Russias war in Ukraine 2022 2 - Europe Superpower

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Russias war in Ukraine 2022 2

Russias War in Ukraine 2022
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GUR: Russia actively preparing to hold so-called referendum on occupied territories of Ukraine, 30.07.2022
Vadym Skibitskyi, a representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, about Russia‘s efforts to annex occupied territories of Ukraine:
"The Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine clearly sees the preparatory measures carried out by the occupiers. In the temporarily occupied territories in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, the Kremlin political party "United Russia" began to work actively. We see that measures are being taken to clarify the so-called voter lists. In addition, they opened polling stations for holding elections. The process of distributing Russian passports has actively begun. This is a set of measures that Russia is currently conducting in the occupied territories in order to prepare and hold a referendum".
росія активно готується до проведення так званого референдуму на тимчасово окупованих територіях України
“Головне управління розвідки Міністерства оборони України чітко бачить підготовчі заходи, які проводить окупанти. На тимчасово окупованих територіях в Херсонській та Запорізькій областях почала активно працювати кремлівська політична партія “единая россия”. Ми бачимо що проводяться заходи з уточнення так званих списків виборців. Крім того вони відкрили дільниці для проведення виборів. Активно почався процес роздачі російських паспортів. Це комплекс заходів які зараз росія проводить на окупованих територіях для того щоб підготувати і провести референдум”, – заявив представник воєнної розвідки України.

Ukraine‘s counter-offensive in Kherson gathering momentum, 28.07.2022
„Ukraine‘s counter-offensive in Kherson is gathering momentum. Their forces have highly likely established a bridgehead south of the Ingulets River, which forms the northern boundary of Russian-occupied Kherson. Ukraine has used its new long range artillery to damage at least three of the bridges across the Dnipro River which Russia relies upon to supply the areas under its control. One of these, the 1,000 metre long Antonivsky bridge near Kherson city, was damaged last week. Ukraine struck it again on 27 July 2022 and it is highly likely that the crossing is now unusable. Russia‘s 49th Army is stationed on the west bank of the Dnipro River and now looks highly vulnerable. Similarly, Kherson city, the most politically significant population centre occupied by Russia, is now virtually cut off from the other occupied territories. Its loss would serverely undermine Russia‘s attempts to paint the occupation as a success.“
UK Ministry of Defence Intelligence update 28.07.2022

Ukrainian offensive in Kherson Oblast, 23.07.2022
„In the last 48 hours, heavy fighting has been taking place as Ukrainian forces have continued their offensive against Russian forces in Kherson Oblast, west of the River Dnipro. Russia is likely attempting to slow the Ukrainian attack using artillery fire along the natural barrier of the Ingulets River, a tributary of the Dnipro. Simultaneously, the supply lines of the Russian force west of the Dnipro are increasingly at risk. Additional Ukrainian strikes have caused further damage to the key Antonivsky Bridge, though Russia has conducted temporary repairs. As of 22 July 2022, it was almost certainly open to some traffic. It has not been possible to verify claims by Ukrainian officials that Russia is preparing to construct an alternative, military pontoon bridge across the Dnipro. The Russian army prioritises maintaining its military bridging capability, but any attempt to construct a crossing of the Dnipro would be a very high risk operation. If the Dnipro crossings were denied, and Russian forces in occupied Kherson cut off, it would be a significant military and political setback for Russia.“
UK Ministry of Defence Intelligence update 23.07.2022,

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov: deliveries of long-range weapons to Kyiv will expand the geography of the special operation, 20.07.2022
“Now the geography is different. It is far from being only the DPR and LPR, it is also the Kherson region, the Zaporozhye region and a number of other territories, and this process continues, and continues consistently and persistently”. He pointed out that, as the West pumped more and more long-range weapons into Ukraine, for example, HIMARS, the geographical objectives of the special operation would move even further from the current line. “Because we cannot allow the part of Ukraine that Zelensky will control or who will replace him to have weapons that will pose a direct threat to our territory and the territory of those republics that have declared their independence, those who want to decide their future for themselves".
Лавров: поставки дальнобойного оружия Киеву расширят географию спецоперации
"Сейчас география другая. Это далеко не только днр и лнр, это еще и херсонская область, запорожская область и ряд других территорий, и этот процесс продолжается, причем продолжается последовательно и настойчиво". Он указал, что по мере того, как Запад накачивает Украину все более дальнобойным оружием, например, HIMARS, географические задачи спецоперации будут отодвигаться от нынешней линии еще дальше. "Потому что мы не можем допустить, чтобы на той части Украины, которую будет контролировать Зеленский или кто его заменит, находилось оружие, которое будет представлять прямую угрозу нашей территории и территории тех республик, которые объявили о своей независимости, тех, которые хотят свое будущее определить самостоятельно".

The GUR allows the use of HIMARS on military facilities of the Russian Federation in Crimea, 16.07.2022
Vadym Skibitskyi, representative of the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine: “Today, the Crimean peninsula has simply become a hub for the transfer of all equipment and weapons that goes from the Russian Federation to the southern regions of our country. Secondly, you can see how actively the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation is currently used to launch missile strikes on our territory. First of all, this Kalibr systems, frigates, small missile ships, submarines, which are constantly on duty, waiting for commands, and then launching, regardless of the time of day. Because of that, it is also one of the targets that must be hit in order to ensure the safety of our citizens, our facilities and Ukraine in general”. ,
According to The Moscow Times the Effectiveness of Ukraine's HIMARS Fuels Concern in Russia, 12.07.2022
„Pro-Kremlin figures have expressed rare public concern after Western-supplied weapons allowed Ukraine to carry out a series of successful attacks on Russian targets far behind the frontlines. The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), which the United States started sending to Ukraine last month, appear to have been most effective at damaging Russian military positions. Russia has suffered “large losses in both men and equipment” in less than a week, according to Igor Girkin, a former commander of separatist forces in eastern Ukraine. […] Alexander Sladkov, a prominent war correspondent for state-run broadcaster Rossia 1, said Monday that Ukraine had successfully attacked Russian command centers: “Ukrainian missiles and artillery have struck decision-making centers several times. With results. The centers are small but important,” Sladkov said on Telegram. […] The Ukrainian military carried out 14 strikes on Russian ammunition stores and military bases on Russian-occupied territory in the past two weeks, the BBC's Ukrainian service reported Monday. While it is unclear whether HIMARS were used in all cases, BBC Ukrainian said the strikes’ accuracy indicated they were responsible.“

Ageing Russian vehicles, weapons, and Soviet-era tactics, Intelligence update 14.07.2022
Russian forces in the Donbas „have achieved no significant territorial advances over the last 72 hours and are in danger of losing any momentum built up following the capture of Lysychansk. The ageing vehicles, weapons, and Soviet-era tactics used by Russian forces do not lend themselves to quickly regaining or building momentum unless used in overwhelming mass – which Russia is currently unable to bring to bear.“

Russian reinforcemts for Ukraine ad hoc groupings with obsolete equipment
UK Ministry of Defence Intelligence update, 09.07.2022: „Russia is moving reserve forces from across the country and assembling them near Ukraine for future offensive operations. A large proportion of the new infantry units are probably deploying with MT-LB armoured vehicles taken from long-term storage as their primary transport. While MT-LBs have previously been in service in suppot roles on both sides, Russia has long considered them unsuitable for most front-line infantry transport roles. It was originally designed in the 1950s as a tractor to pull artillery, has very limeted armour, and only mounts a machine gun for protection. In contrast, most of Russia‘s first echelon assault units were equipped with BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles in February, featuring armour up to 33mm thick and mounting a powerful 30mm autocannon and an anti-tank missile launcher. Despite President Putin‘s claim on 07 July 2022 that the Russian military has ‚not even started‘ its efforts in Ukraine, many of its reinforcements are ad hoc groupings, deploying with obsolete or inappropriate equipment.“

US assessments on Ukraine‘s brutal war face scrutiny
„Since the beginning of the Ukraine-Russia war, the US has consistently claimed that „Ukraine can win the war“ waged by Russia. […] However, after over 4 month of war, the credibility of Pentagon‘s assessment of Russia‘s war in Ukraine is being questioned. Pentagon has consistently asserted Russian troops were incompetent, ill-disciplined, unmotivated, and even rebelled and refused to fight. Many US officials and analysts have iterated that the Russians cannot win the war in Ukraine. […] There have also been claims that Ukraine would begin rolling back Putin‘s troops before the end of this summer. However, US officials have been accused of downplaying Russia‘s gains, calling them halting and incremental. Though Moscow failed to capture Kyiv, it has made significant gains in eastern Ukraine, enough to justify Putin‘s „special military operation“. Russia currently controls more than 20% of Ukrainian territory and has only been intensifying the assault on Donbas. Russian troops have been conquering one city after another, and now claim to have captured the whole of Luhansk. Kyiv has itself confirmed that its forces are facing heavy casualties, losing over 200 troops per day. Russia has outgunned Ukraine in howitzers, artillery shells, rockets, and has a significant advantage in air power. […] Experts say there is no basis upon which one can claim that Ukraine can stop the Russians, much less roll them back. [...]“
Also read: As Ukraine war bogs down, U.S. assessments face scrutiny - The Washington Post , 02.07.2022

Ukrainian Shaman special forces take the fight into Russia, 26.06.2022
In a major revelation, Ukraine‘s „Shaman Battalion“, a specially-trained elite unit of Ukraine‘s forces, have claimed that they are secretly raiding Russian military infrastructure. This battalion, also known as the 10th Special Operation division, is a part of special intelligence of Ukraine‘s army. Ukraine says that the special unit performs a wide range of tasks to protect the interests of Kyiv outside its borders. Since 2014, the unit has fought Russian aggression and conducted special operations behind the enemy lines. „The Times“ reported that this unit has conducted multiple raids already. The report claims that the Shaman fighters have raided Russian oil refineries, munition storage facilities and communication infrastructure. A Shaman fighter, who spoke to The Times, said that the unit uses a helicopter to fly fighters inside Russia. The fighter claimed they used special operation techniques to move closer to the ground without being noticed by Russian air defences. After crossing the frontlines and the state border the „specially-trained“ soldiers were using explosives. As for Russia, it has reported several explosions in its border cities of Belgorod and other regions since the beginning of Ukraine war. Another Shaman fighther told „The Drive“ that their mission to secure Antonov Airport did not go well and they made „strategic mistakes“. The battalion was also behind forcing the Russian troops to retreat from Kyiv and other parts of central Ukraine and was engaged in close-combat in Irpin and other parts of Ukraine during the start of the war. The Shaman fighter, who spoke to The Times, said that Russian troops have more artillery than the Ukrainians, but that their morale is very low. He added that he believes that more artillery and  rocket launcer systems can win the war for Ukraine. 26.06.2022

Russian forces retreat from Snake Island, 30.06.2022
„Russian forces retreated from the Snake Island on June 30 following a Ukrainian missile and artillery campaign. […] The Russian defeat on the Snake Island will alleviate some pressure off the Ukrainian coast by removing Russian air defense and anti-ship missile systems from the island. The retreat itself will not end the sea blockade, however, as Russian forces have access to land-based anti-ship systems in Crimea and western Kherson Oblast that can still target Ukrainian cargo as well as the use of the remaining ships of the Black Sea Fleet.“

New Strategic Concept for NATO, 29.06.2022
On 29 June 2022 the NATO Heads of State and Government met in Madrid and approved a new Strategic Concept for the Alliance: „8. The Russian Federation is the most significant and direct threat to Allies’ security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. It seeks to establish spheres of influence and direct control through coercion, subversion, aggression and annexation. It uses conventional, cyber and hybrid means against us and our partners. Its coercive military posture, rhetoric and proven willingness to use force to pursue its political goals undermine the rules-based international order. The Russian Federation is modernising its nuclear forces and expanding its novel and disruptive dual-capable delivery systems, while employing coercive nuclear signalling. It aims to destabilise countries to our East and South. In the High North, its capability to disrupt Allied reinforcements and freedom of navigation across the North Atlantic is a strategic challenge to the Alliance. Moscow’s military build-up, including in the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Sea regions, along with its military integration with Belarus, challenge our security and interests. 9. […] We will continue to respond to Russian threats and hostile actions in a united and responsible way. We will significantly strengthen deterrence and defence for all Allies, enhance our resilience against Russian coercion and support our partners to counter malign interference and aggression. […] 13. […] The deepening strategic partnership between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order run counter to our values and interests.“

NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg about NATO‘s biggest overhaul since the Cold War, 27.06.2022
„At the Summit, we will strengthen our forward defences. We will enhance our battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance up to brigade-levels. We will transform the NATO Response Force. And increase the number of our high readiness forces. To well over 300,000. We will also boost our ability to reinforce in crisis and conflict. […] These troops will exercise together with home defence forces. And they will become familiar with local terrain, facilities, and our new pre-positioned stocks. So that they can respond smoothly and swiftly to any emergency. Together, this constitutes the biggest overhaul of our collective deterrence and defence since the Cold War. And to do this, we will need to invest more. Today, we are releasing new defence spending figures. They show that 2022 will be the eighth consecutive year of increases across European Allies and Canada. By the end of the year, they will have invested well over 350 billion US dollars extra since we agreed our defence investment pledge in 2014. Nine Allies now reach – or exceed – the 2% target. Nineteen Allies have clear plans to reach it by 2024. And an additional five have concrete commitments to meet it thereafter.“
Pre-Summit press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg,

Ex-CIA Officer Says Putin Faces Coup Threat Amid Military Purge, June 2022
Top leaders in the Russian government may be planning a coup against President Putin, according to Ex-CIA Moscow station chief, Daniel Hoffman. He said that Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu may be central to a mutiny to overthrow the president. Hoffman also lists Putin‘s likely successors: Nikolai Patrushev – the chief of Putin‘s Security Council, Alexander Bortnikov – the Director of the FSB, Sergei Shoigu – the Defence Minister of Russia. Some reports suggest that there is massive resentment over Putin‘s purge in the military amid the Ukraine war. In the latest, Putin has reportedly sacked General Alexander Dvornikov over the slow pace of progress in Donbas. The Kremlin has recently fired several generals including the commander of Airborne Forces General-Colonel Andrei Serdyukov. Earlier in June, Putin fired five generals as his military continued to suffer massive losses.

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