Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 20.01.2024

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Kupyansk direction, Ukrainian Defence Forces repelled 12 enemy attacks in the areas of Synkivka, Petropavlivka, Tabaivka, and Berestove. On the Lyman direction, Ukrainian forces repelled 10 enemy attacks in the areas of Terny, Yampolivka, Verkhnyokamianske, and another 15 attacks in the area of Serebryansk Forest and Bilohorivka. On the Bakhmut direction, they repelled 4 enemy attacks near Ivanivske, Andriivka and Klishchiivka.

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 14 Russian attacks in the area of Avdiivka, and another 19 attacks south of Tonenke, Pervomaiske and Nevelske. On the Maryinka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continued holding back the enemy in the area of Heorhiivka, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka, repelling 12 enemy attacks. On the Shakhtarsk direction, Ukrainian Defence Forces repelled an enemy attack south of Zolota Nyva. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, they repelled 3 Russian attacks 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. During the past day, the enemy carried out 10 unsuccessful attempts to storm Ukrainian positions.

Russian forces advanced southeast of Kupyansk amid the continuation of positional battles on the front.

General conclusion:

  • The strategy of “active defense” will allow Ukraine to build operational capabilities and prepare for a counteroffensive in 2025, but the Ukrainian Defense Forces should employ a more conservative operational approach focused on holding the territories under its control and forming necessary logistical conditions in 2024.
  • Russian forces may intensify their efforts to capture Kupyansk in Kharkiv Oblast in the coming weeks.
  • The enemy has recently intensified combat operations on the Kupyansk – Bakhmut section, increasing the strength of attacks on the Kupyansk, Lyman, and Bakhmut directions.
  • Russian forces have launched an offensive in certain areas of the Lyman direction, particularly west of Svatove and west and southwest of Kreminna, preparing for more extensive actions on the Lyman direction in the near future.
  • Over the past day on the Kupyansk and Lyman directions, the “Khortytsia” OSG forces destroyed 13 tanks and 14 IFVs, indicating that Russian forces have moved a significant number of armored vehicles to these directions.
  • The objective of the Russian command plan on the Lyman direction is to eliminate the Ukrainian foothold along the Chornyi Zherebets River, from Makiyivka in the north to Torske in the south.
  • Russian forces no longer have a significant numerical advantage in FPV drones on the Avdiivka section of the front.
  • Russian forces have significantly reduced artillery and reconnaissance activity using UAVs in the south of Ukraine.
  • “Odesa” OSG forces on the left-bank foothold in Kherson Oblast face issues with logistical support and cannot transport heavy weaponry to the footholds across the Dnipro River.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 103 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces have advanced in the wooded area east of Tabaivka. During the last days, they intensified shelling and made some progress along the Kupyansk-Lyman line and continue to exert pressure on Ukrainian forces in the Synkivka area. Positional battles persisted near Petropavlivka, Svatove, Makiivka, Kreminna, Terny, Yampolivka, Dibrova, Serebryansk Forest, and Bilohorivka. In the northeastern part of Synkivka, the enemy has regained up to 200 meters of previously lost positions. Northwest and west of Dibrova, the enemy deployed units of the 169th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade to break through to Torske, however the brigade has not yet accomplished the task. The reinforced battalion of the 228th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 90th Tank Division once again tried unsuccessfully to break through the Serebryansk Forest towards “Dom ohotnika” and the camping site north of Hryhorivka.
  • “Khortytsia” OSG forces have reclaimed previously lost positions east of Berestove, forcing the enemy to retreat further to the east.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, Positional battles continued in the area of Siversk, Bohdanivka, Khromove, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka. Russian forces advanced near Vesele. The enemy maintains the initiative, and at the moment, it is not possible to reverse the situation. Russian progress near Bohdanivka amounted to 200 meters in a week. In the area of Ivanivske, the enemy is organizing its combat formations and preparing for an assault.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces advanced on the outskirts of Avdiivka, near Stepove, Pervomaiske, and Nevelske. Small enemy infantry groups entered Avdiivka and slightly progressed into the residential sector in the eastern part of the city. Positional battles persisted near Novokalynove, Novobakhmutivka, Tonenke, the Avdiivka Coking Plant, “Blue Lakes” quarry, north of the industrial zone, Kamyanka, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Heorhiivka, and Novomykhailivka. The Russian advance in Stepove and Pervomaiske reached up to 150 meters.
  • Units of the 114th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps failed to bypass the Avdiivka Coking Plant, attacking from Vesele and Kamyanka due to difficult terrain. Additionally, the 30th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army failed to capture the line near the quarry to support the attack of the 114th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade.
  • The enemy conducted a tactical regrouping of forces operating in the direction of Novomykhailivka – Kostiantynivka and south – southwest of Maryinka. The enemy continues its advance toward the Maryinka – Vuhledar highway, and attempts to halt it have been unsuccessful so far.
  • Berdyansk direction: Positional battles continued west of Staromayorske and east and south of Urozhaine.
  • Tokmak direction: Positional battles continued west of Verbove, near Robotyne and Novoprokopivka.
  • Kherson direction, Positional battles persisted near Krynky. Russian forces in this area have at least 4-5 times more personnel than Ukrainian forces.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, the enemy naval group on combat duty consists of:
    • Black Sea: 2 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:

  • The 752nd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 3rd Motorized Rifle Division from the 20th Combined Arms Army is advancing towards Makiyivka from the northeast.
  • The 283rd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 144th Motorized Rifle Division from the 20th Combined Arms Army and the 164th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade from the 25th Combined Arms Army are launching an offensive on Terny. The “Aida” group of the “Okhotnik” detachment from the Chechen “Akhmat” unit is operating in the Serebryansk Forest area.
  • To the southeast of Sieviersk in the area of Berestove, the 123rd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army Corps from the 8th Russian Combined Arms Army is engaged in combat.
  • The 103rd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 150th Motorized Rifle Division from the 8th Combined Arms Army is concentrated on the Maryinka – Pobieda direction, the reinforced battalion from the 155th Separate Marines Brigade of the Russian Pacific Fleet is concentrated  on the Oleksandrivka – Novomykhailivka direction. The 39th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 68th Army Corps is concentrated on the Slavne – Novomykhailivka direction, and near Solodke with a part of the forces.

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.
  • 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.
  • In the near future, the enemy will concentrate its efforts on the Maryinka direction, specifically from the northern flank. It will attempt to break through Pobieda towards Antonivka and Kostiantynivka, constraining the Ukrainian Defense Forces with frontal attacks on Novomykhailivka.
  • The entry of the enemy’s 57th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade into the Vuhledar area signifies the beginning of the operation to cut through the Vuhledar bulge of the Ukrainian Defense Forces.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 20.01.24 

Personnel – almost 375,270 people (+750);

Tanks – 6,171 (+4);

Armored combat vehicles – 11,455 (+10);

Artillery systems – 8,868 (+14);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 967 (+1);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 654 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 11,848 (+17);

Aircraft – 331 (0);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 6,934 (+5);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,818 (0);

Boats/ships – 24 (0).


  • According to information provided by the Situation Center of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Russian troops shelled 9 regions of Ukraine over the past day. A total of 110 towns and villages and 67 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. Two civilians were reported wounded in Donetsk Oblast. One person died and three others, including a child, were injured in Kherson Oblast. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • As of the morning of January 20, 2024, according to official information from juvenile prosecutors, 520 children have lost their lives, and more than 1,196 have sustained injuries of varying severity.
  • During the night of January 19-20, Russian occupiers conducted an aerial strike, employing 7 “Shahed-136/131” combat UAVs. Ukrainian air defense forces successfully neutralized 4 enemy UAVs.
  • Due to the full-scale Russian invasion, 135 healthcare facilities have been destroyed in Kyiv Oblast. 109 of them have already been restored, said Ruslan Kravchenko, the Head of the Kyiv Oblast Military Administration.

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