Russo-Ukraine War - 18 August 2022 - Day 176
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 the heavy attrition of Russian Main Battle Tanks in Ukraine is highly likely partially due to Russia's failure to fit and properly employ adequate Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA). Used correctly, ERA degrades the effectiveness of incoming projectiles before they hit the tank. This suggests that Russian forces have not rectified a culture of poor ERA use, which dates back to the First Chechen War in 1994.
It is highly likely that many Russian tank crews lack the training to maintain ERA, leading to either poor fitting of the explosive elements, or it being left off entirely. These deficiencies probably contribute to the widespread incidents of turret ejection, which are well documented in eye-witness videos from Ukraine.
The war has seen numerous failures by Russian commanders to enforce low-level battle discipline – such as the use of ERA. The cumulative effect of these failures is likely a significant factor behind the poor performance of Russia's forces.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that Russian forces continue to focus their efforts on establishing full control over the territories of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, holding captured Kherson oblast and parts of Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, and Mykolayiv oblasts, restoring the combat capability of units that have suffered losses, and preventing a possible counteroffensive by the Ukrainian Defense Forces.
The situation remained unchanged in the Volyn, Polissya, and Siversky directions. Russian forces fired from barrel artillery in the areas of Studenok, Pavlivka and Velyka Pysarivka settlements of the Sumy region.
In the Kharkiv direction, Russian forces are trying to hold the occupied positions, carry out measures to restore the combat capability of the units that have suffered losses, replenish the supplies of logistical support for the troops. They replenished the grouping with a battalion tactical group and deployed additional electronic warfare systems.
Russian forces employed tanks, barrel artillery and multiple rocket fire systems for shelling the areas of the settlements of Udy, Kalynove, Slatyne, Derhachi, Pytomnyk, Bazaliivka, Ruska Lozova, Ruski Tyshky, Cherkaski Tyshki, Petrivka, Kutuzivka, Staryy Saltiv, Ivanivka, Husarivka, Pechenyhy, Lebyazhe, Korobochkyne, Stara Hnylytsia, Slobozhanske, Chepil and Velyki Prohody. The Russian occupiers also carried out airstrikes near Verkhnyi Saltiv, Stariy Saltiv and Baranivka.
In the Slovyansk direction, Russian forces fired from barrel and jet artillery near Hrushuvakha, Velyka Komyshuvakha, Krasnopilla, Dibrivne, Virnopilla, Brazhivka, Chervone, Adamivka, Mazanivka, Nortsivka, Dolyna, and Bohorodychne.
In the Kramatorsk direction, shelling was recorded near Siversk, Serebryanka, Rozdolivka, Hryhorivka, Spirne, Verkhnyokamyanske, Zvanivka, Ivano-Daryivka, Fedorivka, Berestove, Vesele, and Kryva Luka. In addition, Russian forces carried out an air strike near Spirne.
The Russian occupiers made an unsuccessful attempt to attack in the Mykolaivka-Vyimka direction. They suffered losses and retreated.
In the Bakhmut direction, Russian forces shelled the areas of Bakhmut, Soledar, Zaytseve, Yakovlivka, Kodema, Bilohorivka, Vershyna and Zalizne settlements from tanks and artillery of various types. They used aviation for strikes on the districts of Soledar, Bakhmut, Yakovlivka, Zaytseve, Pokrovske, Vesela Dolyna and Bilohorivka.
With offensive and assault actions, Russian forces tried to break through the defense of our troops and advance from the districts of Volodymyrivka, Pokrovske, Klynove, Semihirya and Holmivskyi in the direction of the city of Bakhmut, but left after having no success.
In the Avdiivka direction, the areas of the settlements of Avdiivka, Maryinka, Krasnohorivka, Pisky, Opytne, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, Kamianka, Vesele, Novobakhmutivka, Netaylove, New York and Yuryivka were hit by fire from tanks, barrel and rocket artillery.
Russian forces used aviation to strike directly at the settlement of Krasnohorivka.
Russian forces made unsuccessful attempts to improve the tactical position in the directions of Verkhnotoretske - Kam'yanka, Novoselivka Druha - Avdiivka, Pisky - Pervomaiske and Lozove - Pervomaiske.
In the Novopavlivka direction, shelling was recorded near Pavlivka, Volodymyrivka, Velika Novosilka, Vuhledar, Vremivka, Novomykhailivka, Prechystivka, and Zolota Nyva. Russian forces also carried out an airstrike near Vuhledar.
With offensive actions, Russian units tried to improve the tactical position in the Taramchuk-Vodyane direction, but were repulsed and they retreated.
In the Zaporizhzhia direction, shelling from all available means of fire along the contact line did not stop. Russian forces used aviation near Shcherbaky, Zaliznychne and Novoandriivka.
In the South Buh direction, Russian units continue to focus their efforts on holding occupied positions and preventing the Defense Forces from creating favourable conditions for counteroffensive actions.
The occupiers strengthened the group with forces up to two battalion tactical groups due to the reserve and the transfer of individual units from other directions.
Russian forces launched airstrikes near Bilohirka, Bila Krynytsia and Lozove. The Air Force pays a lot of attention to aerial reconnaissance.
Two Russian sea-based cruise missile carriers are ready to use high-precision weapons.
The Russian Ministry of Defense warned in the morning that Kyiv was preparing a provocation in the area of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. According to the agency, on August 19, the Armed Forces of Ukraine may strike at an object from firing positions in Nikopol in order to subsequently blame the Russian side for the attack.
The Ministry of Defense recalled that since July 18, the station has been regularly shelled by Ukrainian troops, as a result of these attacks, the auxiliary support systems of the nuclear power plant, as well as the life support facilities of Energodar, have already been damaged.
The Ministry of Defense emphasized that Ukraine, together with the curators from the United States, is trying to provoke, in their opinion, an "insignificant" accident, which in reality will have serious consequences. According to the estimates of specialists of the Russian Ministry of Defense, in the event of an accident at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, radioactive substances will cover the territory of Poland, Germany and Slovakia.
The ministry also said that if the situation with Ukrainian shelling continues to develop negatively, the issue of putting the 5th and 6th power units into cold reserve may be considered, which will lead to the shutdown of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.
The ultimate goal of Kyiv's provocation is, according to the statement of the Russian Defense Ministry, the creation of an exclusion zone around the station with a radius of up to 30 km, the introduction of international forces and foreign observers, and accusing the Russian military of nuclear terrorism. The Ministry drew attention to the fact that the RF Armed Forces do not place heavy weapons either at the ZNPP itself or in the areas adjacent to it - only security units are stationed there.
The people's militia of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in the evening report reported that since the beginning of the day, Ukrainian troops had fired more than 250 rounds of cannon artillery on the territory of the DPR with a caliber of 155, 152 and 122-mm, 120-mm mortars, including unguided aircraft rockets caliber 80 mm.
Districts of 13 settlements came under fire. As a result of the attacks, a civilian was killed and 5 others were injured. 5 residential buildings and 2 civil infrastructure facilities were damaged.
Military expert Boris Rozhin reports positional battles north of Avdiivka, as well as the development of the allied offensive south of the city - in the Vodiane area. Clashes also continue on the Zaitsevo-Kodema line, fighting in the west of Soledar, on the outskirts of Yakovlevka, in Belogorovka and Bakhmutsky. In addition, positional battles are recorded in the areas of Serebryanka, Verkhnekamensky, Ivano-Daryevka.
Ambassador of the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) to Russia Rodion Miroshnik said that the defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the combat zone in the DPR in several places along the Seversk-Soledar-Bakhmut line is bursting at the seams.
"Inside Soledar, the industrial zone is already controlled by our troops," he said. - Uglegorsk has good progress. On the line Peski, Marinka, Avdeevka, the allied forces are also confidently advancing. Avdiivka, where powerful fortifications still remain, most likely will not be taken, but will bypass and deprive its garrison of supplies. After that, it will be impossible to stay there."
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the UN sanctions against North Korea, which relate to the hiring of workers from the DPRK, do not apply to the republics of Donbass. The department recalled that neither the DPR nor the LPR are members of the UN, so there are no obstacles to the arrival of North Korean builders in Donetsk.
In the evening, the people's militia of the LPR reported that Lisichansk had been shelled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. During the attack, Ukrainian troops used the Uragan MLRS, firing 12 shells at the city. In addition, eyewitnesses reported arrivals in Stakhanov.
The National Guard announced the discovery of 23 caches with weapons of Ukrainian militants on the territory of the republic. It is noted that samples of foreign production were found in the caches, in particular, grenade launchers and Mortar bomb HE 120 mines.
The department reported that within 3 days, 2 suspects of complicity with the Armed Forces of Ukraine were detained in the LPR. Under investigation were former Ukrainian military involved in the activities of sabotage and reconnaissance groups (DRGs).
Officer of the NM LPR Andrey Marochko spoke in an interview with MK about the activities of Ukrainian saboteurs in the Donbass. Intelligence of the Lugansk People's Republic established that enemy DRGs arrived in the region, the purpose of which is to carry out terrorist attacks.
"We assume that the enemy will attempt to abandon small groups that will operate throughout the republic and carry out terrorist attacks on large important industrial and socially significant facilities, as well as on critical civilian infrastructure facilities," he noted.
The lieutenant colonel added that the competent authorities of the republic are already working in this direction, trying to minimize the danger posed by the presence of the DRG in the LPR.
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