Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 16.11.2023

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, Petropavlivka, and Ivanivka, where Ukrainian troops repelled 7 attacks. On the Lyman direction, the enemy carried out unsuccessful assault actions in the Nadiya area. On the Bakhmut direction, the enemy conducted assault operations in the areas of Klishchiivka and Andriivka, where Ukrainian forces repelled 6 attacks. The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue assault operations south of Bakhmut, causing significant losses to the enemy in personnel and equipment and consolidating their positions.

In the “Tavriya” OSG operational zone on the Avdiivka direction, the enemy persists in attempts to encircle Avdiivka. Ukrainian troops steadfastly maintain the defense, inflicting losses on the enemy forces. Enemy offensive actions in the areas of Novokalynove, Avdiivka, and east of Pervomaiske were unsuccessful. Ukrainian forces repelled 18 attacks in this sector. On the Maryinka direction, Ukrainian defenders repelled 22 enemy attacks in the areas of Maryinka and Novomykhailivka. On the Shakhtarsk direction, the enemy conducted unsuccessful assault actions in the areas of Prechystivka and Staromayorske, where the Defense Forces repelled 6 attacks. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the enemy’s assault actions near Novodarivka were unsuccessful. The Defense Forces continue the offensive operation on the Melitopol direction, causing losses to the occupying forces in personnel and equipment and wearing down the enemy along the entire front line.

In the operational zone of the “Odesa” OSG, the Ukrainian Defense Forces are conducting counter-battery warfare, pushing the enemy away from coastal 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 adversary’s command of the 19th Motorized Rifle Division and the 76th Airborne Assault Division have received unequivocal directives to maintain control of the Nesteryanka-Kopani line “under any circumstances.”
  • The Ukrainian Defense Forces face constrained combat capabilities in overcoming the intricately layered enemy defense on the Zaporizhzhia axis. Consequently, the pace of advancement and the operational scope of “Tavriya” OSG are limited.
  • The enemy’s tenacious control of Novoprokopivka, despite disregarding their own casualties, is rationalized by the commencement of the first position of the main defense line immediately to its south. This includes a strongly fortified defense node in the Solodka Balka area. The retention of Novoprokopivka enables the commander of the 19th Motorized Rifle Division to concentrate forces on a relatively narrow front east of the village, effectively countering the Defense Forces’ attempt to breach the area between Novoprokopivka and Verbove.
  • Beyond the Novoprokopivka-Solodka Balka line, the second position of the main defense line is fortified with a robust defense node in the area of Ocheretuvate.
  • Tokmak is primed for a circular defense, with the second position stretching from the village of Chervonohirka to Ocheretuvate.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 65 combat engagements on various fronts. 
  • On the Kupyansk directions, Russian forces slightly advanced east of Ivanivka, west of Volodymyrivka, around Tymkivka to encircle the village. They are advancing near Lyman Pershyi, Kyslivka, and Makiyivka, and unsuccessfully attacked in the areas of Synkivka, Petropavlivka, and the vicinity of Nadiya.
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG forces attacked near Synkivka, Zahoruykivka, Horivka, and Serebryanka, in the forested area west of Kreminna. They are attempting to push back Russian forces from Torske.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, Russian forces are operating on the southwestern outskirts of Bakhmut. They have advanced in the forested areas near Klishchiivka, in the Berkhivka and Yahidne areas, and consolidated positions near Berkhiv Reservoir. Airborne troops of the Russian Armed Forces are attempting to regain lost positions and have advanced 500 meters south of the Berkhiv Reservoir. The enemy is engaged in battles for the control of Kurdyumivka. Russian forces are preparing for new assaults, intensifying artillery fire around Bakhmut.
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG troops are holding the  key heights west of Klishchiivka and Andriivka. They successfully repelled all Russian assaults near Bohdanivka and Ivanivske, and made slight advancements to the southeast of Toretsk.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces have advanced north of Pervomaiske, pushed Ukrainian troops back from Stepove, from the wastewater treatment facilities southeast of height 230 “Terikon.” They consolidated on the eastern outskirts of Stepove, advancing along the railroad tracks.
  • The “Tavriya” OSG forces successfully repelled Russian attacks east of Novokalynove and Pervomaiske, near Avdiivka, Severne, Tonenke, Vodyane, Maryinka, and Novomykhailivka. They are maintaining control over the Avdiivka coke chemical plant.
  • On the Berdyansk direction, Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations near Staromayorske, Novodarivka, Prechystivka, and Novomayorske. Units of the 37th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army attempted unsuccessfully to attack between Urozhaine and Novodonetske.
  • Tokmak direction: The enemy’s 247th Airborne Assault Regiment has lost control over heights northwest of Verbove, significantly complicating its capacity to maintain control over the northwestern outskirts of the village. West of Robotyne, the 136th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade has withdrawn from its positions towards Kopani. Intense engagements are unfolding in the Kopani-Nesteryanka sector between the units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces and the enemy’s 503rd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 19th Motorized Rifle Division, along the 104th and 234th Airborne Assault Regiments of the 76th Airborne Assault Division. The supply routes for the 503rd Motorized Rifle Regiment, holding Nesteryanka, , are subjected to fire control in the sector between Nesteryanka and Myrne, spanning up to 2 km..
  • Advanced units of the “Tavriya” OSG are achieving success in the area of Novopokrovka, where they have infiltrated deep into the defensive perimeter of the 108th Airborne Assault Regiment, encircling Nesteryanka from both the northern and western directions.
  • Kherson direction: The forces of the “Odesa” OSG launched an attack in the area of Krynky, near Poyma and Pishchanivka, and have already pushed back Russian forces back by three to eight kilometers from the eastern bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast.
  • Russian forces progressed towards Krynky, launched a counterattack, and compelled Ukrainian forces to retreat from specific areas south of Krynky, near Kozachi Lagery and Antonivskyi Bridge. They impeded Ukrainian forces from conducting the evacuation of the wounded and deploying additional personnel on the eastern bank near Antonivskyi Bridge.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Sea operational zone, one enemy ship was on combat duty in the Black Sea, while another was present in the Azov Sea. In the Mediterranean Sea, two enemy vessels were identified, one of which was a cruise missile carrier. The cumulative volley of cruise missiles amounted to eight rockets.

Change in enemy disposition:  

  • Russian forces have established a military base in Mangush, which includes a fuel depot, at least 10 combat armored vehicles, four air defense systems, a command post, and a headquarters.

Possible operation situation developments:

  • Russian forces are unlikely to completely regain the initiative in the forthcoming months, and the probability of them executing a large-scale offensive, capable of disrupting the Defense Forces’ resource allocation for counteroffensive operations, remains improbable.
  • 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.
  • The “Tavriya” OSG has two viable routes for breaching towards Tokmak: either through Novoprokopivka – Solodka Balka – Chervonohirka or through Myrne – crossing the first position of the primary defense line in the area of Peremozhne – Ternuvate – Stepove, and further, through positions along the Novohorivka – Chystopillia line in the direction of Pokrovske.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 16.11.23 

Personnel – almost 315,620 people (+1,330);

Tanks – 5,388 (+11);

Armored combat vehicles – 10,121 (+17);

Artillery systems – 7,683 (+36);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 892 (+8);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 585 (+3);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 10,060 (+40);

Aircraft – 323 (0);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 5,689 (+14);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,563 (+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 132 towns and villages and 112 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. Four people were reported dead, and 8 were reported injured. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified. 
  • On the night of November 16, the Ukrainian Defense Forces successfully neutralized 16 out of 18 Russian attack drones. In the evening, a guided aviation missile Kh-59 was intercepted over Poltava Oblast. Civilian infrastructure in Kharkiv Oblast was attacked with S-300 during the night; no casualties were reported.
  • Around 3 p.m. on November 16, the Russian forces launched a massive attack on Bilozerka, Kherson Oblast, resulting in injuries to four Ukrainian civilians and causing damage to residential structures and a grocery store. A critical infrastructure object was destroyed, leading to a power outage in Bilozerka and adjacent villages.
  • Rescue and search operations at the site of the four-story building in Selydove, Donetsk Oblast, partially destroyed by the Russian attack, have been completed. Four people lost their lives, and three were injured.
  • As a result of landmines in Ukraine, a total of 852 civilians have been affected, resulting in 265 fatalities and 587 individuals sustaining injuries, as reported by the Mine Action Center of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.
  • Incompetent actions by Russian occupiers and “Rosatom” personnel on November 14 caused a temporary blackout at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant lasting for 90 minutes, according to the press service of “Energoatom.” The report was corroborated by IAEA inspectors present at the site of the temporarily occupied ZNPP.
  • Switzerland has supported the idea of creating a special tribunal to prosecute Russian aggression against Ukraine, emphasizing that acts of aggression should face accountability. Over the past months, 38 countries, including France, Germany, Norway, Guatemala, Japan, and Canada, have expressed support for this initiative. The Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that although the International Criminal Court possesses the mandate to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine, its jurisdiction does not extend to the crime of aggression in this conflict due to the non-ratification of the Rome Statute by both Russia and Ukraine.

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