Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 25.12.2023

Operational situation

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Kupyansk direction, Ukrainian forces repelled 21 enemy attacks near Synkivka and Stelmakhivka, where the enemy unsuccessfully attempted to breach the defense of Ukrainian forces. On the Bakhmut direction, they repelled 5 enemy attacks near Bohdanivka, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka.

In the OSG “Tavriya” operational zone on the Avdiivka direction, Ukrainian defenders continue to hold back the enemy, which persists in attempting to encircle Avdiivka. Ukrainian troops steadfastly maintain the defense, inflicting losses on the enemy forces. The Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 14 enemy attacks east of Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, and Avdiivka, as well as 17 attacks near Pervomaiske and Nevelske. On the Maryinka direction, the Defense Forces continued to restrain the enemy in the areas of Maryinka and Novomykhailivka, where they repelled 5 enemy attacks. On the Shakhtarsk direction, Ukrainian defenders repelled an enemy attack southwest of Staromayorske. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, they repelled 3 enemy attacks near Robotyne and south of Hulyaipole.

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 23 unsuccessful assault actions, faced strong resistance, and subsequently retreated.

Russian forces advanced in the area of Kreminna and near Avdiivka, with positional combat operations ongoing along the entire contact line. 

General conclusion:

  • Over the past day, Russian forces intensified shelling of Avdiivka.
  • Russian forces reduced the employment of aviation and increased the use of strike UAVs on the Kupyansk and Bakhmut directions.
  • Over two days, the enemy lost 5 aircraft, indicating a significant strengthening of the Ukrainian Air Defense Forces in the Southern direction.
  • The command of the enemy’s “Dnieper” Operational Grouping may face issues executing orders due to excessive losses in their airborne units on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River. The problem will be exacerbated by the inexperience and poor training of personnel, particularly junior officers.
  • Russian forces have reduced the use of precision-guided bombs and airstrikes in southern Ukraine, limiting the deployment of manned aircraft near the occupied Crimea, particularly in the northwest region of the Black Sea.
  • Ukrainian forces have effectively suppressed Russian long-range artillery on the right bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast.
  • The adversary is employing long-range strike UAVs from the Primorsko-Akhtarsk airfield in Krasnodar Krai (Russian Federation).

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • Over the past day, there have been 66 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces advanced east of Terny and are positioned less than 4 km from the village. Positional battles took place in the areas of Synkivka, Stelmakhivka, east of Yampolivka, south of Kuzmyne, near Torske, Dibrova, and Serebryansk forestry. Russian forces increased the number of artillery strikes in the operational zone of the “Khortytsia” OSG to over 1,000 strikes per day.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, OSG “Khortytsia” forces advanced to the southwest of Verkhnyokamianske, near Khromove and Klishchiivka. Positional battles occurred near Bohdanivka, Vasyukivka, Ivanivske, Klishchiivka, Andriivka, and Pivdenne.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces advanced east of Stepove. They fully control the “Vynohradnyky” orchard and advanced 200 m from Vodyane towards Pervomaiske, and 200 m to the southwest outskirts of Avdiivka. Positional battles are ongoing near Novobakhmutivka, in the direction of Ocheretyne, near Stepove, Severne, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, and Pobeda. 
  • OSG “Tavriya” forces control part of the industrial zone southeast of Avdiivka.
  • Berdyansk direction: Ukrainian and Russian forces mainly engaged in reciprocal shelling, with Russian units conducting several unsuccessful attacks near Staromayorske.
  • Tokmak direction: Positional battles took place near Robotyne, Verbove, and south of Hulyaipole.
  • Kherson direction: “Odesa” OSG forces maintain positions in the eastern bank of Kherson Oblast. Positional battles continued near Krynky. Russian forces were unable to displace Ukrainian units from the foothold in Krynky due to the effective actions of Ukrainian UAV and electronic warfare units. In the battles near Krynky, the 1st company of the Russian 337th Air Assault Regiment of the 104th Air Assault Division was completely destroyed.
  • 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. 

Change in enemy disposition: 

  • The 7th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army Corps is engaged in combat near Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast.
  • The Russian command is deploying the 177th Separate Marine Regiment of the Caspian Flotilla under Kurdyumivka after withdrawing it from the areas of Krynky and Pidstepne on the eastern bank of Kherson Oblast to restore combat readiness.
  • The 39th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 68th Army Corps of the Russian Pacific Fleet, along with the 33rd and 225th Motorized Rifle Regiments of the 20th Motorized Rifle Division of the 8th Army, are conducting combat operations near Novomykhailivka. In the Novomykhailivka area, units of the 139th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 29th Army are also active on the Slavne-Novomykhailivka axis, and units of the 40th and 155th Separate Marine Brigades of the Russian Pacific Fleet are operating on the Luhanske-Novomykhailivka axis.
  • Units of the 247th Air Assault Regiment of the 7th Air Assault Division are operating near Verbove.
  • The enemy’s command relocated the consolidated battalion of the 345th Air Assault Regiment of the 104th Air Assault Division from the Krynky area to the composition of the tactical group “Enerhodar.” The 2nd battalion of the 337th Air Assault Regiment of the 104th Air Assault Division replaced it.
  • In the Krynky area, the 328th and 337th Air Assault Regiments of the 104th Air Assault Division, the 26th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 70th Motorized Rifle Division of the 18th Army, and the 810th Separate Marine Brigade of the Russian Black Sea Fleet are operating.
  • The command of the Russian Aerospace Forces strengthened its air grouping in Crimea (43rd Separate Naval Assault Aviation Regiment in Saky with Su-30SM and Su-24M aircraft, and the 100th Separate Ship Fighter Aviation Regiment in Saky with MiG-29K aircraft), adding three Su-27/30 aircraft from the 38th Fighter Aviation Regiment of the 27th Mixed Aviation Division of the 4th Army of the Russian Air Forces and Air Defense Forces (Belbek), two MiG-31BM aircraft from the 98th Separate Mixed Naval Aviation Regiment of the 45th Russian Air Forces and Air Defense Forces (Belbek), one Be-12 aircraft from the 318th Separate Mixed Naval Aviation Regiment of the Black Sea Fleet (Kacha), and one Il-38N aircraft from the 859th Combat Employment and Retraining Center of the Russian Navy (Yeysk).
  • The adversary’s command has completed the deployment of Operational Purpose Regiments (OPR) of the 116th Separate Operational Purpose Brigade of the Federal Service of the National Guard “Rosgvardiya” in the occupied Donetsk Oblast (the command post of the Rosgvardiya group is located in the area of Chystiakove village). Deployed in the Melekine area is the 900th OPR (1,953 personnel strength); in Snizhne – the 901st OPR (1,919 personnel strength); and in Chystiakove – the 902nd OPR (2,014 personnel strength). It is anticipated that this brigade will perform “stabilization” functions in the occupied Ukrainian territories on a permanent basis. As part of the deployment of this formation, the adversary has moved approximately 6,000 servicemembers from the Russian Federation territory to the occupied Ukrainian territories. The total strength of the Rosgvardiya grouping in the occupied Ukrainian territories has increased to 34,300 personnel.

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 25.12.23  

Personnel – almost 353,950 people (+760); 

Tanks – 5,877 (+19); 

Armored combat vehicles – 10,919 (+31); 

Artillery systems – 8,347 (+33);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 934 (+2);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 613 (+2);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 11,075 (+53);

Aircraft – 329 (+2);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 6,436 (+32);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,616 (+2);

Boats/ships – 23 (0).


  • 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 126 towns and villages and 39 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. One person was reported killed in Kherson Oblast; three people were reported injured in Donetsk Oblast. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • On the night of December 25, Russia launched 31 “Shahed” strike UAVs from the areas of Chauda, Balaklava (Crimea), and two guided aviation missiles, namely Kh-59 on the Zaporizhzhia direction and an anti-radiation missile Kh-31P from the Black Sea waters. 28 strike UAVs were destroyed within the territories of Odesa, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Donetsk, Kirovohrad, and Khmelnytskyi Oblasts. Both missiles were also shot down.
  • In the occupied territories of Kharkiv Oblast, specifically in the Kupyansk district, up to a thousand civilian residents remain. The situation in the occupied territory has not changed. People there face extreme difficulties as there is neither communication nor electricity, said Oleg Synehubov, the head of the Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration.
  • Russian forces have destroyed the third humanitarian aid facility in Kherson within a span of a few days, according to the Red Cross. The attacks were carried out using “Shahed” UAVs. Mykola Taranenko, the commander of the Kherson regional rapid response unit of the Red Cross Society of Ukraine, said that three “Shahed” UAVs specifically targeted their depot, resulting in the complete destruction of the facility.

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