Overview:

  • Moscow poised to renew attacks on Avdiivka, White House believes
  • Russian petroleum revenue drops 32% on the year, US Treasury reports
  • Kremlin again brushes off suggestions of a treaty
  • Russian forces gain around Bakhmut and western Zaporizhzhia
  • Ukraine claims Russia lost 25,000 soldiers in Donetsk region in two months

US national security spokesperson warns of stepped-up offensives on Avdiivka

“We have seen that the Russians are — they actually are and continue to intend to want to conduct offensive operations, particularly in the east around this place called Avdiivka,” said Admiral John Kirby on Wednesday, the spokesman for the US National Security Council. “And we believe — we have every reason to believe that as the ground freezes towards the end of January and into February, that will make it easier for Russians — Russian forces to go on the move.”

According to the White House’s chief security spokesperson, Russia is attacking critical infrastructure in Ukraine, launching drones and missiles, and trying to “weaponize the wintertime,” as state news agency Ukrinform phrased it.

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“So, time is not on our side.  We want to get this funding as soon as we can,” the White House official said, calling on Congress once again to pass the $60 billion aid package to Ukraine that US President Joe Biden has proposed.

Oil price cap knocks down Russian revenue by about one third in 2023

Over this year (from January to November) Russia’s tax revenue from oil and related products dropped 32 percent, a document prepared by the US Treasury said.

According to the AFP, Russia had the option as a result of the price cap to either sell discounted oil to the countries who adhere to the policy or else “invest in building an alternative ecosystem.”

ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 13, 2024
Other Topics of Interest

ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 13, 2024

Latest from the Institute for the Study of War.

“Both of those options cost Russia money that would otherwise go to the battlefield,” the Treasury statement said.

In December 2022, a coalition involving the G7, the EU and Australia set a price cap of $60 per barrel on any Russian crude that these countries purchased. Many of the European coalition partners, in particular, are almost exclusively dependent on Russian-produced fossil fuels for energy. In 2022, Russia was the third-largest oil producer in the world, accounting for 10 percent of global consumption, surpassed only by Saudi Arabia at 13 percent, and the United States at 21 percent.

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Peskov says Kremlin is uninterested in negotiations

As reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin is uninterested in negotiations with Ukraine. Peskov responded to a question on Wednesday about President Volodymyr Zelensky’s statement that the issue of negotiations with Russia is currently “irrelevant,” stating that the Kremlin has repeatedly said that there is no “basis” or “foundation” for negotiations with Ukraine.

Peskov also said that the “prerequisites” for negotiations are absent, likely referring to Russia’s unchanged maximalist objectives in Ukraine – which are tantamount to full Ukrainian and Western surrender.

Operations: Bakhmut

The ISW reported on Wednesday that Russian forces made “marginal” gains north of Bakhmut. Geolocated footage indicates that the Kremlin’s troops marginally advanced southwest of Spirne (25 km northeast of Bakhmut).

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Russian military bloggers claimed that their forces advanced along a front 530 meters wide and 170 meters deep west of Khromove and along a front three kilometers wide near Ivanivske, and also that elements of the Russian “Sever-V” Brigade of the Volunteer Corps advanced northwest of Bakhmut near Bohdanivka and southwest of Bakhmut near Klishchiivka and Kurdyumivka.

Operations: Zaporizhzhia

Russian forces also reportedly gained in the western parts of the Zaporizhzhia region on Wednesday, ISW reported.

Several Kremlin-affiliated bloggers claimed that Russian forces advanced up to 1.5 kilometers near Robotyne and Novoprokopivka (just south of Robotyne) and “up to several hundred meters near Verbove (east of Robotyne), although ISW has not observed visual confirmation of any Russian gains in this area.”

The ISW added that some Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian activity in this sector has decreased and that “Ukrainian forces have largely shifted to defensive operations.”

Operations: Avdiivka

Russian forces reportedly advanced near Avdiivka on Wednesday, but the ISW could not confirm any changes in the frontline in this area.

A Russian military blogger claimed that Moscow made marginal advances southwest of Avdiivka near Pervomaiske, while both Russian and Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces attacked northwest, west, and southwest of Avdiivka and near the city’s industrial zone and coke and chemical factory. 

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Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces Spokesperson Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun posted to social media on Wednesday that Russian forces have lost almost 25,000 personnel fighting in the Donetsk region in about the past two months, and that 80 percent of these losses have occurred in the Avdiivka area.

 

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