Russo-Ukraine War - 15 August 2022 - Day 173
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]
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that on 11 August 2022, Russian media reported that Denis Pushilin, head of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), had said that the date of a referendum on the DPR joining Russia will be announced after the DPR's 'complete liberation'.
Previously, in June 2022, investigative journalists published evidence of a DPR planning strategy for running such a referendum and for ensuring that at least 70 per cent of votes were in favour of joining Russia. It is likely that Russia is in the advanced planning stages to hold a referendum, though it is unclear if the final decision to go ahead with a vote has yet been taken.
The Kremlin will likely see the military's failure to occupy the entirety of Donetsk Oblast thus far as a setback for its maximalist objectives in Ukraine.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that in Volyn and Polissya directions, units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus are carrying out the task of strengthening the protection of the section of the Belarusian-Ukrainian border in the Brest and Gomel regions. Measures to check the combat readiness of the armed forces of Belarus are ongoing. Roughly, this will continue until August 20 of this year. The threat of the enemy launching missile and air strikes from the territory and airspace of the Republic of Belarus remains.
In the Siversky direction, in order to demonstrate their presence and restrain the units of the Defense Forces, Russian forces shelled the areas of Basivka, Mohrytsia, Holyshivske and Budky settlements of the Sumy oblast with barrel artillery.
In the Kharkiv direction, Russian forces, in order to prevent the Ukrainian Defense Forces from creating favorable conditions for the transition to the offensive, continue to destroy military and civilian objects using all available means of fire damage. This is done by the fire of tanks, barrel and jet artillery in the areas of the settlements of Slobozhanske, Pyatykhatky, Rtyshchivka, Odnorobivka, Sosnivka, Slatyne, Svitlychne, Shevelivka, Nove, Dementiivka, Pytomnyk, Ruska Lozova, Ruski Tyshky, Korobochkyne and Protopopivka.
Russian forces used aviation for strikes near Verkhniy Saltiv, Sosnivka, and Rtyshchivka.
Russian forces tried to break through Ukrainian defense in the direction of Kozacha Lopan - Udy. Ukrainian soldiers fiercely met the invaders and pushed them back.
In the Slovyansk direction, Russian forces unsuccessfully tried to dislodge Ukrainian defenders with concentrated artillery fire in the areas of Hrushuvakha, Krasnopilla, Asiivka, and Mazanivka. Then, with assault actions, they tried to improve the tactical position in the direction of Dovhenke - Mazanivka, did not succeed and withdrew.
In the Kramatorsk direction, Russian shelling was recorded near Spirne, Ivano-Daryivka and Raihorodka. Russian aircraft operated near Spirne and Pryshyb.
Russian occupiers tried to advance in the directions of Ivano-Daryivka, Vyimka, and Vesele with offensive and assault actions. They suffered a complete failure and chaotically retreated to the previously occupied positions.
In the Bakhmut direction, Russian forces tried to create favorable conditions for a further attack on individual settlements by using available means of fire damage in the areas of the settlements of Kostyantynivka, Bakhmut, Vesela Dolyna, Vasyukivka, Bakhmutske, Soledar, Shumy, Pivnichne, Bilohorivka, Yakovlivka, Fedorivka, Zaitseve and Vershyna areas.
Russian airstrikes were recorded near Soledar and Yakovlivka. Russian forces made an attempt to storm from the area of Vuhlehirska TPP in the direction of Vershyna settlement. They suffered losses and withdrew.
In the Avdiyivka direction, shelling of Krasnohorivka, Pisky, Opytne, Vodyane and Maryinka districts was recorded. Russian forces also carried out airstrikes near New York, Vodyane and Novobakhmutivka. Russian forces unsuccessfully tried to improve the tactical position in the direction of Staromykhailivka and Nevelske.
In the Novopavlivsk and Zaporizhzhia directions, Russian forces shelled areas of populated areas along the contact line with tanks, barrel artillery, and MLRS. They used aviation for strikes near Novomykhailivka, Yelyzavetivka, Shcherbaky and Charivne.
Russian troops tried to advance in the direction of Slavne - Novomykhailivka, Solodke - Vodyane, Solodke - Volodymyrivka, Yehorivka - Pavlivka. They received a tough rebuff, suffered losses and retreated back.
In the South Buh direction, Russian forces fired from tanks and artillery of various types along the contact line and in the depth of the defense in order to prevent the regrouping of Ukrainian units and create favorable conditions for them to conduct a counteroffensive. Russian forces carried out airstrikes near Andriivka, Myrne, Blahodatne and Lozove.
In the Black Sea and Azov maritime operational zones, Russia's naval group focuses its main efforts on conducting reconnaissance, blocking civilian shipping in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, and attacking military facilities and infrastructure elements in the depth of the territory of Ukraine. Three Kalibr-type sea-based cruise missile carriers are ready to use high-precision weapons.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced the strike on the point of deployment of foreign mercenaries in the city of Zolochev. More than 100 militants from Poland and Germany have been killed and more than 50 wounded.
At the railway stations in Apostolovo and Sinelnikovo, Dnepropetrovsk region, two traction substations were disabled. In Belogorka and Lozovoe, Kherson region, more than 160 nationalists from the 63rd brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) were killed.
Also over the past day, the command post of the 60th brigade in Osokorovka, the missile and artillery weapons depot in Zaichevsky, and two fuel depots in Chuguev and Kovyagi were hit.
At the same time, air defense intercepted three Ukrainian drones over the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), Kherson and Kharkiv regions.
During the day, the Allied forces launched massive strikes along the entire line of contact. Combat activity today was concentrated west of Donetsk, in Soledar and Bakhmut, south of Vugledar, as well as in the Zolochev area of the Kharkov region.
During the day, the People's Militia of the DPR lost three soldiers killed and four wounded. The Ukrainian Armed Forces fired over 180 shells at six settlements, killing five civilians and injuring two. 34 residential buildings and five civil infrastructure facilities were damaged.
The Supreme Court of the Republic, meanwhile, interrogated five foreign mercenaries who were captured. Among them are three Britons, a Swede and a Croat. All five disagree with accusations of participating in hostilities, training to seize power by force, and recruiting militants. Three of them, due to the severity of the crimes committed, may face the death penalty . The next hearing in the case of these mercenaries will not take place until October.
In the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR), in turn, the training of military intelligence officers continues. Cadets are trained to handle weapons and drones, master the specifics of their future tasks.
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