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Russian forces retake several Ukrainian positions on Kherson Oblast's left bank – ISW

Wednesday, 13 December 2023, 05:51
Russian forces retake several Ukrainian positions on Kherson Oblast's left bank – ISW
A UKRAINIAN SOLDIER ON THE BATTLEFIELD. STOCK PHOTO: UKRAINIAN GENERAL STAFF

Russian troops have pursued offensive operations on Kherson Oblast's left bank and have secured some progress.

Source: Institute for the Study of War (ISW)

Details: Geolocation footage released on 11 December revealed that Russian forces had advanced south of the village of Krynky (30 km northeast of Kherson Oblast and 2 km from the Dnipro River).

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The Russian military bloggers (milbloggers) claimed on 12 December that Russian troops had driven Ukrainian forces out of certain positions near Krynky.

The Russian source also claimed that Russian and Ukrainian elements had been engaged in fighting in Krynky and that Ukrainian efforts to consolidate their positions in the forest near the village had failed.

The Ukrainian army pursued offensive operations northeast and south of the town of Bakhmut on 12 December and recently advanced south of Bakhmut.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy released a video of a Ukrainian flag being raised over the Horlivka landfill (22 km southeast of Bakhmut, or slightly west of the town of Horlivka), indicating that Ukrainian forces are in control of the area.

Russian milbloggers have acknowledged that Ukrainian troops are in control of the waste heap.

The Russian army pressed ahead with its offensive in the area of Avdiivka on 12 December at an increased pace and confirmed its advance. Geolocation footage released on 12 December depicted Russian troops advancing southwest of Avdiivka.

Russian troops also pursued ground attacks to the west and southwest of the city of Donetsk and confirmed their advance. Geolocation footage released on 11 December shows Russian forces advancing northwest of the town of Marinka (directly west of the city of Donetsk).

To quote the ISW’s Key Takeaways on 12 December: 

  • US intelligence reportedly assessed that Russian offensive operations in eastern Ukraine in autumn 2023 and through the upcoming winter aim to weaken Western support for Ukraine instead of achieving any immediate operational objectives.
  • Russian forces may be conducting costly offensive operations at a time unfavourable for ground manoeuvre to time the potential shift in battlefield initiative with ongoing conversations in the West about continued support to Ukraine.
  • US intelligence also assessed that the war in Ukraine has devastated the pre-war Russian military, although Russia has partially offset these losses and continues to prepare for a long war in Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with various US officials, including President Joe Biden, and spoke to Congress about US military assistance to Ukraine in Washington, DC on 12 December.
  • Russian forces conducted a series of drone and missile strikes targeting Ukraine on 12 December.
  • Ukrainian officials stated that Russian special services may have conducted the major cyberattack on Ukrainian mobile operator Kyivstar on 12 December.
  • The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported that GUR cyber units recently conducted a successful cyber operation against the Russian Federal Tax Service (FNS).
  • Russian news outlet RBK reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin has designated prominent Russian milbloggers as "trusted persons" in his presidential election campaign for the first time.
  • A St Petersburg court sentenced three underage Uzbek migrants and their parents to deportation for extinguishing the Eternal Flame in St Petersburg amid ongoing tension between Central Asian communities in Russia and Russian authorities.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupiansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, west and southwest of Donetsk City, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast on 12 December and advanced in some areas.
  • The Russian State Duma adopted a series of laws on 12 December to help further bolster Rosgvardia’s and the Federal Security Service’s (FSB) force generation capacity.
  • Russian occupation authorities continue to use the Kremlin-funded pseudo-volunteer "Dvizheniye Pervykh" (Movement of the First) youth organisation to indoctrinate Ukrainian youth in occupied Ukraine with Russian and cultural national identities.

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