Issue 323, 5 August – 11 August 2023 (Weekly update) (Free access)

Situational report from the war in Ukraine – 5 August – 11 August 2023

Key takeaways from last week’s developments:

  • No major changes occurred in Ukraine last week; Russia and Ukraine made minimal territorial gains, but without an operational impact on the overall battlefield situation and the strategic outlook for the war;
  • Although Russians made no progress in the Kharkiv Oblast, Ukrainian authorities announced an evacuation of civilians from 37 settlements near the frontline;
  • In the Luhansk Oblast, Russian forces (again) captured Novoselivske and extended attacks in the western direction, but without success; Ukrainians reportedly recaptured a village previously lost a few weeks ago;
  • Ukrainians made no confirmed progress south of Bakhmut, although they reportedly progressed north of Adviivka;
  • In the Southern Direction, Ukrainians minimally progressed in the Orikhiv and Velyka Novosilka axes;
  • Ukrainians also crossed Dnipro in the Kherson Oblast and made some gains near Kozachi Laheri, 25 km east of Kherson;
  • Russian use of missiles and suicide drones was very limited over the past week and delivered only one big wave; However, Russian missile attacks on hotels near the frontline are a worrying trend;

Executive summary

Last week delivered no major changes in Ukraine. Neither side managed to conduct a sizable attack that would significantly impact the operational situation in any direction. In this context, we continue to see a continuation of a well-established trend where Russia and Ukraine mount relatively small attacks. If they deliver territorial gains, they are minimal and rarely result in capturing a settlement. Novoselivkse in the Luhansk Oblast is the best example. The village, which covers an area of only 1.3  sq km, has changed hands several times over the past nine months. Last week, Russians captured it again and extended attacks in the Western direction, which probably indicates (at least an intent) to maintain their control over the village.

Thus far, once one side made a territorial gain, the other immediately counterattacked. However, over the past several weeks, we have seen an increased tempo of Russian attacks in the Luhansk and Kharkiv Oblasts. The Russians likely shifted the Centre of Gravity [COG] of their operations from the southern direction to the northern parts of the frontline. A Ukrainian authorities’ decision to evacuate civilians from near the frontline areas in these directions could indeed indicate that Kyiv expects a further increase in Russian operations. We also need to remember that Ukrainian official military sources warned a few weeks ago that Russians had gathered 100,000 troops, 900 tanks and 370 MLR systems between Kupyansk and Lyman. Although we believe that not all personnel within this number, the next few weeks could see Russians committing more and more forces to the battle.

When it comes to the Ukrainian counteroffensive and the offensive potential in general, for over a week, Ukrainian forces were on the outskirts of Kliishvivka, Urozhayne, and Robotyne. All of them are situated on axes prioritised by Kyiv. Yet, Ukrainians only managed to enter Urozhayne and Robotyne and their success there is not at all certain. The delay in capturing these settlements (both located in Southern Direction) means more personnel and equipment expedited as Ukrainaine has neither time nor resources to maintain the current approach indefinitely, even though the Russian Forward Edge of the Battle Area (FEBA) is within reach of Ukrainian forces near Robotyne.

The assessment we wrote last week still holds.

Ukraine battle map

Please click here to access our interactive map and click here to access the archive.

The situation at selected axes and directions

Kharkiv direction

Despite Russian attacks, the overall frontline situation in the Kharkiv Oblast remained unchanged. No Russian cross-border ground attacks were conducted.

Over the past week, Russians increased the number of ground attacks along the Lyman Pershyi – Pershotravneve line. Despite this, we noted no frontline changes due to these ground attacks, while a Ukrainian source claimed that Russians sustained heavy losses.

Likewise, attacks near Synkivka and Petropavlivka were repelled, confirmed by  Oleh Synehubov, the head of the Kharkiv Oblast administration. This came despite Russian MoD claims that attacks improved the overall situation along the front line in the Kupyansk direction.

Russians, nevertheless, try to find holes in Ukrainian defences and employ artillery in superior numbers to achieve these goals. According to a Ukrainian soldier, Russians had deployed fresh forces and many assault units to sustain their attacks in the Kupyansk direction. Their attacks mainly occurred on foot, and there were too few Ukrainian forces to reliably cover the entire frontline. This led to a situation where Russians bypassed Ukrainian observation posts and squad positions.

Oleksandr Syrskyi, Commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, claimed on Wednesday (09AUG) that Russians had formed a grouping of forces to achieve a breakthrough and push for Kupyansk. Battles in this direction were very intense, he said.

This increase in Russian ground (air and artillery) activity was likely why Ukrainian authorities started considering a mandatory evacuation of residents from the settlements of the Kharkiv Oblast located close to the combat zone. This consideration changed into a decision announced on 10AUG (Thursday). Evacuation will include civilians from the Dvorichansky District, Kindrashivsky District, Kupyansky District and Kurylivsky District. Altogether, civilians from 37 settlements are to be evacuated.

Speaking of Russian artillery and missile attacks, on Saturday (06AUG), Russians struck Kharkiv with an S-300 missile, damaging a civilian facility in the Kholodnohirsky district. Oleh Synehubov claimed that the Russians continued to shelled civilian infrastructure in Kharkivsky, Kupyansky, Bohodukhivsky, Iziumsky, and Chuhuivsky districts. In particular, Russians hit Kruhlyakivka, Kupyansk, Kupyansk-Vuzlovyi Kozacha Lopan, Cherneshchyna, Podoly, Vovchansk, Tymofiivka, Putnykove, Petropavlivka and Kucherivka, Masiutivka.

Last week, Russian sources claimed that some Ukrainian units (the 14th Mechanised Brigade and the Territorial Defence Forces) refused to fight, while personnel from the 95th Air Assault Brigade retreated from one of the strongholds. Yet, the source said that any discussions about approaching Kupyansk were premature. Concurrently, we have seen no evidence corroborating the Russian claims about a lack of discipline within Ukrainian formations in the Kharkiv/Luhansk Oblast.

Looking at the current situation in the Kharkiv Oblast through the prism of Russian MoD press reports, then the intensity of Russian attacks increased substantially. Russian Ka-52 and Mi-35 attack helicopters and Su-25 attack aircraft carried out 13 air strikes against Ukrainian concentration areas of the 14th Mechanised Brigade and territorial defence units. Russian Su-34 also carried two strikes on the 103rd Territorial Defence Brigade.

During the week, Russian assault groups of the 6th Combined Arms Army captured 16 Ukrainian strongholds and 14 observation posts, destroyed one tank, BTR and mortar unit and defeated subunits from the 14th and 67th Mechanised Brigades. The MoD claimed the 6th Combined Arms Army units advanced and pushed through Ukrainian defences near Vilshana.

Ukrainian 25th Airborne Brigade and 32nd Separate Mechanised Brigade conducted 15 counterattacks, which were focused near Novoselivske. The 14th and 67th Mechanised Brigades conducted 14 counterattacks on Russian troops’ positions near Synkivka, Mankovka tract (?), and Usy forest (?). Russian units repelled all Ukrainian counterattacks.

Luhansk direction

The past seven days delivered no frontline changes in the Luhansk Oblast, and the situation appears more stable than in the Kharkiv Oblast.

According to Artem Lysohor, Luhansk Oblast Military Administration Head, Russians had concentrated a large grouping of forces in the region. Still, they could not use this to their advantage as Ukrainians had established solid defence lines, which allowed Kyiv to repel Moscow’s attacks.

Referring to the situation in the Luhansk Oblast, Ukrainian General Staff claimed that to organise the evacuation of wounded Russians back to the country, the Russian MoD deployed personnel of the 442nd District Military Clinical Hospital to Svatove. In particular, between 01 and 02 AUG, about 500 Russians with gunshot wounds were sent to a hospital in Belgorod.

According to Serhiy Cherevaty, the Eastern Group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces spokesman, in the Kupyansk – Lyman direction, Russian artillery fired 1,986 times between 6 and 10AUG. They also conducted 33 ground attacks and 66 air strikes.

When it comes to the frontline, no changes were reported in the Svatove axis.

According to the Russian MoD, on Saturday (05 AUG), Russian units captured Novoselivske, confirmed by the Ukrainian source two days later. Immediately after capturing the village, Russians extended attacks towards Berestove and Stelmakhivka. However, no reports confirmed their further gains in this sector.

Moving further south, a Russian source said that attacks conducted by the Ukrainian 68th Jaeger Brigade were repelled along the Raihorodka – Karmazynivka line. Ukrainian bloggers assessed that Ukrainian forces had liberated several positions near Novojehorivka. While the Russian source confirmed their advances, it said that critical heights near the village remained under the control of Russian troops.

No changes occurred near Makiivka, Ploshchanka and Chervonopopivka areas. Neither Russian nor Ukrainian sources reported any changes.

According to the Russian source, the Ukrainian Armed forces held positions near Torske and Yampolivka and occasionally tried to counterattack without results.

In the Kreminna area, heavy battles continued in the Serebryansky forest, but no changes were reported. The Ukrainians hold defences in the western and southwestern part of the forest area west of the Kreminna. According to the Russian source, the Ukrainians pulled up the reserves of the 42nd and 67th Mechanised Brigades. They launched six assaults on Russian positions but failed due to Russian small arms and artillery fire, with support from Russian aviation.

(We would like to make one important note. As the reader can see, the 67th Mechanised Brigade elements were reportedly deployed in two different parts of the front (Kreminna and Kupyansk). This does not need to be a mistake. We have seen instances where elements of one brigade were deployed to two different parts of the front (Zaporizhzhia and Bakhmut, for example). We understand that the reason why this occurs is that Kyiv lacks trained troops and reserves).

On Saturday (5AUG), Russian troops reportedly captured several UAF positions near the settlement near Bilohorivka. This information, however, was not confirmed.

According to Aleksandr Savchuk, a Russian Centre Group of Forces Spokesperson, in the Svatove direction, Russian aviation hit elements of the 43rd Mechanised Brigade. They also repelled the attacks of the Ukrainian 21st, 42nd Mechanised, and 68th Jaeger Brigades.

Russian aircraft carried 12 missile and bomb strikes on Ukrainian concentration areas near Torske, Dibrova and Serebryansky forest.


Frontlines in the Kharkiv and Luhansk Oblasts, 05AUG – 11AUG 2023

(The data on Russian fortifications comes from Brady Africk).


Donetsk Oblast Direction

No major changes occurred in the Donetsk Oblast last week. The centre of gravity remained around Bakhmut, where Ukrainian forces continued attacking Russian positions south and north of the city, but these efforts delivered no progress.

No changes occurred near Spirne, Verkhnokamyanske, Vyimka and Ivano Darivka. Neither Russian nor Ukrainian sources reported any changes near Rozdolivka, Vasiukivka, Fedorivka and Vesele.

That said, Russian sources reported during the past weekend that the 2nd Battalion of Special Assignment “Donbas” had been deployed to Zvanivka. The source believed that Ukrainian would relaunch attacks towards Yakovlivka soon.

The UAF suffered losses and retreated. Also, positional battles continued near Yahidne – Berkhivka line, where the UAF tried to break through the Russian defence with small forces. Russian artillery continued to shell Ukrainian strongholds in Khromove massively.

Supported by artillery, Ukrainian forces launched assaults on Russians near Berkhivka along the Yahidne – Berkhivka line. However, no reports emerged confirming any territorial changes in this sector. Russian artillery conducted many strikes on Ukrainian deployment areas in Khromove.

Likewise, the situation in Bakhmut remained unchanged. Ukrainian did not undertake any offensive operations within city boundaries. We expect to see no changes in this regard as long as Kyiv’s forces make no progress towards encircling Bakhmut.

No changes were also reported near Ivanivske and Bila Hora.

Battles for Klishchiivka and Kurduymivka continued. Although, during the weekend, a Russian source claimed that Ukrainians were present in parts of Klishchiivka, we were not able to confirm the veracity of this assertion.

At the current stage, the frontline appears deadlocked, as Ukrainians are unable to push through Russian defences, especially around the former. To make things worse, Russians’ presence in the area is sufficiently strong to enable them to conduct localised counterattacks.

This lack of Ukrainian progress comes even though Kyiv controls heights west of Klishchiivka, which, at least in theory, places them in better geographical positions to attain tactical objectives. Despite this, the frontline in this area has not changed for almost three weeks. The biggest change occurred in late July between Klishchiivka and Andriivka, where Ukrainians successfully moved in to capture open fields near these settlements. But they lacked the momentum and sufficient force to extend their gains in any direction.

Neither Russian nor Ukrainian sources reported changes near Keramik, Stepove, Krasnohorivka, Berdychi, Novokalynove, and Kamyanka.

Ukrainian bloggers said that Ukrainian units managed to liberate several positions south of Vesele before 5AUG, but we could not confirm this development.

Russians launched unsuccessful attacks from Kruta Balka towards Avdiivka but made no progress, as all attacks were repelled.

Positional battles occurred near Pervomaiske, Tonenke, Sjeverne, Vodyane and Nevelske, but no frontline changes were reported.

Russians persisted in their attacks on Mariinka and Krasnohorivka. However, despite the deployment of artillery assets to soften Ukrainian defensive positions, the Ukrainian lines remained untouched.

No changes occurred near Pobieda, Novomykhailivka and Vuhledar.

There were reports about a substantial Ukrainian attack from Vuhledar towards Mykil’s’ke. But, despite making some progress initially in open fields south of Vuhledar, Ukrainians were quickly stopped and made no further progress towards Mykil’s’ke. As such, the frontline remained unchanged.

As for the official Russian portrayal of the situation in the Donetsk Oblast, the Russian MoD claimed to have delivered numerous strikes on the UAF. It claimed that Russian aviation carried out missile and bombing strikes on UAF objects in the Lysychansk, Soledar-Bakhmut, Oleksandro-Kalynove, Avdiivka and Maryinka directions. In contrast, Russian artillery destroyed the temporary deployment point of a subunit subordinated to the 10th Mountain Assault Brigade near Bilohorivka.

There also reportedly was an airstrike on a Ukrainian ammunition depot in Slovyansk. Other airstrikes hit the 81st Ukrainian Airmobile Brigade near Serebryanka, the 28th Mechanised Brigade near Oleksandro-Shultyne and Ivanivske and a concentration area of the 24th Mechanised Brigade in Mayorsk and Niu York.

According to Vadym Astafiev, a Russian South Group of Forces Spokesperson, Russian aviation carried out missile and bombing strikes on UAF objects in the Lysychansk, Soledar-Bakhmut, Oleksandro-Kalynove, Avdiivka and Maryinka directions, while artillery destroyed the temporary deployment point of a unit of the AFU’s 10th Mountain Assault Brigade near Bilohorivka.

Frontlines in the Donetsk Oblast with Russian fortifications, 05AUG – 11AUG 2023

Southern Ukraine direction

Over the past week, Ukrainians have almost entirely rotated elements of the 9th Army Corps and continued attacks using the 10th Army Corps formations.

Despite this, Ukrainians made some progress near Robotyne and Urozhayne, but the impact on the overall frontline situation was minimal. Russian ISR, artillery strikes, and well-prepared defence continued to inflict heavy losses on Ukrainian attacking formations, which, in at least one instance, led to a unit being withdrawn from the frontline.

The Velyka Novoselivka axis

Starting from the eastern axis of advance, Ukrainians did not capture Urozhayne.

Their first fruitless attempts occurred on Thursday (3AUG). The subsequent reorganisation saw them create new assault groups in Novodarivka, deploy  SPH batteries to Temirovka and Novoivanovka lines and Omega special forces unit near Urozhayne (4AUG/5AUG).

On Monday (7AUG), elements of the 35th and 36th Naval Infantry Brigades, supported by subunits of the 1st Tank Brigade and artillery of the 72nd Mechanised Brigade, attacked Urozhayne and established a foothold in the village. However, Russian sources reported that at that time, a Russian counterattack could have pushed Ukrainians from their recently captured positions. This information, however, is unconfirmed.

Published footage confirmed that artillery of the Russian 37th Motor Rifle Brigade (36th Combined Arms Army, Eastern Military District) destroyed at least one Ukrainian vehicle, most likely east of the village. Moreover, Ukrainians lost at least one tank that accidentally sank. Near Neskuchne, a Russian Lancet UAV destroyed a Ukrainian M777 howitzer.

By mid-week, Ukrainians deployed elements of the recently created 142nd Jager Infantry Brigade to Temirovka. According to Russian sources, they also started reinforcing subunits of the 35th and 37th Naval Infantry Brigades with mobilised reservists, but this information is unconfirmed.

On Wednesday (9AUG), Ukrainians renewed their attacks that, interestingly, involved joint assault groups of the 35th, 36th and 37th Naval Infantry Brigades. The 1st Tank Brigade supported these assaults. It is unclear how big and how well-coordinated these attacks were. They probably included company-level formations for ground attacks. Nevertheless, the attack allowed Ukrainians to extend controlled territory in the northern part of the Urozhayne.

Little changed since then. Russian artillery strikes were reportedly very intense since the attack on Urozhayne commenced. They also targeted Ukrainian concentration areas near Staryomayorske, Makarivka, and Pryyutne.

Russian artillery reportedly forced elements of the Ukrainian 1st Tank Brigade to withdraw from their (first line) positions near the first village on Monday (7AUG). Also, subunits of the 31st Mechanised Brigade suffered from Russian fire in this area too and also on 7AUG.

The Orkhiv axis

The deployment of the 10th Corps elements facilitated some advances in this axis over the past seven days.

On Monday (7AUG), the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defence Hanna Malyar informed that Ukrainians reported a tactical success in Robotyne and increased their controlled territory near the village. She also stated that Ukrainians crossed the first Russian defensive lines, although no evidence was produced to confirm this development.

According to a Russian source, the 47th Mechanised Brigade elements were withdrawn to Novogrod Volynsky on Thursday (3AUG) due to high losses. Russians also claimed to have shelled Ukrainian concentration areas near  Novodanilovka, Mala Tokmachka, and Orikhiv daily.

On Thursday (3AUG), Ukrainians deployed artillery assets of the 10th Corps formations (116th and 117th Mechanised Brigades) near Tavrivske.  Four days later (7AUG), they also brought the 46th Airmobile Brigade (Maroon tactical group) to Orikhiv and the elements of the 71st Jager Brigade towards Bilhoriya. Subsequently, additional artillery assets of the 44th and 47th Artillery Brigades moved closer to the frontline.

A day later (8AUG), joint assault groups of the 116th and 118th Mechanised Brigade attacked between Robotyne and Verbove. Although their attacks were repelled, the Ukrainian KARA DAG Brigade (offensive formation from the National Guard) managed to enter Robotyne.

Russians counterattacked and deployed second-line reserves – the 56th Air Assault Regiment (7th Air Assault Division) and 810th Naval Infantry Brigade to the area but did not dislodge Ukrainian formations.

Ukrainians were able to partially extend their territorial gains a day later (9AUG) when forces of the 46th Airmobile Brigade supported by the KARA DAG attacked Russian positions in the eastern part of Robotyne, which allowed them to reinforce their foothold in the village.

Despite these successes, Russian sources claimed that KARA DAG Brigade suffered heavy losses during these attacks.

Personnel losses also occurred among Ukrainian officer corps. Russians claimed they had killed a senior officer of the 118th Mechanised Brigade, Lt. Col. Yuri Baranetsky, on Wednesday (9AUG).

Last week, Ukrainians also conducted positional attacks near Bilhoriya, which can indicate further attacks in this area.

During the weekend, a Russian Buk air defence launcher was hit some 40 kilometres behind the frontline (near Vladivka).

The general situation in the western part of the Orikiv axis remained stable throughout the week.

Battles had a positional character, although Russian artillery was actively shelling Ukrainian positions using artillery, aviation and even UAVs.

They targeted mainly frontline towns – Pyatchatki, Kamyanske and Lobkove. Several fire missions were conducted deeper in Ukraine-controlled areas, such as Kamyshevakha, Stepnohirsk and Pavlivka.

According to the Russian source, due to Ukrainian losses during the counteroffensive, an unspecified brigade is being “hastily formed” in Primorske.

Frontlines in Southern Ukraine with Russian fortifications, 05AUG – 11AUG 2023


Kherson direction and Crimea

Last week, elements of the UAF crossed the Dnipro River north of Kozachi Laheri, broke through Russian defensive lines in the area and advanced a few hundred meters west. It is possible that Ukrainians used the opportunity that occurred after Russian airborne personnel was recently withdrawn from the area to Zaporizhzhia Oblast and replaced with mobilised servicemen. As such, the Russian defensive posture was weakened when Ukrainians initially deployed their force totalling up to 50 men.

This development could potentially deliver significant changes in areas south of Dnipro as Ukrainians may expand their bridgehead horizontally, introducing more forces to engage Russians and push them south.

Yet, so far, we have seen no significant changes in the Ukrainian troop deployments across Dnipro that would herald the opening of a new direction of attack. Another unclear aspect of this possible operation pertains to the Ukrainian ability to sustain its logistics on Dnipro’s left bank, especially if Kyiv’s presence was to be extended. Given that no bridges are currently functional, Ukrainians would be hard-pressed to maintain a sufficient flow of supplies using small riverine vessels.

In the meantime, Ukrainians continued efforts to degrade Russian logistics support north of Crimea. On Sunday (6AUG), Vadimir Saldo, Kherson Oblast occupation administration head, claimed that Ukrainian forces launched 12 missiles at a road bridge across the Henichesk Strait connecting Henichesk Raion to the Arabat Spit (Crimea). He added that six missiles were intercepted. Images released in the aftermath of this strike showed rather substantial damage to the bridge. It is unclear when the bridge will be repaired. However, by 10AUG, Russians seemed to have already established a pontoon crossing near the damaged bridge, so the strike’s impact on Russian logistics systems is unlikely to be severe.

Another strike occurred again on the Chongar Bridge. But in this case, too, Russians quickly assembled a temporary river crossing to facilitate the undisrupted flow of supplies and reinforcements to the Kherson Oblast and towards the frontline in the Zaporizhzhia region.

Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces used Storm Shadow cruise missiles to conduct both strikes. However, despite their claims, there is no confirmation that the Russians have intercepted a Storm Shadow cruise missile.

A Russian source claimed that the Ukrainian strikes sought to cut off the Russian grouping in southern Ukraine and disrupt its logistics, similar to the Ukrainian interdiction campaign during the Kherson counteroffensive last year. While one could draw some parallels between these two campaigns, it would be almost impossible for Ukrainians to cut off southern Ukraine completely. Firstly, their attacks occur too rarely to have a strategic effect, especially given that rivers north of Crimea are relatively narrow and, thus, much easier to establish a pontoon crossing over. Secondly, even if access to Crimea was to be cut off for a prolonged period, supplies could still be delivered by the land brigade from mainland Russia. As such, we believe that Ukrainian precision missile strikes primarily seek to hinder and harass Russian logistics but will not change the course of the campaign in the Zaporizhzhia and Western Donetsk Oblasts. However, while everyone focuses on Ukrainian efforts to facilitate their advances in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the motivation behind recent bridge strikes may be the degradation of Russian logistics south of Dnipro in the Kherson Oblast. But, at the current juncture, this is just a speculation, and whether it morphs into something more serious depends on the increase of Ukrainian military presence south of Dnipro.

Indeed, after an apparent lull in military activities south of the Antonovski Brigade, over the past week, Ukrainians again increased the tempo of their attacks in this area. The Russian source claimed that Ukrainian forces intensified operations in the Dnipro River Delta and intensified shelling on Oleshky. Ukrainianians also reportedly intensified drone reconnaissance and counterbattery fire in Kherson Oblast.

On Wednesday (9AUG), the Ukrainian General Staff press release reported a successful attack on a command post in Nova Kakhovka.

Frontlines in the Kherson Oblast with Russian fortifications, 05AUG – 11AUG 2023

Summary of losses

According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, since the start of the war, Ukraine has lost 458 aircraft (0), 245 helicopters (0), 5,654 UAVs (+158), 429 anti-aircraft missile systems (launchers?)(+1), 11,230 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles (+117), 1,144 MLRS launchers (+2), 5,847 field artillery guns and mortars (+101), as well as 12,176 units of special military vehicles (+119).

According to the Ukrainian General Staff, Russia lost (eliminated) 252,780 personnel (+4,290), 4,290 tanks (+62), 8,318 armoured combat vehicles (+69), 5,043 artillery systems (+132) and 713 MLR systems (+9), 471 anti-aircraft systems (+5), 315 aircraft (0) and 313 helicopters (+2), and 4,197 UAVs (+93), 7,511 vehicles and fuel tanks (+119), 1,347 cruise missiles (+30), 18 warships and boats (0) and 756 special vehicles (+32).

(Numbers in parentheses denote a weekly change)

Russian air and missile strikes on Ukraine

According to the Ukrainian Air Force Command, Russian use of missiles significantly decreased compared to previous weeks. The only significant employment occurred on the night of 05-06AUG in two waves. The first wave included 14 Kalibr cruise missiles fired from the Black Sea and three 9-S-7760 Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missiles.

The Air Force Command claimed to have shot down 12 Kalibrs, but its press release also said that Ukrainians would not disclose information about how many  Kinzhal were intercepted.

The second wave took place on 6AUG and involved six Kalibrs and 20 Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles. Ukrainians claimed to have shot down five Kalibrs and 13 Kh-101/Kh-555s. Excluding Kinzhals from the count, the interception rate stood at 75%.

To saturate Ukrainian defences, the same attack also involved Shahed-136/131 precision-attack suicide drones. The Ukrainian Air Force Command claimed to have shot down all 27 incoming vehicles.

Another employment took place on the night of 9-10AUG when Russians launched ten Shaheds. Seven were reportedly intercepted.

Probably not included in these counts is the Russian missile double-tap attack on Pokrovsk that occurred on Tuesday (8AUG). It appears that the target was a local hotel (Druzba) and a nearby restaurant, which were popular among foreign journalists visiting this part of the front. On Thursday (10AUG), Russians hit Reikartz Hotel in Zaporizhzhia. This was the third attack on a hotel since 28JUN when Hotel Kramatorsk and a nearby restaurant were hit in Kramatorsk.

There is a visible trend in Russian attacks on lodging facilities, but we are unsure what Russians want to achieve by conducting such strikes. Many Western journalists stayed in these hotels, so future missile attacks could cause international repercussions. At the same time, Ukrainian (and foreign) soldiers also stayed in the abovementioned hotels. Still, the cost-to-effect ratio is unlikely to be favourable.

Number of Russian attacks in August (Source: Ukrainian General Staff)

Russian air and missile strikes on Ukraine (Shaheds excluded)  (Source: Ukrainian Air Force Command/General Staff)


The number of Shehed 131/136 kamikaze drones interceptions (Source: Ukrainian Air Force Command)


Russian artillery losses since the start of the war (Source: Ukrainian General Staff)


Russian tank losses since the start of the war (Source: Ukrainian General Staff)


Outlook for the week of 12AUG-18AUG

In assessing the probability or likelihood of certain events, we use a set of terms proposed by the US Intelligence Community.

Almost no chance Very unlikely Unlikely Roughly even chance Likely Very likely Almost certain(ly)
Remote Highly improbable Improbable (improbably) Roughly even odds Probable


Highly probable Nearly certain
0-5% 5-20% 20-45% 45-55% 55-80% 80-95% 95-99%


To introduce more accountability to our forecasts, each weekly update assesses how correct (or incorrect) our predictions were. Please also remember that while we try to remain as objective as possible regarding our performance, the reader will ultimately have to decide how (in)accurate we have been.

Previous forecast

“We expect that the situation in the Kharkiv Oblast will remain unchanged next week. Without the deployment of reserves, Russians are unlikely to make any gains in the region.” This assessment was correct. No changes occurred in the region last week.

Score: 1/1

“The same goes for the Luhansk Oblast, including Kreminna and Bilohorivka areas. We expect Ukrainian attacks to focus on retaking previously lost territories (southwest of Svatove), but there is a roughly even chance they will succeed. Nevertheless, we assess that Russians will continue conducting ground attacks and will likely capture one village or more next week.” Russians captured Novoselivske, while Ukrainians liberated some territories near Novojehorivka.

Score: 1/1

“When it comes to the Donetsk Oblast, let’s divide the forecast into possible Russian and Ukrainian courses of action. 1) Based on the overall Russian performance and troop deployments, it is highly unlikely that Russians will capture one village or more in the entire region. 2) We assess that there is a roughly even chance that Ukrainians will advance in the Kurdiumivka-Klishchiivka axis. We expect no major changes (one village or more captured) in other parts of the Donetsk Oblast.” We were partly correct in this forecast. While Russians made no confirmed gains and Ukrainians focused their efforts on the Kurdiumivka-Klishchiivka axis, the latter made no gains.

Score: 0.5/1

“Moving onto the southern direction, the likelihood of significant changes is minimal. Operationally,  the deployment of the Ukrainian 10th Corps changed little, and the overall situation forced Kyiv to take an operational pause in the Orikhiv axis. Unless Ukraine commits more forces, we struggle to anticipate any changes in territorial control over the next seven days.” Following the pause, Ukrainians deployed new units and reinvigorated attacks, which allowed them to make minimal gains near Urozhayne and Robotyne. The operational picture of the battlefield did not change.

Score: 1/1

“We expect no frontline changes in the Kherson Oblast next week. Ukrainians are highly likely to maintain their presence north of Oleshky along the Dnipro’s bank. Reconnaissance and sabotage operations will also be continued, but the probability that Ukrainians will try to push south is very low.” We were correct in predicting that Ukrainians would maintain forces north of Oleshky, but the deployment of new forces near Kozachi Laheri was unexpected.

Score: 0.5/1

Final score: 4/5 (80%)

The forecast for the week of 12JUL-18AUG

Last week’s reports about the deployment of Russian forces towards the frontline in the Kharkiv Oblast increase the likelihood of a larger attack in this direction. As such, we assess that there is a roughly even chance that Russians will progress in this area over the next seven days.

When it comes to the Luhansk Oblast, we assess that there is a roughly even chance that both sides will progress next week. Russians will probably focus on Novoselivs’ke – Berestove and Novoselivs’ke – Stel’makhivka lines, while Ukrainians around Raihorodka.

When it comes to the Donetsk Oblast, let’s divide the forecast into possible Russian and Ukrainian courses of action. 1) Based on the overall Russian performance and troop deployments, it is highly unlikely that Russians will capture one village or more in the entire region over the next seven days. 2) We assess that Ukrainians are also unlikely to liberate any villages in the Kurdiumivka-Klishchiivka area. We expect no major changes (one village or more captured) in other parts of the Donetsk Oblast.

Moving onto the southern direction, we continue to maintain that Ukrainians will need to fight for every meter of land and, therefore, they are unlikely to make quick gains across the entire direction. There is a roughly even chance that Robotyne and Urozhayne will be taken over the next seven days.

We now assess that Ukrainians will likely advance on the Dnipro’s left bank near Kozachi Laheri and maybe Oleshky in the Kherson Oblast. But, we assess that they are unlikely to capture one village or more.

Rochan’s assessment

  • Likely, Russians are slowly building up the advantage in the Luhansk direction;
  • Each tactical-scale action is balanced by counterattacks of the other side;
  • The Ukrainian centre of gravity is still located on Southern Direction, specifically on the Orikhiv axis;
  • Ukrainians will likely try to expand the battlefield in the Kherson Oblast horizontally;
  • Russian forces will almost certainly continue to shell Ukrainian civilian infrastructure across the country;