Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 17.09.2023

Operational situation

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Bakhmut direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces successfully repelled 13 enemy attacks in the Klishchiivka area. Russian forces made unsuccessful attempts to breach the defense of the Ukrainian forces in the areas of Kurdyumivka and Andriivka in Donetsk Oblast. The Ukrainian Defense Forces are achieving success in the Klishchiivka area, pushing the enemy out of their positions.

In the operational zone of the “Tavriya” OSG on the Maryinka direction, Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the Maryinka area, where they made 11 unsuccessful attempts to dislodge Ukrainian units from their positions. All Russian attacks in the areas of Severne, Rivnopil and Novodarivka ended with significant losses for the occupiers in both manpower and equipment. In the Avdiivka, Maryinka and Shakhtarsk areas, the Ukrainian Defense Forces maintain the initiative, 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. 

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: 

  • Russian forces lack the manpower to fully man the extensive defensive fortification system in the south of Ukraine.
  • In the areas of Petropavlivka and Stelmakhivka, the enemy has significantly intensified the use of FPV drones; Russian specialized units actively operate in both directions.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • 30 combat engagements took place in different directions.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian troops made little progress and advanced south of Kreminna in the area of Bilohorivka and Berestove, repulsed 2 Ukrainian attacks in the direction of Synkivka and Vilshany, and 5 Ukrainian attacks near Torske.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, the Russian command has concentrated 21 motorized rifle and tank brigades/regiments, 4 territorial troops regiments, 6 separate battalions, 4 combined irregular formations of the battalion level. Additionally, 4 regiments and 1 separate battalion are held in reserve.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, troops of the “Khortytsia” OSG advanced to the southeast of Rozdolivka, and conducted successful assaults in northern Klishchiivka. Combat engagements continue near Klishchiivka and Kurdyumivka.
  • Russian forces counterattacked in northeastern Klishchiivka and near Andriivka. They are controlling the railroad directly east of Andriivka and unsuccessfully attacked near Yahidne and Bohdanivka.
  • The remnants of the Russian 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade are surrendering in the Andriivka area.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, the “Khortytsia” OSG troops hold positions in the Avdiivka and Maryinka directions on the Avdiivka-Donetsk line.
  • Russian troops conducted unsuccessful offensives near Severne, Maryinka, attacked from the direction of Opytne and on the southern outskirts of Avdiivka.
  • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): the “Tavria” OSG troops conduct assault operations in the Shakhtarsk direction.
  • Units of the 37th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 36th Russian Army repelled the Ukrainian attack near Urozhaine. Units of the 5th Army dislodged Ukrainian forces from their positions north of Pryiutne and captured a stronghold.
  • Tokmak direction (Robotyne): the “Tavria” OSG troops advanced along Russian defensive positions west of Robotyne, directly west of Verbove, achieved partial success near Verbove and Novoprokopivka and attack the latter from the northwest.
  • Russian forces counterattacked from Kopani but failed.
  • Kherson direction: the “Odesa” OSG forces are active in the Dnipro delta.
  • Russian forces in the Kherson direction focused on preventing the landing of Ukrainian troops on the east bank and the Dnipro islands.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, there were 2 Russian ships on combat duty; 4 in the Sea of Azov; there was 1 Russian ship on combat duty in the Mediterranean; 
  • The damage to the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Admiral Makarov missile frigate, has been confirmed.

Change in the enemy’s disposition:  

  • Part of the units of the Russian 83rd Separate Air Assault Brigade arrived in Nesteryanka from the vicinity of Klishchiivka;
  • On the Kupyansk direction, the Russian command formed two strike groups:
  • The first (a group in an alternative direction) consists of forces from the 6th Army, 138th and 25th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigades. It is deployed in the north of Kharkiv Oblast along the Oskil River, from the border to the Dvorichna area and in the direction of Synkivka – Petropavlivka.
  • The second (main) group is composed of forces from the 1st Tank Army, 2nd Motorized Rifle Division, 47th and 4th Tank Divisions, 27th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, 18th Motorized Rifle Division of the 11th Army Corps of the Baltic Fleet. It is deployed in the operational zone from Pershotravneve to Kolomyichikha. The main directions of action are towards Petropavlivka, Berestove, and Stelmakhivka.
  • In the areas along the Oskil River and between Volodymyrivka and Kuzemivka, the enemy detachments from the 2nd and 16th Separate SOF Brigades and units from the “Senezh” Special Forces Center are actively operating.

Escalation indicators:

  • In the defense sector of the 27th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Tank Army, two days ago, concealed work of enemy engineering-sapper groups was detected in arranging passages through their own mine-explosive barriers.
  • The reserve of the enemy’s “Zapad” Operational Grouping, the 18th Motorized Rifle Division (79th and 275th Motorized Rifle Regiments), has started advancing towards the operational zone of the 1st Tank Army at the Ivanivka – Novooleksandrivka line. The 280th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 18th Motorized Rifle Division is preparing to deploy in the area south of Troitske.

Possible operation situation developments: 

  • The Russian command is preparing to launch a large-scale offensive on the Kupyansk direction.
  • Units of the 164th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 25th Army will be deployed in the direction of Dibrova – Serebryansk Forest, and units of the 36th Motorized Rifle Regiment will be positioned west of the Chervonopopivka – Zhytlivka line in the general direction of 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 4th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigades of the 2nd Army Corps in the Andriivka area.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 17.09.23 

Personnel – almost 272,320 people (+530);

Tanks – 4,620 (+4);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,828 (+4);

Artillery systems – 6,003 (+15);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 776 (+2);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 523 (+2);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –8,537 (+12);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 316 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 4,742 (+4);

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 10 regions of Ukraine. 130 towns and villages and 51 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. 1 person is reported wounded in Donetsk Oblast and one in Kherson Oblast.
  • On the night of September 17, Russian forces launched an attack on Ukraine using 6 Shahed-136/131 UAVs from the southeast and southern directions (Primorsko-Akhtarsk, Chauda), as well as 10 Kh-101/Kh-555/Kh-55 air-launched missiles deployed by 9 Tu-95ms strategic aviation aircraft from the Engels district. The primary target of the attack was located south of Odesa Oblast. Ukrainian air defense successfully intercepted and destroyed 6 “Shahed-136/131” strike UAVs and 6 Kh-101/Kh-555/Kh-55 cruise missiles. Russian missiles struck a civilian agricultural enterprise in Odesa Oblast.
  • On the night of September 17, at approximately 00:30, Russian forces conducted a missile strike on the city of Kharkiv. Four S-300 air defense missiles struck a civilian enterprise building, resulting in a fire.
  • Since the beginning of 2023, 484 children have been adopted in Ukraine. However, there are still over 15,000 children in need of foster families. Currently, more than 1600 individuals are registered and willing to adopt a child, according to Deputy Minister of Social Policy Nazar Tanasyshyn.
  • On September 13, the International Committee of the Red Cross officially confirmed the status of the captured mayor of Kherson, Ihor Kolykhayev, according to his son. Russian occupiers had abducted Kolykhayev in June 2022 after searching his workplace.

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