Russo Ukrainian War, Day 128: Russian troops flee Zmiiny Island claiming “goodwill gesture.”

 

Daily review

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

The Russian Federation troops retreat from Zmiiny Island due to the Ukrainian army’s successful artillery operation, calling the move a “goodwill gesture.” Russian troops take partial control of the Lysychansk oil refinery. More HIMARS arrive from the western allies. The US will allocate $800 million worth of HIMARS, air defense systems. Lukashenka makes a nuclear “announcement.” The US and its allies refuse to provide Russian ships with insurance for the transportation of hydrocarbons. Ukraine breaks diplomatic relations with Syria and imposes economic sanctions in response to the recognition of the “independence” of the so-called “L/DPR.”

Daily overview — Summary report, July 1

According to military expert Stanislav Haider, as of July 1, 

There was another assault on the Bohorodychne. The assault on Krasnopillya was repulsed.

Heavy battles continued near Avdiivka and Novoluhanske. The Ukrainian army is holding its position. On the T1302 highway, the fighting is ongoing.

Lysychansk vicinity: No comments. The operation is underway.

As for Sloviansk, the advance of the Russian army is still delayed.  They should have started already but Ukrainian Tochka U and HIMARS prevented the advance.

Kharkiv Oblast: No major changes reported. Fighting back alternates with attacks. In the north, neither side has sufficient forces to conduct anything more than a tactical operation. In the direction of Izium and the Pechenihy reservoir, Ukrainian prospects are quite good.

South of Donetsk Oblast: The situation is similar to the Zaporizhzhia direction. Russians are failing to push the Ukrainian army from the newly acquired positions. As they are retreating, Ukrainian artillery arrives and the Russians have to retreat even further. There is an improvement in the Ukrainian positions on the Maryinsky direction to the south of the city.

Zaporizhzhia Oblast: The Russians are trying hard and failing to recapture the lost settlements in one of the directions. Fighting intensified in the direction of Vasylivka where the Ukrainian army is pressing. In the direction of Huliaipole, the Russians intended to go for an offensive but were defeated.

Kherson Oblast: In the north, the Ukrainian army continues the liberation operation. Potiomkino is the first success in the north of the Kherson region. North of Kherson, fierce battles for Ukrainian new positions are ongoing. It may be possible to reach the northern outskirts of Kherson without taking Snihurivka.

Russo-Ukrainian War, Day 128: Russian troops flee Zmiiny Island claiming “goodwill gesture.” ~~

Russo-Ukrainian War, Day 128: Russian troops flee Zmiiny Island claiming “goodwill gesture.” ~~

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, July 1, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below.

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According to information from the General Staff as of 06.00 01.07.2022, supplemented by its [18:00 assessment].

The one-hundred-twenty-eighth (128) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.

In the Volyn, Polissya and Siversky directions, the situation did not have significant changes. On the Siversky direction enemy made artillery shelling in the areas of settlements Hremyach, Mikhalchyna Sloboda, Kolos of Chernihiv oblast and Starykove and Atynske of Sumy oblast.

In the Kharkiv direction, the enemy concentrated the grouping of the troops of the Western Military District, defines previously occupied borders, and systematically fires the units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine for the excavation of their actions.

Thus, from artillery, the occupiers fired at districts of settlements of Bazaliyivka, Peremoha, Verhniy Saltiv, Nortsivka, Chepil, Dmytrivka, Barvinkove, Mospanovo, Velyka Babka, Sorokivka and Pryshyb.

In the Sloviansk direction, the enemy’s troops continue defense, regroup and try to improve the tactical position. The aggressor made artillery shelling of the positions of our troops near the Dolyna, Mazanivka, Dibrivne, Grushuvakha, Adamivka, Husarivka and Ivanivka.

In the Donetsk direction, the enemy focuses on the encircling our troops in the Lysychansk region from the south and west, and to establish complete control over the Luhansk region. It assaults to block the logistics support of our units.

In the Lysychansk direction, it is fired at our positions from the barrel and jet artillery in the areas of settlements Siversk, Bilohorivka, Lysychansk and Vovchoyarivka. It tries to control the site of the Bakhmut — Lysychansk highway, has no success.

At the same time, the enemy intensified the fighting in the Kramatorsk direction.

In the Bakhmut direction, the enemy fired from the artillery districts of settlements Berestove, Yakovlivka, Vidrodzhenna, Mayorsk and Vyhledarska TTP. It tries to improve the tactical position in the direction of the settlement Pokrovske, there is no success.

At Avdiivka, Kurakhivka, Novopavlivka and Zaporizhzhia directions, it fired at our positions from the barrel and jet artillery along the battle front line.

In the Pivdenny Buh direction, the enemy continued shelling of mortars, barrel and jet artillery in the areas of settlements Potemkine, Berezneguvate, Partizanske, Kyselivka, Shevchenkove, Tavriyske. It continues air intelligence with UAVs.

In the readiness for the task of rocket strikes on objects in Ukraine, the enemy continues to keep three high-precision weapons carriers.

Ukrainian aviation and rocket-artillery units continue firing on the clusters of manpower and military equipment of russian invaders.

Regional Updates 

https://twitter.com/War_Mapper/status/1541934581569421313

In the Donetsk Oblast, Russian invaders shelled Sloviansk with cluster munitions. 6 injured.

In the Luhansk Oblast, Russian troops stormed the Lysychansk oil refinery and took control of the northern part of the plant. The city is constantly shelled.

Donbas Battle

Ilia Ponomarenko, the war correspondent of The Kyiv Independent, writes: “By June 25, the last Ukrainian combat units left their ruined positions in the city’s industrial zone for Lysychansk, a heavily fortified point to the west, after over 2 months of bloodletting urban warfare. As a result, Russia has gained a tactical victory and gotten closer to its political goal of “liberating” the whole of Ukraine’s Luhansk Oblast.

But Ukraine, with its protracted urban warfare tactics, managed to inflict heavy losses and render much of Russia’s force degraded, despite the extraordinary concentration of hostile war power in the area. Now the campaign enters its next stage, with Ukraine intending to continue exhausting Russia’s military at a new defense barrier, as well as amass advanced Western weaponry to strike back when the time is right.

But Russia in its turn continues making dangerous gains in the area, meaning that Ukraine will likely have to leave Lysychansk soon as well, in order to escape an even bigger, more deadly, and almost inevitable Russian trap.

Battlefield Sievierodonetsk

After over 100 days of fighting in the area since early March, Sievierodonetsk, an industrial center with a pre-war population of 100,000, has turned into a ghost town of ruins. By late June, nearly 90% of the city’s buildings had been damaged or completely ruined, along with most of the city’s vital infrastructure, according to the Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Haidai.

Around 10,000 civilians remain in the city. For the sake of taking the Sievierodonetsk-Lysychansk area alone, Russia, upon estimates, concentrated nearly 44 battalion tactical groups (nearly 30,000 troops), which is nearly half of all the combat power Russia deployed to Ukraine.

Against these figures were 10,000 Ukrainian troops defending the twin cities, as well as the area’s very vulnerable flanks. It was clear Ukraine’s goal was to draw Russia into prolonged and close urban warfare, where Russia loses much of its superiority in terms of artillery and air support and where experienced Ukrainian infantry have the upper hand over Russian forces.

This, along with the fact that Russia, in its frontal attacks against the city, employed poorly armed and trained mobilized draftees from occupied Donbas. It is likely Russian forces were cognizant of their lack of high-quality assault infantry, avoiding direct fire contact with Ukraine’s troops and relying heavily on its artillery and armor firing from distances.

Nonetheless, for weeks, Russia had to commit the bulk of its military power to Sievierodonetsk, at the expense of far more important axes, such as Izium in Kharkiv Oblast, an area that would allow Russia to completely cut supply lines to Ukraine’s Donbas grouping. At the same time, as international monitors have noted, the twin cities area, ruined and abandoned, don’t offer Russia any military or economic significance, nor do they justify the losses its forces have sustained.

They would simply allow Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to finally trumpet at least a symbolic victory of “having liberated” the whole of Luhansk Oblast after over 70 days of the eastern campaign. While Ukraine sought to exhaust Russia in urban combat for as long as possible, it also reinforced positions in its rear strongholds deeper in Donetsk Oblast.”

In the Poltava Oblast, five more body fragments were found on the territory of the shopping center in Kremenchuk. In total, 22 fragments of bodies have been discovered since the start of work.

In the Mykolaiv Oblast, the number of people killed in a missile attack on a residential building has grown to 7.

Russo-Ukrainian War, Day 128: Russian troops flee Zmiiny Island claiming “goodwill gesture.” ~~

In the Kherson Oblast, the Ukrainian army took control of the village of Potemkine. The Ukrainian military carried out a successful offensive, during which they repelled several enemy counterattacks, destroyed the infantry fighting vehicles and tanks of the invaders, and also “filled up” one Tiger.

Russo-Ukrainian War, Day 128: Russian troops flee Zmiiny Island claiming “goodwill gesture.” ~~

In the Black Sea, Russian invaders left Zmiiny Island. As a result of a successful military operation, they evacuated their garrison by two speed boats and left the island, leaving the equipment burning. A Russian enemy helicopter was destroyed. The Russian army will not be able to use the air defense systems that they deployed to protect their ships in the northwestern part of the Black Sea and their ships become more vulnerable. Odesa region is not under the threat of landings. The Russian Federation authorities claimed that they are withdrawing troops from the island “in order to avoid losses” and spoke about the “value” of the life of soldiers and officers. They also claimed that the island “fulfilled its strategic importance.”

In the Black Sea, Russia has launched five out of its seven Black Sea Fleet submarines from Sevastopol. Four submarines are in the state of “combat readiness.”

In the Odesa Oblast, the Russian invaders launched more missile attacks by strategic aviation planes overnight. 14 killed, 30 injured (including 3 children). 7 (including 3 children) rescued from underneath the rubble. Rescue works are ongoing and numbers are being verified. The missile strike was carried out against Odesa by strategic aircraft from the direction of the Black Sea. One rocket hit a 9-story residential building, the second a recreation center in the Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky district. One part of 9 floors has been completely destroyed in the apartment building,” the message reads. Rescue works continue.

According to British Defence Intelligence, (last 48 hours):

  • On 30 June 2022, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced that its forces had withdrawn from Zmiinyi (Snake) Island in the north-west Black Sea. The island was seized by Russia on the first day of the invasion and sits along the main shipping lanes to Odesa and its adjacent ports.
  • The Ukrainian Armed Forces conducted attacks against the Russian garrison in the past few weeks using missile and drone strikes. In addition, it used anti-ship missiles to interdict Russian naval vessels attempting re-supply the island.
  • Russia has highly likely withdrawn from Zmiinyi (Snake) Island owing to the isolation of the garrison and its increasing vulnerability to Ukrainian strikes, rather than as a ‘gesture of good will’, as it has claimed.
  • Separately, Russian ground forces claim to have captured the village of Pryvilla, north-west of the contested Donbas town of Lyschansk. Intense fighting probably continues for the commanding high ground around Lyschansk Oil Refinery.

·

Losses of the Russian army

As of Monday 1 July, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:

Humanitarian 

Internally displaced Ukrainians return home. The International Organization for Migration: over 5.5 million people returned to their homes in Ukraine. This is half of all people who fled Ukraine during the war. 6.2 million remain internally displaced.

️Environmental 

Near Kryvyi Rih, the Russians fired at an agricultural enterprise, destroying a warehouse with 40 tons of grain. The explosion provoked a fire, preliminary — no casualties, reported in the Dnipropetrovsk district police department

Russian ship transports 7,000 Ukrainian gran from occupied Berdiansk. 

Support 

As of July 1, Russian citizens will not be able to apply for tourist visas to Belgium. 

Washington is to announce a new $800 million military aid package to Ukraine. The package will include advanced air defense systems, additional artillery, and ammunition, counter-battery radars, and additional ammunition for multiple launch rocket systems.

At the US initiative, more than 50 countries promised to provide Ukraine with weapons:140 thousand anti-tank systems, more than 600 tanks, almost 500 artillery systems, more than 600 thousand shells, advanced MLRS, anti-ship systems, and air defense.

The US and its allies will not provide insurance to Russian ships for oil transportation. The Russian economy will suffer greatly due to the resulting problems with the transportation of oil by sea.

️France will transfer 6 more Ceaser self-propelled guns to Ukraine. French President Emmanuel Macron said that the NATO partners decided to step up their economic, humanitarian, and military support for Ukraine at the meeting in Madrid.

️Ukraine, in partnership with the IMF, is working on options for restructuring the public debt. Changes in the terms of payments on obligations and the use of frozen Russian assets as collateral are being considered.

️NATO has no restrictions on the supply of the most modern weapons to Ukraine. NATO has set the task of transferring Ukraine from Soviet to NATO weapons, according to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

Canada will provide 39 armored combat support vehicles to Ukraine. 

Sweden’s fifth aid package for Ukraine will cost 47 million euros and will include anti-tank weapons, demining equipment, as well as machine guns.

New developments 

Gazprom refused to pay dividends for 2021, the concern’s shares fell sharply on the Moscow Exchange. As of June 30, the value of the shares fell by almost 30% in relation to the price at the close of the last trading session. The collapsed shares of Gazprom, in turn, collapsed the entire Russian stock market.

During the Caspian summit in Turkmenistan, Putin was not greeted on arrival and had to walk from the plane with no escort. Other summit participants were greeted with bread and salt, and flowers.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Syria without severing consular ones, in response to the recognition of the Russian proxy states LDNR. Kyiv begins the procedure for imposing a trade embargo, as well as “other sanctions.”

Japan will allocate $100 million to Ukraine for purchasing of medical equipment and the construction of temporary housing for internally displaced people. Tokyo will help Kyiv expand its grain storage capacity as the harvest season approaches.

Ukraine starts to export electricity to EU on June 30, first through Romania, and later through Slovakia and Hungary. The total capacity for export is currently 100 megawatts per day. It is expected to grow to 800 megawatts by the end of the year.

Assessment 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of Saturday 1 July, 2022:

Russian forces retreated from the Zmiinyi (Snake) Island on June 30 following a Ukrainian missile and artillery campaign. The Russian Defense Ministry spun the retreat as “a step of goodwill.”[1] The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that the Kremlin does not interfere with United Nations (UN) efforts to organize a humanitarian corridor for agricultural export from Ukraine but did not acknowledge the Ukrainian artillery and missile campaign that had actually caused the retreat. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command had announced elements of that campaign on June 21.[2] The Russian Defense Ministry has claimed that Russian forces defeated all Ukrainian drone and missile attacks leading up to their retreat despite considerable evidence to the contrary.[3] The Russian defeat on the Zmiinyi (Snake) Island will alleviate some pressure off the Ukrainian coast by removing Russian air defense and anti-ship missile systems from the island. The retreat itself will not end the sea blockade, however, as Russian forces have access to land-based anti-ship systems in Crimea and western Kherson Oblast that can still target Ukrainian cargo as well as the use of the remaining ships of the Black Sea Fleet.

Russo-Ukrainian War, Day 128: Russian troops flee Zmiiny Island claiming “goodwill gesture.” ~~

Russian milbloggers overwhelmingly defended the Russian decision to withdraw troops and equipment from the island, claiming that Russian forces are prioritizing the “liberation of Donbas.”[4] Some said that Russian forces do not have enough capacity to destroy Ukrainian coastal troops and others claimed that Russian forces will be more successful striking Ukrainians when they attempt to deploy their own troops to the island. Milbloggers have previously criticized the Russian military command for failing to retreat to save equipment and manpower and are likely content with the Russian retreat from the Zmiinyi (Snake) Island.[5] Milbloggers, following the Kremlin line, did not acknowledge the role Ukrainian strikes against the island played in compelling Russian forces to retreat.

Russian authorities continue to galvanize the support of proxy actors in order to support force generation efforts. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov announced on June 29 that another Akhmat special battalion, the Vostok (east)-Akhmat battalion, has been successfully formed and will shortly move to its point of permanent deployment and begin active service.[6] As ISW reported on June 28, Kadyrov stated he intends to form four new Akhmat special operations battalions and announced the formation of the Zapad (west)-Akhmat battalion early this week.[7]

Key Takeaways

  • Russian troops made limited gains within the Lysychansk Oil Refinery and around Lysychansk.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations to the south and east of Bakhmut and to the north of Sloviansk.
  • Russian forces continued efforts to regain control of settlements north of Kharkiv City.
  • Ukrainian counteroffensives continue to force Russian troops on the Southern Axis to prioritize defensive operations.
  • Russian occupation authorities took measures to ensure further economic and financial integration of occupied areas into the Russian system.

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