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Russia’s war on Ukraine. 23.12.2023

Operational situation

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Kupyansk direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 16 Russian attacks in the areas of Synkivka where the enemy tried to break through the Ukrainian defenses. On the Lyman direction, the enemy did not engage in offensive (assault) actions. On the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian troops repelled 8 enemy attacks near Bohdanivka, Ivanivske, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka.

In the “Tavriya” OSG operational zone on the Avdiivka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces keep holding back the occupying forces that persist in attempts to encircle Avdiivka. Ukrainian troops steadfastly maintain the defense, inflicting losses on the enemy forces. The Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 23 enemy attacks east of Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, Avdiivka, and 17 more attacks in the areas of Pervomaiske and Nevelske. On the Maryinka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces are holding back the enemy in the area of Maryinka and Pobieda where they repelled 4 attacks. On the Shakhtarsk direction, the Ukrainian Defence Forces repelled a Russian attack west of Staromayorske. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the Ukrainian troops repelled all Russian attacks west of Verbove and Robotyne. On the Melitopol direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continue active operations, inflicting 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 persist in expanding their bridgehead. Despite encountering setbacks, the adversary launched 17 assault attempts to dislodge Ukrainian units from their positions. The Russian forces encountered a robust resistance, resulting in a withdrawal with incurred losses. Ukrainian defenders conduct counter-battery warfare, delivering fire strikes on the enemy’s rear targets.

Russian forces advanced to the northeast and southwest of Bakhmut and to the southwest of Avdiivka, continuing positional battles along the entire front line.

General conclusion:

  • Over the last 24 hours, the enemy has doubled the frequency of artillery strikes on the Kupyansk and Lyman directions compared to the previous day.
  • The intensity of combat operations in the Avdiivka area did not decrease.
  • Near Verbove, there has been a deceleration in operational activities in the past day, despite improved weather conditions.
  • Russian forces are ramping up efforts to train additional troops, aiming to compensate for the pace of losses in Ukraine and maintain the momentum of their offensive operations on the front. They recruit approximately 30,000 to 37,200 new personnel each month.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 75 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces advanced in the wooded area near Synkivka and close to Torske, continuing positional combat operations in the Synkivka, Stelmakhivka, and Terny areas.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, Russian forces achieved successes south of Spirne, launched an assault northeast of Bakhmut, advanced from Berestove toward Vyimka, made progress southwest of Bakhmut into the dacha areas near the “Chornobylets” garden community, and on the northwest outskirts of Klishchiivka. They continued their advance west of Bakhmut, engaging in positional battles north of Bohdanivka, in the Khromove and Ivanivske areas, in the area of T0504 Chasiv Yar – Ivanivske highway, near Klishchiivka, and Andriivka. Airborne units attacked near the Bakhmut highway, power substation, and former airfield.
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG forces engaged in positional battles near the “Alebastrova” water body east of Klishchiivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces made slight advancements northeast of Opytne, northeast of Stepove, up to 400 meters northwest of Stepove along the railway, and 150 meters toward Nevelske and Pervomaiske from positions in Vodyane, north of Novomykhailivka.
  • Positional battles persisted near Avdiivka, east of Novobakhmutivka and Novokalynove, near Stepove in the industrial zone, at the “Vynohradnyky” garden community, and in the vicinity of Nevelske, Pervomaiske, Maryinka, Pobieda, and Novomykhailivka.
  • Berdyansk direction: “Tavriya” OSG forces repelled attacks by the 294th Motorized Rifle Regiment and the 218th Tank Regiment of the 127th Motorized Rifle Division of the 5th Army near Staromayorske.
  • Tokmak direction: combat engagements continued near Robotyne and Verbove, on the Robotyne-Kopani line.
  • Kherson direction, battles are ongoing in Krynky and the surrounding areas, with “Odesa” OSG forces holding their strongholds.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, the enemy naval group on combat duty consists of:
    • Mediterranean Sea: 4 ships, including 2 cruise missile carriers. The total “Kalibr” missile salvo is 16 cruise missiles.
  • No ships on combat duty have been detected in the Azov and Black Seas. However, the following vessels are currently present:
    • 13 miles east of Cape Meganom – “Alrosa” diesel-electric submarine of project 877V and “Sokolskoye” (trial testing) torpedo boat of project 1388NZT,
    • 12 miles southeast of Cape Opuk – “Pitlivy” patrol ship of project 1135M (radar surveillance),
    • 21 miles northwest of the Kerch Strait – “Suzdalets” small anti-submarine ship  of project 1124M, “Kursant Kirovets” and “Suvorovets” anti-sabotage boats  of project 21980 (guarding the Kerch bridge crossing),
    • 28 miles southwest of Anapa – “Priazovie” medium reconnaissance ship  of project 864 (conducting radio-technical reconnaissance in the northwest direction with long-range detection).

Change in enemy disposition:

  • Units from the 6th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army Corps of the 8th Combined Arm Army operate In the vicinity of Spirne.
  • Forces from the 200th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade in the 14th Army Corps of the Northern Fleet are active along the northern outskirts of Bohdanivka. Flanking operations involve volunteer units affiliated with the “Sever-V Volunteer Brigade” from the Volunteer Assault Corps.
  • Forces from the 20th Motorized Rifle Division of the 8th Combined Arms Army, the 68th Army Corps, the 155th Separate Marines Brigade from the Pacific Fleet, and the operational-tactical formation “Kaskad” of the Russian proxy Donetsk People’s Republic are currently engaged in combat near Novomykhailivka. Meanwhile, the 255th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 20th Motorized Rifle Division is operating on the Maryinka direction.

Possible operation situation developments:

  • The Russian Federation plans to seize the entire Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts and part of Kharkiv Oblast up to the Oskil River by the end of 2024. Over the next 36 months, Russia intends to capture parts of Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kharkiv Oblasts, including the city of Kharkiv on the left bank of the Dnipro River.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the enemy will attempt to encircle Chasiv Yar.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, an increase in the duration of operational pauses between enemy attacks is to be expected. This can be attributed to a shortage of combat-ready reserves and a gradual transition from a comprehensive advance across the entire front to sequential actions on various fronts.
  • The enemy command is forming preliminary conditions for a repeat of the Bakhmut and Avdiivka scenarios in the Vuhledar area, attempting to advance on the flanks of the stronghold of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, with the main direction of the attack planned to be the Maryinka – Kostiantynivka – Vuhledar road.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 23.12.23 

Personnel – almost 352,390 people (+1040);

Tanks 5,854 (+17);

Armored combat vehicles – 10,871 (+18);

Artillery systems – 8,250 (+28);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 932 (0);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 611 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 10,995 (+51);

Aircraft – 327 (+3);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 6,384 (+19);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,613 (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 12 regions of Ukraine over the past day. A total of 121 towns and villages and 92 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. One person died and 10 were injured in Donetsk Oblast, 5 people were injured in Kherson Oblast. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • On the night of December 22, the air defense forces successfully shot down all 9 drones launched by the Russian forces over the Odesa and Khmelnytskyi Oblasts.
  • As part of the mandatory evacuation from the dangerous areas of Donetsk Oblast, the police assisted 99,997 individuals in leaving, with 535 people helped in the last 24 hours.
  • After an enemy shelling, five power plant workers were injured in the frontline region, as reported by the press service of DTEK LLC. Over the past month, the Russian Federation has attacked the frontline thermal power plant ten times. The latest attack occurred on December 20.
  • The Russian occupation authorities recruit for courses of FPV drone operators at the DOSAAF (Voluntary Society for the Support of the Army, Aviation and Navy) centers in the occupied Crimea. Enrolling in the course is possible only with consent to subsequently serve as a ‘volunteer’ in the aggressor’s war against Ukraine.
  • On the occupied territory of Luhansk Oblast, in particular in Sukhodolsk, the Russian authorities force local residents, including inmates in the colony, to join their assault units. Those who have the means can ‘buy’ their freedom, reported Artem Lysohor, the head of the Luhansk Oblast Military Administration.

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