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Russia’s war on Ukraine. 24.01.2024

Operational situation

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia”, Ukrainian Defence Forces repelled an enemy attack near Synkivka, where the enemy tried to break through the Ukrainian defenses. Over 15 populated areas, including Dvorichna, Synkivka, Petropavlivka, Ivanivka, and Berestove, have come under artillery and mortar fire. On the Lyman direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 4 attacks near Yampolivka, Torske and another 2 attacks near Bilohorivka, Serebryansk Forest. On the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian troops repelled 2 enemy attacks near Bohdanivka and Klishchiivka, where the enemy made unsuccessful attempts to improve its tactical position.

In the “Tavriya” OSG operational zone on the Avdiivka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 4 attacks near Novobakhmutivka, Avdiivka, and another 8 attacks in the areas of Pervomaiske and Nevelske, where the enemy, with the support of aviation, unsuccessfully attempted to break through the defense of the Ukrainian forces. On the Maryinka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continued holding back the enemy in the area of Heorhiivka and Novomykhailivka where the occupiers, supported by aviation, made 9 unsuccessful attempts to improve their tactical position. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 4 attacks south of Chervone, west of Verbove and Robotyne, where the enemy, supported by aviation, unsuccessfully attempted to regain lost ground.

In the operational zone of the “Odesa” OSG on the Kherson direction, the enemy conducted aerial strikes near Kachkarivka, Mylove, and Beryslav. Kherson and areas of Mykhailivka, Sablukivka, Beryslav, Sadove, Antonivka, Stanislav, and Solonchaky were shelled by Russian artillery. Russian forces targeted Ivanivka with MLRS.

The enemy advanced near Kreminna, Avdiivka, and Donetsk amid the continuation of positional battles on the front.

General conclusion:

  • The grouping of Russian forces in Belgorod Oblast is not sufficient to launch large-scale offensive operations in the northern part of Kharkiv Oblast. However, it is capable of conducting local tactical actions on the border of Belgorod and Kharkiv Oblasts to constrain part of the forces and reserves of the “Khortytsia” OSG operating on the Kupyansk direction.
  • The adversary lacks a solution to the current operational situation and does not not have sufficient resources to break through the Ukrainian defense and develop an offensive into the territory’s depth.
  • Ukrainian forces employ long-range firepower, including strike drones, preventing Russian forces, even in groups of one to two infantry companies and ten armored vehicles, from reaching their forward defensive lines. This compels the adversary to launch attacks in groups of up to a platoon with the support of armored vehicles from maximum distances.
  • The Russian military command is unable to significantly improve the command and control of troops at the operational level, which is necessary to break through the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in one or more areas of the theater of operations.
  • Russian troops have recently demonstrated their capacity to achieve minor tactical successes during intense offensives, notwithstanding existing systemic problems, particularly near Kupyansk in Kharkiv Oblast and Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast.
  • The adversary increasingly employs false targets and decoy missiles during air strikes, saving their “Shakhed” UAVs.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 42 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, the enemy’s 1st Tank Army forces have advanced 650 meters in depth on the front spanning a 2.2 km north to southwest of Krokhmalne, continuing their offensive by moving in small groups. Over the past few days, Russian forces have advanced approximately 2 km in the direction of Tabakivka and Berestove, making slight progress toward Yampolivka. Positional battles have been ongoing in the areas of Synkivka, Makiyivka, Novoyehorivka, Terny, Torske, Bilohorivka, Dibrova, Serebryansk Forest, where Russian forces have partially regained previously lost positions. The most challenging situation is observed in the vicinity of Kyslivka and Synkivka.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, Russian forces resumed massive assaults towards Ivanivske, advancing up to 200 meters but failing to consolidate their positions. Positional battles are ongoing in the areas of Bohdanivka, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka. The Ukrainian “Khortytsia” OSG controls the western part of Bohdanivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, intense battles continue in the area of the “Zenit” position, in the residential sector in the south of the city, and in the areas of Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, Severne, Opytne, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, near Avdiivka, Hеоrhiivka, and Novomykhailivka. The enemy continues to advance northeast of Novomykhailivka to the Vuhledar-Maryinka highway. Russian forces have advanced in the western part of Stepove.
  • Berdyansk direction: the “Tavriya” OSG forces repelled Russian attacks south of Chervone.
  • Tokmak direction: Positional battles continued near Robotyne and Verbove.
  • Kherson direction, combat engagements continue near Krynky. Russian forces are unable to regain lost positions or clear the village due to constant actions by Ukrainian UAVs in this area.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, the enemy naval group on combat duty consists of:
    • Black Sea: 10 ships, including 3 cruise missile carriers. The total “Kalibr” missile salvo is 16 cruise missiles;
    • Azov Sea: 1 ship;
    • Mediterranean Sea: 2 ships, including 1 cruise missile carrier. The total “Kalibr” missile salvo is 8 cruise missiles.

Changes in enemy disposition:

  • Units of the 305th Artillery Brigade of the 5th Combined Arms Army of the Russian Eastern Military District operate south of Velyka Novosilka.
  • Units of the 503rd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 19th Motorized Rifle Division, the 291st Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division of the 58th Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District and the 22nd Separate SOF Brigade are active in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • Units of the 132nd Separate Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps, the “Russian Hawks” unit of the 33rd Motorized Rifle Regiment, and the artillery division “Korsa” of the 31st Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps (8th Army) are engaged in combat south of Bakhmut on the Horlivka direction.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, units of the Russian 80th Tank Regiment of the 90th Tank Division of the 41st Central Military District and the special purpose unit “Viking” are in action.
  • Units of the 5th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps and units of the 255th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 20th Motorized Rifle Division of the 8th Army of the Russian Southern Military District operate near Heorhiivka.

Escalation indicators:

  • The enemy resumed assault actions in the Ivanivske area on the Bakhmut direction and achieved success in the vicinity of Krokhmalne on the Lyman 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 2024. Over the next 36 months, Russia intends to capture parts of Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kharkiv Oblasts.
  • The entry of the enemy’s 57th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade into the Vuhledar area would signify the initiation of the operation aimed at breaching the Vuhledar salient held by the Ukrainian Defense Forces.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 24.01.24 

Personnel – almost 378,660 people (+840);

Tanks – 6,227 (+13);

Armored combat vehicles – 11,579 (+31);

Artillery systems – 9,008 (+61);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 971 (+1);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 659 (+2);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 11,2005 (+49);

Aircraft – 331 (0);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 6,998 (+37);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,842 (+22);

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 134 towns and villages and 113 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. 4 people were reported killed and 5 injured during the past day in Kherson Oblast. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • During January 24, Russian forces shelled a hospital in Kherson, resulting in injuries to three healthcare workers and another individual.
  • Yesterday, in Beryslav, Kherson Oblast, Russian forces launched drone attacks on rescuers responding to a fire in a multi-story building started by Russian shelling. One rescuer was injured.
  • As of 5:00 PM, rescue operations at the site of the destroyed five-story building in Kharkiv have been completed, with a total of 10 people confirmed dead and over 60 injured due to yesterday’s Russian strike on Kharkiv. The building suffered shattered windows, and medical offices were damaged.
  • Against the backdrop of information about the crash of the Il-76 plane in Russia, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine notes that the planned exchange scheduled for January 24 did not take place. At the same time, the department does not possess information about whether Ukrainian prisoners were on board. The Directorate emphasizes that Ukraine, on its part, fulfilled all agreements for the preparation of the exchange. Russian prisoners of war were promptly delivered to the agreed-upon location for the exchange, where they were kept safe.
  • Since September, Russia has not responded to the proposal of establishing joint medical commissions to facilitate the exchange of prisoners of war. In August 2023, Ukraine made the decision to create these joint medical commissions for the purpose of exchanging prisoners. However, Russia has not yet approved their operation.
  • As part of the 49 exchanges of POWs between Ukraine and Russia, 2,681 Ukrainian soldiers have returned to their homeland. Additionally, 147 civilians have been repatriated from Russia. Currently, over 8,000 individuals are known to be in Russian captivity, and more than 1,600 of them are civilians.

Centre for Defence Strategies (CDS) is a Ukrainian security think tank. We operate since 2020.

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