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Russia’s war on Ukraine. 24.12.2023

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 17 Russian attacks in the areas of Synkivka where the enemy unsuccessfully tried to break through the Ukrainian defenses. On the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian troops repelled 11 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 25 enemy attacks east of Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, Avdiivka, and 15 attacks near Severne, Pervomaiske and Nevelske. On the Maryinka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces are holding back the enemy in the area of Maryinka and Novomykhailivka where they repelled 4 attacks. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the Ukrainian troops repelled all Russian attacks in the area of Robotyne and northwest of Verbove.

In the operational zone of the “Odesa” OSG on Kherson direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces persist in expanding their bridgehead. Despite encountering setbacks, the adversary persists in attempts to dislodge Ukrainian units from their positions. During the past 24 hours, the adversary attempted 17 unsuccessful assault actions, faced a strong resistance, and subsequently retreated.

Russian forces have advanced near Kupyansk and Kreminna, northeast of Bakhmut, southwest of Donetsk, on the eastern bank of Kherson Oblast, and continued positional combat operations along the entire front line.

General conclusion:

  • Russia’s maximalist goals in Ukraine, including “denazification,” “demilitarization,” and imposing a “neutral status” on Ukraine, remain unchanged.
  • Russian Airborne Forces deliberately maintain a slow pace of attacks on the Bakhmut direction to avoid high losses while prioritizing the infliction of damage on Ukrainian forces rather than displacing them from their positions.
  • Units of the 810th Separate Marines Brigade of the Russian Black Sea Fleet have rotated in the Krynky area and employ a new tactic by deploying aerosol grenades K-51 (containing the irritant gas CS (2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile) from UAVs to force Ukrainian forces out of their positions. This constitutes a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits the use of toxic substances as a method of warfare.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 81 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces have achieved limited success in northern Synkivka and to the south of Dibrova. Prolonged positional battles are ongoing in the areas of Synkivka, Lake Lyman, Ivanivka, Zhytlivka, Terny, Torske, and Serebryansk Forest.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, Russian forces have advanced to the southwest of Spirne, near Khromove, Ivanivske, and Klishchiivka. Positional battles continued near Andriivka.
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG troops have withdrawn from some positions near the railway near Klishchiivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces have advanced in the Avdiivka Coking Plant area and towards Ocheretyne, in the areas of Vodyane and Opytne, southeast of the industrial zone, by 200 meters towards Novokalynove, to the southeast of Novomykhailivka, to the southeast of Maryinka, and near Pobieda. Positional battles are ongoing near Novobakhmutivka, Novokalynove, Stepove, Severne, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, and Pobieda.
  • Berdyansk direction: Russian forces attempted an unsuccessful attack west of Staromayorske. Units of the 143rd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 127th Motorized Rifle Division of the 5th Army failed in their attack near Pryiutne.
  • Tokmak direction: Russian forces attacked from the Kopani – Robotyne – Novoprokopivka – Verbove line south and east of Robotyne and near Novopokrovka. Units of the 247th Air Assault Regiment of the 7th Air Assault Division continue to operate near Verbove. Russian forces continue to fortify Tokmak, the northwest and the south of Melitopol.
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG forces attacked Russian positions on the Robotyne – Verbove line.
  • Kherson direction, units of the 810th Separate Marines Brigade of the Russian Black Sea Fleet have made slight progress in the western part of Krynky, where they have captured some positions.
  • 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.
  • The Russian naval command is developing measures to protect against strikes by Ukrainian naval drones, utilizing buoys to block harbor entrances, conducting aerial surveillance from planes and helicopters, employing electronic equipment to jam drone communication, and deploying VT-40 strike UAVs from small boats to target identified Ukrainian naval drones.
  • Russian forces have also restored many defensive structures at the entrance to Sevastopol harbor following a powerful Black Sea cyclone at the end of November.

Change in enemy disposition:

-The 104th Air Assault Division of the Russian Airborne Forces has a lower combat readiness compared to other Russian airborne units, so it will be reinforced with officers graduating from command schools in winter.

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 24.12.23 

Personnel – almost 353,190 people (+800);

Tanks 5,858 (+4);

Armored combat vehicles – 10,888 (+17);

Artillery systems – 8,314 (+28);

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

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 611 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 11,022 (+27);

Aircraft – 327 (0);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

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

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,614 (+1);

Boats/ships – 23 (0).


  • According to information provided by the Situation Center of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Russian troops shelled 11 regions of Ukraine over the past day. A total of 118 towns and villages and 116 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. 4 people were killed and 9 were injured in Kherson Oblast. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • On the night of December 24, the Russian forces attacked Ukraine with 15 Shahed UAVs from the area of ​​Primorsko-Akhtarsk. 14 UAVs were destroyed within the territories of Mykolaiv, Kirovohrad, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, and Khmelnytskyi Oblasts.
  • In Sumy Oblast, all the villages located in the Novoslobidska, Bilopilska, Krasnopilska, Shalyhynska, and Esmanhska communities within a 5-kilometer zone from the border with the Russian Federation have completely evacuated the population due to constant Russian shelling. As of the beginning of December 2023, the number of evacuated residents is 3,679 people, including 679 children who have relocated to other communities in Sumy Oblast.
  • On December 23, civilians in a border village of the Novgorod-Siversky district, Chernihiv Oblast, who were receiving bread, were subjected to a drone attack by Russian forces. Fortunately, no injuries were reported among the people, but shrapnel did strike a vehicle transporting bread.
  • The Save Ukraine team successfully managed to bring back three more Ukrainian children from temporarily occupied territories. Eight-year-old Yelysei has a mother on the Ukraine-controlled territory, while the two 18-year-old brothers, Andrii and Mykhailo, both orphaned, were raised in a foster family on the occupied territory before the full-scale invasion.

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