Col.-Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, commander of the Armed Forces Ukraine’s (AFU) ground forces, reported via his Telegram that the fiercest battles are ongoing in the Kupyansk, Lyman, and Bakhmut sectors.

Syrsky is the general credited for Ukraine’s stunning counteroffensive last year, which had brought the northeastern Ukrainian towns Kupyansk and Lyman back under AFU control.

According to the commander, the Russians are concentrating their main efforts around Bakhmut and are using the most combat-capable units of the landing forces, the marines, and the “Storm Z” and “Storm V” units formed of convicts to conduct assault operations.

Russia’s goal in this direction is an offensive on the settlement of Chasiv Yar, then on Kostyantynivka, Druzhkivka, Slovyansk, Kramatorsk, with further access to the borders of the Donetsk region.


In the Lyman sector, according to Syrsky, Russian troops “switched to constant attacks on Ukrainian positions in the directions of Makiivka and Terny.” Combat operations are underway in the Siversk direction. “Russians actively use equipment during assaults, which is constantly destroyed by Ukrainian defenders,” he said.

Farther north, Russian troops continue to press in the area of Synkivka, with the aim of capturing it and creating a bridgehead for an offensive on the city of Kupyansk.

“The situation is difficult. We have to fight in conditions where the enemy has superiority in both weapons and personnel,” the commander admitted.

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He added that Ukrainian commanders and staff have been monitoring changes in the situation 24/7, analyzing the actions of Russia and its troops, and “making effective management decisions to strengthen defenses and destroy the enemy.”

Syrsky emphasized that Ukrainian forces are defending and destroying the Russian troops in all three sectors. Russia keep suffering heavy losses, which it replenishes with the reserves of assault battalions formed from former prisoners. However, despite daily losses in personnel and equipment, Russian troops continue to conduct offensive operations.


As Syrsky noted, in the first half of December, Russia lost about 8,000 servicemen just in the AFU’s Khortytsia operational-strategic group’s zone of responsibility.

More than 500 units of enemy military equipment were destroyed or damaged. Among them: 67 tanks, more than 100 armored fighting vehicles, 77 guns, and mortars of various calibers.

The commander reiterated that “unlike the aggressor, Ukrainian defense forces are trying to achieve success through thoughtful planning of combat operations and effective use of artillery, mortars, attack drones, and small arms,” appearing to echoing a seeming shift in tactics aimed at attritting Russian forces while incurring minimal losses.

“The greatest value for us is the life of our soldiers. Minimizing losses is always a priority when planning operations,” Syrsky added.

In mid-October, the general reported that the situation in the Kupyansk and Lyman sectors in northeastern Ukraine had intensified significantly.


At that moment, he stated that following a two-month recovery period after sustaining significant losses, Russian forces initiated an aggressive offensive campaign near the towns Makiivka and Kupyansk, in the northeastern part of Ukraine.

The Russian’s have made little progress since the October offensive was launched.

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