Above: Sending Grad rockets into enemy positions near Bakhmut. (Euronews)
- Weather conditions in winter 2023 likely will dictate a timeframe in which Ukraine can conduct maneuver warfare and continue its string of operational successes with minimal pauses that would increase the risks of Ukraine losing the initiative.
- Ukrainian officials have indicated that Ukrainian forces plan to continue offensive operations over the coming winter to capitalize on recent battlefield successes and prevent Russian forces from regaining the battlefield initiative.
- The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense (MoD) stated on November 20 that those who suggest the winter will pause hostilities “likely never sunbathed in January on the southern coast of Crimea,” suggesting that Ukrainian forces intend to continue counteroffensive operations over the coming winter that contribute toward the goal of retaking Crimea.
- US Director for National Intelligence assessed on December 3 that the pace of the war in Ukraine will slow over the winter so both sides can refit, resupply, and reconstitute, despite evidence that conditions on the ground favor a renewed offensive and despite the demonstrated tendency of Ukrainian forces to initiate new counteroffensive efforts relatively quickly after the previous effort has culminated.
- Any type of pause will allow Russian forces to reinforce their units and positions. Low-quality mobilized recruits and Wagner Group personnel recruited from Russian prisoners are unprepared for combat in the winter.
- If Ukraine’s allies and partners do not support Ukrainian forces to conduct large-scale decisive counteroffensive operations this winter—as the DNI’s statements might be construed to suggest – then Ukrainians‘ ability to conduct maneuver warfare will be constrained until likely at least after the spring mud season in March 2023. Such a course of action will likely prematurely culminate Ukraine‘s current momentum and grant shattered Russian forces a valuable three-to-four-month reprieve to reconstitute and prepare to fight on a better footing.
Above: The Ukrainian Border Guard reported that Ukrainian troops shot down a Russian Sukhoi-34 fighter-bomber on the outskirts of Bakhmut on December 3. (Defence Blog)
Ukrainian General Staff of the Armed Forces estimated enemy losses for last 24 hours
- Liquidated personnel, 91,690 (+540)
- Tanks, 2,924 (+2)
- Armored personnel vehicles, 5,900 (+8)
- Artillery systems/MLRS, 1,914/395 (+6/0)
- Anti-aircraft warfare systems, 211 (+1)
- Aircraft/helicopters, 281/264 (+0/1)
- UAV operational-tactical level, 1,582 (+9)
- Cruise missiles, 531 (0)
- Warships/boats, 16 (0)
- Vehicles and fuel tanks, 4,497 (+18)
- Special equipment, 163 (0)
Above: Electrical substation in central Ukraine badly damaged by direct missile strike. (CNN)
- There is still a threat of enemy missile strikes on the objects of the energy system and critical infrastructure throughout the territory of Ukraine.
- During the day, the occupiers launched 2 rocket strikes, and also launched more than 10 MLRS attacks on the positions of our troops and settlements along the contact line. In particular, once again, the objects of the civil infrastructure of the cities of Nikopol and Kherson were hit.
- In the Siverskskyi direction, the enemy shelled the settlements of Sopych, Svarkove, and Zarutske of the Sumy oblast with mortars.
- In the Slobozhanskyi direction, the enemy continues to maintain its troops in the border areas of the Belgorod region. In particular, the Shevchenko, Strileche, Krasne, Ohirtseve, Vovchansk, Bochkove, Mala Vovcha, Dvorichna, and Bohdanivske districts in the Kharkiv oblast were shelled by artillery of various calibers.
- The enemy is defending in the Kupyansk and Lyman The areas of the settlements of Kislivka, Kotlyarivka, Tabaivka, Krokhmalne, Berestove and Vyshneve of the Kharkiv oblast came under fire from tanks and artillery; Makiivka and Ploschanka in the Luhansk oblast nd Yampolivka in the Donetsk oblast.
- In the Bakhmut and Avdiivka areas, the enemy is concentrating its main efforts on conducting offensive operations and is trying to improve its tactical position. The populated areas of Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Opytne, Kurdyumivka, Avdiyivka, Vodyane, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka of the Donetsk oblast were shelled by tanks and the entire varitety of artillery.
- The enemy is defending in the Novopavlivsk Fired mortars, barrel and jet artillery in the areas of Neskuchne, Zolota Nyva and Prechystivka in Donetsk oblast.
- The enemy is conducting defensive operations in the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Its artillery shelling was recorded in the areas of more than twenty-five settlements near the contact line. These are, in particular, the cities of Nikopol, Dnipropetrovsk oblast, and Kherson.
Above: russia’s unprovoked invasion has created the world’s first “full-scale drone war”. (Stripes)
- Russian sources reported that Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in the direction of Svatove on December 4.Geolocated footage posted on December 4 shows Ukrainian forces conducting strikes on Russian positions northwest of Svatove near Stelmakhivka and Kryvoshyivka in Luhansk Oblast.
- Ukrainian forces reportedly continued counteroffensive operations in the direction of Kreminna amidst limited Russian counterattacks on December 4.
Above: Missile and artillery fire is said to be non-stop around Bakhmut. (CNN)
- Russian forces continued ground attacks around Bakhmut on December 4. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks northeast of Bakhmut near Berestove, Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, Soledar, and Bakhmutske and south of Bakhmut near Opytne, Klishchiivka, Andriivka, and Kurdiumivka.
- Russian troops are suffering losses on the order of 50 wounded and 50 killed in action per day around Bakhmut.
- Social media footage posted by Ukrainian troops shows heavy fighting south of Bakhmut in Opytne, and Russian milbloggers claimed that the capture of Opytne is crucial to further Russian advances toward Bakhmut.
- Russian troops received an order not to bring artillery shells within 100km of the frontline in the Donetsk area because of recent successful Ukrainian strikes on Russian ammunition depots.
- Russian troops continued ground attacks in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area on December 4. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted unsuccessful assaults near Vodiane, Pervomaiske, Vesele, Marinka, and Novomykhailivka, all along the western outskirts of Donetsk City.
- Russian forces continued defensive operations in western Donetsk and eastern Zaporizhia oblasts on December 4. Russian troops continued routine shelling along the line of contact in this area.
- Russian forces likely publicly executed residents in occupied Luhansk Oblast under accusations of partisan activity. Ukrainian journalist Sergii Sternenko posted images on December 4 showing five residents in Luhansk Oblast who Sternenko reported that Russian forces had publicly hanged them on accusations of partisan activity.
Above: Electrical line repair workers wear combat protective gear near Kherson. (CNN)
- Russian forces continued routine shelling in civilian areas in Kherson Oblast, particularly Kherson City. Russian forces continued routine shelling west of Hulyaipole and in Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv oblasts on December 4. Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces shelled Nikopol and Marhanets on the north bank of the Kakhovka Reservoir.
- Ukrainian Mykolaiv Oblast Head Vitaly Kim reported that Russian forces shelled the port area of Ochakiv, slightly north of the Kinburn Spit.
- Satellite imagery dated November 30 shows that Russian forces are building fortifications, including dragon’s teeth anti-tank structures, in Zaporizhia Oblast north of Melitopol.
- Russian occupation authorities continued efforts to forcibly integrate children in Russian-occupied territories into the Russian education system on December 4. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian occupation authorities continued to threaten to strip parental rights from Ukrainian parents who refuse to send their children to study under Russian programs in occupied Kherson Oblast/
- In the temporarily occupied Skadovsky district, postal workers stopped delivering payments to pensioners. In order to receive pensions, invaders force elderly people to write applications and receive passports and citizenship of the russian federation in post offices.