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Russia’s war on Ukraine. 29.08.2023

Operational situation

The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue their offensive operation on the Melitopol direction, consolidating their positions on the achieved frontlines and engaging in counter-battery warfare.

The enemy conducted offensive actions along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, on the Avdiivka-Donetsk line, in the west of Donetsk Oblast, and advanced in certain sections of the front.

General conclusion: 

  • The Ukrainian Defense Forces continued offensive operations in at least two sections of the front, advancing in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • The marshy terrain and continuous minefields on the Kupyansk direction create significant challenges for Russian advancement in this area.
  • The enemy is attacking Novoyehorivka and Bilohorivka to cut off the logistical routes of the Ukrainian Defense Forces to Borova and Siversk.
  • The Russian military command has deployed units of the 76th Air Assault Division to reinforce positions near Robotyne, transferring them from the Kreminna area of Luhansk Oblast.
  • We observe a tendency to reinforce critical segments of the Russian defense with airborne units, indicating a shortage of adequately trained infantry.
  • Due to the high intensity of combat operations they are engaged in, the Russian Airborne Troops’ units and formations quickly lose their combat potential. In the short term, this will lead to a loss of capability to sustain complex defensive operations and prevent large-scale offensive operations’ resurgence.
  • The Russian Armed Forces have a total of 585 missiles with a firing range of over 500 km. As of January 2023, the Russian missile stocks were estimated as follows:
    • 270 missiles for the Iskander missile complex (an additional 126 missiles produced and accumulated since January),
    • 140 Kalibr sea-launched cruise missiles (+81),
    • approximately 100 Kh-101/Kh-55/Kh-555 cruise missiles (-18),
    • around 75 hypersonic Kinzhal missiles (+22),
    • 150 Kh-22/32 cruise missiles (-12).
    • The production capacity of the missile industry within the Russian military-industrial complex is several dozen missiles of various types per month. The decrease in the intensity of missile strikes allowed the enemy to build up a certain reserve.
  • The adversary is improving target designation and decision-making speed, carefully selecting targets, and meticulously searching for flight routes that bypass the Ukrainian Defense Forces’ air defense systems.
  • The adversary is preparing force repositioning on the Lyman direction and attempting to engage the most professional airborne assault units along the front line in Luhansk Oblast to divert the Defense Forces from the Bakhmut direction.
  • In contrast to the Tokmak direction, where the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping advances along a relatively narrow front, on the Berdyansk direction, it operates on a significantly broader scale.
  • The enemy is compelled to allocate a portion of its operational reserves to the flank areas, which objectively reduces the density of combat formations on the main thrust direction of the “Tavriya Operational Grouping.
  • The Russian command is compelled to hold the 5th Separate Tank Brigade, the 34th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade and the 336th Separate Marines Brigade in reserve, as they cannot determine the main thrust direction of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping, which constantly changes it by utilizing the high mobility of its forces.
  • The expansion of the scope of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping’s advance on the Berdyansk direction by widening the advance frontage results in an increased number of sectors and directions that the Russian command needs to cover. The “Tavriya” Grouping’s command has gained the opportunity to widely employ flanking maneuvers and encirclements.
  • The Russian command managed to promptly respond to the deterioration of the tactical situation in the Staromayorske area.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • Over 26 combat engagements took place in different directions.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian troops captured two Ukrainian positions in the area of Synkivka – Petropavlivka and continued unsuccessful offensive actions near Bilohorivka, in the Serebryansk Forest area and near Vesele.
  • The Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled the Russian attack on Novoyehorivka.
  • Currently, 45,000 Russian troops are operating in the Kupyansk direction, and up to 110,000 on the entire Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna front line.
  • Russian forces are laying mines along the border of the Belgorod region and continue to search for vulnerabilities in the Ukrainian defense.
  • During the night of August 27, the Ukrainian Defense Forces carried out a strike using UAVs on an airfield near Kursk. Four Su-30 fighter jets, one MiG-29 fighter jet, a radar system of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system, and two “Pantsir” anti-aircraft missile systems were damaged as a result.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces pushed out Russian troops from positions east of Klishchiivka and from the center of the village. They continued their advance on the southern flank of Bakhmut, near Orikhovo, and attacked Kurdyumivka and Andriivka.
  • Russian forces counterattacked in the area of Klishchiivka and Orikhovo-Vasylivka in order to restore lost positions; advanced near Dubovo-Vasylivka and Ivanivske.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces attacked near Krasnohorivka.
  • Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked in the vicinity of Maryinka, Stepove, Avdiivka, and Novomykhailivka. The intensity of the Russian attacks has noticeably decreased.
  • Zaporizhzhia direction:
    • Tokmak direction (Robotyne): Russian troops are holding positions on the southern outskirts of Robotyne.
    • The “Tavriya” Operational Grouping has advanced south of Mala Tokmachka and is advancing towards Novodanylivka, Novopokropivka, Mala Tokmachka and Ocheretuvate. It has also made progress towards the direction of Verbove.
    • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): “Tavriya” Operational Grouping achieved minor successes north of Shevchenkove, advancing in the direction of Priyutne, Staromlynivka, and Kermenchyk.
    • Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive actions near Vuhledar and repelled attacks by the “Tavriya” Operational Group near Staromayorske. The enemy’s withdrawal of units to the Pryiutne -Zavitne Bazhanya line continues. The 394th Motorized Rifle Regiment and the 60th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade have retreated from the area of the Rivnopil ponds and are moving even further south.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, there were 4 Russian ships on combat duty in the Black Sea; 1 in the Sea of Azov; 8 ships in the Mediterranean, including 2 cruise missile carriers. The total salvo is 24 Kalibr cruise missiles. 

Change in enemy disposition:

  • The 143rd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 127th Motorized Rifle Division of the 5th Army, reinforced by units of the 336th Separate Marines Brigade of the Baltic Fleet, is defending in the area of Novozlatopil – Vyshneve – Stepove – Novoukrainske;
  • Units of the 40th Separate Marines Brigade of the Pacific Fleet, supported by units of the 36th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 29th Army and the 1466th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Troops, are defending on the line between Novomayorske and Shevchenko.

Possible operation situation developments: 

  • The Russian command will continue active actions on the Kupyansk direction to compel the command of the Ukrainian Defense Forces to deploy a portion of its strategic reserves specifically to this sector.
  • For the next two months, Russian forces might attempt to regain initiative within the context of the offensive operations of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, initiating their own offensive operation aimed at advancing westward towards the Oskil River and establishing a buffer zone around the occupied Luhansk Oblast.
  • By the end of the week, the enemy’s control over Pryiutne village gains crucial tactical significance.
  • In the event of a breakthrough of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping forces into the Staromlynivka defense area, one can anticipate actions by the Russian 336th Separate Marines Brigade towards Remivka-Volodyne, as well as movements by the 5th Separate Tank Brigade in the direction of Novodonetske-Kermenchyk;
  • Battalion defense areas fortified in Novozlatopil and Novomayorske will be held by the enemy at any cost, allowing them to maintain the Novozlatopil -Lyubimivka – Orlyanske -Staromlynivka-Kermenchyk-Novomayorske line.
  • The Russian military conducts reconnaissance of Ukrainian infrastructure facilities and may launch a large-scale series of strikes with missiles and UAVs at the end of September or October. Future missile strikes may only use about 10-30 missiles but will be accompanied by a significantly larger number of Shahed-131/136 strike UAVs. UAVs will be utilized for strikes on the energy infrastructure, primarily targeting power substations.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 29.08.23 

Personnel – almost 261,840 people (+530);

Tanks – 4,414 (+14);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,579 (+17);

Artillery systems – 5,450 (+25);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 733 (+3);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 500 (+1);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –7,909 (+43);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 316 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 4,387 (+4);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,419 (+4);

Boats/ships – 18 (0).

Humanitarian + General:

  • According to information provided by the MOD’s Situation Center, over the past day, Russian forces shelled 9 regions of Ukraine. 141 towns and villages and 80 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. 6 people are reported killed and 8 injured in Chernihiv, Donetsk and Kherson Oblasts.  
  • Ukrainian authorities will forcibly evacuate 121 people, including 54 children, from one village in the Vasylivka district and four villages in the Polohy district of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the head of the Zaporizhzhya Oblast Military Administration, Yuriy Malashko, said.
  • The bodies of 84 fallen servicemen were returned to Ukraine from the territories temporarily captured by the Russian forces.
  • Following the termination of the “grain initiative,” there have been over 8 attacks on the port infrastructure of Odesa and the Danube, resulting in the destruction of approximately 270 thousand tons of contracted grain destined for foreign markets, said Denys Marchuk, Deputy Head of the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Council.
  • In 2023, around 20-30% of Ukrainian farmers might decrease their winter crop acreage or opt not to sow winter crops at all due to issues concerning the export of agricultural products, as stated by Marchuk.
  • Amid the war in Ukraine, approximately 30% of students lack consistent access to education, and around 50% of teachers in rural schools observe a decline in student performance, as indicated by the findings of a nationwide study on educational setbacks carried out by the State Education Quality Service.
  • The proportion of Ukrainian respondents anticipating a prolonged war of the {Russian] aggressor is rising. As of June 2023, 42% of Ukrainian respondents believe the war will extend beyond a year (compared to 26% in December 2022). Those estimating the duration as six months to a year constitute 34.3% (compared to 49.6%), and those predicting several months make up 9.4% (compared to 13.6%). These statistics stem from a survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. Over 80% of respondents would view the restoration of all Ukrainian territories within the 1991 borders as a victory.

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