Ukraine’s eastern Donbas sector saw back-and-forth fighting with little movement on the ground as more Russian ammunition depots were hit in apparent long-range strikes, according to official and media reports on Friday, July 8.
Russian Federation (RF) forces made limited progress in fighting around the village Verkhnokamianske, near the town Siversk, a July 8 statement from Ukraine’s Army General Staff (AGS) said. A parallel RF ground move against the village of Bohorodychne, north of the city of Slovyansk, was repelled with losses, the AGS morning situation report said.
RF artillery and aircraft struck UAF positions, as well as Ukrainian homes and businesses, at more than 30 other locations across the Donbas fighting front, but at those sites made no attempts to gain ground, the statement said.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk regional defense command, in comments televised on the evening of Thursday, July 7, said that in the past 24 hours RF artillery, rocket and missile strikes killed six civilians.
The pro-Russia Readovka news platform confirmed on the morning of July 8, that both sides across the fighting front were trading at times intense artillery fires, but making no major moves on the ground. UAF units were building up fortified strongpoints around the village of Hryhorivka, in forests to the north of Siversk, and an easy RF advance in that area was not possible, the platform’s morning sitrep said.
Both Ukrainian and pro-Russia news platforms reported that a UAF local counterattack captured the village of Vershyna, near the town Vuhledar, but advanced no further in the face of strong defensive positions manned by the Wagner mercenary group. There was no official UAF confirmation of the incident.
The UAF’s new campaign of long-range strikes against RF ammunition and fuel depots, which began earlier this month after the arrival of a reported nine US-made HIMARS rocket artillery systems, seemed to be continuing on Friday, July 8, with multiple explosions and heavy fires reported in the RF-occupied town Shakhtarsk and the city of Donetsk.
According to social media video and text reports, fires were burning for hours and secondary explosions were continuing hours after the early morning strike in Shakhtarsk. Multiple reports said RF forces were using the location as an ammunition storage site, and civilians living in the vicinity were being evacuated.
In Donetsk’s Budennovsky District, news images showed a massive black column of smoke. Reports linked the smoke to a burning fuel storage site recently hit by UAF rockets or missiles.
According to Ukrainian news reports, probable UAF long-range strikes against targets deep behind RF lines in the Donbas sector on Thursday, July 7, destroyed three ammunition depots and a fuel storage site. Kyrylenko in television comments claimed the UAF long-range strike strategy was paying dividends, and that some frontline RF units were already conserving ammunition because of recent destruction of shell reserves.
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