Центр оборонних стратегій

Russia’s war on Ukraine. 20.05.2024

In the operational zone of the Ukrainian Operational Group of Forces (OG) “Kharkiv” on the Kharkiv direction, there were 11 combat engagements. The occupiers conducted airstrikes and continued attempts to break through the defenses near Vovchansk, Starytsya, Lyptsi, and Zelene.

In the “Khortytsia” Operational-Strategic Group of Forces (OSG) operational zone on the Kupyansk direction, the number of combat engagements over the past day totaled 12. The Ukrainian Defense Forces successfully repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Synkivka, Ivanivka, and Berestove. On the Lyman direction, the enemy did not conduct active operations; however, Ukrainian forces maintained fire control over the enemy and achieved success in certain areas. Since the beginning of the day, fierce battles have been ongoing on the Siversk direction, where Russian occupiers made 23 attempts to break through the Ukrainian defenses. On the Kramatorsk direction, the enemy unsuccessfully attempted to breach the defenses 14 times near the settlements of Kalynivka, Novyi, Ivanivske, Klishchiivka, and Andriivka.

In the “Tavriya” OSG operational zone, the enemy launched intense attacks on the Pokrovsk direction, where the aggressor conducted 25 assaults and attempted to increase fire control on specific sections, using aerial bombardments with glide bombs (KABs). Fighting continues on the Netaylove–Yasnobrodivka direction. Defensive measures are being implemented to stabilize the situation. On the Kurakhove direction, the number of engagements reached 10. The invaders are attempting to advance towards Heorhiivka, Paraskoviivka, Novomykhailivka, and Vodyane. All attacks were repelled.  On the Vremivka direction, the enemy made 4 unsuccessful attempts to break through the defenses towards Staromayorske and Urozhaine.

In the operational zone of the “Odesa” OSG on the Prydniprovskiy direction, the enemy made six attempts to dislodge Defense Forces units from Krynky. All assaults by the Russian invaders were repelled.

General conclusion: 

  • The situation in Vovchansk is stable, with the Ukrainian Defense Forces units maintaining control.
  • The pace of Russian advancement near Ocheretyne has slowed down.
  • To expand the zone of active operations on the Kharkiv direction, the enemy requires additional combat-ready forces and means. Any other enemy scenario on this front will also require such resources.
  • Activation of enemy actions on the Sumy direction is possible, but they are unlikely to be of a large-scale nature.

Change in the line of contact (LoC):

  • There were 101 combat engagements on various fronts.
  • On the Kharkiv direction, the enemy attempted to intensify efforts in the Vovchansk area and resumed attacks towards Lyptsi. Forward units of the 18th Motorized Rifle Division of the 11th Army Corps, supported by elements of the 7th Separate Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 11th Army Corps and the so-called “African Corps” (former Wagner PMC units from Africa), attacked from Lukyantsi along the northern bank of the Lypets River towards Lyptsi and along the Murom River from Russian territory towards Zelenyi. The enemy advanced up to 1 km along the Lypets River but was halted.
  • In the Vovchansk area, the enemy tried to establish a foothold in the city and along the western bank of the Siversky Donets River towards Ohirtseve – Buhruvatka. To this end, units of the 1st Motorized Rifle Regiment, 1st Tank Regiment of the 2nd Motorized Rifle Division (elements of the 47th Motorized Rifle Division according to other sources) fully occupied the wooded area between Buhruvatka and Ohirtseve up to the Siversky Donets River. The Ukrainian Defense Forces completely withdrew to the eastern bank of the river in this section.
  • In Vovchansk, units of the 25th and 138th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigades of the 6th Army hold positions at the Vovchansk Meat Processing Plant, the old airfield north of the city, and several adjacent blocks along Tereshkova and Novoselivska streets. Their attempts to advance from the airfield deeper into the city were stopped by intense fire from the forward units of the Ukrainian Defense Forces.
  • On the Kupyansk direction, Russian forces advanced up to 1 km in depth near Berestove, entered Myasozharivka, and secured positions in the village. They continued offensive operations in the areas of Synkivka, Ivanivka, Berestove, Kyslivka, Stepova Novoselivka, Stelmakhivka, and Novosadove.
  • On the Lyman direction, combat operations continued in the areas of Torske, Hryhorivka, and Bilohorivka.
  • On the Siversk direction, Russian forces significantly increased their activity and launched attacks in the areas of Verkhnyokamianske, Rozdolivka, and Ivano-Dariivka.
  • On the Kramatorsk direction, Russian forces advanced during assaults within and to the southeast of the “Kanal” neighborhood, attempting to push forward near the “Novyi” neighborhood and from Ivanivske. Battles continued near Vasylivka, Kalynivka, Ivanivske, Klishchiivka, Andriivka, Kurdyumivka, and Shumy.
  • On the Pokrovsk direction, Russian forces advanced within Netaylove, to the northwest of Umanske, and towards Novooleksandrivka. Battles persisted near Novokalynove, Novooleksandrivka, Yevhenivka, Solovyove, Novoselivka Persha, Novopokrovske, Umansky, and Netaylove.
  • On the Kurakhove direction, Russian forces advanced southwest of Maryinka and in the eastern part of Paraskoviivka. Battles persisted near Krasnohorivka, Heorhiivka, Pobieda, Paraskoviivka, Novomykhailivka, and Volodymyrivka.
  • On the Vremivka direction, Positional battles persisted in the areas of Staromayorske, Urozhaine, and Novomayorske. Russian forces advanced 2 kilometers towards Hulyaipole.
  • On the Orikhiv direction, Russian forces attacked northwest of Verbove.
  • On the Prydniprovskiy direction, the Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled multiple enemy attacks near Krynky.
  • In the Black Sea-Azov naval operational area, the enemy naval group on combat duty consists of:
    • Mediterranean Sea: 3 ships, including 2 “Kalibr” sea launched cruise missile carriers. The total salvo is 24 cruise missiles.
  • A rocket strike has hit the small missile ship of project 22800 “Cyclone” of the Russian Black Sea Fleet (information is being verified).

Changes in the enemy disposition:

  • The 17th Artillery Brigade of the enemy’s 3rd Army Corps is conducting combat operations in the Chasiv Yar area.
  • Units of the “Atlant” Battalion are operating near Ocheretyne as part of the enemy’s “Center” Operational Grouping.
  • On the Sumy direction, the enemy’s tactical group “Kursk” consists of up to three understrength motorized rifle regiments (missing 1-2 battalions each), nine battalions, and two combined assault detachments. The total force is up to 10,000 personnel.

Possible operation situation developments:

  • On the Sumy direction, the enemy grouping is in concentration areas and conducting routine activities. Meanwhile, Sudzha – Sumy and Graivoron – Velyka Pysarivka could be the likely directions of their actions. The enemy is increasing the size of their grouping. The 128th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 44th Army Corps is concentrating in the Graivoron area (information is being verified).
  • The enemy will continue their attempts to penetrate the urban area of Vovchansk and advance west of the city along both banks of the Siversky Donets River, particularly in the Buhruvatka area.
  • If the enemy manages to cross the Siversky Donets River towards Prylipka and further to Synelnykove and Tsehelne, the situation for the “Kharkiv” OG tactical group defending Vovchansk will sharply deteriorate. The transfer of enemy troops from the Nova Tavilzhanka and Arkhangelskoye (Russian territory) areas to Ohirtseve and Buhruvatka will indicate the commencement of this scenario by the command of the “Sever” Operational Grouping.
  • The implementation of the plan by the “Sever” and “Zapad” Operational Groupings to break through the rear of “Khortytsia” OSG on the Kupyansk direction via Bilyi Kolodiaz and Velykyi Burluk will require significant reinforcement of the grouping with reserves amounting to a division. To this end, the 70th or 71st Motorized Rifle Regiments of the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division of the 58th Army could be redeployed from the Zaporizhzhia direction, a regiment from the 7th or 76th Airborne Assault Divisions, and the 54th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 6th Motorized Rifle Division of the 3rd Army Corps or the 299th Airborne Regiment of the 98th Airborne Division could be redeployed from the Kramatorsk direction.
  • The adversary will attempt to bypass Chasiv Yar without directly assaulting the city, by operating from the south and southeast, while simultaneously forming a northern flank for the Toretsk operation.
  • The “Center” Operational Grouping command is focused on executing the following operational plan: to establish conditions for the blockade and encirclement of the Kurakhove area or to create advantageous circumstances for launching an offensive operation to encircle “Tavriya” OSG’s defense in Toretsk area from the south.
  • The enemy’s “Vostok” Operational Grouping is gearing up for active operations on the southern flank of the Kurakhove-Vuhledar bulge of the Ukrainian Defense Forces in coordination with the left flank of the “Yug” Operational Grouping, which is currently attempting to break through towards Kurakhove through Hryhorivka and Paraskoviivka-Kostyantynivka along the Vovcha and Sukhi Yaly Rivers.

Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 20.05.24  

Personnel – almost 493,690 (+1400); 

Tanks 7,590 (+14); 

Armored combat vehicles – 14,665 (+35); 

Artillery systems – 12,737 (+50);

Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 1,076 (+2);

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 807 (+4);

Vehicles and fuel tanks – 17,311 (+60);

Aircraft – 354 (0);

Helicopters – 326 (0);

UAV operational and tactical level – 10,236 (+81);

Intercepted cruise missiles – 2,205 (+1);

Boats/ships – 28 (+1).


  • More than 1891 children have been affected in Ukraine due to the full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation. As of the morning of May 20, 2024, according to official information from juvenile prosecutors, 546 children had died, and over 1345 had been injured to varying degrees of severity.
  • According to information provided by the Situation Center of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Russian forces shelled 10 regions of Ukraine over the past day. A total of 107 towns and villages and 102 infrastructure objects were attacked with various types of weapons. The number of casualties is being updated/clarified.
  • During the night of May 20, Russian forces attacked Ukraine with 29 Shahed kamikaze drones and targeted Kharkiv Oblast with an Iskander-M ballistic missile. All the drones were successfully destroyed. The missile hit Izyum, resulting in damage to the cultural center, which is an architectural landmark.
  • On May 19, in the village of Novoandriivka in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, rescuers were extinguishing a fire in a house after Russian shelling. The enemy launched a repeated attack, dropping ammunition from a drone. One rescuer sustained minor injuries.
  • Over the past day, Russian invaders carried out strikes on 19 towns and villages in Kherson Oblast, injuring eight people.
  • 22 people injured as a result of Russian strikes in Kharkiv Oblast on May 19 are currently hospitalized, with 6 of them in critical condition in intensive care.
  • On May 20th, the Russian army conducted 23 drone attacks and 4 artillery shelling incidents in the Nikopol district of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. As a result, a 42-year-old man was injured.
  • Due to favorable weather conditions in Ukraine, the deficit in the energy system has slightly decreased, but remains significant in the evening and night hours. Therefore, on May 20, from 18:00 to 24:00, hourly power outages are implemented for industrial and residential consumers in all regions of Ukraine.
  • The Counter Disinformation Center at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine has noted an increase in efforts by Russian propaganda. Through all available information channels, Russia is promoting a narrative of the “illegitimacy” of the Ukrainian government, attempting to incite Ukrainians to protest. Additionally, the enemy has intensified its campaign to discredit mobilization efforts in Ukraine.
  • In the temporarily occupied territories, the enemy is intensifying efforts to spread disinformation among the local population. According to the National Resistance Center of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, all public sector employees are supposed to receive “newspapers” launched by the enemy in each of the captured districts. The editorial boards of these newspapers are composed of Russian citizens. The publications are distributed among public sector employees for free but require a signature upon receipt. They are also handed out on the streets.

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