Dispatch for July 23-24

Dispatch for July 23-24

Conflict Intelligence Team

According to sources, including intercepted communications (published in the media by the head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine), we see that Russian forces are concentrating along the Sloviansk axis. In one of the intercepts we hear reports of Russian KIA and of a possible offensive along the Izium axis (this has been confirmed by our sources as well). Based on this, we can say that something is about to get underway this week (however, we are not able to report that a large-scale offensive is beginning along the entire front line). We see three possible operational scenarios for the Russian forces:

  • They move immediately on Sloviansk;
  • They move on Barvinkove;
  • They move to cut the road between Barvinkove and Sloviansk.
Full size: https://citeam.org/files/map-july-2022-en.jpg

We continue to follow what everyone is calling “preparations for the Ukrainian counteroffensive” — strikes against various bridges.

  • In Kherson Region HIMARS struck the Darivka bridge over the Inhulets River; the bridge is located on the road between the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant and Kherson. If both the Antonivskyi Road Bridge and the Darivskyi Bridge can be taken out of commission, supply lines for the Russian troops will be completely severed.
  • Also  on Saturday, residents of Novay Kakhovka reported explosions from the direction of the Kakhovska Hydro Power Plant (HPP).  We can see that the bridge near the HPP, close to the dam, was fired upon. Judging by the crater, it was made by a HIMARS missile. The bridge  is one of the supply routes for Russian forces in Kherson, so it can be destroyed very soon. 
  • We can see that a railway track was blown up next to the railway station in Novobohdanivka,  Melitopol district. The track goes to Nova Kakhovka through Melitopol. Iit is another Russian supply route, which the Ukrainians are now trying to cut off.

We can see that Russian forces began to build a pontoon bridge over the Verhnya Kinska river  in parallel with a railway bridge. It must be an alternative ground way for their armored vehicles.

Over the past week, we have been receiving signals that the redeployment of the forces of the Eastern Military District to the south of Ukraine through the Crimea is under way. The information is confirmed, we are monitoring multiple freight trains carrying military equipment. We have two possible scenarios for these units:

Either they will be headed to the Kherson direction to defend Russian positions from a potential counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces. This won’t be a reasonable decision: in case of Kherson being cut off, a large group of troops will be surrounded (although they have to somehow hold their positions in this direction).

Or they will move in the Zaporizhia direction, where they will launch an assault on Polohy, Huliaipole and will advance further north in order to seize the initiative, cut off communications of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Donetsk region and all remaining supply lines there, and pose a threat to Zaporizhia.

We are observing that the so-called 2nd Army Corps of the “People's Militia of the LPR” and the Wagner group are being active in the direction of Bakhmut-Soledar-Siversk. They are fighting in the area of ​​Bakhmut and Soledar, they are trying to move on Siversk; they might try to outflank Bakhmut from the south, from the Uglegorsk TPP direction, and reach Chasiv Yar in order to hasten the cutting off of the grouping of Ukrainian troops on the Bakhmut-Soledar-Siversk line.

Somewhere in that region the troops of the Group of Troops “Center” are located (last time we heard of them they operated somewhere near Lysychansk and we have not detected any large scale maneuvers). We believe that when the operational pause is over (which can happen as early as this week) Group of Troops “Center” will join forces with the 2nd Army Corps of the so-called LPR and the Wagner group in order to advance towards Bakmut-Soledar-Siversk.   

Group of Troops South continues to remain in the southern direction (Kherson, Melitopol).  

Last weekend there were lots of discussions of the events in Donetsk. In particular, we saw 9M22S incendiary munitions which are deployed by Grad multiple launch rocket systems that are in service on both sides. The rockets were fired at the center of Donetsk, there is no information about injuries. We can not ascertain who fired the rockets. The Joint Center of Control and Coordination (JCCC) of the so-called DPR claims that the strike was conducted by the Ukrainian side from the village  of Pervomaiske. However, they do not elaborate how they determined the origin of the strike.   

Attack on the seaport of Odesa. On Friday, July 22, two agreements were signed: the first between Ukrainе, the UN, and Turkey, and the second between Russia, the UN, and Turkey. The agreements contain clauses prohibiting any strikes on vessels and infrastructure that are used to export grain, as well as prohibit warships and drones from approaching the paths used by those vessels.

The next day, just several hours later, we saw "Kalibr" missiles hit the port of Odesa. The Ukrainian side claims that four rockets were launched, two of them were shot down in the skies (we saw only one shell hit in videos). The Russian side confirms that they struck the port, but claims they sank a Ukrainian warship and destroyed the depot of Harpoon anti-ship missiles.

We do not see any warships at the impact location, however in one video a witness comments that hydrography boat "Burilka" ("Бурилка") and navy boat "Maly" ("Малый") were hit. We believe that even if there was Ukrainian weaponry in the port, this should have been resolved not with missiles, but with an appeal to the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul by requesting an inspection.

Nevertheless, according to Oleksandr Kabakov, the Minister of Infrastructure, Ukraine will continue preparations for the export of agricultural products by the Black Sea. The first vessels may leave the open ports of Ukraine within the next four days, and all three ports will start working within two weeks.

According to the so-called LPR representatives, Ukrainian armed forces shelled a college (Stakhanov Polytechnic College) in the city of Stakhanov. There is no confirmation of Russian troops' presence there.

Powerful explosion reported in Horlivka. Probably, the Ukrainian forces hit an ammunition depot. One can see secondary detonations and a huge mushroom cloud. The target might have been a Russian troop gathering near the machinery plant.

According to the report of the Operational Command South of Ukraine, a battery of an S-300 surface-to-air missile system was destroyed in the Kherson region.

The Russian forces continue shelling: 

  • Kropyvnytskyi district of the Kirovohrad region has been hit, three people have been killed (a soldier and two employees of departmental security), and nine more soldiers have been injured;
  • Shelling of the city of Kharkiv;
  • Two districts of Dnipropetrovsk region have been shelled: no casualties reported, gas pipeline and electric networks damaged;
  • Vitaliy Kim reports that Mykolaiv was hit with six S-300 missiles;
  • a hit on the school No 5 in Bakhmut;

Four foreign volunteers were reportedly killed near Siversk back on July 18.

Pro-Russian Telegram сhannel “Military Reporter” used satellite imagery to confirm that the Russians destroyed at least two Ukrainian Su-27 jets in a rocket attack on the Kanatove airfield in Kirovohrad Region.

Russian forces shot down a Bayraktar drone in Kharkiv region.

Russian forces destroyed an M777 howitzer near Siversk.

In the Bucha district of Kyiv region a tractor triggered a landmine. The driver was left unharmed, two more mines were discovered nearby.

Another tractor was destroyed by a landmine near Kharkiv. Sadly, the driver was killed.

Chairman of the Armed Force Committee of the US House Adam Smith says that the US plans to bring the total number of Ukrainian HIMARS launchers to 25-30. 

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan says that Ukraine will not get 300 km range missiles.

Poles have  completed their Bayraktar TB2 crowdfunding goal ahead of schedule.

An airstrike near Jisr-al-Shugur, Syria, killed seven people, including five children, 14 more were wounded. Opposition activists say that the attack was carried out by Russian warplanes. 

An Iranian Il-76 cargo plane flew to Vnukovo near Moscow on July 18 and 23. It is run by Pouya Air, sanctioned by the US for supplying weapons, fighters and money to Hezbollah and the Assad regime. This plane also may have taken part in the supply of Iranian Mohajer-6 drones to Ethiopia in 2021.  

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