Region of Concern: Ukraine
Written By Amy McGee; Edited by Claire Bracco and Laila Bayoumi
Date: December 16, 2022
Russia Ukraine Map
Event: On December 16, 2022, Russia fired more than 70 missiles toward Ukraine. As one of the largest offensives since the start of the war, the attack caused a blackout in Kharkiv, the second-largest city. This forced Kyiv to mandate emergency blackouts to the whole nation. An apartment building in central Kryvyi Rih was hit causing one death, while another civilian was killed in shelling that took place in Kherson. Kyiv officials said that Russia will be conducting a new offensive early next year. Russia flew warplanes over Ukraine to distract the air defense systems. According to a Ukrainian army chief, 60 of 76 Russian missiles were shot down, but nine hit power-generating facilities.
Significance: It is very likely that Russia will continue targeting Ukraine's energy infrastructure to gain a strategic advantage going into the winter months. It is very likely that Russia will conduct more aggressive offenses near March 2023, due to warming temperatures. The United States will likely continue to supply the HIMAR systems to ensure proper air offense efforts in Ukraine. Military activity during the winter months will likely continue through means that limit exposure to the weather, such as unmanned missile strikes utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). It is very likely that the instability of the Ukrainian economy will impact the future of the war because of the lack of equipment from factories and food insecurity among civilians.
Recommendations: Ukraine needs to continue to utilize the advanced HIMARS provided by the United States. Ukraine should focus on air defense during the winter while maintaining ground forces to avoid more casualties. The government and international humanitarian organizations should supply food, water, and shelter to individuals impacted by these strikes and provide information to individuals on safety measures being taken. It is also suggested that Ukraine send emergency personnel to restore power to the impacted areas. Power should be restored to the power-generating facilities and small generators should be supplied to critical infrastructures and businesses to get them back up and running to keep the economy from collapsing.
Russia fires scores of missiles in one of its biggest attacks on Ukraine, Reuters, December 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/zelenskiys-talks-with-other-leaders-signal-diplomatic-flurry-around-ukraine-2022-12-11/