Ukrainian offensive action in Bakhmut, western Zaporizhzhia and eastern Zaporizhzhia; Ukrainian interdictions on Russian logistics continue; 30 Russian airstrikes versus 1 Ukrainian airstrike; 100 settlements shelled in 8 regions; the grim grind of advancing with no air cover goes on.
From the Institute for the Study of War:
Determined and skillful Ukrainian resistance has forced the culmination of multiple Russian offensives including the one aimed at Kyiv and has liberated the Sumy and Chernihiv regions, as well as the parts of the Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, and Kherson regions that Russian forces had temporarily seized.
Ukrainian forces have secured and retained the initiative and are conducting counteroffensive operations along most of the frontline with Russian forces focused almost entirely on trying to hold on to the Ukrainian lands they still occupy.
Ukrainian military officials also reiterated that Ukrainian forces are continuing their interdiction campaigns in southern and eastern Ukraine, ISW said.
Poland revealed that it has provided “around 10” Mi-24 helicopters to Ukraine, according to WSJ.
Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev threatened to strike three Ukrainian nuclear power plants (NPPs) and nuclear facilities in Eastern Europe if an alleged attempt by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to attack the Smolensk NPP in Russia with “NATO missiles” is confirmed.
Operational Aspects in Luhansk, Avdiivka, Mariinka, Kherson, Russia and other areas
· Russian officials claimed there were explosions / activated air defense systems in Bryansk, Belgorod and Rostov regions in Russia, near the Kerch bridge in occupied Crimea region and in occupied Luhansk region
Explosions reported from Russian-occupied Sorokyne, Luhansk Oblast.— (((Tendar))) (@Tendar) July 7, 2023
You can hear secondary explosions which points an ammunition dump.
Russian-occupied Sorokyne is more than 134km away from the next Ukrainian Army position.https://t.co/SpHMRjR7Qk#Ukraine #Luhansk #Sorokyne pic.twitter.com/BwCsOcHIWi
Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine was hit with Russian S-300 missiles, according to the local Mayor.
Geolocated footage indicates that Russian forces made marginal advances southwest of Vesele (4 km northeast of Avdiivka) as of July 9, ISW said. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted unsuccessful attacks near Avdiivka, Novokalynove (11 km northwest of Avdiivka), Stepove (3 km northwest of Avdiivka), Pervomaiske (11 km southwest of Avdiivka), Nevelske (13 km southwest of Avdiivka), Maryinka (immediately southwest of Donetsk City), and Novomykhaillivka (10 km southwest of Donetsk City).
Ukraine’s General Staff reported 30 Russian airstrikes and 49 rocket attacks using MLRS. Ukraine conducted one airstrike yesterday.
Around 100 Ukrainian population settlements across the Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kherson regions were hit by Russian artillery fire, said the General Staff.
A leading pro-Russian source said that “in the Kherson direction [ed. – near the Antonivka bridge], the enemy is still preparing a large-scale landing operation. Continues the landing of small landing groups.”
Operational Aspects in Zone A. TO518 / Mokri Yaly River Axis - boundary of the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions, and Zone B. Western Zaporizhzhia
Ukrainian officials reported that Ukrainian forces continued to conduct counteroffensive operations in the Berdyansk (Zone B) and Melitopol (Zone A) directions, ISW reported.
The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Kremlin-affiliated milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian forces conducted attacks in the western Zaporizhzhia region, ISW reported.
Ukrainian forces continued to conduct counteroffensive operations in western Zaporizhzhia region on July 9, including at Robotyne, Novodanylivka, and Mala Tokmachka, according to ISW and pro-Russian sources.
A pro-Russian source claimed that Ukrainian forces are attacking Russian positions in small groups and are targeting Russian rear positions, warehouses, and infrastructure, ISW reported.
Meanwhile, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said about these Zones that “the process of consolidation on the reconquered areas continues. Our troops carry out aerial reconnaissance of the terrain, are engaged in clearing the terrain and inflict fire damage with artillery on the identified enemy targets, carry out counterbattery measures, in readiness for the continuation of offensive operations.”
A Kremlin-affiliated milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces advanced towards Pryyutne (17 km southwest of Velyka Novosilka) from the north and are currently about 2 km away from the settlement. The milblogger claimed that Russian forces unsuccessfully counterattacked from the direction of Urozhaine (9 km south of Velyka Novosilka) towards Blahodatne (5 km south of Velyka Novosilka). The Ukrainian General Staff similarly reported that Ukrainian forces repelled Russian attacks near Blahodatne, according to ISW.
There was loud explosion reported at a purported Russian military base in the occupied city of Melitopol, according to its exiled Mayor.
Operational Aspects in Zone C. Bakhmut
Ukrainian Ground Forces Commander Colonel General Oleksandr Syrsky stated that Ukrainian forces successfully continue to advance in the Bakhmut direction.
However, the situation on the eastern and southern fronts near Bakhmut did not undergo significant changes, but there is “a certain advance of troops” on the southern flank, according to Malyar.
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