Support Us

Russians advance slightly near Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka – ISW

Saturday, 16 December 2023, 04:48
Russians advance slightly near Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka – ISW

Russian troops continued localised offensives near Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka and achieved confirmed successes there on 15 December.

Source: Institute for the Study of War (ISW)

Details: Russian forces continued localised offensives near Bakhmut and achieved confirmed successes on 15 December. Geolocation footage released on 11 December shows that Russian forces have recently advanced northwest of Klishchiivka (7 km south-west of Bakhmut).


Russian sources have increasingly characterised the localised Russian offensive around Bakhmut as an operation to encircle Chasiv Yar (12 km west of Bakhmut). Russian military bloggers described the Russian attacks west of Bakhmut near Bohdanivka and Khromove and south of Bakhmut near Klishchiivka and Andriivka as an organised offensive against Chasiv Yar. 

They also noted that it would be difficult to encircle Chasiv Yar due to large Ukrainian fortifications and the town's location which has a tactical height advantage. ISW estimated that Russian forces were at least nine kilometres from Chasiv Yar.

On 15 December, Russian troops continued their offensive near Avdiivka and advanced. Geolocation footage released on 15 December showed that Russian troops had advanced near Stepove (3 km north of Avdiivka) and Pervomaiske (11 km south-west of Avdiivka).

Russian military bloggers claimed that Russian troops had advanced near the railway line north of Stepove and had recently seized positions in the forest area north of Stepove.

On 15 December, Russian forces continued their offensive operations west and south-west of Donetsk and made confirmed gains. Geolocation footage released on 13 December shows that Russian forces advanced in western Marinka (west of Donetsk).

Ukrainian and Russian sources said that Ukrainian forces struck occupied Mariupol in Donetsk Oblast on 14 December. Geolocation footage published on 14 and 15 December showed a massive fire in two locations in Mariupol, including the Port City shopping centre. Petro Andriushchenko, adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, said that the second Ukrainian strike hit the Port City shopping centre, where Russian troops were storing military equipment, including air defence components.

To quote the ISW’s Key Takeaways on 15 December:  

  • German outlet BILD stated on 14 December that unspecified intelligence findings and sources indicate that Russia plans to occupy Ukrainian territory beyond the four (illegally) annexed Ukrainian oblasts throughout 2024-2026.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov threateningly urged Ukraine to negotiate with Russia sooner rather than later.
  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba published an op-ed entitled "There is a Path to Victory in Ukraine" on 15 December, wherein he argues that Ukrainian military objectives remain feasible despite increasingly pessimistic discussions in the West.
  • Russian forces conducted a series of missile and drone strikes against Ukraine on the night of 14-15 December.
  • Finnish authorities closed Finland’s border checkpoints with Russia again on 15 December amid continued Russian hybrid warfare efforts to orchestrate an artificial migrant crisis.
  • Germany announced new military and humanitarian aid packages to Ukraine on 14 December.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations near Kupiansk, northeast and near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, west and southwest of Donetsk City, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and made confirmed advances in several areas.
  • Kremlin newswire TASS reported on 14 December that Grom special units (elite anti-drug special units of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs) will fully transition to being subordinated to Rosgvardia in early 2024.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin highlighted Russia’s intention to build high-speed railways in occupied Ukraine, likely hours after Ukrainian partisans damaged a key railway line in occupied Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

Support UP or become our patron