.

On Thursday, air-launched high precision missiles targeted eight command posts, six ammunition depots, a US-made counterbattery radar, and 72 concentration areas.

Frontline aviation hit a fuel storage facility, an ammunition depot, a battle management radar for S-300, and 165 concentration areas.

Missile and artillery units attacked 26 command posts,  two ammunition depots, 33 artillery units in firing positions, three BM-30 MLRS systems (launchers?), two S-300 launchers, and 763 concentration areas.

Ukraine also lost 19 UAVs. Ten BM-30-launched rockets and three Tochka-U missiles were also intercepted.

Military activity in Belarus

Lieutenant General Alexander Volfovich, the Secretary of the State Security Council of the Republic of Belarus, visited Belarusian battalion tactical groups deployed near the state border. During his visit, he talked to the commanders of military units and subunits performing tasks in the area and highly appreciated their preparation level. According to Volfovich, the deployment of the Belarusian Armed Forces to the country’s border is related to the possibility of potential provocations in the area. He also highlighted that Belarus is not going to attack any neighbour.

Major General Ruslan Kosygin (Head of the Main [Intelligence] Department) was interviewed by the VoenTV. According to him, Poland and the Baltic States continues measures for their further militarisation. Specifically, Poland plans to bring the defence financing parameter to the three per cent of its GDP in a few years and increase the number of active personnel up to three hundred troops. Moreover, the Polish leadership accelerates acquiring American weapons like F-35 fighters, HIMARS MLRS, Patriot air defence systems and Abrams MBTs with Reaper UAV.

Major General Andrey Matievich (Head of the Territorial Defence Department) spoke about the previous day’s territorial defence troops check. The drill was held under the Chief of the General Staff’s command, General Viktor Gulevich. According to Matievich, the check included the formation of area HQs and two motor rifle battalions, one each in Lida and Kobryn areas. After they were formed, units carried out tasks of guarding and protecting critical infrastructure objects. Yet, primary attention was paid to the practical co-operation of territorial troops with the elements of the Belarusian Armed Forces

According to the unofficial sources, on MAY11, there were fewer than ten movements of the Belarusian Armed Forces. They mainly consisted of light equipment, although some BM-30 MLRS and S-300 AD systems were observed. It is worth noting that at least a few training flights were carried out on Wednesday. However, no information was published about which aircraft were involved in the exercise.

On Wednesday,  only several Russian military vehicles were observed on Belarusian roads. Probably some aircraft operating from Baranovichi conducted some training flights, but this information is not confirmed. There were no missile strikes.

Lines of advance in Ukraine

Please click here to access the map depicting the current situation in Ukraine. The map is updated daily. We populate it with lines of advance, satellite imagery, and other crucial events that could impact the overall military situation in Ukraine.

Satellite Imagery Analysis

Planet imagery acquired 1145Z 12MAY2022 showed the return of the Bastion system to a previously identified launch site near Olenivka. The Russian MoD previously filmed strikes against land targets in Ukraine from the location in late March. The 15th Coastal Missile Bde operating the Bastion is deployed to Crimea.

Planet imagery acquired 0655Z 11MAY2022 continued to show Russian ground forces south of Dzhankoi near Novostepove. Forces were likely repairing and reequipping at the location. An overflow parking area was added in mid-late March.

Appendix 1

Listed below is military activity in Belarus on 11MAY. All data found below comes from Motolko.


Possible missile launches:

  • None

Air activity in Belarus

  • Russian Aerospace Forces
      • Baranovichi
  • Take offs
    • 3:45 PM – Start of the training flights [no details provided]
    • 5:15 PM – Start of a training flight [no details provided]
    • 9:40 PM – Start of a training flight[no details provided]
  • Landings:
    • None
      • Lida
  • Take offs
    • 5:00 PM – Start of the training flights [no details provided]
  • Landings:
    • 11:00 PM – The end of the training flights [no details provided]
      • Machulishchy
  • Take offs
    • 10:30 PM – An aircraft takes off
  • Landings:
    • None

Belarusian Air and Air Defence Forces

  • 11:15 AM – Belarusian helicopters and planes were flying above Bolshoy Trostenets.
  • 4:10 PM – Five Yak-130s and two helicopters were flying above Privolny. They were seen before above Bolshoy Trostenets.
  • 10:00 PM – A cargo plane was seen flying from Salihorsk towards Baranovichi.

Spotted convoys/transports:

  • Belarusian units:
    • 7:40 AM [Brest>Baranovichi] – A column with five BM-30 launchers, five command points to them, five MAZ trucks and a fuel truck with a UAZ-452 were observed.
    • 10:10 AM [Rechitsa>Gomel] – Four trucks (two ZILS, one MAZ and one fuel truck) were seen.
    • ~10:30 AM [Vaŭkavysk>Grodno] – Three vehicles (BM-30 launcher with a command post and a UAZ-452) were spotted.
    • 4:30 PM [M1>Brest] – Three ZIL trucks with trailers were seen. The same column was seen later (at 7:00 PM) moving along the R83 towards Kamenets.
    • 5:20 PM [M1>Brest] – Two S-300 launchers with command posts and three URAL trucks with trailers were observed.
    • 7:55 PM [~Mazyr>Prudok] – Probably a 36D6 radar station with a truck similar to a command post were spotted.
  • Russian units:
    • None