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Russia’s war on Ukraine. 26.12.2023

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 6 enemy attacks near Synkivka, where the enemy unsuccessfully attempted to breach the defense of Ukrainian forces. On the Lyman direction, the Defense Forces repelled 29 enemy attacks in the area of Serebryansk Forest and Vesele. On the Bakhmut direction, they repelled 4 enemy attacks near Bohdanivka.

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 27 enemy attacks east of Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, and Avdiivka, as well as an additional 13 attacks near Pervomaiske and Nevelske. On the Maryinka direction, the Defense Forces continue to restrain the enemy near Novomykhailivka, repelling 6 attacks. On the Shakhtarsk direction, Ukrainian defenders repelled 3 enemy attacks in the Staromayorske area. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the Defense Forces repelled 7 enemy attacks near Robotyne and to the west 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 12 unsuccessful assault actions, faced strong resistance, and subsequently retreated.

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

General conclusion:

  • The enemy command is attempting to increase the pace of its offensive on the Kupyansk direction.
  • The main forces of the adversary’s so-called “Volunteer Assault Corps” are engaged on the Bakhmut direction.
  • The adversary’s 1st Army Corps is trying to create conditions for the encirclement of Avdiivka or to press the Defense Forces out of the city under its imminent threat.
  • The enemy’s 150th Motorized Rifle Division is actively striving for the conclusive capture of Maryinka.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 98 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, in the Kuzemivka-Stelmakhivka sector in the advance zone of the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division of the 1st Tank Army, the 1432nd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the Russian Territorial Troops was engaged in combat. Their objective, in conjunction with the 27th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, is to breach the defenses of the “Khortytsia” OSG forces, but their attempts have been unsuccessful.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, in an effort to intensify operations, the enemy command deployed the “Separate Reconnaissance-Assault Unit ‘Plamya'” from the “Volunteer Assault Corps” into battle in the direction of Berkhivka-Bohdanivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, the enemy is trying to expand success in the Stepove area, break through towards Pervomaiske, Ocheretyne, and reach the outskirts of Avdiivka. Positional battles continue near Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, Severne, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, and Pobeda.
  • Berdyansk direction: The enemy unsuccessfully attacked the positions of the “Tavriya” OSG forces near Staromayorske three times.
  • Tokmak direction: Positional battles continued near Robotyne and Verbove.
  • Kherson direction: The “Odesa” OSG forces maintain their positions near Krynky and attempt to expand the bridgehead on the left bank of the Dnipro River.
  • 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 Ukrainian Air Defense Forces aviation damaged a large landing ship of project 775 “Novocherkassk” at the Feodosia base.

Change in enemy disposition: 

  • To enhance fire support for the 25th Separate Motorized Brigade of the 6th Army in the Tavilzhanka area, the enemy deployed a fire support battalion with 2S19 howitzers from the 9th Artillery Brigade of the 6th Army.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, combat actions are carried out by up to 7 “Separate Volunteer Reconnaissance and Assault Brigades” and 9 “Separate Reconnaissance and Assault Battalions” deployed and operating from the composition of the so-called “Volunteer Assault Corps.”

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 March 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 26.12.23  

Personnel – almost 354,960 people (+1,010); 

Tanks – 5,899 (+22); 

Armored combat vehicles – 10,956 (+37); 

Artillery systems – 8,366 (+19);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 934 (0);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 614 (+1);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 11,109 (+34);

Aircraft – 329 (0);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 6,458 (+22);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,618 (+1);

Boats/ships – 24 (+1).


  • 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 109 towns and villages and 14 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. One person was reported killed in Kharkiv Oblast and four people injured in Kharkiv, Kherson and Donetsk Oblasts. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • From 18:30 on December 25 to 03:00 on December 26, a total of 19 “Shakhed” UAV launches were recorded from the areas of Balaklava (Crimea) and Primorsko-Akhtarsk (Russia). Thirteen UAVs were destroyed within the territories of the Odessa, Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Khmelnytskyi Oblasts.
  • In Mykolaiv Oblast, more than 750,000 hectares of land are potentially mined, constituting 30 percent of its territory. Among them are 288,000 hectares designated for agricultural purposes, with 112,000 hectares that have been surveyed, according to Vitaliy Kim, the head of the Mykolaiv Oblast Military Administration.
  • The Kharkiv Human Rights Group has prepared a submission to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, calling for  the reclassification of the ongoing investigation into the deportation of Ukrainian children. The group advocates for the reclassification from “War Crimes” to “Genocide.”Top of Form
  • Following the large-scale Russian invasion, over 26,000 hectares of forests were destroyed in Luhansk Oblast, amounting to more than 180 billion hryvnias in damages, as reported by the Luhansk Oblast Military Administration.

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