On 27 December, there are a lot of updates from the southeast. First of all, regarding the strike on 26 December, recently released high-resolution satellite footage revealed that the Russian warship received fatal damage. Moreover, it can also be seen that the secondary detonation damaged the surrounding port infrastructure, not just surrounding ships.
Ukrainian Navy Spokesman Pletenchuk stated that the strike may have killed up to 80 Russian personnel. The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that one person was killed and two were wounded. Later, it turned out that at least 33 were missing, and 19 were wounded. Some sources also reported that apart from thousands of shells, the warship carried at least 2 “Caliber” missiles and 4 “KAB-500” air-dropped bombs.
Russian analysts complained that the information about the delivered military cargo was leaked by Ukrainian partisans and urged the Russian military to secure the Russian logistical hubs.
In the meantime, Ukrainian partisans from the Atesh Group leaked even more footage of the delivered Russian military cargo, this time near the harbors in Evpatoria. Ukrainian partisans revealed that Russians are sending artillery systems “Gvozdika” via the railways. Shortly after, Atesh partisans revealed that another echelon with military trucks and other equipment was transported through Dzankoi.
So, Russians are using direct railway connections to transport equipment via Crimea and their navy to transport additional equipment to the Crimean ports, from where it is sent to the front line.
Due to the leaked information, the relocation process never goes smoothly. Residents of Armiansk and Tokmak reported that they heard multiple explosions. Russian sources claimed that Ukrainians conducted a HIMARS raid on the warehouses in Armians and at least three bases in Tokmak. Ukrainian analysts stated that this is the result of coordinated work between Ukrainian partisans and Ukrainian forces. Since the most intense clashes are taking place in the east, the frequency and intensity of Ukrainian strikes in this region are even higher.
On 27 December, Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces Commander Tarnavskyi stated that, so far, the Russian effort to capture Avdiivka is still the main offensive operation of the Russian forces. He stated that Russians fear that they would need to repeat attritional frontal urban assaults reminiscent of Bakhmut, which is why they are still trying to bypass and encircle Avdiivka.
Tarnavskyi stated that Russian forces are constantly transferring forces, primarily cheap prisoner Storm-Z units, to the Avdiivka direction to support attempts to break through Ukrainian defenses.
So far, Ukrainians are tightly controlling the line. As you remember, I told you last that Ukrainian forces in Avdiivka received a new batch of drones. This delivery came in handy because Russians started using more and more tanks in their renewed wave of offensive operations.
Ukrainian fighters from Special Force showed how they targeted a Russian tank near Krasnohorivka, causing an immediate detonation and a massive explosion. Another tank was hit trying to assume a firing position to hit Ukrainians. However, a drone hit the tank, the crew lost control, and the tank fell into a ditch. Another Russian tank tried to pull it out and evacuate but got hit with the drone as well.
Ukrainian fighters from the 116th Brigade also posted a video of repelling the most recent Russian mechanized assault on Stepove. Mines left by the drones immobilized the Russian tanks, and once the assault unit was annihilated, Ukrainians ensured that these Russian tanks would never be used here again. Other detachments also released footage of drone strikes and the destruction of Russian armored personnel carriers. One was with a powerful detonation that wiped out the infantry trying to hide under it.
Prominent Russian soldiers were seen complaining about the Ukrainian strikes and said that they could not penetrate the Ukrainian defense because of swarms of Ukrainian drones. He said that his assault units rarely manage to get to the front line in full force, so the Ukrainian drones pose a huge problem.
To complicate the Russian advancement even more, Ukrainians are also targeting the Russian logistics in the region. Judging by the Russian reports, Ukrainian HIMARS crews expanded their reach because, over the last week, they hit at least five logistical hubs: Donetsk, Horlivka, Makiivka, Yasynuvata, and Illovaisk.
In Donetsk, Ukrainians are continuing their defueling campaign, targeting Russian fuel depots. Recently, Ukrainians also hit the fuel infrastructure in Makiivka. Ukrainians also hit an unspecified target in Illoviask – the fire here looks exactly as in Donetsk when Ukrainians hit fuel depots, so it is highly likely that Illovaisk, which is located just 15 kilometers from Donetsk, also became a part of the Ukrainian defueling campaign.
As Russians are trying to ramp up their offensive effort along the entire contact line, Ukrainians are trying to derange the Russian logistics. The deranged logistics will create bottlenecks and shortages on the front lines, undermining the Russian offensive operation.
So, apart from destroying Russian tanks on the front lines, Ukrainians are also striking Russian logistical hubs from Crimea and Taganrog to Tokmak and Donetsk.
In our daily frontline report, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what is happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.