Military

Northeast – Kharkiv Area of Operations

  • No significant changes to the situation across the region. The Russian Federation Armed Forces (RFAF) remain focused on preventing the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) from making ground towards the international border and sought to fix UAF elements to prevent the reinforcement of other axes. (No change)
  • Air, artillery and rocket bombardment activities have continued across the outskirts of Kharkiv city and along the line of contact. On 07 Aug 22, RFAF helicopters concentrated strike activity near Verkniy Saltiv and Pryshyb.
  • Reporting also highlighted that the RFAF continue to deploy S-300 air defence missiles in a land-attack role, primarily targeting Kharkiv city.

Video posted by the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Force, highlighting de-mining activities in Kharkiv city. Source @TDF_UA


East – Donbas Area of Operations (assessed RFAF Main Effort)

  • Fighting continues to be observed to the east of Bakhmut, where the RFAF have so far been unable to break through UAF defensive lines. UAF reported some success in Yakolivka, defeating RFAF recce forces. Also, UAF managed to repel RFAF attacks in urban settlements to the southeast of Bakhmut. RFAF ground assaults appear to have intensified in the last 48-hours.
  • To the south of Izyum, RFAF failed in their attempts to seize territory in the vicinity of Bohorodychne. RFAF forces continue shelling activity along this axis of advance, fixing UAF positions.
  • To the east of Siversk, previously the RFAF main effort on this front, limited ground attacks have been observed in the last reporting period. Small RFAF tactical gains have however been reported; with clashes ongoing in Ivano-Daryivka and Verkhnokamyanske.
  • In Donetsk, RFAF maintain efforts to advance to the northwest of Donetsk city. Incremental gains have been reported near Avdiivka, Nevelske, and in Pisky itself. RFAF attempts to advance towards Marinka have been unsuccessful.

Video showing DPR mortar teams targeting UAF positions near Pisky. Source: @DarksideErika

CBS news video showing UAF Javelin strike on RFAF main-battle tank. Source: @CBSNews


South – Kherson and Black Sea Coast Area of Operations

  • Media reporting over the last 48-hours has been dominated by the situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). On 05 & 06 Aug 22, shelling was reported in the vicinity of the facility. This prompted accusations from both sides as to who was responsible.
  • No notable changes to the tactical situation across the axis, with RFAF increasing its UAV reconnaissance activity along the line of contact. On 07 & 08 Aug 22, RFAF attempted to advance towards Blahodatne. However, this attack was repelled by the UAF.
  • The RFAF also attempted to retake territory near Lozove on 06 & 07 Aug 22, without success.
  • Continuing reports that the RFAF are mining critical infrastructure across Kherson region, in preparation for a possible UAF counteroffensive. This includes reported personnel and equipment build-ups to the northeast of the city.
  • Antonovsky and Kakhovka bridges have been further damaged following UAF strikes. A pontoon ferry is reportedly operating 24hrs a day whilst repairs are made, to maintain the flow of materiel into Kherson.
  • Partisan activity continues to be reported across the region. On 06 Aug 22, a close quarter assassination was conducted in Nova Kakhovka – targeting Deputy Head of Occupation authorities, Vitaly Hur. Also, a publication called the ‘Voice of the Partisan’ has been disseminated across Kherson.
  • Successful HIMARs strikes reported in Melitopol on 08 Aug 22, destroying a considerable number of Russian equipment. RFAF command posts were also reported to have been struck along the T2207 route.

Images reported to show the movement of RFAF military equipment at the Zaporizhzhia NPP. Source: @wammezz

Image of a publication reported to have been created and published by partisan elements in Kherson. Source: @visegrad24


Strategic/Political

  • Six more vessels left Odessa and Chornomorsk ports since 03 Aug 22, transporting corn, grain, and sunflower oil as part of the UN-Turkey brokered agreement. Following inspections in Turkey, three of the vessels will then travel to China, Italy, and South Korea. The other vessels will remain docked in Turkey. This announcement follows delays to the Razoni vessel, which was scheduled to arrive in Tripoli, Lebanon, on Sunday. However, the delays have been attributed to an issue with the initial Lebanese buyer.

Post showing the Ocean Lion vessel, which departed Chornomorsk on 09 Aug 22. Source: @epravda

  • The United States has pledged a further USD 1 billion in military aid to Ukraine. In a press release, the package will include additional HIMARs, Javelin anti-tank systems, anti-armour systems, artillery ammunition, and medical supplies (including armoured medical treatment vehicles). This announcement follows statements made by Zelenskyy officials, who claimed that the UAF needed significantly more artillery and longer-range rocket systems to be able to retake Kherson city.

Post outlining the United States military aid package. Source: @apmassaro3


So What?

  • Following reports of shelling near the NPP over the weekend, it has prompted the UN to call on international inspectors to be given access to the facility. There is currently a lack of clarity over the imminency of the threat posed to the NPP; however, there will be pressure on Russia to demonstrate to the international community that it is not engaging in nuclear blackmail as it has been seen to previously. The current indicators – as demonstrated by recent video footage of military equipment being taken to the NPP – shows that it is likely that Russia is using the NPP as a safe storage/assembly area for military equipment and gives the RFAF impunity to target the UAF in Nikopol. And until this is resolved, it will continue to attract column inches across all media outlets, especially with readership focus on action (and associated outcomes).
  • The attempted assassination and posting of Ukrainian resistance publications is a timely reminder that the RFAF are dealing with a myriad of threats on the southern axis. The increasing likelihood of a UAF counteroffensive to retake Kherson city is only likely to galvanise the resistance movement, and it is probable that further subversive activity will be observed in the short term. The United States’ pledge to deliver more HIMARs and other long-range rocket systems will increase both the physical and mental pressure on the RFAF. The combined effect of UAF long-range precision strikes alongside partisan activity has had a significant effect on decreasing Russian morale – as evidenced by intercepted calls and messages from RFAF personnel to family at home, which have been released by the Ukrainian Security Services.
  • The RFAF are likely positioning troops northwest of Kherson due to the inability to move large amounts of materiel across the damaged Antonovsky and Kakhovka bridges into Kherson itself. If Russia can coalesce sufficient forces in the area, it is a realistic possibility they will counter-attack in force against the UAF bridgehead at Velyke Artakove, Lozove and Andriivka to disrupt UAF offensive activity towards Kherson and Nova Kakhova.

What Next?

There are unlikely to be any significant changes to the tactical situation in the next 7-days. Whilst the RFAF are likely to continue to concentrate its offensive activity to the east of Bakhmut, progress will be limited. Further clashes are to be expected in Kodema and Zaitseve, as the RFAF attempt to gain control of the T0513 route running north to Bakhmut. Similarly, in Donetsk, RFAF will continue to conduct probing attacks on UAF defensive lines, to build momentum for a potential assault on Avdiivka. However, this city is likely to remain under UAF control in the coming weeks. To the north of Slovyansk, and to the east of Siversk, limited offensive is likely to be observed. However, the line of contact will continue to be subject to daily RFAF bombardment activity. The RFAF might conduct localised assaults, as witnessed in Bohorodychne.

In the south, UAF offensive activity is likely to continue in the northern Kherson region. However, as previously indicated, its success will be difficult to gauge due to the ongoing reporting embargo. Despite this limited reporting, further indicators of RFAF defensive reinforcement, and manoeuvring of equipment away from high-risk areas are likely to demonstrate the probability of a renewed UAF counteroffensive in the coming weeks. Whilst there has been a reduction in reporting of personnel reinforcements from the Donbass, this is likely to continue. Further reports of localised RFAF offensive activity could also be observed to the northeast of Kherson city, in the vicinity of Lozove, to disrupt the UAF. Further UAF strikes using HIMARs and other long-range systems against RFAF logistics and command nodes will continue, they are now a common feature in daily battle reporting and will persist in the coming weeks.


A Ukrainian citizen stands in front of her family’s home which was destroyed by Russian rockets, in the Ukrainian frontline town of Bakhmut, on Aug. 2. Image courtesy of David Guttenfelder, The New York Times