Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 15.09.2023

Operational situation

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Bakhmut direction, the enemy continues its efforts to breach the defense of the Ukrainian forces in the vicinity of Bohdanivka. The Ukrainian Defense Forces have achieved partial success in the Klishchiivka area during their offensive operations.

In the operational zone of the “Tavriya” OSG on the Avdiivka and Maryinka directions, the enemy launched unsuccessful offensive actions near Lastochkyne and Avdiivka. They made around 10 unsuccessful attempts to displace Ukrainian units from their positions. All enemy assaults in the Maryinka area resulted in substantial losses for them, both in personnel and equipment. On the Shakhtarsk direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces maintain the initiative, exert pressure on the enemy, and conduct assault operations. On the Melitopol direction, the Defense Forces continued the offensive operation, inflicting significant losses on the Russian forces in both manpower and equipment in the Verbove area.

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: 

  • The Ukrainian Defense Forces targeted the position of the anti-aircraft missile battery of the 12th Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment of the 31st Air Defense Division near Yevpatoria, indicating systemic shortcomings in the organization of the enemy’s air defense system. The S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems of the Russian Armed Forces deployed in Crimea proved incapable of countering missile attacks by the Defense Forces.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, the enemy command is preparing to resume active offensive operations.
  • The enemy’s “Center” Operational Command is deliberating on the allocation of forces and assets, specifically, the 90th Tank Division and the 41st Army, to be retained in their previously designated directions along with units and formations of the 25th Army.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the enemy is concentrating its main efforts on preventing the forces of the “Khortytsia” OSG from reaching favorable positions both to the south and north of Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces have significantly increased the number of shelling incidents around Avdiivka and Maryinka. Attempts to capture Lastochkyne indicate that the enemy command has not abandoned its intention to encircle Avdiivka.
  • Units of the “Tavriya” OSG suffered losses during the breakthrough of the enemy’s first line of defense northeast of Novoprokopivka and in the direction of Verbove, which has somewhat diminished their combat capability.
  • To the southwest of Verbove, the forces of the “Tavriya” OSG are compelled to engage in combat on the first line of the enemy’s main defensive line. They managed to breach it in a limited sector but have not yet succeeded in breaking through to a significant depth, thus increasing the likelihood of further advancement in the southern direction.
  • The enemy’s 71st and 210th Motorized Rifle Regiments, reinforced by a number of “volunteer battalions,” were able to prevent the expansion of the front line in the sector of the “Tavriya” OSG and halt their further advance between Novoprokopivka and Verbove. The forward units of the “Tavriya” OSG in this direction require reorganization and replenishment.
  • On the Tokmak direction, the enemy has begun an active deployment of an automated fire control network to enhance its capabilities for counter-battery warfare. The network is based on the portable satellite communication station СНАРК-100Р of the ManPack class and automation tools (the Russian equivalent of the STARLINK system).

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 25 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces progressed west of Lyman Pershyi, advanced between Petropavlivka and Synkivka, near Novoyehorivka, Serebryansk Forest, northeast of Berestove, and near Bilohorivka.
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG forces attacked near Synkivka, Torske, and Dibrova and improved their tactical positions on several directions.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the “Khortytsia” OSG forces have achieved partial success near Bakhmut, Andriivka, and Kurdyumivka. They are advancing near Klishchiivka and getting hold of areas on the southwestern outskirts of the village, squeezing Russian forces out of positions near Minkivka and Dubovo-Vasylivka. The 3rd Separate Assault Brigade liberated Andriivka, defeating enemy units of the 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 3rd Army Corps.
  • The enemy is actively trying to contain the units of the “Khortytsia” OSG south of Bakhmut in order to hold them along the Bakhmut-Horlivka railway line. They are also attempting to fortify the main defensive line along the railway line, although Ukrainian forces have crossed it at least in two sections.
  • South of Bakhmut, in the area of Klishchiivka and Andriivka, the enemy has retreated in the defensive sectors of the 1307th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Troops and the 57th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade over the past few days.
  • The Russian forces defending south of Bakhmut do not have a sufficient number of personnel for rotations.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, the “Khortytsia” OSG forces have advanced east of the railway line north of Krasnohorivka.
  • Russian forces have carried out unsuccessful attacks near Avdiivka, Lastochkyne, and Maryinka.
  • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): The forces of the “Tavriya” OSG continued the assault on the Shakhtarsk direction.
  • The 40th Separate Marine Brigade of the Russian Pacific Fleet repelled the assault near Novomayorske, Novodonetske, Urozhaine. The forces of the Eastern Military District repelled Ukrainian forces’ attack near Pryiutne.
  • Tokmak direction (Robotyne): The forces of the “Tavriya” OSG continued the assault near Robotyne, Novoprokopivka, and Verbove.
  • Units of the enemy’s 7th Air Assault Division repelled an attack on Novoprokopivka. Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive actions near Mala Tokmachka and Verbove.
  • After all of the enemy’s attempts to counterattack along the T0408 road Tokmak-Orikhiv in the direction of Novoprokopivka – Robotyne, carried out by the forces of the 104th Air Assault Regiment of the 76th Air Assault Division, the enemy was forced to withdraw from the Kopani – Novoprokopivka line towards the latter.
  • In the area of Verbove, south of the N08 road, the enemy counterattacked with the forces of the 108th Air Assault Regiment of the 7th Air Assault Division. As a result, they were compelled to retreat within a section of their defense.
  • Kherson Direction: The “Odesa” OSG forces continued limited activity on the left bank of Kherson Oblast. Reconnaissance groups attempted landings north of Oleshky, near Kozachi Laheri, and on Kozatsky Island. Ukrainian forces in the latter area do not attempt to advance further due to heavy artillery fire by the Russian Armed Forces.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Sea operational area, there were 8 enemy ships on combat duty; 1 enemy ship in the Azov Sea; and 1 enemy ship in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • The Ukrainian Defense Forces targeted the location of the Russian anti-aircraft missile complex near Yevpatoria, resulting in the destruction of the S-400 “Triumph” SAM system. For the attack, strike drones were employed to target the radar systems, and the “Neptune” anti-ship missile system was used to strike the launchers.

Change in the enemy’s disposition:  

  • In the vicinity of Kreminna, units of the 164th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 25th Army are being deployed, and the brigade’s command post has already been established.
  • Enemy units from the 36th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 67th Motorized Rifle Division of the 25th Army are being deployed in the area of Zhytlivka village.
  • North of Bakhmut, within the defense zone of the 200th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 14th Army Corps of the Russian Northern Fleet, the Russian command has formed a combined tactical detachment, “Storm-Z”, comprising individuals convicted in the Russian Federation.

Escalation indicators:

  • The deployment of the 25th Army on the Kupyansk direction is ongoing. 

Possible operation situation developments: 

  • 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).
  • Units of the 164th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade will engage in combat in the Dibrova direction (through the Serebryansk Forest), while units of the 36th Motorized Rifle Regiment will be deployed further west of the Chervonopopivka-Zhytlivka line in the general direction of Novosadove or Terny.
  • In the near future, the enemy command plans to deploy the “Storm-Z” detachment for assault operations in the direction of Dubovo-Vasylivka – Orikhovo-Vasylivka or Yahidne – Bohdanivka.
  • In the vicinity of Klishchiivka and Andriivka, the enemy will attempt to regain control of these areas, deploying the 102nd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 150th Motorized Rifle Division in the Klishchiivka area and the 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 3rd Army Corps in the Andriivka area.
  • The enemy command will continue preparations for a counterattack in the Robotyne area, completing the concentration of two tactical groups in the Kopani and Verbove areas.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 15.09.23 

Personnel – almost 271,440 people (+470);

Tanks – 4,612 (+13);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,814 (+4);

Artillery systems – 5,972 (+28);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 774 (+5);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 521 (+4);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –8,492 (+34);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 316 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 4,714 (+17);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,455 (0);

Boats/ships – 21 (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 56 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. 1 person is reported dead, and 10 are reported injured;
  • “We are indeed seeing an increase in the number of Russian strikes affecting the civilian population, again destroying vital infrastructure,” said Saviano Abreu, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Ukraine. He stressed that a worsening of the humanitarian situation in Ukraine should be expected. 
  • During the night, the Air Force destroyed all 17 enemy Shahed drones that attacked Khmelnytskyi Oblast;
  • On September 15, 2023, around 09:20, the Russian military struck the temporarily occupied city of Nova Kakhovka, Kherson Oblast, probably with guided aerial bombs. According to preliminary information, one civilian was killed, at least 12 people were injured, the press service of the Kherson Oblast Prosecutor’s office reported;
  • 80 Ukrainian rescuers were killed, and another 287 were injured by the Russian Federation while performing their duties, President Zelensky said;
  • The Ukrainian authorities have repatriated the bodies of 51 defenders to the territory under Ukrainian government control. In total, over the course of two years, the remains of 1,832 Ukrainian defenders have been repatriated.

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