Russo Ukrainian War. Day 184: For the first time in history, the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant shuts down

 

Daily review

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

For the first time in history, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant shuts down. The connection with the energy system of Ukraine ️at the Zaporizhzhia NPP has been resumed but six power units remain disconnected. Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks in Donbas, in northwestern Kharkiv, and northwestern Kherson Oblasts. Ukrainian forces continued to target Russian military assets and ground lines of communication. Putin signed a decree increasing the number of military personnel of the Russian Federation up to 1,150,000.

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, August 26, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below. 

Situation in Ukraine. August 25, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. August 25, 2022. Source: ISW.

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The one-hundred-eighty-fourth (184) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.
The situation has not undergone significant changes in the Volyn, Polissya, and Siversky directions. The enemy shelled civilian infrastructure near the villages of Shalyhine, Shevchenkove, and Katerynivka of the Sumy Oblast from barrel artillery.
Kharkiv Battle Map. August 25, 2022. Source ISW. ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. August 25, 2022. Source ISW.

In the Kharkiv direction, the enemy shelled objects in the areas of Kharkiv, Sosnivka, Dementiivka, Slatyne, Borshchova, Peremoha, Ruski Tyshky, Rubizhne, Lebyazhe, Mospanove, Husarivka settlements with barrel and jet artillery. He continued to actively use UAVs to conduct aerial reconnaissance and adjust artillery fire.
In the Sloviansk direction, the enemy conducted combat operations with the aim of holding previously occupied lines and preventing the advance of units of the Defense Forces. It continued to carry out fire damage from tanks, barrel artillery and MLRS near Nortsivka, Dmytrivka, Dolyna, Mazanivka and Bohorodychne.
Donetsk Battle Map. August 25, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Donetsk Battle Map. August 25, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Donetsk direction, the enemy does not stop trying to conduct assault and offensive actions. Continues to focus efforts on the Bakhmut and Avdiivka areas.
In the Kramatorsk direction, it shelled the positions of our troops and civilian infrastructure from artillery systems near Ivano-Daryivka, Serebryanka, Tetyanivka, Hryhorivka, Zvanivka, and Rozdolivka.
In the direction of Bakhmut, the districts of Bakhmut, Bakhmutsky, Vesela Dolyna, Mayorsk, Zaytseve, Soledar, Bilohorivka and Yakovlivka were damaged by fire. Near Soledar, Bakhmut and Kodema, the enemy waged an offensive battle, without success.
In the Avdiyiv direction, shelling from tanks, barrel and rocket artillery was recorded near Nevelske, Vodyane, Netaylove, Krasnohorivka, Novobakhmutivka, New York, Zalizne and Opytnye.
In the direction of Novopavlivka, enemy units continued to fire at the territories near Pavlivka, Novomykhailivka, Prechystivka, Vuhledar, Volodymyrivka, and Velyka Novosilka from tanks and artillery of various types.
In the Zaporizhzhia direction, the enemy shelled the areas of the settlements of Velikomykhailivka, Hulyaipilske, Malynivka, Bilohirya, Dorozhnianka, Charivne, Orihiv, Mala Tokmachka, Shevchenko, Vremivka, Shcherbaky, Novosilka, Poltavka, and Novopil.
In the South Buh direction, the enemy is concentrating its main efforts on preventing the advance of our troops. Takes measures to replenish losses.
It carried out shelling of civilian and military infrastructure in Mykolaiv, Oleksandrivka districts and twenty other settlements.
Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. August 25, 2022. Source ISW. ~

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. August 25, 2022. Source ISW.

In the waters of the Black and Azov seas, russian occupiers’ naval group focuses its main efforts on conducting reconnaissance and blocking civilian shipping in the northwestern part of the Black Sea.

Military Updates 

Shelling by Russian Troops. 2022-08-26. Icelandic Data Analyst. ~

Shelling by Russian Troops. 2022-08-26. Icelandic Data Analyst.

The turning point of the war in Ukraine has already begun; confirmation of this is the explosions in the annexed Crimea, said the Head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense Kirill Budanov. According to him, the Russians have begun to realize that their army is not as strong as they thought, and their air defense systems are not as good. Therefore, the Russian army is not able to protect the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territory. “This is not at all the second army of the world, and not even the fourth. And retribution will come. The understanding that there will be retribution comes to people when they personally begin to see and feel that the war is not somewhere out there in some part of the world, but [happening to] them.”

️The Pentagon, reportedly, will give the “operation” in Ukraine a name and appoint a commanding general. All US efforts in the field of military assistance to Ukraine will be combined into a single mission, with one person in charge appointed to lead the American program, train the Ukrainian military and provide assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

This week, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have already destroyed seven Russian Federation troops’ ammunition depots. “Ammunition depots are one of the priority targets for our artillery, in particular, and air strikes, since these are stocks that the enemy would plan to use against our units. Despite the fact that they are trying to disperse these stocks since they have already felt that our interventions are on point and absolutely targeted, we still find places of new deployment and destroy them. Yes, seven ammunition depots have already been destroyed this week and I think that this is not the end, there are still a few days in the week and we still have time,” said Head of the Joint Coordinating Press Center of the Defense Forces of the South of Ukraine Natalia Humenyuk.

Regional Updates

Russian troops shelled 58 settlements of Ukraine on Independence Day, said Deputy Interior Minister Yevhen Yenin. “The Russians spoiled yesterday’s Independence Day with manic cruelty. Over the past 24 hours, the police recorded shelling of 58 settlements — this is a significantly higher number of shellings than we usually record,” he said. “In general, the enemy, as we predicted, became especially active on our Independence Day, because for him our independence is death. But I know that no matter what the Russian troops do, it will not be able to break Ukraine and Ukrainians. the Russians will still be defeated.” A wave of fake mining has also swept across Ukraine.

Power was lost throughout the occupied territory in the south of Ukraine, including Kherson and New Kakhovka (the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station), Melitopol and Energodar (the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant). In many settlements, water supply and mobile communications were interrupted, too.

In the Kharkiv Oblast, daily shelling continues.

In the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, the Russian army continuously shelled four districts. Several houses destroyed. 8 injured and hospitalized, including 3 children, one 2 y.o. In Chaplino, the Russian attack on Independence Day claimed the lives of at least 20 people, including two boys — 6 and 11 years old. 11 shells fired at Nikopol and the Marganets community. No casualties. reported. The Kryvyi Rih region was fired upon by Russian Hurricanes and Tornadoes. No casualties reported.

In the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, as a result of the Russian shelling of Energodar, the city was completely left without electricity and water, according to the mayor of the city Dmytro Orlov. Russians reportedly set fire to a forest in the vicinity of Energodar. Near Energodar, the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed over 300 Russian military, several firing positions, 2 officers, howitzers and MLRS, said the head of the Nikopol RVA Yevhen Yevtushenko.

Employees of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, residing at Enerhodar, appealed to the President of Ukraine with a request to free the city and the plant from Russian terrorists.They spoke about the atrocities of Russian terrorists in the city and at the nuclear power plants, including kidnapping.

Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 184: For the first time in history, the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant shuts down ~~

️CNN published satellite images from Planet Labs and the European Space Agency showing fires and smoke in the area of ​​the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Three images taken on August 24 at 10:39 am, 11:30 am, and 11:35 am local time show the fire growing south of the station and smoke rising from the ash pan at its northern end.

In the Kherson Oblast, the Russians are trying to carry out the “referendum” but failing. Only 5% of Kherson residents are ready to come to the polling stations. 70% of the inhabitants have already left the city. Collaborators are conducting a population census to establish the real number of people in the city.

In the Mykolaiv Oblast, another night shelling reported. According to preliminary information, the Russians struck with S-300 missiles. Several houses damaged. No casualties reported.

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

  • Russia’s relatively rapid capture of Lysychansk extends its control across virtually all of the territory of Luhansk Oblast, allowing it to claim substantive progress against the policy objective it presented as the immediate purpose of the war, namely ‘liberating’ the Donbas.
  • Unlike in previous phases of the war, Russia has probably achieved reasonably effective co-ordination between at least two Groupings of Forces, the Central Grouping likely commanded by General-Colonel Alexandr Lapin and the Southern Grouping probably under the recently appointed General Sergei Surovikin.
  • Ukrainian forces have likely largely withdrawn in good order, in line with existing plans. The Ukrainian-held areas of Sievierodonetsk-Lyschansk consisted of a bulge or salient which Russian could attack from three sides. There is a realistic possibility that Ukrainian forces will now be able to fall back to a more readily defendable, straightened front line.
  • The battle for the Donbas has been characterised by slow rates of advance and Russia’s massed employment of artillery, levelling towns and cities in the process. The fighting in Donetsk Oblast will almost certainly continue in this manner.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of Sunday 26 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 occupiers set up more than 20 filtration camps in the occupied territories of Ukraine. The camps are used to detain, interrogate and process Ukrainian prisoners of war and civilians.

️️Environmental 

“Today, for the first time in history, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant shut down. The emergency protection of the power units worked. If the diesel generators had not turned on, if the automation and our personnel of the plant had not worked after the blackout, we would already be forced to overcome the consequences of a radiation accident,” Zelensky said in his evening address.

The connection with the energy system of Ukraine ️at the Zaporizhzhia NPP has been resumed but six power units remain disconnected, the IAEA said.

IAEA Secretary-General intends to visit Zaporizhzhia NPP in the next few days. Grossi received from Ukraine all the data on the operation of the station under Russian occupation. The General Secretary wants to inspect the nuclear facility as soon as possible. Russia expects the visit of a group of experts in late August — early September.

The UK stops buying fuel from Russia for the first time in 25 years. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the British government decided to stop importing energy from Russia until the end of the year. The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that in 2021 Russia was the largest supplier of refined oil to the United Kingdom. Already in June 2022, the UK completely abandoned Russian imports in the form of refined oil, crude oil, gas, coal, coke, and briquettes.

Legal 

Polish journalists demand to put Russian propagandists on trial as war criminals. Representatives of the Association of Polish Journalists condemned Russian propagandists and said that disinformation and hate speech would never be considered journalism.

Support 

Cyprus may donate its old air defense systems to Ukraine. The country is currently armed with Russian short-range 9K330 Tor and medium-range 9K37 Buk systems. It is assumed that the shipment will take place after the US lifts the embargo on the acquisition by Cyprus of the Iron Dome systems, which will replace the old air defense systems.

️Germany lacks weapons to supply to Ukraine, as stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. According to her, the armed forces of Germany are experiencing a severe shortage of weapons.

️Canada transfers transport planes to Britain to deliver military aid to Ukraine. The Canadian Ministry of Defense called for the redeployment of two C-130J transport aircraft and the ground support crew.

Taiwan handed over 800 short-range Revolver 860 bomber drones to Ukraine. The drone is capable of carrying up to eight mortar charges and dropping them one by one on command. The range of this UAV is about 20 km, it covers this distance with a full charge in 40 minutes.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1562869164716457984

New Developments 

Putin signed a decree increasing the number of military personnel of the Russian Federation by 137 thousand, up to 1,150,000.

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of Saturday 24 August, 2022:

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s August 25 decree to increase the size of the Russian military starting in January 2023 is unlikely to generate significant combat power in the near future and indicates that Putin is unlikely to order a mass mobilization soon. The decree increases the nominal end strength of the Russian Armed Forces by 137,000 military personnel, from 1,013,628 to 1,150,628, starting on January 1, 2023.[1] The Russian military likely seeks to recover losses from its invasion of Ukraine and generate forces to sustain its operation in Ukraine. The announcement of a relatively modest (yet likely still unattainable) increased end strength target strongly suggests that Putin remains determined to avoid full mobilization. The Kremlin is unlikely to generate sufficient forces to reach an end strength of over 1,150,000 soldiers as the decree stipulates. The Russian military has not historically met its end-strength targets. It had only about 850,000 active-duty military personnel in 2022 before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, for example, well shy of its nominal end strength target of over one million.[2]

Russia would likely face serious obstacles to adding large numbers of new soldiers quickly. Apart from the challenges Russian recruiters face, Russia’s net training capacity has likely decreased since February 24, since the Kremlin deployed training elements to participate in combat in Ukraine and these training elements reportedly took causalities.[3] Russia may use the fall conscription cycle in October 2022, which should bring in about 130,000 men, to replenish Russian losses, which reportedly number in the tens of thousands killed and seriously wounded. The Kremlin may alternatively use the additional end strength to formally subsume into the Russian military the forces of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics and/or the new Russian volunteer units that are not formally part of the Russian military. The net addition to Russia’s combat power in any such case would be very small.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) disconnected from the power grid for the first time in its operational history on August 25. Ukrainian nuclear operating enterprise Energoatom reported that Russian shelling caused the disconnection by starting fires at ash pits near the Zaporizhzhia Thermal Power Plant (ZTPP), approximately 5km from the ZNPP.[4] Energoatom stated that the ZTPP is currently supplying the ZNPP with power and that work is ongoing to reconnect one of the ZNPP power units back to the Ukrainian power grid.[5]

Russian sources accused Ukrainian forces of firing at the ZNPP, but Russia has not provided clear evidence of Ukrainian troops striking the plant.[6] As ISW has previously reported, Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) stated that Russian troops deliberately conducted mortar strikes against the ash pits at the ZTPP.[7] The GUR also has not provided clear evidence to support its claims. The Russians’ failure to provide unequivocal evidence of the extensive shelling they accuse Ukraine of conducting is more noteworthy, however, because Russia controls the ground and could provide more conclusive evidence far more easily than Ukraine could. The GUR also reported on August 20 that Russian officials had indefinitely extended the order for Ukrainian employees of the ZNPP to stay home, and there have been no reports of any rescission of that order, which means that a portion of the ZNPP’s workforce is apparently still absent on Russian orders despite the ongoing emergency.[8] Russian forces have also heavily militarized the ZNPP since its capture, despite the fact that the facility is far from the front line and at no risk of imminent Ukrainian ground attack.  This pattern of activity continues to make it far more likely that Russian forces have been responsible for kinetic attacks on and around the ZNPP than that Ukrainian forces have been.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks northwest and northeast of Sloviansk, northeast and south of Bakhmut, and northwest of Donetsk City.
  • Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack in northwestern Kharkiv Oblast.
  • Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks in northwestern Kherson Oblast.
  • Ukrainian forces continued to target Russian military assets and ground lines of communication (GLOCs) in Kherson Oblast.
  • Russian federal subjects (regions) are continuing recruitment efforts for volunteer battalions, which are continuing to deploy to training grounds in Russia and to Ukraine.
  • Russian occupation administrators are continuing to take measures to mitigate challenges to their authority and facilitate the economic and educational integration of occupied territories into the Russian system.

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