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Russia’s war on Ukraine. 17.08.2023

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: 

  • Ukrainian Defense Forces continue their offensive operation on the Melitopol and Berdyansk directions and are consolidating their positions on the achieved frontlines;
  • In the Tokmak direction, the situation has significantly deteriorated for the enemy, prompting the Russian military command to deploy the 108th Air Assault Regiment of the 7th Air Assault Division and one battalion of the 810th Separate Marines Brigade of the Black Sea Fleet to this direction.
  • The flanking maneuver by the forward units of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping  around Robotyne not only undermines the purpose of the enemy’s continued presence there but also has the potential to result in the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping advancing to the enemy’s main defense line across a wide front from Novoprokopivka to Verbove.
  • The enemy is focusing its main defensive efforts on the Robotyne – Novoprokopivka direction, where the 1430th and 1441st Motorized Rifle Regiments of the Territorial Troops are operating. However, it is evident that the defense of the flanks on this direction becomes of particular significance for the enemy due to the advance of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping.
  • There is a decrease in the combat potential of the Russian Armed Forces on the Zaporizhzhia direction: in order to counteract a single “Tavriya” Operational Grouping brigade-level formation, the enemy is forced to deploy 2-3 similar formations to contain its advance.
  • There is a direct correlation between the timing of the active actions of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping on the Southern operational-strategic direction and the combat readiness level of the enemy formations. The enemy is compelled to shorten the restoration timeline of its reserve formations’ combat readiness. The enemy’s command on the theater of military operations is forced to deploy a portion of its strategic reserves in Ukraine, the formation and deployment of which is not yet complete.
  • The military-naval positions of the Russian Federation in the Black Sea have proven to be weaker than previously thought, yielding less desired effects. Russia is likely attempting to promote its own initiatives regarding the export of Russian and stolen Ukrainian grain to further undermine the potential success of Ukraine’s established “grain corridor.”

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • Over 20 combat engagements took place on different directions.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the area of Synkivka, southeast of Vilshany, east of Petropavlivka. Positional battles continue near Karmazynivka.
  • On the Lyman direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to hold Bilohorivka.
  • Russian troops repelled Ukrainian attacks near the Us forest, Stelmakhivka, Novoselivske, and Kuzmyne.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, Russian forces carried out unsuccessful offensive actions in the area of Bohdanivka; they are trying to stop the advance of Ukrainian Defense Forces south of Bakhmut with continuous counterattacks.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the area south of Avdiivka. Russian troops repulsed five Ukrainian attacks near Krasnohorivka and Nevelske.
  • 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 “Tavriya” Operational Grouping conducted a rotation of its forces in Robotyne, replacing the 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade with the 46th Separate Airborne Assault Brigade, the 71st Separate Jager Brigade with the 82nd Separate Airborne Assault Brigade. In the direction of Verbove – Novoprokopivka, the 118th Separate Mechanized Brigade was put into operation, reinforcing the efforts of the 116th Separate Mechanized Brigade.
    • The advanced units of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping reached the distance of direct visibility of the outskirts of the city of Tokmak.
    • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): troops of the “Tavria” Operational Grouping attacked Russian positions on the northern outskirts of Zavitne Bazhannia. Heavy fighting continues near Staromayorske.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, there were 4 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. 
  • In the area of the port of Novorossiysk, the enemy has established a so-called “ship and vessel inspection zone,” which formally serves as a buoy barrier and covers military ships at the Novorossiysk naval base from attacks by maritime UAVs.
  • The container ship “Joseph Schulte” left the Odesa port through one of the temporary corridors.

Change in enemy disposition:

  • The Russian “Vostok” Operational Grouping on the Tokmak direction concentrated the following units as reserves:
    • the 100th Separate Reconnaissance Brigade (in the area of Verbove), 
    • two battalions of the 810th Separate Marines Brigade of the Black Sea Fleet, one of which has been engaged in the defense sector of the 291st Motorized Rifle Regiment, 
    • the 108th Air Assault Regiment of the 7th Air Assault Division (preparing for engagement to the east of Robotyne), 
    • the 249th Special Purpose Motorized Battalion of the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardiya) “Akhmat-Yug.”
  • The estimated readiness time of these forces is up to 72 hours.
  • In January 2023, the Airborne Forces of the Russian Federation, presumably, established the 52nd Artillery Brigade and based it in the village of Reevske in the Novorossiysk district of Krasnodar Krai.

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.
  • 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 17.08.23 

Personnel – almost 256,050 people (+480);

Tanks – 4,329 (+5);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,398 (+18);

Artillery systems – 5,169 (+17);

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

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 486 (+1);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –7,641 (+27);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 314 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 4,272 (+24);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,406 (+2);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).


  • According to information provided by the MOD’s Situation Center, over the past day, Russian forces shelled 9 regions of Ukraine. 158 towns and villages and 145 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. There are killed and injured civilians. 
  • President Volodymyr Zelensky signed laws on extending martial law and mobilization in Ukraine. Both measures will remain in effect for an additional 90 days, until November 15, 2023.
  • According to the National Resistance Center of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, [Russian] occupation authorities recently took 50 high school students to the Russian city of Yaroslavl in an attempt to persuade them to enroll at the local Demidov University. Furthermore, they continue to bring children to various camps under the pretext of “rehabilitation.” In particular, 200 children from Dovzhansk to Anapa, 200 children to the Krasnodar region (150 from the Kakhovsky and Genichesky districts of Kherson Oblast, and 50 children from the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhia Oblast).
  • According to the National Resistance Center of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, over 20,000 residents from the occupied city of Horlivka in Donetsk Oblast, who the Russian invaders forcibly conscripted into their military, have lost their lives.
  • The [Ukrainian] prosecutor’s office of Crimea and Sevastopol has already pressed charges against 736 individuals deemed traitors from the occupied Crimea who chose to collaborate with the enemy. 344 indictments have been submitted to the court.

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