Snapshot

Evidence that Ukraine may be trying to attrit Russian forces across a long front and many combat zones emerged with Ukrainian offensive moves in five theatres of the country’s south and east. The hottest fighting is at Bakhmut as Ukraine pushes flanks. Meanwhile, there were explosions and fires at three locations in Russia.

Analysis

From the Institute for the Study of War’s (ISW) latest report:

Ukrainian forces appear to be focusing on creating an asymmetrical attrition gradient that conserves Ukrainian manpower at the cost of a slower rate of territorial gains, while gradually wearing down Russian manpower and equipment. Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov reported on July 4 that Ukrainian forces are performing their main task of destroying Russian manpower, equipment, fuel depots, artillery, and air defenses and that a “war of destruction is equal to a war of kilometers.” Danilov’s assessment underlines the prioritization of Ukraine’s ongoing campaign to attrit Russian manpower and assets over attempting to conduct massive sweeping mechanized maneuvers to regain large swaths of territory rapidly.

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General Developments

Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar reported that Ukrainian forces have liberated a total of 37.4 square kilometers in eastern and southern Ukraine in the past week.

OSCE Official Gets Jail Term for 'Spying' in Russian-Held Ukraine
Other Topics of Interest

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.

European intelligence officials believe that Russia is preparing to send more Chechen militants and convicts to Ukraine to fill in the holes left by Wagner Group mercenaries who have left the battlefield, Bloomberg reported.

"The defense forces of Ukraine continue to conduct an offensive operation on the Melitopol (Ed: Zone A below) and Berdyansk fronts (Ed: Zone B below), are entrenched at the reached boundaries, inflict fire damage from artillery on the identified enemy targets, and carry out counter-battery combat measures,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said last night. 

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Ukrainian aircraft carried out 13 airstrikes.

Washington Post reported that the Biden administration is considering whether to supply Ukraine with controversial cluster bombs.

Operational Aspects in Luhansk, Avdiivka, Marinka, Kherson, Russia and other areas

Several explosions occurred in the Russian-occupied city of Makiivka, in Donetsk region, according to local Telegram channels. Pro-Russian sources said they were caused by Ukrainian HIMARS.

Russian forces continue to focus their main efforts on the Lyman (northern Donetsk region), Avdiivka and Marinka fronts (central Donetsk region), and heavy fighting continues, according to Ukraine’s General Staff report. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed there were Ukrainian ground attacks in the Lyman direction.

Pro-Russian sources said Russian assaults at Avdiivka and Marinka were “without success.” 

In Sumy region, according to the General Staff, Russian forces “made unsuccessful attempts to penetrate a subversion and reconnaissance group through the state border of Ukraine, suffered losses and retreated.”

In Kharkiv region, Russian forces conducted offensive operations north of Novoselivske, according to the General Staff.

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Russian forces continued ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line on July 4, according to ISW.

Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line and south of Kreminna, according to ISW, while pro-Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted limited ground attacks there.

A thermal power plant has caught fire in the city of Veliky Novgorod in Russia, according to Russian state-operated ‘media outlet’ RIA Novosti.

Russian Telegram channels said that air defense systems activated over Belgorod, Russia. Pro-Russian sources reported combat near the Belgorod border area.

Operational Aspects in Zone A. TO518 / Mokri Yaly River Axis - boundary of the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions

Ukrainian southern forces spokesperson Valery Shershen stated that Ukrainian forces advanced up to two kilometers in the western Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia regions border area.

A prominent pro-Russian source claimed that Ukrainian forces “had entered” Pryyutne, 15 kilometers southwest of Velyka Novosilka, in western Donetsk region.

ISW reported that Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged respective assaults at Rivnopil and Urozhaine.

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Operational Aspects in Zone B. Western Zaporizhzhia

Geolocated footage confirms that Ukrainian forces made additional advances south of Orikhiv in western Zaporizhzhia region, according to ISW.

Pro-Russian sources said Ukrainian attacks on Robotyne continued.

Operational Aspects in Zone C. Bakhmut

Ukrainian soldiers continued to carry out offensive operations south and north of the city of Bakhmut, “entrenching at the achieved boundaries”, according to the General Staff.

For more details on the Bakhmut battle, click here for the report by Kyiv Post’s military expert Stefan Korshak.

Ukrainian milbloggers contended that Ukrainian forces are pushing to encircle Bakhmut from its flanks. They asserted that “the whole southern Bakhmut’s flank relies on just two powerful fortifications: one north of Klishchiivka and one west of Klishchiivka. The fact that Ukrainians have advanced by 1.5 kilometers means that one of these two fortifications has fallen.”

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