Ukrainian forces reported the launch of a new wave of long-range strikes against the Russian Federation (RF)-occupied Zmiyny Island on Thursday, June 30, as Kremlin information platforms claimed Moscow troops gained ground in the Donbas town of Lysychansk in house-to-house fighting.

A Joint Forces South (JFS) June 30 statement said Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) missile and artillery units executed at least 150 fire missions against the 1.5 kilometer-square island.

RF forces occupied the strategic west Black Sea island on the first day of the war on Ukraine. According to international and UAF estimates, the Kremlin has positioned powerful anti-aircraft and anti-ship missile systems on Zmiyny. The JFS statement said the Ukrainian strikes destroyed an S-300 Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft system, three howitzers, three vehicles, causing at least 40 casualties, and burned a fuel storage depot. RF-associated information platforms made no early comment on the UAF claims.


Valentyn Badrak, director of the Center for Army Research, Conversion and Disarmament (CARCD) in June 30 comment to the UNIAN news agency said that Kyiv is using long-range, precision-guided artillery rockets recently-delivered from NATO states to Ukraine to hit high value targets formerly outside the reach of Ukrainian weapons.

According to news reports, deliveries of the US-made HIMARS and M270 systems have given the UAF the ability to strike targets at distances as far as 70 kilometers. Ukraine is on track to receive precision-guided munitions capable of hitting the Kerch Bridge, which connects the Crimean peninsula to the RF mainland, some 350 kilometers away from current Ukrainian lines, Badrak said.

Oleksiy Arestovych, an advisor to Ukraine’s Presidential Administration, in comments made in a television interview on the evening of June 29 said that long-range rocket artillery systems are being deployed across the front, and that in the southern Kherson sector, earlier this week, precision-guided rockets flattened an RF field headquarters, killing and wounding “many” senior RF officers.


As deliveries of highly-accurate rockets increase, so will Ukrainian strikes deep into RF rear areas, he said. Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council, in June 28 comments published by the Argumenti and Fakti magazine, said the Kremlin would interpret “attempts to encroach on the Russian-occupied peninsula of Crimea” as a declaration of war on the RF. Currently, Moscow describes its invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation”.

The pro-Moscow Readovka news platform said on Thursday, June 30 said that intense fighting in the Donbas town of Lysychansk was developing to the Kremlin’s advantage, with RF forces taking full control of the town’s oil refinery and forcing more than 500 men of UAF 10th Mountain Brigade to flee encirclement.

A statement on Thursday, June 30 from Ukraine’s Army General Staff (AGS) said street battles in Lysychansk were in progress, but that UAF defenses were holding. Serhiy Haidai, head of the Luhansk regional defense command, in a June 30 statement said the entire town was under constant artillery and mortar fire, and that UAF and RF troops were locked in close-range firefights.


A second RF push towards the town of Bakhmut, to the south of Lysychansk, was reported by sources from both sides. Rodion Miroshnik, “ambassador” from the RF-controlled Luhansk People’s Republic territory, told Russia’s TASS news agency that advancing RF units have cut a key highway needed by Ukraine to supply forces in Lysychansk.

The JCS situation estimate, in contrast, said RF attacks in the Bakhmut sector were thrown back with losses.

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