Russo-Ukraine War - 08 July 2022 - Day 135
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]
It has been very clear in President Putin's statements that his objective in Ukraine is the subjugation of Ukraine militarily and politically so that Ukraine is not an independent, sovereign country. The specific military objectives were, to move to Kyiv, to overthrow the government and control it. The objective remains the same, which is to prevent the existence of a sovereign, independent Ukraine. It's just the specific military objectives have shifted as they failed in that initial take.
Ukraine has said they fire 5 to 6,000 artillery rounds a day and Russia fires twice as much as that. The Ukrainians possess a will and spirit that a good portion of folks in the West just did not take into account. The fighting that's been going on is very serious. If you are a Ukrainian and you are giving up any bit of ground, that's an impact to you and if you're losing a man or a woman next to you, that has an impact to you. There's not a rosy way to address that. They've been able to do to go toe to toe with one of the larger powers in the world. This small country that didn't have an enormous Army beforehand, but this one small country has been able to hold this country at bay, in many cases, and give up very little ground but the ground their giving up is a serious, serious expense. That's something else. History is full of examples of small counties like this who display their will and are able to hold their own.
A Senior US Military Official reported that near Kharkiv, we assess that the continued Russian air strikes and indiscriminative fires are really having no major effect on the ground. We haven't seen a major shift in anything toward Kharkiv. In vicinity of Izyum and Slovyansk the serious effort of the Russians as they orient south out of Izyum towards Slovyansk. The Russians continue to play air strikes and artillery against a very strong Ukrainian defense. And in particular as Ukrainians defend north of Slovyansk and there's additional fighting south and east of Bakhmut. In the south in Kherson, the Russian forces continues indirect fires as Ukraine's continued their defense, and in some cases the Ukrainians made some gains in and around Kherson. In the air there is still contested space as Ukrainians continue to fly. The Russians certainly are continuing to fly but the Russians certainly have not claimed any air superiority over Ukraine.
The tenacity that the Ukrainians displayed in Lysychansk was really textbook stuff. Working their way across the river there and then into better defensive positions, all along the way they were inflicting significant casualties on the Russians. The Russians had somewhere between 10 and 15 BTGs in the portion of operations. They've been trying to fill holes in their BTGs from the very beginning of this fight and the US doesn't know what those BTGs are equivalent to.
Russians pace of their movement is largely impacted by their ability to command and control or their ability to resupply themselves. And the Ukrainians have done a really nice job with HIMARS, and they're doing that of their own accord. Many of the ammunition locations have been destroyed, have had a significant impact on the organizations they were meant to resupply.
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that Ukrainian forces continue to make gradual advances in the south-western Kherson sector. There is a realistic possibility that Russia’s immediate tactical objective will be Siversk, as its forces attempt to advance towards its most likely operational goal of the Sloviansk-Kramatorsk urban area. Russia is likely concentrating equipment on the front line in the direction of Siversk, approximately 8km west of the current Russian front line. Its forces are likely pausing to replenish before undertaking new offensive operations in Donetsk Oblast.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reporetetd on the one hundred and thirty-fifth day of heroic resistance of the Ukrainian nation to the Russian military invasion. In the Volyn and Poliske directions, units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus are conducting reconnaissance, strengthening countermeasures against technical means of reconnaissance, primarily unmanned aerial vehicles. On the territory of this country, the closure of the airspace over the southern part of the country has been extended until October 7 of this year. The ban on civil aircraft flights has been in effect since February 24 of this year.
In the Seversky direction, the Russians operate without any particular changes. In the Kharkiv direction, the Russians were conducting defensive operations and is trying to improve the tactical position in certain areas. He shelled the surroundings and the city of Kharkiv with barrel and rocket artillery, as well as the areas of the settlements of Udy, Dementiivka, Lebyazhe, Pischane, Zamulivka, Petrivka, Pytomnyk, Mospanove, Korobochkine, Slatine, Svitlychne, Shevelivka, Peremoha, Verkhnyi Saltiv, Novye and Bayrak.
Near Dementiivka, Ukrainian defenders repelled the Russians's assaults twice and pushed them back. The Russians launched an airstrike near Petrivka. In the Slavic direction, the Russians is trying to improve the tactical position of his units. The areas of Dolyna, Mazanivka, Krasnopilly, Husarivka, Novopavlivka, Chervonoy, Virnopilly and Khreshtysh were shelled with mortars, barrel and rocket artillery. As a result of fire damage, the Russians's offensive actions in the area of the settlement of Bogorodicne were choked. The occupiers, with losses, withdrew.
In the Kramatorsk direction, the Russians shelled civilian and military infrastructure in the areas of Siversk, Serebryanka, Karpivka, Slovyansk and Kryva Luka settlements. An airstrike was recorded near Tatyanivka. The defense forces of Ukraine inflicted powerful fire damage on the Russians's positions in the Verkhnyokamyansky area, which forced the Russians's units to withdraw from the settlement. In the direction of Bakhmut, the Russians fired at Ukrainian positions near Spirny, Ivano-Daryivka, New York and in the area of the Vugleghirskaya TPP. He carried out airstrikes near Berestovo and Pokrovsky.
With the support of artillery and operational-tactical aviation, the occupiers unsuccessfully tried to launch an offensive in the areas of the settlements of Spirne and Ivano-Daryivka. They suffered losses and withdrew. Fighting continues near Veselaya Dolyna. In the Avdiyiv, Kurakhiv, Novopavliv and Zaporizhzhya directions, shelling from mortars, barrel and rocket artillery continued along the contact line. The Russians launched airstrikes near Novoandriivka. Russians units tried to conduct offensive actions in the area of Velike Artakove in the South Buz direction. Ukrainian soldiers quickly suppressed this attempt and chased away the invaders.
There remains a great threat of missile strikes on the region's critical infrastructure. The Russians's naval group continues to perform tasks in the waters of the Black and Azov seas, the blockade of civilian shipping in the northwestern part of the Black Sea continues.
The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine reported that the mayor of Berdyansk Alexander Saulenko was charged with cooperation with Russia. Similar accusations were brought against the deputy head of the city, Svetlana Samoylenko. Martial law has been introduced on the liberated territory of the Kharkov region. According to the administration of the region, this measure is aimed at ensuring order and security of citizens.
The Ministry of Defense of Russia in a daily briefing reported that in the Ochakov area (Nikolaev region) the positions of the 188th battalion of the 123rd brigade of the defense were hit. Up to 290 servicemen and 29 armored vehicles and vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed.
In the Nikolaev area, the Russian Aerospace Forces hit the temporary deployment point of the 241st Terodefense Brigade. A high-precision strike in Kramatorsk destroyed 2 launchers of the Tochka-U missile system and more than 150 nationalists. In the village of Mayaki (Donetsk People's Republic, DPR), 6 combat vehicles of multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) BM-21 "Grad" and an ammunition depot were destroyed.
Sea-based high-precision weapons in the Liman area (Odessa region) destroyed 2 installations of the Harpoon coastal missile system delivered from the UK. As part of the counter-battery fight, 4 MLRS batteries and 4 artillery batteries were suppressed in the DPR during the day. Operational-tactical and army aviation, missile forces and artillery hit manpower and military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 156 districts, as well as a fuel storage facility for Ukrainian armored vehicles in the Dnipropetrovsk region.
Aircraft Su-35s of the Russian Aerospace Forces shot down in the air the MiG-29 and Su-25 of the Ukrainian Air Force near the village of Lazarevka (Mykolaiv region). Air defense systems shot down a MiG-29 aircraft of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Golubovka region (DPR), 9 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the Kharkiv and Kherson regions.
The people's militia of the DPR in the evening report reported that since the beginning of the day, Ukrainian armed formations have fired more than 130 shells from cannon artillery with a caliber of 155, 152 and 122 mm, as well as 120 mm mortars, across the territory of the republic. The fire was fired at the districts of 10 settlements. According to the Gorlovka authorities, 11 people, including 2 children, were injured as a result of the shelling of residential areas of the city. In addition, the DPR office at the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire reported that one civilian was injured in Donetsk.
The Ambassador of the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) to Russia, Rodion Miroshnik , confirmed the information from sources that a convoy with Georgian mercenaries was destroyed in the Seversk region, and 30 militants were eliminated as a result of the operation. There are fierce battles in Grigorovka and clashes in Verkhnekamenskoye. Military expert Boris Rozhin reports that the RF Armed Forces are probing the chain of settlements between Seversk and Soledar for the possibility of bypassing Seversk from the south.
The People's Council of the Donetsk People's Republic lifted the moratorium on the execution of death sentences. The head of the Committee on Criminal and Administrative Legislation, Elena Shishkina , said that from July 1, 2022, the DPR Criminal Executive Code came into force, which establishes that the provisions on the execution of the death penalty come into force from January 1, 2025. However, now this provision will be in effect from the date of the official publication of the law.
The head of the DPR , Denis Pushilin , said that work had begun on the legal formalization of Syria's decision to recognize the independence of the people's republics of Donbass. He expressed confidence that this process will be completed in the near future.
The power structures of the LPR will begin to carry out special measures to identify potential spies and terrorists among citizens who have returned from Ukraine. Vitaly Kiselyov , an assistant to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic, said that accomplices of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Security Service of Ukraine and saboteurs could be in their ranks.
In the LPR, weapons and military equipment, including those of Western production, abandoned by fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, continue to be found. Especially many trophies were found by units of the allied forces in the vicinity of Lisichansk. An exhibition of captured weapons and equipment was organized in the city, among the exhibits were American Javelins, British NLAW and Saxon, Czech machine guns, 155-mm howitzer shells.
A harvesting campaign has started in the republic, it was started by the head of the LPR Leonid Pasechnik . He noted that conditions have now been created in the region so that the agrarians remaining in the liberated territories can continue their activities without hindrance, as well as conditions for attracting investors.
The United States has requested the recognition by Russia of American fighters captured during the Ukraine conflict as combatants, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said. “There was a certain signal from the American side, mainly focused on the fact that these individuals should be considered combatants under the definition of the Geneva convention and should be subject to the relevant protections,” he told reporters. The deputy FM added, however, that the topic of American mercenaries had not been explicitly discussed between Russia and the US.
According to Ryabkov, the presence of foreign mercenaries ?nd their actions “on the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and nationalist battalions” is now one of the most “serious and problematic moments” in Russia’s relations with the US and other Western countries. He said that the actions of captured foreign mercenaries are being investigated to determine the circumstances of “their appearance in the combat zone and the role they played there.”
“We have repeatedly warned the citizens of countries that are unfriendly to Russia to refrain from adventurous plans to ‘prove themselves’ on the battlefield in Ukraine,” Ryabkov pointed out. “But those who do not take these warnings into account are reaping the fruits of their own misanthropy and unwillingness to accept the reality of the situation that has unfolded in the region.”
In the "Economist" magazine an unnamed military official said he expects the peak of western military assistance to arrive in Ukraine sometime in October that would allow them to mount a counter offensive. There are no current plans to train Ukraine on any air platform - eg F-16 - other than those that they are using everyday effectively in the battle right now, and those pilots already trained on those platforms.
The US decided to provide another round of presidential drawdown authority for four high-mobility artillery rocket systems, HIMARS, and additional ammunition for those HIMARS. This will bring to a total of 12 HIMARS launchers units that the United States has provided to Ukraine. The HIMARS system is a very high-end system and so there was a weeks long training process where Ukrainian crews needed to be trained on these systems, so the sort of limiting factor was having trained crews. Upwards of 100 have been trained so far on HIMARS at this point. HIMARS can determine where they want to put a round and put it there, as opposed to shooting hundreds of rounds to get after a bigger target, which in large cases what the Russians are doing.
The US will provide three tactical vehicles to recover equipment, to support Ukrainian efforts to repair, resupply as this battle continues. The US will provide 1,000 rounds of 155 millimeter artillery ammunition. This is a new type of 155 millimeter artillery ammunition. It has greater precision. It offers Ukraine precise capability for specific targets. It will save ammunition. It will be more effective due to the precision.
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