Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 22.07.2023

Operational situation

The Defense Forces continue their offensive operations in the Bakhmut, Melitopol, and Berdyansk directions. The enemy concentrates its main efforts on the directions of Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Mariupol.

General conclusion: 

  • Russian forces are attempting to seize the operational initiative on the Kupyansk direction and continue their efforts to encircle Avdiivka. They are deploying reinforcements, including the 177th separate marine infantry regiment of the Caspian Fleet (yet to be verified), which was previously stationed in Nikolske near Mariupol. Russian forces have launched a counterattack to the south of Orikhove, making further advances in that direction.
  • The recent slowdown in the enemy’s progress on the Lyman front, alongside the tenacious defense by Ukrainian forces, can be attributed to the heightened enemy activity in the north, particularly towards Borova and on the Kupyansk front. This indicates a change in the enemy’s primary offensive direction, shifting away from the “Tsentr” Operational Grouping to focus on the left flank of the “Zapad” Operational Grouping. The enemy’s goal is not to capture Kupyansk but rather to neutralize the Defense Forces’ defensive position on the left bank of the Oskil River.
  • The enemy’s “Tsentr” command has deployed up to two battalions of the 21st separate motorized rifle brigade from the 2nd Combined Arms Army on the Zaliman-Makyivka direction.
  • On the Svatove direction, increased activity is observed on the adjacent flanks of the enemy’s 423rd motorized rifle regiment (the 4th Tank Division) and the 252nd motorized rifle regiment (the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division.)
  • The enemy is determined to push back the forward units of the Defense Forces from the outskirts of Lysychansk at any cost.
  • In the area of Bakhmut and southwards, the enemy’s military command continues to intensify efforts to prevent the advancement of Defense Forces units towards the T-0513 road.
  • Russian Armed Forces have carried out rocket and aerial strikes on southern Ukraine for the fourth consecutive night following Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
  • The Defense Forces conducted counteroffensive actions in the area of Bakhmut and along the frontlines of Kupyansk – Svatove – Kreminna and Avdiivka – Donetsk, achieving advancements in the Bakhmut region.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • Over 40 combat clashes occurred on various fronts. 
  • On the Kupyansk direction, the enemy captured 5 strongholds and 4 observation posts of the Defense Forces during the battles near the Synkivka railway station and Masyutivka. The enemy advanced 3 km along the Oskil River in the Kupyansk direction, seized the Movchanove railway station, and attacked Ukrainian positions to the west and south of Lyman Pershyi. Russian forces repelled two Defense Forces counterattacks near Lyman Pershyi and Synkivka. Enemy units of the 7th motorized rifle regiment of the 18th motorized rifle division of the 11th Army Corps of Russian Baltic Fleet, supported by the 27th separate motorized rifle brigade, managed to take control of the Kuzemivka railway station and cut off the road to Svatove south of the village. 
  • The Defense Forces successfully repelled Russian attacks to the southwest of Masyutivka.
  • On the Lyman direction, Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the areas of Nadiya, Makarivka, Nevske in Luhansk Oblast, and Serebryansk Forest and Dibrova in Donetsk Oblast. However, they repelled the Defense Forces’ attacks near Kovalivka, Karmazynivka, Zolotarivka, Torske, and the Kreminna area. The Defense Forces held the Torske-Yampolivka road, repelling the attack of the enemy’s 74th separate motorized brigade, reinforced by tanks from the 90th tank division and airborne assault regiment of the 76th airborne assault division. 
  • The enemy reached the outskirts of Bilohorivka.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the Defense Forces gained control of Klishchiivka, cutting off the enemy’s supply routes in this area. They successfully repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Hryhorivka and Berkhivka and on the southwest outskirts of Klishchiivka. The Defense Forces advanced along the E40 highway to the northeast of Orikhovo-Vasylivka and secured positions on the heights to the north of the village. Fierce battles continue on the Orikhovo-Vasylivka-Paraskoviivka and Klishchiivka-Andriivka directions.
  • In the past two days, the enemy executed troop movements, redeploying their 102nd motorized rifle regiment (part of the 150th motorized rifle division within the 8th Combined Arms Army) and the “Ghost” separate assault battalion of the 2nd Army Corps, along with the 13th BARS unit, to reinforce the defensive positions of the 72nd separate motorized rifle brigade of the 3rd Army Corps and the 57th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 5th Combined Arms Army. They concentrated in the vicinity of Klishchiivka and the southern part of Bakhmut. The 57th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 5th Combined Arms Army, bolstered by elements from the 80th tank regiment of the enemy’s 90th tank division, is making efforts to hold the defense line at Andriivka-Zelenopillia.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, the Defense Forces successfully repelled attacks by Russian forces in the Pervomaiske and Nevelske areas. They continued to hold back the enemy’s advance in the areas of Krasnohorivka, Novomykhailivka, and Maryinka, but their attempts to counterattack near Vesele and Vodyane were unsuccessful.
  • Zaporizhzhia direction: 
  • Tokmak direction (Robotyne): the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping achieved success in the Novodanylivka-Verbove and Novodanylivka-Robotyne directions. Assault groups, consisting of up to a platoon, are currently launching attacks towards Verbove.
  • Units of the enemy’s 291st motorized rifle regiment (the 42nd motorized rifle division of the 58th Combined Arms Army) counterattacked near Robotyne and regained control of several strongholds in this area.
  • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): The enemy’s attempts to launch offensives in the areas of Novomykhailivka and Blahodatne in Donetsk Oblast, as well as to the north of Pryiutne in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, were unsuccessful. The Defense Forces’ assaults were repelled by units of the enemy’s 155th separate marines brigade of the Pacific Fleet north of Mykilske.
  • Troops of the “Tavriya” Grouping advanced closer to Pryiutne, repelled an enemy counterattack, and unsuccessfully attacked near Staromayorske.
  • Kherson direction: The Defense Forces maintain their presence on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, and battles continue near Antoniv Bridge.
  • The enemy repelled a landing attempt by a small assault group of the Defense Forces, which tried to land near Hola Prystan.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Sea operational area, there were 13 enemy ships on combat duty in the Black Sea, including 1 cruise missile carrier, 1 ship – in the Azov Sea, and 8 in the Mediterranean Sea, including 1 cruise missile carrier. The total salvo of cruise missiles is up to 16 “Kalibr” missiles.

Change in enemy disposition:  

  • In the area of Svatove (northwest and southwest of the city), the enemy’s command has concentrated the 27th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 1st Tank Army, the 7th motorized rifle regiment, and the 11th tank regiment of the 18th motorized rifle division (the 11th Army Corps of the Russian Baltic Fleet), along with the 346th and 1431st motorized rifle regiments of the territorial troops and the 19th BARS brigade. The second echelon of this enemy formation comprises the 15th and 30th separate motorized rifle brigades from the 2nd Army, the 423rd motorized rifle regiment from the 4th tank division of the 1st Army, and the 9th BARS brigade.
  • The enemy’s command has deployed a portion of the 83rd separate airborne assault brigade to the road north of Odradivka, likely as a contingency plan in case the 72nd separate motorized rifle brigade withdraws from the Klishchiivka area. Another plausible reason for this decision could be an effort to establish a staggered combat order for a tactical group on the Bakhmut direction. To support this formation, the 102nd motorized rifle regiment and the 68th tank regiment from the 150th motorized rifle division were transferred from the Maryinka direction to this region.

Escalation indicators: 

  • The Russian Ministry of Defense withdrew 100 units of 152mm howitzers 2A36/2C5 “Hyacinth,” 200 units of 203mm self-propelled artillery 2C7 “Pion,” and 100 units of 240mm self-propelled mortars 2C4 “Tulpan” from storage locations for potential use in Ukraine.

Possible operation situation developments: 

  • On the Lyman and Kupyansk directions, the enemy will attempt to break through, bypassing Novoselivske from the north and south, and advance towards Berestove.
  • The enemy, operating in a general direction towards Borova and Kruglyakivka, 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 along the Svatove – Kupyansk direction.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, the enemy will attempt to improve its tactical position with the 138th and 25th separate motorized rifle brigades.
  • The enemy’s command aims to establish a primary defensive stronghold in the Andriivka region, encompassing the entire area south of Bakhmut. They plan to launch multiple counterattacks from this position utilizing the 57th separate motorized rifle brigade and the 68th tank regiment of the 150th motorized rifle division.
  • On the Berdyansk direction, the enemy will have to withdraw to the Remivka-Volodyne-Staromlynivka-Kermenchyk line by the end of July.
  • To prevent the destruction of their defense on the Berdyansk direction, the enemy will make efforts to hold onto Staromlynivka and Kermenchik.
  • On the Robotyne direction, only the 1st, 3rd, and 14th detachments of BARS cover the main defensive line. However, due to their capabilities and morale-psychological state, they are unable to fulfill the tasks. Therefore, it is expected that they will be reinforced by units from the 22nd and 45th separate SOF brigades.
  • With the Defense Forces reaching the main defensive line of the enemy and the deployment of a significant portion of their operational reserves, the enemy command is expected to 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. Another attack will be launched from the area of Horobyivka – Vilshana – Lyman Pershyi – Masyutivka towards Synkivka – Kucherivka or Petropavlivka.Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 22.07.23 

Personnel – almost 241,330 people (+640);

Tanks – 4,140 (+7);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,096 (+16);

Artillery systems – 4,629 (+19);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 693 (+1);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 448 (+8);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 7,159 (+14);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 310 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 3,944 (+11);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,298 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).

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