Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 29.01.2024

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Kupyansk direction, Ukrainian Defence Forces repelled 4 enemy attacks near Synkivka and east of Pishchane. On the Lyman direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 6 Russian attacks near Terny and Yampolivka. On the Bakhmut direction, they repelled 4 enemy attacks near Bohdanivka and Ivanivske.

In the “Tavriya” OSG 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 26 enemy attacks near Ocheretyne, Novobakhmutivka, Stepove, Avdiivka, Pervomaiske and Nevelske. On the Maryinka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continued holding back the enemy in the area of Heorhiivka, Pobieda and Novomykhailivka, repelling 22 enemy attacks. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled a Russian attack north of Pryiutne.

In the operational zone of the “Odesa” OSG, on the 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 8 unsuccessful assaults on the positions of Ukrainian troops.

The adversary has advanced near Kreminna and Avdiivka; positional battles are ongoing along the entire frontline.

General conclusion:

  • A significant enemy offensive towards Kharkiv from the north and northwest is possible but unlikely.
  • The enemy command is capable of organizing active offensive actions only at a limited level (up to 2-3 battalions).
  • The enemy forces from “Zapad” Operational Grouping concentrate their main efforts on the Kupyansk direction, in particular on the Kupyansk-Lyman, Bakhmut area – the direction of the second attack.
  • The Russian offensive on Pishchane and localized attacks northwest of Svatove aim to disrupt the “Khortytsia” OSG logistical routes across the Oskil River south of Kupyansk and do not support a direct offensive on Kupyansk itself.
  • It is challenging for Russian forces to advance south of Avdiivka, as the “wedge” where Russian assault groups and units operate is too narrow.
  • The enemy has intensified the use of FPV drones in Kherson Oblast.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 74 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, positional battles continued in the areas of Synkivka, Petropavlivka, Terny, Yampolivka, Torske, Dibrova, and Bilohorivka.
  • Units of the 47th Tank Division of the 1st Russian Tank Army, after capturing Krokhmalne, seized Tabaivka and dominant heights in this area. Russian forces advanced into Berestove, attempted to capture Kotlyarivka, are pushing towards Kyslivka, advancing towards Pishchane, seeking to reach the banks of the Oskil River. They also moved into the fields east of Yampolivka.
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG forces repelled Russian attacks east of Pishchane and near Tabaivka and Stelmakhivka.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, positional battles continued in the areas of Bohdanivka, near Andriivka, Klishchiivka, and Shumy. Russian forces advanced near Ivanivske and Bohdanivka.
  • The “Khortytsia” OSG forces successfully counterattacked in the area of Ivanivske, attempting to gain control of the gray zone near Khromove.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces have advanced to the north of Stepove, up to 400 meters on the southeast outskirts of Pervomaiske, from Kamyanka towards the quarry. Positional battles were ongoing in the areas of Ocheretyne, Novobakhmutivka, Avdiivka, Tonenke, Severne, Nevelske, Heorhiivka, Pobieda, and Novomykhailivka. Russian forces expanded their control zone, advancing in the southern outskirts of Avdiivka in the area of low-rise construction by 200 meters. At the same time, the “Tavriya” OSG forces pushed back Russian units from the “Tsarska Okhota” restaurant.
  • “Tavriya” OSG forces continued to hold the “Zenit” position, and halted the enemy’s advance in Stepove. The enemy in Novomykhailivka has been halted and is losing its offensive potential, although the situation has not been completely stabilized.
  • The situation in Pervomaiske is extremely challenging.
  • Berdyansk direction: positional battles took place south of Zolota Nyva, west of Staromayorske, and north of Pryiutne.
  • Tokmak direction: the “Tavriya” OSG forces regained several positions west of Robotyne. Positional battles were ongoing to the west of Robotyne, near Novoprokopivka, west of Verbove, and near Novofedorivka.
  • Kherson direction, positional battles continued near Krynky. Russian forces will soon conduct a rotation of troops on the Kherson direction, as the enemy faces difficulties in forming assault groups due to recent significant losses. The Russian command continues to prohibit its troops from using equipment during assaults on the Kherson direction; the enemy attacks with groups ranging from a detachment to a platoon in size.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, the enemy naval group on combat duty consists of:
    • Black Sea: 5 ships, including 2 cruise missile carriers. The total “Kalibr” missile salvo is 8 cruise missiles;
    • Azov Sea: 1 ship;
    • Mediterranean Sea: 2 ships, including 1 cruise missile carrier. The total “Kalibr” missile salvo is 8 cruise missiles.
  • Ukraine’s key objectives in the Black Sea are to prevent Russian naval attacks on Ukraine and allow ships to access Ukrainian ports. A series of attacks in the summer and fall against Russian Black Sea Fleet infrastructure has limited the enemy’s ability to operate in the western part of the Black Sea and has prevented Russia from posing a threat to commercial vessels using the Ukrainian grain corridor.

Changes in enemy disposition:

  • Units of the 3rd Motorized Rifle Division of the 20th Combined Arms Army are engaged in combat operations on the Lyman direction.
  • Russian forces have increased the use of FPV drones on the Maryinka direction.
  • Units of the 114th and 143rd Motorized Rifle Regiments of the 127th Motorized Rifle Division of the 5th Combined Arms Army, as well as the 83rd Separate Air Assault Brigade of the enemy, are operating near Pryiutne.
  • Units of the 291st Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division of the 58th Combined Arms Army continue operating on the Zaporizhzhia 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.
  • In the event of losing Berestove and Pishchane, the enemy command will have the option to advance towards Kupyansk-Vuzlovy railway junction from the south or towards Kruglyakivka, where the Oskil River is relatively narrow. There is also a possibility of simultaneous advancement along both directions.
  • 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 enemy is completing the creation of favorable conditions for the capture of the Khimik neighborhood in Avdiivka. Its loss would render further defense of the city impractical.
  • 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 29.01.24 

Personnel – almost 383,180 people (+1070);

Tanks – 6,290 (+10);

Armored combat vehicles – 11,696 (+25);

Artillery systems – 9,113 (+16);

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

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 660 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 12,149 (+46);

Aircraft – 331 (0);

Helicopters – 324 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 7,846 (+1);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,846 (+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 127 towns and villages and 81 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. 5 people were reported injured in Donetsk and Kherson Oblasts. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • The Coordination Headquarters for Mandatory Evacuation of the Population in a State of War has decided on the mandatory evacuation of people from 9 additional villages of Maryinka and Ocheretyne communities in Donetsk Oblast.
  • Preparing for the “elections” in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, the Russian occupation authorities have deployed additional forces of the Russian National Guard into the captured areas, as reported by the National Resistance Center of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. The police presence is intended to secure the safety of collaborators at the ‘polling stations’ and conduct door-to-door visits during the ‘expression of will.’ Demonstrating a high voter turnout in the ‘elections’ is crucial for the Russian authorities, leading them to permit home voting to achieve this objective.

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

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