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Russo-Ukrainian War, Day 146: Russia’s plan to gas blackmail Europe

Tanks arrive to Poland
Tanks arrive to Poland.
Russo-Ukrainian War, Day 146: Russia’s plan to gas blackmail Europe
Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

Russian military prioritizes the seizure of Siversk and Bakhmut. Nikopol in the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast under shelling for 19 hours in a row. Russians carry out 10 strikes in the Odesa Oblast. Gazprom declared force majeure on gas supplies to Europe: Russia might blackmail Europe for helping Ukraine. Europe looks at other sources of gas. European Commission President signs a memorandum on strategic partnership in the energy sector with the Azerbaijani President. The first batch of American Abrams tanks arrives in Poland. Possible resistance in ethnic enclaves in Russia.

Daily overview — Summary report, July 19

Ukraine War Map.
Situation in Ukraine. July 19 2022. Source: Ukraine War Mapper.

According to military expert Stanislav Haider, as of July 19,

Donetsk Oblast. In the area Bohorodychne, the Armed Forces of Ukraine conducted a counterattack knocking out the Russians from the village but not entering the village. Novoluhanske, and the Vuglehirsk power plant continue to hold, despite Russian shelling and constant assaults. In the direction of Avdiivka, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are firmly hold their positions too, and also repelled Russian assaults in the area of Mariinka where the Russians tried to regain their lost positions all day. Less intense assaults, Russian troops carried out in the Vuhledar area, unsuccessfully.

Kharkiv Oblast. Battles in the region are taking place in the direction of Prudianka, west of Izium, and in the area of ​​the Pechenihy reservoir. Near Prudianka, Ukraine successfully holds defense. Near Izium and Pechenihy reservoir, Ukrainian tactical actions restrain the Russian forces and threaten Russian logistics. Russians continue to shell the civilian population and infrastructure of Kharkiv.

Zaporizhzhia direction. Tactical operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue in the direction of Polohy. there are artillery duels in the Vasylivka area – due to this even Zaporizhzhia could hear explosions in this area yesterday. The Russians tried to storm in small groups the Huliaypole area in order to regain their lost positions, but didn’t succeed.

Kherson Oblast. Generally, there are tactical actions and artillery duels in the region. Ukraine’s demilitarization of warehouses, repair bases, places of accumulation of Russian equipment in the rear continues. “There is a sense of preparation on both sides for large-scale actions, offensive by us (Ukraine – Ed.), defensive by Orcs (Russia – Ed.),” Haider wrote.

The work of Ukrainian artillery: an ammunition warehouse was hit in Khrustalnyi, Luhansk Oblast; a Russian base in Beryslav, Kherson Oblast; a warehouse in Raiske, Kherson Oblast; a Russian base in Nova Kakhovka, Kherson Oblast.

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, July 19, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below.


The one-hundred-forty-sixth (146) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.

In the Volyn and Polissya directions the rotation of units of the armed forces of the republic of belarus, which are involved in covering the section of the belarusian-Ukrainian border, continues. In the border areas, aerial reconnaissance by UAVs is conducted. The threat of missile and air strikes from the territory and airspace of the republic of belarus remains.

In the Siversky direction, units of the armed forces of the russian federation continue to carry out enhanced protection of the section of the Ukrainian-russian border. The enemy fired mortars and artillery at the Mykolayivka settlements of the Chernihiv region and the settlements of Zarutske, Zhuravka, Bilopillia, and Iskryskivshchyna of the Sumy oblast. Enemy units continue conducting aerial reconnaissance.

Kharkiv Map.
Situation in Kharkiv. July 19 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Kharkiv direction, the enemy is conducting combat operations in order to hold the occupied lines. The enemy carried out shelling from artillery of various calibers, particularly in the vicinity of Rusky and Cherkasy Tyshki, Pytomnyk, Borschova, Ruska Lozova, and Chuhuyev.

Enemy combat reconnaissance in the area of ​​the settlement of Uda completely failed. The occupiers suffered losses and withdrew.

In the direction of Sloviansk, the enemy is trying to create conditions for resuming the offensive in the direction of Sloviansk. Carried out fire damage from tanks, barrel and rocket artillery near Velyka Komyshuvakha, Dolyna, Chepil, Dibrovne, Novomykolaivka and others.

After an airstrike near Husarivka, the occupiers tried to attack this settlement. Our soldiers met the enemy with heavy fire and pushed the invaders back.

In the Kramatorsk direction, the enemy fired from barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of the settlements of Bilohorivka, Bohorodychne, Kramatorsk, Raihorodok, Donetske, Verkhnyokamianske, Spirne, Starodubivka, Siversk, Dronivka and Ivano-Daryivka. Conducted an airstrike near Verkhnokamyanske.

The enemy carried out assaults near Spirne, had no success, retreated. Attempts are being made to advance in the direction of Hryhorivka, hostilities continue.

In the direction of Bakhmut, the enemy shelled the areas of the settlements of Bakhmut, Novoluhanske, Pokrovske, Vuhlehirska TPP, Vershyna, Vesela Dolyna, Yakovlivka, Berestove and Zaitseve. Airstrikes were recorded in the vicinity of the Vuhlehirska TPP, Mayorsk, Toretsk, Berestove, Soledar, Vershyna, Shumy, and Pokrovske.

Ukrainian soldiers successfully repelled all attempts of assaults in the direction of the settlements of Semihirya, Vershyna, Pokrovske and the territory of the Vuhlehirska TPP.

The enemy did not conduct active operations in the Avdiivka, Novopavlivka, and Zaporizhzhia directions. Conducted an airstrike near Kamyanka.

In the South Buh direction, the enemy is firing from afar from tanks, barrel and rocket artillery along the contact line, conducting aerial reconnaissance by UAVs. Continues to equip additional lines of defense.

There remains a high level of threat of missile strikes throughout the territory of Ukraine, do not ignore air warning signals.

In connection with large sanitary and irreparable losses, forced mobilization measures continue in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. Dissatisfaction with the actions of the Russian command is growing among servicemen of non-Slavic nationalities, who are mercilessly thrown into the most risky attacks on the territory of Ukraine.

Military Updates 

Ground situation in Ukraine.
Situation in Ukraine. July 19 2022. Source: ISW.

War in Ukraine may last another 4–6 months and will lead to a truce and a frozen conflict, said former NATO Commander-in-Chief in Europe James Stavridis. “None of the parties will be able to withstand much more than this period,” he added. He compared the situation in Ukraine with the situation at the end of the Korean.

Europe has almost run out of Soviet-style shells of 152 mm and 122 mm calibers, according to the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council. “Our country is moving to NATO standards. […]155 Caliber, other NATO calibers. As for HIMARS, there is some understanding that we have already begun to receive shells that go much further than it was at the beginning.” Due to the supply of weapons in sufficient quantities, it is possible to say that parity with the Russian army has been achieved in some respects.

Regional Updates 

Donetsk map
Situation in Donetsk. July 19 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Donetsk Oblast, Russians shelled Toretsk. 6 killed. The shell hit a two-story building. From under the rubble, the bodies of 5 dead, as well as 3 injured, were pulled out, one of whom died in the hospital.

Engineers restored destroyed power lines in 120 settlements in the Donetsk Oblast, supplying electricity to almost 90,000 consumers. 20 emergency teams are constantly at work.

In the Luhansk Oblast, the Russians are trying to advance from Lysychansk towards Bakhmut. They use newly mobilized personnel from the recently occupied cities.

In the Kharkiv Oblast, Russians shelled Kyiv district in Kharkiv at night, destroying civilian infrastructure. Residential high-rise building damaged. No casualties.

In the Sumy Oblast, Russian forces shelled several villages, injuring 2.

In the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, another missile attack on civilians. 4 killed, 16 injured. The State Emergency Service dismantled more than 325 tons of destroyed metal structures in three days. Warehouses with 5,000 tons of grain destroyed.

Russian troops also hit Nikopol with MLRS, shelling the residential areas and urban infrastructure 60 times. A 75-year-old woman injured. Dozens of private houses destroyed, water supply and gas pipelines damaged. A hospital, industrial and energy enterprises, and the port hit.

Mykolaiv, Kherson map.
Situation in Kherson and Mykoliav. July 19 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Mykolaiv Oblast, incessant shelling. One car dealership, an agricultural enterprise, adjoining buildings were damaged. No casualties.

In the Kherson Oblast, Ukrainians hit the enemy positions and an ammunition depot.

In the Odesa Oblast, during the day, Russians fired 4 missiles. 2 hit a military facility, 1 hit a bridge, 1 was shot down by air defense. At night, Russia fired 7 “Caliber” missiles at the Odesa Oblast from the Black Sea. One was shot down by the air defense forces, and 6 hit a village. 6 civilians injured, including 1 child.

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

Russia continues to commit what are nominally six separate armies to its Donbas offensive. At full strength, before the invasion, these formations were established for around 150,000 personnel. In recent weeks, Russia has often operated with company-sized groupings of around 100 personnel when undertaking offensive operations in any one sector at a time.

Russia has struggled to sustain effective offensive combat power since the start of the invasion and this problem is likely becoming increasingly acute. As well as dealing with severe under-manning, Russian planners face a dilemma between deploying reserves to the Donbas or defending against Ukrainian counterattacks in the southwestern Kherson sector. Russia’s stated immediate policy objective is to seize all of Donetsk Oblast. While Russia may still make further territorial gains, their operational tempo and rate of advance is likely to be very slow without a significant operational pause for reorganisation and refit.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of 19 July, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:


Ukraine may expect a new wave of migrants from east to west. Many settlements are cut off from communications and communal services. For example, the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, in particular Enerhodar, is cut off from the gas supply and it is impossible to restore it in the near future. During winter, residents will leave the occupied cities and cities on the front line for safer regions.

More than 1019 children suffered in Ukraine as a result of full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation. As of the morning of July 18, the number of wounded has increased — more than 666.


Russian forces seize grain elevators in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Russian forces seized 20-grain elevators in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, after reportedly establishing an entity called “State Grain Company.”

Canadian lawmakers seek an explanation for the decision to return the turbine for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. The Canadian Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs will hear from ministers and diplomats to understand the reasons for this action. “The government’s decision to suspend its own sanctions is a slap in the face for the Ukrainian people in their darkest hour. It is important that we be firm in our resolve. If not, then Russia will simply continue to increase its pressure,” said committee members.


Western sanctions will not be lifted if the war in Ukraine ends and peace is established on Russia’s terms, according to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. He urged Germans to prepare for the “difficult path” needed to stop Putin’s “neo-colonial” course.

The first batch of American Abrams tanks arrived in Poland. Warsaw will transfer 232 PT-91 Twardy tanks to Kyiv, and in return Poland will receive M1 Abrams tanks, which it previously ordered from the US The delivery of 250 tanks under the contract signed on April 5 this year should be completed in 2026. “As we already wrote, Ukraine is directly interested in the supply of American tanks to Poland. In exchange for this equipment, Poland will transfer PT-91 Twardy tanks to Ukraine,” Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak wrote on Twitter.

New Developments 

Zelensky removed from office Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova and Security Service Head Ivan Bakanov, citing the high number of suspected Russian collaborators in their agencies as the reason. “As of today, 651 criminal proceedings have been registered regarding high treason and collaboration among employees of prosecutors’ offices, pre-trial investigative bodies, and other law enforcement agencies,” Zelensky said. “Such an array of crimes against national security and connections between the employees of Ukrainian and Russian secret services pose very serious questions about the leadership of these agencies.” According to Ukraine’s Constitution, the president does not have the power to fire two officials.

Read more about the details from The Kyiv Independent: Who is Venediktova and Bakanov? What does this decision mean to Ukraine?

Russia’s Gazprom announces force majeure on gas supplies to Europe for at least one major customer, according to Reuters. Gazprom wrote a letter to one of its major EU, stating that Gazprom is unable to fulfill its obligations due to “extraordinary” circumstances beyond its control. The Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which is the main supply route to Germany

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen signed a memorandum on strategic partnership in the energy sector with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku on Monday. The memorandum contains a commitment to double the capacity of the Southern Gas Corridor to supply at least 20 billion cubic meters of gas to the EU annually until 2027.

In Ukraine, a temporary special commission to monitor receiving and usage of international assistance may be formed, in order to debunk Russian fakes about the misuse of military assistance and the illegal sale of Western weapons by the Ukrainian military. “All received Western weapons are registered and sent to the front. Everything is clearly controlled, and now this process will become even more open. Transparency is the best recipe against Russian manipulations and fakes,” the Office of Presisdent said.

Negotiations with Russia are possible only after its defeat, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba in an interview with Forbes. According to him, now there are no grounds for negotiations with the Russian Federation, given the aggressive behavior of Russia and recent shelling of Vinnytsia, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro and other cities.

American writer and historian Timothy Snyder will give public lectures on the history of the creation of modern Ukraine at Yale University. Timothy Snyder is known as the author of the books On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons of the Twentieth Century, Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin, Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America, and others.


The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of 19 July, 2022:

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu’s July 18 meeting with the commander of the Eastern group of forces Lieutenant General Rustam Muradov supports ISW’s assessment that Moscow will not prioritize an attack to seize Sloviansk in this stage of the operation but will instead focus on seizing Siversk and Bakhmut.[1] The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on July 18 that Shoigu inspected the Eastern group and directed Muradov to prioritize the destruction of Ukrainian long-range missiles and artillery systems. This is the first time ISW has observed explicit mention of the Eastern force grouping operating in Ukraine in this phase of the war. The Russian MoD previously reported that the Central and Southern force groups took part in the capture of Luhansk Oblast under the leadership of Colonel General Aleksandr Lapin and Army General Sergey Surovikin.[2] The Eastern group of forces is likely comprised of elements of the Russian Eastern Military District (EMD), which have been active along the Izium axis in Kharkiv Oblast.[3] It is still unclear whether Muradov also directly controls operations around Kharkiv City. Muradov’s forces are operating in the Izium-Sloviansk direction ostensibly with the objective of eventually seizing Sloviansk itself, and it is noteworthy that Shoigu did not direct Muradov to prioritize taking ground along this axis at this time. Muradov holds a lower rank than both Lapin and Surovikin, suggesting that the Kremlin considers the Izium-Sloviansk area to be a lower priority than capturing territory in Donetsk Oblast as part of the wider Donbas campaign. The Kremlin likely is focusing military resources and high-rank leadership on localized and discrete gains around Siversk and Bakhmut, despite Shoigu’s earlier calls for the intensification of operations along all axes of advance.[4]

Russian mobilization
The map of mobilization in the Russian Federation. “Volunteers”. Source: ISW.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s likely effort to shield ethnic Russians from high levels of mobilization may trigger resistance in some of the ethnic enclaves that seem to be disproportionately bearing the burden of war. Russian Telegram channel Rybar released a report on July 18 about the Novaya Tuva movement- an anti-war organization comprised of activists from the Tuvan ethnic minority enclave.[5] Rybar accused the Novaya Tuva movement of disseminating anti-war propaganda and inciting ethnic discord within the Russian Federation. This report is noteworthy in the context of the recent increase in the formation of regionally-based volunteer battalions through Russia, many of which fall along distinct ethnic lines.[6] ISW and others have previously noted the prevalence of non-ethnic Russian battalions fighting in Ukraine, which include troops from Chechnya, South Ossetia, Tuva, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Chuvashia, and others.[7] These indicators suggest that Putin may be unwilling to conduct general mobilization in part due to a reluctance to mobilize large numbers of ethnic Russians. Rybar’s post as well as previous reporting on a “Free Buryatia” anti-war group bring to the fore the risk that Putin’s apparent desire to have non-Russians bear the brunt of the war at this stage could create domestic tension in these regions.

Key Takeaways

  • The Russian Ministry of Defense’s meeting with the leadership of the Eastern grouping of forces in Ukraine suggests that the Kremlin will not focus on seizing Sloviansk at this stage of the campaign but will instead prioritize attempting to seize Siversk and Bakhmut.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin’s likely effort to put the burden of supporting operations in Ukraine on ethnic minorities to avoid conducting a general mobilization of ethnic Russians may be sparking resistance in ethnic enclaves in Russia.
  • Russian forces conducted a series of ground attacks east of Siversk and south of Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces intensified efforts to advance on Avdiivka and conducted limited ground assaults along the Donetsk City-Avdiivka frontline.
  • Russian authorities are continuing to integrate occupied areas into the Russian trade economy.

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