Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 180: Car bomb kills a political ideologist Daria Dugin, daughter of “Putin’s brain”

Russo Ukrainian War. Day 180: Car bomb kills a political ideologist Daria Dugin, daughter of “Putin’s brain”

 

Daily review, Latest news Ukraine

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

In Moscow, a car bomb kills political ideologist Daria Dugina, a daughter of “Putin’s brain” Alexander Dugin. Russia continues to focus its efforts on establishing full control over the territories of the Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts, maintaining the captured areas of Kherson and parts of Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, and Mykolaiv oblasts. Russian offensive operations in eastern Ukraine have likely exhausted the limited momentum. Ukrainian military intelligence reports that Russia and Belarus have reached an “urgent” agreement for Belarus to repair damaged Russian aviation equipment for re-use in Ukraine. Russian forces attempted several unsuccessful ground assaults southwest and southeast of Izium.  Russian forces conducted several assaults on the Kherson-Mykolaiv frontline and made partial advances east of Mykolaiv City. Russian occupation authorities intensified filtration measures and abductions in occupied territories ahead of Ukraine’s Independence Day on August 24.

 

Situation in Ukraine. August 21, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. August 21, 2022. Source: ISW.

According to military expert Stanislav Haider, as of August 22,

Donetsk Oblast. In the Soledar direction, the key task of the Russian troops in Yakovlivka is to take a high point but so far the Ukrainian Armed Forces are successfully repelling their attacks. In Bakhmut, the Russians managed to capture several streets near the Knauf plant. The Bakhmut’s direction saw heavy fighting continue in the areas of Kodema and Zaitseve. Russian attacks on the settlement of New York resumed. The situation in Pisky is dynamically changing as now the Russian forces have left their previously occupied positions. During the past day, there were no active actions in the direction of Siversk. The Sloviansk direction saw no changes as Ukraine is on the defensive with the hardest situation in the Mazanivka area. Avdiivka and Mariinka are Ukraine-controlled. The Russian also tried to find weak points around Pavlivka.

Kharkiv Oblast. There are reports stating that the number of Russian shelling attacks has decreased, which may be due to the efficient counter-battery fire of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In the Izium direction, the Russians are attacking Ukrainian positions in order to recapture the lost areas, but they don’t have enough reserves.

Kherson Oblast. Along the entire front line, the Russians keep increasing the pressure, but without success. The Armed Forces of Ukraine repelled an attempt by the Russians to advance to Tavriiske lying north of Oleksandrivka and west of Kherson. Russians had partial success south of Blahodatne, now it’s in the gray area. Ukrainian troops have partial success in some settlements. The Russians started building a pontoon bridge next to the Antonivka bridge yesterday (Ukraine attacked the Antonivskyi bridge today, – Ed.).

 Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Ukraine has some successes in this direction, but so far there are no details as the situation can change quickly. Fighting continues in the direction of Dorozhnianka-Zahirne. Artillery duels are ongoing in the areas of Nesterianka and Shcherbaky. Unfortunately, the situation with the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is extremely difficult.

The work of the Ukrainian artillery:

  • the Russian ammunition warehouses destroyed in Starytsia (Kherson oblast), Horlivka (Donetsk Oblast);
  • a command point in Beryslav district (Kherson Oblast);
  • the bridge across the Dnipro in Nova Kakhovka damaged.

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, August 22, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below. 

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The one hundred-eightieth (180) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.
The enemy continues to focus its efforts on establishing full control over the territories of Luhansk and Donetsk regions, maintaining the captured areas of Kherson and parts of Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, and Mykolaiv oblasts, restoring the combat capability of units that have suffered losses, and preventing a possible counteroffensive of the Defense Forces.
There were no significant changes on the Volyn, Polissya and Siversky directions. The enemy shelled the areas of Katerynivka and Obody of the Sumy oblast with barrel artillery.
Kharkiv Battle Map. August 21, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. August 21, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Kharkiv direction, the enemy fired from tanks, barrel and jet artillery in the vicinity of Svitlychne, Slatyne, Pytomnyk, Petrivka, Pischane, Husarivka, Mospanove, Krynychne, and Pryshyb.
In the Sloviansk direction, the enemy continued to fire near Dibrivne, Mazanivka, and Dolyna.
It tried to lead an offensive in the directions of Dovhenke – Dibrivne, Brazhkivka – Nova Dmytrivka, did not succeed, and withdrew.
In the Kramatorsk direction, shelling was recorded near Rozdolivka, Hryhorivka, Verkhnokamyanske, Dronivka, and Serebryanka. The enemy is trying to launch an offensive in the direction of Spirne – Vesele, hostilities continue.
In the direction of Bakhmut, the enemy inflicted damage from barrel artillery and MLRS in the areas of Soledar, Zaytseve and Bilohorivka settlements. He led an offensive in the directions of Vershyna – Kodema and Hladosove – Kodema, but was unsuccessful. On the directions Strapivka – Soledar, Pokrovske – Bakhmut, Travneve – Kodema, Semihirya – Zaytseve and Hladosove – Kurdyumivka, hostilities continue.
In the Avdiyivka direction, the enemy fired from barrel and rocket artillery near Opytne, Maryinka, Piskivy, Avdiyvka and Nevelske. Tried to conduct assault operations in the directions Spartak – Opytne, Novoselivka Druha – Krasnohorivka, Donetsk – Pervomaiske, Pisky – Nevelske, Lozove – Nevelske, but was unsuccessful.
On the Novopavlivsky direction, artillery fire was recorded near Vuhledar, Velyka Novosilka, and Pavlivka.
In the Zaporizhzhia direction, the occupiers carried out fire damage to the districts of Dorozhnyanka, Novosilka, and Mala Tokmachka. Airstrikes were carried out near the Mala Tokmachka and Olhivske. The enemy led an offensive in the direction of Makarivka – Vremivka, had no success, retreated.
In the Southern Buh direction, the enemy continued shelling the areas of Velike Artakove, Lozove, Tavriyske, Stepova Dolyna, Pervomaiske, Kiselivka, Chervona Dolyna, Potyomkine, Prybuzke, Parutyne, Polyana, Novooleksandrivka and Partyzanske settlements.
Carried out airstrikes near Zarichne, Bila Krynytsia and Andriyivka.
In the Mykolaiv direction, the occupiers carried out assaults in the area of ​​the settlement of Blahodatne, with partial success.
The enemy’s naval group in the waters of the Black and Azov Seas focuses its main efforts on blocking civilian shipping in the northwestern part of the Black Sea and damaging military facilities and infrastructure elements deep in the territory of Ukraine.
Our missile and artillery units and aviation continue to successfully carry out fire missions in the designated directions. The enemy is experiencing an acute shortage of trained and motivated reinforcements for units that are systematically suffering losses.

Military Updates 

Ukraine upgraded its MiG-29 fighters to use American AGM-88 HARM missiles. “We are providing additional high-speed anti-radar missiles. These are HARM missiles. Ukraine has successfully used these missiles. They have successfully integrated them into Ukrainian aircraft, which allows Ukraine to seek and destroy Russian radars, so we will provide additional HARM missiles,” the Pentagon said. Also, the US defense department clarified that the Ukrainian MiG fighters now carry the missiles.

A new meeting in the Ramstein format was not publicly announced, as Ukraine decided to disclose less information about arms deliveries and requests to allies, according to the military expert Oleh Zhdanov. The information about the possible Rammstein-5 at the end of August appeared in the media.

The Ukrainian army pushed the Russians back to Crimea in the Black Sea. The Russian fleet can still strike Ukrainian territory with cruise missiles, said Andriy Ryzhenko, former deputy chief of staff of the Ukrainian Navy There is a complication of landing on the southern coast of Ukraine. “The countdown began on April 13, when the Moskva cruiser was destroyed. The second episode was the destruction of the Vasily Bekh rescue tug. The third episode was the gas platform. Perhaps there was something else, but we don’t know about it. The Russians understood that it is dangerous there, and moved away,” said Ryzhenko.

Russian Shelling. August 22. Source: Icelandic Data Analyst ~

Russian Shelling. August 22. Source: Icelandic Data Analyst

Regional Updates

In the Luhansk Oblast, the Ukrainian army repulsed 13 Russian attacks. The occupiers hit the settlements with rockets twice.

Donetsk Battle Map. August 21, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Donetsk Battle Map. August 21, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Donetsk Oblast, 4 civilians killed, 2 wounded in one day.

In the Kharkiv Oblast, critical infrastructure hit the city of Kharkiv and its suburbs. 1 injured.

In the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, 25 cannon artillery shells hit Nikopol: a fire broke out at the enterprise, and a school and a house destroyed. The gas pipeline and power lines damaged.

In the Kyiv Oblast, all employees of the Government Quarter are advised to work from home due to possible shelling from the Russian Federation August 22 — August 26. This includes buildings of the Parliament, the Office of the President, the Cabinet of Ministers, the National Bank of Ukraine, etc.

In the Kherson Oblast, a series of explosions reported in the temporarily occupied Nova Kakhovka.

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. August 21, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. August 21, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Mykolaiv Oblast, a strike on the five-story building in Voznesensk: 14 injured, 5 hospitalized.

In the Odesa Oblast, 5 rockets were launched at night, 2 shot down. A granary was hit and damaged.

In the Black Sea, Russia is increasing the number of launch vehicles on the eve of Ukraine’s Independence Day. 5 launch vehicles with Kalibr missiles, including underwater ones. A possible increase in the number of attacks is expected.

In the temporarily occupied Crimea, an explosion reported in Sevastopol, near the Nakhimov Military School.

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

  • On 15 August 22, Ukrainian social media channels circulated a video which reportedly showed elements from a military unit of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) delivering a declaration outlining their refusal to be deployed as part of offensive operations in Donetsk Oblast.
  • The fighters claimed they had fulfilled their duty in securing the LPR’s control over all of Luhansk Oblast, which was secured in July 2022, and were unwilling to fight in Donetsk Oblast despite threats and intimidation by senior commanders.
  • Russia is likely increasingly struggling to motivate the auxiliary forces it is using to augment its regular troops in the Donbas. Commanders are probably resorting to direct financial incentives, while some combat units are deemed unreliable for offensive operations. A consistent contributing factor to these problems is Russia’s classification of the war as a ‘special military operation’ which limits the state’s powers of legal coercion.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of Sunday 22 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 

️️Environmental 

The Besarabka-Berezino railway connecting Moldova with the Odesa region should start working on August 22. For the first time in the last 25 years, Moldova will be able to export and import goods through the port of Izmail, located near the mouth of the Danube, reducing congestion in the port of Reni. Ukraine will also receive an additional option for exporting to Moldova and the EU countries.

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant operates with the risk of violation of radiation and fire safety standards; overpass damaged, reports Enerhoatom. Periodic shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant by Russian troops from the MLRS resulted in a serious risk to the safe operation of the station.

Residents of the nearest cities to the Zaporizhzhia NPP received iodine in case of radiation release. In total, it is planned to distribute about 25,000 potassium iodide tablets, Enerhodar Mayor Dmitro Orlov said, expressing the hope that there would never be a reason to take the drug. Potassium iodide protects the thyroid gland from the accumulation of radioisotopes of iodine in the event of radiation contamination.

The invaders might disconnect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant from the Ukrainian power grid and have returned Rosatom personnel to the station, as reported by the Ukrainian Main Directorate of Intelligence. The Russians extended the “weekend” for Ukrainian personnel at the Zaporizhzhia NPP. In the event of a disconnection from the Ukrainian power grid, Zaporizhzhia NPP will be able to temporarily operate from emergency power systems using diesel, which can lead to accidents.

Legal 

Russian oligarch’s yacht to be auctioned in Gibraltar: sanctions at work. The billionaire owes $20 million to the American bank JP Morgan, so the ship will be sold at auction.

Support 

Olaf Scholz announced the imminent delivery of the IRIS-T air defense system and the COBRA counter-battery radar to Ukraine. According to the German Chancellor, they “will soon be” in Ukraine. He added that Germany will continue to supply Ukraine “with what it needs for defense.”

New Developments 

Who is “Putin’s brain” Alexander Dugin, whose daughter was killed in car blast?

Putin’s ideologue Dugin hospitalized after his daughter Darya Dugina was killed in a car explosion on August 21. Ukraine is not involved in the death of Daria Dugin; the murder may be related to the struggle for power in the Russian Federation, said Mikhail Podoliak, adviser to the head of the President’s Office. Earlier, the Russian mass media accused Ukraine of terrorism and called for the annihilation of the whole country and strikes on Kyiv.

Biden, Macron, Johnson, and Scholz discussed the need to avoid hostilities at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and the importance of organizing an IAEA visit as soon as possible during a telephone conversation. The four heads of government agreed that support for Ukraine in defense against Russian aggression will continue in the long term. They also discussed the situation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP and called for military restraint in the area and for an early visit to the site by representatives of the IAEA.

The prime ministers of the Czech Republic and Slovakia made a joint statement, saying: “We do not want Russia to become our neighbor.” The leaders of both countries expressed their support for Ukraine and their readiness to help. “By supporting Ukraine, we support our own security,” Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said.

The Ukrainian economy has lost more than $113.5 billion since the beginning of the war, according to KSE Institute (Kyiv School of Economics).

Assessment 

On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of Saturday 21 August, 2022:

Russian forces’ momentum from territorial gains around Bakhmut and Avdiivka in late July is likely exhausted, and Russian attacks in eastern Ukraine are likely culminating although very small Russian advances will likely continue. Russian forces seized Novoluhanske and the Vuhlehirska Thermal Power Plant (TPP) southeast of Bakhmut on July 25 and 26, respectively, consolidating Russian control around difficult water features after many weeks of fighting. Russian sources celebrated these gains as a significant military victory without noting that Ukrainian military Ukrainian forces successfully broke contact and withdrew from the area.[1] Russian forces also celebrated the capture of Ukrainian fortifications around the Butivka Coal Mine ventilation shaft southwest of Avdiivka, after Ukrainian forces withdrew from the area on July 30.[2] Russian forces capitalized on these gains to a limited extent and have been attacking toward Bakhmut from the northeast and southeast, and around Avdiivka, but these attacks are now stalling. Russian forces have not made significant territorial gains around Bakhmut or Avdiivka since their advances through Novoluhanske, the power plant, the Butivka Coal Mine, and a few small settlements near those areas.

Russian forces’ failure to capitalize on prior gains around Bakhmut and Avdiivka is an example of a more fundamental Russian military problem—the demonstrated inability to translate tactical gains into operational successes. Russian forces have consistently failed to take advantage of tactical breakthroughs to maneuver into Ukrainian rear areas or unhinge significant parts of the Ukrainian defensive lines.  They therefore continually give the Ukrainians time to disengage tactically and re-establish defensible positions against which the Russians must then launch new deliberate attacks.  This phenomenon helps explain the extremely slow rate of Russian advances in the east and strongly suggests that the Russians will be unable to take much more ground in the coming months unless the situation develops in unforeseen ways. Russian forces will likely remain unable to commit enough resources to any one offensive operation to regain the momentum necessary for significant territorial advances that translate to operational successes. Russian forces will also need to generate and commit additional assault groups, equipment, and morale to resume even these limited territorial advances yielding small tactical gains.

Russian forces likely face issues repairing combat aircraft due to Western sanctions and may be attempting to bypass these sanctions by leveraging Belarusian connections with less severe sanctions. The Ukrainian Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) stated that the Russian and Belarusian Defense Ministries signed “urgent” contracts on August 20 to repair and restore Russian military aviation equipment on Belarusian territory reportedly for further use in Ukraine.[3] Western sanctions against Russia have largely banned the transfer of equipment to the state of Russia as a whole, while sanctions against Belarus largely target individual Belarusian entities.[4] Western countries have previously sanctioned Belarusian industrial-military complex entities producing radar systems, automobiles, and repairing tracked vehicles, but it is unclear to what extent the sanctions impacted Belarusian import of aviation repair parts.[5] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces transferred some unspecified air defense equipment to Belarus from Russia on August 21. The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that Russian forces will close certain sections of Russian airspace in the Lipetsk, Voronezh, and Belgorod Oblasts from August 22-25.[6] The Russian-Belarusian agreement may suggest that Russian officials are attempting to circumvent sanctions on Russia, as it may be easier to import repair parts to Belarus than to Russia.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian offensive operations in eastern Ukraine have likely exhausted the limited momentum they gained at the end of July and are likely culminating. The Russian military has shown a continual inability to translate small tactical gains into operational successes, a failing that will likely prevent Russia from making significant territorial advances in the coming months barring major changes on the battlefield.
  • Ukrainian military intelligence reports that Russia and Belarus have reached an “urgent” agreement for Belarus to repair damaged Russian aviation equipment for re-use in Ukraine. This agreement could be part of a Russian effort to use the looser sanctions regime on Belarus to circumvent sectoral sanctions on Russia.
  • Russian forces attempted several unsuccessful ground assaults southwest and southeast of Izium.
  • Russian forces launched a ground attack southeast of Siversk and northeast and south of Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces made limited gains west of Donetsk City but did not conduct any ground assaults on the Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia Oblast administrative border.
  • Russian forces attempted unsuccessful ground assaults southwest of Donetsk City and continued attacking settlements northwest and southwest of Avdiivka.
  • Russian forces conducted several assaults on the Kherson-Mykolaiv frontline and made partial advances east of Mykolaiv City.
  •  Russian forces are likely not training new recruits in discipline, creating an entitled force engaging in disorderly conduct in Russia and illegal conduct in Ukraine.
  • Russian occupation authorities intensified filtration measures and abductions in occupied territories ahead of Ukraine’s Independence Day on August 24.
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