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ISW: Russian troops slightly advanced near Kupiansk and Avdiivka, fighting contunies on the left bank of Kherson region

Enemy deploys most capable units to Bakhmut direction

The Russian occupation forces continue to focus their main efforts in eastern Ukraine and have made some progress in the areas of Kupiansk, Avdiivka, Donetsk and Bakhmut. The enemy has deployed its most capable units to the Bakhmut area. Positional battles are taking place on the left bank of the Kherson region, Ukrainian defenders have retained their positions in Krynky despite enemy counterattacks, while the occupiers complain about the lack of evacuation equipment, which is why they are losing many wounded.

This is stated in a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) on December 19. According to analysts, the Russian army confirmed its offensive northeast of Kupiansk, north of Bakhmut and southwest of Avdiivka and continued positional counterattacks along the entire contact line.

ISW: Russian troops slightly advanced near Kupiansk and Avdiivka, fighting contunies on the left bank of Kherson region

Russian troops recently made a minor confirmed advance northeast of Kupiansk, specifically north of Synkivka (northeast of Kupiansk), according to geolocated footage released on December 18. Both Russian and Ukrainian sources reported that fighting continued northeast of Kupiansk in the area of Synkivka and Petropavlivka.

On December 19, positional fighting continued on the Svatove-Kreminna line with no advance by either side. Fighting took place northwest and west of Kreminna in the area of Makiivka, Ternove and Serebryanske forestry, where units of the 24th Special Forces Brigade and the 20th Combined Arms Army (Western Military District of the Russian Federation Armed Forces) are operating.

ISW: Russian troops slightly advanced near Kupiansk and Avdiivka, fighting contunies on the left bank of Kherson region

In addition, the occupiers have recently made a confirmed offensive north of Bakhmut, according to the ISW report. According to geolocated footage from December 12, Russian troops advanced northwest of Bilohorivka, Donetsk region, 15 km northeast of Bakhmut. The aggressor country's Defense Ministry said that Ukrainian troops allegedly unsuccessfully attacked the area of the village of Pazeno, 15 km north of Bakhmut.

It is also reported that the invaders advanced to the northwest and southwest of Bakhmut. Russian "military commanders" claim to have captured a gardening village southwest of Bakhmut, but this has not yet been confirmed.

ISW: Russian troops slightly advanced near Kupiansk and Avdiivka, fighting contunies on the left bank of Kherson region

Russian media also claimed that the occupiers had allegedly advanced northwest of Bakhmut in the area of Khromove and Bohdanivka, which is also unconfirmed. The Russian Federation claims that Ukrainian forces allegedly unsuccessfully attacked the western outskirts of Bakhmut and southwest of Bakhmut in the area of Klishchiivka.

The fighting took place northwest of Bakhmut near Bohdanivka, west of Bakhmut near Ivanivske, and southwest of Bakhmut near Klishchiivka and Andriivka, as confirmed by both sides.

According to the Ukrainian military, the Russian Federation has deployed its most capable airborne and marine units, as well as Storm-Z and Storm-V convict units, to the Bakhmut direction, and the Russian troops' goal is to attack Chasiv Yar.

In addition, Russian troops allegedly made minor advances in the Avdiivka area on December 15, particularly north of Pervomaiske (about 10 km southwest of Avdiivka) and southwest of Avdiivka. Several Russian sources said that the occupants are trying to push Ukrainian troops out of their positions at the Avdiivka Coke Plant and are advancing on the northern flank of Avdiivka near Stepove.

ISW: Russian troops slightly advanced near Kupiansk and Avdiivka, fighting contunies on the left bank of Kherson region

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported that Ukrainian troops repelled enemy attacks near Avdiivka itself, as well as to the northwest, southwest and directly west of Avdiivka. A Russian source reported that units of the 41st Combined Arms Army (Central Military District of the Russian Armed Forces) are operating in the Avdiivka area.

The Russian invaders also claim to have made minor advances southwest of Donetsk, in particular in Novomykhailivka (10 km southwest of Donetsk), which has not yet been confirmed, according to the analysts' report.

ISW: Russian troops slightly advanced near Kupiansk and Avdiivka, fighting contunies on the left bank of Kherson region

Positional fighting took place in the area of Novomykhailivka, as well as in Marinka and Krasnohorivka directly on the western outskirts of Donetsk. A reconnaissance company of the 20th Motorized Rifle Division (8th Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation) is fighting in the area of Marinka.

On the southern axis, Russia's goal is to maintain its positions and protect the rear from Ukrainian attacks, the ISW said. Neither side made any progress on the border of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions over the past day.

ISW: Russian troops slightly advanced near Kupiansk and Avdiivka, fighting contunies on the left bank of Kherson region

Geolocated footage from December 18 shows that the Russian front line is further east of Novoprokopivka (directly south of Robotyno) than previously thought, although this advance is likely not the result of a Russian counterattack and is unlikely to have taken place over the past day.

Ukrainian forces may have withdrawn to more defensible positions closer to Robotyne, analysts suggested. The Russian Federation claims that its occupiers allegedly advanced 700 meters between Robotyne and Verbove and continued counterattacks in the area.

According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks near Robotyne and west of Novopokrovka. One of the Russian "military commanders" stated that Ukrainian forces allegedly tried to attack west of Robotyne.

ISW: Russian troops slightly advanced near Kupiansk and Avdiivka, fighting contunies on the left bank of Kherson region

Positional fighting is taking place on the left bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region. Ukrainian forces have maintained their positions in Krynky despite Russian counterattacks, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said.

Russian and Ukrainian sources said that both sides are effectively using drones in the Kherson sector, while the Russian occupiers complain about the lack of equipment to evacuate the wounded on the eastern bank, which is why they are losing many wounded.

ISW: Russian troops slightly advanced near Kupiansk and Avdiivka, fighting contunies on the left bank of Kherson region

As reported by OBOZ.UA, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, 87 combat clashes took place in Ukraine over the past day. Defense forces attacked 6 areas of enemy manpower concentration and destroyed 4 enemy ammunition depots and military equipment.

Russian losses amounted to about 890 people and 107 pieces of equipment.

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