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Russo-Ukraine War - 18 July 2022 - Day 145

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A number of claims and counterclaims are being made on the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the ground and online. While GlobalSecurity.org takes utmost care to accurately report this news story, we cannot independently verify the authenticity of all statements, photos and videos.

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 appointed an experienced security official and corruption fighter as the acting head of the domestic security agency after abruptly sidelining his predecessor. Zelenskyy signed a decree appointing Vasyl Maliuk as acting chief of the Security Service of Ukraine (Sluzhba Bespeky Ukrayiny, or SBU), one day after the president suspended childhood friend Ivan Bakanov over what Zelenskyy portrayed as a failure to root out treason in the agency. Maliuk, 39, had been the first deputy head of the SBU since March 2020 and headed the Main Directorate for Combating Corruption and Organised Crime of the SBU’s Central Directorate, according to his profile on the SBU website.

Employees of Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation and the Security Service of Ukraine(SBU) detained the former head of the Main Directorate of the Security Service of Ukraine in Russian-occupied Crimea, Zelenskyy said, adding he received the news on Sunday night. “This person was dismissed by me at the beginning of the full-scale invasion, and as we can see, that decision was completely justified. Sufficient evidence has been collected to notify this person of suspicion of treason,” the president said in his nighttime address without giving a name.

“Everyone who together with him was part of a criminal group that worked in the interests of the Russian Federation will also be held accountable. It is about the transfer of secret information to the enemy and other facts of cooperation with the Russian special services,” he added.

Zelenskyy’s office issued a statement clarifying that the head of Ukraine’s spy agency (SBU) and the prosecutor general have been “suspended”, not dismissed as earlier suggested. “There are investigations under way and if there are concrete allegations against both of them, then the president will recommend to Ukraine’s parliament that they are dismissed,” Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher said. “It is unusual for Zelenskyy to make changes like this – before the war, his cabinet was like a revolving door, but since the war started he has kept by and large the same group around him including these two very senior figures,” he added.

Interview with Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the secretary-general of NATO from 2009-2014: ‘France Has Delivered Almost Nothing’ (msn.com). Several quotable lines from that interview like: “Putin wanted less NATO. He got more NATO.” He does make the claim that: “France has delivered almost nothing. The scale of French deliveries is equivalent to what Denmark has offered – valued at $160 million.” France is primarily providing financial aid, vice military aid.

The UK Ministry of Defence reportd that Russia has used private military company Wagner to reinforce front-line forces and to mitigate manning shortfalls and casualties. Wagner has almost certainly played a central role in recent fighting, including the capture of Popasna and Lysyschansk. This fighting has inflicted heavy casualties on the group. Wagner are lowering recruitment standards, hiring convicts and formerly blacklisted individuals. Very limited training is made available to new recruits. This will highly likely impact on the future operational effectiveness of the group and will reduce its value as a prop to the regular Russian forces. Wagner head, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, has recently been made a Hero of the Russian Federation for Wagner’s performance in Luhansk. This, at a time when a number of very senior Russian military commanders are being replaced, is likely to exacerbate grievances between the military and Wagner. It is also likely to impact negatively on Russian military morale.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported on the one hundred and forty-fifth day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian nation to the Russian military invasion. The Russians's personnel is demoralized, which is due to the constant postponement of the terms of their rotation. The invaders are afraid of the active resistance of the local population, which is increasing in particular in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. All this leads to an increase in the refusal of the occupiers to participate in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine.

The situation has not undergone any significant changes in the Volyn and Polissky directions. In the Seversky direction, the Russians continue to conduct aerial reconnaissance of Ukrainian facilities in the border areas of Chernihiv and Sumy regions. Also, the Russians launched a mortar attack near Atynskyi, Sumy region.

In the Kharkiv direction, the Russians continue to conduct combat operations in order to prevent the advance of Ukrainian troops towards the state border. The Russians shelled the positions of Ukrainian troops with barrel and rocket artillery in the districts of the city of Kharkiv and the settlements of Uda, Prudyanka, Slatine, Borshchova, Ruski Tyshki, Pecheniga, Chuguiv, and Lebyazhe. Airstrikes near Prudyanka, Rubizhny and Verkhniy Saltov.

In the Slavic direction, the Russians were trying to improve the tactical position of his units in the direction of Izyum - Barvinkovo. He carried out artillery shelling from artillery of various calibers in the areas of Chepil, Karnaukhivka, Virnopillya, Bogorodichne, Dibrovne, Dolyna, Krasnopillya and Adamivka settlements. Airstrikes were recorded near Prudyanka and Bogorodychny. Ukrainian soldiers inflicted losses and pushed the Russians back when he tried to advance in the direction of Brazhivka and Dmytrivka.

In the Donetsk direction, the Russians continued offensive attempts in the direction of the cities of Bakhmut and Siversk. The Russians shelled the areas of Tetyanivka, Donetsk, Dronivka, Hryhorivka, Starodubivka, Siversk and Mykolaivka from tanks, barrel and jet artillery. Made an airstrike near Verkhnokamyanskyi. Conducted aerial reconnaissance of the BpLA. With offensive actions, the Russians tried to improve the tactical position in the directions Beilohorivka - Hryhorivka, Zolotarivka - Verkhnokamianske, Zolotarivka - Serebryanka, and Lysychansky Refinery - Verkhnokamianske. There was no success. Fighting continued.

In the direction of Bakhmut, the Russians fired at Ukrainian positions near Vyimka, Berestovo, Bilogorivka, Pokrovsk, Veselaya Dolyna, Kurdyumivka, Travnevo, and Shumy. He carried out airstrikes in the areas of the settlements of Berestov and Pokrovske. Ukrainian defenders repelled the Russians assault in the direction of Myronivka - Vuglehirska TPP. In the Avdiyiv direction, the Russians intensified the conduct of hostilities. Tried to improve the tactical position in the direction of Verkhnyotoretske - Kamianka, was unsuccessful, suffered losses and withdrew.

The Russians did not conduct active offensives in the Kurakhiv and Zaporizhzhya directions. He carried out artillery shelling from barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of the settlements of Tonenke, Nevelske, Novomykhailivka, Vugledar, Prechistivka, Pavlivka, Novopil, Gulyaipole, Yurkivka, Orihiv and Mali Shcherbaki. Airstrikes near Novodanilivka and Novoandriivka. In the South Buz direction, the Russians were concentrating its efforts on holding the occupied lines and preventing the offensive of the Defense Forces, actively conducting aerial reconnaissance by UAVs. Artillery shelling was recorded in the areas of Kavkaz, Bila Krynytsia, Murakhivka, Kobzartsi, Olenivka, Shevchenkove, Stepova Dolyna, Ukrainka, Blagodatne, Nova Zorya and Tavriyske settlements. And air strikes - near Potemkiny and White Krynytsia.

The occupiers are keeping two carriers of high-precision weapons in readiness for launching missile strikes on objects on the territory of Ukraine.

Germany’s government said that the turbine at the center of uncertainty about future gas deliveries through a major pipeline from Russia to Europe was only supposed to be installed in September, underlining its insistence that there should be no technical obstacle to the gas flow. “We don’t see technical reasons,” Ministry for Economic Affairs spokeswoman Beate Baron told reporters in Berlin. “Our information is that this turbine is a replacement turbine that was earmarked for use in September but, again, we are doing everything to take away possible pretexts for the Russian side.”

Meanwhile, Germany’s biggest importer of Russian gas said it had received a letter from Russia’s Gazprom claiming “force majeure” – events beyond its control – as the reason for past and current shortfalls in gas deliveries, a claim that the customer rejected. Gazprom reduced gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany by 60 percent last month. The state-owned gas company cited alleged technical problems involving equipment that partner Siemens Energy sent to Canada for overhaul and couldn’t be returned because of sanctions imposed over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Nord Stream 1 shut down altogether for annual maintenance on July 11. German officials are concerned that Russia may not resume gas deliveries at all after the scheduled end of that work on Thursday, and could cite another alleged technical reason not to do so.

The official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov , during a briefing on spoke about the course of a special military operation of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine. According to him, in addition to a successful strike on the point of temporary deployment of mercenaries of the so-called Ukrainian "foreign legion", the Russian army has taken a number of successful actions over the past day.

Thus, air-launched high-precision missiles hit the temporary deployment point of the battalion of the 118th Territorial Defense Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Cherkasy region, as a result, up to 60 nationalists, two MLRS combat vehicles and four artillery pieces were destroyed. A blow was also struck at the place of unloading trains with military equipment in the area of the Udachnoye railway station in the DPR. More than 10 Ukrainian installations of the MLRS "Grad" were destroyed, as well as eight units of armored vehicles.

In the area of the settlement of Novy Donbass, rocket artillery destroyed two Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopters at the field airfield of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Two more helicopters received significant damage. It also managed to hit two batteries of the Uragan MLRS, three platoons of the Grad MLRS, 14 artillery platoons of the Giacint-B howitzers and D-30 guns.

During the day, aviation and artillery hit 4 command posts, as well as manpower and military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 286 districts. A Buk-M1 self-propelled launcher near Kramatorsk, three depots with rocket and artillery weapons, and a fuel depot in the Zaporozhye region were destroyed. Russian air defense systems shot down six Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles.

Lieutenant Colonel of the People's Militia of the LPR Andrei Marochko said that there are "black transplantologists" in the ranks of the Ukrainian military . According to him, foreign surgeons perform operations on the territory of Donbass, transport organs to Ukraine and then send them to the West. At the same time, the price of organs increases many times over. Belarusian mercenaries who took part in the hostilities on the side of Ukraine were defeated by Russian special forces near Lisichansk in the Luhansk region. The mercenaries themselves told about this to the special correspondent of Komsomolskaya Pravda Alexander Kots.

The main battles in Donbas unfolded along the Seversk-Artemovsk line, to which Ukrainian troops retreated after fleeing from Svitlodarsk, Severodonetsk and Lysichansk. The front leveled off bringing the special military operation closer to the general battle for the Donbass. Sooner or later this line may be broken - cities are too dependent on communication between each other. And the supply lines between them are about to be cut. And then the Russian troops will come close to the Slavic-Kramatorsk agglomeration, where the main battle of this stage of the NMD will begin.

Western countries believe that Russia must be defeated in Ukraine at any cost. According to Eusasaian journalist and political scientist Yuri Svetov, there is an explanation for this, since if Russia country successfully completes the special operation for itself, this will mean the end of a world convenient for NATO and the United States. “Western leaders one after another proclaim a consolidated position that the Russian Federation in Ukraine must be defeated,” experts said in an interview with the 360 TV channel . - Mr. Borrell was the first to say this, as the head of EU diplomacy. Then everyone else supported it.”

Bundestag deputy from the Left Party Sevim Dagdelen believes that the European Union should prepare for the dissolution of NATO. She also called on the EU to pursue a more independent policy that would not sacrifice the interests of the member countries of the association in favor of the United States. “At the moment, this may seem utopian to the people of Germany, but our long-term goal should be the dissolution of NATO and its replacement with a collective security system that will be entirely aimed at disarmament and cooperation,” Dagdelen was quoted by the Chinese newspaper Global Times as saying.

Ukraine’s army killed 150 Russian military personnel in the past day, the General Staff of Ukraine’s armed forces has said. This brings the total number of Russian personnel lost since the beginning of the invasion on February 24 to 38,450, the General Staff said.

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Page last modified: 17-10-2022 19:17:07 ZULU