Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 26.01.2024

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Kupyansk direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 6 enemy attacks near Synkivka, Tabaivka, and Stelmakhivka. On the Lyman direction, they repelled 7 attacks near Terny, Torske, and Makiyivka. On the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian defenders repelled 8 enemy attacks near Bohdanivka, Ivanivske, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka.

In the OSG “Tavriya” operational zone on the Avdiivka direction,  Ukrainian defenders continue to restrain the enemy, who persists in attempting to encircle Avdiivka. During the past day, the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 16 enemy attacks in the areas of Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, Avdiivka, Pervomaiske, and Nevelske. On the Maryinka direction, the Defense Forces continued to hold back the enemy near Heorhiivka, Pobieda, and Novomykhailivka, repelling 25 attacks. On the Shakhtarsk direction, they repelled 6 enemy attacks southeast of Vodyane, Zolota Nyva, and west of Staromayorske. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, Ukrainian defenders repelled 3 enemy attacks southeast of Robotyne.

In the operational zone of the “Odesa” OSG on Kherson direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces persist in expanding their foothold. Despite significant losses, the adversary persists in attempts to dislodge Ukrainian units from their positions. Over the past day, the enemy made 6 unsuccessful assaults on the positions of Ukrainian troops.

The adversary advanced near Avdiivka, and positional battles persisted along the entire front line.

General conclusion:

  • Russian forces on the Kupyansk and Lyman directions continue to attack in infantry groups numbering up to 20 people; the intensity of enemy artillery fire has nearly doubled. Russian forces rotate personnel almost weekly, but there is no noticeable increase in their numbers.
  • Ukrainian minefields complicate the adversary’s advance near Bilohorivka.
  • The adversary is increasing the intensity of hostilities near Synkivka and Kyslivka, achieving tactical gains in these areas.
  • Near Avdiivka, Russian forces employ fewer armored vehicles and rely more on small infantry groups for reconnaissance and assault. They regularly use a combination of different tactics during attacks.
  • The adversary has shifted the main thrust towards the southern residential areas of Avdiivka and has achieved minor successes there.
  • The hypothetical loss of Avdiivka by the Ukrainian Defense Forces does not threaten to undermine the resilience of Ukraine’s defense in Donetsk Oblast, even if Russian forces eventually succeed in achieving tactical success in the city over the coming months.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 82 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, positional battles persisted in the areas of Synkivka, Krokhmalne, Stelmakhivka, Yampolivka, Makiyivka, Torske, Dibrova, and Serebryansk Forest. Russian forces are attempting to establish control over Berestove and the adjacent heights, where units of the “Khortytsia” OSG are mostly ousted from their positions. The adversary advanced toward Terny and to the east and south of Bilohorivka.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, positional battles took place in the areas of Vasyukivka, Bohdanivka, Ivanivske, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka. The “Khortytsia” OSG forces stabilized the situation in the Vesele area, although they have not regained all lost positions under their control. The enemy achieved success in the area of Bohdanivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces advanced up to 300 meters in the residential sector, southwest of Stepove and along Sportyvna Street in the 9th quarter, while the “Tavriya” OSG forces made minor progress to the south of the settlement. Positional battles took place near Heorhiivka, Pobieda, and Novomykhailivka. The enemy changed the direction of its attacks and is storming the forest belts toward Krasnohorivka.
  • Berdyansk direction: positional battles persisted east and west of Staromayorske and south of Zolota Nyva.
  • Tokmak direction: positional battles took place southeast and west of Robotyne and near Verbove.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, the enemy naval group on combat duty consisted of:
    • Black Sea: 4 ships, including 3 cruise missile carriers with a total salvo of 14 Kalibr cruise missiles.
    • Azov Sea: 1 ship;
    • Mediterranean Sea: 2 ships, including 1 cruise missile carrier. The total “Kalibr” missile salvo is 8 cruise missiles.

Change in enemy disposition:  

  • Lieutenant General Gennadiy Anashkin has been appointed Chief of Staff of the Southern Military District. Other appointments include Lieutenant General Andriy Sychevy, the Deputy Commander of the Southern Military District, and Lieutenant General Oleksiy Zavizyon, the Chief of Staff of the Western Military District.
  • Units of the 40th Separate Marine Brigade of the Russian Pacific Fleet are engaged in combat operations in the Novomykhailivka area.

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.
  • After failing to encircle Avdiivka, Russian forces are preparing to break through the city. This indicates that the enemy command is gradually returning to a strategy reminiscent of the Bakhmut operation.
  • 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 26.01.24  

Personnel – almost 380,600 people (+990); 

Tanks – 6,265 (+8); 

Armored combat vehicles – 11,637 (+16); 

Artillery systems – 9,082 (+15);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 972 (0);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 660 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 12,064 (+20);

Aircraft – 331 (0);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 7,033 (0);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,845 (+1);

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 102 towns and villages and 106 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. 7 people were reported injured in Donetsk and Kherson Oblast, and a body of a man killed by an airstrike on January 23 was recovered from the rubble in Beryslav, Kherson Oblast. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • During the night, the Russian army struck Myrnohrad in Donetsk Oblast, resulting in the injury of six civilians, including two children.
  • According to Petro Kotin, the acting head of the board at the National Nuclear Energy Generating Company “Enerhoatom,” the approved six-year period for the nuclear fuel in all six reactors of the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP is approaching its end. Operating with such fuel beyond the specified technical specifications and safety norms could compromise fuel element integrity, posing the risk of a radiation incident.
  • In Sumy Oblast, consumers endured two power outages in the past day. The first, caused by initial shelling, affected 12.2 thousand individuals, and the second, resulting from subsequent nighttime shelling, impacted 28.4 thousand. Additionally, ongoing hostilities in Kharkiv Oblast led to power loss for 16.5 thousand consumers.
  • Since October 16, 2023, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has prohibited entry to the occupied territory for 3,796 Ukrainian citizens and local residents of the occupied territories, as reported by the Eastern Human Rights Group.

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