North (assessed Russian Federation Armed Forces (RFAF) Main Effort).
- Heavy clashes between RFAF and Ukrainian armed forces (UAF) reported across Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin. Social media reporting indicated the presence of Chechen units in Borodyanka.
- RFAF reported to be reinforcing defensive positions in the vicinity of Bucha and villages to the north-west along the E373.
- UAF reported to have retaken control of Lukashi and Luk’yanivka villages, situated to the east of Kyiv, near the H05 highway. During clashes, several RFAF tanks were destroyed.
- UAF positions and civilian targets under heavy bombardment in Vyshhorod, north of Kyiv. Residential areas reported to have been damaged.
- Sporadic attacks against UAF positions near Chernihiv, but no notable RFAF gains made. UAF also repelled RFAF attempts to take towns to the west of Chernihiv, as part of its effort to push towards the eastern axis of Kyiv.
- There have been no notable changes in Zhytomyr region.
Post including video purported to be from a UAF soldier, outlining operational successes against the RFAF. Source: @Danspiun
- Izyum remains a hotly contested area, as UAF officials claim that it retains control of the city centre and conducted limited counterattacks on the outskirts of the city.
- RFAF continues to bombard Kharkiv city and its surrounding districts. This included reported damage to a humanitarian aid delivery point in the city, using reported cluster munitions.
Post shows clean-up operation following a strike on humanitarian aid delivery point. Source: @Liveuamap
- RFAF activity across Donetsk and Luhansk continues to be focussed on Sievierodonetsk, Popasna, and Rubizhne, with incremental advances reported across all three locations.
- Unconfirmed reporting has indicated that RFAF are forcibly evacuating citizens from Rubizhne into Russian territory.
- RFAF assaults reported near Avdiivka, supported by armoured units.
- Russian officials claimed control of Stavky, Krasnyi Partysan, Batmanka and Troitske, in Donetsk region.
- UAF control of Mariupol city centre is slowing receding, as reported indicated RFAF have now reached the Church of the Intercession.
- Similar to the situation in Rubizhne, unconfirmed reporting suggests that Mariupol residents have been forcibly evacuated into Russian territory.
- Localised fighting reported in both Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. No notable advances were made in the past 24-hours.
- Multiple reports of continuing bombardment of Kherson city.
- RFAF advances towards Kryvyi Rih have stalled.
- UAF reported to have cleared Malynivka village, situated approximately 60km east of Zaporizhia.
Post highlighting Ukrainian news article which suggests that RFAF have had to withdraw up to 60km from Kryvyi Rih frontline. Source: @hwag_ucmc
- At the NATO summit in Brussels, US President, Joe Biden, stated that the alliance would respond if Russia deployed chemical weapons (CW) in Ukraine. This follows reports from several western leaders who have previously warned that Russia could resort to CW use in the conflict. Biden’s position was mirrored by both NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, and UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
- US officials claimed in a media report that Russia’s missile capability has been highly ineffective. In a Reuters article, the officials stated that the failure rate could be as high as 60%, suggesting this would be a causal factor in why the RFAF are unable to achieve its military objectives. Experts interviewed by Reuters suggested that a failure rate above 20% would be considered high.
- Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Head of Russia’s Security Council, claimed that the West has been “foolish” if it believes that sanctions against prominent Russian businesses will influence the Kremlin. Medvedev’s statement coincides with separate reporting which has highlighted that Russia is considering whether it will accept cryptocurrency payments for its oils and gas transactions. This follows reports indicating that Russian President, Vladimir Putin, wanted these deals to be conducted in roubles, to boost its domestic currency.
Journalist post highlighting Reuters article on US officials claim of high failure rate linked to Russian missile capability. Source: @mhmilliken (Reuters Foreign Policy Editor)
The spectre of CW continues to loom over the invasion, despite a lack of evidence to suggest there is a tactical advantage for its deployment nor a concrete willingness to take this escalatory step. Biden’s messaging was well received online, with several commentators stating that he was correct to send a more robust signal to Russia. However, in the short-term, it is unlikely to dissuade Russia from continuing to have the CW threat floating around the public discourse, keeping NATO on notice, and communicating to Western audiences that Russia is still operating from a position of strength despite its tactical setbacks.
RFAF’s period of reorganisation is highly likely to continue, focusing on positional reinforcement, supply line management, and reducing its offensive activity across multiple axes – notably the North, Northeast and East. However, this will likely result in an uptick of air, missile, and artillery bombardment of urban centres. RFAF offensive activity is highly likely to continue in Mariupol city, continuing its urban clearance operation to join-up its Crimea and Donbass units to isolate the north of the city. However, there’s no indication that current RFAF activity is sufficient to control the entirety of the city centre in the next 48 – 72 hours. Further along the South axis, Mykolaiv, and Kryvyi Rih are likely to remain an RFAF focus, conducting probing attacks against UAF locations.