Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 19.09.2023

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 enemy attacks in the area of Klishchiivka. The enemy attempted to regain lost ground in the Andriivka area but was unsuccessful. The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue their assault operations south of Bakhmut, inflicting significant losses on the enemy in personnel and equipment, and consolidating their achieved positions.

In the Tavriya” OSG operational zone on the Maryinka direction, the enemy conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the Maryinka area, where they made over 10 failed attempts to displace Ukrainian units from their positions. On the Avdiyivka and Shakhtarsk directions, the Ukrainian Defense Forces maintain the initiative and exert pressure on the enemy. On the Melitopol direction, the enemy conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the Robotyne area, trying to regain lost positions. The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to hold the defense on the occupied lines, inflicting losses on the Russian forces in personnel and equipment, and wearing them down.

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.

General conclusion: 

  • The liberation of Klishchiivka and Andriivka weakened the Russian defense south of Bakhmut and complicated further combat operations for three Russian brigades, significantly reducing their combat effectiveness.
  • The liberation of Klishchiivka allows the Tavriya OSG to control the T0513 highway Bakhmut-Horlivka, which is a supply route for Russian forces in Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces fortified their defense lines near Bakhmut with less intensity than in southern Ukraine.
  • Russian forces south of Bakhmut are exhausted from their failed attempts to hold Klishchiivka and Andriivka. The loss of control over the logistical route from Horlivka to Bakhmut will prevent them from receiving reinforcements.
  • The Russian defense west of the T0513 highway will continue to pose challenges for the Khortytsia OSG south of Bakhmut.
  • During the liberation of Andriivka and Klishchiivka, the Tavriya OSG effectively incapacitated the units of the 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 3rd Army Corps, along with the 31st and 83rd Separate Air Assault Brigades. The commander of the 31st brigade lost his life. The subsequent repositioning of Russian Airborne Forces units on the Bakhmut direction would indicate that recent Ukrainian advances inflicted substantial losses on them.
  • The offensive actions of the Khortytsia OSG forces in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast significantly reduced the combat effectiveness of the defending enemy forces in this area.
  • The Russian command of the 58th Army made a critical mistake in the assessment and conclusions regarding the actual state of the Khortytsia OSG forces. They falsely assumed that the decrease in the pace of the Defense Forces’ advance indicated their inability to repel attacks. This misconception resulted in failures for the enemy on both flanks.
  • The level of coordination between the flanking strike tactical groups of the enemy on the Tokmak direction did not allow for simultaneous strikes, which negatively characterizes the state of command and control within the enemy grouping.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 35 combat engagements in various directions. 
  • On the Kupyansk direction, the Defense Forces of the Khortytsia OSG repelled Russian attacks near Novoselivske. 
  • The enemy achieved success towards the Oskil River, and engaged in prolonged combat near Synkivka and in the direction of Petropavlivka. They repelled two Ukrainian assaults near Dibrova, in the area of Serebryansk Forest, and near Torske. 
  • Russian forces have reduced their offensive activity on the Kupyansk direction and continue regrouping near Kreminna.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the forces of the Khortytsia OSG achieved success in the areas of Klishchiivka, Bakhmut, Predtechyne, Andriivka, Kurdyumivka, Bila Hora, and Opytne. They launched an attack near Dubovo-Vasylivka, and repelled Russian attacks near Bila Hora, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka. Combat engagements continue near the railway east of Klishchiivka. Grave combat persists along the Kurdyumivka – Andriivka – Klishchiivka line and adjacent forested areas.
  • Russian forces repelled Ukrainian attacks near Vesele and unsuccessfully attempted to breach Ukrainian positions near Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Bohdanivka, Klishchiivka, and Kurdyumivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces made slight progress north of Avdiivka and conducted unsuccessful attacks near Keramik, Severne, Maryinka, and Novomykhailivka. Battles continue near Opytne. The Russian troops repelled Ukrainian attacks near Maryinka and Vodyane.
  • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): The forces of the Tavriya OSG launched an offensive on the Shakhtarsk direction and attacked near Urozhaine, Staromayorske, and Novodonetske.
  • Tokmak direction (Robotyne): Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked near Novodarivka, Urozhaine, Novodanylivka, and Pryiutne.
  • Forces of the Tavriya OSG advanced west of Verbove, pushing back Russian troops on the Melitopol direction. They achieved success east and south of Robotyne and attacked near Novoprokopivka and Verbove. 
  • Russian 291st Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division and the 104th Air Assault Regiment of the 76th Air Assault Division attacked on the Kopani – Robotyne direction, attempting to break through to the western outskirts of Robotyne, but were unsuccessful.
  • Kherson direction: On September 15, about 100 conscripts from Kabardino-Balkaria (RF) arrived at the military airfield in the city of Dzhankoy, [occupied] Crimea, to reinforce the security and defense of the mentioned facility. 
  • In the Black Sea-Azov maritime operational zone, 4 enemy ships were on combat duty; in the Sea of Azov – 4 enemy ships; in the Mediterranean Sea – 1 enemy ship. 
  • The Russian missile submarine “Rostov-on-Don” is out of order and will not be reinstated to carry out combat tasks until the end of the war.

Change in the enemy’s disposition:

  • At least five regiments from the 7th and 76th Air Assault Divisions of the Russian Airborne Troops were recently redeployed to reinforce the 58th Army in the Robotyne area. 
  • Near Robotyne, units of the 1429th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Russian Territorial Troops are deployed. 
  • On the left flank of the [enemy’s] Tokmak group of forces, the enemy’s command withdrew units of the 810th Separate Marine Brigade to the area north of Tokmak, replacing them with the 234th and 237th Air Assault Regiments of the 76th Air Assault Division.
  • The units of the 70th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division temporarily withdrew to the rear during the Ukrainian breakthrough and returned to the front lines in early September. This indicates that the Ukrainian advance significantly degraded this unit, prompting the Russian command to allow it time to restore combat readiness in the rear.
  • Since the onset of the offensive by the Tavriya OSG in June, enemy units of the 70th, 71st, and 291st Motorized Rifle Regiments of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division of the 58th Army regularly repelled Ukrainian attacks and participated in various combat engagements, resulting in significant personnel losses in their units.
  • Numerous units of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division have withdrawn to positions behind the subsequent Russian defensive line between Verbove and Solodka Balka. They are now primarily engaging the advancing units of the Tavriya OSG. This shift indicates a significant decrease in the combat effectiveness of these units.
  • The units of the 22nd and 45th Separate SOF Brigades, engaged in counterattacks in the Robotyne area, suffered heavy losses in these battles.

Possible operation situation developments: 

  • The enemy command is preparing to launch a large-scale offensive in the Kupyansk direction, with an estimated start date of September 26-27.
  • 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.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 19.09.23 

Personnel – almost 273,460 people (+520);

Tanks – 4,628 (+5);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,851 (+17);

Artillery systems – 6,062 (+35);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 778 (+2);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 526 (+1);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –8,601 (+30);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 316 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 4,784 (+15);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,479 (+17);

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. 142 towns and villages and 64 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons;
  • On the night of September 19, the air defense forces shot down 27 of the 30 enemy attack UAVs of the Shahed-136/131 type. Iskander-M ballistic missile hit a multistory building. The enemy launched strike UAVs from Primorsko-Akhtarsk, and “Iskander-M” missiles were launched from the temporarily occupied Crimea.
  • The Russian attack on Lviv destroyed the warehouse belonging to the non-governmental organization “Caritas-Spes”. This facility played a crucial role in humanitarian efforts, storing approximately 300 tons of aid. Tragically, it has now been burned to the ground.
  • US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said that Russia has already destroyed enough Ukrainian grain to feed more than 10 million people for a year.
  • According to the optimistic projection of the Institute of Demography and Social Research, Ukraine’s population within the 1991 borders is expected to be at most 35 million people in the next 10 years.
  • Russian propaganda has altered its information warfare tactics, shifting from disseminating blatantly absurd fakes to exploiting sensitive subjects, stated Alina Bondarchuk, the head of the Information Collection and Monitoring Department at the Center for Countering Disinformation of the NSDC. Outlandish fabrications regarding “black transplantology” and “biolaboratories” are no longer prevalent in the information sphere. Instead, there is a surge in messages concerning topics such as mobilization, the upcoming heating season, the economic state, and corruption issues.
  • Russian occupation authorities persist in the destruction of the world’s sole exemplar of Crimean Tatar palace architecture – the Khan’s Palace in the temporarily occupied Bakhchysarai. Masked under the guise of “restoration,” they are constructing an amphitheater within the precincts of the Palace’s Embassy Courtyard.
  • During the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, over 220 Ukrainian libraries were obliterated, and 187 million books were destroyed.

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