Gen. Syrsky Reports Intense Battles, Acknowledges Russian Superiority in Weapons

   Col.-Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, the commander of the Armed Forces Ukraine’s (AFU) ground forces, reported on his Telegram channel that the most intense battles are currently taking place in the Kupyansk, Lyman, and Bakhmut sectors.

Syrsky is recognized for leading Ukraine’s remarkable counteroffensive last year, which successfully reclaimed the northeastern Ukrainian towns of Kupyansk and Lyman under AFU control.

As per the commander, the Russian forces are focusing their primary efforts around Bakhmut and deploying their most combat-capable units, including landing forces, marines, and units known as "Storm Z" and "Storm V," comprised of convicts, for assault operations.

Russia's objective in this direction is an offensive targeting the settlement of Chasiv Yar, followed by Kostyantynivka, Druzhkivka, Slovyansk, and Kramatorsk, with the ultimate goal of advancing to the borders of the Donetsk region.

In the Lyman sector, as per Syrsky, Russian troops have shifted to continuous attacks on Ukrainian positions in the directions of Makiivka and Terny. Combat operations are ongoing in the Siversk direction. "Russians actively use equipment during assaults, which is constantly destroyed by Ukrainian defenders," he stated.

Further north, Russian troops persist in pressing in the area of Synkivka, with the objective of capturing it and establishing 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," acknowledged the commander.

He added that Ukrainian commanders and staff have been continuously 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 successfully defending and destroying Russian troops in all three sectors. Russia continues to incur heavy losses, which it replenishes with reserves from assault battalions formed from former prisoners. However, despite daily losses in personnel and equipment, Russian troops persist in conducting offensive operations.

As noted by Syrsky, in the first half of December, Russia suffered approximately 8,000 casualties solely in the zone of responsibility of the Armed Forces of Ukraine's (AFU) Khortytsia operational-strategic group.

More than 500 units of enemy military equipment were either destroyed or damaged, including 67 tanks, over 100 armored fighting vehicles, and 77 guns and mortars of various calibers.

The commander reiterated that "unlike the aggressor, Ukrainian defense forces are attempting to achieve success through thoughtful planning of combat operations and the effective use of artillery, mortars, attack drones, and small arms." This seems to reflect a shift in tactics aimed at attritioning Russian forces while minimizing losses on the Ukrainian side.

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

In mid-October, the general reported a significant intensification of the situation in the Kupyansk and Lyman sectors in northeastern Ukraine. At that time, he mentioned that after a two-month recovery period following substantial losses, Russian forces initiated an aggressive offensive campaign near the towns of Makiivka and Kupyansk in the northeastern part of Ukraine.

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