Russo Ukrainian War, Day 136: Russia must unblock the export of Ukrainian grain, Blinken demands

Ukrainian grain is the key to the world hunger crisis. 

Daily review, More

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

Russian forces did not go on “operational pause” in Donbas and continued to launch assaults on settlements along the Kherson-Mykolaiv and Kherson-Dnipropetrovsk Oblast border to regain lost positions. Near Sloviansk, the Ukrainian army destroyed 12 tanks and other military equipment and repelled the Russian offensive. Zelensky visited the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast close to the front line. In the Donetsk Oblast, the Russian ammunition depots are burning. In the Kherson Oblast, the Ukrainian army destroyed ammunition depot, air defense units and personnel. At the G20 meeting, Anthony Blinken demanded that Russia unblocked the export of Ukrainian grain but overall the diplomats failed to reach a consensus on the war.

Daily overview — Summary report, July 9

Situation in Ukraine. Source. ~

Situation in Ukraine. Source.

According to military expert Stanislav Haider, as of July 9,

Donetsk Oblast. Ukrainian troops repulsed another Russian attack on Bohorodychne and Krasnopillia. The situation remains difficult in the Novoluhanske direction. After the fall of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, a part of Luhansk Oblast is still held by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, who sometimes even counterattack. In the Sloviansk direction, the limited Russian forces are trying to conduct assaults, but don’t succeed. Multiple units of Russian equipment have been destroyed near Sviatohirsk, approximately 12 tanks, BMPs, and other armored vehicles. The situation south of Donetsk remains unchanged.

Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Ukraine’s Armed Forces repel Russian counterattacks on newly liberated lines and positions in the direction of Vasylivka. In the direction of Polohy and Huliaypole, there are art duels, and Ukrainian troops carry out local counterattacks, improving their tactical situation.

Kherson Oblast. The Ukrainian forces are gradually advancing, repelling Russian counterattacks on their new positions. Ukraine is likely to advance towards Vysokopillia soon.

Kharkiv Oblast. ​​Prudianka and Dementiivka saw Russian attacks repulsed by the Ukrainian troops.

The expert believes that when the number of HIMARS systems operated by the Ukrainian army reaches 24, this will finally “put down” the Russian military logistics and will significantly affect the Russian capabilities to use aviation and cover their rear with air defenses.

Over the past day, Russian warehouses were destroyed again, now in Khartsyzk, Kadiivka, Snizhne, and other locations.

 

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, July 9, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below. 

Situation in Ukraine. July 9 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. July 9 2022. Source: ISW.

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The one-hundred-thirty-sixth (136) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.

No significant changes in the activities of the enemy’s units were noted in the Volyn, Polissya and Siversky direction. On the Siversky direction, the enemy shelled the positions of our troops near Senkivka and Mykolaivka in the Chernihiv oblast and the settlements of Esman and Oleksiivka in the Sumy oblast.

Situation in the Kharkiv Oblast. July 9 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in the Kharkiv Oblast. July 9 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Kharkiv direction, the occupiers are defending the previously occupied frontiers. The enemy shelled the areas of Yavirske, Stara Hnylytsia, Ukrainka, Mykilske, Bazaliivka, Ruski Tyshky, Cherkassky Tyshky, Pyatihirske, Prudyanka, Chornohlazivka, Kutuzivka, Staryi Saltiv, Shestakove and Rubizhne settlements with tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery.

In the Sloviansk direction, the enemy launched artillery fire near Dibrovne, Bohorodychne, Adamivka, Karnaukhivka, and Sulihivka.

In the Kramatorsk direction, the enemy shelled civilian infrastructure in the Hryhorivka, Verkhnokamyansk, and Kramatorsk districts. It is trying to advance in the area of Hryhorivka settlement with assault actions, the fighting continues.

In the direction of Bakhmut, enemy shelling was recorded near Zaitseve, Berestove and Klynove. Made an airstrike near Spirne.

By offensive actions, the occupiers tried to establish control over the territory of the Vuhlehirska TPP and improve the tactical position in the Dolomitne region. Ukrainian soldiers did not allow them to do this and pushed them back to their previous positions.

In the Avdiyivka, Kurakhivka, Novopavlivka and Zaporizhzhia directions, mutual shelling of positions along the contact line continues. The enemy carried out airstrikes in the area of Mali Shcherbaky.

In the South Buh direction, the enemy continues systematic shelling of civilian and military infrastructure from barrel and rocket artillery along the contact line.

There remains a further threat of missile strikes on the region’s critical infrastructure.

Ukrainian aviation and missile and artillery units continue to fire successfully at concentrations of manpower, military equipment of the russian occupiers, and warehouses with ammunition. The enemy has significant losses.

Military Updates 

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1545494463606390787

More than 70% of Russian missiles and shells fired at Ukraine do not reach the target, according to the General Staff of Ukraine.

️A turning point in Russia’s war against Ukraine is “already starting,” said Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to the head of the Presidential Office. According to him, the invaders are taking an operational pause due to significant losses in manpower and equipment inflicted by the successful attacks on warehouses and operational control centers of the Russian Federation army. He also commented on Putin’s statement that the Russian Federation “seriously did not start anything yet” in Ukraine.

️The number of Ukrainians mobilized in the Ukrainian army is up to 700,000, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said. Additionally, border guards — up to 60,000, the National Guard — up to 90,000, the National Police — up to 100,000. More than 1 million personnel in the security and defense sector.

Regional Updates 

Situation in the Donetsk Oblast. July 9 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in the Donetsk Oblast. July 9 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Donetsk Oblast, 37 shelling in one day. In Bakhmut and Seversk, 5 killed, 3 injured, including a 12-year-old boy, hospitalized in critical condition.

In the Melitopol Oblast, the Melitopol city morgue is overflowing with the bodies of the Russian military personnel after the Ukrainian army hit the airfield. Ukrainian forensic experts refused to cooperate with the enemy. The residents are unable to bury their deceased for a week.

In the Mykolaiv Oblast, Russian invaders have caused damage to Mykolaiv for the estimated UAH 633 million ($21,510,000), according to Mayor Oleksandr Senkevich.

MLRS and rocket strikes partially damaged or completely destroyed:

  • 48 educational institutions,
  • 42 utility facilities,
  • 15 cultural buildings,
  • 12 healthcare buildings,
  • 9 buildings of physical culture and sports,
  • 3 buildings of social protection,
  • 28 other civil infrastructure objects (trade establishments, pharmacies, private enterprises, etc.).
  • 536 private houses (36 completely destroyed),
  • 409 high-rise buildings (5 not subject to restoration, another 5 are under investigation).

Civilian casualties:

  • 121 people dead (1 child),
  • 535 injured (6 children).

In the Kherson Oblast, another Russian collaborator was shot dead by the Ukrainian resistance. The Ukrainian army attacked the Russian ammunition depot in the occupied Novaya Kakhovka. Several dozen Russian military personnel killed.

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

  • Russia is moving reserve forces from across the country and assembling them near Ukraine for future offensive operations.
  • A large proportion of the new infantry units are probably deploying with MT-LB armoured vehicles taken from long-term storage as their primary transport. While MT-LBs have previously been in service in support roles on both sides, Russia has long considered them unsuitable for most front-line infantry transport roles. It was originally designed in the 1950s as a tractor to pull artillery, has very limited armour, and only mounts a machine gun for protection.
  • In contrast, most of Russia’s first echelon assault units were equipped with BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles in February, featuring armour up to 33mm thick and mounting a powerful 30mm autocannon and an anti-tank missile launcher. Despite President Putin’s claim on 07 July 2022 that the Russian military has ‘not even started’ its efforts in Ukraine, many of its reinforcements are ad hoc groupings, deploying with obsolete or inappropriate equipment.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of 8 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

Sievierodonetsk is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe. There is no centralized water supply, gas, and electricity supply in the city. Treatment facilities and pumping stations do not work. Unburied dead bodies present a problem in the current extreme heat temperatures.

️️Environmental 

Romania restored an old railway line to increase the export of Ukrainian grain.

The Russian invaders continue to destroy crops in the Donetsk region. Over the past 24 hours, as a result of the Russian shelling, 8 fires broke out in the wheat fields in the Donetsk Oblast. In the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, fields caught on fire and the fire spread to the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. 20 hectares of wheat were destroyed.

Legal

The authorities of a Russian proxy state “Donetsk People’s Republic” lifted the moratorium on the execution of death sentences as three foreign prisoners-of-war are sentenced to death. Russia accused two British nationals and a Moroccan national, who fought for Ukraine of being “mercenaries.” Now the sentence can be carried out.

Support 

US President Joe Biden signed a new $400 million military aid package to Ukraine, including four additional HIMARS MLRS and ammunition.

At the G20 meeting in Bali, The US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken demanded that Russia unblocked the export of Ukrainian grain. He addressed Russia directly and called on Moscow to let Ukrainian grain out to the world.

Canada expands sanctions against Russia, with a focus on those involved in Russian disinformation efforts, imposing sanctions on 29 agents and 15 entities owned or controlled by the Russian government involved in spreading Russian propaganda with respect to the war in Ukraine,

️The European Union donated helmets and body armor for the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine in the amount of almost 1 million euros.

️Come Back Alive Foundation donated 300 Latvian Atlas drones to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Atlas is used to correct artillery fire, as well as reconnaissance. Drones have secure communication channels and can conduct reconnaissance in almost any weather for 32 minutes at a distance of up to 15 km.

New Developments 

 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation.

 

Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe died after he was assassinated giving speech at a political campaign event.

“Knocked off balance” by these “two unrelated and unexpected political developments,” G20 diplomats failed to agree on a common position on the war in Ukraine, writes Associated Press. “Deeply divided top diplomats from the world’s richest and largest developing nations failed to find common ground Friday over Russia’s war in Ukraine and how to deal with its global impacts, leaving prospects for future cooperation in the forum uncertain.”

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1545484256264298499

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov left the G20 summit ahead of schedule. The G20 Foreign Ministers refused to take a traditional group photo with Lavrov.

The Russian military is unlikely to leave the south of Ukraine in the event of the capture of Donbas, said Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrey Kelin.

️The SBU announced the arrest of assets of Ukrainian companies belonging to the Russian Gazprom, Rosneft, and Rosatom for the estimated UAH 2.1 billion (more than $70 million.)

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of Saturday 9July, 2022:

Luhansk Oblast Administration Head Serhiy Haidai stated that Russian forces are not conducting an operational pause as of July 8 and are continuing to shell settlements and deploy additional tank units to Donbas.[1] Haidai’s statement likely reflects confusion about the meaning of the expression “operational pause” and how such a “pause” actually manifests on the ground in a war. US military doctrine considers the role of operational pauses in warfighting and campaigning in some detail.[2] It notes that “Normally, operational pauses are planned to regenerate combat power or augment sustainment and forces for the next phase.” It observes that “The primary drawback to operational pauses is the risk of forfeiting strategic or operational initiative.” It therefore recommends that “If pauses are necessary, the [commander] can alternate pauses among components to ensure continuous pressure on the enemy or adversary through offensive actions by some components while other components pause.” Soviet military theory regarded operational pauses in a similar fashion — sometimes necessary, but always dangerous.

The Russian military command, which announced an operational pause on July 7, has apparently recognized the need for a pause given the state of Russian forces at this point in the campaign. The Russian troops that have completed the seizure of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk are clearly in need of regenerating combat power and building up supporting capabilities, including supply, before launching another large-scale offensive operation. Numerous reports from various sources show that they are engaged in both activities. They have naturally and necessarily ceased efforts to conduct large-scale offensive operations in this sector while they reorganized, reinforce, and resupply their tired troops — in other words, they are in an operational pause in this sector.

Recognizing the danger of allowing the Ukrainians to seize the initiative and go over to an offensive of their own, however, Russian forces continue to conduct more-limited offensive operations in this sector and elsewhere along the front line. Those operations involve smaller Russian forces than had been involved in the attacks on Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk pursuing more limited and localized objectives with less determination and willingness to take casualties compared with their behavior during the fights for the two cities. When the Russian military command has determined that it has adequately prepared for a renewed major offensive operation, it will likely resume larger-scale ground offensives with more troops and a greater determination than it is currently showing. The transition out of the operational pause may be gradual and difficult to discern at once, just as the transition into it appeared gradual. Skillful campaign design aims to achieve precisely such an effect in order to persuade the enemy that no pause is contemplated or underway, or that it will be too short to be of benefit to the enemy, and thereby convince the enemy that it does not have the opportunity to seize the initiative and go over to a counter-offensive of its own. Russian campaign design, inadequate as it has generally been, is nevertheless good enough to manifest this basic principle of operational art.

Russian milbloggers are continuing to show rhetorical opposition to the Kremlin by faulting the Russian Defense Ministry for making Russian logistics vulnerable to the Ukrainian strikes via US-provided HIMARS rocket systems. Russian milbloggers are notably criticizing the Russian military command instead of expressing patriotic hatred toward Western suppliers of HIMARS as one would have expected of the ultra-nationalist, pro-war Telegram channels. Former Russian military commander Igor Girkin, an outspoken Russian nationalist who commanded militants during the Donbas war in 2014, stated that personnel of the Russian Defense Ministry’s logistics department should be tried for failing to disperse and camouflage ammunition depots.[3] Russian milbloggers Starshe Eddy and Russian officer Aleksey Suronkin echoed similar concerns over the effectiveness of HIMARS, calling on Russian forces to adapt to new threats and strike back against Ukrainian forces.[4] The continued trend of patriotic and pro-war Russian milbloggers blaming the Kremlin by default for setbacks and problems in the war may begin to create in effect a loyal opposition that could ultimately erode confidence in the milbloggers’ significant audience in Russia’s ability to win.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian forces continued to conduct limited offensive operations north of Sloviansk.
  • Russian forces continued attempting to advance toward Siversk from Lysychansk but did not make any confirmed territorial gains.
  • Russian forces launched assaults on Dementiivka to disrupt Ukrainian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) along the T2117 highway.
  • Russian forces continued to launch assaults on settlements along the Kherson-Mykolaiv and Kherson-Dnipropetrovsk Oblast border to regain lost positions.
  • Russian Federation Council approved a bill committing the Kremlin to paying veteran benefits to civilians involved in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • Russian occupation authorities continued to set conditions for the annexation of Donbas and southern Ukraine.

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