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Russia’s war on Ukraine. 16.09.2023

Operational situation

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces “Khortytsia” on the Bakhmut direction, the adversary made unsuccessful attempts to breach the defense of the Ukrainian forces in the areas of Yahidne and Bohdanivka. The Ukrainian Defense Forces achieved success in the Klishchiivka area as a result of their offensive (assault) actions.

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces “Tavriya” on the Maryinka direction, the adversary conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the Maryinka area. They made 13 unsuccessful attempts to displace Ukrainian units from their positions. Furthermore, all Russian troops’ attacks in the Urozhaine area resulted in significant losses for them, both in personnel and equipment. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces maintain the initiative on the Avdiivka, Maryinka, and Shakhtarsk directions, exert pressure on the enemy, and conduct assault operations.

On the Melitopol direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continued the offensive operation, inflicting significant losses on the Russian forces in both manpower and equipment, forcing them to retreat from their positions. As a result of the assault actions, the Defense Forces have partial success in the areas of Verbove and Novoprokopivka, displacing the enemy from their positions and consolidating on the achieved lines.

In the operational zone of the “Odesa” OSG, the Ukrainian Defense Forces are conducting counter-battery warfare, 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. 

General conclusion: 

  • The adversary seeks a radical change in the nature of employing its forces during the defensive operation in the southern operational zone and attempts to transition from a tactic of “patching up” to deliberate tactical actions.
  • The deployment of the adversary’s 7th and 76th Air Assault Divisions near Robotyne significantly slowed down the advance of the “Tavriya” OSG forces.
  • The liberation of Andriivka opens up possibilities for a breakthrough on the southern flank of Bakhmut.
  • The tactical situation of Russian forces south of Bakhmut is deteriorating.
  • The Russian 8th Army in the Bakhmut direction has depleted its available reserves and has been unable to counterattack in the Klishchiivka – Kurdyumivka sector for over two days.
  • The “Tavriya” OSG forces have reduced the intensity of attacks near Novomayorske.
  • Russian forces do not have sufficient manpower and resources to defend the territory on the eastern bank of the Kherson Oblast, considering the redeployment of some of their troops from the Kherson Oblast to the Zaporizhzhia Oblast. There is also a shortage of artillery shells.
  • On the Tokmak direction, the adversary pays primary attention to holding two key defense nodes in the first position of their main defensive line – Novoprokopivka village and Verbove village.
  • The 42nd Motorized Rifle Division, which the “Tavriya” OSG delivered the main strike against, has been reinforced by the 210th and 201st Motorized Rifle Regiments. They are attempting to completely halt the advance of the “Tavriya” advanced units between Novoprokopivka and Verbove, and to hold the Kopani – Novoprokopivka line with their left flank. This is aimed at creating conditions for active operations from this line towards Robotyne and Novodanylivka.
  • A paradoxical military situation has emerged on the front: the defending Russian forces are incurring losses comparable to the attacking side. This is due to the supply of modern ammunition to the Defense Forces, including cluster munitions.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 24 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces advanced west of Raigorodka and Novoyehorivka. They launched attacks near Masyutivka, Synkivka, Petropavlivka, Berestove, and Bilohorivka. Units of the 138th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 6th Army crossed the Oskil River near Novomlynsk on a front of nearly 4 km wide and entered the rear of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the area near Dvorichna (information is being verified).
  • The forces of the “Khortytsia” OSG launched an attack near Torske.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the “Khortytsia” OSG forces achieved partial success near Klishchiivka; combat engagements continued near Andriivka. 
  • Russian forces control the heights east of Andriivka. They repelled an assault near Mayorske, continued unsuccessful attempts to breach the Ukrainian defense near Bohdanivka, and tried to regain lost positions near Yahidne.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, the advance of the “Khortytsia” OSG forces halted in Opytne. Enemy counterattacks have been repelled; battles continue north of the village, near Nevelske and Krasnohorivka.
  • Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations near Lastochkine, Avdiivka, and Maryinka.
  • On the Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka), the enemy dismissed the “Tavriya” OSG from Pryiutne. The Ukrainian Defense forces retreated northward. 
  • The “Tavriya” OSG forces pushed the enemy’s 131st Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade and the 1466th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Troops to the southern outskirts of Novomayorske.
  • The “Tavriya” OSG forces continued the attack on the Shakhtarsk direction. They launched attacks near Staromayorske, Novomayorske, Urozhaine, and Novodonetske.
  • On the Tokmak direction (Robotyne), the enemy is constantly launching counterattacks near Novoprokopivka. They attacked in the area of Luhivske, attempting to outflank the Ukrainian forces. Russian forces have laid mines so densely that it may take up to a day to clear an area of 50 square meters of land in this direction.
  • The “Tavriya” OSG forces continued their offensive on the Melitopol direction, inflicting significant losses on Russian personnel and equipment near Verbove. They also launched an attack near Novoprokopivka.
  • On the Kherson direction, the “Odesa” OSG forces have intensified their activity on the islands of the Dnipro River delta near Antonivskyi Bridge in order to consolidate positions for a future advance to the eastern bank of Kherson Oblast.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Sea operational area, there were 7 enemy ships on combat duty; in the Azov Sea – 4 enemy ships; in the Mediterranean Sea – 1 enemy ship.
  • The Defense Forces attacked two patrol ships of project 22160 of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet with five unmanned boats, causing damage to one of them. The small missile ship “Samum” was also attacked, sustaining a breach and losing propulsion. It listed to the right and was towed for repairs. The patrol ship “Askold” was also attacked.

Change in the enemy’s disposition:  

  • The 1430th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Troops suffered significant losses during its 1.5-month participation in intense close combat in the area of Robotyne. It was partially withdrawn and replaced by the 1152nd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Troops. The 291st Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division was withdrawn, replenished, and reintroduced into battle on the defense sector of the 70th Motorized Rifle Regiment.

Possible operation situation developments: 

  • Units of the 164th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade will be deployed into battle in the Dibrova direction (through the Serebryansk Forest), while units of the 36th Motorized Rifle Regiment will be deployed west of the Chervonopopivka-Zhytlivka line in the general direction toward Novosadove or Terny.
  • The enemy will attempt to regain positions in the Klishchiivka and Andriivka areas, deploying the 102nd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 150th Motorized Rifle Division in the Klishchiivka area and the 57th and 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigades 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 16.09.23 

Personnel – almost 271,790 people (+350);

Tanks – 4,616 (+4);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,824 (+10);

Artillery systems – 5,988 (+16);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 774 (0);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 521 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –8,525 (+32);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 316 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 4,738 (+24);

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. 96 towns and villages and 29 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. Two civilians are reported injured in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and one person in Donetsk Oblast.
  • On August 16, Russian forces fired 5 S-300 missiles at Kholodnohirsky district of Kharkiv city. According to the preliminary information from the medics, 5 civilians were injured, the condition of the victims is light to medium.
  • From September 11 to 16, units of the State Special Transport Service of the Ministry of Defense discovered, removed and neutralized 1,718 explosive items. In total, since the beginning of the large-scale aggression of the Russian Federation, 56,375 explosive objects have been neutralized.
  • In August, the number and reach of articles about Ukraine in the international media declined compared to July, while the world’s most influential media quoted Russian speakers more often. The BRAND UKRAINE team arrived at this conclusion based on the analysis of 65 international online media. German-language sources accounted for nearly half of all articles about Ukraine. Compared to July, the number of articles about the Ukrainian counteroffensive in a positive tone has increased. Ukrainian officials were cited in 44% of the quotes, while Russian officials accounted for 56%.
  • After the temporary corridor facilitated the passage of ships previously stranded in the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdenny due to Russian aggression, the bulk carriers Resilient Africa and Aroyat have confirmed their intent to utilize the route for entering the port of Chornomorsk. They intend to load nearly 20,000 tons of wheat destined for countries in Africa and Asia, announced Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov. Since August 15, 5 vessels have successfully navigated the temporary corridor: container ship Joseph Schulte, along with bulk carriers Primus, Anna-Theresa, Ocean Courtesy, and Puma.
  • In temporarily occupied Crimea, eight auctions have been conducted to sell objects that were previously “nationalized” from Ukrainian citizens, as stated by the de facto “head of the Crimean parliament,” Volodymyr Konstantinov. Approximately 100 properties legally owned by Ukrainians are scheduled for illegal sale soon. This includes residential properties, including the apartment owned by the family of the Ukrainian President Zelensky, as well as resort facilities and commercial real estate.

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