Războiul din Ucraina. Update 19 August

ISW

Key Takeaways

  • Recent Ukrainian strikes on Russian military and transport infrastructure in Crimea and Kherson Oblast are likely reducing Russian confidence in the security of Russian rear areas.
  • The situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) remained relatively unchanged on August 19 despite Russian claims that Ukrainian forces would stage a provocation at the plant.
  • Russian authorities are likely preparing show trials of Ukrainian defenders of Azovstal on Ukraine’s Independence Day in order to further consolidate occupational control of occupied areas of Ukraine and set conditions to demoralize Ukrainian troops.
  • Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks north of Kharkiv City, southwest and southeast of Izyum, east of Siversk, and south and east of Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces conducted multiple unsuccessful ground assaults on settlements on the Southern Axis.
  • Russia continues to generate regional volunteer units and will likely deploy many of them to Kherson and Ukraine’s south as part of the 3rd Army Corps. 
  • Russian occupation authorities are strengthening their control of educational infrastructure in occupied areas in preparation for the approaching school year and may be sending Ukrainian children to Russia as part of a broader repopulation campaign.

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 limited ground attacks southwest and southeast of Izyum near the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border on August 19. Russian troops attempted to break through Ukrainian defensive lines in the area of Karnaukhivka, Dibrovne, Virnopillya, and Nova Dmytrivka—all within 25 km southwest of Izyum.[15] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces also conducted a ground attack near Dolyna, 25 km southeast of Izyum and along the E40 Izyum-Slovyansk highway.[16] Russian troops also shelled the Kramatorsk Technology and Design College.[17]

Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks east of Siversk on August 19. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops attempted to advance on Siversk from Ivano-Darivka (10 km southeast of Siversk) and Vyimka (7 km southeast of Siversk).[18] Russian troops shelled Siversk and the surrounding settlements.[19]

Russian forces continued ground assaults to the east and south of Bakhmut on August 19. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops attempted to advance on Soledar (10 km northeast of Bakhmut) from around Stryapivka and Volodymyrivka.[20] Russian troops, including Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) elements, continued to fight in the eastern outskirts of Soledar, likely in order to consolidate control of the nearby section of the T1302 Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway.[21] Russian troops also continued ground assaults south of Bakhmut around Kodema, Zaitseve, and Klynove, all within 15 km southeast of Bakhmut. The Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) Territorial Defense claimed that DNR troops in the Horlivka area took control of the northern part of Zaitseve (different from the aforementioned Zaitseve and about 20 km southwest of Bakhmut) and Dacha (15 km south of Bakhmut).[22] ISW cannot independently confirm the status of control of these two settlements, but Russian forces in the Horlivka area are likely continuing efforts to gain control of settlements along the T0513 Horlivka-Bakhmut highway in order to increase pressure on Bakhmut from the southwest.

Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks to push west of the outskirts of Donetsk City on August 19. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops conducted assault operations in the direction of Pervomaiske (15 km northwest of Donetsk City) and fought around Opytne and Pisky, both on the northwestern outskirts of Donetsk City.[23] Russian sources also continued to report that Russian troops control more than two-thirds of Marinka on the southwestern outskirts of Donetsk City and that attempts to advance through the rest of the settlement are complicated by Ukrainian fortifications.[24] Russian forces continued to target Ukrainian positions along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline with artillery strikes.[25]

Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack southwest of Donetsk City in the direction of the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border on August 19. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops attempted to improve their tactical positions near Novomykhailivka, 25 km southwest of Donetsk City.[26] Russian sources also claimed that Russian troops have reportedly moved to support an encirclement of Vuhledar (45 km southwest of Donetsk City) and taken control of the surrounding settlements of Pavlivka and Vodyane.[27] While ISW cannot independently verify these claims, Russian forces will likely continue operations around Vuhledar to gain access to the road that runs northeast into Marinka in order to support efforts to push west of the Donetsk City area.

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 attempted a limited ground assault north of Kharkiv City near Pytomnyk and shelled Kharkiv City and surrounding settlements on August 19.[28] The UK Defense Ministry (UK MoD) reported that, despite a limited Russian force presence on the Kharkiv City Axis, Russian forces have shelled Kharkiv City consistently since the start of the war and conducted small-scale ground attacks to prevent Ukrainian forces from reallocating personnel from this axis to other axes.[29] The UK MoD’s report confirms ISW’s previous assessments of the limited Russian focus on Kharkiv City and spoiling attacks north of the city.[30] Russian forces conducted airstrikes on Staryi Saltiv and remotely mined both Verkhnii Saltiv and Staryi Saltiv northeast of Kharkiv City on the left bank of the Siverskyi Donets River.[31]

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

Russian forces conducted multiple unsuccessful ground assaults in Kherson and Mykolaiv oblasts on August 19. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Russian forces withdrew to their original positions after launching an unsuccessful ground assault in the Oleksandrivka-Stanislav direction.[32] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to break through Ukrainian defenses near an unspecified village named Kirove (likely referring to Zarichne in Mykolaiv Oblast west of Arkhanhelske because Zarichne used to be called Kirove), approximately 5 km south of the Mykolaiv – Dnipropetrovsk oblast border.[33] Ukrainian sources reported that Ukrainian forces continued conducting offensive actions to capture new settlements along the Southern Axis. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Ukrainian forces encountered two unspecified Russian airborne units during offensive Ukrainian operations in an unspecified area in Kherson Oblast on August 18.[34]

Russian forces continued focusing on maintaining occupied lines and preventing Ukrainian advances along the Southern Axis on August 19.[35] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted active reconnaissance of Ukrainian anti-aircraft positions in the Zaporizhia direction and continued UAV reconnaissance along the Southern Axis.[36] The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that Russian forces conducted airstrikes near Lozove and Bila Krynytsia, both near the Ukrainian bridgehead across the Inhulets River.[37]  Russian forces also conducted airstrikes near Novosilka, near the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border, Shcherbaky (approximately 40 km south of Zaporizhia), and Dorozhnyanka (approximately 112 km southeast of Zaporizhia City).[38] Russian forces continued shelling along the entire line of contact using tank, tube, and rocket artillery.[39]

Russian forces continued to target settlements in Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv Oblasts on August 19. Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces used tube artillery to strike civilian infrastructure in Nikopol and Marhanets, both located across the Dnipro River from Russian-occupied positions in Zaporizhia Oblast.[40] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Russian forces launched eight S-300s missiles on educational and civilian infrastructure in Mykolaiv City at night on August 18-19.[41]

Ukrainian forces again struck the bridge near the Nova Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant at night on August 18-19.[42] Kherson Oblast Administration Advisor Serhiy Khlan confirmed that Ukrainian forces “destroyed” Russian plans to restore and reopen the bridge to transport military equipment in Kherson Oblast.[43]

The Guardian

  • The UN secretary general has asked Russia not take the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant off grid. António Guterres asked on Friday that the Russian-occupied facility not be cut off from Ukraine’s electrical grid after Ukrainian reports that Moscow was planning to do so, saying the plant used “Ukrainian electricity”.
  • Ukraine’s economy minister has said the country’s economy could contract 35-40% by the end of the year. Hit by Russia’s 24 February invasion, the economy contracted 15.1% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022.

Al Jazeera

  • Explosions were reported overnight near military bases deep within Russian-held areas of Ukraine and inside Russia’s territory itself, as Ukrainian forces appear to be demonstrating their ability to wreak havoc on Moscow’s logistics far from front lines.
  • Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said in televised remarks on Friday that statements from Ukrainian officials about striking facilities in Russian-occupied Crimea mark “an escalation of the conflict openly encouraged by the United States and its NATO allies”.
  • Kyiv has cultivated an atmosphere of ambiguity around such incidents by withholding official comment on explosions and fires in Crimea or inside Russia, yet also hinting that Ukrainian forces were responsible, using long-range weapons or sabotage.

Bloomberg

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is at a near-operational standstill, with neither side currently able to launch an offensive that would materially affect the course of the conflict, according to an assessment from Western officials. With both sides more conscious that they face a marathon rather than a sprint in a war already close to six months old, the tempo of the conflict has slowed, the officials said on condition of anonymity. They said the question now is whether Ukraine can generate a credible counterattack in the fall.

Surse ruse și separatiste*

*în special canale Telegram ale milbogerilor ruși și separatiști, care citează la rândul lor surse din cadrul Ministerului de Război al Rusiei și informații ale autorităților separatiste

  • 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.
  • În zona vechiului aerodrom din Tomarovka, regiunea Belgorod, sistemele rusești de apărare aeriană au doborât o dronă ucraineană.
  • O detonare de muniție a avut loc la depozitul de muniție din satul Timonovo.
  • Forțele Armate RF își continuă atacul asupra pozițiilor Forțelor Armate ale Ucrainei de pe linia Udy-Odnorobovka.
  • Există informații despre intensificarea ofensivei Forțelor Armate RF pe Barvenkovo ​​de-a lungul liniei Karnaukhovka – Novaia Dmitrovka – Dibrovnoye.
  • Trupele ruse au lovit concentrări de personal al Forțelor Armate ucrainene la Colegiul de Tehnologie și Design din Kramatorsk.
  • Regimentul 6 de cazaci din NM LPR înaintează în Bakhmutskoye, luptele se desfășoară în zona consiliului sat al satului
  • Sediul NM al LPR a raportat că trupele aliate au intrat în zona rezidențială a orașului Soledar și au ocupat mai multe străzi.
  • RPD anunță stabilirea controlului asupra satului Dacha și controlului complet asupra satului Zaitsevo la nord de Gorlovka.
  • în vecinătatea lui Pesok, este în curs de desfășurare distrugerea cetăților Forțelor Armate ale Ucrainei de pe șoseaua de centură Donețk pe toată lungimea DKAD de la Nevelskoye la Opytny.
  • Bătăliile de lângă Ugledar au căpătat un caracter pozițional. Forțele Armate ale Ucrainei au reușit să stabilizeze frontul prin redistribuirea unor rezerve semnificative

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