Russo Ukrainian War. Day 174: Hundred Wagner mercenaries reportedly killed

 

Daily review

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

Russian forces continued conducting limited offensive operations in Donbas. Belarus might be preparing for a massive missile attack on the territory of Ukraine. The Ukrainian army destroyed 3 Russian military warehouses in one day. Ukrainian military forces reportedly destroyed more than a hundred Wagner mercenaries with a strike on Popasna. The surface vessels of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet continue to pursue an extremely defensive posture. Two ships entered Odesa port to load corn and oil. ️The UN is ready to facilitate the trip of IAEA experts to the Zaporizhzhia NPP through Kyiv, if Russia and the Ukrainian authorities agree. Five more foreigners who fought on the side of Ukraine face the death penalty in the Russian proxy state, the so-called  DNR (“Donetsk People’s Republic.”) Latvia handed over four helicopters to Ukraine. Zelensky signed a decree on the establishment of an Advisory Council on the de-occupation and reintegration of Crimea and dismissed the heads of SBU departments in Kyiv, Lviv, and Ternopil Oblasts.

Daily overview — Summary report, August 16

Situation in Ukraine. August 15, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. August 15, 2022. Source: ISW.

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, August 15, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below. 

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The one-hundred-seventy-fourth (174) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.
Air and missile strikes on civilian objects on the territory of Ukraine continue.
The situation in the Volyn and Polissya directions has not changed significantly. The communication training of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the republic of belarus is being held. There is still a threat of the enemy launching missile and air strikes from the territory of this country.
In the Siversky region, the enemy continues to hold units of the armed forces of the russian federation in the border areas of the Bryansk and Kursk regions in order to constrain the actions of units of the Defense Forces. The enemy shelled the districts of Kamianska Sloboda of Chernihiv oblast and Khodynoy of Sumy oblast with artillery.
Kharkiv Battle Map. August 15, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. August 15, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Kharkiv direction, the enemy used barrel and jet artillery for fire impact near Kostyantynivka, Rtyshchivka, Sosnivka, Pytomnyk and Rusky Tyshky.
In the Sloviansk direction, enemy carried out fire damage near Hrushuvaha and Virnopilla. Enemy units are taking measures to improve logistical support in the indicated direction.
In the Kramatorsk direction, the enemy continued shelling from artillery of various types near Kramatorsk, Spirne, and Ivano-Daryivka.
Conducts an offensive in the direction of the Lysychansk oil refinery – Ivano-Daryivka, hostilities continue.
In the direction of Bakhmut, the enemy shelled the areas of Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Soledar, Shumy, Bilohorivka, Kostyantynivka, Yakovlivka and Zaytseve from tanks, barrel and rocket artillery.
Enemy units conducted offensive and assault actions in the directions Volodymyrivka – Bakhmutske and Stryapivka – Soledar. Here Ukrainian soldiers stopped and pushed the invaders back. Fighting continues on the Pokrovske – Bakhmutske and Horlivka – Zalizne directions.
In the Avdiyivka direction, the enemy shelled the areas of Krasnohorivka, Spartak and Nevelske with barrel artillery. Conducts an offensive in the direction of Staromykhailivka – Nevelske, hostilities continue.
On the Novopavlivske and Zaporizhzhia directions, shelling from tanks, barrel and rocket artillery was recorded in the areas of Novosilka, Vuhledar, Velyka Novosilka, Novomykhailivka, Novopilla, Pavlivka, Novoandriivka, Pryvilne and Vremivka settlements.
The occupiers are conducting offensive and assault actions in the direction of Solodke – Novomykhailivka, they have partial success, the hostilities continue.
In the South Buh direction, the enemy, in addition to shelling from tanks and artillery along the line of battle, engaged army and assault forces near Bila Krynytsia, Andriivka and Lozove.
An attempt to improve the tactical position by assault actions in the direction of Zeleny Hai – Novohryhorivka ended with significant losses and a retreat for the enemy.
Two Kalibr sea-based cruise missile carriers are ready to use high-precision weapons.
Our fighter aircraft patrols the airspace of Ukraine, and our strike aircraft provide fire support to troops in designated operational areas without fail. Rocket and artillery units continue to systematically destroy the concentration of manpower and ammunition depots of the enemy.

Military Updates 

Heavy fighting continues in Donbas, 22 Russian ammo depots destroyed in one week: short review

Belarus is preparing for a massive missile attack on the territory of Ukraine in the coming weeks, as reported by Belarusian Gayun. According to the Belarusian activists, there are up to 14 S-400 air defense systems and about 60 missiles currently based in Belarus for these purposes.

  • At the Zyabrovka airfield, 10 to 14 air defense systems S-400 “Triumph,” 3 radars “KASTA-2E2” and “48Y6 Podlyot,” 2 air defense missile systems “Pantsir” are located, reportedly. Plus an ammunition depot with a minimum of 15–60 missiles for the S-300/400 air defense system.
  • Il-76 aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces deliver missiles for the S-400 to the Gomel airport. They are taken to Zyabrovka from there.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed 3 Russian military warehouses in one day, two in Donetsk Oblast and one in Kherson Oblast.

Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 174: Hundred Wagner mercenaries reportedly killed ~~

Regional Updates 

In the Luhansk Oblast, Ukrainian military forces reportedly destroyed more than a hundred Wagner mercenaries with a strike on Popasna. Details are being verified, according to the head of the Luhansk OVA.

In the Kharkiv Oblast, Russian troops shelled Kharkiv at night, hitting an industrial object. An enterprise, an infrastructure facility, and a church damaged. Craters 4 and 6 meters in diameter at the site of impacts. Previously, attacks with S-300 missiles from the territory of the Belgorod region of the Russian Federation reported. 7 wounded, 1 in serious condition.

The Sumy Oblast, a harvester blew up on a mine, the driver hospitalized.

In the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, explosions reported in Enerhodar, according to the Mayor of occupied Energodar Dmytro Orlov. Civilians leave the occupied territories near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. In Melitopol, the Russian military evacuate their families, as reported by the mayor of the city Ivan Fedorov. Melitopol partisans damaged a railway bridge that led in a southwestern direction so that Russian trains from the temporarily occupied Crimea will not reach Melitopol now, Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov said. The invaders cannot restore the bridge for the second day. The occupiers shelled Nikopol with barrel artillery.

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. August 15, 2022 Source: ISW. ~

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. August 15, 2022 Source: ISW.

In the Kherson Oblast, Russian military command flees, as confirmed by Yury Sobolevsky, First Deputy Chairman of the Kherson Regional Council. The Russian occupiers stepped up aviation attacks, extended illegal night searches and detentions, and increased pressure on local residents.

In the Mykolaiv Oblast, another educational institution damaged. A building of one of the hotels damaged at night. No victims or injured repoted.

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

  • The surface vessels of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet continue to pursue an extremely defensive posture, with patrols generally limited to waters within sight of the Crimean coast. This contrasts with heightened Russian naval activity in other seas, as is typical for this time of year.
  • The Black Sea Fleet continues to use long-range cruise missiles to support ground offensives but is currently struggling to exercise effective sea control. It has lost its flagship, MOSKVA; a significant portion of its naval aviation combat jets; & control of Zmiinyi (Snake) Island. he Black Fleet’s currently limited effectiveness undermines Russia’s overall invasion strategy, in part because the amphibious threat to Odesa has now been largely neutralised. This means Ukraine can divert resources to press Russian ground forces elsewhere.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of 16 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 

Russian troops hit civilian targets 73 times more often than military targets, according to Interior Ministry of Ukraine. More than 22,000 civilian objects were hit and only about 300 military objects, said Yevgeny Enin, First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.

️️Environmental 

Two ships entered Odesa port to load corn and oil. The SARA bulk carrier will load 800 tons of corn and the EFE vessel will load about 7,500 tons of oil. “We can talk about intermediate results — during this time, 16 ships left Ukrainian ports, which will deliver almost half a million Ukrainian agricultural products to 9 countries of the world, at the same time, 6 ships have already entered Ukrainian ports for loading. By the end of the month, we plan to attract at least 10 more vessels to Ukrainian ports to load Ukrainian agricultural products,” commented Yuriy Vaskov, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure.

️The UN is ready to facilitate the trip of IAEA experts to the Zaporizhzhia NPP through Kyiv, if Russia and the Ukrainian authorities agree to this, the office of the UN Secretary-General said.

Legal 

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1559238073803751424

The so-called Donetsk People’s Republic announced charges against five more foreigners who fought on the side of Ukraine. Three out of five foreigners – Swedish citizen Matthias Gustavsson, Croatian citizen Vekoslav Prebeg and British citizen John Harding – are accused of “participating in hostilities as mercenaries and training to seize power by force” and face the death penalty.

Ukraine’s civil society rejoices as two spotless members elected to key judicial self-governance organ

Support 

Latvia handed over four helicopters to Ukraine, as announced by the head of the Ministry of Defense of Latvia. He called on the West to strengthen military assistance to Ukraine.

New Developments 

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1559317763969101826

Zelensky signed a decree on the establishment of an Advisory Council on the de-occupation and reintegration of Crimea.

Zelensky dismissed the heads of SBU departments in Kyiv, Lviv and Ternopil Oblasts. 

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

map source: https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-15

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of 14 August, 2022:

Elements of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) militia reportedly refused to continue fighting in Donetsk Oblast and complained about the grueling pace of offensives outside of Luhansk Oblast. The emotional significance of recent Russian targets in Donetsk Oblast resonates with audiences in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), but not with LNR audiences tired of grueling offensives beyond their claimed borders. Several Ukrainian channels shared a video on August 15 of soldiers from LNR Battalion 2740 refusing to fight for the DNR.[1] The soldiers claim that they celebrated victory on July 3, when LNR forces reached the borders of Luhansk Oblast, and that their work is done. At least one Russian milblogger has criticized the LNR servicemembers for desiring Russian support for their own ”liberation” and then refusing to fight in Donetsk Oblast.[2] ISW cannot independently verify the origin or authenticity of this particular video. Its message reflects a larger trend of diminished LNR investment in and morale to support the Russian war in Ukraine, however. This trend is particularly dangerous to Russian forces seeking to recruit still more new soldiers from Luhansk Oblast to make up for recent losses. Further division within Russian-led forces also threatens to further impede the efficiency of the Russian war effort.

DNR units have previously recorded similar appeals when operating in Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Kherson Oblasts, which may indicate that proxy troops might not fully support the Kremlin’s expansive invasion plans. ISW has previously reported that servicemen of the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the DNR’s 105th Infantry Regiment complained when the unit was redeployed from Mariupol to Luhansk Oblast in late May.[3] The 113th Regiment of the DNR also published a similar appeal from the Kherson Oblast frontlines in early June.[4] Another serviceman of an unspecified DNR battalion complained that Russian border guards held the unit at the Belgorod Oblast border after the unit fought around Kharkiv City in mid-May to allow Russian units to withdraw first.[5] DNR-based war correspondents have been boasting about the DNR progress around Avdiivka, but such attitudes may sour again if the DNR units are recommitted to another axis.

Russia’s annual Technical Forum and Army Games which began in Moscow on August 13 do not represent any immediate military threat to Ukraine. The forum and army games are not military exercises. The forum is the Kremlin’s premier annual military-industrial complex exposition and generates reliable arms sale revenue, which the Kremlin uses to supplement income lost due to sanctions.[6] The Army Games are a complementary series of competitive military sporting events that the Kremlin uses to demonstrate Russian weapons systems in the field and develop relationships with foreign militaries. This year’s Army Technical Forum will be held from August 15 to August 21 and the Army Games will run from August 13 to August 27.[7]

Key Takeaways

  • A reported video of LNR servicemen refusing to fight in Donetsk Oblast suggests further division among Russian-led forces.
  • Russian forces attempted several limited ground assaults northwest of Sloviansk.
  • Russian forces conducted multiple offensive operations east and southeast of Siversk and northeast and southeast of Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces continued conducting offensive operations northwest, west, and southwest of Donetsk City.
  • Russian forces conducted a limited ground assault north of Kharkiv City.
  • Russian and Ukrainian forces continued to trade accusations of shelling the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
  • St. Petersburg authorities officially denied summoning local men to military recruitment and enlistment centers for discussions of contract service.
  • Russian occupation authorities continued preparations for the integration of occupied territories of Ukraine into Russia.

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