Russo-Ukrainian War, Day 172: Russia and Ukraine accused each other of shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Russo Ukrainian War, Day 172: Russia and Ukraine accused each other of shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

 

Daily review, Latest news Ukraine

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

Heavy fighting for the village of Pisky, in Donbas. New shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Russian and Ukrainian authorities accused each other of shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Russian military command flees to the left back of the Dnipro river after HIMARS destroys the last operating overpass across the Dnipro. Explosions reported in Mariupol and Melitopol. The strikes of the Russian army on the civilian infrastructure objects in Ukraine continue. Russia threatened the United States with a severance of diplomatic relations.

Daily overview — Summary report, August 14

Situation in Ukraine. August 13, 2022. Source ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. August 13, 2022. Source ISW.

According to military expert Stanislav Haider, as of August 14,

The first 4 Slovak self-propelled guns Zuzana 2 arrived in Ukraine. Also, Slovakia plans to donate 11 MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine in September.

Donetsk Oblast. The direction of Bakhmut saw the fighting going on in the areas of Zaitseve and Kodema. As in the previous days, the Russian troops didn’t advance a single meter beyond the Knauf plant near Soledar. The Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks near Hryhorivka and Ivano-Dariivka. Avdiivka saw the Russian trying to bypass the city from different sides, but the Ukrainian Armed Forces repulsed all the Russian attacks. In Pisky, the situation is very difficult, though the Russian troops have no complete control over the city.

Kharkiv Oblast. The Russian troops continue the cross-border attacks from its Belgorod oblast, and they’ve increased the number of sorties of reconnaissance drones. In the area of Izium, the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to push back the enemy, although the fighting is heavy. Russia is no longer replenishing reserves here as much as before, including transferring its troops from Kupiansk.

Kherson Oblast. Battles on the front line don’t stop. In particular, the Russian forces tried to attack a settlement in the direction of Lozove, unsuccessfully. Yesterday, a series of simultaneous explosions took place along the frontiers of the entire Kherson Oblast. The advance of the Armed Forces at Inhulets continues. According to preliminary information, Russians left another settlement, although Russia has already transferred 90% of their airborne assault troops to the south in order to save the situation. It’s worth paying attention to how Ukrainian artillery carries out the deep rear strikes no longer at a distance of 40-80 km, but of 100-140 km now. Another important event that sheds a little light on the Russian plans took place yesterday, the evacuation of the leadership of the occupiers to the left bank of the Dnipro (Mykolaiv Oblast Head Vitalii Kim stated this).

Zaporizhzhia Oblast saw no significant changes. The Russian troops assaulted the Pavlivka area but the Ukrainian Armed Forces stopped them.

The Ukrainian artillery hit the following Russian facilities:

  • military bases in Kakhovka district (Kherson Oblast), and, according to the preliminary information, Melitopol (Zaporizhzhia Oblast);
  • ammunition warehouses in Beryslav district and at Muzykivka (Kherson Oblast);
  • an ammo depot and a base in Ivanivka (Henichesk district, Kherson Oblast), Nova Kakhovka (Kherson Oblast);
  • a currently unknown facility in Mariupol (Donetsk Oblast).

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, August 14, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below. 

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The one hundred seventy second (172) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.

The situation has not undergone any significant changes in the Volyn, Polissya, and Siversky directions.

On the Siversky direction, the rotation of units of the Western Military District continues. The enemy continues shelling border settlements from the territory of the russian federation with barrel artillery.

In the Kharkiv direction, the occupiers continue firing from barrel and rocket artillery along the contact line, maintain a high intensity of aerial reconnaissance by UAVs. The enemy tried to carry out combat reconnaissance in the area of ​​Pytomnyk settlement, was unsuccessful, suffered losses and retreated. Carried out airstrikes near Peremoha, Rtyshchivka, and Pytomnyk. Takes measures for logistical support of units and replenishment of losses.

In the Sloviansk direction, the enemy carried out fire damage from tanks and rocket artillery near Brazhkivka, Bohorodychne and Dolyna. It tried to break through the defense of our units in the Dolyna area. Ukrainian soldiers repulsed the senseless assault.

In the Donetsk direction, the enemy fired at our units from tanks, barrel and rocket artillery. With the purpose of reconnaissance of logistics support routes and critical infrastructure facilities, the UAV conducted aerial reconnaissance.

In the Kramatorsk direction, russian occupiers launched airstrikes near Spirne. They made an attempt to reconnoitre by combat in the Serebryanka area, after being hit by fire from our soldiers, managed to escape. The enemy tried to improve the tactical position in the vicinity of Spirne with assault actions, but was unsuccessful and retreated. Fighting continues in the Ivano-Daryivka region.

In the Bakhmut direction, the enemy fired artillery and tanks at the civilian infrastructure of settlements and the positions of the defense forces. He carried out airstrikes in the Soledar and Vesela Dolyna areas. Conducted aerial reconnaissance of UAVs of the operational-tactical level. Made an attempt to conduct reconnaissance by combat near Soledar, was hit by fire and escaped. The enemy carried out offensive actions in the Zaitseve area, was unsuccessful and withdrew. The fighting continues.

In the Avdiivka region, in addition to shelling a number of settlements with artillery, the occupiers launched airstrikes near Maryinka. The enemy continued the aerial reconnaissance of the UAVs. It led assaults in the direction of Krasnohorivka and Pisky, was unsuccessful, withdrew. Fighting continues in the area of ​​Pervomaiske settlement.

In the Novopavlivsk and Zaporizhzhia directions, the invaders do not stop shelling from barrel and rocket artillery and tanks along the contact line. The enemy used aircraft near Prechystivka and Vuhledar. Aerial reconnaissance was carried out by the operational-tactical level UAV. Made an attempt to conduct combat reconnaissance in the area of ​​the settlement of Prechystivka, retreated after being hit by fire. It is conducting an offensive in the area of ​​Pavlivka settlement, hostilities continue. It deployed and actively uses radio-electronic warfare complexes.

In the South Buh direction, the enemy’s main efforts are focused on holding the occupied positions. The enemy continues to conduct anti-aircraft reconnaissance. Conducted shelling from barrel and rocket artillery and tanks along the entire line of contact.

In the water areas of the Black and Azov Seas, the enemy’s naval group continues to perform the task of supporting the land grouping of troops and blocking the northwestern part of the Black Sea.

The threat of missile strikes on critical infrastructure facilities on the territory of Ukraine remains.

Ukrainian missile and artillery units carry out fire missions at command posts, accumulations of equipment and field ammunition depots of the enemy. The losses of the russian occupiers are being specified.

Military Updates 

Neither Russia nor Ukraine is likely to achieve any decisive military action in Ukraine this year, Lt Gen Sir Jim Hockenhull, the UK’s head of military intelligence told the BBC. “We should be wary of thinking in binary terms — that people are winning or losing — or thinking it is a stalemate,” said Lt Gen Hockenhull. Russia is clearly trying to generate more forces after suffering significant losses, according to him. “It is also having to redeploy some of its troops from the Donbas to the south, where he says it is under significant pressure from Ukrainian forces in and around Kherson. But Gen Hockenhull still says it is unrealistic to expect a decisive shift in the south in the coming months. His expectation is for a long conflict.”

Speaking of nuclear weapons, the head of the intelligence noted that “the Russian military doctrine, unlike that of the West, includes the use of tactical, or battlefield, nuclear weapons for military operations.” “It is unlikely tactical nuclear weapons will be used imminently,” according to Lt Get Hockenhull, but “it is something he will continue to watch.” The likelihood of their being used may change if the battlefield dynamic shifts, explained the military expert.

The Russian army continue to shell Ukrainian cities and territories. The Donetsk Oblast, Kharkiv Oblast and Mykoliav Oblast suffer more than any other area.

Russian Shelling. Icelandic data analyst. Source. ~

Russian Shelling. Icelandic data analyst. Source.

Regional Updates 

Donetsk Battle Map. August 13, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Donetsk Battle Map. August 13, 2022. Source: ISW.

In Donbas, the Russians killed 5 civilians. 35  injured.

In the Luhansk Oblast, Russians fired three rockets; rocket and cannon artillery were used four times, and mortars were used twice. The attack was repulsed twice.  The city of Luhansk was under fire.

Kharkiv Battle Map. August 13, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. August 13, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Kharkiv Oblast, a rocket hit the sidewalk near the college. The blast damaged the building. In another district, a rocket hit the lawn in front of a hotel and restaurant complex. Trolleybuses and cars were damaged, windows in houses were broken. 2 injured.

In the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, the Russian army hit the Nikopol and Kryvyi Rih regions. Nikopol was fired from Grad; 11 high-rise buildings, 13 private houses, and a kindergarten were damaged. The Russians hit the Kryvyi Rih region from Hurricanes.

In the Zaporizhzhia Oblast and Kherson Obalst, the Ukrainians almost simultaneously attacked the positions of the occupiers in different areas of the occupied territories, including Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and Nova Kakhovka, Kherson Oblast. Previously, a Russian military base was blown up in Melitopol. Explosions in the city were confirmed by mayor Ivan Fedorov.

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. August 13, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. August 13, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Mykolaiv Oblast, explosions reported. The entire leadership of the occupiers is moving to the other side of the Dnipro River, according to the head of the Mykolaiv military administration Vitaliy Kim.

 

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

  • Over the past week, Russia’s priority has likely been to re-orientate units to reinforce southern Ukraine. However, in the Donbas, Russian-backed forces – largely militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic – have continued to attempt assaults to the north of Donetsk city.
  • Particularly heavy fighting has focused on the village of Pisky, near the site of Donetsk Airport. The settlement probably remains contested. The area has been on the front line of the Donbas Line of Control since 2014. The Russian assault likely aims to secure the M04 highway, the main approach to Donetsk from the west.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of 14 August, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:

Humanitarian 

In Luhansk Oblast, Russian occupiers collect information about men of mobilization ago from pensioners in exchange for food or small sums of money. The “military enlistment office employees” reportedly move around the occupied Luhansk in balaclavas.

️️Environmental 

In the Donetsk Oblast, the Russians disabled the water filtering station. The Karlovskaya filtration station has been de-energized, which supplies water to many settlements.

The Russians fired at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power point, imitating fire from Nikopol, as reported by the Air Force with reference to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power point engineer. There is a site on the territory of the station where heavy metal structures, such as fresh steam generators, are stored. Russian artillery installations located  there fire at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power point, simulating shooring from Nikopol. The personnel of the station eyewitnessed the shelling from this site. No more than three seconds pass from the moment of “exit” to the moment of “arrival.”

The Russians delivered self-propelled guns “Pion” with the flag of Ukraine to Enerhodar and with the letter Z painted in white paintfor provocations, according to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. It is assumed that the weapon will be used for the next provocations in order to accuse the Armed Forces of Ukraine of wrongdoings. The Russian invaders are shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. One of the artillery strikes damaged the first block of the pump station and underground communications shop. Another one led to the partial destruction of the fire department responsible for the safety of the station. The Russian invaders are working on the setting for propaganda. Two buses with actors playing the role of “local residents and staff” reportedly brought to the station.

The Russian occupiers know perfectly well exactly where they should hit when shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power point territory, and now it is already clear what they are going to do next. This is reported by the Air Force with reference to the engineer of the station. “The Russian military is destroying power lines connecting us with the energy system of Ukraine, hiding behind the fact that this is allegedly done by the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the expert stressed. The engineer also told what is happening at the station now: The occupiers do not hide during shelling, as they know exactly where the shells will hit. The station’s employees are tortured and disappear. The occupiers forced a scuba diver from the hydro shop to dive into the pool to cool down and look for weapons. For refusing, he was beaten to death. People are depressed, they live without normal communications, without shops, without ATMs, they buy food from the trunks of cars.

Russian occupiers torture diver to death at Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant; Ukraine warns of nuclear provocation

Russian troops shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The mayor of Enerhodar reports that from the side of the park area in the direction of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and the industrial area, shelling is being carried out again. “The interval between “departure” and “arrival” is 3–5 seconds,” Orlov wrote.

This is what the damage radius looks like in case of damage to the reactor at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Gray: potentially contaminated area. Dark gray: a potential exclusion zone.

Source: Ukraine Now. ~

Source: Ukraine Now.

The first ship with corn and soybeans arrived from Ukraine in Italy. “We are extremely pleased with the arrival of the first ship from Ukraine to Ravenna with a cargo of corn and soybeans,” the Italian Foreign Ministry said.“Italy supports all possible efforts aimed at food security in the world and in the Mediterranean and the implementation of the grain export agreement, supporting the resistance of Kyiv,” the ministry stressed.

Two more ships with Ukrainian agricultural products left the port of Chornomorsk. Fulmar S under the flag of Barbados carries 12,000 tons of corn, the destination is Iskenderun in southern Turkey.  Thoe under the flag of the Marshall Islands carries 3,000 tons of sunflower seeds, and sails to Tekirdag, a port in the European part of Turkey, on the coast of the Sea of ​​Marmara, according to the Turkish Ministry of Defense.

Legal 

Support 

The Ukrainian military has already received the first four self-propelled guns Zuzana 2 from Slovakia. The gun mount is capable of firing at a distance of up to 41 kilometers, and only three people are needed to maintain it. The latest self-propelled guns can also fire in MRSI mode — several missiles will hit the same target at the same time.

New Developments 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro officially declared the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the country Vladislav Maslennikov persona non grata. He has six days left to leave the territory of the state.

Russia threatened the United States with a severance of diplomatic relations. “[…] I recall the legislative initiative now being discussed in Congress to declare Russia a sponsor of terrorism. If it is implemented, this will mean Washington crossing the point of no return with the most serious collateral damage to bilateral relations — up to a decrease in their level and even a break,” said Alexander Darchiev, director of the North America Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Gas supplies from Russia to Hungary increasing. The Hungarian Foreign Ministry said that Gazprom began delivering gas in excess of the established contracts. It is expected that by the end of August, the Turkish Stream will supply Hungary with an additional 2.6 million cubic meters of gas daily.

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of 13 August, 2022:

Ukrainian forces are continuing efforts to disrupt Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) that support Russian forces on the right bank of the Dnipro River. Ukrainian forces struck the bridge on the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) dam again on August 13, reportedly rendering the bridge unusable by heavy vehicles.[1] Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command had previously reported on August 10 that the Kakhovka HPP dam bridge was unfit for use.[2] The Kakhovka bridge was the only road bridge Russian forces could use following Ukrainian forces’ successful efforts to put the Antonivsky road bridge out of commission. The UK Defense Ministry has claimed that Russian forces now have no bridges usable to bring heavy equipment or supplies over the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast and must rely mainly on the pontoon ferry they have established near the Antonivsky road bridge.[3]  ISW cannot confirm at this time whether Russian forces can use the Antonivsky rail bridge to resupply forces on the right bank of the Dnipro River.

Russian forces cannot support mechanized operations at scale without a reliable GLOC.  Bringing ammunition, fuel, and heavy equipment sufficient for offensive or even large-scale defensive operations across pontoon ferries or by air is impractical if not impossible. If Ukrainian forces have disrupted all three bridges and can prevent the Russians from restoring any of them to usability for a protracted period then Russian forces on the west bank of the Dnipro will likely lose the ability to defend themselves against even limited Ukrainian counterattacks.

Indicators of degraded Russian supplies resulting from the disruption of Russian GLOCs over the Dnipro River would include: observed fuel and ammunition shortages among Russian forces in western Kherson Oblast; abandoned Russian vehicles; decreased intensity and, finally, cessation of Russian ground assaults and artillery attacks; possibly increased instances of Russian looting; increased reports from Russian soldiers about supply shortfalls; increased numbers of Russian prisoners of war taken by Ukrainian forces; and an observed absence of new heavy machinery transported to western Kherson.  Such indicators could take days or weeks to observe depending on how much Russian forces have been able to stockpile supplies on the west bank of the Dnipro and how successful Ukrainian forces are at finding and destroying those stockpiles while keeping the bridges inoperable.

Ukrainian Mykolaiv Oblast Head Vitaly Kim reported that unspecified Russian military command elements left upper Kherson Oblast and relocated to the left bank of the Dnipro River, suggesting that the Russian military leadership is concerned about being trapped on the wrong side of the river.[4] Ukrainian Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs Rostislav Smirnov also stated that Russia has deployed 90% of its air assault forces (presumably 90% of those deployed in Ukraine) to unspecified locations in southern Ukraine to augment Russian defenses or possibly prepare for Russian counteroffensives.[5] It is unclear whether the Russian airborne units Smirnov mentioned are concentrated exclusively in Kherson Oblast or also deployed near Zaporizhzhia. Elements of the Russian 7th Airborne Division are known to be operating in Kherson Oblast as of at least August 10.[6] The concentration of Russian Airborne Forces in western Kherson Oblast could indicate Russian efforts to use forces to defend against a Ukrainian counteroffensive that they are more likely to be able to exfiltrate by air if they are unable to hold the Ukrainians back or reestablish their GLOCs.  Airborne forces are easier to move by aircraft than regular mechanized forces, of course, although the Russians could find it challenging and very risky to try to move forces by air given Ukrainian attacks on airfields in Kherson Oblast and Russian failure to secure air superiority.

Russian forces may be reprioritizing advances in northeastern Donetsk Oblast in order to draw attention from Ukrainian counteroffensive actions in Southern Ukraine. Russian forces had seemingly scaled back offensive actions east of Siversk and conducted sporadic and limited ground attacks while relying heavily on artillery barrages of surrounding settlements since August 6.[7] However, since August 11, Russian forces have increased the number of limited ground attacks in the Siversk area.[8] These attacks, along with continued assaults in the direction of Bakhmut, may constitute an effort to draw Ukrainian materiel and personnel to the Bakhmut-Siversk line in northeastern Donetsk Oblast in order to detract Ukraine’s attention from critical areas in the South, where Ukrainian troops have been conducting effective counterattacks and may be setting conditions to launch a counteroffensive.[9] Russian forces may hope to shift both tactical and rhetorical focus away from the south in order to alleviate pressure on their own operations along the Southern Axis. ISW will continue to monitor the situation around Siversk.

Key Takeaways

  • Ukrainian forces are continuing efforts to disrupt Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) that support Russian forces on the right bank of the Dnipro River.
  • Russian forces may be reprioritizing efforts in northeastern Donetsk Oblast in order to draw Ukrainian attention away from the Southern Axis.
  • Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks northwest of Sloviansk, east of Siversk, and south and east of Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces conducted a limited ground assault north of Kharkiv City.
  • Russian and Ukrainian authorities accused each other of shelling the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
  • Russian authorities are failing to pay Russian reservists and members of volunteer units for service in Ukraine.
  • Russian-backed occupation authorities are likely dealing with internal challenges that are complicating efforts to administer occupation regimes and institute restoration projects in decimated areas of Donbas.

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