Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 16.10.2023

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Kupyansk direction, Ukrainian forces repelled over 15 enemy attacks in the areas of Synkivka and Ivanivka. On the Lyman direction, the enemy did not engage in offensive (assault) actions. On the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled five enemy attacks in the areas of Klishchiivka and Andriivka. They continue 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, with aviation support, conducted unsuccessful assault actions in the areas of Avdiivka, Keramik, Stepove, Tonenke, and Severne. Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled over 15 enemy attacks. On the Maryinka direction, over the past day, Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled more than 15 enemy attacks near Maryinka. On the Shakhtarsk direction, Ukrainian defenders repelled enemy attacks north of Pryiutne. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, Russian troops attempted four times to regain lost ground in the areas of Robotyne, 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, on the Avdiivka-Donetsk line, 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 are actively defending on the Avdiivka, Kupyansk, and Zaporizhzhia fronts. However, it is unlikely that they will achieve significant breakthroughs or encircle Ukrainian forces in Avdiivka in the near future. Intense and exhausting battles continue to unfold around Avdiivka.
  • Russian forces are focused on holding positions near Avdiivka, which are the least vulnerable to Ukrainian artillery fire, in order to create conditions for further offensive operations.
  • The adversary’s claims of having seized control over logistical communications of the “Tavriya” OSG in the Avdiivka area do not align with the actual situation.
  • The “Tavriya” OSG is conducting assault operations in the Avdiivka area with small groups, numbering up to a platoon.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • Approximately 70 combat engagements have taken place in different directions.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces repelled Ukrainian attacks near Novoyehorivka, Makiyivka, Dibrova, Serebryansk Forest, and Yampolivka.
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG forces repelled Russian attacks near Synkivka, Ivanivka, Makiyivka, in the area of Serebryansk Forest and Torske.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the “Khortytsia” OSG forces advanced to the railway near Klishchiivka and Andriivka, initiated an attack near Kurdyumivka, and repelled four Russian assaults in the Klishchiivka and Andriivka areas.
  • Enemy forces repelled Ukrainian assaults near Klishchiivka, Dubovo-Vasylivka, and Orikhovo-Vasylivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, the “Tavriya” OSG forces repelled over 15 Russian assaults near Avdiivka, in the areas of Stepove, Keramik, Tonenke, Severne, Pervomaiske, Maryinka, successfully counterattacked near the Avdiivka coke-chemical plant, and achieved tactical successes. They also took over positions near Pervomaiske, Severne, and near Solodke.
  • Russian forces made advances near Novokalynove. The overall strategy of the enemy remains unchanged. Their formations deliver two counterattacks from Krasnohorivka and Vodyane towards Orlyivka-Stepove, along with simultaneous enveloping actions on the Vesele – Kruta Balka – Spartak – Severne line.
  • On the Berdyansk direction, Russian forces are preparing for attacks near Vuhledar to displace Ukrainian forces from the fire range of the railway line. Russia’s intention is to restore this line to establish logistical support for their operations in southern Ukraine.
  • The 39th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 68th Army Corps attempted to push back the “Tavriya” OSG forces from Novomykhailivka, attacking from Solodke and Slavne. However, they only managed to capture a small area near Solodke.
  • Tokmak direction: Russian forces repelled Ukrainian attacks near Staromayorske. The 34th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (m) of the 49th Combined Arms Army captured a stronghold of the “Tavriya” OSG forces northwest of Pryiutne, although their overall attack was repelled. The 247th Air Assault Regiment of the 76th Air Assault Division captured several Ukrainian strongholds west of Verbove. Russian forces repelled Ukrainian attacks on the Robotyne – Novoprokopivka – Verbove line, counterattacked on the Kopani – Robotyne – Novoprokopivka – Verbove line, and encircled several Ukrainian positions near Verbove.
  • The “Tavriya” OSG forces advanced west of Kopani but withdrew to positions northwest of Kopani after a Russian counterattack.
  • Kherson direction: Russian forces displaced Ukrainian troops from unspecified islands in the Dnipro River delta.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Sea operational area, there were 5 enemy ships on combat duty, including 1 cruise missile carrier (with a total salvo of 4 cruise missiles); in the Azov Sea, there was 1 enemy ship; in the Mediterranean Sea, there were 3 enemy ships, including 2 cruise missile carriers (with a total salvo of 8 cruise missiles).
  • Russian military ships no longer attempt to block Ukrainian ports. However, Russian tactical aviation continues to operate in the Black Sea, disrupting maritime transport routes near Snake Island. The Russian Navy group in the Black Sea consists of 12 ships. Russian ships deployed to Novorossiysk are capable of launching cruise missile strikes against Ukraine.

Changes in enemy disposition: 

  • The 7th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army Corps operates in the vicinity of Bilohorivka, while the 4th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade is positioned near the railway line north of Klishchiivka. South of Bakhmut, units from the 150th Motorized Rifle Division of the 8th Army Corps are engaged in combat operations.
  • The 34th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (m) of the 49th Army is active northwest of Pryiutne.

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 area of Makiivka–Nevske–Torske–Yampolivka, aiming to reach Lyman and the eastern bank of the Oskil River;
  • 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 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 the “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 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 16.10.23 

Personnel – almost 288,630 people (+860);

Tanks – 4,965 (+17);

Armored combat vehicles – 9,385 (+23);

Artillery systems – 6,910 (+44);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 814 (+1);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 547 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –9,271 (+22);

Aircraft – 318 (+1);

Helicopters – 317 (+1);

UAV operational and tactical level – 5,280 (+11);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,531 (0);

Boats/ships – 21 (0).


  • During the past day, Russian invaders launched attacks on 12 regions of Ukraine, employing combat drones, aviation, MLRS, and artillery, according to the consolidated data of the regional military administrations.
  • During the night, the Russian forces launched one Iskander-M ballistic missile, five guided aviation missiles Kh-59, and twelve “Shahed” UAVs at Ukraine. Ukrainian air defense forces intercepted two Kh-59 missiles and eleven “Shahed” UAVs.
  • One of the missiles hit the territory of Dniprovsky district in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Further details are not available. Explosion sounds were also heard in Myrhorod district of Poltava Oblast. The Ukrainian Armed Forces reported that the civil and critical infrastructure remains intact. However, missile debris damaged several private houses, resulting in three casualties, including a ten-year-old child. Additionally, the enemy attacked Khmelnytska Oblast. Air defense systems were active, and no damage or casualties were reported. There were impacts in Kirovohrad Oblast. One person was injured, but there was no damage to civilian infrastructure.
  • On the evening of October 16, the Russian occupiers attacked Kherson Oblast from five Su aircraft. They preliminarily released 9 guided aerial bombs on four populated areas. Information about casualties and damage is being assessed.
  • The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has reported a 40 percent increase in the number of female servicemembers in the Armed Forces compared to 2021. “Over the span of 2 years, the female military personnel has surged by 12 thousand – presently, nearly 43 thousand servicewomen are on active duty,” stated the department. It’s highlighted that all restrictions for female servicemembers accessing various positions have been removed. Previously, women aged 18 to 40 were eligible for military service contracts, whereas men did not face such limitations. Today, individuals of both genders can enlist as contract soldiers between the ages of 18 and 60.

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