Război în Ucraina. Update 25 August

ISW

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s August 25 decree to increase the size of the Russian military starting in January 2023 is unlikely to generate significant combat power in the near future and indicates that Putin is unlikely to order a mass mobilization soon. The decree increases the nominal end strength of the Russian Armed Forces by 137,000 military personnel, from 1,013,628 to 1,150,628, starting on January 1, 2023.[1] The Russian military likely seeks to recover losses from its invasion of Ukraine and generate forces to sustain its operation in Ukraine. The announcement of a relatively modest (yet likely still unattainable) increased end strength target strongly suggests that Putin remains determined to avoid full mobilization. The Kremlin is unlikely to generate sufficient forces to reach an end strength of over 1,150,000 soldiers as the decree stipulates. The Russian military has not historically met its end-strength targets. It had only about 850,000 active-duty military personnel in 2022 before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, for example, well shy of its nominal end strength target of over one million.[2]

Key Takeaways

  • Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks northwest and northeast of Slovyansk, northeast and south of Bakhmut, and northwest of Donetsk City.
  • Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack in northwestern Kharkiv Oblast.
  • Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks in northwestern Kherson Oblast.
  • Ukrainian forces continued to target Russian military assets and ground lines of communication (GLOCs) in Kherson Oblast.
  • Russian federal subjects (regions) are continuing recruitment efforts for volunteer battalions, which are continuing to deploy to training grounds in Russia and to Ukraine.
  • Russian occupation administrators are continuing to take measures to mitigate challenges to their authority and facilitate the economic and educational integration of occupied territories into the Russian system.

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 northwest and northeast of Slovyansk on August 25. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops attempted to advance from occupied positions in Pasika (25km northwest of Slovyansk) to Dolyna, 18km northwest of Slovyansk along the E40 Izyum-Slovyansk highway.[9] The Ukrainian General Staff also stated that Russian troops attempted to improve their tactical positions around Staryi Karavan, which is in Russian-occupied territory about 13km northeast of Slovyansk along the T0514 highway that runs through Raihorodok into Slovyansk.[10] Russian forces shelled civilian infrastructure in Slovyansk.[11]

Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks towards Siversk on August 25 and shelled Siversk and surrounding settlements.[12]

Russian forces continued ground attacks northeast and south of Bakhmut on August 25. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian troops attempted to advance on Bakhmut from Bakhmutske, 8km northeast of Bakhmut.[13] Russian troops, likely including Wagner Group mercenaries and elements of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) 6th Cossack Regiment are continuing to conduct ground attacks with artillery support around Bakhmut and in Soledar.[14] The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that Russian troops attempted to advance northward from the Horlivka area and conducted a ground attack from Travneve (19km southeast of Bakhmut) to Kodema (14km southeast of Bakhmut) and are fighting around Kodema.[15]

Russian forces conducted a limited ground attack on the northwestern outskirts of Donetsk City on August 25. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian troops attempted to push from Pisky to Pervomaiske and break Ukrainian defensive lines in the Pervomaiske area.[16] Geolocated footage posted on August 24 shows Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) troops hanging a Soviet flag near the center of Pisky and seemingly unconcerned with Ukrainian artillery fire, which confirms that DNR troops gained full control of Pisky and are likely launching westward attacks from positions in Pisky.[17] Russian forces continued to strike Ukrainian positions along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline.[18]

Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks southwest of Donetsk City towards the Zaporizhia Oblast border on August 25. Russian sources claimed that Russian and DNR troops are continuing offensive operations in the Vuhledar area, 35km southwest of Donetsk City. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces continued air and artillery strikes near Vuhledar and toward the Zaporizhia Oblast border.[19]  

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 a limited ground assault northwest of Kharkiv City on August 25. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces retreated after attempting an unsuccessful offensive near Petrivka, approximately 15km northeast of Kharkiv City.[20] Russian forces conducted an airstrike near Pytomnyk, approximately 15km north of Kharkiv City, and continued using tube, tank, and rocket artillery to shell settlements along the Kharkiv City Axis.[21]

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

Russian forces conducted limited ground assaults in northwest Kherson Oblast but did not make any territorial gains on August 25. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled an attempted Russian offensive near Tavriiske, approximately 38km northwest of Kherson City.[22] The Ukrainian General Staff also reported that Russian forces retreated after attempting a reconnaissance-in-force operation near an unspecified village called Blahodatne.[23] It is unclear whether the report referred to the Ukrainian-held Blahodatne northwest of Russian-occupied Kyselivka or the Blahodatne in southern Mykolaiv Oblast that Russian forces captured around August 21.[24]

Russian forces continued focusing on maintaining occupied lines and striking Ukrainian positions along the Southern Axis. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces launched airstrikes on four settlements southeast of Zaporizhia, as well as near Bila Krynytsia, likely targeting Ukrainian positions near the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River.[25] Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces used Smerch rockets and S-300 missiles to strike port and residential infrastructure in Mykolaiv City.[26] Ukrainian and Russian sources stated that Russian forces shelled the Chaplin railway station in central Dnipropetrovsk Oblast on August 24.[27] Russian forces continued using tank, tube, and rocket artillery to shell civilian and military infrastructure along the entire frontline of the Southern Axis.[28]

Ukrainian forces continued to target Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) and positions in Kherson Oblast on August 24-25. Ukrainian Southern Operational Command Spokesperson Vladislav Nazarov reported that Ukrainian forces again struck the Antonivsky bridge in a continued effort to prevent Russian construction units from restoring the bridge.[29] Geolocated video footage posted on August 24 showed damage near the Kakhovka bridge after Ukrainian forces reportedly struck the area with unspecified weapons on August 24.[30] Ukrainian officials also reported that Ukrainian forces destroyed four Russian warehouses, a concentration of manpower, and two command posts, including a command post of a battalion tactical group of the 33rd Motorized Rifle Regiment in unspecified areas in the Southern Axis.[31]

CNN

  • Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is occupied by Russian forces, was disconnected from the power grid for the first time in its history on Thursday, according to the country’s nuclear operator.
  • The last remaining operational power line of the plant was restored after disconnecting twice due to fires nearby, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said, but the plant currently remains cut off from Ukraine’s energy grid.

The Guardian

The Vatican’s Russia-Ukraine diplomacy suffered two setbacks on Thursday when the head of the Russian Orthodox church cancelled a meeting with Pope Francis and Ukraine summoned the papal ambassador to complain about Francis’ latest comments about the war. The pontiff upset Kyiv by including Darya Dugina, the daughter of Russian nationalist TV Alexander Dugin killed by a car bomb on Sunday, as among the “innocents” who have been victimised by the “insanity of war.” Russia has accused Ukrainian intelligence in the bombing, which Ukraine denies.

BBC

On Wednesday we reported a deadly Russian strike on a railway station at Chaplyne, in eastern Ukraine. The latest casualty figures provided by the Ukrainian authorities are 25 dead including two boys aged six and 11, and 31 others injured. Now Russia has given its version of events, saying an Iskander missile struck a military train carrying troops and armaments headed for the front line. More than 200 Ukrainian service personnel were killed in the attack, it said, however the BBC has been unable to independently verify these reports. Moscow denies targeting civilian infrastructure, but Ukraine has made no mention of military deaths in the strike.

Al Jazeera

  • There have been 473 verified attacks on healthcare facilities in Ukraine since Russia invaded six months ago, which have killed nearly 100 people, according to the World Health Organization.
  • Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the slowing pace of Moscow’s military campaign was deliberate and aimed at reducing civilian casualties. Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russian forces of war crimes and targeting civilians, charges Moscow rejects.

Surse ruse și separatiste*

*sursele sunt în special milbogeri ruși și separatiști care citează la rândul lor surse oficiale ruse și separatiste, militare și administrative

◽️ În timpul zilei, artileria ucraineană a lovit de șapte ori cu tunuri de calibru mare în zona centralei nucleare. Bombardarea a fost efectuată de la pozițiile de tragere ale trupelor ucrainene în zonele așezărilor Nikopol, Marganets, Vyshetarasovka și Chervonogrigorovka, situate pe malul opus al lacului de acumulare Kakhovka.
Ofensiva către Donbass
▪️Forțele Armate Ruse au efectuat lovituri asupra instalațiilor armatei ucrainene din zona Kholodnaya Gora și districtul Novobavarsky din Harkov. În același timp, Forțele Aerospațiale Ruse au lucrat pe pozițiile Forțelor Armate ale Ucrainei lângă Gusarovka și Prudyanka.
▪️În direcția Bakhmut (Artyomovsk), confruntările continuă în sectoare cheie ale liniei frontului.
➖ În Soledar, Miliția Populară a LPR luptă în zona străzii Zalevsky și a Uzinei refractare Belokamensky de la periferia orașelor.
➖Detașamentele de asalt ale „PMC Wagner” continuă să avanseze asupra pozițiilor ucrainene de la periferia estică a lui Bakhmut (Artemovsk). Forțele aliate sunt sprijinite de aviație.
➖Confruntările continuă în Kodema, Yakovlevka și în vecinătatea stației Mayorskaya.

➖ Formațiunile ucrainene au încercat o contraofensivă într-o serie de sectoare de lângă Bakhmut (Artemovsk), dar au suferit pierderi și s-au retras.

▪️În direcția Donețk

➖Pe sectorul Krivoy Rog al frontului, unități ale Forțelor Armate ale Ucrainei au încercat din nou să atace Vysokopolye, dar ca urmare au suferit pierderi și au fost forțate să se retragă.
➖Sub Vuhledar, forțele aliate au respins o altă încercare nereușită de contraofensivă a trupelor ucrainene, drept urmare, inamicul a suferit pierderi și s-a retras în pozițiile anterioare.
➖Forțele aliate avansează spre fortărețele Forțelor Armate ale Ucrainei de-a lungul șoselei de centură Donețk.
➖Formațiuni ucrainene au bombardat Gorlovka și centrul comercial „Galaktika” din cartierul Kirovsky din Donețk: printre civili sunt morți și răniți.
➖Forțele armate ale Ucrainei au atacat o întreprindere de transport din Rovenky din Republica Lugansk cu Tochka-U OTRK. În plus, Forțele Armate ale Ucrainei au tras asupra lui Popasnaya din MLRS.
▪️În regiunea Dnepropetrovsk, forțele ruse au atacat stația Chaplino din cartierul Vasilkovsky din regiune; peste 200 de soldați și 7 vehicule de luptă, transportate într-un tren lovit de o rachetă Iskander, au fost anuhilați. La aerodromul din Dnepropetrovsk au fost distruse 3 avioane de luptă.
▪️Pe teritoriul regiunii Poltava, Forțele Aerospațiale Ruse au lovit ținte pe aerodromul Mirgorod; 2 avioane (1 Su-24 și 1 Su-27) au fost distruse și 5 avioane de luptă au fost avariate. Vehiculele aparțineau Brigăzii 831 de Aviație Tactică. De asemenea, aproximativ 30 de persoane au fost ucise.
▪️Forțele Armate RF au efectuat mai multe atacuri cu rachete asupra instalațiilor armatei ucrainene din districtul Shevchenkivskyi din Zaporojie. Potrivit unor rapoarte, uzina Motor Sich ar putea deveni una dintre ținte. Formațiunile ucrainene, la rândul lor, au tras folosind rachete Tokmak.

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