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The BCFA Archive dates back to February 2022. Our archives allow members to study information preceding the most recent reports in order to gain full understanding regardless of their current familiarity with the topic of interest.

Institute for the Study of War: Ukraine unveils long range missile as forces advance in Donetsk and Zaporizhia

Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations near Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast and in western Zaporizhia Oblast on August 31 and reportedly advanced in both sectors of the front. The Ukrainian General Staff and Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar reported that Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations in the Bakhmut and Melitopol (western Zaporizhia Oblast)

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Ukraine General Staff: 610 Russian casualties in the past 24 hours

General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine  personnel ‒ about 263020 (+610) persons,  tanks ‒ 4436 (+13),  APV ‒ 8604 (+8),  artillery systems – 5507 (+31),  MLRS – 734 (+1),  Anti-aircraft warfare systems ‒ 500, aircraft – 315,  helicopters – 316,  UAV operational-tactical level – 4417 (+22), cruise missiles

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Ukrainian General Staff: 570 Russian military casualties in 24 hours

The total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02.2022 to 30.08.2023 were approximately: personnel ‒ about 262410 (+570) persons,  tanks ‒ 4423 (+9),  APV ‒ 8596 (+17),  artillery systems – 5476 (+26),  MLRS – 733,  Anti-aircraft warfare systems ‒ 500, aircraft – 315,  helicopters – 316,  UAV operational-tactical level –

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Institute for the Study of War: Russia buries Wagner mercenary chief Prigozhin and a close aide in separate cemeteries

Ukrainian forces advanced near Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast and Robotyne in western Zaporizhia Oblast on August 29. Geolocated footage published on August 29 indicates that Ukrainian forces advanced south of Bakhmut and about five kilometers southeast of Robotyne.[1] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations in the Bakhmut

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Ukrainian General Staff: 530 Russian casualties in 24 hours

General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine  The total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02.2022 to 29.08.2023 were approximately: personnel ‒ about 261840 (+530) persons,  tanks ‒ 4414 (+14),  APV ‒ 8579 (+17),  artillery systems – 5450 (+25),  MLRS – 733 (+3),  Anti-aircraft warfare systems ‒ 500 (+1),

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Russian Ministry of Defense: Up to 680 Ukrainian casualties in 24 hours

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation. In Donetsk direction, the Yug Group of Forces units have repelled the AFU 59th Mechanised Infantry Brigade’s attack near Nevelskoye (Donetsk People’s Republic), and improved the situation on the front line. The AFU military train with artillery ammunition

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Institute for the Study of War: Ukraine captures village of Robotyne in western Zaporizhia and are advancing. 

Ukrainian officials formally acknowledged that Ukrainian forces had liberated Robotyne amid continued Ukrainian advances in western Zaporizhia Oblast and near Bakhmut. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar reported on August 28 that Ukrainian forces have liberated Robotyne, achieved unspecified successes southeast of Robotyne (10km south of Orikhiv) and south of Mala

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August 31, 2023

Institute for the Study of War: Ukraine unveils long range missile as forces advance in Donetsk and Zaporizhia

Institute for the Study of War

Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations near Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast and in western Zaporizhia Oblast on August 31 and reportedly advanced in both sectors of the front. The Ukrainian General Staff and Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar reported that Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations in the Bakhmut and Melitopol (western Zaporizhia Oblast) directions and achieved unspecified success in the direction of Novodanylivka-Novoprokopivka (5km to 13km south of Orikhiv) in western Zaporizhia Oblast.[1] Malyar also stated that Ukrainian forces achieved unspecified success in the Bakhmut direction.[2] Ukrainian Chief of the Main Directorate of Missile Forces and Artillery and Unmanned Systems of the General Staff Brigadier General Serhiy Baranov stated that Ukrainian forces have reached parity in counterbattery capabilities with Russian forces.[3] Baranov stated that NATO-provided artillery systems with ranges of 30km to 40km allow Ukrainian forces to destroy Russian artillery systems and force Russian forces to move their artillery further from the frontline.[4] Ukrainian officials previously made statements in late July indicating that Ukraine’s interdiction campaign is successfully degrading Russian counterbattery capabilities.[5] Russian sources have repeatedly expressed concerns since mid-July over the lack of Russian counterbattery artillery capabilities, particularly in southern Ukraine.[6]

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky highlighted Ukraine’s domestic production of long-range missiles on August 31, likely as part of a coordinated Ukrainian campaign promoting increased Ukrainian strike capabilities against Russian deep rear areas. Zelensky stated that a Ukrainian-produced long-range weapon successfully hit a target 700 kilometers away, but did not provide further details about the strike or the weapon.[7] Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov previously stated on August 26 that a new but unspecified Ukrainian-made missile struck a Russian S-400 air defense system in Crimea on August 23, and Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Head Major General Kyrylo Budanov stated on August 24 that Ukrainian forces have the ability to strike any part of occupied Crimea.[8]

Russian authorities arrested a notable fringe ultranationalist Russian milblogger on accusations of discrediting the Russian military, likely as part of centralized efforts to silence some critical milblogger voices without prompting a general backlash. Russian authorities arrested Andrei Kurshin, who reportedly runs the Telegram channel “Moscow Calling,” on August 31 but did not specify what content Kurshin posted that prompted the charges.[9] The “Moscow Calling” channel routinely criticizes Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and notably commonly attacks many aspects of Russia’s military conduct of the war in Ukraine while supporting the ultranationalist goals underpinning the war itself. The wider Russian ultranationalist information space welcomed Kurshin’s arrest and noted that he routinely discredited the Russian military by mocking Russian military deaths and writing ”vile” thoughts about the Russian war effort.[10] ”Moscow Calling” also regularly supports imprisoned Russian ultranationalist Igor Girkin, likely generating further Kremlin opposition towards Kurshin.[11] Elements of the wider Russian ultranationalist community revealed Kurshin’s previously anonymous identity in April after he joked about the assassination of Russian milblogger Maksim Fomin (Vladlen Tatarsky), and at the time milbloggers called on Russian authorities to punish Kurshin for fostering anti-government attitudes online.[12] Kurshin and Girkin’s arrests suggest that the Kremlin may be arresting prominent ultranationalist voices that the wider community largely reviles to avoid backlash as the Kremlin intensifies its effort to increase its long-term control over the Russian information space.[13] Kurshin’s arrest does not necessarily portend wider repression of more mainstream Russian milbloggers. Milblogger reactions, including those who have been outright critical of the Russian military leadership, additionally suggest that the milblogger community has been and is willing to establish unofficial guidelines for what is permissible criticism of the war and the Russian leadership. The Kremlin likely benefits from and encourages this self-policing, to a certain degree, among milbloggers – tolerating some criticism while cultivating key milbloggers and seeking to silence particularly critical voices.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations near Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast and in western Zaporizhia Oblast on August 31 and reportedly advanced in both sectors of the front.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky highlighted Ukraine’s domestic production of long-range missiles on August 31, likely as part of a coordinated Ukrainian campaign promoting increased Ukrainian strike capabilities against Russian deep rear areas.
  • Russian authorities arrested a notable fringe ultranationalist Russian milblogger on accusations of discrediting the Russian military, likely as part of centralized efforts to silence some critical milblogger voices without prompting a general backlash.
  • Russian military authorities allegedly ordered the detention of three Russian milbloggers who have recently criticized the Russian MoD – a move that sparked a backlash in only a small corner of the Russian information space.
  • Imprisoned Russian ultranationalist Igor Girkin and his associates conducted likely futile political maneuvers intended to coalesce into a coherent and meaningful political opposition group.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line and unsuccessfully counterattacked in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area and in western Zaporizhia Oblast on August 31.
  • Russian occupation authorities continue to forcibly deport Ukrainian children to Russia and Russify Ukrainian youth.
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