Executive Summary

  • Kurakhove is a city situated on the N15 route, approximately 20km from the front-line in Marinka; 50km from central Donetsk. Currently, it is assessed that Kurakhove is not a Russian Federation Armed Forces (RFAF) operational priority.
  • Kurakhove Power Station is situated to the west of the city, next to the reservoir. No RFAF attacks have been reported targeting this infrastructure; however, should the RFAF advance towards Kurakhove it is possible that it will become a viable target.
  • There has been limited reporting of conflict-related events directly affecting Kurakhove in the last 30-days. However, two RFAF artillery attacks on 07 Jun 22 and 08 Jun 22 have been documented across news and social media outlets and signal a possible increased risk to the city in the short to medium term.
  • The RFAF main effort in Donetsk is the attempted encirclement of Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) operating in Avdiivka. This is supported by daily reports of air, artillery, and rocket bombardment of urban settlements situated to the north-east of Kurakhove.
  • The 54th Mechanized Infantry Brigade is responsible for defending the approaches out of Donetsk, towards Kurakhove. Social media footage shows that the unit is highly effective in targeting RFAF armour, with several videos posted to this effect in the past few weeks.
  • Ukrainian defensive positions are also reported to be well-fortified to the east of Kurakhove, reducing the likelihood that the RFAF will mount offensive action towards the city in the medium term.
  • Kurakhove is technically within the effective range of several pieces of RFAF artillery from the edge of RFAF-controlled territory. However, it is more likely that these weapons are located further away from the line of contact.
  • Travel to the east of Kurakhove is not advised along the N15 route, due to its proximity to Marinka, which is being targeted by the RFAF daily.
  • All other routes in/out of the city have minimal event reporting in the last 30-days.

Location Overview

Kurakhove is a town in the Pokrovsky District of the Donetsk Oblast in Ukraine. The town is located on the left bank of the river Volchya/Vovcha (Dnieper basin) and the Kurakhove Reservoir, approximately 50km west of Donetsk, on the highway Donetsk — Zaporizhzhia. Kurakhove has an area of 24km² and is situated 132 metres (433 feet) above sea level.

In terms of local infrastructure;

  • Kurakhove Power Station (also Kurakhovskaya or Kurakhivska TPP) - to which the town owes its birth - is a 1.532-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant on the Volchya/Vovcha river 15km from Kurakhove. It is owned by DTEK SKHIDENERGO LLC and is currently operating.
  • Kurakhiv Reservoir is a dam on the river Volchya/Vovcha built to cool the Kurakhove TPP. The town Kurakhove is located on the left bank of the reservoir.

According to Donetsk VCA Pavel Kyrylenko, the energy sector of the Donetsk region is in critical condition due to constant shelling of cities. As of 31 May, due to hostilities in the region, 321 settlements and villages were cut off for an electrical supply, which is about 357,000 consumers. Kyrylenko further stated that the Donetsk region has also been left without gas supply. According to recent official reports Kurakhiv TPP DTEK Vostokenergo LLC operates normally, although gas is off - fuel oil is used instead.

No trains are currently operating out of Kurakhove. Civilians can leave the city via bus to Dnipro, or Zaporizhzhia. Registration of people coming from the war zone takes place at the Kurakhiv Cultural Center, 2 Zaporizhzhia Avenue. Coupons for humanitarian aid are provided. Status of internally displaced person (IDPs) is provided in the Office of Social Status of the Population at the following address: Kurakhove, 4 Sobornyi Avenue.


Medical Facilities

There is one hospital located in Kurakhove - Kurakhovskaya City Hospital. Social media reporting from late-May 2022 indicated that it was over-subscribed, with civilian volunteers delivering medical supplies to the hospital.1 Separate social media reporting further indicated that staff are accommodated on-site; due to the number of patients it is receiving from the line of contact.2


Tactical Update – Kurakhove

News and social media reporting over the last 30-days presents a limited threat to personnel operating in Kurakhove. However, two significant actions (SIGACTs) were reported on 07 Jun 22 & 08 Jun 22. Local officials reported that the RFAF conducted a missile strike into the city centre at 1000hrs (Local) on 07 Jun 22. At least three residential buildings were reported to have been struck, plus a kindergarten. No deaths or injuries were reported. Videos currently circulating on social media highlight the extent of the damage.3 In the evening on 08 Jun 22, RFAF reportedly conducted a multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) attack on the city. Social media posts stated that three people were killed; five people were injured in the strikes. Videos show reported artillery landing in the Vovcha river.4


Tactical Update – Line of Contact

Events in the last 30-days indicates that the RFAF are prioritising the encirclement of the 56th Motor Infantry Brigade (the 56th) situated near Avdiivka – approximately 50km to the north-east of Kurakhove. If the RFAF can achieve this aim, it will prevent the 56th from being able to get support from the 54th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (see next section). The RFAF are then likely to advance north towards the Sievierodonetsk area of hostilities, widely regarded as the Russian main effort.

Bombardment activities have been reported in Marinka and Krasnohorivka throughout May and June 2022. Media reports also suggested that the RFAF attempted to launch an assault on Krasnohorivka on 03 Jun 22; however, this was successfully repelled by the UAF. There are no further indications that the RFAF will launch offensive ground operations against either location in the next 14-days. Bombardment activity is highly likely to continue in the medium term.


Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) – Dispositions

The 54th Mechanized Infantry Brigade (the 54th) are operating east of Kurakhove, with reporting in early June 2022 showing the K2 battlegroup (K2) destroying an RFAF T72-B main battle tank in Marinka.5 K2’s activities are well-documented on social media, with videos highlighting its successes on the front-line. To observers, this illustrates the effectiveness of the unit’s anti-tank tactics and its ability to hold the front-line from any attempted RFAF advance.

The 54th is also responsible for providing defence along the H15 route towards Kurakhove. It is assessed that defensive positions along this front are heavily fortified, due to the static nature of this line of control since the beginning of the invasion. This situation is unlikely to change in the medium term, due to RFAF priorities being further north towards Avdiivka.

It is unknown whether the 54th have static locations in Kurakhove. It is advised that all personnel avoid military-affiliated facilities due to the persistent threat from RFAF targeted strikes.


RFAF Threat - Artillery

The image shows RFAF artillery capabilities, range rings begin at the forward line of enemy troops (FLET) and represent the longest effective range of each capability.

This is illustrative of Russian capability representing their furthest current projection, in reality these weapons are likely to be distributed further away from the FLET and be used to strike targets within their range parameters not at the furthest edge of them.


Threat – Routes in/out – Kurakhove

The below table is an assessment on the viability of each main route running out of Kurakhove, based on event reporting and proximity to active front-line locations.

NB: It is advised that no personnel travel east towards the front-line without seeking clarification on the status of any proposed route. Advice should also be sought ahead of any travel north towards front-line locations near Sievierodonetsk, or Izyum.


Threat – Rail Infrastructure

There are no indicators to suggest that the RFAF are actively targeting rail infrastructure in the Kurakhove area. However, head of Ukraine’s rail network, Oleksandr Pertsovskyi, previously commented that Russia has stepped up its targeting of Ukrainian rail infrastructure, following the Russian defence ministry’s comments that Ukrainian rail lines are being used to facilitate delivery of lethal aid shipments.6


Curfews

A curfew is in place across the Donetsk region from 2100hrs – 0500hrs (Local).


Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN)

No indication in reporting to suggest that Russia intends to deploy CBRN weapons against Kurakhove or the surrounding areas.


Kurakhove – Threat Outlook

  • The overall threat to Kurakhove as at 08 Jun 22 is assessed to be LOW-MEDIUM. The threat has increased in the past 48-hours due to the RFAF attacks on 07 Jun 22 & 08 Jun 22.
  • The threat from Russian artillery and precision-strike capabilities is MEDIUM. The attacks over the last 48-hours indicates a potential upward trend of artillery attacks. Residential and industrial locations are likely to be viable targets.
  • The threat of an RFAF ground assault is assessed to be LOW; this is due to the level of protection afforded by the 54th Mechanized Infantry Brigade. There are no indicators to suggest that the RFAF are willing (or able) to commit combat power to advance west of Marinka. The RFAF main effort in Donetsk is likely to remain on Avdiivka, with urban settlements along the line of contact continuing to be targeted by air, artillery, and rocket fire.

Indicators and Warnings

The below list of Indicators and Warnings are designed to inform and build an up-to-date understanding of the current intelligence picture. Evidence of any of the below events would require a reassessment of the risk to personnel scheduled to travel to Kurakhove.

  • RFAF gain full control of the following locations: Krasnohorivka, Marinka. This would increase the risk of RFAF attempts to encircle Kurakhove or mount a frontal assault towards the city.
  • Intensification of RFAF bombardment activity in Kurakhove, or along the N15 route towards Zaporizhzhia. This is typical RFAF shaping activity ahead of offensive ground operations.
  • Evidence of RFAF troops in the vicinity of Avdiivka advancing south-west towards Krasnohorivka.
  • Monitoring of activity is also undertaken on secondary locations of interest situated to the south of Kurakhove, including Vuhledar, and Velyka Novosilka. (Evidence of a renewed RFAF offensive from the south might draw UAF combat power away from the east of the city)

[1] https://twitter.com/MrOlmos/status/1531199054578958336

[2] https://twitter.com/MrOlmos/status/1531207171089874944

[3] https://twitter.com/maksymeristavi/status/1534104634373070848

[4] https://twitter.com/TpyxaNews/status/1534617245590163457

[5] https://twitter.com/UAWeapons/status/1532466776197451776

[6] https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/ukraine-war-russia-trains-rail-network-strikes-military-supply-rcna26023