Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 16.08.2023

Operational situation

The Defense Forces continue their offensive operation on the Melitopol and Berdyansk directions, consolidating their positions at achieved frontlines and engaging in counter-battery warfare. The adversary concentrates their main efforts on the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, and Avdiivka directions.

General conclusion:  

  • The Defense Forces continue their offensive operation on the Melitopol and Berdyansk directions and are consolidating their positions on the achieved frontlines;
  • The nature of the terrain and the density of mine-explosive barriers to the west of Zavitne Bazhannia village render attempts to attack from this direction unfeasible.
  • The “Tavriya” Operational Grouping’s capability to reach Staromlynivka hinges on the maneuvers of the Russian 5th separate tank brigade, concentrated in this area;
  • The struggle by the enemy to retain the foothold along the Chornyi Zherebets River is ongoing, while simultaneously, the enemy is losing the opportunity to break through in the direction towards Borova.
  • The enemy’s expansion of attacks on the Kupyansk direction aims to compel the command of the Defense Forces to deploy as many reserves into the operation as possible. However, this strategy prevents the enemy from concentrating sufficient forces and resources for a powerful strike.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • Over 30 combat engagements took place on different fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive actions southeast of Vilshany and east of Petropavlivka, Kharkiv Oblast. The Russian forces have become more active in the direction of Borova and are trying to maintain its bridgehead on the Chornyi Zherebets River. After being replenished with personnel, the units of the 15th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade made another attempt to push back units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the southwestern direction in the area of Serhiyivka. At the same time, units of the Russian 21st Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, operating from the Kovalivka – Karmazynivka line, tried to break through to the ponds in the Ostrovske area. Both brigades advanced 1-1.2 km, but did not complete the assigned tasks.
  • Units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the Novoyehorivka area counterattacked the enemy and managed to dislodge it from the western part of the village, creating an opportunity to cut off the northern part of the Russian bridgehead on the Chornyi Zherebets River.
  • On the Lyman direction, Russian troops attacked near Bilohorivka and Vesele. Positional battles continue near Bilohorivka; the enemy is intensively attacking Ukrainian Defense Forces in the Serebryansk Forest area. Units of the 123rd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army Corps operate in the direction of Siversk.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, fighting continues at the Klishchiivka – Kurdyumivka – Andriivka line. The tactical situation of the enemy in this area is unstable, as Defense Forces units control dominant heights and forests around key populated areas.
  • Russian forces counterattacked near Klishchiivka and Andriivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the area south of Avdiivka.
  • Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to hold back the advance of Russian troops in the area of Maryinka and Krasnohorivka.
  • Zaporizhzhia direction:
  • Tokmak direction (Robotyne): the 65th and 47th Separate Mechanized Brigades of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping, advancing towards each other, have surrounded the Russian garrison in the southern part of Robotyne. Units of the 65th Separate Mechanized Brigade attacked Russian positions in the area of Kopani. The forces of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping have resumed their advance towards Verbove and are approaching Novoprokopivka, thus directly engaging the main defensive line of the enemy. The units of the 201st Motorized Rifle Regiment, 1430th and 1441st Motorized Rifle Regiments of the Territorial Troops are unable to stop the advance of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping in Robotyne.
  • The Russian military was forced to abandon the local line of strongholds north-west and west of Robotyne, losing control over battalion defense areas west of the village. The “Tavriya” Operational Grouping has breached the enemy’s defensive line between the villages of Kopani and Robotyne.
  • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): Russian forces made unsuccessful attempts to restore the lost position in the area of Urozhaine. Troops of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping are evacuating captured Russian military equipment in Urozhaine, demining the liberated village, advancing toward Pryiutne, and demining the approaches to Zavitne Bazhannia.
  • To prevent the flanking maneuver by units of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping around the flank of the 247th Air Assault Regiment and the 60th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, which are defending along the banks of the Mokri Yaly River in the village of Zavitne Bazhannia, the enemy deployed a battalion from the composition of the 11th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 1st Army Corps in the village area.
  • “Tavriya” Operational Grouping surrounded the Russian 394th Motorized Rifle Regiment in Pryiutne from three directions and keeps the only Remivka – Pryiutne supply route under fire control.
  • Kherson direction: Ukrainian Defense forces are expanding their bridgehead in the Kozachi Laheri area.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, there were 7 Russian ships in the Black Sea, 1 in the Sea of Azov, 8 in the Mediterranean, including 2 cruise missile carriers. The total salvo is 24 Kalibr cruise missiles. 

Change in enemy disposition:

  • Southeast of Robotyne, the enemy’s 108th Air Assault Regiment of the 7th Air Assault Division is deployed.
  • The 136th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, reinforced by units of the 218th Tank Regiment, is preparing to counterattack in the direction of Staromayorske. A battalion of the Russian 34th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade is deployed southeast of Staromlynivka.
  • A battalion from the 100th Separate Reconnaissance Brigade is deployed west of Verbove.

Possible operation situation developments: 

  • On the Kupyansk direction, the adversary will operate with two operational-tactical groupings: a northern one formed from the forces of the 6th Army, and a northwestern one consisting of units from the 1st Tank Army and the 11th Army Corps.
  • Changing the direction of action of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping from Novoprokopivka to Verbove could have a pivotal significance in the adversary’s ability to hold their positions on the main defensive line.
  • Russian forces will lose control over Robotyne within the next week;
  • On the Kherson direction, the adversary’s forces will attempt to break through from the northern outskirts of Oleshky towards Dachi village, aiming to compel the forward units of the Defense Forces to abandon their foothold on the left bank of the Dnieper River in the area of the Antonivskyi Bridge.
  • Shortly, the forces of the 27th Russian Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade will resume intensive offensive operations northeast of Stelmakhivka. Additionally, units of the 4th Tank Division will attempt to advance from the Kolomyichikha – Dzherelne line towards the Myasozharivka – Andriivka line.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 16.08.23 

Personnel – almost 255,570 people (+650);

Tanks – 4,324 (+11);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,380 (+10);

Artillery systems – 5,152 (+24);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 714 (0);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 485 (+3);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –7,614 (+30);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 314 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 4,248 (+6);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,404 (+17);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).


  • According to information provided by the MOD’s Situation Center, over the past day, Russian forces shelled 10 regions of Ukraine. 139 towns and villages and 125 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. At least 4 people were killed and 16 injured in Kharkiv, Donetsk and Kherson Oblasts as a result of Russian shelling, as reported by the Oblast Military Administrations.
  • On the night of August 16, 2023, the Russian occupation forces attacked the port infrastructure of Odesa Oblast with Shahed-136/131-type UAVs. The Shaheds were launched in several waves from the southeastern direction (Primorsko-Akhtarsk, Chauda). 13 Russian UAVs were destroyed over Odesa and Mykolaiv Oblasts. As a result of the attack in the Odesa region, warehouses and granaries at the Reni port on the Danube were damaged.
  • The UN confirmed that 48 civilians were killed and another 210 were injured as a result of Russian aggression in Ukraine between August 1 and 13. Among the 48 dead are 23 men, 21 women, two children – a boy and a girl, as well as two adults whose gender has not yet been determined.
  • On August 16, the Russian occupiers shipped another 1.5 thousand tons of Ukrainian grain out of the Mariupol port; the ship traffic is picking up, the adviser to the city’s mayor Petro Andryushchenko said. 
  • From August 2022, mandatory evacuation from Donetsk Oblast is in effect. During the year, more than 87 thousand citizens moved to safe regions, including more than 10.7 thousand children and more than 3.7 thousand people with reduced mobility, the Ministry of Reintegration reports.
  • Evacuation from liberated territories, which began last fall, is also ongoing. Over 26,000 citizens left Kharkiv Oblast in 11 months. More than 39,000 people were evacuated from the liberated territories of Kherson Oblast in 9 months.

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