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Russia’s war on Ukraine. 21.02.2024

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) “Khortytsia” on the Kupyansk direction, the enemy made 2 unsuccessful attempts to advance in the area of Synkivka, on the Lyman direction, the enemy attacked Ukrainian units near Bilohorivka, Terny, and Vyimka 8 times. On the Bakhmut direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 2 enemy attacks near Ivanivske.

In the “Tavriya” OSG operational zone on the Avdiivka direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 13 enemy attacks in the area of Stepove, Lastochkyne, Severne, Nevelske. On the Maryinka direction, they continued holding back the enemy near Heorhiivka, Pobieda and Novomykhailivka, where the enemy attempted to breach Ukrainian defenses 20 times. On the Novopavlivka direction, the enemy made 7 attempts to improve its tactical position south of Prechystivka and Zolota Nyva. On the Zaporizhzhia direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled 7 enemy attacks near Mala Tokmachka and Robotyne.

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 1 unsuccessful assault attempt.

General conclusion:

  • Russian forces increasingly deploy A-50 AEW&C aircraft closer to the Russian borders and in the direction of Belarus.
  • Russian troops continue attempts to advance towards Chasiv Yar and are shifting reserves to the Bakhmut direction.
  • The Russian military command is making efforts to deplete the offensive capabilities of the Ukrainian Defense Forces on the Bakhmut direction.
  • Based on the number of troops, it should be assumed that the focal point of the enemy’s assault has shifted towards the Bakhmut direction after concluding operations in the Avdiivka area.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):  

  • There were 66 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, the “Khortytsia” OSG forces successfully repelled enemy assaults in Synkivka. Near Kyslivka, however, the enemy seized one observation post. Battles also took place near Tabaivka and Zhytlivka.
  • On the Lyman direction, fighting persisted near Terny, Torske, Yampolivka, Bilohorivka, and in the Serebryansk Forest area.
  • On the Bakhmut direction, positional battles persisted in the areas of Bohdanivka, Khromove, Ivanivske, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka. The enemy sought to break through to the Siversky Donets-Donbas Canal, attacking with the following units:
    • the 331st and 217th Air Assault Regiments of the 98th Air Assault Division along the Bohdanivka-Chasiv Yar direction along the O0506 road,
    • the 102nd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 150th  Motorized Rifle Division of the 8th Army along the Ivanivske-Stupochky direction,
    • the 1008th and 1194th Motorized Rifle Regiments of the 6th Motorized Rifle Division of the 3rd Army Corps, 83rd and 88th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigades of the 2nd Army Corps of the 8th Army northward and northeast of Ivanivske, attempting to bypass through the heights of the Klishchiivka ruins north and northwest of the village, and seeking to advance beyond the railway line from Bakhmut to Horlivka.
    • The 106th Airborne Division and the 123rd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade were actively advancing towards Rozdolivka and Vyimka, north and northeast of Soledar.
  • On the Avdiivka direction, the enemy achieved minor successes near Nevelske and Lastochkyne, pushing towards the eastern outskirts of the latter. Positional battles persisted near Stepove, Lastochkyne, Severne, Pervomaiske, and Nevelske.
  • On the Shakhtarsk direction, Russian forces have advanced in Pobieda along the O0532 (or T0524) highway, connecting Pobieda with Vuhledar. Positional battles are ongoing in the areas of Heorhiivka, Novomykhailivka, and Pobieda.
  • Berdyansk direction: Russian forces have made minor progress north of Shevchenkove. Positional battles have been ongoing near Malynivka, Velyka Novosilka, Staromayorske, Shevchenkove, Prechystivka, and Zolota Nyva.
  • Tokmak direction: The enemy is bolstering its forces south and west of Robotyne. Enemy attacks in the Novoprokopivka – Verbove sector were unsuccessful, but the Russian troops are pressing west from Novopokrovka. The enemy holds a significant numerical advantage, including in artillery. Units of the Russian 42nd Motorized Rifle Division of the 58th Army captured a tactically important height between Robotyne and Verbove, advancing 700 meters forward.
  • Kherson direction: positional battles persisted near 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 salvo of 8 “Kalibr” missiles.

Changes in the enemy disposition:

  • The Russian grouping on the Kupyansk direction consists of 42,000 personnel, on the Lyman direction – 57,000 personnel, and on the Siversky direction – 23,000 personnel.
  • The enemy grouping on the Bakhmut direction includes 18 brigades, 21 regiments, 15 battalions, and 19 detachments. There is a paratrooper assault regiment and 2 infantry battalions in reserve of the first echelon.
  • The 30th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 2nd Army and the 9th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps of the 8th Army operate near Lastochkyne and Pervomaiske, respectively.
  • The 155th Separate Marines Brigade of the Russian Pacific Fleet and the 39th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 68th Army Corps are engaged in combat near Novomykhailivka. The 238th Artillery Brigade of the 8th Army conducts combat operations near Heorhiivka.
  • The enemy’s 35th Combined Arms Army is attacking near Hulyaipole.
  • The 1st BARS detachment is operating near Verbove.
  • The 136th Artillery Regiment is engaged in combat on the Orikhiv direction.

Escalation indicators:

  • The adversary significantly increased the intensity of combat operations on the Tokmak direction, while also diverting reserves from the Avdiivka direction to the Bakhmut 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 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 concentration of Russian aviation on the Avdiivka direction will lead to the spread of this experience to other sectors of the front.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 21.02.24 

Personnel – almost 406,080 people (+1130);

Tanks – 6,516 (+13);

Armored combat vehicles – 12,338 (+70);

Artillery systems – 9,826 (+53);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 992 (+4);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 678 (+3);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 12,861 (+56);

Aircraft – 338 (0);

Helicopters – 325 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 7,560 (+39);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,903 (+1);

Boats/ships – 26 (0).


  • According to information provided by the Situation Center of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Russian troops shelled 10 regions of Ukraine over the past day. A total of 166 towns and villages and 83 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. Three people were reported injured in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, two people were killed and one injured in Kharkiv Oblast, one person was killed and 8 injured in Donetsk Oblast, and 4 people were reported wounded in Kherson Oblast. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • During the night of February 21, the Russian forces launched 6 missiles and 19 “Shahed” kamikaze drones at Ukraine. Ukrainian air defense forces successfully shot down 1 missile and 13 enemy drones. Several of the six remaining undamaged enemy UAVs failed to reach their intended targets.
  • On the evening of February 20, Russian forces launched a missile attack on Kramatorsk, targeting industrial and residential areas. The strike resulted in 7 casualties (6 women, 1 man). There is a possibility that another person is trapped under the rubble.
  • As a result of Russian shelling, one of the power transmission lines linking the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) to the Ukrainian power grid has been damaged. Currently, the connection between the Zaporizhzhia NPP and the power grid is maintained only through one power transmission line, as reported by Ukrenergo. The International Atomic Energy Agency states that frequent power outages remain a source of serious concern for nuclear safety at the Zaporizhzhya NPP, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
  • The proportion of refugees expressing an intention or hope to return to Ukraine has decreased from 77% to 65% compared to the previous year. The percentage of those who are undecided about returning has increased from 18% to 24%. Additionally, there has been a rise in the number of individuals lacking hope of returning, from 5% to 11%, and those who do not anticipate returning, which has climbed from 5% to 11%, according to research conducted by the UN Refugee Agency.
  • According to a public opinion survey, conducted by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, 73% of Ukrainians state that they are ready to endure the war for as long as necessary, with an additional 3% prepared to endure it for an extended period, such as a year. Sociologists note that since May 2022, the situation has remained unchanged. In May 2022, 71% were willing to endure as long as necessary, while in December 2023, it increased to 73%. These sentiments are observed in all regions.

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