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Russo-Ukrainian War, Day 156: Video of Russian soldiers castrating a Ukrainian prisoner of war emerges

Russo-Ukrainian War, Day 156: Video of Russian soldiers castrating a Ukrainian prisoner of war emerges

Russia has limited to no progress in Donbas and launches a massive strike in the early morning, with air raids all over Ukraine. Russian forces are attempting to preserve their ground lines of communication over the Dnipro River connecting Kherson City to rear areas in eastern Kherson Oblast. Russian private military company Wagner Group operates in eastern Ukraine in coordination with the Russian military. Russian filtration camps discovered in five settlements in the occupied east of Ukraine. A video of two Russian-speaking soldiers castrating the prisoner of war with a clerical knife goes viral. Italy plans to completely phase out Russian gas by 2024. The EU  will increase the import of electricity from Ukraine by 2.5 times starting Saturday. The Baltic countries, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, show strong support to Ukraine. US Congress supports sending long-range missiles to Ukraine. The US Senate passed a resolution calling on the State Department to recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Daily overview — Summary report, July 29

According to military expert Stanislav Haider, as of July 26,

Russia. “Klimovo, Bryansk Oblast. Artillery shelling of a military unit near the airfield. A lot of equipment was destroyed on the territory of the airfield, oops,” Haider wrote.

Donetsk Oblast. Russian attempts to carry out an assault in the direction of Yakovlivka, Bakhmut, and Semyhirya failed, they retreated with losses. Ukrainian troops also repulsed the Russian assaults in the areas of Ivano-Dariivka and Hryhorivka. In the Avdiivka direction, supported by tanks, gun-based and rocket artillery fire, Russian forces resumed assaults in the direction of Pisky and the city of Avdiivka but retreated after they failed. North of Bogorodychne, Ukraine’s Armed Forces slightly expanded their zone of control. North of Sloviansk, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are advancing in three possible directions. The Russians continued their attempts to attack Soledar and Vershyna. In the direction of Vuhledar, the Armed Forces of Ukraine repelled Russian attacks, and launched counterattacks, after the Russians had reinforced this area.

Kharkiv Oblast. There was another fruitless Russian offensive in the Prudianka area. Something is brewing up southwest of Izium – the Ukrainian Armed Forces blew up a Russian pontoon crossing in the Studenok area, the Ukrainian Command gave a hint about Brazhkivka, and a few days ago, Ukrainian troops advanced a couple of kilometers from Dmytrivka.

Kherson Oblast. Russians dared to build a pontoon bridge in the Dariivka area. Ukraine forces continue to work in the areas of Snihurivka and Kyselivka. The Russian forces threw their troop reserves, which are still capable of something, into Kherson Oblast – one of the occupying armies previously withdrawn from Ukraine appeared near Kherson. Ukrainian offensive actions beyond the crossing over the Inhulets near Dariivka are underway, and the Ukrainian bridgehead there continues to expand. In Arkhanhelske, the Russians are in trouble – Ukrainian troops have fire control over the area, and over Visokopillia. In Kherson proper, the Russians seized a passenger ship moored on Quarantine Island and are using it to ferry across the Dnipro River in the area of ​​the damaged Antonivskyi bridge.

Zaporizhzhia Oblast. In the area of Huliaypole, Ukrainian troops carried out successful actions and pushed the front line back a couple of kilometers, liberating part of the territory. The strengthening of the Russian troops in this direction also continues as Ukraine’s Armed Forces are advancing in small steps.

The work of Ukrainian artillery. Russian ammunition warehouses were destroyed in Ilovaisk (Donetsk Oblast), Donetsk city’s Kyivskyi and Kuibyshevskyi districts, Kherson Oblast’s Chornobaivka and Brylivka. Strikes also took place on POL storage (“petroleum-oil-lubricants”) in Donetsk’s Kyivskyi district, and on a Russian base in the area of Nova Kakhovka’s hydroelectric power plant.

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, July 29, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below. 

Situation in Ukraine, July28,2022. Source: ISW.

The one-hundred-fifty-sixths (156) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.
The combat, numerical composition and nature of the actions of the enemy group, as well as the situation in the Volyn, Polissya and Siversky directions, remained unchanged.
In the Siversky direction, the enemy struck with barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of Pisky, Chernihiv oblast, and Zhuravka, Sumy oblast. Measures for the engineering equipment of the positions are ongoing.
Kharkiv Battle Map. July 28,2022. Source: ISW.
In the Kharkiv direction, the enemy carried out artillery fire in the areas of Kharkiv, Ridne, Udy, Dementiiivka, Slatyne, Protopopivka, Nove, Zolochiv, Prudyanka, Ruska Lozova, Ruski Tyshky, Petrivka, Bezruky, Borshchova, Stary Saltiv and Korobochkine settlements. A pair of enemy Mi-8 helicopters struck near Stary Saltiv.
In the Sloviansk direction, shelling was recorded in the districts of Kurulka, Dibrivne, Nortsivka, Mazanivka, Lozova, Shnurky, Husarivka, Hrushuvaha, Virnopilla and Mospanove.
No active actions by the enemy were noted in the Kramatorsk direction. The enemy shelled the areas of Siversk, Ivano-Daryivka, Spirne, Kryva Luka, Serebryanka, Hryhorivka, Zvanivka, and Verkhnyokamianske settlements with barrel, rocket artillery, and tanks. There were the airstrikes near Serebryanka and Spirny.
In the direction of Bakhmut, it conducts shelling near Shumy, Bakhmutske, Berestove, Pokrovske, Soledar, Yakovlivka, Bakhmut, Vesela Dolyna, Travneve, Zaytseve, and Vershyna. The occupiers launched airstrikes near Soledar and Vesela Dolyna.
Our soldiers successfully repelled enemy assault and offensive actions in the direction of Vershyna and Semihirya. The enemy is trying to conduct offensive actions in the districts of Novoluhanske and Soledar, hostilities are ongoing.
In the Avdiivka, Novopavlivka, and Zaporizhzhia directions, in addition to shelling along the contact line, the enemy launched an air strike near Novoandriivka.
Enemy reconnaissance by battle in the directions of Vodyane and Pisky ended in losses and retreat. The enemy tried to advance in the direction of Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka, and Velyka Novosilka. Suffered losses and withdrew.
In the South Buh direction, shelling from tanks, barrel and rocket artillery was recorded in the areas of the settlements of Ivanivka, Tokarevo, Kariyerne, Osokorivka, Blahodatne, Kobzartsi, Chervona Dolyna, Lepetiha, Andriivka, Velyke Artakove, Vesely Kut, Partyzanske, Shevchenko, Myrne, Shyroke , Prybuzke, Luch, Posad-Pokrovske, Lyubomyrivka, Stepova Dolyna, Tavriyske and Oleksandrivka. The enemy carried out airstrikes near Velike Artakove, Bilohirka and Potemkino.
In the waters of the Black Sea, there are three carriers of sea-based cruise missiles of the “Kalibr” type in readiness for the use of missile weapons.
Ukrainian aviation and missile and artillery units continue to attack strongholds and concentrations of enemy manpower and equipment.

Military Updates

Russia launched a massive strike in the early morning, with air raids all over Ukraine. The Russians fired missiles of different classes in the morning but from three directions, including Belarus and the Black Sea. From the Black Sea, the Russian invaders fired Caliber cruise missiles; from the Zyabrovka military airfield in the Gomel region in Belarus, missiles were launched by Iskander operational-tactical systems, and Tu-22m3 bombers fired X -22 from the Shaykovka airfield in Russia.

Regional Updates

In the Kharkiv Oblast, Russians launched several rocket attacks. As a result of shelling, industrial facilities damaged, fires broke out. Residential buildings destroyed in Chuguev, firing from the MLRS. Private households and outbuildings damaged.

In the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, invaders fired over 40 Grad rockets at Nikopol. 6 private houses and outbuildings damaged, a power line hit. Russians also fired at the Kryvyi Rih district from the MLRS. 1 dead, two injured. The agricultural enterprise is damaged, it is on fire.

In the Chernihiv Oblast, nine explosions reported. Rocket strikes launched from the territory of Belarus fell in a forest area.

In the Kyiv Oblast, Russians launched a missile attack with Kalibr cruise missiles. Five missiles landed in the Vyshhorodsky district. An infrastructure facility shelled. Two more missiles were shot down by air defense. ️15 injured. on a military unit in Lyutezh. One building was destroyed and two were damaged. One cruise missile was shot down in the air over the Buchansky quarry.

In the Mykolaiv Oblast, as a result of night shelling, a school was destroyed. Another rocket hit the territory of the water station of our Shipbuilding University, damaging the warehouse. Hits on the private sector reported. Residential buildings damaged.

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

  • Since March, the Russian private military company (PMC) Wagner Group has operated in eastern Ukraine in coordination with the Russian military. Wagner has likely been allocated responsibility for specific sectors of the front line, in a similar manner to normal army units.


  • This is a significant change from the previous employment of the group since 2015, when it typically undertook missions distinct from overt, large-scale regular Russian military activity.


  • This new level of integration further undermines the Russian authorities’ long-standing policy of denying links between PMCs and the Russian state. Wagner’s role has probably changed because the Russian MoD has a major shortage of combat infantry, however Wagner forces are highly unlikely to be sufficient to make a significant difference in the trajectory of the war.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of 29 July, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:

Russian filtration camps discovered in five settlements in the occupied east of Ukraine where 1.5 million people passed filtration. Those who don’t pass are subjected to torture, the report says, giving the precise location of the camps.


A video of two Russian-speaking soldiers castrating the prisoner of war with a clerical knife goes viral. Dmytro Koval, an expert on international law from the NGO Truth Hounds, said that this is the most obvious example of a war crime. Russian propagandists push the narrative of the video being a fake aimed at discrediting the Russian troops.



Grain Export Map.


A map by BlackSeaNews’ Andrei Klimenko. The grain export routes from Ukraine via the Black Sea.
At point 1, the area for the inspection of ships, as well as the reception and disembarkation of the pilot, is indicated.
 At point 2, the area where the convoy will be formed and disbanded.
The first ship with grain, according to the agreement signed earlier between Türkiye, the UN, Ukraine, and the agreement between Türkiye, the UN and Russia, may leave the Ukrainian port on Friday, July 29.
Italy plans to completely phase out Russian gas by 2024. In the short term, the goal is to overcome the winter of 2022-2023 through a diversification plan, warehouse space-filling and an energy-saving plan,” a top official explained.
The EU  will increase the import of electricity from Ukraine by 2.5 times starting Saturday. “ENTSO-E has allowed an increase in the export of Ukrainian electricity to Europe by 2.5 times. From July 30, it will be 250 MW,” said Volodymyr Kudrytsky, head of the board of NPC Ukrenergo. According to him, the EU is aware of the role of Ukrainian electricity, which “helps to replace toxic Russian gas, and allows Ukraine to earn money to prepare for the heating season.”
Estonia banned the issuance of visas and residence permits to Russians for the purpose of education. According to Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu, Russia’s unjustified war against Ukraine, which grossly violates the territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine, negatively affects the security of Estonia and the EU.


The President of Lithuania addressed the Verkhovna Rada in honor of Statehood Day and presented the highest state award of Lithuania, the Order of Vitovt the Great, to Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “The courage of the Ukrainian people is exceptional. The Lithuanian people will always be with you! Ukraine will win! Ukraine will be in the EU!” he said. Lithuania will provide  Ukraine with 10 armored vehicles, ammunition, and anti-drones.
The Latvian government approved the proposal of the Ministry of Defense to provide additional military assistance to Ukraine. To date, Riga has already provided military assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the amount of approximately 250 million Euros, which is 0.8% of its GDP or a third of Latvia’s 2022 military budget. Latvia transferred weapons, equipment, drones, rations, ammunition, anti-tank weapons and Stinger MANPADS to Ukraine.
US Congress supports sending long-range missiles to Ukraine. The missiles, known as ATACMS, can strike at distances of more than 280 kilometers. ATACMS is an American operational-tactical ballistic missile system. The M142 HIMARS and M270 MLRS launchers are designed to launch missiles. Various modifications of the ATACMS missile have a firing range of 165 to 310 km. So far, Ukraine has received shells for HIMARS that hit 70-80 km.
Germany handed over to Ukraine means of protection against weapons of mass destruction. The 860,000 Euro aid package includes the HEP70 type decontamination systems, six vehicles each equipped with two disinfectant tanks, as well as a “significant initial stock” of decontamination agents. The Ukrainian military has received preliminary training to use the systems provided, and the capabilities of the Bundeswehr will not be reduced.

New Developments 

The US Senate passed a resolution calling on the State Department to recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. The reason for this decision is the events in Ukraine, Chechnya, Georgia and Syria. If the State Department passes the resolution, Russia will become the fifth country on the US State Department’s list of sponsors of terrorism, which already includes Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Syria.
Egypt terminated the contract for the supply of 240,000 tons of wheat from Ukraine. “Egypt’s General Directorate of Commodities Supply has released trading companies Nibulon and Inerco from contractual obligations to supply four shipments of wheat, despite the absence of a force majeure clause in the contract,” Reuters reported. Despite the fact that Egypt canceled contracts for four shipments, Cairo expects that the fifth contracted cargo with wheat will still leave the Ukrainian port along the “grain corridor.” The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Egypt the day before.
Zelenskyy congratulated Ukrainians on the Day of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus and the Day of Statehood.


  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of 29 July, 2022:


Donetsk Battle Map. July 28,2022. Source: ISW.

The Russian grouping in Donetsk Oblast is likely seeking to capitalize on recent marginal gains southeast of Bakhmut by continuing to attempt to advance in that area. Russian forces may be de-emphasizing attempts to take Siversk in order to concentrate on Bakhmut, but it is too soon to tell. Russian forces continued efforts to advance northward on Bakhmut from recently gained positions around Novoluhanske and the Vuhlehirska Power Plant while pursuing southwestward advances along the T1302 highway from recently captured positions in Berestove. By contrast, Russian forces have been struggling to make concrete gains around Siversk and have not made any confirmed advances toward the city since the capture of the Luhansk Oblast Administrative border in early July. Russian command is likely, therefore, seeking to maintain momentum around Bakhmut, potentially at the expense of continued pressure on Siversk. Russian forces remain unlikely to take Bakhmut itself, despite recent incremental advances in its direction.

Putin replaced Colonel-General Gennady Zhidko as deputy defense minister and head of the Main Military-Political Directorate on July 28.[1] Putin signed a decree appointing Colonel-General Viktor Goremykin to Zhidko’s position and has not publicly announced the appointment of Zhidko to a new position.[2] ISW previously reported that Zhidko would become the overall commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, a report that appears to have been incorrect.[3]

Russian Federal Subjects Generating Volunteer Units As Of July 28, 2022. Source: ISW.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian forces in Donetsk Oblast likely seek to capitalize on recent marginal territorial gains around Bakhmut and may deprioritize efforts to take Siversk.
  • Russian forces conducted limited ground assaults northwest of Sloviansk and northeast and southwest of Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces may be intensifying offensive operations around Avdiivka to reduce Ukrainian strikes in and around Donetsk City.
  • Russian forces may be setting conditions for renewed offensive operations toward Kharkiv City.
Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. July 28,2022. Source: ISW.
  • Russian forces attempted a limited ground offensive on the Southern Axis but are likely facing territorial losses in Kherson Oblast.
  • Russian forces are attempting to preserve their ground lines of communication over the Dnipro River connecting Kherson City to rear areas in eastern Kherson Oblast.
  • The Kremlin continued measures to compensate for officer and manpower losses in Ukraine.
  • The Kremlin is continuing to institutionalize its occupation administrations in occupied parts of Ukraine to prepare for sham referenda, annexation, and integration into Russia.
  • Russian occupation forces are continuing to pressure Ukrainian civilians in occupied areas to use Russian rubles and passports and to attend Russian-run schools, setting conditions for longer-term social control in occupied territories.


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