Russo-Ukraine War - 17 July 2022 - Day 144
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]
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy issues executive orders sacking the head of the domestic security agency, the SBU, and the prosecutor general, The orders dismissing domestic security chief Ivan Bakanov, a childhood friend of Zelenskyy, and Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, who leads the effort to prosecute Russian war crimes in Ukraine, were published on the president’s official website. More than 60 of their employees were working against Ukraine in Russian-occupied territory. He said 651 criminal proceedings had been registered relating to high treason and collaboration by employees of prosecutor’s offices, pretrial investigation bodies and other law enforcement agencies. “In particular, more than 60 employees of the prosecutor’s office and the Security Service of Ukraine remained in the occupied territory and are working against our state,” he said. He said that such crimes raised “very serious questions” for the relevant leaders and added, “Each of these questions will receive a proper answer.”
Michael MacKay noted "The Ukrainian military is deliberately slow to announce the liberation of settlements but report shelling by the Russians with alacrity. Settlements shelled by RU forces are thus revealed to be controlled or contested by UA forces. The pattern shows the Ukrainians are advancing."
Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council chaired by Putin, has responded to Ukrainian officials’ statements that Kyiv may strike the bridge linking Crimea and Russia, warning that that would trigger devastating consequences for the Ukrainian leadership. “If that happens, the consequences will be obvious: They will momentarily face Doomsday,” Medvedev said. “It would be very hard for them to hide.” Medvedev, who once was touted by the West as more liberal compared to Putin, said Russia will press its action in Ukraine until fulfilling its stated goal of “denazifying” and “demilitarising” the country. He predicted that the continuing fighting will “undoubtedly lead to the collapse of the existing regime” in Kyiv.
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that Russia is reinforcing its defensive positions across the occupied areas of the South of Ukraine. This includes the movement of manpower, equipment and defensive stores between Mariupol and Zaporizhia, and in Kherson. Russian forces in Melitopol are also increasing security measures. Ukrainian forces have been applying pressure on the Russian defensive line in Kherson Oblast for over a month now, and recent political statements from both Zelenskky and the Deputy Prime Minister have warned of forthcoming offense operations to force Russia out of the areas it currently controls. Russian defensive moves are likely a response to anticipated Ukrainian offensives, to demands made by Defence Minister Shoygu on a recent visit to the Donbas, and also to the attacks Ukraine is launching against command posts, logistic nodes and troop concentrations. Given the pressures on Russian manpower, the reinforcement of the South whilst the fight for the Donbas continues likely indicates the seriousness with which Russian commanders view the threat.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported oon the one hundred and forty-fourth day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian nation to the Russian military invasion. There are no significant changes on the Volyn, Polis and Seversky directions. The Russians used artillery to shell the border settlements of Studenok, Volfyne, Bilopylla, Novi Virky and Iskryskivshchyna. Aerial reconnaissance of the border regions of Chernihiv and Sumy regions continues.
In the Kharkiv direction, the Russians are trying to hold the occupied lines. Shelling was recorded in the areas of the settlements of Petrivka, Protopopivka, Prudyanka, Ruski Tyshki, Pytomnyk, Stary Saltiv, Chuguiv, Mospanove, Udy, Vesele and others. The occupiers carried out airstrikes near Prudyanka and Verkhniy Saltov. In the Slavyansk direction, the Russians fired mortars, barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of the settlements of Dolyna, Dibrovne, Ivanivka, Mazanivka, Bogorodichne, Velyka Komyshuvakha, Kurulka, Kostyantynivka, Virnopillya, Husarivka and others. In order to disrupt the control system of the Defense Forces and prevent aerial reconnaissance, the Russians is actively using means of radio-electronic warfare.
In the Donetsk direction, the Russians continue to focus its main efforts on attempts to establish control over the city of Siversk and advance in the direction of the city of Bakhmut. In the Slavyansk direction, the occupiers shelled civilian infrastructure in the areas of Donetske, Siversk, Verkhnokamianske, Zvanivka, Vyimka, Ivano-Daryivka, and other settlements.
Ukrainian soldiers quickly suppressed Russians assaults near Hryhorivka. The occupiers withdrew with losses. In the Bakhmut direction, the Russians fired at the positions of Ukrainian troops with mortars, barrel and rocket artillery, in particular near Berestovoy, Vesely, Krasnoy Hora, Vershyn, Novoluhansky, Travnevo. He carried out missile and air strikes in the regions of Kostyantynivka, Novoluhanskyi and Pokrovskyi. The occupiers tried to storm and advance near Berestovo, Bilogorivka, Yakovlivka, and Novoluhanskyi. The bad actions of the Russians again ended in failure and loss of personnel. In the Avdiyivka, Kurakhivka, Novopavlivka, and Zaporizhia areas, shelling was recorded near Nevelsky, Krasnohorivka, Novomykhailivka, Volodymyrivka, Pavlivka, Prechistivka, Zolotaya Niva, Stepnohirsk, and Stepovoy. The Russians launched missile and air strikes near Pokrovsk and Novoselivka Druga. The occupiers tried to improve the tactical position in the areas of Mykhailivka, Pavlivka and Novomykhailivka settlements.
The Russians were repulsed and ingloriously managed to escape. In the South Buz direction, the Russians is trying to disrupt the logistical support of Ukrainian troops with systematic shelling. Shelled civilian and military infrastructure in the areas of the settlements of Bila Krynytsia, Berezneguvate, Ternivka, Vesely Kut, Blagodatne, Kvitneve, Lotskine, Novogrigorivka, Myrne, Prybuzke, Lupareve, Bashtanka and others. Launched missile strikes on Mykolaiv. Aerial reconnaissance by unmanned aerial vehicles continues. There is a high threat of further missile strikes on the critical infrastructure of the region. Ukrainian units continue to carry out rocket and artillery fire missions in the designated directions and beat the invaders in close combat.
The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that up to 200 soldiers of the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the 92nd mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as more than 10 units of armored vehicles, were destroyed as a result of high-precision strikes by the Russian Aerospace Forces in the Chuguev area (Kharkiv region).
It is noted that against the background of losses in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, cases of desertion are growing. The rifle company of the 58th battalion of the 104th separate territorial defense brigade left its positions in the Verkhnekamensky region (Donetsk People's Republic, DPR) in full force.
Air-launched high-precision long-range missiles on the territory of an industrial enterprise in Odessa destroyed a storage warehouse for Harpoon missiles transferred to Ukraine by NATO countries.
In the region of Krasnoarmeysk (DPR), ground-based high-precision weapons destroyed a launcher and a transport-loading vehicle of a US-made multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) HIMARS. Up to 65 nationalists and over 10 units of special vehicles were destroyed by a strike on the deployment point of the 97th battalion of the 60th motorized infantry brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Novodanilovka area (Zaporozhye region).
In addition, 4 command posts were destroyed by high-precision weapons of the Russian Aerospace Forces, including the 59th motorized infantry brigade in the Zeleniy Guy area (Nikolaev region) and the 241st territorial defense brigade in the Dergachi area (Kharkiv region), 6 ammunition depots in the Bondarny and Vasyukovka areas (DPR), Malinovka (Zaporozhye region), Chervonogo (Sumy region), military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and manpower in 19 districts, including foreign mercenaries in 4 points of temporary deployment in the districts of Konstantinovka (Kharkiv region) and Dzerzhinsk (DPR).
As part of the counter-battery fight, a platoon of MLRS, 9 platoons of Giacint-B howitzers and D-30 guns were destroyed in the areas of Verkhnekamensky, Serebryanka, Bondarny, Dronovka and Zvanovka (DPR), artillery units in 107 districts. Aviation, missile forces and artillery hit 21 command posts, manpower and military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 189 districts in 24 hours. Fighter aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces shot down a Mi-17 helicopter of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the air near Slavyansk (DPR).
Air defense systems destroyed the Su-25 aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force in the area of Ukrainian Ukrainian Velyka Kamyshevakhi (Kharkiv region) and the Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in the area of Ukrainian Ukrainian Big Passages (Kharkiv region).
In addition, a Tochka-U ballistic missile was intercepted in the Dmitrenko area (Kherson region), and 8 Uragan MLRS shells were intercepted in the areas of Izyum (Kharkiv region), Tavria (Zaporozhye region) and Alchevsk (Luhansk People's Republic, LPR).
The people's militia of the DPR in the evening report reported that since the beginning of the day, Ukrainian armed formations had fired more than 460 shells from the Grad MLRS, barreled artillery of 155, 152 and 122-mm caliber, 120-mm mortars, and also used unguided aircraft rockets across the territory of the republic caliber 80 mm (without the use of aviation).
Shooting was carried out in areas of 10 settlements. As a result of the attacks, 2 civilians were injured, 12 houses and 3 civilian infrastructure facilities were damaged.
During the day, Donetsk was subjected to another massive attack by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. During the attack on the Kuibyshev district of the city, Ukrainian formations fired 60 shells from the Grad MLRS.
The headquarters of the territorial defense of the DPR reports that as of July 17, allied units have liberated 253 settlements. Now an offensive is being launched on Soledar - clashes are taking place on the western outskirts of the city.
According to the Rybar Telegram channel , the battles for Ivano-Daryevka continue. In an attempt to slow down the advance of the allied forces, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are firing at the areas of Zolotarevka, Verkhnekamensky and Verkhnekamenka.
There are reports of battles in the vicinity of Marinka, as well as an intensification of the offensive in the direction of Kamenka. Promotion here is complicated by the concreted positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Admiral Tony Radakin, chief of the United Kingdom’s armed forces, estimated that 50,000 Russian soldiers had been killed or wounded in the invasion of Ukraine. He told the BBC in a TV interview that Russia has lost more than 30 percent of land combat effectiveness with nearly 1,700 tanks and some 4,000 armoured fighting vehicles destroyed.
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