Război în Ucraina. Update 24 Iulie

ISW

Ukrainian officials are increasingly acknowledging Ukrainian counteroffensive operations in Kherson Oblast. Kherson Oblast Administration Advisor Serhiy Khlan stated on July 24 that Ukrainian forces are undertaking unspecified counteroffensive actions in Kherson Oblast.[1] Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on July 23 that Ukrainian forces are advancing “step by step” in Kherson Oblast.[2] His statement does not make clear whether he is referring to small, ongoing Ukrainian advances in Kherson Oblast or a broader counteroffensive.[3] Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported on July 24 that Ukrainian forces are firing on Russian transport facilities in Kherson Oblast to impede maneuverability and logistics support. This activity is consistent with support to an active counteroffensive or conditions-setting for an upcoming counteroffensive.[4] Khlan also said that Ukrainian strikes on Russian-controlled bridges around Kherson City only aim to prevent Russian forces from moving equipment into the city without stopping food and other essential supplies from entering the city.[5]

Key Takeaways

  • Ukrainian officials are increasingly acknowledging Ukrainian counteroffensive operations in Kherson Oblast.
  • The Kremlin is facing mounting (if still very limited) domestic dissent from ethnic minorities who are disproportionately bearing the burden of the Russian war in Ukraine.
  • Russian forces attempted limited ground assaults northwest of Slovyansk, east of Siversk, and south of Bakhmut on July 24.
  • Ukrainian strikes have damaged all three Russian-controlled bridges leading into Kherson City within the past week.
  • Russian forces attempted limited ground assaults in Kherson Oblast.
  • The Kremlin continued constituting regional volunteer battalions and is leveraging private military companies’ recruitment drives to generate combat power.
  • Russian occupation authorities continued setting conditions for annexation referenda in occupied territories and are recruiting Russian civilians for reconstruction efforts.

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 conducted a limited ground attack northwest of Slovyansk on July 24. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops failed to take control of Bohorodychne, 20 km northwest of Slovyansk.[15] Russian forces continued artillery strikes on settlements southeast of Izyum along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border; shelled Krasnopillya, Dolyna, Dibrovne, and Adamivka; and struck additional settlements southwest of Izyum around Barvinkove.[16]

Russian forces continued ground attacks east of Siversk on July 24. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to advance west of Verkhnokamyanka and Bilohorivka toward Verkhnokamyanske, 5 km due east of Siversk.[17] The Russian Ministry of Defense indicated that Russian counter-battery fire focused on suppressing Ukrainian firing points to the east of Siversk, which is consistent with Ukrainian reports of continued Russian artillery fire on settlements in the area between the Luhansk Oblast border and Siversk.[18]

Russian forces continued ground attacks south of Bakhmut on July 24. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops are continuing to fight for control of the Vuhledar Power Plant and Novoluhanske and that Russian forces failed to advance from Roty to Semihirya, about 20 km southeast of Bakhmut.[19] The Ukrainian General Staff noted that Russian forces are trying to create favorable conditions to capture the Vuhledar Power Plant.[20] Previous Russian attempts to advance from south of Bakhmut have largely been stymied by the water features in the Svitlodarsk area, which indicates that Russian forces likely hope to gain a foothold on the northern bank of the Vuhlehirske Reservoir and advance northward on Bakhmut across relatively even cross-country terrain.

Russian forces did not make any confirmed ground attacks toward Avdiivka and fired on Ukrainian positions along the Avdiivka-Donetsk city frontline.[21]

https://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Donetsk%20Battle%20Map%20Draft%20July%2024%2C2022.png

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 did not conduct any ground assaults and continued to conduct air and artillery strikes along the Kharkiv City Axis on July 24. Russian forces conducted airstrikes on Verkhnii Saltiv and Mospanove, approximately 55 km southeast of Kharkiv City, and launched tube and rocket artillery strikes on Kharkiv City and settlements to the north, northeast, and southeast on July 24.[22]

https://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Kherson-Mykolaiv%20Battle%20Map%20Draft%20July%2024%2C2022.png

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