Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 03.12.2023

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, northeast of Petropavlivka, Ivanivka, and Stelmakhivka, where the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 7 attacks. On the Lyman direction, the enemy conducted unsuccessful assault operations near the Serebryansk forestry. The Defense Forces repelled 4 attacks in this sector. On the Bakhmut direction, the enemy conducted assault operations in the areas of Bohdanivka, Ivanivske, Andriivka, and Klishchiivka. The Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 21 attacks. The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue assault operations south of Bakhmut, inflicting losses on the enemy in personnel and equipment, and consolidating their positions.

In the “Tavriya” OSG operational zone on the Avdiivka direction, the enemy, with aviation support, persists in attempts to encircle Avdiivka. Ukrainian forces steadfastly hold their defense, inflicting losses on the occupiers. The enemy’s offensive actions were unsuccessful in areas east of Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, Avdiivka, Severne, and south of Tonenke and Pervomaiske. The Defense Forces repelled 25 attacks in this sector. On the Maryinka direction, the enemy conducted unsuccessful assault operations in the areas of Maryinka and Novomykhailivka, where the Defense Forces repelled 11 attacks. On the Shakhtarsk direction, the enemy conducted unsuccessful assault operations in areas southeast of Vuhledar and west of Staromayorske. Ukrainian forces repelled 3 enemy attacks in this sector. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the adversary made 12 unsuccessful attempts to reclaim previously lost positions south of Robotyne, west and northwest of Verbove. The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue their offensive operation on the Melitopol direction, inflicting losses on the Russian forces in personnel and equipment, and exhausting the enemy along the entire front line.

In the operational zone of the “Odesa” OSG on the Kherson direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to hold their positions on the left bank of the Dnipro, conduct counter-battery warfare, and inflict damage on the enemy’s rear areas. 

Russian forces continued offensive actions along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut and Avdiivka, west of Donetsk, on the administrative border between Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts, in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast. They advanced in the Avdiivka area.  

General conclusion:

  • Russian forces have reduced the intensity of shelling near Avdiivka by 1.5 times due to significant losses.
  • Russian authorities have frozen POW exchanges since the summer of 2023 and are not considering Ukraine’s proposals for a prisoner exchange, including the “all for all” formula.
  • The military-political leadership of the adversary is initiating the deployment of strategic reserves, potentially with the intention of protracting the war.
  • The Belarusian state enterprise “Zavod Tochnoy Elektromekhaniki” (located in the village of Stankovo, Minsk region) has been tasked by the Russian Ministry of Defense to produce 10,000 122mm rocket projectiles M-21OF for the BM-21 “Grad” Multiple Launch Rocket System.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 88 combat engagements on various fronts. 
  • On the Kupyansk direction, the forces of the “Khortytsia” OSG repelled Russian assaults near Synkivka, Petropavlivka, Ivanivka, Stelmakhivka, and in the area of the Serebryansk forest. They advanced to the west of Dibrova and are reinforcing the system of defensive structure and positions throughout Kharkiv Oblast, with a particular focus on the Kupyansk and Borova directions.
  • Russian forces attacked to the east of Terny and near Torske. 
  • On the Bakhmut direction, Russian forces continued their advance in the Bohdanivka area and the vicinity of Klishchiivka. They captured several Ukrainian positions near Andriivka. Ukrainian forces withdrew from specific positions near Bohdanivka.
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG forces successfully repelled Russian attacks near Hryhorivka, Bohdanivka, Ivanivske, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka. They are currently engaged in the active defense in the Bakhmut area.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces made slight progress to the south of Stepove, southeast of Novokalynove, west and east of Severne, and are consolidating in the industrial zone southeast of Avdiivka. The intense artillery barrage from Ukrainian forces is impeding the adversary’s progress and hinders them from solidifying their positions in the captured area of Maryinka.
  • The forces of the “Tavriya” OSG repelled Russian attacks to the south of Novokalynove, east of Novobakhmutivka, near Stepove, Avdiivka, Severne, Pervomaiske, to the south of Tonenke, near Maryinka, and Novomykhailivka. They captured new positions to the south of Stepove and south of Novokalynove, and maintain some positions on the outskirts of Maryinka.
  • On the Berdyansk direction, enemy units from the 5th Combined Arms Army attacked Ukrainian positions in the forested areas near Staromayorske and made some progress in that area. The assaults west of Staromayorske were unsuccessful.
  • Tokmak direction: The forces of the “Tavriya” OSG continued offensive actions in the Melitopol direction. Combat engagements are ongoing to the north of Verbove.
  • Russian forces repelled 14 Ukrainian attacks south of Robotyne, north of Verbove, and near Novoprokopivka. They held positions near Robotyne and are advancing in that area.
  • Kherson direction: The forces of the “Odesa” OSG maintained their positions and continued combat operations on the eastern bank of Kherson Oblast. Combat engagements are ongoing in Krynky.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Sea operational naval region, the enemy’s naval grouping is on combat duty, consisting of:
    • Black Sea: 5 ships;
    • Azov Sea: 1 ship;
    • Mediterranean Sea: 2 ships.

Change in enemy disposition:

  • Within the 5th Combined Arms Army of the Eastern Military District, the enemy’s command is in the process of establishing two new motorized rifle brigades – the 89th and 94th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigades. This formation will occur at the permanent deployment points of the 57th and 60th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigades, with armament and military equipment supplied by the 330th and 338th mobilization deployment support centers. Combat coordination exercises will take place at the “Bikinsky” training grounds (Khabarovsk Krai) and the “Sibirtsevo” training grounds (Primorsky Krai).

Possible operation situation developments:

  • In the near future, it is anticipated that the adversary will launch an offensive in the direction of Torske and Zarichne, with the objective of cutting off the Torske – Zarichne – Yampolivka road.
  • The enemy’s military command will continue to focus on encircling Avdiivka, improving its operational position in the Bakhmut area, and attempting to advance towards Kupyansk in the vicinity of Synkivka. Defensive operations will be sustained on the other fronts.
  • 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.
  • In the near future, the command of the adversary’s “Dniepr” operational grouping plans to concentrate the 328th and 337th Airborne Assault Regiments of the 104th Airborne Assault Division near Krynky, replacing the units of the 177th Separate Marine Regiment of the Russian Caspian Fleet. As part of this rotation, one marine battalion from the 177th Separate Marine Regiment has already been replaced by an assault battalion of the 337th Airborne Assault Regiment.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 03.12.23  

Personnel – almost 332,040 people (+930); 

Tanks – 5,575 (+4); 

Armored combat vehicles – 10,396 (+11); 

Artillery systems – 7,949 (+8);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 913 (0);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 602 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 10,432 (+22);

Aircraft – 323 (0);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 5,995 (+1);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,569 (+1);

Boats/ships – 23 (0).


  • According to information provided by the Situation Center of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Russian forces shelled 10 regions of Ukraine over the past day. A total of 114 towns and villages and 29 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. Two people were reported injured in Chernihiv Oblast, and one injury was reported in Kherson Oblast. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • On the night of December 3, the enemy launched an attack using 12 Shahed-type UAVs from the area of Primorsko-Akhtarsk and a guided aviation missile Kh-59 from the airspace of the Belgorod region. The Ukrainian air defense successfully destroyed 10 out of 12 enemy UAVs, and the attempt to hit the Russian Kh-59 missile was unsuccessful.
  • Russian forces shelled Kherson on Sunday from the left bank of the Dnipro River, hitting a high-rise building and two hospitals. The attack on the high-rise building resulted in one fatality and seven injuries.
  • The Prosecutor General’s Office has launched an investigation after a video surfaced online depicting a group of Russian servicemen shooting unarmed Ukrainian soldiers who were surrendering.
  • In the past week alone, Russian occupiers have fabricated cases and imposed sentences averaging 25 years in prison for 11 Ukrainian POWs who defended Mariupol, according to Mariupol’s deputy mayor, Petro Andryushchenko.
  • The Coordination Headquarters for Prisoners of War Affairs has issued a warning that Russian propaganda channels will soon launch a wave of disinformation, falsely attributing the suspension of prisoner exchanges to Ukraine.
  • Because of major losses on the southern direction, the enemy is trying to find donors in the temporarily occupied areas. The occupation administration is forcing government employees to donate blood for the Russian Armed Forces, promising additional payments that are not actually delivered, as reported by the National Resistance Center of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.
  • As of December 3, 926 towns are without power due to severe weather, combat operations, and technical issues, with the western regions being particularly impacted, as reported by the Ministry of Energy.

Centre for Defence Strategies (CDS) is a Ukrainian security think tank. We operate since 2020.

We publish this brief daily. If you would like to subscribe, please send us an email at cds.dailybrief@gmail.com

The CDC Daily Brief is produced with the support of the Kyiv School of Economics https://kse.ua/

Please note, that we subscribe only verified persons and can decline or cancel the subscription at our own discretion

We are an independent, non-government, non-partisan, and non-profit organization. More at www.defence.org.ua

Our Twitter (in English) – https://twitter.com/defence_centre

Our Facebook (in Ukrainian) – https://www.facebook.com/cds.UA

Our brief is for information only and we verify our information to the best possible extent