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Russia’s war on Ukraine. 21.11.2023

Operational situation

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces conducted assault operations in the areas of Synkivka and east of Petropavlivka, where Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 10 attacks. On the Lyman direction, the Russian forces did not engage in offensive (assault) actions. On the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian troops repelled 20 Russian attacks in the areas of Klishchiivka, Andriivka, and east of Pivdenne. The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue assault operations south of Bakhmut, inflicting losses on the enemy in personnel and equipment, and consolidating on the achieved 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. The Russian offensive actions east of Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, Avdiivka, and Pervomaiske were unsuccessful. The Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 10 attacks on this section. On the Maryinka direction, the enemy made unsuccessful assault attempts in the areas of Maryinka, Pobieda, and Novomykhailivka, where the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 12 attacks. On the Shakhtarsk direction, Russian troops conducted unsuccessful assault actions in the area of Staromayorske, where Ukrainian troops repelled 2 attacks. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the Russian military conducted unsuccessful assault operations near Robotyne and northwest of Verbove. The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to conduct an offensive operation on the Melitopol direction, inflict losses to 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 conduct 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-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut and Avdiivka, west and southwest of Donetsk, on the border of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts, in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and slightly advanced in certain sectors of the front.

General conclusion:

  • The situation around Bakhmut has recently reached a turning point with Russian forces breaking the “positional deadlock” and launching active combat operations to regain control over previously lost positions between Klishchiivka and Andriivka.
  • A high level of coordination is observed among Russian assault groups, Aerospace Forces units, and artillery on the Bakhmut direction.
  • A recent snowfall in the Avdiivka area has affected operations by reducing visibility for both Ukrainian and Russian forces. Nevertheless, Russian forces continue attempts to break through to Avdiivka with small infantry assault groups.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 70 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces slightly advanced in the area of Kreminna, crossed the road from Ivanivka to Kyslivka, and are consolidating positions near the railway line just east of populated areas. They launched unsuccessful offensive actions near Synkivka, Ivanivka, and east of Petropavlivka and repelled Ukrainian attacks near Zahoruykivka and Hryhorivka.
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG forces advanced to the south of Kreminna.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the “Khortytsia” OSG troops continued successful assault operations south of Bakhmut and counterattacked  northwest of Horlivka.
  • Russian forces continued offensive actions on the Bakhmut direction, progressing southwest of Bakhmut near Klishchiivka, securing positions in adjacent wooded areas and at the railway station. Russian UAVs targeted Ukrainian forces near the spoil tip northwest of Horlivka, between Shumy and Pivdenne.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, battles are ongoing to the northwest of Avdiivka. Russian forces have advanced near Novokalynove and Ocheretyne. They launched unsuccessful assaults on the “Tavriya” OSG positions to the east of Novobakhmutivka, near Stepove, Severne, Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Pobieda, and Novomykhailivka.
  • The “Tavriya” OSG forces carried out a local counterattack towards the industrial zone southeast of Avdiivka, continued counterattacks near Stepove, south of Avdiivka, in the area of the spoil tip  north of Avdiivka, near Novomykhailivka.
  • Berdyansk direction, the “Tavriya” OSG forces repelled an attack by units of the 37th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army, which had recently achieved limited success west of Novodonetske.
  • Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked west of Staromayorske and attacked near Urozhaine. Units of the 5th Separate Tank Brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army are engaged in combat on the Staromayorske-Urozhaine line.
  • Tokmak direction: Forces of the “Tavria” OSG continue their offensive actions on the Melitopol direction, attacking to the east of Robotyne, near Verbove, and in the direction of Novoprokopivka.
  • Russian forces attacked from Novoprokopivka, Verbove, and to the west of Robotyne.
  • Kherson direction, the “Odesa” OSG forces have expanded their control zone in the western part of Krynky, and battles are ongoing near the village. The Ukrainian Defense Forces counterattacked in the direction of Poyma and Pishchanivka.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, there were 2 Russian ships on combat duty in the Black Sea; there were 2 enemy ships in the Mediterranean Sea, including 1 cruise missile carrier. The total salvo of the sea launched cruise missiles is 8 missiles.

Change in enemy disposition: not detected.

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 21.11.23 

Personnel – almost 319,820   people (+610);

Tanks 5,439 (0);

Armored combat vehicles – 10,174 (+6);

Artillery systems – 7,752 (+4);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 899 (0);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 588 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 10,134 (+7);

Aircraft – 323 (0);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 5,771 (+7);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,564 (+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 91 towns and villages and 72 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. Two civilians were reported dead in Kharkiv and Donetsk Oblast and 6 were reported injured in Donetsk Oblast. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • During the day and in the evening of November 21, Russian tactical aviation struck Odesa Oblast with X-31P missiles. Impacts were recorded on open surfaces, administrative buildings, and port infrastructure. There were no casualties reported among the civilian population.
  • On the morning of November 21, Russian forces dropped an explosive device from a drone on the city of Beryslav impacting a vehicle and causing shrapnel injuries on the 75-year-old owner of the car.
  • Between 11:20 to 13:00 on November 21, Russian forces dropped 25 guided aerial bombs on Beryslav and Kakhovka districts of Kherson Oblast. Preliminary reports indicate that a 74-year-old man was injured in Beryslav, and in Novoberyslav, a 54-year-old local resident sustained injuries.
  • Since the full-scale armed attack by Russia on Ukraine on February 24, 2022, there have been at least 10,000 confirmed cases of civilian deaths, with over 560 of them being children in Ukraine. Additionally, there have been more than 18,500 cases of injuries to civilians, as reported by the UN.
  • Europol has established a new Operational Task Force (OTF) to assist in the investigation of major international crimes committed in Ukraine after the invasion of Russian armed forces in February 2022. The purpose of this group is to help identify suspects and their involvement in potential war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide through systematic collection and analysis of information from open sources.

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