Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov announced on July 7 that Russian forces in Ukraine are pausing to rest and regain their combat capabilities, confirming ISW’s assessment that Russian forces have initiated an operational pause.

Konashenkov did not specify the intended length of Russian forces’ operational pause. As ISW previously assessed, Russian forces have not ceased active hostilities during this operational pause and are unlikely to do so. Russian forces still conducted limited ground offensives and air, artillery, and missile strikes across all axes on July 7. Russian forces will likely continue to confine themselves to small-scale offensive actions as they rebuild forces and set conditions for a more significant offensive in the coming weeks or months.

Key Takeaways

  • The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that Russian forces are conducting an operational pause to rest and reconstitute.
  • Russian forces continued efforts to advance toward Slovyansk from the southeast of Izyum and may be setting conditions to advance from the southeast of Barvinkove—either toward Slovyansk or toward Kramatorsk.
  • Russian forces made marginal gains to the southeast of Siversk and continued offensive operations west of the Lysychansk area.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations to the south and east of Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces conducted a limited and unsuccessful attack north of Kharkiv City.
  • Ukrainian partisans are likely continuing to target Russian-controlled railways around Melitopol.
  • Russian oblasts are continuing to create their own ad hoc volunteer units to compensate for personnel losses in Ukraine.

Authors: Karolina Hird, Kateryna Stepanenko, Grace Mappes, and Frederick W. Kagan

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