November 2, 2023

Institute for the Study of War

Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted a missile strike on the Russian “Dnepr” Grouping of Forces headquarters in Kherson Oblast on November 1. A prominent Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces launched Storm Shadow cruise missiles and Neptune anti-ship missiles targeting Strilkove, Kherson Oblast, on the Arabat Spit and that Russian air defenses only intercepted half of the missiles. Multiple Russian sources claimed that Colonel General Mikhail Teplinsky, the recently named commander of the Russian “Dnepr” Grouping of Forces operating in the Kherson direction, was uninjured. Russian opposition media outlet Astra reported that four Ukrainian missiles struck the “Aura” recreation center near Strilkove that served as the Russian Dnepr Grouping’s headquarters.

Ukrainian forces recently advanced near Bakhmut and continued offensive operations in western Zaporizhia Oblast on November 2. Geolocated footage published on November 1 indicates that Ukrainian forces advanced further northeast of the railway line near Klishchiivka (7km southwest of Bakhmut). The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations in the Bakhmut and Melitopol (western Zaporizhia Oblast) directions.

The Russian information space’s reaction to Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief General Valerii Zaluzhnyi’s November 1 interview and essay about the current operational environment in Ukraine was relatively muted. Several Russian sources simply summarized Zaluzhnyi’s points, while others suggested that Zaluzhnyi was primarily acknowledging the superiority of Soviet-era military strategy over NATO doctrine. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov expressed disagreement with Zaluzhnyi’s conclusions and stated that the war has not reached a “dead end.”

South Korean officials reported that North Korea is reportedly increasing its weapons and ammunition transfers to Russia and has reportedly delivered more than one million artillery rounds to date. South Korean lawmaker Yoo Sang-bum told reporters that the South Korean National Intelligence Service said that there have been about 10 weapon shipments from North Korea to Russia since August 2023 – totaling about one million rounds of artillery. Yoo added that North Korea also sent advisers to Russia to guide Russians on the use of the munitions. South Korean Yonhap news agency reported the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) estimated that North Korea shipped about 2,000 containers of military equipment and munitions from its northeastern port of Rajin to Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East. Yonhap estimated that these containers can carry 200,000 122mm artillery shells or over one million of 152mm shells. Yonhap reported that North Korea may also have supplied other weapons to Russia, including T-series tank ammunition, anti-tank guided missiles, rocket launchers, rifles and machine guns, and possibly short-range ballistic missiles. A senior South Korean military official observed that North Korean maritime trade with Russia increased in August before North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s trip to Russia in September. The official also noted that Russia may consider providing North Korea with technological support for military satellites, nuclear weapons, fighter jets, and air defense systems. Yonhap reported that South Korean officials believe that North Korea is in the final stage of preparations to launch a surveillance satellite after two previous failed attempts, and it is possible that Pyongyang seeks to expand its military-technological relationship with the Kremlin in exchange for munitions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted a missile strike on the Russian “Dnepr” Grouping of Forces headquarters in Kherson Oblast on November 1.
  • Ukrainian forces recently advanced near Bakhmut and continued offensive operations in western Zaporizhia Oblast on November 2.
  • The Russian information space’s reaction to Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief General Valerii Zaluzhnyi’s November 1 interview and essay about the current operational environment in Ukraine was relatively muted.
  • South Korean officials reported that North Korea is reportedly increasing its weapons and ammunition transfers to Russia and has reportedly delivered more than one million artillery rounds to date.
  • The Wagner Group is reportedly planning to provide Hezbollah with Pantsir-S1 air defense systems.
  • A Russian State Duma official attempted to deny ongoing claims that Rosgvardia will structurally absorb the Wagner Group private military company (PMC), rather than individually recruit former Wagner personnel.
  • Select Russian milbloggers accused Chechen officials and Akhmat Spetsnaz of attempting to defame and censor milbloggers who criticized Wagner’s integration into Rosgvardia.
  • Russian officials appear to be pursuing limited punishments for the October 29 antisemitic riots in the Republic of Dagestan, which several Russian officials and Russian state media have called “pogroms.”
  • Russian authorities elsewhere in the North Caucasus have indicated concerns about the potential for similar riots.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, west and southwest of Donetsk City, in the western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and advanced in some areas.
  • Russian irregular forces are continuing to form new assault detachments and are incentivizing recruitment by offering recruits semi-independence from the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).
  • Recent Russian border restrictions are reportedly complicating the return of Ukrainian children forcibly deported to Russia.
Share the Post: