Russia’s war on Ukraine. Daily Snapshot. 05.07.2023
- Опубліковано: CDS
- Категорія: DailyBrief
Snapshot of the day:
- Attacks by Russian aggressors on July 5 targeted nine regions of Ukraine, resulting in the deaths of at least two people and injuring 49, including 12 children.
- The ICRC missions in Ukraine are still unable to visit the [Russia-occupied] left bank of the Dnipro River after the flooding caused by the dam explosion at the Kakhovka HPP. Russia’s security guarantees have been pending for over a month.
- The explosion of the Kakhovka HPP dam has led to an 80% decrease in the Kakhovka reservoir area, causing Ukraine to lose over 10 cubic kilometers of water. Around 80,000 hectares of protected areas, including national parks, have been flooded, requiring decades for ecosystem restoration.
- The enemy’s “Zapad(West)” operational grouping continues its attempts to improve the tactical positions along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.
- The enemy has resumed attacks from the area of Dibrova in a southern direction towards Serebryanka.
- The intensity of combat has increased on the Bakhmut direction and decreased on the Avdiivka direction.
- The Defense Forces continue their offensive operation on the Melitopol, Tokmak, and Berdyansk directions.
- The enemy has deployed up to half of its Ground Forces and the Coastal Forces of the Navy (5 armies out of 12 and 2 corps out of 4) in the Zaporizhzhia direction.
- The “Tavriya” Grouping is close to reaching the enemy’s main defense line and will gain at least two sectors for advancing into the enemy’s defense depth.
- The 35th Army, which operates as an operational reserve on the Zaporizhzhia front, is significantly depleted.
- The “Tavriya” Operational Grouping employs an asymmetric strategy of attrition against the enemy.
- The escalating Russian rhetoric on the Zaporizhzhia NPP serves as preparation for a potential false-flag attack. This likelihood grows as the “Tavriya” operational grouping advances towards Vasylivka.
- Possible operation situation developments:
- As the Defense Forces approach the enemy’s main defensive line on the Zaporizhzhia direction, the enemy command faces a crucial decision on defense organization (either consolidating combat formations of 49th and 58th Armies or deploying reserves from other operational zones).
The Grain Initiative:
- The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Russia would not extend the agreement to operate the grain corridor beyond July 17. In response, Ukraine is exploring alternative options for organizing grain exports without Russian involvement.
- Ukraine warns about the possibility of Russia blowing up the Zaporizhzhia NPP and gets prepared for such an event. Xi Jinping reportedly warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against using nuclear weapons on Ukraine, which is denied by Putin’s spokesman.
- Ukraine, the U.K., Canada, and Sweden jointly filed a lawsuit against Iran at the International Court of Justice, accusing Iran of violating the “Montreal Convention” following the downing of the UIA plane in 2020.
- Estonian PM believes that security commitments ‘blur’ Ukraine’s NATO membership talks, while the Lithuanian President hopes the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius won’t disappoint Ukraine though it will likely not get everything it’s hoping for.
- While the Free World puts more pressure on Russia and keeps it isolated, Budapest sides with Moscow, masking it with a desire to keep “channels of communications open” aimed at “sensible and pragmatic cooperation.”
- In May 2023, violations of the E.U. and G7 embargo on seaborne imports of Russian petroleum products from ports on the Black and Azov Seas significantly increased (by almost a quarter). Direct voyages from Russian ports to E.U. and U.S. ports also rose sharply.
Russian aggressors conducted attacks on nine regions of Ukraine within the past day.
- The Russian forces carried out rocket and artillery strikes at Kharkiv Oblast. In Pervomaiske, an Iskander missile impact caused injuries to 43 people, including 12 children. Eight multi-story buildings were damaged, and vehicles were set on fire. Additionally, the sugar factory in Bilyi Kolodiaz village, Chuhuyiv district, was shelled during the night, resulting in destruction and a fire in the transformer oil. Two men were hospitalized with blast injuries.
- Overnight and throughout the past day, the enemy shelled the border towns and villages of Chernihiv and Sumy Oblasts. The private houses and the lyceum building were damaged in Sumy Oblast.
- Within 24 hours, the enemy conducted 60 shelling attacks on 12 towns and villages in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The destruction of 17 civilian objects was recorded.
- In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, an enemy drone was shot down during the night. In the morning, the aggressors struck the Marhanets community in the Nikopol district with a UAV.
- Within 24 hours, the enemy conducted 99 shelling attacks in Luhansk Oblast, firing 426 projectiles.
- The Russians carried out 23 shelling attacks in Donetsk Oblast. 2 people were injured over the past day. Two residential buildings, a non-operational substation, and a building of the Druzhkivka Administration were damaged.
- The Russian military conducted 83 shelling attacks (firing 465 projectiles) at Kherson Oblast, including six attacks (27 projectiles) on Kherson. The enemy targeted locations of 24 towns and villages, including a school in Veletenske village and a critical infrastructure facility. Two people were killed, and one person was injured.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) missions in Ukraine have been unable to visit the [Russia-occupied] left (eastern) bank of the Dnipro River after the flooding caused by the explosion of the dam at the Kakhovka HPP, according to regional director Ariane Bauer. “we continue to negotiate this access. … We have repeatedly asked for access there and will continue to ask,” Bauer said. Two days after the Russians blew up the dam on June 8, Ukraine and the United Nations agreed to evacuate the injured from the affected areas on the left bank, but security guarantees from Russia are still pending.
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, there have been reports of outbreaks of diseases with symptoms resembling cholera in the temporarily occupied towns of Skadovsk and Henichesk of Kherson Oblast in recent days. However, the occupying “authorities” are not acknowledging these incidents and are attempting to conceal the deteriorating epidemiological situation in the region. At the same time, collaborating officials are receiving cholera vaccines.
According to the Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, Ruslan Strylets, the explosion of the Kakhovka HPP dam has resulted in a significant decrease in the Kakhovka reservoir area by 80%. As a result, Ukraine has lost over 10 cubic kilometers of water. The minister described this act as a terrorist act committed by the Russians, emphasizing the devastating impact on the environment. Approximately 80,000 hectares of protected areas, including the national parks “Nyzhniodniprovskyi,” “Velykyi Luh,” and “Kamianska Sich,” have been flooded. The restoration of the affected ecosystems may take decades. The incident poses a threat to endemic species of plants and animals, such as the Azov sea pikeperch, Nordmann’s mouse-eared bat, sand lizard, and European mink, with potential losses ranging from 50% to 70% of their habitats.
- The enemy’s “Zapad(West)” operational grouping continues its attempts to improve the tactical positions of its units along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line and to the south of Kreminna.
- The enemy has resumed attacks from the area of Dibrova in a southern direction towards Serebryanka.
- The intensity of combat has increased on the Bakhmut direction.
- The intensity of combat has decreased on the Avdiivka direction.
- The Defense Forces continue their offensive operation on the Melitopol, Tokmak, and Berdyansk directions.
- To defend in the Zaporizhzhia direction, the enemy has deployed up to half of its Ground Forces and the Coastal Forces of the Navy (5 armies out of 12 and 2 corps out of 4).
- The forces of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping are close to reaching the main defensive line of the enemy and will gain at least two sectors for advancing into the enemy’s defense depth.
- The enemy has significantly depleted the forces of the 35th Army, which serves as an operational reserve on the Zaporizhzhia front.
- The “Tavriya” Operational Grouping implements an asymmetric strategy of attrition against the enemy, employing a combination of gradual advances and inflicting maximum losses on the enemy while minimizing their own casualties.
- The increasing escalation of Russian rhetoric regarding the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant may be considered a deliberate informational preparation for a false-flag attack. The likelihood of such a scenario becomes more significant as the “Tavriya” operational grouping continues its advances towards Vasylivka.
Change in the line of contact (LoC):
- There have been over 40 combat clashes on various fronts.
- On the Kupyansk direction, the enemy conducted several local attacks east of Nevske but did not succeed.
- On the Lyman direction, Russian forces carried out unsuccessful offensive actions near Novoselivske, Novovodyanе, Dibrova, the Serebryansk Forest area, and Vesele. They also attacked near Kuzemivka but were repelled by the Defense Forces in the areas of Torske, Novoselivske, Novovodyanе, and Yampolivka.
- On the Bakhmut direction, the situation in Bakhmut has escalated, with Russian and Ukrainian forces fighting for initiative and control over the territory. The Defense Forces are advancing near Klishchiivka, Ozaryanivka, and Kurdyumivka. They have successfully repelled nine attacks by Russian forces near Hryhorivka, Bohdanivka, Ivanivske, west of Yahidne, and southeast of Bila Hora. The Defense Forces have made progress in the area of Dubovo-Vasylivka. In the Klishchiivka area, the Defense Forces have cleared the forested heights, gaining control over Klishchiivka.
- Russian forces have maintained their positions and launched counterattacks from Berkhivka and along the M-03 highway towards Mynkivka.
- The forces of the 3rd Army Corps of the Western Military District have limited combat readiness and are struggling to halt the advance of the Defense Forces north of Bakhmut. AFU 3rd and 5th separate assault brigades and 80th separate airborne assault brigade have successfully continued their offensive and inflicted significant losses on the enemy’s 72nd separate motorized rifle brigade of the 3rd Army Corps.
- On the Avdiivka direction, the Defense Forces repelled 15 attacks near Maryinka.
- Zaporizhzhia front:
- Melitopol direction (Pyatykhatky): Several small assault groups from the 128th Separate Mountain Assault Brigade of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping successfully attacked the positions of the enemy 429th motorized rifle regiment (19th Motorized Rifle Division) and the “volunteer” units “Krym” and “Sudoplatov” in the direction of Pyatykhatky – Zherebyanky. In the area of Myrne village, the enemy command deployed a segment of forces from the 810th separate marines brigade of the Black Sea Fleet, to the rear of the 503rd motorized rifle regiment (19th Motorized Rifle Division).
- Tokmak direction (Robotyne): The “Tavriya” operational grouping continues its advance towards Novodanylivka – Novoprokopivka, with the enemy unable to halt their progress. The “Tavriya” units have advanced 2 km north of Robotyne, where the 70th motorized rifle regiment (the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division of the 58th Army) is defending. The enemy’s 291st motorized rifle regiment was forced to retreat to the settlement and assume a defensive position. The swift advancement of Ukrainian units east of Robotyne further complicates the situation. To counter this threat, the 1430th motorized rifle regiment of the Territorial Defense is being deployed in this direction. In Novoprokopivka, the 3rd BARS Detachment is restoring combat readiness.
- Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): The enemy, with the forces of the 37th, 60th, and 136th separate motorized rifle brigades, unsuccessfully tried to hold positions around Urozhaine and prevent further advancement of the forward units of the “Tavriya” grouping in the direction of Kerminchyk.
- The Defense Forces entered Urozhaine from the north, reached the northern outskirts of Staromayorske, and advanced towards Kerminchyk, bypassing the direction towards Novodonetske, which came as a surprise to the enemy. The Defense Forces units have broken through to the western outskirts of Pryiutne.
- On the Kherson direction, Defense Forces units are operating near Antonivskyi Bridge on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, engaging in heavy combat.
Change in enemy disposition:
- The 14th Army Corps of the Northern Fleet will be reformed into a new combined-arms army. The 200th and 80th separate motorized rifle brigades, which are part of its composition, will be reorganized into a division.
- The Russian military grouping in the Eastern direction consists of approximately 180,000 servicemen, with 120,000 of them operating in the Kupyansk-Lyman direction.
- In the Spirne area, the 123rd separate motorized rifle brigade of the 2nd Army Corps is engaged in combat operations.
- Near Dibrova, units of the 120th artillery brigade of the 41st Army are operating.
- The enemy command has put into operation the majority of its operational reserves:
- the 5th Army (127th motorized rifle division, 60th separate motorized rifle brigade – in the Berdyansk direction, 57th separate motorized rifle brigade – in the Bakhmut direction),
- the 35th Army (38th separate motorized rifle brigade – in Luhivske, 64th separate cover brigade – north of Polohy, 69th separate cover brigade – northwest of Polohy),
- the 36th Army (37th separate motorized rifle brigade – in Kreminchyk, 5th separate tank brigade – south of Kreminchyk).
- The 29th Army remains unengaged, with only one combined-arms brigade, the 36th separate motorized rifle brigade, in its composition.
Possible operation situation developments:
- The Defense Forces will continue their offensive in the directions of Stepove-Vasylivka, Orikhiv-Tokmak, and Velyka Novosilka-Berdyansk.
- The enemy command may be preparing a local counterstrike in the area between Huliay Pole and Velyka Novosilka, and they are getting ready for counterattacks in the area of Zherebyanky.
- With the Defense Forces reaching the main defensive line of the enemy, the enemy command on the Zaporizhzhia direction will have to decide regarding the organization of defense, either by consolidating the combat formations of the 49th and 58th Armies or by deploying reserves from other operational zones.
Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:
- As of the morning of July 5, there were 7 enemy ships at sea, patrolling near the coast of the Taman Peninsula in Crimea. Among them were four carriers of “Kalibr” missiles: two surface ships and two submarines, carrying up to 24 missiles.
- The enemy’s aviation continues to conduct flights over the sea from the Crimean airfields of Belbek, Saky, Dzhankoy, and Hvardiyske. To monitor the surface and air situation in the northwestern part of the Black Sea waters, six fighter aircraft were deployed from the Saky and Belbek airfields: two Su-27/30 (Belbek), two Su-24MR, and two MiG-29 UK (Saky).
- Air situation control and operational-tactical aviation management over the Azov Sea were carried out by A-50U AWACS aircraft.
“The Grain Initiative”
- The thousandth vessel carrying Ukrainian agricultural products set sail from the Odesa coast towards the Bosporus on July 4. This vessel is the 172-meter bulk carrier named LADY MERAL, carrying 22,000 tons of sunflower meal to one of the French ports. As part of the convoy of two ships, there is also the 225-meter bulk carrier MINOAN FLAME (the 1001st vessel), loaded with 62,000 tons of corn.
- Meanwhile, Russian inspectors are sabotaging the work of the Grain Initiative. On June 28, the last two vessels currently being loaded at the Odesa port were registered: TK MAJESTIC and TQ SAMSUN. In addition to them, MY LAMA is also being loaded in Odesa. There are no vessels left in the Chornomorsk port that are being processed within the framework of the Grain Initiative.
- In total, since August 1 of last year, 32.7 million tons of food have been exported from the ports of Odesa.
- In a statement from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 4, it is declared that Russia does not intend to continue the agreement regarding the operation of the grain corridor for the export of Ukrainian grain after July 17.
- Ukraine is considering a “Plan B” for organizing grain exports without the involvement of Russia in the Black Sea Grain Initiative, particularly by the development of exports through Ukrainian Danube ports in cooperation with Moldova and Romania. To ensure the effectiveness of this plan, the Ukrainian government has allocated 20 billion UAH to a dedicated fund that will guarantee payments to foreign shipowners in case of vessel or cargo damage.
- The organization of transshipment operations to transfer grain from barges in the Danube ports to Panamax-type vessels will double the grain transshipment capacity in the Danube ports. The development of ports along the Danube will reduce logistics costs for farmers, including the cost of barge transshipment on the Danube, which will decrease from $20 to $10.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 05.07.23
Personnel – almost 231,700 people (+670);
Tanks – 4,062 (+3);
Armored combat vehicles – 7,917 (+9);
Artillery systems – 4,288 (+36);
Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 656 (+9);
Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 395 (+1);
Vehicles and fuel tanks – 6,865 (+22);
Aircraft – 315 (0);
Helicopters – 309 (0);
UAV operational and tactical level – 3,614 (+12);
Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,264 (0);
Boats/ships – 18 (0).
“The world sees — can’t but see — that the only source of danger to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is Russia and no one else. Unfortunately, there was no timely and large-scale response to the terrorist attack against the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant. And this can inspire the Kremlin to a new evil. Stopping it is the responsibility of everyone in the world,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in his T.V. address. The Ukrainian President held a meeting of the Headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief dedicated to the defense of the ZNPP.
“In order to minimize potential negative consequences, emergency services have been training for several days in four Ukrainian regions – Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson and Mykolaiv – to overcome the consequences of a possible terrorist attack on the ZNPP,” Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister stated.
During a visit to Moscow, Xi Jinping reportedly warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against using nuclear weapons on Ukraine, as reported by the FT. A senior U.S. administration official confirmed China’s responsibility in delivering the message at various levels. However, Putin’s spokesperson denied the existence of such a message, labeling it as fiction.
Ukraine, the U.K., Canada, and Sweden jointly filed a lawsuit against Iran at the International Court of Justice, accusing Iran of violating the “Montreal Convention” following the downing of the UIA plane in 2020. “Iran has not responded to our request for arbitration to resolve this dispute, sent on December 28, 2022,” Ukraine’s MFA statement reads. “Iran failed to take all possible measures to prevent the destruction of flight PS752. It also subsequently failed to conduct a transparent, fair and impartial investigation and prosecution in accordance with international law. Instead, Iran hid or destroyed evidence (including immediately bulldozing the crash site), blamed other states before placing the blame for the downing on grassroots IRGC soldiers, conducted a sham and opaque trial, and provided no information to the applicants or the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on measures taken against alleged violators.”
“The war will not be there when the deterrence is credible,” the Estonian Prime Minister said. Kaja Kallas believes that security commitments ‘blur’ Ukraine’s NATO membership talks.
The Lithuanian President believes that while it will likely not get everything it’s hoping for, Ukraine will not be disappointed at the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius in July. “I have a feeling that we will find wording that will not disappoint Ukrainians and will state more than we are used to saying,” Gitanas Nausėda said. “We agree with Poland on the need for real security guarantees for Ukraine. Moreover, the conflict carries with it domino consequences, to which Europe must respond,” Giorgia Meloni said.
Russia’s Health Minister visited Hungary. While the Free World put more pressure on Russia and keep it isolated, Budapest sides with Moscow, masking it with a desire to keep “channels of communications open” aimed at “sensible and pragmatic cooperation.” “We condemn the war in the most decisive manner, but at the same time, we think weapons shipments prolong the war,” Hungary’s Foreign Minister stated. His words echoed those of Dmitriy Medvedev, former Russian President, who claimed that “If NATO, primarily the United States and its vassals, stopped supplying weapons and weapons to Ukraine, then a special military operation would be completed in just a few months. Hungary’s actions, including blocking further assistance to Ukraine under the European Peace Facility, align with the Kremlin’s propaganda narratives.
In May 2023, violations of the E.U. and G7 embargo on seaborne imports of Russian petroleum products from ports on the Black and Azov Seas significantly increased. The Monitoring Group of Maidan of Foreign Affairs, Institute of Black Sea Studies, and BlackSeaNews reported a 23.5% rise in the volume of petroleum products shipped, reaching 896,840 tons. Most violations occurred in the exclusive economic zones of E.U. countries, with Greece (16) and Malta (1) being the primary transshipment points. Notably, direct voyages from Russian ports to E.U. and U.S. ports also rose sharply, with five such voyages recorded in May. Tankers owned by Greek (4) and American (1) shipowners were involved in these direct shipments to ports in Italy, Greece, Croatia, France, and the U.S.
Dear CDS Daily Brief subscribers, as we announced earlier, we will transition from email distribution to Substack, providing you with a better experience and new features.
We will continue distributing the CDS Daily Brief via email and website during the initial test period as we gradually transition to the Substack platform. We will also post links to our Substack account in our email newsletters for your convenience. https://cdsdailybrief.substack.com/
We encourage you to subscribe to our Substack account by clicking the link. By doing so, you will be able to access our newsletter on Substack and enjoy a range of new features, including the ability to search and browse past newsletters, comment on articles, and connect with other subscribers.
We appreciate your continued support and look forward to sharing our updates and insights with you on this new platform.
If you have any questions or concerns about this transition, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Centre for Defence Strategies (CDS) is a Ukrainian security think tank. We operate since 2020. We publish this brief daily. If you would like to subscribe, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The CDC Daily Brief is produced with the support of the Kyiv School of Economics https://kse.ua/
Please note, that we subscribe only verified persons and can decline or cancel the subscription at our own discretion
We are an independent, non-government, non-partisan, and non-profit organisation. More at www.defence.org.ua
Our Twitter (in English) – https://twitter.com/defence_centre
Our Facebook (in Ukrainian) – https://www.facebook.com/cds.UA
Our brief is for information only and we verify our information to the best possible extent