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Russia’s war on Ukraine. 27.12.2023

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 8 Russian attacks in the areas of Synkivka and northeast of Petropavlivka where the enemy tried to break through the Ukrainian defenses. On the Lyman direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 11 enemy attacks in the areas of Serebryansk Forest and Vesele. On the Bakhmut direction, they repelled 8 enemy attacks near Bohdanivka, 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 over the past 24 hours repelled 13 enemy attacks east of Novobakhmutivka, Avdiivka, and 16 attacks near Pervomaiske and Nevelske. On the Maryinka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continued holding back the enemy in the area of Novomykhailivka and Pobieda, repelling 7 attacks. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the Ukrainian troops repelled 9 Russian attacks in the area of Robotyne and west of Verbove.

In the operational zone of the “Odesa” OSG, on the 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 14 unsuccessful assault actions, faced strong resistance, and subsequently retreated.

Russian forces advanced in the areas of Kupyansk, Avdiivka, Maryinka, and Robotyne; positional combat operations continued along the entire front line.

General conclusion:

  • As a result of the combat, Maryinka has been effectively destroyed. The “Tavriya” OSG troops have partially withdrawn from the village, although certain units continue to operate on the northern outskirts of Maryinka. Outside the village, a prepared defensive line has been built.
  • The capture of Maryinka will enable Russian forces to conduct offensive operations towards villages up to 15 kilometers west of Maryinka in the coming weeks and months, posing a threat to Ukrainian communications.
  • Since spring 2022, Russian forces in the Maryinka area have refrained from conducting any offensive operations, as they have extremely limited capabilities to conduct mobile offensives, not only on an operational but also on a tactical scale The lack of such capabilities is evident in the Avdiivka area, where the adversary suffered significant losses in armored vehicles during attacks in a combined arms formation. This prompted the Russian military command to shift towards infantry-based attacks.
  • The units of the 31st Air Defense Division equipped with S-400 missile systems in Feodosia failed to detect and intercept two Ukrainian cruise missiles during the strike on the “Novocherkassk” landing ship.
  • On the eastern bank of Kherson Oblast, the adversary has reduced its daily attacks on Ukrainian positions by half compared to the previous average of 30 assaults per day.
  • The potential deployment of enemy long-range artillery closer to the front line, intended to compensate for aviation losses and preventing new ones, might provide the “Odesa” OSG with the opportunity to more easily target Russian long-range artillery systems. This would allow for more freedom and safer operations along the Dnipro riverbank and in the rear areas on the western bank of Kherson Oblast.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 80 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces have made slight progress to the southwest of Pershotravneve, being positioned 3-4 km from Terny. “Akhmat” Chechen units and the 2nd Army Corps have resumed their offensive in the Serebryansk Forest area. Positional battles have been ongoing to the northeast of Petropavlivka, near Synkivka, Stelmakhivka, Novoselivske, in the vicinity of Hryhorivka, Torske, Serebryansk Forest, Dibrova, and Bilohorivka.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, Russian forces launched an attack near Vesele but failed to make progress. They seized the “Chornobylets” horticulture community and a cemetery to the northwest of Khromove. Additionally, they advanced 500 meters into Bohdanivka, controlling 40% of the village. Positional battles persisted near Bohdanivka, Klishchiivka, Andriivka, Ivanivske, and along the T0504 Khromove – Chasiv Yar highway.
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG troops attacked Russian positions on the Horlivka direction near Shumy and attempted to capture Russian positions on one of the spoil tips near Horlivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces have advanced in northern Stepove, on the northern outskirts of Opytne, and in the industrial zone southeast of Avdiivka. They progressed 300 meters along the railway towards Ocheretyne, up to 100 meters on the eastern outskirts of Stepove, 200 meters southeast of Nevelske, and several hundred meters near Novokalynove. The 103rd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 150th Motorized Rifle Division of the 8th Russian Army displaced the “Tavriya” OSG units from their positions to the left of the road to Heorhiivka.
  • Intense combat actions continued near Avdiivka, Avdiivka Coking Plant, east of Novobakhmutivka, near Stepove and Ocheretyne, in the industrial zone, near Pervomaiske, Nevelske, and Severne, to the west and northwest of Maryinka, near Novomykhailivka, and Pobieda.
  • Berdyansk direction: positional battles continued near Staromayorske and north of Pryiutne.
  • Tokmak direction: Russian forces have advanced northwest of Robotyne, to the south of Kamianske. Positional battles occurred to the south of Hulyaipole, near Robotyne, Verbove, Novoprokopivka, and Kopani.
  • Kherson direction, The “Odesa” OSG troops keep holding positions on the eastern bank of Kherson Oblast. Positional battles have been ongoing on the eastern bank, particularly near Krynky.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, the enemy naval group on combat duty consists of:
    • Black Sea: 4 ships;
    • Mediterranean Sea: 3 ships, including 2 cruise missile carriers. The total “Kalibr” missile salvo is 16 cruise missiles.

Change in enemy disposition:

  • The 6th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army Corps of the 8th Combined Arms Army is operating in the Spirne area.
  • Units of the 78th “Siever (North)-Akhmat” Motorized Special Forces Regiment of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division of the 58th Army, is currently operating in the vicinity of Klishchiivka. Furthermore, military units and detachments from the 98th and 106th Airborne Divisions are deployed on the Bakhmut direction. On the Bakhmut-Soledar direction, irregular “volunteer” formations, including the “Volki” detachment, are engaged in combat. The 200th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 14th Army Corps of the Russian Northern Fleet and the “Separate Volunteer Reconnaissance and Assault Brigade “Siever (North)” concentrated their main efforts on the Bakhmut-Chasiv Yar direction.
  • Units of the Russian 394th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 127th Motorized Rifle Division of the 5th Army are active near Staromayorske.
  • Units from the 247th Air Assault Regiment of the 7th Air Assault Division and the “Vostok (East)-Akhmat” Chechen Battalion are operating near Verbove and Robotyne.
  • Military units and detachments from the 20th and 150th Motorized Rifle Divisions of the 8th Army, the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division of the 58th Army, the 5th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps of the 8th Army, the “Akhmat” detachment, and the “Donetsk-Kuzbass” company are operating in the Maryinka area and participated in its capture. Units from the 33rd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 20th Motorized Rifle Division of the 8th Army are active on the Novomykhailivka direction. This grouping is supported by aviation from the 11th Army of the Air Force and Air Defense of the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Federation.

Escalation indicators:

  • Russian forces use tear gas and other unidentified chemical weapons to displace units of the 42nd Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Defense Forces from its positions on the Bakhmut 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 March 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.
  • Localized enemy attacks are exerting pressure on Ukrainian forces in many places along the front line and may lead to a gradual tactical advancement by the adversary.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the enemy is attempting to create conditions for encircling 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 27.12.23 

Personnel – almost 355,750 people (+790);

Tanks – 5,913 (+14);

Armored combat vehicles – 10,973 (+17);

Artillery systems – 8,376 (+10);

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

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 616 (+2);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 11,140 (+31);

Aircraft – 329 (+2);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 6,471 (+13);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,620 (+2);

Boats/ships – 24 (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 132 towns and villages and 74 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. 5 civilians are reported killed and 3 injured in Donetsk Oblast. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • On the night of December 27, the Russian forces attacked Ukraine with 46 “Shahed” drones from two directions, namely Balaklava in the occupied Crimea, and Primorsko-Akhtarsk in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. The air defense system successfully destroyed 32 enemy kamikaze drones. The Air Force noted that the majority of drones that could not be intercepted attacked the front-line territories, particularly in Kherson Oblast. A few drones fell without causing any consequences.
  • During the night, the enemy launched attacks in southern regions using Shahed-131/136 drones. Two waves of attacks, with a 15-minute interval, amounted to 7 hours of intense combat activity. The enemy focused its strikes on Kherson, damaging a shopping center and apartment buildings. As a result of the strike on a research institution in Kherson Oblast, one person was killed. A downed drone fell onto country houses in the suburbs of Odessa, causing a quickly extinguished fire. One person died, and three others were injured, including a 17-year-old teenager.
  • Due to Russian shelling on December 26, 70% of residents in Kherson were left without electricity.
  • On the evening of December 26, the Russian army struck the railway station in Kherson while an evacuation train was there. A police officer was killed, along with two of his colleagues, and two civilians were injured.
  • Ukrainian Defense Forces have recorded 465 instances of Russia using munitions equipped with poisonous chemical substances, with 81 cases occurring in December 2023 alone, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
  • The Prosecutor’s Office has initiated an investigation into the shooting of Ukrainian POWs near Zaporizhzhia. According to the investigation, Russian military personnel, during a combat clash with the Ukrainian Defense Forces in December 2023 near Robotyne in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, captured three Ukrainian soldiers. An hour later, in violation of Article 3 of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War, the occupiers executed them by firing squad.
  • Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, 277 people have died on territories controlled by Ukraine due to the detonation of explosive objects, according to Alexander Khorunzhy, a press officer for the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.
  • Vadym Gutzeit, the President of the Ukrainian National Olympic Committee, states that more than 400 Ukrainian athletes have already lost their lives as a result of the full-scale Russian aggression.

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