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[l] at 8/18/22 7:17pm
 Karolina Hird, Layne Philipson, Angela Howard, Katherine Lawlor, George Barros, and Frederick W. KaganAugust 18, 7pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report. There were no claimed or assessed Russian territorial gains in Ukraine on August 18, 2022 for the first time since July 6, 2022.[1] Russian and Ukrainian sources did not claim any new territorial gains on August 18. However, Russian forces still conducted limited and unsuccessful ground assaults across the eastern axis on August 18.Russian sources reported explosions across Crimea—possibly caused by Russian air defenses, Ukrainian reconnaissance, or a Ukrainian attack—the night of August 18. Three local sources told Reuters that at least four explosions struck around Belbek Airbase in Russian-occupied Crimea, near Sevastopol.[2] The Russian-appointed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhaev, claimed that preliminary information indicated that Russian air defenses shot down a Ukrainian drone and caused no damage.[3] Video of a large explosion that circulated on social media in the immediate aftermath of the reported explosions was from a previous engagement on August 8 and is not from the vicinity of the airbase.[4] Russian sources also claimed that Russian air defenses shot down a drone near the Kerch Bridge between Crimea and Russia on the night of August 18 as social media footage showed active air defenses in the area.[5] Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podolyak had tweeted on August 17 that the Kerch bridge was illegally constructed and ”must be dismantled.”[6] The railway side of the Kerch bridge is an important target for Ukraine to disrupt Russian logistics capabilities into occupied Ukraine. Social media videos also claimed to depict active Russian air defenses at a Russian base in Nova Kakhova in southern Kherson oblast the night of August 18, suggesting a possibly coordinated series of Ukrainian attacks, if there were attacks, or drone overflights.[7]ISW cannot independently verify whether Russian air defenses shot down a Ukrainian UAV, or whether any UAV was present in Kerch or Belbek. A Russian social media user posted video claiming to be at Belbek on the evening of August 18, showing no apparent evidence of a strike there.[8] Ukrainian forces will likely continue their campaign to strike Russian military targets in Russian-occupied Crimea to degrade Russian logistics capabilities and degrade Russian capabilities to sustain operations on the west bank of the Dnipro River, as ISW previously assessed.[9] However, it is unclear at the time of publication whether the reported explosions are due to Ukrainian attacks or reconnaissance, poor Russian handling of military equipment, successful Russian air defenses, or nervous Russian defenders who are likely steeling themselves for additional attacks in areas that the Russian military had believed until now to be out of the range of Ukrainian forces.The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) appears to be setting information conditions to blame Ukrainian forces for future false flag operations at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). The chief of Russia’s Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Defense Forces, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, claimed in an August 18 briefing that Ukrainian forces are preparing for a provocation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP and that the provocation is meant to coincide with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ visit to Ukraine.[10] Kirillov accused Ukrainian forces of preparing to stage this provocation in order to blame Russia for causing a nuclear disaster and create a 30km-wide exclusion zone around the NPP.[11] Kirillov’s briefing, which was amplified by the Russian MoD, coincides with reports that Russian authorities told Russian NPP employees to not come in to work tomorrow, August 19.[12] Leaked footage from within the plant shows five Russian trucks very close to one of the reactors at the NPP on an unspecified date, which may indicate the Russian forces are setting conditions to cause a provocation at the plant and to shift the information narrative to blame Ukraine for any kinetic events that occur on the territory of the plant.[13]Key TakeawaysThere were no claimed or assessed Russian territorial gains in Ukraine on August 18, 2022 for the first time since July 6, 2022.Russian sources reported a series of unidentified and unconfirmed explosions across Crimea on the night of August 18.The Russian Ministry of Defense may be setting information conditions to blame Ukraine for a false flag attack at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.Russian forces conducted ground assaults south of Siversk and northeast and south of Bakhmut.Russian forces continued conducting offensive operations north, west, and southwest of Donetsk City.Russian forces conducted an unsuccessful ground assault on the Zaporizhia axis.Ukrainian officials confirmed additional strikes on a Russian military base and warehouse in Kherson Oblast.The Kremlin is likely leveraging established Cossack organizations to support Russian force generation efforts.Russian occupation officials continued preparations for the long-term integration of occupied territories of Ukraine into Russia.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports. Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks along the Izyum-Slovyansk line and shelled settlements near the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border on August 18.[14] The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that a Russian artillery strike targeted Ukrainian positions in Mazanivka (about 20km northwest of Slovyansk), confirming ISW’s control of terrain assessment that Ukrainian forces have pushed Russian troops out of the settlement.[15]Russian forces attempted to advance on Siversk from the south on August 18. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops unsuccessfully attempted to advance from Mykolaivka (about 15km southwest of Siversk) to Vyimka (about 5km southeast of Siversk).[16] Russian sources claimed that Russian troops are continuing to fight along the eastern ring of Siversk in the vicinity of Serebryanka, Verkhnokamyanske, and Ivano-Darivka.[17] Russian troops also continued artillery and air strikes on Siversk and surrounding settlements.[18]Russian forces continued ground attacks northeast and south of Bakhmut on August 18. Russian troops continued efforts to advance southwest on Bakhmut along the T1302 highway from Soledar and reportedly attempted to advance from Volodymyrivka to Soledar.[19] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops attempted to advance on Bakhmut from Pokrovske, about 10km east of Bakhmut.[20] Russian forces, reportedly including Wagner Group mercenaries, continued pushing north on Bakhmut from Klynove, Kodema, and Semihirya, all within roughly 15km of the southern outskirts of Bakhmut.[21] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces are attempting to advance on Bakhmut from the northern outskirts of Horlivka in the area of Holmivsky and Zaitseve.[22] Russian operations near Horlivka are likely intended to gain access to the T0513 Horlivka-Bakhmut highway, which indicates that Russian forces are likely attempting to advance on Bakhmut along three lines: from Horlivka to the southwest along the T0513, from Soledar to the northeast along the T1302, and from the Klynove-Vershyna area along the E40 highway. Russian forces conducted a series of ground attacks on the northern and western outskirts of Donetsk City on August 18. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces attempted to advance towards Avdiivka (10km northwest of Donetsk City) from the direction of Verkhnotoretske and Novoselivka Druha—15km and 7km northeast of Avdiivka, respectively.[23] Russian forces also reportedly attempted to push west of their positions in Pisky towards Pervomaiske, about 10km west of Pisky.[24] Several Russian sources also posted footage claiming to show Russian troops consolidating positions in Marinka, which lies on the southwestern outskirts of Donetsk City.[25] Russian forces continued heavy artillery strikes against fortified Ukrainian positions in and around Avdiivka and west of Donetsk City to support ongoing ground attacks.[26]Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack southwest of Donetsk City on August 18. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops unsuccessfully attempted to improve their tactical positions and advance from Taramchuk (25km southwest of Donetsk City) towards Vodyane (35km southwest of Donetsk City).[27] Russian sources claimed that Russian and Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) troops continued fighting near Vuhledar, about 45km southwest of Donetsk City.[28] Russian operations southwest of Donetsk City are likely focused on gaining access to the T0524 road that runs into Marinka and may be used to support Russian operations to push west of the current positions on the western outskirts of Donetsk City.Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks along the Kharkiv City axis on August 18. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces focused on holding occupied positions and preventing Ukrainian counterattacks.[29] Russian forces deployed an unspecified number of additional electronic warfare systems and a battalion tactical group (BTG) in the Kharkiv City direction in an attempt to restore the combat capability of units already stationed around Kharkiv City.[30].Russian BTGs that have been engaged in combat are likely badly understrength and will add relatively little combat power. Volunteer battalions have deployed with very limited training and would add far less combat power than their numbers suggest. Russian troops continued remote mining near Lebyazhne (about 40km southeast of Kharkiv City), indicating Russian forces seek to restrain Ukrainian attacks in the direction of Russia’s ground lines of communication along the Izyum axis.[31] Russian sources continued to repeat previous unsubstantiated claims of Russian control of Stohnii, Baranivka, Odnorobivka, and Udy (all about 40km north of Kharkiv City and within 10km of the Ukraine-Russia border).[32]Several Ukrainian sources reported major Russian missile strikes on four of the nine districts of Kharkiv City and on Krasnohrad (western Kharkiv Oblast) between August 17 and 18.[33] The missiles struck a dormitory and residential areas of Kharkiv City, caused major damage to civilian infrastructure, and killed and injured several civilians.[34] Russian forces also conducted airstrikes near Staryi Saltiv, Verkhnii Saltiv, and Baranivka (northeast of Kharkiv City) and continued to shell settlements surrounding Kharkiv City.[35]Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Russian forces conducted a limited and unsuccessful ground assault on the Zaporizhia axis on August 18. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to advance from Yehorivka to Shevchenkove, both east of the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast administrative border.[36] The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that Russian forces reinforced an unspecified area along the Southern Axis with at least two battalion tactical groups (BTGs), indicating a continued Russian effort to reinforce the south in preparation for Ukrainian counterattacks. These BTGs are unlikely to increase Russian combat power materially.Russian forces continued focusing on maintaining occupied lines and preventing Ukrainian forces from advancing along the Southern Axis on August 18. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces intensified aerial reconnaissance using UAVs on settlements in north and west Kherson Oblast, as well as in settlements in northern Zaporizhia Oblast.[37] The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that Russian forces conducted airstrikes on Lozove and Bila Krynytsia, both near the Ukrainian bridgehead across the Inhulets River, and Blahodatne, approximately 20km northwest of Kherson City.[38] Russian forces also continued shelling settlements along the entire line of contact using tank, tube, and rocket artillery.[39]Russian forces continued to target settlements in Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv Oblasts using artillery and missiles on August 18. Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces used tube artillery to shell Nikopol, located across the Dnipro River from Russian-occupied positions in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and other settlements throughout Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.[40] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Russian forces launched two anti-radar missiles from a Su-35 aircraft in the Bakhtanka and Mykolaiv directions and continued shelling other settlements throughout Mykolaiv Oblast.[41]Ukrainian forces continued targeting Russian logistics points and ammunition depots in Kherson Oblast. Kherson Oblast Administration Advisor Serhiy Khlan reported on August 18 that Ukrainian forces destroyed a Russian warehouse in Bilohirka, located near the Ukrainian bridgehead across the Inhulets River.[42] Khlan also reported that Ukrainian forces destroyed a Russian military base in Nova Kakhovka on August 17.[43]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)The Kremlin is likely leveraging established Cossack organizations to support Russian force generation efforts. Formal Russian Cossack organizations are paramilitary formations that perform state services, including law enforcement and military administrative tasks, in accordance with Russian Federal Law.[44] Russian daily newspaper Kommersant reported that the All-Russian Cossack Society formed a 250 man-strong Cossack “Terek” detachment which is currently completing its preparations to deploy to Ukraine.[45] The Terek detachment reportedly includes military specialists with scout, sniper, and machine gunner experience with personnel drawn from Stavropol Krai, Dagestan, North Ossetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, and the Chechen Republic. It is unclear whether there are established Cossack organizations in predominantly Muslim federal subjects, such as Chechnya and Dagestan, from which ”Cossacks” might be recruited given that Cossack culture and history are traditionally hostile to Islam.[46] Russian Cossack organizations may be helping train Russian recruits due the ineffectiveness or limitations of other more conventional Russian recruitment organs. Kommersant additionally reported that the All-Russian Cossack Society has deployed seven volunteer units (of unspecified echelon) to Ukraine, is preparing three volunteer units for deployment, and has over 6,000 Cossacks supporting the war in Ukraine in unspecified capacities.Russian occupation forces continue efforts to mobilize Ukrainian citizens into military units. Vladimir Novikov – one of the pro-Russian militia leaders in Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia –  told RIA Novosti on August 18 that the Russian occupation administration in Zaporizhzhia Oblast is forming a “volunteer army” (of unspecified size) to capture the remainder of occupied Zaporizhzhia Oblast.[47] Russian occupation forces will likely intensify efforts to mobilize Ukrainian citizens in Zaporizhia Oblast as they have in occupied eastern Ukraine.[48]Russian volunteer units and forcibly mobilized Ukrainian citizens are unlikely to generate effective Russian combat power due to their low morale, poor equipment, and lack of training. Mari El Republic Governor Yuri Zaitsev stated that of approximately 430 Mari Eli residents who deployed to Ukraine in volunteer formations, at least 58 died.[49] This report suggests that the unit likely suffered a total casualty rate (killed and wounded) of 40 percent given the normal ration of three wounded-in-action for every fatality. A Ukrainian citizen who was mobilized in Luhansk on August 3 to fight for Russian forces (and who Ukrainian forces captured no later than August 18) testified that Russian forces provided him with a shirt, an old iron helmet, and no shoes and stated that his infantry unit had no armor support and had to walk on foot during combat.[50]Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on August 18 that Russian occupation authorities are planning to conduct door-to-door “surveys” of households in occupied Melitopol from September 11-17 in lieu of in-person voting for the Kremlin’s sham annexation referendum.[51] The Resistance Center claimed that Russian forces are conducting such easily falsifiable surveys because the referendum will have low turnout and urged Ukrainian civilians to evacuate occupied areas before the referendum takes place to avoid participation. The Center also reported that Ukrainian partisan activity forced the Russian military to transfer forces away from the front lines to secure the sham referendum.[52]Russian occupation authorities are taking steps to restore some industrial, housing, and media capacity in occupied Ukrainian territory. These reconstruction efforts appear to be largely in service of Russian government campaigns to create administrative capabilities in occupied areas, to enhance or reinforce Russian logistical supply lines, and to wage an information war in occupied parts of Ukraine, thereby acclimating Ukrainian civilians to the Russian occupation. “Reconstruction” efforts do not appear to be meeting even basic needs of civilians in occupied areas, who face the approaching winter without heat in parts of the country.Administrative campaign: The Mariupol City Council reported on August 17 that Russian occupation officials are conducting an inventory of housing in Mariupol to identify properties whose owners fled the Russian invasion.[53] The Council reported that occupation officials intend to give this housing to Russian officials, their families, and collaborators. Offers of free housing are one way the Kremlin is likely attempting to incentivize Russian bureaucrats to move to occupied areas and administratively support the integration of occupied Ukrainian territory into the Russian Federation as well as to change the demographics of the area in Russia’s favor.Logistical campaign: The Mariupol City Council and local Telegram channel Mariupol Now reported on August 18 that Russian occupation authorities are working to restore Mariupol’s port to facilitate the export of metal products from Mariupol to Russia.[54] Restoration of the port could also be used to reinforce Russian logistics lines—Mariupol mayoral advisor Petro Andryushchenko reported on August 17 that a ferry from the Russian city of Yeysk to Mariupol began service but will be used for military purposes.[55] Andryushchenko warned that Russian forces hid ammunition within the ferry. Deputy Russian Defense Minister Timur Ivanov claimed on August 18 that Russian occupation officials were prioritizing reconstruction in Donbas and restoring drinking water in cities like Donetsk—measures that are likely required to incentivize Russian administrators to move to the area or to house Russian forces for any period of time.[56]Propaganda and population control campaign: The Central Election Commission head for United Russia, the political party of Russian President Vladimir Putin, attended the grand opening of the Russian-run Tavria television channel in Kherson and framed channel employees as “information troops” who are “extremely important” to the Russian invasion. He emphasized that “Tavria is here forever, like Russia.”[57] Russian occupation officials will likely attempt to use state-run propaganda outlets like Tavria to conduct information operations against Ukrainian civilians in occupied southern Ukraine as public services worsen and partisan attacks continue. For example, the Ukrainian mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Federov, stated on August 18 that there is no gas for heat in Melitopol.[58] Federov said that Russian propagandists provide three different stories for how civilians can stay warm this winter—construction of a gas pipeline from Crimea, construction of a pipeline from Berdyansk, and importing coal supplies—but that no work is being done on the alleged pipelines.  Zaporizhia Occupation Administration Head Yevheny Balitsky stated on August 18 that occupation authorities are working to provide fuel to ”preferential categories” of residents—likely those who cooperate with occupation authorities.[59]Note:  ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports.  References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update. [1]  https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-6[2] https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/sources-say-blasts-hit-area-near-russian-air-base-moscow-says-no-damage-done-2022-08-18/[3] https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/sources-say-blasts-hit-area-near-russian-air-base-moscow-says-no-damage-done-2022-08-18/; https://t.me/razvozhaev/897[4] https://t.me/new_militarycolumnist/89045; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuxX7CF5XLE; https://twitter.com/MrKovalenko/status/1560352728161067009?s=20&t=BqhECv-AdV_HlXhPy6PSGg[5] https://t.me/readovkanews/40422; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1560331013166874626; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1560364510237626369; https://t.me/hueviyherson/24236; https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1560359809240764416; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39414; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39413; https://t.me/sashakots/35030[6] https://twitter.com/Podolyak_M/status/1559868828951117825?s=20&t=ULt0YmSVyiQ4TgBPWawPIQ[7] https://t.me/hueviyherson/24240[8] https://twitter.com/IntelCrab/status/1560374494325268487[9] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-16[10] https://telegra dot ph/Tezisy-nachalnika-vojsk-radiacionnoj-himicheskoj-i-biologicheskoj-zashchity-VS-RF-general-lejtenanta-Igorya-Kirillova-na-brifing-08-18; https://t.me/mod_russia/18813; https://t.me/mod_russia/18814; https://t.me/mod_russia/18815; https://t.me/mod_russia/18816; https://t.me/mod_russia/18817; https://t.me/mod_russia/18818[11] https://telegra dot ph/Tezisy-nachalnika-vojsk-radiacionnoj-himicheskoj-i-biologicheskoj-zashchity-VS-RF-general-lejtenanta-Igorya-Kirillova-na-brifing-08-18; https://t.me/mod_russia/18813; https://t.me/mod_russia/18814; https://t.me/mod_russia/18815; https://t.me/mod_russia/18816; https://t.me/mod_russia/18817; https://t.me/mod_russia/18818[12] https://twitter.com/joshnbcnews/status/1560278407954321416?s=21[13] https://twitter.com/trbrtc/status/1560310452416126976?s=21&t=qVmA6-rWvKv2zuzgPYuM3w; https://t.me/lygaoper/17245; https://twitter.com/IntelCrab/status/1560309378401837057[14]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfaRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl; https://t.me/mod_russia/18801[15] https://t.me/mod_russia/18801[16]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfaRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl[17] https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39395  [18] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/5096; https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/5093; https://t.co/seOfPVGBfh; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfaRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl[19]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfaRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl; https://t.co/q1UuKWn86J  [20]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfaRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl[21] https://t.me/FridrihShow/5820; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/60786; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl;[22]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfaRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl[23]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl[24]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfaRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl[25] https://t.me/k_2_54/15; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39395; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1560268004507541506; https://t.me/milchronicles/1033; https://t.me/vladlentatarsky/15543; https://t.me/vladlentatarsky/15537  [26] https://t.me/milchronicles/1032; https://t.me/sashakots/35019; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1560222550424264705; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1560152486681395200; https://t.me/nm_dnr/8788; https://t.me/nm_dnr/8791; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1560098262773800960; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfaRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl[27]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl[28] https://t.me/RtrDonetsk/8481; https://t.me/rybar/37375  [29]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfaRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl[30]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl[31]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfaRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl[32] https://t.me/rybar/37375; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39395[33] https://t.me/synegubov/3934; https://t.me/synegubov/3932[34] https://t.me/synegubov/3932; https://t.me/synegubov/3928; https://t.me/synegubov/3931; https://t.me/synegubov/3930; https://t.me/synegubov/3929; https://t.me/synegubov/3927; https://t.me/synegubov/3928; https://t.me/synegubov/3925; https://t.me/synegubov/3926; https://t.me/spravdi/15540; https://t.me/stranaua/58503; https://twitter.com/JayinKyiv/status/1559979141000318977; https://twitter.com/JayinKyiv/status/1559979238664675328 ; https://twitter.com/TpyxaNews/status/1559992355020759045 ; https://twitter.com/Jake_Hanrahan/status/1560029480575459328; https://twitter.com/maria_avdv/status/1560163082638446592; https://twitter.com/maria_avdv/status/1560126231064051712[35] https://t.me/synegubov/3932; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfaRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl[36]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfaRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl[37]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfaRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl[38]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfaRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl[39]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02LQQfaRt3htacqUgHQZePX7zS7hU5gXPrVBMwrJbnescTfXgM3qTdJKpjFERdae4bl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0hh2hep4NMTqMuU7MBasipNxepA53C64N12yXELLzSiVpmgDexzujT8UyanfeTRoCl; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/11841; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/11840; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1584; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/1092; https://t.me/vilkul/1744; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/554[40] https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1584; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/1092; https://t.me/vilkul/1744; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/554[41] https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/videos/3184883715104577; https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/2166[42]https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02Z7o6GqrL4CvTnta793Acqg3UQJCwguUkaepmq9qp6Pn9kNnEfsTLFN4QXgEF6vfSl[43]https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid0icsUoxnMsvYZTUTWePN1F4iazKiFNRTRqXmvvXYAgC3xvg88qPQzpZ7wKCusE2u6l; https://t.me/AFUStratCom/5333; https://t.me/DPSUkr/5718; https://t.me/khersonskaODA/833; https://t.me/zalpalyanytsya/1360; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/10060[44] http://pravo.gov dot ru/proxy/ips/?docbody=&nd=102103268[45] https://www.kommersant dot ru/amp/5515184[46] http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkpath=pages%5CR%5CU%5CRusso6Turkishwars.htm; https://www.refworld.org/docid/578f7bcc4.html; https://jamestown.org/program/cossacks-demand-government-halt-forcible-islamization-of-stavropol-region-2/[47] https://ria dot ru/20220818/svo-1810351059.html[48] https://t.me/andriyshTime/2396; https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/5093[49] https://www.idelreal.org/a/31994397.html ; https://smotrim dot ru/article/2897662[50] https://t.me/operativnoZSU/36893[51] https://sprotyv.mod.gov dot ua/2022/08/18/rosiyany-hochut-provesty-svij-referendum-za-misczem-prozhyvannya/[52] https://sprotyv.mod.gov dot ua/2022/08/18/totalnyj-sprotyv-rosiyany-zmusheni-zabyraty-lyudej-z-peredovoyi-dlya-zabezpechennya-provedennya-referendumu/[53] https://t.me/mariupolrada/10618[54] https://t.me/mariupolrada/10619; https://t.me/mariupolnow/17611[55] https://t.me/andriyshTime/2389[56] https://t.me/mod_russia/18825[57] https://t.me/readovkanews/40402; http://tavriatv dot ru[58] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/423[59] https://t.me/BalitskyVGA/184 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/17/22 8:26pm
Karolina Hird, Kateryna Stepanenko, Angela Howard, George Barros, and Frederick W. KaganAugust 17, 8:45 pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Russian military leadership is likely increasingly losing confidence in the security of Crimea following recent Ukrainian strikes on Russian military objects in Crimea. Russian sources reported on August 17 that Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov had replaced Admiral Igor Osipov as the commander of the Crimean-based Black Sea Fleet (BSF).[1] The Russian information space, however, was evidently eager to maintain a high level of secrecy regarding Sokolov’s appointment due to the claimed threat of “terrorist danger” in Sevastopol.[2] Recent Ukrainian strikes (associated with Ukrainian partisans and Ukrainian Armed Forces) on Russian military assets in Crimea, including the headquarters of the BSF in Sevastopol, have likely placed Russian forces on high alert and led to the restructuring of force composition, logistics, and leadership of the Russian grouping in Crimea in order to mitigate the impact of further strikes. Ukraine’s Main Military Intelligence Directorate, for example, reported that Russian forces are relocating dozens of fixed and rotary wing aircraft stationed in forward airfields in Crimea to areas deeper in the Crimean Peninsula and in mainland Russia.[3]Russian leadership and the Russian nationalist information space have become increasingly invested in framing recent Ukrainian strikes on Russian military assets in Crimea as acts of terrorism in order to shift the information narrative away from Russian violations of international law and calls on the West to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Russian sources inaccurately described the strikes on the BSF headquarters, an ammunition depot, and the Saki Airbase as acts of terrorism. The Russian-appointed head of occupied Crimea, Sergey Askenov, claimed on August 17 that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in Crimea had neutralized cells of the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization (an Islamist fundamentalist political organization that has historically been active in Central Asia and in Crimea amongst the Crimean Tatar community and is banned in Russia) in Dzhankoi and Yalta.[4] Aksenov accused the Ukrainian government of coordinating Hizb ut-Tahrir's operations in Crimea without providing any evidence. Russian officials will likely increasingly link Ukrainian partisan attacks against occupied territories with operations conducted by organizations affiliated with Islamist extremism in an attempt to alienate the Ukrainian partisan movement from the international community and undermine Ukraine’s calls to officially designate Russia as a state-sponsor of terrorism. Attacks against legitimate Russian military targets fall well within the purview of legal use of force and are not acts of terrorism, nor is there any evidence to suggest that Islamist extremists conducted these attacks.[5]Key TakeawaysRussian military leadership is falsely claiming that recent attacks on Russian military objects in Crimea are terrorist attacks to deflect calls to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.Russian forces attempted several unsuccessful assaults near the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border in tactically challenging forest areas.Russian forces continued to unsuccessfully attack settlements southeast of Siversk.Russian forces launched several assaults northeast and south of Bakhmut, and are likely attempting to improve tactical positions near Horlivka.Russian forces made limited gains northwest of Donetsk City and near the Zaporizhia-Donetsk Oblast administrative border.Russian forces are likely preparing to defend their ground lines of communication (GLOCs) in the Melitopol-Tokmak-Berdyansk triangle by mining settlements on the eastern Zaporizhia Oblast frontline.Russian federal subjects are continuing to form new volunteer units and advertise contract service while facing recruitment challenges.Russian occupation authorities are struggling to increase control measures in occupied territories amidst increased partisan activity.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces conducted ground attacks northwest of Slovyansk near the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border on August 17. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces attempted to advance near Bohorodychne, about 20km northwest of Slovyansk.[6] The Ukrainian General Staff also noted that Russian forces attempted advances in the vicinity of Mazanikva (22km northwest of Slovyansk) and Novo Dymytrivka (35km northwest of Slovyansk).[7] Russian milbloggers previously indicated that fighting on the Mazanivka-Bohorodychne line, which roughly runs along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border, has been complicated by the densely forested terrain.[8] Russian forces in this area are likely to continue positional battles within tactically challenging forest areas in order to hold ground against Ukrainian counterattacks. Russian forces additionally continued artillery strikes along the Izyum-Slovyansk line and struck Ukrainian positions and civilian infrastructure in and around Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.[9]Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks south of Siversk on August 17. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian troops attempted to advance towards Vesele, about 23km southeast of Siversk.[10] Russian troops also reportedly conducted a ground attack near Spirne, about 20km southeast of Siversk.[11] Russian forces continued air and artillery strikes in the vicinity of Siversk.[12]Russian forces conducted a series of ground attacks northeast and south of Bakhmut on August 17. Ukrainian and Russian sources reported that Russian forces are fighting in the Soledar-Bakhmutske area (10km northeast of Bakhmut).[13] Units of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) 6th Cossack Regiment continued attempts to consolidate control of the Knauf Gips Donbas gypsum factory on the outskirts of Soledar along the T1302 highway in order to advance southwestward on Bakhmut.[14] The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that Russian troops conducted ground assaults in Bilohorivka, about 18km northeast of Bakhmut along the T1302 highway.[15] Russian operations to the northeast of Bakhmut are likely focused on securing control of this segment of the T1302 in order to drive directly on Bakhmut.Russian forces conducted ground assaults south of Bakhmut in order to improve their tactical positions in this area.[16] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian troops stopped Russian ground attacks near Mayorsk, Zalizne, and Shumy, which all lie about 25km southwest of Bakhmut on the outskirts of Horlivka.[17] Russian forces are likely conducting limited ground attacks southwest of Bakhmut in order to gain access to the T0513 highway via the T0516 roadway, which runs westward through Horlivka. Russian forces additionally continued fighting near Kodema and Zaitseve, within 15km and 7km south of Bakhmut, respectively.[18]Russian forces made marginal gains during ground attacks northwest of Donetsk City on August 17. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops had “partial success” in the direction of Optyne, about 6km northwest of the outskirts of Donetsk City.[19] Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) troops reportedly attempted to advance on Nevelske (15km west of Donetsk City) under cover of artillery fire.[20] Russian forces continued to conduct artillery strikes along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline to support efforts to push west of this area.[21]Russian forces secured incremental gains near the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border southwest of Donetsk City on August 17. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces had “partial success” in the direction of Novomykhailivka, about 25km southwest of Donetsk City.[22] Russian forces reportedly conducted a ground attack around Vuhledar (45km southwest of Donetsk City), likely in order to bypass the settlement and gain direct access to the local road that runs between Vuhledar and Marinka, which is on the southwestern outskirts of Donetsk City.[23] Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks on the Kharkiv City axis on August 17. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces retreated following an attempt to break Ukrainian defensive lines in the direction of Lebyazhe and Bazaliivka, both about 40km southeast of Kharkiv City and further south than prior Russian offensives around Kharkiv City.[24] Ukrainian General Staff reports have not mentioned fighting in these directions in several weeks. Russian forces also conducted remote mining in the Lebyazhne district.[25] The decision to remotely mine Lebyazhne likely aims to disrupt Ukrainian use of the settlement as a base from which to fight Russian forces further east. A Russian outlet Readovka also claimed that Russian forces took control of Stohnii and Baranivka, both less than 10km from the Ukraine-Russia border.[26] Russian forces conducted airstrikes east and south of Kharkiv City, near Staryi Saltiv and Mospanove.[27] Russian forces launched five missiles at Kharkiv City and continued heavy shelling of settlements surrounding Kharkiv City.[28] Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Russian forces are likely setting conditions to defend their ground lines of communication (GLOCs) between the Tokmak-Melitopol-Berdyansk area, prioritizing their positions in western Zaporizhia Oblast over those on the Zaporizhia-Donetsk Oblast border. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces mined Inzhenerne and Ukrainske, both approximately 40km northeast of Tomak and on the T0815 highway to Polohy.[29] The T0815 supports Russian GLOCs from Polohy to Berdyansk and connects to the T0401 highway between Polohy-Tokmak-Melitopol. Russian mining in the northernmost occupied segment of the T0815 indicates that Russian forces are establishing defenses to protect vital GLOCs to Melitopol - a key logistics hub connecting Russian holdings in southern Donetsk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson Oblasts - and logistics routes along the Sea of Azov coastline. Russian forces need access to these routes to maintain operations in eastern Kherson Oblast and retain a direct road connection between Rostov-on-Don and occupied southern Ukrainian territories. Russian forces are unlikely to attack from the direction of Ukrainske and Inzhenerne in the near future given their reported mining of those villages.Russian forces continued to conduct small-scale assaults in northwestern Kherson Oblast on August 17. Ukrainian military officials reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully conducted a platoon-size assault and a reconnaissance-in-force operation near the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River.[30] Russian forces continued to use aviation to strike Ukrainian positions northwest of Kherson City and near the bridgehead, and fired artillery at 27 unspecified settlements along the Kherson Oblast border with Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk Oblasts.[31] Satellite imagery shows barge movement on the Dnipro River near Kherson City and locals reportedly stated that Russian forces are working on the barges at a Kherson City shipyard.[32] Russian forces may be attempting to repair and use barges to transport equipment across the Dnipro River, although it is unclear whether the barges the Russians are using will be able to support the transit of heavy equipment across the Dnipro River or whether Ukrainian forces can damage or destroy them once they are in actual use.Russian forces struck Mykolaiv City and a coastal settlement in Odesa Oblast on August 16 and August 17. The Ukrainian Southern Military Command reported that Russian forces struck Mykolaiv City with S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems.[33] Social media footage showed that Russian missiles hit the Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University, and Russian Telegram channels reposted images of minor damage to the pedestrian side of the Varvarivskyy Bridge in western Mykolaiv City.[34] Russian Tu-22M3 aircraft struck recreational and residential infrastructure in the coastal town of Zatoka, along the railway and road connection to Romania, with Kh-22 missiles.[35]Ukrainian local officials reported that Russian forces fired tube artillery at Nikopol and 40 rockets from Grad MLRS at Chervonohryhorivka (northeast of Nikopol). Russian Telegram channels claimed that Ukrainian forces shelled near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, but the available social media footage only recorded the sound of an explosion in an unspecified area reportedly near Enerhodar.[36]Ukrainian forces continued to strike Russian strongholds and ammunition warehouses in northwestern and northern Kherson Oblast on August 17.[37] Ukrainian officials also reported that partisans conducted an improvised explosive device (IED) attack near one of the Russian military occupation administration commandant offices in Melitopol.[38]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian regional authorities and security services are continuing to face challenges in recruiting volunteers for Russian operations in Ukraine. The Kurgan Oblast Federal Security Service (FSB) lowered requirements for service in the local border guard department by allowing residents aged 18 to 34 without higher education or military experience to seek employment.[39] The local FSB in Kurgan Oblast is recruiting personnel via the Russian social media platform VK and offering military pension payments as well as a three-million-ruble mortgage program if recruits sign a military contract.[40] Pskov Oblast’s Rosgvardia branch is recruiting personnel of any education level or military experience for military service in Grozny, Chechnya.[41] Russian security services are likely posting misleading advertisements for employment opportunities to recruit more forces for the Russian war in Ukraine, a tactic ISW has previously reported on.[42]The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported that Russian military recruiters are abducting Chechen young men to staff four Chechen volunteer battalions, causing social tensions within the republic.[43] The GUR noted that Chechen residents are expressing discontent with Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov for impressing men into service and forcing Muslim Chechen men to fight a war between predominantly Christian states (Russia and Ukraine).Local government organizations in Russia are increasing advertisement campaigns to address quota shortages in military service contracts. Residents of Yaroslavl Oblast’s Dzerzhinskiy District received utility bills with military contract service ads at the top of their payment statements.[44] The local utility company noted that local officials ordered the company to include the message at the top of the bill to share the ”prospects” of contract service. Residents of a small village in Tyumen Oblast also shared recruitment posters at a local supermarket, which heavily bolded the offered enlistment payment and benefits.[45] Russian local authorities are likely attempting to distribute recruitment ads in places with high civilian traffic and are targeting financially vulnerable populations in rural villages.Another Russian federal subject (region) claimed to have formed new volunteer units to deploy to Donbas, but such volunteer units are drawing criticism from some Russian milbloggers. The Republic of Mordovia claimed that it has formed three new volunteer units – Sivazhar, Aralai, and Kaval - and held a farewell ceremony for the deployment of its seventh detachment of 20 volunteers to Donbas.[46] It is unclear at the time of this publication if these volunteer groups are operating in Ukraine, if the units have a significant number of recruits, or if they are undergoing a one-month training period.[47] VK-based milblogger Vasily Petrovich described regionally formed volunteer units as the best way to ”get into a hospital bed or into the grave,” as these units do not have financial support outside of what is provided by their unnamed sponsors.[48]Russian forces are continuing covert mobilization practices in occupied Luhansk Oblast and are advertising contract services in occupied Donetsk Oblast. Social media video showed Russian servicemen physically restraining a civilian man in Luhansk City, likely in an attempt to force him into a car.[49] Ukrainian officials previously reported that Russian servicemen kidnap men off of the streets to commit them to the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) units.[50] The Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) held advertising events for contract service at local community centers in Pokrovsk.[51] Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Russian forces are struggling to increase control of occupied territories amid fears of increased partisan activity. Several partisan attacks and reports of a Ukrainian counteroffensive have pushed occupation authorities to take more severe and highly visible measures to consolidate administrative control of occupied localities. Ukrainian officials in Kherson Oblast reported that Russian forces abducted Verkhnorohachytskyi District Head Svitlana Korotun on August 16 for refusing to collaborate with Russian occupation authorities.[52] This incident is part of a broader trend of Russian forces seeking to gain legitimacy by compelling collaboration from local authorities while “disappearing” those who refuse to comply. Occupation forces also seek to more closely monitor individual citizens. Advisor to the Mayor of Mariupol Petro Andryushchenko reported that Russian occupation authorities opened a second filtration point on the eastern side of Mariupol and gathered over 1,300 residents for inspection on August 17.[53] Enerhodar Mayor Dmytro Orlov warned that plain-clothed FSB officers stationed at public, Russian Wi-fi access points monitor private conversations and steal personal data, sometimes leading to the detention of Ukrainian citizens.[54] Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports.  References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update.[1] https://crimea dot ria dot ru/20220817/novyy-komanduyuschiy-chf-predstavlen-v-sevastopole-1124184786.html[2] https://t.me/milinfolive/88931[3] https://gur.gov dot ua/content/pislia-ostannikh-podii-v-krymu-rashysty-terminovo-peremishchuiut-svoi-litaky-ta-helikoptery-v-hlyb-pivostrova-ta-na-aerodromy-rf.html[4] https://t.me/Aksenov82/1332 ; https://t.me/readovkanews/40343; https://www.rferl.org/a/hizb-ut-tahrir-crimea/25009325.html; https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-ukraine-crimean-tatars/31413007.html; https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-ukraine-crimean-tatars/31413007.html[5] https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule7; https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/ihl/WebART/470-750067[6] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0s3FuqpgHsQZ3KneA127AQvkxfwfKUC4u81qqBwWMcwHtaUn1h4qU1rrBfq79SAchl[7] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl[8] https://t.me/vysokygovorit/9089[9] https://t.me/mod_russia/18722; https://t.me/pavlokyrylenko_donoda/4560; https://t.me/stranaua/58347; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0s3FuqpgHsQZ3KneA127AQvkxfwfKUC4u81qqBwWMcwHtaUn1h4qU1rrBfq79SAchl[10] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl[11] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0s3FuqpgHsQZ3KneA127AQvkxfwfKUC4u81qqBwWMcwHtaUn1h4qU1rrBfq79SAchl[12] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/5073; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0s3FuqpgHsQZ3KneA127AQvkxfwfKUC4u81qqBwWMcwHtaUn1h4qU1rrBfq79SAchl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl[13] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0s3FuqpgHsQZ3KneA127AQvkxfwfKUC4u81qqBwWMcwHtaUn1h4qU1rrBfq79SAchl[14] https://t.me/izvestia/100365; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39339; https://t.me/mod_russia/18722; https://t.me/readovkanews/40360; https://t.me/rybar/37338[15] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl[16] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0s3FuqpgHsQZ3KneA127AQvkxfwfKUC4u81qqBwWMcwHtaUn1h4qU1rrBfq79SAchl[17] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0s3FuqpgHsQZ3KneA127AQvkxfwfKUC4u81qqBwWMcwHtaUn1h4qU1rrBfq79SAchl[18] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl[19] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl[20] https://t.me/nm_dnr/8781; https://twitter.com/GeoConfirmed/status/1559915369288065024; https://twitter.com/200_zoka/status/1559905965444681729[21] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0s3FuqpgHsQZ3KneA127AQvkxfwfKUC4u81qqBwWMcwHtaUn1h4qU1rrBfq79SAchl; https://t.me/nm_dnr/8781; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39339; https://t.me/astrahandm/4964; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/16688; https://t.me/milchronicles/1029; https://twitter.com/GeoConfirmed/status/1559915369288065024; https://twitter.com/200_zoka/status/1559905965444681729[22] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl[23] https://t.me/boris_rozhin/60767; https://t.me/RtrDonetsk/8465; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39339; https://t.me/readovkanews/40330[24]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl[25] https://t.me/synegubov/3918; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0s3FuqpgHsQZ3KneA127AQvkxfwfKUC4u81qqBwWMcwHtaUn1h4qU1rrBfq79SAchl[26] https://t.me/readovkanews/40330[27]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0s3FuqpgHsQZ3KneA127AQvkxfwfKUC4u81qqBwWMcwHtaUn1h4qU1rrBfq79SAchl[28] https://t.me/spravdi/15467; https://t.me/synegubov/3918; https://t.me/der_rada/2334; https://www.facebook.com/Zadorenko/posts/pfbid06LPfJ5m6X5eZkEgQePxH46zDJQgS73WUSxHPDdrTGEs2oZeHLhYizqQsYY2TYHLNl; https://twitter.com/IntelCrab/status/1559619332891721730; https://t.me/der_rada/2339; https://twitter.com/etoj_vot/status/1559619012904075267;  https://twitter.com/SarahAshtonLV/status/1559617763999526912; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0s3FuqpgHsQZ3KneA127AQvkxfwfKUC4u81qqBwWMcwHtaUn1h4qU1rrBfq79SAchl[29] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0s3FuqpgHsQZ3KneA127AQvkxfwfKUC4u81qqBwWMcwHtaUn1h4qU1rrBfq79SAchl[30] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0s3FuqpgHsQZ3KneA127AQvkxfwfKUC4u81qqBwWMcwHtaUn1h4qU1rrBfq79SAchl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=796387058062078[31] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0s3FuqpgHsQZ3KneA127AQvkxfwfKUC4u81qqBwWMcwHtaUn1h4qU1rrBfq79SAchl; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=796387058062078; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02Ndbyzx6L8M32VG9GwDWsTprru2k1AvAvPzWueNpWynW2nRZ8dcihTUtRzu4y7J2Nl [32] https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1559618257123942402[33] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=752785739357215; https://twitter.com/markito0171/status/1559839103323181056[34] https://t.me/rybar/37354; https://t.me/milinfolive/88908[35] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=752785739357215; https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/posts/pfbid02uSVwT14n7Bydz78NpxvZKq4USaPFtjFJXgGCHgs6pbaDEcota4fGBk9q5AxrTFUkl; https://t.me/epoddubny/11960; https://t.me/odesacityofficial/10184; https://twitter.com/OscDomesticated/status/1559768681688846336; https://twitter.com/GeoConfirmed/status/1559903902589493248; ttps://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1015903125772943  [36] https://t.me/readovkanews/40364; https://t.me/readovkanews/40359; https://t.me/energodar_ru/2431[37] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=796387058062078[38] https://sprotyv.mod.gov dot ua/2022/08/17/u-melitopoli-prolunav-vybuh-bilya-ligva-okupantiv/; https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/419[39] https://ura dot news/news/1052579116[40] https://ura dot news/news/1052579116[41] https://pskov dot bezformata.com/listnews/predlagayut-sluzhbu-po-kontraktu-v-chechne/91601522/[42] https://riapo dot ru/penza/obshchestvo/v-centre-penzy-otkryt-mobilnyj-punkt-otbora-na-voennuyu-sluzhbu-po-kontraktu; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-7[43] https://gur.gov dot ua/content/cherez-brak-okhochykh-voiuvaty-okupanty-namahaiutsia-zaluchyty-v-armiiu-hromadian-krain-tsentralnoi-azii.html[44] https://76 dot ru/text/gorod/2022/08/17/71577989/[45] https://72 dot ru/text/gorod/2022/08/16/71571950/[46] https://izvmor dot ru/novosti/obshchestvo/eshhyo-dvadczat-dobrovolczev-iz-mordovii-otpravilis-na-donbass/[47] https://izvmor dot ru/novosti/obshchestvo/eshhyo-dvadczat-dobrovolczev-iz-mordovii-otpravilis-na-donbass/[48] https://vk.com/wall143259979_24194[49] https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1559832878271414273; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1557346518033735680; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1557405882631200769[50] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-11[51] https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1559780135699619842; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1559806860034727941  [52] https://t.me/khersonskaODA/830; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02YNL4Uwpviu8RoNr8J3Ki6WZwoTAFPgGL4DqD6ZNGF5NcWvpyw2XdJ6C8mPrXiPPSl?__cft__[0]=AZUBm-zRDXDmJViKKF6-a0rffuZG6XBGqV-fLnpQS2WgDrZl_4lyz02KWe2RV_LLHdHhmN2QDgnPh8fOPsLVB8lQngdp9f5zNJSZjL8uj32-Z-ra18n1N5JH9HhLvuj38HikrCblZ-GhI67fu1O614hluA0v04WFuwh6mjP_PVCbSw&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[53] https://t.me/andriyshTime/2378; https://t.me/mariupolnow/17581[54] https://t.me/orlovdmytroEn/833 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/16/22 9:41pm
Kateryna Stepanenko, Grace Mappes, Angela Howard, George Barros, and Frederick W. KaganAugust 16, 9 pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Russian and Ukrainian sources reported explosions at an airfield and a critical Russian supply nexus in Crimea on August 16. Local reports and videos show a series of explosions at a Russian ammunition depot and a transformer substation in Dzhankoiskyi District and an airfield near Hvardiiske, Crimea.[1] These explosions both caused significant damage to Russian resources and seriously disrupted Russian logistics. Russian forces have used Dzhankoi as a railway hub for transporting troops and equipment to occupied settlements in southern Zaporizhia Oblast, including Melitopol.[2] Russian authorities temporarily suspended passenger rail service from Russia into Crimea following the attack.[3]Ukrainian forces have not officially claimed responsibility for these explosions. The New York Times reported that an anonymous senior Ukrainian official attributed the explosions in Dzhankoiskyi District to “an elite Ukrainian military unit operating behind enemy lines,” but no Ukrainian official has publicly come forward to claim responsibility.[4] The Russian Ministry of Defense released a statement calling the explosions “a result of sabotage.”[5]A Ukrainian strike on logistical targets in Crimea, which is the sovereign territory of Ukraine, would not violate Ukrainian commitments to Western partners regarding Ukraine’s use of Western-supplied weapons within Ukrainian territory or stated US policy regarding Ukraine’s right to use force to regain control of all its territory including areas seized by Russia in 2014.[6] There are no indications that Ukrainian forces used US-supplied weapons in recent strikes on Crimea, and it is unlikely that they did since the targets are well beyond the range of the US-provided systems.Attacks on Russian positions in and around Crimea are likely part of a coherent Ukrainian counter-offensive to regain control of the west bank of the Dnipro River. Russian supply lines from Crimea directly support Russian forces in mainland Ukraine including those in western Kherson Oblast. Ukraine’s targeting of Russian ground lines of communication and logistic and support assets in Crimea is consistent with the Ukrainian counteroffensive effort that has also targeted bridges over the Dnipro River and Russian logistical support elements in occupied Kherson Oblast.[7] The net effects of this campaign will likely be to disrupt the ability of Russian forces to sustain mechanized forces on the west bank of the Dnipro River and to defend them with air and artillery assets on the east bank from Ukrainian counterattacks.The Kremlin continues efforts to misrepresent its likely maximalist goals in Ukraine. ISW assesses that Russian strategic objectives remain unchanged: changing the regime change in Kyiv and securing territorial control over most of Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin omitted mention of territory outside of Donbas while describing the goals of Russia’s war in Ukraine on August 15. Putin closed his preliminary remarks to the Army-2022 forum on August 15 with the claim that Russian and Donbas forces are “doing their duty” to fight for Russia and “liberate” Donbas.[8] Such a limited statement of Russian goals sharply contrasts with previously articulated Russian war goals to “denazify” and “demilitarize” all of Ukraine. Putin‘s relatively limited statement additionally is incompatible with Russian actions to integrate occupied parts of Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts into the Russian Federation.Key TakeawaysRussian forces conducted ground attacks across the Eastern Axis but failed to advance northwest of Slovyansk and east of Siversk.Russian forces are launching offensive operations around Bakhmut, southwest of Avdiivka, and southwest of Donetsk City.Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations in northern and northwestern Kherson Oblast.The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Ukrainian forces in Nikopol are preparing to conduct provocations at the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant, possibly setting information conditions for further shelling of Nikopol or provocations of its own.Chechen units are reportedly relocating to Kherson Oblast to police Russian military deserters.Russian forces struggle to recruit soldiers even for safe, prestigious jobs.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied Areas Main Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks on the Izyum-Slovyansk line on August 16. The Ukrainian General Staff reported for the second consecutive day that Russian forces retreated following an unsuccessful ground assault near Mazanivka (24km northwest of Slovyansk).[9] Russian milblogger Starshe Edy claimed that Russian forces chose to withdraw from Mazanivka into the forest south of the settlement.[10] Starshe Edy noted that Ukrainian and Russian forces are engaged in heavy artillery battles in the Mazanivka area.Starshe Edy also claimed that Russian and Ukrainian forces are engaged in “heavy battles” in the forests of the Sviati Hory National Nature Park.[11] Donetsk People‘s Republic (DNR) Deputy Information Minister Daniiil Bezsonov reposted Starshe Edy’s report before promptly deleting it. The Ukrainian General Staff had previously stated that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults in the area of the Sviati Hory National Nature Park (about 20km northeast of Slovyansk) on July 26.[12] The Sviati Hory park is bounded by the eastern bank of the Siverskyi Donets River, and ISW previously assessed that fighting could only occur in the area if Russian or Ukrainian forces crossed the Siverskyi Donets River into the territory of the park or from it or if the fighting took place in the general area. [13] If the report by Starshe Edy is true, then it would suggest that Ukrainian forces entered the territory of the Sviati Hory park and are operating on the eastern bank of the Siverskyi Donets River. Another Russian milblogger also released a map showing Pryshyb (about 20km northeast of Slovyansk and northwest of the Sviati Hory park) within areas marked as seeing ongoing combat operations, reversing a prior claim of Russian territorial control of the settlement.[14] ISW also reported on footage showing Ukrainian forces freely raising a Ukrainian flag on the right bank of the Siverskyi Donets River in Sviatohirsk, which could indicate that Russian positions might have shifted further east from the area.[15] ISW will continue to monitor the situation around Pryshyb, Sviatohirsk, and the Sviati Hory park as more information becomes available in the open source.Russian forces continued to shell settlements along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border and targeted areas near Nova Dmytrivka and Dibrovne (both within 28km southwest of Izyum) with incendiary ammunition on August 16.[16] Russian forces also shelled civilian infrastructure in Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.[17] Ukrainian forces continued to target Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) on the Kharkiv City-Izyum line. Footage posted to social media on August 16 shows a destroyed railway bridge near Hrushivka just west of Russian GLOCs in Kupyansk.[18]Russian forces attempted an assault near Siversk on August 16. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops conducted an offensive operation in the direction of Ivano-Darivka (15km southeast of Siversk) from the Lysychansk Oil Refinery but retreated after suffering heavy losses.[19] Luhansk Oblast Head Serhiy Haidai described the offensive as "massive."[20] The Luhansk People’s Republic’s (LNR) Ambassador to Russia Rodion Miroshnik claimed that Russian-led forces surrounded Siversk on three sides but provided no evidence for this claim.[21] Miroshnik could hope that such a major claim will raise the morale of LNR soldiers reportedly unwilling to continue fighting in Donetsk Oblast.[22] Ukrainian forces reportedly conducted a precision strike and destroyed a Russian ammunition depot in Rodakove, Luhansk Oblast on August 15, but did not officially confirm the strike as of the time of this publication.[23] Russian forces continued shelling along the line of contact.[24]Russian forces continued to launch offensive operations south, southeast, and northeast of Bakhmut on August 16.[25] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted failed assaults towards Soledar and Bakhmutske, (northeast of Bakhmut) and Mayorsk and Zaitseve (south of Bakhmut). Ukrainian artillery repelled a Russian reconnaissance-in-force attempt near Vershyna (12km southeast of Bakhmut).[26] Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) Ambassador to Russia Rodion Miroshnik claimed that Russian and proxy forces control most of Soledar’s industrial zone and that fighting is ongoing in Soledar, but there is no evidence that Russian or proxy forces have advanced beyond the Knauf Gips Donbas gypsum factory (southeast of Soledar).[27] Russian forces conducted airstrikes on Soledar and Yakolivka (6km northeast of Soledar). Russian forces heavily shelled Bakhmut and settlements to the north, south, and southeast.[28]Russian forces conducted offensive operations southwest of Avdiivka on August 16. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces launched a ground assault from Staromykhailivka towards Nevelske (approximately 15km southwest of Avdiivka) where hostilities continue as of the time of this publication.[29] The Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) Militia claimed that the DNR 1st Slavic Brigade had made unspecified advances west of Avdiivka.[30] Russian forces conducted an airstrike near Mariinka (approximately 27km southwest of Avdiivka) and continued shelling Avdiivka and settlements in its vicinity.[31]Russian forces made marginal territorial gains southwest of Donetsk City on August 16. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted “partially successful” ground assaults towards Novomykhailivka (30km southwest of Donetsk City) where fighting is ongoing as of the time of this publication.[32] Russian forces also conducted airstrikes on Pavlivka, on the T0524 highway to Donetsk City.[33] Donetsk Oblast Military Administration Head Pavlo Kyrylenko stated that Russian forces conducted a missile strike on energy infrastructure and local businesses in Kurakhove, about 40km west of Donetsk City.[34]Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed attacks on the Kharkiv City axis on August 16 but continued heavy shelling. A Russian milblogger published a map expanding claimed Russian territorial control to Odnorobivka (8km from the Russian border, 45km northeast of Kharkiv City) but provided no evidence for this claim.[35] Kharkiv Oblast officials reported Russian missile strikes on five of the nine Kharkiv City districts overnight between August 15 and 16.[36] Kharkiv Oblast Administration Head Oleg Synegubov referred to these strikes as one of the largest Russian shelling efforts against Kharkiv City recently.[37] Russian forces also conducted airstrikes on settlements northeast of Kharkiv City, dropped phosphorous munitions on Ruska Lozova, and continued to target settlements near Kharkiv City with missile, artillery, and tank fire.[38] Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Russian forces conducted several unsuccessful offensive operations in northern and northwestern Kherson Oblast on August 15 and August 16. Ukrainian military officials reported that Russian forces attempted to advance to Novohryhorivka (approximately 36km northwest of Kherson City) but retreated after failing to improve their tactical positions in the area.[39] Russian forces also unsuccessfully attempted to improve their tactical positions around Bilohirka (near the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River) and conduct a reconnaissance-in-force operation in Osokorkivka near the Kherson-Dnipropetrovsk Oblast border.[40] Russian forces also reportedly launched 14 airstrikes along the line of contact in Kherson Oblast, with most focusing on Ukrainian positions around the Inhulets River bridgehead and northwest of Kherson City.[41] Russian forces continued firing rockets from Uragan and Smerch MLRS systems on settlements in Kryvyi Rih district and Mykolaiv City, respectively.[42]Russian forces continued to fire on settlements situated on the right bank of Dnipro River from positions in occupied Zaporizhia Oblast. Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces struck Nikopol with 40 Grad rockets and the neighboring settlement of Marhanets with fire from a Pion self-propelled heavy artillery system.[43] ISW previously reported on geolocated footage of a Russian Pion operating roughly 11km from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).[44] The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Ukrainian forces in Nikopol are preparing for large-scale provocations at the ZNPP but provided no evidence.[45] The Russian Defense Ministry could be setting information conditions for further shelling of Nikopol or a provocation of its own.Ukraine’s Southern Military Command did not note any changes in Russian troop composition. Press Officer for the Mykolaiv Oblast Military Administration Dmytro Pletenchuk stated that Russian forces are increasingly moving Chechen units to Kherson Oblast as a police force aimed at stopping Russian forces from deserting.[46] ISW cannot independently verify Pletenchuk’s statement, but it is consistent with previous Ukrainian intelligence reports that Russian forces are deploying Rosgvardia and Chechen units to the left bank of Dnipro River to block Russian personnel from retreating from northern Kherson Oblast.[47]Ukrainian forces continued to target Russian ammunition depots and strongholds on the Southern Axis. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Ukrainian aviation struck two Russian strongholds and a pair of ammunition and military equipment warehouses in Novopetrivka and Maksymivka, both 53km and 40km west of Mykolaiv City.[48] Ukrainian missile and artillery units also destroyed a Russian supply point in Sukhyi Stavok, near the Ukrainian bridgehead in northwestern Kherson Oblast.[49]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian forces continue to face recruitment challenges, likely even when recruiting reservists and volunteers for the most prestigious military units. Novgorod Oblast local outlets reported that Russian forces are recruiting residents with no prior military experience to serve on the submarine Veliky Novgorod.[50] Commander of the Veliky Novgorod Sergey Mikhailov stated that the submarine has eight vacancies (of a crew of 60) and asserted that recruits do not need to have prior special training or to have served in Russian forces ”at all.”[51] The ”Veliky Novgorod” submarine is currently supporting the Russian invasion in Ukraine operating in the Black Sea. This recruiting effort suggests that Russian forces are struggling to generate interest even for positions not directly on the frontline.[52]Novgorod Oblast officials also announced that recruitment has begun for a Novgorod Rocket Battalion that will form in Luga, Leningrad Oblast.[53] Luga hosts a large artillery training ground and the base of the 9th Guards Artillery Brigade of the 6th Combined Arms Army. ISW has previously reported that St. Petersburg City and Vologda Oblast are also forming volunteer units in Luga.[54] The officials are also offering a one-time enlistment payment of 250,000 rubles (about $4,000).[55] Novgorod Oblast residents have previously reported receiving letters advertising contract service in Ukraine for men currently in the reserve in early March with the same daily combat pay of 8,000 rubles (about $53) and a monthly salary of 200,000 rubles ($3,250).[56] The March advertisement did not offer a one-time enlistment bonus.Russian federal subjects (regions) continued to announce the formation of new volunteer units but are unlikely to meet their quotas. Bryansk Oblast is forming a new unnamed volunteer unit of 350 servicemen that reportedly has enlisted 77 men so far.[57] Bryansk Oblast officials are offering a one-time enlistment payment of 210,000 rubles (about $3,400) split over three months. Bryansk Oblast officials specified that recruitment will last until December 31. Ukraine’s Strategic Communications Center reported that Nizhny Novgorod Oblast-based ”Kuzma Minin” Volunteer Tank Battalion only generated 30 recruits of the desired 160, which if true further suggests that Russian federal subjects are unable to create fully-staffed volunteer units.[58] Russian forces at the same time are less interested in recruiting women for combat, only offering some medical positions despite shortages in recruits.[59]Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Russian occupation authorities are struggling to provide basic services to occupied territories. Head of the Zaporizhia Oblast occupation administration Yevheniy Balitskiy reported on August 16 that local occupation authorities have concentrated all social services - including receiving pensions and Russian passports - in Berdyansk, making these services difficult to access for civilians outside of the city.[60] Advisor to Mariupol‘s Mayor Petro Andryushchenko reported on August 16 that Russian occupation authorities have not fixed the Mariupol sewage and filtration system but have established ad hoc, gravity-powered filtration systems that produce visibly clean water but release sewage into the soil.[61] The Mariupol City Council reported that stores in Mariupol either lack provisions or are selling provisions at a high markup, likely due to Russian occupation authorities providing limited amounts of humanitarian aid to select vulnerable Mariupol populations.[62] Footage of Mariupol reconstruction efforts reportedly shows the construction of cheap and speedily built apartment buildings that the occupation authorities may use as propaganda to claim they are rebuilding the entire city.[63]Ukrainian partisans reportedly continue conducting attacks on Russian infrastructure in occupied southern Ukraine. Ukrainian Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov reported two explosions near a substation in Melitopol on August 16 and implied that partisans were responsible.[64] Fedorov reported that local broadcasting of Russian television stopped after the explosions.Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports. References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update.[1] https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ammunition-depot-explodes-northern-... ru/russia/856847; https://t.me/hueviyherson/24092; https://t.me/kommunist/8471; https://...[2] https://twitter.com/kromark/status/1559478712424435713; https://twitter...[3] https://t.me/Aksenov82/1328; https://t.me/Aksenov82/1327[4] https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/08/16/world/ukraine-russia-news-war?sm...[5] https://www.interfax dot ru/russia/856847; https://ria dot ru/20220816/vzryv-1809971243.html; https://www.themoscowtimes dot com/2022/08/16/russia-says-blasts-at-military-site-in-crimea-sabotage-a78581[6] https://www.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript/Article/3120707/usd-...[7] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-ass...[8] https://t.me/mariupolnow/17522; https://t.me/smotri_media/20717[9]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0aiBoHpLXNH76HiHUyMy...[10] https://t.me/vysokygovorit/9089; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/1666...[11] https://t.me/vysokygovorit/9089; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/1666... [12] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-ass...[13] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-ass...[14] https://i.ibb.co/30TKm5r/16-08-ru-1.jpg[15] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-ass...[16]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0aiBoHpLXNH76HiHUyMy...[17] https://t.me/pavlokyrylenko_donoda/4537; https://t.me/pavlokyrylenko_do... [18] https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1559253838921605120 https://twitt...[19]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0aiBoHpLXNH76HiHUyMy...[20] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/5040[21] https://t.me/miroshnik_r/8326[22] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...[23] https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1559279024513454085; https://twit...[24]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0aiBoHpLXNH76HiHUyMy...[25] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0aiBoHpLXNH76HiHUyMy...[26] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0aiBoHpLXNH76HiHUyMy...[27] https://t.me/miroshnik_r/8326[28] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0aiBoHpLXNH76HiHUyMy... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtnPaGJxEuo; https://t.me/pavlokyrylenk... https://t.me/pavlokyrylenko_donoda/4537[29] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02qnCFqnDoX2jsa2FiXh... https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0aiBoHpLXNH76HiHUyMy...[30] https://t.me/nm_dnr/8770[31] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0aiBoHpLXNH76HiHUyMy... https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0aiBoHpLXNH76HiHUyMy...[32] https://t.me/pavlokyrylenko_donoda/4537[33] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0aiBoHpLXNH76HiHUyMy...[34] https://t.me/pavlokyrylenko_donoda/4537[35] https://t.me/rybar/37317[36] https://t.me/ihor_terekhov/414; https://t.me/synegubov/3915; https://t...[37] https://t.me/synegubov/3915; https://t.me/der_rada/2318  [38]https://www.facebook.com/Zadorenko/posts/pfbid02EwhT8zEKuzka94yknayECkv9...[39] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02qnCFqnDoX2jsa2FiXh...  [40] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=362322646109530; https://www.facebook... [41] https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/videos/1737258473297190/; https://www... [42] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=362322646109530; https://t.me/dniprop...[43] https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/videos/1737258473297190/; https://www... [44] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...[45] https://t.me/mod_russia/18642; https://telegra dot ph/Zayavlenie-Mezhvedomstvennogo-koordinacionnogo-shtaba-Rossijskoj-Federacii-po-gumanitarnomu-reagirovaniyu-ot-15-avgusta-2022-g-08-15 [46] https://www.facebook.com/Taclbery/posts/pfbid02jotXXtKMpaeCRm5WHcH9Rm75d...[47] https://lb dot ua/society/2022/08/04/525295_vorog_prodovzhuie_pidgotovku.htm; https://ua dot interfax.com.ua/news/general/850517.html; https://www dot ukrinform.ua/rubric-ato/3543522-na-hersonsini-vijskovih-rf-lakaut-zagorodzuvalnimi-zagonami-cecenciv.html[48] https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/videos/1737258473297190/[49] https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/videos/1737258473297190/[50] http://novgorod-news dot net/other/2022/08/05/73644.html[51] http://novgorod-news dot net/other/2022/08/05/73644.html[52] https://ru.krymr.com/a/news-khronika-novosti-dnia-voyna-rossii-protiv-uk...[53] https://novvedomosti dot ru/news/society/82256/; http://www dot adm.nov.ru/page/46693[54] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign... https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...[55] https://vnru dot ru/news/65811-zhitelej-novgorodchiny-zamanivayut-v-armiyu-gubernatorskoj-vyplatoj-v-250-tysyach.html?utm_source=google.com&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=google.com&utm_referrer=google.com; https://vk.com/wall624238400_231[56] https://vnru dot ru/news/63358-novgorodtsam-predlagayut-stat-kontraktnikami-i-prinyat-uchastie-v-spetsoperatsii.html[57] https://www dot bragazeta.ru/news/2022/08/16/v-bryanskoj-oblasti-sformiruyut-imennoe-podrazdelenie-dlya-uchastiya-v-specoperacii/ ; https://newsbryansk dot ru/fn_1123355.html [58] https://gordonua dot com/news/war/v-rossii-sorvalos-formirovanie-tankovogo-batalona-ne-nashlos-zhelayushchih-1621660.html[59] https://47news dot ru/articles/217028/[60] https://t.me/BalitskyVGA/177 [61] https://t.me/andriyshTime/2354 [62] https://t.me/mariupolrada/10573; https://t.me/mariupolrada/10572[63] https://twitter.com/JayinKyiv/status/1559079545944276992; https://twitter.com/JayinKyiv/status/1559082389305004034[64] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/414

[Author: Peter Mills]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/15/22 10:15pm
 Kateryna Stepanenko, Grace Mappes, Layne Philipson, Angela Howard, George Barros, and Frederick W. KaganAugust 15, 8:00 pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Elements of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) militia reportedly refused to continue fighting in Donetsk Oblast and complained about the grueling pace of offensives outside of Luhansk Oblast. The emotional significance of recent Russian targets in Donetsk Oblast resonates with audiences in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), but not with LNR audiences tired of grueling offensives beyond their claimed borders. Several Ukrainian channels shared a video on August 15 of soldiers from LNR Battalion 2740 refusing to fight for the DNR.[1] The soldiers claim that they celebrated victory on July 3, when LNR forces reached the borders of Luhansk Oblast, and that their work is done. At least one Russian milblogger has criticized the LNR servicemembers for desiring Russian support for their own ”liberation” and then refusing to fight in Donetsk Oblast.[2] ISW cannot independently verify the origin or authenticity of this particular video. Its message reflects a larger trend of diminished LNR investment in and morale to support the Russian war in Ukraine, however. This trend is particularly dangerous to Russian forces seeking to recruit still more new soldiers from Luhansk Oblast to make up for recent losses. Further division within Russian-led forces also threatens to further impede the efficiency of the Russian war effort.DNR units have previously recorded similar appeals when operating in Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Kherson Oblasts, which may indicate that proxy troops might not fully support the Kremlin’s expansive invasion plans. ISW has previously reported that servicemen of the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the DNR’s 105th Infantry Regiment complained when the unit was redeployed from Mariupol to Luhansk Oblast in late May.[3] The 113th Regiment of the DNR also published a similar appeal from the Kherson Oblast frontlines in early June.[4] Another serviceman of an unspecified DNR battalion complained that Russian border guards held the unit at the Belgorod Oblast border after the unit fought around Kharkiv City in mid-May to allow Russian units to withdraw first.[5] DNR-based war correspondents have been boasting about the DNR progress around Avdiivka, but such attitudes may sour again if the DNR units are recommitted to another axis.Russia’s annual Technical Forum and Army Games which began in Moscow on August 13 do not represent any immediate military threat to Ukraine. The forum and army games are not military exercises. The forum is the Kremlin’s premier annual military-industrial complex exposition and generates reliable arms sale revenue, which the Kremlin uses to supplement income lost due to sanctions.[6] The Army Games are a complementary series of competitive military sporting events that the Kremlin uses to demonstrate Russian weapons systems in the field and develop relationships with foreign militaries. This year’s Army Technical Forum will be held from August 15 to August 21 and the Army Games will run from August 13 to August 27.[7]Key TakeawaysA reported video of LNR servicemen refusing to fight in Donetsk Oblast suggests further division among Russian-led forces.Russian forces attempted several limited ground assaults northwest of Slovyansk.Russian forces conducted multiple offensive operations east and southeast of Siversk and northeast and southeast of Bakhmut.Russian forces continued conducting offensive operations northwest, west, and southwest of Donetsk City.Russian forces conducted a limited ground assault north of Kharkiv City.Russian and Ukrainian forces continued to trade accusations of shelling the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant.St. Petersburg authorities officially denied summoning local men to military recruitment and enlistment centers for discussions of contract service.Russian occupation authorities continued preparations for the integration of occupied territories of Ukraine into Russia.  We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces attempted limited ground attacks northwest of Slovyansk on August 15. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces withdrew following unsuccessful assaults in the Mazanivka direction (24km northwest of Slovyansk) and the Dolyna direction (20km northwest of Slovyansk).[8] Russian forces also failed in their attempts to dislodge Ukrainian forces with concentrated artillery fire in Krasnopillya and Mazanivka (both about 24km northwest of Slovyansk), Hrushuvakha (30km west of Izyum), and Asiivka (45km northwest of Izyum).[9] Russian artillery also continued routine shelling and strikes on Slovyansk, northwest of Izyum, and along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border, including near Zalyman, Bohorodychne, Brazhkivka, and Virnopillya.[10]Russian forces conducted multiple offensive operations east and southeast of Siversk on August 15. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian attempts to advance toward settlements east and southeast of Siversk were all unsuccessful.[11] Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov claimed that Chechen “Akhmat” special forces (SPETSNAZ) gained unspecified strategically important grounds around Siversk, confirming that Chechen units are still operating on the Siversk-Lysychansk axis.[12] Russian aviation operated near Spirne and Pryshyb.[13] Russian media additionally shared footage of Russians using loitering munitions to strike Ukrainian positions near Siversk.[14] Russian forces continued routine shelling of the Siversk area on August 15.[15]Russian forces continued ground attacks northeast and southeast of Bakhmut on August 15, and made limited territorial gains. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces withdrew to their original positions after conducting unsuccessful offensives in the directions of Soledar (10km northeast of Bakhmut), Kodema (20km southeast of Bakhmut), and Vershyna (15km southeast of Bakhmut).[16] Geolocated footage showed that unspecified Russian Cossack units advanced to the Knauf Gips Donbas gypsum factory southeast of Soledar, and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) Ambassador to Russia Rodion Miroshnik claimed that Russian forces are “clearing out” Soledar.[17] Proxy officials have claimed control over the Knauf factory since August 5, and it is likely that they are exaggerating the extent of Russian advances in Soledar.[18] The Ukrainian General Staff also stated that Russian forces intensified reconnaissance in the Bakhmut direction and conducted airstrikes near Soledar and Yakolivka (16km northeast of Bakhmut).[19] Russian forces also continued shelling settlements in the Bakhmut direction, including the city itself.[20]Russian forces continued to conduct offensive operations around Avdiivka on August 15. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces retreated after launching unsuccessful offensive operations to improve tactical positions around Pisky, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, and Staromykhailivka, all situated southwest of Avdiivka.[21] Russian Telegram channels claimed that the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) 100th Brigade pushed Ukrainian forces towards Pervomaiske using infantry assault groups and MLRS support, but geolocated footage shows that both Ukrainian and Russian forces are engaged in heavy artillery combat around Avdiivka.[22]Russian forces launched ground assaults in an effort to break Ukrainian defenses southwest of Donetsk City on August 15. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully launched assaults in the directions of Novomykhaylivka, Volodymyrivka, Pavlivka, and Vodyane, all situated southwest of Donetsk City and near the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border. DNR Deputy Information Minister Daniil Bezsonov claimed that Russian forces have broken Ukrainian defenses around Vuhledar (about 50km southwest of Donetsk City) but did not provide concrete details of the advance.[23] Russian forces likely intensified their attacks in the area in an effort to gain control over the T0524 highway to Donetsk City.[24] The DNR claimed that the DNR 107th Battalion is advancing in Mariinka, approximately 22km west of Donetsk City.[25] Russian forces continued to target Ukrainian-held territories west of Donetsk City using airstrikes and tank, tube, and rocket artillery.[26]Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces conducted limited offensive operations along the Kharkiv City axis on August 15. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces from Kozacha Lopan again unsuccessfully attempted to break Ukrainian lines of defense near Udy.[27] Russian sources have claimed control of Udy since August 13 but have yet to produce evidence of any reported gains.[28] Russian forces also targeted settlements approximately 40 km north, east, and southeast of Kharkiv City with airstrikes.[29] Russian forces continued to target Kharkiv City and surrounding settlements with unspecified missiles and tube, tank, and rocket artillery.[30] Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Russian and Ukrainian forces again exchanged accusations of shelling the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) in Enerhodar, Zaporizhia Oblast on August 15. Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces fired Western-provided M777 rounds at Enerhodar, but provided no evidence for these claims.[31] Russian sources also rejected the August 14 international call for Russian forces to leave the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP and doubled down on accusing Ukrainian forces of shelling the NPP and Western states of overinvolvement and misplaced blame.[32] Russian forces shelled Nikopol and Marhanets (across the Dnipro River from Enerhodar) with MLRS systems.[33]Russian forces did not conduct any reported ground assaults on the Southern Axis on August 15 but continued shelling across the entire southern front line.[34] Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported that Russian forces on the Southern Axis have not changed their troop composition or position as of August 15.[35] Kherson Oblast Military Administration Head Serhiy Khlan stated on August 15 that Ukrainian strikes on the bridges leading to upper Kherson Oblast have rendered the bridges inoperable to heavy equipment.[36] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted airstrikes on Andriivka, Bilohirka, and Lozove near the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River in northwestern Kherson Oblast, and near Myrne and Blahodatne, northwest of Kherson City.[37] Russian forces also conducted airstrikes on Shcherbaky on the T0812 highway, and Charivne south of Tavriiske, Zaporizhia Oblast.[38] Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command also reported that Russian forces launched missiles from S-300 air defense systems on educational and civilian infrastructure in Mykolaiv City.[39] Russian forces continued shelling along the line of contact.[40]Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported that Ukrainian forces struck Russian ammunition depots in Blahodativka near the bridgehead at Lozove, and Novopetrivka in northern Kherson Oblast.[41] Ukrainian sources reported that Ukrainian partisans blew up a rail bridge on the southwestern outskirts of Melitopol on August 13 that Russian forces frequently used to transport military equipment between the south and the east.[42] Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)St. Petersburg officials denied sending local men letters summoning them to military recruitment and enlistment centers on August 15, after local media outlet Fontanka reported that men received calls and letters from military recruitment centers on August 13.[43] The local officials claimed that unknown provocateurs distributed the fake letters asking men to immediately appear at the military recruitment center. Local officials also denied distributing any conscription notices. ISW reported on August 14 that a St. Petersburg military recruitment center confirmed to Fontanka that its staff distributed the letters and called men into the office to advertise contract service.[44]These letters and calls are not conscription notices and do not indicate that Russia has instituted general conscription, as men who have responded to the summonses discussed prospects for contract service with military recruiters. Russian law also requires conscripts to receive written notice of conscription.[45] Russian lawyers have previously warned that military recruitment centers illegally mimic conscription notices left at the mailbox or via spam calls to lure men to sign military contracts upon arrival to the center, but such deception is not a part of Russia’s biannual conscription drive.[46] Russian Telegram channels previously featured reports of men receiving similar misleading summonses in Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Tyumen, Perm, and Tolyatti cities the week of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.[47]St. Petersburg officials’ denial of the distribution of summonses is a microcosm of the Kremlin’s fear of public pushback should Russia attempt to conduct a full-scale mobilization. Social media comments under the Fontanka article discounted the letters as another attempt to scare men into signing military contracts on their own terms (with high pay and benefits) rather than waiting until general mobilization.[48] These commenters also expressed their knowledge of their rights and Russian conscription laws, which indicates that St. Petersburg residents are prepared to oppose illegal efforts at coercive mobilization. St. Petersburg is home to many conscription lawyers and human rights organizations, such as the Soldiers’ Mothers of St. Petersburg, which could explain the unsurprised reaction of local social media users.[49] The distribution of the summonses also indicates that the Kremlin is continuing its pre-war attempts to mislead and coerce men who are unaware of their rights into signing military contracts to reinforce Russian war efforts in Ukraine.Russian occupation authorities continued covert mobilization efforts in Mariupol by offering residents non-military related jobs in occupied Donetsk Oblast territories. The Mariupol City Council reported that Russian occupation authorities are sending Mariupol residents text messages offering jobs in a “paramilitary mining rescue service” or as drivers before deploying the recruits to Donetsk City, Horlivka, and Makiivka.[50] Advisor to the Mariupol Mayor Petro Andryushenko reposted an advertisement urging Mariupol men to seek employment with the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) police forces without any required prior experience.[51] Andryushenko noted that the DNR is likely attempting to reinforce its troops rather than recruiting additional police forces.[52]Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Russian occupation authorities continued setting conditions for long-term Russian control of occupied territories in Ukraine. The UK Ministry of Defense reported on August 15 that Russian occupation officials are likely in the “advanced planning stages” for a referendum to join Russia but that it is unclear if they have determined to proceed with a vote.[53] Ukrainian Kherson Oblast Administration Advisor Serhiy Khlan reported on August 14 that Russian occupation authorities are planning a seminar for educators in occupied territories and Russian officials, including Russian Minister of Education Sergey Kravtsov, in Henichesk on August 26-27.[54] The aim of this seminar is likely to coordinate education integration with Russia.[55] Khlan also stated that Russian officials plan to launch the propaganda TV company “Tavria” on August 15, emphasizing that “Tavria” newspapers previously spread in Kakhovka, Kherson Oblast, presenting Ukrainian authorities as “fascists.”[56] The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) reported that Kherson car owners received the first batch of Russian-model license plates and driver’s licenses on August 12.[57]Russian authorities continued incentivizing Russian citizens to work in occupied territories in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on August 15 that the Russian government is offering Belgorod Oblast administration employees and employees of Russian state institutions double their salaries to work in the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics (DNR and LNR).[58] GUR also stated that Belgorod Oblast leadership is responsible for supporting occupation efforts in Bilokurakyne and  Troitske, Luhansk Oblast, and that Belgorod Oblast teachers will start working in these areas in September.[59]Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports.  References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update. [1] https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1558997616003895298; https://t.me/stranaua/57912; https://www.unian dot net/war/den-pobedy-byl-3-iyulya-mobilizovannye-iz-lnr-ne-hotyat-voevat-za-dnr-video-novosti-vtorzheniya-rossii-na-ukrainu-11941770.html; https://t dot me/kazansky2017/3668; https://tsn dot ua/ato/ne-hochut-vmirati-na-chuzhini-boyoviki-lnr-zayavili-scho-voni-ne-hochut-voyuvati-za-dnr-2134306.html [2] https://t.me/romanov_92/24285 [3] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-may-24 [4] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-june-2 [5] https://twitter.com/markito0171/status/1525032212164497408; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-may-13 [6] https://tass dot ru/armiya-i-opk/12194589 [7] https://tvzvezda dot ru/news/20228151457-WB4XC.html; https://tvzvezda dot ru/news/2022815155-rWY6M.html [8]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl [9]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0LnFTsFAjTDygySSfCbDApTuZQDtGsLGurBdf2ChLoPbKR9bimhQLodkj7f483zW4l [10] https://t.me/kramatorsk_rada/5345; https://t.me/slv_vca/3338;  https://t.me/synegubov/3909; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0LnFTsFAjTDygySSfCbDApTuZQDtGsLGurBdf2ChLoPbKR9bimhQLodkj7f483zW4l [11]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl [12] https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/2698 [13]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl; https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/5015 [14] https://t.me/sashakots/34946 [15]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0LnFTsFAjTDygySSfCbDApTuZQDtGsLGurBdf2ChLoPbKR9bimhQLodkj7f483zW4l; https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/5015; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl[16]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0LnFTsFAjTDygySSfCbDApTuZQDtGsLGurBdf2ChLoPbKR9bimhQLodkj7f483zW4l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl [17] https://twitter.com/200_zoka/status/1558909513507405824; https://twitter.com/zcjbrooker/status/1558913181451526144; https://twitter.com/GeoConfirmed/status/1558929481859043329; https://twitter.com/GeoConfirmed/status/1558929487194210304; https://twitter.com/GeoConfirmed/status/1558929489228349440; https://t.me/wargonzo/7874;  https://t.me/miroshnik_r/8311 [18] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-5 [19] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0LnFTsFAjTDygySSfCbDApTuZQDtGsLGurBdf2ChLoPbKR9bimhQLodkj7f483zW4l [20]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0LnFTsFAjTDygySSfCbDApTuZQDtGsLGurBdf2ChLoPbKR9bimhQLodkj7f483zW4l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl; https://t.me/stranaua/57833 [21]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0LnFTsFAjTDygySSfCbDApTuZQDtGsLGurBdf2ChLoPbKR9bimhQLodkj7f483zW4l [22] https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1559180958099726341; https://twitter.com/Haruspexut/status/1559157986504937473; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1559149777794760706; https://t.me/stranaua/57953; https://t.me/milchronicles/1022; https://t.me/milchronicles/1021 [23] https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/16613; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39274; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/16613 [24]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0LnFTsFAjTDygySSfCbDApTuZQDtGsLGurBdf2ChLoPbKR9bimhQLodkj7f483zW4l [25] https://t.me/nm_dnr/8761 [26]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0LnFTsFAjTDygySSfCbDApTuZQDtGsLGurBdf2ChLoPbKR9bimhQLodkj7f483zW4l [27]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl [28] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-14; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-13; https://t.me/mod_russia/18586; https://t.me/rybar/37117; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/60388; https://t.me/readovkanews/40215; https://t.me/rybar/37223 [29]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0LnFTsFAjTDygySSfCbDApTuZQDtGsLGurBdf2ChLoPbKR9bimhQLodkj7f483zW4l [30]https://t.me/synegubov/3909; https://t.me/stranaua/57910; https://t.me/stranaua/57886; https://t.me/stranaua/57885; https://t.me/stranaua/57884; https://t.me/stranaua/57882; https://t.me/stranaua/57881; https://t.me/synegubov/3910; https://t.me/synegubov/3911; https://t.me/synegubov/3912; https://t.me/stranaua/57930; https://t.me/rybar/37223; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0LnFTsFAjTDygySSfCbDApTuZQDtGsLGurBdf2ChLoPbKR9bimhQLodkj7f483zW4l [31] https://t.me/vrogov/4134; https://t.me/readovkanews/40247; https://t.me/stranaua/57939; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/9963; https://t.me/rlz_the_kraken/51946 [32] https://ria dot ru/20220815/aes-1809586326.html; https://tass dot ru/politika/15474549; https://t.me/kommunist/8436; https://t.me/rybar/37237; https://t.me/Sladkov_plus/6046 [33] https://t.me/stranaua/57869; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=569579461317317 [34] https://t.me/khersonskaODA/821; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0LnFTsFAjTDygySSfCbDApTuZQDtGsLGurBdf2ChLoPbKR9bimhQLodkj7f483zW4l [35] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=569579461317317 [36] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid025XDA9btzWhWosGngg9ebRRi1W5bfn5StWQYG4twiB4wnejfVUnqJqatpueaGNgZbl?__cft__[0]=AZWkzKxP4vBprMFA69AaV_rctknFy2-pdcOkjhzbdCgRqkBi8EvjOY1IiGvd0pGNBDgc2Jf3LrLuOuHKDPLXVRGE4lqTOEoPsiGXgt97CEw3i4iOJgSU6yWf3BUdK4x8pjAMLRdSZgTLoFePQntSrBmHCKPIXxCy5zjpnMBlqvgSLw&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R [37] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0LnFTsFAjTDygySSfCbDApTuZQDtGsLGurBdf2ChLoPbKR9bimhQLodkj7f483zW4l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl [38] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0LnFTsFAjTDygySSfCbDApTuZQDtGsLGurBdf2ChLoPbKR9bimhQLodkj7f483zW4l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl [39] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=569579461317317 [40] https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/11707 https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/11699; https://t.me/vilkul/1731; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0LnFTsFAjTDygySSfCbDApTuZQDtGsLGurBdf2ChLoPbKR9bimhQLodkj7f483zW4l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid021PAeBNdTo2WNFk1z2uojMf55ZTXvu5JdKpjSSBRiU9PUzVVe1sxyzCw1KHnmeGoVl; https://t.me/khersonskaODA/821 [41] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=569579461317317 [42] https://sprotyv.mod.gov dot ua/2022/08/15/ukrayinske-pidpillya-pidirvalo-zaliznychnyj-mist-poblyzu-melitopolya/; https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/407 [43] https://forpost-sz dot ru/a/2022-08-15/v-smolnom-nazvali-razoslannye-peterburzhcam-povestki-v-voenkomat-provokaciej; https://www dot fontanka.ru/2022/08/13/71568242/ [44] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-14 [45] https://soldiersmothers dot ru/news/kogo-i-kak-prizyvayut-na-voennye-sbory-instruktsiya-o-poryadke-dejstvij-2 [46] https://t dot me/istories_media/928; http://www dot consultant.ru/document/cons_doc_LAW_18260/89c4b6f3cfb74e2fe8a1c3c7c523591031444778/ [47] https://t.me/istories_media/928 [48] https://www dot fontanka.ru/2022/08/13/71568242/all.comments.html/#comment_id_79900585 [49] https://soldiersmothers dot ru/news/kogo-i-kak-prizyvayut-na-voennye-sbory-instruktsiya-o-poryadke-dejstvij-2; 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[Author: Alexander Mitchell] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/14/22 11:45pm
Kateryna Stepanenko, Karolina Hird, Grace Mappes, and Frederick W. KaganAugust 14, 9:30 pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Russian and proxy troops in Ukraine are likely operating in roughly six groups of forces oriented on Kharkiv City and northeastern Kharkiv Oblast; along the Izyum-Slovyansk line; the Siversk-Lysychansk area; Bakhmut; the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area; and Southern Ukraine. The Kharkiv City and Siversk-Lysychansk groups are likely built around cores drawn from the Western and Central Military Districts respectively. The Izyum-Slovyansk axis is increasingly manned by recently formed volunteer battalions that likely have very low combat power. Wagner Group private military company (PMC) soldiers are in the lead around Bakhmut, while forces drawn from the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) predominate in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area. Troops from the Southern Military District (SMD) likely formed the original core of forces in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts but have been reinforced with troops of the Eastern Military District, Airborne Forces, and Rosgvardia. None of these groupings is homogeneous—elements of various military districts, proxy forces, volunteer units, and other formations are scattered throughout the theater. These dispositions suggest that Moscow is prioritizing the advance around Bakhmut and, possibly, toward Siversk with its Russian forces while seeking to draw on the enthusiasm of DNR forces to seize ground they have failed to take since 2014 on the Avdiivka axis. The high concentration of volunteer battalions around Izyum and Slovyansk suggests that that area is not a focus of Russian attention and may be vulnerable to Ukrainian counterattacks. The congeries of forces in and around Kherson Oblast may pose significant challenges to Russian command and control, especially if Ukrainian forces press a counteroffensive there.Kharkiv City and northeastern Kharkiv Oblast:Mainly Western Military District unitsRussian force composition around Kharkiv City is at least in part composed of Western Military District (WMD) units. The Ukrainian General Staff has identified that Russian forces concentrated WMD units around Kharkiv City and in border areas of Russia’s Kursk and Bryansk Oblasts (northeast of the city).[1]Russian offensive operations on this axis have generally been desultory and suggest a lack of focus, possibly reflected in more limited force deployments.Izyum-Slovyansk line:Mainly Volunteer Battalions and some Eastern Military District unitsRussian forces are likely committing volunteer units and some remaining detachments of the Eastern Military District (EMD) to the Izyum-Slovyansk line and are likely deprioritizing the axis in favor of defending positions in southern Ukraine. Ukrainian military officials reported that EMD elements that had previously supported offensive operations towards Slovyansk have been redeploying to the Southern Axis in an effort to defend occupied territories in western Zaporizhzhia and Kherson Oblasts.[2] Russian outlets and Telegram channels have begun identifying and announcing recruitment for volunteer units operating near Izyum around reports of Ukrainian counteroffensive preparations. Russian media outlet Readovka reported that the volunteer Cossack detachments “Yermak” and “Kuban” are recruiting reinforcements for offensive operations in Kharkiv Oblast, likely around Izyum given that Cossack units have been operating in the area since April.[3] Kremlin-affiliated outlet Kommersant also reported that the “Don” Cossack Detachment that has been fighting around Velyka Komyshyvakha (southwest of Izyum) since April is joining volunteer and other Cossack units (including the ”Kuban” detachment).[4] Russian war correspondent Sasha Kots reported that the “Russian Legion” is recruiting personnel to operate on the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border.[5] The “Russian Legion” has reportedly operated southeast of Izyum since entering Ukraine on May 12. Reliance on volunteer forces may explain the lack of Russian progress and some successful Ukrainian counterattacks on the Izyum-Slovyansk line.Siversk-Lysychansk:Central Military District with some DNR and LNR unitsUnits of the Russian Central Military District (CMD) and some LNR and DNR units are operating on the Siversk-Lysychansk axis and have resumed their offensive operations likely following an operational pause initiated in late July. CMD Commander Colonel General Aleksandr Lapin visited Lysychansk on August 8 and likely ordered CMD troops to resume offensive operations towards Siversk during his visit. The Russian Defense Ministry identified Lapin as responsible for securing Lysychansk on July 3, and he had likely continued to command the troops in the area since then.[6] The grouping has been consistently launching offensive operations in the Siversk area since August 8, whereas they had previously engaged in sporadic limited assaults usually at two-to-three-day intervals.[7] Social media footage published on Twitter on August 5 showed elements of the Russian 55th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the CMD reportedly operating in the direction of Siversk.[8] ISW has previously reported that Russian forces also moved a CMD battalion tactical group (BTG) to the Severodonetsk-Lysychansk area in late June.[9]Bakhmut:Wagner Group with LNR and some WMD unitsDetachments of the Wagner Group private military company (PMC) have been active in Russian efforts to gain ground around Bakhmut and have likely contributed to recent successes in this area. Various Russian and Ukrainian sources reported that Wagner Group mercenaries were instrumental in the previous captures of Pokrovske (due east of Bakhmut), Klynove (18km southeast of Bakhmut), Novoluhanske (25km southeast of Bakhmut), and the Vuhlehirska Power Plant (about 20km southeast of Bakhmut).[10] Russian Telegram channels lauded the work of the Wagner Group in completing the tactically complicated capture of the Vuhlehirska Power Plant on July 26, showing the approval that the Russian information space has recently awarded the Wagner Group.[11] LNR units, such as the 6th Cossack Regiment, and other WMD detachments are operating in the Bakhmut direction as well.[12]The Wagner Group also reportedly maintains a headquarters in Popasna, about 40km northeast of Bakhmut. A Russian miblogger posted imagery on Telegram of his reported visit to the Wagner Group headquarters, which he claimed was in Popasna, on August 9.[13] This location likely allows Wagner Group command to coordinate various offensive operations in northeastern Donetsk Oblast from well within Russian-occupied territory in Luhansk Oblast. Various Russian and Ukrainian sources reported that Ukrainian forces targeted and destroyed the headquarters on August 14, possibly based on geolocation of the aforementioned milblogger’s Telegram post.[14] The strike may impact Wagner’s command and control abilities in the Bakhmut area.Avdiivka-Donetsk City:DNR unitsDNR units, which have been operating in the area since 2014, are operating in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area after likely having participated in operations to seize Luhansk Oblast. DNR-based milbloggers and war correspondents have been publishing footage of the DNR 1st Slavic Brigade, 5th Brigade, and the 11th Regiment making limited advances north and northwest of Donetsk City.[15] The DNR also began advertising volunteer recruitment for the DNR 100th Guards Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, and Ukrainian officials reported that Russian occupation authorities have begun to mobilize men from Mariupol to join DNR efforts.[16] Readovka also identified that one unspecified Cossack detachment is operating around Mariinka, northwest of Donetsk City.[17] ISW has previously assessed that DNR-based milbloggers have increased their coverage of small-scale progress on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City axis likely in an effort to boost morale among DNR and Russian fighters.[18] It is likely that such coverage is aimed at recruiting more DNR fighters to support the attempted breakthroughs around Donetsk City.Southern Ukraine:MixedThe Russian force composition along the Southern Axis is relatively more diverse than that of other axes. Russian military leadership has likely rushed a mix of forces to this area to defend it against an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive, which likely explains the wide variety of force groupings in this area. ISW has observed elements of the 35th and 36th Combined Arms Armies (CAA) of the Eastern Military District (EMD), the 22nd Army Corps of the Black Sea Fleet, the 49th CAA of the Southern Military District (SMD), 76th Guards Air Assault Division, and Rosgvardia throughout Southern Ukraine.[19]Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command noted on August 3 that Russian forces were sending elements of the 35th CAA to northern Kherson Oblast.[20] Various Ukrainian officials reported on August 3 that Ukrainian forces destroyed a command post of the 22nd Army Corps in Chornobaivka, on the outskirts of Kherson City.[21] Ukrainian forces additionally targeted control points of the 76th Air Assault Division in Chornobaivka on August 5.[22] Elements of the 49th CAA reportedly have been active on the western bank of the Dnipro River, particularly in the Snihurivka area of Mykolaiv Oblast.[23] Deputy Chief of Ukraine’s Main Operational Department of the General Staff Oleksiy Gromov stated on August 4 that elements of Rosgvardia (Russia’s internal military force) moved to the eastern bank of Dnipro River, suggesting that Russian forces are prioritizing securing the defense of this bank.[24]Key TakeawaysRussian and proxy troops in Ukraine are operating in roughly six force groupings.Russian forces conducted ground attacks north of Kharkiv City, northwest of Slovyansk, east of Siversk, and made unspecified gains around Bakhmut.Ukrainian forces reportedly struck a Wagner force concentration in Popasna, Luhansk Oblast, inflicting casualties.Forty-two states called on Russian forces to withdraw from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Enerhodar, just two to four hours before another strike hit Enerhodar.Ukrainian forces struck the Antonivsky road bridge, likely keeping all three road bridges to and on the right bank of the Dnipro inoperable to heavy equipment.Russian military recruitment and enlistment centers continue to face challenges in incentivizing Russians to sign military service contracts.Russian occupation authorities continued rubleization measures and civilian data collection in occupied territories to set conditions for annexation referenda.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack northwest of Slovyansk on August 14. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops tried to break through Ukrainian defensive lines in Dolyna, about 20km northwest of Slovyansk along the E40 Izyum-Slovyansk highway.[25] Russian forces continued artillery strikes between Izyum and Slovyansk, particularly along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border near Krasnopillya, Dibrovne, Kurulka, and Bohorodychne.[26]Russian forces conducted several ground attacks around Siversk on August 14. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian troops conducted reconnaissance-in-force operations near Serebryanka (11km northeast of Siversk) and Vesele (21km southeast of Siversk).[27] Russian forces additionally attempted to advance from Spirne and Ivano-Darivka, 20km and 15km southeast of Siversk, respectively.[28] Russian Telegram channels claimed that Russian forces have seized checkpoints in Spirne and now control the settlement, but ISW cannot independently confirm these claims at this time.[29]Several Russian and Ukrainian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted a strike (potentially with HIMARS) on a force concentration of the Wagner Group private military company (PMC) in Popasna (east of the Siversk-Bakhmut line) on August 14.[30] Russian Telegram channels reported that the Wagner Group suffered losses as a result of the strike.[31] The Wagner Group has been active in operations in the Popasna-Bakhmut area specifically and has likely contributed to Russian combat capabilities in this area, as ISW has previously reported.[32]Russian forces continued ground attacks east and south of Bakhmut and made partial gains in this area on August 14. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces had “partial success” in the direction of Bakhmut, but offered no specifics.[33] Russian forces reportedly fought around Soledar and Yakovlivka, both within 15km northeast of Bakhmut along the T1302 Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway.[34] Russian forces also continued fighting southeast of Bakhmut around Vershyna (15km southeast of Bakhmut), Kodema (20km southeast of Bakhmut), and Zaitseve (10km southeast of Bakhmut).[35] Russian sources claimed that Russian troops are advancing from positions in Vershyna towards the outskirts of Zaitseve and will continue to push north towards Bakhmut from Zaitseve.[36]Russian forces conducted ground attacks north and northwest of Donetsk City on August 14. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian troops repelled a Russian attack on Krasnohorivka, about 20km north of the outskirts of Donetsk City.[37] Ukraine’s Eastern Command Spokesperson Serihy Cherevatyi notably contested the Russian Ministry of Defense’s August 13 claim that Russian troops had taken full control of Pisky.[38] Cherevatyi stated that Russian forces are still actively fighting in Pisky and towards Pervomaiske (about 10km northwest of Pisky along the E50 highway), but that Ukrainian troops retain control of the town.[39] Cherevatyi’s assertion is supported by geolocated footage of a Russian strike on a building in Pisky, which suggests that the Russians are still targeting Ukrainian troops within the settlement rather than fully controlling it.[40] Russian sources also claimed that Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) troops have begun fighting towards Nevelske, just 1km west of Pisky.[41] While Russian forces likely have not cleared the entirety of Pisky, they are likely consolidating their positions in order to launch further attacks westward.Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks southwest of Donetsk City on August 14. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces attacked Pavlivka, Vremivka, and Prechystivka, all settlements within about 25km of the Zaporizhzhia-Donetsk Oblast border.[42] Russian troops continued air and artillery strikes in the area between Donetsk City and the southwestern oblast border.[43]Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack north of Kharkiv City on August 14. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian reconnaissance-in-force attempt near Pytomnyk, about 10km north of Kharkiv City.[44] The Russian Defense Ministry formally claimed that Russian forces took Udy, echoing Russian sources’ August 13 claims, but there is no further evidence to support this claim.[45] Russian forces conducted airstrikes north of Kharkiv City near Pytomnyk and northeast of Kharkiv City near Peremoha and Verkhnii Saltiv.[46] Russian forces continued shelling settlements north, northeast, and east of Kharkiv City.[47] Kharkiv Oblast Head Oleg Synegubov stated that Russian forces struck the Kyivskyi District of Kharkiv City with incendiary munitions on the evening of August 13.[48]Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Forty-two states, including all European Union members, released a joint statement calling on Russia to immediately withdraw from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in occupied Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast around 0500-0600 ET on August 14, just two to four hours before further strikes hit the city. Ukrainian government sources reported that Russian forces fired six rounds at Enerhodar at 1500-1530 Ukrainian time (0800-0830 ET) on August 14, killing an employee of the NPP.[49] Russian sources accused Ukrainian forces of striking the NPP with foreign-manufactured kamikaze drones, GMLRS rockets, and NATO artillery systems.[50] ISW reported on August 13 that geolocated footage shows a Russian Pion 203mm artillery system operating roughly 11km from the Zaporizhzhia NPP.[51]Ukrainian forces again struck the Antonivsky road bridge near Kherson City overnight on August 13-14, likely ensuring that all three road bridges into central Kherson Oblast remain unusable.[52] Ukrainian government sources confirmed that Ukrainian forces struck the Antonivsky road bridge and stated that military convoys cannot cross the bridge.[53] Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command stated that Ukrainian forces are continuing to target Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs).[54] Footage of the strikes shows explosions from the Antonivsky Bridge as the missiles likely struck Russian military equipment, ammunition, or fuel transports on the bridge.[55] Ukrainian First Deputy Head of Kherson Oblast Rada (parliament) Yuriy Sobolevskyi claimed that a significant portion of the Russian military command left Kherson City, likely to avoid being trapped in Kherson City if Ukrainian strikes cut off all GLOCs connecting the right bank of the Dnipro River to the Russian rear.[56]Russian forces did not make any confirmed territorial gains on the Southern Axis on August 14. Ukraine's Southern Operational Command reported that two Russian airborne detachments of an unspecified echelon attempted a failed ground assault towards Lozove, Kherson Oblast.[57] Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command also reported that Ukrainian forces conducted successful missile strikes on Russian ammunition depots in Muzykivka and Nova Kakhovka, Kherson Oblast.[58] An explosion occurred in the port of Berdyansk, Zaporizhzhia Oblast.[59] Zaporizhzhia occupation official Vladimir Rogov claimed that a failure in fire safety protocols resulted in the explosion.[60] Ukrainian forces have previously struck the port of Berdyansk and partisans have been active in Berdyansk in recent weeks.[61] Russian forces intensified airstrikes along the line of contact in Kherson Oblast, including striking Bila Krynytsa, Velyke Artakove, and Bilohirka, Kherson Oblast.[62]  Russian forces fired on Nikopol, Maharets, and Kryvyi Rih district, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, damaging civilian and critical infrastructure.[63] Russian forces struck residential areas and port infrastructure of Mykolaiv City with GMLRS rounds and continued shelling along the entire line of contact.[64]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian military recruitment and enlistment centers continue to face challenges in incentivizing Russians to sign military service contracts. St. Petersburg-based outlet Fontanka reported that military-aged men (some as old as 49 years of age) began receiving letters and calls ordering them to show up in military recruitment centers to chat about contract service.[65] Fontanka followed one of these men to the military recruitment center and observed that the officials required the man to sign a waiver stating that he is not interested in contract service. ISW has previously reported that Russian lawyers warned against responding to such letters and calls, as it is one way that Russian authorities coerce men into signing contracts.[66]A senior assistant of a local military commissariat told Fontanka that the center has only deployed three or four contracted soldiers to Ukraine in total, while 15 other people who had expressed interest in contract service did not complete their documentation. The senior assistant noted that the recruitment center collects written refusals to sign military contracts to show leadership that they attempted to fulfill their orders but were unsuccessful in incentivizing recruits. The senior assistant added that the recruitment center would take at least a year to form a volunteer unit in peacetime and that the interest in contract service has significantly decreased since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.The report also supports ISW’s assessment that Russian forces are treating all security forces as prospective manpower in Ukraine, as Fontanka noted that a policeman received a similar letter to appear at the military recruitment center. The report added that the military recruitment center staff was not enthusiastic about promoting contract service, likely echoing general disinterest among residents of large cities to participate in the war. The military recruitment center offered the summoned men the same pay and benefits as offered by Russian federal subjects (regions) to recruits for the volunteer battalions, which indicates that the Kremlin is conducting a large-scale recruitment campaign through different portals with likely limited success.The federal subjects are likely unable to generate the necessary number of recruits in a short time period and are increasing financial incentives to meet the deadlines. The Republic of Tatarstan announced that recruits for the “Alga” and “Timer” Volunteer Battalions would receive a one-time enlistment payment of 360,000 rubles (approximately 5,800) instead of the initially advertised 260,000 rubles (about $4,200).[67] The Republic of Tatarstan likely increased its offered enlistment bonus due to a lack of recruits. ISW previously reported that the Republic of Tatarstan likely misreported the number of enlisted and prospective recruits in an effort to garner more interest in volunteer battalions.[68]Russian local media outlets identified an additional volunteer unit that will be joining the recently-announced 3rd Army Corps. The Novosibirsk-based “Vega” Volunteer Battalion reportedly participated in a celebratory ceremony for their deployment to an unspecified area on August 12.[69] Local outlets continued to advertise the benefits of contract service in volunteer battalions, suggesting that Novosibirsk Oblast has not yet met its quota of recruits. ISW has previously identified that Penza and Samara Oblasts’ volunteer battalions will serve as parts of the 3rd Army Corps, which further supports ISW’s initial assessment that the new 3rd Army Corps will be at least in part composed of recent recruits.[70]Unknown assailants continued to target Russian military recruitment centers throughout Russia. Kremlin-sponsored outlet RIA Novosti claimed that police detained two followers of the Antifa Movement who attempted to set a military recruitment center in Krasnoyarsk Krai on fire on August 10.[71] Russian online outlet News.Ru reported that there have been over 20 attempts to set Russian military recruitment centers on fire since the first incident on February 28 in Lukhovitsy, Moscow Oblast.[72]Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Russian occupation authorities continued efforts to increase control of occupied territories through rubleization measures and collection of civilian data to set conditions for annexation referenda. Deputy Head of the Kherson occupation administration Kirill Stremousov stated that businesses in occupied Kherson Oblast are seeking to exclusively conduct business with rubles instead of hryvnias.[73] Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported that Kherson City occupation authorities are pressuring ambulance workers to sign forms consenting to work for the new occupation government and receive payments in rubles rather than hryvnias.[74] GUR also stated that Russian occupation authorities are continuing to collect personal passport data from recipients of humanitarian aid, civilians who contact the occupation government, and customers of Russian mobile phone services.[75] Occupation authorities can leverage financial incentives and personal information to coerce Ukrainian civilians into cooperating with the occupation government, including coercion to vote in favor of the referenda. Ukrainian Luhansk Oblast Head Serhiy Haidai stated that Russian occupation authorities are campaigning for a referendum among displaced civilians in Svatove, Luhansk Oblast, promising to “solve all their problems” if the displaced civilians vote in favor of the referendum.[76]Note:  ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports.  References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update.[1] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-1; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02PUdiDteq3vuMhso5TptHKTBKyzJMU9yfv16t61NjA9uZtas9gBjfLDJa41DjU8U8l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0eyyqxZ5FHVYBFfgwDfSj4GDiQ2fGo7wc6dxhf2ch3EkRCQS1qWGUVg7kGELVBcnwl[2] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-1; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-18[3] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-12-0[4] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-9[5] https://t.me/sashakots/34803  [6] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-3; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-june-25[7] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-6; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-7; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-8; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-9; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-11; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-12-0; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-13; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-5; 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https://twitter.com/KofmanMichael/status/1552978414801412097; https://realist dot online/politika/armija-bolotnikh-smuhastikiv-navishcho-voroh-nakopichuje-desantni-sili-na-pivdni-ukrajini-; https://twitter.com/The_Lookout_N/status/1552975051204575237; https://t.co/LpJOwicgnC; https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1557099670786252805?s=20&t=awfrFrtXAE3XdmOAOts-XA; https://lb dot ua/society/2022/08/04/525295_vorog_prodovzhuie_pidgotovku.htm; https://ua dot interfax.com.ua/news/general/850517.html; https://www dot ukrinform.ua/rubric-ato/3543522-na-hersonsini-vijskovih-rf-lakaut-zagorodzuvalnimi-zagonami-cecenciv.html; https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1555155302412173315; https://vk.com/anti_terrorism?w=wall-107187851_166517     [20] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=400798705452366 [21] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=400798705452366; https://t.me/khersonskaODA/768; https://t.me/spravdi/14718 [22] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=784657516308592; https://twitter.com/KofmanMichael/status/1552978414801412097; 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https://t.me/RVvoenkor/22963 [30] https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39265; https://t.me/readovkanews/40200; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/60453; https://t.me/rsotmdivision/446?single; https://t.me/milinfolive/88701  [31] https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39265+; https://t.me/readovkanews/40200; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/60453; https://t.me/rsotmdivision/446?single; https://t.me/milinfolive/88701  [32] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-28; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-25; https://t.me/grey_zone/14694; https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1557820121451823104?s=20&t=qa3eJ6FR4UgsBEUKxCoj4Av; https://t.me/kommunist/8232 ;  https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1552874663612764162?s=20&t=ca91i4BLZeDT4jDF3YPM9Q; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/38683   [33] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02dS6vVBWGgYyKwo1G2Gxt9F6zfD8TngPr9habpyPiS5UkHup9qaELe3hrymmJGYWql [34] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02dS6vVBWGgYyKwo1G2Gxt9F6zfD8TngPr9habpyPiS5UkHup9qaELe3hrymmJGYWql; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid031X2bQGnsXcJwMwaYXbhT541SBDATPRc2n5w8QpMVUy8wT48ZXDdFFWpWFBSj9gfBl; https://twitter.com/JohnH105/status/1558534829565788160; https://t.me/millnr/9274; https://twitter.com/zcjbrooker/status/1558508987708067841; https://t.me/millnr/9274  [35] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02dS6vVBWGgYyKwo1G2Gxt9F6zfD8TngPr9habpyPiS5UkHup9qaELe3hrymmJGYWql; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid031X2bQGnsXcJwMwaYXbhT541SBDATPRc2n5w8QpMVUy8wT48ZXDdFFWpWFBSj9gfBl; https://t.me/kommunist/8403; https://t.me/rybar/37181   [36] https://t.me/rybar/37181; https://t.me/kommunist/8403[37] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02dS6vVBWGgYyKwo1G2Gxt9F6zfD8TngPr9habpyPiS5UkHup9qaELe3hrymmJGYWql; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid031X2bQGnsXcJwMwaYXbhT541SBDATPRc2n5w8QpMVUy8wT48ZXDdFFWpWFBSj9gfBl [38] https://t.me/mod_russia/18560; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8VG2NF6GQI [39] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8VG2NF6GQI [40] https://twitter.com/zcjbrooker/status/1558798234306445312; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1558546027912765442; https://twitter.com/Arvelleg1/status/1558557158198886402[41] https://t.me/nm_dnr/8752; https://t.me/epoddubny/11930[42] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02dS6vVBWGgYyKwo1G2Gxt9F6zfD8TngPr9habpyPiS5UkHup9qaELe3hrymmJGYWql; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid031X2bQGnsXcJwMwaYXbhT541SBDATPRc2n5w8QpMVUy8wT48ZXDdFFWpWFBSj9gfBl  [43] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02dS6vVBWGgYyKwo1G2Gxt9F6zfD8TngPr9habpyPiS5UkHup9qaELe3hrymmJGYWql; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid031X2bQGnsXcJwMwaYXbhT541SBDATPRc2n5w8QpMVUy8wT48ZXDdFFWpWFBSj9gfBl [44] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid031X2bQGnsXcJwMwaYXbhT541SBDATPRc2n5w8QpMVUy8wT48ZXDdFFWpWFBSj9gfBl[45] https://t.me/mod_russia/18586; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-13; https://t.me/rybar/37117; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/60388[46] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02dS6vVBWGgYyKwo1G2Gxt9F6zfD8TngPr9habpyPiS5UkHup9qaELe3hrymmJGYWql; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid031X2bQGnsXcJwMwaYXbhT541SBDATPRc2n5w8QpMVUy8wT48ZXDdFFWpWFBSj9gfBl[47] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02dS6vVBWGgYyKwo1G2Gxt9F6zfD8TngPr9habpyPiS5UkHup9qaELe3hrymmJGYWql; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid031X2bQGnsXcJwMwaYXbhT541SBDATPRc2n5w8QpMVUy8wT48ZXDdFFWpWFBSj9gfBl[48] https://t.me/synegubov/3902[49] https://t.me/orlovdmytroEn/813; https://t.me/energoatom_ua/8919; https://t.me/orlovdmytroEn/812; https://t.me/orlovdmytroEn/811[50] https://t.me/rybar/37175; https://t.me/readovkanews/40179[51] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-13[52] https://t.me/RtrDonetsk/8392; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1558712968455626752; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/17107; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1558717126617321473[53] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1206792250115652; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid0HsQncgi4MQr4Yq3D8Pxg9A3CWEBQ1Ut3up7bPsjF2NZVABZE1bJeSq63y9kMBMwFl?__cft__[0]=AZW-12mIAz_woMxpI7KDp5ggbT7zmoMru5WT43yp0VVsFxpotUw1FENBZbxstNNFrX1yytI6_4x1uPgcpPMxqj6OE3LzC-BYWtzA6K8Pof0CXLLV0Jbcsx7lxwG21ylSTi-_NuGlh1SbiXB3NSZfqm6bGs7GF-im9pJCFbExl3agXA&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[54] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1206792250115652[55] https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1558718931799515136?s=20&t=iYA6tbHRfWd4RXdbT9yonw;  https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1558720653347487745?s=20&t=iYA6tbHRfWd4RXdbT9yonw; https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1558723662542508034; https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1558723662542508034; https://t.me/hueviyherson/24007;  https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1558835240122155014[56] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8VG2NF6GQI[57] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=467195038329613[58] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=467195038329613; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02HLwVLvEmuao4PDa8NEG7nrUqosVzxiFuvo2dcNK1y3FQVFWs7QDhVKpk2FH7pp2wl?__cft__[0]=AZUmeNXPWV9OTofp1xSqfJsSLSDxh_POj9ooGl_U--e4_xfFzOi1D7T4I3pXBn-MZwPyXkwqiHqTl_e4GKpQLN86h-vBYpONtxoRAwUJNnxX5wzADLvkhP7y_T0wWzlMdGM_D3QZkdyQaPNAJkSzdrpWmgrZvGklxrCxfdFONgKD9A&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R; https://t.me/zalpalyanytsya/1333[59] https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1558830595240771585; https://twitter.com/Arvelleg1/status/1558816593685221379; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1558814315234426880; https://t.co/DhEnaX8j71; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/17109; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39258; https://t.me/mariupolnow/17457[60] https://t.me/vrogov/4126[61] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-6; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-june-12; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-march-25[62] https://t.me/mod_russia/18586; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02dS6vVBWGgYyKwo1G2Gxt9F6zfD8TngPr9habpyPiS5UkHup9qaELe3hrymmJGYWql; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=467195038329613[63] https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1548; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/1034; https://t.me/vilkul/1717; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/511; https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/08/14/okupanty-obstrilyaly-dva-rajony-dnipropetrovshhyny-z-gradiv-ta-stvolnoyi-artyleriyi/; https://t.me/rybar/37161; 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https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/4987 

[Author: Alexander Mitchell] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/13/22 9:55pm
 Karolina Hird, Grace Mappes, Angela Howard, George Barros, and Frederick W. KaganAugust 13, 8pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Ukrainian forces are continuing efforts to disrupt Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) that support Russian forces on the right bank of the Dnipro River. Ukrainian forces struck the bridge on the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) dam again on August 13, reportedly rendering the bridge unusable by heavy vehicles.[1] Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command had previously reported on August 10 that the Kakhovka HPP dam bridge was unfit for use.[2] The Kakhovka bridge was the only road bridge Russian forces could use following Ukrainian forces’ successful efforts to put the Antonivsky road bridge out of commission. The UK Defense Ministry has claimed that Russian forces now have no bridges usable to bring heavy equipment or supplies over the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast and must rely mainly on the pontoon ferry they have established near the Antonivsky road bridge.[3]  ISW cannot confirm at this time whether Russian forces can use the Antonivsky rail bridge to resupply forces on the right bank of the Dnipro River. Russian forces cannot support mechanized operations at scale without a reliable GLOC.  Bringing ammunition, fuel, and heavy equipment sufficient for offensive or even large-scale defensive operations across pontoon ferries or by air is impractical if not impossible. If Ukrainian forces have disrupted all three bridges and can prevent the Russians from restoring any of them to usability for a protracted period then Russian forces on the west bank of the Dnipro will likely lose the ability to defend themselves against even limited Ukrainian counterattacks.Indicators of degraded Russian supplies resulting from the disruption of Russian GLOCs over the Dnipro River would include: observed fuel and ammunition shortages among Russian forces in western Kherson Oblast; abandoned Russian vehicles; decreased intensity and, finally, cessation of Russian ground assaults and artillery attacks; possibly increased instances of Russian looting; increased reports from Russian soldiers about supply shortfalls; increased numbers of Russian prisoners of war taken by Ukrainian forces; and an observed absence of new heavy machinery transported to western Kherson.  Such indicators could take days or weeks to observe depending on how much Russian forces have been able to stockpile supplies on the west bank of the Dnipro and how successful Ukrainian forces are at finding and destroying those stockpiles while keeping the bridges inoperable.Ukrainian Mykolaiv Oblast Head Vitaly Kim reported that unspecified Russian military command elements left upper Kherson Oblast and relocated to the left bank of the Dnipro River, suggesting that the Russian military leadership is concerned about being trapped on the wrong side of the river.[4] Ukrainian Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs Rostislav Smirnov also stated that Russia has deployed 90% of its air assault forces (presumably 90% of those deployed in Ukraine) to unspecified locations in southern Ukraine to augment Russian defenses or possibly prepare for Russian counteroffensives.[5] It is unclear whether the Russian airborne units Smirnov mentioned are concentrated exclusively in Kherson Oblast or also deployed near Zaporizhia. Elements of the Russian 7th Airborne Division are known to be operating in Kherson Oblast as of at least August 10.[6] The concentration of Russian Airborne Forces in western Kherson Oblast could indicate Russian efforts to use forces to defend against a Ukrainian counteroffensive that they are more likely to be able to exfiltrate by air if they are unable to hold the Ukrainians back or reestablish their GLOCs.  Airborne forces are easier to move by aircraft than regular mechanized forces, of course, although the Russians could find it challenging and very risky to try to move forces by air given Ukrainian attacks on airfields in Kherson Oblast and Russian failure to secure air superiority.Russian forces may be reprioritizing advances in northeastern Donetsk Oblast in order to draw attention from Ukrainian counteroffensive actions in Southern Ukraine. Russian forces had seemingly scaled back offensive actions east of Siversk and conducted sporadic and limited ground attacks while relying heavily on artillery barrages of surrounding settlements since August 6.[7] However, since August 11, Russian forces have increased the number of limited ground attacks in the Siversk area.[8] These attacks, along with continued assaults in the direction of Bakhmut, may constitute an effort to draw Ukrainian materiel and personnel to the Bakhmut-Siversk line in northeastern Donetsk Oblast in order to detract Ukraine’s attention from critical areas in the South, where Ukrainian troops have been conducting effective counterattacks and may be setting conditions to launch a counteroffensive.[9] Russian forces may hope to shift both tactical and rhetorical focus away from the south in order to alleviate pressure on their own operations along the Southern Axis. ISW will continue to monitor the situation around Siversk. Key TakeawaysUkrainian forces are continuing efforts to disrupt Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) that support Russian forces on the right bank of the Dnipro River.Russian forces may be reprioritizing efforts in northeastern Donetsk Oblast in order to draw Ukrainian attention away from the Southern Axis.Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks northwest of Slovyansk, east of Siversk, and south and east of Bakhmut.Russian forces conducted a limited ground assault north of Kharkiv City.Russian and Ukrainian authorities accused each other of shelling the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.Russian authorities are failing to pay Russian reservists and members of volunteer units for service in Ukraine.Russian-backed occupation authorities are likely dealing with internal challenges that are complicating efforts to administer occupation regimes and institute restoration projects in decimated areas of Donbas.  We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks northwest of Slovyansk near the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border on August 13. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to break through Ukrainian defensive lines southwest of Izyum near Nova Dmytrivka (about 32km northwest of Slovyansk) and southeast of Izyum near Dolyna (about 15km northwest of Slovyansk along the E40 highway).[10] Russian forces additionally continued artillery strikes along the Izyum-Slovyansk line and hit Bohorodychne, Dovhenke, Krasnopillya, Dibrovne, Kramatorsk, and Slovyansk.[11]Russian forces may be reprioritizing efforts to advance on Siversk and conducted several limited ground attacks east of Siversk on August 13. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian troops attempted to advance northward on Siversk along the Mykolaivka-Vyimka line.[12] Russian forces also continued efforts to push westward on Siversk from positions at the Lysychansk Oil Refinery in Verkhnokamyanske (13km east of Siversk) and Ivano-Darivka (8km southeast of Siversk).[13] Russian military correspondent Evgeniy Lisitsyn posted footage, reportedly of a Russian military convoy moving towards Siversk, which may correspond with the seeming intensification of ground attacks in this area over the last few days.[14]Russian forces continued ground attacks east and south of Bakhmut on August 13. Russian forces fought northeast of Bakhmut near Yakovlivka (13km northeast of Bakhmut) and are reportedly trying to advance on the eastern outskirts of Soledar (10km northeast of Bakhmut) on the territory of the Knauf Gips Donbas gypsum plant.[15] Several Russian sources claimed that Russian and proxy forces have gained a foothold on the northeastern outskirts of Bakhmut itself and are fighting along Patrice Lulumba Street.[16] ISW cannot independently confirm whether Russian forces are conducting active attacks in Bakhmut, but will continue to monitor the situation. Russian forces additionally continued ground attacks south of Bakhmut and attempted to advance from Vidrodzhennya (15km southeast of Bakhmut), the Vuhlehirske Power Plant (18km southeast of Bakhmut), and Zaitseve (5km south of Bakhmut).[17]Russian forces conducted several ground attacks north and southwest of Donetsk City on August 13. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces attempted to advance through Ukrainian defensive lines in Oleksandropil and Krasnohorivka- 30km and 23km north of Donetsk City, respectively.[18] Russian forces additionally attempted to advance on Avdiivka from Spartak, about 4km south of Avdiivka.[19] The Ukrainian General Staff notes of Russian attacks north and south of Avdiivka are consistent with a statement made by a Russian source that Russian troops are attempting to focus on encircling Avdiivka from the south and north in order to capitalize on recent advances around Pisky and compensate for a generally stymied offensive operations on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.[20] Russian forces additionally attempted to improve their tactical positions near the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border and conducted ground attacks southwest of Donetsk City near Pavlivka and Novosilka.[21] Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces conducted limited ground assaults along the Kharkiv City axis on August 13. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces retreated following UAV reconnaissance and unsuccessful attempts to improve their tactical positions near Pytomnyk (8km from the northern outskirts Kharkiv City).[22] Russian sources claimed that soldiers of the Russian 200th Motorized Rifle Brigade entered Udy (32km from the northern outskirts of Kharkiv City) on August 13.[23] Ukrainian sources did not support this claim, and ISW cannot independently confirm or deny those reports. Russian forces continued to conduct limited airstrikes northeast and southeast of Kharkiv City as well as to target Kharkiv City and surrounding settlements with S-300 missiles, rockets, and shelling.[24] Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks) Russian and Ukrainian authorities again accused each other of shelling the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Enerhodar, Zaporizhia Oblast on August 13. Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported that Russian forces shelled the Zaporizhzhia NPP from positions in Vodyane on the southwestern outskirts of Enerhodar on the Dnipro River, damaging the first block of the pumping station of the Thermal and Underground Communicatons Workshop.[25] Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) Ambassador to Russia Rodion Miroshnik claimed that Ukrainian forces fired nine rounds of unspecified munitions at the NPP from unspecified positions.[26] Geolocated footage posted to Twitter and Telegram on August 13 shows a Russian Pion 203mm artillery system operating roughly 11km from the Zaporizhzhia NPP.[27]Russian forces did not make any confirmed territorial gains on the Southern Axis on August 13. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian ground assaults near Suhky Stavok, Kherson Oblast, confirming a Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River.[28] Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported that Russian forces attempted three failed ground assaults with tank support towards Andriivka, Shyroke, and Oleksandrivka.[29] Russian forces struck Nikopol, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast with 30 Grad MLRS rockets.[30] Ukrainian sources reported loud explosions in Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast and Melitopol, Zaporizhia Oblast, possibly from partisan activity.[31] Russian forces continued shelling along the line of contact.[32]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian reservists and members of “volunteer” units are reporting that Russian authorities have failed to deliver on promised benefits and pay. Russian authorities have reportedly placed recruits with no experience into positions as commanding officers at the company level or higher, failed to provide sufficient food, ammunition, or cigarettes to soldiers, failed to provide for the funeral arrangements of volunteer soldiers killed in action, and dumped soldiers in remote locations in Russia without transport home once their contracts expired. Several volunteers who have already returned home from Ukraine stated that they felt “deceived” and treated worse than regular contract soldiers.[33] Meanwhile, Russian officials have sent contract soldiers who refuse to fight following their deployment to Ukraine to special detention camps in Popasna and Bryanki, Luhansk Oblast, among other locations.[34] Russian officials continue to struggle to replace large personnel losses, prevent desertion, and to fund and logistically support the enticements necessary to do so.Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Russian-backed occupation administrations are likely experiencing internal challenges that are preventing the coherent implementation of occupation regimes and impairing the ability of occupation officials to conduct reconstruction projects in decimated areas of Donbas. Workers from Russian water services company Mosvodokanal posted a video appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin wherein they claimed that they never received payment for their work in Schastia, Luhansk Oblast.[35]  Mariupol Mayor Advisor Petro Andryushchenko similarly noted that Russian authorities brought workers from St. Petersburg to Mariupol and neglected to pay them. [36]The prevalence of imported Russian labor in occupied regions of Ukraine suggests that Russian occupation authorities are struggling to persuade or forcibly coerce meaningful numbers of Ukrainian residents to work on reconstruction projects and may fit into the wider Kremlin campaign of population displacement by importing Russian citizens to Ukraine with promises of financial compensation. However, consistent reports that such Russian citizens have not been paid for their work in occupied areas of Ukraine indicate that occupation administrations lack coherent plans and financial backing from the Kremlin to carry out occupation agendas beyond employing Russians to work on service projects. Russian-backed occupation administrations are likely facing internal fragmentation over occupation agendas, as ISW has previously noted, which are likely exacerbated by a lack of direction and support from the Kremlin.[37]Note:  ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports.  References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update. [1] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=444585904378037[2] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=995006067836432[3] https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1558330118317162503[4] https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/2119; https://t.me/spravdi/15272[5] https://t.me/stranaua/57646; https://www.ukrinform.ru/rubric-ato/3549573-armia-rf-do-referenduma-mozet-popytatsa-zahvatit-vsu-hersonsinu-sovetnik-glavy-mvd.html[6] https://gur.gov dot ua/content/ne-meniaiut-nas-nykh-ra-p-zdobole-to-vsyo.html; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ-3UClONZk&ab_channel=ГоловнеуправліннярозвідкиМОУкраїни  [7] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-6; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-7; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-8; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-9; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-10[8] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-12-0; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-11; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02yWpzfQ7ZuKRM2uKCD71VmGLGobYRkazxUeMZTCzDRNUGNcvwUCcCYQ3bqeuQFrZjl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0zbBsiLy3S1r6YANYC4LJ4FosxJGboDG9r7hdAwAAezExEY3cm3BnwfzHVDqRsUBFl[9] https://t.me/evgeniy_lisitsyn/1027[10]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02yWpzfQ7ZuKRM2uKCD71VmGLGobYRkazxUeMZTCzDRNUGNcvwUCcCYQ3bqeuQFrZjl[11] https://t.me/rybar/37117; https://t.me/kramatorsk_rada/5283; https://t.me/kramatorsk_rada/5285; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02yWpzfQ7ZuKRM2uKCD71VmGLGobYRkazxUeMZTCzDRNUGNcvwUCcCYQ3bqeuQFrZjl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0zbBsiLy3S1r6YANYC4LJ4FosxJGboDG9r7hdAwAAezExEY3cm3BnwfzHVDqRsUBFl[12]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02yWpzfQ7ZuKRM2uKCD71VmGLGobYRkazxUeMZTCzDRNUGNcvwUCcCYQ3bqeuQFrZjl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0zbBsiLy3S1r6YANYC4LJ4FosxJGboDG9r7hdAwAAezExEY3cm3BnwfzHVDqRsUBFl[13]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02yWpzfQ7ZuKRM2uKCD71VmGLGobYRkazxUeMZTCzDRNUGNcvwUCcCYQ3bqeuQFrZjl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0zbBsiLy3S1r6YANYC4LJ4FosxJGboDG9r7hdAwAAezExEY3cm3BnwfzHVDqRsUBFl[14] https://t.me/evgeniy_lisitsyn/1027[15] https://t.me/rybar/37117; https://t.me/milchronicles/1015; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02yWpzfQ7ZuKRM2uKCD71VmGLGobYRkazxUeMZTCzDRNUGNcvwUCcCYQ3bqeuQFrZjl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0zbBsiLy3S1r6YANYC4LJ4FosxJGboDG9r7hdAwAAezExEY3cm3BnwfzHVDqRsUBFl; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/16584; https://t.me/rt_special/1387  [16] https://t.me/readovkanews/40130; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/16584; https://t.me/rt_special/1387; https://t.me/rybar/37117[17] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02yWpzfQ7ZuKRM2uKCD71VmGLGobYRkazxUeMZTCzDRNUGNcvwUCcCYQ3bqeuQFrZjl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0zbBsiLy3S1r6YANYC4LJ4FosxJGboDG9r7hdAwAAezExEY3cm3BnwfzHVDqRsUBFl[18] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02yWpzfQ7ZuKRM2uKCD71VmGLGobYRkazxUeMZTCzDRNUGNcvwUCcCYQ3bqeuQFrZjl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0zbBsiLy3S1r6YANYC4LJ4FosxJGboDG9r7hdAwAAezExEY3cm3BnwfzHVDqRsUBFl[19] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0zbBsiLy3S1r6YANYC4LJ4FosxJGboDG9r7hdAwAAezExEY3cm3BnwfzHVDqRsUBFl[20] https://t.me/ttambyl/1216; https://t.me/nm_dnr/8746[21] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02yWpzfQ7ZuKRM2uKCD71VmGLGobYRkazxUeMZTCzDRNUGNcvwUCcCYQ3bqeuQFrZjl[22]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02yWpzfQ7ZuKRM2uKCD71VmGLGobYRkazxUeMZTCzDRNUGNcvwUCcCYQ3bqeuQFrZjl[23] https://t.me/rybar/37117; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/60388[24]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02yWpzfQ7ZuKRM2uKCD71VmGLGobYRkazxUeMZTCzDRNUGNcvwUCcCYQ3bqeuQFrZjl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0zbBsiLy3S1r6YANYC4LJ4FosxJGboDG9r7hdAwAAezExEY3cm3BnwfzHVDqRsUBFl; https://t.me/synegubov/3896; https://t.me/rybar/37117; https://t.me/der_rada/2281; https://t.me/rybar/37121[25] https://gur.gov dot ua/content/okupanty-obstriliuiut-zaes-z-sela-vodiane-ta-hotuiut-provokatsii-pid-ukrainskym-praporom.html[26] https://t.me/miroshnik_r/8294[27] https://twitter.com/markito0171/status/1558418044011089921; https://twitter.com/RedIntelPanda/status/1558425041548746752; https://t.me/milinfolive/88663[28]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0zbBsiLy3S1r6YANYC4LJ4FosxJGboDG9r7hdAwAAezExEY3cm3BnwfzHVDqRsUBFl[29] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=444585904378037[30] https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/videos/1134679820450012; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/17057; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1541; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/1017; https://t.me/vilkul/1714; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/500[31] https://t.me/mariupolnow/17390; https://t.me/mariupolnow/17391; https://t.me/spravdi/15272; https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/402; https://t.me/spravdi/15272[32]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02yWpzfQ7ZuKRM2uKCD71VmGLGobYRkazxUeMZTCzDRNUGNcvwUCcCYQ3bqeuQFrZjl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0zbBsiLy3S1r6YANYC4LJ4FosxJGboDG9r7hdAwAAezExEY3cm3BnwfzHVDqRsUBFl[33] https://www.idelreal.org/a/31980270.html[34] https://novayagazeta dot eu/articles/2022/08/12/voiska-vyshli-iz-stroia[35] https://twitter.com/mediazzzona/status/1558384643182821376 ; https://zona dot media/news/2022/08/13/mosvodokanal[36] https://t.me/mariupolrada/10539[37] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-june-8 https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-2 

[Author: Alexander Mitchell]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/12/22 8:33pm
Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, August 12Kateryna Stepanenko, Layne Philipson, Angela Howard, Katherine Lawlor, George Barros, and Frederick W. KaganAugust 12, 9:00 pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.The Kremlin is reportedly attempting to mobilize industry to support prolonged war efforts in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported that the Kremlin initiated the “industrial mobilization” of the defense enterprises in early August, banning some employees and the entire leadership at the Russian state industrial conglomerate company Rostec from taking vacations.[1] The GUR added that the Military-Industrial Commission of the Russian Federation, chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin, is preparing to change the state defense order program by early September to increase expenditures by 600-700 billion rubles (approximately $10 billion). Russian outlet Ura also reported that Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu likely visited the Uralvagonzavod factory, the largest tank manufacturer in Russia and the producer of Russia’s T-72 main battle tanks, on August 12.[2] The GUR previously reported that Uralvagonzavod faced financial issues due to Western-enforced sanctions and failure to meet state contract obligations.[3] If true, Shoigu’s visit could suggest that the Kremlin is attempting to restart or expand the operation of the military-industrial complex. ISW has previously reported that the Kremlin has been conducting a crypto-mobilization of the Russian economy by proposing an amendment to the federal laws on Russian Armed Forces supply matters to the Russian State Duma on June 30.[4] The amendment obliges Russian businesses, regardless of ownership, to fulfill Russian military orders and allows the Kremlin to change work conditions for employees. Putin signed the amendment on July 14, which indicates that the Kremlin will continue to introduce more measures to expand the Kremlin’s direct control over the operations of Russia’s military-industrial complex.[5]Key TakeawaysRussian forces conducted ground attacks east of Siversk and northeast and southeast of Bakhmut. Russian forces conducted ground attacks southwest and northwest of Donetsk City.Ukrainian forces destroyed the last functioning bridge Russian forces used to transport military equipment near the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant.Ukrainian officials confirmed additional Ukrainian strikes on Russian ammunition depots and a logistics point in Kherson Oblast.Russian regional officials may be misrepresenting percentage fill of newly formed volunteer battalions. Ukrainian partisans are likely targeting Russian occupation officials and Ukrainian collaborators who are preparing for the sham annexation referenda to disrupt the Russian annexation of occupied Ukraine.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Donetsk-Kharkiv Oblast border on August 12. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian attack in the direction of Bohorodychne and Dolyna (both 20km northwest of Slovyansk).[6] Russian forces conducted airstrikes near Zalyman (30km northwest of Izyum), missile strikes on Kramatorsk (6km from the southern outskirts of Slovyansk) and continued to shell settlements along the Kharkiv-Donetsk border on August 12.[7]Russian forces continued ground attacks east of Siversk on August 12. Russian troops withdrew following failed offensive operations in the direction of Verkhnokamyanske (3km east of Siversk), Ivano-Darivka (7km southeast of Siversk), Spirne (12km southeast of Siversk), and Vyimka (6km southeast of Siversk) and unsuccessful reconnaissance-in-force missions in the Hryhorivka direction (7km northeast of Siversk) and near Spirne.[8] Russian forces also conducted eight airstrikes and continued routine shelling along the Donetsk-Luhansk Oblast border.[9]The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces had “partial success” in an attack in the direction of Horlivka - Zaytseve.[10] A Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) official alleged that Russian-led forces gained a foothold in northeastern Bakhmut, but ISW cannot independently confirm the extent of Russian advances from Pokrovske.[11] The Ukrainian General Staff also stated that Russian troops suffered losses and retreated from offensives in the vicinity of Yakovlivka (16km northeast of Bakhmut), Kodema (15 km southeast of Bakhmut), Vershyna (12km southeast of Bakhmut), and Vesela Dolyna (5 km southeast of Bakhmut).[12] Russian forces will likely continue attempting to advance on Bakhmut in the coming days.Russian forces continued ground attacks pushing southwestward and northwestward from the outskirts of Donetsk City on August 12. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces defeated Russian ground attacks near Pavlivka (50km southwest of Donetsk City).[13] The Ukrainian General Staff also stated that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian assaults near Spartak, Pisky, and Marinka all within 5 miles of the western outskirts of Donetsk City.[14] Russian sources claimed that Russian forces "control" the "situation" in Pisky.[15] ISW previously assessed that Russian forces are in the process of completing the seizure of Pisky.[16] Combat footage and satellite imagery indicate that heavy Russian fire with thermobaric artillery systems has visibly leveled Pisky.[17] Russian forces continued to target Ukrainian-held territory west of Donetsk City with airstrikes and shelling.[18]Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground assaults on the Kharkiv City on August 12. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted airstrikes on Verkhnyi Saltiv, Ukrainka, and Bayrak, all northeast of Kharkiv City, and Rtyshivka, approximately 50km southeast of Kharkiv City.[19] Russian forces also continued shelling Kharkiv City and settlements to its north and northeast using tank, tube, and rocket artillery.[20]Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Russian forces continued to launch air and artillery strikes along the Kherson Oblast administrative border but did not conduct offensive operations on August 12. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted airstrikes on Andriivka, Lozove, and Velyke Artakove (near the bridgehead over the Inhulets River), and Blahodatne, Novohryhorivka, Bruskinske, and Myrne (north of Kherson City).[21]  The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued shelling civilian and military infrastructure using tank, tube, and rocket artillery and conducted aerial reconnaissance using UAVs along the entire line of contact.[22]Russian forces continued to target settlements in Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv Oblasts using artillery and missiles. Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces launched 40 missiles on Marhanets and fired approximately 10 tube artillery rounds at Nikopol, both across the Dnipro River from Russian-occupied positions in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.[23] Ukrainian officials also reported that Russian forces fired rockets from Uragan MLRS systems at port infrastructure in Mykolaiv City and continued shelling nearby settlements.[24]Ukrainian forces continued targeting Russian logistics points and ammunition depots in Kherson Oblast. Kherson Oblast Administration Advisor Serhiy Khlan reported that a Ukrainian strike rendered the last bridge Russian forces used to transport military equipment and ammunition to the Nova Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant inoperable on August 12.[25] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command also reported that Ukrainian forces struck a Russian ammunition depot in Vesele and in the Beryslav district of Kherson Oblast.[26] Ukrainian airstrikes struck a Russian stronghold near Andriivka and a concentration of Russian manpower and equipment near Bruskinske.[27]A spokesperson for Ukraine’s Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR), Andriy Usov, said on August 12 that forces belonging to the Wagner Private Military Company are present at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).  Usov suggested that the Kremlin trusts Wagner militants to plant mines on the territory of the NPP because the Russian military is either incapable of or refusing to do so.[28]International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi stated on August 11 that the IAEA has been prepared to physically investigate the safety of the Zaporizhzhia NPP since June but that “political and other factors” have made a mission impossible.[29] Grossi emphasized that the IAEA’s preliminary assessment suggests that there is no immediate threat to nuclear safety but that “this could change at any moment.”[30] US officials called on Russia to demilitarize and cede the Zaporizhzhia NPP to Ukrainian authorities because there have been repeated strikes on the facility since August 5.[31]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian “volunteer” units are likely deploying piecemeal groups of soldiers to reinforce specific areas, and not deploying in their full organic structures. Russian federal subjects (regions) continued to announce the formation of new volunteer units, however Russian media is likely misrepresenting the percentage fill of these units. Russian opposition outlet Mediazona revealed that several federal subjects are misrepresenting their progress toward recruiting volunteers.[32] Mediazona found that Dagestan and Kalmykia Republics announced the formation of rifle and motorized rifle regiments in June but did not follow through with additional information following the original announcement, suggesting failures to generate regiment-sized units.[33] The report also highlighted inconsistencies in the announcement of the formation of volunteer battalions in Republic of Tatarstan, where local officials claimed that they had already recruited 300 volunteers and identified 400 prospective recruits as of June 23. Tatarstan officials continued to advertise contract service despite having claimed to have finished the formation of battalions and announced the deployment of five volunteers from the battalion to Ukraine. ISW has previously pointed out Tatarstan‘s inconsistent reporting on the timeframe of recruitment and deployment to Ukraine, and it is likely that Russian forces are deploying small groups of recruits to training grounds and Ukraine as they sign contracts. The Republic of Karelia also claimed that recruitment for local volunteer battalions ended on July 15, but Mediazona’s investigation found that the region is still actively recruiting for the battalions. It is possible that Karelia is recruiting replacements for casualties, although there is no evidence one way or the other. Chelyabinsk Oblast officials claimed to have recruited 514 volunteers split between two volunteer battalions, but then stated that only 125 recruits deployed to Ukraine.[34] The Mari El Republic initially required volunteers to have prior military experience, but Mediazona contacted the local military recruitment center and noted that the Republic offered to initiate enlistment procedures without such prior service.Mediazona’s report supports ISW’s original assessment that the Kremlin is scrambling to find any reinforcements to maintain its prolonged war in Ukraine, but these efforts are unlikely to generate combat ready or cohesive force necessary for the Kremlin’s goal of seizing all of Ukraine.[35] Russian federal subjects are likely misreporting interest in these volunteer units to encourage more residents to enlist in the recruitment drives.ISW has identified additional federal subjects that are forming new volunteer units. Mediazona reported that the Republic of Ingushetia created a volunteer motorized rifle company in the 503th Motorized Rifle Regiment based in Troiskoye and is forming a volunteer rifle company of the 34th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade.[36] Social media users published a brochure calling on men ages 18 to 55 to serve in an unnamed reserve battalion based out of Moscow City for a six to twelve months.[37] Moscow City military recruitment center offered volunteers a monthly salary of 200,000 rubles (approximately $3,200). ISW has previously reported that Moscow City officials are forming the ”Sobyaniniskiy Polk” regiment, but it is unclear if the above-mentioned battalion is a different military unit from the ”Sobyaniniskiy Polk” regiment. Mediazona noted that Moscow City military recruitment centers denied that they are recruiting for the ”Sobyaniniskiy Polk.”Russian forces are continuing to commit newly recruited volunteer forces directly to combat zones. Russian Telegram channel Readovka reported that volunteer Cossack “Yermak” and “Kuban” detachments operate in the Kharkiv Oblast direction, while “Tavrida” and “Zakharia Chepigi” are holding defensive positions on the Zaporizhzhia Oblast frontline.[38] The deployment of ill-trained volunteers supports ISW’s previous assessments that Russian forces are not prioritizing Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts frontlines. Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Russian occupation authorities in Mariupol continued preparing for show trials and potential executions of Ukrainian Prisoners of War (POWs) from the Azovstal plant as ISW assessed on August 11.[39] Local sources shared images of construction on a Mariupol theater building to prepare for the sham tribunals on August 12. The advisor to the Ukrainian mayor of Mariupol, Petro Andryushchenko, and local Telegram channel Mariupol Now both reported on August 12 that occupation forces are "rushing" to turn Mariupol’s Chamber Philharmonic Theater into a prison and to build a special "garage/bunker" with cage-lined hallways to receive prisoners by the planned August 24 tribunal.”[40] Ukraine’s Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) issued a statement on August 12 on behalf of Ukraine's security and defense forces calling on “the entire civilized world to prevent the announced trial of Ukrainian defenders by executioners in Mariupol.”[41]Ukrainian partisans are likely targeting Russian occupation officials and Ukrainian collaborators who are preparing for the sham annexation referenda, probably to disrupt the Russian annexation of occupied Ukraine. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that partisans targeted the head of a local election headquarters belonging to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party in Melitopol on August 12.[42] The official, Oleg Shostak, was hospitalized in unclear condition.[43] Russian outlets referred to Shostak as the public relations head for the Zaporizhzhia Oblast Occupation Administration and the head of the "humanitarian headquarters." Russian occupation officials have been using United Russia party members to distribute humanitarian aid in exchange for cooperation with occupation authorities, including giving up personal data that can be used to rig the sham referenda, as ISW has previously reported.[44] The Ukrainian head of the Luhansk Oblast Military Administration, Serhiy Haidai, reported on August 12 that partisans detonated a car bomb targeting the unnamed head of the Inter-district Registration and Examination Department in occupied Starobilsk, Luhansk Oblast.[45] Ukrainian officials and partisan outlets framed attacks in recent days as the beginning of the "hunt for the collaborators preparing the pseudo-referenda."[46] Ukraine’s Strategic Communications Center warned on August 12 that “the resistance movement closely monitors collaborators, knows everyone by sight and name, and will not leave anyone without proper attention.”[47] Fear of Ukrainian partisan activity could very well be shaping the behavior of occupation forces. Mariupol Mayoral Advisor Petro Andryushchenko claimed that Russian proxy Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) forces shot down a Russian helicopter in the Staryi Krym settlement just outside of Mariupol, allegedly because the DNR forces were jumpy due to "fear of resistance."[48] The Mariupol City Council linked reports of the shooting to claims of discord within occupation leadership.[49]GUR Spokesperson Andriy Usov reported on August 12 that Russian forces do not have a final date for their pseudo-referenda to annex occupied Ukrainian territories because Russian forces "do not control the situation" and no longer feel safe in Ukraine.[50] He argued that two factors are preventing Russian occupiers from holding their referenda: Ukrainian forces continue to liberate occupied territories, and Ukrainian civilians in occupied areas do not support the referenda. Russian occupation authorities continue to produce pro-referendum propaganda, however. The Russian deputy head of the Kherson Oblast Occupation Administration, Kirill Stremousov, shared videos of his meetings with citizens of Kherson Oblast on Telegram on August 12 alongside a claim that his meetings prove the people of Kherson Oblast “unanimously” want to join Russia to attain “economic stability, social equality, and security.[51]Note:  ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports.  References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update.[1] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/kreml-provodyt-prykhovanu-promyslovu-mobilizatsiiu-ta-kontroliuie-peresuvannia-personalu-oboronnykh-pidpryiemstv.html[2] https://amp dot ura.news/news/1052578160; https://ura dot news/news/1052578031; https://ura dot news/news/1052577268; https://ura dot news/news/1052577998[3] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/ukraine-conflict-update-19; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-april-15[4] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-1[5] https://sozd dot duma.gov.ru/bill/155680-8#bh_histras[6]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02gVtuPRJ4YjnTP9527vDzFHzik94Xwej3mq4j9RTz2hee85YbY52rs3GrxjttnDHNl[7]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UYX9xgUxKyrnqsabksH92JL8snxdXPyJguUc7HP3cmhX51jDrqdnPns5XnwaEJE8l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02gVtuPRJ4YjnTP9527vDzFHzik94Xwej3mq4j9RTz2hee85YbY52rs3GrxjttnDHNl; https://t.me/spravdi/15183; https://t.me/slv_vca/3274; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9Tv4FjKgWE; https://t.me/pavlokyrylenko_donoda/4518; https://t.me/kramatorsk_rada/5268; https://t.me/stranaua/57351; https://t.me/kramatorsk_rada/5265; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/17003; https://twitter.com/brycewilsonAU/status/1557924624050147329?s=20&t=zpV2l20WueDYllmvuIyBhQ; https://t.me/mod_russia/18515[8]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02gVtuPRJ4YjnTP9527vDzFHzik94Xwej3mq4j9RTz2hee85YbY52rs3GrxjttnDHNl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UYX9xgUxKyrnqsabksH92JL8snxdXPyJguUc7HP3cmhX51jDrqdnPns5XnwaEJE8l; https://t.me/spravdi/15182; https://t.me/spravdi/15183; https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/4952  [9]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02gVtuPRJ4YjnTP9527vDzFHzik94Xwej3mq4j9RTz2hee85YbY52rs3GrxjttnDHNl; https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/4936  [10]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02gVtuPRJ4YjnTP9527vDzFHzik94Xwej3mq4j9RTz2hee85YbY52rs3GrxjttnDHNl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UYX9xgUxKyrnqsabksH92JL8snxdXPyJguUc7HP3cmhX51jDrqdnPns5XnwaEJE8l[11] https://t.me/kommunist/8335[12]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02gVtuPRJ4YjnTP9527vDzFHzik94Xwej3mq4j9RTz2hee85YbY52rs3GrxjttnDHNl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UYX9xgUxKyrnqsabksH92JL8snxdXPyJguUc7HP3cmhX51jDrqdnPns5XnwaEJE8l[13]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02gVtuPRJ4YjnTP9527vDzFHzik94Xwej3mq4j9RTz2hee85YbY52rs3GrxjttnDHNl[14]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02gVtuPRJ4YjnTP9527vDzFHzik94Xwej3mq4j9RTz2hee85YbY52rs3GrxjttnDHNl[15] https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/2687[16] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-11[17] https://twitter.com/am_misfit/status/1557957043880751104?s=20&t=16XFcznuMhmBIZG08-S_6g; https://www.iswresearch.org/2022/08/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment_11.html[18]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02gVtuPRJ4YjnTP9527vDzFHzik94Xwej3mq4j9RTz2hee85YbY52rs3GrxjttnDHNl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UYX9xgUxKyrnqsabksH92JL8snxdXPyJguUc7HP3cmhX51jDrqdnPns5XnwaEJE8l[19] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02gVtuPRJ4YjnTP9527vDzFHzik94Xwej3mq4j9RTz2hee85YbY52rs3GrxjttnDHNl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UYX9xgUxKyrnqsabksH92JL8snxdXPyJguUc7HP3cmhX51jDrqdnPns5XnwaEJE8l  [20] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02gVtuPRJ4YjnTP9527vDzFHzik94Xwej3mq4j9RTz2hee85YbY52rs3GrxjttnDHNl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UYX9xgUxKyrnqsabksH92JL8snxdXPyJguUc7HP3cmhX51jDrqdnPns5XnwaEJE8l; https://t.me/rybar/37078; https://t.me/der_rada/2273 [21] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UYX9xgUxKyrnqsabksH92JL8snxdXPyJguUc7HP3cmhX51jDrqdnPns5XnwaEJE8l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02gVtuPRJ4YjnTP9527vDzFHzik94Xwej3mq4j9RTz2hee85YbY52rs3GrxjttnDHNl  [22] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02gVtuPRJ4YjnTP9527vDzFHzik94Xwej3mq4j9RTz2hee85YbY52rs3GrxjttnDHNl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02UYX9xgUxKyrnqsabksH92JL8snxdXPyJguUc7HP3cmhX51jDrqdnPns5XnwaEJE8l[23] https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/17000; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1532; https://t.me/vilkul/1709; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/496; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/1006; https://t.me/stranaua/57339 [24] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=797580917955240; https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/2104; https://t.me/senkevichonline/2029   [25] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid027TuwTpE1EQc6wfQsv1o8DV13rpxjvxVv9swmtqyFNxXk2cQ67A5GdmiiY95tPPQDl?__cft__[0]=AZW5CztjH2oyXuuhilvdUfCqfllxsyod9fiB7eg-nfW9EwEWRXzuiujF9pCnC3WyL8Gwn4ETWGR7QlarRyPiSVjAdMU1VuXGEBq5WUz7Gys6QmhC6Jwaj8XcGhxqC54sWig7jyO4B3ePhazNJt6CIpJ6OlMuxj_xPusja3eU5q92dw&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Lr9vo2LfEg; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid0EQ2URG4LvQP7qHnYEGSQ5PdSkhxjrHbCD8SshJA6KgrqAg52oHdyLgVkAvuhKX4Jl?__cft__[0]=AZUEWNGnO_ODdFmHCkXRYfqBY5HgqrbabznAODCnS9qK9zJ9yUA_Z3F2npJLrDXMRxibPkQS8ctBSqhp9owLNx-R40pejlXrqbKuqUG7PB4Y16X8sS56RIcJnq4ZA-HfEdGOwNfYHBVVsgSpti9Mbk_e&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02n3dR8Uk7XKapu6H4Ky4dWCNv6U9diN6Fq5rXdek5jHiWh21LTKM8mwa8T4HCSf3Wl?__cft__[0]=AZUxvOJd9N09jID6_l8Xx3u7mpE72NyJ43y41DRNySCC-pRV7ycfUFHwuoTJA4SSNK2lSKuuJmR4wVKZH4UvjCTpjig_l-o4diWvz3NETeiCBFrE7MiN-AeuwF_oQpiEjoJzWdGnqCzSPVSBSFvPCclT&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R   [26] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=797580917955240; https://t.me/spravdi/15213[27] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=5005821372861718[28] https://apostrophe dot ua/ua/article/society/2022-08-12/myi-znaem-kto-zaminiroval-zaporojskuyu-aes-i-v-etom-est-ujasnaya-logika---predstavitel-gur-mo/47471 [29] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be6s-qjEUEk; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/16990[30] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be6s-qjEUEk; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/16990; https://t.me/spravdi/15162; https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/us-backs-calls-demilitarized-zone-around-ukraine-nuclear-power-plant-state-dept-2022-08-11/[31] https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/08/11/russia-ukraine-nuclear-power-plants/; https://twitter.com/JackDetsch/status/1557824171777859585?s=20&t=dt3qQgpyAZ279p5h7ilDDQ[32] https://zona dot media/article/2022/08/10/imeni-lenina [33] https://chernovik dot net/news/dagestancev-priglashayut-v-novuyu-imennuyu-strelkovuyu-rotu-dlya-uchastiya-v-voennoy; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4mhZ6Da5ZQ [34] https://kr-gazeta dot ru/obshchestvo/125-yuzhnouraltsev-otpravilis-na-donbass-dobrovoltsami/[35] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-volunteer-units-and-battalions[36] https://gazetaingush dot ru/news/v-gorode-nazrani-proydet-vstrecha-s-molodezhyu-po-voprosu-formirovaniya-imennoy-ingushskoy-roty[37] https://twitter.com/JayinKyiv/status/1558002161170223104[38] https://t.me/readovkanews/40074[39] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-11[40] https://t.me/andriyshTime/2272; https://t.me/mariupolnow/17303[41] https://gur.gov dot ua/content/spilna-zaiava-syl-bezpeky-ta-oborony-shchodo-polonenykh-zakhysnykiv-mariupolia.html[42] https://sprotyv.mod.gov dot ua/2022/08/12/v-melitopoli-pidirvaly-kolaboranta/[43] https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/17009; https://t.me/babel/20826; https://sprotyv.mod.gov dot ua/2022/08/12/v-melitopoli-pidirvaly-kolaboranta/[44] https://t.me/rybar/37066;[45] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/4952[46] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/396; https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/394; https://sprotyv.mod.gov dot ua/2022/08/12/v-melitopoli-pidirvaly-kolaboranta/[47] https://t.me/spravdi/15194; https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/396[48] https://t.me/andriyshTime/2277[49] https://t.me/mariupolrada/10533[50] https://apostrophe dot ua/ua/article/society/2022-08-12/myi-znaem-kto-zaminiroval-zaporojskuyu-aes-i-v-etom-est-ujasnaya-logika---predstavitel-gur-mo/47471[51] https://t.me/Stremousov_Kirill/213 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/11/22 11:00pm
Kateryna Stepanenko, Layne Philipson, Angela Howard, Katherine Lawlor, Karolina Hird, George Barros, and Frederick W. Kagan August 11, 9:00 pm ET   Click hereto see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.   The US State Department called on Russian forces to cease all military activity surrounding the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and support the creation of a demilitarized zone amidst new reports of shelling at the ZNPP on August 11.[1]The US State Department also called on Russia to return control of the plant to Ukraine. Ukrainian and Russian occupation authorities accused each other of shelling the ZNPP on August 11. Ukraine’s nuclear operating enterprise Energoatom reported that Russian shelling damaged the area of the commandant’s office, storage of radiation sources, and the nearby fire station.[2]The fire station is approximately 5km east of the ZNPP. The Ukrainian Strategic Communications Center stated that Russian forces are deliberately staging provocations at the ZNPP and are carrying out dangerous experiments involving power lines to blame Ukrainian forces at the United Nations (UN) Security Council.[3]Russian-appointed Zaporizhia Oblast Occupation Administration Head Yevgeniy Balitsky claimed that Ukrainian shelling damaged the ”Kakhovskaya” high-voltage power line, resulting in a fire and a large cloud of smoke seen on social media footage from the city.[4] Russian officials have previously accused Ukraine of striking positions of crucial significance to Ukrainians – such as the falsely-claimed HIMARS strike on the Olenivka colony in occupied Donetsk Oblast. A CNN investigation concluded that “there is almost no chance that a HIMARS rocket caused the damage to the warehouse where the prisoners were being held.”[5]Russians may be continuing a similar narrative around the ZNPP to discourage further Western support to Ukraine. ISW cannot independently verify the party responsible for the shelling of the ZNPP. Russia’s 64th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade (64th SGMRB) of the 35th Combined Arms Army (CAA) has likely been destroyed in combat, possibly as part of an intentional Kremlin effort to conceal the war crimes it committed in Kyiv Oblast. Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFEFL) investigative journalist Mark Krutov conducted an investigation into the brigade following its participation in atrocities in Bucha and concluded that after heavy fighting on the Izyum and Slovyansk axes, the brigade has largely ceased to exist.[6]Krutov stated that out of 1,500 soldiers who were in the brigade before the war, 200 to 300 were likely killed.[7]Krutov quoted CNA Russia Studies director Michael Kofman’s estimates that the typical ratio for those killed to those wounded in action is around 1 to 3.5, which would mean that the 64th SGMRB suffered up to 700 to 1,000 wounded in action.[8]It is typical for Russian units that are so severely degraded during combat to be disbanded and survivors reallocated into other combat elements, but Krutov noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin cannot disband the 64th SGMRB without embarrassment. Putin had awarded the brigade the honorary ”guards” designation on April 18, following the emergence of evidence that it had committed war crimes in Bucha.[9]The brigade was rushed back into combat in eastern Ukraine after it had completed its withdrawal from around Moscow without much time to rest, refit, receive replacements, or recover. Speculation at the time ran that the Kremlin was eager to have the brigade destroyed in combat to avoid revelation of its war crimes.[10] Ukrainian intelligence warned that the Kremlin is setting conditions to launch an informational attack on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an effort to discredit him. The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported that the Russian Presidential Administration approved the creation of a new informational task force within the Russian special services responsible for establishing the fake “Zelensky Foundation.”[11]The foundation will feature an unspecified falsified proposal targeting foreign aid organizations and will operate as a ”multi-level marketing” scheme likely focusing on recruitment in European countries. The GUR noted that the main concept behind the foundation is to distribute misinformation in the European media sphere. The GUR noted that as of August 10, Russian special services had created a site for the foundation, prepared social media fake screenshots and comments, and established a network of bloggers to promote the foundation. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar echoed similar concerns that Russia has intensified its information operations by spreading rumors in an effort to create friction between Ukrainian military and political officials.[12] A collection of complaints sent to the Russian military prosecutor’s office and verified by Bellingcat and the Insider included instances of Russian authorities tricking or coercing conscripts into taking combat positions, limiting the extent of information provided to the families of Russian soldiers, and failing to provide soldiers with basic food or medical care.The archive includes reports that Russian commanders have ordered soldiers to launch assaults with no equipment, refused to allow soldiers to quit or to dismiss them for clearly fileable offensives, and failed to notify soldiers’ relatives of their death.[13]The report also highlighted complaints from residents of occupied Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts that accused Russian forces of looting, trespassing, and firing military equipment from civilian infrastructure. Ukrainian General Staff Main Operations Deputy Chief Oleksiy Gromov stated that Ukrainian forces were not responsible for explosions at the Zyabrovka airfield near Gomel, Belarus overnight on August 10-11.[14]The Belarusian Ministry of Defense (MOD) claimed that an inspection run caused an engine fire at the Zyabrovka airfield and that there were no casualties.[15] Senior Advisor to Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovkaya Franak Viacorka amplified local reports of at least eight explosions near the Zyabrovka airfield.[16]Social media video footage showed flashes near the airfield.[17] Key TakeawaysThe US State Department called on Russian forces to cease all military activity surrounding the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) amidst new reports of shelling at the ZNPP.Russian forces conducted ground attacks east of Siversk and northeast and southeast of Bakhmut.Russian forces continued ground attacks on the north and southwestern outskirts of Donetsk City.Ukrainian officials confirmed additional Ukrainian strikes on Russian command posts and ammunition depots along the Southern Axis.Russia’s Khabarovsk Krai is forming two new volunteer battalions.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.·       Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);·       Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts·       Supporting Effort 1—Kharkiv City·       Supporting Effort 2—Southern Axis·       Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts ·       Activities in Russian-occupied Areas Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine Subordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas) Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks in the Izyum area on August 11. Russian forces conducted an airstrike near Zalyman (30km northwest of Izyum) and continued to shell settlements along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border around Izyum and Slovyansk on August 11.[18] Russian forces conducted several ground attacks east of Siversk on August 10 and August 11. Russian forces attempted ground assaults around Hryhorivka (7km northeast of Siversk), Verkhnokamyanske (3km east of Siversk), and Ivano-Darivka (7km southeast of Siversk).[19]Luhansk Oblast Administration Head Serhiy Haidai noted that private military company forces now launch most Russian attacks, likely due to the continued degradation of conventional forces.[20]Russian forces continued routine shelling in the Siversk direction.[21] Russian forces continued to conduct ground attacks around Bakhmut on August 11 and are likely concentrating forces in the Bakhmut direction to capitalize on recent marginal gains along this axis of advance. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops retreated following failed offensives in the directions of Yakovlivka (16km northeast of Bakhmut), Bakhmutske (10km northeast of Bakhmut), Zaitseve (20km south of Bakhmut), Vershyna (13km southeast of Bakhmut), and Dacha (18km south of Bakhmut) and an unsuccessful reconnaissance-in-force attempt near Yakovlivka.[22]Russian forces targeted the Bakhmut area with air, artillery, and anti-aircraft missile strikes on August 9 and 10 and will likely continue efforts to advance on Bakhmut from the north, east, and south.[23] Russian forces continued ground assaults to push northwest from Donetsk City on August 11. The Ukrainian General Staff reported Russian retreats following failed offensive operations in the direction of Marinka (5km west of the southern outskirts of Donetsk City) and Pisky (6km north of Donetsk City).[24]Russian and Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) sources claim to control roughly 90% of Pisky, excluding a small Ukrainian-held section of northwest Pisky, as well as major chunks of Marinka and Zaitseve.[25]Several social media sources posted imagery of Russian forces firing heavily on Pisky with TOS-1A thermobaric artillery systems, which suggests that Russian forces are using combined arms army-level artillery assets to complete the capture of small villages after leveling them and leaving essentially nothing behind.[26] Russian forces have previously relied heavily on artillery systems to completely destroy small rural villages, which they then claim control of. Russian troops will likely continue to seek strategic positions northwest of Donetsk City and in the Avdiivka direction to push fighting further away from occupied Donetsk City. Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City(Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border) Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground assaults along the Kharkiv City Axis on August 11. Russian forces conducted airstrikes on Staryi Saltiv, approximately 45km northeast of Kharkiv City, and Rtyshchivka, approximately 60km southeast of Kharkiv City, and continued shelling Kharkiv City and settlements to the north and northeast using tank, tube, and rocket artillery.[27]The Kharkiv Oblast Prosecutor’s Office reported on August 11 that Russian forces used S-300 missiles to strike civilian infrastructure in Kharkiv City overnight on August 10-11.[28]Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis(Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks) Russian forces continued to launch air and artillery strikes along the Kherson Oblast administrative border but did not conduct offensive operations on August 11. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces launched airstrikes on Andriivka, Bila Krynytsya, Lozove, and Velyke Artakove (near the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River), and Novohryhorivka and Myrne (north of Kherson City).[29]Ukrainian General Staff Main Operations Deputy Chief Oleksiy Gromov noted that Russian aviation operations have decreased since the explosions at the Saky airfield in Crimea.[30]Russian forces fired artillery along the entire line of contact in Kherson Oblast. Russian forces launched rockets from Grad and Uragan MLRS systems at Nikopol and Kryvyi Rih districts, respectively.[31]Russian forces also continued to shell Mykolaiv Oblast with tube and rocket artillery.[32] Ukrainian military officials confirmed additional Ukrainian strikes against Russian command posts and ammunition depots in Southern Ukraine. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported hitting the command post of the Russian 126th Guards Coastal Defense Brigade in Novokamyanka and an ammunition depot in Barvinok, 62km east and 20km northwest of Kherson City, respectively.[33]Ukrainian forces also reportedly damaged a command and observation post of a battalion tactical group of the 76th Airborne Assault Division in Ischenka (just east of the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River) and destroyed a command post of the 49th Combined Arms Army (CAA) near Chervonyi Mayak (about 30km northeast of Nova Kakhovka).[34]ISW has previously reported that Ukrainian forces reportedly struck a command post of the 49th CAA in Chornobaivka (about 5km northwest of Kherson City) on August 6, which could suggest that Russian forces either split or moved their command posts from Kherson City.[35]Both strikes suggest that Russian forces are maintaining or relocating their positions within the range of US-provided HIMARS systems. Ukrainian forces inflicted significant losses on Russian officers and senior personnel in Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy Oblasts situated in command posts near the frontline even before receiving HIMARS systems in part because Russian commanders moved close to the front lines to control their troops. Russian forces are apparently continuing to endanger their command posts, likely to be ready to control their forces in anticipation of a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive. It is unclear when or if Ukrainian forces will launch a large-scale ground counteroffensive in southern Ukraine, but they are effectively using Russian preparations for such a counteroffensive to attrit Russian leadership and logistics capabilities.Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization) Russian federal subjects (regions) continued to form regionally-based volunteer battalions. Khabarovsk Krai Governor Mikhail Degtyaryev announced on August 10 that Khabarovsk Krai registered two battalions, named “Baron Korf” and “Svyatitel Innokentiy,” that are actively recruiting volunteers to deploy to Ukraine.[36]Degtyaryev stated that the battalions will accept anyone ages 18-50 and will provide a one-time payment of 250,000 rubles (approximately $4,124) for signing a short-term contract for a period of 6 months to 3 years.[37] Russian military officials continued taking measures to compensate for personnel losses in Ukraine. Ukrainian General Staff Main Operations Deputy Chief Oleksiy Gromov reported that Russian forces are appointing former sergeants to platoon commanders upon completing brief officers' courses.[38] Gromov noted that forced mobilization for the 2nd Army Corps reserves continues in occupied Luhansk Oblast, with Russian occupation authorities planning to call up 8,000 people in occupied Ukrainian territories.[39] Gromov reported that 60% of the Russian Armed Forces consists of volunteers under short-term contracts and that morale within the Russian ranks remains low.[40] Gromov’s statements are consistent with ISW’s assessment from early March that Russian forces will continue to rapidly replace degrading reserves with less prepared volunteer forces.[41] Gromov also emphasized that Kremlin officials have suspended and are actively investigating 30-40% of generals and officers who assisted in planning the Ukraine invasion due to “strategic failures.”[42] Gromov suggested that Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov only remain in power to prevent the complete discreditation of the Russian military and its leadership.[43] Unconfirmed reports claim that Russian officials replaced Black Sea Fleet Commander Igor Osipov with Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov on August 11.[44]Activity in Russian-occupied Areas(Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing) Russian occupation authorities in Mariupol are preparing for show trials and potential executions of Ukrainian Prisoners of War (POWs) from the Azovstal plant. Russian sources on August 9 and 10 published videos showing the preparation of halls in the Mariupol City Philharmonic for public tribunals and of cage-like cells to hold the POWs.[45]Ukrainian Mayor of Mariupol Vadym Boychenko stated on August 11 that the tribunal may be held on August 24, the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence.[46]Mariupol Mayor Advisor Petro Andryushchenko reported that Russian forces also conducted demonstrative arrests of civilians dressed in uniforms with Azov Regiment chevrons in order to create the illusion of taking action to address the Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol.[47]Andryushchenko’s statement indicates that Russian authorities are using both the arrests and trials to create a narrative for domestic audiences that presents Russian law enforcement efforts in occupied territories as capable and effective while demoralizing Ukrainian forces, civilians, and partisans. Preparations for these show trials are reminiscent of the Stalinist “Moscow Trials” of 1936-38, a component of the Great Purge in which Stalin used sham judicial proceedings in public trials followed by executions. The head of the Russian proxy Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), Denis Pushilin, stated on August 11 that he will announce the date of the referendum on accession to Russia "as soon as [the DNR] is liberated within the constitutional boundaries.”[48] The illegitimate DNR constitution claims all of Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, much of which Russia does not yet control. Pushilin is an imperfect and unpredictable proxy spokesman and may have made this statement as part of an internal bureaucratic debate over which parts of Donetsk Oblast (if any) the current DNR government will be able to govern after Russia annexes the territory. Alternatively, Pushilin could be signaling that the Kremlin will postpone its faux annexation referenda beyond the expected date of September 11, contradicting ISW’s August 10 assessment that the Kremlin may accelerate the annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory.[49] Ukrainian partisans in occupied territories continue to resist the occupation and the planned pseudo-referendum, particularly in Melitopol, Zaporizhia Oblast. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on August 11 that partisans are preparing to target Russian occupation officials who are preparing for the sham referendum in Melitopol. The Center implicitly confirmed that partisans were responsible for an explosion at the headquarters of United Russia, the political party of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Melitopol on the night of August 8 and warned that the explosion should serve as a “warning” to those who attempt to legitimize the referendum.[50]Ukrainian Mayor of Melitopol Ivan Fedorov claimed on August 11 that partisans also destroyed a service center for the Russian Internal Affairs Ministry at which Russian policemen were distributing Russian passports and Russian car registration.[51]The advisor to the Ukrainian mayor of Mariupol, Petro Andryushchenko, reported a large explosion in Mariupol’s Central District on August 10, which he attributed to ”resistance.”[52]Andryushchenko claimed that occupation authorities are trying to strengthen counter-sabotage measures in response. Russian officials continue to gloss over partisan attacks; the Russian-appointed head of the Kherson Oblast Occupation Administration Kiril Stremousov claimed on August 11 that Kherson is ready ”to join the large and friendly Russian family” despite Ukrainian claims of debilitating partisan activity and resistance.[53] Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports. References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update. [1]https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/us-backs-calls-demilitarized-zone-around-ukraine-nuclear-power-plant-state-dept-2022-08-11/ [2] https://t.me/energoatom_ua/8849; https://t.me/orlovdmytroEn/793 ; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/16971; https://t.me/energoatom_ua/8847; https://t.me/energoatom_ua/8842; https://twitter.com/Liveuamap/status/1557720019152343040; https://t.me/energoatom_ua/8842; https://t.me/stranaua/57234; [3] https://t.me/spravdi/15136 [4] https://t.me/BalitskyVGA/170; https://t.me/mariupolnow/17276; https://t.me/mariupolnow/17277; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1557719533166940160; https://t.me/entime2022/1319 [5]https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2022/08/europe/olenivka-donetsk-prison-attack/index.html [6] https://svoboda.org/a/31981693.html; https://t.co/xkKYrGMG6D; https://t.co/Oaeepl95jC; https://twitter.com/kromark/status/1557380744900743168?s=20&t=W8c9yJBvYm6jykPfb6a7zA [7] https://twitter.com/kromark/status/1557380744900743168?s=20&t=W8c9yJBvYm6jykPfb6a7zA [8]https://twitter.com/kromark/status/1557380744900743168?s=20&t=W8c9yJBvYm6jykPfb6a7zA [9]https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-army-casualty-rate-64th-brigade-bucha-deaths/31982194.html [10] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-5 [11] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/pro-pidhotovku-informatsiinoi-aktsii-po-dyskredytatsii-prezydenta-ukrainy.html [12] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQnKkO9-IZg [13] https://theins dot ru/politika/252097 [14] https://www dot ukrinform.ua/rubric-ato/3548317-u-genstabi-ne-pidtverdili-pricetnist-zsu-do-vibuhiv-na-teritorii-biloruskoi-zabrovki.html [15] https://t.me/modmilby/16963 [16] https://twitter.com/franakviacorka/status/1557492757933039616; https://twitter.com/franakviacorka/status/1557503626926514179; https://twitter.com/franakviacorka/status/1557606601317548033; https://twitter.com/franakviacorka/status/1557696773166190594 [17] https://twitter.com/franakviacorka/status/1557696773166190594 [18]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid032HoWcRg4oLpCpuesHascMYhX5z1pDesjRJZWnwG1rtAtgmR5PofANk8RRmzbYu2wl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02C5G18iBC3GeU5hzFMsnew2iaid6JzXHULtDdKjUWpABKdBGEo7H5NzF2m67RRQwVl; https://t.me/synegubov/3880; https://t.me/spravdi/15121; https://t.me/rybar/37024 [19]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid032HoWcRg4oLpCpuesHascMYhX5z1pDesjRJZWnwG1rtAtgmR5PofANk8RRmzbYu2wl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02C5G18iBC3GeU5hzFMsnew2iaid6JzXHULtDdKjUWpABKdBGEo7H5NzF2m67RRQwVl; https://t.me/rybar/37009   [20] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/4915 [21]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02C5G18iBC3GeU5hzFMsnew2iaid6JzXHULtDdKjUWpABKdBGEo7H5NzF2m67RRQwVl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid032HoWcRg4oLpCpuesHascMYhX5z1pDesjRJZWnwG1rtAtgmR5PofANk8RRmzbYu2wl; https://t.me/rybar/37024 [22]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid032HoWcRg4oLpCpuesHascMYhX5z1pDesjRJZWnwG1rtAtgmR5PofANk8RRmzbYu2wl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02C5G18iBC3GeU5hzFMsnew2iaid6JzXHULtDdKjUWpABKdBGEo7H5NzF2m67RRQwVl [23]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid032HoWcRg4oLpCpuesHascMYhX5z1pDesjRJZWnwG1rtAtgmR5PofANk8RRmzbYu2w; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02C5G18iBC3GeU5hzFMsnew2iaid6JzXHULtDdKjUWpABKdBGEo7H5NzF2m67RRQwVl; https://t.me/pavlokyrylenko_donoda/4495; https://t.me/rybar/37024   [24]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid032HoWcRg4oLpCpuesHascMYhX5z1pDesjRJZWnwG1rtAtgmR5PofANk8RRmzbYu2wl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02C5G18iBC3GeU5hzFMsnew2iaid6JzXHULtDdKjUWpABKdBGEo7H5NzF2m67RRQwVl [25] https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/16525; https://t.me/sashakots/34863; https://t.me/sashakots/34874; https://t.me/sashakots/34876; https://regnum dot ru/news/3667823.html [26] https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1557649889022169088; https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1557470246793281536; https://t.me/stranaua/57194; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1557673012094189569; https://t.me/milchronicles/1008; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1557661959503454208; https://t.me/stranaua/57194; https://t.me/milchronicles/1008; https://t.me/milinfolive/88588; https://t.me/kommunist/8300 [27]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid032HoWcRg4oLpCpuesHascMYhX5z1pDesjRJZWnwG1rtAtgmR5PofANk8RRmzbYu2wl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02C5G18iBC3GeU5hzFMsnew2iaid6JzXHULtDdKjUWpABKdBGEo7H5NzF2m67RRQwVl; https://www.facebook.com/Zadorenko/posts/pfbid0365rtxoTwTvKNqdbYPvV51TVRwKaHbDU2YYQ7Sjt8SFDUhGMjDBRahWKrtUKbLjrYl; https://t.me/rybar/37024 [28] https://t.me/prokuratura_kharkiv/5410 [29]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid032HoWcRg4oLpCpuesHascMYhX5z1pDesjRJZWnwG1rtAtgmR5PofANk8RRmzbYu2wl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02C5G18iBC3GeU5hzFMsnew2iaid6JzXHULtDdKjUWpABKdBGEo7H5NzF2m67RRQwVl [30] https://www dot ukrinform.ua/rubric-ato/3548352-pisla-vibuhiv-u-krimu-intensivnist-aviacii-rf-na-pivdni-znizilas-genstab-zsu.html [31] https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1524; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1524; https://t.me/vilkul/1705; https://t.me/vilkul/1704; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1232003107558887; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/488; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/480; https://t.me/vilkul/1706   [32] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1232003107558887; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1526071881140511; https://t.me/senkevichonline/2016; https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/2089; [33] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1526071881140511 [34] https://t.me/khersonskaODA/797; https://t.me/spravdi/15119 [35] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-6 [36] https://vostokmedia dot com/news/politics/11-08-2022/habarovskiy-kray-formiruet-imennye-dobrovolcheskie-batalony-rezerva-vooruzhennyh-sil [37] https://vostokmedia dot com/news/politics/11-08-2022/habarovskiy-kray-formiruet-imennye-dobrovolcheskie-batalony-rezerva-vooruzhennyh-sil [38] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/08/11/okupanty-planuyut-mobilizuvaty-na-tot-luganshhyny-shhe-8-tysyach-osib/ [39] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/08/11/okupanty-planuyut-mobilizuvaty-na-tot-luganshhyny-shhe-8-tysyach-osib/; https://www dot rbc.ua/ukr/news/okkupanty-hotyat-mobilizovat-eshche-8-tysyach-1660221359.html [40] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/08/11/okupanty-planuyut-mobilizuvaty-na-tot-luganshhyny-shhe-8-tysyach-osib/ [41] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/explainer-russian-conscription-reserve-and-mobilization [42] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/08/11/tretyna-okupantiv-shho-planuvaly-speczoperacziyu-represovani/ [43] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/08/11/tretyna-okupantiv-shho-planuvaly-speczoperacziyu-represovani/ [44] https://t.me/milinfolive/88585; https://sevastopol dot su/news/istochniki-soobshchili-o-smene-komandovaniya-chernomorskim-flotom-v-sevastopole [45]https://t.me/historiographe/3940; https://t.me/historiographe/3924; https://t.me/andriyshTime/2238; https://t.me/historiographe/3931; https://t.me/historiographe/3928; https://t.me/andriyshTime/2237; https://t.me/mariupolnow/17238; https://t.me/stranaua/57038; https://t.me/mariupolrada/10510 [46] https://t.me/mariupolrada/10524; https://t.me/mariupolnow/17272; https://t.me/kommunist/8309; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTYcUyz8m0Q; https://t.me/stranaua/57204 [47] https://t.me/andriyshTime/2260; https://t.me/mariupolnow/17263  [48] https://t.me/stranaua/57143; https://ria dot ru/20220811/referendum-1808764583.html [49] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-10 [50] https://sprotyv dot mod.gov.ua/2022/08/11/v-melitopoli-partyzany-ogolosyly-polyuvannya-na-organizatoriv-psevdoreferendumu/ [51] https://t.me/zalpalyanytsya/1317 [52] https://t.me/andriyshTime/2259 [53] https://t.me/Stremousov_Kirill/211

[Author: Alexander Mitchell] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/10/22 9:59pm
Kateryna Stepanenko, Katherine Lawlor, Angela Howard, Layne Philipson, Karolina Hird, George Barros, and Frederick W. KaganAugust 10, 8:00 pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Ukrainian officials framed the August 9 attack in Crimea as the start of Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the south, suggesting that the Ukrainian military expects intense fighting in August and September that could decide the outcome of the next phase of the war. A Ukrainian official told Politico on August 10 that “you can say this is it” when asked about the start of Ukraine’s planned counteroffensive.[1] Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vaguely noted on August 10 that the war “began with Crimea and must end with Crimea - with its liberation.”[2]Russian officials remain confused about the August 9 attack on the Saki Air Base in Russian-occupied Crimea, over 225km behind Russian lines, which destroyed at least eight Russian aircraft and multiple buildings. Satellite imagery confirmed reports from Ukraine’s air force that the attack destroyed at least eight Russian aircraft, contradicting Russian claims that the explosions did not damage any aircraft and were not the result of an attack.[3] Russian outlets shared conflicting stories: the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed on August 9 that munitions had been detonated at a storage site at the airfield due to negligence, not an attack, and claimed that no aircraft were damaged.[4] Russian milblogger Rybar claimed on August 10 that the explosion was likely not caused by a missile strike and hypothesized that the explosions could be due to negligence and non-compliance with safety regulations or to a small helicopter with a bomb attacking a nearby parking lot.[5] Mixed stories in Russian media and among Russian milbloggers indicate that either officials within the Russian Ministry of Defense have competing theories regarding the attack and are sharing them with the media, or that the Kremlin has failed to coordinate its information operation to deny that Ukraine conducted a successful attack so far behind Russian lines. Russian forces at the airbase likely know by now what happened but may not yet understand how or from exactly where Ukrainian forces conducted the attack.Ukrainian officials are playing up the evident Russian confusion surrounding the attack to obfuscate Ukraine‘s longer-range capabilities. An anonymous Ukrainian official told the New York Times that the attack was carried out with the help of partisans.[6] Another anonymous Ukrainian official told the Washington Post that Ukrainian special forces caused the explosion, while other Ukrainian officials implicitly referenced the attack but did not overtly take credit for it.[7] ISW still cannot independently assess what caused the explosions at the airfield—satellite imagery depicts multiple craters and scorch marks, but such damage could have been caused by many things--special forces, partisans, or missiles, on-site or from a distance.Nevertheless, Ukrainian military officials took credit for two long-range missile strikes on an ammunition depot in Novooleksiivka in Henichensk district (north of Crimea) and on the battalion tactical group (BTG) command post of the 217th Guards Airborne Regiment in the Maksyma Horkoho on the southwestern Kherson Oblast coast.[8] The settlements are situated 100km and 170km south of frontlines along the Kherson Oblast administrative border respectively. Ukraine’s claimed attacks demonstrate longer-range missile capabilities but do not demonstrate the range they would have needed to hit the Saki Air Base from along the front lines. Ukrainian forces have various systems that they could have used or modified to hit Russian military infrastructure in Crimea or southern Kherson Oblast.The Kremlin’s changing plans suggest that occupying forces will likely move up the date of the annexation referenda in occupied Ukraine. The advisor to Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast Civil Military Administration, Serhiy Khlan, claimed on August 10 that occupation forces have stopped discussing September 11 as a date for Russia’s sham referenda on the annexation of occupied Ukrainian territories.[9] ISW previously assessed September 11, the date that polling will be held in local and regional elections across the Russian Federation, to be the most likely date for annexation referenda to be held.[10] Khlan noted that Russian occupation forces had referred to September 11 as the date of the sham referenda, “but now the dates are again unclear.” Occupation authorities have taken measures to be able to hold sham referendums at any time—ISW reported on August 3 that Russian forces would offer easily manipulated “online voting” in the Donetsk Oblast referendum and reported on August 7 that occupation forces in occupied Zaporizhia Oblast were planning door-to-door “surveys” of the local population.[11]The political, military, economic, and other consequences of a prolonged Russian military occupation of southern and eastern Ukraine would be devastating to the long-term viability of the Ukrainian state.[12] The performative drama of annexation will not change the on-the-ground realities created by the brutal Russian occupation. Forced passportization, rubleization, “filtration,” and other “integration” measures already underway in Russian-occupied areas are far more important and damaging to Ukraine than the referenda would be.[13]Ukrainian nuclear operating enterprise Energoatom Head Petro Kotin suggested that Ukrainian forces interrupt power lines leading to the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) should Russian forces start disconnecting the ZNPP from the Ukrainian power system.[14] Kotin told Reuters on August 9 that Russian forces intend to damage all power lines to the ZNPP and connect the plant to the Russian power grid, effectively stealing the ZNPP from the Ukrainians.[15]The Embassy of Uzbekistan in Russia cautioned the Uzbek diaspora that any form of participation in the Russian invasion of Ukraine is punishable by up to 10 years in Uzbek prison, effectively denouncing Russian volunteer recruitment efforts among Central Asian immigrants. The Embassy noted that Uzbek law prohibits all citizens from engaging in mercenary activity and warned Uzbeks to stay clear of any “provocations.”[16] ISW has previously reported that the Chairman of the Society of Central Asian Uzbeks of Perm Krai, Jahongir Jalolov, called on Uzbek nationals living or working in Perm Krai to form a volunteer battalion in Perm Krai to support Russian forces in Ukraine.[17] Russian propagandist Margarita Simonyan supported Jalolov’s proposal and celebrated the loyalty of the Uzbek diaspora in Russia.[18] The Embassy statement was likely a response to Jalolov’s announcement.Iran reportedly began training Russian forces on Iranian UAV systems in recent weeks, demonstrating the deepening military cooperation between Iran and Russia. A US official told CNN that “Russian officials conducted training in Iran as part of the agreement for UAV transfers from Iran to Russia,” citing newly declassified US intelligence.[19] Russia launched a satellite on Iran’s behalf on August 9, likely in exchange for the drones and other military equipment and economic collaboration.[20] Iran may leverage new Russo-Iranian aviation deals to transfer UAVs to Russia for use in Ukraine.[21]Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports. References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update.Key TakeawaysRussian officials remain confused about the August 9 attack on the Saki Air Base in Russian-occupied Crimea, over 225km behind Russian lines, which destroyed at least eight Russian aircraft and multiple buildings.The Kremlin’s changing plans suggest that occupying forces are most likely to move up the date of the annexation referenda in occupied Ukraine. Annexation makes it harder to imagine any negotiated settlement to the war on any terms that Ukraine or the West could accept, demonstrating that the Kremlin is fundamentally unserious about ending the war on any terms short of a Ukrainian surrender.Iran reportedly began training Russian forces on Iranian UAV systems in recent weeks, demonstrating the deepening military cooperation between Iran and Russia.Russian forces conducted ground attacks west of Izyum.Russian forces continued limited ground assaults northeast and west of Bakhmut and likely made marginal gains in these areas.Russian forces made marginal gains northwest of Donetsk City and are continuing attempts to push northwestward from current footholds on the outskirts of Donetsk City.Russian forces conducted multiple unsuccessful offensives north and northeast of Kharkiv City.Russian forces conducted an unsuccessful reconnaissance-in-force operation in northwestern Kherson OblastRussia’s Oryol Oblast is reportedly forming a volunteer battalion.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks west of Izyum on August 10. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops attempted ground attacks near Husarivka (33km northwest of Izyum) and Velyka Komyshuvakha (21km southwest of Izyum).[22] Russian forces did not conduct any ground attacks northwest of Slovyansk and continued to shell settlements near the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border on August 10.[23]Russian forces did not conduct any ground attacks around Siversk and shelled Ukrainian positions in and around Siversk on August 10.[24]Russian forces continued ground attacks around Bakhmut and made partial gains to the south and northeast of Bakhmut on August 10. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops attempted to push north from positions around Novoluhanske (about 18km southeast of Bakhmut) and tried to advance around Kodema (about 11km southeast of Bakhmut).[25] Russian sources are additionally escalating claims of territorial control south of Bakhmut. The Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) claimed that DNR troops are working to clear Hladosove, about 16km south of Bakhmut.[26] Russian troops also reportedly conducted ground assaults northeast of Bakhmut in Yakovlivka (about 13km northeast of Bakhmut) and made marginal advances on the territory of the Bilokamyanskyi refractory plant in Soledar (about 8km northeast of Bakhmut).[27] Russian forces continued air and artillery strikes around Bakhmut and will likely continue efforts to advance directly on Bakhmut from the north, east, and south.[28]Russian forces continued ground attacks in order to push northwestward from the outskirts of Donetsk City on August 10. The Ukrainian General Staff noted that Russian troops attempted to push towards Avdiivka from Mineralne and Spartak, both on the northern outskirts of Donetsk City and within 5km southeast of Avdiivka.[29] Russian sources reported that Russian troops advanced into Krasnohorivka, about 16km north of Donetsk City.[30] Russian forces are additionally continuing to complete the seizure of Pisky, about 6km northwest of Donetsk City.[31] Russian troops will likely continue efforts to leverage recently-gained footholds northwest of Donetsk City in order to continue pushing the line of contact away from Donetsk City.Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces conducted multiple unsuccessful offensive operations along the Kharkiv City Axis on August 10. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to advance to Petrivka, approximately 32km northeast of Kharkiv City, and in the Veterynarne-Udy direction, approximately 56km north of Kharkiv City.[32] The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that Russian forces focused on conducting aerial reconnaissance and improving logistical support for units in the Kharkiv City direction.[33] Russian forces continued shelling settlements to the north and northeast of Kharkiv City.[34]Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Russian forces conducted an unsuccessful assault in northwestern Kherson Oblast on August 10. Ukrainian military officials reported that a Russian airborne assault platoon attempted a reconnaissance-in-force operation in Lozove, on the eastern bank of the Inhulets River and near the Ukrainian bridgehead.[35] Russian forces launched airstrikes on Andriivka, Olhine, and Novohryhorivka, all situated along the Kherson Oblast administrative border.[36] Russian forces have also continued artillery fire along the line of contact in Kherson Oblast.[37] Russian forces fired 80 Grad missiles at Nikopol and Marganets (both across the Dnipro River from Russian-occupied positions in Zaporizhia Oblast), and the Nikopol City Head Yevhen Yevtushenko described the night of the shelling as ”the worst night since February 24.”[38] Russian forces continued to target Mykolaiv and Zaporizhia cities and their surrounding areas.[39]Ukrainian officials confirmed destroying two Russian positions in southern Kherson Oblast, situated 100 and 170km south of the nearest frontline. Ukrainian military officials confirmed that they have struck a Russian ammunition depot in Novooleksiivka in the Henichensk district, north of the Kherson Oblast-Crimea border.[40] ISW has previously reported that local officials and social media users reported a large smoke cloud in Noovoleksiivka on August 9.[41] Ukrainian forces also struck a battalion tactical group (BTG) command post of the Russian 217th Guards Airborne Regiment in the Maksyma Horkoho village, approximately 30km west of the Crimean northwestern border.[42] Both settlements are located outside of the US-provided HIMARS range and may indicate that Ukrainian forces are using or have modified other weapons already in their possession to attack Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) on the Southern Axis.Ukrainian forces damaged a bridge in the area of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) in eastern Kherson Oblast. Kherson Oblast Administration Head Yaroslav Yanushkevych reported that Russian forces are unable to use the bridge.[43] Social media footage showed that the bridge has several holes and other signs of damage, but that some vehicles can pass through the affected area.[44] Ukrainian officials have previously identified the Kakhovka bridge as a key Russian GLOC in Kherson Oblast especially following the damage to the Antonovsky Bridge, east of Kherson City.[45] Russian forces are also continuing to undertake defensive measures to protect military equipment and GLOCs from Ukrainian strikes. Advisor to the Kherson Oblast Administration Serhiy Khlan added that Russian forces continued to hide their military equipment near the Kakhovka HPP and the Kakhovskyi Channel.[46] Satellite imagery showed that Russian forces installed radar reflectors near the partially operating Darivka bridge, approximately 17km northeast of Kherson City.[47]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian military officials continued taking measures to compensate for personnel losses in Ukraine. The UK Ministry of Defense (MOD) reported on August 10 that Russian officials have “almost certainly” formed the 3rd Army Corps based in Mulino, Nizhny Novgorod. The UK MOD reported that Russian officials likely intend to compose the 3rd Army Corps out of newly formed volunteer battalions, confirming ISW’s August 7 assessment that the 3rd Army Corps is at least in part composed of volunteer battalions.[48] Oryol Oblast Governor Andrey Klychkov announced on August 10 that Oryol Oblast will form a new volunteer battalion to deploy to Donbas.[49] Klychkov stated that the battalion will accept anyone between the ages of 18-60 and that volunteers will receive 250,000 rubles (approximately $4,065) when signing a three-month contract.[50] Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov stated that 9,000 Russian servicemen are prepared to deploy to Ukraine from Chechnya and that 10,000 reserves are “waiting in the wings.”[51]Ukraine's Center for Strategic Communications reported on August 10 that Russian forces are conducting an open advertising campaign for a reportedly newly formed military unit and sending targeted SMS text messages to recruit residents of occupied Mariupol. The report also stated that the Kremlin is doing “everything possible to avoid widespread conscription of ethnic Russians.”[52] The Mariupol City Council stated that Russian officials are not forming a new unit and are instead sending recruits directly to the front lines.[53]Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Russian officials are preparing for the integration of soon-to-be annexed Ukrainian territories into the Russian Federation but will likely face bureaucratic disagreements and major resource constraints.The governor of Russia’s Rostov Oblast, Vasily Golubev, said in an August 10 interview that Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts should be considered part of a Donbas “macro-region” within the borders of Rostov Oblast and claimed that Rostov Oblast is considering possible areas of cooperation with the Donbas region including in trade, agriculture, industry, energy, metallurgy, and transportation.[54] Golubev’s claims that Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts will be folded into Rostov Oblast in some capacity suggest that Russian officials may not have decided yet how the Kremlin will integrate different parts of occupied Ukraine into Russia since Russia’s proxies in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts expect some role in the governance of those regions. Rostov Oblast and the Russian proxy Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) clashed in May, as ISW reported, over who will control the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.[55] ISW had assessed on May 3 that “the Kremlin also likely needs to address internal disagreements on administrative boundaries and organization before formally annexing Ukrainian territory.” That assessment may be incorrect—a rushing Kremlin could choose to annex first and work out internal administration later but would likely struggle to consolidate control over resistant local populations and businesses without a coherent organizational structure.The head of the Russian proxy Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR), Leonid Pasechnik, stated on August 9 that LNR authorities may choose to not rebuild the city of Popasna, where 20,000 people lived before the war because the city is “almost completely destroyed.”[56] Pasechnik’s statement suggests that LNR leadership is already aware of the severe resource constraints that Russia and its proxies will face if they attempt to reconstruct damaged Ukrainian cities.[1] https://www.politico.eu/article/ukraine-long-anticipate-southern-counter...[2] https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/russia-ukraine-war-news-08-10-22/h_...[3] https://t.me/spravdi/15075; https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireSt...[4] https://t.me/rian_ru/173909;%C2%A0https://t.me/izvestia/99588[5] https://t.me/rybar/36954[6] https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/08/10/world/ukraine-russia-news-war/ex...[7] https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/08/10/ukraine-russia-crimea-be...[8] https://t.me/khersonskaODA/791; https://t.me/spravdi/15084 [9] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02nmnN2EnvCJqJgjSjK5HWW...[10] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...[11] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...[12] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-annexation-occupie...[13] https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/05/19/russia-ukraine-war-west-military-aid/;[14]  rbc.ua/ukr/news/glava-energoatoma-petr-kotin-okkupanty-podklyuchat-1660112098.html[15] https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraines-nuclear-chief-warns-very-h...[16] https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-uzbekistan-volunteers-warning-ukraine-war... tsargrad.tv/news/za-pomoshh-rossii-v-specoperacii-10-let-tjurmy-uzbekistan-na-kornju-obrubil-poryv-dobrovolcev_602115/nsk; http://www dot uzembassy.ru/news/17674?language=uz[17] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...[18] https://amp dot ura dot news/news/1052577256[19] https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/09/politics/russia-training-drones-iran/inde...[20] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-ass...[21] https://twitter.com/NicholasACarl/status/1552683083739979873?s=20&t=5jtZ...[22] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0d85hBZ31ttK7gmGnvKz...[23] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0d85hBZ31ttK7gmGnvKz...[24] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0d85hBZ31ttK7gmGnvKz...[25] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0d85hBZ31ttK7gmGnvKz...[26] https://t.me/nm_dnr/8725; https://t.me/readovkanews/40000[27] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0d85hBZ31ttK7gmGnvKz... https://t.me/miroshnik_r/8272; https://t.me/epoddubny/11875; https://t...[28] https://t.me/rybar/36973; https://t.me/stranaua/56952 ; https://www.f...[29] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0d85hBZ31ttK7gmGnvKz...[30] https://t.me/rybar/36955[31] https://twitter.com/rollowastaken/status/1557349193525649408; https://t...[32] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0d85hBZ31ttK7gmGnvKz...[33] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0d85hBZ31ttK7gmGnvKz...[34] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0d85hBZ31ttK7gmGnvKz...[35] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1231850430984020; https://www.faceboo...[36] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0d85hBZ31ttK7gmGnvKz...’ https://t.me/rybar/36973[37] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0d85hBZ31ttK7gmGnvKz...[38] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=995006067836432; ttps://t.me/Yevtushe... https://t.me/vilkul/1703; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/975; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1512[39] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=995006067836432; https://t.me/Bratchu... https://t.me/senkevichonline/2001; https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/2080; https://t.me/starukhofficial/3538; h...[40] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1231850430984020; https://t.me/spravd...[41] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...[42] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1231850430984020[43] https://t.me/khersonskaODA/791; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=99500...[44] https://t.me/stranaua/57059; . https://t.co/l1iiaBRDLS; https://twitt...[45] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...[46] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02vcyE7itToWwR6juJyMKwZ...[47] https://twitter.com/ArtisanalAPT/status/1557128429371260929[48] https://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Russian%20Operation...[49] https://m dot newsorel.ru/fn_1117395.html[50] https://m dot newsorel.ru/fn_1117395.html[51] https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/2674[52] https://t.me/spravdi/15077[53] https://t.me/mariupolrada/10506; https://t.me/andriyshTime/2233; https...[54] https://t.me/miroshnik_r/8273; https://www dot interfax-russia.ru/south-and-north-caucasus/news/gubernator-golubev-makroregion-donbass-rassmatrivaem-v-granicah-rostovskoy-oblasti-lnr-i-dnr-kak-sodruzhestvo-regionov; https://t.me/readovkanews/40006[55] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-annexation-occupie...[56] https://t.me/rian_ru/173939  

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/9/22 8:26pm
Kateryna Stepanenko, Angela Howard, Katherine Lawlor, Karolina Hird, George Barros, and Frederick W. KaganAugust 9, 7:45 pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report. The Ukrainian General Staff made no mention of Izyum in its 1800 situational report on August 9, nor did other prominent Ukrainian sources despite Western sources’ claims of an ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive in this area. This silence represents a noteworthy departure from previous Ukrainian coverage of the Kharkiv-Donetsk axis.Russian and Ukrainian sources reported a series of large explosions deep within Russian-occupied Kherson Oblast and Crimea on August 9, but Ukrainian officials have not claimed responsibility for them as of the time of this publication. Social media users reported witnessing 12 loud explosions at the Saky airbase in Novofedorivka on the Crimean western coast.[1] Social media footage only showed the large cloud of smoke and the aftermath of the incident.[2] Social media footage also showed a large smoke cloud near Novooleksiivka in Henichensk district, in the vicinity of the Kherson Oblast-Crimean border.[3] Advisor to the Kherson Oblast Administration Serhiy Khlan reported that explosions occurred on the Russian ammunition base but noted that there is no official confirmation of Ukrainian involvement in the incident.[4]The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that several aircraft munitions detonated in the storage areas of the Saky airbase due to poor fire protocol, rejecting reports that Ukrainian strikes or sabotage at the military facility caused the explosions.[5] The Russian Defense Ministry added that the incident did not result in any casualties or damage to Russian aviation equipment. The Russian Health Ministry claimed that five civilians were wounded in the incident, however.[6] Social media footage also showed firefighters extinguishing a burning plane, which also contradicts the original Russian Defense Ministry claim.[7] Russian-appointed Head of Crimea Sergey Aksyenov claimed that Russian officials are only evacuating a few residents in homes near the airbase, but social media footage showed long traffic jams approaching the Crimean bridge and the departure of several minibusses, reportedly with evacuees.[8] Russian propagandist Margarita Simonyan claimed that the incident was a result of sabotage rather than a missile or rocket strike.[9] Russian milbloggers voiced differing opinions regarding the origin of the strike, with some speculating that Ukrainian forces used US-provided long-range army tactical missile systems (ATACMS).[10] Ukrainian forces do not have the ATACMS systems, however.The Kremlin has little incentive to accuse Ukraine of conducting strikes that caused the damage since such strikes would demonstrate the ineffectiveness of Russian air defense systems, which the Ukrainian sinking of the Moskva had already revealed. ISW does not yet have any basis independently to assess the precise cause of the explosions. The apparent simultaneity of explosions at two distinct facilities likely rules out the official Russian version of accidental fire, but it does not rule out either sabotage or long-range missile strike. Ukraine could have modified its Neptune missiles for land-attack use (as the Russians have done with both anti-shipping and anti-aircraft missiles), but there is no evidence to support this hypothesis at this time.Russia launched an Iranian satellite into orbit on August 9 that could be used to provide military intelligence on Ukraine. Iranian Space Agency Head Hassan Salariyeh stated that the remote-sensing satellite, Khayyam, has a one-meter camera resolution.[11] Khayyam has already begun broadcasting telemetry data.[12] Iranian officials have denied that another state will have access to satellite feed at any point, but Western intelligence officials have claimed that Russian authorities will maintain access.[13]Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports. References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update.Key TakeawaysRussian forces conducted ground attacks to the southeast of Siversk and around Bakhmut.Russian forces conducted ground attacks north of Donetsk City and southwest of Donetsk City near the Zaporizhia-Donetsk Oblast border.Several large explosions hit Russian positions near Sevastopol and north of Crimea, but Russia did not blame Ukraine for them and Ukraine has not taken credit for them.Russia launched a surveillance satellite for Iran.Western media has reported that a Ukrainian counteroffensive is underway near Izyum, but the Ukrainian General Staff was notably completely silent about the area in its evening report.Russian sources suggested that recently-formed volunteer battalions are responsible for much of the Izyum sector.Ukrainian officials claimed that Russian forces continued to fire artillery systems from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.Russian officials are continuing to take prominent roles in preparing for the sham referenda in Russian-occupied regions despite Kremlin claims that Russia is not conducting the referenda.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)The Ukrainian General Staff and local officials reported that Russian forces continued to shell settlements north, west, and south of Izyum and along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border in the Slovyansk direction on August 9.[14]Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks east of Siversk on August 9. Ukrainian artillery forced Russian forces to retreat from an attempted ground assault in the Spirne area (13 km southeast of Siversk).[15] Russian forces similarly retreated after a reconnaissance-in-force effort near Ivano-Darivka (10 km southeast of Siversk) following Ukrainian bombardment.[16] Russian troops continued to shell Siversk and nearby settlements and targeted Hryhorivka with an airstrike.[17]Russian forces conducted several ground attacks in the Bakhmut area on August 9. The Ukrainian General Staff acknowledged that Russian forces led a partially successful advance in the direction of Vershyna (13 km southeast of Bakhmut) as well as failed offensive operations toward Yakovlivka, Bakhmut, and Zaitseve.[18] Ukrainian forces repelled Russian reconnaissance-in-force efforts around Pidhorodne (5 km northeast of Bakhmut), Vesele (10 km northeast of Soledar), Yakovlivka (6 km northeast of Soledar), Soledar, and Bakhmut.[19] Russian media amplified claims from Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) Deputy Internal Minister Vitaly Kiselev that the LNR’s 6th Cossack Regiment has partially occupied and held portions of the Knauf Gips Donbas gypsum factory southeast of Soledar since an unspecified date.[20] ISW cannot independently verify these claims, however. The UK Ministry of Defense assessed that Russian forces have advanced only about 10 km in the Bakhmut direction over the past 30 days, and these incremental advances along the Bakhmut axis constitute Russia’s most successful front along the Donbas axis.[21] Russian forces continued shelling of and airstrikes on settlements in the Bakhmut direction on August 9.[22]Russian forces continued ground attacks northwest of Donetsk City on August 9. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted failed offensive operations near Krasnohorivka (16 km north of Donetsk City), Avdiivka (15 km north of Donetsk City), and Pisky (11 km northwest of Donetsk City).[23] Russian milbloggers continued to claim Russian control of Pisky on August 9 but there is insufficient basis to extend the assessed Russian control from central Pisky.[24] DNR officials also claimed unspecified gains in the Avdiivka direction, which ISW cannot confirm.[25] Ukrainian forces neutralized Russian reconnaissance-in-force attempts toward the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border near Velyka Novosilka and Vremivka (75 km west of Donetsk City).[26] Russian-led forces continued to target settlements across southwestern Donetsk with artillery and airstrikes.[27]Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces conducted no confirmed ground assaults near Kharkiv City on August 9. Russian forces continued active fighting along current lines and conducted an airstrike near Verkhniy Saltiv.[28] The Ukrainian General Staff also noted continued Russian UAV aerial reconnaissance operations.[29] Russian forces continued routine shelling of Kharkiv City and surrounding settlements with tanks, tube and rocket artillery, and unspecified missiles.[30]Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Russian forces maintained defensive positions along the southern frontline and did not conduct offensive operations on August 9. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued to launch airstrikes at Bila Krynytsya and Andriivka, in the vicinity of the Ukrainian bridgehead near the Inhulets River, and on Ukrainian positions in Olhine and Osokorkivka near the Kherson-Dnipropetrovsk Oblast border.[31] Russian forces also conducted aerial reconnaissance in northern Kherson Oblast and continued artillery fire along the line of contact in the region.[32] The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence (GUR) intercepted a Russian servicemen’s call in which he stated that Russian forces operating in Kherson Oblast do not have enough manpower to conduct an offensive operation.[33] Mykolaiv Oblast officials also reported that Russian forces shelled the outskirts of Mykolaiv City and launched rockets from the Uragan multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) at Bereznehuvate, approximately 20 km northwest of the Ukrainian bridgehead.[34]Russian forces are reportedly continuing to neglect the Zaporizhia Oblast frontline in favor of Donetsk and Kherson Oblast efforts. Zaporizhia Oblast Military Administration Head Oleksandr Starukh noted that Russian forces are periodically concentrating forces in Zaporizhia Oblast to redistribute them to Donetsk or Kherson Oblast directions.[35] Starukh added that Ukrainian military command assesses a low risk of Russian offensive operation in Zaporizhia Oblast but specified that combat operations continue at the Zaporizhia-Donetsk Oblast border. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command did not report any changes in the Russian troop composition in Kherson Oblast on August 9.[36]Ukrainian officials maintained that Russian forces are continuing to fire using artillery systems situated at the territory of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Russian forces fired 80 Grad MLRS rockets at Nikopol from firing positions on the opposite bank of the Kakhovka Reservoir.[37] Starukh stated that Russian forces continue to use the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP to shell Nikopol and use the plant as a nuclear shield.[38]Ukrainian officials and social media users reported several explosions at Russian military bases and ammunition depots across the Southern Axis on August 8 and August 9. Advisor to the Kherson Oblast Administration Serhiy Khlan reported that a Russian ammunition depot suffered secondary explosions for over an hour and a half in Novooleksiivka near Henichensk (approximately 35 km north of the Crimean border).[39] Russian and Ukrainian sources reported a series of explosions at the Russian Saky airbase in occupied Novofedorivka, western Crimean coast.[40] Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov also reported 10 explosions at Russian military bases in the western part of Melitopol.[41] Ukrainian officials have not taken responsibility for the strikes on Russian military infrastructure as of the time of this publication. The Southern Operational Command only confirmed that Ukrainian forces struck Russian positions in Snihurivka (approximately 31 km east of Mykolaiv City) and two command posts in the Berislav and Khersonskyi districts.[42]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Kremlin-affiliated outlet Kommersant reported that Russian federal subjects (regions) formed over 40 volunteer battalions, confirming (and/or repeating) ISW’s assessments of Russian regional force generation campaigns.[43] ISW has previously identified that federal subjects formed 41 volunteer battalions and units throughout Russia. Kommersant notably did not report on the formation of the Moscow-based “Sobyaninskyi” Regiment that began recruitment on July 1.[44] Kommersant confirmed that St. Petersburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hometown, is forming three volunteer battalions “Kronstandt,” ”Neva,” and “Pavlovsk” exclusively composed of the city’s residents. St. Petersburg outlet “Fontanka” previously reported that one of the St. Petersburg battalions is an artillery unit.[45] Kommersant identified three new volunteer units from Tomsk, Amur, and Irkutsk Oblasts: Tomsk Oblast is forming the “Troyan” Battalion, Irkutsk Oblast is recruiting for the “Angara” Battalion, and Amur Oblast is expecting to recruit 400-500 volunteers for the “Amurskyi” Motorized Rifle Battalion. Kommersant also identified the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian federal subject governments, and existing military units as responsible for supplying and preparing individual volunteer battalions. In the example of the Primorskiy Krai-based “Tigr” Volunteer Battalion, the Russian Pacific Fleet provides recruits with ammunition and body armor, Primorskiy Krai supplies clothes and special equipment such as radios, and the Russian Defense Ministry dispenses weapons. If this pattern of responsibility distribution is common for all federal subjects, then some poorer federal subjects are likely to provide lower quality special equipment than other regions. Kommersant’s interview with an unnamed Russian federal official further suggests that the Russian Defense Ministry or the Kremlin ordered federal subjects to set informational and financial conditions for the establishment of the volunteer units, as ISW assessed on July 13.[46]Kommersant’s report further showcases the involvement of the Kuban Cossack Host (Army) during the Russian invasion of Ukraine and in its force generation efforts. The report noted that about 1,200 Cossacks are participating in the Russian hostilities in Ukraine. Kommersant reported that Krasnodar Krai formed additional military units called “Zakharia Chepigi” and ”Kuban” based on the Kuban Cossack Host in April and May, respectively. The Union of Cossack Warriors of Russia and Abroad also announced the reorganization of the “Don” Cossack Detachment into a brigade joint with the “Terek” Battalion and composed of “Kuban” and “Yenisey” units. The “Don” Detachment has conducted offensive operations around Velyka Komyshuvakha (southwest of Izyum) since at least April and the “Terek” Battalion recruited additional volunteers ages 20 to 63 from Stavropol Krai and Northern Caucasus.[47] The “Terek” Battalion has already reportedly sent 500 Cossacks to Donbas.[48] “Yermak” and “Tavrida” Cossack units are also reportedly conducting combat operations in Ukraine.The Kremlin or Russian Defense Ministry are likely exploiting leaders of immigrant and ethnic organizations to generate forces for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Chairman of the “Society of Central Asian Uzbeks of Perm Krai” Jahongir Jalolov announced that Uzbek nationals living or working in Perm Krai should form the “Amir Timur” Volunteer Battalion in Perm Krai to support Russian forces in Ukraine.[49] Jalolov noted that Uzbeks owe their livelihoods in Russia to the Russian people, and hence should participate in the special military operation. ISW has previously reported that Russian forces have been reportedly recruiting Central Asian immigrants to the Moscow-based “Sobyaninskyi” Regiment in exchange for Russian citizenship and financial compensation.[50]Russian sources additionally announced a recruitment effort to reinforce the “Russian Legion”—a volunteer battalion currently operating on the Donetsk-Kharkiv Oblast border—as of August 9.[51] The “Russian Legion” is reportedly formed of elements of the Russian Combat Army Reserve (BARS)—an effort aimed to establish an active reserve by recruiting volunteer reservists for three-year contract service.[52] This unit has reportedly fought on the Izyum axis near Pasika, Studenok, and Bohorodychne without rotation for three months.[53] The Russian Legion’s commander reportedly has been fighting in eastern Ukraine since 2014.[54] The tone of the post suggests that regular units of the Russian military have not fought in a significant part of this frontline sector recently, indicating that the Russian military is leveraging recently-formed volunteer units to perform frontline fighting in some areas, as opposed to reinforcing regular military units.Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Russian occupation officials are attempting to set conditions for the façade of a normal school year in occupied parts of Ukraine but are likely facing resistance from parents and school officials. The Ukrainian head of the Kherson Regional Administration, Yaroslav Yanushkevych, reported on August 9 that Russian occupation officials in Kherson Oblast are offering parents approximately 4,000 hryvnias a month (about 108 USD) to enroll their children in Russian-run schools for the autumn term.[55] An advisor to Yanushkevych, Serhiy Khlan, reported on August 9 that occupation officials are struggling to find locations to host polling stations for the sham annexation referendum in Kherson and are pressuring schools and school principals to help organize the referendum and to allow schools to be used as polling stations.[56]Russian officials are increasingly overtly involving themselves in the planned pseudo-referenda that the Kremlin will use to claim that Russia has a legitimate claim to annex occupied Ukrainian territory despite Kremlin Spokesman Dmitrii Peskov’s claim that it is not Russians who are holding the referendum.[57] The Russian governor of Sevastopol in occupied Crimea, Mikhail Razvozhaev, announced on August 9 that Sevastopol officials will monitor the referendum in occupied Zaporizhia Oblast and that Sevastopol organizers are already at work throughout Zaporizhia.[58] The Sevastopol organizers will likely join volunteers and employees from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, who have been assisting occupation administrations and preparing for the sham referendum in occupied Ukrainian territories since April.[59] The Russian-appointed head of the Zaporizhia Occupation Administration, Yevheny Balitsky, announced the beginning of formal preparations for the annexation referendum on August 8 and told Russian media on August 9 that he is “nearly certain” that Zaporizhia will “return to” Russia following the sham referendum.[60] Russian forces occupy about three-quarters of Zaporizhia Oblast’s territory as of August 9, encompassing the homes of about half of the population of the oblast.Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communications announced on August 9 that the Kremlin has crossed a “red line” by formally announcing the referendum in Zaporizhia, waging an “aggressive, colonial war” to annex Ukrainian territories seeking the “destruction of Ukraine’s statehood.”[61] The Center urged all residents to resist the occupation and noted that “Russia has made a bet on Melitopol [in Zaporizhia Oblast], not on Kherson” because the Kremlin “understands the inevitability of losing their bridgehead on the right bank of the Dnipro [river].” The Center promised that Ukrainian forces will liberate Zaporizhia, Kherson, and all other occupied territories. [1] https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/loud-explosions-heard-near-russian-military-airbase-crimea-witnesses-2022-08-09/; https://t.me/rian_crimea/14215; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/9713[2] https://t.me/stranaua/56865; https://t.me/stranaua/56859; https://t.me/stranaua/56872; https://t.me/stranaua/56875; https://t.me/stranaua/56878; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39124; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39127; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39131; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39132; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39141[3] https://t.me/hueviyherson/23647; https://t.me/hueviyherson/23646; https://t.me/hueviyherson/23645[4] https://www.ukrinform dot .net/rubric-ato/3546789-enemy-ammunition-detonates-near-henichesk.html https://www.ukrinform. dot net/rubric-ato/3546789-enemy-ammunition-detonates-near-henichesk.html; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid0x5AvHy3mAh6XVeDEEyyww3E5WBgAGd87ArciLmX94iWQH55CbyVTnNesS65j4e9Yl?__cft__[0]=AZUeTxpr6NsWAONGZ2BPEAg0QJ--rtvDHdjJ0AVKoRk5YsbzgtZsz3t87FDxEjGZIRW929OdkBslW6yHWk81_MtXqkT2LqMJcivU-7PQG6HSN3PqNdJDe0RFvUgyVHzYalRy2--Z4hf3Hl_psY_wAjh4&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02BYgMeFvzaUGMSTzmSJuNYNg5bCUR2wwTwe6HVwKiRUAsLvshKXzqGPkbgcZR9y86l?__cft__[0]=AZWMZZRGruGqjjxUkOAxNGJUtE7hbfFMJXC3Vvvm8YB8jVmGuUITn1Nq_S5xPmWHC-fNhPhph9M0R6WR89xRnwm1gAUQ2Y_GQohnccmKen8W3HkFMbibR-OQOFBjy1vygQ4VjRFCDgusPrrgXIneNxEj4fRFUdPvnnE8cZ25-vY77Q&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R; https://www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR2iaYnyY4sLr102f_M0lha5vegAZTMizSke894yE3zEnDjm5KE6O6HSw_Y&v=EnlDoDdVexo&feature=youtu.be[5] https://t.me/rian_ru/173909; https://t.me/izvestia/99588[6] https://t.me/rian_ru/173923[7] https://t.me/milinfolive/88489[8] https://t.me/Aksenov82/1294; https://twitter.com/TpyxaNews/status/1557027349610303491?s=20&t=wZFyxOLhnKw6NvLYNcgJ7Q; https://t.me/bazabazon/12719; https://t.me/bazabazon/12724; https://t.me/bazabazon/12727[9] https://twitter.com/M_Simonyan/status/1556995319228940289; https://t.me/bazabazon/12722[10] https://t.me/readovkanews/39968; https://t.me/readovkaru/1186[11] https://www.irna dot ir/news/84848211[12] https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iran-receives-first-telemetry-data-khayyam-satellite-irna-2022-08-09/[13] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/ukraine-conflict-updates; https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iran-receives-first-telemetry-data-khayyam-satellite-irna-2022-08-09/[14]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0eyyqxZ5FHVYBFfgwDfSj4GDiQ2fGo7wc6dxhf2ch3EkRCQS1qWGUVg7kGELVBcnwl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02pKLM3xPunJUgDR12hd2Gf99Ps1qB6PibGNksQx3nA1JdnrDsRY2i1dWST5wTyyd7l; https://t.me/kramatorsk_rada/5131[15]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02pKLM3xPunJUgDR12hd2Gf99Ps1qB6PibGNksQx3nA1JdnrDsRY2i1dWST5wTyyd7l[16]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0eyyqxZ5FHVYBFfgwDfSj4GDiQ2fGo7wc6dxhf2ch3EkRCQS1qWGUVg7kGELVBcnwl[17]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02pKLM3xPunJUgDR12hd2Gf99Ps1qB6PibGNksQx3nA1JdnrDsRY2i1dWST5wTyyd7l; https://t.me/kramatorsk_rada/5152[18]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02pKLM3xPunJUgDR12hd2Gf99Ps1qB6PibGNksQx3nA1JdnrDsRY2i1dWST5wTyyd7l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0eyyqxZ5FHVYBFfgwDfSj4GDiQ2fGo7wc6dxhf2ch3EkRCQS1qWGUVg7kGELVBcnwl; https://t.me/kommunist/8232[19]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02pKLM3xPunJUgDR12hd2Gf99Ps1qB6PibGNksQx3nA1JdnrDsRY2i1dWST5wTyyd7l[20] https://t.me/kommunist/8197; https://t.me/readovkanews/39975; https://t.me/kommunist/8233; https://t.me/milinfolive/88446[21] https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1556877244580118529?s=20&t=XVXzzV94XhC6RVITdBPCqg%E2%80%A2[22]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02pKLM3xPunJUgDR12hd2Gf99Ps1qB6PibGNksQx3nA1JdnrDsRY2i1dWST5wTyyd7l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0eyyqxZ5FHVYBFfgwDfSj4GDiQ2fGo7wc6dxhf2ch3EkRCQS1qWGUVg7kGELVBcnwl; https://t.me/spravdi/15018[23]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02pKLM3xPunJUgDR12hd2Gf99Ps1qB6PibGNksQx3nA1JdnrDsRY2i1dWST5wTyyd7l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0eyyqxZ5FHVYBFfgwDfSj4GDiQ2fGo7wc6dxhf2ch3EkRCQS1qWGUVg7kGELVBcnwl[24] https://t.me/epoddubny/11859; https://t.me/milchronicles/998; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-8[25] https://t.me/nm_dnr/8720[26]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0eyyqxZ5FHVYBFfgwDfSj4GDiQ2fGo7wc6dxhf2ch3EkRCQS1qWGUVg7kGELVBcnwl[27] https://t.me/spravdi/15018; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02pKLM3xPunJUgDR12hd2Gf99Ps1qB6PibGNksQx3nA1JdnrDsRY2i1dWST5wTyyd7l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0eyyqxZ5FHVYBFfgwDfSj4GDiQ2fGo7wc6dxhf2ch3EkRCQS1qWGUVg7kGELVBcnwl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02pKLM3xPunJUgDR12hd2Gf99Ps1qB6PibGNksQx3nA1JdnrDsRY2i1dWST5wTyyd7l; https://t.me/kramatorsk_rada/5131[28] https://t.me/synegubov/3870; https://t.me/der_rada/2241; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0eyyqxZ5FHVYBFfgwDfSj4GDiQ2fGo7wc6dxhf2ch3EkRCQS1qWGUVg7kGELVBcnwl[29]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0eyyqxZ5FHVYBFfgwDfSj4GDiQ2fGo7wc6dxhf2ch3EkRCQS1qWGUVg7kGELVBcnwl;[30] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02pKLM3xPunJUgDR12hd2Gf99Ps1qB6PibGNksQx3nA1JdnrDsRY2i1dWST5wTyyd7l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0eyyqxZ5FHVYBFfgwDfSj4GDiQ2fGo7wc6dxhf2ch3EkRCQS1qWGUVg7kGELVBcnwl; https://t.me/der_rada/2236; https://www.facebook.com/Zadorenko/posts/pfbid0mo6vwohr88h9NNHvNm8J9ixXFsMp3PsxtojxY8tq9BcdPxcZDm2iYFX7JYXYUKuYl; https://t.me/spravdi/15018; https://t.me/ihor_terekhov/397; https://t.me/stranaua/56777; https://t.me/synegubov/3870; https://t.me/der_rada/2241[31] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02pKLM3xPunJUgDR12hd2Gf99Ps1qB6PibGNksQx3nA1JdnrDsRY2i1dWST5wTyyd7l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0eyyqxZ5FHVYBFfgwDfSj4GDiQ2fGo7wc6dxhf2ch3EkRCQS1qWGUVg7kGELVBcnwl[32] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0eyyqxZ5FHVYBFfgwDfSj4GDiQ2fGo7wc6dxhf2ch3EkRCQS1qWGUVg7kGELVBcnwl; https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/videos/578481097247911/; https://t.me/khersonskaODA/790; https://t.me/spravdi/15018[33] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/u-nas-tam-mnoho-poter-kak-by-vam-po-televyzoru-ne-rasskazhut-pravdu.html[34] https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/videos/578481097247911/[35] https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/11472[36] https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/videos/578481097247911/[37] https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/videos/578481097247911/; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/457 ; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1502; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/950; https://t.me/vilkul/1700[38] https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/11472[39] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02BYgMeFvzaUGMSTzmSJuNYNg5bCUR2wwTwe6HVwKiRUAsLvshKXzqGPkbgcZR9y86l[40] https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/loud-explosions-heard-near-russian-military-airbase-crimea-witnesses-2022-08-09/; https://t.me/rian_crimea/14215[41] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/374; https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/373[42] https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/videos/578481097247911/; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=383004923983670[43] https://www dot kommersant.ru/doc/5501970[44] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russia-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-13[45] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-31[46] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russia-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-13[47] https://life dot ru/p/1511354; https://news dot 1777.ru/85070-kazaki-severnogo-kavkaza-primut-uchastie-v-voennoy-specoperacii-na-ukraine [48] https://news dot 1777.ru/85070-kazaki-severnogo-kavkaza-primut-uchastie-v-voennoy-specoperacii-na-ukraine[49] https://vetta dot tv/news/society/permskie-uzbeki-planiruyut-prisoedinitsya-k-spetsoperatsii-na-ukraine/[50] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-26[51] https://t.me/sashakots/34803[52] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/explainer-russian-conscription-reserve-and-mobilization[53] https://t.me/sashakots/34803[54] https://t.me/sashakots/34803[55] https://t.me/khersonskaODA/790[56]https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02pbcAXPVRwo41VZfdCqsBT5YbPm5H2uKSwvKmpwKHGEcXNJzxNrLp85TTP7jVR2Ndl[57] https://tass dot ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/15421435?; https://tass dot ru/politika/15420573; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-8[58] https://t.me/stranaua/56804; https://t.me/razvozhaev/835[59] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-29; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-april-16[60] https://tass dot ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/15430851[61] https://t.me/spravdi/15022  

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/8/22 9:51pm
Layne Philipson, Katherine Lawlor, Karolina Hird, George Barros, Angela Howard, and Frederick W. KaganAugust 8, 7:00 pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Western and Ukrainian outlets circulated a report, likely false, of a Russian general allegedly threatening to destroy Europe’s largest nuclear facility, the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), if Russia could not hold the plant. Multiple news outlets shared a screenshot from the Russian social networking site Vkontakte that claimed to cite the Russian head of the Zaporizhia occupation garrison, Major General Valery Vasilev, stating that Russia had mined the Zaporizhzhia NPP and that the plant would be “either Russian land or a scorched desert.”[1] The screenshot appeared to be a news report posted in a Vkontakte group run by Russian outlet Lenta Novosti Zaporizhia. The outlet itself claimed that the screenshot was from a faked group and denied writing the report.[2] The Russian Ministry of Defense condemned the report and screenshot as a “fake” and claimed that Vasilev was in Uzbekistan at the time he was purported to have made the statement to forces at Zaporizhzhia.[3] Regardless of the origin (or existence) of the original post, the reporting is unreliable. It is indirect and does not claim to cite an official statement or a statement made on any official Russian news or government website.This likely misreporting distracts from the very real risks of Russia’s militarization of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, which may include mining the plant and almost certainly includes the unsafe storage of military armaments near nuclear reactors and nuclear waste storage facilities.[4] Bellingcat geolocated a drone video of the Zaporizhia NPP that was shared by Russian opposition outlet The Insider on August 5. The video depicts Russian military vehicles moving in and around the plant, including military trucks and armored vehicles moving around and into the building containing the first of the plant’s six nuclear reactors.[5] Russian forces have also dug trenches in and around the plant and may have established firing positions.[6] Russian officials claim that Ukraine has repeatedly attacked the plant, while Ukrainian officials claim that Russian forces are attacking Ukrainian positions from within the plant, preventing Ukrainian return fire and essentially using the plant as a nuclear shield.[7] Russian forces have repeatedly shelled the nearby Ukrainian-controlled town of Nikopol, likely from positions in or around the NPP, since July.[8]ISW continues to assess that Russian forces are likely leveraging the threat of nuclear disaster to degrade Western will to provide military support to a Ukrainian counteroffensive.[9]Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports. References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update.Key TakeawaysReporting of a likely falsified Russian statement distracts from the real risks of a Russian-caused nuclear disaster at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Russian forces continue to conduct attacks from and store military equipment near the plant’s nuclear reactors, likely to play upon Western fears of a nuclear disaster and degrade Western will to provide additional military support to Ukraine.Russian forces conducted ground attacks northwest of Slovyansk and northeast and southeast of Bakhmut.Russian forces continued ground attacks northwest and southwest of Donetsk City.Russian officials postponed reopening the Antonivskyi Bridge after a Ukrainian strike damaged the bridge and nearby construction equipment.Russian forces are deploying less-professional occupation forces and increasing pressure on Ukrainian populations in occupied areas.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed advances northwest of Izyum on August 8. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted an airstrike on Zalyman, approximately 30 km northwest of Izyum, and shelled settlements north of Izyum, including Husarivka and Asiivka.[10]Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack northwest of Slovyansk on August 8. The Ukrainian General staff reported that Russian forces conducted a failed offensive to improve their positions near Bohorodychne.[11] Russian forces continued to shell settlements between Izyum and Slovyansk along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border and additionally conducted an artillery strike directly on Slovyansk.[12] Russian journalist and milblogger Evgeniy Poddubniy claimed on August 7 that Ukrainian forces are continually forming new brigades in Kharkiv Oblast despite continuous Russian strikes and projected that this force generation shows that Ukrainian forces can simultaneously conduct advances in the Kherson direction and in Kharkiv Oblast.[13]Russian forces conducted ground assaults to the east of Siversk on August 8. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces attempted failed offensives in the direction of Verkhnokamyanskye (5 km east of Siversk) and four other unnamed settlements but retreated with losses.[14] Luhansk Oblast Head Serhiy Haidai also reported that Ukrainian forces neutralized Russian reconnaissance groups near unspecified settlements.[15] Russian forces continued to shell Siversk and nearby settlements with tank, tube, and rocket artillery and targeted neighboring villages, Hryhorivka and Ivano-Darivka, with airstrikes.[16]Russian forces continued ground attacks to the east and south of Bakhmut on August 8. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces defeated Russian reconnaissance groups of unspecified echelons near Bakhmutske, and Yakovlivka—villages approximately 15 km northeast of Bakhmut—and that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian ground assaults near Zaitseve and Vershyna—villages approximately 10 km southeast of Bakhmut.[17] Russian forces likely seek to establish control over Soledar to Bakhmut’s north and Zaitseve to Bakhmut’s south to set conditions to disrupt Ukrainian control over the T0513 trunk road that supports Ukrainian frontline positions in northeast Donetsk Oblast.Russian forces continued ground attacks to the northwest and southwest of Donetsk City on August 8. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops attempted to advance toward Avdiivka (5 km north of Donetsk City) Pisky (5 km northwest of Donetsk City), and Nevelske (12 km northwest of Donetsk City).[18] Social media footage posted on August 7 previously showed Russian forces advancing within Pisky itself and, taken in tandem with the vague language of the Ukrainian General Staff report, Russian forces are likely focusing on advancing northwest through Pisky from positions in the center of the settlement.[19] Russian troops additionally conducted localized ground attacks southwest of Donetsk City near Maryinka and Shevchenko.[20]Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks northeast of Kharkiv City and focused on maintaining their current lines on August 8.[21] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted airstrikes and UAV reconnaissance northeast of Kharkiv City.[22] Russian forces also struck residential areas near central Kharkiv City with multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) and continued to strike Kharkiv City and surrounding settlements with S-300 missiles, mortars, tanks, and tank, tube, and rocket artillery.[23]Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Russian forces continued focusing efforts on maintaining their current positions and preventing Ukrainian advances along the Southern Axis on August 8.[24] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued shelling civilian and military infrastructure using tank, tube, and rocket artillery and intensified aerial reconnaissance using UAVs along the entire line of contact.[25] Russian forces also conducted airstrikes on Lozove and Andriivka, both on the eastern bank of the Inhulets River, and Olhyne, located along the northern part of the T2207 highway.[26] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces also conducted airstrikes in Prechistivka, Volodymyrivka, Novomykhailivka, and Poltavka.[27]Russian forces continued to target settlements in Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, and Odesa oblasts with artillery and missiles. Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces launched two Kh-59 cruise missiles at Kamianske and continued shelling Nikopol, Zelendolsk, Marhanets, and Velika Kostromka, Dniprotrovsk Oblast.[28] Russian forces also continued shelling settlements on the outskirts of Mykolaiv City but did not launch any strikes directly on Mykolaiv City.[29] Odesa officials reported that Ukrainian air defense forces shot down four Russian Kalibr missiles fired from the Black Sea.[30]Ukrainian forces continued targeting Russian military positions and ammunition depots in Zaporizhia and Kherson oblasts. Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov reported that Ukrainian high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) strikes destroyed a “significant amount of” Russian military equipment and manpower concentrations in industrial districts throughout Melitopol at night on August 7-8.[31] Fedorov also noted that Russian forces transferred a significant part of their air defense systems from Melitopol to Kherson during the week of July 31-August 7.[32] Ukrainian officials confirmed that Ukrainian forces struck the Antonivsky and Kakhovka bridges at night on August 7-8.[33] Russian Deputy Head of the Russian Occupation Administration in Kherson Oblast Kirill Stremousov stated that Russian officials will postpone reopening the Antonivskyi bridge, scheduled for August 10, due to the damage to construction equipment near the bridge.[34] Ukrainian Southern Operational Command Spokesperson Vladislav Nazarov reported that Ukrainian airstrikes hit two Russian strongholds in the Kherson and Berislav districts and that Ukrainian indirect fire destroyed a Russian ammunition depot in Charivne, approximately 65 km northeast of Kherson City on August 7.[35]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov stated that a Russian Special Forces volunteer group completed a two-week accelerated tactical and fire training course at the Russian Special Forces University in Gudermes, Chechnya.[36] Kadyrov stated that a flight of volunteers departed the Grozny airport for deployment to an unspecified area in Ukraine on August 8.[37]Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Ukraine’s Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on August 8 that Russian forces are deploying less-professional occupation forces and increasing pressure on local populations. The GUR reported that Russian occupation forces are increasing pressure on civilians at checkpoints in Kherson Oblast, particularly in Hola Prystan. The GUR reported that Russian forces deployed a newly mobilized battalion of Russian convicted criminals (likely pardoned for their service) to Balaklia, Kharkiv Oblast, and that cruelty, “immoral behavior,” and aggressive attitudes toward the local population “increased sharply” upon their arrival.[38] This report demonstrates one effect of Russia’s wide-ranging attempt to mobilize as many Russians as possible, regardless of fitness for service. The GUR also reported that racialized conflicts between Russian occupation units of different ethnicities are increasing, affecting the safety of civilians in occupied areas. The GUR claimed that Russian forces shot and killed the Chechen deputy commander of a unit in Zaporizhia for ethnically motivated reasons. The GUR also reported that an intoxicated Russian soldier driving an armored personnel carrier (APC) knocked down an electrical pole in Zelenopillya, Luhansk Oblast, cutting off electricity to the town.Newly mobilized Russian battalions are likely worse trained, less professional, and more brutal to occupied populations than professional Russian soldiers or even conscripts who completed formal military training prior to their deployments. Russian forces may increasingly deploy low-quality, poorly trained units, like those made up of convicts, to control populations in occupied parts of Ukraine. Such deployments may reduce the competence of occupation authorities and counter-partisan operations and may increase Ukrainian support for movements that resist Russia’s occupation.Russian occupation officials are beginning to issue formal orders to prepare for sham annexation referenda. The head of the Russian Zaporizhia Oblast Occupation Administration, Yevheny Balitsky, said on August 8 that he ordered the oblast’s central election commission “to start working on the issue of organizing a referendum on the reunification of Zaporizhia Oblast with the Russian Federation.”[39] Balitsky claimed that he signed the order after 700 delegates voted “unanimously” at the “We Are Together with Russia” event held in Zaporizhia Oblast on August 8. ISW has previously assessed that the Kremlin likely founded, coordinates, and promotes the “We Are Together with Russia” organization to create a facade of public support for the annexation and integration of occupied Ukrainian oblasts into Russia.[40] Other Russian occupation officials amplified Balitsky’s referendum preparation and congratulated him for ”following the path of Crimea.”[41] The Russian deputy head of the Kherson Occupation Administration, Kirill Stremousov, posted video footage on Telegram that he claimed showed residents of Kherson Oblast claiming that they are ready to vote in a referendum to join Russia.[42] Stremousov claimed that Kherson "has already been liberated from slavery and the colonial regime of the collective West.” Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov announced on August 8 that residents of Kherson and Zaporizhia want to hold referendums to join Russia and claimed that “It's not us [the Kremlin] who are holding the referendum.”[43]Russian occupation officials are also attempting to incentivize Ukrainian cooperation with Russian data collection efforts that occupation officials will likely use to falsify the results of the sham annexation referenda but are facing resistance. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on August 8 that Russian occupation forces in Kherson are expanding the number of “one-time financial assistance” locations at which civilians in occupied areas can receive 10,000 rubles (approximately 165 USD) in exchange for their passport data.[44] The Resistance Center reported that this approach has not generated as much data collection as occupation officials had planned, leading them to expand the number of locations throughout occupied Kherson Oblast.[45] Ukrainian partisan Telegram channel Yellow Ribbon called on Kherson Oblast residents to mobilize and prevent Russians from holding an annexation referendum on August 8 and asked civilians in occupied areas to provide information on Russian planning, collaborators, and troop movements.[46] Yellow Ribbon also shared images of partisan supporters posting partisan posters and slogans in Kherson, Nova Kakhovka, Melitopol, and Crimea on August 8 and called on Ukrainians to resist Russian “passportization” efforts.[47] [1] https://www.thedailybeast.com/zaporizhzhia-nuclear-disaster-miraculously-avoided-during-suicidal-russian-attack; https://focus dot ua/uk/voennye-novosti/524694-tut-budet-russka-zemlya-ili-vyzzhennaya-pustynya-komandir-okkupantov-na-zaporozhskoy-aes; https://antikor dot com.ua/ru/articles/565687-tut_budet_russkaja_zemlja_ili_vyhhennaja_pustynja__komandir_okkupantov_na_zaporohskoj_aes; https://news dot uaportal.com/section-telegram-news/news-tut-budet-ili-russkaya-zemlya-ili-vyizhzhennaya-pustyinya-okkupantyi-prigrozili-vzorvat-zaporozhskuyu-aes-v-sluchae-nastupleniya-vsu-08-08-2022.html; https://t.me/u_now/62146; https://t.me/orlovdmytroEn/780;[2] https://zp-news dot ru/other/2022/08/08/14127.html; https://vk dot com/public213127547; https://vk dot com/public213127547?w=wall-213127547_3075[3] https://t.me/mod_russia/18347[4] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-6[5] https://twitter.com/wammezz/status/1556605121664106496?s=20&t=wzB8_Kk8dnB_3Z4FSvjFSA[6] https://twitter.com/wammezz/status/1556605152500523008?s=20&t=wzB8_Kk8dnB_3Z4FSvjFSA[7] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/08/world/europe/zaporizhzhia-nuclear-power-plant.html?smid=url-share[8] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-6[9] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-3[10]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02STQSgyvVQggZbz2E6dof1wUuGys1A7uKEyzt9knqzHqwhV8eRKHNzzYdiE3xhZ7Rl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02PUdiDteq3vuMhso5TptHKTBKyzJMU9yfv16t61NjA9uZtas9gBjfLDJa41DjU8U8l[11] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02STQSgyvVQggZbz2E6dof1wUuGys1A7uKEyzt9knqzHqwhV8eRKHNzzYdiE3xhZ7Rl;[12]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02STQSgyvVQggZbz2E6dof1wUuGys1A7uKEyzt9knqzHqwhV8eRKHNzzYdiE3xhZ7Rl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02STQSgyvVQggZbz2E6dof1wUuGys1A7uKEyzt9knqzHqwhV8eRKHNzzYdiE3xhZ7Rl; https://t.me/slv_vca/3174; https://t.me/spravdi/14965; https://t.me/mod_russia/18342[13] https://t.me/epoddubny/11849[14] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02PUdiDteq3vuMhso5TptHKTBKyzJMU9yfv16t61NjA9uZtas9gBjfLDJa41DjU8U8l; https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/4827[15] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/4831[16]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02STQSgyvVQggZbz2E6dof1wUuGys1A7uKEyzt9knqzHqwhV8eRKHNzzYdiE3xhZ7Rl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02PUdiDteq3vuMhso5TptHKTBKyzJMU9yfv16t61NjA9uZtas9gBjfLDJa41DjU8U8l[17] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02PUdiDteq3vuMhso5TptHKTBKyzJMU9yfv16t61NjA9uZtas9gBjfLDJa41DjU8U8l[18] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02STQSgyvVQggZbz2E6dof1wUuGys1A7uKEyzt9knqzHqwhV8eRKHNzzYdiE3xhZ7Rl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02PUdiDteq3vuMhso5TptHKTBKyzJMU9yfv16t61NjA9uZtas9gBjfLDJa41DjU8U8l[19] https://twitter.com/Arvelleg1/status/1556302428638674947; https://twitter.com/zcjbrooker/status/1556259391514492928[20] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02STQSgyvVQggZbz2E6dof1wUuGys1A7uKEyzt9knqzHqwhV8eRKHNzzYdiE3xhZ7Rl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02PUdiDteq3vuMhso5TptHKTBKyzJMU9yfv16t61NjA9uZtas9gBjfLDJa41DjU8U8l[21]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02STQSgyvVQggZbz2E6dof1wUuGys1A7uKEyzt9knqzHqwhV8eRKHNzzYdiE3xhZ7Rl[22]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02STQSgyvVQggZbz2E6dof1wUuGys1A7uKEyzt9knqzHqwhV8eRKHNzzYdiE3xhZ7Rl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02PUdiDteq3vuMhso5TptHKTBKyzJMU9yfv16t61NjA9uZtas9gBjfLDJa41DjU8U8l[23]. https://t.me/synegubov/3868; https://t.me/synegubov/3866; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02STQSgyvVQggZbz2E6dof1wUuGys1A7uKEyzt9knqzHqwhV8eRKHNzzYdiE3xhZ7Rl; https://t.me/synegubov/3864; . https://t.me/der_rada/2226; https://www.facebook.com/Zadorenko/posts/pfbid02EgQPm2XmhzsfuCyHEa5FzFAGEYNudBVAT5hK7frBSU9XrkkXWdZ9DnUKYpsNVqNRl[24] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02PUdiDteq3vuMhso5TptHKTBKyzJMU9yfv16t61NjA9uZtas9gBjfLDJa41DjU8U8l; https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/videos/1012950379374222/; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/11413[25] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02STQSgyvVQggZbz2E6dof1wUuGys1A7uKEyzt9knqzHqwhV8eRKHNzzYdiE3xhZ7Rl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02STQSgyvVQggZbz2E6dof1wUuGys1A7uKEyzt9knqzHqwhV8eRKHNzzYdiE3xhZ7Rl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02PUdiDteq3vuMhso5TptHKTBKyzJMU9yfv16t61NjA9uZtas9gBjfLDJa41DjU8U8l[26] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02PUdiDteq3vuMhso5TptHKTBKyzJMU9yfv16t61NjA9uZtas9gBjfLDJa41DjU8U8l[27] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02STQSgyvVQggZbz2E6dof1wUuGys1A7uKEyzt9knqzHqwhV8eRKHNzzYdiE3xhZ7Rl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02PUdiDteq3vuMhso5TptHKTBKyzJMU9yfv16t61NjA9uZtas9gBjfLDJa41DjU8U8l[28] https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/946; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/942; https://t.me/vilkul/1697; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/442; https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/videos/733975671038044/; https://t.me/spravdi/14965[29] https://t.me/spravdi/14965; https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/2049[30] https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/16843; https://t.me/odeskaODA/748[31] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/366[32] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/366[33] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid0YkGyEr7Uqu7XUYCmn1Pe7437RMqcLcMqDZZZ4XuJqX3DXTdDQr17z5mKaBnfPfskl; https://t.me/khersonskaODA/779; https://t.me/spravdi/14968[34] https://tass dot ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/15419365[35] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1012950379374222&ref=sharing; https://suspilne dot media/268843-udari-zsu-na-hersonsini-vplivaut-na-moralnij-stan-ta-boezdatnist-vijsk-rf-gumenuk/; https://t.me/zalpalyanytsya/1288; [36] https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/2667[37] https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/2667[38] https://gur dot gov dot ua/content/zrostaie-tysk-rashystiv-na-mistseve-naselennia-tymchasovo-okupovanykh-terytorii.html[39] https://t.me/BalitskyVGA/164[40] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-30[41] https://t.me/kommunist/8173; https://t.me/Aksenov82/1283; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39094; https://t.me/readovkanews/39916[42] https://t.me/Stremousov_Kirill/206[43] https://tass dot ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/15421435?; https://tass dot ru/politika/15420573[44] https://sprotyv dot mod dot gov dot ua/2022/08/08/rosiyany-stvoryuyut-merezhu-dlya-zboru-pasportnyh-danyh-meshkancziv-tot/[45] https://sprotyv dot mod dot gov dot ua/2022/08/08/rosiyany-stvoryuyut-merezhu-dlya-zboru-pasportnyh-danyh-meshkancziv-tot/[46] https://t.me/yellowribbon_ua/959[47] https://t.me/yellowribbon_ua/964; https://t.me/yellowribbon_ua/970; https://t.me/yellowribbon_ua/971; https://t.me/yellowribbon_ua/977; 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/8/22 7:47pm
Kateryna Stepanenko, Katherine Lawlor, Karolina Hird, George Barros, and Frederick W. Kagan                                                                              August 7, 8 pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report. Russian occupation officials may be accelerating their preparations for illegitimate pseudo-referenda on the Russian annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory. The Ukrainian Mayor of Melitopol, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ivan Fedorov, reported on August 7 that resistance among Ukrainian residents has forced Russian authorities to “constantly” change their plans for a referendum. Fedorov claimed that occupation authorities had planned a single day of voting but are now considering seven days of “voting from home” in which armed Russian military personnel will go house to house and “interview” Melitopol residents.[1] Fedorov claimed that only about 10% of the civilians remaining in Melitopol support Russia’s occupation and warned that Russian soldiers will threaten to shoot residents who do not vote for annexation.[2]  Ukrainian Kherson Administration Advisor Sergey Khlan noted that occupation authorities have not fully set conditions for a referendum as of August 7 but are accelerating their preparation after a three-week pause in preparations, which Khlan attributed to Ukrainian HIMARS attacks on Russian occupation logistics.[3] Occupation authorities could also alter the timeline of their sham referenda in response to changing realities on the ground, including a Ukrainian counteroffensive. Khlan reported that the preliminary referendum date remains September 11.By removing in-person voting options and transitioning to house-to-house surveys, Russian occupation authorities are increasing their opportunities to directly intimidate Ukrainian civilians. This effort is unnecessary to rig the vote to the outcome the Kremlin desires but does make any independent oversight of the vote nearly impossible. Occupation authorities may also turn these “surveys” into intelligence gathering operations to weed out Ukrainian opposition in occupied areas. Removing in-person polling stations removes many requirements for bureaucrats to staff those locations. Russian forces have struggled to recruit people into these positions from occupied populations. In-home voting also limits opportunities for partisan attacks on those locations.The Kremlin may order different types of voting in different occupied locations depending on perceived local support, perceived risk of partisan attacks, and bureaucratic capacity. For example, the Ukrainian head of the Luhansk Oblast Civil-Military Administration, Serhiy Haidai, reported on August 7 that Russian occupation authorities in Luhansk Oblast have identified venues to host their sham annexation referendum in person.[4] Haidai reported that Russian occupation authorities are actively campaigning for annexation by distributing propagandist newspapers and tying the provision of humanitarian aid including food, water, and construction materials to participate in the pseudo-referendum. Haidai said that the practice amounts to blackmail: “we [the Russians] will help you [Ukrainian civilians] meet your basic needs, while you go to the ‘referendum.’ Otherwise, die, and we will fabricate the result without you.” Russia has occupied parts of Luhansk Oblast since 2014 and likely has greater capacity to mobilize collaborators to administer polling stations than in newly occupied areas. ISW reported on August 3 that occupation authorities in Donetsk Oblast may allow in-person and online participation, providing multiple levers for Russian officials to alter the results.[5]The Iranian Space Agency (ISA) denied reports on August 7 that Russia will use an Iranian satellite over Ukraine for several months after Russia launches the satellite on behalf of Iran. State-run Iranian news outlet IRNA cited an ISA statement on August 7 asserting that the satellite will be controlled by and from Iran “from day one, immediately upon launch.”[6] The ISA emphasized that “No other country will have access to such information, and rumors about satellite imagery being deployed in service of another country's military objectives are untrue.” The Washington Post cited two Western intelligence officials’ claims on August 4 that Russia would retain control of the satellite after launch to surveil Ukraine and would cede control of the satellite to Iran at an indefinite future date.[7] ISW reported on August 3 that the Kremlin is likely continuing efforts to leverage its relationship with Tehran in order to receive drones for use in Ukraine.[8] ISW cannot independently confirm which state will control the satellite, which Russia plans to launch from Kazakhstan on August 9.The UK Ministry of Defense (UK MoD) confirmed ISW’s previous assessments that Russian military leadership has experienced major turn-overs due to Russian military failures in Ukraine.[9] UK MoD reported that at least six Russian commanders have likely been dismissed from their posts since the beginning of the war in February, potentially including Eastern Military District (EMD) commander Colonel General Aleksandr Chayko and Western Military District (WMD) commander Colonel General Aleksandr Zhuravlev. UK MoD additionally stated that Army General Aleksandr Dvornikov has been removed from overall theater command of Ukraine and that Army General Sergey Surovikin has taken over the “Southern Grouping” of forces in Ukraine. UK MoD concluded that the lack of consistency in the Russian command structure and continued losses to military leadership on the battlefield are complicating command and control and the overall effectiveness of operations in Ukraine. ISW has previously reported on changes to Russian military command and continues to track the ramifications of these changes on Russian offensive capabilities.[10]Note:  ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports.  References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update.Key TakeawaysRussian military leadership continues to experience major turnover, which is likely impacting Russian command and control efforts in Ukraine.Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks southwest and southeast of Izyum, east of Siversk, and to the east and south of Bakhmut.Russian forces have likely made incremental gains in settlements on the northwestern and southwestern outskirts of Donetsk City and continued efforts to break Ukrainian defensive lines along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line of contact.Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to advance east of Mykolaiv City on August 7.Russian forces are forming a new 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade in Orenburg Oblast as part of the 3rd Army Corps.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts)Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground assaults northwest of Izyum on August 7. Social media imagery posted on August 7 showed elements of the 5th Tank Brigade and 37th Motorized Rifle Brigade operating in unspecified locations along the Izyum axis, indicating that elements of the Eastern Military District group are still operating on the Izyum axis.[11]Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks southwest and southeast of Izyum in the direction of Slovyansk on August 7. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian force repelled a Russian attack near Virnopillya- about 18km southwest of Izyum.[12] Russian forces also conducted ground assaults near Bohorodychne and Dolyna, both about 20km northwest of Slovyansk along the Izyum-Slovyansk line.[13] Slovyansk Military-Civilian Administration Head Vadym Lyakh stated that Russian forces shelled residential areas in the center of Slovyansk.[14]Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack east of Siversk on August 7. Ukrainian sources reported that Russian troops failed to improve their tactical position in Verkhnokamyanske, 5km due east of Siversk.[15] Russian forces otherwise conducted air and artillery strikes on and around Siversk.[16]Russian forces continued ground attacks to the northeast, east, and south of Bakhmut on August 7. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Ukrainian troops neutralized a Russian reconnaissance-in-force group in Bilohorivka, about 18km northeast of Bakhmut along the T1302 highway.[17] Russian forces also conducted ground attacks in the vicinity of Yakovlivka, Volodymyryvka, and Pokrovske- settlements within 15km of the eastern outskirts of Bakhmut.[18] Russian forces continued efforts to gain ground south of Bakhmut and conducted ground attacks around Zaitseve, Vershyna, Kodema, Vidrodzhennya, and Semihirya.[19]Russian forces continued ground attacks to the north and west of Donetsk City on August 7 and have likely made incremental advances in settlements near the outskirts of Donetsk City. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces maintained efforts to break Ukrainian defensive lines in the directions of Krasnohorivka (15km north of Donetsk City), Pisky (5km northwest of Donetsk City), Avdiivka (5km north of Donetsk City), and Maryinka (directly on the southwestern outskirts of Donetsk City).[20] Combat footage posted to social media on August 7 shows Russian forces in the central part of Pisky, which indicates that Russian troops are likely moving to consolidate control of the settlement.[21] Additional combat footage from August 6 showed Russian troops advancing into the eastern sector of Maryinka.[22]Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces did not make confirmed ground assaults near Kharkiv City on August 7.[23] Russian forces struck Kharkiv City in the early morning likely with an Iskander ballistic missile.[24] Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration Head Oleg Synegubov additionally reported that Russian forces launched probable S-300 missiles at Kharkiv City’s Industrialny and Novobavarsky districts from Belgorod.[25] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces continued shelling along the entire line of contact around Kharkiv City and conducted airstrikes against Ukrainian frontline positions near Pryshyb (65 km southeast of Kharkiv City), Verkhnii Saltiv (40 km northeast of Kharkiv City) and Rtyshchivk (50 km southeast of Kharkiv City).[26]Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to advance east of Mykolaiv City on August 7 but did not make any territorial gains. Ukrainian military officials reported that Russian forces conducted an unsuccessful assault in the direction of Vasylky-Blahodatne, approximately 45km east of Mykolaiv City.[27] Russian forces continued to intensify aerial reconnaissance and launch airstrikes at Andriivka, Bilohirka, and Velyke Artakove, all situated in the vicinity of the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River.[28] Russian forces also continued to launch cruise missiles and fire rockets from Smerch and Uragan MLRS systems at Mykolaiv City and settlements in its vicinity.[29] Dnipropetrovsk Oblast officials reported that Russian forces fired 60 rockets from Grad MLRS systems at coastal settlements in the Nikopol area.[30]Ukrainian and Russian officials exchanged accusations over the responsibility for August 6 evening shelling at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). Ukraine’s state energy enterprise Energoatom reported that Russian forces fired rockets at the Zaporizhzhia NPP, which hit the spent nuclear fuel rod storage site and damaged the radiation monitoring sensors.[31] Russian-appointed Zaporizhia Oblast Occupation Administration Head Evgeniy Balitsky claimed that Ukrainian forces shelled the plant with Uragan MLRS systems, resulting in the same damage described by Ukrainian officials.[32] The Russian Defense Ministry had previously demanded that the international community condemns Ukraine for endangering neighboring countries with a nuclear catastrophe on August 6, and Balitsky voiced a similar concern for “nuclear disaster” that would irradiate all of Europe.[33] ISW cannot independently identify the side responsible for the shelling, however ISW previously assessed that Russia is likely using the NPP to play on Western fears of a nuclear disaster in Ukraine and Europe in an effort to discourage further military support to Ukraine.[34]Russian forces continued to undertake defensive measures to divert Ukrainian precision strikes on Russian logistics and prepare defensive positions ahead of Ukrainian counteroffensives. Kherson Oblast Administration Head Yaroslav Yanushkevych stated that Russian forces are mining critical infrastructure throughout Kherson Oblast in preparations for Ukrainian counteroffensives.[35] Advisor to the Kherson Oblast Administration Serhiy Khlan also noted that Russian forces are deliberately sending civilian  traffic over the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant Bridge and allowing civilians to use pontoon bridges to prevent Ukrainian forces from targeting Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) over the Dnipro River.[36] Khlan added that Russian forces are continuing to accumulate more military personnel and equipment in northeastern Kherson Oblast rather than northwest of Kherson City due to the availability of a GLOC via the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant Bridge.[37] Khlan noted that Russian forces have also placed their air defense systems in a Kherson City residential neighborhood and began digging trenches in protected cultivated forests in Kherson Oblast.[38] Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov also noted that Russian forces are transporting three to four convoys of military equipment through Melitopol daily, likely in an effort to reinforce their defensive positions in Kherson and western Zaporizhia Oblasts.[39] Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian forces are forming a new 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade in Orenburg Oblast as part of the 3rd Army Corps. Penza Oblast Governor Oleg Melnichenko reported that Penza Oblast recruited 60 volunteers and will recruit an additional 60 recruits for unspecified volunteer units that will then undergo military service at the 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 3rd Army Corps in Totskoye, Orenburg Oblast.[40] There is no previously known 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle brigade in the Russian military’s order of battle.[41] Melnichenko’s announcement confirms ISW’s previous assessment that the 3rd Army Corps is at least in part composed of volunteer battalions.[42] Several volunteer battalions - namely battalions from Republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, and Orenburg Oblast - have previously been announced as preparing to undergo training in Orenburg Oblast and may also be intended to form parts of new brigades for the 3rd Army Corps.[43]The Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR) reportedly began another wave of covert mobilization. The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported that DNR and LNR are forcefully mobilizing more men, including those deferred or unfit for service, to equip the mobilization reserves. The GUR noted that the LNR is forming new motorized rifle battalions and restoring existing units within the 2nd Army Corps by coercing men into military service.[44] DNR and LNR Heads Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik previously claimed that the republics ended active mobilization periods in late March and noted at the time that they would not need additional mobilization efforts in the future.[45] Luhansk Oblast AdministrationHead Serhiy Haidai also noted that the Wagner Group is continuing to recruit prisoners to participate in frontline hostilities.[46]The DNR is recruiting volunteers for contract service in an effort to refrain from announcing another wave of mobilization while manning depleted units. The DNR began advertising recruitment for contract service at the DNR’s 100th Separate Guards Motorized Brigade and other unspecified units.[47] The DNR claimed that recruits will undergo necessary combat preparations at a training ground and will earn starting monthly salaries of 176,000 to 250,000 rubles (about $2,900 to $4,130) depending on the position within the forces.[48] Volunteers are also offered 8,000-ruble daily compensation (about $130) and financial awards from both the DNR and Russia, but the DNR is not offering the one-time enlistment bonus payment being offered to volunteers joining newly-forming Russian volunteer battalions. The DNR is using local Telegram channels to promote the recruitment campaign, and ISW previously assessed that DNR-based milbloggers and military correspondents have increased their coverage of successes around Avdiivka in an effort to further recruitment campaigns.[49]  Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Ukrainian partisans are becoming increasingly coordinated in their propaganda and targeting activities. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on August 7 that Ukrainian partisans launched their first newspaper in Kherson on August 4 called “Voice of the Partisan” and claimed that partisans distributed 1,200 paper copies and a PDF of the newspaper.[50] Ukrainian partisan Telegram channel Yellow Ribbon announced a bounty of 10 bitcoin (approximately $230,000 USD) for the live capture and transfer of the Russian-appointed governor of occupied Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, to Ukraine.[51] [1] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/363[2] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/365[3]https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid0acq9kJKTeKZ2wmrqqD6TUyfiM86ZcmYqNN2LGQzjEpnGPGk7u57RrJ4cg4V1sgWfl[4] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/4814[5] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-3[6] https://irna dot ir/xjKc7P[7] https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/04/russia-iran-spy-satellite/[8] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-3[9] https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1556142982973251584/photo/1[10] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-16; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-june-21[11] https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1556212823662944256; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1556209704820523009[12] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0P4ptohP2FrvyeJKfB4GiCeCqXdx3mk2GurmMXLUtqR3zosf59BtLeFXAvnYuyxuKl[13] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0q85N4DQK2zF8gbxgHpbpfDD2cTVJhF6vftkMX1v3aGWP1Q5aW3XXeuhA2qK8cVC7l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0P4ptohP2FrvyeJKfB4GiCeCqXdx3mk2GurmMXLUtqR3zosf59BtLeFXAvnYuyxuKl  [14] https://t.me/slv_vca/3162; https://t.me/kramatorsk_rada/5111[15] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0P4ptohP2FrvyeJKfB4GiCeCqXdx3mk2GurmMXLUtqR3zosf59BtLeFXAvnYuyxuKl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0q85N4DQK2zF8gbxgHpbpfDD2cTVJhF6vftkMX1v3aGWP1Q5aW3XXeuhA2qK8cVC7l; https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/4803 [16] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/4803; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0P4ptohP2FrvyeJKfB4GiCeCqXdx3mk2GurmMXLUtqR3zosf59BtLeFXAvnYuyxuKl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0q85N4DQK2zF8gbxgHpbpfDD2cTVJhF6vftkMX1v3aGWP1Q5aW3XXeuhA2qK8cVC7l [17] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0P4ptohP2FrvyeJKfB4GiCeCqXdx3mk2GurmMXLUtqR3zosf59BtLeFXAvnYuyxuKl[18] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0P4ptohP2FrvyeJKfB4GiCeCqXdx3mk2GurmMXLUtqR3zosf59BtLeFXAvnYuyxuKl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0q85N4DQK2zF8gbxgHpbpfDD2cTVJhF6vftkMX1v3aGWP1Q5aW3XXeuhA2qK8cVC7l [19] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0P4ptohP2FrvyeJKfB4GiCeCqXdx3mk2GurmMXLUtqR3zosf59BtLeFXAvnYuyxuKl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0q85N4DQK2zF8gbxgHpbpfDD2cTVJhF6vftkMX1v3aGWP1Q5aW3XXeuhA2qK8cVC7l [20] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0P4ptohP2FrvyeJKfB4GiCeCqXdx3mk2GurmMXLUtqR3zosf59BtLeFXAvnYuyxuKl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0q85N4DQK2zF8gbxgHpbpfDD2cTVJhF6vftkMX1v3aGWP1Q5aW3XXeuhA2qK8cVC7l [21] https://twitter.com/Arvelleg1/status/1556302428638674947; https://twitter.com/zcjbrooker/status/1556259391514492928 https://t.me/horevica/5122; https://t.me/pushilindenis/2499; https://twitter.com/zolotoybaton/status/1556273151679553536/photo/1 [22] https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1556172708219682816; https://twitter.com/chris__759/status/1556233403514626048; https://t.me/TRO_DPR/5951 https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1265157210920567 [23] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0P4ptohP2FrvyeJKfB4GiCeCqXdx3mk2GurmMXLUtqR3zosf59BtLeFXAvnYuyxuKl[24] https://t.me/stranaua/56539; https://twitter.com/SarahAshtonLV/status/1556093245842669568?s=20&t=xxqjHkvd4GGp3BRE1WxjXQ\; https://t.me/milinfolive/88336; https://twitter.com/bjoernstritzel/status/1556258278014861313[25] https://t.me/stranaua/56531; https://t.me/synegubov/3861[26] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0P4ptohP2FrvyeJKfB4GiCeCqXdx3mk2GurmMXLUtqR3zosf59BtLeFXAvnYuyxuKl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0q85N4DQK2zF8gbxgHpbpfDD2cTVJhF6vftkMX1v3aGWP1Q5aW3XXeuhA2qK8cVC7l[27] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0P4ptohP2FrvyeJKfB4GiCeCqXdx3mk2GurmMXLUtqR3zosf59BtLeFXAvnYuyxuKl; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=557855452691226 [28] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0P4ptohP2FrvyeJKfB4GiCeCqXdx3mk2GurmMXLUtqR3zosf59BtLeFXAvnYuyxuKl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0q85N4DQK2zF8gbxgHpbpfDD2cTVJhF6vftkMX1v3aGWP1Q5aW3XXeuhA2qK8cVC7l[29] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3256627324574925; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=557855452691226; https://t.me/stranaua/56517; https://t.me/stranaua/56535; https://t.me/senkevichonline/1965 [30] https://t.me/stranaua/56512;  https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/433; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/932; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/940; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/941;  https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/435[31] https://t.me/energoatom_ua/8708; https://t.me/spravdi/14890 [32] https://t.me/BalitskyVGA/162[33] https://t.me/mod_russia/18314; https://t.me/BalitskyVGA/162[34] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-6[35] https://t.me/khersonskaODA/777[36] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xlbhc6Y491A; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xlbhc6Y491A; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02dCSvijQY5Xf9RTFvSprfvcz5moMMYtfFjuNNq2QcALrgiZp1i7pEwghSGN6cBWHCl; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uiekojq4vLk; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid0Ck2aKhoqr8Ldye48pN97YX2jmYkJXTwFFXSBs6dF7JiXmWYzWjHQ6FdtDDRvPXPjl; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFVswo9263w [37] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xlbhc6Y491A[38] https://odessa-journal dot com/it-became-known-how-the-occupiers-hide-behind-civilians/[39] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/363[40] https://penzaobzor dot ru/news/2022255511/oleg-melnichenko-naputstvoval-napravlennyh-v-imennye-podrazdeleniya-dobrovolcev/[41] https://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Russian%20Ground%20Forces%20OOB_ISW%20CTP_0.pdf[42] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-5[43] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-volunteer-units-and-battalions[44] https://gur dot gov dot ua/content/v-ordlo-rozpochalasia-nova-khvylia-prymusovoi-mobilizatsii.html[45] https://lenta dot ru/news/2022/03/22/lnr_mobilizacia/; https://ura dot news/news/1052541353[46] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/4820[47] https://t.me/nm_dnr/8694; https://t.me/nm_dnr/8701 [48] https://t.me/andriyshTime/2180; https://t.me/nm_dnr/8694[49] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-4; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-3[50] https://sprotyv.mod.gov dot ua/2022/08/07/partyzany-hersona-zapustyly-pidpilnu-gazetu/; https://t.me/yellowribbon_ua/936[51] https://t.me/yellowribbon_ua/943

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/8/22 6:39pm
Kateryna Stepanenko, Katherine Lawlor, Karolina Hird, George Barros, and Frederick W. KaganAugust 6, 9 pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Russian and Ukrainian forces traded accusations of dangerous shelling at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) on August 6 continuing the exchange of accusations ISW reported on August 5.[1] ISW cannot independently determine which party is responsible for the incident. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the alleged Russian shelling as an "open, brazen crime” and “an act of terror.”[2] He called on the international community to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and to sanction Russia’s nuclear industry. [3] Both sides claimed that the shelling caused a fire at the hydrogen station at the plant. The Russian-appointed head of the Zaporizhia Oblast Occupation Administration, Evgeniy Balitskyi, claimed on August 5 that Ukrainian forces “decided to put the whole of Europe on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe” by shelling the plant.[4] The Ukrainian head of the Zaporizhia Oblast Military Administration, Oleksandr Starukh, claimed on August 6 that Russian forces are trying to “provoke” Ukrainians into shelling the NPP to make the West hesitant to provide weapons to Ukraine.[5]A Russian opposition outlet reported that Russian forces are storing explosives and ammunition around the nuclear power plant. The Insider reported on August 5 that a source claimed Russian forces mined the turbine room of energy block 1 of the NPP around August 2.[6] A separate source claimed that about 500 Russian soldiers, as well as armored personnel carriers and anti-aircraft guns, were stationed within the plant and that Russian forces mined the area around the plant. The second source said that Russian forces “store mines and ammunition in the immediate vicinity of the energy blocks, under trestles, with some of the ammunition stored inside the energy block.” The second source was unsure “whether the energy block has been mined or is simply used for storing explosives.” The Insider reported that Russian forces established Grad rocket batteries near the village of Vodyane, approximately 4 km from the NPP reactors (and approximately 2 km from the spent fuel containment units at the plant). Ukrainian channels and officials had reported in mid-July that Russian forces were firing on Nikopol—the Ukrainian town just across the river from the NPP—from near the nuclear reactors at Zaporizhzhia NPP.[7] Ukraine’s Southern Military Command has subsequently reported that Russian forces have regularly shelled Nikopol with Grad rockets, damaging 47 houses on August 5 and 6.[8]ISW previously assessed on August 3 that Russian forces are likely using the NPP to play on Western fears of a nuclear disaster in Ukraine in an effort to degrade Western will to provide military support to a Ukrainian counteroffensive, while also effectively using the plant as a nuclear shield to prevent Ukrainian strikes on Russian forces and equipment.[9]Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports.  References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update.Key TakeawaysA Russian opposition outlet reported that Russian forces are storing explosives and mines in and around Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and may have mined parts of the plant. Russian forces may also be firing rockets at Ukrainian positions from within or near the plant.Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks northwest of Slovyansk and east and south of Bakhmut.Russian forces conducted a series of ground attacks to attempt to break through Ukrainian defensive lines north, west, and south of Donetsk City.Russian forces did not conduct offensive operations in southern Ukraine and continued to undertake defensive measures.Ongoing Ukrainian partisan activity and civilian resistance are frustrating Russian occupation forces as Russian occupation authorities continue to prepare for the integration of occupied territories into the Russian Federation following their upcoming sham annexation referenda.Russian state media advocated for labor camps, repressions, and shooting of Ukrainian partisans and civilians that refused to cooperate with Russian-appointed officials in occupied Ukrainian territories.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern Ukraine Subordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack northwest of Slovyansk and otherwise shelled settlements along the Izyum-Slovyansk line on August 6. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops tried and failed to advance on the western outskirts of Bohorodychne, about 17km northwest of Slovyansk.[10] Russian forces continued artillery strikes on settlements along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border, including Mazanivka, Adamivka, Kurulka, Dibrovne, Dovhenke, Krasnopillya, and Dolyna.[11]Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks on Siversk and continued to shell Siversk and surrounding settlements on August 6.[12] Social media posted to Twitter on August 5 showed elements of the Russian 55th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military district reportedly operating in the direction of Siversk.[13] This imagery seemingly confirms that elements of Russian Colonel General Aleksandr Lapin’s “Central Group” of forces are still operating in northeastern Donetsk Oblast near the Luhansk Oblast border, as ISW has previously reported.[14]Russian force conducted a series of ground attacks east and south of Bakhmut on August 6. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian troops attempted to gain more advantageous tactical positions around Stryapivka, Bakhmutske, Soledar, Yakovlivka, Volodymyrivka, and Pokrovske, settlements along the eastern arc of Bakhmut and all within 12km of the outskirts of Bakhmut.[15] Russian troops additionally continued localized ground attacks south of Bakhmut around Vidrozhennya, Vershyna, Kodema, and Zaitseve and otherwise shelled Bakhmut and surrounding settlements to support ongoing ground operations.[16] Geolocated footage posted by the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) militia forces indicates that Russian forces have likely captured Travneve, a small settlement about 17km south of Bakhmut.[17]Russian forces conducted a series of ground attacks in an attempt to break through Ukrainian lines of defense in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area on August 6. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to penetrate Ukrainian defenses north of Donetsk City in the Spartak-Avdiivka, Novoselivka Druha-Krasnohorivka, and Lozove-Nevelske directions.[18] Russian troops also attempted to push west of their positions near Oleksandrivka towards Maryinka, about 5km west of the Petrovskyi district of Donetsk City.[19] Ukrainian sources additionally refuted Russian claims that Russian forces have full control over Pisky, and geolocated footage of Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) soldiers in Pisky indicates that Russian troops likely only control the southeastern outskirts of Pisky.[20]Russian forces conducted several limited ground attacks southwest of Donetsk City in the direction of the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border on August 6. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to break through Ukrainian defenses around Krylivka, Pavlivka, Novomaiorske, and Prechystivka- all southwest of Donetsk City and within 30km of the Zaporizhia Oblast border.[21] Russian forces continued air and artillery strikes in the area between Donetsk City and the oblast border.[22]Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks in northeastern Kharkiv Oblast and shelled Kharkiv City and surrounding settlements on August 6.[23]Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Russian forces did not conduct offensive operations in southern Ukraine and focused on defending their occupied positions with aviation and artillery. Ukrainian military officials reported that Russian forces continued to launch airstrikes near Andriivka, situated on the eastern Inhulets River’s bank near the Ukrainian bridgehead.[24] Russian forces also continued aerial reconnaissance near the bridgehead and maintained artillery fire along the contact line in Kherson Oblast.[25] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command stated that Russian forces are rotating manpower and redistributing equipment in unspecified directions in Kherson Oblast but noted that the composition of Russian troops in the area has not changed as of August 5.[26] Russian forces launched rockets at Nikopol, Zaporizhia City, and Mykolaiv City from MLRS systems.[27] Social media footage also showed Russian forces transporting a Buk air defense system near Pryazovske, southeast of Melitopol, on an unspecified date.[28]Ukrainian military officials confirmed several strikes at Russian strongholds and ammunition depots throughout Kherson Oblast. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command stated that Ukrainian missile units destroyed two Russian control points belonging to the 76th Airborne Assault Division and the 49th Combined Arms Army in Chornobaivka (about 5km northwest of Kherson City), a command and observation post of an unspecified battalion tactical group (BTG) in Bruskinske along the T2207 highway, and an ammunition depot in Oleshky southeast of Kherson City.[29] Ukrainian local officials noted that Russian forces are continuing to accumulate large quantities of military equipment in  Oleshky, likely in preparation to defend logistics routes to Kherson City and to establish defensive positions on the left bank of Dnipro River.[30] Social media users published footage of a large smoke cloud coming from Skadovsk (approximately 62km south of Kherson City), but Ukrainian officials have not confirmed any Ukrainian attack on that location as of the time of this publication.[31]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Existing Russian military units and the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) are continuing to recruit volunteers to reinforce existing military units. Caucasus region-focused outlet Kavkaz Uzel reported that Russian forces distributed leaflets and established a day-long recruitment drive in Nazran, Republic of Ingushetia, to recruit volunteers for the existing 503rd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 58th Combined Arms Army.[32] Russian forces reconstituted the 503rd Regiment in July 2021, after it had been dismantled in 2009 during the military reforms.[33] Rosgvardia also posted job listings for riflemen and drivers in the Republic of Ingushetia offering starting monthly salaries of 45,000 to 50,000 rubles (about $750 to $820) with a requirement to be ready to participate in the “special military operation” in Ukraine. The Republic of Dagestan also posted explosives expert positions with a requirement for “a desire to serve in the Russian Armed Forces.” Stavropol and Krasnoyarskiy Krai both listed on employment portals several military positions such as UAV operator with the requirement to travel for ”business trips.” Such recruitment drives indicate that Russian leaders are seeking to exploit different security services to generate more volunteers for the ”special military operation.” The drives also suggest that volunteer recruitment is not limited to newly forming volunteer units.ISW identified additional Russian federal subjects (regions) that are recruiting personnel for volunteer battalions to participate in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Local media outlets reported that Khanty-Mansi Okrug and Voronezh and Smolensk Oblasts are forming volunteer battalions and offering one-time enlistment payments ranging between 100,000 and 250,000 rubles (about $1,650 to $4,130).[34] Smolensk Oblast officials created the ”Feniks” volunteer battalion Telegram channel on July 27 and announced recruitment of men ages 18 to 60 in the region for a minimum six-month service period.[35] Khanty-Mansi Okrug announced the formation of two unnamed volunteer battalions also requiring a minimum contract time period of six months.[36] Voronezh Oblast promised recruits of an unspecified volunteer battalion monthly salaries of at least 256,000 rubles (about $4,200) if the servicemen serve in the combat zone.[37]Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Ongoing Ukrainian partisan activity and civilian resistance are frustrating Russian occupation forces and may lead to additional crackdowns on occupied civilians. Unknown people shot and killed the deputy head of the Russian administration in charge of the housing and utility sector in Nova Kakhovka, Kherson Oblast, Vitaly Gura, on August 5.[38] Gura died in the hospital on August 6. Russian milblogger Daniil Bezsonov claimed that Ukrainian partisans were responsible.[39] Ukrainian Advisor to the Kherson Military Administration Serhiy Khan warned that ”Gura’s fate will reach all collaborators” but did not directly attribute the attack to partisans.[40] Ukrainian Telegram channel MariupolNow reported that partisans took responsibility for an explosion at the Russian-controlled police station in Berdyansk, Zaporizhia Oblast on August 6.[41] The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on August 4 that Russian occupation forces harassed the staff of a construction materials store in occupied Kherson, but that the staff refused to work for Russian occupation forces.[42] The Ukrainian Resistance Center also reported both attacks on August 6 and said “The Center for National Resistance notes that collaborationism is bad for your health.”[43]Russian state media advocated for the introduction of labor camps, repression, and the shooting of Ukrainian partisans and civilians who refuse to cooperate with Russian-appointed officials in occupied Ukrainian territories. Kremlin-affiliated outlet Komsomolskaya Pravda host Sergey Mardan encouraged an unnamed occupation authority that he interviewed on his show to recreate gulags (the notorious Soviet prison/labor camp system), confiscate private property, and shoot local teachers and partisans for refusing to cooperate with Russian-appointed authorities.[44] The majority owner of Komsomolskaya Pravda, Sergey Rudnov, is the son of Oleg Rudnov, a childhood friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.[45] The unnamed occupation official also acknowledged that Russian authorities have been facing severe challenges with partisan activity, specifically noting an occasion when partisans disabled the electronic control units of unspecified equipment. The interview confirms Ukrainian official reports of partisan activity and the refusal of Ukrainian specialists to cooperate with occupation authorities.Meanwhile, Russian occupation forces continue to prepare for the integration of occupied territories into the Russian Federation following their sham annexation referenda. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on August 6 that Russian authorities seized the Suspline Kherson TV branch, likely to establish pro-Russian broadcasters in advance of the referenda, and renamed it the Tavriia channel.[46] The Tavriia (or Tauride) Gubernia was a historical province of the Russian Empire and is a possible administrative structure for parts of occupied Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts that could fold them into a Russian republic that may also include Russian-occupied Crimea.[47] The Center reported that the majority of the TV channel staff refused to cooperate, so Russian forces appointed a ”cleaning lady” as channel director and imported propagandists from St Petersburg to open a ”media school” to teach all ”willing” people how to be journalists, cameramen, and editors for the occupation administration-run channel. Russian state-affiliated news outlet TASS reported that Russian occupation forces will begin issuing Russian license plates in Kherson Oblast with region code 184 and will require residents to have Russian passports to acquire legal license plates.[48] ISW previously reported that Russian occupation authorities are dramatically expanding their passportization of occupied Ukrainian territories by requiring Ukrainian civilians to acquire Russian passports to participate in basic life activities.[49] The Russian head of the Zaporizhia Occupation Administration, Yevheny Balitsky, stated on August 5 that the Zaporizhian rail lines will become “part of a big network of Russian railways,” demonstrating Russian plans for increasingly overt integration with the Russian Federation.[50][1] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-ass...[2] https://www.president dot gov dot ua/en/news/sho-bilshe-nashogo-zerna-bude-na-svitovomu-rinku-menshim-bud-76905[3] https://tass dot ru/armiya-i-opk/15409285[4] https://t.me/BalitskyVGA/158[5] https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/11346; https://t.me/orlovdmytroEn/770[6] https://theins dot ru/en/news/253868[7] https://24tv dot ua/nikopol-obstrili-artileriyi-zdiysnyuyut-teritoriyi-zaporizkoyi_n2099012; https://zona dot media/article/2022/08/05/nuclear; https://t.me/energoatom_ua/8174; ; https://www.ukrinform dot ua/rubric-ato/3529711-na-zaes-rosiani-vstanovluut-raketni-kompleksi-z-akih-obstriluut-nikopol.html;; https://lb dot ua/society/2022/07/15/523298_rosiyani_obstrilyuyut_nikopol_z.html; https://t.me/vilkul/1606[8] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=587337403121254; https://t.me/stranau...[9] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-ass...[10] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0tU9Bs7vium9Kt9BiRbA...[11] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0kH5UfWq6VxNTx3pmy6e... [12] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0tU9Bs7vium9Kt9BiRbA... [13] https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1555454906470916096[14] https://t.me/mod_russia/17385; https://t.me/rlz_the_kraken/51078; http... ru/politika/15116687; https://ria dot ru/20220704/geroi-1800093356.html; https://t.me/mod_russia/17359; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgro... https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...[15] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0tU9Bs7vium9Kt9BiRbA... [16] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0tU9Bs7vium9Kt9BiRbA... [17] https://t.me/nm_dnr/8684; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/59618; https://twi... [18] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0tU9Bs7vium9Kt9BiRbA... [19] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0tU9Bs7vium9Kt9BiRbA... [20] https://www.ukrinform dot ua/rubric-ato/3544782-na-doneccini-selise-piski-perebuvae-pid-kontrolem-zsu-kirilenko.html ; https://zn dot ua/ukr/UKRAINE/selishche-piski-perebuvaje-pid-kontrolem-ukrajinskikh-vijskovikh-.html;  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY8sDvZdWEA&ab_channel=%D0%A2%D0%A1%D0%9... [21] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0tU9Bs7vium9Kt9BiRbA... [22] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0tU9Bs7vium9Kt9BiRbA... [23] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0tU9Bs7vium9Kt9BiRbA...   [24] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0kH5UfWq6VxNTx3pmy6e... [25] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0kH5UfWq6VxNTx3pmy6e...[26] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=784657516308592[27] https://t.me/starukhofficial/3526; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/11353; htt...[28] https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1555851626568712193 [29] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=784657516308592; https://www.youtube.... [30] https://www.radiosvoboda.org/a/novyny-pryazovya-oleshki-armiya-rosiyi-kh... [31] https://t.me/stranaua/56452[32] https://www dot kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/379906/[33] https://gazetaingush dot ru/obshchestvo/zhitelyam-ingushetii-obyasnili-prichinu-razmeshcheniya-voennogo-poligona-v-predgornoy[34] https://www dot kommersant.ru/doc/5470457; https://t.me/iovf_phoenix_67/5; https://informugra dot ru/news/obyasnyaem_ru/dlya-uchastiya-v-spetsialnoy-voennoy-operatsii-formiruyutsya-imennye-podrazdeleniya-yugry-/[35] https://t.me/s/iovf_phoenix_67; https://t.me/iovf_phoenix_67/3; https://t.me/iovf_phoenix_67/4[36] https://informugra dot ru/news/obyasnyaem_ru/dlya-uchastiya-v-spetsialnoy-voennoy-operatsii-formiruyutsya-imennye-podrazdeleniya-yugry-/[37] https://www dot kommersant.ru/doc/5470457[38] https://sprotyv.mod.gov dot ua/2022/08/06/na-pivdni-odrazu-dva-gaulyajtera-perebuvayut-u-vazhkomu-stani/ ; https://ria dot ru/20220806/pokushenie-1807714966.html?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=desktop; https://t.me/rian_ru/173599; https://real-vin dot com/na-hersonshhine-ubit-gauljajter; https://news.liga dot net/politics/news/v-novoy-kahovke-podstelili-vidnogo-kollaboranta-on-v-bolnitse-v-tyajelom-sostoyanii; https://ru.slovoidilo dot ua/2022/08/06/novost/bezopasnost/xersonshhine-ubili-vysokopostavlennogo-kollaboranta-vitaliya-guru; https://focus dot ua/voennye-novosti/524630-v-hersonskoy-oblasti-sovershili-pokushenie-na-kollaboranta-guru-chto-izvestno-video; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39056[39] https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/16409[40]https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid0LcCRRn4FxvxMEsTUSxbjiR...[41] https://t.me/mariupolnow/16996; https://t.me/mariupolnow/17012; https:...[42] https://sprotyv dot mod dot gov dot ua/2022/08/04/v-hersoni-okupanty-zahoplyuyut-biznes-ale-praczivnyky-vidmovlyayutsya-praczyuvaty-na-voroga/[43] https://sprotyv dot mod dot gov dot ua/2022/08/06/na-pivdni-odrazu-dva-gaulyajtera-perebuvayut-u-vazhkomu-stani/[44] https://sprotyv.mod.gov dot ua/2022/08/06/okupanty-pozhalilys-propagandystam-na-totalnyj-sabotazh-z-boku-misczevyh-u-melitopoli/; https://focus dot ua/voennye-novosti/524623-v-melitopole-okkupanty-hotyat-rasstrelivat-uchiteley-za-zarplaty-iz-ukrainy-video; https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/358 [45] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/20/russian-emails-vladimir-pu...[46] https://sprotyv dot mod dot gov dot ua/2022/08/06/okupanty-ne-zmogly-nabraty-personal-dlya-vidzhatogo-nymy-telekanalu-u-hersoni/[47] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...[48] https://t.me/stranaua/56461; https://tass dot com/russia/1490353;[49] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-ass...[50] https://t.me/BalitskyVGA/151

[Author: Alexander Mitchell] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/8/22 6:39pm
 Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, August 5 Kateryna Stepanenko, Layne Phillipson, Karolina Hird, Katherine Lawlor, Angela Howard, and Frederick W. Kagan August 5, 7:30pm ET   Click here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report. Ukrainian officials confirmed that Russia is using Iranian-provided drones in Ukraine. Advisor to the Ukrainian President’s Office, Oleksiy Arestovych, stated on August 5 that Iran handed 46 drones over to Russia and that the Ukrainian government has already noted the use of these drones in combat in Ukraine.[1]At least a portion of the provided drones are older-generation “Shahed 129” heavy strike drones, which Russian forces may seek to use to attack US-provided HIMARS in Ukraine.[2] It is unclear whether the 46 drones represent all the drones that Tehran has agreed to send, or the number of Iranian drones that are currently operating in Ukraine. Key TakeawaysUkrainian officials confirmed that Russian forces are using Iranian-provided drones in Ukraine.Russian forces conducted unsuccessful ground assaults on settlements south of Bakhmut.Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged heavy artillery fire in Pisky, suggesting that Russian forces are unlikely to have full control of Pisky despite Russian claims.Russian forces conducted several limited ground assaults to the north, northwest, and southwest of Donetsk City.Russian and Ukrainian forces accused each other of firing rounds near the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Enerhodar, but ISW cannot independently determine which party is responsible for the incident. Russian forces have repeatedly used artillery systems deliberately positioned within the complex to fire on targets across the Dnipro River.Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to advance on Lozove, Kherson Oblast, likely targeting the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River.Russian federal subjects are forming new volunteer battalions in Omsk and Samara Oblasts.Russian occupation authorities are likely accelerating passportization and rubleization efforts and civilian data collection in occupied territories in preparation for the upcoming pseudo-referenda on the annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory into Russia.The Kremlin is continuing to replace Ukrainian collaborators in Russian occupation administrations with Russian officials, likely to prepare for formal Russian governance of annexed areas. We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports. Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied Areas Main Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)  Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks between Izyum and Slovyansk on August 5. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces shelled settlements along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border northwest of Slovyansk, including Bohorodychne, Dolyna, Dibrivne, Mazanivka, Adamivka, and Kurulka.[3] Russian forces continued offensive operations in the Siversk area on August 5. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian troops are engaging in small arms fire near Siversk in addition to continued artillery strikes on Siversk City and surrounding settlements.[4] Russian forces conducted ground attacks south of Bakhmut on August 5. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops unsuccessfully attempted to gain ground and improve their tactical positions in Zaitseve and Vershyna, both within 5km of the southern outskirts of Bakhmut.[5]Several Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces are actively fighting at the Knauf Gips Donbas gypsum factory on the southeastern outskirts of Soledar, about 8km northeast of Bakhmut and directly along the T1302 Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway.[6]Ukrainian sources stated that Russia troops are struggling to get through Ukrainian defenses surrounding Bakhmut, and Russian forces will likely continue to impale themselves on fortified Ukrainian positions under the cover of heavy artillery fire without securing large gains rapidly.[7] Russian forces conducted several limited ground attacks to the north and west of Donetsk City on August 5. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian troops unsuccessfully attempted to advance towards Krasnohorivka (15km north of Donetsk City), Avdiivka (about 6km north of Donetsk City), and Pisky (about 5km northwest of Donetsk City).[8]Despite claims made by Russian sources that Russian troops have taken complete control of Pisky, geolocated videos from the area suggest that Pisky remains under heavy artillery fire from all sides, which means that Russian forces likely have not yet been able to actually establish full control of urban parts of Pisky itself.[9]Russian troops also unsuccessfully attempted to advance on Marinka, directly on the southwestern outskirts of Donetsk City.[10]Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) Deputy Internal Minister Vitaly Kiselev claimed that separate DNR brigades and Wagner Group forces took control of half of Marinka.[11]While ISW cannot independently confirm the status of block-to-block control of Marinka, Russian troops will likely attempt to advance through the town from positions in the Petrovskyi district of Donetsk City. Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border) Russian forces continued to focus on preventing Ukrainian forces from creating conditions to resume a counteroffensive on the Kharkiv City Axis on August 5. Russian forces continued to conduct aerial reconnaissance and engage Ukrainian forces in positional battles in settlements northwest of Kharkiv City but did not make any territorial gains.[12] Russian forces continued shelling Kharkiv City and settlements to the northeast, northwest, and southeast.[13] Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)   Russian forces continued to launch unsuccessful assaults in northwestern Kherson Oblast, likely targeting the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River. Ukrainian military officials reported that two Russian platoon-sized units consisting of SPETSNAZ and tank elements unsuccessfully attempted to advance onto Lozove, situated on the eastern Inhulets River bank.[14]Russian forces also continued to launch airstrikes near Lozove, Velyke Artakove, and Andiivka, all in the vicinity of the Ukrainian bridgehead.[15]Russian forces have also intensified aerial reconnaissance and maintained heavy artillery fire along the line of contact on the Kherson Oblast administrative border.[16] Russian forces continued to target Nikopol, Mykolaiv City, and Dnipropetrovsk and Odesa Oblasts with artillery, MLRS, and missile strikes on August 5. Dnipropetrovsk Oblast regional authorities reported that Russian forces launched approximately 60 rockets from Grad MLRS systems at Nikopol’s civilian infrastructure and struck Myrivska Hromada (community district) with a Kh-59 cruise missile.[17]Mykolaiv Oblast officials reported that Russian forces shelled Mykolaiv City with Pion heavy artillery.[18]The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that Russian forces launched a missile strike on unspecified infrastructure in Mykolaivka on the Odesa-Mykolaiv Oblast border.[19] Russian and Ukrainian officials accused each other of firing rounds near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Enerhodar on August 5. Ukrainian state nuclear power enterprise Energoatom reported that Russian forces conducted another artillery provocation and damaged three high-voltage communications lines of the Zaporizhzhia NPP autotransformer near the plant’s industrial site.[20]Enerhodar Mayor Dmytro Orlov also noted that Russian forces shelled Enerhodar’s residential neighborhoods from the direction of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, resulting in power outages in most neighborhoods.[21]Russian occupation authorities in Enerhodar claimed that Ukrainian artillery shelled the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, damaging two power lines that are necessary for the operation of power units in the city.[22]ISW cannot independently determine which party is responsible for the incident, however, Russian forces are likely continuing to use positions around the Zaporizhzhia NPP to shell Nikopol just across the Kakhovka Reservoir. The UK Defense Ministry also assessed that Russian forces are using facilities at the Zaporizhzhia NPP and in Enerhodar City as a sanctuary in which to rest and protect their equipment from Ukrainian strikes, given the protected status of the NPP.[23] Ukrainian forces likely continued to target Russian ammunition depots and positions in Kherson Oblast. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported destroying three Russian ammunition depots in Kherson City, and in Prydniprovske and Tokarivka (both situated east of Kherson City along the Dnipro River).[24]Ukrainian Telegram channel Operativnyi ZSU reported that Ukrainian forces have struck two unspecified military infrastructure objects in Oleshky and Nova Kakhovka with high precision weapons.[25]Ukrainian forces reportedly destroyed four Russian S-300 air defense missile systems, and geolocated footage showed Ukrainian missile units destroying Russian armored personnel carriers in Starosillya along the T2207 ground line of communication (GLOCs).[26]Local social media users reported on and published footage suggesting that Russian forces seized Kherson City Clinical Hospital after Ukrainian strikes on a Russian base in Kherson City in mid-July and are unloading military equipment in the building.[27] Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization) Russian sources confirmed the formation of the 3rd Army Corps on August 5. Russian milblogger and military correspondent Sasha Kots announced recruitment for the “Samara” volunteer battalion in Samara Oblast and noted that the battalion will join the 3rd Army Corps of the Russian Armed Forces.[28]The battalion is recruiting men between the ages of 18 and 50 who have completed at least middle or high school education, without required prior military experience.[29]ISW has previously reported that Ukrainian officials believed that Russian forces were forming a 15,500-person-strong 3rd Army Corps within the Western Military District (WMD) based out of Mulino, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, but did not have official confirmation of its formation from Russian sources.[30]Sasha Kots’ announcement also indicates that the Kremlin is likely planning to compose the 3rd Army Corps at least in part from volunteer battalions. Russian federal subjects (regions) continued to form regionally-based volunteer battalions. Omsk Oblast Governor Aleksandr Butkov reported on August 5 that Omsk Oblast is continuing to form three volunteer battalions - “Irtysh,” “Avangard,” and “Om” - to deploy to Donbas to provide engineering, medical and logistical support.[31] Butkov stated that Omsk Oblast will provide a one-time payment of 100,000 rubles (approximately $1,612) to recruits but specified that the funds will only be accessible after three months of service.[32]Omsk Oblast news outlet BK55 reported that recruits will receive a monthly salary is 40,000 to 50,000 (approximately $661-$826) that will increase to 130,000 (approximately $2,147) once they enter the territory of Ukraine.[33]   Russian forces continued to face low morale issues within its federal republics. Russian Telegram channel Rybar stated that the Akbuzat movement (a human rights activism movement) in the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan is calling on Bashkortostan servicemen to terminate their contracts with the Russian Armed Forces.[34]Rybar reported that Akbuzat leadership is offering legal assistance to those who break their contracts. Rybar condemned the movement and accused the Akbuzat leadership of sharing the personal data of applicants with third-parties, including the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).[35] Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing) Russian occupation authorities are dramatically expanding their passportization of occupied Ukrainian territories by requiring Ukrainian civilians to acquire Russian passports to participate in basic life activities. Occupation authorities are also increasingly requiring the use of the Russian ruble rather than the Ukrainian hryvnia and will likely begin levying Russian taxes on Ukrainian residents of occupied areas. Ukraine’s Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on August 5 that Russian occupation authorities in Melitopol are forcing Ukrainian tenants who rent plots of agricultural land to negotiate new rental agreements, even if their agreements remain active.[36] Renegotiation of their rental agreements requires a Russian passport. The GUR also reported that Russian occupation authorities are requiring all Ukrainian vehicle license plates to transfer to temporary Russian-style license plates and to re-register their vehicles in a Russian system. Re-registration will require a Russian passport. The GUR also reported that the Russian-appointed Minister of Agrarian Policy for Kherson Oblast, Ukrainian collaborator Oleksii Kovalev, ordered Kherson farmers to register their businesses and pay taxes under Russian law. The GUR also reported that Russian authorities sent letters to businesspeople and self-employed residents of Kamianske, Zaporizhia Oblast requesting that they register their businesses and begin paying Russian taxes. Registration of business activity will require a Russian passport. The Ukrainian advisor to the Kherson Oblast Military Administration, Serhiy Khlan, reported on August 4 that Russian occupation forces began to detain civilians for trying to exchange rubles to hryvnias in Kherson Oblast and began making pension payments in rubles to accelerate the forced rubleization of the occupied economy.[37] Pensioners hoping to collect their pensions are required to provide their personal information to occupation authorities. Khlan also reported that Russian forces require Ukrainian civilians who wish to have internet or cell phone access to provide their passports and personal information to authorities. Ukrainian Telegram Channel Mariupol Now reported that residents must bring their passports with them to register to vote in the annexation referenda.[38] The Ukrainian Mayor of Enerhodar, Zaporizhia Oblast, Dmytro Orlov, said that Russian authorities are using the records of utility companies and the passport information of pensioners to build a database of Ukrainian civilian information to falsify the results of the planned pseudo-referenda on accession into Rusia.[39] Orlov speculated that Russian forces are rushing to implement the referenda because ”they are well aware they have almost no time left.” Voter registration for Russia’s annexation pseudo-referenda in occupied Ukraine will likely pose an impossible choice to pro-Ukrainian residents, who will need to provide identification to register to vote that can then be used to falsify or disregard their votes. The forced Russian passportization of occupied areas and the mass collection of residents’ data will enable occupying forces to better monitor dissent and votes and could allow Russian authorities to target and penalize any Ukrainian who votes against Russia’s annexation, as ISW previously reported.[40] Russian occupation authorities could also confiscate Ukrainian passports, making it more difficult for Ukrainian civilians to flee occupied areas. Meanwhile, the Kremlin is continuing to replace Ukrainian collaborators in occupation administrations with Russian officials, likely to prepare for formal Russian governance of annexed areas. Russian authorities replaced the head of the Kherson Oblast Civil-Military Administration, Ukrainian collaborator Vladimir Saldo, with Russian Deputy Head of Kaliningrad Oblast Sergey Yeliseyev on August 4. Yeliseyev was an employee of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) from 1993-2005.[41]Saldo announced that he was leaving his position to seek medical treatment after consultations with colleagues and doctors. Russian sources reported that he suffered from a form of nervous exhaustion after complications from COVID-19, while the Russian outlet BAZA and various Ukrainian partisan sources suggested he had been poisoned and was in a medically induced coma.[42]Ukrainian partisan channel Zalizna Palianytsia boasted that the ”fate of the traitors has been decided in advance;” either Ukrainian partisans will kill them, or Russians will poison them.[43] [1] https://strana dot today/news/402398-iran-peredal-rossii-bespilotniki-rossijane-ispolzujut-ikh-v-vojne-protiv-ukrainy.html [2] https://strana dot today/news/402398-iran-peredal-rossii-bespilotniki-rossijane-ispolzujut-ikh-v-vojne-protiv-ukrainy.html; https://censor dot net/ua/news/3356154/iran_peredav_rf_boyiovi_bezpilotnyky_shahed_129_djerelo; https://cybershafarat dot com/2022/08/05/islamic-republic-of-iran-delivered-46-drones-to-russia/; https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/irans-drone-inventory-and-potential-sales-to-russia [3] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02qc2q9e5MRf57qjmRxaJZVpYmLBKe2vw7vdKfjFCjZhXqk5ejBF1iDgq8a4govxkul; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0QqheY94X6ugsY7cX8hHhH8VaFELS4RwojwteY6myKTp37Lo1K7GxxxnxGKh9CQyzl   [4] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02qc2q9e5MRf57qjmRxaJZVpYmLBKe2vw7vdKfjFCjZhXqk5ejBF1iDgq8a4govxkul; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0QqheY94X6ugsY7cX8hHhH8VaFELS4RwojwteY6myKTp37Lo1K7GxxxnxGKh9CQyzl; https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1555531574292189184; https://t.me/RVvoenkor/22040   [5] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02qc2q9e5MRf57qjmRxaJZVpYmLBKe2vw7vdKfjFCjZhXqk5ejBF1iDgq8a4govxkul; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0QqheY94X6ugsY7cX8hHhH8VaFELS4RwojwteY6myKTp37Lo1K7GxxxnxGKh9CQyzl [6] https://t.me/epoddubny/11821; https://t.me/rybar/36683 [7] https://t.me/pavlokyrylenko_donoda/4447; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cat_JaVkIJY; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02qc2q9e5MRf57qjmRxaJZVpYmLBKe2vw7vdKfjFCjZhXqk5ejBF1iDgq8a4govxkul; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0QqheY94X6ugsY7cX8hHhH8VaFELS4RwojwteY6myKTp37Lo1K7GxxxnxGKh9CQyzl; https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1555295138880143361       [8] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02qc2q9e5MRf57qjmRxaJZVpYmLBKe2vw7vdKfjFCjZhXqk5ejBF1iDgq8a4govxkul; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0QqheY94X6ugsY7cX8hHhH8VaFELS4RwojwteY6myKTp37Lo1K7GxxxnxGKh9CQyzl   [9] https://t.me/kommunist/8095; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/16367; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/16369; https://t.me/rybar/36712;https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/39030   [10] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02qc2q9e5MRf57qjmRxaJZVpYmLBKe2vw7vdKfjFCjZhXqk5ejBF1iDgq8a4govxkul   [11] https://t.me/kommunist/8095 [12] https://t.me/der_rada/2208; https://t.me/rybar/36689; https://t.me/rybar/36683; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02qc2q9e5MRf57qjmRxaJZVpYmLBKe2vw7vdKfjFCjZhXqk5ejBF1iDgq8a4govxkul; https://t.me/synegubov/3856 [13] https://t.me/der_rada/2208; https://t.me/der_rada/2208; https://t.me/spravdi/14781; https://t.me/spravdi/14761; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0QqheY94X6ugsY7cX8hHhH8VaFELS4RwojwteY6myKTp37Lo1K7GxxxnxGKh9CQyzl; https://t.me/synegubov/3856; https://t.me/der_rada/2208; https://t.me/synegubov/3856; https://t.me/stranaua/56207 [14] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02qc2q9e5MRf57qjmRxaJZVpYmLBKe2vw7vdKfjFCjZhXqk5ejBF1iDgq8a4govxkul; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=466622484930600     [15] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02qc2q9e5MRf57qjmRxaJZVpYmLBKe2vw7vdKfjFCjZhXqk5ejBF1iDgq8a4govxkul   [16] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0QqheY94X6ugsY7cX8hHhH8VaFELS4RwojwteY6myKTp37Lo1K7GxxxnxGKh9CQyzl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02qc2q9e5MRf57qjmRxaJZVpYmLBKe2vw7vdKfjFCjZhXqk5ejBF1iDgq8a4govxkul [17] https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/413; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/418; https://t.me/vilkul/1686; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/915; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1472; https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/08/05/vorog-obstrilyav-iz-gradiv-zhytlovi-kvartaly-nikopolya/; . https://t.me/spravdi/14781; https://t.me/spravdi/14776; https://twitter.com/EmineDzheppar/status/1555094719407001600   [18] https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/2019; https://t.me/senkevichonline/1947; https://t.me/mykolaivskaoblrada/3384;  https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/08/05/u-mykolayevi-vranczi-progrymily-potuzhni-vybuhy/; https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/08/05/vden-rosijski-okupanty-obstrilyaly-mykolayiv-ye-zagybli/   [19] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0QqheY94X6ugsY7cX8hHhH8VaFELS4RwojwteY6myKTp37Lo1K7GxxxnxGKh9CQyzl [20] https://t.me/energoatom_ua/8672 [21] https://t.me/orlovdmytroEn/763; https://t.me/orlovdmytroEn/764; https://t.me/stranaua/56307; https://t.me/stranaua/56307; https://t.me/spravdi/14804 [22] https://ria dot ru/20220805/obstrel-1807586790.html [23]https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1555431020542951424?s=20&t=Lg-s79V0Ht1AlTBpS4eicw [24] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=466622484930600 [25] https://t.me/operativnoZSU/35155 [26] https://twitter.com/PaulJawin/status/1555407688930136067?s=20&t=XaRQAeIKOrTKgWHDsslHaw;%20https://twitter.com/neonhandrail/status/1555440063072243712?s=20&t=XaRQAeIKOrTKgWHDsslHaw; https://twitter.com/neonhandrail/status/1554232385385799680?s=20&t=XaRQAeIKOrTKgWHDsslHaw     [27] https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1555185860651491331?s=20&t=XaRQAeIKOrTKgWHDsslHaw; https://twitter.com/PauliusZaleckas/status/1555474361087401984?s=20&t=XaRQAeIKOrTKgWHDsslHaw [28] https://t.me/sashakots/34743?single [29] https://regnum dot ru/news/society/3658860.html   [30] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-23; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-6 [31] https://bk55 dot ru/news/article/205829/?utm_source=google.com&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=google.com&utm_referrer=google.com [32] https://bk55 dot ru/news/article/205829/?utm_source=google.com&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=google.com&utm_referrer=google.com [33] https://bk55 dot ru/news/article/205739/ [34] https://t.me/rybar/36713;https://www.idelreal.org/a/31958650.html [35] https://t.me/rybar/36713   [36] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/tryvaie-prymusova-pasportyzatsiia-na-okupovanykh-terytoriiakh.html [37] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid021ECthTnXv5Pbnzk174umPLRN985x932YtxUWUsWAsqUbiyjAmXTStUCwCcBweZVkl; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid025aoqgzr9PuynAJjoDDhF39RATddGKWZHZV3rv4vT2kHu3X7gAuEdk2GoZragmq4Fl [38] https://t.me/mariupolnow/16975 [39] https://t.me/orlovdmytroEn/762 [40]https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-3 [41] https://focus dot ua/voennye-novosti/524528-polnomochiya-peredal-eks-sotrudniku-fsb-hersonskiy-kollaborant-saldo-gospitalizirovan [42] https://t.me/Stremousov_Kirill/201; https://t.me/bazabazon/12676; https://t.me/bazabazon/12677; https://t.me/bazabazon/12675 [43] https://t.me/zalpalyanytsya/1271

[Author: Peter Mills] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/8/22 6:39pm
Kateryna Stepanenko, Layne Phillipson, Karolina Hird, Angela Howard, and Frederick W. KaganAugust 4, 9 pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Ukraine is likely seizing the strategic initiative and forcing Russia to reallocate forces and reprioritize efforts in response to Ukrainian counteroffensive operations. Russian forces are increasingly transferring personnel and equipment to Kherson and western Zaporizhia Oblasts at the expense of their efforts to seize Slovyansk and Siversk, which they appear to have abandoned. Russian forces are also redeploying military equipment – artillery and aviation in particular – to Crimea from elsewhere in Ukraine. Russian forces have previously withdrawn from or suspended offensive operations on Kharkiv City and the southern axis to prioritize capturing Luhansk Oblast, but they did so on their own initiative based on the changing priorities of their commanders. Russian forces in this case appear to be responding to the Ukrainian counteroffensive threat in Kherson Oblast rather than deliberately choosing objectives on which to concentrate their efforts. Even after Ukrainian forces defeated the Russian attempt to seize Kyiv early in the war, the Russians were able to choose freely to concentrate their operations in the east. Ukraine’s preparations for the counteroffensive in Kherson and the initial operations in that counteroffensive combined with the dramatic weakening of Russian forces generally appear to be allowing Ukraine to begin actively shaping the course of the war for the first time.The seriousness of the dilemma facing the Russian high command likely depends on Ukraine’s ability to sustain significant counteroffensive operations on multiple axes simultaneously. If Ukraine is able to press hard around Izyum as it continues rolling into the counteroffensive in Kherson, then Russian forces will begin confronting very difficult choices. They will likely need to decide either to abandon their westward positions around Izyum in favor of defending their ground lines of communications (GLOCs) further north and east or to commit more personnel and equipment to try to hold the current front line. Such forces would have to come from another axis, however, putting other Russian gains at risk.Russian forces are likely operating in five to seven strike groups of unclear size around Bakhmut, based on the Ukrainian General Staff descriptions of Russian assaults in the area. Recent Ukrainian General Staff reports have most frequently identified Vershyna, Soledar, Kodema, Bakhmut, and Yakovlvka as the repeated targets of localized concentrated Russian efforts around Bakhmut.[1] The Russian groups attacking these targets are reportedly operating out of the nearby settlements of Pokrovske, Streapivka, Roty, Semihirya, and Vidrozhnnya for now.Explosions occurred near the Donetsk Drama Theater and Penal Colony #124 in occupied Donetsk City on August 4.[2] Russian media widely publicized the explosions and blamed Ukrainian artillery, but the Ukrainian Office of the President denied any shelling of Donetsk City on August 4.[3] The limited damage visible in the videos Russia has produced as evidence of the Ukrainian attack near the Donetsk Drama Theater appears to be inconsistent with artillery shelling.[4] Russian officials have not provided footage of the reported attack on Penal Colony #124. Russian milbloggers widely published the Russian-provided footage of the aftermath of the explosion near the Donetsk Drama Theater and used the opportunity to harshly criticize Ukrainian forces for alleged strikes on civilian targets.[5] Were the explosions Ukrainian shelling, they would carry further emotional weight with DNR supporters because they occurred during a farewell ceremony for an occupation forces officer KIA on August 3.[6] Russian forces likely hope to use the emotional response of DNR audiences to such claimed Ukrainian attacks to garner support for new offenses in the Avdiivka area and further recruitment campaigns.Key TakeawaysUkraine is likely seizing the strategic initiative and forcing Russia to reallocate forces and reprioritize efforts in response to Ukrainian counteroffensive operations.Russian forces attempted to advance northwest of Izyum.Ukrainian forces conducted a series of localized counterattacks between Izyum and Slovyansk and regained positions in a number of settlements.Russian forces continued ground attacks northeast and south of Bakhmut.Russian troops continued attempts to advance on Pisky and conducted a limited ground attack southwest of Donetsk City.Russian forces continued to transfer equipment and personnel to northeastern Kherson and western Zaporizhia Oblasts.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces attempted to advance northwest of Izyum on August 4. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops conducted an unsuccessful attack in the direction from Bairak to Husarivka, about 35km northwest of Izyum.[7] Russian forces are likely continuing attempts to penetrate deeper into Kharkiv Oblast but are unlikely to be able to gain significant ground in this endeavor.Ukrainian forces are likely taking advantage of the redeployment of Russian forces away from the Slovyansk axis and conducted localized counterattacks to regain ground southwest of Izyum and northwest of Slovyansk on August 4. Ukrainian General Staff Main Operations Deputy Chief Oleksii Gromov stated that Ukrainian forces have advanced on Russian defensive lines in Dmytrivka, Mazanivka, and Sulyhivka- all about 15km southwest of Izyum.[8] Ukraine’s 93rd Brigade additionally stated that its troops retook Dibrovne, 20km southwest of Izyum.[9] Gromov noted that Ukrainian troops liberated Mazanivka and Dmytrivka, both about 20km northwest of Slovyansk along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border.[10] As ISW previously reported, Russian forces have been redeploying individual units from the Slovyansk axis towards Zaporizhia and Kherson Oblasts in the south, thus depriving the Russian effort in northwestern Donetsk Oblast of necessary combat power to secure gains along the Izyum-Slovyansk line.[11] Recent Ukrainian gains between Izyum and Slovyansk indicate that the redeployment of Russian troops to the south is leaving exploitable gaps in the Russian defense of this axis.Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks in the Siversk area on August 4 and continued air and artillery strikes on and around Siversk City.[12] Russian forces continued fighting northeast and south of Bakhmut on August 4. Gromov confirmed that Ukrainian troops withdrew from positions in Semihirya and Dolomitne (15 and 18km southeast of Bakhmut, respectively) towards Kodema, where they are continuing to defend against Russian ground attacks.[13] The Ukrainian General Staff added that Russian forces are also fighting around Travneve, Semihirya, and Vershyna, all within 20km southeast of Bakhmut.[14] Russian forces are continuing ground attacks around Soledar (about 6km northeast of Bakhmut) in Yakolvika and Straypivka in order to advance southwest towards Bakhmut.[15]Russian forces continued ground attacks towards Pisky from the northwestern outskirts of Donetsk City and additionally conducted limited assaults southwest of Donetsk City on August 4. Gromov confirmed that Ukrainian troops withdrew from the Butivka coal mine and took up new positions south of Avdiivka on July 30, which is consistent with ISW’s recent assessed control of terrain in the Donetsk City area.[16] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to advance on Pisky from Vesle, about 1km due east, and Lozove, 6km southwest.[17] Various Russian sources, including the 11th Regiment of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), claimed that Russian and DNR forces have taken full control of Pisky, but this claim is unlikely considering that Ukrainian sources suggest that Russian forces are still conducting frontal assaults and artillery strikes on Pisky from multiple directions.[18] Russian forces also reportedly conducted an unsuccessful attack northwest of Donetsk City in the vicinity of Marinka and continued to shell along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.[19] Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks northeast of Kharkiv City and continued efforts to maintain occupied frontiers along this axis on August 4.[20] The Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications reported that Russian forces launched four missiles from Belgorod at the Nemyshlianskyi district in southeast Kharkiv City.[21] Russian forces also continued routine shelling on Kharkiv City and settlements to the north, east, south, and southwest with mortars, tanks, and tube and rocket artillery.[22] Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Russian forces launched unsuccessful assaults on Ukrainian positions near the Inhulets River on August 3 and August 4. Ukrainian military officials reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked Bilohirka, Lozove, and Andriivka (on the eastern Inhulets River bank), and in the direction of Bila Krynytsya (on the western Inhulets River bank).[23] Russian forces are likely continuing offensive operations in the area to suppress the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River and disrupt Ukrainian threats to Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) along the T2207 highway. Russian forces have intensified their air campaign along the contact line in Kherson Oblast and reportedly launched airstrikes on 17 settlements.[24] Russian forces also continued to shell over 25 settlements along the Kherson Oblast administrative border, fired 60 missiles at Nikopol using Grad MLRS, and unsuccessfully launched Onyx anti-ship missile at Odesa Oblast that exploded in the air.[25]Russian forces continued to redeploy military personnel and equipment from other axes to defend current Russian positions in southern Ukraine. Ukrainian General Staff Main Operations Deputy Chief Oleksiy Gromov reported that Russian forces transferred three battalion tactical groups (BTGs) that had been operating on the frontline around the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast administrative border to northeastern Kherson Oblast.[26] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command added that Russian forces have continued to transfer unspecified elements of the 35th Combined Arms Army (CAA) that have previously fought in Izyum and Kyiv Oblast to northeastern Kherson Oblast.[27] Gromov added that Russian forces also strengthened the Zaporizhia Oblast frontline with one BTG and are replenishing stockpiles of weapons and supplies in Melitopol. Russian forces will likely prioritize the defense of occupied positions north of Melitopol over the frontlines in Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast administrative border area. These BTGs and elements of the 35th CAA are unlikely to generate the necessary combat power for further offensive operations given that these units likely experienced significant losses of personnel and equipment on other axes. Gromov also noted that Russian forces are transferring large amounts of military equipment to Kherson Oblast via the Kerch Strait Bridge and are using Crimea as a “bridgehead for stockpiling weapons.“ Gromov stated that Russian forces are also regrouping aviation equipment from the Eastern Military District (EMD) in Crimea, and geolocated social media footage showed the movement of Russian military equipment across the Kerch Strait Bridge.[28]Ukrainian forces continued to strike Russian GLOCs, positions, and military bases in Kherson Oblast. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Ukrainian aviation struck two Russian strongholds in the areas of Blahodatne and Pravdyne, both located northwest of Kherson City.[29] Ukrainian forces have also reportedly destroyed the command post of the Russian 22nd Army Corps during a strike on Chornobaivka, also northwest of Kherson City.[30] Advisor to the Kherson Oblast Administration Head Serhiy Khlan also reported explosions at a Russian ammunition depot in Nova Mayachka (approximately 48km southeast of Kherson City) but did not specify if Ukrainian forces struck the depot.[31] Social media users reported witnessing explosions near the Antonivskyi Railway Bridge, but it is unclear if Ukrainian forces attempted to strike the bridge on August 3.[32]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian military authorities continued to take measures to compensate for personnel losses in Ukraine. Ukrainian General Staff Main Operations Deputy Chief Oleksiy Gromov reported on August 4 that Russian forces are forming additional reserves to replenish units that have suffered losses in Ukraine, noting that Russian military officials are considering the redeployment of Russian troops from Syria to replenish the army.[33] Gromov also reported that Russian leadership is preparing legislative changes that prohibit the discharge of soldiers if martial law is declared in an effort to stop the outflow of military personnel.[34] Gromov added that there is a shortage of cadets for Russian military institutions, and there is “a low activity rate” of civilians signing military contracts.[35]Russian federal subjects continued to form additional volunteer battalions to deploy to Ukraine. The Ministry of Social Protection of Karelia announced the procedure for volunteers of the “Ladoga” and “Onega” units to receive the promised payment of 100,000 rubles (approximately $1,612) upon enlisting.[36] Petrozavodsk Military Commissioner Vladimir Kudrik announced on June 27 that the Republic of Karelia will form the “Ladoga” and “Onego” units with over 300 total volunteers for deployment to Ukraine.[37] Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) Head Leonid Pasechnik announced that 200 volunteers from the Russian Special Forces University will deploy to Donbas from their training grounds in Gudermes, Chechnya, “in the coming days.”[38] These volunteers are likely recruits of unspecified volunteer battalions that underwent training in Chechnya. Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Russian authorities continued setting conditions for long-term Russian control of the occupied territories in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on August 4 that the Russian Ministry of Construction and Housing and Communal Affairs released a document titled “Concept of the Master Plan for the Development of the City of Mariupol.”[39] The report states that Russian occupation authorities intend to fully integrate Mariupol into the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) with a prospect of accession into Russia and that the Ministry plans to restore transport and social infrastructure “within the next few years.”[40] The report projects Mariupol’s population to grow to 200,000 by 2025. Its population had numbered approximately 500,000 prior to the most recent Russian invasion of Ukraine.[41]Residents of occupied territories continued resisting Russian occupation efforts on August 4. Advisor to the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs Vadym Denisenko reported that Russian occupation officials have struggled to find volunteers to form standard 15-person election commissions and have instead established a 7-person committee in Kherson City.[42] Previous Kherson Oblast elections had 10,000 commissions while Russian officials are only planning to form 1,500, of which most will be staged for TV propaganda efforts.[43]The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported that Russian forces are illegally seizing businesses in Kherson City and that Ukrainian employees refuse to work for Russian-controlled enterprises.[44] Kherson Oblast Administration Head Dmytro Butrii reported that Russian authorities kidnapped Hornostaiv community head Dmytro Lyakhno and local volunteer Oleksandr Slisarenko for reportedly refusing to cooperate with occupation officials in Kherson Oblast on August 3.[45][1] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0sPTGPr9gfYJWk539T8E...; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376189041360847; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375352808111137  [2] https://t.me/mariupolnow/16924; https://t.me/mariupolnow/16922; https://t.me/mariupolnow/16925; https://t.me/kommunist/8060; https://t.me/stranaua/56111; https://t.me/stranaua/56111;[3] https://t.me/mariupolnow/16921; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRlVAxTzUVo&feature=youtu.be; https://v-variant dot com.ua/v-ofisi-prezydenta-zaiavyly-shcho-ukraina-ne-prychetna-do-rankovykh-obstriliv-donetska/[4] https://t.me/mariupolnow/16925; https://t.me/stranaua/56060; https://t.me/kommunist/8060; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/38979; https://t.me/milinfolive/88220[5] https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/9521[6] https://t.me/stranaua/56059; https://t.me/stranaua/56060; https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/9521; https://t.me/kommunist/8060[7] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid023ZJFnvkeU7mfvwTGvi... https://t.me/synegubov/3851; https://t.me/der_rada/2199[8] https://www dot rbc.ua/ukr/news/vsu-osvobodili-neskolko-sel-donetskoy-oblasti-1659615482.html; https://t.me/spravdi/14737[9] https://suspilne dot media/267992-93-brigada-povidomila-pro-zvilnenna-vid-okupantiv-sela-dibrivne-na-harkivsini/[10] https://www dot rbc.ua/ukr/news/vsu-osvobodili-neskolko-sel-donetskoy-oblasti-1659615482.html; https://t.me/spravdi/14737[11] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-ass...; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-ass...[12] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02RXLsbFVSq8HdaAdFPU...; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid023ZJFnvkeU7mfvwTGvi...[13] https://tsn dot ua/ato/okupanti-vitisnili-ukrayinskih-viyskovih-z-dvoh-poziciy-pid-doneckom-ta-bahmutom-genshtab-zsu-2126830.html; https://news dot liga.net/ua/politics/news/vsu-otoshli-v-rayone-avdeevki-i-bahmuta-no-osvobodili-dva-poselka-na-donbasse-karta[14]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02RXLsbFVSq8HdaAdFPU...; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid023ZJFnvkeU7mfvwTGvi...\[15]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02RXLsbFVSq8HdaAdFPU...; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid023ZJFnvkeU7mfvwTGvi...[16] https://www dot rbc.ua/ukr/news/rossiyane-vytesnili-vsu-dvuh-pozitsiy-donetskom-1659615972.html[17]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid023ZJFnvkeU7mfvwTGvi... https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02RXLsbFVSq8HdaAdFPU...[18] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02RXLsbFVSq8HdaAdFPU...; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid023ZJFnvkeU7mfvwTGvi... https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1555116847955165185; https://t.me/readovkanews/39764; https://t.me/rlz_the_kraken/51755[19] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02RXLsbFVSq8HdaAdFPU...; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid023ZJFnvkeU7mfvwTGvi... https://t.me/spravdi/14723[20] https://t.me/der_rada/2195; https://t.me/mod_russia/18254  [21] https://t.me/spravdi/14714; https://t.me/stranaua/56053; https://t.me/spravdi/14723[22] https://t.me/synegubov/3851; https://t.me/der_rada/2199; https://t.me/der_rada/2195; https://t.me/spravdi/14723; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02RXLsbFVSq8HdaAdFPU...; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid023ZJFnvkeU7mfvwTGvi...[23] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02RXLsbFVSq8HdaAdFPU...; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=400798705452366[24] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02RXLsbFVSq8HdaAdFPU...; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=400798705452366[25] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid023ZJFnvkeU7mfvwTGvi... https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=400798705452366; https://t.me/khersonskaODA/768; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/404; https://t.me/spravdi/14714; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1421375598330103; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1421375598330103; https://t.me/odesacityofficial/9952; https://t.me/stranaua/56091[26] https://lb dot ua/society/2022/08/04/525295_vorog_prodovzhuie_pidgotovku.htm; https://ua dot interfax.com.ua/news/general/850517.html; https://www dot ukrinform.ua/rubric-ato/3543522-na-hersonsini-vijskovih-rf-lakaut-zagorodzuvalnimi-zagonami-cecenciv.html[27] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign...[28] https://twitter.com/COUPSURE/status/1554775834443104256; https://twitter.com/RoksolanaKrim/status/1554745842459893760; https://twitter.com/neonhandrail/status/1555032481421615104[29] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=400798705452366[30] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=400798705452366; https://t.me/khersonskaODA/768; https://t.me/spravdi/14718[31] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02HpnPJYNzj3DUBpsc8m16o...; https://www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR3OePytQuhHOZ-jJ9b3gW8vmluW-Hekj... https://t.me/rybar/36660; https://t.me/stranaua/56144; https://t.me/hueviyherson/23367?single[32] https://twitter.com/ArtisanalAPT/status/1554957976363888640; https://twitter.com/ArtisanalAPT/status/1554957960643837960; https://twitter.com/ArtisanalAPT/status/1554957976363888640; https://twitter.com/ArtisanalAPT/status/1554957979245486081; https://t.me/milinfolive/88200; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1554944963707797506[33] https://lb dot ua/society/2022/08/04/525295_vorog_prodovzhuie_pidgotovku.html; https://ua dot interfax.com.ua/news/general/850517.html; https://www dot armyfm.com.ua/ua/rosiyani-ne-pospishayut-pidpisuvati-kontrakti-dlya-vijni-v-ukraini/[34] https://lb dot ua/society/2022/08/04/525295_vorog_prodovzhuie_pidgotovku.html; https://ua dot interfax.com.ua/news/general/850517.html; https://www dot armyfm.com.ua/ua/rosiyani-ne-pospishayut-pidpisuvati-kontrakti-dlya-vijni-v-ukraini/[35] https://lb dot ua/society/2022/08/04/525295_vorog_prodovzhuie_pidgotovku.html; https://ua dot interfax.com.ua/news/general/850517.html; https://www dot armyfm.com.ua/ua/rosiyani-ne-pospishayut-pidpisuvati-kontrakti-dlya-vijni-v-ukraini/[36] https://stolicaonego dot ru/news/ustanovlen-porjadok-vyplat-bojtsam-podrazdelenij-iz-karelii-kotoryh-gotovjat-k-otpravke-na-ukrainu/[37] https://stolicaonego dot ru/news/voinskie-podrazdelenija-onego-i-ladoga-sformirujut-v-karelii-dlja-otpravki-na-ukrainu/[38] https://t.me/glava_lnr_info/235[39] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/smitnyk-i-kvituchyi-sad-na-ruinakh-azovstali-rashysty-namaliuvaly-kontseptsiiu-rozvytku-mariupolia.html ;https://drive dot google.com/file/d/110FqlratApY9ZENzrIloIFoK-Z1WnFtA/view; https://drive dot google.com/file/d/1_5Ljsvnf-sWgZTOl5MVgLlMXco37EFbE/view[40] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/smitnyk-i-kvituchyi-sad-na-ruinakh-azovstali-rashysty-namaliuvaly-kontseptsiiu-rozvytku-mariupolia.html ;https://drive dot google.com/file/d/110FqlratApY9ZENzrIloIFoK-Z1WnFtA/view; https://drive dot google.com/file/d/1_5Ljsvnf-sWgZTOl5MVgLlMXco37EFbE/view[41] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/smitnyk-i-kvituchyi-sad-na-ruinakh-azovstali-rashysty-namaliuvaly-kontseptsiiu-rozvytku-mariupolia.html ;https://drive dot google.com/file/d/110FqlratApY9ZENzrIloIFoK-Z1WnFtA/view; https://drive dot google.com/file/d/1_5Ljsvnf-sWgZTOl5MVgLlMXco37EFbE/view[42] https://t.me/stranaua/56136[43] https://t.me/stranaua/56136[44] https://sprotyv dot mod.gov.ua/2022/08/04/v-hersoni-okupanty-zahoplyuyut-biznes-ale-praczivnyky-vidmovlyayutsya-praczyuvaty-na-voroga/[45] https://t.me/khersonskaODA/768;

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/8/22 6:39pm
Kateryna Stepanenko, Katherine Lawlor, Karolina Hird, Angela Howard, and Frederick W. KaganAugust 3, 8:30pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Russian forces are likely using Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Enerhodar to play on Western fears of a nuclear disaster in Ukraine, likely in an effort to degrade Western will to provide military support to a Ukrainian counteroffensive. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi said on August 3 that Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), which is currently occupied by Russian forces, is “completely out of control” and that “every principle of nuclear safety has been violated” at the plant.[1] He warned that Russian forces are not respecting the physical integrity of the plant and pleaded with Russia and Ukraine to quickly facilitate a visit of IAEA monitors to the complex. Russian Zaporizhia Occupation Administration Head Evgeniy Balitskyi responded that the IAEA was welcome at the plant: “We are ready to show how the Russian military guards it today, and how Ukraine, which receives weapons from the West, uses these weapons, including drones, to attack the nuclear plant, acting like a monkey with a grenade.”[2] Russian officials are framing Ukraine as irresponsibly using Western-provided weapons and risking nuclear disaster to dissuade Western and other allied states from providing additional military support to Ukraine’s looming southern counteroffensive.Russian forces based around the NPP have attacked Ukrainian positions in Nikopol and elsewhere in recent weeks, intentionally putting Ukraine in a difficult position—either Ukraine returns fire, risking international condemnation and a nuclear incident (which Ukrainian forces are unlikely to do), or Ukrainian forces allow Russian forces to continue firing on Ukrainian positions from an effective “safe zone.” Ukrainian Mayor of Enerhodar Dmytro Orlov reported on August 3 that Russian forces launched rockets on Enerhodar from neighboring villages to falsely accuse Ukrainian forces of shelling Enerhodar and endangering the NPP.[3] ISW assessed on July 21 that Russian forces may be storing heavy military equipment in the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Enerhodar to protect it from Ukrainian strikes.[4] Russian forces have also likely staged false flag attacks around Enerhodar since early July, as ISW previously reported.[5]Russian forces likely set fire to the prison complex holding Ukrainian POWs in occupied Donetsk Oblast but blamed Ukraine for an alleged precision strike using Western-supplied military equipment, likely to deter additional Western military support to Ukraine. The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported that it has determined that the Wagner Group deliberately set fire to the prison complex on July 28. This report is consistent with the damage observable in Russian-provided video of the site. The GUR reported that Wagner forces "mined” the building with unspecified flammable substances, which led to a rapid spread of fire throughout the building.[6] Russian-provided footage and commercial satellite imagery from the colony showed that the walls of the building were burned but still standing and did not reveal shell craters or other indicators consistent with an artillery strike. ISW previously reported that imagery from the site shows that the attack only damaged one building, did not collapse the walls of that building, and did not leave any shell craters in the vicinity, very strongly suggesting that the destruction of the prison was the result of either a precision strike or an internally planted incendiary or explosive.[7] Russian officials previously claimed that the deaths of the POWs were the result of a Ukrainian HIMARS strike, likely as a component of the ongoing Russian information operation attempting to dissuade the US from continuing to provide Ukraine with HIMARS.The Kremlin is likely continuing efforts to leverage its relationship with Tehran in order to receive drones for use in Ukraine. Russian state-owned space agency Roscosmos announced on August 3 that Russia will launch a remote-sensing satellite (named “Khayyam”) into orbit on behalf of Iran on August 9.[8] The Kremlin may intend this launch to encourage or repay Tehran for the provision of Iranian drones that would be employed in operations in Ukraine, and possibly other military equipment or support. Iran has a huge ballistic missile arsenal and domestic missile manufacturing capabilities that it could provide to Russia in exchange for economic and military cooperation.[9] Iran has prioritized the development of its military space program in recent years and launched one satellite in April 2020 and one in April 2022. US and Middle Eastern officials stated as early as June 2021 that Russian officials were preparing to send a Russian-made Kanopus-V satellites to Iran, which would expand Tehran’s overall surveillance capabilities in the Middle East and beyond.[10] As ISW reported on August 2, Russian and Iran are likely continuing to facilitate cooperation through recently signed bilateral aviation agreements in order to bolster Russian military capabilities in Ukraine and assist Tehran with sanctions mitigation.[11]The Russian Defense Ministry has altered the focus of its reporting after the fall of Lysychansk, likely to orient on narratives that resonate positively with milbloggers and war correspondents rather than those that draw criticism from that community. The Russian Defense Ministry has shifted its reporting style to focus on claims of declining Ukrainian morale and successful Russian strikes on Western-provided military equipment, rather than reporting on day-to-day Russian advances on the frontline.[12] Russian forces have made limited gains around Bakhmut and Avdiivka in recent days, but the Russian Defense Ministry has not claimed territorial gains around the theater since at least the fall of Lysychansk. Milbloggers, war correspondents, and other groups have criticized the Defense Ministry and the Kremlin for exaggerated and inaccurate claims of territorial gains, undermining Moscow’s narratives and credibility.[13] The Defense Ministry apparently flirted with the idea of suppressing or attempting to control the milblogger community, but it seems instead to have opted to adjust its own narratives.[14] The Defense Ministry is now letting milbloggers, war correspondents, and DNR officials cover the situation unfolding in Avdiivka, Pisky, and south of Bakhmut positively without making claims of its own that might draw criticism. Milbloggers released footage from the reported capture of the Butivka Coal Mine ventilation shaft and on the southern outskirts of Pisky, where they celebrated recapturing small segments of years-long contested territory--but the Defense Ministry has made no statement on the subject.[15] Some of the milbloggers such as Maksim Fomin (known under alias Vladelen Tatarzkiy) have previously served within DNR units and include anecdotes about their service in the Donetsk City area prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Such coverage of the war likely aims to boost morale among DNR and Russian fighters. The Kremlin or the Defense Ministry may have decided that the milbloggers and war correspondents are more credible sources for the constituencies it cares most about and realized that its own claims were losing credibility. They may alternatively be focusing on narratives that generate positive resonance within that community.Key TakeawaysRussian forces are likely using Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Enerhodar to play on Western fears of a nuclear disaster in Ukraine, attempting to thereby degrade the will of Western powers to provide military support to a Ukrainian counteroffensive.Russian forces likely set fire to the prison complex holding Ukrainian POWs in occupied Donetsk Oblast but blamed Ukraine for an alleged precision strike using Western-supplied military equipment, likely to increase US hesitancy to continue providing HIMARS to Ukraine.Moscow is likely continuing efforts to leverage its relationship with Tehran in order to secure drones for use in Ukraine. Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack northwest of Slovyansk and continued efforts to advance on Bakhmut from the northeast, east, and southeast. Russian forces are prioritizing frontal assaults on Avdiivka and failed to gain ground in Pisky.Russian forces are reportedly forming a strike group to prevent Ukrainian counteroffensives in northern Kherson Oblast or counterattack against them.Russian occupation authorities may allow both in-person and online voting in upcoming pseudo-referenda on the annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory into Russia, enabling more straightforward Russian vote rigging. We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern Ukraine Subordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack northwest of Slovyansk and continued to shell settlements west and southeast of Izyum on August 3. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian troops neutralized a Russian reconnaissance-in-force attempt south of Mazanivka, about 25km northwest of Slovyansk near the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border.[16] Russian forces additionally conducted artillery strikes near Protopopivka, Mechebylove, Husarivka, Chepil and Nortsivka, all settlements lying along the arc that ranges from the west to northwest of the Izyum area.[17] Continual artillery strikes west of Izyum are consistent with ISW’s assessment that Russian forces may be setting conditions to advance westward from the rear of the Izyum-Slovyansk line further into Kharkiv Oblast.Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground assaults in the Siversk area and shelled Siversk City and surrounding settlements on August 3.[18]Russian forces conducted a series of ground attacks to the northeast, east, and southeast of Bakhmut on August 3. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces conducted assaults around Volodymyrivka, Yakovlivka, and Soledar (all within 15km northeast of Bakhmut), Pokrovske (about 5km due east of Bakhmut), and Vidrozhennya, Kodema, Zaitseve, Semihirya, and Dolomytne (all within 20km southeast of Bakhumt).[19] The Territorial Defense of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) claimed that DNR forces have taken control of Travneve, a small settlement about 19km south of Bakhmut.[20] While ISW cannot independently confirm the validity of this territorial claim, it is consistent with reports that Russian forces are continuing to fight for positions around the Novoluhanske area in an effort to push northwards on Bakhmut.Russian forces continued to prioritize unsuccessful frontal assaults onto Avdiivka and failed to advance into Pisky on August 3. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to break through Ukrainian defenses in Avdiivka from Spartak and Mineralne, both situated southwest and southeast of Avdiivka, respectively.[21] Russian forces also resumed unsuccessful assaults northeast of Avdiivka, attempting to attack Kransohorivka from both Novoselivka Druha and Vasylivka. The Ukrainian General Staff also noted that Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian assault on Pisky from the Donetsk City direction. Russian milblogger Maksim Fomin (alias Vladelen Tatarzkiy) published footage of Russian troops on the southern outskirts of Pisky, despite claiming that many Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) battalions are successfully advancing through Pisky.[22] DNR First Deputy Information Minister Daniil Bezsonov claimed that Russian forces have secured half of Pisky on August 3, but the claim is not consistent with Fomin’s footage.[23] Russian forces continued heavy shelling around Avdiivka and Pisky in an attempt to disrupt Ukrainian fortifications and set conditions for an advance.[24]Ukrainian forces repelled Russian offensive operations west of Donetsk City on August 3. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to advance to Mariinka and Bilohirka and withdrew.[25] Russian forces have not been consistently fighting around Mariinka compared to persistent assaults around Avdiivka and Bakhmut. Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces continued limited unsuccessful ground attacks along the Kharkiv City Axis on August 3. Russian forces failed to advance in the Kochubeivka-Dementiivka direction, approximately 40km north of Kharkiv City. Russian troops are continuing efforts to maintain occupied frontiers in northeast Kharkiv Oblast and conducted aerial reconnaissance and electronic warfare (EW) operations in this area.[26] Kharkiv Oblast Head Oleg Synegubov stated that Russian forces struck two neighborhoods in Kharkiv City with S-300 air defense missiles shot from Belgorod, Russia, and continued shelling areas north, east, and south of Kharkiv City.[27]Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Russian forces attempted to regain lost positions in northwestern Kherson Oblast on August 2 and August 3. Ukrainian military officials reported that Russian forces conducted an unsucessful reconnaissance-in-force operation near Bilohirka on the western bank of the Inhulets River.[28] Russian forces have also carried out an airstrike on Andriivka, just south of Bilohirka, likely in an effort to destroy the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River.[29] Russian forces continued to shell Ukrainian positions along the Kherson Oblast border, and have launched Smerch MLRS rockets, S-300 air defense missiles, and three Kh-101 cruise missiles onto Mykolaiv City and Mykolaiv Oblast.[30]Russian forces are reportedly creating a strike group to preempt Ukrainian counteroffensives on the Kherson-Dnipropetrovsk Oblast administrative border. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Russian forces are creating a strike group to conduct offensive operations in northern Kherson Oblast, repel Ukrainian counteroffensives, and reach the Kherson-Dnipropetrovsk Oblast administrative border.[31] Kryvyi Rih Military Administration Head Oleksandr Vilkul added that Russian forces are accumulating military equipment and servicemen in the Kryvyi Rih direction (referring to troop positioning in northern Kherson Oblast).[32] Russian forces may be continuing to shell settlements around southwest of Kryvyi Rih and Nikopol to either set conditions for an advance from northern Kherson Oblast onto Zaporizhia City via Nikopol or are targeting Ukrainian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) from Zaporizhia City ahead of Ukrainian counteroffensives.[33]Russian forces are continuing to transfer equipment throughout the Southern Axis. Geolocated social media footage showed Russian military vehicles moving in the northern direction from southern Melitopol.[34] Mariupol Mayor Advisor Petro Andryushenko published footage of a Russian military convoy composed of engineering vehicles and trucks driving from Mariupol in the direction of Berdyansk.[35] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces are withdrawing military equipment that had originally been committed to the Zaporizhia Oblast frontline at the end of May due to a lack of personnel to man the equipment. The Ukrainian General Staff added that Russian forces are distributing the withdrawn equipment to unspecified tank elements of the 58th Combined Arms Army.[36] Such redistribution may indicate that the Zaporizhia Oblast frontline is particularly vulnerable but that the Russians do not intend to reinforce it.Russian forces are attempting to repair Russian GLOCs after Ukrainian strikes on Russian strongholds in southern Ukraine. Advisor to the Kherson Oblast Military Administration Head Serhiy Khlan reported that Russian forces began to spread out ammunition warehouses to mitigate the risks and effectiveness of Ukrainian strikes but noted that such distribution disadvantages Russian positions in Kherson Oblast.[37] Social media footage also showed that Russian forces are attempting to repair the Antonivskiy Road Bridge east of Kherson City and are extensively using a ferry over the Dnipro River.[38] The UK Defense Ministry assessed that Ukrainian strikes on a Russian ammunition train in Brylivka on July 30 has likely temporarily impaired Russian railway connections between Kherson Oblast and Crimea, but it noted that Russian forces are likely to repair the railway line within a few days.[39] Social media footage of an explosion in Brylivka published on August 3 suggests that Ukrainian forces might have targeted the location for the second time.[40] Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov stated that Russian forces are trying to restore their bases at the Melitopol airfield.[41]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian military leadership likely ordered the establishment of “places of rest” for Russian servicemembers within occupied Ukraine to enable some leave for Russian forces without letting those forces go back to Russian territory, where they could more easily desert. Ukraine’s Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on August 3 that Russian forces in the villages of Henicheska Hirka and Antonivka, Kherson Oblast are nationalizing (illegally seizing) privately-owned children’s camps, recreation facilities, and clubs, and bought up inflatable boats and mattresses, to establish “bases for the location and rest of the occupying forces.”[42]Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Russian occupation authorities may allow both in-person and online voting in upcoming pseudo-referenda on the annexation of occupied Ukrainian territory into Russia, enabling more straightforward Russian vote rigging. The Ukrainian Mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, announced on August 2 that Russian occupation forces plan to allow “voting from home” in the upcoming faux referendum that Russia will use to annex occupied Ukrainian territories.[43] Fedorov warned that occupation forces are threatening to deport Ukrainians who vote against the sham referendum. Ukrainian news outlet Strana previously reported on July 29 that the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) “Public Headquarters of the Referendum” announced it will be possible to vote online in the referendum to join Russia.[44] The Kremlin introduced online voting to some regional Russian elections in 2021 and spread it to the entire country in March 2022, likely to enable Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party to more easily pad their votes and to limit the efficacy of election observers.[45] Russian opposition politicians and elections observers reported major discrepancies between online votes and paper ballots in areas where online voting was tested in 2021, suggesting that the Kremlin added online votes to their tally whenever their candidates needed a boost. Online voting in occupied Ukrainian territories would be even more farcical—many civilians in occupied areas have no access to electricity or running water, let alone to the internet.Russian occupation authorities are continuing to set conditions for long-term Russian control of occupied Ukrainian territories. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin met with the head of the Russian-appointed head of the Zaporizhia Occupation Administration, Evgeniy Balitskyi, on August 3 to discuss a comprehensive, three-year plan to rebuild roads in Zaporizhia Oblast and to discuss increasing Russian financing of the region.[46] Balitskyi separately announced that occupation authorities are extending the deadline for local businesspeople and legal entities to register for business licenses in the oblast, suggesting that many Ukrainian businesses are not cooperating with Russian occupiers.[47] Deputy Kherson Occupation Administration Head Ekaterina Gubareva announced on August 3 that occupation authorities will give Russian passports and citizenship to people in Kherson even if they do not have local residency permits or permanent addresses in the region.[48] Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on August 3 that Russian occupation forces are destroying Ukrainian telecommunications networks that refused to cooperate with the occupiers in Chornobaivka, Kherson Oblast.[49] GUR added that Russian occupation forces are attempting to force occupied populations to use Russian rubles instead of Ukrainian hryvnyas by destroying ATMs that process hryvnya transactions. [1] https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-science-accidents-d2e0077af104f2692b76f737c58e1984[2] https://t.me/BalitskyVGA/142[3] https://t.me/orlovdmytroEn/756[4] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-21[5] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-12[6] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/shchodo-okremykh-faktiv-vbyvstva-ukrainskykh-viiskovopolonenykh.html[7] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-1[8] https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/russias-space-agency-launch-iranian-satellite-into-orbit-2022-08-03/; https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/iran-russia-satellite/2021/06/10/d28978f0-c9ab-11eb-81b1-34796c7393af_story.html; https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/article-713804[9] https://www.19fortyfive.com/2022/05/why-does-iran-have-so-many-missiles/[10] https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-iran-advanced-satellite/31302347.html[11] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-2[12] https://t.me/mod_russia/18225[13] https://www.proekt.media/research/ofitsialnaya-statistika-minoborony/[14] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-9; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-10[15] https://t.me/vladlentatarsky/15302; https://t.me/nm_dnr/8660; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1554398248584060928?s=20&t=x_NqfS5VgNEsAPjvGO2pzw[16] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/377143881265363[17] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0sPTGPr9gfYJWk539T8EacrKVjDtGcfsGbsSkvfrumavY5nKkgPpntLXcJVLarMLHl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/377143881265363[18] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0sPTGPr9gfYJWk539T8EacrKVjDtGcfsGbsSkvfrumavY5nKkgPpntLXcJVLarMLHl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/377143881265363 [19]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0sPTGPr9gfYJWk539T8EacrKVjDtGcfsGbsSkvfrumavY5nKkgPpntLXcJVLarMLHl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/377143881265363  [20] https://t.me/TRO_DPR/5655; https://t.me/TRO_DPR/5657[21] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0sPTGPr9gfYJWk539T8EacrKVjDtGcfsGbsSkvfrumavY5nKkgPpntLXcJVLarMLHl[22] https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1554858208262590465/photo/1; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/16308 [23] https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/16314[24] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0sPTGPr9gfYJWk539T8EacrKVjDtGcfsGbsSkvfrumavY5nKkgPpntLXcJVLarMLHl; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/16310; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1554850491288387584[25] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0sPTGPr9gfYJWk539T8EacrKVjDtGcfsGbsSkvfrumavY5nKkgPpntLXcJVLarMLHl[26] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0sPTGPr9gfYJWk539T8EacrKVjDtGcfsGbsSkvfrumavY5nKkgPpntLXcJVLarMLHl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/377143881265363  [27] https://t.me/synegubov/3845; https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/08/03/rosijski-zagarbnyky-zavdaly-udary-po-harkovu-ye-rujnuvannya/; https://t.me/ihor_terekhov/384; https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=pfbid02Ep3dwoXPf2uKrrNriPnuZPZMHaysmvC7zZkkL7RecpeUrMrFtTKqXb7PeZiWpWUsl&id=100002276907245; https://t.me/der_rada/2193; https://t.me/kharkivoda/6274; https://t.me/synegubov/3848; 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https://t.me/vilkul/1670; https://t.me/milinfolive/88169 [34] https://twitter.com/hochu_dodomu/status/1554796905787539456?s=20&t=tFSwsJzlKkBQj-0qpR1HnQ; https://twitter.com/kargolow/status/1554800780384710657?s=20&t=tFSwsJzlKkBQj-0qpR1HnQ[35] https://t.me/andriyshTime/2138; https://t.me/milinfolive/88156 [36] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/377143881265363[37] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid0VzpwAn12E4fdMdh6o24rujvjVLjqehG2V5G2HiZ81VMZPjMP6kdmeiZUyHT1R9D3l?__cft__[0]=AZUBRCnjq-sM65_9R_vHXi8JsSO7FGXkVar5HnuVgBPOzEbO2AfiIxykhp9mC-H0iY0Y72w5ImK4CY1BYSDdl_CCvtxEo9xVqHPnfSt0Qe-BlRfCB-phyHCLERw1hHfsb0QUYHmru0WJ8c3Mo2L3GEiZGA5IXEyvzOdfBVpQ5szxKQ&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy_axjYNHU0 [38] https://t.me/rusfleet/5099; https://t.me/killpukin/9811; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1554852409813438464?s=20&t=y8yZU6fAAqxDj_c2J_EUjA; https://youtu.be/kisZEjS3Wnw; https://twitter.com/COUPSURE/status/1554814754635513856; https://www.radiosvoboda.org/a/news-skhemy-antonivskyy-mist/31971948.html[39] https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1554696185918566405?s=20&t=q-nUvwK9EIC8TeUj3aRLIw; https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1554729561157509120[40] https://t.me/m0sc0wcalling/9496[41] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/342[42] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/v-khersoni-rashysty-obladnuiut-bomboskhovyshche-na-bavovnianii-fabrytsi-ta-skupovuiut-naduvni-chovny.html[43] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/342[44] https://t.me/stranaua/54983[45] https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russia-elections-online-voting/2021/10/13/06d86eb6-1c97-11ec-bea8-308ea134594f_story.html; https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/putin-signs-law-allow-online-voting-elections-across-russia-2022-03-14/[46] https://t.me/BalitskyVGA/145[47] https://t.me/BalitskyVGA/144[48] https://t.me/stranaua/55849[49] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/v-khersoni-rashysty-obladnuiut-bomboskhovyshche-na-bavovnianii-fabrytsi-ta-skupovuiut-naduvni-chovny.html 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Russia, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/8/22 6:39pm
 Kateryna Stepanenko, Layne Philipson, Katherine Lawlor, Karolina Hird, and Frederick W. KaganAugust 2, 9 pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Russian forces have likely decided to attack Avdiivka frontally from occupied Donetsk Oblast territory rather than waiting for Ukrainian forces to withdraw from their prepared defensive positions as a result of Russian envelopment operations northeast of the settlement. The Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Kremlin-sponsored sources have published videos suggesting that Russian forces pushed Ukrainian forces out of their positions around the Butivka Coal Mine ventilation shaft southwest of Avdiivka.[1] Ukrainian forces have held positions around the Butivka Coal Mine ventilation shaft since 2015 and have described the location as the closest Ukrainian position to Donetsk City and a key defensive outpost for Avdiivka.[2] Russian forces have likely captured the Ukrainian position, given the Ukrainian General Staff‘s vague reports of ”partially” successful Russian advances in the area.[3] Russian forces are also continuing assaults on Pisky, west of Avdiivka, and will likely attempt to seize the E50 highway connecting the two settlements. Russian forces had previously attempted to break through Avdiivka’s northeastern outskirts but have not made significant progress in months.The Russian Defense Ministry is likely trying to assuage distress that Ukraine’s effective use of the US HIMARS is causing Russian military personnel and milbloggers with inaccurate claims of destroying HIMARS launchers. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu claimed that Russian forces have destroyed six US-provided HIMARS and other Western-supplied military equipment in Ukraine in a conference call with the Russian Armed Forces leadership on August 2.[4] The Russian Defense Ministry also released a video claiming to have destroyed a building that housed two HIMARS launchers in Kharkiv Oblast on August 1.[5] Ukrainian Southern Command Chief Andriy Kovalchuk said that Russian forces did not destroy any HIMARS, and an unnamed Finnish official called Russian claims ”wishful thinking.”[6] The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) also reported that Russian defense authorities are covering up Russian servicemember casualties by transporting wounded Russians in civilian cars and misreporting the number of casualties caused by Ukrainian HIMARS strikes in the media.[7] Ukrainian HIMARS strikes have prompted many milbloggers and military correspondents to express concern over the effectiveness of air defense systems and the threats to Russian logistics, and these strikes are likely demoralizing Russian servicemen on the ground.[8]A representative of the Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on August 2 that Russia has refused to provide detailed information on which Ukrainian POWs were killed or injured in the July 28 Olenivka prison attack. GUR Representative Andriy Yusov said that Russia has not responded to requests by Ukraine’s Coordinating Headquarters for the Treatment of POWs for information about casualties from the likely Russian-perpetrated attack on the Russian-controlled prison that killed at least 53 Ukrainian POWs.[9] Yusov said that of casualties that Russia has posted online some were supposed to be in hospitals or being readied for prisoner exchanges and were not supposed to be at the Olenivka prison. Yusov noted that Ukraine cannot confirm the veracity of online casualty lists at this time, however. Ukraine’s Coordinating Headquarters for the Treatment of POWs urged families of POWs to avoid sharing personal details about themselves or their captured loved ones with individuals or unofficial organizations soliciting those details, warning that sharing information could pose a risk to surviving POWs.[10] Deputy Ukrainian Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said that Russia has not responded to requests to return the bodies of killed POWs to Ukraine as of August 2.[11]Initial and unconfirmed reports from August 2 suggest that Iran may have sent the first batch of UAVs to Russia for field testing. A US-based open-source intelligence (OSINT) Twitter account citing unofficial Iranian sources claimed that Iran sent a batch of UAVs to Russia, along with Iranian pilots and technicians who will train for the use and repair of Russian Su-35 aircraft.[12] While ISW cannot independently confirm this claim, it is consistent with recent reports that Tehran and Moscow are pursuing greater aviation cooperation in order to circumvent international sanctions on Russia and Iran and support Russian operations in Ukraine.[13] If true, this claim suggests that Iran may be receiving Russian Su-35 aircraft in return for the drones, which could have been part of an agreement signed by Moscow and Tehran on July 26.[14] The agreement stipulated that Iran would increase the volume of passenger flights to Russia and additionally repair Russian aircraft.[15] Tehran may seek to use this agreement to facilitate the acquisition of Russian combat aircraft.A Russian missile strike reportedly damaged a Ukrainian air defense system in Lviv Oblast on August 2.[16] The Ukrainian Air Force Command reported that Russian forces launched eight Kh-101 (Kh-555) missiles in the direction of central, southern, and western Ukrainian Oblasts from their positions in the Caspian Sea.[17] The Ukrainian Air Force Command reported that Ukrainian air defense forces intercepted seven of the eight missiles.[18]Key TakeawaysUnconfirmed social media reports suggest that Iran may have sent the first batch of drones to Russia and sent pilots and maintenance personnel to train on the Russian Su-35, potentially suggesting that Iran may seek to use recent aviation agreements to facilitate the acquisition of Russian combat aircraft.Russian forces conducted unsuccesful offensive operations northeast and northwest of Kharkiv City.Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks northwest of Slovyansk and east of Siversk.Russian forces made marginal gains southeast of Bakhmut and continued offensive operations to the northeast and southeast of Bakhmut.Russian forces made incremental advances around Avdiivka and are continuing attempts to push southwest of Avdiivka.Russian forces launched two assaults in northern Kherson Oblast and are continuing to redeploy troops to the Southern Axis.Russian federal subjects are forming new volunteer battalions in Novosibirsk, Saratov, Ulyanovsk, and Kurgan Oblasts, and are changing time periods for enlistment compensations.Ukrainian civilians are continuing to resist the Russian occupation with acts of civil disobedience and partisan sabotage as the Kremlin considers longer-term methods of population control in occupied Ukraine.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks northwest of Slovyansk along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border on August 2. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops attempted reconnaissance-in-force near Dovhenke and Dolyna, 25 and 20km northwest of Slovyansk, respectively.[19] Russian forces continued to shell settlements near the oblast border and struck Kurulka, Dolyna, Barvinkove, Adamivka, Krasnopillya, and Mazanivka.[20]Russian forces conducted a ground assault east of Siversk on August 2. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces conducted a limited and unsuccessful attack in Ivano-Darivka, about 5km southeast of Siversk.[21] The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that Russian troops failed to advance from Novoluhanske (southeast of Bakhmut) in the direction of Ivano-Darivka, which likely suggests that Russian forces attempted to advance on Ivano-Darivka from a southwestward direction.[22] Russian troops continued to conduct air and artillery strikes in the vicinity of Siversk.[23]Russian forces made incremental advances southeast of Bakhmut and continued ground attacks to the northeast and southeast of Bakhmut on August 2. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces had “partial success” along the Vidrozhennya-Kodema line, about 20km southeast of Bakhmut.[24] Russian forces conducted a series of unsuccessful offensive operations southeast of Bakhmut, namely around Roty, Vershyna, Klynove, and Travneve, and northeast of Bakhmut around Volodymyrivka and  Yakovlivka.[25] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian aviation reportedly increased the intensity of air strikes in the general area of Bakhmut.[26] Russian forces continued to shell Bakhmut City and surrounding settlements.[27]Russian forces made advances around Avdiivka and will likely continue to prioritize assaults southwest of the settlement. The Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) Militia claimed that Russian forces have pushed Ukrainian forces out of their defensive positions around the Butivka Coal Mine ventilation shaft, southwest of Avdiivka, on August 2.[28] Ukrainian forces have held defensive positions near Butivka Coal Mine ventilation shaft since 2015, and the area has been subjected to continuous shelling throughout the years.[29] Ukrainian forces have also previously defined Butivka as a strategic defensive location and the closest Ukrainian position to Donetsk City.[30] Kremlin-sponsored outlet Izvestia published footage reportedly from the Butivka mine ventilation area, which indicates that Ukrainian forces likely withdrew from the area.[31] Russian Telegram channel Svarschiki previously claimed that Russian forces have been pushing Ukrainian forces from their positions in the area on July 31, and the Ukrainian General Staff noted that Russian forces had partial success when advancing in the Avdiivka area on the same day.[32] The Ukrainian General Staff also reported on August 2 that Russian forces had partially advanced in the direction of Donetsk City-Pisky and continued launching unsucessful frontal assaults on Avdiivka.[33]Russian forces conducted an unsuccessful reconnaissance-in-force operation on the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border in Novopil.[34] Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces conducted multiple unsuccessful offensive operations along the Kharkiv City Axis on August 2. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces withdrew after attempting to advance from Ternova to Bayrak, approximately 48km northeast of Kharkiv City, and Dementiivka, approximately 67km north of Kharkiv City.[35] Russian forces launched an airstrike on Verkhnii Saltiv and continued conducting tank, tube, and rocket artillery strikes on Kharkiv City and settlements to the north, northeast, and southeast.[36]Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Russian forces launched unsuccessful assaults in northern Kherson Oblast on August 1 and August 2, likely in an effort to prevent Ukrainian forces from advancing into Russian occupied positions. Ukrainian military officials reported that Russian forces launched an unsuccessful attack on Trydolyubivka (just south of the Kherson-Dnipropetrovsk Oblast border) and conducted a failed reconnaissance-in-force operation in Bilohirka, situated on the western bank of the Inhulets River.[37] Russian forces continued to launch airstrikes and shell Ukrainian positions near the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River and on the Kherson-Dnipropetrovsk Oblast border.[38] Kherson Oblast Administration Head Dmytro Burtiy reported that Ukrainian forces liberated seven more unnamed settlements in Kherson Oblast on August 2.[39] Russian forces continued to accumulate and transfer forces to southern Ukraine from other axes. The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Representative Vadym Skibitsky reported that a battalion tactical group (BTG) of Russian airborne troops arrived in Crimea and will deploy to the frontlines in the near future.[40] Skibitsky had previously reported that Russian forces started redeploying airborne troops from Donetsk Oblast to occupied Kherson Oblast territories, and the BTG will likely support Russian efforts to suppress Ukrainian counteroffensives in the region.[41] Skibitsky added that Russian forces are expanding air defense systems in Crimea and are regrouping forces in the Zaporizhia and Kherson Oblast directions, which likely indicates that Russian forces are intending to defend their positions from Ukrainian counteroffensives throughout the Southern Axis. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command noted that there have not been any changes to the Russian force composition in Kherson Oblast as of August 2, however.[42] Ukrainian Advisor to the Mayor of Mariupol  Petro Andryushenko also published footage of a convoy of Russian engineering equipment and personnel carriers moving through Mariupol in the Zaporizhia Oblast direction.[43]Russian forces continued to fire at Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk Oblasts with MLRS and air defense systems. Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces fired S-300 air defense missiles and Uragan MLRS systems at Mykolaiv City and launched 16 rockets from Smerch MLRS at the Kryvorizka Power Station.[44] Russian forces also shelled other settlements in Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk Oblasts with MLRS and tube artillery.[45] Russian forces did not fire on Nikopol on August 2, however they are likely to resume attacks on the settlement. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also noted that Russian forces are continuing to use the occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) just south of Nikopol, as a “human shield” for their military base, as Ukrainian forces will not fire at the NPP in self-defense.[46]Ukrainian forces continued to target Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) and positions in Kherson Oblast, setting conditions for a counteroffensive in the region. Geolocated footage showed that Ukrainian forces struck Russian ammunition depots in Arkhanhel’s’ke and Starosillya, both situated on the T2207 GLOC in northwestern Kherson Oblast and the eastern Inhulets River bank.[47] Geolocated footage showed Ukrainian forces hitting Russian mortar positions in Soldatske (approximately 30km northwest of Kherson City) with a likely US-provided Phoenix Ghost loitering munition.[48] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Ukrainian aviation also hit three Russian strongholds in Oleksandrivka and Maksymivka, indicating that Ukrainian aviation continues to operate northwest and north of Kherson City.[49] Social media footage also showed a series of explosions in Chornobaivka, a settlement just northwest of Kherson City that Ukrainian forces have struck on numerous previous occasions.[50]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian federal subjects (regions) are likely changing conditions for volunteer battalion recruits to receive one-time enlistment payments. The Republic of Bashkortostan specified that recruits will receive their one-time enlistment payment of 200,000 rubles (approximately $3,300) but the funds will be frozen until 90 days after their enlistment.[51] The Republic of Bashkortostan also noted that recruits will receive their daily payments of 2,000 rubles (approximately $32) for service after their training at the end of each month. ISW has previously reported that 40 servicemen from the Chuvash ”Atal” volunteer battalion complained that they have not received their promised enlistment bonuses and post-training period payments. Federal subjects are likely beginning to adjust their payment schedules.[52] New battalions such as Saratov Oblast’s two unnamed units advertised that the recruits will receive enlistment bonuses of 150,000 rubles (approximately $2,400) after three months of service.[53] The federal subjects are likely trying to prevent Russian recruits from obtaining the enlistment payments and deserting prior to deploying to Ukraine. The federal subjects may also be unable to generate funds to immediately pay recruits, however.  Novosibirsk, Kurgan, Saratov, and Ulyanovsk Oblasts are forming new volunteer battalions. Novosibirsk Oblast is recruiting men between 18 and 50 years of age for an unnamed volunteer battalion and is offering 300,000 rubles (about $4,900) for enlisting.[54] Kurgan Oblast Youth Cossack Organization Head Vladimir Yarushnikov reported that local officials are discussing the formation and recruitment process for an unnamed battalion.[55] The Ulyanovsk City Administration also announced the formation of two reserve-volunteer battalions ”Sviyaga” and ”Simbirsk” that would have 200 recruits each.[56] Saratov local outlet Versiya Saratov reported that Saratov City Administration announced recruitment for two unnamed volunteer battalions based on the ”order from Russian Defense Ministry.”[57] Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Ukrainian civilians are continuing to resist the Russian occupation with acts of civil disobedience and partisan sabotage. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on August 2 that Ukrainian civilians chased 40 Russian doctors out of abandoned homes in which they tried to settle in Berislav, Kherson Oblast.[58] Russian occupation authorities have been forced to import Russian civilian doctors on temporary military tours to treat injured Russian servicemembers because many Ukrainian medical staff members either evacuated occupied areas or refuse to collaborate with Russian occupation forces. Russian officials have offered doctors increased salaries and veteran status to move to occupied Ukrainian territories. The Ukrainian Resistance Center also reported on August 2 that many schools in occupied areas will be unable to open by September 1, the ordinary start of the school year, because Ukrainian children and their families have either evacuated or are unwilling to attend Russian-run schools.[59] The Center reported that many Ukrainian teachers are also refusing to participate in the Russian curriculum, forcing Russian occupation authorities to import teachers from Russia and occupied Crimea.The fire set by Ukrainian partisans on July 30 in a field near Russian-occupied Bezimenne, about 20km east of Mariupol, successfully damaged Russian military equipment at a nearby military base, according to an August 1 update by exiled Mariupol mayoral advisor Petro Andryushenko.[60] Ukrainian sources had reported the effort to damage Russian equipment and fortifications and to prevent Russian occupation authorities from looting Ukrainian grain on July 30.[61]The Kremlin is likely considering longer-term methods to subdue the occupied Ukrainian population beyond the increased securitization on which ISW has previously reported. State Duma Defense Committee Head Andrey Kartapolov said on Russian state-controlled television on August 1 that “the biggest problem [Russia faces in Ukraine] today is people … If we want these territories to be with us, to have a future as part of the Russian Federation … we need to deal with the children.”[62] Kartapolov advocated for taking Ukrainian children from their homes to Russian military boardings schools and universities. He argued that the Kremlin ”has to do this because then people will believe we are serious and that Russia is here for a long time—forever."Russian officials like Kartapolov are increasingly blatant in demonstrating their intention to annex occupied Ukrainian territories. Russian Kherson Occupation Administration Deputy Head Kirill Stremousov said on August 2 that authorities will continue to allow Kherson residents to use the Ukrainian language, but that “Kherson Oblast will become a worthy part of Russia by forming a people’s government.”[63] [1] https://t.me/nm_dnr/8660[2] https://ukurier dot gov.ua/uk/articles/nulova-poziciya-na-fronti/[3] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-31[4] https://t.me/mod_russia/18200; https://t.me/mod_russia/18201; https://t.me/TRO_DPR/5605[5] https://t.me/mod_russia/18171[6] ﷟HYPERLINK "https://www.newsweek.com/russia-destroying-us-himars-likely-wishful-thinking-finnish-official-1729685"https://www.newsweek.com/russia-destroying-us-himars-likely-wishful-thinking-finnish-official-1729685; https://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-yet-lose-single-himars-111800363.html[7] https://www.facebook.com/DefenceIntelligenceofUkraine/posts/367489445562482; https://t.me/spravdi/14620[8] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-8[9] https://www.facebook.com/DefenceIntelligenceofUkraine/posts/367507428894017; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-1[10] https://www.facebook.com/DefenceIntelligenceofUkraine/posts/367580448886715[11] https://t.me/stranaua/55374[12] https://twitter.com/mhmiranusa/status/1554556522600009729[13] https://twitter.com/NicholasACarl/status/1552683083739979873[14] https://tn dot ai/2748685; https://twitter.com/nexta_tv/status/1552185769145630725?t=hWJf74lS1A8BZqfYTbZBPA&s=19[15] https://tn dot ai/2748685; https://twitter.com/nexta_tv/status/1552185769145630725?t=hWJf74lS1A8BZqfYTbZBPA&s=19[16] https://t.me/kozytskyy_maksym_official/3632[17] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/08/02/raketna-ataka-z-kaspiyu-zbyto-sim-iz-vosmy-krylatyh-raket/[18] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/08/02/raketna-ataka-z-kaspiyu-zbyto-sim-iz-vosmy-krylatyh-raket/[19] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376812634631821; https://t.me/spravdi/14622[20] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376482167998201; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376812634631821[21] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376482167998201[22] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376812634631821[23] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376482167998201; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376812634631821[24] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376812634631821[25] https://t.me/spravdi/14622; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376812634631821; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376482167998201[26] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376812634631821[27] https://t.me/mod_russia/18204; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376482167998201; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376812634631821[28] https://t.me/nm_dnr/8660; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1554398248584060928?s=20&t=x_NqfS5VgNEsAPjvGO2pzw[29] https://fakty dot com.ua/ua/videos/ostanni-tyzhni-terorysty-nache-oskazhenily-na-shho-vorog-peretvoryv-shahtu-butivka/; https://ukurier dot gov.ua/uk/articles/nulova-poziciya-na-fronti/[30] https://ukurier dot gov.ua/uk/articles/nulova-poziciya-na-fronti/[31] https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1554398248584060928?s=20&t=x_NqfS5VgNEsAPjvGO2pzw; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/16268; https://t.me/voenacher/26360[32] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-31; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1553671768946139137; https://t.me/svarschiki/6653;[33] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376812634631821; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376482167998201[34] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376482167998201[35] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376482167998201; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376812634631821[36] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376482167998201; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376812634631821; https://www.facebook.com/Zadorenko/posts/pfbid0trCYaeYbQJfBNrFRcyz7iTgrzt81dntmroa5FZ3XM9ppv9PCgnCJXJAUedPnM5Pzl; https://t.me/der_rada/2175; https://t.me/synegubov/3842; https://t.me/spravdi/14589; https://t.me/mod_russia/18204; https://t.me/spravdi/14589; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/16573; https://t.me/mod_russia/18204[37] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=809984683744377; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376482167998201[38] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376482167998201; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376812634631821; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1096629130977827; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=809984683744377; https://t.me/spravdi/14566  [39] https://suspilne dot media/266864-vtorgnenna-rosii-v-ukrainu-den-160-tekstovij-onlajn-2/?anchor=live_1659447588&utm_source=copylink&utm_medium=ps[40] https://www.facebook.com/DefenceIntelligenceofUkraine/posts/367412145570212[41] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-1[42] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1096629130977827[43] https://t.me/andriyshTime/2102; https://t.me/andriyshTime/2119; https://t.me/mariupolnow/16759; https://twitter.com/ukraine_world/status/1554129414031642628[44] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1096629130977827; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=809984683744377[45] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=809984683744377; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1096629130977827; https://t.me/spravdi/14589; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1434; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/869; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/873; https://twitter.com/PaulJawin/status/1554168542660120578; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/16573; https://t.me/spravdi/14589; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1434; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/869; https://t.me/vilkul/1667; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1435; https://t.me/vilkul/1667; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/16573; https://t.me/spravdi/14589; https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/1987[46] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Euc-5H2-IfA[47] https://twitter.com/5urpher/status/1554174706160488448?s=20&t=9_cChfH3Bf2IB2_QCA8gzQ\; https://twitter.com/neonhandrail/status/1554232385385799680?s=20&t=_ARFSraf1p2L7rFq13cBBw[48] https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1554192348556451840?s=20&t=uv0J0qZg8UvoBk9j_MBTYw; https://twitter.com/neonhandrail/status/1554197830029348864?s=20&t=uv0J0qZg8UvoBk9j_MBTYw[49] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=809984683744377[50] https://t.me/stranaua/55786; https://t.me/milinfolive/88149[51] https://vk.com/wall-179525031_81087[52] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-1[53] https://nversia dot ru/news/meriya-saratova-priglashaet-zhiteley-prinyat-uchastie-v-specoperacii-i-publikuet-rascenki/[54] https://rberega dot info/archives/86304[55] https://www dot kommersant.ru/doc/5490176[56] https://www dot kommersant.ru/doc/5490176[57] https://nversia dot ru/news/meriya-saratova-priglashaet-zhiteley-prinyat-uchastie-v-specoperacii-i-publikuet-rascenki/[58] https://sprotyv dot mod.gov.ua/2022/08/02/u-beryslavi-meshkanczi-prognaly-rosijskyh-likariv-yakyh-okupanty-rozselyaly-v-pokynutyh-budynkah/; https://t.me/khersonskaODA/746[59] https://sprotyv dot mod.gov.ua/2022/08/02/okupanty-v-hersoni-ne-zmogly-znajty-dostatnyu-kilkist-ohochyh-navchatys-chy-praczyuvaty-v-yih-shkolah/[60] https://t.me/andriyshTime/2103; https://t.me/mariupolnow/16760 [61] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-30[62] https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1554122972935372804?s=20&t=PcSDJJ24RtZ5Sr8j8JjuAQ[63] https://t.me/Stremousov_Kirill/194 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/8/22 6:39pm
 Kateryna Stepanenko, Layne Philipson, Katherine Lawlor, and Frederick W. KaganAugust 1, 7pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Russian forces are reportedly continuing to transfer troops from northern Donetsk Oblast to support defensive positions in southern Ukraine and may be halting the Slovyansk campaign for the time being. The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence (GUR) Representative Vadym Skibitsky stated that Russian forces withdrew airborne tactical groups from Donetsk Oblast and redeployed the units to occupied Kherson Oblast territories two weeks ago.[1] Skibitsky added that Russian forces are also redeploying elements of the Eastern Military District (EMD) operating in Slovyansk to southern Ukraine and are transferring a large number of troops to Crimea to prepare to defend occupied Kherson and/or Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counteroffensives. The UK Defense Ministry also noted that Russian forces likely identified Zaporizhia Oblast as a vulnerable front in need of reinforcement, and the Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces are regrouping in Zaporizhia Oblast.[2] Social media footage has showed Russian forces moving equipment and personnel to both Zaporizhia and Kherson Oblasts in recent weeks.[3]The Russian withdrawal of some troops from northern Donetsk Oblast will deprive the Slovyansk effort of necessary combat power, in the same way that Russian forces neglected the Zaporizhia and Kherson Oblasts fronts during offensive operations in Luhansk Oblast. The withdrawal will likely create an opportunity for Ukrainian forces to launch a counteroffensive on the Izyum axis, just as Russian capture of Luhansk Oblast allowed Ukraine to set conditions for a counteroffensive in Kherson Oblast. The Russian redeployment of troops to Zaporizhia Oblast also suggests that Ukrainian counteroffensives are not confined to Kherson Oblast and will likely take place throughout the southern axis.ISW assesses that Russian forces were responsible for the killing of 53 Ukrainian POWs in an explosion at a Russian-controlled prison in Olenivka, Donetsk Oblast on July 28. Two US officials anonymously confirmed to Politico on August 1 that no traces of US-provided High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), Ukraine’s most precise artillery system, were found at the prison site.[4] The Kremlin alleges that Ukraine fired HIMARS and precision-guided rockets to kill Ukrainian POWs and deter Ukrainian defectors. Satellite and other imagery from the site indicate that the attack only damaged one building, did not collapse the walls of that building, and did not leave any shell craters in the vicinity, very strongly suggesting that the destruction of the prison was the result of either a precision strike or an internally planted incendiary or explosive.[5] One US official told Politico that “the evidence showed the attack was not conducted by Kyiv.” If Ukraine had used something other than HIMARS to conduct the strike, the attack would almost certainly have left collateral damage around the facility, including craters and other damaged buildings. Given the US assessment that HIMARS were not used in the attack, ISW assesses that Russia was responsible for this attack on Ukrainian POWs in violation of the Geneva Conventions.Key TakeawaysISW assesses that Russian forces were responsible for the July 28 attack on the Olenivka prison that killed 53 Ukrainian POWs; two anonymous US officials confirmed that there is no evidence that Ukrainian forces used US-provided HIMARS, some of the only munitions Ukraine has that are precise enough to do the kind of limited damage seen in satellite and other imagery, to strike the prison.Russian forces are transferring elements of the Eastern Military District (EMD) from the Slovyansk area to support defensive positions along the Southern Axis.Russian forces did not conduct any offensive operations north of Slovyansk or around Siversk.Russian forces conducted unsuccessful ground assaults on settlements south and southeast of Bakhmut.Russian proxy authorities did not claim any territorial gains near Avdiivka as Russian forces launched unsuccessful ground assaults on Avdiivka and Pisky.Russian regional officials are reportedly failing to provide promised payments to the “Atal” Volunteer Battalion of the Republic of Chuvashia.The Kremlin is likely prioritizing propaganda and sham referenda over the welfare of Ukrainian civilians in occupied Ukrainian territories.Russian occupation forces are likely increasing efforts to deter and suppress partisan movements in occupied territories as partisan attacks on Russian officials and Ukrainian collaborators continue.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to advance southwest of Izyum and continued to shell settlements on the Kharkiv City-Izyum line on August 1. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian reconnaissance-in-force operation near Mazanivka, about 22km due southwest of Izyum.[6] Russian forces also shelled Chepil, Husarivka, Nortsivka, and Protopivka (northwest of Izyum) and Hrushuvakha, Ridne, Virnopillya, Dibrovne, and Barvinkove (west and southwest of Izyum).[7] Geolocated footage of Ukrainian forces destroying Russian infantry fighting vehicles about 20km northwest of Izyum published on August 1 suggests that Russian forces may also be attempting to advance west of Izyum.[8] Continued shelling westward may indicate that Russian forces may be setting conditions seize more settlements in greater Kharkiv Oblast, as opposed to defeating Ukrainian strongholds in Slovyansk.[9] The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) also reported that Russian forces are withdrawing elements of the Eastern Military District (EMD) committed to the Slovyansk effort and transferring them to support defensive positions in southern Ukraine.[10]Russian forces did not conduct offensive operations north of Slovyansk or around Siversk on August 1. Russian forces reportedly shelled Adamivka, Dolyna, and Krasnopillya northwest of Slovyansk.[11] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces did not attack any settlements in Siversk area due to declining morale in units that have suffered ”significant losses” of manpower and military equipment.[12] ISW has previously assessed that Russian offensive operations in this area would likely culminate in part because Russian commanders did not take enough time to reconstitute forces exhausted by the seizures of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.[13] Ukrainian forces have reportedly struck a Russian headquarters building in Pervomaisk, about 10km due east of Popasna.[14]Russian forces continued to launch unsuccessful assaults on settlements southeast and northeast of Bakhmut. The Ukrainian General Staff noted that Ukrainian forces neutralized a Russian reconnaissance-in-force attempt in Yakovlivka and an assault on Soledar, about 17km and 13km northeast of Bakhmut, respectively.[15] Russian forces also launched an assault on Vershyna (approximately 12km southeast of Bakhmut) and attempted to improve tactical positions around Bakhmut, but were unsucessful and retreated.[16] Russian Telegram channel Voennyi Osvedomitel published footage of destroyed vehicles in a field, claiming that Russian forces are within two kilometers of Bakhmut.[17] ISW cannot independently verify that this footage is in Bakhmut’s immediate vicinity or if Voennyi Osvedomitel’s claim is true. Russian Telegram channel Z Kraken also claimed that fighting is ongoing east of Bakhmut.[18]Russian forces continued offensive operations around Avdiivka and resumed assaults west of Donetsk City on August 1. Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked Avdiivka and Pisky and then withdrew.[19] Russian proxy authorities and military correspondents did not claim any new territorial gains around Avdiivka on August 1.[20] Social media footage showed large clouds of smoke in Avdiivka, reportedly after Russian artillery fire in the area.[21] Russian forces also attempted to conduct a reconnaissance-in-force operation in Mariinka, but Ukrainian forces neutralized the reconnaissance group and forced it to retreat.[22]Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces conducted a limited and unsuccessful reconnaissance-in-force operation in an unspecified area on the Kharkiv City Axis on August 1. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces withdrew after attempting a reconnaissance-in-force attempt in an unspecified area on the Kharkiv City Axis.[23] The Derhachi City reported that fighting continued near Dementiivka, and it is possible that Russian forces attempted the unsuccessful reconnaissance-in-force operation northwest of Kharkiv City.[24] Russian forces launched an airstrike on Mospanove, approximately 55km southeast of Kharkiv City, and maintained artillery fire on Kharkiv City and settlements to the north, northeast, and southeast.[25]Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks) Russian forces maintained defensive positions along the Kherson Oblast administrative border and continued to undertake measures to hinder Ukrainian advances. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces launched airstrikes on Bila Krynytsia and Andriivka, both near Ukrainian bridgeheads across the Inhulets River, and Olhyne (along the northern part of the T2207 highway).[26] Russian forces maintained heavy artillery fire in northern Kherson Oblast, likely in an effort to prevent Ukrainian advances from the northeast.[27] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command also noted that Russian forces may form strike groups in the near future and that Russian forces continue to transfer units from Donbas to southern Ukraine.[28] Satellite images also showed Russian forces fortifications within irrigation systems in Pravdyne, approximately 33km northwest of Kherson City.[29] Ukrainian marines reportedly took 11 Russian servicemembers prisoner after conducting a localized counterattack in unspecified area of Kherson Oblast. Ukrainian forces claim to  have liberated 46 settlements in total in the region since the start of the Russian occupation.[30]Russian forces continued to target Mykolaiv City, Nikopol, settlements in southwestern Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, and Odesa Oblast between July 31 and August 1. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Russian forces shelled Mykolaiv City with S-300 anti-aircraft missiles from occupied territories in Kherson Oblast.[31] Ukrainian National Police stated that strikes on Mykolaiv resulted in damage to 58 private homes, 13 apartment buildings, an emergency room, and other civilian infrastructure.[32] Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Administration Head Valentyn Reznivhenko reported that Russian forces fired more than 60 rockets from Grad MLRS systems at civilian objects in Nikopol, and local Dnipropetrovsk authorities reported shelling in the Kryvyi Rih district that damaged railway infrastructure.[33] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command noted that Russian forces hit a dry grass field with two Iskander-type missiles launched from Crimea, but the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that the strikes destroyed a Ukrainian anti-ship missile system.[34]Ukrainian forces continued to disrupt Russian logistics by targeting Russian ammunition depots in northwestern and southern Kherson Oblast. Ukrainian officials reported that Ukrainian forces struck a Russian warehouse in Skadovsk (about 65km due south of Kherson City), and social media footage showed large cloud of red smoke stemming from the warehouse on August 1.[35] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Ukrainian forces also struck two Russian strongholds in Oleksandrivka and Blahodatne (both northwest of Kherson City), and electronic warfare (EW) stations in Bilyaivka in northern Kherson Oblast.[36] The Ukrainian General Staff announced receiving additional four HIMARS rocket systems from the US on August 1 and will likely continue to target Russian logistics and strongholds throughout southern Ukraine.[37]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian regional officials are failing to make promised payments to a volunteer battalion. The Russian liberal online outlet Dozhd reported on August 1 that the 40 servicemembers of the Chuvash “Atal” Volunteer Battalion have yet to receive payments for their enlistment and training period prior to deployment to Ukraine.[38] Recruits sent a written appeal to Russian Communist Party Parliamentarian Yuriy Shayeev, who released an interview with one of the servicemembers stating that the battalion will deploy to Ukraine in the coming days.[39] The Chuvashia Press Service had reported on July 11 that volunteers would receive 200 thousand rubles (about $3,100) upon enlisting and daily allowances of 2,000 rubles (approximately $30).[40]  Russian forces continue to face desertion and morale problems. The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on July 31 that 200 marines of the Russian 810th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade refused to return to war in Ukraine.[41] GUR Representative Vadym Skibitsky stated that this refusal to return delayed the reconstitution of the Brigade’s battalion tactical group (BTG). Skibitsky also stated that the combat potential of this BTG and the entire brigade will suffer.[42] Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Russian occupation officials are enhancing propaganda efforts and collaborator recruitment efforts to further the façade of a popular campaign for Russian annexation of occupied Ukrainian territories. The Russian Zaporizhia Occupation Administration head, Yevheny Balitsky, announced the establishment of ZaTV, a new “information flagship” regional television channel for Zaporizhia Oblast, on August 1.[43] Balitsky thanked local and Russian specialists for their support in establishing the station and “explaining the situation” to Zaporizhia Oblast residents. Balitsky delivered his remarks in front of a banner reading “Melitopol - Russia." Ukraine’s Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on August 1 that Russian occupation officials opened a recruitment center in Berdyansk, Zaporizhia Oblast to recruit and pay collaborators to participate in pro-Russia demonstrations.[44] The GUR reported that occupation authorities are struggling to find sufficient numbers of Ukrainians willing to participate in such activities, even when offered monetary and aid incentives, and that occupation authorities are continuing to link the provision of humanitarian aid to cooperation with occupation forces, including participation in pro-Russian demonstrations. The GUR reported that the Kremlin sent Russian public relations specialists to Melitopol, Zaporizhia Oblast to foment pro-Russia protests and the creation of Russian propaganda. Members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party are staffing many humanitarian aid distribution stations and are likely participating in and coordinating the sham protests.The Russian tying of humanitarian aid to pro-Kremlin demonstrations and the prioritization of propaganda before electricity both demonstrate that Russian occupation authorities are more concerned with controlling the Ukrainian information space and preparing for sham referenda than with providing basic services in occupied territories. Euromaidan Press reported on July 31 that trucks equipped with LED screens and speakers were set up to play Russian television channels in Severodnetsk, Luhansk Oblast. Most of Severodonetsk likely remains without electricity or running water.[45] The Russian Kherson Occupation Administration head, Kirill Stremousov, shared a video on July 31 depicting a United Russia representative promising to solve the concerns of Kherson residents. Stremousov said that the video demonstrated that the people of Kherson are “ready to become one big family with United Russia.”[46] The increasing prevalence of United Russia members in occupied Ukrainian territories suggests that the Kremlin is focused on propaganda production not just to deter Ukrainian resistance, but also to placate the domestic Russian audience with falsified, feel-good stories about Russians providing aid to ”liberated” Ukrainians who seek to join Russia.The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported on August 1 that the Russian-sponsored organization “Volunteers for Russia” will take the lead on organizing the sham annexation referendum in occupied Kherson Oblast under the supervision of Russian forces.[47] The SBU reported that the group plans to disperse throughout the oblast to “imitate local support for the occupiers” and to create “staged stories” for Russian television audiences. The SBU reported that Russian collaborators are telling their handlers that Kherson residents are uncooperative and believe that Ukrainian forces will soon liberate the oblast. Separately, Russian occupation forces are likely increasing their efforts to deter and suppress partisan movements in occupied Ukrainian territories as popular demonstrations and partisan attacks on Russian officials, Ukrainian collaborators, and militarily valuable targets continue. A partisan IED targeted the car of Ukrainian collaborator and local mobster Vitaly Efimenko in Kakhovka, Kherson Oblast on July 30, landing him in the hospital.[48] Partisans also reportedly set fire to a factory in Mariupol on July 31.[49] The advisor to the Ukrainian mayor of Mariupol, Petro Andryushenko, claimed on August 1 that Mariupol residents protested against occupation efforts to demolish damaged homes in the city and that Russian forces had to intervene to protect Russian occupation mayor of Mariupol, Konstantin Ivashchenko, from angry protestors.[50] Andryushenko claimed that Ivashchenko’s failures to pacify the remaining population are driving rifts in the occupation administration and could lead to Ivashchenko’s ouster. If so, Ivashchenko and other occupation authorities are likely incentivized to authorize increasingly draconian measures to repress partisan and anti-Russia activity and defend their positions.The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on August 1 that occupation forces are intensifying repressive actions in response to an increase in successful partisan activity.[51] Those actions include wearing civilian clothes and driving cars with Ukrainian plates during raids, using drones to monitor mass gathering places like markets and public squares, and evicting Ukrainians from areas surrounding possible partisan targets. The Center reported that Russian forces evicted all residents who lived within a 400-meter radius of the railway station in Brylivka, Kherson Oblast so locals could not inform partisans of shipments of military equipment. The Center also reported that Russian occupation forces are intensifying checks of residents’ homes, smartphones, computers, and personal documents and are searching houses to seize any weaponry. Intensifying measures are likely having limited effects due to popular support for partisan activities. [1] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/ukrainskyi-nastup-zmushuie-rosiiu-zbilshyty-viiska-na-okupovanomu-pivdni.html[2] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375821591397592; https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1553973562314203136?s=20&t=8E-QHK1auti_iOEiGhYqMQ[3] https://t.me/stranaua/55551; https://t.me/andriyshTime/2102; https://suspilne dot media/266449-vtorgnenna-rosii-v-ukrainu-den-159-tekstovij-onlajn/?anchor=live_1659365113&utm_source=copylink&utm_medium=ps; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1553439964360310785 ; https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1551611816765280257   [4] https://www.politico.com/news/2022/08/01/us-rockets-not-used-ukraine-prison-strike-00048948[5] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-30[6] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376189041360847; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375821591397592[7] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376189041360847; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375821591397592[8] https://t.me/operativnoZSU/34615; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1554048941418844161?s=20&t=WH7Rcf79SHzrr0_V0Brnvg; https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1553456870391685120?s=20&t=HAOqoNYJproy3pb-S9XBtg[9] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-31[10] https://gur. dot gov.ua/content/ukrainskyi-nastup-zmushuie-rosiiu-zbilshyty-viiska-na-okupovanomu-pivdni.html[11] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376189041360847; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375821591397592[12] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376189041360847; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375821591397592[13] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-may-28[14] https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1553884799366057984?s=20&t=CpOtJ7hfLmF9Vjl12tjDoQ; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1553951909047844867?s=20&t=CpOtJ7hfLmF9Vjl12tjDoQ; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1553951909047844867?s=20&t=CpOtJ7hfLmF9Vjl12tjDoQ; https://twitter.com/neonhandrail/status/1553975185828507649?s=20&t=CpOtJ7hfLmF9Vjl12tjDoQ[15] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375821591397592[16] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376189041360847; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375821591397592[17] https://t.me/milinfolive/88056;[18] https://t.me/rlz_the_kraken/51689[19] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376189041360847; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375821591397592[20] https://t.me/nm_dnr/8649; https://t.me/milchronicles/958  [21] https://t.me/stranaua/55524; https://t.me/stranaua/55532[22] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375821591397592; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376189041360847  [23] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376189041360847[24] https://t.me/der_rada/2167; https://www.facebook.com/Zadorenko/posts/pfbid02xL24XxPwbcctrxh1rw39XCj5quRFERCb3HBPMtq483prMUoy8K6YnDAvbuH3gqJLl[25] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375821591397592; https://t.me/synegubov/3832; https://t.me/spravdi/14509; https://t.me/ihor_terekhov/382; https://t.me/spravdi/14516; https://t.me/stranaua/55447; https://t.me/stranaua/55462; https://t.me/stranaua/55516; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376189041360847[26] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/376189041360847[27] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375821591397592; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1026355388006648[28] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1026355388006648; https://gur. dot gov.ua/content/ukrainskyi-nastup-zmushuie-rosiiu-zbilshyty-viiska-na-okupovanomu-pivdni.html[29] https://twitter.com/tom_bullock_/status/1554068312346206208[30] https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/16538; https://t.me/spravdi/14538; https://suspilne dot media/266449-vtorgnenna-rosii-v-ukrainu-den-159-tekstovij-onlajn/?anchor=live_1659358783&utm_source=copylink&utm_medium=ps; https://suspilne dot media/266449-vtorgnenna-rosii-v-ukrainu-den-159-tekstovij-onlajn/?anchor=live_1659350672&utm_source=copylink&utm_medium=ps; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTYAIeTqvlg; https://t.me/spravdi/14536; https://t.me/stranaua/55520[31] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1204550247007093; https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/posts/2116786685159240[32] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/08/01/obstrily-mykolayeva-poshkodzheno-ponad-70-budynkiv-ye-zagybli-ta-poraneni/; https://www.npu dot gov.ua/news/stoprussia/ponad-70-poshkodzhenix-budinkiv-zagibli-ta-postrazhdali-mirni-meshkanczi-policziya-mikolajivshhini-prodovzhuje-zbirati-dokazi-vojennix-zlochiniv-rf/; https://t.me/senkevichonline/1889\; https://t.me/stranaua/55442; https://t.me/stranaua/55454; https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/1971[33] https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1427; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/859; https://t.me/vilkul/1664; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/376; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/377; https://t.me/spravdi/14516; https://suspilne dot media/266449-vtorgnenna-rosii-v-ukrainu-den-159-tekstovij-onlajn/?anchor=live_1659338487&utm_source=copylink&utm_medium=ps; https://t.me/rybar/36489; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1204550247007093; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1427; https://t.me/vilkul/1664; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/859; https://www.facebook.com/MNSDNE/posts/pfbid017m7QYxVNgz57R3v9wXhJhuUuMf57QZtxKghHbyibXnPQWFowEohQ5FhrphhcipBl[34] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1026355388006648; https://t.me/mod_russia/18171[35] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid0246rjgZK7Qg5jzisiFGZyJNDFhM5FSdovv9phkU7tJRVZjw3Gs5pn8tZiQh3pZDYDl?__cft__[0]=AZWBwkLacRn5YrQugLGJYp2wbm8l8c34dQZdud2kvuFSXpt0wY5HQCMwhdBYImoivIGfhH3b5uHYhoHUQWUQRumzMJizCvW5HaqdaDtBIk6ggAj8q-7AUoNB8whiORJHeMWmpIUFmr2KMGnzkMULxY26&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02jBWkMhCPsxJ6gR8CqZJa5Qo1fDaq3bYT4JjKP8tyf44YoPw3MUTUvppzJAF5bxKjl?__cft__[0]=AZVZZnShKGX8zwe1itLVARQ2K3TTRp86RfE7XRnqtqO1dC0dKY5IoeYa7dvFMPaxxf-DjMsbVpQW_C2GYp8HlY0GP6b-yeLJMY7YyMuceX1TU3ZzHGQo3qJov7sQaE1LQPAQcSjjR9vXSFRfo8BBZTkFFvENqZsb35XZJFEaKJJ-Bg&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R ; https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1553843098832216067; https://t.me/zalpalyanytsya/1242; https://t.me/milinfolive/88030; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1204550247007093[36] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1026355388006648[37] https://twitter.com/GeneralStaffUA/status/1554154332458815493?s=20&t=S9GJAx5weZfjf4jxgfEEqQ[38] https://t.me/tvrain/56445; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AImVxF64mzY; https://t.me/onlinecheb/22021[39] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AImVxF64mzY[40] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-volunteer-units-and-battalions; https://regnum dot ru/news/polit/3643993.html[41] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/dvisti-morskykh-pikhotyntsiv-zi-skladu-810-rosiiskoi-bryhady-vidmovylysia-povertatys-na-viinu-v-ukrainu.html[42] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/dvisti-morskykh-pikhotyntsiv-zi-skladu-810-rosiiskoi-bryhady-vidmovylysia-povertatys-na-viinu-v-ukrainu.html  [43] https://t.me/BalitskyVGA/132[44] https://gur dot gov dot ua/content/okupanty-vidkryly-v-zaporizkii-oblasti-rekrutynhovyi-tsentr-dlia-kolaborantiv.html[45] https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/07/08/putin-russia-ukraine-west-battlefield/[46] https://t.me/Stremousov_Kirill/192[47] https://t.me/SBUkr/4732; https://t.me/stranaua/55492; https://suspilne dot media/266449-vtorgnenna-rosii-v-ukrainu-den-159-tekstovij-onlajn/?anchor=live_1659337528&utm_source=copylink&utm_medium=ps[48] https://t.me/zalpalyanytsya/1239; https://vgolos dot ua/news/v-kahovci-pidirvali-avto-kolaboranta-zlochincya-iefima_1425526.html[49]  https://t.me/andriyshTime/2090; https://t.me/mariupolnow/16700[50] https://t.me/andriyshTime/2093[51] https://sprotyv dot mod.gov.ua/2022/08/01/okupanty-zminyuyut-taktyku-borotby-z-partyzanamy/ 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/8/22 6:39pm
 Kateryna Stepanenko, Layne Philipson, Karolina Hird, and Frederick W. KaganJuly 31, 8:30 pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Russian forces have resumed localized ground attacks northwest and southwest of Izyum and may be setting conditions for offensive operations further west into Kharkiv Oblast or toward Kharkiv City. Russian forces have already launched unsuccessful assaults and reconnaissance-in-force attempts on Chepil, Shchurivka, and Husarivka (northwest of Izyum) and resumed assaults on Dmytrivka and Brazhikivka (southwest of Izyum) in recent days.[1] Russian forces maintained positions around Balaklia and Velyka Komyshuvakha for months and may use these two areas as springboards for an offensive operation. Russian forces may use their positions around Balaklia to restart assaults on Kharkiv City from the southeast. Russian forces are extremely unlikely to seize Kharkiv Oblast or capture Kharkiv City – the second most populated city in Ukraine – given the pace of Russian progress in Donbas and continued challenges in force generation and logistics. ISW has previously assessed that Russian President Vladimir Putin may have ordered Russian forces to take Kharkiv City and the unoccupied portion of Kharkiv Oblast but that he is unlikely to be successful in such goals. Russian forces may also be conducting spoiling attacks to prevent Ukrainian counteroffensives.Crimean occupation officials obliquely accused Ukraine of orchestrating a drone attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in occupied Sevastopol on July 31, but Ukrainian officials denied responsibility for the attack.[2] Russian Governor of Sevastopol Mihail Razvozhaev claimed that Ukrainians “decided to spoil” Russia’s Navy Day celebrations and noted that a drone exploded in the headquarters’ yard but did not specify whether Ukrainian forces or locals launched the drone.[3] Razvozhaev published images showcasing minor damage to the headquarters building and yard, and social media footage depicted a small cloud of smoke rising from the building.[4] Razvozhaev also claimed that the explosion wounded six people. Russian Crimean Senator Olga Kovitidi later announced that unspecified actors carried out the attack with a makeshift drone from within the territory of Sevastopol.[5] The Ukrainian Naval Forces and Odesa Oblast Military Administration Spokesman Serhiy Bratchuk indirectly suggested that the drone attack was a Russian false flag operation.[6] ISW cannot independently verify the actor responsible for the attack.The Russian government may be complicating international efforts to discern the nature of an unidentified July 28 kinetic event on the Olenivka penal colony. The Russian Ministry of Defense officially invited experts from the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to investigate the attack at the Olenivka prison on July 30.[7] The ICRC stated that it has not received access to the prison as of July 31, however.[8] Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereschuk also noted that Russian authorities have not responded to Ukrainian requests to return the bodies of deceased Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs).[9]Open-source intelligence (OSINT) analyst Oliver Alexander published an examination of satellite imagery from July 27 showing open graves at the Olenivka prison, noting that July 29 satellite imagery appears to show that the same graves have been covered.[10] Investigative journalism group Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins stated that lower resolution satellite imagery indicates ground disturbances after July 18 and prior to July 21, suggesting that the Russians may have planned the incident in advance.[11] ISW will continue to monitor the open source for information on the strike on Olenivka and will provide updates as they appear.Key TakeawaysThe Kremlin has not responded to the International Red Cross (ICRC) request to access the Olenivka prison as of July 31, hindering the international investigation efforts.Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks southwest and northwest of Izyum, consistent with ISW’s assessment that Russian forces may be setting conditions for advances northwest of the current Izyum-Slovyansk line.Russian forces continued ground attacks northwest of Slovyansk, northeast of Siversk, and to the east and south of Bakhmut.Russian forces made marginal gains in the Avdiivka area and continued ground attacks towards Avdiivka and Pisky.Russian authorities began recruiting volunteers for the Nevsky and Ladoga Battalions in Leningrad Oblast, Russia.Russian occupation authorities continued to prepare for a referendum in Kherson Oblast and took measures to depict support for Russian control of the occupied territories.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks southwest and northwest of Izyum and continued to shell settlements in this area on July 31. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted an unsuccessful attack on Dmytrivka, about 20km southwest of Izyum.[12] Russian forces also conducted reconnaissance-in-force westward of Nova Husarivka to Husarivka (about 50km northwest of Izyum) and shelled Semylanne and Chervona Polyana, both 30km southwest of Izyum.[13] As ISW assessed on July 30, Russian forces may be reprioritizing offensive operations in the area northwest of the Izyum-Slovyansk in order to set conditions for westward advances from the Izyum area deeper into Kharkiv Oblast.[14]Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack northwest of Slovyansk and otherwise shelled settlements along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border on July 31. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces conducted an unsuccessful reconnaissance-in-force operation near Dolyna (about 20km northwest of Slovyansk along the E40 highway).[15] Russian troops also conducted artillery strikes near Dolyna, Krasnopillya, Mazanivka, and Adamivka - all settlements near the oblast border northwest of Slovyansk.[16] The Ukrainian General Staff noted that Russian troops are transferring separate units from the Slovyansk direction to the Zaporizhia direction, which is consistent with ISW’s assessment that Russian military leadership is likely de-prioritizing attempts to advance on Slovyansk in favor of operations elsewhere in Donbas and Southern Ukraine.[17]Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack northeast of Siversk on July 31. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian troops withdrew after an unsuccessful reconnaissance-in-force attempt near Serebryanka, 5km northeast of Siversk.[18] Russian forces also continued air and artillery strikes on Siversk and the surrounding settlements of Vymika, Spirne, Zvanivka, Verkhnokamyanske, Kryva Luka, Hryhorivka, and others.[19]Russian forces conducted a series of ground assaults to the northeast, east, and southeast of Bakhmut on July 31. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces attempted to improve their tactical positions on the Roty-Vershyna line, about 15km southeast of Bakhmut along the E40 highway.[20] Russian forces also attempted to improve their tactical positions in the direction of Bakhmut from positions in Pokrovske, just east of Bakhmut.[21] Ukrainian troops neutralized a Russian reconnaissance-in-force attempt in the direction of Strapivka to Soledar, which is within 10km northeast of Bakhmut.[22] Russian forces continued air and artillery strikes on Ukrainian positions surrounding Bakhmut in order to support attempts to advance from the south and east.[23]Russian forces conducted several limited ground attacks northeast and southwest of Avdiivka and made marginal gains during offensive operations around Avdiivka on July 31.[24] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces attempted advances around Kamyanka (less than 10km northeast of Avdiika) and Pisky (about 15km southwest of Avdiivka) and that unspecified separate Russian units had ”partial success” around Avdiivka.[25] Donetsk People‘s Republic (DNR) Deputy Information Minister Daniil Bezsonov claimed that Russian and DNR forces secured positions on the southeastern outskirts of Pisky, which is consistent with the Ukrainian General Staff’s statement that Russian forces attempted to push northwest of Donetsk City towards Pisky and had unspecified “partial success“ in the general area of Avdiivka.[26] Russian forces continued to shell along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline in order to cover ground attacks towards Avdiivka and Pisky.[27] Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces did not conduct any ground assaults in the Kharkiv City direction, instead focusing on maintaining previously occupied lines and preventing Ukrainian forces from advancing toward the Russian border in Kharkiv Oblast on July 31.[28] Russian forces launched an airstrike near Staryi Saltiv, approximately 46km east of Kharkiv City, and continued conducting tube, tank, and rocket artillery strikes on Kharkiv City and settlements to the north, northeast, and southeast.[29] Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Russian forces continued to undertake defensive measures in Kherson Oblast in preparation for a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the region. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces are attempting to prevent Ukrainian forces from advancing from the northeast into Kherson Oblast and continued shelling Ukrainian positions along the Kherson-Mykolaiv and Kherson-Dnipropetrovsk Oblast borders.[30] The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Russian forces launched airstrikes on Ukrainian positions in Bilohirka and Bila Krynytsia, seemingly confirming that Ukraine retains a bridgehead on the eastern Inhulets River bank.[31] Satellite imagery also showed that Russian forces dug trenches near the Antonivskyi Bridge (on the right bank of the Dnipro River) and set up radar reflectors along both Antonivskyi road and railway bridges to prevent Ukrainian missile strikes.[32] Social media footage showed that Russian forces are also attempting to repair the bridge on July 31.[33]Russian forces continued to shell and launch missile strikes against Nikopol and Mykolaiv City, after targeting the two cities throughout the week.[34] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Russian forces fired two air-launched cruise missiles at Nikopol and 50 rockets from Grad MLRS systems.[35] Russian forces reportedly fired at Mykolaiv City with Smerch MLRS systems and modified S-300 air defense missiles on July 31.[36] Ukrainian officials stated that Russian rockets hit residential areas and social infrastructure, but the Russian Defense Ministry claimed to have destroyed a Ukrainian ammunition depot in Mykolaiv City.[37]Ukrainian forces continue to successfully target Russian strongholds, transit routes, and ammunition depots throughout the Southern Axis. Ukrainian officials confirmed that Ukrainian forces destroyed a field ammunition depot in Vysoke (about 48km due northeast of Kherson City), and geolocated footage showed another large explosion in northern Kherson Oblast near the Dnipro River.[38] Advisor to the Ukrainian Internal Affairs Minister Anton Herashenko also confirmed that Ukrainian forces used western-provided HIMARS to strike a 40-car train with Russian equipment and personnel in Brylivka (about 47km southeast of Kherson City) on July 30, resulting in 80 dead and 200 wounded Russian servicemen.[39] Ukrainian news outlet “Ria Melitopol” published footage of an explosion at the Melitopol airfield on July 31. Ukrainian forces had targeted a reported Russian ammunition depot and base near the airfield on July 3.[40] Ukrainian forces likely conducted the strike against the airfield, but Ukrainian officials have not taken credit for or explained the explosion as of the time of this publication. The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) also confirmed that a Ukrainian strike on Russian positions in Verhniy Tokmak and Chernihivka (both approximately 40km southeast of Tokmak) on July 29, resulted in Russian forces relocating their personnel and equipment from those settlements to Berdyansk and Tokmak.[41] The GUR specified that approximately 100 Russian servicemen remain around Chernihivka to maintain checkpoints but that most of the personnel are relocating and mining the roads.[42] The GUR also noted that the strike wounded at least 40 Russian servicemen. Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian forces continued to recruit and form additional volunteer battalions in Leningrad Oblast.[43] Leningrad Oblast Administration stated on July 28 that the oblast is forming two volunteer artillery battalions ”Nevsky” and ”Ladozhskiy,” and announced additional unspecified social support measures for recruits that signed contracts with the battalions.[44] Leningrad Oblast offered recruits a one-time payment of 200,000 rubles (about $3,200) and other social benefits. St. Petersburg outlet ”Fontanka” contacted a St. Petersburg military recruitment center and discovered that St. Petersburg is forming an unnamed motorized rifle volunteer battalion and confirmed that Russian forces will pay recruits 100,000 rubles ($1,600) for one month of training and will pay 3,300 rubles (about $53) per day of combat service in Ukraine.[45] The report also stated that enlisted servicemen may receive an additional 50,000-100,000 rubles (about $800-1,600) for destroying Ukrainian military equipment in battle. The St. Petersburg battalion is forming in Luga (140 km south of St. Petersburg).Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Russian occupation authorities continued setting conditions for a referendum in Kherson Oblast on July 31. Kherson Oblast Head Dmytro Butrii reported that Russian forces opened polling stations, clarified voting lists, and handed out Russian passports to Kherson Oblast residents on July 31.[46] Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov reported that Russian occupation authorities are bringing citizens of distant Russian republics to live in Melitopol, reportedly in an effort to create the image of a large population living in Melitopol.[47] Fedorov also stated that there are 800 hundred vehicles with 4,000 people in line to evacuate occupied territories and that Russian authorities are making copies of the passports of everyone who leaves.[48] Fedorov stated that Russian authorities only allow 200-300 cars to pass each day and that only those with permission slips will be allowed to leave the occupied territories starting on Monday, August 1.[49] Geolocated video footage posted on July 31 reportedly showed Ukrainian partisans ambushing a Russian police patrol vehicle using a roadside bomb in Kherson on July 27.[50][1] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-30; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-28; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-26; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-29[2] https://t.me/rian_ru/172760[3] https://t.me/razvozhaev/787; https://t.me/razvozhaev/788; https://t.me/razvozhaev/791[4] https://vk.com/wall-143568850_416869; https://t.me/rian_ru/172762; https://t.me/razvozhaev/788[5] https://ria dot ru/20220731/sevastopol-1806192932.html[6] https://t.me/operativnoZSU/34497; https://t.me/stranaua/55357[7] https://t.me/mod_russia/18083[8] https://twitter.com/ICRC_ua/status/1553402629132357633; https://twitter.com/ICRC_ua/status/1553402454473117697[9] https://suspilne dot media/266422-rosia-poki-ne-vidpovidae-na-vimogu-ukraini-pro-povernenna-til-zagiblih-v-olenivci-veresuk/[10] https://twitter.com/OAlexanderDK/status/1553519171845103616[11] https://twitter.com/EliotHiggins/status/155370902105142476[12] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375008591478892[13] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375352808111137[14] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-30[15] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375008591478892[16] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375008591478892; https://t.me/rybar/36437[17] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375352808111137; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-30[18] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375352808111137[19] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375352808111137; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375008591478892[20] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375008591478892; https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/4670[21] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375008591478892; https://t.me/rybar/36447[22] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375008591478892; https://t.me/rybar/36447[23] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375352808111137; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375008591478892; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1553688887993765889; https://t.me/rybar/36435; https://t.me/rybar/36437[24] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375352808111137; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375008591478892[25] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375352808111137; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375008591478892[26] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375352808111137; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375008591478892; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/16186; https://vk.com/wall347260249_660352; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1553469834565980161[27] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375352808111137; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375008591478892; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1553732980803346432; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1553694070756855808; https://t.me/nm_dnr/8638; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/38849; https://t.me/readovkanews/39565; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/38846[28] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375008591478892[29] https://t.me/synegubov/3830; https://t.me/synegubov/3830; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/16469; https://t.me/synegubov/3830; https://t.me/suspilnekharkiv/15654; https://twitter.com/IntelCrab/status/1553556225819922434 ; https://twitter.com/IntelCrab/status/1553554393315901441; https://t.me/rybar/36437; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375008591478892; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375352808111137; https://t.me/synegubov/3830; https://t.me/synegubov/3830[30] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/375008591478892; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/16459; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1034893647181068[31] https://t.me/mod_russia/18111[32] https://twitter.com/The_Lookout_N/status/1553682507782029312 ; https://twitter.com/ArtisanalAPT/status/1553678813237841921; https://twitter.com/ArtisanalAPT/status/1553680084862730241; https://twitter.com/ArtisanalAPT/status/1553687776742326273[33] https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1553702810826715136 ; https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1553705105937104896; https://t.me/uniannet/66426; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1553716054349828098; https://twitter.com/Flash43191300/status/1553667777629659136[34] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-29; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-30[35] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1045730189406713[36] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1045730189406713[37] https://t.me/mod_russia/18111; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1034893647181068; https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/1962; https://t.me/M_Podolyak/98;  https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/1963; https://suspilne dot media/266307-pid-cas-obstrilu-mikolaeva-zaginuv-oleksij-vadaturskij/[38] https://twitter.com/Arvelleg1/status/1553724675200618496; https://t.me/AFUStratCom/4747; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1553654049941110784[39] https://t.me/operativnoZSU/34533; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02vYAE3z1AsrNVFE95Dpdjs8ZGyNWfDivLfLkZGxSQoDakg8Z1zmbLg7bSWabvY3y7l[40] https://ria-m dot tv/news/294131/v_melitopole_progremel_vzryiv_ryadom_s_aerodromom_(foto).html; https://ria-m dot tv/news/291372/v_melitopole_vsu_unichtojilo_odnu_iz_rossiyskih_voennyih_baz_mer_ivan_fedorov_dal_ofitsialnyiy_kommentariy_(video).html[41] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/okupanty-vidvodiat-osobovyi-sklad-z-terytorii-selyshch-verkhnii-tokmak-i-chernihivka.html[42] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/okupanty-vidvodiat-osobovyi-sklad-z-terytorii-selyshch-verkhnii-tokmak-i-chernihivka.html[43] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-24; https://www.fontanka dot ru/2022/07/29/71527796/; https://www dot fontanka.ru/2022/07/27/71520623/; https://meduza dot io/news/2022/07/28/v-peterburge-nachali-nabor-v-motostrelkovyy-batalon-dlya-otpravki-na-voynu-takie-batalony-sozdayut-i-v-drugih-regionah-rossii[44] https://lenobl dot ru/ru/dlya-smi/news/50350/[45] https://meduza dot io/news/2022/07/28/v-peterburge-nachali-nabor-v-motostrelkovyy-batalon-dlya-otpravki-na-voynu-takie-batalony-sozdayut-i-v-drugih-regionah-rossii; https://www dot fontanka.ru/2022/07/27/71520623/[46] https://t.me/khersonskaODA/739[47] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/337[48] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/337[49] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/337[50]https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02wntmZj1yLAGez4XcexiskonWnP6pbgwev6K1miojogPCN9fU1QBzw44iv4Ej94gil; https://twitter.com/JimmySecUK/status/1553736159041306624; https://twitter.com/Cosmonaut19/status/1552555360065822725 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/8/22 6:39pm
 Kateryna Stepanenko and Frederick W. KaganJuly 30, 9:30 pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.Russian forces are likely prioritizing offensive operations toward Bakhmut and around Donetsk City at the expense of efforts to take Siversk and Slovyansk. Russian commanders are likely seeking to exploit recent gains in the Novoluhanske area to pressure Bakhmut from the east. Their efforts around Donetsk City likely aim to push Ukrainian forces out of artillery range of the city. They may also be intending to gain as much ground in Donetsk Oblast as possible before planned referenda in September. Russian offensive operations are very unlikely to take Bakhmut, which is large and well-defended, or to make dramatic gains west of Donetsk City even if they manage to take the towns of Avdiivka and Pisky that have held out against their pressure since the original Russian invasion in 2014. Fighting in these areas will likely intensify, however, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is calling on residents to evacuate.[1]Neither Russia nor Ukraine produced new evidence regarding the cause or responsibility for the deaths of Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) at the Olenivka prison in occupied Donetsk Oblast. Russian officials raised the death toll of the event to 50 and released a list of deceased POWs.[2] Ukrainian officials stated that they are unable to verify the list at this time and called for an international investigation.[3] Maxar has provided post-strike imagery of the damage. ISW is unable to confirm the nature or cause of the incident, although it remains more likely that Russian forces were responsible.Overview of damaged buildings in Olenivka prisoner of war facility on July 30. Source: Maxar TechnologiesKey TakeawaysRussian forces conducted ground assaults around Bakhmut and the environs of Donetsk City as well as southwest of Izyum. One assault east of Bakhmut made limited gains.Russian forces did not conduct ground assaults near Siversk again, suggesting that they are deprioritizing operations in that area.Satellite imagery showed Russian reinforcements concentrated near the Ukrainian border on the ground line of communication (GLOC) leading toward Izyum.Ukrainian forces disrupted a Russian ground assault in Kherson Oblast with preemptive artillery strikes.Ukrainian officials claim that damage to the railway bridge across the Dnipro near Kherson renders Russian forces unable to resupply their positions on the west bank of the river by rail.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces resumed offensive operations southwest of Izyum and began accumulating military equipment in Belgorod Oblast, just east of the Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully launched assaults on Brazhivka and Dmytrivka, approximately 16 and 18km southwest of Izyum respectively, on July 30.[4] Geolocated footage also showed Ukrainian forces striking an advancing Russian tank in Brazhivka with an anti-tank guided missile on an unspecified date.[5] Geolocated satellite imagery showed a Russian military buildup between June 19 and July 28 in Urazovo, Belgorod Oblast, 12km east of the international border.[6] Russian forces may be increasing military equipment in the area to support westward advances from Izyum, as the buildup is only 55km northeast of Russian GLOCs in Kupyansk that connect to both Izyum and settlements south of Kharkiv City. Russian forces have recently launched several localized attacks northwest of the current Izyum-Slovyansk line, and ground assaults southwest of the line alongside military buildup may support a westward offensive operation.[7]Russian forces did not launch ground assaults northwest of Slovyansk or conduct offensive operations around Siverk on July 30, likely prioritizing frontal assaults around Bakhmut instead. Russian forces continued to shell Krasnopillya, Dolyna, Adamivka, and Mazanivka northwest of Slovyansk, and damaged the bus station building in Slovyansk.[8] Russian forces also fired artillery at Kramatorsk, Siversk, and settlements around Siversk.[9] The Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation (JFO) reported that Ukrainian forces liberated an unnamed settlement in the Donetsk Oblast direction (the Ukrainian operational direction that refers to Luhansk and Donetsk Oblast.)[10]Russian forces made limited gains southeast of Bakhmut and launched a series of unsuccessful assaults south and northeast of the city on July 30. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces secured positions on the outskirts of Semihirya (approximately 15km southeast of Bakhmut) after launching an attack from three directions.[11] Russian forces reportedly attempted unsuccessfully to advance west to Travneve from Dolomytne, both settlements approximately 10km northeast of Horlivka.[12] Ukrainian forces also reportedly stopped Russian advances towards Vershyna and Pokrovske, southeast and northeast of Bakhmut, respectively.[13] The Ukrainian General Staff noted that Russian forces are attempting to set conditions for offensive operations in the directions of Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and west of Donetsk City.[14]Russian forces launched unsuccessful ground attacks northeast and southwest of Avdiivka, and southwest of Donetsk City on July 30. Ukrainian forces reportedly repelled Russian assaults on Krasnohorivka, Avdiivka, and Pisky, likely in an effort to envelop Ukrainian fortifications in Avdiivka from the northeast and southwest.[15] Russian forces also conducted unsuccessful offensive operations in Mariinka and Pavlivka, approximately 22km and 50km southwest of Donetsk City, respectively.[16]Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Russian forces did not conduct offensive operations around Kharkiv City on July 30 but continued to shell settlements northwest, northeast, and southeast of the city.[17] Kharkiv Oblast Administration Head Oleg Synegubov reported that Russian forces launched five S-300 missiles at two Kharkiv City districts.[18]Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Ukrainian forces reportedly preempted a Russian ground assault in northwestern Kherson Oblast on July 30. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian artillery fire stopped Russian forces from launching an assault from occupied Brunskyne on Bilohirka, both located on the western bank of the Inhulets River in northwestern Kherson Oblast.[19] Russian forces also launched airstrikes near Novohryhorivka and Andriivka, both near the Kherson-Mykolaiv Oblast border.[20] Russian forces continued to shell Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk Oblasts with tube and rocket artillery on July 30. Dnipropetrovsk Oblast authorities reported that Russian forces fired 40 Grad Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) rockets at Nikopol, on the western Dnipro River bank.[21] Mykolaiv Oblast officials also reported that Russian forces struck Mykolaiv City with Smerch MLRS.[22]Russian forces continued efforts to restore logistics and establish defensive positions south of the line of contact amidst continuous Ukrainian strikes on Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) and ammunition depots.[23] Social media footage showed Russian concrete fortifications along the Tyahynka-Nova-Khakovka road, likely part of an effort to create defensive positions along the R47 highway to Kherson City and defend on the western Dnipro River bank.[24] Ukrainian officials and satellite imagery confirmed additional damage to a key railroad bridge, just 8km east of the damaged Antonivsky Road Bridge near Kherson City.[25] Kherson Oblast Administration Advisor Serhiy Khlan stated that the damages to the railroad bridge fully precludes Russian military equipment transfers via rail to northern Kherson Oblast.[26] Khlan also noted that eye witnesses saw another strike reportedly on a Russian ammunition depot in Nova Kakhovka on July 30.[27] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command confirmed that Ukrainian forces destroyed the command post of the 34th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade in Bruskynske on July 29.[28] Ukrainian forces also struck a Russian military truck and vehicles parked outside a building in Enerhodar, which Russian occupation officials claimed were part of a humanitarian convoy.[29]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Nothing significant to report as of July 30.Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Russian occupation authorities carried out the scheduled “We Are Together With Russia” forum in Kherson State University on July 30, continuing to set conditions for a falsified referendum in occupied areas of Kherson Oblast.[30] Pro-Russian Telegram channel “Readovka” described the event as a forum aimed to allow participants to “the future fate” of Kherson Oblast and claimed that about a thousand participants gathered to discuss social and economic policies of the region.[31] The delegates voted for a declaration called “Russian Kherson“ regarding the joint development of Kherson Oblast with Russia.[32] Igor Kastyukevich , Russian State Duma Deputy and coordinator of the United Russia Party humanitarian mission to Kherson Oblast, was the only Russian identified as participating in the forum alongside Ukrainian collaborators.[33] ISW previously assessed that that low turnout among Russian officials could support other reporting suggesting that the Kremlin authorities fled Kherson City in fear of Ukrainian counteroffensives.[34] Russian-appointed Kherson Oblast Military-Civilian Administration Head Volodymyr Saldo also announced the creation of the Kherson Oblast Public Chamber within the ”We Are Together With Russia,” which the Kremlin will likely use to create the facade of public support for Kherson Oblast’s integration with Russia.[35]Ukrainian partisans continued to target Russian railroad transport in occupied settlements on July 30. Luhansk Oblast Administration Head Serhiy Haidai reported that Ukrainian partisans destroyed the railway control box in Svatove, situated approximately 55km north of Severodonetsk and along the Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) in Luhansk Oblast.[36] Russian-appointed Zaporizhia Oblast Occupation Administration Yevheny Balitsky uploaded footage documenting damage to a railroad segment near Komysh-Zorya station, just 22km due west of the Zaporizhia-Donetsk Oblast border.[37] Balitsky claimed that Ukrainian HIMARS struck the railroad on July 29, but the small-scale damage appears more consistent with Ukrainian partisan activity aiming to disrupt Russian logistics routes in southern Ukraine. Ukrainian Mariupol officials and sources in exile reported that Ukrainian partisans set a field on fire in Russian-occupied Bezimenne, about 20km east of Mariupol, in an effort to set Russian fortifications on fire and prevent Russian occupation authorities from looting Ukrainian grain.[38] [1] https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/30/world/zelensky-donetsk-mandatory-evacuation/index.html; https://t.me/V_Zelenskiy_official/2727[2] https://t.me/mod_russia/18064; https://t.me/mod_russia/18060[3] https://t.me/azovangels/77; https://www.facebook.com/DefenceIntelligenceofUkraine/posts/365549319089828             [4] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374599008186517; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374264784886606[5] https://twitter.com/neonhandrail/status/1553429217936695297[6] https://twitter.com/BenDoBrown/status/1553397757259513864[7] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-29[8] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374599008186517; https://t.me/pavlokyrylenko_donoda/4381; https://t.me/kramatorsk_rada/4858; https://t.me/slv_vca/3004; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374264784886606[9] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374599008186517; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374264784886606; https://t.me/pavlokyrylenko_donoda/4381 [10] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1078613669425625[11] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374599008186517[12] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374599008186517[13] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374264784886606 [14] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374599008186517[15] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374599008186517; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374264784886606[16] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374264784886606; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374599008186517[17] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374599008186517; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374264784886606; https://t.me/synegubov/3818; https://t.me/der_rada/2152[18] https://t.me/synegubov/3819; https://t.me/synegubov/3818[19] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374599008186517[20] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374264784886606[21] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=598661525191049; https://www.facebook.com/okPivden/posts/2114924608678781; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1415; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1402; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/848; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/845; https://t.me/vilkul/1646 ;https://t.me/vilkul/1645; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/848; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/848[22] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=598661525191049; https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/1950; https://t.me/senkevichonline/1855; https://t.me/senkevichonline/1866[23] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=598661525191049[24] .https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1553360897019625472; https://twitter.com/neonhandrail/status/1553445976756498432[25] https://twitter.com/The_Lookout_N/status/1553359585318141953?s=20&t=pMa7Spsv7i1MK8HWEqltiQ; https://twitter.com/DefMon3/status/1553354414534041602?s=20&t=pMa7Spsv7i1MK8HWEqltiQ; https://twitter.com/petromenko/status/1553347877946236929?s=20&t=pMa7Spsv7i1MK8HWEqltiQ; https://t.me/hueviyherson/23114; https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1553364636170338304?s=20&t=1qR3VX1f9cuX2i3UucFQhw; https://twitter.com/bayraktar_1love/status/1553347879414145025?s=20&t=SC6an1nakyaIocDsx30Klg; https://t.me/hueviyherson/23114; https://t.me/hueviyherson/23114; https://twitter.com/Military_oO/status/1553361187106086912?s=20&t=8XWbvw7mBAiaaLjB8moD5g; https://twitter.com/Military_oO/status/1553348814991417345?; https://twitter.com/666_mancer/status/1553355162391027718 s=20&t=8XWbvw7mBAiaaLjB8moD5g ; https://t.me/insiderUKR/37782[26] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/5386692244785473[27] https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/5386230538164977; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp2bgr_y-Dc; https://twitter.com/TpyxaNews/status/1553135324284477443?s=20&t=TJPR87v_pCpwLSNGmMQ_vg; https://twitter.com/TpyxaNews/status/1553135733908668416?s=20&t=TJPR87v_pCpwLSNGmMQ_vg; https://t.me/hueviyherson/23099; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1553177742593720327?s=20&t=4--BIJbiy8R3X7b80yeb9A[28] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2521889871285378[29] https://t.me/orlovdmytroEn/746; https://t.me/orlovdmytroEn/747; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/16415; https://twitter.com/GoraGiza/status/1553147326092509186?s=20&t=4--BIJbiy8R3X7b80yeb9A; https://t.me/kommunist/7882; https://t.me/BalitskyVGA/120; https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1553310402892685312   [30] https://t.me/readovkanews/39502[31] https://t.me/readovkanews/39502[32] https://life dot ru/p/1513054[33] https://t.me/readovkanews/39502[34] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-29[35] https://t.me/readovkanews/39503[36] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/4665[37] https://t.me/BalitskyVGA/116[38] https://t.me/mariupolrada/10396; https://t.me/andriyshTime/2077; https://t.me/andriyshTime/2069; https://t.me/andriyshTime/2068; https://t.me/andriyshTime/2067; https://t.me/andriyshTime/2065; https://t.me/mariupolnow/16603 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/8/22 6:39pm
Kateryna Stepanenko, Karolina Hird, Grace Mappes, Layne Phillipson, Katherine Lawlor, and Frederick W. KaganJuly 29, 8:00 pm ETClick here to see ISW's interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.A kinetic event killed and wounded scores of Ukrainian POWs in Russian-occupied Olenivka, Donetsk Oblast, on July 28.[1] Ukraine and Russia are blaming each other for the attack and available visual evidence appears to support the Ukrainian claim more than the Russian, but ISW cannot independently assess the nature of the attack or the party responsible for it at this time. The Russian Defense Ministry asserted that Ukrainian forces deliberately struck the Olenivka pre-trial detention center holding Ukrainian POWs including Azov Regiment servicemen using Western-provided HIMARS, killing at least 40 and wounding 75 POWs.[2] Kremlin-sponsored news outlet “RIA Novosti” published videos of the detention center, which showed fire damage but not the sort of damage that a HIMARS strike would likely have caused.[3] RIA Novosti also released footage of HIMARS missile fragments but provided no evidence that the fragments were recovered at Olenivka.[4] Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) Ambassador to Russia Leonid Miroshnik claimed that Ukrainian forces struck the pre-detention center to eliminate the evidence of Ukrainian surrenders and prevent POWs from speaking out against the Ukrainian government.[5]The Ukrainian General Staff said that Russian forces conducted the attack as a false flag operation to cover up Russian war crimes, disrupt the supply of Western weapons, discredit Ukrainian forces, and stoke social tensions within Ukrainian society.[6] The Ukrainian General Staff stated that a deliberate explosion occurred near the newly-constructed penal colony, to which Russian forces had transferred Ukrainian POWs a few days earlier. The Ukrainian General Staff also noted that Ukrainian analysis of the damage to the building, intercepted phone conversations between Russian servicemen, the lack of reported shelling in Olenivka, and the absence of casualties among Russian personnel serving at the penal colony all point to a Russian deliberate “terrorist act” as the cause of the incident.[7] The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) accused Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin of ordering the “terrorist act” without consulting with the Russian Defense Ministry, to conceal the embezzlement of funds allocated for the maintenance of Ukrainian POWs before an official inspection on September 1.[8] The Ukrainian Office of the General Prosecutor reported that the explosion killed at least 40 and wounded 130 Ukrainian POWs.[9]ISW is unable to assess the nature of the event or the party responsible for it with any confidence at this time. We will update our assessment as more information becomes available.Key TakeawaysA kinetic event killed and wounded scores of Ukrainian POWs in Russian-occupied Donetsk Oblast on July 28. Ukraine and Russia are blaming each other for the attack. Available visual evidence appears to support the Ukrainian claim more than the Russian, but ISW cannot independently assess the nature of the attack or the party responsible for it at this time.Ground fighting continued north of Kharkiv City with no significant change in control of terrain.Russian forces attempted a limited ground assault in Kherson Oblast and continued conducting combat operations without creating strike groups along occupied lines.Russian regional outlets reported the recruitment and establishment of an additional volunteer battalion in the Republic of Buryatia and the formation of a reserve battalion in Novosibirsk.Members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party traveled to occupied Ukrainian territories to promote an organization called “We Are Together with Russia,” likely to present the façade of a “grassroots” call for the Russian annexation of occupied Ukraine and to prepare for falsified annexation referenda.We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because those activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn these Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict, Geneva Conventions, and humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine (comprised of one subordinate and two supporting efforts);Subordinate Main Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops in the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk OblastsSupporting Effort 1—Kharkiv CitySupporting Effort 2—Southern AxisMobilization and Force Generation EffortsActivities in Russian-occupied AreasMain Effort—Eastern UkraineSubordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)Russian forces conducted a limited reconnaissance operation northwest of the Izyum-Slovyansk line and otherwise continued to shell settlements to the northwest of Slovyansk on July 29. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian troops discovered and neutralized a Russian reconnaissance group in Shchurivka, 35km northwest of Izyum.[10] Shchurivka lies on the western bank of the Siverskyi Donets River, which suggests that Russian forces either attempted to cross or successfully crossed into Ukrainian-held territory in this area. Russian forces had conducted a reconnaissance operation in the Chepil area, just southwest of Shchurivka, on July 27.[11] Taken together, these two data points may indicate that Russian forces are setting conditions to advance further into Kharkiv Oblast northwest of the current Izyum-Slovyansk line, although the likelihood of Russian forces successfully taking additional ground in Kharkiv Oblast remains limited.[12]Russian forces also continued to shell settlements near the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border and struck Dolyna, Bohorodychne, Kurulka, Virnopillya, and Mazanivka.[13] Russian forces additionally shelled Slovyansk and conducted a rocket strike on Kramatorsk on the night of July 28 to 29.[14]Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack east of Siversk on July 29. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Ukrainian troops prevented a Russian reconnaissance group from advancing near Verkhnokamyanske, 5km due east of Siversk.[15] Russian forces also continued to conduct air and artillery strikes on Siversk and its surroundings.[16]Russian forces continued ground attacks to the northeast and southeast of Bakhmut on July 29. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted unsuccessful ground assaults in Vershyna (10km southeast of Bakhmut) and Semyhirya (15km southeast of Bakhmut) and continued attempts to advance from the Novoluhanske area.[17] Russian forces additionally attempted to advance around Soledar, about 10km northeast of Bakhmut.[18] Russian and Ukrainian sources also stated that Russian forces conducted air and artillery strikes directly on Bakhmut and its surrounding settlements.[19]Russian forces escalated ground attacks on the northwestern outskirts of Donetsk City on July 29. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted ground assaults near Avdiivka, Kamyanka, Krasnohorivka, Vodyane, and Pisky, all north and northwest of Donetsk City.[20] The Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) militia claimed that Russian and DNR forces in the Avdiivka area have made unspecified but significant advances north and east of the settlement.[21] Russian forces additionally maintained constant artillery pressure along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line of contact.[22] Russian forces are likely re-engaging in offensive operations around Avdiivka to expand the defensive pocket around the northwestern sector of Donetsk City, as ISW assessed on July 28.[23]Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)Ground fighting continued north of Kharkiv City with no major control of terrain changes on July 29.[24] Geolocated footage shows that Russian forces made marginal gains east of the E40 highway southwest of Borshchova on an unspecified date.[25] Kharkiv Oblast Head Oleg Synegubov stated that Russian forces struck Kharkiv City with S-300 missiles and targeted food production infrastructure in Bohodukhiv, Kharkiv Oblast, 60km northwest of Kharkiv City.[26] Russian forces continued shelling settlements to the north, northeast, and east of Kharkiv City.[27]Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)Russian forces attempted a limited ground assault in Kherson Oblast on July 29 and continued conducting hostilities along the line of contact.[28] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Ukrainian forces repelled an attempted Russian advance in the Bilohirka direction by launching two strikes on Russian positions in the Bruskinsky district in western Kherson Oblast.[29] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command also reported that two Russian Ka-52 helicopters attacked Bila Krynytsya (near Bilohirka) and noted that Ukrainian forces repelled attempted Russian Ka-52 strikes in Andriivka in the same general area.[30] Russian forces continued heavy artillery strikes on civilian infrastructure in Mykolaiv City and Nikopol, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, on July 28-29. Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported that Russian forces used 12 S-300 missiles to strike Mykolaiv City from the Hola Prystan direction (just southwest of Kherson City).[31] Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Head Valentyn Reznichenko reported that Russian forces launched 40 Grad rockets on civilian infrastructure in Nikopol.[32] Russian forces continued shelling along the Southern Axis.[33]Ukrainian forces continued striking Russian military infrastructure on the Southern Axis on July 29.[34] Kherson Oblast Head Dmytro Butrii stated that Ukrainian forces struck a Russian ammunition warehouse in Brylivka, approximately 64km southeast of Kherson City.[35] Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported that Ukrainian forces destroyed two Russian ammunition depots in Khersonskiy district.[36] Russian forces continued transporting military equipment to Kherson Oblast from Zaporizhia Oblast on July 29, likely in preparations for Ukrainian counteroffensives. Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov reported that Russian forces have been moving 3-4 military columns per day through Melitopol towards Kherson and Crimea between July 25 and 29.[37]Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)Russian regional outlets reported the recruitment and establishment of additional volunteer battalions within Russian federal subjects (regions). Buryatia Regional Administration Deputy Chairman Pyotr Mordovskoy noted that the Republic of Buryatia authorized a one-time payment of 100,000 rubles (approximately $1,600) to all recruits for the “Baikal” volunteer battalion on July 13.[38] The Republic of Buryatia is currently recruiting men with at least a middle school education to join the battalion. The local outlet ”Taiga Info” reported that on July 11, Novosibirsk Oblast Governor Andrey Travnikov ordered the formation of a reserve battalion for participation in the ”special operation,” but did not mention deployment to Ukraine.[39] The order requested that Oktyabrskiy District (one of the districts within Novosibirsk Oblast) recruit 37 reservists, which may indicate that the Oblast is recruiting reservists rather than volunteers without prior military experience.[40] Taiga Info has previously reported that the leadership of an unspecified Novosibirsk University requested information about employees’ military identity cards regardless of sex or age in late May, which may indicate ongoing Oblast-wide recruitment of reservists[41]Ukrainian intelligence reported that Russian forces are forming the 3rd Army Corps (AC) within the Western Military District, but it is unclear which personnel will staff the 3rd AC.[42] Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Representative Vadym Skibitskyi noted that Russian forces hope to form the 3rd AC by mid-August due to insufficient force generated from newly-formed eight volunteer battalions.[43] Skibitsky has repeated that Russian forces plan to form 16 volunteer battalions and establish rifle elements in almost all federal subjects.[44] Skibitsky noted that Russian forces continue to face shortages of officers, which may complicate the formation of the 3rd AC.Activity in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian objective: consolidate administrative control of occupied areas; set conditions for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or some other future political arrangement of Moscow’s choosing)Russian occupation officials are promoting an organization entitled “We Are Together with Russia” throughout occupied Ukrainian oblasts, likely to present the façade of a “grassroots” call for the Russian annexation of occupied Ukraine and to prepare for falsified annexation referenda in occupied areas. Russian occupation official Vladimir Rogin told the Russian outlet “Ruskiy Mir” on July 27 that “the movement will turn into an effective platform that will speed up the process of the region’s entry into Russia.”[45] Russian Telegram news channel “Readovka” reported on July 26 that members of United Russia, the political party of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and members of the All-Russian Popular Front party are staffing the organization’s headquarters across occupied Ukrainian oblasts.[46] The Russian governor of Russia’s Penza Oblast, senior United Russia member Oleg Melnichenko, opened a “humanitarian office” for “We Are Together with Russia” in Tokmak, Zaporizhia Oblast on July 29.[47]The possibility of a Ukrainian counteroffensive into occupied Kherson may be disrupting Russian attempts to prepare for annexation referenda and to force Kherson civilians to register for Russian passports. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on July 29 that occupation authorities from United Russia have left Kherson City as of July 29.[48] The Center claimed that the party members were preparing for an annexation referendum in the city under the guise of “humanitarian activities” and were forcing Ukrainian civilians to register for Russian passports in exchange for humanitarian aid. The Center reported that the party members fled because they are afraid of a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the city following the July 26 strike on the Antonivky Bridge. ISW could not corroborate the Ukrainian Resistance Center’s report. However, Russian milblogger Yuri Kotyenok and pro-Russian outlet “KhersonLife” reported on July 29 that occupation authorities are holding a large-scale “public forum” under the umbrella of “We Are Together with Russia” in Kherson City on July 30 and 31 to proclaim “the return of the right to self-determination and a new historical destiny for the inhabitants of Southern Russia,” which is how some Russian sources have begun to refer to Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast.[49] Russian sources claimed that more than 500 delegates would participate. Cancellation of, postponement of, or low turnout at this event would suggest that United Russia members have in fact fled the city in anticipation of a Ukrainian counteroffensive.Occupation officials also continued to restrict usage of Ukrainian currency and are attempting to force the rubleization of occupied areas but may have limited access to rubles in cash. Luhansk Oblast Administration Head Serhiy Haidai said on July 29 that Russian occupation forces have not installed or serviced any ATMs in Kreminna, Rubizhne, or Popasna since taking those cities in May and that the situation is similar in Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.[50] Haidai said that Russian occupiers are trying to issue cash pensions to civilians in occupied areas but can only provide pensions by mail. [1] https://twitter.com/rollowastaken/status/1552953174641840128?s=20&t=iEcN_0G34y7e-pRFc6iYAw; https://twitter.com/PauliusZaleckas/status/1552991240324521985?s=20&t=q6b2XPn583y0ZeOOutcvZQ[2] https://t.me/mod_russia/18036[3] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/07/29/vnaslidok-obstrilu-olenivky-blyzko-40-osib-zagynulo-130-poraneno-rozpochato-provadzhennya/[4] https://t.me/rian_ru/172653[5] https://t.me/miroshnik_r/8122[6] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/374014281578323[7] https://ssu dot gov.ua/en/novyny/ssu-interception-confirms-shelling-of-olenivka-prison-was-carried-out-by-occupiers-audio?fbclid=IwAR0xsT65hNOaZ3k2CxwLkQECugfK1Nk94xu-N5rLorIeh4gThRE6TEBJolE[8] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/vbyvstvo-ukrainskykh-zakhysnykiv-v-olenivtsi-svidomyi-akt-teroryzmu-ukraina-vymahaie-nehainoho-rozsliduvannia-obstavyn-i-prychyn-smerti-nashykh-heroiv.html[9] https://armyinform dot com.ua/2022/07/29/vnaslidok-obstrilu-olenivky-blyzko-40-osib-zagynulo-130-poraneno-rozpochato-provadzhennya/[10]https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02J6ixH1pBiHyL5DyVfUCuu3GFZgzLG1M7da848khyHAixSjpSmkZji6NMHVzVL9ZCl[11] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-27[12] https://t.me/synegubov/3779; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/371713048475113  [13] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02J6ixH1pBiHyL5DyVfUCuu3GFZgzLG1M7da848khyHAixSjpSmkZji6NMHVzVL9ZCl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02NxvVSi3pcoDrh2Pj5HXPLWqDTerRkJi669zcXYA86R1VY9DetD4fTK63TxiYoxk2l[14] https://t.me/pavlokyrylenko_donoda/4339 ;https://t.me/pavlokyrylenko_donoda/4355; https://t.me/kramatorsk_rada/4835; https://t.me/spravdi/14363; https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/38777; https://www.facebook.com/alexander.vasilyevich.goncharenko/posts/pfbid02uvmsicYtZtzucsy8i166XVYfcGduYusrKGWQwdTbNM6W3DWubSxxbF3yoK4e8w4tl; https://t.me/stranaua/55073; https://t.me/rybar/36347; https://t.me/milinfolive/87886; https://t.me/milinfolive/87860; ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWpvBT_vqmU; https://t.me/pavlokyrylenko_donoda/4347; https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1552879867682766850; https://t.me/slv_vca/2980[15] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02J6ixH1pBiHyL5DyVfUCuu3GFZgzLG1M7da848khyHAixSjpSmkZji6NMHVzVL9ZCl[16] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02J6ixH1pBiHyL5DyVfUCuu3GFZgzLG1M7da848khyHAixSjpSmkZji6NMHVzVL9ZCl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02NxvVSi3pcoDrh2Pj5HXPLWqDTerRkJi669zcXYA86R1VY9DetD4fTK63TxiYoxk2l[17] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02J6ixH1pBiHyL5DyVfUCuu3GFZgzLG1M7da848khyHAixSjpSmkZji6NMHVzVL9ZCl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02NxvVSi3pcoDrh2Pj5HXPLWqDTerRkJi669zcXYA86R1VY9DetD4fTK63TxiYoxk2l[18] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02J6ixH1pBiHyL5DyVfUCuu3GFZgzLG1M7da848khyHAixSjpSmkZji6NMHVzVL9ZCl[19] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02J6ixH1pBiHyL5DyVfUCuu3GFZgzLG1M7da848khyHAixSjpSmkZji6NMHVzVL9ZCl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02NxvVSi3pcoDrh2Pj5HXPLWqDTerRkJi669zcXYA86R1VY9DetD4fTK63TxiYoxk2l; https://t.me/rybar/36364; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3320642084847473; https://twitter.com/ChristopherJM/status/1552719343456223235; https://twitter.com/RALee85/status/1552974789475704835; https://t.me/milchronicles/943.[20] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02J6ixH1pBiHyL5DyVfUCuu3GFZgzLG1M7da848khyHAixSjpSmkZji6NMHVzVL9ZCl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02NxvVSi3pcoDrh2Pj5HXPLWqDTerRkJi669zcXYA86R1VY9DetD4fTK63TxiYoxk2l[21] https://t.me/nm_dnr/8619[22] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02J6ixH1pBiHyL5DyVfUCuu3GFZgzLG1M7da848khyHAixSjpSmkZji6NMHVzVL9ZCl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02NxvVSi3pcoDrh2Pj5HXPLWqDTerRkJi669zcXYA86R1VY9DetD4fTK63TxiYoxk2l; https://t.me/nm_dnr/8619; https://t.me/nm_dnr/8620; https://t.me/nm_dnr/8621; https://t.me/nm_dnr/8622; https://t.me/spravdi/1433; https://t.me/rybar/36347[23] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-28[24] https://t.me/der_rada/2150; https://t.me/der_rada/2138[25] https://twitter.com/PaulJawin/status/1552926483668254720?s=20&t=WEut4v2Hxij0fqNZwx8WBw; https://twitter.com/neonhandrail/status/1552938110094233600?s=20&t=WEut4v2Hxij0fqNZwx8WBw[26] https://t.me/synegubov/3810; https://t.me/spravdi/14331[27] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02J6ixH1pBiHyL5DyVfUCuu3GFZgzLG1M7da848khyHAixSjpSmkZji6NMHVzVL9ZCl; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02J6ixH1pBiHyL5DyVfUCuu3GFZgzLG1M7da848khyHAixSjpSmkZji6NMHVzVL9ZCl; https://t.me/der_rada/2150; https://t.me/der_rada/2138[28] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=784699799514597[29] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=570526517874021[30] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=570526517874021[31] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=570526517874021[32] https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/16377; https://t.me/dnipropetrovskaODA/1402; https://t.me/mykola_lukashuk/832; https://t.me/vilkul/1642; https://t.me/Yevtushenko_E/324; https://t.me/spravdi/14331[33] https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/11010; https://t.me/zoda_gov_ua/11010; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02NxvVSi3pcoDrh2Pj5HXPLWqDTerRkJi669zcXYA86R1VY9DetD4fTK63TxiYoxk2l; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid02J6ixH1pBiHyL5DyVfUCuu3GFZgzLG1M7da848khyHAixSjpSmkZji6NMHVzVL9ZCl; https://t.me/rybar/36356; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=570526517874021; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=784699799514597; https://t.me/mykolaivskaODA/1936; https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/16377[34] https://t.me/Bratchuk_Sergey/16356; https://t.me/stranaua/54965; https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=784699799514597[35]https://t.me/khersonskaODA/732; https://www.facebook.com/sergey.khlan/posts/pfbid02HDPunzjDDavyycN7moyswyAZBJsqLBuzcbV33GuurLmGMNJinWta5ZS1wUdJhZxbl?__cft__[0]=AZVVLvDWMPC1P59a4mGKx1CVTekjNd-SsdFb3PM0n9B4MGWcu3gxSGYOJ9tdlND7wO6t5aEgKdo4j9IP8wPBEeB1iWXPJLXrfGx5GTkf8a3X5vjcNsYrCPEludfJg3unB3EYaENCxTHu1893W_iNb4D8qsfE93qmHw6rro5swwICWA&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R[36] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=784699799514597[37] https://t.me/ivan_fedorov_melitopol/334; https://t.me/stranaua/55095[38] https://gazeta-n1 dot ru/news/society/113523/[39] https://tayga dot info/178525[40] https://tayga.info/178525[41] https://tayga dot info/176819[42] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/rosiia-formuie-poblyzu-ukrainy-shche-odne-udarne-uhrupovannia.html[43] https://gur dot gov.ua/content/rosiia-formuie-poblyzu-ukrainy-shche-odne-udarne-uhrupovannia.html[44] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-23[45] https://russkiymir dot ru/news/303486/[46] https://t.me/readovkanews/39293[47] https://penza-post dot ru/news/29-07-2022/87370[48] https://sprotyv dot mod dot gov dot ua/2022/07/29/okupanty-z-partiyi-yedyna-rosiya-vtekly-z-hersonu/[49] https://t.me/voenkorKotenok/38772; https://kherson dot life/kherson/v-hersone-projdet-masshtabnyj-obshhestvennyj-forum-vmeste-s-rossiej/; https://t.me/HersonVestnik/6566[50] https://t.me/luhanskaVTSA/4624; https://t.me/spravdi/14331 

[Author: Institute for the Study of War] [Category: Ukraine]

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