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Russia’s war on Ukraine. 20.07.2023

Operational situation

Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to conduct an offensive operation in the Bakhmut, Melitopol and Berdyansk areas.

The Russian military focuses its main efforts on the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka directions.

General conclusion:

  • The Russian command is attempting to respond to the loss of control over several heights northeast of Robotyne.
  • In the area of Robotyne, enemy attempts to launch a direct frontal counterattack against the Ukrainian 47th separate mechanized brigade, which prevails over battle-weary Russian units in all components, proved futile.
  • The Russian command in the Avdiivka direction regrouped its forces, preparing to resume attacks from the Vodyane-Opytne line in the northern direction and in the direction of Pervomaiske and Nevelske;
  • The overall enemy offensive towards Krasnohorivka – Stepove has been definitively halted.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • 30 combat clashes took place on different directions.
  • In the Kupyansk direction, Russian troops advanced to the northeast of Kupyansk more than 1 km deep and 2 km wide and captured the Movchanove railway station and positions near Masyutivka and Synkivka. Troops of the 6th Army stormed Ukrainian strongholds west of Lyman Pershyi for several days and recently advanced 2 km in this area.
  • Ukrainian Defense Forces continued to defend positions in the Kupyansk area.
  • In the Lyman direction, Russian troops repeatedly tried to advance in the Svatove-Kreminna direction and constantly attacked Ukrainian positions in Bilohorivka in order to create a new line of defense to protect Lysychansk. They had tactical success near Karmazynivka, and conducted reconnaissance of the positions of Ukrainian Defense Forces near Torske. Low-intensity fighting continues in the Serebryansk Forest area near Dibrova. Russian attacks in the direction of Vesele were unsuccessful.
  • Ukrainian Defense Forces unsuccessfully attacked elements of the Russian Central grouping of troops near Karmazynivka, Shepilove, Bilohorivka, Kreminna and northwest of Novovodyanе.
  • In the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces advanced to the west of Andriivka, continued offensive actions to the north and south of Bakhmut, forced Russian troops to retreat from their positions northeast of Orikhovo-Vasylivka. They attacked near Dubovo-Vasylivka, advanced in the Klishchiivka area and freed new positions on commanding heights on the western edge of the village, repelled Russian assaults near Bohdanivka, Mynkivka, Hryhorivka, Berkhivka, and Ivanivske.
  • In the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces repelled Ukrainian attacks near Severne, Pervomaiske, Nevelske and Maryinka, Russian units advanced to the northwest of Maryinka. Assault units “Storm-Z” carried out unsuccessful attacks between Oleksandrivka and Maryinka. Russian attacks near Avdiivka were also unsuccessful. In the area of Opytne, Russian forces were forced to retreat, which allowed Ukrainian Defense Forces to regain control of a part of the Donetsk bypass road in the direction of Spartak.
  • Ukrainian Defense Forces conducted combat reconnaissance near Kamianka and Kurtyna Balka, and repelled Russian attacks near Nevelske, Krasnohorivka, and Maryinka.

–       Zaporizhzhya direction

  • Tokmak direction (Robotyne): the troops of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping advanced more than 1 km in the direction of Melitopol, and achieved success on the Mala Tokmachka – Novopokrovka line.
  • Engaging part of the units of the 70th motorized rifle regiment and a special forces unit from the 22nd separate SOF brigade, Russian forces counter-attacked the left flank of the “Tavriya” Grouping in the direction of Verbove – Novodanylivka in order to stop its advance on Robotyne from the north and restore the lost position. However, they faced artillery fire and were pushed back. In response, the Russian command introduced units from the 1430th motorized rifle regiment of the Territorial Troops to reinforce their efforts. As a result of the battle, the “Tavriya” forces managed to break through the fortified positions on the main axis, allowing them to bypass the enemy’s defensive node from the east.
  • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): The “Tavriya” Operational Grouping forces advanced north of Staromykhailivka and achieved success, making progress in the directions of Velyka Novosilka – Staromykhailivka and Velyka Novosilka – Urozhaine. Intense urban battles are ongoing in Staromykhailivka and Urozhaine. The “Tavriya” forces, while Simultaneously bypassing Staromykhailivka from the west and Urozhaine from the east, pose a threat of encirclement to the Russian 60th separate motorized rifle brigade.
  • Russian troops conducted unsuccessful offensives near Rivnopol, Novodarivka and north of Pryiutne. Near Pryiutne, the Russian command is trying to strengthen its flank and concentrate a grouping for a counterattack. Using artillery and tank fire from the heights to the southwest from the village it blocks the advance of Ukrainian forward units in the direction of Pryiutne – Volodyne.
  • Russian troops recaptured part of the previously lost positions near Rivnopol.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, there are 8 Russian ships on combat duty in the Black Sea, 1 in the Sea of Azov, 8 in the Mediterranean, 1 of them carriers sea launched cruise missiles, the total salvo is up to 8 Kalibr missiles.

Change in enemy disposition:

  • Units of the Russian 1st tank regiment (the 2nd motorized rifle division of the 1st tank army of the Western Military District) operate near the Svatove-Kreminna line.
  • Units of the 98th airborne division of the Russian Airborne Forces lead the defense north of Bakhmut. Units of the 11th, 31st separate airborne assault brigade and 364th separate special unit operate in the Bakhmut direction. Units of the 106th defended north and south of Bakhmut.
  • Units of the 34th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 49th army operate near Pryiutne.
  • In the area of Pryiutne, the following units are concentrated: the 34th separate motorized rifle brigade (g), 71st and 394th motorized rifle regiments, and the 247th air assault regiment of the 7th air assault division. The second echelon of the grouping consists of the 336th separate marines brigade of the Baltic Fleet. On the flanks of the grouping, the 60th separate motorized rifle brigade and the 143rd motorized rifle regiment are deployed.
  • On the southern flank of the Avdiivka defense sector, the Russian grouping has acquired a stable composition and consists of the 1st separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Army Corps, the 1004th and 1439th motorized rifle regiment of territorial troops, the 80th separate reconnaissance battalion “Sparta”, the 13th separate assault battalion “Somali”.
  • Concentrated for the offensive towards Pervomaiske and Nevelske are the 110th separate motorized rifle brigade, the 9th separate motorized rifle regiment of the 1st Army Corps, and the 10th separate tank battalion, which were transferred here from the northern flank.

Escalation indicators:

  • The Russian military shelled civilian and military infrastructure in Odesa Oblast with Onyx anti-ship missiles.

Possible operation situation developments:

  • Ukrainian Defense Forces will develop an offensive in the direction of Stepove – Vasylivka, Orikhiv – Tokmak, Velyka Novosilka – Berdyansk and simultaneously in the area of Bakhmut;
  • With the Defense Forces reaching the main defensive line of the enemy and the introduction of a significant portion of their operational reserves, the enemy command will initiate an offensive operation with the “Zapad” Operational Grouping on the Kupyansk direction and the “Tsentr” Operational Grouping on the Lyman direction. The main thrust on the Kupyansk direction will be launched from the area of Mykolaivka – Nova Tarasivka – Yahidne – Orlianka towards Stepove, Novoselivka – Petropavlivka, and another attack will be launched from the area of Horobyivka – Vilshana – Lyman Pershyi – Masyutivka towards Synkivka – Kucherivka or Petropavlivka.
  • The enemy, operating in a general direction towards Borova and Kruhliakivka, will attempt to penetrate the Defense Forces’ formation on the left bank of the Oskil River and establish a covering line from the south for the striking formation of the 1st Tank Army, deployed in the direction of Svatove – Kupyansk.
  • During the following week, Russian forces will continue their attacks along the Siversky Donets River through Serebryansk Forestry, along the Kreminna – Lyman road in the direction of Zarichne, and will try to dislodge units of Ukrainian Defense Forces from Bilohorivka;
  • In the Berdyansk direction, Russian forces will have to retreat to the Remivka – Volodyne – Staromlynivka – Kermenchyk line before the end of July;
  • In order to prevent the destruction of its defenses in the Berdyansk direction, the Russian military will exert efforts to hold Staromlynivka and Kermenchyk.
  • In the Robotyne direction, the main enemy’s line of defense is currently covered only by the 1st, 3rd and 14th BARS detachments, which, considering their capabilities and morale-psychological condition, are not able to fulfill their tasks. Therefore, we should anticipate their reinforcement with units from the 22nd and 45th separate SOF brigades;
  • Russian forces are preparing a counterattack in the direction of Novodarivka and Levadne;
  • We should expect enemy attacks in the direction of Pisky – Pervomaiske or slightly southward, between Pervomaiske and Nevelske, to secure the positions of the grouping deployed along the Vodyane – Opytne line.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 20.07.23

Personnel – almost 240,010   people (+530);

Tanks – 4,129 (+6);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,065 (+6);

Artillery systems – 4,592 (+19));

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 692 (+3);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems -433 (+3);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –7,134 (+29);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 310 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 3,918 (+33);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,293 (+14);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).

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