August 14, 2023

Sitrep for Aug. 11-14, 2023 (as of 8 a.m.)

Frontline Situation Update

The Armed Forces of Ukraine have liberated the village of Urozhaine, located not far from the recently freed Staromaiorske in the South Donetsk direction. Several pro-Russian Telegram channels reported on the event, with different sources pointing fingers at different units—some blamed the paratroopers, while others accused the Storm-Z unit.

A video has emerged that confirms Urozhaine’s recapture by the AFU, showing Russian soldiers retreating under Ukrainian artillery fire, including cluster munitions. The footage was geolocated to a road south of Urozhaine. Soldiers appear to be retreating towards the village of Zavitne Bazhannya, or, more likely, towards Staromlynivka. After Staromaiorske’s liberation, the recapture of neighboring Urozhaine was only a matter of time, as the AFU was advancing from both Staromaiorske and the northern side of Urozhaine.

The New York Times has published an article citing a report by the Institute for the Study of War, which stated that the AFU had achieved tactically significant progress in their offensive, advancing in some areas of the frontline by 9 to 10 kilometers. However, NYT journalists appear to have inflated these figures to 10 to 12 miles (16-19 km). This discrepancy has puzzled many military analysts, including OSINT analyst Def Mon, as neither side had reported on such significant advances. Even counting from the start of the offensive in June, the furthest advances near Robotyne and Urozhaine so far total roughly 9 to 10 kilometers.

In our opinion, a tactically significant breakthrough would involve piercing Russian defensive lines, and exploiting the gap with the main AFU strike force composed of Western-equipped brigades currently in reserve.

Strikes on Ukrainian and Russian Territory

On the night of Aug. 14, Russian forces launched another strike against Odesa. As a result, there was a fire in a supermarket and three employees were reportedly injured. According to the speaker of the Odesa Regional Military Administration, Serhiy Bratchuk, most of the missiles and drones were intercepted by air defenses.

On Aug. 12 Ukrainian forces attempted to attack the Crimean bridge. This has already been recognized by both sides. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the strike was carried out by two S-200 SAM system missiles modified to strike ground targets. Reports say both missiles were shot down, but there is no visual evidence of that fact. The bridge, reportedly, was not damaged. Later, a third missile targeting the bridge was also shot down.

Numerous videos show a smoke screen being set up around the bridge (likely to prevent more accurate missile guidance or correction). Such screens are typically made up of white smoke. Smaller clouds of black smoke visible in the video might have appeared as a result of intercepted missiles, falling debris on the Crimean coast or possibly from other strikes.

On Aug. 12 as a result of a Ukrainian strike on the village of Radensk in the Oleshky district of the Kherson region, a small ammunition storage facility was presumably hit as secondary detonations can be heard in a video from the scene.

Overnight on Aug. 13, a strike was launched on the town of Oleshky, which is located not far from Radensk. Vladyslav Nazarov, spokesman of the AFU Operational Command "South", announced that two ammunition depots had been destroyed. According to his counterpart in the occupation administration, the strike resulted in the destruction of a humanitarian aid warehouse.

On Aug. 12, Russian forces dropped an air bomb, most likely FAB-500M-62 air-dropped bomb with UMPK [Universal Gliding and Correction Module], on the town of Orikhiv killing a police officer and injuring 12 individuals.

On the same day, Aug. 12, the Russian Aerospace Forces attempted a strike with high precision Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic missiles on a military airfield close to Kolomyia, Ivano-Frankivsk region. One of the missiles was shot down in the Kyiv region and another three landed in the area of the airfield, one of them hitting a house and killing a child.

Also on Aug. 12, Russian forces struck the urban-type settlement of Kupiansk-Vuzlovyi, Kharkiv region, damaging a residential building and killing an elderly woman.

On the morning of Aug. 13, Russian forces hit the village of Shyroka Balka in the Kherson region, killing seven people, including a 12-year-old boy and an infant.

On Aug. 13, a Ukrainian drone flew into a residential building in Belgorod—no one was harmed, however the building and nearby cars were damaged.

On Aug. 11, the Kyivskyi district of Donetsk was attacked with cluster munitions, with no casualties reported. A video captured at night by a witness revealed sounds associated with the use of cluster munitions: first the opening of the canister followed by multiple explosions of submunitions. On Aug. 12, the Petrovskyi district was under artillery attack, a projectile hit a residential house, resulting in one fatality and seven injuries. On Aug. 13, projectiles hit residential buildings, resulting in one fatality and four injuries; another person was killed during an attack in Horlivka.

On Aug. 11, in the occupied village of Urzuf near Mariupol, a shootout, the reasons for which are currently unknown, occurred between personnel from the military commandant's office and presumed "Kadyrovtsy". According to Advisor to the mayor of Mariupol Petro Andryuschenko, seven civilians were killed. A video shows two civilian cars with bullet marks and the body of a person in civilian clothing inside one of them. Minister of National Policy, External Relations, Press and Information of Chechnya [Russia's constituent republic] Ahmed Dudaev has denied the involvement of Chechen units in the incident.

An incident with the Palau-flagged bulk cargo ship Sukru Okan happened in the Black Sea on Aug. 13. In the southwestern Black Sea, the Russian warship Vasily Bykov initially tried to stop it using radio conversation, and then fired warning shots and dispatched a helicopter with naval infantry to board the ship and inspect its cargo for weapons. After the cargo inspection was completed, the ship continued to the Ukrainian port of Izmail.

Videos have started to emerge with what is claimed to be addresses by Russian soldiers from the 1822th Battalion complaining about getting no supplies or artillery support. As it turned out, many of those who recorded these addresses were already in captivity at the time of recording. The videos themselves were shot in a quite plausible manner, so now it would likely be difficult to distinguish between real video addresses and quality fakes with POWs involved.

Rochan Consulting analyst Konrad Muzyka compared satellite images of the Wagner Group base in the village of Tsel in the Mogilev region in Belarus. Photographs taken on July 18 and Aug. 3 show significant increase in the number of motor vehicles there (with the exception of buses that are not present on the latest image). This suggests that the base is now likely fully equipped and staffed.

Western Assistance

The German automotive and arms manufacturer Rheinmetall has announced that it will supply its latest generation of Luna NG reconnaissance UAVs to Ukraine before the year’s end (previous generation Luna UAVs are already deployed by the AFU). The optimal flight duration for Luna NG UAVs is 8 hours and they can stay airborne for up to 12 hours (as opposed to the current generation’s 6–8 hours). The drones can be remotely operated from a distance of up to 100 km and can reach an altitude of up to 5,000 m (16,000 ft) altitude. It is claimed that a single UAV can cover an area of over 30,000 sq. km. A combat version of the UAV, manufactured jointly with an Israeli firm, will not be supplied because Israel prohibits supplying its weapons to Ukraine.

Ukrainian authorities intend to request their partners to exclude Israel from the Ramstein Group, which includes representatives from all 30 NATO member states and additional 24 countries allied with Ukraine. Ukrainian officials are worried that information from Ramstein Format meetings is being shared with Russia and emphasize that Israel has not offered significant military assistance. They also highlight "unfriendly attitudes" towards Ukrainians visiting Israel and the discontinuation of the medical insurance program for Ukrainian refugees. The Ukrainian government is considering the possibility of canceling its visa-free regime with Israel.

As per T-online, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is reportedly considering the possibility of providing Ukraine with long-range Taurus KEPD 350 cruise missiles following the anticipated provision of ATACMS tactical ballistic missiles by the United States. Previously, deliveries of Leopard 2 tanks were delayed in a similar manner until a decision was made regarding the supply of Abrams tanks.

A new report has emerged from the training site of Ukrainian marines in the United Kingdom. Based on the information provided, it seems that the marines are undergoing training in explosive demolition of obstacles such as concrete pyramids (Dragon’s Teeth) to create passageways within anti-vehicle fortifications.