Russo Ukrainian War, Day 154: Rand Paul, Tulsi Gabbard, spread Russian disinformation, Ukraine says

 

Daily review

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

The SBU revealed the invaders’ plans for a pseudo-referendum. The EU agreed on a plan to reduce gas consumption and extended anti-Russian sanctions. Ukraine returned the bodies of 25 soldiers. The first British Stormer HVM air defense systems and the German Mars II MLRS arrived at the front. Additional military service requirements imposed on the Russian regions. The Ukrainian government today appealed to the US to provide Ukraine with a “gas lend-lease.” Ukraine received the support of creditors in deferring payments on external debts until the end of 2023. Ukraine places Tulsi Gabbard, Rand Paul, and other American politicians on Russian propagandists’ list.

Situation in Ukraine. British Intelligence. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. British Intelligence. Source: ISW.

Daily overview — Summary report, July 27

According to military expert Stanislav Haider, as of July 27,

Donetsk Oblast. Ukrainian forces repulsed Russian attacks at Mazanivka, Bohorodychne, Verkhnyokamianske, Hryhorivka, and Ivano-Dariivka. There were heavy battles in the areas of Bilohorivka, Pokrovske, and Vershyna. Unfortunately, Novoluhanske and the Vuhlehirsk power plant fell under Russian control. The new positions will go along the Kodema-Zaitseve line. A counter-battery duel is underway in the south of Donetsk Oblast. Ukrainian troops are repelling the offensive of the Russians in the areas that the Russians had lost earlier.

Kharkiv Oblast. Russians tried to advance in the area of ​​Prudianka and from Verbivka towards Pryshyb, but the Ukrainian Armed Forces repulsed all attacks. One of the Russian mobile groups tried to expose the construction of the Ukrainian defenses in the Chepil area – the group was neutralized. In other directions, there are no significant changes, except that Russians are trying to improve the logistical support of their units using pontoon crossings.

Kherson Oblast. There is information that the Russians assemble pontoon crossings not to improve logistics, but for the case of their retreat when the bridges are destroyed. At Inhulets, Ukrainian soldiers expand the bridgehead and repel counterattacks. Andriivka and Lozove were liberated and are finally mopped up. Trying to attack Ukrainian units, several Russian Ka-52 helicopters in the Olhino area inflicted damage on their own forces, and on their way back, one Russian Ka-52 was also attacked by their own anti-aircraft defenses and fell. The Ukrainian Armed Forces shelled the Antonivka bridge near Kherson. The bridge is closed – the main road transport artery of the Russians near Kherson has been cut.

Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Ukrainian troops successfully repelled counterattacks on positions previously lost by the Russians. Artillery duels continue in the direction of Polohy and Vasylivka. The Rashists continue to deploy additional equipment into the area due to high losses and unsuccessful counter-battery strikes – tanks T-62, T-72B, fighting vehicles BMP-1, BTR-70, MLRS Grad, artillery pieces Pion.

The work of Ukrainian artillery. Nova Zburiivka (Kherson Oblast) saw the destruction of a Russian base, a Russian ammunition depot was destroyed at Piatykhatky (Kherson region), and an oil depot in Donetsk’s Budionovskyi district.

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, July 27, 2022, is in the dropdown menu below. 

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The one-hundred-fifty-fourth (154) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.
russian occupiers continue to carry out air and missile strikes on military and civilian objects on the territory of Ukraine.
The situation has not undergone significant changes in the Volyn, Polissya, and Siversky directions. The enemy shelled Mykolaivka, Tovstodubovo, Volfyne, Senkivka and a number of other settlements. In addition, it periodically carries out aerial reconnaissance of the positions of the defense forces in the border areas of Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts.
Kharkiv Battle Map. July 26, 2022. Source: ISW ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. July 26, 2022. Source: ISW

In the Kharkiv direction, the enemy carried out fire damage with the use of barrel and rocket artillery, in particular in the areas of the settlements of Kharkiv, Chuguiv, Shevelivka, Krasnopillya and many others. With the help of pontoon crossings brought over water obstacles, it is trying to improve the logistical support of his units.
In the Sloviansk direction, the enemy carried out fire damage from tanks, barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of the settlements of Nortsivka, Bohorodychne, Dolyna, Chepil, Velyka Komyshuvakha, Adamivka, Mazanivka, Husarivka and others.
In the Kramatorsk direction, shelling was recorded near Kryvya Luka, Zakitne, Spirne, Hryhorivka, Tetyanivka, and other settlements. The enemy launched an air strike near Serebryanka. Actively involved UAV. It led an assault in the area of ​​the Verkhnokamianske settlement, was unsuccessful, and withdrew.
In the direction of Bakhmut, the enemy shelled civilian infrastructure, in particular, in the districts of Bakhmut, Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmut, Pokrovske and New York. It led shooting battles in the area of ​​the settlement of Soledar, without success. Conducted a reconnaissance battle near Semihirya. Suffered fire damage and casualties and withdrew. Currently, hostilities are ongoing in the Semihirya and Kodema districts.
In the Avdiyivka, Novopavlivka, and Zaporizhzhia directions, the enemy is systematically shelling civilian and military infrastructure in the areas of Pisky, Vremivka, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Karlivka, Opytne, Vuhledar, Hulyaipole, Kamianske and a number of others. An enemy unmanned aerial vehicle was recorded in the Pavlohrad area.
In the South Buh direction, the enemy is concentrating its main efforts on preventing the advance of our troops. The enemy actively uses UAVs for aerial reconnaissance.
Conducted systematic shelling near Osokorivka, Trudolyubivka, Tokarevo, Kiselivka, Partizanske, Kavkaz, Lozove, Prybuzke, Polyana, and Luparevo. Airstrikes near Lyubomyrivka and Novomykolayivka.
The enemy carried out assaults in the Bilohirka area, was unsuccessful and retreated.
In the waters of the Black and Azov Seas, the enemy’s naval group continues to carry out reconnaissance, missile strikes on objects on the territory of Ukraine, as well as blocking civilian shipping in the northwestern part of the Black Sea.

Military Updates 

Zelenskyy believes that Ukraine should liberate Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia within three to six weeks. According to the president, this is a decisive period.
The Russian Federation pulled air defense into the occupied territories. The Ukrainian military knows the location of these systems and taking steps to counter these actions, according to Yuriy Ignat, the representative of the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Russia withdraws 2S7 Pion howitzers from the 94th arsenal in Omsk, possibly to be sent to Ukraine. In early April, 170 2C7 were visible on Google Earth images. On June 2, only 135 units showed on the photos. The last available photographs, dated 18 July, contained 110 howitzers. 2S7 is a Soviet 203-mm self-propelled howitzer of high power, designed to destroy critical objects and capable of hitting at a distance of up to 47 kilometers.

Regional Updates 

In the Luhansk Oblast, battles, constant heavy artillery shelling, and airstrikes continue. The official neither confirm nor refute the information that the occupiers seized the Vuhelhirske TPP.

Situation in Donetsk. July 26 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Donetsk. July 26 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Donetsk Oblast, the SBU revealed the plans of the Russian Federation for a pseudo-referendum in the occupied territories of Ukraine. Russians plan to use the pro-Russian organization “Donetsk Republic.” More than 1,000 members carry out propagandist actions with the local population on a daily basis.

In the Kharkiv Oblast, another Russian field warehouse of ammunition and personnel destroyed. Occupiers continue to shell Kharkiv on a daily basis. No casualties reported in 24 hours.

In the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Russian invaders shelled and damaged 8 five-story buildings, an infectious diseases hospital, a kindergarten, two kiosks, and transport of an industrial enterprise (2 buses and 5 units of special mining equipment) and hit the Nikopol region twice. 1 wounded.

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map, July 26, 2022. Source: ISW ~

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map, July 26, 2022. Source: ISW

In the Kherson Oblast, the Antonivskyi bridge is under fire but no official information is available yet. In occupied Kherson, the Ukrainian resistance collects data on the location of warehouses and bases of the occupiers and transfers the information to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Armed Forces of Ukraine fired at transport routes important for Russians in the Kherson region.

In the Mykolaiv Oblast, one of the city’s boiler houses was damaged. In the Mykolaiv Oblast, the port infrastructure was attacked. Additionally, the S-300 air defense system from the temporarily occupied Kherson Oblast also attacked the Mykolaiv region.

In the Odesa Oblast, Russians fired at the Odesa region from the Black Sea, destroying private buildings and hotels. Fires broke out in private buildings. No casualties reported.

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

  • Russian private military company Wagner has likely succeeded in making tactical advances in the Donbas around the Vuhlehirska Power Plant and the nearby village of Novoluhanske. Some Ukrainian forces have likely withdrawn from the area.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is currently undertaking a tour of Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda, and the Republic of the Congo. Russia will highly likely seek to exploit the visits to blame the West for the international food crisis and win the support of African states which have otherwise remained neutral about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Since 2014, Russia has made significant efforts to secure influence across Africa, with Wagner frequently deploying as one of its favoured tools of influence in the region. Russia probably primarily engages with Africa because it believes it will enhance the ‘Great Power’ identity Russia aspires to. Its secondary goals are probably to secure commodity concessions and to persuade African states to vote in line with Russia’s interests in international forums.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of 27 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 

The study of Mariupol drinking water revealed that the water contained fecal matter. It poses a health threat and a prerequisite for the occurrence of infectious diseases (in particular, dysentery).

5 people died at the Russian checkpoint in Vasylivka in a week. It is he only entry point for residents of the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts to the territory controlled by Ukraine. More than 1,200 cars are lined up at the Russian checkpoint. 5,000 thousand residents of the temporarily occupied territories are trying to leave. During one week, 5 people died in the queue there. The Russian occupiers allow 20 to 150 cars a day, but the demand is much higher and the queue is growing daily. The Russian authorities claim that no one wants to leave.

️️Environmental 

The EU countries voluntarily agreed to reduce natural gas consumption by 15% this winter due to the reduced supplies from the Russian Federation (from 30 to 50 billion cubic meters of gas.) The DPA news agency reports that this plan provides for a voluntary reduction in gas consumption by 15% from August 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023. In the meantime, Cyprus can help the EU get rid of gas dependence on the Russian Federation. Cyprus plans to start drilling another well at the offshore Aphrodite field in early 2023, the reserves of which are estimated at 125 billion cubic meters. The work will be completed in full by 2027.

Ukraine can export electricity to the EU in a volume sufficient to replace 6 billion cubic meters of gas this year. Successful connection of Ukraine to the European energy network ENTSO-E, as well as the actual start of electricity exports from Ukraine, will allow to supply the electricity. The European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said that the EU is ready to double the purchase of electricity in Ukraine. Ukraine is already exporting electricity to Romania and Slovakia.

Kremlin’s food terrorism, explained: How Russia weaponizes famine, again

A joint coordination center was launched in Istanbul. The center will monitor the work of grain corridors in accordance with the agreement on the export of food from the ports of Ukraine.

Putin has moved into the stage of gas terrorism, writes Anton Geraschenko. “Gazprom” without warning increased the pressure in the GTS of Ukraine and tried to arrange an accident – the operator of the gas transmission system of Ukraine. Dispatchers of the GTS Operator of Ukraine on July 25 recorded a sharp increase in pressure on the main gas pipeline “Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod” on the section of the state border of the Russian Federation – Ukraine. The change in pressure occurred without a warning from Gazprom. OGTSU told Russian Gazprom that the late submission of information about switching and changing modes could lead to emergency situations on the main gas pipeline.

Kazakhstan doubled the supply of coal to the EU after the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine. According to Russian media, from January to May, Kazakhstan supplied more coal to Europe than in the whole of 2021.

Legal 

Russian occupiers plan to rename Mariupol to Zhdanov at the time of a pseudo-referendum. Mariupol was called Zhdanov in Soviet times.

Support 

The US allocated $100 million for the training of Ukrainian pilots, which may indicate their readiness to transfer aircraft. “A bill was passed by the US government to allocate $ 100 million for the training of military pilots in 2023. If the US government allocates funds for the training of Ukrainian pilots on American aircraft, this may indicate the seriousness of the US intentions and that we will receive aviation equipment,” said Yury Ignat, spokesman for the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He noted that now the number of transferred aircraft is not made public. Negotiations are ongoing.

Germany hands over Mars II multiple launch rocket systems to Ukraine. Three additional self-propelled howitzers PzH2000 also arrived in Ukraine from Germany.

Ukraine plans to receive an additional $15-20 billion from the IMF by the end of the year. A request has already been sent to the IMF. Such step will help strengthen Ukraine’s war-ravaged economy. For example, to ensure a return to a flexible exchange rate and the absence of restrictions on the foreign exchange market. The $20 billion program could be the second largest IMF loan currently in place after Argentina.

The UK expanded the sanctions list by adding the heads of all regions of the Russian Federation to the list. In addition to Russian officials, the list also includes “Prime Minister” of the “DPR” Vitaly Khotsenko and “First Deputy Chairman of the Government” of the “LPR” Vladislav Kuznetsov

The EU Council has extended economic sanctions against the Russian Federation. First introduced in 2014, sanctions in response to Russia’s actions were significantly expanded in February 2022 following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. They consist of a wide range of sectoral measures, including restrictions on finance, energy, technology and dual-use goods, and industry, transport and luxury goods.

The US donates more than 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Ukraine. “We are proud to stand with the people of Ukraine in their fight against COVID-19,” the State Department said in a statement.

Ukraine received the support of creditors in regards to deferring payments on external debts until the end of 2023. Ukraine can extend the grace period for another year.

New Developments

Putin asks Erdogan to involve Russia in the production of Bayraktar. Pentagon said there was no sign of any supply or purchase of Iranian drones by the Russian Defense Ministry.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine turned to the United States with a request to provide a “gas lend-lease.” 

The Estonian Foreign Ministry is preparing a proposal to the European Union to suspend the issuance of visas to Russian citizens.
The Kremlin imposed additional military service quotas on the regions. All 85 subjects of the Russian Federation (including Crimea and Sevastopol) are required to form and finance one volunteer battalion each to participate in the war with Ukraine. According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, not all regions are ready to recruit battalions from the local population.

The Ukrainian government accused several Americans of Russian spreading propaganda narratives. The list included sitting Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Army Reserve Lt. Col. and former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald. The list was compiled by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, founded in 2021 by Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to study the impact of Russian disinformation. The center is part of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council.

Assessment 

  1. On the war.

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of 27 July, 2022:

Russian-backed proxy leadership continues to enunciate deadlines for the capture of additional Ukrainian territory, likely to support ongoing preparations for referenda on the annexation of these territories to the Russian Federation. Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) Deputy Minister of Information Daniil Bezsonov stated on July 25 that the DNR expects to capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast by the end of August.[1] Various Russian and Western sources have previously reported that Russia intends to hold referenda in occupied areas by the first half of September, likely sometime around September 11, which is the unified voting day in the Russian Federation.[2] Proxy leadership and Russian-backed occupation authorities are likely pushing for deadlines for military objectives to support condition setting for expedited annexation objectives, although Russian forces remain unlikely to occupy significant additional territory in Ukraine before the early autumn annexation timeline.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian proxy and occupation leadership is enunciating expedited deadlines for the capture of Ukrainian territory to align with the Kremlin’s efforts to prepare for the annexation of occupied territories into the Russian Federation.
  • Russian forces gained marginal ground northeast of Bakhmut and are continuing to fight east and south of Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces conducted a limited attack northwest of Izium, likely to secure Russian rear areas on the Izium-Sloviansk line.
  • Russian forces conducted limited attacks southwest of Donetsk City near the Zaporizhzhia Oblast border.
  • Russian forces focused on defending occupied lines and conducted a limited ground assault in northwestern Kherson Oblast.
  • Ukrainian forces continued to strike Russian logistics nodes in Kherson Oblast.
  • The Kremlin is continuing to constitute regional volunteer battalions for deployment into Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian intelligence leaks continue to reveal the Kremlin’s annexation agendas for occupied Ukraine by way of falsified referenda.

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