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Russia’s war on Ukraine. 15.11.2023

Operational situation

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Kupyansk direction, the enemy conducted assault operations in the areas of Synkivka and Petropavlivka, where Ukrainian troops repelled 8 attacks. On the Lyman direction, the enemy conducted unsuccessful assault actions in Nadiya and Serebryansk Forestry areas. On the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian forces repelled 12 enemy attacks near Bohdanivka, Ivanivske, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka. The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue assault operations 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 continues attempts to encircle Avdiivka. Ukrainian troops steadfastly maintain the defense and inflicted losses on the enemy. Enemy offensive actions in the areas of Novokalynove, Avdiivka, Severne, Tonenke, Vodyane, and east of Pervomaiske were unsuccessful. The Defense Forces repelled 17 attacks in this sector. On the Maryinka direction, the enemy conducted unsuccessful assault actions in the areas of Maryinka and Novomykhailivka, where Ukrainian forces repelled 20 attacks. On the Shakhtarsk direction, Ukrainian troops repelled 2 enemy attacks near Staromayorske. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the enemy did not engage in offensive (assault) actions. The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue the offensive operation on the Melitopol direction, causing losses to the Russian forces in personnel and equipment, exhausting the enemy along the entire front line.

In the operational zone of the “Odesa” OSG, the Ukrainian Defense Forces are conducting counter-battery warfare, displacing adversary forces from littoral firing positions and inflicting damage on the enemy’s rear areas. 

Russian forces continued their offensive actions on the Kupyansk – Svatove line, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, west and southwest of Donetsk, in the western parts of Zaporizhzhia Oblast and made progress in some sectors. 

General conclusion: 

  • The situation on the Bakhmut front has become more complicated due to the constant tactical shifts employed by Russian forces and their heightened use of UAVs.
  • During attacks on the eastern outskirts of Stepove, Russian forces employed a tactic reminiscent of the PMC “Wagner” during the Bakhmut assault: employing small infantry groups without the backing of armored vehicles against fortified Ukrainian positions.
  • Adverse weather conditions will continue to complicate ground operations until the ground solidifies; battles on the Avdiivka direction are turning into a positional nature.
  • The command of the adversary’s “Dniepr” operational grouping has initiated attempts to eliminate the Ukrainian stronghold in the Krynky area, considering it the most threatening.
  • The adversary aims to achieve superiority in forces and resources over Ukrainian bridgeheads on the eastern bank of the Dnipro, while also strategically avoiding the concentration of its forces within the effective firing range of the Ukrainian “Odesa” OSG, which maintains a distinct advantage in this sector.
  • The objective of the “Odesa” OSG is to secure a broad frontage along the right bank of the Dnipro River, strategically positioned beyond the direct firing range of the primary enemy artillery.
  • The Kremlin is endeavoring to establish dedicated security forces for the occupied territory of Ukraine, aiming to release military personnel for frontline operations.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 60 combat engagements on various fronts. 
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces advanced southwest of Pershotravneve. They unsuccessfully attacked in the areas of Synkivka, Ivanivka, Petropavlivka, Nadiya, Novoyehorivka, Torske, and Serebryansk Forestry. 
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG forces attacked in the areas of Synkivka, Zahoruykivka, Torske, Tymkivka, Raigorodka, and Kuzmyne. 
  • On the Bakhmut direction, Russian forces achieved success north of Berkhiv Reservoir, advanced west of Orikhovo-Vasylivka, attempted to dislodge Ukrainian forces from positions near Klishchiivka, and unsuccessfully attacked near Ivanivske, Klishchiivka, Andriivka, and Bohdanivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces made slight progress into the Avdiivka industrial zone near Yasynuvatsky Lane. They continued to enhance their tactical positions on the eastern outskirts of Stepove, but did not achieve results near Novokalynove, Severne, Pervomaiske, Tonenke, Vodyane, east of Pervomaiske, Maryinka, and near Novomykhailivka. 
  • The “Tavria” OSG forces counterattacked in the industrial zone south of Avdiivka. 
  • On the Berdyansk direction, Russian forces advanced west of Novodonetske. 
  • On the Tokmak direction, the “Tavria” OSG forces advanced northwest of Verbove and repelled Russian attacks near Robotyne.
  • Russian forces repelled Ukrainian attacks near Robotyne, Novofedorivka, and north and northwest of Verbove. They became more active near Pyatykhatky.
  • Kherson direction: “Odesa” OSG forces advanced to Krynky, attempting to expand the control zone near the village. Intense battles are ongoing near Poyma, Pishchanivka, and Pidstepne.
  • Russian forces employ firepower to impede the transfer of resources from the “Odesa” OSG to the eastern bank. The adversary aims to establish an advantage in forces and capabilities, constituting three tactical groups:
    • In the Krynky area: 26th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 70th Motorized Rifle Division, separate units of the 144th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade.
    • In the Kozachi Lagery area: one battalion each from the 1445th and 385th Motorized Rifle Regiments of the Territorial Troops, a reinforced battalion of the 328th Airborne Assault Regiment of the 104th Airborne Division, the detachment of the 10th Separate SOF Brigade, and the 4th “BARS” detachment.
    • In the Korsunka area: 810th Separate Marine Brigade of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, a battalion of the 205th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 49th Army, a battalion of the 404th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Troops, and a “Storm-Z” detachment (2 companies manned with 100-120 former prisoners).
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Maritime Operational Zone, there was 1 enemy ship on combat duty in the Black Sea, 1 enemy ship in the Azov Sea, and 2 enemy ships in the Mediterranean Sea, including 1 carrying cruise missiles. The total salvo of cruise missiles was 8.

Change in enemy disposition:   

  • In the Velyka Novosilka area, the 30th Artillery Brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army of the Eastern Military District and the 336th Separate Marine Brigade of the Russian Baltic Fleet are engaged in combat operations. In the Zahirne area, the 69th Separate Cover Brigade of the 35th CAA is active.
  • Along the Pyatykhatky – Robotyne – Verbove line, the 1430th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Troops (comprised of mobilized personnel from the Moscow Oblast), alongside the 291st and 70th Motorized Rifle Regiments of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division within the 58th Army, are maintaining a defensive posture.

Escalation indicators: 

  • Enemy activity is escalating on the Kupyansk, Bakhmut, and Avdiivka directions.
  • Russian forces are forming tactical groups on the left bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast.

Possible operation situation developments:

  • The Russian military command will intensify its efforts in the Avdiivka direction, primarily in the area of Stepove and the Avdiivka coke-chemical plant, with the aim of encircling Avdiivka.
  • Russian forces are unlikely to completely regain the initiative in the forthcoming months, and their capacity to launch a large-scale offensive, which could impede the Defense Forces’ resource allocation for counteroffensive operations, remains improbable.
  • In the near future, we should expect intensive Russian attempts, if not to eliminate the Ukrainian bridgeheads, at least to block, isolate and reduce them. Primarily, the enemy will try to disrupt the logistical support routes for the advanced units of the “Odesa” OSG on the left bank.
  • Over the next week, the adversary’s tactical group attacks from the areas of Korsunka and Kozachi Lagery along the riverside road Oleshky – Nova Kakhovka can be expected, with a general direction towards Krynky.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 15.11.23 

Personnel – almost 314,290 people (+820);

Tanks – 5,377 (+15);

Armored combat vehicles – 10,104 (+18);

Artillery systems – 7,647 (+58);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 884 (+2);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 580 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 10,020 (+47);

Aircraft – 323 (+1);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 5,675 (+26);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,562 (+1);

Boats/ships – 23 (0).

Humanitarian +general

  • According to information provided by the Situation Center of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Russian troops shelled 10 regions of Ukraine over the past day. A total of 139 towns and villages and 72 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. Two people were reported dead, and 12 were reported injured in different regions of Ukraine. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified. 
  • On the night of November 15, Russian forces launched a missile strike on Selydove in the Pokrovsk district of Donetsk Oblast, severely damaging a residential high-rise building. As of 2:30 p.m., two dead and three injured residents were confirmed. Two more people are most likely under the rubble. 
  • In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, two State Emergency Service personnel lost their lives in the aftermath of the second strike by Russian forces targeting civilian infrastructure.
  • In the Kupyansk district of Kharkiv Oblast, there are still 26 children awaiting evacuation from hazardous areas. Oleh Synehubov, the head of the Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration, reported the successful evacuation of 268 children. Oleksandr Prokudin, the head of the Kherson Oblast Military Administration, stated that they successfully persuaded 38 adults to evacuate, and along with them, 91 children will also be evacuated.
  • Over the week, 6 children, including two orphans, have been repatriated to territories controlled by Ukraine, as reported by Oleksandr Prokudin, the head of the Kherson Regional Military Administration.
  • Yuriy Sobolevsky, the first deputy chairman of the Kherson Oblast Council, has reported a significant deterioration in the humanitarian situation in the temporarily [Russian] occupied territory of Kherson Oblast. He pointed out a complete restriction of access to medical services for Ukrainian citizens, a noticeable shortage and unavailability of certain medicines. Sobolevsky expressed particular concern about the lack of preparation for the heating season, with Russian occupiers declaring that heating plant launches won’t occur in the 15-kilometer zone from the Dnipro River. He also noted a lack of systematic preparation for heating in other populated areas.

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