DAY 301

Victory Chronicles
-DAY 301

December 21,2022


Above: UNICEF and Ukrainian railways created the St Mykolai train to deliver gifts to children in frontline regions. (NEXTA)

  • ISW continues to observe indicators consistent with the most dangerous course of action (MDCOA) of a renewed Russian invasion of northern Ukraine from Belarus. Ukrainian military officials continue to warn about a growing Russian threat from Belarus. Russian elements in Belarus have military potential “currently sufficient” to create an threat to Ukraine.
  • The Belarusian President  confirmed that Russia “gave” Belarus an unspecified number of S-400 air defense systems during his meeting with Putin in Minsk on December 19.  Russian military personnel will likely operate the Belarus-based S-400 systems. Russian personnel may operate the S-400 systems from the so-called joint Russian-Belarusian Air Force and Air Defense Forces training center in Grodno, Belarus – a permanent Russian military presence in Belarus that the Kremlin established in the spring of 2021.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a surprise visit to Ukrainian troops serving on the intense Bakhmut front on December 20 and presented military awards. In contrast, Putin held an award ceremony where he celebrated Russian occupation and proxy leaders from occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia oblasts, Russian propagandist and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, and Russian milblogger Semyon Pegov among other state officials.
  • The Moscow Oblast military commissar claimed that Russian authorities will extend the service period for conscript soldiers from 12 months to 18 for spring 2023 conscripts and to two years for fall 2023 conscripts.
  • The Wagner Group’s troops continue to experience extremely high mortality rates due to high casualty rates and infectious diseases. A forcibly mobilized Crimean man stated that his unit fought alongside Wagner forces in Donetsk Oblast, noting that the number of dead Wagner personnel was three times the number of wounded and that many Wagner servicemen wore white and red wristbands which indicated that they had HIV or Hepatitis C.


Above: (New York Times)

Ukrainian General Staff of the Armed Forces estimated enemy losses for last 24 hours

  • Liquidated personnel, 99,740 (+510)
  • Tanks, 3,002 (+7)
  • Armored personnel vehicles, 5,979 (+5)
  • Artillery systems/MLRS, 1,972/412 (+12/2)
  • Anti-aircraft warfare systems, 212 (0)
  • Aircraft/helicopters, 282/267 (+1/1)
  • UAV operational-tactical level, 1,688 (+8)
  • Cruise missiles, 653 (0)
  • Warships/boats, 16 (0)
  • Vehicles and fuel tanks, 4,608 (+9)
  • Special equipment, 178 (+1)


Above: Tidying up a hospital hit by enemy shells. (New York Times)

  • The enemy launched 5 missile and 16 air strikes, as well as 61 attacks from rocket salvo systems. As a result, the civilian infrastructure was heavily damaged and the civilian population of the cities of Kherson, Kostyantynivka and Vovchansk suffered.
  • The danger of air and missile attacks remains on the entire territory of Ukraine.
  • On the Siverskyi and Slobozhanskyi directions, the enemy fired artillery at the positions of our troops in the areas of sixteen settlements. In particular, these are Mykhalchyna Sloboda in Chernihiv region and Vilcha, Vesele, Vovchansk, Vovchanski Khutory, Varvarivka, Vilkhuvatka and Dvorichna in Kharkiv Also, the enemy used an attack UAV and army aviation near Krasny, Kharkiv region.
  • On the Kupyansk and Lymansk directions, the areas of the settlements of Novomlynsk, Kupyansk, Kislivka, Kotlyarivka and Krokhmalne of the Kharkiv region and Stelmakhivka, Makiivka, Ploshanka, Chervonpopivka and Dibrova of the Luhansk region were hit by fire.
  • In the Bakhmut and Avdiiv directions, the enemy continues to conduct assault operations. Tanks and artillery shelled our positions in the areas of more than twenty settlements. Among them are Verkhnokamyanske, Spirne, Belogorivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Dilyivka, Vodyane, Nevelske, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka of the Donetsk Airstrikes were carried out in the areas of Spirny and Bilogorivka.
  • In the direction of Novopavlivsk, the enemy fired tanks and various caliber artillery at the positions of our troops near Vugledar, Prechistivka, and Velika Novosilka, Donetsk
  • In the Zaporizhzhya and Kherson directions, the enemy continues shelling the areas of Biloghirya, Kamianske and Mali Shcherbaki settlements in the Zaporizhia region and Novodmytrivka, Kamianske, Respublikanets, Novoberislav, Ponyativka, Kherson, Mykilske, Sadov and Antonivka in the Kherson

Believe in the Armed Forces! Together we will win! Glory to Ukraine!


Above:  The Kyiv Independent

Map via ISW
  • Russian forces continued to conduct limited counterattacks to regain lost positions along the Kreminna-Svatove line on December 20. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults near Stelmakhivka (16km northwest of Svatove), Chervonopopivka (6km north of Kreminna), and Hryhorivka (11km south of Kreminna).
  • Ukrainian forces reportedly continued counteroffensive operations in the Kreminna area on December 20. Luhansk Oblast Head Serhiy Haidai reported that Ukrainian forces have progressed a few kilometers towards Kreminna.
  • Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) People’s Militia claimed that Ukrainian forces struck Svatove and Novoselivka (53km southeast of Svatove) with HIMARS rockets and 155-mm artillery.

Above: Ukrainian forces may be closing in on Kreminna in western Luhansk Oblast, a vital supply road for enemy forces. (Def Mon)


Above: President Zelensky visited Bakhmut Tuesday, the place of hottest fighting in the war now.  (Reuters)

Map via ISW
  • The pace of Russian advances in the Bakhmut area has not increased in previous weeks.Russian forces have gained a total of 192 sq km in the Bakhmut area between October 1 and December 20.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations around Bakhmut on December 20. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults near Bakhmut, within 33km northeast of Bakhmut near Verkhnokamianske and Pidhorodne, and within 14km south of Bakhmut near Opytne and Kurdyumivka.
  • The Wall Street Journal published an interview with a Ukrainian commander who stated that Russian artillery strikes on Bakhmut are less intense than what his unit experienced on the Kherson front during the Ukrainian counteroffensive there and suggested that Russian forces in the Bakhmut area may be running out of ammunition.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area on December 20. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults near Krasnohorivka (24km southwest of Avdiivka) and Marinka (28km southwest of Avdiivka).


The southern front is warmer than the Donets River basin in the east. (Voice of America)

The southern front is dominated by artillery fire from both sides. (Michael MacKay)
  • Russian forces are expanding fortifications in the left-bank Kherson Oblast and are continuing to shell settlements in Kherson, Zaporizhia, and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts.
  • Russian forces are continuing to increase troops in the direction of the Kinburn Spit, but Ukrainian forces are continuing counter-battery efforts in the area.
  • Ukrainian forces continued to strike Russian logistics in southern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces stuck a Russian permanent deployment point in the area of Chaplynka (about 76km southeast of Kherson City) on December 18 and Russian manpower and equipment concentrations in Polohy, Vasylivka, and Kaminka-Dniprovska, wounding up to 130 Russian servicemen and destroying 10 pieces of equipment.
  • Russian outlets published a video showing a Russian truck exploding on the Crimean Isthmus near Chongar Peninsula in Kherson Oblast, but Russian sources did not comment on the cause of the explosion.
  • A social media source claimed on December 20 that Ukrainian partisans set fire to a building at the Mariupol Ilyich Metallurgical plant. Ukrainian partisan activity continues to force the Kremlin to divert resources away from frontline operations. Putin’s call on Russian occupation and Russian security services to combat partisan activity indicates that these services will likely increase law enforcement crackdowns and other measures aimed at curbing partisan activity in occupied territories.
  • Russian occupation administrations in Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson oblasts appointed senators to represent the illegally annexed territories in the Russian Federation Council.
  • The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on December 20 that Russian occupation officials employ propagandists in schools, children’s camps, and various youth activities in occupied territories, that Russian occupation officials have established a children’s organization called “Movement of the First” that emphasizes ultra-nationalistic Russian propaganda and that Russian occupation officials continue to actively recruit teenagers in the occupied territories into the militaristic Russian ultra-nationalist group “Yunarmia”.

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