Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 17.10.2023

Operational situation

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Kupyansk direction, Ukrainian forces repelled about 15 enemy attacks in the areas of Synkivka and Ivanivka, and another 5 attacks near Stelmakhivka and Nadiya. On the Lyman direction, the enemy did not engage in offensive (assault) actions. On the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian defenders repelled 3 enemy attacks in the vicinity of Andriivka. The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to carry out assault actions south of Bakhmut, inflicting losses on the enemy in personnel and equipment, and consolidating their achieved positions.

In the “Tavriya” OSG operational zone on the Avdiivka direction, the enemy does not cease attempts to encircle Avdiivka. Over the past day, Ukrainian troops repelled more than 10 enemy attacks. On the Maryinka and Shakhtarsk directions, Ukrainian defenders repelled more than 15 enemy attacks near Maryinka and another 5 attacks south of Zolota Nyva and south of Prechystivka. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, Ukrainian forces prevented any loss of their positions southwest of Novodanylivka, Robotyne, and west of Verbove.

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, on the Bakhmut direction, near Avdiivka, along the administrative border of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts, in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast. They made progress in some sectors.

General conclusion: 

  • The enemy is forced to withdraw simultaneously on several sections towards the Bakhmut – Horlivka road.
  • It is now highly probable that the vanguard units of the “Khortytsia” OSG will gain access to the T0513 road segment between Odradivka and Mykolaivka Druha and south of Opytne. However, this development does not impose the necessity for the adversary to leave Bakhmut, given their access to alternative logistics routes for sustaining their garrison.
  • North of Bakhmut towards Soledar, the adversary has succeeded in stabilizing their position.
  • On the Avdiivka front, the enemy attempts to consolidate on the positions they have managed to gain: Krasnohorivka – Stepove, Avdiivka Coke Plant and the direction towards Vodyane – Severne

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There have been approximately 72 combat engagements on various fronts. 
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces have seized new positions near Krokhmalne and Stepova Novosilka, but have not achieved significant progress on the Kupyansk direction overall. The adversary continued to attack near Synkivka, Lyman Pershyi, Makiyivka, and in the area of Serebryansk Forest.
  • The forces of the “Khortytsia” OSG repelled Russian attacks near Synkivka, Ivanivka, Stelmakhivka, and Nadiya, while also launching their own attacks near Synkivka, Ivanivka, Novoyehorivka, Makiyivka, Dibrova, and in the vicinity of Serebryansk Forest.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the “Khortytsia” OSG forces repelled Russian attacks near Klishchiivka and Andriivka. Their advanced units, which consolidated on dominant heights near Klishchiivka, gained the ability to engage the combat formations of the 1428th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Troops and the 102nd Motorized Rifle Regimen of the enemy across almost the entire tactical depth. Specific units managed to approach the northern outskirts of Zelenopillia and the western outskirts of Kurdyumivka, significantly complicating the enemy’s hold on these two populated areas.
  • Russian forces attempted to regain the lost positions near Klishchiivka and Andriivka, but without success. Within the defensive sector of the 1428th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Troops on the Klishchiivka-Southwestern Bakhmut direction, enemy units were forced to retreat from the railway towards the city along the Klishchiivka-Bakhmut road. To the east of Klishchiivka and southeast of Andriivka, units of the 4th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army Corps were compelled to withdraw even further from the railway towards Odradivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces have advanced along the E50 road by approximately 3 kilometers south of Avdiivka. They have made slight progress near Stepove and continue attacking the Ukrainian forces’ defensive positions around Avdiivka. Simultaneously, they are shelling the logistical routes of the “Tavriya” OSG in this area. The enemy is attempting to encircle Avdiivka, launching attacks from the Severne (southwest), the Opytne – Spartak area (south), and Krasnohorivka (north). They have advanced to the forested line south of Novomykhailivka, but were unable to make progress towards Keramik. The adversary controls Stepne and carries out attacks on Ukrainian positions in Maryinka. The 1st Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps of the enemy, after achieving success in the Spartak – Avdiivka direction, managed to hold only one previously captured strongpoint. On the Pervomaiske and Severne directions, the enemy withdrew under pressure from the “Tavriya” OSG to their original positions.
  • Russian forces are increasingly resorting to potent  aviation and artillery strikes on the infrastructure within the bounds of Avdiivka due to the formidable Ukrainian fortifications around the settlement. These fortifications are impeding the advancement of Russian forces.
  • The enemy has begun introducing separate units of the 21st Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade into the battle in the offensive sector of the 114th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, attempting to expand their success.
  • The “Tavriya” OSG forces repelled Russian attacks near Avdiivka, Keramik, Stepove, Tonenke, Pivnichne, and Pervomaiske. They also launched attacks from positions near the Avdiivka coking chemical plant.
  • Berdyansk direction: the forces of the “Tavriya” OSG attacked near Staromayorske and Pryiutne. Positional battles are ongoing.
  • The enemy made unsuccessful attacks north of Pryiutne, south of Zolota Nyva, and south of Prechystivka.
  • Tokmak direction: The forces of the “Tavriya” OSG attempted an unsuccessful assault on the western and northwestern outskirts of Verbove and are located within 200-300 meters from Russian positions west of Verbove.
  • Russian forces have made slight progress to the northwest of Verbove, unsuccessfully attacked southwest of Novodanylivka and west of Robotyne, and conducted a counterattack from the Kopani – Robotyne – Novoprokopivka – Verbove line.
  • Kherson direction: Russian forces destroyed a barge near the Kinburn Spit in Mykolaiv Oblast, which they claimed Ukrainian forces were planning to use as a “jump platform” for a future attempt to carry out a landing operation in the Black Sea.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Sea operational maritime region, there were 4 enemy ships on combat duty, including 1 cruise missile carrier with a total salvo capacity of 4 missiles. In the Azov Sea, there was 1 enemy ship. In the Mediterranean Sea, there were 2 enemy ships, including 1 missile carrier, with a total salvo capacity of 8 missiles.

Changes in enemy disposition: 

  • In the area of Tikhoretsk (Krasnodar Krai, RF) the Russian Armed Forces have expanded their ammunition depot, where containers from North Korea have been arriving since mid-August. 
  • On the Avdiivka direction, up to four Motorized Rifle Regiments of the Territorial Troops  and five Rifle Regiments of the mobilization reserve are concentrated.

Escalation Indicators: 

  • The adversary is deploying reserves to the Avdiivka direction.

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 Makiyivka–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.
  • The adversary will have to retreat towards the Bakhmut – Horlivka highway.
  • 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.
  • In the near future, the adversary will attempt to regain lost ground on the Bakhmut direction by deploying the 57th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade and the 51st Airborne Regiment. They intend to launch counterattacks from two fronts – from the quarry towards Andriivka and from Zelenopillia along the railway towards Andriivka. Units from the 68th Tank Regiment, which retain a relatively satisfactory level of combat readiness, will also be involved in these counterattacks.
  • The adversary’s command is reorganizing its strike tactical groups of the 1st Army Corps and, upon completion, they will make another offensive attempt in the Opytne area or try to shift their efforts to the stretch along the Vodyane – Tonenke road. Units from the 1st and 9th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigades, 111th and 119th Motorized Rifle Regiments of the 1st Army Corps will be involved. To further develop the success, the 242nd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 20th Motorized Rifle Division, 10th Tank Battalion, 13th Separate Assault Battalion “Somali,” and the 80th Separate reconnaissance battalion “Sparta” of the 1st Army Corps will also be engaged.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 17.10.23 

Personnel – almost 289,430 people (+800);

Tanks – 4,979 (+14);

Armored combat vehicles – 9,405 (+20);

Artillery systems – 6,936 (+26);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 814 (0);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 547 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks –9,293 (+22);

Aircraft – 318 (0);

Helicopters – 317 (+1);

UAV operational and tactical level – 5,291 (+11);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,533 (+2);

Boats/ships – 21 (0).


  • According to information provided by the MOD’s Situation Center, over the past day, Russian forces shelled 10 regions of Ukraine. 97 towns and villages and 31 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. There are killed and wounded Ukrainian civilians. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • As of October 17, Russian forces have killed 508 children in Ukraine and injured 1,136 more, according to the Office of the Prosecutor General. These figures are preliminary, and efforts are underway to establish them in regions affected by combat, including temporarily occupied and liberated territories. The highest number of children affected is in Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Kyiv Oblasts.
  • Police have evacuated all children from 12 frontline towns and villages in the Bakhmut and Kramatorsk districts of Donetsk Oblast. According to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Ihor Klymenko, “345 children, along with their families, were saved during the latest stage of mandatory evacuation in Donetsk Oblast.”
  • In the coastal villages of Beryslav district of Kherson Oblast, mandatory evacuation continues. From October 15 to October 17, 2023, 180 people, including 90 children, were evacuated to safe regions, reported Volodymyr Litvinov, the head of the Beryslav Regional Military Administration.
  • 410 Ukrainian medical facilities that were affected by the war have already been fully restored, with another 413 in the restoration process.

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