Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 29.07.2023

Operational situation

Ukrainian 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.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, the enemy holds considerable advantages in artillery, artillery reconnaissance, and ammunition, and has sufficient reserves, primarily in the area of Svatove. The enemy’s grouping shows significant improvements in their combat command and control capabilities. 
  • The air defense capabilities of the Ukrainian Defense Forces on the Kupyansk direction are limited and insufficient to effectively counter the enemy’s UAVs. 
  • The enemy has increased the intensity of airstrikes on the Bakhmut direction, targeting the pontoon crossings of the Ukrainian Defense Forces north of Kurdyumivka.
  • On the main advancing direction of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping in the Tokmak direction (Robotyne-Novoprokopivka), the “Tavriya” forces have approached the enemy’s main defensive line at a distance of less than 5 km. They now have the capability to widen the area of engagement with the enemy’s primary defensive positions.
  • The command of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping is compelling the enemy to deploy its remaining reserves on this front, specifically the 336th separate marine brigade of the Baltic Fleet and the 136th separate motorized rifle brigade. The active operations of the “Tavriya” forces in the Pryiutne area, in the enemy’s defensive lines held by the 34th separate motorized rifle brigade, the 143rd and the 394th motorized rifle regiments, effectively hinder the involvement of these reserves in the Staromlynivka area.
  • The enemy’s 247th air assault regiment of the 7th air assault division and the 71st motorized rifle regiment of the 42nd motorized rifle division (58th Army) are still maintaining their combat readiness and have the capability to impede the advancement of the forward units of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping south of the Pryiutne-Zavitne Bazhannia line. However, the tactical situation on the enemy’s flanks in Pryiutne and Staromayorske continues to be complicated, and on the Staromayorske-Zavitne Bazhannia direction, it has reached a crisis point.
  • Recently, the main objective of the Russian missile attacks has been the Starokonstiantyniv airbase, which serves as a “home” airfield for aircraft employing Storm Shadow/SCALP missiles.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were more than 27 combat clashes on different fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, the enemy’s forward units have retreated from the vicinity of Nadia village and the southwest of Novoyehorivka, which has alleviated the situation. 
  • On the Lyman direction, the enemy conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the areas of Serebryansk Forest and Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces successfully repelled enemy attacks in the areas to the west and south of Klishchiivka. Amid the collapse of the defense of the enemy’s 72nd separate motorized rifle brigade and 83rd separate air assault brigade in this area, the enemy’s command deployed the 4th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 2nd Army Corps. In an attack by the 17th Separate Tank Brigade of Ukrainian Defense Forces in the direction of Opytne, the headquarters of the 4th separate motorized rifle brigade was reportedly destroyed (information is being confirmed).
  • On the Avdiivka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to hold back the Russian forces’ advancement in the area of Maryinka.
  • On the Zaporizhzhia direction: 
  • Vasylivka direction (Pyatykhatky): The forward units of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping have resumed their advance. In the last two days, they have made notable progress between Kamianske and Lobkove and are currently positioned less than 2 km from the northern outskirts of Luhove – one of the main defensive strongholds of the enemy on the Vasylivka direction.
  • Tokmak direction (Robotyne): Having attacked the Russian 1430th motorized rifle regiment of territorial troops positioned between Robotyne and Verbove, the advanced units of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping maneuvered around Robotyne from the eastern flank, compelling the enemy to retreat southward and entrench themselves in the battle formation of the 1st BARS detachment northwest of Verbove. Along this direction, the depth of the enemy’s primary defensive line spans approximately 11-12 km, extending from the northern outskirts of Verbove to the northern outskirts of Ocheretuvate.
  • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): The units of the enemy’s 60th separate motorized rifle brigade, which continue to engage in battles in Urozhaine, have been encircled from three directions.
  • In the Pryiutne area, the 71st motorized rifle regiment is trying to impede the progress of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping by deploying tanks and artillery fire from advantageous positions to the southwest of the village. Nevertheless, the “Tavriya” forces are steadily advancing in the overall direction of Volodyne, circumventing Pryiutne from the northern side, casting doubt on the enemy’s ability to maintain control over the area.
  • The advanced units of the “Tavriya” Grouping have intensified their actions in the defense zone of the enemy’s 37th separate motorized rifle brigade east of Urozhaine. The 35th separate marines brigade is completing the clearance of Staromayorske and its outskirts.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Sea operational area, the enemy has deployed the following ships on active combat duty: in the Black Sea, there are 7 ships, o including 1 cruise missile carrier; in the Azov Sea, there is one ship; and in the Mediterranean Sea, there are 8 ships, with three of them being cruise missile carriers. The cumulative potential salvo of “Kalibr” cruise missiles stands at 32.

Change in enemy disposition:  

  • The 1429th and 1430th motorized rifle regiments of the territorial troops, along with the 1st, 3rd, and 14th BARS detachments of the enemy, suffered significant losses during intense head-to-head combat clashes with the advanced units of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping between Robotyne and Verbove. As a result, their operational readiness has declined to a critical level, rendering them incapable of maintaining any defensive line or continuing their defensive operations.
  • In the enemy’s second echelon on the Tokmak direction, the 100th separate ranger brigade (which, according to its organizational structure, is a standard two-battalion separate motorized rifle brigade, reinforced with an EW battalion and a UAV company) is operating. The 22nd and 45th separate SOF brigades and the 417th separate ranger battalion of the 42nd motorized rifle division are also in the second echelon.

Escalation indicators:

  • In the areas west of Robotyne, east of Novoprokopivka, and northeast of Verbove, three enemy units consisting of platoon-size or company-size elements equipped with the “Lancet” strike UAVs are operating. These units are part of special-purpose military formations. Each group deploys 5-7 “Lancet” strike UAVs daily and up to 15 during active combat operations. Each group carries 1-2 UAVs, occasionally 3-4, and operates in both prepared and unprepared terrain. Their actions are supported by enemy EW units. The enemy has a reserve of 20-25 strike UAVs for each group.

Possible operation situation developments: 

  • On the Kupyansk direction, with the advance towards the Pershotravneve-Kopanky-Novoserhiivka-Cherneshchyna line, the enemy will be compelled to deploy the remnants of their reserves (the 30th separate motorized rifle brigade). However, even if they achieve some success, the enemy will not have enough strength for an assault on Borova.
  • A Russian attack from the Dzherelne area in the direction of Andriivka by the 12th tank regiment and the 9th BARS detachment should be expected. Units of the Russian 7th motorized rifle regiment and 27th separate motorized rifle brigade will continue their attacks in the direction of Berestove and Stelmakhivka on both flanks in the Novoselivske area;
  • If the enemy’s command fails to take appropriate measures to stabilize the situation within the next 2-3 days, their defense on this front, particularly within the logistic support zones, will be compromised.
  • Russian forces will try to cover Vasylivka with units of the 95th motorized rifle regiment, deploying them along the Verkhnya Krynytsia-Lisne line;

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 29.07.23 

Personnel – almost 245,220 people (+390);

Tanks – 4,191 (+1);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,167 (+6);

Artillery systems – 4,786 (+11);

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

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 458 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 7,247 (+7);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 311 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 4,007 (0);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,347 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).


  • According to information provided by the MOD’s Situation Center, over the past day, Russian troops shelled 9 regions of Ukraine. 90 towns and villages and 31 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. At least 17 civilians sustained injuries.  
  • A Russian missile attack on Dnipro on July 28 hit a multistory residential building and an SBU building. Nine people were injured, including two teenagers. 
  • In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Russian forces again dropped air bombs on Orihiv at night, a five-story building was destroyed, and nearby houses were damaged. 
  • In Kherson Oblast, Russian forces hit the grain storage terminal owned by “Nibulon” LLC in Kozatske village. 
  • As of the morning of July 28, 2023, more than 1,578 children were injured in Ukraine because of the full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation. According to the official information of juvenile prosecutors, 498 children died and more than 1,080 sustained injuries of various degrees of severity. 
  • The evacuation of children from the Vovchansk border community, which has been facing continuous Russian attacks, has been completed, according to the head of the Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration. Some families chose to evacuate independently. A total of 184 children left dangerous border areas. 
  • According to a survey conducted by the “Democratic Initiatives” Foundation in collaboration with the Center for Political Sociology between June 5 and June 15, 2023, 60% of Ukraine’s population anticipates mass shelling of cities in the upcoming months. Additionally, 45% of respondents expressed concerns about potential power, heat, or water outages, while 40% are worried about an increase in prices for essential goods. 
  • UNESCO representatives have arrived in Odesa, where they will assess the damage caused to cultural and religious objects by missile attacks carried out by Russia between July 19 and 23.
  • According to Serhiy Danylov of the Center for the Near Eastern Studies [a Ukrainian NGO that did extensive work in Kherson Oblast], eyewitnesses report that Russian FSB came to the “evacuees” who left their homes due to the flooding for Zaliznyi Port and demanded that all of them sign a paper stating that the Kakhovka HPP was blown up by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

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