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Russia’s war on Ukraine. 26.09.2023

Operational situation

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia,” on the Kupyansk and Lyman directions, the enemy did not conduct offensive (assault) actions. On the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian defenders successfully repelled five enemy attacks in the Klishchiivka area, where the enemy attempted to regain lost ground.

In the “Tavriya” OSG operational zone on the Avdiivka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled enemy attacks in the Avdiivka and Severne areas. On the Maryinka direction, the enemy conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the Maryinka area, making ten unsuccessful attempts to displace Ukrainian units from their positions over the past day. The enemy tried to regain lost ground in the Novomykhailivka area but was unsuccessful. On the Shakhtarsk and Zaporizhzhia directions, Ukrainian defenders continue to hold the defense on achieved lines. On the Melitopol direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continue their offensive operation, inflicting losses on the Russian forces in personnel and equipment. They continue consolidating their positions on the achieved lines and wear down the enemy.

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

Russian forces continued unsuccessful offensive actions in the Bakhmut area, on the Avdiivka-Donetsk line, and in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

General conclusion: 

  • The “Tavriya” OSG forces’ limited progress can be attributed to their deliberate strategy of wearing down the enemy.
  • Further southward advancement of the “Tavriya” OSG forces will worsen the situation for the Russian 58th Army, which has no reserves left.
  • The adversary is experiencing swift depletion in personnel within their airborne units, air defense, electronic warfare assets, and artillery. The rate of attrition surpasses the rate of replenishment.
  • The Baltic Fleet of the Russian Navy has lost its large-scale amphibious offensive operations capability as three of its large landing ships of the “Ropucha” type and the 336th Separate Marines Brigade are engaged in combat operations on the territory of Ukraine.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 25 combat engagements on different fronts. 
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces did not conduct offensive actions either on the Kupyansk nor on the Lyman directions. Three combat engagements occurred near Berestove and on the general direction towards Loskutivka. The enemy repelled Ukrainian attacks south of Dibrova, near Spirne and Berestove.
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG forces struck at the Russian material-technical support (logistic) facilities and launched a missile strike on an industrial object in Sorokino (territory of the Russian Federation).
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the “Khortytsia” OSG forces liberated 2 kilometers of territory and counterattacked near Orikhovo-Vasylivka.
  • The enemy repelled Ukrainian attacks near Mayorske and unsuccessfully attacked near Klishchiivka and east and southeast of Bohdanivka. 
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked near Avdiivka and Maryinka and made unsuccessful attempts to regain lost positions near Novomykhailivka.
  • Berdyansk Direction (Velyka Novosilka): The forces of the “Tavriya” OSG attacked east of Urozhaine and Pryiutne.
  • Tokmak Direction (Robotyne): The forces of the “Tavriya” OSG reached the northern outskirts of Verbove, but Russian troops pushed them back to their original positions. Combat engagements took place near Verbove, Novopokrovka, Robotyne, and Novoprokopivka.
  • Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked near Mala Tokmachka, Novodanylivka, and Verbove.
  • Kherson Direction: The forces of the “Odesa” OSG continued combat actions on the islands in the delta of the Dnipro River.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Sea operational maritime zone, there were 6 enemy ships on combat duty, including 2 Kalibr cruise missile carriers, with a total salvo of 3 missiles; in the Sea of Azov, there was 1 enemy ship; in the Mediterranean Sea, there was 1 enemy ship.
  • Ukrainian Defense Forces struck at the headquarters of the 758th Center for Material-Technical Support of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

Change in the enemy’s disposition:

  • The enemy’s 7th Air Assault Division has suffered significant losses in command personnel, with the 234th and 237th Air Assault Regiments essentially depleted.
  • The Russian Armed Forces are in the process of establishing reconnaissance-assault brigades within their combined-arms armies and newly formed army corps, and efforts to staff these units are underway.

Escalation indicators:

  • The enemy is concentrating forces on the Avdiivka direction.

Possible operation situation developments: 

  • 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.
  • In the near future, a series of battles is anticipated for Kurdyumivka and Zelenopillia. The “Khortytsia” OSG forces have made notable progress in advancing towards these locations, both from the west (via the “Siversky Donets – Donbas” canal) and from the north, along the railway, starting from the direction of Andriivka.
  • Shortly, the enemy will attempt to regain the lost position along the direction of Opytne – 9th Quarter (western outskirts of Avdiivka).
  • Units of the enemy’s 110th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, along with a separate assault battalion “Pyatnashka”, with the support of the 87th Rifle Regiment of the mobilization reserve, will try to push back the advance units of the “Tavriya” OSG from the area west of Pesky and break through to Nevelske.
  • In the defensive sector of the Russian 42nd Motorized Rifle Division, units of the 291st Motorized Rifle Regiment, along with the elements of the 76th Air Assault Division forces (likely the 234th Air Assault Regiment), will be entering combat. The 71st and 210th Motorized Rifle Regiments are currently struggling to independently contain the Ukrainian Defence forces’ breach between Novoprokopivka and Verbove.
  • The commander of the Russian 56th Air Assault Regiment of the 7th Air Assault Division is faced with the decision to withdraw in order to evade encirclement in the vicinity of Verbove.
  • The enemy’s desperate counterattacks, which depleted all their available combat reserves, may conceal its preparations for an offensive (on the Kherson direction, the 18th Army and the 40th Army Corps are being deployed). Alternatively, it may be an attempt to buy time for fortifying their main defensive line.
  • The forces of the “Tavriya” OSG may achieve a significant operational breakthrough on the southern front line if they maintain the necessary level of combat readiness and the enemy does not concentrate the required reserves on this direction.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 26.09.23 

Personnel – almost 276,670 people (+400);

Tanks – 4,672 (+5);

Armored combat vehicles – 8,946 (+19);

Artillery systems – 6,299 (+39);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 792 (+1);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 533 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –8,763 (+17);

Aircraft – 315 (0);

Helicopters – 316 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 4,924 (+29);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,529 (+11);

Boats/ships – 21 (0).

  • According to information provided by the MOD’s Situation Center, over the past day, Russian forces shelled 11 regions of Ukraine. 141 towns and villages and 113 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. There are killed and wounded Ukrainian civilians. 
  • On September 25-26 night, Russian forces launched 38 attack drones from the temporarily occupied Crimea. Ukrainian Air Defense Forces intercepted and destroyed 26 of them.
  • As a result of the nighttime Russian attack on Odesa Oblast, the border infrastructure at the international checkpoint was damaged, as reported by the head of the Unified Press Center of the Operational Command “South,” Natalia Humenyuk. Two drivers were injured, and there was a serious threat to the passengers of a bus preparing to cross the border. Consequently, operations at the “Orlivka-Isakcha” border checkpoint between Ukraine and Romania were suspended. Transport and individuals were redirected to alternate control points. Ukrainian authorities confirm that the drones did not breach the border into Romania.
  • On September 26, Russian forces dropped a guided aerial bomb on a medical facility in Beryslav, Kherson Oblast, as the Kherson Military Administration reported.
  • From February 24, 2022, when the large-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation began, to September 24, 2023, OHCHR recorded 27,449 casualties among the civilian population of Ukraine: 9,701 dead and 17,748 wounded. UNHCR believes that the actual number of civilian casualties is much higher, as there are delays in receiving information from places of intense combat, and many reports from places where civilian casualties are reported still need confirmation. In particular, the data from Mariupol (Donetsk Oblast), Lysychansk, Popasna and Sieverodonetsk (Luhansk Oblast), where numerous cases of the death and injury of civilians were recorded, need to be clarified and confirmed. According to UN data, among the dead are 4,521 men, 2,707 women, 289 boys and 237 girls, and the gender of 29 children and 1,918 adults has not yet been determined. Among the wounded – 522 boys and 379 girls, as well as 285 children, whose gender is still unknown.
  • In the temporarily occupied Crimea, as of September 22, the Russian occupation authorities charged 514 residents under the article of the administrative code of Russia about discrediting the Russian army, stated the permanent representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Tamila Tasheva.
  • In the temporarily occupied territories, Russians are using the private yards of local residents as firing positions to deploy military equipment and personnel, as stated by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine spokesperson. Pavlo Kovalchuk noted that the Russians cynically continue to violate the norms of international humanitarian law and forcibly use the civilian residents’ houses to use them as human shields.

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