Război în Ucraina. Update 29 Iulie

Institute for the Study of War

Key Takeaways

  • A kinetic event killed and wounded scores of Ukrainian POWs in Russian-occupied Donetsk Oblast on July 28. Ukraine and Russia are blaming each other for the attack. Available visual evidence appears to support the Ukrainian claim more than the Russian, but ISW cannot independently assess the nature of the attack or the party responsible for it at this time.
  • Ground fighting continued north of Kharkiv City with no significant change in control of terrain.
  • Russian forces attempted a limited ground assault in Kherson Oblast and continued conducting combat operations without creating strike groups along occupied lines.

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 reconnaissance operation northwest of the Izyum-Slovyansk line and otherwise continued to shell settlements to the northwest of Slovyansk on July 29. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian troops discovered and neutralized a Russian reconnaissance group in Shchurivka, 35km northwest of Izyum.[10] Shchurivka lies on the western bank of the Siverskyi Donets River, which suggests that Russian forces either attempted to cross or successfully crossed into Ukrainian-held territory in this area. Russian forces had conducted a reconnaissance operation in the Chepil area, just southwest of Shchurivka, on July 27.[11] Taken together, these two data points may indicate that Russian forces are setting conditions to advance further into Kharkiv Oblast northwest of the current Izyum-Slovyansk line, although the likelihood of Russian forces successfully taking additional ground in Kharkiv Oblast remains limited.[12]

Russian forces also continued to shell settlements near the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border and struck Dolyna, Bohorodychne, Kurulka, Virnopillya, and Mazanivka.[13] Russian forces additionally shelled Slovyansk and conducted a rocket strike on Kramatorsk on the night of July 28 to 29.[14]

Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack east of Siversk on July 29. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Ukrainian troops prevented a Russian reconnaissance group from advancing near Verkhnokamyanske, 5km due east of Siversk.[15] Russian forces also continued to conduct air and artillery strikes on Siversk and its surroundings.[16]

Russian forces continued ground attacks to the northeast and southeast of Bakhmut on July 29. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted unsuccessful ground assaults in Vershyna (10km southeast of Bakhmut) and Semyhirya (15km southeast of Bakhmut) and continued attempts to advance from the Novoluhanske area.[17] Russian forces additionally attempted to advance around Soledar, about 10km northeast of Bakhmut.[18] Russian and Ukrainian sources also stated that Russian forces conducted air and artillery strikes directly on Bakhmut and its surrounding settlements.[19]

Russian forces escalated ground attacks on the northwestern outskirts of Donetsk City on July 29. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted ground assaults near Avdiivka, Kamyanka, Krasnohorivka, Vodyane, and Pisky, all north and northwest of Donetsk City.[20] The Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) militia claimed that Russian and DNR forces in the Avdiivka area have made unspecified but significant advances north and east of the settlement.[21] Russian forces additionally maintained constant artillery pressure along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line of contact.[22] Russian forces are likely re-engaging in offensive operations around Avdiivka to expand the defensive pocket around the northwestern sector of Donetsk City, as ISW assessed on July 28.

map link

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

Ground fighting continued north of Kharkiv City with no major control of terrain changes on July 29.[24] Geolocated footage shows that Russian forces made marginal gains east of the E40 highway southwest of Borshchova on an unspecified date.[25] Kharkiv Oblast Head Oleg Synegubov stated that Russian forces struck Kharkiv City with S-300 missiles and targeted food production infrastructure in Bohodukhiv, Kharkiv Oblast, 60km northwest of Kharkiv City.[26] Russian forces continued shelling settlements to the north, northeast, and east of Kharkiv City.[27]

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

Russian forces attempted a limited ground assault in Kherson Oblast on July 29 and continued conducting hostilities along the line of contact.[28] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Ukrainian forces repelled an attempted Russian advance in the Bilohirka direction by launching two strikes on Russian positions in the Bruskinsky district in western Kherson Oblast.[29] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command also reported that two Russian Ka-52 helicopters attacked Bila Krynytsya (near Bilohirka) and noted that Ukrainian forces repelled attempted Russian Ka-52 strikes in Andriivka in the same general area.[30] Russian forces continued heavy artillery strikes on civilian infrastructure in Mykolaiv City and Nikopol, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, on July 28-29. Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported that Russian forces used 12 S-300 missiles to strike Mykolaiv City from the Hola Prystan direction (just southwest of Kherson City).[31] Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Head Valentyn Reznichenko reported that Russian forces launched 40 Grad rockets on civilian infrastructure in Nikopol.[32] Russian forces continued shelling along the Southern Axis.[33]

Ukrainian forces continued striking Russian military infrastructure on the Southern Axis on July 29.[34] Kherson Oblast Head Dmytro Butrii stated that Ukrainian forces struck a Russian ammunition warehouse in Brylivka, approximately 64km southeast of Kherson City.[35] Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported that Ukrainian forces destroyed two Russian ammunition depots in Khersonskiy district.[36] Russian forces continued transporting military equipment to Kherson Oblast from Zaporizhia Oblast on July 29, likely in preparations for Ukrainian counteroffensives. Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov reported that Russian forces have been moving 3-4 military columns per day through Melitopol towards Kherson and Crimea between July 25 and 29.[37]


Day summary:

Ukrainian forces continue to successfully repel Russian attacks on their positions, allowing the enemy to achieve only minor gains at high cost. Russian forces currently focus on the area around Bakhmut and attempt to break through Ukrainian lines near Donetsk, where the frontline hasn’t changed since the start of Russian invasion.

Kharkiv & Chuhuiv direction

  • Ukrainian patrol discovered a Russian reconnaissance element near Schurivka. After a brief skirmish, the recon element was neutralized.

Bakhmut Front

  • Ukrainian defenders repelled a Russian attack in the vicinity of Yakovlivka.
  • Fighting continues in and around Soledar. The enemy is pushing primarily from the direction of Stryapivka.
  • Russian troops, for the first time, tried to advance towards Bakhmut from the direction of Klynove. The attack was repulsed.
  • The enemy has reportedly gained a new ground in the vicinity of Vershyna, most likely in the direction Kodema.
  • Russians seem partly retreated from Vershyna due to unfavorable positions. They currently control the eastern part of the settlement.
  • The enemy attacked Ukrainian positions at Semyhirya, but without success and retreated.

Slovyansk direction

  • Soldiers of 93rd Mechanized Brigade repelled a Russian attack in the vicinity of Brazhivka. Ukrainian elements are likely stationed pretty close to the settlement, but the settlement itself is under Russian control.
  • Ukrainian troops located in the vicinity of Mazanivka repelled a Russian assault from the direction of Dovhenka. Mazanivka seems to be fully under Ukrainian control.
  • The enemy tried to advance towards Dolyna from the direction of Pasika. The report by Ukrainian General Staff confirms that Pasika settlement is under Russian control, but Ukrainians seems to be deployed somewhere in the forest area between these two settlements, as reported previously in Summary 154.
  • The fate of Bohorodychne is unknown at this moment.
  • Russian reconnaissance element tried to overrun Ukrainian positions near Verkhnokamyanske, but without success, and the enemy retreated.

Donetsk Oblast

  • Based on the recently released footage, it’s safe to assume that Russian troops captured Novoselivka Druha, north of Avdiivka.
  • The enemy launched an offensive attempt towards Avdiivka, Pisky and Krasnohorivka. Despite the air, artillery and manpower superiority, Russian troops were unable to advance further.
  • Russian forces attacked Ukrainian positions near Velyka Novosilka, but without success.

Kherson Front

Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian assault towards Bilohirka.

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