Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 31.07.2023

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.
  • The reason for the defeat of the 118th separate mechanized brigade of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping in the Robotyne area should be attributed to the insufficient competence of the tactical level officers.
  • Russian forces are increasing the density of their defense in the Pryiutne – Zavitne Bazhanya sector, trying to echelon it. They began to concentrate the units of the 218th tank regiment of the 127th motorized rifle division, the main force of the 5th army, in the Staromlynivka area;
  • Except for the 57th separate motorized rifle brigade, currently involved in active combat operations in the Kurdyumivka area within the Bakhmut direction, almost the entire 5th Russian army, which constitutes the most powerful group from the composition of the Eastern Military District, has been fully deployed in the Berdyansk direction;
  • In the operational zone of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping, specifically in the Robotyne sector, the Russian military command executed a tactical maneuver by adjusting the positions of their forces and assets. Elements of the 1430th motorized rifle regiment of the Territorial Troops, were repositioned to Robotyne village, while the 11th “BARS” Detachment was redeployed from the vicinity of Kopany village to bolster the defense perimeter of the aforementioned regiment.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • 20 combat engagements took place on different directions.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces hold the defense; they successfully repelled Russian attacks east of Berestove in Kharkiv Oblast. Advanced units of the Russian 15th separate motorized rifle brigade, after withdrawing from Nadia village, have begun to consolidate their positions to the east of it.
  • On the Lyman direction, Russian forces attacked in the areas of Novoyehorivka and Bilohorivka attempting to seize the initiative in this sector. The Russian “Zapad” operational grouping continued its advance towards Novoselivske, establishing a bridgehead on the western bank of the Zherebets River near Karmazynivka, and trying to disrupt the Ukrainian defense in the Serebryansk Forest and near Torske. The Russian “Center” grouping repelled three Ukrainian attacks near Kovalivka and in the Serebryansk Forest area.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continued their attacks near Mynkivka, Berkhivka, Bohdanivka, Yahidne, Dubovo-Vasylivka, and in the Klishchiivka area, forcing the Russian military to retreat to the east of the railway line in the vicinity of the village. They attacked the positions of the 29th BARS detachment and Potok PMC to the north of Bakhmut. The Chechen detachment “Akhmat” was defeated in the Klishchiivka area, and approximately 50 [remained] individuals from this unit retreated to the area of Opytne. In order to stabilize the front line, the Russian command brought the 1307th motorized rifle regiment of the territorial troops  into operation in this direction.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to hold back the advance of Russian troops in the areas of Maryinka and Pobieda. Russian forces have intensified their assault operations in Maryinka and is employing the “Storm-Z” assault detachments more intensely. They are actively using tanks and infantry fighting vehicles during the assault on Maryinka. Battles are ongoing on the western outskirts of the village, but the enemy’s 150th motorized rifle division is unable to make progress.
  • Zaporizhzhia direction:
    • Tokmak direction (Robotyne): the units of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping have advanced to the northeast of Robotyne in the direction of Verbove. During the attack on the dominant heights in the Robotyne area, a company tactical group of the 118th separate motorized rifle brigade of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping suffered losses, losing up to 5 T-72 tanks and about 15 BMPs. Part of the personnel fell into captivity. The attack of the 47th separate mechanized brigade knocked the enemy from the height and they retreated to Novoprokopivka. Subsequently, the Ukrainian 15th National Guard brigade and the Azov National Guard brigade launched an attack on the enemy’s  70th motorized rifle regiment of the 42nd motorized rifle division in Novopokrovka, forcing the remnants of the regiment to retreat to Verbove.
    • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): Russian troops repelled Ukrainian attacks in the direction of Urozhaine and Staromayorske. Units of the 114th motorized rifle regiment, 218th tank regiment of the 127th motorized rifle division (60th separate motorized rifle brigade of the 5th Army of the Eastern Military District), along with “Storm-Z” units, counterattacked in the Staromayorske area and pushed the Ukrainian forces out of their positions in the village. Units of the 247th air assault regiment of the 7th air assault division (Airborne Troops of the Russian Armed Forces) also carried out assault operations near Staromayorske, but sustained losses and retreated after the attack to restore combat capability. Units of the 71st motorized rifle regiment of the 42nd motorized rifle division continue to hold the southern outskirts of Pryiutne, while the “Tavria” operational grouping is surrounding both Pryiutne and neighboring Stepove. The remnants of the 60th separate motorized rifle brigade and the “Cascade” detachment (“DPR police”) are attempting to hold Urozhaine. The 136th Russian separate motorized rifle brigade was transferred to the Staromlynivka area.
    • Kherson direction: the Ukrainian Defense Forces successfully struck the Chongar bridge on the M-18 Dzhankoy-Melitopol highway. A bridge in the area of Armyansk was also attacked.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, the following enemy ships were on combat duty: 4 ships in the Black Sea, 1 ship in the Azov Sea, and 8 ships in the Mediterranean Sea. Among them, there are 2 missile-carrying ships with a total salvo of 24 Kalibr cruise missiles.

Change in enemy disposition: 

  • Units of the enemy’s 252nd motorized rifle regiment of the 3rd motorized rifle division of the 20th Army of the Western Military District deployed in the offensive operation at the Svatove-Kreminna line.
  • The 247th air assault regiment of the 7th air assault division has taken positions west of Zavitne Bazhannia. Two battalions of the 114th motorized rifle regiment of the 127th motorized rifle division of the 5th Russian Army are deployed northwest of  Volodyne.

Possible operation situation developments:

  • In the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces will resume attacks using the 15th and 21st separate motorized rifle brigades from positions on their bridgehead on the Zherebets River stretching from Serhiyivka to Novovodyanе;
  • The 7th motorized rifle regiment of the 18th motorized rifle division of the 11th Army corps of the Baltic fleet and the 27th Russian separate motorized rifle brigade will try to capture Novoselivske village; 
  • In order to contain the breakthrough of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping’s vanguard to their primary defensive line, the enemy’s command may opt to assemble a tactical group consisting of units from the 100th Separate Ranger Brigade, the 14th “BARS” Detachment, and the 249th Separate Motorized Special Purpose Battalion “Akhmat-Yug” (part of the Federal Service of the Russian National Guard). They could then attempt a counterattack within the defense zone of the Russian 70th Motorized Rifle Regiment (the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division) towards Novodanylivka along the H-08 road.
  • The Russian command will not deploy its reserves in the Staromlynivka area, expecting a potential escalation of combat operations in the Mariupol direction (80 km) and the Berdyansk direction (110 km, 68 km from Vuhledar).
  • Russian forces will attempt 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 31.07.23

Personnel – almost 246,190  people (+490);

Tanks – 4,211 (+6);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,188 (+10);

Artillery systems – 4,816 (+21);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 699 (+1);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 460 (+1);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –7,292 (+17);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 311 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 4,017 (+6);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,347 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).

Humanitarian/general daily update:

  • According to information provided by the MOD’s Situation Center, over the past day Russian forces shelled 9 regions of Ukraine. 130 towns and villages and 91 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons.
    • On the morning of July 31, Russian forces launched a missile strike on Kryvyi Rih, which is President Zelensky’s hometown. Two ballistic missiles were fired, with one striking a high-rise residential building and the other hitting an educational institution. As a result, six people, including a child, were killed, and 73 others were injured.
    • On the morning of July 31, downtown Kherson came under attack of Russian Grad Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MRLS). During this attack, a civilian working for the utility company of the Kherson City Council was killed, and four other civilians were injured. Later in the day, another attack occurred, resulting in a total of three fatalities and 17 injuries.
    • On July 30, Russian forces carried out an attack in Donetsk Oblast, resulting in the death of one resident and injuries to seven others. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Russian occupiers have caused significant civilian casualties in Donetsk region, with at least 1,637 reported killed and at least 3,916 injured. The total count may be higher, as the number of victims in Mariupol and Volnovakha is yet to be determined.
  • Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights, reported that since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, the occupiers have taken more than 700,000 Ukrainian children to Russia. Additionally, the report revealed that approximately 1,500 orphanage residents were deported to Russia, including 288 children from the so-called “DPR,” who were placed in foster families within Russia. 
  • According to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian MOD, Russia has conducted forced mobilization of approximately 55,000 to 60,000 men into its army in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine since the beginning of 2022.

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