Snapshot

Ukrainian forces conducted missile strikes on Russian rear positions along the entire front over the last 24 hours, including an oil field in occupied Donetsk. Ukrainian forces reportedly have some control of the southern flank of Bakhmut. Big uptick in Russian MLRS and drone losses.

Analysis

In further confirmation that Ukraine’s offensive is still in its early and formative stages, yesterday saw large-scale shaping activity along the front. This was through widespread Ukrainian missile strikes against Russian rear positions, including supply, logistics and communications points, including a large oil field in occupied Donetsk.

Additionally, analysis shows that Russian losses of MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, i.e., drones) and artillery pieces substantially increased over the last week – which further points to Ukraine’s strategy of drawing out Russian fire positions and then destroying them prior advancing toward Russian lines of fortified defense.

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General Developments

·      The UK is set to launch a training program for Ukrainian pilots on Western  jet trainers in August, said James Heappey, the UK’s Minister of State for the Armed Forces. Heappey said that 20 Ukrainian pilots will start basic ground school training in the UK in August.

·      The Armed Forces of Ukraine have yet to reach their full potential, but the counteroffensive is going to plan, according to the senior Ukrainian generals for overall ground forces and for the southern front. Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrsky, said he was confident of retaking Bakhmut.  The southern front’s commander, Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavsky, said the situation was stable and added that “the main thing is that we haven’t reached our full potential.”

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·      During Wednesday, the Russian forces launched 48 airstrikes and 54 MLRS attacks on Ukrainian troop positions and populated settlements.

·      During June, Ukrainian forces destroyed 157 of 193 incoming Russian missiles and drones, or some 82 percent, according to data released by the Ukrainian air force.

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

·      Ukrainian forces reportedly conducted a series of missile strikes targeting Russian rear positions along the entire front overnight and during the day on July 5.

·      Video footage and claims by pro-Russian forces were cited by ISW who said, “Ukrainian forces launched a coordinated series of strikes aimed at degrading Russian logistics and ground lines of communication (LOCs) throughout the theater.”

·      ISW reported that geolocated footage and pro-Russian milbloggers indicated that Ukrainian forces struck: an ammunition depot and an oil facility in Makiivka, Donetsk region (6 km northeast of Donetsk City); near Debaltseve (52 km northeast of Donetsk City); a railway station in Yasynuvata (6 km northeast of Donetsk City); a Russian occupation administration building in Volnovakha, Donetsk region); Russian positions near Yakymivka (16 km southwest of Melitopol). ISW further cited pro-Russian sources regarding: an attempt to strike Berdyansk in the Zaporizhzhia region with Storm Shadow Cruise missiles; a Ukrainian missile in the vicinity of Berdyansk; and that Russian air defenses were activated near Skadovsk, Kherson region (60 km southeast of Kherson City).

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·      A Ukrainian official confirmed that Ukrainian forces maintain positions in east (left) bank Kherson region near the Antonivka bridge, ISW reported.

·      One civilian was killed and at least five injured by Russian shelling on Bilozerka in Kherson region yesterday, according to local and Presidential authorities.

·      The defense forces of Ukraine hit the Chonhar Bridge in Crimea and the parallel crossing over Lake Syvash with Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missiles, confirmed Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, yesterday.

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·      In Luhansk, Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove line, and Russian and Ukrainian forces continued skirmishing around Kreminna, according to ISW. Fighting is particularly prominent around Novoselivsk, Dibrova, and the Serebryanka forest.

·      According to pro-Russian sources, Russian forces unsuccessfully conducted assaults near Marinka.

·      According to Russian Telegram channels, combat continues in Belgorod, Russia near the Ukrainian border.

Operational Aspects in Zone A. TO518 / Mokri Yaly River Axis – boundary of the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions, and Zone B. Western Zaporizhzhia

·      General Hromov reported on July 5 that Ukrainian forces have advanced 7.5 kilometers into Russian-controlled territory in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and along the administrative border between the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions.

·      Ukrainian assaults with indecisive results took place yesterday around Urozhaine, Staromayersk, Rivnopil, Pryyutne, and Robotyne, both Ukrainian sources and pro-Russian sources indicated.

Operational Aspects in Zone C. Bakhmut

·      Geolocated footage posted on July 5 shows Ukrainian forces have advanced southwest of Berkhivka (6 km northwest of Bakhmut), west of Yahidne (2 km north of Bakhmut), and southwest of Bakhmut, according to ISW.

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·      Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said last night that the situation on Bakhmut’s flanks remains “dynamic” and there were no significant advances after a day of fighting on the northern flank.

·      However, Malyar also said that Russian forces “cannot leave the city” suggesting Ukrainian control of the Klishchiivka pocket on the southern flank of Bakhmut.

·      “The stakes have been raised so much that the enemy has started using barrage detachments and tries to ensure the stability of the troops with weapons aimed at their backs,” Malyar further claimed yesterday.

·      According to ISW, pro-Russian milbloggers reported that Ukrainian forces liberated an important height near Klishchiivka (7 km southwest of Bakhmut), which confirms earlier Ukrainian source claims.

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