Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 14.12.2023

Operational situation

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia,” on the Kupyansk direction, Ukrainian defenders repelled 21 enemy attacks in the area of Synkivka and an additional 2 attacks east of Petropavlivka. On the Lyman direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces thwarted 2 enemy attacks in the vicinity of Serebryansk Forest and east of Terny. On the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian forces repelled 6 enemy attacks near Ivanivske, Andriivka, and Klishchiivka. The Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to inflict losses on the enemy in personnel and equipment, consolidating their positions on the achieved lines.

In the “Tavriya” OSG operational zone on the Avdiivka direction, Ukrainian defenders continue to hold back the enemy, which persists in attempts to encircle Avdiivka. Ukrainian troops steadfastly hold the defense, inflicting losses on the Russian occupiers. The Defense Forces effectively repelled 29 enemy attacks east of Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, and Avdiivka and another 28 attacks south of Severne, Pervomaiske, and Nevelske. On the Maryinka direction, the Defense Forces hold back the enemy in the areas of Novomykhailivka and Krasnohorivka, repelling 19 attacks. On the Shakhtarsk direction, the enemy did not engage in offensive (assault) actions. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the Defense Forces repelled 6 enemy attacks near Robotyne and west of Verbove. On the Melitopol direction, the Defense Forces continue active operations, inflicting losses on the Russian forces in personnel and equipment, 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 River and to conduct counter-battery warfare and inflict damage on the enemy’s rear areas. 

Russian forces continued offensive actions along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, north and 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 several sectors.

General conclusion:

  • The adversary has shifted to active offensive operations on practically all operational fronts. Most actively, they conduct attacking/assault actions on the Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Kupyansk directions. They also launch attacks on the Orikhiv, Novopavlivka, Lyman, and Prydniprovsk directions in specific areas.
  • The Russian military-political command assesses that the circumstances are conducive to reclaiming the strategic initiative and has transitioned to the practical execution of operational-tactical measures across several operational fronts.
  • Russian forces are making progress in the directions of Ivanivske, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka, which is explained by the redeployment of well-prepared units to this direction.
  • The adversary’s command seeks to regain its forces’ positions to the initial positions of its main defense line in the Novoprokopivka area and on the stretch between Novoprokopivka and Kopani. However, the true intent of the adversary is to force Ukrainian forces to withdraw from the stretch between Novoprokopivka and Verbove.
  • The command of the 58th Army, with the forces of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division, is unable to displace Ukrainian troops from the first position of the main defense line in the general direction from south to north. Therefore, it is compelled to force them to withdraw through attacks on the flanks, utilizing the forces of the 108th and 56th Air Assault Regiments of the 7th Air Assault Division. The latter not only unsuccessfully attacked northwest of Verbove but also lost control of Height 140, slightly easing the situation for the advanced units of the “Tavria” OSG, which reached the northwest outskirts of Verbove.
  • The command of the “Tavria” OSG organized a series of attacks in the direction of Novopokrovka and north of this area, questioning the viability of the adversary’s 7th Air Assault Division attacks in the Verbove area.
  • The elimination of the bridgeheads of the “Odesa” OSG on the left bank of the Dnipro River becomes crucial as the main military-political goal [for the adversary].

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 120 combat engagements on various fronts. 
  • On the Kupyansk directions, Russian forces made slight progress southeast of Spirne, east of Ivanivka, and 1 km near the outskirts of Zahoruykivka. They repelled 8 Ukrainian attacks near Synkivka, Ivanivka, Lake Lyman, Yahidne, Zarichne, and Dibrova. 
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG forces repelled 14 enemy attacks in the areas of Synkivka, Ivanivka, east of Petropavlivka, 2 Russian attacks towards Lyman near Makiyivka, Serebryansk Forest, and east of Terny.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, Russian forces advanced north of Sacco and Vanzetti, towards Ivanivske on a frontage of 2 km and a depth of 700 m, north of Klishchiivka, northeast and east of Bohdanivka. They control a section of Hryhorivka–Bohdanivka road and repelled Ukrainian attacks near Klishchiivka and Shumy. The battles near Khromove are ongoing.
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG forces repelled 5 Russian attacks near Bohdanivka, Ivanivske, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka and attacked near the spoil heap north of Horlivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces made slight progress southeast of Stepove, in the industrial zone, and east of the Avdiivka coking plant (AKHZ). They continued attacks near Stepove and north of Vodyane. Units of the 2nd Rifle Battalion and the 163rd Tank Regiment of the 150th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 8th Army raised the flag in Maryinka. Russian forces repelled Ukrainian attacks near Novomykhailivka.
  • The “Tavria” OSG forces repelled at least 51 Russian attacks east of Novokalynove, Novobakhmutivka, near Stepove, Avdiivka, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, south of Tonenke and Severne, and 13 attacks near Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, and Krasnohorivka. They continue the defense of Maryinka.
  • On the Berdyansk direction, positional battles persisted on the administrative border between Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts.
  • The “Tavria” OSG forces repelled Russian attacks north of Pryiutne.
  • Units of the 394th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 127th Motorized Rifle Division of the 5th Army operate in the Staromayorske area.
  • Tokmak direction: The enemy is attempting to reach the northern outskirts of Robotyne, conducting a series of attacks in the directions of Kopani – Robotyne and Novoprokopivka – Robotyne. They are trying to compel the advanced units of the “Tavria” OSG to move north of these positions, threatening to outflank them from the right flank. A similar situation has also developed in the area between Novoprokopivka and Verbove in the battles for the first position of the enemy’s main defense line. In three days of combats, the enemy has advanced only by 800 meters, occupying several detachment positions. The enemy is regrouping and reinforcing its forces for attacks on the right flank of the “Tavria” OSG forces, which are engaged in combat on the Novoprokopivka – Verbove line.
  • Kherson direction: The enemy’s “Dniepr” operational grouping is making efforts to eliminate the “Odesa” OSG bridgehead.
  • Over the 5 days of continuous attacks on the Ukrainian bridgehead, the 104th Air Assault Division suffered significant losses in weaponry and military equipment only in the forward units of the 328th and 337th Air Assault Regiments. Particularly intense battles took place in the forested area south of Krynky.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov Sea operational zone, the enemy naval grouping on combat duty consisted of:
    • Black Sea: 3 ships;
    • Azov Sea: 1 ship;
    • Mediterranean Sea: 4 ships, including 2 cruise missile carriers with a total salvo of 16 Kalibr cruise missiles.

Change in enemy disposition: 

  • On the Tokmak direction, units of the 71st Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division, the 136th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 58th Army, and several units of the 76th Air Assault Division of the adversary are deployed.
  • The enemy has reinforced its “Dniepr” operational group not only with the fresh 104th Air Assault Division but also with the 70th Motorized Rifle Division and at least one separate motorized rifle brigade from the composition of the 40th Army Corps (the 144th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade). In addition to these forces, the 205th Separate Motorized Brigade of the 49th Army, the 22nd Army Corps of the 18th Army, and the 61st Separate Marine Battalion of the Northern Fleet are operating in this area.

Possible operation situation developments: 

  • Russian forces will be unable to completely seize the initiative in the coming months and launch a large-scale offensive that would prevent the Ukrainian Defense Forces from allocating resources to their offensive operations.
  • 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.
  • The Russian military command believes that the military impasse during the winter will deplete Western support for Ukraine and give the Russian forces an advantage despite significant losses in the Russian Armed Forces and persistent shortages of personnel, ammunition, and equipment.
  • Russian forces are attempting to seize the initiative on the theater of military operations in Ukraine, at least since mid-November 2023. To achieve this, they initiated offensive operations on several sections of the front during the most challenging weather conditions of the autumn-winter season.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 14.12.23  

Personnel – almost 342,800 people (+1,300); 

Tanks – 5,692 (+10); 

Armored combat vehicles – 10,616 (+22); 

Artillery systems – 8,088 (+12);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 920 (+1);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 605 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 10,675 (+13);

Aircraft – 324 (0);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 6,206 (+33);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,606 (+10);

Boats/ships – 23 (0).


  • 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 105 towns and villages and 42 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • On the evening of December 13 and overnight into December 14, a total of 42 “Shahed” combat drones were launched by Russian forces against Ukraine, with 41 of them successfully intercepted, primarily over Odesa Oblast. The launches were conducted in waves from three directions: Balaklava, Chauda (Crimea), and Primorsko-Akhtarsk (Russia).
  • In the night drone assault on the Odesa Oblast, a dormitory in Odesa sustained damage from falling debris, leading to injuries for 11 individuals. Furthermore, 11 buildings were damaged, two cars were set on fire, and warehouse facilities near the port were destroyed in the Izmail district.
  • On December 14th, air alarms were declared four times throughout Ukraine in response to the launch of Russian MiG-31K fighter jets. The Air Force reported missile launches during the second, third, and fourth alarms. Air defense in Kyiv Oblast successfully intercepted one hypersonic Х-47М2 “Kinzhal” missile; one “Kinzhal” missile impacted Khmelnytskyi Oblast. 
  • On December 14, it was reported that an additional five Ukrainian children had been repatriated from the occupied territories. Two of these children have families, and their evacuation was successfully conducted alongside their parents. The remaining three children are categorized as facing complex life circumstances, as the Kherson Oblast Military Administration reported.
  • The Zaporizhzhia Oblast Prosecutor’s Office has initiated an investigation into Russian violations of laws and customs of war. The Russian military, using captured Ukrainian soldiers as a “human shield,” launched attacks on Ukrainian positions. The incident was captured on video published by Radio Liberty. 
  • The safety system at the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant continues to degrade, and the personnel at the plant are incompetent, according to Oleg Korikov, the Acting Head of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate. The militarization level of the plant is increasing, with technological premises being used for weapons, explosives, and military equipment. Korikov noted that Russians restrict access for representatives of the IAEA in certain areas of the occupied power plant. There is evidence that Russians conduct launches from MLRS and artillery in the areas adjacent to the Zaporizhzhia NPP.

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