North (assessed Russian Federation Armed Forces (RFAF) Main Effort).
- No RFAF offensive operations observed along the north-west or north-east axes of Kyiv.
- RFAF continue to consolidate its existing defensive positions and bolster its resupply operations.
- Whilst the RFAF consolidates, its forces continue to bombard Kyiv and its surrounding districts with artillery and air strikes. RFAF bombardment also continues across both Chernihiv and Sumy cities.
- Reports of UAF counterattacks in Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin.
- OSINT imagery has indicated that the Kyiv reservoir is dispersing floodwater near the Irpin River.
- No changes reported in Zhytomyr region.
Image purports to show destroyed RFAF T72-B tank following clashes with the UAF in Kyiv region. Source: @MovieXen
Image purports to show a time comparison of floodwater dispersing from the Irpin River. Source: @JackDetsch
- No RFAF offensive operations observed in Kharkiv but it remains under artillery fire.
- RFAF reported to have withdrawn from Okhtyrka.
- Clashes reported between RFAF and UAF near Izium. Unconfirmed local reporting suggests that RFAF suffered heavy losses during attack.UAF officials reported that the RFAF have redeployed elements of the 90
- RFAF main effort across Donetsk and Luhansk continues to be Sievierodonetsk, Popasna, and Rubizhne. Notable activity included RFAF targeting of a children’s hospital in Sievierodonestk.
- RFAF officials claim its troops have seized control of Verkhniotoretske, situated north of Donetsk.
- RFAF aircraft and artillery targeted UAF positions in Avdiivka. Reports that RFAF continue to probe UAF defensive positions, including Marinka.
- No changes reported in Zaporizhia region.
- RFAF continues to bombard Mariupol, whilst continuing to reinforce its artillery positions across the north-east portion of the city.
- Ukrainian officials reported that over 100,000 people are still trapped in the city, without access to basic supplies.
- UAF successfully conducted localised counterattacks to disrupt RFAF attempts to advance towards Mykolaiv.
- RFAF continues its attempt to advance north towards Kryvyi Rih, but their progress is slow. There has been a notable increase in strike activity also observed across the city in the last 24hrs.
- UAF repel RFAF recce assault near Oleksandrivka.
- Media reports suggest that the RFAF have withdrawn most of its rotary aircraft from Kherson airfield.
- In his comments to a US, and wider international audience, Russia’s presidential spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, refused to deny that Russia would resort to the use of nuclear weapons. Peskov stated that Russia would consider the nuclear option if there was an “existential threat” to Russia. Peskov’s comments to CNN were immediately picked up and ran by most media outlets and generated a significant body of social media discussion.
- Kirill Stepanov, a Russian official connected to its Southern Federal District, outlined their plans to establish a travel corridor between Crimea, Mariupol, and the Donbass region. Stepanov stated that this operation will create a “transit territory” between these strategic locations, adding the control of Mariupol is a priority to achieving this objective.
- Russia’s G20 status has been the subject of notable media attention in the past 24hrs. The US and its allies are considering whether Russia should be expelled from the forum. This rhetoric drew a negative response from Russia, accusing the Biden administration of applying undue pressure on other G20 members. Separately, Russia’s ambassador in Indonesia reported that Putin still plans to attend the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, later this year.
Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, discusses prospect of nuclear weapons deployment with CNN host. Source: Christiane Amanpour (CNN, Chief International Anchor) - @christianeamanpour
- UAF attempts to retake territory to the west of Kyiv will increase pressure on RFAF efforts to encircle the city. Sustained pressure will likely cause the RFAF to reposition forces from other axes to support its main effort before large-scale offensive operations resume. However, any further evidence of successful UAF counterattacks will provide fuel to the Ukrainian narrative that the RFAF are “demoralised”.
- Stepanov’s comments provide further justification to Western assessments that Mariupol is a critical Russian objective – both tactically, in the short-term to enable its forces to project west towards Odessa; and strategically, to support its long-term political goals in Crimea and the Russian-occupied Donbass region.
- Calls for Russia to be expelled from the G20 are unlikely to draw a consensus from all members. Boycotting of any upcoming meetings is much more likely in the medium term, which could act as a lever to increase pressure on those members who have not yet condemned Russia’s actions. This includes China and India, who both up until this point have adopted a neutral position on the invasion and continue to maintain close economic ties with Russia.
RFAF are likely to continue in its period of reorganisation in the next 48-72 hours. Currently, there are limited indicators to suggest that RFAF positioned around Kyiv can advance towards the city, with their primary focus likely to remain on the encirclement of Mariupol and gaining positions to the west to establish a land corridor towards Odessa. This is highly like to include an intensification of the RFAF bombardment campaign against Mariupol, which will increase pressure on all parties to continue to establish humanitarian corridors. Incremental RFAF gains are also likely to be observed across other axes, including a possible push towards Kryvyi Rih. However, there’s enough evidence to suggest that the UAF will continue to execute successful counterattacks against RFAF positions, further weakening the latter’s logistical function and its ability to maintain operational momentum.