Key Takeaways

  • Ukrainian military officials announced that Ukrainian forces began a counteroffensive operation in Kherson Oblast on August 29.
  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi announced that the IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant left for the plant.
  • Russian forces conducted limited ground assaults north of Slovyansk, southeast of Siversk, south of Bakhmut, and in western Donetsk Oblast.
  • Russian forces continued efforts to advance around Donetsk City.
  • Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks in northeastern Kharkiv Oblast.
  • Russian forces conducted a limited ground assault in northwestern Kherson Oblast.
  • Russian federal subjects continued efforts to form new battalions, attract new recruits, and coerce conscripts into signing military contracts.
  • Ukrainian partisan activity continues to threaten Russian occupation authorities’ control in occupied territories.

Ukrainian military officials announced the start of the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kherson Oblast on August 29. Ukrainian officials reported that Ukrainian forces have broken through the first line of defenses in unspecified areas of Kherson Oblast and are seeking to take advantage of the disruption of Russian ground lines of communication caused by Ukrainian HIMARS strikes over many weeks.[1] Ukrainian officials did not confirm liberating any settlements, but some Russian milbloggers and unnamed sources speaking with Western outlets stated that Ukrainian forces liberated several settlements west and northwest of Kherson City, near the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River, and south of the Kherson-Dnipropetrovsk Oblast border.[2] The Russian Defense Ministry (MoD), Russian proxies, and some Russian milbloggers denounced the Ukrainian announcement of the counteroffensive as “propaganda.”[3]


Many Russian milbloggers nevertheless reported a wide variety of Ukrainian attacks along the entire line of contact, and the information space will likely become confused for a time due to panic among Russian sources.[4] Russian outlets have also vaguely mentioned evacuations of civilians from Kherson Oblast, but then noted that occupation authorities in Kherson Oblast are calling on residents to seek shelter rather than flee.[5] ISW will report on the Ukrainian counteroffensive in a new section below.

OSCE Official Gets Jail Term for 'Spying' in Russian-Held Ukraine
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OSCE Official Gets Jail Term for 'Spying' in Russian-Held Ukraine

OSCE condemned it as "a grave violation of participating states' commitments under international law" and called for the immediate release of Vadym Golda and two other jailed OSCE officials.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi announced that the IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) left for the plant on August 29. Grossi specified that he is leading the mission but neither he nor the IAEA specified a timeline for the investigation.[6]

Russian sources continue to make claims likely intended to manipulate public opinion and the IAEA investigation. Several Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces shelled Enerhodar and shared photos allegedly showing the location where Ukrainian forces struck a nuclear fuel storage site on the territory of the ZNPP on August 29.[7] Ukrainian sources reported continued Russian shelling of Enerhodar near the ZNPP.[8] Russian sources claimed on August 29 that Ukrainian forces fired on the Khmelnitsky Nuclear Power Plant deep in western Ukraine and far from the front lines; Ukrainian authorities denied these claims.[9] Russian authorities also alleged that several IAEA members from the current mission will remain at ZNPP permanently, but ISW cannot confirm these reports at this time.[10]


Authors: Kateryna Stepanenko, Grace Mappes, Angela Howard, Layne Philipson, and Frederick W. Kagan

See the full report here. 

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