Snapshot

While a senior official declared gloves off on hitting Russian territory, Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations on three sectors of the front and reportedly advanced near Bakhmut on August 2. The General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces pressed on near Bakhmut, and in the Berdyansk (Zaporizhzhia-Donetsk regional border area) and Melitopol axes (western Zaporizhzhia region). Russian officials handed out old Kalashnikovs to “militias” on the border with Ukraine.

Analysis

A well-regarded Romanian strategist observed the following yesterday:

“The Ukrainians have basically reached the main Surovikin Line defense line in the south. Even though the defensive lines here are also formed to generate a defense-in-depth, basically the first fortified line (the second of the 4 to 6 that are in total laid out in layers all along the southern front) is the most important. If this is penetrated, then the Russians will have a big problem slowing their advance to the Sea of Azov. Whether we are talking about Berdyansk or Mariupol.”

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General developments

There is no taboo on striking the Russian Federation with Ukrainian-made weapons, said Ukraine’s National Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov. He noted that while Ukraine has an agreement with its partners that it does not use weapons manufactured by the allies on the territory of the Russian Federation, this ban does not apply to weapons developed by the Ukrainian military-industrial complex. 

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Other Topics of Interest

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Starmer is expected to tell Zelensky that Britain will do more in the coming months to dent Russia’s “war machine”, including agreeing a new defense export support treaty.

Russian forces launched 5 missile strikes, 86 air strikes and fired 36 MLRS rocket strikes on Ukrainian positions, according to the evening report of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Ukraine undertook 9 airstrikes.

Operational aspects in Russia, Kupyansk, and other areas

Local militia groups in two Russian regions bordering Ukraine were provided with weapons on Wednesday, local officials said. The militias were created in Kursk and Belgorod last December. As Russia presses ahead with its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Moscow's ability to protect its own border from external threats has come into doubt, AFP reported.

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One regarded strategic analyst yesterday noted: “Kupyansk-Kreminna: silence on the Eastern Front. The Russian counteroffensive is currently at a pause. We can only speculate that this pause is due to the lack of cohesion and coordination between units, reaching the point of culmination or ‘shell hunger.’”

Russian sources claimed that Russian forces repelled Ukrainian attacks on the Svatove-Kreminna line in the Lyman axis, according to ISW.

Operational aspects in Bakhmut

Ukrainian forces advanced north of Kurdyumivka in the Bakhmut area, according to ISW.

“Armed Forces of Ukraine launched several attacks at the Andriivka-Kurdyumivka line, taking positions near the local cemetery,” said a pro-Russian milblogger.

Operational aspects on boundary of the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions and in western Zaporizhzhia

“Ka-52 helicopter attacking positions south of Staromlynivka confirmed by the Russians. This would indicate that the Ukrainians have reached much further south than expected and officially announced,” a leading independent analyst noted.

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Pro-Russian sources said Ukrainian assaults near Staromaiorske on the Donetsk-Zaporizhzhia regional border and near Robotyne in the western Zaporizhzhia region were repelled, according to ISW. 

“The Ukrainian formations do not give up their attempts to push through the defenses of the Russian Armed Forces in the Orikhiv sector,” posted one prominent pro-Russian milblogger.

On the evening of Aug. 2, an explosion rang out in the center of temporarily occupied Melitopol, according to its exiled Mayor.

In temporarily occupied Mariupol, Russian occupational authorities are actively preparing for a Ukrainian offensive. The adviser to the mayor of the city, Petro Andryushchenko, said that “the invaders are constantly training and strengthening their defenses.”

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