Russo Ukrainian War. Day 178: US to send $775 million military aid package to Ukraine

 

Daily review

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

Minimal changes in territorial control along the front line. Half of Russia’s Black Sea fleet’s combat jets are out of operation due to the explosions in Crimea. In the Donetsk Oblast, overnight Ukrainian troops carried out HIMARS strikes destroying 1.5 tons of Russian ammunition. Russians destroy two educational institutions, in Kramotorsk and Mykolaiv. Forced mobilization reported in Donbas. Sattelite images from Maxar Technologies show no signs of systematic shelling at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Putin reportedly agreed to the deployment of the IAEA mission at the Zaporizhzhia NPP. The US announces a new package of military assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $775 million.

Daily overview — Summary report, August 18

Situation in Ukraine. August 19, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. August 19, 2022. Source: ISW.

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, August 18, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below. 

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The one-hundred-seventy-eights (178) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.
The situation remained unchanged in the Volyn, Polissya, and Siversky directions. The enemy shelled civil and military infrastructure in the areas of Bilopilla and Krasnopilla, Sumy oblast, from barrel artillery. The enemy also carried out aerial reconnaissance by UAVs.
In the Slobozhansky direction, the enemy is conducting combat operations with the aim of holding the occupied areas and preventing a counteroffensive by units of the Defense Forces, and in some places is trying to improve the tactical position.
Kharkiv Battle Map. August 19, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. August 19, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Kharkiv direction, the enemy carried out fire damage from barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of the settlements of Chuhuiv, Zolochiv, Pytomnyk, Husarivka, Sosnivka, Ruski Tyshky, Korobochkyne, Shestakove, Duvanka and Prudyanka. Actively conducted aerial reconnaissance of the UAVs.
Carried out airstrikes near Lebyazhe and Zalyman. It led offensive battles in the Borshchova region, was unsuccessful, left.
In the Sloviansk direction, shelling from tanks, barrel artillery, and multiple rocket launchers was recorded near Dovgenke, Sulyhivka, and Mazanivka.
In the vicinity of Novodmytrivka, Virnopilla and Kurulka, enemy units tried to conduct assaults, were repulsed and retreated.
In the Kramatorsk direction, the enemy fired from barrel and rocket artillery near Rozdolivka, Sydorove, Spirne, and Pryshyb. Conducted aerial reconnaissance in the area of ​​hostilities. Near Ivano-Daryivka, it is trying to launch an offensive, hostilities continue.
In the Bakhmut direction, civil infrastructure was damaged by fire in the areas of Zaitseve, Bakhmutske, Vesele, Bakhmut, Andriivka, Kodema and Mayorsk settlements.
The occupiers carried out offensive and assault actions in the areas of the settlements of Bakhmut, Zaitseve and Kodema, without success, the hostilities continue.
In the Avdiivka region, the occupiers used tanks, barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of Novobakhmutivka, Nevelske, Neskuchne, Alexandropil, Keramik, Kermenchyk and Pisky.
Enemy aircraft operated near Maryinka. The enemy conducted aerial reconnaissance by UAVs in the areas of hostilities in the specified direction. Attacks in the area of ​​Opytne and Mayorsk, without success, fighting continues.
On the Novopavlivske direction, shelling was recorded near Volodymyrivka, Vuhledar and Prechystivka. The enemy carried out assaults in the area of ​​the village of Zolota Nyva, had no success, retreated.
In the Zaporihzhia direction, the enemy used artillery and tanks to shell the areas of Bilohirya, Novodanilivka, Novopil, Chervone, Vremivka, Charivne and Olhivske settlements.
In the South Buh direction, the enemy’s main efforts are focused on preventing the advance of our troops. The occupiers are taking measures to replace the losses of personnel and equipment. The enemy shelled civilian and military infrastructure in the areas of Prybuzke, Luch, Tavriyske, Novohrihorivka, Olenivka, Novoselivka, Blahodatne, Vesely Kut, Shiroke, Yakovlivka, Bila Krynytsia, Andriivka and Otradne settlements. UAV continues to be actively involved in aerial reconnaissance.
The enemy’s personnel is demoralized, which is due to the constant postponement of their rotation dates and deception with promised payments. This leads to the refusal of the occupiers to participate in hostilities.

Military Updates 

Icelandic Data Analyst. Russian Shelling Monitor. ~

Icelandic Data Analyst. Russian Shelling Monitor.

Half of Russia’s Black Sea fleet’s combat jets are out of operation, Reuters quotes a western official. Explosions at the Saky air base in the annexed Crimean peninsula on August 9 have put more than half of the Russian Black Sea fleet’s naval aviation combat jets out of use, says the publication.

Regional Updates 

In the Donetsk Oblast, overnight Ukrainian troops carried out HIMARS strikes destroying 1.5 tons of Russian ammunition. In Kramatorsk, a college was destroyed. 

Donetsk Battle Map. August 19, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Donetsk Battle Map. August 19, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Russians shelled three districts : Krivorozhsky, Sinelnikovsky and Nikopolsky. 1 dead, 1 injured (a 12-year-old boy was wounded.) In Nikopol, up to 20 high-rise buildings, a dozen shops, a college, a bank and a bus stop damaged. The residential area in Marganets damaged by the strikes of cannon artillery. 2 wounded.

In the Mykolaiv Oblast, Russian troops fired at the Black Sea National University in Mykolaiv.

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. August 19,2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. August 19,2022. Source: ISW.

 

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

  • The last week has seen only minimal changes in territorial control along the front line. In the Donbas, after small advances from early August, Russian forces have approached the outskirts of the town of Bakhmut, but have not yet broken into the built-up area. Russia has not made any major efforts to advance in the Zaporizhzhia or Kharkiv sectors.
  • In the south-west, neither Ukrainian nor Russian forces have made advances on the Kherson front line. However, increasingly frequent explosions behind Russian lines are probably stressing Russian logistics and air basing in the south.
  • It is unlikely that the situation will significantly change in the next week. Russian forces are, for now, probably only prepared to undertake limited local assaults, rarely involving more than a company of troops. However, over the coming months the initiative will go to whichever side manages to generate a credible, committed force for offensive operations.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of 19 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 

Russia now holds night ambushes to forcibly send Donbas men to Ukraine war

Multiple cases of forced mobilization reported in Donbas.

️️Environmental 

Sattelite images from Maxar Technologies show no signs of systematic shelling at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, reports CNN.

In a telephone conversation with French President Macron, Putin reportedly agreed to the deployment of the IAEA mission at the Zaporizhzhia NPP on the terms agreed with Ukraine and the UN.

CNN has geolocated and confirmed the authenticity of the video showing Russian military vehicles inside a turbine hall connected to a nuclear reactor at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The video was circulating on social media. “The footage shows one of the six-turbine rooms located on the western side of the nuclear plant, located in the southeastern city of Enerhodar. Each turbine hall is connected and built into a large building that houses a nuclear reactor. The vehicles, which appear to be standard Russian military trucks, are sitting in the far western edge of the building on the ground floor, just over 400 feet (130 meters) from the reactor.”

Ukrainian nuclear regulator, the State Nuclear Regulatory Agency, banned the operation of two power units at the Zaporizhzhia NPP, making changes to the license for the operation of power units №1 and №2.

️Gazprom stopped gas supplies via Nord Stream for three days, allegedly due to scheduled repairs of the only remaining turbine.

Legal 

In Mariupol, the Russian troops plan to hold a show trial for the captured defenders of Azovstal. Iron cages are being built in the Mariupol Philharmonic and several temporary buildings are being erected next to the premises. The mayor of Mariupol, Vadym Boychenko said that Russian occupiers may launch a missile attack on the premises of the Philharmonic and shift the blame to Ukraine.

Support 

The US has prepared a new package of military assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $775 million, Voice of America reports, citing a statement by a senior Pentagon official. Assistance will include:

  • ammunition for HIMARS;
  • 16 105mm howitzers;
  • 36,000 artillery shells;
  • 15 Scan Eagle drones;
  • 1,000 Javelin anti-tank systems;
  • 2,000 anti-tank shells;
  • anti-mine vehicles;
  • high-speed rockets AnitRadiar (HARM);
  • 1000 ATGM TOW.

The package will increase the total amount of US security assistance to Ukraine to $10.6 billion. “This is not the end yet,” a US Department of Defense spokesman said. In 2–3 months, the US intends to transfer NASAMS air defense systems to Ukraine.

The US is also exploring the possibility of supplying Ukraine with new types of weapons that “will make it possible to change the situation on the battlefield” in the south and east of the country.

Germany handed over to Ukraine an additional three Gepard anti-aircraft gun systems and 11 M113 armored personnel carriers.

According to the statement of the German government, Germany is also getting ready to ship:

  • 20 70mm rocket launchers with 2000 missiles;
  • 1.592 shells for 155 mm artillery;
  • 255 Vulcano shells for 155 mm artillery;
  • 60.200 rounds of 40 mm caliber;
  • 30 MG-3 machine guns;
  • 6 lifting and transport machines;
  • 40 units of updated anti-drone devices;
  • 12 Bergepanzer 2 recovery vehicles.

New Developments 

Explosions reported in Sevastopol, Crimea. The Russian media claimed it was air defense.

Russian special services were grooming two puppet governments hoping to install them in captured Kyiv, reports The Washington Post. Before the full-scale invasion, the main Kremlin candidates were Viktor Yanukovych and Viktor Medvedchuk. FSB agents have been infiltrating Ukrainian authorities for many years.

Cyprus and Greece do not support a visa ban for Russian tourists, reports Politico. About 50 thousand Russian-speaking residents live in Cyprus. Russians accounted for 25% of the total number of tourists to the island nation. In Greece, despite strong Russophile sentiments in society, the government was one of the first in the EU to announce that it would send weapons to Kyiv to fight the invaders.

The US officials said Zelenskyy should join G-20 if Putin attends. Indonesian president said Putin, Xi will attend the summit. Previously, Biden has called for Russia to be removed from Group of 20

Belarus extends military exercises until at least August 27, reports Belarusian Gayun. The exercises started on April 29 and have been held for 17 weeks. “It is worth noting that the Belarusian army has become more prepared for defensive operations, but it is still not prepared for a large-scale offensive due to the lack of real combat experience,” the Belarusian Gayun monitoring group notes.

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

map source: https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-august-19

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of 17 August, 2022:

Recent Ukrainian strikes on Russian military and transportation infrastructure in Crimea and Kherson Oblast are likely reducing Russian confidence in the security of Russian rear areas. Reports from August 18 about Ukrainian strikes are affecting the Russian information space despite the fact that these reports were likely overblown. Available open-source evidence indicates that Ukrainian forces did not conduct a successful kinetic attack against either the Stary Oskol Air Base in Belgorod or Belbek Air Base in Crimea on August 18. Geolocated footage shows that a fire started at a field just south of the Stary Oskol Airfield (rather than at the airfield itself), and satellite imagery shows Russian forces transporting ammunition and military equipment to a forest close to the field.[1] An unspecified Russian Zaporizhzhia Oblast occupation official reiterated that Russian air defenses near the Kerch Strait Bridge activated against a Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) rather than an incoming strike.[2] There is no visual evidence of damage to either air base of as August 19. Geolocated footage shows no explosions or evidence of kinetic activity near the Belbek Air Base overnight on August 18-19, lending credence to claims that footage reportedly showing the explosion is recycled footage misattributed to the Belbek Air Base.[3] As ISW reported on August 18, Russian sources largely reported on and disseminated these false or exaggerated reports, indicating broader Russian panic.[4]

Russian authorities are visibly increasing security measures in Crimea, indicating growing worry among Russian authorities and civilians about the threat of Ukrainian strikes on rear areas previously believed to be secure. Russian authorities installed checkpoints to search Ukrainian cars and identify saboteurs in Sevastopol.[5] Certain Russian milbloggers made dramatic, pessimistic assessments that Ukrainian forces used strikes on the Kerch Strait Bridge and Belbek Air Base to conduct reconnaissance on Russian air and missile defense readiness and make assessments for new attacks, particularly the feasibility of a large strike.[6] Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communications (UA StratCom) reported on August 19 that Russian forces are not in control of the situation in Crimea as evidenced by the blocking of the Kerch Strait Bridge and activation of air alarms in Sevastopol for the first time since the start of the invasion.[7] UA StratCom warned that Ukrainian forces have not yet struck the Kerch Strait Bridge with full capabilities and that prior Ukrainian strikes on the bridge demonstrate that the bridge is not as safe as the Russians previously believed.[8]

The situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) remained largely unchanged on August 19, despite the Russian Ministry of Defense’s August 18 claims that Ukrainian forces would stage a provocation at the ZNPP on August 19. Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces shelled the ZNPP at night on August 18-19 but did not claim that Ukrainian forces launched a large-scale attack on the facility, contrary to Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) statements on August 18.[9] Zaporizhzhia Oblast Head Oleksandr Starukh emphasized on August 19 that the situation at the ZNPP remains tense but under control.[10]

Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported that Russian authorities are likely preparing to hold show trials for Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol around August 24, notably coinciding with Ukraine’s Independence Day.[11] The GUR warned that Russian authorities intend to hold a show trial of captured fighters from the Azovstal Steel Plant in the Mariupol Philharmonic Theatre and may use the theatre to stage a false-flag attack on August 24.[12] Mariupol Mayor Advisor Petro Andryushchenko confirmed that the Mariupol occupation administration canceled rehearsal schedules at the theatre in order to accommodate the show trials, which ISW previously reported on August 11.[13] As ISW previously reported, these show trials will likely be orchestrated in order to create the impression for Russian domestic audiences that Russian occupation authorities are taking necessary steps to secure occupied areas as well as attempt to demoralize Ukrainian troops.[14] Russian authorities are likely orienting the trials around Ukraine’s Independence Day in order to set further information conditions to exert law enforcement control of occupied areas.

Key Takeaways

  • Recent Ukrainian strikes on Russian military and transport infrastructure in Crimea and Kherson Oblast are likely reducing Russian confidence in the security of Russian rear areas.
  • The situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) remained relatively unchanged on August 19 despite Russian claims that Ukrainian forces would stage a provocation at the plant.
  • Russian authorities are likely preparing show trials of Ukrainian defenders of Azovstal on Ukraine’s Independence Day in order to further consolidate occupational control of occupied areas of Ukraine and set conditions to demoralize Ukrainian troops.
  • Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks north of Kharkiv City, southwest and southeast of Izium, east of Siversk, and south and east of Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces conducted multiple unsuccessful ground assaults on settlements on the Southern Axis.
  • Russia continues to generate regional volunteer units and will likely deploy many of them to Kherson and Ukraine’s south as part of the 3rd Army Corps. 
  • Russian occupation authorities are strengthening their control of educational infrastructure in occupied areas in preparation for the approaching school year and may be sending Ukrainian children to Russia as part of a broader repopulation campaign.

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