Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 26.07.2023

Operational situation

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

General conclusion: 

  • The Ukrainian Defense Forces continued their offensive on at least three sectors of the front line and made advancements, achieving successes near Bakhmut and developing progress in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Despite the enemy’s successes on the Kupyansk direction, the Defense Forces retained their capability for systematic defense. They skillfully drew the enemy into deeply echeloned defenses and engaged in ambushes and firefights to neutralize the enemy’s advances.
  • In the past four days, the enemy, advancing from the Kovalivka – Karmazynivka line, managed to make a progress of 4 km in the western direction, reaching the village of Novoyehorivka. Simultaneously, the enemy launched an attack from the Raigorodka area towards Nadia and Serhiyivka villages, breaking through the Defense Forces’ defenses. To further capitalize on their success, the main forces of the enemy’s 4th Tank Division – the 12th and 13th tank regiments – were deployed into action.
  • The enemy’s increased information activity regarding events on the Kupyansk and Lyman directions aims to divert society’s attention from the unfolding developments in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • The Ukrainian Defense Forces’ 128th separate mountain assault brigade’s successful advancement towards Luhove raises doubts about the enemy’s 429th motorized rifle regiment’s ability to maintain its positions in Zherebyanky.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • Over 26 combat clashes have occurred on various fronts. 
  • On the Kupyansk direction, the Russian units crossed the Zherebets River and attacked the Defense Forces’ positions near Karmazynivka, thereby expanding their bridgehead near Novoyehorivka. The Russian forces are conducting these attacks in groups ranging from 50 to 70 personnel, and they are employing “Storm-Z” detachments in their operations. Additionally, the 752nd motorized rifle regiment of the 3rd motorized rifle division has been deployed to support the advancement of the 4th Tank Division of the 1st Tank Army, aiming to break through the Ukrainian Defense Forces’ defense.
  • The battles for Novoselivske continue, with the Defense Forces maintaining control over the western outskirts. They have also successfully launched counterattacks near Novoyehorivka, pushing the enemy back by 1 km towards the village.
  • On the Lyman direction, units of the 234th Air assault regiment of the 76th Air Assault Division repelled Ukrainian attacks in the area of Serebryansk Forest, counterattacked, and advanced by 1.5 km. Enemy units repelled Ukrainian attacks near Chervonopopivka, Nevske, Bilohorivka, Torske, and in Serebryansk Forest. The enemy’s offensive attempts south of Dibrova in Luhansk Oblast were unsuccessful.
  • The Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks near Torske.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces effectively repelled enemy attacks in the areas east of Stupochky and near Dyliyivka. They made progress to the south of Klishchiivka, where remnants of the enemy’s 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade from the 3rd Army Corps attempted to establish a new defensive line along the railway behind the village. The Ukrainian Defense Forces launched attacks both to the north and south of Bakhmut, driving the enemy’s 57th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade out of Andriivka and pushing them back from Kurdyumivka. Furthermore, the Defense Forces effectively repelled the counterattack launched by the 13th “BARS” Detachment, with support from tanks of the enemy’s 80th Tank Regiment, in the area between Kurdyumivka and Andriivka.
  • Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive actions northwest of Orikhovo-Vasylivka, south of Ivanivske, east of Stupochky, near Dyliyivka, and west of Klishchiivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces’ offensive actions near Avdiivka, Pervomaiske, Maryinka, and Krasnohorivka were unsuccessful.
  • Zaporizhzhia direction: 
    • Vasylivka direction (Pyatykhatky): The “Tavriya” Operational Grouping made minor advancements to the west of Orikhove and launched an assault from the Lobkove area towards Luhove, progressing 1.2 km along the M-18 road. Russian forces retreated to prepared defense lines south of this area and successfully repelled the Ukrainian Forces’ assault in the Pyatykhatky area.
    • Tokmak direction (Robotyne): The units of the 1429th and 1430th motorized rifle regiments of the Russian Territorial Troops are unable to halt the progress of the forward units of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping north of Robotyne, who have advanced 1 km, thereby complicating the situation for the enemy’s 291st motorized rifle regiment defending in the village. In the near future, the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping will reach the enemy’s main defense line in the area of Novoprokopivka – Verbove.
    • The enemy’s 70th motorized rifle regiment is attempting to slow down the advancement of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping south of Novopokrovka towards Novofedorivka.
    • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): The forces of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping have advanced 750 meters towards Staromayorske, gradually forcing the enemy’s 60th separate motorized rifle brigade to retreat. This brigade has already withdrawn from the village’s center and is attempting to maintain its position on the southern outskirts.
    • Russian forces repelled Ukrainian attacks near Pryiutne and Urozhaine, and launched an unsuccessful offensive towards Rivnopol. Units of the enemy’s 71st motorized rifle regiment unsuccessfully counterattacked near Pryiutne.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Sea operational area, there were 11 enemy ships on combat duty in the Black Sea, including 1 cruise missile-carrying ship. 1 – in the Azov Sea, and 8 in the Mediterranean Sea, with 3 of them carrying cruise missiles. The total salvo capacity amounts to 32 Kalibr cruise missiles.

Change in enemy disposition:  

  • Units of the 14th battalion of territorial defense (of the 4th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 2nd Army Corps of the 8th Army) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are operating near Klishchiivka. 
  • Units of the 1st separate motorized rifle brigade (of the 1st Army Corps of the 8th Army) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are operating near Opytne. 
  • At the “Khanskaya” airbase of the Russian Aerospace Forces, a 6-month retraining program has been initiated for Tu-22M3 aircraft crews to transition to Tu-95MS. This decision comes in response to the challenges faced in extending the service life of Tu-22M3 aircraft, as many of their onboard systems have surpassed their operational life. Russia’s inability to procure new components from foreign sources and the absence of domestic production have necessitated this retraining effort.

Possible operation situation developments: 

  • On the Kupyansk direction, with the advance towards the Pershotravneve – Kopany – Novoserhiivka – Cherneshchyna line, the enemy will be forced to deploy the remaining reserves, specifically the 30th separate motorized rifle brigade, in their operations. However, even if they achieve some success, the enemy will not have enough strength for an assault on Borova.
  • On the Berdyansk direction, the enemy will have to retreat to the Remivka – Volodyne – Staromlynivka – Kermenchyk line by the end of July. The reserves positioned in this sector, including the 5th separate tank brigade, the 131st motorized rifle regiment, and several separate battalions, will be employed to maintain control of Kermenchyk village and the dominant heights around it. The deployment of these reserves for the defense of Novodonetsk will hinder the enemy’s efforts in that area.
  • On the Robotyne direction, where the situation is progressively deteriorating for the enemy, their military command is confronted with a decision – either to maintain their primary line of defense or to deploy the available 1st, 3rd, and 14th “BARS” detachments, along with the SOF detachments of the 22nd and 45th separate SOF brigades, to reinforce the 291st motorized rifle regiment of the 42nd motorized rifle division in order to hold Robotyne.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 26.07.23 

Personnel – almost 243,680 people (+460);

Tanks – 4,177 (+3);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,136 (+5);

Artillery systems – 4,727 (+22);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 698 (0);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 457 (+3);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 7,211 (+17);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 311 (+1);

UAV operational and tactical level – 3,993 (+16);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,307 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).


  • Over the past day, Russian troops shelled 8 regions of Ukraine. 140 towns and villages and 27 infrastructure objects were attacked. According to preliminary information, 4 civilians were killed, and 5 were wounded, Military Media Center reported.
  • The Russian attacks on Ukraine’s health care system have seriously affected the population’s access to basic medical services and medications, and led to the closing of pharmacies. According to Dr. Jarno Habikht, the World Health Organization representative in Ukraine, approximately one in five people in Ukraine struggle to obtain essential medicines. This number increases to approximately one in three people in areas under [Russian] occupation and active conflict zones. 
  • On the evening of July 25, a mine of an unknown type drifted to the Black Sea coast in Mykolaiv Oblast and detonated spontaneously. The following morning two more mines of unidentified type detonated in the water near a beach in Odesa Oblast, the press service of the Operational Command “South” reported. Prior to this incident, there were reports that Russia had placed additional sea mines on the approaches to Ukrainian ports following its withdrawal from the Grain Deal on July 17.
  • According to Maria Klymyk, a journalist for the Media Initiative for Human Rights, who investigated the mass murder of Azov POWs in Olenivka Colony No. 120 on the night of July 29, 2022, the POWs who managed to escape the barracks after the explosion, were shot at by the prison’s guards when they reached the exit from the colony. No medical care was provided to the prisoners injured by the explosion, and external doctors were denied access to the colony. At least 5 people died from injuries after escaping the barracks. 2 or 3 more POWs died while being finally transported to a hospital in the back of a Kamaz truck approximately 6 hours after the explosion.  
  • In the Russian Rostov-on-Don, Ukrainian “Aidar” battalion servicemen are on “trial”. 18 Ukrainian prisoners of war are accused by the Russian Federation of violent seizure of power, change of the self-proclaimed “DNR”, and participation in the activities of a terrorist organization, the Ukrainian Human Rights Commissioner Dmytro Lubinets informed. He stressed that the Ukrainian servicemen on trial in Russia were defending their own land and emphasized that the trial violates the Geneva Convention.

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