Northeast – Kharkiv Area of Operations
- No significant changes occurred on the ground during this reporting period.
- Russian Federation Armed Forces (RFAF) continue to maintain front-line positions, protecting its ground lines of communication (GLoC) towards the Russian border.
- Heavy fighting in Vesele took place on multiple days; however, no changes in control were reported. Fighting also occurred in Fedorivka; seeing RFAF repelled by the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF).
- Ternova remains in UAF control, despite RFAF pressure.
- RFAF conducted heavy shelling of UAF locations in Ruski Tyshky, Staryi Saltiv, and Cherkaski Tyshky.
- On 02 Jun 22, Russian Mi-8 attack helicopters were reported to have conducted strikes on UAF locations in Slatyne and Dementiivka.
- Kharkiv city remains under daily bombardment.
- On 06 Jun 22, Ukrainian officials reported that the RFAF emplaced mines in the vicinity of Rubizhne, to slow-down UAF offensive operations.
- Explosions reported in Belgorod region on 05 Jun 22.
Video reported to show smoke emanating from a location in Belgorod region. Source: @girkingirkin
East – Donbas Area of Operations (assessed RFAF Main Effort)
- RFAF efforts to secure Izyum and project from there continue. The advance south from Izyum towards Slovyansk is the main axis, but the Front Line Enemy Troops (FLET) facing the Donetsk Oblast continues to conduct probing assaults.
- Large parts of Severodonetsk are now under Russian control. On 07 Jun 22, RFAF conducted further assaults on the Ukrainian held positions in the industrial area.
- A telegram account reflecting Russian military updates reports that Russian Defence Minister, Sergey Shoigu, during a meeting with the National Defence Management Centre (NDCC), believes that Russian forces have captured 97 percent of Luhansk Oblast.
- A key short-term objective for RFAF is Lysychansk which will likely come under refreshed assault in the coming weeks. First Russian forces must take Toshkivka to avoid a heavily contested river crossing over the Siverskyi Donets river from Severodonetsk.
- In Bakhmut RFAF has focussed on consolidation and reinforcement.
Ukraine General Staff update, 07 Jun 22, highlighting the RFAF advance on Izyum. Source: youtube - General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
NDOC readout regarding the Russian assessment that 97 percent of Luhansk has fallen. Source: @swodki
South – Kherson and Black Sea Coast Area of Operations
- UAF continue to probe RFAF defensive locations through localised counterattacks across the Kherson-Mykolaiv region border. Ukrainian gains have been limited, with RFAF able to protect its GLoC.
- Following a period of UAF success, RFAF have intensified its bombardment of areas to the north-west of its locations to slow-down the UAF advance.
- RFAF are reported to have destroyed several bridges near Davydiv Brid to slow UAF counterattacks. Russian arial reconnaissance has intensified. Recent reporting indicates that the UAF have however crossed the Inhulets river using a pontoon bridge near Andriivka.
- In Zaporizhia region, RFAF continue to send reinforcements to Vasylkivka. One T-62 battalion and one motorized battalion are reported to have arrived on 02 Jun 22.
- UAF repelled RFAF attacks south of Kryvyi Rih.
- Ukrainian officials have claimed that RFAF naval vessels have been pushed back more than 100km from Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. The official stated that the north-west part of the Black Sea is now a ‘grey zone’.
- On Snake Island, Ukrainian reporting has indicated the arrival of anti-aircraft, electronic warfare, and Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) to support the defence of its Black Sea Fleet.
- In Odessa, one airstrike was reported in the city.
BBC report suggesting Ukraine has successfully pushed back RFAF vessels. Source: BBC
- The United Kingdom (UK) has stated that it will send the ‘M270’ MLRS to Ukraine, representing an uplift in capability delivered to the UAF. A statement from the UK government indicated that Ukrainian troops will be trained on the M270 weapons system in the UK, before it is deployed to the front-line. However, the UK government has not stated how many weapon systems it will deliver; but media reports suggest that three will be sent in the initial shipment. The United States (US) is also going to deliver the ‘M142’ Himars system, which the Russian government accused the Biden administration of “pouring fuel on the fire”. Russian President, Vladimir Putin, also stated that Russia would consider striking ‘new’ targets if the West provided Ukraine with further weapons. Ukrainian officials are reported to have provided the US with assurances that advanced weapons will not be used to target Russian territory.
- On 05 Jun 22, Kyiv was the target of an RFAF missile strike for the first time in a calendar month. The strike targeted a facility in Darynitsa, to the south-east of the city. Russian officials claimed that the facility was used to store T-72 MBTs and other military hardware donated by European countries. Ukrainian officials, and media reporters, contested this indicating that it is a rail freight repair yard which is used to transport grain.
Tweet with images reported to show the Kyiv-based depot targeted in the RFAF missile strike. Source: @shustry
- On 05 Jun 22, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, visited UAF operating on the front-line in Soledar and Lysychansk, as part of a wider visit to the Eastern Axis. During his visit, Zelenskyy awarded medals to several personnel. Zelenskyy also visited a temporary Internally Displaced People centre in Zaporizhia.
- The Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, walked out of a Security Council meeting on 06 Jun 22 after the European Council President, Charles Michel, accused Russia of using food supplies as a “stealth missile against developing countries”. Michel also stated that Russia was solely responsible for the global food crisis, targeting Ukrainian infrastructure, which was preventing the country from planting, harvesting, and exporting product. The Russian ambassador subsequently left the chamber, accusing Michel of pedalling lies.
Tweet from European Council President, Charles Michel, directed towards the Russian ambassador. Source: @eucopresident
- Many journalists have used the term “fog of war” to describe the current situation in Sieiverodonetsk. Over the past 7-days, the level of control attributed to both the RFAF and UAF has fluctuated throughout. It is a situation which is becoming increasingly difficult for observers to gather credible ground truth reporting – a necessity during a conflict. In all conflicts, contradictory reporting from both sides is to be expected. RFAF need to project military momentum, although reporting suggests that it is sending ill-trained reserve elements to the city following losses to its other units. Equally, the UAF needs to minimise, or manage the narrative relating to human casualties to maintain Ukrainian morale and the will to fight. Some reporting from both sides will be attributable to disinformation, designed to deliberately obfuscate the truth. Currently there is a disconnect between those reporting on the military situation in Sieiverodonetsk, and those active on the front-line. The “fog of war” is not a new phenomenon, but an all-source intelligence approach is critically important to provide key enablers supporting the Ukrainian war effort the information they require.
- The delivery of ‘M142’ and ‘M270’ MLRS systems are viewed to be the type of weapons system that the UAF need at this stage of the conflict. Both prestige systems possess the ability to out-range RFAF artillery and have precision strike capability to effectively engage RFAF battery locations. Despite reports that the UAF are conducting successful counteroffensives, Ukrainian positions and surrounding urban settlements are being continually bombarded by RFAF artillery. However, both UK and US commitments are unlikely to have an immediate impact on the battlespace. Training and transport timelines mean that these systems are unlikely to be utilised on the front-line within the next month, where areas of control could be very different to the current situation.
The next reporting period will continue the trend of limited changes to the status quo on the Northeast axis. The areas of Vesele and Rubizhne will remain areas of conflict, and although changes in territory are probable this will not be decisive.
In the east more important activity will occur. The battle for Toshkivka will ultimately decide the short-term fate of Lysychansk and RFAF efforts to take this area are highly likely to accelerate over the coming week. Despite this, the time frame for rejuvenated assaults on Lysychansk are expected to be lengthier than one week. RFAF can secure all of Luhansk Oblast in the short-term, and the next reporting period will likely see them achieve small gains towards this objective. The result would largely be totemic, an opportunity for positive media, but operationally it will only likely mark further periods of consolidation.
UAF successes in the south will likely continue, with Ukrainian media overamplifying the rate and comprehensiveness of these successes for the domestic audience. The same is true for the Black Sea and Snake Island, although successes on the maritime front do provide significant operational rewards to Ukraine, there is risk that Russia could flank and outmanoeuvre the UAF to project towards southern strategic locations.