Ukraine’s Bakhmut 2.0 push continues; some success in western Zaporizhzhia; Russia increases “war from the sky” with increased airstrikes and artillery assaults on population points.
In mid-June, the Rand Corporation predicted the following prior to the NATO Summit:
NATO allies are likely to maintain robust military support for Ukraine. It might be greater to the extent Ukraine is seen as effectively using military assistance and achieving battlefield results, or to the extent that Russian forces or Kremlin political will to wage war are weakening.
The allies may continue to strengthen and train Ukraine's forces, including in combined arms operations involving F-16s and in larger-scale operations. A challenge for Ukraine’s Western supporters could be to maintain unity of effort should the counteroffensive be less successful than hoped.
The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations in the Bakhmut, Melitopol (western Zaporizhzhia region), and Berdyansk (Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia regional border area) directions.
Russian conducted 60 airstrikes, an increased rate, and 64 MLRS attacks on Ukrainian positions; Ukraine conducted 6 airstrikes.
Some 95 Ukrainian population settlements, an increased number, across the Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions were shelled by Russian forces.
US President Joe Biden has confirmed that he is still considering providing Ukraine with long-range ATACMS missiles. “We are working on that,” he told journalists.
At the NATO Summit, Canada pledged a further $410 million package to support Ukraine and strengthen transatlantic security. The package includes drone capacity and training of Ukrainian troops.
Australia will send an additional 30 Bushmaster armored vehicles to Ukraine.
Norway will provide an additional NASAM (Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System) support package, including two additional fire control centers, two launch units, and spare parts.
Japan will provide Ukraine with $30 million in non-lethal equipment including drone detection systems.
Operational Aspects in Bakhmut
Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said that Ukrainian forces “advanced today on the Bakhmut front, on the southern flank around Bakhmut. There is an advance. Now our defenders are consolidating their positions on the taken frontiers.”
Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations north and south of #Bakhmut on July 12. A RU milblogger claimed that UKR forces gained a foothold on a height east of Orikhovo-Vasylivka (11km NW of Bakhmut) and have almost reached the E40 highway. https://t.co/7FIdErkAFO pic.twitter.com/KC1AIXGes2— Institute for the Study of War (@TheStudyofWar) July 13, 2023
The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that Ukrainian forces achieved partial success along the Bila Hora-Andriivka and Bila Hora-Kurdyumivka lines (up to 13km southwest of Bakhmut).
Operational Aspects in Luhansk, Avdiivka, Mariinka, Kherson, and other areas
A Pro-Russian milblogger stated that Russian forces “managed to advance towards Torsky, a key settlement through which the entire Ukrainian grouping on the left bank of the Zherebets River is supplied.”
Operational Aspects on Boundary of Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions and in Western Zaporizhzhia
"In recent weeks, our defenders in the south have significantly undermined the enemy's offensive and defensive capabilities. So, due to the destruction of a large number of ammunition depots, the number of enemy attacks has now decreased," Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said.
Ukrainian forces achieved partial success and advanced along the frontline in the Berdyansk direction, according to the senior Ukrainian commander for the region.
Pro-Russian milbloggers also claimed that Ukrainian forces advanced at Pryyutne southwest of Velyka Novosilka, Donetsk region, and at Robotyne south of Orikhiv, western Zaporizhia region, where, according to the General Staff, “the enemy is concentrating forces to prevent further advance of our troops.”
At least 18 people, including 6 children, were injured in a Russian drone attack on Zaporizhzhia, the head of the Regional Military Administration, Yurii Malashko, reported.
Explosions rang out in the temporarily occupied city of Mariupol in the evening of 12 July, according to exiled city officials. It was also reported that Russian air defense systems were active.
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