The Russians are resuming their offensive and have attacked the Donetsk region, where they have been repulsed by Ukrainians on many sections of the frontline. The Institute for the Study of War believes that the new wave of Russian strikes will be ‘shaky.’
The priority of Russian troops attacking Ukraine is now to approach Siversk and Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, as well as to defend against Ukrainian counterattacks in the Kharkiv region and the south of the country, the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) assesses in a recent report.
“The intensity of Russian artillery attacks along the Slovyansk-Bakhmut axis in the coming days may clarify the degree to which the reduction in intensity was due to the operational pause or the result of Ukrainian attacks,” ISW informs.
Russian troops are gradually resuming their offensive after the operational pause and conducted limited ground attacks in the Donetsk region on Sunday. According to the ISW, the end of the operational pause is unlikely to bring a new wave of assaults in all directions of operations.
“Ukraine’s destruction of Russian ammunition depots using HIMARS is likely one of several factors that reduced the quantity of observed heat anomalies in Donbas between July 10-15. The reduced number of observed heat anomalies also corresponds in part to the assessed Russian operational pause from July 6 – July 15. The number of observed heat anomalies began increasing on July 15 – the day ISW assessed that Russian forces began emerging from their operational pause,” ISW writes.
Fighting with the Russian army is ongoing near the village of Hryhorivka near the administrative border of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in Donbas in eastern Ukraine, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports this morning.
“In the Donetsk direction, enemy units fired on civilian and military infrastructure in the areas of Donetske, Siversk, Verkhnokamyanske, Hryhorivka, Ivano-Daryivka, Spirne and other settlements. The enemy is trying to conduct an assault near Hryhorivka, and the fighting continues. Our defenders successfully repulsed the assaults in the areas of Verkhnokamianske, Spirne and Serebryanka settlements,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine informs.
Russian forces “used means of radio-electronic warfare means to suppress satellite communication channels.” Monday is the 145th day of Russian full-scale aggression against Ukraine.
The Russian authorities did not announce any territorial gains on Sunday. ISW views this as confirmation of its earlier speculation that the pace of the Russian offensive, which is resuming after a pause, will be ‘shaky.’
According to the ISW, Russian forces were also still trying to prepare the ground for an offensive on Slovyansk but did not launch any confirmed ground attacks in that direction on Sunday. Instead, they shelled villages between Slovyansk and Izyum and conducted artillery, rocket and airstrikes against civilian and military infrastructure in other parts of Donbas and across Ukraine.
The Institute for the Study of War report speculates that the Kremlin is trying to create long-term conditions for itself to mobilise forces with a view to a prolonged war in Ukraine.
“Russian authorities in occupied areas are likely assessing that growing Ukrainian partisan activity seeks to threaten and complicate efforts to institute coherent occupational control and are strengthening administrative regimes accordingly,” we can read in the report.
Last night, the Ukrinform, quoting Serhiy Bratchuk, adviser to the head of the Odesa Regional Military Administration, wrote that a large number of Russian warships had been moved from Sevastopol in occupied Crimea to Russia’s Novorossiysk.
“According to information from our navy, the enemy has redeployed a significant number of warships from Sevastopol to Novorossiysk. Russian ships were previously deployed very close to the shoreline in the zone covered by coastal defence systems,” informed Bratchuk.
According to Bratchuk, the Russians continue to control maritime navigation in the Sea of Azov to illegally export products seized in the Donetsk and Zaporizhia regions.