Russo-Ukraine War - 27 June 2022 - Day 124
On 24 February 2022, Ukraine was suddenly and deliberately attacked by land, naval and air forces of Russia, igniting the largest European war since the Great Patriotic War. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" (SVO - spetsialnaya voennaya operatsiya) in Ukraine in response to the appeal of the leaders of the "Donbass republics" for help. That attack is a blatant violation of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. Putin stressed that Moscow's goal is the demilitarization and denazification of the country. The military buildup in preceeding months makes it obvious that the unprovoked and dastardly Russian attack was deliberately planned long in advance. During the intervening time, the Russian government had deliberately sought to deceive the world by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
"To initiate a war of aggression... is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." [Judgment of the International Military Tribunal]
One hundred and twenty-fourth days of heroic opposition of the Ukrainian nation to the Russian military invasion last. Ukrainian units continue to successfully carry out missile and artillery fire missions in certain areas and inflict casualties on the occupiers in close combat.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the western military alliance will boost its high readiness forces to "well over 300,000" in response to Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The NATO Response Force, currently has about 40,000 troops. Speaking ahead of a NATO summit in Madrid, Stoltenberg said on June 27 that the alliance will enhance its battle groups on its eastern flank up to brigade levels. "We will strengthen our forward defenses...We will transform the NATO Response Force and increase the number of our high readiness forces to well over 300,000," Stoltenberg told reporters.
The Madrid summit, which runs from June 28 to 30, will also change NATO's language on Russia that says the alliance sees Moscow as a strategic partner. That language dates back to 2010. "That will not be the case in the strategic concept that we will agree in Madrid," Stoltenberg said. "I expect that allies will state clearly that Russia poses a direct threat to our security, to our values, to the rules-based international order."
All rules, all agreements between states were broken with Russia's attack on Ukraine , said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday on the second day of the G7 summit at Elmau Castle in southern Germany. He stressed that "in relations with Russia there cannot be a return to the times before its attack on Ukraine".
"Russia's invasion of Ukraine certainly heralded the end of the era of illusions. The subsequent criminal actions of the Russian army - the massacre of civilians in Bucza, Borodianka, Mariupol and Irpien - proved that post-Soviet Russia is not a country that the West imagined" - wrote the head of the Polish government, Mateusz Morawiecki for the Politico website. "The confluence of old-fashioned nationalism, imperialism and colonialism charged with hyper-modern propaganda tools: This is a picture of the 21st century totalitarian state. This is the true face of Vladimir Putin's Russia and you have to be a cynic not to recognize it. Yet just diagnosing an illness is not a cure. It is not enough for us to get rid of our illusions about Russia, we must also get rid of our illusions about ourselves."
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that while Russia’s main operational focus remains the Sieverodonetsk-Lysychansk pocket, a week of consistently heavy shelling suggests Russia is now trying to regain momentum on the northern Izium axis. Ukrainian forces continue to hold the line in that sector, making good use of forested terrain to assist their defence.
Over the coming weeks, Russia’s campaign will highly likely increasingly rely on echelons of reserve forces. These consist of several distinct components which Russia has almost certainly already started to field. Russia’s Combat Army Reserve is a recent innovation of part-time but volunteer reservists, which deploy as whole units typically ear-marked for rear area security tasks. The Human Mobilisation Resource is the sizable pool of all veterans who have served in the regular military in the last five years. Russian authorities are likely using volunteers from this category to fill out the third battalions within regular brigades. Despite a continued shortfall in the number of deployable reservists for Ukraine, the Russian leadership likely remains reluctant to order a general mobilisation.
During the day on June 27, Ukrainian aircraft hit an ammunition depot and dozens of Russian military equipment. This was reported in the Air Force Command of the Ukraine Armed Forces. It is noted that in virtually all areas of hostilities, Ukrainian Su-25 attack aircraft and Su-24m bombers made up to twenty group combat sorties. As a result of air strikes, the ammunition depot, the positions of two company tactical groups of the Russian occupiers were destroyed, several dozen armored combat vehicles and Russian manpower were destroyed.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov said that the Aerospace Forces (VKS) of the Russian Federation had attacked hangars with weapons supplied from the US and the EU in Kremenchug. "On June 27, in the city of Kremenchug, Poltava region, the Russian Aerospace Forces delivered a strike with high-precision air-based weapons on hangars with weapons and ammunition received from the United States and European countries in the area of the Kremenchug plant of road vehicles," he said, noting that Western-made weapons and ammunition which were intended to be sent to the Ukrainian grouping of troops in the Donbass were hit as a result. "The detonation of stored ammunition for Western weapons caused a fire in a non-functioning shopping center located next to the plant," Konashenkov added.
Zelenskyi stated that the missile strike on the shopping center in Kremenchuk on June 27 was not an erroneous missile strike, but a calculated Russian strike. The head of state stated this in his evening address. The Russians used X-22 missiles fired from Tu-22 M3 long-range bombers, the Armed Forces Air Force Command reported. The occupiers' planes took off from Shaykovka airfield, and launches were made from the Kursk region. The president called the attack one of the most daring terrorist acts in European history. He stressed that there were about a thousand people in the shopping center before the air alert was announced. "Fortunately, as far as we know at this time, many people managed to get out. They managed to get out. But there were still people inside: workers, some visitors ... Only completely frozen terrorists, who should have no place on earth, can strike missiles at such an object, ”Zelenskyi said. He stressed that as of now, 12 dead and 24 wounded are known.
A Senior US Defense Official noted that "on paper, the Russians certainly have an advantage that relates to munitions systems and likely total numbers of troops that they can put on the field. What's much harder to gain an understanding of is the will of the Ukrainian fighter. And I think, you know, and I know you all have reported on this extensively as well, but if you go back to the very beginnings the Ukrainian fighter has demonstrated an ability to win in a level of adversity that is just surprising in many cases....
"Russians have employed reserves over the last month or so. The fact that the Russians are talking about reserves speaks to the impact the Ukrainians are taking on the Russian army.... initial indications about how the Russians might perform or the Ukrainians might do so, the fact that there continue to be reports and conversations about Russians using reserve speaks to the impact that the Ukrainians are having against their army."
He also noted the Russian-executed 60 missile strikes across the country in Kyiv, Lviv, Chernihiv and Odesa. "We're not quite sure about the Russian objectives of the strikes. They certainly could be a protest against the G7, or of the arrival of HIMARS in country. We do know, and I think all of you have reported to some extent the impact of civilian casualties in Kyiv in particular against apartment buildings that were in vicinity of that strike, or the intended location of that strike....
"Near Kherson in the south, we're aware of growing indications of resistance against the Russian occupation. Over the last several days we've become aware of assassinations of local Russian officials, and we're also aware that reporting suggests the Ukrainians have been successful in liberating several small towns northwest and west of Kherson, showing that despite tactical success by the Russians, they continue to hold on to what they capture to territory and prevent it from falling into Russian hands."
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that Russian occupiers continue to launch missile strikes on civilian targets in Ukraine. Demonstrative and provocative actions by units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus in the areas bordering Ukraine are not ruled out in the Volyn and Polissya areas, as well as intensification of intelligence to clarify the positions and nature of Ukrainian troops. Air and missile strikes from the territory and airspace of the Republic of Belarus are expected to continue. Civilians were urged not to ignore air alarm signals.
In the Seversky direction, units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue to be located in the border areas of the Bryansk and Kursk regions in order to restrain the actions of units of the Ukraine Defense Forces. The Russian fired mortars near Pokrovka and Starykovo, Sumy region. The Russian also used rocket artillery in the areas of the settlements of Porozok and Verkhnya Pozhnya, Sumy region. In the Slobozhansky direction, the Russian was defending previously occupied positions, trying to prevent the advance of units of the Ukraine Defense Forces and their entry to the state border of Ukraine in the north of Kharkiv region. Intelligence is trying to find weaknesses in the defense of Ukrainian troops.
In the Kharkiv direction, the Russians, in order to regain lost ground, tried to carry out assault operations in the area of the settlement of Dementievka, was unsuccessful, withdrew. Also, Ukrainian soldiers successfully repulsed Russian assaults in the direction of Dovgalivka and Zaliman. The occupiers are taking measures to quickly disguise and try to mislead Ukrainian units, for which they are installing wooden models of tanks on the defensive positions.
In the Slovyansk direction, the Russians were trying to improve its tactical position and create favorable conditions for the attack on the settlements of Barvinkove and Slovyansk, so continued shelling. Trying to take control of Mazanivka, the Russians launched an offensive from the area of the village of Dovgenke. He received a strong rebuff from the Ukrainian defenders and withdrew with losses.
In the Donetsk direction, the Russians continued to focus efforts on the attempts to surround the Ukraine Defense Forces near the city of Lysychansk, trying to block the city from the south and southwest. They took measures to replenish personnel losses, armaments and military equipment. The Russians did not take action in the Kramatorsk direction.
Mortar and artillery shelling was recorded in the Lysychansk direction in the areas of the settlements of Lysychansk, Verkhnokamyanka and Soledar. The Russians led the offensive in the direction of Vovchoyarivka - Verkhnokamyanka, had partial success, is fixed south of the Lysychansk refinery. To distract the efforts of Ukrainian troops, Russians led the offensive in the direction of Pidlisne - Lysychansk, had no success, withdrew.
In the Bakhmut direction, Russians fired artillery of various calibers in the areas of the settlements of Berestove, Klinove, Bakhmut, Vershina and Travneve. Ukrainian soldiers successfully stopped the Russians's reconnaissance attempt by fighting in the area of Berestovo and the offensive in the direction of Medna Ruda - Klinove. In both cases, the occupiers withdrew.
The Russians had partial success in the direction of the Company - Top, trying to gain a foothold at the intersection of the E-40 highway. In the Avdiivka, Kurakhiv, Novopavliv and Zaporizhzhya directions, in order to restrain the actions of Ukrainian troops and prevent their transfer to other directions, the Russians fired mortars, tanks, artillery and rocket artillery at the areas of the settlements of Pisky, Avdiivka, Katerynivka, Chervone and Malynivka. He struck an air strike near Krasnohorivka. Ukrainian soldiers stopped the occupiers' offensive in the direction of Petrovske-Shevchenko and pushed the Russians back.
In the South Bug direction, the aggressor continued to fire at the positions of Ukrainian troops with mortars, tanks, artillery and rocket artillery along the entire line of contact. It is possible that the Russians will carry out assault operations in certain areas in order to reach the administrative borders of the Kherson region. In readiness for the task of missile strikes on objects on the territory of Ukraine, the Russians keep two carriers of cruise missiles of the naval base "Caliber".
Igor Ivanovich Strelkov [aka Igor Girkin] provided a brief overview of the situation at the front. Along the "Border" front (from the border with Belarus to the Kharkov region), both sides, suspecting the Ukrainians of the ability to inflict an insidious unexpected blow (whether justified or not), are gradually building up strength, trying to cover the border. Kyiv does it somewhat better - they have more human resources. In this regard, they also take the initiative, shelling Russian military and civilian facilities on the Russian side of the border and sending in DRGs, having already twice (from what has become widely known) destroyed small units of border guards (6 and 4 killed, both times with impunity). Probably, both sides are not yet ready to create a continuous "active" front in this extended area due to a lack of resources. Which does not at all exclude the "attack" of one of the parties with tactical or propaganda purposes.
On the Kharkiv front, fights of local significance continue in the northern and central sectors. The Russian troops, apparently, either do not have the strength to develop the offensive, or the desire to develop it. The Ukrainians have a desire, but they lack heavy weapons. Russian troops, moving forward, created a "security zone" covering the adjacent regions of the Russian Federation from shelling and capable of acting as a springboard for a future attack on Kharkov. In the southern sector (Balakleya area) - the Armed Forces of Ukraine had been trying all last week to endanger the Izyum grouping of the RF Armed Forces with a flank strike. The matter did not progress further than local battles.
In the Slavic direction, along the entire front south of Izyum (from Bolshaya / Velikaya Kamyshevakha to the Seversky Donets) - battles of local importance, artillery skirmishes and actions of reconnaissance and sabotage groups. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation did not carry out offensive actions in the classical sense of the word, concentrating their efforts on attempts to "squeeze" the Severodonetsk-Lysichansk agglomeration, although "probing" the positions of the Ukrainians and attempts at tactical advancement continue. The Armed Forces of Ukraine, slightly counterattacking in places, continue to fortify with their main forces on the outskirts of the Slavyansk-Kramatorsk fortress and along the Slavyank-Barvenkovo line, hoping to fight a decisive defensive battle here if the command of the RF Armed Forces decides to storm this fortified area in front.
In the Severodonetsk-Lysichansk agglomeration, fierce battles continued throughout the week along the entire front with heavy losses for both sides (on the Russian side, the lion's share fell again on the NM LDNR). The Ukrainians managed to withdraw the remnants of their forces from the bridgehead on the left bank of the Seversky Donets (south of Severodonetsk), abandoning most of the heavy weapons and suffering significant losses in manpower. However, the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and mercenary units that were defending here avoided complete defeat and destruction. The situation was similar in the "fortress" Gorskoye-Zolotoye - despite heavy losses, the Ukrainians managed to withdraw the core of this garrison from the operational encirclement, leaving in the "cauldron" only small units and groups of demoralized deserters forgotten during the general withdrawal. Few prisoners were taken. It can be said that Russians "mites captured the air."
Nonetheless, the dangerous ledge in the rear of the advancing west of the Popasnaya group is now "cut off" and the integrity of the front of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the southern and southeastern outskirts of Lisichansk has been violated. The Armed Forces of the LDNR and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation went directly to the southern outskirts of Lisichansk, and to the west they almost took it into an operational encirclement, which, however, had not yet been completed as of yesterday evening. Girkin assumed the possibility of a gradual (certainly with fighting) withdrawal of the garrison of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the direction of Seversk and the completion of the battle for this area within a week (if the Armed Forces of Ukraine do not bring large fresh reserves into battle).
On the Seversk-Bahkmut-Soledar frontline there were no substantial changes. The second line of long-terms defensive constructions runs here, built by UAF during “alternative-less Minsk agreements”. All said cities have additional concentric defensive contours. In Bakhmut and Soledar there are Soviet-built military bases (in fact, in Soledar – an underground and fortified storage base). The assault on the second line occupied by plentiful forces of the Ukrainians will not be successful without engaging all RF AF and LDPR RF forces, and Girkin was not predicting it for the nearest future (unless of course the Russian command decides otherwise, contrary to common sense).
On the Donetsk frontline, wedging into the UAF’s first line of defence at Avdeevka did not see further development for the same reason, which is an acute lack of necessary combat-ready units and the same acute lack of manpower in available units. On the frontline from Horlivka/Toretsk to Maryinka there are positional fights, active UAVs and Ukrainians snipers, and exhausting shelling (more often than not alternate; for instance, yesterday they were shelling Horlivka) of military objects, life-support facilities and simply residential areas of the frontline towns by UAF artillery.
on the South Donetsk frontline, over several days the Ukrainians managed to push Russian forces south of Uhledar, knocking back the “secondary” detachments of “mobilised” by 2-3 kilometers (more in places) and moving the frontline to Pavlivka and Ehorivka villages. Their blow clearly had limited and distracting nature with aim to weaken the pressure of the strike group of RF AF and LDPR AF on Lysychansk. Despite this, it demonstrated the relative weakness of the Russianr frontline on this quite important direction.
In the Zaporizhye and Kherson frontlines, in general, there were no changes. Notable is the generally increasing Ukrainian activity, especially their artillery and sabotage groups.
The official representative of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov , said that the high-precision weapons of the Russian Aerospace Forces defeated the deployment point of the 106th battalion of the 63rd motorized infantry brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near the village of Visunsk, Nikolaev region.
Also, five command posts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and three warehouses with ammunition and rocket and artillery weapons were hit in the areas of the settlements of Bereznegovatoe, Mykolaiv region, Novodruzhesk, Luhansk People's Republic. “Operational-tactical and army aviation, missile forces and artillery hit: 24 command posts, artillery and mortar units in 58 districts, as well as manpower and military equipment in 304 districts,” the Telegram channel of the Ministry of Defense reports. Also, two Tochka-U tactical missiles were intercepted near the village of Kakhovka, Kherson region, and a multiple rocket launcher near Zmeiny Island.
At a briefing, the Ministry of Defense reported that the Ukrainian command is trying to stop the chaotic flight of Ukrainian military units in the Lysichansk region. “The control of the Ukrainian troops in the Lysychansk direction has been lost. Thus, the commander of the 115th separate mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who placed his command post in the rear zone, lost control of his units, which led to the irretrievable loss of 80 percent of the personnel and about 70 percent of the equipment of the 138th battalion of this brigade during the fighting, " - reports the telegram channel of the Ministry of Defense.
It is also reported that on June 26, during the fighting, 3 km from the Lisichansk oil refinery, Russian units destroyed two sabotage and reconnaissance groups of mercenaries. “The first group was “international” and consisted of citizens of various European states. The second - included only mercenaries from Georgia, who were part of the so-called "Georgian Legion". In the ranks of this bandit formation, mainly criminals are fighting. Destroyed Georgian militants were involved in the brutal torture and murder of Russian servicemen near Kyiv in March of this year, ”the Defense Ministry report said.
The Russian Aerospace Forces fired four high-precision missiles at the Artem plant in Kyiv. This is reported by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. “On June 26, the Russian Aerospace Forces attacked the shops of the Artem Rocket-Building Corporation in the Shevchenkovsky district of Kyiv with four high-precision air-launched missiles. This enterprise produced ammunition for Ukrainian multiple rocket launchers,” the agency said in a statement.
According to the control data, all four missiles reached the target and hit the object. The Ministry of Defense clarified that the civilian infrastructure in the city was not affected. Ukrainian air defense systems, consisting of S-300 and Buk M1 anti-aircraft missile systems, tried to repel the blow, but two S-300 missiles were shot down by their own Buk. Presumably one of the rockets fell on a residential building.
The US is planning to send Ukraine sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to defend against Russian attacks, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said. “I can confirm that we are in fact, in the process of finalising a package that includes advanced air defence capabilities,” Sullivan told reporters in Germany. Sullivan said Biden had told Zelenskyy – who joined the G7 talks by video link – that the US was preparing shipment of “advanced medium- and long-range air defence capabilities”. Sullivan said additional aid being prepared due to “urgent need” also included artillery ammunition and counter-battery radar systems, which are used to pinpoint the source of Russian artillery firing.
Ukrainians raised 600 million hryvnias in three days to buy four Bayraktars for the Armed Forces, although they originally planned to raise only three drones in a week. The Serhiy Prytula Charitable Foundation called this fundraising campaign "the biggest for Ukraine."
The Turkish company Baykar stated that it will hand over free of charge three Bayraktar strike drones to Ukraine, for which the Ukrainians have previously collected a total of UAH 600 million. "Businessmen and ordinary people have contributed - small and large - to achieve this goal in a matter of days. Baykar will not accept payment for TV2 and will send three UAVs to the Ukrainian front free of charge,” the statement reads.
Russia missed the deadline on payment of its foreign-currency sovereign debt for the first time in a century as the 30-day grace period on about $100m of two bond payments due on May 27 expired 27 June. The deadline is considered an event of default if missed. Moscow rejected reports that it defaulted on its external debt for the first time in more than a century. In a call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Peskov said Russia made bond payments due in May but the fact they had been blocked by Euroclear because of Western sanctions on Russia was “not our problem”.