Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 17.01.2024

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Lyman direction, Ukrainian forces repelled 11 enemy attacks in the areas of Terny, Yampolivka, Torske, and another 17 attacks near Makiivka, Bilohorivka, Serebryansk Forest in Luhansk Oblast, and north of Hryhorivka and Vesele. On the Bakhmut direction, they repelled 9 enemy attacks near 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. During the past day, the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 20 Russian attacks in the areas of Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, Avdiivka, and another 15 attacks near Pervomaiske and Nevelske. On the Maryinka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continued holding back the enemy in the area of Krasnohorivka, Heorhiivka, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka, repelling 17 enemy attacks. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled a Russian attack 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 significant losses, the adversary persists in attempts to dislodge Ukrainian units from their positions.

Russian forces were advancing near Kreminna and Bakhmut. Positional battles continued at other sections of the front.

General conclusion:

  • Russian forces maintain the initiative on most fronts, yet have not seized initiative in Kherson Oblast.
  • Russian troops have resumed active offensive actions with the use of armored vehicles in the Serebryansk Forest after an operational pause in the area. They are widely using glide aerial bombs.
  • Russian forces have intensified attacks with armored support on the Avdiivka and Maryinka directions.
  • Recent freezes near Donetsk were more conducive for mechanized maneuver, but dense minefields hindered Russian armored vehicles from advancing. The relatively warm weather is now holding back mechanized maneuvering.
  • The adversary is concentrating forces to storm the Avdiivka Coking Plant and advance in the directions of Berdychi-Novobakhmutivka and Severne-Orlivka to surround the garrison of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in Avdiivka. Restoring the combat capability of the units preparing for the above-mentioned actions involves the formation of consolidated companies/platoons and the distribution of military equipment that survived the previous battles.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 98 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces have advanced north of Dibrova. Positional battles have taken place near Synkivka, Petropavlivka, Makiyivka, Ploschanka, Terny, Torske, Yampolivka, Serebryansk Forest, Dibrova, Bilohorivka, and Hryhorivka.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, Russian forces have recently advanced north of Klishchiivka. Positional battles have taken place near Vesele, Verkhnyokamianske, Bohdanivka, Ivanivske, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka.
  • Units of the Russian 98th Airborne Division are engaged in combat in the area of the O0506 highway from Khromove to Chasiv Yar.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, positional battles have taken place near Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, Avdiivka Coking Plant, Severne, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Heorhiivka, Krasnohorivka, Pobieda, and Novomykhailivka. Attacks on the “Tavriya” OSG positions in the Stepove area, including in combined battle orders, have not brought success to the enemy. The adversary has once again advanced to the south of the wastewater treatment facilities but has not been able to consolidate its position.
  • Berdyansk direction: Positional battles continued near Chervone, Zavitne Bazhannia, east of Urozhaine, and northwest of Pryiutne.
  • Tokmak direction: Positional battles continued west of Verbove, near Robotyne and Novoprokopivka.
  • Kherson direction, positional fighting has been ongoing near Krynky and Pishchanivka. Russian forces have repeatedly attempted to counterattack near Krynky with small groups along the M14 highway. They started fortifying defensive positions beyond Krynky, including the M14 highway, where they constructed an approximately 0.5 km long trench.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, the enemy naval group on combat duty consists of:
    • Black Sea: 4 ships, including 1 cruise missile carrier. The total “Kalibr” missile salvo is 8 cruise missiles;
    • Azov Sea: 1 ship;
    • Mediterranean Sea: 1 ship.

Changes in enemy disposition:

  • Units of the 8th Artillery Regiment of the 22nd Army Corps of the Russian Black Sea Fleet operate on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River.
  • To defend against UAVs, Russian forces are equipping tanks with the “Saniya” EW systems capable of suppressing them at distances of up to 1.5 km.

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.
  • In the coming weeks, Russian forces may intensify efforts to capture Kupyansk.
  • The Russian 26th Tank Regiment and the 15th Motorized Rifle Regiment are preparing to launch attacks on the positions of the “Khortytsia” OSG in the directions of Yahidne–Ivanivka and Yahidne–Kyslivka soon. The 27th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade is preparing to bypass Stelmakhivka from the north, launching an attack through Novoselivske.
  • Units of the 114th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps and the 15th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army Corps are likely to attempt an advance between Stepove and the Avdiivka Coking Plant to ultimately cut off the O0542 Avdiivka – Orlivka highway.
  • The enemy will not cease its attempts to restore positions along the first defense line on the Zaporizhzhia direction. It will continue to exert pressure on the flanks of the Ukrainian insertion in the directions of Kopani–Robotyne and south of the T0803 road towards Novodanylivka.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 17.01.24 

Personnel – almost 372,820 people (+730);

Tanks 6,126 (+13);

Armored combat vehicles – 11,372 (+14);

Artillery systems – 8,811 (+10);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 964 (+3);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 653 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 11,755 (+24);

Aircraft – 331 (0);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 6,884 (+7);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,817 (+1);

Boats/ships – 24 (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 103 towns and villages and 107 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons.  Three civilians were reported wounded in Kherson Oblast, three in Odesa and 17 in Kharkiv. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • On January 16, after 21:42, the Russian military launched two missile strikes on Kharkiv from the Belgorod side using S-300 missiles. As a result of the shelling, 17 civilians were affected: 16 women aged 38 to 90 and a 31-year-old man. Currently, 13 injured individuals are in medical care, including two women in critical condition.
  • Overnight, Russian forces conducted a drone attack on Odesa. While air defense forces intercepted all aerial targets, debris from the drones hit civilian infrastructure, resulting in fires in a residential building and nearby vehicles. Three people were injured, and 130 residents were evacuated from the affected building. 60 buildings remain without heating due to the damage to the centralized heating system.
  • Currently, Ukrainian law enforcement is investigating 10 criminal cases related to torture in Kharkiv Oblast at the time of the Russian occupation. These cases involve a total of 227 individuals recognized as victims. Among them, 13 people have died, 4 are missing, and 4 are in captivity.
  • Russian authorities try to transform torture into a practical instrument for implementing their occupation policy. All torture centers operate openly and demonstratively, as highlighted by Boris Petrunyok, an analyst at ZMINA human rights center. He underscored that the occupation administration relies on instilling fear, aiming to eliminate local centers of self-organization while simultaneously employing torture as a practical means to extract information through interrogations. The consistent practices across various detention facilities in the occupied territories indicate a concerted effort. Petrunyok noted that the Russians seek to amalgamate torture methods to maximize human suffering while carefully managing the associated risks to avoid lethal consequences.
  • Russia has brought at least 50,000 migrant workers from depressed regions of the Russian Federation and Central Asian countries to Mariupol, the National Resistance Center of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence (NRC) reported. Currently, the temporarily occupied city has at least half the population it had before the full-scale invasion. The occupation authorities aim to assimilate the Ukrainian population at a faster pace, so they are bringing in migrant workers. According to an NRC representative, there is also an active influx of criminals from Russia and Central Asian countries to seize new spheres of influence, leading to the formation of ethnic criminal groups among migrants.

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