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Russia’s war on Ukraine. 19.02.2024

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Kupyansk direction,  the enemy attempted to attack Ukrainian positions near Tabaivka twice. On the Lyman direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 10 enemy attacks near Bilohorivka, Terny, and southeast of Vyimka. On the Bakhmut direction, they repelled enemy attacks near Ivanivske, Klishchiivka and Andriivka.

In the OSG “Tavriya” operational zone on the Avdiivka direction,  over the past day, the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 5 enemy attacks in the areas of Novobakhmutivka, Lastochkyne, and Pervomaiske. On the Maryinka direction, the Defense Forces continued to hold back the enemy near Heorhiivka, Pobeda, and Novomykhailivka, where Russian troops, supported by aviation, attempted to breach Ukrainian defense 18 times. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the enemy unsuccessfully attempted to attack Ukrainian positions near Robotyne 10 times.

In the operational zone of the “Odesa” OSG on the Kherson direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to hold positions and repel assaults by occupation forces. Despite significant losses, the adversary persists in attempts to dislodge Ukrainian units from their positions. Over the past day, the enemy made 16 unsuccessful assault attempts. 

General conclusion:

  • Russian forces are attempting to launch an offensive on Kurakhove from the area of Heorhiivka.
  • A large-scale collapse of the front on the Avdiivka direction is unlikely, as the forces of the “Tavriya” OSG are withdrawing to prepared defensive lines. This is particularly notable considering that these positions are being held by fresh troops, and the adversary forces, exhausted from the Avdiivka engagement, would encounter difficulties in launching attacks.
  • Russian forces are conducting at least three offensive actions: along the border of Kharkiv and Luhansk Oblasts, specifically in the directions of Kupyansk and Lyman; in Avdiivka and its vicinity; and near Robotyne in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • After the withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Avdiivka and subsequent Russian claims of control over the entire Avdiivka, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and several Ukrainian and Western sources assessed that delays in Western security assistance, specifically in artillery ammunition and critical air defense systems, hindered Ukrainian forces defending against Russia’s advance in Avdiivka. 
  • The critical shortage of Western equipment, coupled with concerns over the potential halt of U.S. military aid, compelled Ukrainian forces to distribute troops along the entire front. This situation likely prompted Russian forces to capitalize on the opportunity and launch limited offensive actions beyond the Avdiivka area. These actions include operations along the Kharkiv-Luhansk border since the start of January 2024 and in the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast in the past 48 hours. These Russian offensive endeavors are expected to hinder Ukrainian forces from preparing personnel and equipment for renewed counteroffensive operations, underscoring the operational challenges Ukraine would face if it opts for a defensive stance until the end of 2024, as posited by some Western experts.
  • The capture of Avdiivka by Russia, following four months of its intense offensive operations, is an example of the Russia’s offensive tactics. These offensives may not necessarily lead to broader operational gains, but they effectively compel Ukraine to commit live forces and equipment to defensive operations. Russian forces engaged in battles near Avdiivka for the majority of the full-scale invasion, with a notable escalation in operations aimed at capturing Avdiivka occurring in mid-October 2023.
  • Over the subsequent four months, starting October, Russian forces, as per Russian assessments, progressed nearly nine kilometers in Avdiivka. Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, the commander of the “Tavriya” OSG of Ukrainian forces, stated on February 18 that during these four months, Russian forces sustained over 47,000 personnel casualties, lost 364 tanks, 248 artillery systems, 748 combat armored vehicles, and 5 aircraft. Russian forces were unable to achieve a comprehensive operational encirclement of Avdiivka over these four months, and Ukrainian forces, it appears, managed to withdraw mostly in good order.
  • A Russian milblogger and volunteer from the 4th Motorized Rifle Brigade (2nd Army Corps of the self-proclaimed “Luhansk People’s Republic”) highlighted the rapidity of Russian losses in relation to the territory gained on February 17, indicating that even certain Russian sources recognize the exceedingly high cost of these limited Russian gains. He claimed that from October 2023, in the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces suffered 16,000 “irreversible losses” (presumably killed in action, while General Tarnavsky’s estimate might have included wounded). In contrast, according to the milblogger, Ukrainian forces suffered far fewer losses. They were able to withdraw to prepared defensive positions mostly on their own terms, implying that the fatigued Russian forces would now have to engage Ukrainian forces anew at different positions.
  • Russian forces effectively diverted Ukrainian forces to Avdiivka, redirecting them from other front sectors and forcing the Ukrainians to use their already limited critical equipment reserves. Nevertheless, this move did not yield significant operational success [for Russian forces]. Similar expectations arise for the ongoing offensive operations along the Kharkiv-Luhansk Oblast border and the western part of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • Russian forces have not exhibit the capability to achieve a substantial operational victory or execute swift mechanized maneuvers across extensive territories. It’s crucial to understand that the seizure of Avdiivka should not be misconstrued as a demonstration of this capability. ISW makes a clear differentiation between tactical advantages, vital in the immediate vicinity of combat, and operational advantages, impactful at the broader operational level, influencing large sectors of the entire front line. The assessment of whether a particular advance has or hasn’t yielded “operationally significant” advantages is grounded in this distinction.
  • Since the escalation of Russia’s offensive in Avdiivka in October 2023, Russian forces have advanced less than 10 kilometers in the Avdiivka vicinity. Notably, Avdiivka is approximately 60 kilometers from the Donetsk Oblast border. Achieving the border of the oblast in less than years would necessitate extensive and skillful maneuvers across challenging terrain. Furthermore, they would need to traverse even more heavily fortified territory to reach the Slovyansk-Kramatorsk area in the northern part of Donetsk Oblast.
  • Russian forces have not showed the capability for such maneuvers in the Avdiivka area or any other sector of the front. While Russian endeavors to capture Kupyansk may have influenced Ukrainian forces to relocate to the left bank of the Oskil River, the Russian forces in this region have predominantly maintained small tactical positions in the Kupyansk direction for an extended period. Prospects for Russian offensive actions south of Orikhiv advancing beyond Orikhiv itself or rapidly reaching Orikhiv appear limited.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 80 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, in Synkivka, the enemy conducted several unsuccessful assaults. They have achieved tactical success north of Tabaivka.
  • On the Lyman direction, intense battles persisted near Terny, Bilohorivka, Spirne, and in the Serebryansk forestry. Positional battles persisted in the areas of Yampolivka and Torske.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, the enemy advanced to Ivanivske and from Khromove towards Chasiv Yar. Enemy attacks near Vyimka were repelled. 
  • Positional battles took place near Bohdanivka, Ivanivske, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces advanced 8 km deep on February 17, capturing an area of nearly 32 km2. The enemy conducts clearance operations and consolidates in Avdiivka, while the “Tavriya” OSG forces inflict fire damage.
  • The enemy attempts to breach the defense of the “Tavriya” OSG near Lastochkyne, launching attacks with small assault groups. Battles continued near Pervomaiske and Nevelske.
  • On the Shakhtarsk direction, combat operations persisted near Heorhiivka, Pobeda, and Novomykhailivka.
  • Berdyansk direction: The forces of the “Tavriya” OSG repelled enemy attacks south of Prechystivka and west of Staromayorske.
  • Tokmak direction: Russian forces advanced along the forest strip north of Kopani, up to 1.7 km northwest of Verbove, and up to 2 km near Robotyne. 
  • The “Tavriya” OSG forces repelled an attack by an enemy group consisting of up to 30 units of equipment near Robotyne, where modernized Soviet T-55 tanks were used.
  • Kherson direction: Positional battles persisted in the area of Krynky.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, the enemy naval group on combat duty consisted of:
    • Black Sea: 1 ship.
    • Azov Sea: 1 ship.
    • Mediterranean Sea: 2 ships, including 1 cruise missile carrier with the total “Kalibr” missile salvo of 8 cruise missiles.

Change in enemy disposition: not detected.

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 area of Novomykhailivka, the enemy will initially attempt to split the combat formations of the “Tavriya” OSG in the northern part of the Vuhledar bulge, in the general direction of Novomykhailivka – Paraskoviivka – Kostiantynivka. Subsequently, they will attack south of Vodyane, thus compelling the “Tavriya” OSG to withdraw from its positions near Volodymyrivka and north of Mykilske.
  • The successful concentrated deployment of Russian aviation in the Avdiivka direction is expected to serve as a precedent for similar actions in other sectors of the front.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 19.02.24  

Personnel – almost 403,720 people (+1,290); 

Tanks – 6,498 (+11); 

Armored combat vehicles – 12,232 (+34); 

Artillery systems – 9,733 (+24);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 986 (+2);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 674 (0);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 12,767 (+31);

Aircraft – 336 (+1);

Helicopters – 325 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 7,460 (+11);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,898 (0);

Boats/ships – 26 (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 57 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. Two people were reported injured in Donetsk Oblast. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • The press service of the International Red Cross reported that due to the full-scale invasion of Russia into Ukraine, which has been ongoing for almost two years, 23,000 people are considered missing.
  • Russian forces attacked an “Invincibility point” (a building where civilians can warm up, get access to electricity, etc.) in one of the villages of the Novooleksandrivka community of Kherson Oblast. An explosive device was dropped on the building from a drone, resulting in shattered windows and doors, as well as damage to the roof. Fortunately, there were no casualties among the local residents.
  • President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the frontline positions of the Ukrainian forces on the Kupyansk direction.
  • Based on a survey conducted by the sociological group “Rating” on February 10-11, the vast majority of respondents (85%) expressed confidence that Ukraine can successfully defend against the Russian Federation’s attack. However, 15% remain uncertain about this prospect. Additionally, international support is deemed essential for victory: just 19% of respondents believe Ukraine could prevail without international assistance, whereas 79% doubt victory could be secured without Western aid.
  • According to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, special Russian units have arrived in the temporarily occupied areas of Ukraine to collect information on “unreliable” Ukrainians and promote the mobile voting system aimed at facilitating “voting” for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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