Russo Ukrainian War. Day 191: The UN watchdog IAEA to maintain a presence at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

 

Daily review

Article by: Hans Petter Midttun

Putin ordered the occupiers to fully invade the Donetsk region by 15 September.  Ukrainian Armed Forces hit the Kakhovka bridge, preventing Russian forces from building a new crossing. Ukraine’s Air Force strikes enemy targets 18 times in the south. The Russian military started exercises. Covert mobilization in Russia reaches Moscow and St.Petersburg. IAEA to maintain a presence at Zaporizhzhia NPP. 87,000 killed civilians have been documented in occupied Mariupol. Russia to convene another UN Security Council meeting on the topic of the ZNPP.

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. September 1, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. September 1, 2022. Source: ISW.

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“Russian forces continue to focus their efforts on establishing full control over the territory of Donetsk oblast and holding the occupied districts of Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, as well as creating favourable conditions for resuming the offensive.

Russian forces carry out air and missile strikes on military and civilian objects on the territory of our State.

In the Volyn and Polissya directions, the situation remains without significant changes. Units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus continue to carry out the task of strengthening the protection of the section of the Belarusian-Ukrainian border in the Brest and Gomel regions.

  • The threat of missile and air strikes from the territory and airspace of the Republic of Belarus remains.

In the Siversky region, Russian forces continue to hold separate units of the armed forces of the Russian Federation in the border areas of the Bryansk and Kursk regions. Russian forces shelled the areas of Pushkari, Khrinivka, Senkivka in Chernihiv oblast and Sukhodil, Nova Sloboda and Novovasylivka in Sumy oblast with mortars and artillery. [Yesterday, Russian forces shelled the areas of Kamianska Sloboda, Zaliznyi Myst, Senkivka of Chernihiv oblast and Starykovo of Sumy oblast with mortars and artillery.]

In the Slobozhansky direction, Russian forces are conducting combat operations in order to prevent the loss of control over the occupied borders and logistics routes in the Kharkiv oblast. It tries to find weak points in the defence of our troops and improve the tactical position

Kharkiv Battle Map. September 1, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. September 1, 2022. Source: ISW.

  • In the Kharkiv direction, it carried out shelling from tanks, artillery and MLRS in the areas of the settlements of Udy, Ruski Tyshky, Cherkasy Tyshki, Pytomnyk, Velyki Prohody, Stary Saltiv, Petrivka, Peremoha, Dementiivka, Pryshyb. It carried out airstrikes in the areas of Shestakove, Bayrak, Ruski Tyshki and Vesele settlements. [Yesterday, Russian forces shelled targets in the areas of Udy, Sosnivka, Velyki Prohody, Pytomnyk, Ruska Lozova, Ruski Tyshki, Cherkaskie Tyshki, Stariy Saltiv and Pryshyb with the use of tank weapons, artillery and MLRS.]
  • In the Sloviansk direction, it carried out fire damage to military and civilian infrastructure using tanks, artillery and multiple rocket launcher systems in the areas of Dolyna, Krasnopillya, Brazhkivka, and Dibrivne settlements. [Yesterday, enemy units shelled the areas of Hrushuvaha, Velyka Komyshuvakha, Vernopillya, Dolyna, Krasnopillya, Dibrivne and Nova Dmytrivka settlements with artillery and multiple rocket systems. It used aviation to strike the areas of the settlements of Nova Dmytrivka and Bohorodychne.]
    • [Yesterday they attempted to attack in the direction of Dolyna settlement, were unsuccessful, and withdrew.]
Donetsk Battle Map. September 1, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Donetsk Battle Map. September 1, 2022. Source: ISW.

In the Donetsk direction, Russian forces are concentrating their main efforts on conducting offensive actions in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions. On the Kramatorsk and Novopavlovsk directions, it is trying to improve the tactical position and is carrying out fire damage to our troops. Attempts are being made to constrain the actions of units of the Defense Forces and prevent them from being diverted to other directions.

  • In the Kramatorsk direction, it carried out shelling from mortars, tanks, artillery and MLRS in the areas of Bohorodychne, Hryhorivka, Donetske, Verkhnyokamianske, Ivano-Daryivka, Rozdolivka, and Vesele settlements. It carried out an airstrike in the area of ​​the settlement of Verkhnokamianske. [Yesterday, Russian forces fired tanks, mortars, artillery and MLRS at the areas of the settlements of Raihorodok, Piskunivka, Siversk, Verkhnyokamianske, Ivano-Daryivka, Spirne, and Rozdolivka.]
  • In the Bakhmut direction, Russian forces fired mortars, tanks, artillery and MLRS at the areas of the settlements of Sukha Balka, Yuryivka, Bakhmutske, Mayorsk, Zaytseve, Soledar, Bakhmut, Yakovlivka, Bilohorivka. It carried out airstrikes in the areas of the settlements of Zaitseve, Vesela Dolyna, Soledar, Bakhmut, and Yakovlivka. [Yesterday, Russian forces shelled the areas of the settlements of Vesele, Yakovlivka, Vyimka, Bilohorivka, Krasnopolivka, Zvanivka, Soledar, Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Mayorsk, Vesela Dolyna with tanks, artillery and MLRS.]
    • [Yesterday, they tried to advance in the direction of the settlements of Vesela Dolyna, Soledar, Bakhmutske and Zaytseve, but they were unsuccessful and withdrew.]
    • Units of the Defense Forces repelled a Russian offensive in the direction of the settlements of Bakhmutske and Bakhmut, as well as Vesela Dolyna and Mayorsk.
  • In the Avdiivka direction, Russian forces fired from the available types of weapons in the areas of Krasnohorivka, Avdiivka, Vesele, Opytne, Vodyane, Tonenke, Pervomaiske, Karlivka settlements. [Yesterday, Russian forces fired with tanks, mortars and barrel artillery in the areas of the settlements of Oleksandropil, Rozivka, Tonenke, Avdiivka, Karlivka, Vodyane, Opytne, Pervomaiske, Pisky. It carried out an airstrike on the areas of the settlements of Vremivka, Neskuchne, and Oleksandropol.]
    • Our troops successfully repelled the attack of enemy units in the districts of Opytne, Pervomaiske and Nevelske [Yesterday, they tried to improve the tactical position in the direction of the settlements of Pervomaiske, Nevelske, and Opytne, it was unsuccessful, suffered losses, and withdrew.]
    • Russian assaults in the direction of the settlements of Avdiivka and Krasnohorivka were also repelled.
  • In the Novopavlivskyi direction, enemy units fired mortars, tanks, barrel artillery and multiple rocket launchers in the areas of Krasnohorivka, Novomykhailivka, Mykilske, Prechistivka, Velyka Novosilka, Bogoyavlenka, Novomayorsk, Neskuchne. Russian forces did not conduct active offensive operations. [Yesterday, it shelled the areas of Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka, Velyka Novosilka, and Prechistivka settlements. An airstrike was carried out in the area of ​​Maryinka settlement.]
    • [Yesterday, they tried to improve the tactical position in the direction of the settlement of Vodyane, but they did not succeed and withdrew.]
  • Enemy units did not carry out active offensive actions in the Zaporizhzhia direction. [Yesterday, Russian forces shelled objects in the areas of settlements of Novopil, Olhivske, Hulyaipole, Luhivske.]

In the Pivdenny Buh direction, Russian forces are concentrating on the defence of previously occupied lines and positions. Conducted shelling of the positions of our troops and civilian infrastructure from tanks, artillery and MLRS in the areas of settlements of Stepova Dolyna, Oleksandrivka, Posad-Pokrovske, Prybuzke, Novomykolaivka, Lyubomirivka, Novohryhorivka, Kiselivka, Pervomaiske, Kobzartsi, Partizanske, Chervona Dolyna, Shyroke, Bereznehuvate , Velyke Artakove, Andriyivka, Novoselivka, Shevchenkove, Olhyne, Myrolyubivka, Lyubymivka and Petrivka. It carried out airstrikes in the areas of the settlements of Lozove, Sukhy Stavok, Velyke Artakove, Khreshchenivka. [Yesterday, Russian forces tried to use tanks, mortars and artillery to hit important objects in the areas of Potemkine, Andriyivka, Novohryhorivka, Shyroke, Partyzanske, Novopetrivka, Lyubomirivka, Shevchenkove, Stepova Dolyna, Tavriyske, Lupareve, Oleksandrivka, Pervomaiske, Lozove, Olhyne settlements.]

  • It was stopped by the Defense Forces during offensive operations in the direction of the settlement of Potyomkine.

In the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov, Russian main efforts are focused on conducting reconnaissance and blocking civilian shipping in the northwestern part of the Black Sea. Carriers of sea-based cruise missiles of the Kalibr type are ready to use high-precision weapons.

Defence forces continue to attack enemy targets. Thus, in the settlement of Novoosinivka, Kharkiv Region, as a result of effective fire damage inflicted by the Defense Forces on the night of August 31 to September 1, a Russian fuel and oil warehouse was destroyed. The number of destroyed equipment and personnel are being clarified.

In the town of Tavriysk, Kherson oblast, on August 30, as a result of the fire damage to the location of Russian forces at the former motor-transport company, Russian forces lost more than 20 pieces of weapons and military equipment, the loss of manpower – to be clarified.”

Military Updates 

Putin ordered the occupiers to fully invade the Donetsk region by 15 September, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing  Oleksii Hromov, the Deputy Head of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of Ukraine. “The Russians continue to keep hold of the occupied territories of Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson and Mykolaiv oblasts and are also trying to create favourable conditions for the resumption of the offensive. The Russian occupying forces are once again altering their plans and actions in accordance with Putin’s order to reach the administrative borders of Donetsk Oblast by 15 September.

Hromov also reported that the Russians are continuing to regroup the formations and military units of the 3rd Army Corps to the occupied territories, presumably to increase the staffing of Russian forces and create conditions for the resumption of the offensive in the Donetsk operational district.

According to the received information, due to considerable losses of personnel, the high command of the Armed Forces of Russia made a decision to disband the 31st Guards Air Assault Brigade and 22nd Separate Guards Special Purpose Brigade. Due to losses, less than 20% of personnel are left in these brigades, Hromov added.”

Ukrainian Armed Forces hit the Kakhovka bridge, preventing Russian forces from building a new crossing, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Operational Command South. “Our fire prevented the [Russian occupying forces from] erecting a new pontoon crossing near Darivka. Additional damage inflicted [by the Ukrainian Armed Forces] on the Kakhovka bridge further ensured that this infrastructure target is unfit for use.”

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1565520887885037569

Ukraine’s Air Force strikes enemy targets 18 times in the south, Ukrinform reports, citing Operational Command South. The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine struck enemy command posts and strong points, ammunition and fuel depots, and transport and logistics capacities. Ukraine’s missile and artillery units completed a series of fire missions, having hit nine command posts, two ferry lines, two UAV control centres, air-defence systems and enemy personnel clusters. Ukrainian forces continue to keep under fire control Antonivka Bridge, Kakhovka Bridge and Darivka Bridge.

Over the past day, the enemy’s losses have included 102 troops, six tanks, one Msta-B howitzer, one Grad multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), one 120-mm mobile mortar, and eight armoured vehicles. The Ukrainian military also destroyed five enemy ammunition depots in Bashtanka District, Beryslav District and Kherson District, an UAV control centre near Pravdyne and a ferry crossing near Kozatske.

In the Black Sea, Russia’s naval group remained unchanged. Three enemy missile carriers, including a submarine, are kept combat-ready, equipped with 20 Kalibr-type cruise missiles.”

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

  • Heavy fighting continues in southern Ukraine, including shelling in Enerhodar district, near the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
  • Despite the war in Ukraine, on 01 September, the Russian military started exercise Vostok 22, its annual Joint Strategic Exercise, marking the culmination of the military training year. Russia publicly claimed that 50,000 troops will take part, however, it’s unlikely that more than 15,000 personnel will be actively involved this year. This is around 20% of the forces which participated in the last Vostok exercise in 2018.
  • Russia’s military performance in Ukraine has highlighted that Russia’s military strategic exercises, such as Vostok, have failed to sustain the military’s ability to conduct large scale, complex operations. Such events are heavily scripted, do not encourage initiative, and primarily aim to impress Russian leaders and international audiences.
  • Over 30-31 August 2022, Ukrainian Armed Forces continued offensive operations in southern Ukraine, supported by intensive long-range strikes against Russian command and logistics locations across the occupied zone.
  • Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence also released video footage of Ukrainian aircraft operating high speed anti-radiation missiles (HARMs). Russian has previously claimed that it has recovered fragments of these types of weapons, which are designed to locate and destroy radars.
  • Russia prioritises strong ground-based air defences – the radar coverage which enables this is a critical capability in its Ukraine operation. A substantial, sustained degradation of Russia’s radars with HARMs would be a major setback to Russia’s already troubled situational awareness.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of Friday 2 September, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:

  • Personnel – more than 48700 (+350),
  • Tanks – 2009 (+12),
  • Armoured combat vehicles – 4366 (+21),
  • Artillery systems – 1126 (+11),
  • Multiple rocket launchers –MLRS – 289 (+2),
  • Air defence means – 153 (+0),
  • Aircraft – 234 (+0),
  • Helicopters – 205 (+1),
  • Automotive technology and fuel tanks – 3247 (+8),
  • Vessels/boats – 15 (+0),
  • UAV operational and tactical level – 853 (+2),
  • Special equipment – 105 (+1),
  • Mobile SRBM system – 4 (+0),
  • Cruise missiles – – 198 (+2),

Russian enemy suffered the greatest losses (of the last day) in the Donetsk and Kurakhove directions.

Covert mobilization in Russia reaches Moscow and St.Petersburg – Ukrainian intelligence, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU). The Russian Federation plans to strengthen the defence of Crimea with residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as military personnel.

Humanitarian 

Up to 120,000 children may remain in temporarily occupied territories, Ukrinform reports. “We don’t have the exact information. However, for example, we know that there are tens of thousands of children in the Donetsk region, I am currently talking about temporary occupied territories. In the Kherson region, there are also tens of thousands of children. The same is in the Zaporizhzhia region. If we are talking about the total figure, I think that it is approximately 100,000-120,000 children,” Deputy Prime Minister – Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk said.”

Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 191: The UN watchdog IAEA to maintain a presence at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant ~~

Risk of False Flag operation against schools on occupied territories, ISW reports. “Russian authorities released a list of the locations of schools in occupied areas, including precise coordinates, ostensibly warning of possible Ukrainian attacks against them as the school year begins on September 1. This announcement could be preparation for Russian false-flag attacks on schools […]. The Russian Defense Ministry (MoD) issued a statement on August 31 warning that Ukrainian forces are preparing to shell schools in occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. The Russian MoD released a list of the addresses and exact locations of all schools in occupied areas of Ukraine under the pretext of “ensuring the safety of students and teachers.” This statement, along with the list of schools in occupied areas, could be an attempt to set information conditions for three potential courses of action on September 1.

The first, and most dangerous, may be a preparation for Russian troops to stage a false-flag attack against educational infrastructure in occupied areas of Ukraine and blame the Ukrainian armed forces for the attack.

The second scenario, which is more likely, is that Russian authorities may be setting conditions to explain very low enrollment and attendance in Russian-run schools as the school year begins. As ISW reported on August 30, Ukrainian families with children have been increasingly leaving Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine as the school year approaches. Russian authorities may seek to amplify the claimed threat of Ukrainian strikes against schools in order to explain low attendance levels.

The third scenario is that Russian authorities could be attempting to establish a published no-strike list by identifying specific civilian infrastructure, which will later allow them to use the identified schools as military bases with the expectation that Ukrainian forces will not target designated civilian infrastructure.”

Russian authorities are using the start of the new school year to escalate efforts to institutionalize the elimination of Ukrainian identity, ISW reports. “Russian authorities continued to disseminate Russian educational materials in schools in occupied areas of Ukraine. Russian-backed authorities from Sevastopol arrived in Starobilsk, Luhansk Oblast, to deliver backpacks and official state symbols of the Russian Federation to local schools. The Russian-appointed head of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, similarly called on educators in Crimea to intensify patriotic programming in Crimean schools, notably to teach children about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to conduct a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Ukrainian outlet Strana reported that the first lesson that will be taught in schools in occupied Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts is oriented on a lesson outline that pulls from Putin’s article on “The Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians”, his speeches on the recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR), and the commencement of the “special military operation.” In these speeches, Putin rejected the legitimacy of Ukrainian identity, declaring that it “is entirely the product of the Soviet era… shaped on the lands of historical Russia.” He also repeatedly declared that Ukraine is part of Russia and cannot be a state in its own right. The explicit link between Russian-imposed curricula in Ukrainian schools and these speeches and writings is part of an effort to erase the Ukrainian identity in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine through educational control.”

Millions of refugees from Ukraine have crossed borders into neighboring countries, and many more have been forced to move inside the country. The escalation of conflict in Ukraine has caused civilian casualties and destruction of civilian infrastructure, forcing people to flee their homes seeking safety, protection and assistance the UNHCR reports. As of 30 August:

Individual refugees from Ukraine recorded across Europe: 7,007,381
Hungary, Republic  of Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia 1,649,680
Russian Federation, Belarus 2,426,580
Other European countries 2,931,121
Refugees from Ukraine registered for Temporary Protection or similar national protection schemes in Europe: 3,969,537
Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia 1,528,692
Other European countries 2,440,845
Border crossings from Ukraine (since 24 February 2022): 11,976,498
Border crossings to Ukraine (since 28 February 2022): 5,324,798 

 

️️Environmental 

IAEA to maintain a presence at ZNPP – IAEA Director General, Ukrainska Pravda reports. “Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said that the Association’s team will maintain presence at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP). We are finishing our long-awaited visit to [the] Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. I have just completed a first tour of the key areas that we wanted to see on this first approach to the whole facility. Of course, there is a lot more to do. My team is staying. More importantly, and most importantly, we are establishing a continued presence of the IAEA here.”

Most of the inspectors from the IAEA mission, including Grossi himself, have already left the ZNPP following their initial visit on Thursday, 1 September. Five members of the IAEA remain at the power plant.”

Russian invaders cause 1 trillion hryvnias in damage to Ukraine’s environment, Ukrainska Pravda reports. “Experts have estimated the environmental impact of the damage to the air, land and water quality and of the toxic pollution caused by the weapons used in the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation. 

The estimated amount of damage caused by the Russian occupiers to Ukraine’s environment is more than UAH 962 billion [equivalent to US$26 billion]. The release of pollutants into the air alone reaches UAH 823 billion [equivalent to US$22 billion] in damages, as reported by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine. The estimated damage to soil and lands exceeds UAH 138 billion [equivalent to US$3.7 billion], and chemical threats and damage to forests and vegetation amount to approximately UAH 183.2 billion [equivalent to US$5 billion]. 

“As a result of the full-scale invasion by the Russians, almost a third of the entire forested area of Ukraine has been affected. The number of forest fires has increased dramatically”, said Ruslan Strilets, the Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources. Last year in Ukraine there was only one large fire with an area greater than five hectares. So far this year, we’ve already had more than 100 fires of this magnitude!”

Legal 

87,000 killed civilians have been documented in occupied Mariupol, Euromaidan Press reports. “Speaking with the regional media Dnipro.tv, Mykola Osychenko, the president of Mariupol TV and civic volunteer, told that according to insider information, Mariupol morgues have documented 87,000 people killed during the Russian siege of the Ukrainian seaside city.

According to him, as of mid-August, the Illichivskyi morgue of Mariupol documented 87,000 dead people. In addition, there a database of unidentified killed people is kept in the Novoazov Prosecutor’s Office and contains 26,750 entries. Bodies of these people are buried and reburied in mass graves.”

380 children were killed, 737 children injured, 7,297 deported by foe forces, and 228 reported missing – the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine reports as of September 2. 2,328 educational establishments are damaged as a result of shelling and bombings, 289 of them are destroyed fully. 31,506 crimes of aggression and war crimes and 14,654 crimes against national security were registered.

Support 

Kuleba: Ukraine now needs artillery, air defense systems, MLRS most, Ukrinform reports. “The best assistance to Ukraine now is weapons. We greatly appreciate everything that is provided to Ukraine – macro-financial assistance, humanitarian aid, mine clearance assistance, and reconstruction efforts. This is all very important. But the basic rule now is that if there is no success at the front, then everything else is meaningless. If we want to live in a country that can be rebuilt, that can be further developed, it must first be defended and we must win this war. So, wherever I go, any conversation starts and ends with the arms supply,” Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba said at a joint briefing with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark Jeppe Kofod in Kyiv.

“The three biggest priorities in terms of armaments are the artillery of any type and ammunition for it, air defence systems, and multiple launch rocket systems. Therefore, at every meeting, I constantly point out the very great need to obtain a bigger number of artillery systems, without which no defensive or offensive operation is possible,” said the foreign minister of Ukraine.

As the minister noted, when any country provides weapons to Ukraine, it is not an act of charity, it is an act of investment in their own security so that we here in Ukraine can stop the Russian invasion and protect Europe from Putin’s aggression. In this context, Kuleba noted that aggression was taking place in different ways: through tanks and missiles in Ukraine and the energy crisis, inflation, and the spread of Russian propaganda in Europe.”

Stefanchuk calls on Europe to strengthen sanctions against Russia, Ukrinform reports. “While Ukrainian soldiers are defending Ukrainian land, Europe should think every day about strengthening sanctions. Energy embargo, recognizing Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and expelling Russia from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), including it in the FATF blacklist, a complete ban on Russian media in Europe, and a complete visa ban. There is a lot to work on. And I am glad that European politicians are in solidarity with this,” Verkhovna Rada Chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk said. He said that in order to stop the aggressor, Ukraine needs Europe’s help, especially in increasing sanctions pressure.

According to the parliament’s press service, the main topics of the meeting were the consequences of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, including the observance of human rights, the genocide of the Ukrainian people, and war crimes committed by the terrorist state.

“Russia violates all recognized laws and rules of warfare. We witness war crimes committed by the Russian Federation every day. Civilians die every day and civilian infrastructure is destroyed, which has nothing to do with military facilities,” he said. He also reported on the humanitarian situation in the temporarily occupied territories, where the Russian invaders use all possible methods to force the population to cooperate.

“Today, Ukraine records persecution by the Russian occupiers of Ukrainian educators who refuse to cooperate with them, attempts to introduce education in the Russian language, forced deportation of citizens,” Stefanchuk said.”

Finland donates EUR 8.3M in more defense supplies to Ukraine, Ukrinform reports.  “Ukraine’s defensive fight continues, the need for aid remains high, Finland’s Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen said in a statement. This brings the total value of Finland’s defence donations to Ukraine to EUR 92.3 million since the beginning of Russia’s invasion.”

Sweden Revealed New Military Aid Package for Ukraine, European Pravda reports. “According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Ann Linde, the package includes artillery ammunition worth about 500 million Swedish Krona – almost 50 million euros.”

Biden administration preparing additional security aid for Ukraine, Ukrinform reports. “US President Joe Biden’s administration will soon announce additional security assistance for Ukraine. White House national security spokesman John Kirby said this on Wednesday, August 31.”

New Developments 

A. Putin persuades school students that Ukraine never existed and that the Russian army in Ukraine is protecting Russia, Ukrainska PravdaRussian President Vladimir Putin has spent a meeting with school students persuading them that Ukraine did not exist before the formation of the Soviet Union and that the alleged goal of the Russian war against Ukraine is to protect Russia and stop the war that has been going on in Donbas since 2014.”

B. Russian Federation Council declares Russia has enough resources to win the war, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing a blog poston the Federation Council website. “Valentina Matviyenko, Chairwoman of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation, has declared that Russia has sufficient resources to win the war with Ukraine. [She claimed]  that the Russian army is armed with the most modern weapons and equipment and the Russian occupiers act humanely: they never use civilians as human shields, never fire on residential neighbourhoods, and never destroy social infrastructure and public utilities. Matviyenko added that the Russian troops had never been blemished by massacring prisoners of war.”

C. Russia to convene another UN Security Council meeting on the topic of the ZNPP, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing European Pravda. “The Russian Federation announced that a new Security Council meeting has become necessary “in light of the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia NPP carried out by Kyiv”. The official position of the Ukrainian government, meanwhile, is that the ZNPP is being attacked by Russian forces. Russia expects that IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi and UN Secretary-General António Guterres will take part in the Security Council meeting.”

D. Zelensky: Demilitarization of Zaporizhzhia NPP is the goal of Ukrainian and international efforts, UkrinformThe demilitarization of the Zaporizhzhia NPP is the goal of Ukrainian and international efforts, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said in his nightly video address.”

E. Lavrov Warns Russia Will Consider “Any Action” Endangering Their “Peacekeepers” in Transnistria Like an Attack on Russia Itself, European PravdaRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow would consider any actions in which it sees a threat to its “peacekeepers” in Transnistria as an attack on the Russian Federation. A day before, Lavrov had declared Russia’s readiness to “do everything” to guarantee the protection of the rights of Russian speakers in Moldova and advised the country not to play geopolitical games imposed by the West.”

F. Putin denies Gorbachev a state funeral and will stay away, ReutersRussian President Vladimir Putin is to miss the funeral of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, denying the man who failed to prevent the collapse of the Soviet empire the full state honours granted to Boris Yeltsin.”

G. Poland puts its WW2 losses at $1.3 trillion, and demands German reparations, ReutersPoland estimates its World War Two losses caused by Germany at 6.2 trillion zlotys ($1.32 trillion), the leader of the country’s ruling nationalists said on Thursday, and he said Warsaw would officially demand reparations. Poland’s biggest trade partner and a fellow member of the European Union and NATO, Germany has previously said all financial claims linked to World War Two have been settled.”

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of Thursday 1 September:

“Ukrainian military officials reiterated that Ukrainian forces continued targeting Russian logistics and reinforcements and maintained operational silence on the progress of the Ukrainian counteroffensive in southern Ukraine on September 1. Deputy Chief of the Ukrainian Main Operational Department Oleksiy Gromov stated that Russian losses are currently concentrated due to a series of Ukrainian missile, air, UAV, and artillery strikes on Russian command posts, positions, and ammunition depots between August 29 and August 31.

The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Ukrainian forces destroyed a pontoon bridge over the Inhulets River in Darivka, about 18km northeast of Kherson City and situated on the Kherson City-Nova Kakhovka highway. Ukrainian forces have particularly targeted pontoon crossings since August 29, likely to tactically disrupt Russian forces and support ongoing Ukrainian offensive operations. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command also noted that Ukrainian forces struck six ammunition depots in the Bersylavsky and Khersonsky Raions (Districts) in Central Kherson Oblast, and Hennichensky Raion, near the eastern Kherson Oblast-Crimea border. Ukrainian forces also reportedly destroyed command posts of the Russian 331st Guards Airborne Regiment of the 98th Guards Airborne Division and the 56th Airborne Assault Regiment of the 7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division in unspecified areas. The 331st Regiment previously operated near Hostomel, Kyiv Oblast, in February and March and suffered significant losses, and Ukrainian military officials stated that Ukrainian forces previously struck the unit’s command post south of the Kherson-Dnipropetrovsk Oblast border in Novovoskresenke on August 23. It is unclear if Ukrainian forces struck the 331st Regiment’s command post in Novovoskresenke or another location.

Ukrainian forces likely continued to strike Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) and key positions throughout central Kherson Oblast on September 1. Local Ukrainian civilians reported hearing explosions and witnessing active air defence systems in Nova Kakhovka and Kakhovka (approximately 12km northeast of Nova Kakhovka), and social media footage showed new Ukrainian strikes against the Antonivsky Bridge. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Russian forces shot down Ukrainian AGM-88 HARM missiles over Antonivsky Bridge. A Ukrainian Telegram channel reported that a Ukrainian missile hit an unspecified target in Oleshky (about 9km southeast of Kherson City on the left bank of the Dnipro River), and that Russian air defence systems shot down a Ukrainian missile over Kalanchak (about 67km due south of Kherson City). A Ukrainian Telegram channel also published footage of a reported destroyed Russian military base in Shyroka Balka, about 35km west of Kherson City. Geolocated footage also showed the destruction of a Russian military base in the former barracks of the Ukrainian National Guards in Kherson City, likely destroyed during a Ukrainian strike on August 29. Ukrainian Telegram channels have also reported Russian forces transporting more barges to Nova Kakhovka, likely in an attempt to facilitate cross-river transportation in the area.

Russian milbloggers reported that Ukrainian forces continued attacking in at least four directions in Kherson Oblast, but these claims remain largely unverifiable. Various milbloggers claimed that fighting continued west of Vysokopillya south of the Kherson-Dnipropetrovsk Oblast border, east and northeast of the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River, around Snihurivka about 65km east of Mykolaiv City, and north of Kherson City.

Some milbloggers reported that Russian airborne troops repelled Ukrainian attacks on Olhyne, while others noted that Russian forces have “confident control” over the southern halves of Olhyne and Vysokopillya and are engaged in defensive battles south of the Kherson-Dnipropetrovsk Oblast border. Ukrainian forces reportedly continued fighting in Arkhanhelske near the Inhulets River in the northernmost part of Kherson Oblast. Some Russian milbloggers reported that Russian forces established partial control of Bila Krynytsia (between the Ukrainian bridgehead and Davydiv Brid), while others claimed that Rosgvadia and Russian airborne troops are fighting Ukrainian forces in Davydiv Brid itself. Geolocated footage also showed Russian forces striking Ukrainian military equipment south of Bila Krynytsia. A milblogger also claimed that Ukrainian forces captured Kostromka (10km southeast of the Ukrainian bridgehead) and advanced to the outskirts of Bruskynske on the T2207 highway, while simultaneously attacking Shchaslyve south of Kostromka. Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) officials and milbloggers claimed that Russian forces repelled a Ukrainian attack on Snihurivka, and geolocated footage showed Ukrainian forces shelling Russian positions in the settlement. A milblogger claimed that Russian forces regained control over Zeleny Hai (approximately 23km north of Kherson City) and noted that Russian forces continued to fire at Ukrainian positions with artillery. Geolocated footage showed Russian artillery shelling Ukrainian forces near Myrne (approximately seven kilometers west of Zeleny Hai), and Russian milbloggers previously stated that Russian forces failed to advance to Myrne on August 31. Geolocated footage also showed a destroyed Ukrainian tank in Liubomyrivka (about 7km north of Zeleny Hai), which corroborates Russian milbloggers’ claims from August 31 of Ukrainian advances in the area. Geolocated footage seemingly shows five Russian soldiers surrendering to Ukrainian forces in Pravdyne (about 35km northwest of Kherson City).

Russian milbloggers continued attempts to claim that Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the south has already failed. Igor Girkin, a Russian nationalist and former commander of militants in the 2014 fighting in Donbas, stated that Ukrainian forces are continuing to attack after the “failure of the first attack”—falsely portraying ongoing Ukrainian operations as separate attacks after an initial failure—and reiterated the common Russian narrative that what he claims is Ukraine’s “Western handlers” pushed Ukraine to conduct a counter-offensive. Girkin additionally stated that Ukraine’s Western partners poorly planned for the counteroffensive, underestimated Russian capabilities and assumed Russians are incompetent, and principally accounted for political—not military—considerations. One milblogger stated that Ukraine’s defeat in the south will be the strongest psychological blow to Kyiv and that this failure will have a continued long-term psychological effect on Ukraine’s morale. The Russian milbloggers are increasingly centrally describing Ukrainian attacks as tactless and “suicidal” rushes.

As ISW has reported, military operations on the scale of the ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive do not succeed or fail in a day or a week. Ukrainians and the West should not fall for Russian information operations portraying the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kherson Oblast as having failed almost instantly or that depict Ukraine as a helpless puppet of Western masters for launching it at this time.

The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended the deadline for Russian forces to capture Donetsk Oblast from August 31 to the still highly unlikely target date of September 15, and Russian forces are conducting several redeployments to meet this goal. Deputy Chief of the Ukrainian Main Operational Department Oleksiy Gromov stated that Russian forces are regrouping elements of the Central Military District (CMD) operating in the Luhansk-Donetsk Oblast directions in an effort to increase the number of troops west of Donetsk City. Gromov added that Russian forces deployed two battalion tactical groups (BTGs) in the direction of the western Zaporizhzhia Oblast frontline from Belgorod Oblast, which he noted might support resumed Russian offensive operations in Donbas. Gromov stated that Russian military officials are continuing to form the 3rd Army Corps to deploy to Donetsk Oblast, also likely to resume offensive operations in the Donetsk operational area. Gromov noted that it is unclear if all mobilized 3rd Army Corps servicemen have undergone military training. Russian forces also reportedly introduced one BTG each to the Sloviansk and Mykolaiv directions. RFE/RL’s footage also shows that Russian forces are continuing to react to the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kherson Oblast by consistently transferring military convoys to southern Ukrainian via the Kerch Strait Bridge. These Russian deployments are likely intended to set conditions for a revised operation to capture Donetsk Oblast, but Russian forces remain highly unlikely to make the progress necessary to capture the Oblast by September 15.

The Kremlin is likely seeking to capitalize on the significance of seizing areas around Donetsk City that have been contested since 2014 to boost the morale of Russian and proxy forces. Russian forces have not been successful in advancing toward Siversk or capturing the E40 highway to Sloviansk-Bakhmut since the fall of Lysychansk and are likely experiencing challenges incentivizing Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) elements to continue fighting to reach the Donetsk Oblast administrative borders. Russian forces had minor territorial gains around Avdiivka, which generated positive chatter among the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) fighters in early August after which the advances stalled west of Donetsk City.

Key Takeaways

  • Ukrainian forces continued to target Russian logistical nodes and key positions throughout Kherson Oblast in support of the ongoing counteroffensive in southern Ukraine.
  • Russian milbloggers reiterated claims that Ukrainian forces are fighting along four axes of advance in Western Kherson Oblast.
  • Russian forces conducted ground attacks northwest of Sloviansk, south and northeast of Bakhmut, and northwest and southwest of Donetsk City.
  • Russian authorities escalated claims that Ukrainian forces are threatening both the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and the newly arrived International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) delegation on the territory of the ZNPP.
  • The Russian 3rd Army Corps is continuing to form for deployment to Donbas.
  • Russian occupation authorities are likely increasingly recognizing their inability to successfully hold sham referenda in occupied areas of Ukraine due to Russian military failures and ongoing Ukrainian resistance in occupied territories.

Russian Federation will run out of shells, artillery and armoured vehicles by year-end, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing The Insider, a Russian non-governmental media outlet. “Six months of war has led not only to colossal irreparable losses in manpower but also to a huge waste of weapons and military equipment for Russia. Guided missiles are already very scarce; shells for artillery and armoured vehicles will be exhausted by the end of the year, and the state of military aviation precludes a full-scale air campaign. Because of the sanctions, Russia cannot continue full-scale industrial production of weapons and replenish its rapidly depleting stockpiles.

According to the analysis by The Insider, during six months of aggression against Ukraine, Russia had to use at least 7 million shells, not including the losses at frontline storage sites that resulted from Ukrainian strikes. If the intensity of the war remains at its current level, Moscow will face a tangible shell shortage by the end of 2022 and will have to reduce its use of artillery in order to save munitions,” the article says.

The author also points out the problem of wear and tear of artillery barrels. While the guides on Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems have a long service life when properly maintained, the barrels of rifled artillery guns, as well as tank guns, wear out much faster. As the author of the article writes, by the end of 2022, the wear and tear of the artillery will lead to a drastic reduction in its effectiveness. Thus, the expected projectile shortage should coincide with the growing shortage of artillery pieces.

At the same time, “things are not going smoothly” with the production of artillery and ammunition. Being cut off from supplies of Western equipment, spare parts and materials and simultaneously limited in human capital and labour productivity, Russian artillery and ammunition manufacturers will inevitably face production cuts rather than stagnation in the foreseeable future, the article says.

The Russian Federation is also facing a growing shortage of long-range missiles. However, Russia is masking this deficit by shelling Ukrainian cities with long-range rocket artillery and by using S-300/S-400 air defence/anti-missile systems to strike ground targets. It is unlikely that the Russian industry has the potential to substantially increase rocket production, due not only to the embargo on the supply of equipment and personnel restrictions, but also to relatively low labour productivity.”

Belarus to hold exercises on “liberating territories”: Ukrainian Armed Forces prepared, Ukrainska Pravda reports, citing Interfax-Ukraine. “Oleksii Hromov, the Deputy Head of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of Ukraine, [says] that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are ready for any scenario during command and staff exercises in Belarus from 8 to 14 September dedicated to “liberating the territories temporarily occupied by Russian forces”.

The likelihood of a Russian offensive from the territory of Belarus, or an offensive carried out by the BeloRussian troops remains low. On the other hand, from 8 to 14 September, command and staff training is set to be conducted among the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus. It will focus on defence manoeuvres with further transition into counter-offensives and liberating the territories temporarily occupied by Russian forces [Ukrainians – ed.]. The training will be conducted with the involvement of Russian troops and Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states.

The military suppose that the border districts of Volyn, Rivne and Zhytomyr oblasts may be the so-called “lost territories” in question. Hromov states that it corresponds to the concept of joint military action of the armed forces of the so-called ally-state on the Ukrainian front.

  1. Consequences and what to do? 

Hans Petter Midttun: Weapons and ammunition are running low in most NATO member states, and more countries are becoming increasingly reluctant to deliver more equipment due to the inability of the US and European defence industries to ramp up their production, prioritization is crucial.

Defence procurement processes are by default extremely bureaucratic and cumbersome. As an example, from the day Norway started developing the operational requirements for its latest class of frigates till the first warship was delivered it took a staggering 12 years. It took a further 2 years of tests and verifications before it was declared ready for operations. Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II development started in 1995 with the origins of the Joint Strike Fighter program and culminated in the completion of operational testing and the start of full-rate production in 2021 (low-scale production starting in 2007).

These are just two examples of a too-long procurement process suitable for a peacetime environment only. DOD has historically fielded Major defence acquisition programs (MDAPs) with average cycle times of 6.9 years and with 31.3 percent cycle time growth.

Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 191: The UN watchdog IAEA to maintain a presence at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant ~~

Defence equipment takes a too long time to develop and introduce into service. The process does not meet the requirements of a dynamic and ever-developing security environment. The timeline is further impacted by the defence industries not being scaled to meet wartime requirements. Russia’s war against the West is a brilliant example of the latter. The US defence industry requires 18-30 months to ramp up its production to meet the present demands for new weapons, ammunition, sensors and Command, Control, Communications, Computers (C4) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR).

Today, the limited production capability of defence industries is committed to the production and delivery of equipment ordered years before the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

As the West is slowly running out of weapons it can supply Ukraine which it can use with no or limited training, it is fast reaching a long-predicted milestone. Logistics are about to force the Alliance to change its strategy.

I have long predicted that NATO at one stage will be forced to start delivering both weapons and operators for both the lack of alternatives as well as its strategic interests. In the meantime, more countries have started donating funds to Ukraine for the procurement of weapons, ammunition and equipment. For that to work, however, tough decisions need to be made.

Countries must be willing to stop and delay existing defence procurement programs to allow for the urgent production of defence systems to Ukraine. If they do not, Ukraine will not receive the critically needed weapons in years.

 

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