Copyright © 2021 Euromaidanpress.com

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 507: Putin agrees to extend Black Sea grain deal

Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 507: Putin agrees to extend Black Sea grain deal
Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

Putin agrees to extend Black Sea grain deal, Erdogan says. Wagner Group instructors previously deployed in Africa arrived in Belarus. Ukrainian forces continued ground attacks and reportedly advanced around Bakhmut.

Daily overview — Summary report, July 15

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 18.00 pm, July 15, 2023 is in the dropdown menu below:

Situation in Ukraine. July 14, 2023. Source: ISW.

 
Day 507 of the full-scale russian military aggression continues.
During the day July 15, russian federation carried out a missile-air strike with two Iranian strike UAVs of the “Shahed” type and two anti-aircraft guided missiles against Ukraine. As a result of the successful combat operation of the Air Defense Forces of Ukraine, two attack UAVs were destroyed.
The enemy also carried out 32x airstrikes and 15x MLRS attacks.
The threat of missile and air strikes remains high across Ukraine.
The enemy continues to focus its main efforts on the Kupiansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Mar’inka axes, heavy battles continue. About 28x combat clashes took place during the day.
Volyn’ and Polissya axes: no significant changes detected. There are no signs of the formation of offensive groupings. Armed Forces of belarus continue to perform tasks in the Ukrainian border.
Luhansk Battle Map. July 14,2023. Source: ISW.
Sivershchyna and Slobozhanshchyna axes: the enemy forces maintain an enhanced military presence. They conducted airstrikes at Volfyny, Sumy Oblast, and Ustinivka, Kharkiv Oblast. The adversary shelled with mortars and artillery more than 20 xsettlements, such as Zaliznyi Mist of the Chernihiv Oblast; Bilokopytove and Progres of the Sumy Oblast and Kozacha Lopan’, Veterinary and Krasne of the Kharkiv Oblast.
Kup’yans’k axis: our soldiers are holding their ground. The enemy forces conducted unsuccessful offensives south of Novoselivskyi, Luhansk Oblast. An airstrike was carried out in the same area. Dvorichna, Krasne Pershe, Kolodyazne, Novomlyns’k and Berestov of the Kharkiv Oblast were under enemy artillery and mortar fire.
Donetsk Battle Map. July 14, 2023. Source: ISW.
Lyman axis: the enemy forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations east of Vesely, Donetsk Oblast. They carried out airstrikes in the districts of Nevsky and Bilogorivka of the Luhansk Oblast and Ivano-Daryivka, Fedorivka and Rozdolivka of the Donetsk Oblast. The settlements of Nevs’ke, Bilogorivka of Luhansk Oblast and Tors’ke, Spirne, Rozdolivka of Donetsk Oblast were shelled by artillery.
Bakhmut Battle Map. July 14, 2023. Source: ISW.
Bakhmut axis: our defenders successfully repelled all enemy attacks in the area southwest of Andriivka, Donetsk Oblast. The enemy carried out an airstrike at Dilyivka of the Donetsk Oblast. More than 10x settlements, including Markov, Khromov, Diliivka, and Vasyukivka of the Donetsk Oblast, were shelled by artillery.
Avdiivka axis: the adversary carried out unsuccessful offensive operations at Pervomaisky and launched an air strike near New York, Donetsk Oblast. The enemy shelled more than 10x settlements, including Nevelske, Pervomais’ke, Stepove and Avdiivka of the Donetsk Oblast.
Mar’inka axis: Defense Forces continue to hold back the advance of russian troops in the vicinities of Mar’inka area. The enemy launched an air strike there. They shelled more than 10x settlements, including Krasnohorivka, Mar’inka, Katerynivka, and Georgiivka of the Donetsk Oblast.
Shakhtars’k axis: the enemy forces carried out unsuccessful offensives in the vicinities of Novomykhailivka and carried out an air strike at Blagodatny of the Donetsk Oblast. They shelled the settlements of Velyka Novosilka, Vugledar, Prechistivka and Blagodatne.
Zaporizhzhia Battle Map. July 14, 2023. Source: ISW.
Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes: the enemy is concentrating forces to prevent further advance of our troops. They carried out an airstrike at Mykilskyi, Kherson Oblast. Shelled more than 15x settlements, including Levadne, Novodarivka, Hulyaipole of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast; Ivanivka, Kutsurub, Mykolaiv Oblast; Dniprovs’ke, Zolota Balka, Romashkove, Kizomys of the Kherson Oblast and Kherson.
Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. July 14, 2023. Source: ISW.
Defense Forces of Ukraine continue to conduct offensive operations in the Melitopol and Berdiansk axes, are equipping captured positions, inflict artillery fire on identified enemy targets, and carry out counter-battery measures.
The enemy continues to use civilian health care facilities in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine for their own purposes. In particular, it is known that in t Pokazne, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the building of the Mykhailiv psychoneurological boarding school, about 200x patients were taken to an unknown destination, and the service personnel were dismissed. A military hospital for the treatment of wounded russian troops is planned to be located on the territory and in the premises.
Ukrainian Air Force conducted 9x strikes on enemy manpower concentrations.
Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed 6x reconnaissance UAVs during the day.
Ukrainian missile and artillery units hit 2x ammunition depots, 4x artillery pieces at firing positions, and 2x enemy anti-air systems.
 

Military Updates

Shelling by Russian Troops. Icelandic Data Analyst.

Wagner’s mercenaries train Belarusian troops – Belarus MoD. According to the Ministry of Defense of Belarus, Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner PMC mercenaries began training territorial defense troops in Belarus. “Training sessions with units of territorial troops are held near Osipovichi. Military conscripts master the skills of movement on the battlefield and tactical shooting, get knowledge of engineering training and tactical medicine. Fighters of PMC Wagner acted as instructors in a number of military disciplines,” the press service of the Belarusian MoD reported.

Ukrainian National Guard advanced 1.7 km in Melitopol sector over past week – NG officer. Over the past week, Ukrainian forces advanced 1.7 km in the Melitopol sector in the country’s south, according to a National Guard official. The National Guard’s 15th Brigade “Kara-Dag” continues joint operations with the Armed Forces units in the Melitopol sector. Over the past week, the Brigade’s assault groups supported by tanks have advanced 1700 meters to the south and southeast, according to Colonel Mykola Urshalovych, Deputy Director of the Implementation and Planning Department of the National Guard of Ukraine, who said it at a briefing at Military Media Center in Kyiv on 14 July.

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

  • Russia has routinely sacked commanders since the start of the invasion of Ukraine, but the removal of the 58th Combined Arms Army’s General-Major Ivan Popov is notable, he was apparently dismissed for voicing concerns rather than for any alleged poor performance.
  • In a leaked video intended for his troops, Popov delivered a scathing attack on the Russian MoD leadership, whom he accused of, “hitting us from the rear, viciously beheading the Army at the most difficult and intense moment”.
  • Popov’s comments draw attention to serious disaffection many officers likely harbour towards the senior military leadership. The complaints largely echo those made by Wagner Group owner Yevgeny Prigozhin prior to his June 2023 mutiny. Direct criticism from subordinates is likely to become an increasing problem for Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff General Gerasimov.

Losses of the Russian army 

Losses of the Russian Army. Source: Euromaidan Press.

Humanitarian 

EU and WHO to bolster medevac operations in Ukraine. The European Union (EU) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have announced a collaboration to strengthen medical evacuation operations in Ukraine, according to a statement by the EU Delegation to Ukraine published on 13 July. The statement says the WHO European Regional Office in Copenhagen hosted on 22 June the launch of an 18-month project funded by the European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) entitled “Strengthening Ukraine Ministry of Health accountability Framework for medical evacuation- and Repatriation systems and services.”

Kyiv City bans Russian-language entertainment in public places. The Kyiv City Council banned the public use of Russian-language books, music, performances, concerts, art albums, audiovisual works, and other media in the Ukrainian capital. At a meeting on 13 July, the Council’s deputies adopted a decision to ban the public use of Russian-language entertainment products, the Kyiv City Council reports. The decision imposes a moratorium on public display and demonstration of Russian-language “cultural products,” including music, performances, concerts, books, art albums, audiovisual works, handicrafts, cultural and educational services.

Environmental

Putin agrees to extend Black Sea grain deal, Erdogan says. Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to extend the Black Sea grain deal that would expire next week, the President of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, told reporters on 14 July, according to AFP News Agency. President Erdogan told reporters he had spoken with Vladimir Putin about the grain deal, and the Russian President agreed to extend it. The Black Sea grain deal was set to expire on 17 July 2023. Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, has repeatedly said that Russia would not renew the deal.

Support

US acquires decommissioned Taiwanese air defense systems for Ukraine. The United States bought back the decommissioned MIM-23 HAWK (Homing All the Way Killer) air defense systems sold to Taiwan to provide them to Ukraine as part of a military aid package that should strengthen Ukrainian air defense, according to Taiwan News. The US purchased Phase III MIM-23 HAWK air defense systems, which were retired from service in June 2023, according to Taiwan News. Consultations between the US and Taiwanese governments preceded the purchase agreement. The air defense systems will be transferred to the Ukrainian army to take down Russian drones and aircraft at low altitudes, according to Taiwan News.

Denmark gives Ukraine drones for mine detection. Denmark has provided Ukraine drones for non-technical inspection of territories, including water bodies, for explosive ordnance. The Danish Ministry of Defense provided six drones for mine detection as part of an aid package to Ukraine, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov reported on Twitter. According to the minister, these drones are used for non-technical inspection of territories, including water bodies, for explosive ordnance.

New Developments

France grants Legion of Honor to Ukrainian writer and filmmaker. Ukrainian writer Oksana Zabuzhko and filmmaker Oleg Sentsov are awarded the French Legion of Honor, the French Ambassador to Ukraine announced on 14 July. The Legion of Honor is the highest national decoration in France. For two centuries, it has been rewarding the outstanding merits of citizens and designating them as models of French civic service. The Legion of Honor was founded in 1802. The President of France awards it.

Russia’s attempt to produce Shahed drones off to a rough start – Defense Express. It is unlikely that the project in Alabuga will be completed in the announced 2-3 years, despite the staggering $1.5 billion paid for the license agreement with Iran, leaked data by a Russian opposition group show. Russia’s convoluted attempt to produce Iranian Shahed kamikaze drones domestically spotlights systemic flaws and mismanagement in its defense industry, Defense Express reports, citing leaked data published by the Russian opposition group “Protocol.” According to this data, the Alabuga special economic zone in Tatarstan aims to manufacture Shahed-136 drones under an exorbitant deal with sanctions-hit Iran. However, the opaque contract, inflated costs, unrealistic timeline, and makeshift production facilities all raise doubts if the drones will ever be mass-produced.

Ben Wallace clarifies his remarks on supporting Ukraine. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said his comments on supporting Kyiv were partially distorted and reaffirmed his support for Ukraine. Kyiv and its allies work toward a common goal to help Ukraine get what it needs to repel the Russian invasion, Ben Wallace wrote on Facebook today, on 14 July, and assured that he would support Ukraine as long as necessary.

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin further indicated he intends to maintain the Wagner Group as a cohesive fighting force rather than breaking it up but seeks to separate Wagner Financier Yevgeny Prigozhin from Wagner leadership and forces. Putin confirmed to Russian news outlet Kommersant in an interview published on July 13 that he met with Prigozhin and 35 Wagner commanders on June 29.[1] Putin claimed that he offered Wagner fighters the option to serve under a Wagner commander (callsign “Seda”) who has commanded Wagner forces for the last 16 months, further confirming ISW’s previous assessment that the Kremlin seeks to retain Wagner as a cohesive fighting force while separating it from Prigozhin.[2] Putin claimed that “many [Wagner commanders] nodded” in response to his offer, but that Prigozhin, “who was sitting in front of his personnel and did not see them nodding,” said that the Wagner commanders did not agree with the decision. Putin likely emphasized Prigozhin’s differing response to frame Prigozhin as a problem in contrast to loyal Wagner commanders. Former Russian officer and ardent nationalist Igor Girkin noted that Putin’s retelling of the July 29 meeting portrays Putin as succumbing to Prigozhin’s demands, but the final outcome of the July 29 meeting is unclear.[3] When asked directly by Kommersant about Wagner’s future as a combat unit, Putin continued to maintain the absurd notion that private military companies (PMCs) do not exist in Russia. Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder stated on July 14 that Wagner forces are not participating in military operations in Ukraine in any significant support or combat roles.[4] ISW has previously observed Russian sources reporting that Wagner forces are not involved in combat operations in Ukraine.[5]

Belarusian government and independent sources confirmed on July 14 that Wagner Group instructors previously deployed in Africa previously arrived at training grounds in Belarus. The Belarusian Ministry of Defense (MoD) posted footage on July 14 showing Wagner instructors training Belarusian territorial troops near Asipovichy, Mogilev Oblast.[6] A Belarusian insider source claimed that the Wagner instructors from Wagner‘s African contingent (which the source described as the “Wagner Africa Corps,“ though it is unknown if that is a formal designation) arrived in Belarus on July 11 via a convoy from occupied Luhansk Oblast.[7] The Belarusian insider source suggested that Wagner seeks to rotate troops of their African contingent and that the arrival of some instructors to Belarus is part of a wider troop rotation effort.[8] A Russian milblogger claimed that only a part of Wagner’s Africa contingent has left Africa and that sufficient troops remain in African host nations to perform assigned tasks.[9] Wagner’s internationally deployed commanders are likely arriving in Belarus to prepare training infrastructure and set conditions for the arrival of regular Wagner forces, who are reportedly slated to deploy to Belarus in early August after taking leave and undergoing reorganization following Wagner‘s June 24 armed rebellion.[10] Russian milbloggers additionally amplified an image on July 14 reportedly showing Prigozhin himself either in Belarus or en route to Belarus from occupied Luhansk Oblast, but one milblogger noted that Prigozhin’s current role in Wagner remains unclear.[11]

Former 58th Combined Arms Army Commander Major General Ivan Popov’s dismissal continues to generate pronounced ire against the Russian military command and the Russian civilian leadership. Russian milbloggers argued that Popov’s dismissal shows that the Russian military command is detrimentally suppressing the opinions of commanders about the situation at the front and that Russian command has forgotten that their main priority is preserving their personnel.[12] A Russian military correspondent argued that Popov’s dismissal illustrates a dire issue with both the Russian military leadership as well as Russia’s civilian leadership.[13] The military correspondent accused the civilian leadership of routinely suppressing and ignoring reports from the frontline and of failing to properly mobilize Russia’s defense industrial base (DIB) for the war effort.[14] The military correspondent claimed that Russian elites and businessmen have agreements with the Russian military command constraining Russian military action on the ground to avoid damaging economic interests – providing the hypothetical example of Russian forces being denied permission to attack a town to preserve an industrial plant owned by a Russian businessman.[15] Prigozhin previously accused Russia’s oligarchs of deceiving Putin and the Russian public to launch the invasion of Ukraine in order to divide the assets of occupied Ukrainian territories between themselves.[16] The military correspondent also warned that the Russian chain of command in Ukraine is further degrading and that the situation is “beginning to boil.”[17] Popov’s dismissal has exposed a new level of concern about factional dynamics and degraded command structures in the Russian military following Prigozhin’s June 24 rebellion, and will likely serve as a point of neuralgia in the Russian information space for the foreseeable future.[18]

Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations on at least three sectors of the frontline on July 14 and reportedly made gains in some areas. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations in the Bakhmut, Melitopol (western Zaporizhzhia Oblast), and Berdiansk (Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia Oblast border area) directions.[19] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces achieved partial success in the Bila Hora-Andriivka direction (9-15km southwest of Bakhmut).[20] Ukrainian Deputy Director of the Department of Application Planning of the Main Directorate of the Ukrainian National Guard Colonel Mykola Urshalovych stated that Ukrainian forces have advanced over 1,700 meters in unspecified places in the Melitopol direction.[21] Russian milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian forces achieved a localized breakthrough of Russian defensive lines north of Pryyutne (15km southwest of Velyka Novosilka).[22]

Russian forces conducted another series of Shahed drone strikes across Ukraine on July 14. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces launched 17 Shahed-131/136 drones from Krasnodar Krai and an S-300 missile at targets in Ukraine and that Ukrainian air defenses shot down 16 of the launched drones.[23] Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces targeted Odesa, Mykolaiv, and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts.[24] Russian sources claimed that an unspecified number of Russian Shahed-131/136 drones struck Ukrainian military infrastructure in Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.[25]

Russian authorities detained former Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officer Mikhail Polyakov, who reportedly is the administrator of several popular telegram channels covering internal Kremlin politics. Moscow City police detained Polyakov on accusations that he extorted unspecified Russian politicians and businessmen.[26] Russian sources claimed that Polyakov runs the “Kremlin Laundress” channel and is either affiliated with or an administrator of the telegram channels “Brief” and “Siloviki.”[27] “Brief” and “Siloviki” denied that Polyakov is affiliated with their channels, however.[28] These three telegram channels routinely speculate on internal Kremlin politics and dynamics between Russian political factions and have promoted notable rumors within the Russian information space. Channels that speculate about internal Kremlin politics represent a specific niche of the Russian information space, and Polyakov’s detention suggests that the Kremlin may intend to suppress speculations about internal politics following Wagner’s rebellion.

Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief General Valerii Zaluzhnyi acknowledged that Ukrainian forces are waging an interdiction campaign against Russian military targets in Russia. The Washington Post quoted Zaluzhnyi as saying that Ukraine uses domestically produced weapons to strike Russian military targets in Russia due to Western concerns about Ukrainian forces using Western-provided weapons against Russian territory.[29] Zaluzhnyi also stressed the importance of Ukrainian strikes across the theater in Ukraine. The Washington Post reported that Zaluzhnyi also stated that increased Ukrainian indirect fire can pin down Russian forces and minimize Ukrainian casualties, but that Ukraine is currently dependent on munitions from other countries for this aim. Zaluzhnyi also reiterated Ukraine’s intent to liberate Crimea.

Key Takeaways:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin further indicated he intends to maintain the Wagner Group as a cohesive fighting force rather than breaking it up but seeks to separate Wagner Financier Yevgeny Prigozhin from Wagner leadership and forces.
  • Belarusian government and independent sources confirmed on July 14 that Wagner Group instructors previously deployed in Africa previously arrived at training grounds in Belarus.
  • Former 58th Combined Arms Army Commander Major General Ivan Popov’s dismissal continues to generate pronounced ire against the Russian military command and the Russian civilian leadership.
  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations on at least three sectors of the frontline on July 14 and reportedly made gains in some areas.
  • Russian forces conducted another series of Shahed drone strikes across Ukraine on July 14.
  • Russian authorities detained former Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officer Mikhail Polyakov, who reportedly is the administrator of several popular telegram channels covering internal Kremlin politics.
  • Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief General Valerii Zaluzhnyi acknowledged that Ukrainian forces are waging an interdiction campaign against Russian military targets in Russia.
  • Russian and Ukrainian forces continued limited ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
  • Ukrainian forces continued ground attacks and reportedly advanced around Bakhmut.
  • Ukrainian and Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations along the western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizha Oblast border and reportedly made limited gains.
  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and reportedly advanced in this direction.
  • Russia continues efforts likely aimed at keeping high ranking officers in their positions without needing special exemptions to retirement age limits.
  • Russian occupation authorities continue efforts to consolidate administrative control of occupied territories by manipulating residence requirements and forcibly passportizing occupied populations.

 

You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here


    Related Posts