Russia’s war on Ukraine. Daily Snapshot. 07.07.2023
- Опубліковано: CDS
- Категорія: DailyBrief
Snapshot of the day:
- Head of the Presidential Office, Andriy Yermak, states that the time for mediation is over and President Zelensky’s Peace Formula offers an alternative.
- The Russian army has launched attacks on eight regions of Ukraine in the past day, resulting in casualties among civilians.
- HR Commissioner Dmytro Lubinets highlights the urgent need for an effective mechanism to liberate Ukrainian civilians held captive by Russia, emphasizing the ongoing torture they endure.
- While the immediate threat of an explosion at the NPP has diminished, it remains a concern as long as Russia maintains control over the facility, according to Budanov.
- The increased energy consumption due to air conditioning is putting strain on the Ukrainian energy system.
- Russian troops are making active attempts to breach Ukrainian defenses in the Kupyansk-Lyman section, utilizing Storm-Z assault units consisting of former convicts.
- Ukrainian Defense forces are maintaining the initiative in the Bakhmut area and gradually pushing back Russian forces to the north and south of Bakhmut.
- The 35th Russian Army has been fully deployed and engaged in battle in the Polohy direction.
- On the Berdyansk direction, the forward units of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping have started to increase their pace of advance.
- Possible operational situation development
- The enemy command may be preparing a local counterstrike in the area between Hulyaipole and Velyka Novosilka and is preparing for counterattacks in the area of Zherebyanky.
- The enemy’s “Zapad” Operational Grouping continues preparations for a renewed offensive on the Kupyansk and Lyman directions.
- The concentration of the 68th and 80th tank regiments in the narrow stretch of Klishchiivka, Odradivka – Mykolaivka indicates the enemy’s preparation for a counterattack through Andriivka, bypassing Klishchiivka from the southwest direction.
- Sea: The construction program of the first Russian project 20386 stealth corvette, which began in 2016 and cost at least 300 million dollars, is set to be terminated.
- The grain deal has effectively collapsed, resulting in nearly empty Black Sea ports in Ukraine, as the joint center in Istanbul responsible for approving shipments is experiencing delays due to the Russian side’s position.
- Jens Stoltenberg announced three elements of the Vilnius summit’s offer to Ukraine: a multi-year programme of assistance, NATO-Ukraine Council and a reaffirmation that Ukraine will become a member of NATO. Volodymyr Zelensky called on NATO leaders to show unity and give a clear and decisive message regarding Ukraine’s membership.
- Ukraine’s President is visiting the CEE and Turkey on the eve of the summit to gain support for Ukraine’s bid. Bulgaria, Czechia, Slovakia and Turkey hosted more than 662 thousand Ukrainian refugees and provided Ukraine with more than €1.5 billion in security assistance.
- Ukraine’s President verbally clashed with his pro-Russian Bulgarian counterpart: “God forbid some tragedy should befall you and you should be in my place. And if people with shared values do not help, what will you do? You would say: Putin, please grab Bulgarian territory?”
- More than two-thirds (65%) of NATO member nations express their support for continuing to provide assistance to Ukraine. Among these nations, Bulgaria and Montenegro are the most opposed, with 57% of their citizens expressing skepticism, while Iceland and Finland are the most supportive, with 89% and 84% respectively. The poll found that more than two-thirds of Allied citizens hold an unfavorable opinion of Russia.
Currently, Russia holds more than 25,000 Ukrainian civilians in captivity, said Dmytro Lubinets, the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights. He emphasized the urgent need to establish an effective mechanism for their return, as it may take decades otherwise. “We don’t have that much time. The Russian Federation tortures our citizens every day,” Lubinets said. According to him, as of today, 2,576 Ukrainians, 144 of whom are civilians, have been returned from the Russian captivity.
NEC “Ukrenergo” asked Ukrainians to turn off air conditioners after 4:00 p.m. On July 6, at 16:00, energy companies recorded a peak in electricity consumption – 7% higher than on the hottest day of the summer of 2022, and 14% higher than previous Thursday. “Such growth is equal to the production capacity of almost two nuclear power units,” the company said. If last summer such peaks of consumption were not a problem for the power system, now, after the Russian shelling, a sharp increase in consumption significantly complicates its operation.
Russian occupiers attacked Ukraine on the night of July 7 with 18 Iranian Shahed-136 kamikaze drones; six impacts were recorded, the command of the Ukrainian Air Force said. The “East” air command shot down six drones over Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Two people died as a result of the Russian night attack when falling Shakhed debris fell on a car that was driving down a road, Serhiy Lysak, the head of Dnipropetrovsk OMA, said.
Overall, The Russian military attacked eight regions of Ukraine over the past day, and there are dead and wounded civilians.
IAEA experts have been granted access to certain areas of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), including the cooling pools, but they have not been allowed on the roofs of the power units, according to Rafael Grossi, the Director General of the organization. According to him, the International Atomic Energy Agency is “making progress” in inspecting some areas of the Zaporizhzhia NPP. He also noted that the experts did not see any signs of “explosives or mines” at the station. The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense (GUR) is working to identify the foreign objects seen on the roof of the third and fourth power units, which are not supposed to be there, according to Andriy Yusov, a representative of the GUR. Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukrainian intelligence, stated that while the threat of a nuclear plant explosion is diminishing, it could return as Russia maintains control over the NPP; he did not provide further details. The American Nuclear Agency has determined that even in the worst-case scenario at the Zaporizhzhia NPP, there would be no radiological hazard to the population after considering various scenarios.
During the nearly three-month blockade of Mariupol, the [Russian] occupiers have inflicted significant damage, destroying 50% of the city’s housing stock. Over 1,300 high-rise buildings are beyond repair, and 11,384 out of 40,000 single-family houses have been destroyed. Additionally, 90% of infrastructure facilities have been either destroyed or damaged. Preliminary estimates indicate that the damage caused by Russian troops amounts to 14.5 billion euros. The city will require 28 billion UAH for the initial stage of reconstruction alone. It is projected to take at least 5 years to restore life in Mariupol and an additional 15 years to fully revive the city. These details were revealed at the Lviv Urban Forum.
- Russian troops are actively attempting to penetrate Ukrainian defenses in the Kupyansk-Lyman section, using Storm-Z assault units comprised of former convicts.
- The Ukrainian Defense Forces maintain the initiative around Bakhmut and are gradually pushing back Russian forces to the north and south of Bakhmut.
- The 35th Russian Army is fully deployed and engaged in the battle in the Polohy direction.
- In the Berdyansk direction, the advanced units of the “Tavriya” Operational Grouping have accelerated their pace of advance. They have covered nearly 9 km in a single day between Pryiutne and Staromayorske. The total area under their control in this area, since the liberation of Rivnopil, now exceeds 20 km2.
- The deployment of the 5th separate tank brigade by the enemy command in the Kreminchyk area indicates that they are well aware of the threat posed by the advance of the “Tavriya” Grouping towards the main defensive line in the Heorhiivka area.
- The Russian command of the “Zapad” troop grouping in the Kupyansk direction is organizing attacks by the 21st separate motorized rifle brigade towards Kovalivka – Novoyehorivka and the 30th separate motorized rifle brigade towards Novovodyanе – Grekivka, with the objective of reaching Borova.
Change in the line of contact (LoC):
- Over 30 combat clashes took place on different fronts.
- In the Kupyansk direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces repulsed the attacks of the Russian 27th separate motorized rifle brigade in the Novoselivske area and did not allow it to advance in that direction. Units of the 7th motorized rifle regiment (18th motorized rifle division of the 11th Army Corps of the Russian Baltic Fleet) repulsed attacks of Ukrainian Defense Forces near Novoselivske. Russian forces create favorable conditions for a further offensive in the direction of Stelmakhivka.
- In the Lyman direction, Russian forces, supported by aviation, launched attempts to dislodge Ukrainian Defense Forces from their positions in the western areas of Karmazynivka, Novoyehorivka, and Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast. However, these attempts were unsuccessful. They continued to attack in the Serebryansk forest area, and repelled attacks of Ukrainian Defense Forces near Yampolivka and Torske.
- In the Bakhmut direction, under heavy Russian aircraft and artillery fire, Ukrainian Defense Forces successfully repelled enemy attacks in the area of Bohdanivka, Berkhivka, Ivanivka, and Bila Hora of Donetsk Oblast, advanced to the southwest of Bakhmut, entered the western outskirts of Klishchiivka, where they are fighting the units of the 72nd separate motorized rifle brigade of the Russian 3rd Army Corps, reinforced by tanks of the 68th tank regiment of the 150th motorized rifle division They increase pressure on the Russian positions to the southwest of Bakhmut.
- Russian troops launched unsuccessful attacks in the direction of Dubovo-Vasylivka-Bohdanivka and Orikhovo-Vasylivka. In the Andriivka direction, the advanced units of the Russian 57th separate motorized rifle brigade were pushed back from the Siversky Donets-Donbas canal by over 2 km. The Russian command is attempting to maintain control over the T-0513 road in this area.
- In the Avdiivka direction, Ukrainian Defense Forces continue to hold back the advance of Russian troops in the areas of Avdiivka and Pervomaiske of Donetsk Oblast. They have repelled all attacks from the 103rd motorized rifle regiment (part of the 150th Russian motorized rifle division) in the Maryinka and Novomykhailivka areas. The insertion of Ukrainian Defense Forces in the Spartak area beyond the Donetsk bypass road east of Opytne is expanding, posing significant challenges to Russian attempts to advance northward from the Vodyane-Opytne line.
- Despite the enemy’s introduction of the 136th separate motorized rifle brigade into the operation in the Vesele area, Ukrainian Defense Forces successfully held their ground and were not displaced. The advance of the Russian 277th rifle regiment of the 1st Army Corps, which aimed to encircle Avdiivka, has been halted. The situation for the 145th motorized rifle regiment of the territorial troops worsened as they retreated in the Kamyanka area. Additionally, the 1439th motorized rifle regiment retreated 1 km in the Opytne area.
- Zaporizhzhia direction:
- Melitopol direction (Pyatykhatky): Russian units repulsed the Ukrainian attack near Pyatykhatky.
- Tokmak direction (Robotyne): The “Tavriya” Grouping launched an attack towards Robotyne, and they achieved success near Verbove. Russian forces are unable to halt their advance.
- Units of the Russian 291st motorized rifle regiment are attempting to maintain their positions in the northern part of Robotyne and its western vicinity. The unexpected maneuver by the “Tavriya” Grouping towards Verbove caught the enemy off guard, resulting in the Russian 70th motorized rifle regiment being unable to halt the advance. The Russian 38th separate motorized rifle brigade is retreating from its previously held positions while engaging in battles. The brigade has halted near Novopokrovka and is fiercely fighting along the line between Novokarlivka and Bagate, aiming to impede the “Tavriya” Grouping’s advance along the northern bank of the Konka River towards Polohy.
- The “Tsarskie Volki” PMC detachment has withdrawn to Kopani and joined forces with the remaining members of the 11th BARS detachment to establish a defensive position. The situation is deteriorating for the Russian 503rd motorized rifle regiment in the Nesteryanka area.
- In the area of Verbove, the “Tavriya” Grouping came within 2 km of the main Russian defensive line.
- Berdyansk direction (Velyka Novosilka): troops of the “Tavriya” Grouping attacked Russian positions near Staromayorske and Pryiutne. The enemy continues to hold positions near Pryiutne and controls the village.
- The Russian 394th motorized rifle regiment, having suffered losses in previous engagements, is struggling to maintain its defensive line. In order to provide support, the 60th separate motorized rifle brigade defending in Staromayorske had to extend its left flank.
- In the Kermenchik area, the 5th Russian separate tank brigade is mobilizing and getting ready to engage in the battle for the strategic heights near the village. Furthermore, forces from the 37th separate motorized rifle brigade, 131st rifle regiment of the 1st Army Corps, 1st battalion of the 125th separate motorized rifle brigade, “Cascade” detachment, and a battalion-sized unit from the 40th separate marines brigade of the Pacific Fleet have been identified in the Novomayorske area, indicating their presence in the region.
- The “Tavriya” Grouping has made progress in the direction of Novodonetske, advancing approximately 1.5 km. The liberation of Kermenchik has provided the “Tavriya” Grouping with access to the main defensive line in the Heorhiivka area.
- In the Kherson direction, Russian aircraft struck Ukrainian areas of concentration near the Antoniv bridge..
Change in enemy disposition:
- The 7th air assault division of the Russian airborne troops is transferred to the Zaporizhzhia direction, the 387th air assault regiment of the division remains in Kherson Oblast.
- Near Kreminna, the 3rd separate SOF brigade conducts combat operations.
- In the Bakhmut direction, the 374th separate special battalion and units of the 83rd separate airborne assault brigade are deployed between Opytne and Odradivka. The defense in the area of the Andriivski Ponds is conducted by the 13th detachment of the BARS “Russian Legion.” The 57th separate motorized rifle brigade holds the defense line in the direction of Kurdyumivka and Zelenopillia, with the 80th tank regiment of the 90th tank division deployed in support. Additionally, battalions of the 1307th motorized rifle regiment of the territorial troops are concentrated in the tactical reserve in the area of Zaitseve.
Possible operation situation developments:
- Ukrainian Defense Forces will develop an offensive in the direction of Stepove – Vasylivka, Orikhiv – Tokmak, Velyka Novosilka – Berdyansk;
- Russian command can prepare a local counterattack in the area between Hulyaipole and Velyka Novosilka and is getting ready for counterattacks in the Zherebyanky area;
- Once the Ukrainian Defense Forces reach the main defensive line of the Russians in the Zaporizhzhia direction, the Russian command will be compelled to make a decision regarding the organization of defense. This may involve consolidating the battle formations of the 49th and 58th Armies or transferring reserves from other operational zones.
- The Russian “Zapad (West)” troop grouping continues preparations to resume the offensive in the Kupyansk and Lyman directions;
- The concentration of the 68th and 80th tank regiments on the narrow stretch of Klishchiivka, Odradivka – Mykolaivka allows us to assert that the enemy is preparing for a counterattack through Andriivka, bypassing Klishchiivka from the south-western direction.
Azov-Black Sea Maritime Operational Area:
- As of July 7, there were 4 Russian ships at sea. Among them, there is one submarine carrying up to 4 Kalibr missiles. 3 Kalibr carriers (a submarine and two surface ships returned to Sevastopol and Novorossiysk at night).
- On the night of July 7, the enemy struck the south of Ukraine, in particular Odesa, Mykolaiv and Kherson from the coast of the Sea of Azov with 18 kamikaze drones. 12 drones were destroyed by the air defense forces of Ukraine.
- Russian aviation continues to fly from the Crimean airfields of Belbek, Saky, Dzhankoy and Hvardiyske over the sea. Seven fighter aircraft from Belbek and Saki Air Force Bases were involved in monitoring the surface and air conditions in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, namely three Su-27/30 (BELBEK), two Su-24MR and two Mig-29 UK (SAKI).
- Air situation control and operational-tactical aviation management over the Azov Sea area were carried out by the A-50U Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft.
- A new scandal has emerged in the Russian navy concerning the construction program of the first Russian project 20386 stealth corvette. The program, which has been ongoing since 2016 and cost at least 300 million dollars, is set to be terminated. The construction of the “Derzky” corvette, the only hull of the project, will not be completed as originally planned, leading to its delivery to the Russian Navy in 2025. The closure of the project is attributed to the exorbitant cost and the lack of necessary technological solutions. The project 20386 corvette aimed to create a technologically advanced version of the existing project 20380 corvette, which has been in service with the Russian Navy for approximately 20 years. The project 20386 corvette had a price tag of around 650 million US dollars, which is 70% higher than the project 20380/20385 corvettes, without offering any significant combat advantages. The original plan was to build a total of 10 project 20386 corvettes. The project had been marred by repeated corruption scandals during its design and approval under the government’s orders.
The “Grain Initiative”
- The grain agreement is at risk of collapsing as the joint center in Istanbul, responsible for approving shipments from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, is causing delays due to the Russian side’s stance. Vessels carrying Ukrainian grain are facing difficulties in passing inspections. Since the agreement’s implementation, approximately 33 million tons of grain crops have been exported, benefiting global food prices and supporting the agricultural sector. The agreement is set to expire on July 17, and efforts are underway to extend it. The EU, USA, and UN are in favor of extending the agreement, while Russia opposes it.
- Termination of the agreement could result in increased costs for Ukrainian farmers, and some regions may reduce production in 2024. In early June, the number of vessels passing through the ports was less than two per day, significantly below export capacity. To salvage the deal, EU and UN officials are considering concessions for the sanctioned Rosselkhozbank. However, the Russian Ministry has rejected the compromise, deeming it impossible. In the event of supply suspension, more crops will be redirected to Ukrainian river ports on the Danube and transported via rail and road across the EU border.
Russian operational losses from 24.02.22 to 07.07.23
Personnel – almost 232,810 people (+510);
Tanks – 4,070 (+2);
Armored combat vehicles – 7,944 (+12);
Artillery systems – 4,330 (+20);
Multiple rocket launchers (MLRS) – 658 (+1);
Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 408 (+4);
Vehicles and fuel tanks – 6,898 (+10);
Aircraft – 315 (0);
Helicopters – 309 (0);
UAV operational and tactical level – 3,652 (+17);
Intercepted cruise missiles – 1,271 (+7);
Boats/ships – 18 (0).
Ukraine, general news
The National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NAPC) has started testing the Unified Whistleblower Reporting Portal, developed with the support of USAID “VzayemoDiya (SACCI)”. According to Oleksandr Novikov, the head of the NAPC, 10 agencies are involved in the testing. In general, about 90,000 government agencies and local self-government bodies, legal entities will be connected to the portal. “The launch of the whistleblower reporting portal is planned for the next few months. It will help citizens to provide information about the facts of corruption, also anonymously.”
According to the IMF, real GDP growth in Ukraine as of May has already reached “plus” 2.4% compared to “minus” 29.1% at the end of last year, while inflation indicators have decreased and conditions on the foreign exchange market have improved.
Since 2018, Ukraine has held more than 180 rounds of peace negotiations with the Russian Federation, including in the Normandy format. Some of them lasted more than 12 hours without a break. Today we came to a clear conclusion: the time for mediation is over. An alternative to this process was the Peace Formula proposed by President Zelensky, which he presented to the leaders of the G19 countries, Head of the Presidential Office Andriy Yermak said.
International diplomatic aspect
“I expect Allied leaders will agree to a package with three elements, to bring Ukraine closer to NATO. The package will include a multi-year programme of assistance to ensure interoperability; upgraded political ties – with President Zelensky attending the inaugural meeting of a new NATO-Ukraine Council; and a reaffirmation that Ukraine will become a member of NATO, with unity on how to bring Ukraine closer to its goal,” Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg previewed the Vilnius Summit.
Ukraine’s President expressed concerns about the delayed membership of Sweden and the absence of an invitation for Ukraine to join NATO. He argued that these developments highlight a lack of unity within the Alliance, posing a threat to its strength. Zelensky emphasized that Russia is eagerly hoping to exploit any signs of weakness and disunity among NATO members, which he believes should not be allowed. The Ukrainian people anxiously await a clear and decisive message regarding their country’s NATO membership. There is a fear that a resulting document might fall short of the invitation, resembling the Bucharest summit’s promise but presented in a new diplomatic wrapping.
President Zelensky is touring the CEE and Turkey on the eve of the summit to gain support for Ukraine’s bid. Bulgaria, Czechia, Slovakia and Turkey hosted more than 662 thousand Ukrainian refugees and provided Ukraine with more than €1.5 billion in security assistance. With €0.668 billion, Slovakia is the absolute champion in terms of the total amount of assistance and its ratio to the country’s GDP (ranked 4). Meanwhile, the public support for the assistance in Slovakia has a negative figure (-48%), outpacing those who support the aid by fifteen percent. The most supportive public opinion is in Turkey (72%), while less than one-fifth disapprove of the assistance.
“I continue to maintain that this conflict has no military solution and more and more weapons will not solve it,” a pro-Russian Bulgarian President said while meeting the Ukrainian colleague. “God forbid some tragedy should befall you and you should be in my place. And if people with shared values do not help, what will you do? You would say: Putin, please grab Bulgarian territory?” Volodymyr Zelensky replied. “Whatever weapons you have will not be enough for your army to fight Russia if they come here. That is why it is good to give the people to defend themselves, so that the war does not come to you, to the Poles, to the Romanians – war knows no distance, I can tell you,” the Ukrainian president said.
“The Czech Republic will help with the training of pilots including pilots for F-16 and we will supply Ukraine with F-16 flight simulators so that the training can happen not just in the West but in Ukraine as well,” Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala stated. Slovakia will shortly supply Ukraine with sixteen more Zuzana self-propelled artillery systems. Ukraine and Slovakia will jointly develop a new type of howitzer.
A significant majority (64%) of citizens in Allied countries believe that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had a negative impact on the safety and security of their own countries, according to a recent poll conducted by the NATO Public Diplomacy Division. Furthermore, more than two-thirds (65%) of NATO member nations express their support for continuing to provide assistance to Ukraine. Among these nations, Bulgaria and Montenegro are the most opposed, with 57% of their citizens expressing skepticism, while Iceland and Finland are the most supportive, with 89% and 84% respectively. Symptomatically, the poll also revealed a lack of trust in the media’s coverage of the Ukraine invasion in several countries. In nine nations, over half of the population expressed a lack of trust in their domestic media outlets to provide accurate information about the situation in Ukraine. The top five countries with the highest levels of media distrust are Greece (68%), Bulgaria (67%), Slovenia (67%), Hungary (65%), and North Macedonia (59%). The poll found that more than two-thirds of Allied citizens hold an unfavorable opinion of Russia. However, a small percentage (10%) still maintain a positive attitude towards Russia, while one-fifth of respondents do not hold either a favorable or unfavorable view.
Russia, relevant news
The European Union is confident that the economic sanctions against Russia have already significantly worsened its industrial and technological potential and in the long term their effectiveness will only increase, the European Commission said in its assessment. Trade restrictions led to an “unprecedented decoupling” of the economies of Europe and Russia: the volume of imports from Russia decreased by 91 billion euros, exports from the European Union – by 48 billion euros. But if the European economy survived this relatively easily (the industries related to the supply of gases and wood felt a significant impact), then “import restrictions of the European Union penetrate deeply into the structure of the Russian economy.”
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