Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 22.09.2023

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

In the area of responsibility of the Tavriya OSG on the Maryinka direction, the enemy conducted unsuccessful offensive actions near Maryinka and Krasnohorivka. The enemy made 12 unsuccessful attempts to displace Ukrainian units from their positions. On the Shakhtarsk directions, the Ukrainian Defense Forces effectively repelled an enemy attack in the Mykilske area. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the enemy’s attacks in the Mala Tokmachka and Robotyne areas resulted in significant losses for them, both in personnel and equipment. On the Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk directions, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to hold their positions, inflicting losses on the occupying forces in personnel and equipment. On the Melitopol direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continue their offensive operation, causing significant losses to Russian forces in personnel and equipment, wearing down the enemy and compelling them to retreat from their positions.

In the operational zone of the “Odesa” OSG, the Ukrainian Defense Forces are conducting counter-battery warfare, destroying enemy supply depots and inflicting damage on their rear areas.

General conclusion: 

  • The enemy’s use of airborne assault units and special forces for counterattacks indicates the low quality of their infantry defending on the front line in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • Separate units of the Tavriya OSG, operating on combat armored vehicles, have broken through into the interposition space of the enemy in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • The Russian forces of the 58th Army, currently defending in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, were unable to halt the Tavriya OSG from steadily advancing since mid-August.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations on the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, on the Avdiivka-Donetsk line, on the administrative border between Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts, and in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, but did not make progress.
  • On the Tokmak direction, the enemy persists in their attempts to narrow the width of the Tavriya OSG forces penetration area into the first position of the enemy’s main defense line. To achieve this, they have regrouped their forces and resources along this direction and launched a series of counterattacks west of Novoprokopivka.
  • The enemy counterattacks vigorously, often without clear objectives, tactical sense, and overall coherence. They attempt to strike on the widest possible front, committing substantial reserves. The enemy command expends significant resources on these actions. Still, their counterattacks achieve the main goal – forcing the forward units of the Tavriya OSG to halt and repel the enemy’s advances.
  • The efforts of the enemy command to limit the scope and pace of the advance of the Tavriya OSG on the Tokmak direction are yielding some results.
  • The command of the Tavriya OSG is forced to slow down its advance and focus on repelling enemy counterattacks both on its flanks near Kopani and Verbove, as well as in the center of the breakthrough sector.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):   

  • There were 26 combat engagements on various directions.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces attacked towards Petropavlivka and Synkivka and repelled three Ukrainian attacks near Dibrova and Shepylove.
  • The forces of the Khortytsia OSG regained previously lost positions in Novoselivske.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the forces of the Khortytsia OSG achieved success near Oradivka, Andriivka, and Kurdyumivka. They continued their assault actions south of Bakhmut. Combat engagements are ongoing along the Klishchiivka-Ozaryanivka line, and a counter-battle took place near Berkhivka. Ukrainian positions near Andriivka and Klishchiivka allow the Khortytsia OSG to bring artillery closer to Highway T0513 Bakhmut-Horlivka, complicating logistics for Russian forces.
  • Russian troops launched unsuccessful attacks near Zaitseve, northeast of Hryhorivka, and made unsuccessful counterattacks near Klishchiivka and Andriivka. In the Andriivka area, the enemy command deployed the 1428th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Troops. The 83rd Separate Air Assault Brigade effectively hinders the advancement of the Khortytsia OSG units along the railway line east of Klishchiivka. East of Bohdanivka, the enemy deployed units from the 217th and 331st Airborne Regiments of the 98th Airborne Division within the defense zone of the 200th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 14th Army Corps of the Russian North Fleet. The attacks of these military units did not yield any results.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations and failed assault on Maryinka. Along the Maryinka-Staromykhailivka line, the enemy, through active offensive actions by the 5th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps and the 103rd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 150th Motorized Rifle Division, managed to advance south of Krasnohorivka and occupy at least one strongpoint.
  • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked near Mykilske and launched an unsuccessful counterattack east of Zavitne Bazhannia in the area of the Mokri Yaly river and the T0518 highway. Russian 1466th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Troops and the 131st Rifle Regiment of the mobilization reserve, with the support of the 40th Separate Marine Brigade of the Russian Pacific Fleet, managed to regain positions in the area of Novomayorske. The enemy regained control of the village’s northwestern part and restored its defense line along the Shaitanka River. The 34th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade succeeded in stabilizing the situation in the area of Pryiutne, and the enemy confidently holds the Pryiutne-Zavitne Bazhannia line.
  • On the Tokmak direction (Robotyne): The forces of the Tavriya OSG advanced to the southwest and west of Verbove. They advanced 1 km between Novopokrovka and Verbove, and control the H08 highway Polohy-Voskresenka. The epicenter of the battles was in Novoprokopivka.
  • Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked near Robotyne. In the area of Kopani village, the enemy units of the 76th Air Assault Division are attempting to launch an attack towards Robotyne. The enemy have deployed the 387th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 44th Airborne Division into the battle with the task of breaking through west of the village and bypassing it from the north.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Sea operational zone, there were 6 enemy ships on combat duty; in the Azov Sea – 1 enemy ship; in the Mediterranean Sea – 1 enemy ship. 
  • The damage to the 744th communication node of the command of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy in the village of Verkhnesadove near Sevastopol has been confirmed.
  • Ukrainian Defense Forces launched a combined strike on the airfield near Saki, where 12 enemy combat aircraft were based at the moment, including Su-24 and Su-30.
  • The Strategic Communications Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine confirmed that at around 12:00, the Defense Forces successfully struck the command headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the temporarily occupied Sevastopol.

Change in the enemy’s disposition:

  • Units of the 25th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 6th Army of the Russian Western Military District are operating near Synkivka. 
  • Units of the 108th Air Assault Regiment of the 7th Air Assault Division of the Russian Airborne Forces are operating in the area of Orikhove.
  • Units of the 22nd Separate SOF Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces are operating west of Verbove. 
  • Remnants of the 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 3rd Army Corps have been withdrawn for combat readiness restoration in the area of Svitlodarsk. The 4th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army Corps of the Russian 8th Army has taken over its defense line. 
  • The enemy has relocated units of the 234th Air Assault Regiment of the 76th Air Assault Division to the west of Verbove. In the Novoprokopivka-Robotyne direction, the enemy command has engaged additional units from the 71st Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division with the aim of conducting counterattack actions in this direction.

Escalation indicators: 

  • Russian forces at an unspecified section of the front have received a batch of modernized self-propelled howitzers 2c19 “Msta-C” with improved tactical and technical characteristics capable of engaging targets with various types of projectiles on different trajectories simultaneously.

Possible operation situation developments: 

  • The enemy’s command has amassed a force of up to 110,000 personnel on the Kupyansk and Lyman directions. A large-scale offensive is anticipated to commence on the 26th-27th of September. The objective of this offensive may be to displace the forces of the Khortytsia OSG from the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.
  • 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 deployed west of the Chervonopopivka – Zhytlivka line in the general direction of Novosadove or Terny.
  • The enemy’s desperate counterattacks, leading to the expenditure of all available combat reserves, may conceal the enemy’s preparations for an offensive (on the Kherson direction, the 18th Army and the 40th Army Corps of are being deployed), or it may be a struggle to gain time for organizing the defense on the main defensive line.
  • The enemy’s retreat from the first defensive line on the Tokmak direction is only a matter of time. The enemy lacks combat-ready forces to organize the defense on the main line. One should not expect an organized withdrawal of enemy forces from the first defensive line.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 22.09.23 

Personnel – almost 274,950 people (+480);

Tanks – 4,644 (+6);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,891 (+8);

Artillery systems – 6,177 (+40);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 785 (+4);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 528 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –8,690 (+20);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 316 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 4,858 (+8);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,517 (+38);

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. 162 towns and villages and 123 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. There are killed and wounded Ukrainian civilians. 
  • In the morning of September 22, the Russians shelled residential neighborhoods in Kherson. A 25-year-old man was killed, and another person was injured. 
  • In the afternoon the enemy launched missile strikes on Kremenchuk, Poltava Oblast, targeting a civilian infrastructure.   As a result of the Russian strike, one man has died, and 31 people have been injured, including three children.

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