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CDS Daily Brief. 12.07.2023

Operational situation

General conclusion: 

  • On July 11, Russian forces launched a series of Shahed-131 and 136 drone strikes on Ukrainian territory, likely in a demonstrative response to the 2023 NATO summit in Vilnius and to jeopardize the Black Sea Grain Agreement.
  • Ukrainian Defense Forces conducted offensive actions on at least three sectors of the front, achieving success in certain areas. They continued counteroffensive actions on the northern and southern outskirts of Bakhmut and to the south of Orikhiv.
  • A Storm Shadow missile strike killed the deputy commander of the Southern Military District of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant General Oleg Tsokov, at the command post of the 58th Army in occupied Berdyansk, Zaporizhzhia Oblast;
  • Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Army General Gerasimov, dismissed the commander of the 58th Army, Major General Ivan Popov;
  • Russian forces conducted offensive actions at the Svatove-Kreminna line and improved their tactical position. They initiated the assault on the positions of the Defense Forces along the Donetsk-Avdiivka line.
  • One of the objectives of the enemy’s offensive activity on the Lyman direction is to inflict losses on the Ukrainian Armed Forces grouping and reduce its capabilities to launch attacks in the Luhansk direction.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • Over 29 combat clashes took place on different directions.
  • On the Lyman direction, Russian forces carried out unsuccessful offensive actions in the Vesele area of Donetsk Oblast. The enemy advanced along the Torske-Kreminna highway and entered eastern Torske, where Ukrainian Defense Forces hit it with artillery. Units of the 21st motorized rifle division (the 2nd Army) knocked units of Ukrainian Defense Forces from a height near the Zherebets River, repelled a counterattack of Ukrainian Defense Forces and captured more than 10 strongholds.
  • Ukrainian Defense Forces have reinforced troops along the Svatove-Kreminna line, conducting defense and holding the line. The 103rd territorial defense brigade repulsed Russian attacks near Kuzemivka, while the 66th separate mechanized brigade repulsed attacks of the 15th, 21st and 30th Russian separate motorized brigades at the Kreminna-Zarichne line. The 63rd and 67th separate mechanized brigades of Ukrainian Defence Forces continue to hold their positions west of Kreminna.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces successfully repelled Russian attacks in the Hryhorivka area and east of Orikhovo-Vasylivka. They attacked in the directions of Klishchiivka and Berkhivka and gained control over all the heights around Bakhmut. However, they reduced pressure near Rozdolivka, where they advanced 1.5 km. The 28th separate mechanized brigade of Ukrainian Defense Forces is engaged in battle in the Kurdyumivka area against the Russian 3rd separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Army Corps and 57th separate motorized rifle brigade.
  • Russian airborne units and BARS detachments repulsed the attacks of Ukrainian Defense Forces northwest of Klishchiivka. The 217th parachute airborne regiment counterattacked Ukrainian positions in Berkhivka but was unsuccessful. They also attempted a counterattack from Dubrovo-Vasylivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to hold back the Russian offensive in the Avdiivka, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, and Severne areas. They repulsed all attacks in the Pobieda, Novomykhailivka, Krasnohorivka, and Maryinka areas.
  • Russian forces captured new positions south of Severne and advanced closer to the village. They wedged into the battle formations of the Ukrainian Defense Forces near the railway in Krasnohorivka. However, their attempts to assault the suburban areas near Avdiivka were unsuccessful.

Zaporizhzhia direction:

  • Melitopol direction (Pyatykhatky): the Ukrainian 128th separate mountain assault brigade is engaged in fierce battles against 5-6 enemy battalions defending Zherebyanky.
  • Tokmak direction (Robotyne): the 21st separate mechanized brigade of the “Tavriysk” Operational Grouping advanced 400 m to the northeast of Robotyne, striking at the junction between the enemy’s 291st and 70th motorized rifle regiments (the 42nd motorized rifle division of the 58th Army). The counterattack of the 291st motorized rifle regiment was repulsed.
  • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): Russian forces carried out unsuccessful offensive actions in the Blahodatne area. The “Tavriysk” Grouping captured Russian positions near the Hrusheva and attacked Russian positions west of Staromayorske. Russian forces repulsed the attack of the “Tavriysk” Grouping in the Rivnopil area.
  • On the Kherson direction, Russian forces were driven out of their positions in the recreational zone on the eastern bank of the Dnieper River near the Antonivka Bridge. New units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces have been deployed in this area using high-speed boats from Antonivka.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, there were 6 Russian ships on combat duty in the Black Sea, 1 in the Azov Sea, up to 8 Russian ships in the Mediterranean Sea with a total salvo of 4 sea-launched Kalibr cruise missiles.
  • Russian forces tried to attack the Odesa port infrastructure with Shahed-131 and -136 UAVs.

Change in enemy disposition: 

  • 15,000-20,000 people join the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation every month, while there is a shortage of officers and non-commissioned officers.
  • The average personnel strength of a Russian battalion on the Zaporizhzhia direction is 200 servicemen, which represents 30-40% of its authorized strength. The artillery grouping has suffered losses of up to 50%. The shortage of ammunition allows for only up to 12 shots per gun per day. This trend is also characteristic for the Bakhmut direction.
  • Russian 72nd separate motorized rifle brigade of the 3rd Army Corps of the Western Military District has replenished its personnel by 200% over the past 40 days (this means that the combat units of the brigade were destroyed twice, and only about one company remains from the original composition of the brigade.)
  • 83rd separate airborne assault brigade of the Russian airborne troops defending Klishchiivka was reinforced by a tank battalion.

Possible operation situation developments: 

  • In the event of a successful breakthrough of the Russian main defensive line in the Zaporizhzhia direction, the Russian command in the South-Western military theater can deliver a main strike in the Kupyansk direction from the area of Mykolaivka – Nova Tarasivka – Yahidne – Orlianka in the direction of Stepova Novoselivka – Petropavlivka and another strike from the area of Horobyivka – Vilshana – Lyman Pershyi – Masyutivka in the direction of Synkivka – Kucherivka or to Petropavlivka.
  • Ukrainian Defense Forces will develop an offensive in the direction of Stepove – Vasylivka, Orikhiv – Tokmak, Velyka Novosilka – Berdyansk;
  • Once Ukrainian Defense Forces reach the main Russian defensive line, the Russian command on the Zaporizhzhia direction will be forced to make a decision regarding the organization of defense. They can either reinforce their current battle formations of the 49th and 58th Armies or reallocate reserves from other operational zones.
  • The concentration of up to 4-5 battalions supported by a tank battalion in the Kremenchik area is a sign of preparation for a counterattack in that direction.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 12.07.23 

Personnel – almost 235,530 people (+510);

Tanks – 4,090 (+1);

Armored combat vehicles – 7,990 (+7);

Artillery systems – 4,402 (+17);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 674 (+2);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 414 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 6,978 (+12);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 310 (+1);

UAV operational and tactical level – 3,726 (+33);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,271 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).

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