Război în Ucraina. Update 18 August 2022

ISW

Key Takeaways

  • There were no claimed or assessed Russian territorial gains in Ukraine on August 18, 2022 for the first time since July 6, 2022.
  • Russian sources reported a series of unidentified and unconfirmed explosions across Crimea on the night of August 18.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense may be setting information conditions to blame Ukraine for a false flag attack at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
  • Russian forces conducted ground assaults south of Siversk and northeast and south of Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces continued conducting offensive operations north, west, and southwest of Donetsk City.
  • Russian forces conducted an unsuccessful ground assault on the Zaporizhia axis.
  • Ukrainian officials confirmed additional strikes on a Russian military base and warehouse in Kherson Oblast.
  • The Kremlin is likely leveraging established Cossack organizations to support Russian force generation efforts.
  • Russian occupation officials continued preparations for the long-term integration of occupied territories of Ukraine into Russia.

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 did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks along the Izyum-Slovyansk line and shelled settlements near the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border on August 18.[14] The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that a Russian artillery strike targeted Ukrainian positions in Mazanivka (about 20km northwest of Slovyansk), confirming ISW’s control of terrain assessment that Ukrainian forces have pushed Russian troops out of the settlement.[15]

Russian forces attempted to advance on Siversk from the south on August 18. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops unsuccessfully attempted to advance from Mykolaivka (about 15km southwest of Siversk) to Vyimka (about 5km southeast of Siversk).[16] Russian sources claimed that Russian troops are continuing to fight along the eastern ring of Siversk in the vicinity of Serebryanka, Verkhnokamyanske, and Ivano-Darivka.[17] Russian troops also continued artillery and air strikes on Siversk and surrounding settlements.[18]

Russian forces continued ground attacks northeast and south of Bakhmut on August 18. Russian troops continued efforts to advance southwest on Bakhmut along the T1302 highway from Soledar and reportedly attempted to advance from Volodymyrivka to Soledar.[19] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops attempted to advance on Bakhmut from Pokrovske, about 10km east of Bakhmut.[20] Russian forces, reportedly including Wagner Group mercenaries, continued pushing north on Bakhmut from Klynove, Kodema, and Semihirya, all within roughly 15km of the southern outskirts of Bakhmut.[21] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces are attempting to advance on Bakhmut from the northern outskirts of Horlivka in the area of Holmivsky and Zaitseve.[22] Russian operations near Horlivka are likely intended to gain access to the T0513 Horlivka-Bakhmut highway, which indicates that Russian forces are likely attempting to advance on Bakhmut along three lines: from Horlivka to the southwest along the T0513, from Soledar to the northeast along the T1302, and from the Klynove-Vershyna area along the E40 highway. 

Russian forces conducted a series of ground attacks on the northern and western outskirts of Donetsk City on August 18. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces attempted to advance towards Avdiivka (10km northwest of Donetsk City) from the direction of Verkhnotoretske and Novoselivka Druha—15km and 7km northeast of Avdiivka, respectively.[23] Russian forces also reportedly attempted to push west of their positions in Pisky towards Pervomaiske, about 10km west of Pisky.[24] Several Russian sources also posted footage claiming to show Russian troops consolidating positions in Marinka, which lies on the southwestern outskirts of Donetsk City.[25] Russian forces continued heavy artillery strikes against fortified Ukrainian positions in and around Avdiivka and west of Donetsk City to support ongoing ground attacks.[26]

Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack southwest of Donetsk City on August 18. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops unsuccessfully attempted to improve their tactical positions and advance from Taramchuk (25km southwest of Donetsk City) towards Vodyane (35km southwest of Donetsk City).[27] Russian sources claimed that Russian and Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) troops continued fighting near Vuhledar, about 45km southwest of Donetsk City.[28] Russian operations southwest of Donetsk City are likely focused on gaining access to the T0524 road that runs into Marinka and may be used to support Russian operations to push west of the current positions on the western outskirts of Donetsk City.

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 confirmed ground attacks along the Kharkiv City axis on August 18. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces focused on holding occupied positions and preventing Ukrainian counterattacks.[29] Russian forces deployed an unspecified number of additional electronic warfare systems and a battalion tactical group (BTG) in the Kharkiv City direction in an attempt to restore the combat capability of units already stationed around Kharkiv City.[30].Russian BTGs that have been engaged in combat are likely badly understrength and will add relatively little combat power. Volunteer battalions have deployed with very limited training and would add far less combat power than their numbers suggest. Russian troops continued remote mining near Lebyazhne (about 40km southeast of Kharkiv City), indicating Russian forces seek to restrain Ukrainian attacks in the direction of Russia’s ground lines of communication along the Izyum axis.[31] Russian sources continued to repeat previous unsubstantiated claims of Russian control of Stohnii, Baranivka, Odnorobivka, and Udy (all about 40km north of Kharkiv City and within 10km of the Ukraine-Russia border).[32]

Several Ukrainian sources reported major Russian missile strikes on four of the nine districts of Kharkiv City and on Krasnohrad (western Kharkiv Oblast) between August 17 and 18.[33] The missiles struck a dormitory and residential areas of Kharkiv City, caused major damage to civilian infrastructure, and killed and injured several civilians.[34] Russian forces also conducted airstrikes near Staryi Saltiv, Verkhnii Saltiv, and Baranivka (northeast of Kharkiv City) and continued to shell settlements surrounding Kharkiv City.[35]

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

Russian forces conducted a limited and unsuccessful ground assault on the Zaporizhia axis on August 18. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to advance from Yehorivka to Shevchenkove, both east of the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast administrative border.[36] The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that Russian forces reinforced an unspecified area along the Southern Axis with at least two battalion tactical groups (BTGs), indicating a continued Russian effort to reinforce the south in preparation for Ukrainian counterattacks. These BTGs are unlikely to increase Russian combat power materially.

Russian forces continued focusing on maintaining occupied lines and preventing Ukrainian forces from advancing along the Southern Axis on August 18. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces intensified aerial reconnaissance using UAVs on settlements in north and west Kherson Oblast, as well as in settlements in northern Zaporizhia Oblast.[37] The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that Russian forces conducted airstrikes on Lozove and Bila Krynytsia, both near the Ukrainian bridgehead across the Inhulets River, and Blahodatne, approximately 20km northwest of Kherson City.[38] Russian forces also continued shelling settlements along the entire line of contact using tank, tube, and rocket artillery.[39]

Russian forces continued to target settlements in Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv Oblasts using artillery and missiles on August 18. Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces used tube artillery to shell Nikopol, located across the Dnipro River from Russian-occupied positions in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and other settlements throughout Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.[40] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Russian forces launched two anti-radar missiles from a Su-35 aircraft in the Bakhtanka and Mykolaiv directions and continued shelling other settlements throughout Mykolaiv Oblast.[41]

Ukrainian forces continued targeting Russian logistics points and ammunition depots in Kherson Oblast. Kherson Oblast Administration Advisor Serhiy Khlan reported on August 18 that Ukrainian forces destroyed a Russian warehouse in Bilohirka, located near the Ukrainian bridgehead across the Inhulets River.[42] Khlan also reported that Ukrainian forces destroyed a Russian military base in Nova Kakhovka on August 17.[43]

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Military Land

Day summary:

Russian army tried to break through Ukrainian lines near Chuhuiv, but Ukrainian defense was ready to meet them and pushed them back. Fighting continues in the vicinity of Bakhmut, but no significant change has developed during the last 48 hours.

On the Donetsk Front, Russian forces managed to push Ukrainian troops out of Pisky, after weeks of heavy fighting. The capture of the settlement is however only symbolic, the enemy has no advantage by controlling the settlement.

 Kharkiv & Chuhuiv direction

  • Russian forces attempted to break through Ukrainian lines at Bazaliivka and Lebyazhe. The attempt was thwarted by Ukrainian soldiers.

Bakhmut front

  • Fighting continues in Soledar and nearby Bakhmutske.
  • Ukrainian forces repelled Russian attacks towards Bakhmut from the direction of Pokrovske and Klynove.
  • Russian troops tried to advance in the direction of Zalizne and Shumy west of Horlivka. They didn’t succeed.
  • The enemy attempted to advance towards Zaitseve and Kodema from the direction of Semihirya. Both attacks were successfully repulsed.
  • Russian forces attacked Ukrainian positions at Zaitseve. The attack was repelled.

Slovyansk direction

  • Russian reconnaissance element tried to seize new positions in the direction of Mazanivka and Nova Dmytrivka. Ukrainian defenders forced the enemy element to retreat.
  • The enemy tried to improve its positions in the vicinity of Spirne, without success.
  • Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian attack towards Bilohorivka.
  • Russian troops attempted to break through Ukrainian lines towards Vyimka from the direction of Mykolaivka. Ukrainian forces were able to thwart the attempt.

Donetsk Oblast

  • Russian forces tried to break through Ukrainian lines in the area of Kamyanka towards Avdiivka. The enemy led the attack from two directions – Verkhnotoretske and Novoselivka Druha. Fighting continues.
  • The enemy has launched an offensive towards Opytne and was able to advance closer to the settlement.
  • Russian forces captured the majority of Pisky settlement.
  • Russian troops attacked Ukrainian positions near Pervomaiske from the direction of Pisky and Lozove. Ukrainian troops were able to repulse the attacks.
  • The enemy has partial success in the area of Novomykhailivka and was able to push closer to the settlement.
  • Russian troops attempted to advance in the direction of Vodyane, without success.
  • Ukrainian defenders repelled a Russian attack towards Shevchenko from the direction of Yehorivka.

Kherson front

Ukrainian troops repelled a Russian attempt towards Bilohirka.

BBC

Maj Gen Marchenko believes they will take Kherson back „in the near future” – and in a matter of weeks. But in order to succeed they need to breach what he calls Russia’s static defence strategy: „We have to have three times more power, quantity of weapons and artillery. Unfortunately, we don’t have such an advantage. Therefore, we have to act in a non-standard way, drawing them out of their positions to equalise our power and resources.”

Al Jazeera

The United States is readying about $800m of additional military aid to Ukraine and could announce the plan as soon as Friday, three sources familiar with the matter have told the Reuters news agency. US President Joe Biden would authorise the assistance using his Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows the president to approve the transfer of excess weapons from US stocks, the sources told Reuters.

The Guardian

  • Russia has failed to gain ground in cyberspace against Ukraine, the head of Britain’s GCHQ intelligence service has said. “President Putin has comprehensively lost the information war in Ukraine and in the west,” Jeremy Fleming said in an op-ed in The Economist on Friday. “Just as with its land invasion, Russia’s initial online plans appear to have fallen short.”
  • Multiple unconfirmed reports are claiming Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv has been struck again this morning. The Kyiv Independent cited Kharkiv mayor, Ihor Terekhov, as saying Russian forces fired on three of the city’s districts at around 5.44am. Terekhov said a residential building was damaged and another building caught fire. If confirmed, the attack would be the third to hit city in three days. Kharkiv regional governor, Oleh Synehubov, said at least 17 people were killed and 42 injured in two separate recent Russian attacks on the city.
  • Russian forces may be preparing to stage a “provocation” at the Moscow-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukraine’s military intelligence has warned. Ukraine’s defence intelligence agency said it was concerned that Russia had plans to stage an incident at the plant on Friday, and had information that staff with Russia’s Rosatom nuclear company had left the site.

Sky News

In case you missed it, Ukraine yesterday claimed Russia is preparing to stage a „provocation” at Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant. The country’s intelligence agency made the claim just hours after Moscow accused Ukraine of trying to stage an „accident” there, which may involve a radiation leak, during the UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres’ visit to the war-ravaged nation. Located in the southeast of Ukraine, the Zaporizhzhia plant was captured by Russia in the early days of the war and in recent weeks has repeatedly come under fire. Both sides have pointed the finger at each other for the shelling.

Surse rusești și separatiste*

*sursele sunt canale Telegram, care la rândul lor citează Minsiterul Forțelor Armate din Rusia sau autoritățile separatiste; traducerea este Google, cu inadvertențe

  • În direcția Zaporojie, Forțele Armate Ruse au atacat poziții ucrainene din vecinătatea Orekhov.
  • Ca urmare a distrugerii depozitului de muniții al Brigăzii 95 de asalt aeropurtat din regiunea SLAVYANSK a Republicii Populare Donețk cu arme de înaltă precizie, peste trei mii de obuze de artilerie de 122 mm, mine, precum și peste 30 naţionaliştii au fost distruşi.
  • În total, de la începutul operațiunii militare speciale, 267 avioane, 148 elicoptere, 1.747 vehicule aeriene fără pilot, 365 sisteme de rachete antiaeriene, 4.334 de tancuri și alte vehicule de luptă blindate, 799 de vehicule de luptă cu lansatoare de rachete multiple, 3.310 piese de artilerie de câmp și mortare și 4.922 de vehicule militare speciale
  • Doi semnalizatori de artilerie ai trupelor ucrainene au fost reținuți la Energodar, ambii lucrând la centrala nucleară, a declarat Ministerul Afacerilor Interne regionale
  • au fost primite rapoarte conform cărora Forțele Armate ale RF au stabilit controlul asupra satelor de graniță Stognii și Baranovka, încă nu există o confirmare a acestei informații.

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