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Ukraine ‘eats’ Russian forces in the southern counterattack | Russian-Ukrainian War News

Ukraine extended a counter-offensive in the south of the country in the 23rd week of the war, attacking Russian garrisons and ammunition stockpiles, forcing Russia to send in reinforcements and, as a result, weakening the country. weak on other fronts.

Ukraine also scored a diplomatic victory: Russia agreed to lift the blockade of Black Sea ports to allow Ukrainian grain exports, which Ukraine estimates will bring in $10 billion in needed revenue.

Ukraine could lose territory on the eastern front, including an important defensive position near the city of Donetsk; while an explosion at a Russian POW camp in occupied Donetsk killed an estimated 50 Ukrainian soldiers, what Ukraine describes as a war crime.

Southern counterattack

Even before August 2, Ukraine claimed to have liberated 46 settlements in the southern Kherson province, and it said the number liberated has now risen again in the past week.

The UK Ministry of Defense said the Kherson counterattack was “gathering momentum” after the Ukrainian-operated HIMARS rocket artillery system attacked three Russian-operated systems. supply request on the Dnieper River between 20 and 27 July.

On July 30, Ukraine attacked again. Their southern command said they had damaged a railway bridge over the Dnieper, making cargo transportation impossible. These attacks jeopardized Russia’s ability to resupply its southern forward positions, and Ukraine’s general staff reported that Russian forces were attempting repair damaged bridges.

INTERACT - WHO CONTROLS WHAT IN UKRAINE
(Al Jazeera)

Ukraine is also attacking Russian supply depots.

Ukraine’s Southern Command said that precision airstrikes destroyed Russian fuel, lubricant and ammunition stockpiles in Berislav district, northeast of Kherson city, and supplies in Nova Kakhovka. has “severely reduced,” where Russian forces hold large stockpiles.

Further east along the Dnieper River on the same day, Nikopol district manager Yevhen Yevtushenko said a Ukrainian attack destroyed a Russian ammunition depot across the river from Nikopol.

Sergey Khlan, an administrative adviser to Kherson, also confirmed that the Ukrainian HIMARS missile destroy a 40-car train with equipment in Brylivka, about 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) southeast of Kherson. An estimated 80 Russian servicemen were killed and 200 wounded in the attack.

Military experts argue that such tactics – beheading the Russian army, cutting resources and destroying supply lines – are suitable for preparing for a counterattack.

Retired Australian Major General Mick Ryan has Is called this is a “corrosion strategy”.

Ryan writes: “During the battles of Kyiv and Kharkiv, the Ukrainians were able to fight the Russians to a stalemate because they were able to infiltrate the Russian rear areas and destroy the logistical support of the Russians. surname.

“In doing so, they have had a significant impact on the morale of the Russian people. Thus, the Ukrainians physically and morally corroded the Russian Northern expedition from within, and were forced to remove it from Ukraine.

The Russians temporarily overwhelmed Ukraine’s strategy on the eastern front through a barrage of rocket and artillery fire, but the introduction of American-made weapons HIMARS . rocket artillery system Ryan said late June changed that.

“Ukrainians are re-applying traditional asymmetrical tactics that they used so successfully in the early part of the war… an integral part of their corrosive strategy,” he said.

“Fast targeting ability [command posts] and using HIMARS to cause maximum destruction is crucial,” he added.

Ukrainian forces have excelled in doing that.

On August 2, Ukraine’s Southern Command said it had destroyed a Russian ammunition depot in Skadovsk, on the southern coast of the Kherson region, inside the Russian stronghold.

On the same day, geolocation footage showed Russian ammunition depots being destroyed in Starosillia and Arkhanhelske north of the city of Kherson, both of which are located on a highway that serves as a ground communication line. Geolocation footage also shows Ukrainian forces attacking Russian artillery positions in Soldatske in Russian-held Crimeapossibly with a kamikaze Phoenix Ghost drone.

Ukraine’s southern command said its forces killed 32 Russian soldiers that day.

These surgical attacks are the mistake of the Russians. On August 1, Russian forces had to stop unloading an ammunition train at Kalanchak station, Kherson, after a smoke screen they created to camouflage their operations from aerial attack. seems to have burned the goods.

Ukrainian military intelligence said the train had withdrawn to Crimea.

“In eroding the Russian army physically, morally and intellectually, the Ukrainians developed military art. Ryan said.

Difficult choice

Russia now has to make tough choices.

On July 31, the Ukrainian General Staff reported that “individual units” of Russian forces were being redeployed from the Sloviansk front in Donetsk Oblast to Zaporizhia in the south. The change came after a successful Ukrainian counter-offensive destroyed the Verkhniy Tokmak and Chernihivka posts, two settlements northeast of the occupied city of Melitopol, according to Ukrainian military intelligence. Zaporizhia is located directly behind the Russian front lines.

Military intelligence believes that Russian forces plan to abandon Chernihivka, where only 100 defenders remain.

On August 1, Vadym Skibitsky, Deputy Director of Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Service, said that Russia has moved a large number of troops to Crimea from Donetsk and Luhansk, out of concern that the country may have to fight to regain the territory that it has lost. The country merged in 2014.

“The threat of transferring the war to Crimea has become a reality for them,” Skibitsky said.

Ukraine’s counter-offensive was partly intended to pre-empt a Russian annexation of Kherson.

According to intercepted Russian documents, Russia plans to hold a referendum in the South soon. The organization’s preparations include organizing 140 pro-Russia rallies, creating pro-Russian media stories for pro-Russian media coverage, and distributing food and other items. Other resources for collaborators.

Skibitsky also said that Russian forces in Kherson were set up polling stations and prepare the list of voters.

Eastern Front

Ukrainian defense forces have so far repelled daily Russian attacks on Donetsk province, and although Luhansk province is nominally under Russian control, acts of resistance are regularly reported. fox there.

However, on August 2, Russian forces are said to have captured a key Ukrainian defensive position near Avdiivka in Donetsk.

The Ukrainian military has held the ventilation shaft of the Butivka coal mine since 2015 and this is their closest position to the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk. Ukrainian forces attempted to repel an advance on Avdiivka itself, but Russian forces made increasing advances on Bakhmut.

What started as a war for territory now appears to be turning into a population struggle.

The Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporary Occupied Territories of Ukraine, a newly created body, established a coordination headquarters for the evacuation of Donetsk on June 29 and told residents that the evacuation is now mandatory.

“Donetsk is now on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe: active fighting is taking place, infrastructure is destroyed. Humans are not only at risk of being peeled – in the absence of heat, medicine and food, it will be difficult to survive the winter. The way out is to evacuate,” the ministry said.

“There are hundreds of thousands of people, tens of thousands of children… Many people refuse to leave… But it really needs to be done. This decision will still have to be made,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video speech.

Russia said it was also in the process of evacuating civilians from the Donbas region for humanitarian reasons at a rate of 25,000 a day and claimed to have moved nearly three million residents to Russia since the war began, including nearly half a million children.

War crimes in Olenivka

Russia says Ukraine killed 50 people of its own when it targeted a detention facility in the Russian-controlled settlement of Olenivka in Donetsk using HIMARS rocket artillery.

Deputy commander of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic militia, Eduard Basurin, told Rossiya-1 TV channel: “Ukrainian authorities have killed their own people. All prisoners of war are Ukrainian citizens.

The self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic ambassador to Moscow, Rodion Miroshnik, claimed that Ukraine carried out the attack to silence disgruntled soldiers.

“In Kyiv, they decided that the surrender of the ‘heroic Azovs’ was a disgrace and had an adverse effect on the moral atmosphere of both the Ukrainians and those who financed the war. They ordered liquidation,” wrote Miroshnik.

Analysis of the explosion indicated that the explosion in the prison emanating from inside the building indicates the attack was a false flag operation by Russia, Ukraine said.

Ukraine’s General Staff said Russia blow up its own penalty colony aimed at “covering up war crimes, discrediting the Armed Forces of Ukraine, disrupting Western arms supplies, and increasing social tensions in Ukrainian society”.

The General Staff has called for an international investigation into the explosion.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said that Russian forces had impregnated the prisoner’s prison and fired Grad rocket launchers next to it to provoke a return fire.

If this narrative is true, it may be intended to discredit Ukraine’s use of the HIMARS system, which has proven to be incredibly destructive to Russian forces.

Ukrainian forces did not return fire that day, the SBU said.

Ukrainian military intelligence believes that the killing of prisoners of war (POWs) was not ordered by Moscow but was carried out by the Wagner Group, a mercenary unit of a military contractor, to cover up the fact that they embezzled money that the Kremlin paid the group that built the detention facility.

“[The explosions were] carried out by mercenaries from the Wagner Group by the personal team of the nominal owner of the designated private military company – Eugene Prigozhin,” said Ukrainian General Staff spokesman Alexander Štupun.

“The organization and execution of the terrorist attack was not approved by the leadership of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. The main purpose of the terrorist attack was to conceal the truth about the embezzlement of all the funds that were provided for the detention of Ukrainian prisoners of war. It is reported that on August 1, a commission from Moscow had to go to the “subject” to check the cost of the funds granted and the conditions of detention of the prisoners,” he said.

“The shelling of the pre-trial detention center in Olenivka is unacceptable, as are the reports of the Russian military’s brutal treatment of prisoners of war,” said the US ambassador to Kyiv. Bridget Brink said in a Twitter post.

Zelenskyy called the killing of the prisoners “a deliberate Russian war crime”.

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