Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 03.09.2023

Operational situation

The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue their offensive operation on the Melitopol direction, advanced in the areas of Bakhmut, west of Donetsk Oblast and west of Zaporizhzhia Oblast. They are consolidating their positions on the achieved frontlines and engaging in counter-battery warfare.

Russian forces have conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk – Svatove – Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, on the Avdiivka – Donetsk frontline, in the west of Zaporizhzhia Oblast. On September 2, they made advances in specific areas.

General conclusion: 

  • The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue offensive operations on at least two fronts, advancing in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • To reinforce the defense line of the 71st Motorized Rifle Regiment, the enemy command can only use the 104th Air Assault Regiment of the 76th Air Assault Division, which is clearly insufficient.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 30 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces advanced south of Vilshana and southeast of Novoyehorivka, capturing several Ukrainian positions north of Petropavlivka. They also advanced west of Svatove towards the Oskil River and near Synkivka. They unsuccessfully attacked in this area and continued their unsuccessful attempts to advance in the Serebryansk Forest area. Units of the 25th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, supported by the 138th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade and the 1427th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Troops, could not capture Synkivka and were forced to retreat to the north of the village towards Lyman Pershyi. In the Novoyehorivka area, the Russian 15th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade was forced to retreat in the northern part of its bridgehead on the Chornyi Zherebets River. Units of the 27th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, reinforced by the 1431st Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Troops, attempted to break through in the direction of the Kupyansk-Svatove road towards Berestove from the north of Stelmakhivka but could not accomplish the task. However, they advanced 150-200 meters toward the road.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces made progress near Klishchiivka and succeeded near Kurdyumivka, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka.
  • Russian forces were advancing in the areas of Berkhivka and Kurdyumivka. In the Klishchiivka area, Russian forces of the 83rd Separate Airborne Assault Brigade, reinforced by the units from the 102nd Motorized Rifle Regiment (the 150th Motorized Rifle Division), unsuccessfully attempted to regain control of the stronghold to the northwest of the village. They suffered losses and are currently consolidating their combat positions on this front with units from the 1307th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Troops.
  • In the Andriivka area, units of the enemy’s 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade are still holding positions along the railway line east of the village. However, the enemy have been forced to withdraw from the defense sector of the 11th Separate Airborne Assault Brigade on isolated sections to the east of the railway. On this front, the enemy began deploying units of the 4th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (the 2nd Army Corps of the 8th Army) to prevent a significant breakthrough of Ukrainian forces along the railway. 
  • On the Avdiivka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces unsuccessfully attacked near Maryinka. 
  • Russian forces conducted offensive actions along the Avdiivka – Donetsk line but did not advance. They also unsuccessfully attacked in the areas of Severne, Krasnohorivka, Novomykhailivka, and Maryinka.
  • Zaporizhzhia direction: 
    • Tokmak direction (Robotyne): Russian forces repelled four attacks by the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping near Robotyne and Verbove. The remnants of the 1429th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the enemy’s Territorial Troops and the 1st and 11th BARS Detachments withdrew from the southern outskirts of the village to positions further to the south. Battles continue in the forested areas near the village. The Russian 417th Separate Ranger Brigade continues to hold positions on the northwestern outskirts of the village and to the north. To the south, the first position of the main defense line is held by the 3rd and 14th BARS Detachments.
    • The “Tavriya” Operational Grouping attacked Russian positions east of Novoprokopivka, and combat is ongoing between Novoprokopivka and Verbove, where the enemy is unable to halt the advance of the “Tavriya” forward units.
    • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): “Tavriya” Operational Grouping achieved success north of Pavlivka. Battles are ongoing near Shevchenkove, a critical Russian logistics center in the area. They also attacked near Pryiutne, Urozhaine, and Staromayorske, increasing the fire impact on the line of Staromayorske – Pryiutne.
    • Russian forces have taken defensive positions along the T0518 road Velyka Novosilka-Nikolske and continually reconnaissance the section of the road closer to the front line using UAVs.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Sea operational maritime area, there were 5 enemy ships on combat duty. In the Azov Sea, there was 1 enemy ship. There were 8 enemy ships in the Mediterranean Sea, including 2 “Kalibr” cruise missile carriers, with a total salvo capacity of up to 24 missiles.

Change in enemy disposition:

  • The enemy units of the 21st Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (the 2nd Army Corps of the Central Military District) are operating on the Svatove-Kreminna line. Units of the 7th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (the 2nd Army Corps of the 8th Army) are located in the Bilohorivka area, while artillery units of the 6th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (the 2nd Army Corps of the 8th Army) are operating in the Lysychansk direction.
  • Near Klishchiivka, units of the 4th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (the 2nd Army Corps of the 8th Army) are active.
  • The enemy’s 201st and 71st Motorized Rifle Regiments are consolidating on the eastern and northeastern outskirts of Novoprokopivka. The deployment of the 104th Air Assault Regiment of the 76th Air Assault Division in the same area is expected.

Escalation indicators:

  • Russia has transferred an unspecified number of tactical nuclear warheads for “Tochka-U” missiles and ammunition for Su-24M aircraft to Belarus.

Possible operation situation developments: 

  • The Russian command will continue active attempts on the Kupyansk direction to compel the Defense Forces’ command to deploy a portion of its strategic reserves specifically to this direction.
  • Russian forces will seek to regain the initiative amidst the Defense Forces’ offensive operation by initiating their own offensive operation with the forces of 2-3 armies. Their aim is to advance westward to the Oskil River and establish a buffer zone around the occupied Luhansk Oblast over the next two months.
  • The Russian command must take measures to immediately form a tactical group aimed at stopping the advance of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping in the direction of Ocheretuvate.
  • The enemy’s battalion defense areas, equipped in Novozlatopil and Novomayorske, will be held by the Russian forces at any cost, allowing them to maintain control over the rocade corridor Novozlatopil – Lyubimivka – Orlynske -Staromlynivka-Kermenchyk-Novomayorske.
  • The enemy command will soon attempt to regain the first position on their main defense line through a series of counterattacks on the Verbove or Novoprokopivka area. The 104th Air Assault Regiment, the 291st Motorized Rifle Regiment, and up to a battalion of the 100th Separate Ranger Brigade may be involved in these counterattacks.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 03.09.23 

Personnel – almost 264,660 people (+600);

Tanks – 4,476 (+5);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,649 (+12);

Artillery systems – 5,582 (+22);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 739 (+3);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 502 (+1);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –8,102 (+59);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 316 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 4,444 (+11);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,447 (0);

Boats/ships – 18 (0). 

Humanitarian + General:

  • According to information provided by the MOD’s Situation Center, over the past day, Russian forces shelled 10 regions of Ukraine. 35 towns and villages and 83 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. Two people are reported injured, two killed in Donetsk Oblast, 1 person is reported killed, and 5 wounded in Kherson Oblast. Eight communities were shelled in Sumy Oblast: six people were wounded, and one was killed. 
  • On the night of September 3, Russian forces carried out several waves of attacks by Shahed-136/131 attack UAVs from the south and southeast (Cape Chauda, Crimea and Primorsko-Akhtarsk, RF). The launches of 25 Shahed-136/131 attack UAVs that attacked the southern regions of Odesa were recorded. 22 of them were destroyed by the Air Defense. The drones hit port infrastructure in the south of Odesa Oblast; two people were injured.
  • For the fourth consecutive day, armed Russian soldiers are conducting door-to-door visits in Polohy, Tokmak, and Molochansk in the temporarily occupied territory of Zaporizhzhia Oblast. They are coercing residents to participate in pseudo-elections organized by the occupying authorities, as reported by Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov.
  • Currently, almost 13,000 schools are operating in Ukraine, more than 80% of them are equipped with bomb shelters, the Education Ministry said.

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