Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 04.01.2024

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 3 Russian attacks near Synkivka and east of Petropavlivka. On the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian troops repelled 4 enemy attacks near Bohdanivka and Andriivka.

In the “Tavriya” OSG operational zone on the Avdiivka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces keep holding back the Russian 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 near Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, Avdiivka, and 19 other attacks in the areas of Severne, Pervomaiske and Nevelske. On the Maryinka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continued holding back the enemy in the area of Heorhiivka and Novomykhailivka, repelling 14 enemy attacks. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, they repelled a Russian attack near Robotyne.

In the operational zone of the “Odesa” OSG, on the Kherson direction the Ukrainian Defense Forces persist in expanding their bridgehead. Despite significant losses, the adversary persists in attempts to dislodge Ukrainian units from their positions. During the past 24 hours, the adversary conducted 9 unsuccessful assault attempts.

The adversary attacked in the Avdiivka and Donetsk areas, positional battles continued along the entire front line.

General conclusion:

  • The adversary has been attacking “Khortytsia” OSG troops on the Kupyansk direction for over two months. Over this period, however, they have only managed to take control of a part of the forest south of Lyman Pershy and make Novoselivske a gray zone.
  • The adversary has achieved some success on the Avdiivka direction, including some areas sensitive to the “Tavria” OGS. The extent of their losses, however, does not allow considering these tactical achievements a success. Nevertheless, the magnitude of their losses prevents these tactical gains from being considered a success.
  • 230 Ukrainian servicemen have returned to Ukraine in the 49th exchange of prisoners of war through the mediation of the United Arab Emirates.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 58 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, The adversary has continued attempts to break through from the north in the directions of Lyman Pershyi – Synkivka and Vilshana – Petropavlivka. The advanced units of the Russian 25th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade unsuccessfully attacked through the forest north of Synkivka and south of Vilshana. Units of the Russian 138th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade made unsuccessful attempts to advance along the railway to the south. The 15th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division of the adversary unsuccessfully attacked southwest of Pershotravneve in the directions of Petropavlivka, Ivanivka, and Stepova Novoselivka.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, Russian forces have advanced northeast of Bakhmut, resumed attacks on the northeastern and eastern flanks of Vesele, and made progress in these areas. Units of the 98th Airborne Division advanced north of the O0506 Bakhmut – Khromove road between Bohdanivka and Khromove. Intense battles are ongoing near Bohdanivka where Russian forces attempt to advance toward Chasiv Yar. Positional battles continues in the areas of Bohdanivka, Khromove, Ivanivske, Kurdyumivka, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, the adversary attacked more than 25 times on various sectors and directions. Specifically:
    • On the Krasnohorivka – Novobakhmutivka direction, units of the 132nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps and the 30th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army unsuccessfully attacked.
    • On the Krasnohorivka – Stepove, Kamyanka – Avdiivka, and Vesele – Avdiivka directions, assault groups of the 114th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps and the 21st and 30th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigades of the 2nd Army were unsuccessful.
    • Units of the 55th and 74th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigades of the 41st Army tried but failed to break through from the side of Vodyane towards Severne.
    • The 9th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps unsuccessfully attacked from Vodyane and Pesky towards Pervomaiske.
    • The 110th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps did not achieve results attacking in the direction of Lozove – Nevelske.
    • Attempts by the 1st Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps and the “Veterans” Reconnaissance and Assault Brigade to break through from the Avdiivka industrial zone into the private sector of the city also ended without success.
  • In the offensive sector of the 114th and 30th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigades, the adversary was forced to withdraw from at least 3 positions north of Stepove. North of Novomykhailivka, in the line of advance of the 33rd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 20th Motorized Rifle Division, the enemy was forced to abandon another position and withdraw from at least 2 observation posts.
  • Berdyansk direction: Positional battles are ongoing Pryiutne and west of Staromayorske.
  • Tokmak direction: The “Tavriya” OSG troops achieved minor progress and advanced to the east of Robotyne near Verbove. Positional battles were ongoing near Robotyne, to the east and south of Robotyne near Verbove, Novoprokopivka, and Novofedorivka..
  • Kherson direction: counter battles continued near Krynky.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, the enemy naval group on combat duty consists of:
    • Black Sea: 2 ships;
    • Azov Sea: 1 ship;
    • Mediterranean Sea: 3 ships, including 2 cruise missile carriers. The total “Kalibr” missile salvo is 16 cruise missiles.

Change in enemy disposition: not detected

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.
  • In the near future, the adversary forces, specifically the 27th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade and the 7th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 11th Army Corps of the Russian Baltic Fleet, will persist in their attempts to break through to Petropavlivka and towards the R-07 Kupyansk – Svatove road in the area of Stepova Novoselivka from the north and northeast. They will also resume attacks in the directions of Kuzemivka – Berestove and Kuzemivka – Stelmakhivka.
  • The 30th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the adversary will launch an attack from Kamyanka towards the sand quarry in order to bypass the Avdiivka coking chemical plant from the north towards Berdychi.
  • Should the adversary successfully advance from Height 230 towards the Avdiivka Fire and Rescue Unit No. 13 or break through to the sand quarry from Kamyanka, it will create conditions for circumventing the Avdiivka Coking Chemical Plant from the north. This scenario would compel the units of the “Tavriya” OSG, defending in the vicinity of the Donetsk Filtering Station and the southern districts of the city (Sportyvna Street), to withdraw from their current positions.
  • In the event of success in the offensive by the 114th and 21st Separate Motorized Rifle Brigades in this sector, the adversary’s command is likely to deploy units from the 90th Tank Division into the battle. A similar development could transpire in the offensive zone of the 30th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade.
  • The enemy offensive in the Mykilske area and in the Novomayorske-Pavlivka section should be expected.
  • The enemy will continue its attempts to break through along the O0532 road towards Pobieda-Kostiantynivka.
  • In the near future, the enemy will continue its attacks from the western direction towards Robotyne and will attempt to break through to the road connecting Robotyne and Novodanylivka. On this direction, the 104th Air Assault Regiment of the 76th Air Assault Division will be deployed into battle.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 04.01.24 

Personnel – almost 362,280 people (+780);

Tanks – 6,002 (+12);

Armored combat vehicles – 11,128 (+21);

Artillery systems – 8,574 (+28);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 947 (+2);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 630 (+1);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 11,423 (+32);

Aircraft – 329 (0);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 6,753 (+5);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,785 (+2);

Boats/ships – 24 (0).


  • According to information provided by the Situation Center of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Russian troops shelled 10 regions of Ukraine over the past day. A total of 138 towns and villages and 88 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. 3 people were reported killed and 8 were reported injured in different regions of Ukraine. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • On the night of January 4, Russian forces attacked Ukraine with two Shahed-136/131 type UAVs from the southeast direction. Both drones were destroyed in Khmelnytskyi Oblast.
  • A 12-year-old boy has been repatriated from the temporarily occupied territory of Kherson Oblast on request from his sister. The boy resided on the temporarily occupied territory with his grandmother following the passing of his mother in the summer of 2022. The return was made possible by joint efforts of the Ombudsman’s Office and the “Ukrainian Child Rights Network.”
  • On January 2, occupation administrations in the temporarily occupied Kherson Oblast initiated the widespread installation of TV reception equipment, featuring propaganda channels, in private residences. At least 30 residential buildings in Henichesk, 18 residential buildings in Skadovsk, and a number of buildings on the outskirts of Zaliznyi Port have been identified as recipients of this equipment, as reported by the Southern Defense Forces.

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