Război în Ucraina. Update 19 Iulie


Key Takeaways

  • Calls made by Russian nationalist and pro-war voices for the Kremlin to officially define operations in Ukraine as a war, conduct general mobilization, and pursue expanded territorial goals reached a crescendo on July 19 with some criticizing the Kremlin and others claiming that Putin has been preparing for the “Syrianization” of the war all along.
  • The Kremlin will likely attempt to illegally annex occupied Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts into Russia as early as September 11, 2022.
  • Russian milbloggers highlighted the Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) failure to fight as they had trained—a critique that helps explain the general Russian failures during the initial invasion of Ukraine.
  • Russian forces continued efforts to resume offensive operations toward Slovyansk from southeast of Izyum and around Barvinkove.
  • Russian forces continued ground attacks to the east of Siversk and had partial success in ground attacks to the east of Bakhmut.
  • Russian authorities are continuing to leverage unconventional sources of combat power to avoid general mobilization.
  • Russian occupation authorities are escalating law enforcement measures to protect administrative control of occupied areas.
Main Effort—Eastern Ukraine
Subordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)
Russian forces continued offensive operations northwest of Slovyansk from the southeast and southwest of Izyum on July 19.[18] The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces are trying to create conditions to resume the offensive toward Slovyansk, which is consistent with ISW’s observations that Russian forces are preparing to advance on Slovyansk from positions around Izyum and Barvinkove (further southwest of Izyum).[19] Russian troops reportedly conducted an unsuccessful reconnaissance-in-force operation in Dmytrivka, north of Barvinkove, and continued to shell settlements northwest of Slovyansk along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border, including Dibrovne, Dolyna, Adamivka, and Bohorodychne.[20] Russian forces also continued to strike Slovyansk directly in order to continue to set conditions for eventual advances on the city.[21]
Russian forces continued ground assaults to the east of Siversk on July 19.[22] Ukrainian and Russian sources reported that Russian troops engaged in fierce positional battles in Hryhorivka, Spirne, Ivano-Darivka, Serebryanka, and Verkhnokamyanske, all within 10 km east of Siversk.[23] The Russian Ministry of Defense also claimed that Russian forces engaged in counterbattery actions that destroyed Ukrainian equipment concentrations in and around Siversk, indicating that Russian forces are continuing to prioritize ground attacks under the cover of artillery strikes on Ukrainian positions around Siversk to prepare for direct advances on the city.[24]
Russian forces made incremental gains east of Bakhmut and continued efforts to advance toward Bakhmut from the south on July 19. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops successfully entrenched themselves in the southern outskirts of Pokrovske, about 5 km directly east of Bakhmut, which will open up westward advances toward Bakhmut along a local road.[25] Russian forces additionally continued limited ground assaults to the south of Bakhmut around Vershyna, Semihirya, and the Vuhledar power plant.[26] Russian forces continued to fire on Ukrainian positions in and around Bakhmut to support ongoing ground attacks toward the city.[27]
Russian forces did not make any confirmed ground attacks around Donetsk City and focused on firing along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline on July 19.[28]

Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)

Russian forces conducted combat operations to maintain occupied lines in the Kharkiv City direction on July 19.[29] Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces retreated after an unsuccessful reconnaissance in force attack on Udy on July 19.[30] The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that Russian forces continued air, artillery, and missile strikes on settlements to the north, northeast, and southeast of Kharkiv City.[31]

Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)

Russian forces continued focusing on equipping existing defensive lines, developing secondary defensive lines, and firing at Ukrainian positions along the Southern Axis on July 19.[32] Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command noted that Russian forces are using S-300s to strike ground targets on agricultural land in Mykolaiv Oblast.[33] Russian forces continued to focus on firing on Ukrainian positions along the Kherson-Mykolaiv Oblast border in order to prevent Ukrainian counterattacks in this area.[34] Russian forces additionally conducted rocket and missile strikes against areas in Dnipropetrovsk and Odesa Oblasts.[35]

Ukrainian forces reportedly used high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) to strike the Antonivskyi Bridge over the Dnipro River, east of Kherson City, on July 19, doing little visible damage to the structure.[36] A Ukrainian partisan-affiliated Telegram channel noted that this bridge is a major supply route for the Russian grouping on the right bank of the Dnipro, indicating that Russian logistics are increasingly under threat of high-precision Ukrainian weapons.[37]


Kharkiv & Chuhuiv direction

  • Ukrainian Special Forces recently raided Russian positions in Dementievka. The settlement seems to be contested.
  • Ukrainian defenders repelled a Russian attack on Udy, north of Kharkiv.
  • Russian troops tried to advance in the direction of Husarivka, the attack was stopped by the Ukrainian defenders. It’s the first combat activity near Balakliia since the end of March.

Bakhmut Front

  • Russian forces advanced in the direction of Pokrovske, broke through the Ukrainian defenses, and captured the southern outskirts of the town.
  • Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attacks on Vershyna, Semyhirya, Novoluhanske and Vuhlehirsk powerplant.

Slovyansk direction

  • Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian attack on Dmytrivka, north of Slovyansk.
  • Reports of Ukrainian General Staff indicates that Ukrainian army reversed some Russian gains in the area south of Brazhkivka.
  • Russian forces have established full control over Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast.
  • The enemy is attempting to advance in the direction of Hryhorivka and Serebrianka. The fighting continues.
  • Ukrainian troops repelled a Russian attacks on Verkhnokamyanske from the direction of Zolotarivka and the nearby power plant. The enemy retreated.
  • Fighting continues over the settlement of Spirne. Russian troops seem to control the larger part of the settlement at this moment.
  • Ukrainian forces repulsed yet another attack on Bilohorivka (Donetsk Obl.) and Berestove.

Elements of 1st Tank Brigade have arrived to Kramatorsk to reinforce Ukrainian forces in the area.

Donetsk Oblast
Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian attack towards Kamyanka, Novomykhailivka and Vuhledar.
Ukrainian 71st Jager Brigade has been deployed to the southern part of Donetsk Oblast.

Kherson Front
As mentioned above, Ukrainian artillery hit Antonovskiy Bridge near Kherson. The bridge remains usable, but some parts are damaged.

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