DAY 309

Victory Chronicles
-DAY 309

December 29,2022


Above:  Enemy forces around Bakhmut may have been exhausted. (LiveUAMap)

  • The Russian offensive against Bakhmut is likely culminating. US military doctrine defines culmination as the “point at which a force no longer has the capability to continue its form of operations, offense or defense,” and “when a force cannot continue the attack and must assume a defensive posture or execute an operational pause.
  • Russian civilian workers and Russian military command have evacuated from Kreminna, possibly indicating that Russian forces are preparing for an intensified Ukrainian effort to seize the settlement.
  • Russian forces appear to be preparing for a decisive effort in Luhansk Oblast, continuing to accumulate equipment and forces in Luhansk. VDV elements that were likely previously operating in Kherson Oblast appear to have redeployed to Luhansk Oblast following the Russian withdrawal from west bank Kherson Oblast in November.
  • The Kremlin continues to systematically deny Ukrainian sovereignty and reiterate that Russia has no genuine intention to engage in negotiation with Ukraine. Kremlin Spokesperson responded to the Ukrainian proposal to prepare a peace initiative at the United Nations in February that no peace plan can exist for Ukraine without the entry of Zaporizhia, Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts into the Russian Federation.
  • The Kremlin continues to present the US transfer of Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine as an escalation, despite the fact that the transfer is a purely defensive system.
  • The Kremlin has allocated 34 billion rubles (approximately $467 million dollars) for the construction of fortifications in regions bordering Ukraine, inviting janitors and public sanitation workers in Moscow to volunteer to dig trenches in exchange for a one-time payment of 50,000 rubles (about $700) and compensation of 1,000 rubles per day (about $14).
  • Putin signed a law on December 28 that provides free social services to disabled individuals who participated in a combat operation including World War II, the Leningrad blockade and the siege of Sevastopol during World War II.
  • Russian Health Ministry can offer federal financial support for free conservation and storage of the sperm of mobilized servicemen who participate in the war between 2022 and 2024.
  • A drunk mobilized Russian serviceman beat his commander to death in Chelyabinsk Oblast.

Video: General Staff’s Daily Video Digest with English subtitles


Above:  The Ukrainian Air Force estimates that Ukrainian air defenses have shot down 420 enemy missiles and 430 Iranian drones since September. (New Voice of Ukraine)

Ukrainian General Staff of the Armed Forces estimated enemy losses for last five days

  • Liquidated personnel, 104,560 (+790)
  • Tanks, 3,018 (+1)
  • Armored personnel vehicles, 6,047 (+10)
  • Artillery systems/MLRS, 2,004/423 (+5/5)
  • Anti-aircraft warfare systems, 212 (0)
  • Aircraft/helicopters, 283/268 (+0/1)
  • UAV operational-tactical level, 1,717 (+10)
  • Cruise missiles, 653 (0)
  • Warships/boats, 16 (0)
  • Vehicles and fuel tanks, 4,675 (+15)
  • Special equipment, 179 (0)


Above: The incompetent enemy rains terror on liberated Kherson city, bombing a maternity hospital yesterday. (The Guardian)

Glory to Ukraine! The three hundred and ninth day of the Russian large-scale invasion has begun.

  • Over the past 24 hours, the enemy has carried out 30 air strikes and 7 missile strikes, in particular, on the civilian infrastructure of the cities of Kostyantynivka, Donetsk region, and Kharkiv. He also carried out smore than 70 attacks from rocket salvo systems.
  • This night, the Russian occupiers once again struck the energy infrastructure of Kharkiv, using 13 Iranian Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicles for this purpose. Units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine shot down 11 of these drones.
  • The enemy continues offensive operations in the Bakhmut and Avdiiv Trying to improve the tactical position in the Lyman direction.
  • Units of the Defense Forces repelled the attacks of the occupiers in the areas of the settlements of Stelmakhivka, Andriivka, Ploshanka and Chervonpopivka in the Luhansk region and Belogorivka, Soledar, Bakhmutske, Pidhorodne, Bakhmut, Klishchiivka, Kurdyumivka, Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka and Pobieda in Donetsk
  • On the Siverskyi and Slobozhanskyi directions, the regions of the settlements of Gremyachka and Lypivka of the Chernihiv region were subjected to artillery shelling; Znob-Trubchevsk, Chernatske, Iskryskivshchyna, Budky and Zapsilya of the Sumy region, as well as Chervona Zorya, Veterinarne, Krasne, Ohirtseve, Gatyshche, Vovchansk, Vovchanski Khutory, Staritsa, Ternova, Novomlynsk and Dvorichna in the Kharkiv
  • On the Kupyansk and Lymansk directions, the enemy shelled the areas of more than 20 settlements. Among them are Sinkivka, Vilshana, Kupyansk, Kislivka and Krokhmalne of the Kharkiv region; Stelmakhivka, Ploshanka, Chervopopivka and Dibrova – Luhansk, as well as Yampolivka in Donetsk
  • In the Bakhmut direction, the enemy shelled more than 25 settlements with tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery. In particular, these are Spirne, Bilogorivka, Soledar, Hryhorivka, Bakhmutske, Chasiv Yar, Bakhmut, Kostyantynivka, Mayorsk and New York of the Donetsk
  • Berdychi, Avdiivka, Pervomaiske, Maryinka and Novomykhailivka in Donetsk region came under enemy fire in the Avdiivsk
  • On the Novopavlivskyi direction, shelling was recorded near Vremivka, Velika Novosilka, Vugledar and Prechistivka in the Donetsk
  • Areas of more than 25 settlements were shelled in the Zaporizhzhya and Kherson directions. Among them are Gulyaipole, Malynivka, Charivne and Dorozhnianka in the Zaporizhzhia region and Respublikanets, Kozatske and Lviv in the Kherson Once again, the civilian infrastructure of Oleshki and Kherson suffered from enemy shelling. There are casualties among civilians.

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


Above:  On the front between Kreminna and Sviatove. (El País)

Map via ISW
  • Russian forces appear to be preparing for a decisive effort in Luhansk Oblast, although it is unclear whether for defensive or offensive operations.
  • Russian military appointed a new Western Military District (WMD) commander. WMD elements (such as the 144th Motorized Rifle Division) are the principal forces operating in the Luhansk sector and a command change could indicate efforts to support a new decisive effort in this area.
  • Russian forces continue accumulating equipment and forces in Luhansk. VDV elements that were likely previously operating in Kherson Oblast appear to have redeployed to Luhansk Oblast.
  • Russian forces have been establishing extensive trenches and field fortifications in Luhansk Oblast for several months—activity that could support a planned Russian decisive effort in the vicinity of Luhansk Oblast.
  • Ukrainian forces reportedly continued counteroffensive operations in the direction of Kreminna on December 28. Russian civilian workers and Russian military command have evacuated from Kreminna, possibly indicating that Russian forces are preparing for an intensified Ukrainian effort to seize the settlement.
  • Kremlin is rushing passportization measures in occupied Luhansk Oblast, especially in regard to registering Ukrainian children under the age of 14 to obtain Russian citizenship. Parents must have Russian passports, and are threatened with the refusal of social benefits if they refuse to obtain passports for themselves or their children.


Above: After months of best effort, the enemy has possibly lost the ability to sustain the offensive in Donetsk Oblast – out of manpower, equipment and supplies. (BBC)

Map via ISW
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations around Bakhmut on December 28. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults near Bakhmut; within 30km northeast of Bakhmut near Spirne, Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmtuske, and Pidhorodne; and within 11km southwest of Bakhmut near Andriivka and Klishchiivka.
  • Several indicators support the assessment that Russian forces around Bakhmut have culminated:
    • Senior Ukrainian officials are visiting frontline positions in Bakhmut unimpeded.
    • Russian forces in the Bakhmut area are no longer operating as company and battalion tactical groups but are instead operating in smaller groups of 10 to 15 servicemembers (squad-size organizations).
    • Wagner Group forces are serving a chiefly attritional role around Bakhmut and have therefore likely become degraded to a near-debilitating extent. High rates of attrition amongst the forces responsible for the offensive on Bakhmut may expedite the culmination unless notable numbers of regular Russian military units are sent to sustain the offensive and delay or avert its culmination.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area on December 28. Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults near Avdiivka and within 32km southwest of Avdiivka near Vodyane, Marinka, and Pobieda.
  • Russian forces conducted a limited ground assault in western Donetsk Oblast on December 28. Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian assault near Zolota Nyva (66km southwest of Donetsk City) in western Donetsk Oblast.

Video: Bakhmut defenders have thwarted the best that the enemy can bring. Ukraine needs more Western materiel now to finish the job and shorten the war. (Defense of Ukraine)


Above: Volunteers enlarge an ever-expanding cemetery near Kherson. (AFP News Agency)

Map via ISW
  • Russian troops in the Kherson and Zaporizhia directions are undertaking rotational measures and changing their positions to compensate for constant degradation due to Ukrainian strikes.
  • Russian troops in Zaporizhia Oblast may be creating new, more powerful units but that such units remain unlikely to form a strike group capable of offensive actions, thereby suggesting that these newly forming units are defensive in nature.
  • Russian forces appear less likely to conduct a new offensive in the Zaporizhia Oblast over the winter.
  • Ukrainian forces continued to strike Russian concentration areas in the rear areas of Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that December 26 Ukrainian strikes hit Russian positions in Chaplynka, Kherson Oblast, about 45km south of Nova Kakhovka along the T2202 Nova Kakhovka-Arminansk route.

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