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Russia’s war on Ukraine. 20.11.2023

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, east of Petropavlivka and Ivanivka, where the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 7 attacks. On the Lyman direction, the enemy did not engage in offensive (assault) actions. On the Bakhmut direction, the enemy conducted assault operations in the areas of Klishchiivka and Andriivka, where Ukrainian troops repelled 11 attacks. The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue assault operations south of Bakhmut, inflicting losses on the enemy in personnel and equipment, and consolidating positions on achieved lines.

In the “Tavriya” OSG operational zone on the Avdiivka direction, the enemy persists in attempts to encircle Avdiivka. Ukrainian forces maintain a resilient defense, inflicting losses on the enemy. The Russian forces attempts to advance east of Novokalynove, Novobakhmutivka, Severne, and Avdiivka, where the Defense Forces repelled 12 attacks, were unsuccessful. On the Maryinka direction, the enemy conducted unsuccessful assault operations in the areas of Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, and Pobieda, where Ukrainian forces repelled 16 attacks. On the Shakhtarsk direction, Russian forces attempted assault operations near Staromayorske but were unsuccessful. 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, inflicting losses on the Russian 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 offensive operations on the Kupyansk-Svatove line, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, to the west and southwest of Donetsk, and advanced in some sectors.

General conclusion:

  • The count of Russian deserters and personnel refusing to engage in offensive operations is on the rise, compelling the Russian command to employ physical force and barrier units.
  • Adverse weather conditions reduce the likelihood of abrupt changes in the tactical situation across any front sectors in the immediate future. The onset of winter will facilitate the resumption of active combat operations.
  • The command of the adversary’s “Vostok” Operational Group is actively employing continuous counterattacks by the 2nd and 3rd Army Corps forces to hinder the advance of the Ukrainian “Khortytsia” OSG south of Bakhmut.  Simultaneously, north of the city, they aim to achieve optimal advances in the direction of Bohdanivka – Chasiv Yar, intending to reach the flank and rear of the “Khortytsia” OSG south of Bakhmut.
  • In the Bakhmut area, the adversary aims to achieve quite limited tactical objectives, mainly to disrupt the offensive actions of the Ukrainian OSG “Khortytsia” south of the city. To accomplish this goal, the adversary’s command has reinforced only the forward units of the first echelon of its grouping and concentrated the 88th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army Corps as the second echelon in this sector.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 46 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces carried out unsuccessful attacks in the Synkivka and Ivanivka areas, east of Petropavlivka, and near Torske. They achieved tactical successes near Petropavlivka and Synkivka, and repelled a Ukrainian attack south of Kuzmyne.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the “Khortytsia” OSG forces attacked in the Klishchiivka area and advanced south of Shumy. Combat engagements occurred north of Soledar.
  • Units of the 217th and 331st Airborne Assault Regiments of the enemy’s 98th Airborne Assault Division have advanced from Yahidne and Berkhivka toward Bohdanivka and Khromove. Russian forces attacked in Andriivka and near Klishchiivka, where Ukrainian forces still maintain positions on adjacent heights. The 3rd Battalion of the 132nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps displaced Ukrainian forces from positions at the spoil tip near the Gagarin Mine northwest of Horlivka. However, Ukrainian forces retain control of the territory near the western slope. Units of the 4th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army Corps have been attempting to counterattack in the direction of Bakhmut–Klishchiivka for several days without success. East of Klishchiivka, the 1307th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Russian Territorial Troops and the 6th Motorized Rifle Division of the 3rd Army Corps unsuccessfully attempted to attack toward Zaitseve – Klishchiivka. From Odradivka towards Klishchiivka, the enemy’s 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 3rd Army Corps is attempting to attack without success. Slightly to the south, the enemy’s 83rd Separate Airborne Assault Brigade cannot achieve any results. In the Kurdyumivka area, units of the 57th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade and the 7th Volunteer Reconnaissance-Assault Brigade are trying to improve the tactical situation, attacking northward towards Andriivka, but their efforts prove futile.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, the “Tavriya” OSG forces advanced near the railway to the southeast of Stepove. They regained previously lost positions, counterattacked near the Avdiivka coking plant, and launched an attack near Maryinka. 
  • Russian forces advanced near the industrial zone on the southeast outskirts of Avdiivka, the Avdiivka coking plant, and the railway to the west and northwest of Krasnohorivka. They unsuccessfully attacked south of Novokalynove, east of Novobakhmutivka, near Pervomaiske, Maryinka, Pobieda, Novomykhailivka, Severne, Nevelske, and Avdiivka. Units of the 114th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps and units of the “Shtorm-Z” detachment advanced in the area of the “Tsarska Okhota” restaurant.
  • Berdyansk direction: Russian troops repelled a Ukrainian attack near Staromayorske. They launched a large-scale air strike with RBK-500 cluster bombs in the UMPK module.
  • Tokmak direction: The “Tavriya” OSG forces made slight progress near Novoprokopivka and Rivne and launched attacks near Robotyne, Verbove, and Kopani.
  • Russian forces regained a section of the H08 highway Orikhiv – Polohy – Bilmak during a counterattack near Novofedorivka. They conducted unsuccessful assaults near Robotyne, Novoprokopivka, and west of Verbove.
  • Kherson direction: The “Odesa” OSG forces maintained positions on the eastern bank. They attacked near Poyma and Pishchanivka, while Russian forces counterattacked in Krynky and repelled the Ukrainian Defense Forces’ attempt to land on the island of Velykyi Potiomkin.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Sea operational zone, there were 2 enemy ships on combat duty in the Mediterranean Sea, including 1 carrying cruise missiles. The total salvo of cruise missiles is 8.

Change in enemy disposition:

  • The Russian command is now actively reinforcing the units of the 217th Airborne Assault Regiment of the 98th Airborne Assault Division with assault groups from the 200th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade to develop the offensive in the direction of Bohdanivka – Chasiv Yar. In the second echelon, units of the 88th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army Corps are being deployed to enhance the capabilities of the 98th Airborne Assault Division.

Escalation indicators:

  • The enemy is undergoing troop regrouping on the Lyman and Avdiivka sectors. The adversary is preparing for the third wave of assaults on the Avdiivka direction.

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.
  • On the Lyman direction, there are growing indications that the adversary will imminently launch another endeavor to displace the Defense Forces units beyond the Chornyi Zherebets River in its lower reaches.
  • The adversary’s military command intends to deploy units from the 35th, 55th, and 74th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigades of the 41st Combined Arms Army within the “Center” operational grouping, along with the 67th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 25th Combined Arms Army, to launch an offensive near Nevske, Terny, and Yampolivka.
  • The Russian 20th Combined Arms Army includes two full-fledged motorized rifle divisions (the 3rd and 144th). Together with the 67th Motorized Rifle Division of the 25th Army, the 164th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, and the 11th Separate Tank Brigade, it is fully capable of forming a strike group on the Lyman direction for an offensive towards Kreminna – Zarichne.
  • 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 20.11.23 

Personnel – almost 319,210 people (+640); 

Tanks – 5,439 (+4); 

Armored combat vehicles – 10,168 (+2); 

Artillery systems – 7,748 (+4);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 899 (+1);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 588 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 10,127 (+7);

Aircraft – 323 (0);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 5,764 (+9);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,563 (0);

Boats/ships – 23 (0).

Humanitarian +general

  • According to information provided by the Situation Center of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Russian troops shelled 9 regions of Ukraine over the past day. A total of 94 towns and villages and 60 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. Nine civilians were reported injured in different regions of Ukraine. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • As of the morning of November 20, due to the full-scale Russian aggression, 510 Ukrainian children have lost their lives and 1,146 have been injured, the Prosecutor General’s Office reports.
  • As a result of Russian shelling of the central part of Kherson on the morning of November 20th, two civilians were killed and two others were wounded. The impact was specifically targeted on the parking lot of a private transport enterprise in Kherson.
  • On November 20, Ukraine repatriated the bodies of another 94 fallen Ukrainian soldiers, according to the Coordination Headquarters for Prisoners of War Affairs.
  • According to the National Resistance Center of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Russian occupation authorities brought in 34,000 Russian textbooks to the occupied areas of Kherson Oblast. Their overall plan to bring in over 100,000 textbooks to the region. The Center emphasizes that Russian schools in the temporarily occupied territories function as a means of indoctrination and are designed to alter the self-identification of Ukrainian children as a part of the policy of genocide.
  • “Energoatom” has completed scheduled repairs on the last, 9th nuclear unit of the domestic nuclear power plant. Presently, all power units located in the territory controlled by Ukraine are operating at full capacity.

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