Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 14.09.2023

Operational situation

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Kupyansk and Bakhmut directions, the enemy persists in attempting to break through the defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the areas north-east of Berestove (Kharkiv Oblast), Bilohorivka (Luhansk Oblast), and Bohdanivka (Donetsk Oblast). In turn, Ukrainian Defense Forces had partial success in the course of offensive operations in the areas of Bakhmut, Klishchiivka, Andriivka and Kurdyumivka of Donetsk Oblast, inflicting significant losses on the Russian forces in terms of manpower and equipment. 

In the operational zone of the “Tavriya” OSG, Ukrainian Defense Forces are holding a resilient defense in Maryinka, where the enemy made 14 unsuccessful attempts in the past day to dislodge Ukrainian units from their positions. All enemy attacks in Mala Tokmachka and Verbove areas in Zaporizhzhia Oblast resulted in significant losses for them, both in manpower and equipment. On the Avdiivka, Maryinka, and Shakhtarsk directions, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to maintain the initiative, exert pressure on the enemy, and conduct assault operations. On the Melitopol direction, the Defense Forces are pressing forward, inflicting significant losses on the Russian forces in both manpower and equipment.

In the operational zone of the “Odesa” OSG, the Ukrainian Defense Forces are conducting counter-battery operations, destroying the enemy’s logistics, deployment sites, and firing positions.

The enemy continues to maintain a troop presence covering the state border, actively engaging in sabotage activities in border areas to prevent Ukrainian Defense Forces from being redeployed to critical directions. They are also increasing the density of mine and explosive obstacles along the state border in the Belgorod region.

General conclusion: 

  • Russian forces deployed a contingent of 50,000 troops in an attempt to capture Kupyansk, but were unsuccessful.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, the “Khortytsia” OSG lacks armored vehicles for the offensive development, particularly in the attacks on the positions of the enemy’s 111th Motorized Rifle Regiment in Pisky. This enables the enemy to respond promptly to changing situations and maneuver reserves in a timely manner.
  • After the breach [by the Ukrainian Defense Forces] of the first position of the enemy’s main defensive line between Novoprokopivka and Verbove, the enemy command seeks to regain the lost ground.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • 29 combat engagements took place in different directions.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces attempted an unsuccessful attack northwest of Berestove, near Synkivka, Petropavlivka, and west of Novoselivske. Between Serhiyivka and Novoprokopivka, two Russian brigades and two tank regiments are trying to break through the defenses of Ukraine’s 43rd Separate Mechanized Brigade and 68th Separate Jaeger Brigade. They advanced 100 to 500 meters but suffered critical losses in armored vehicles. Due to this, [the enemy command]  made a decision to withdraw the 41st Army from the operational zone and replace it with units from the 25th Army (formed in the Eastern Military District).
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG forces have launched attacks near Yampolivka, Torske, Dibrova, and Serebryansk Forest. The enemy is using incendiary ammunition with the aim of destroying the forest and obstructing the advancement of “Khortytsia” OSG units.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the “Khortytsia” OSG forces achieved partial success near Klishchiivka, Andriivka, and Kurdyumivka. Russian troops withdrew from several undefined positions near Klishchiivka and entrenched themselves in defensive positions east of Klishchiivka along the railway line. The 3rd and 5th Separate Assault Brigades of the “Khortytsia” OSG have completed the clearance of the liberated territories and consolidated on the achieved positions.
  • The enemy conducted unsuccessful offensive actions near Orikhovo-Vasylivka and Bohdanivka. The enemy units of the 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade and the 11th Separate Air Assault Brigade suffered significant losses in the battles for Kurdyumivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces repelled the attacks of the “Khortytsia” OSG units near Pervomaiske and Krasnohorivka, and conducted unsuccessful offensives near Avdiivka, Maryinka, and Novomykhailivka. In Opytne, battles are ongoing between the 53rd Separate Mechanized Brigade of the OSG “Khortytsia” and the remnants of the 1439th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Russian Territorial Troops.
  • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): Russian forces repelled attacks by the “Tavriya” OSG troops along the Novodonetske-Novomayorske line and near Pryiutne. The enemy’s 60th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade and the 349th Motorized Rifle Regiment hold recently occupied positions near Pryiutne, displacing the units of the 23rd Separate Mechanized Brigade of the “Tavriya” OSG from the village to the field. The enemy unsuccessfully attacked south of Novodarivka. Snipers of the 5th Separate Tank Brigade of the 36th Army of the Russian Eastern Military District operate in the Velyka Novosilka area. The enemy garrison in Novodonetske was forced to retreat to the southern outskirts of the village.
  • The 35th Separate Marine Brigade of the “Tavriya” OSG is expanding its foothold on the Shaitanka River near Novomayorske, where the enemy command hastily deployed the 131st Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade and the 1466th Motorized Rifle Regiment.
  • Tokmak direction (Robotyne): the troops of the “Tavriya” OSG achieved success south of Robotyne. The Ukrainian 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade attacked in the direction of Kopani; the 46th Separate Air Assault Brigade is fighting on the northern outskirts of Novoprokopivka; the 82nd Separate Air Assault Brigade is advancing toward Verbove, where the enemy’s 247th Air Assault Regiment of the 7th Air Assault Division and the 417th Separate Reconnaissance Battalion are defending.
  • Russian troops repulsed Ukrainian attacks near Verbove and between Robotyne and Verbove. They regularly counterattack between Robotyne and Verbove to prevent the advance of the “Tavriya” OSG, install new equipment and anti-tank fortifications “Dragon’s Teeth” near Tokmak, dig new trenches and strengthen defensive fortifications near the front line in Polohy district.
  • Kherson direction: the “Odesa” OSG forces continue combat operations on the islands in the Dnipro river delta of Kherson Oblast. They have entrenched themselves on some islands and hold positions near the Antonivskyi Bridge on the eastern bank of Kherson Oblast. The artillery of the 205th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the enemy’s 49th Army launched strikes on Ukrainian forces near Kherson.
  • The enemy struck a mobile three-coordinate detection and tracking radar of low-altitude targets of the Ukrainian Air Force in the Kryvyi Rih area with a Kh-31p missile strike.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, there were 8 Russian ships on combat duty; 1 in the Sea of Azov; and 1 Russian ship on combat duty in the Mediterranean. 
  • On the night of September 14, the military counterintelligence of the SBU and the Navy conducted a unique special operation near Yevpatoria in the occupied Crimea, destroying the Russian anti-aircraft complex “Triumph” worth 1.2 billion dollars.

Change in the enemy’s disposition:  

  • The Russian command divided the “Vostok” Operational Grouping into two equal groups of troops – the “Zaporozhye (Zaporizhzhia)” Operational Grouping (58th and 35th Army) and the “Vostok” Operational Grouping (the remaining troops of the Eastern Military District).
  • The troops of the 25th Army are deployed on the Luhansk Oblast frontline. Russian troops are regrouping and forming new assault units from the personnel of the newly created 25th Army on the Kupyansk direction.
  • Additional forces have been relocated to the Tokmak direction, in particular the 7th and 76th Air Assault Divisions, up to a battalion of the 503rd Motorized Rifle Regiment, up to a battalion of the 4th Military Base, and a Motorized Rifle Regiment of the RF Territorial Troops.
  • The enemy is conducting regrouping and buildup of its forces in the area of Kopani village, deploying the 104th Air Assault Regiment of the 76th Air Assault Division.

Escalation indicators:

  • Deployment of the enemy’s 25th Army on the Kupyansk direction.
  • Deployment of the enemy’s 7th and 76th Air Assault Divisions, units of the 503rd Motorized Rifle Regiment, and 4th Military Base on the Tokmak direction.

Possible operation situation developments: 

  • The Russian command will continue preparations for a counterattack in the Robotyne area. For this purpose, it is forming two tactical groups in the Kopani and Verbove areas.
  • The enemy’s command will attempt to reinforce its grouping on the Zaporizhzhia direction by redeploying combat-ready units and formations from the Kupyansk, Lyman, and Kherson directions, where they will be replaced by forces from the 25th Army (north) and the 18th Army (south).

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 14.09.23 

Personnel – almost 270,970 people (+620);

Tanks – 4,599 (+15);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,810 (+18);

Artillery systems – 5,944 (+42);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 769 (+3);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 517 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –8,458 (+14);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 316 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 4,697 (+47);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,455 (0);

Boats/ships – 21 (+2).

Humanitarian + general:

  • According to information provided by the MOD’s Situation Center, over the past day, Russian forces shelled 9 regions of Ukraine. 138 towns and villages and 74 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. An 8-year-old boy died, and 8 people were injured in Kherson Oblast; 1 person was injured in Donetsk Oblast.
  • On the night of September 14, Russian forces attacked Ukraine with 22 kamikaze drones of the “Shahed-136/131” type; 17 of them were destroyed.
  • Since the establishment of the separate coordination headquarters in charge of the repatriation of Ukrainian children, a total of 386 children have been brought back to Ukraine. These are specifically children who were [illegally] deported to the Russian Federation, stated Dmytro Lubinets, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada.
  • In the temporarily occupied territories, Russian occupation authorities actively seek out individuals who did not participate in the “elections”. They exert pressure, resort to abductions, and transport them to torture chambers, stated Nataliya Humenyuk, Head of the Joint Coordination Press Center of the Southern Defense Forces.
  • According to the Russian newspaper Vedomosti, Russian citizens are increasingly moving to newly occupied Ukrainian regions, as the Bank of Russia noted in the “Regional Economy” report. The reason for the move is higher salaries compared to “other” Russian regions, the document says. The Central Bank records a surge in internal labor migration, primarily to sectors such as construction and agriculture, and noted employment by drivers and loaders in “new regions. 

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