Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 15.10.2023

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Kupyansk direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 10 enemy attacks in the areas of Synkivka and Ivanivka. On the Lyman direction, the Defense Forces continued to hold back enemy advances in the areas of Makiivka, Serebryansk Forestry, and Torske, where they repelled 7 enemy attacks. On the Bakhmut direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continued their assault operations south of Bakhmut, inflicting losses on enemy personnel and equipment, and consolidating their achieved positions.

In the “Tavriya” OSG operational zone on the Avdiivka direction, the enemy persists in attempts to break through Ukrainian defense, but without success. Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 15 enemy attacks in the areas of Avdiivka, Tonenke, and Pervomaiske. On the Maryinka direction, over the past day, Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled more than 10 enemy attacks near Maryinka. On the Shakhtarsk direction, the enemy did not engage in offensive (assault) actions. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, Russian troops attempted five times to regain lost ground in the Robotyne and Verbove areas but were unsuccessful.

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 their offensive actions on the Kupyansk – Svatove – Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Donetsk, along the administrative border of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts, in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast. They made progress in some sectors.

General conclusion: 

  • Russian forces have intensified their offensive actions on the Kupyansk-Lyman front, but the Ukrainian Defense Forces were prepared and are holding the defense. The Russian aggressors incurred losses earlier and underwent a two-month period of rest and recuperation before reinitiating offensive operations in the vicinity of Makiyivka, subsequently advancing along the Kupyansk front. The adversary’s strategic objective is the encirclement of Kupyansk and the crossing of the Oskil River.
  • The deployment of three enemy formations on the Kupyansk-Lyman direction (the 1st Tank Army, the 6th, and the 20th Combined Arms Armies) under the command of the South-Western Theater of Military Operations indicates that Russian forces are conducting these offensive operations under a relatively well-coordinated and doctrinally justified command structure.
  • The adversary fell short in executing their plan to seize Avdiivka. The course of the battle indicates that the enemy’s command strategy parallels the operation in the Bakhmut area.
  • The combat intensity has slightly decreased on the Klishchiivka–Andriivka–Kurdyumivka line;
  • The “Tavriya” OSG forces were cognizant of and ready for the enemy’s thrust near Avdiivka.
  • The enemy’s buildup on the Avdiivka front did not assemble adequate reserves for an advance along the entire frontline, but rather on isolated sectors.
  • There is a shortage of surgeons in the occupied [by Russia] Horlivka and Donetsk near Avdiivka. Most of the enemy’s casualties on the Avdiivka front are caused by the low quality of medical care and the overload of local hospitals.
  • Russian forces continue to utilize the naval base in Sevastopol, as other basing points lack berths for accommodating ships.
  • Ukrainian minefields near Avdiivka pose a problem for the enemy, similar to the Russian minefields for the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • The military-political leadership of the Russian Federation continues attempts to involve Belarusian forces in a full-scale ground operation against Ukraine.
  • Securing the Volnovakha-Melitopol railway is of fundamental importance to the enemy. In certain sections of the Volnovakha direction the distance between the advanced positions of the “Tavriya” OSG forces and this railway is 7.3-7.6 km, which poses a significant challenge to enemy logistics, compelling their command to undertake recurrent efforts to neutralize the Vuhledar bridgehead.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There have been approximately 60 combat engagements on various fronts. 
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces made slight progress along the road east of Makiyivka and captured 10 Ukrainian strongpoints on the Lymanske Pershyi – Orlianka line. Units of the Russian 252nd Motorized Rifle Regiment and the 237th Tank Regiment of (3rd Motorized Rifle Division of the 20th Combined Arms Army) are attempting to breach the Ukrainian defense at the Nevske–Novovodyanе and Ploschanka–Makiivka lines. Overall, Russian forces of the 1st Tank Army, 6th and 20th Combined Arms Armies are active in this direction.
  • Forces of the “Khortytsia” OSG repelled Russian attacks near Synkivka, Ivanivka, Kyslivka, Makiyivka, and Torske. They launched an attack near Ivanivka, Synkivka, Tymkivka, Yampolivka, north of Serebryanka, and in the Serebryansk Forestry.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the forces of the “Khortytsia” OSG continued their advance south of Bakhmut, establishing positions along the railway line near Klishchiivka and Andriivka.
  • Russian forces regularly conduct nighttime assaults. They were advancing to the east of Orikhovo-Vasylivka and established positions east of the T0513 highway, near Klishchiivka and Andriivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces made slight progress north of the overburden dump by 2 kilometers northwest of Avdiivka. However, they later retreated from previously held positions. The enemy also advanced south of Avdiivka, near Berdychi, Kamianka, Severne, Novomykhailivka, towards Vodyane, Opytne, and Keramik. They unsuccessfully attacked near Kamianka, Stepove, and Maryinka.
  • Over the past 4 days, the enemy managed to advance toward Vodyane–Severne but retreated under pressure from the Ukrainian Defense Forces in the south. They also made progress along the directions of Krasnohorivka – Stepove and Krasnohorivka – Novokalynove, where the enemy’s command is preparing to introduce the 21st Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army into operation in the sector of advance of the 114th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps. On the directions of Vodyane – Pervomaiske and Spartak – Avdiivka, the enemy’s advancement amounted to 200-300 meters.
  • Forces of the “Tavriya” OSG repelled Russian attacks near Tonenke, Avdiivka, Severne, Pervomaiske, Netaylove, and made progress north of Maryinka.
  • Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): Forces of the “Tavriya” OSG attacked west of Staromayorske and east of Urozhaine. Positional battles are taking place along Hrusheva ravine north of Pryiutne.
  • Units of the Russian 37th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 36th Army slightly advanced east of Urozhaine. The enemy unsuccessfully counterattacked near Staromayorske.
  • On the Volnovakha direction, the enemy forces of the “Vostok” OG (68th AC, separate units from the composition of the 155th Separate Marine Brigade of the Russian Pacific Fleet, 116th Rifle Regiment of the mobilization reserve,) is attempting to implement a plan to displace the “Tavriya” OSG forces from the railway. The functionality of the railway is being actively restored, with certain sections being electrified. For this purpose, units of the 39th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 68th Army Corps attempted to break through from Solodke and Slavne towards Novomykhailivka. Still, they were unable to achieve decisive progress.
  • Tokmak direction (Robotyne): Forces of the “Tavriya” OSG made slight progress west of Robotyne towards Rivne and near Verbove, Robotyne, and Novoprokopivka. Fierce battles continue on the western outskirts of Verbove. Ukrainian Defense Forces have begun a gradual advance from the north towards Kopani and east of Nesteryanka, pushing back the Russian 104th Air Assault Regiment of the 7th Air Assault Division.
  • Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to regain lost positions near Robotyne. They launched a counterattack near Verbove, pushing Ukrainian forces back on certain sections of the Kopani-Robotyne-Novoprokopivka-Verbove line. Fighting in this area continues.
  • The 201st Motorized Rifle Regiment, reinforced by the BARS detachment, counterattacked the advanced positions of the “Tavriya” OSG east of Novoprokopivka, at the junction of the Russian first line of defense and the breach section of Ukrainian forces. They pushed them back several hundred meters in a northern direction. 
  • Units of the Russian 71st Motorized Rifle Regiment retreated from the northern outskirts of Novoprokopivka to the center of the village. The enemy’s retention of their positions at the 160 Hight hinders the village’s liberation.
  • The Ukrainian Defense Forces halted the 247th Air Assault Regiment of the 76th Air Assault Division in the area of Mala Tokmachka. The 108th Air Assault Regiment of the 7th Air Assault Division withdrew south of Novoprokopivka.
  • Kherson direction: Russian forces launched airstrikes on Kherson Oblast and Snake Island with 30 guided aviation bombs.
  • Russian forces conduct airstrikes only at night. Russian forces prevented four Ukrainian boats from landing on the islands in the Dnipro River near Kozachi Lagery.
  • The “Odesa” OSG forces have increased their maritime activity in the Dnipro River.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Sea operational area, there were 6 enemy ships on combat duty, including 1 sea-based cruise missile carrier; in the Azov Sea, there was 1 enemy ship; in the Mediterranean Sea, there were 3 enemy ships, including 2 cruise missile carriers. The sea-based cruise missile carriers do not have cruise missiles on board.
  • Confirmed hits on the patrol corvette “Pavel Derzhavin” (two hits) and the sea tug “Professor Nikolai Muru,” which was dispatched to tow the affected corvette.
  • The adversary is redistributing its Black Sea Fleet ships to bases in Feodosia and Novorossiysk and is considering the possibility of basing them in Abkhazia.

Changes in enemy disposition: 

  • In the area of Serebryansk Forest, Russian forces include the 164th and 25th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigades and the 331st Airborne Regiment of the 98th Airborne Division.
  • The Russian military command continues to replace the forces of their Central Military District with units from the newly formed 25th Combined Arms Army. The 25th Combined Arms Army will likely replace the 2nd Combined Arms Army forces, although it was previously believed that the 41st Combined Arms Army forces would be replaced by it

Escalation indicators: 

  • The adversary is intensifying efforts on the Kupyansk, Lyman, and Avdiivka fronts.

Possible operation situation developments:

  • The enemy will attempt to attack in the direction of Nevske and Torske, pushing the “Khortytsia” OSG forces out of the Makiyivka–Nevske–Torske–Yampolivka area, aiming to reach Lyman and the eastern bank of the Oskil River;
  • The 153rd Tank Regiment, formed in the composition of the 47th Tank Division, will be employed as a follow-up echelon in the direction of Pershotravneve–Petropavlivka, jointly with the 26th Tank Regiment of the same division.
  • On the Volnovakha direction, the enemy’s command with the forces of the 68th Army Corps of the Russian Pacific Fleet, appears to be preparing for an operation at the junction of its “Vostok” and “Yug” Groups of Forces. Their objective is to encircle the “Tavriya” OSG forces near Vuhledar, launching an attack in the Maryinka-Kurakhove direction. However, they are constrained by their available resources.
  • The enemy’s military command will deploy units from the 35th and 55th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigades of the 41st Combined Arms Army, as well as elements of the 74th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 41st Combined Arms Army, the 90th Tank Division of the Central Military District, and the 67th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 25th Combined Arms Army for an advance near Nevske, Terny, and Yampolivka.
  • The enemy’s command is preparing to use its bridgehead on the Shaitanka River in the area of Mykilske to attempt again to break through east of Vuhledar towards Vodyane and reach the city from the south through the Southern Donbas Mine. For this purpose, the 30th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, withdrawn from the area near Svatove for retraining at a range near Donetsk, and a portion of the forces from the 110th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps may be involved.
  • The adversary has established fortified positions in proximity to Kopani, mirroring the defensive arrangements near Nesteryanka village, held by units of the 76th Air Assault Division and the 291st Motorized Rifle Regiment. In terms of tactical implications, the persistent assaults by the “Tavriya” OSG forces will significantly complicate the enemy’s situation on the Robotyne – Novoprokopivka line.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 15.10.23 

Personnel – almost 287,770 people (+880);

Tanks – 4,948 (+8);

Armored combat vehicles – 9,362 (+25);

Artillery systems – 6,866 (+33);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 813 (+2);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 547 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –9,249 (+24);

Aircraft – 317 (0);

Helicopters – 316 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 5,269 (+4);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,531 (0);

Boats/ships – 21 (0).

Centre for Defence Strategies (CDS) is a Ukrainian security think tank. We operate since 2020.

We publish this brief daily. If you would like to subscribe, please send us an email at cds.dailybrief@gmail.com

The CDC Daily Brief is produced with the support of the Kyiv School of Economics https://kse.ua/

Please note, that we subscribe only verified persons and can decline or cancel the subscription at our own discretion

We are an independent, non-government, non-partisan, and non-profit organization. More at www.defence.org.ua

Our Twitter (in English) – https://twitter.com/defence_centre

Our Facebook (in Ukrainian) – https://www.facebook.com/cds.UA

Our brief is for information only and we verify our information to the best possible extent