Russo-Ukraine War - 03 July 2022 - Day 130
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]
Ukraine confirmed the withdrawal of its forces from Lysychansk. “The continuation of the defence of the city would lead to fatal consequences. In order to preserve the lives of Ukrainian defenders, a decision was made to withdraw,” it said in a statement. There appears to have been no heavy fighting to take the city which indicates that most, if not all, Ukrainian forces had already withdrawn.
President Zelenskyy acknowledged that Ukrainian forces had withdrawn from Lysychansk but vowed to restore control over the war-ravaged area thanks to the miltary’s tactics and the prospect of new, improved weaponry. “If the commanders of our army withdraw people from certain points at the front, where the enemy has the greatest advantage in fire power, and this also applies to Lysychansk, it means only one thing,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address. “That we will return thanks to our tactics, thanks to the increase in the supply of modern weapons.”
Russia’s defence minister told President Vladimir Putin that Moscow’s forces “have established full control over the city of Lysychansk” in Ukraine’s Luhansk region. But they have not yet got Donetsk which is the bigger oblast. The Russians had concentrated so many resources to this fight in the Donbas that they have weakened their forces elsewhere. And the Ukrainians may sense that there is an opportunity to strike back at the Russians where they are weakest.
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that Russian-backed officials have said they will hold a referendum on Kherson Oblast joining the Russian Federation by autumn 2022. Russia is likely prioritising a pseudo-constitutional vote in an attempt to legitimise its control of the region. On 28 June 2022, Ihor Kolykhaiev, the elected mayor of Kherson city, was arrested, highly likely in an attempt to suppress opposition to the occupation. However, widespread armed and peaceful resistance continues across occupied areas. Kherson is the region which has been brought under the new Russian occupation most comprehensively since February. Finding a constitutional solution for the occupation is likely a priority policy objective for Russia. It will highly likely be prepared to rig voting to achieve an acceptable result.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that the one hundred and thirtieth day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian nation to the Russian military invasion continues. The Russians continue to launch rocket attacks on civilian objects on the territory of Ukraine. There are no significant changes in the position and nature of the activities of the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus in the Volyn and Polissky directions. On the Siverskyi direction, the Russians fired artillery and mortars at the border settlements of Bachivsk and Vovkivka, Sumy region.
In the Kharkiv direction, the occupiers are concentrating their main efforts on preventing the advance of Ukrainian troops in the direction of the state border. The Russians carried out artillery fire in the areas of the settlements of Zolochiv, Khrestishche, Malynivka, Cherkaska Lozova and Chepil. In the Slavic direction, the Russians shelled the territory near Dolyna, Kurulka, Bogorodichny, Adamivka and Husarivka. Ukrainian units repelled the assault in the direction of Pasik - Dolyna.
In the direction of Kramatorsk, the Russians forced the Siverskyi Donets River, trying to develop success and take possession of Bilogorivka. Fire continues to influence units of Ukrainian troops in order to constrain their actions. Artillery shelling was recorded near Hryhorivka and Belogorivka.
In the Lysychansk direction, the Russians led an assault in the direction of Zolotarivka and took control of the settlement. In the direction of Bakhmut, the occupiers were shelling the districts of Soledar, Pokrovsky, Bakhmut, and Klynovy with artillery. Ukrainian soldiers successfully repulsed offensive actions in the direction of Nyrkovo - Berestov. Also, the Russians unsuccessfully tried to carry out combat reconnaissance in the direction of Vasylivka - Berestov. They conducted assault operations in the Vovchoyarivka - Spirne and Mykolaivka - Spirne directions. Suffered significant losses and withdrew.
In the Avdiyiv, Kurakhiv, Novopavliv, and Zaporizhzhya directions, in order to restrain the actions of Ukrainian units, the Russians carried out artillery shelling of the areas of the settlements of Avdiivka, Pisky, Novomykhailivka, Vremivka, Gulyaipole, Charivne. Airstrikes near Kamianka, Avdiivka and Shevchenko. In the South Bug direction, the Russians were concentrating efforts on preventing the advance of units of the Defense Forces on probable offensive lines. They took measures for the logistical support of the troops and improved the engineering equipment of the positions. The Russians continued to launch missile attacks on military and civilian infrastructure facilities in the Mykolaiv direction with the aim of reducing the offensive capabilities of Ukrainian troops.
The official representative of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation , Igor Konashenkov , as part of the morning briefing, made a new report on the progress of the special operation to protect Donbass. Thus, in Kharkov, the temporary deployment point of the Ukrainian 127th Separate Territorial Defense Brigade was destroyed, as a result of which over 100 militants and 15 pieces of equipment were liquidated.
Near Disputed on the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), a unit of the 5th separate assault regiment of the 1st separate brigade of the President of Ukraine was hit, as a result of which 18 servicemen died on the spot, and the rest fled. Over the past 24 hours, high-precision weapons have destroyed ten command posts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (APU), seven ammunition depots, three artillery and five mortar platoons. Artillery and army aviation hit 32 command posts, an ammunition depot, and 287 troop concentration areas.
The air defense forces intercepted two Su-25s of the Ukrainian Air Force in the Kharkiv and Mykolaiv regions, as well as ten drones over the liberated territories. Eight shells were intercepted, including four from the American HIMARS Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS).
In total, since the beginning of the special military operation, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have lost 229 aircraft, 134 helicopters, 1,440 drones, 353 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,893 armored vehicles, 704 MLRS, 3,078 field guns and mortars, 3,979 units of special military vehicles.
In the morning, the People's Militia of the DPR reported on the destruction of the Ukrainian MLRS "Grad", three trucks, the suppression of two firing positions in Avdeevka and Krasnogorovka over the past day. During the same period, the Armed Forces of Ukraine attacked ten settlements of the republic, injuring a civilian and damaging seven buildings. Also today, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin on the complete liberation of the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR). The total area occupied over the past day was 182 square kilometers. They were immediately followed by the issuance of humanitarian aid to the local population.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the LPR, meanwhile, confirms the start of the fighting for Seversk. At the same time, artillery activity is being increased in the Slavic direction. In addition to this, Russian units continue to move towards Bakhmut from the liberated village of Klinovoe. Now the path to the strategic settlement is open, which will later allow more confident progress in the liberation of the DNR.
Speaking at a news conference in Kyiv alongside President Zelenskyy, Prime Minister Albanese said Australia would also impose sanctions and travel bans on 16 more Russian ministers and oligarchs, bringing the total number of Russian individuals sanctioned by Canberra to 843. Albanese said Australia would give Ukraine 14 more armoured personnel carriers and 20 Bushmaster vehicles.
As part of the new military aid package, the West will supply Ukraine in the coming months with six drones (Turkey, Czech Republic), 39 infantry fighting vehicles (Canada), six self-propelled artillery mounts (France), 20 portable anti-aircraft missile systems (Latvia). The United States will send four counter-battery radar stations, two anti-aircraft systems, and 150,000 155-mm shells to Kyiv.
The Western edition of Business Insider, citing its own source, reports that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are trying not to use American and Turkish drones against Russian troops due to their inefficiency. It is clarified that Kyiv refused to supply American MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones, which are superior to Turkish counterparts in all respects, since equipment worth $10 million will become scrap metal during the first flight. Instead of attack drones, Ukraine demands the latest generation of combat aircraft from the West.
Slovakia is planning to send MiG-29 fighter aircraft and tanks to Ukraine, whereas the Czech Republic will provide assistance to Slovakia in patrolling its territory until it receives US-made F-16s instead of the aircraft transferred to Ukraine. The Prime Ministers of Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Eduard Heger and Petr Fiala, said this live on the Czech Republic's CT24 channel. Heger said that Bratislava will transfer its MiG-29s to Ukraine and also mentioned the possibility of sending tanks to Ukraine. "But I don't want to talk about it in detail, because Ukraine asked us not to go into detail," Heger said.
The Ukrainian president called for international aid to help rebuild his devastated country once the war is over, sounding a rare hopeful note after four months of brutal conflict. “It is necessary not only to repair everything the occupiers have destroyed, but also to create a new foundation for our lives: safe, modern, comfortable, accessible,” he said in his night-time address. This would require “colossal investments, billions, new technologies, best practices, new institutions and, of course, reforms,” he said. “No matter how difficult it is for us today, we must remember that there will be a tomorrow.”
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