Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 23.07.2023

Operational situation

Ukrainian defense forces continue to conduct an offensive operation on the Bakhmut, Melitopol and Berdyansk directions.  The Russian military focuses its main efforts on the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka directions.

General conclusion:

  • Ukrainian Defense Forces continued counteroffensive actions in at least three sections of the front, conducted combat operations along the Kupyansk – Svatove – Kreminna line, in the Bakhmut area, in Zaporizhzhya Oblast, but did not achieve success;
  • Russian forces advanced in the area of Kupyansk, Bakhmut and at the Avdiivka-Donetsk line;
  • The strategy of blocking Russian military facilities (“keeping the enemy at arm’s length”) in the rear areas continuously undermines the enemy’s logistical support and capabilities to sustain the combat.
  • The most immediate task of the Russian 4th tank division in the Borova area is to reach the Vyshneve – Pershotravneve – Novoserhiivka – Cherneshchyna line.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • Over 40  combat clashes took place on different directions.
  • In the Kupyansk direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces unsuccessfully counterattacked in the area of Masyutivka and Petropavlivka.
  • The enemy advanced and made progress near Synkivka, consolidating their position at the Movchanove railway station.
  • In the direction of Borova, along the road between Svatove and Borova, Russian forces attacked with the 12th and 13th tank regiments (the 4th tank division) and the 346th motorized rifle regiment of the territorial troops in the directions of Raihorodok – Nadiya and Dzherelne – Vyshneve.
  • In the Lyman direction, Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensives in the areas of Nadiya in Luhansk Oblast and Torske in Donetsk Oblast.
  • The Russian forces of the 423rd motorized rifle regiment (the 4th motorized rifle division of the 1st tank army) and the15th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 2nd Army conducted a series of attacks over the past two days in the area of Karmazynivka and significantly advanced to the Novoyehorivka – Ostrovske line.
  • In the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces successfully repelled Russian attacks in the area of Hryhorivka, Bohdanivka, and Ivanivske.
  • The Russian military repelled the attacks of the Ukrainian Defense Forces near Klishchiivka and Zaitseve, and continued futile counterattacks in the Bakhmut area. Units of the Russian 98th airborne division unsuccessfully tried to regain previously lost positions near the E-40 highway in the Orikhovo-Vasylivka area and near Andriivka.
  • In the Avdiivka direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces successfully repelled Russian attacks in the Avdiivka and Pervomaiske areas, and continued to hold back the advance of Russian troops in the Krasnohorivka, Nevelske, and Maryinka areas.
  • The enemy, with the forces of two battalions of the 1140th separate motorized rifle brigade and the 277th rifle regiment of the 1st Army corps, pushed out the units of Ukrainian Defense Forces from Vesele, and with the forces of the 1454th motorized rifle regiment of the territorial troops – from positions north of Kamianka, thus eliminating the threat of flanking maneuver of their units in the Krasnohorivka area.
  • Zaporizhzhya direction:
    • Tokmak direction (Robotyne): The “Tavriya” Operational Grouping has expanded its foothold in Robotyne by an additional 2 square kilometers, pushing back the units of the 70th motorized rifle regiment and the 1430th motorized rifle regiment of the territorial troops to the southeast, engaging in fierce close-quarters combat in the northern part of Robotyne. The “Tavriya” forces have launched several attacks in the Novopokrovka area at the junction of the Russian 70th motorized rifle regiment and 38th separate motorized rifle brigade, complicating the enemy’s ability to carry out counterattacks from that region.
    • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): Russian forces carried out unsuccessful offensive actions in the area of Novomykhailivka. The “Tavriya” grouping carried out three unsuccessful attacks near Staromayorske, Urozhaine and Pryiutne.
    • Russian troops conducted an unsuccessful offensive near Blahodatne, unsuccessfully counterattacked near Pryiutne.
  • Kherson direction: Artillery strikes on the storage facilities of the enemy’s grouping in the rear have caused supply problems for the Russian military, leading to a significant reduction in shelling in the Kherson Oblast.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, there were 10 Russian ships on combat duty in the Black Sea, 1 in the Sea of Azov, 8 in the Mediterranean.

Change in enemy disposition:

  • The Russian military began to concentrate advanced units of the 100th separate reconnaissance brigade in the Verbove – Novofedorivka area.
  • North of the Avdiivka defense area, the Russian military concentrated the 114th separate motorized rifle brigade, 109th motorized rifle regiment, 6th separate battalion (the 9th separate motorized rifle regiment of the 1st Army Corps), along with the 1231st and 1454th motorized rifle regiments of the Territorial Troops, 277th separate SOF battalion, and 207th rifle battalion of the mobilization reserve.

Escalation indicators:

  • The enemy’s command has concentrated reserves in the Myluvatka area, designated to increase efforts on the direction of Karmazynivka – Novovodyanе for the enemy’s grouping operating in that area: the 24th separate SOF brigade, 752nd motorized rifle regiment of the 3rd motorized rifle division,  12th and 13th tank regiments of the 4th tank division.

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.
  • In the Kupyansk direction, the 138th and 25th Russian separate motorized rifle brigades will try to improve their tactical position;
  • The command of the Russian troops will try to organize the main defense node in the area of the village Andriivka for the entire area south of Bakhmut. They plan to launch multiple counterattacks from this position deploying the 57th separate motorized rifle brigade and the 68th tank regiment of the 150th motorized rifle division.
  • In the Berdyansk direction, Russian forces will have to retreat to the Remivka – Volodyne – Staromlynivka – Kermenchyk line before the end of July;
  • 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 Defence Forces’ 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 23.07.23

Personnel – almost 241,960 people (+630);

Tanks 4,151 (+11);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,105 (+9);

Artillery systems – 4,658 (+29);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 697 (+4);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems -451 (+3);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –7,172 (+13);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 310 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 3,958 (+14);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,298 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).


  • Russia attacked Odesa on the night of July 23 with 19 missiles of different types, in particular, Kalibr, Onyx, Kh-22 and Iskander-K and ballistic Iskander-M missiles, the South command reported. As a result of the attack, one person died and 22 people were injured, including four children.
  • During the night of July 23, the Russian attack caused significant damage to Odesa, resulting in the destruction of 25 architectural monuments, including the Transfiguration Cathedral, which is managed by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchy (subordinate to Moscow). These monuments are situated in the downtown area, which holds UNESCO heritage status. Alongside the monuments, 40 buildings, including 4 kindergartens, were also affected by the attack, sustaining damages.
  • Overall, over the past day the Russian forces attacked 10 regions of Ukraine; 133 towns and villages and 141 infrastructure objects were attacked; 10 civilians were killed and 43 were injured, the Ministry of Defense reported;
  • Russian forces shelled Chasiv Yar in Donetsk Oblast with cluster munitions, destroying the Palace of Culture used as a humanitarian headquarters and a place for providing medical assistance.
  • The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has launched an investigation into the involvement of the Belarusian Red Cross in the forced deportation of Ukrainian children.

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