Russo Ukrainian War, Day 134: Russians take an operational pause in Donbas.

 

Daily review, More

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

Russians take an operational pause and prepare to attack Sloviansk, a new key battle in the Donbas. Russian authorities restate Putin’s initial objectives for the “special operation” in Ukraine, including regime change and territorial expansion far beyond the Donbas. Russians shell the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, a rocket hit a university in Kharkiv and two Russian missiles hit agricultural hangars in the Odesa Oblast. Russia stopped the transit of oil from Kazakhstan to Europe.

Daily overview — Summary report, July 7

Key points of military expert Stanislav Haider’s assessment of the July 7 morning:

A map of the approximate situation on the ground in Ukraine as of 00:00 UTC 07/07/22. Source ~

A map of the approximate situation on the ground in Ukraine as of 00:00 UTC 07/07/22. Source

Donetsk Oblast. Ukrainian troops repulsed more Russian attacks on Bogorodychne and Krasnopillia. The Russians were also knocked out of Bilohorivka, Luhansk Oblast, although the Russian assaults and shelling don’t stop. Siversk is holding on as Russian troops keep shelling the town’s residential areas unable to capture the city.

Russia captured the village of Spirne, southeast of Siversk – Ukraine War Maps ~

Russia captured the village of Spirne, southeast of Siversk – Ukraine War Maps

South of Donetsk oblast. Ukrainian forces continue to press the Russians out from the areas of Vuhledar and Velyka Novosilka. In the area of ​​Mariinka, the Russian troops tried to storm and retake the lost positions but had no success. To the southwest of Donetsk, Ukraine restored control over the settlement of Solodke.

Southwest of Donetsk, Ukrainian forces retook control of the settlement of Solodke – Ukraine War Maps ~

Southwest of Donetsk, Ukrainian forces retook control of the settlement of Solodke – Ukraine War Maps

Kharkiv Oblast. Russia somewhat suspended its tactical actions. The Russian troops are currently remotely laying mines in the area of the Peremoha-Bayrak area to prevent a Ukrainian advance to the border and to prevent the Ukrainian liberation of Vovchansk. Unable to advance further, Russian troops are heavily shelling Kharkiv and its suburbs.

Zaporizhzhia Oblast. There are artillery duels in the Polohy area. In the direction of Vasylivka, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have entrenched on new frontiers. ukraine is gradually pushing back the front line from Huliaypole and Orikhiv. After the Ukrainian attacks on the Russian-controlled airfield in Melitopol, the Russians moved their aircraft to Chaplynka (it is something that they had previously done to Chornobayivka airfield in Kherson Oblast). Instead, the Russians boosted air defenses in Melitopol.

Kherson Oblast. At Inhulets river, the Ukrainian Armed Forces advance further, repel Russian counterattacks, and have returned control over two settlements. “Also, good news to the north and west of Kherson is expected soon,” the expert notes. In all directions – Kherson, Berislav, and Kryvyi Rih – Russians reinforce their troops, trying to overcome their predicament by exposing other areas.

Yesterday, Ukrainian artillery successfully worked out at the military targets in Kherson, Donetsk, Skadovsk, Velykyi Burluk – the Velykyi Burluk, through which goes the Russian supply line for their upcoming offensive on Sloviansk.

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, July 7, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below. [PARAGRAPH]

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The one-hundred-thirty-fourth (134) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.

No changes in the condition and activity of units of the armed forces of the republic of belarus were noted in the Volyn and Polissya directions.

No signs of the creation of an enemy offensive group were found in the Siversky direction. In order to demonstrate the presence and constrain the actions of the units of the Defense Forces, the enemy keeps separate units of the Western Military District in the border areas of the Bryansk and Kursk regions.

The enemy carried out artillery shelling and carried out airstrikes by army helicopters in the areas of Vovkivka, Myropillya, Kindrativka and Esman settlements of the Sumy oblast.

Situation in Kharkiv. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Kharkiv. Source: ISW.

In the Kharkiv direction, the enemy is concentrating its efforts on holding the occupied lines, and is trying to conduct assaults on certain sections of the contact line. It carried out artillery fire in the areas of the settlements of Slatyne, Mala Danylivka, Ruski Tyshki, Vesele, Kutuzivka, Pryshyb and Husarivka. Near Shestakovo, the occupiers remotely mined roads.

In the Sloviansk direction, the enemy is trying to conduct an assault. The areas of Dolyna, Kurulka, Mazanivka, Bohorodychne, Adamivka, and Chepil settlements were shelled with barrel artillery and multiple rocket systems.

The enemy is trying to overcome the resistance of our troops and establish complete control over the Luhansk region. It moves the units.

In the Kramatorsk direction, the enemy shelled the areas of Kryva Luka, Kuzmynivka, and Hryhorivka with barrel and jet artillery. In an attempt to disrupt the operation of the control and communication system of the Defense Forces, the enemy is actively using radio-electronic warfare complexes.

In the Bakhmut direction, the occupiers shelled the areas of Ivano-Daryivka, Semyhirya, and Vugleghirska TPP with barrel artillery. An air strike was carried out near Spirne.

In the Avdiyivka, Kurakhivka, Novopavlivka, and Zaporizhzhia directions, the enemy is conducting a systematic fire attack on the positions of the units of the Defense Forces in order to constrain their actions.

In the South Buh direction, the enemy concentrated efforts to prevent the advance of units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine. Conducted shelling from mortars, tanks, barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of Lymany, Posad-Pokrovske, Prybuzke, Myrne, Kotlyareve and Blagodatne settlements.

In the Dobryanka region, our soldiers almost completely destroyed the enemy’s sabotage and reconnaissance group and successfully repelled the enemy assault that followed it.

In the waters of the Black and Azov seas, the enemy keeps four “Calibre” sea-based cruise missile carriers in readiness for launching missile strikes on infrastructure facilities on the territory of Ukraine.

Our rocket-artillery and aviation units continue to hit the enemy’s strongholds, concentration points and warehouses in the designated directions.

Military Updates 

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1544923167805906944

Over the past week, the Ukrainian military destroyed 16 positions where Russian barracks and ammunition warehouses were located, according to Ukrinform.

Regional Updates 

Situation in Ukraine. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. Source: ISW.

In the Donetsk Oblast, the Ukrainian army stopped the Russian assault operations in the Bakhmut direction. Russian invaders fired rockets at Toretsk and hit two private houses. In Donetsk, 17 missiles hit the city and as a result of the shelling in the city, a strong fire started. Overall, Russian forces kill 7 in the Donetsk Oblast on July 6.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1544918130585059330

In the Sloviansk direction, the enemy carried out assault operations but withdrew with losses, pushed back by the Ukrainian army.

In the Kharkiv Oblast, in the Kharkiv direction, the Russian assault was pushed back by the Ukrainian army but the shelling continued from the territory of the Russian Federation. The administrative building and the premises of a pedagogical university were damaged. The Russians continued shelling the Kharkiv Oblast from helicopters, tanks, mortars, cannon, and rocket artillery, injured 3 people but could not advance.

In the Izium direction, Russians are regrouping and concentrating forces and plan to launch a large-scale offensive. Massive artillery strikes on the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces are now being carried out.

In the Mykolaiv Oblast, Russians continue incessant shelling.

Situation in Kherson and Mykolaiv Oblasts. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Kherson and Mykolaiv Oblasts. Source: ISW.

In the Kherson Oblast, Russian military warehouses were destroyed by a fire. Meanwhile, Russian occupiers blocked Instagram, YouTube, and Viber and distributed TV boxes to allow access to 32 Russian channels.

In the Odesa Oblast, the Russians continued missile strikes. An X-31 air-launched missile was fired from a Su-35 aircraft and destroyed by the Ukrainian Air Defense during the day. Overnight, the Russians hit two grain depots in the Oblast, destroying 35 tons of grain. Recent attacks left 31 dead, 38 injured.

In the Black Sea, overnight, two X-31 missiles were launched. One hit the tanker “Millennial Spirit” (Moldova flag), drifting in the territorial sea without a crew with the remains of diesel fuel on board; another one self-detonated over the sea.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1544988343393521664

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

  • On 06 July 2022, heavy shelling continued along the Donetsk front line, but with few advances being made by Russia. Russian units involved in last week’s gains are now likely re-constituting.
  • On 05 July 2022, a law proposed by the Russian government on ‘special economic measures’ passed its first reading in the Duma. The legislation is likely to be adopted and will give the authorities special powers over labour relations; the reactivation of mobilisation facilities; and to release assets from state reserves.
  • The legislation is likely an attempt by the Kremlin to put into place economic measures to support the ‘special military operation’ without a formal declaration of state mobilisation, which remains politically sensitive. It also allows Russia to avoid acknowledging that it is engaged in a war or its failure to overcome Ukraine’s military that was outnumbered and outgunned.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of Monday 7 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 

Complete restoration of Mariupol will take 7–10 years and will cost more than $14 billion.

In Mariupol, the Russian occupiers blackmail the residents to force them to participate in the referendum. They promise restoration of housing in exchange for participation in a referendum. Community leaders were gathered and issued an order to urgently conduct a census of the buildings’ residents.

Ukraine returned 44 children, mostly orphans, taken to the Russian Federation and the occupied territories. 

️️Environmental 

At the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, more than 500 Russian soldiers recently have deployed heavy artillery batteries, and laid anti-personnel mines along the shores of the cooling reservoir. “The Russian army is transforming Europe’s largest nuclear power plant into a military base overlooking an active front, intensifying a monthslong safety crisis for the vast facility and its thousands of staff,” reports the WSJ.

The destruction of a plastics plant in the Chernihiv Oblast, caused combustion and the release of harmful substances in the air, leading to environmental damage. According to the calculations of specialists of the State Environmental Inspectorate, the amount of damage is more than 41.5 million hryvnias.

At least 40 million people in the world will face the problem of malnutrition this year due to the war in Ukraine, and in 2023, the number might rise to 70 million, as stated by the Chief Economist of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Maximo Torero at a conference at the UN.

Legal 

️More than 21,000 war crimes are being investigated in Ukraine. 200–300 war crimes are reported daily. Many trials would have to be held in absentia.

Support 

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1544780726771630080

Americans approve of aid to Ukraine even if they have to “pay” with rising inflation and high prices. In a June poll, 62% of respondents said they were willing to endure higher energy costs. The Americans are also in favor of “closing the sky” over Ukraine: support has risen to 65% in June (from 56% in March.)

Denmark will help Mykolaiv to restore the city, and will assist with the water supply and preparation for the heating season. “There is no area that would not be fired upon,” said Mayor Oleksandr Senkevich.

Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin held a series of meetings to reaffirm Ireland’s solidarity with the Ukrainian authorities in Kyiv. He said that Ireland will continue backing sanctions against Putin’s regime

https://twitter.com/MichealMartinTD/status/1544719963314864136?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1544719963314864136%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Fworld-europe-62062722

New Developments 

Austria seizes gas storage space left empty by Russia’s Gazprom. Gazprom has left reserves below a 10% legal requirement. Haidach depot linked to German network and serves Bavaria

Ukraine no longer expects aircraft supplies from the West, but hopes to get air defense systems, said Zelenskyy. The safety of the sky is a priority. Ukraine counts on the arrival of powerful air defense systems in Ukraine, he said.

Hungary does not supply weapons to Ukraine, allegedly fearing Russian shelling of Hungarians living in Transcarpathia. 150 thousand Hungarians live in the western part of Ukraine. The Hungarian community in Kyiv expressed outrage at this position.

NATO is not planning to deploy military bases in Sweden and Finland because these countries have powerful national forces and the ability to defend themselves.

An explosion occurred in Kazakhstan, at the country’s largest oil and gas field Tengiz. Two people were killed and three were injured. President of Kazakhstan Tokayev recently has announced that he was ready to increase hydrocarbon supplies to the EU to help deal with the energy crisis and said that Kazakhstan will not recognize the Russian proxy-states “DPR” and “LPR.” In addition, A Russian court stopped the work of sea terminals through which Kazakh oil was exported. Kazakhstan temporarily lost the only way to export oil by sea.

China and India have bought $24 billion worth of energy resources from Russia since the start of a full-scale war in Ukraine. In the three months to the end of May, China spent $18.9 billion on Russian oil, gas, and coal. This is almost twice as much as a year earlier. India paid $5.1 billion in the same period, more than five times last year’s amount. Thus, Russia received an additional $13 billion in revenue from both countries compared to the same period in 2021, writes Bloomberg.

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of Saturday 7 July, 2022:

Russia’s stated objectives in its invasion of Ukraine remain regime change in Kyiv and the truncation of the sovereignty of any Ukrainian state that survives the Russian attack despite Russian military setbacks and rhetoric hinting at a reduction in war aims following those defeats. Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated on July 5 that the Russian military operation in Ukraine will continue until Russia achieves its goals of protecting civilians from “genocide,” “denazifying” and demilitarizing Ukraine, and obliging Ukraine to be permanently neutral between Russia and NATO — almost exactly restating the goals Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in his February 24 speech justifying the war.[1] Putin had stated that the operation aimed to protect civilians from humiliation and genocide, demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, and prosecute genocidal perpetrators.[2] Patrushev’s explicit restatement of Putin‘s initial objectives, nearly five months later, strongly indicates that the Kremlin does not consider recent Russian gains in Luhansk Oblast sufficient to accomplish the initial goals of the “special operation,” supporting ISW’s ongoing assessment that the Kremlin has significant territorial aspirations beyond the Donbas. Patrushev’s statement suggests that Russian military leadership will continue to push for advances outside Donetsk and Luhansk blasts and that the Kremlin is preparing for a protracted war with the intention of taking much larger portions of Ukraine.[3]

Patrushev’s statement is noteworthy because of its timing and his position as a close confidante of Putin. Patrushev is very unlikely to stray far from Putin’s position in his public comments given his relationship with Putin and his role in the Kremlin. His restatement of virtually the same maximalist objectives that Putin laid out before the invasion even as Russian forces seemed to be closing in on the more limited objectives of securing Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts — which Putin and other Russian leaders had hinted were their new aims following their defeats around Kyiv — strongly suggests that those hints did not reflect any actual change in Kremlin policy. Patrushev’s statement significantly increases the burden on those who suggest that some compromise ceasefire or even peace based on limited additional Russian territorial gains is possible, even if it were acceptable to Ukraine or desirable for the West (neither of which is the case).

Igor Girkin, a Russian nationalist and former commander of militants in the 2014 war in Donbas, responded to Patrushev’s statements and continued expressing his general disillusionment with the Kremlin’s official line on operations in Ukraine. Girkin said that the intended goals of “denazification” and “de-militarization” will only be possible with the total defeat of the Ukrainian military and the surrender of the Ukrainian government.[4] Girkin noted that Russian victory is premised on the capture of “Novorossiya” — a notional territory that encompasses eight Ukrainian oblasts, including the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and much of eastern and southern Ukraine. Girkin also claimed that the capture of “Novorossiya” is the bare minimum and that Russian goals will be realized through the total capture of “Malorossiya,” which is an invocation of the Russian imperial concept for almost all Ukrainian territory. Girkin is once again pushing back on the Kremlin line, which he views as insufficient in securing Russian objectives in Ukraine. Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) Ambassador to Russia Rodion Miroshnik similarly suggested that the Kremlin has not yet met its goals in Ukraine, despite reaching the borders of his claimed oblast, and stated that LNR authorities are still not confident in the security of the LNR.[5] Girkin and Miroshnik’s statements, taken together, indicate that Russian nationalists continue to push for further territorial gains and, at least in Girkin’s case, full-scale regime change and the incorporation of most of Ukraine into Russia. Patrushev’s statement suggests that Kremlin thinking may not be that far removed from these extremist nationalist ambitions.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev restated Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initial objectives for operations in Ukraine, suggesting that the Kremlin retains maximalist objectives including regime change and territorial expansion far beyond the Donbas.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations northwest and east of Sloviansk.
  • Russian forces are attempting to advance west of the Lysychansk area toward Siversk.
  • Russian forces are likely attempting to gain access to village roads southeast of Bakhmut in order to advance on the city from the south.
  • Ukrainian forces conducted a limited counterattack southwest of Donetsk City.
  • Russian forces continued limited and unsuccessful assaults in northern Kharkiv Oblast.
  • Russian authorities are conducting escalated conscription measures in occupied territories to compensate for continuing manpower losses.
  • Russian authorities are continuing to consolidate administrative control of occupied areas of Ukraine, likely to set conditions for the direct annexation of these territories to the Russian Federation.

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