Key Takeaways

  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations on at least three sectors of the front on July 22.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Ukrainian counteroffensive operations may soon increase in tempo and that the delay in counteroffensive operations was in part due to limited materiel.
  • Ukrainian officials stated on July 22 that Ukraine’s interdiction campaign against Russian military targets in rear areas is successfully degrading Russian logistics and counterbattery capabilities, likely contributing to an asymmetrical attrition gradient in Ukraine’s favor.
  • Ukrainian forces struck a Russian oil depot and ammunition depot in Crimea as part of this Ukrainian pressure campaign.
  • Russian strikes against Ukrainian shipping and agricultural infrastructure in southern Ukraine may be subsiding or entering a temporary lull.
  • Further details about former Russian officer and ardent nationalist Igor Girkin’s arrest for extremism continue to suggest a shifting balance of power among Kremlin factions and a notable factionalism within the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), in which Girkin had served.
  • Girkin’s affiliates have launched a public effort to cast Girkin as an embattled figure in opposition to Russian leadership.
  • Girkin’s arrest has not generated widespread outrage in the Russian ultranationalist community as some previous cases have, suggesting an increasing fragmentation within the information space.
  • Girkin’s arrest is likely not an indicator of a wider effort to censor the Russian ultranationalist community, but rather an attempt to excise a specific segment of the community that is vocally hostile to the Kremlin.
  • Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line and in the Bakhmut area but did not make gains.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations in the Kupyansk and Bakhmut areas and along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line and made claimed advances in the Kupyansk area.
  • Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations along the western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhia Oblast border area and in western Zaporizhia Oblast but did not make advances.
  • Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhia Oblast border area but did not make any confirmed or claimed advances.
  • Prominent Russian Federation Council members opposed a bill aimed at increasing the upper age limit for the conscription age while maintaining the lower limit of 18.
  • Russian occupation authorities continue to relocate Ukrainian children in occupied Ukraine to Russia.
  • The Wagner Group’s footprint in Belarus is likely expanding.

Authors: Riley Bailey, Nicole Wolkov, Angelica Evans, George Barros, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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