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Russia-Ukraine War Update for July 8, 2022

Russian forces continue to advance in the Donbas while Ukrainian forces move closer to Kherson.



In the foreground is a line of trees which are green in the summer, the roof of a house is in the close foreground. In the background, black smoke and flames billow from a massive fire in Donetsk after a missile attack destroyed a fuel depot

[KYIV, Ukraine] – MTN It has been 3,052 days since Russia occupied Crimea on February 27, 2014.

On July 7, no territorial changes related to liberation or capture were reported, nor major combat operations by either belligerent theaterwide. Artillery, rocket, and air strikes continued, as well as skirmishes, reconnaissance in force, and positional battles.

Severodonetsk-Lysychansk – In the Luhansk oblast, Ukrainian forces are contesting control of Bilohorivka to the north bank of the Siverskyi Donets River. Ukrainian forces destroyed the Russian wet crossing in Pryvillya between July 3 – 6.

Ukrainian officials and Pro-Russian social media accounts reported that Luhansk is not under complete Russian control. NASA Fire Information Resource Management System (FIRMS) showed hot spots east of Topolivka and in the vicinity of the Verkhnokamyanka oil refinery.

In Russian-occupied Severodonetsk, an insurgency has already formed. Threats against the Chechen occupying forces and “wanted posters” have started to appear in the city.

Northeast Donetsk – There were widespread artillery and MLRS barrages by Russian forces in northeast Donetsk, likely setting conditions for a future offensive.

Russian forces continued attempts to advance into Hryhovika and Verknokamyanske and were able to advance into the eastern part of Verknokamyanske. Russian forces were held at the eastern edge of Spirne. Further south, Russian forces tried to capture the settlement of Berestove and were unsuccessful.

Bakhmut – East of Bakhmut, Russian forces have started to advance on Vesela Dolyna.

Fighting continued in the Svitlodarsk bulge, with Russian forces attempting to advance on Vershyna. There were unsuccessful. Ukraine maintained control of the Vuhledar Power Plant and pushed Russian forces back incrementally in Luhanske. Russian forces suffered significant losses.

Southwest Donetsk – Zaporizhia – Ukrainian artillery or rockets from Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) struck the Kirovs’kyi fuel depot causing a massive fire. An ammunition depot was also destroyed near the George Dimitrov Number 112 school in Donetsk.

NATO-provided High Mobility Rocket Artillery System (HIMARS) rockets destroyed an ammunition depot in Shakhtarsk, 60 kilometers east of Donetsk.

Near Russian-controlled Melitopol, insurgents destroyed a railroad bridge between Novobohdanivka and Troitske.

Kherson – In Kherson, the sound of small arms fire could be heard within the city. The Russian base at Chornobaivka was attacked with artillery, and Ukrainian officials reported that up to 25 vehicles were destroyed. The area targeted was a repair center for light to moderately damaged Russian military vehicles, contributing to the unusually high number of losses.

Russian forces are trying to slow the Ukrainian advance west and northwest of Kherson, targeting Ukrainian-controlled areas with artillery and rockets fired from MLRS.

North of Kherson city, NASA FIRMS suggests there is fighting west of Ukrainian-controlled Lozove in Andriivka. Ukrainian attack helicopters fired on Russian positions in Davydiv Brid. Russian forces used artillery and MLRS to interdict the Ukrainian GLOC on the T-2207 highway from Osokorivka. Additionally, Russian forces did reconnaissance in force with understaffed platoons, launching two raids on Dobryanka and one on Myroliubivka. None of the attempts were successful.

Kharkiv – Northwest of Kharkiv, Russian forces made another spoiling attack on Sosnivka and Dementiivka. Neither attack was unsuccessful. Otherwise, Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged artillery fire along the frozen front.

At least two Russian Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBM) struck the Nemyshlianskyi District of Kharkiv city, killing three civilians.

Izyum – There are reports that Ukrainian forces destroyed the recently repaired railroad bridge in Russian-controlled Kupyansk, north of Izyum. Southwest of Pisky-Radkivski, NATO-provided HIMARS systems were fired at a forward operating training base and staging area for Luhansk (LNR) and Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) conscripts, Russian Federation Armed Forces contract volunteers, and terrorists with the Imperial Legion reporting to Private Military Company (PMC) Wagner Group.

Russian forces made another ad hoc advance into Bohorodychne, backed by intense artillery fire. They were unsuccessful and returned to previously held defensive lines on the edge of the settlement.

Sumy – In the Sumy oblast, Russian forces fired small arms into the settlement of Shalyhyne.

Odesa – Black Sea – On July 7 under cover of darkness, combat divers from Ukraine’s 73rd Naval Special Purpose Center used underwater vehicles to reach Snake Island. Special forces cleared sea and land mines, performed reconnaissance, and raised several Ukrainian flags. The Russian Ministry of Defense and Serhii Bratchuk of the Odesa Military Administration reported that the Russian air force fired two cruise missiles at Snake Island that struck the pier on the island’s north side at dawn.

The Russian Air Force fired two Kh-31 air-to-sea cruise missiles at the disabled Moldovian flagged tanker Millenial Spirit. The vessel was abandoned at anchor off the coast of Odesa after it was attacked on February 25. It is reported the ship is on fire but still afloat. The smoke was visible from Odesa.

Two more Kh-31 air-to-sea cruise missiles hit grain warehouses near Odesa, holding 35 tons of cereals awaiting export.

Beyond Ukraine – Belarusian armed forces have extended ongoing military training exercises until July 16. In another provocation, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus, Major General Ruslan Kosygin, said that in the event of “Western provocations,” Belarusian forces will strike primarily on the infrastructure of Poland.

Daily Assessment

  1. Although Russian ground forces are in an operational pause, artillery and MLRS are still being used along the line of conflict, and civilians and civilian infrastructure continue to be targeted.
  2. Combat activity in the last 12 hours raises questions on whether the reports of an operational pause are authentic.
  3. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement that in Ukraine, “we haven’t started anything yet in earnest,” is saber-rattling from the Kremlin unless Putin intends to declare war formally and mobilize.
  4. It appears that Ukraine will hold a defensive position in Siversk, given the resistance against Russian advances on the edges of the Luhansk oblast.
  5. The Russian Ministry of Defense claims they destroyed two to four HIMARS units on July 6 were patently false, and the NATO-provided HIMARS attacked critical military targets in Kharkiv and Donetsk oblasts.
  6. Russian forces continue to lose ground in Kherson despite bringing in reserve troops and increasing artillery fire.

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