Ukraine War, 6–7 July 2022

Good morning everybody!

A note for my readers on Medium.com: I’m not unkind, but having growing problems trying to answer all the questions. No idea why, for days already, simply can’t open more than the first few answers, and when I click on ‘reply’, that part of the screen turns blanc. Sorry for this. Should the problem persist, I’ll have to switch to another instance.

Back to the Ukraine War…

Except for the Certified Fool letting his TV-stations air another of his (growingly incomprehensible) ramblings about politics, history, sports and cooking, explaining he has only started fighting Ukraine and threatening it with complete destruction (he is starting to remind me of ‘Q’ — Qadhafi — in his last years, meanwhile), there are relatively few news. Which is good news of sort, then for the first time in four months, the Keystone Cops are not claiming any new advances.

A piece of RUMINT flying around is that Dvornikov is building up a new armoured division in the Nizhny Novgorod area.

Putin-fans abroad are still celebrating the ‘liberation’ of Lysychansk, and babbling about ‘collapse of Ukrainian units’, indeed, about these ‘surrendering in droves’. So far, at least the Keystone Cops and Putin-fans have shown next to no evidence. Single exception I’ve found was a video released by DPR-authorities, shown a group of Ukrainian Prisoners of War tasked with burying about 40 of their fallen comrades.

While the Keystone Cops are claiming destruction of four M142 HIMARS by their ‘high precision missiles’ — and using a video shown a clear miss next to four parked trucks as evidence for this — the number of operational firing units in Ukraine should have increased from four to nine (perhaps they are naturally multiplying, just like the Ukrainian air force, rabbits, flies….?). Moreover, Ukrainians should have received their first few M270 MLRS’. The Russians are now increasingly complaining about ever heavier volumes of Ukrainian counter-battery fire. Seemingly, the NATO-supplied artillery is increasingly felt.

France-supplied Caesar self-propelled howitzer calibre 155mm in action, sometimes between 4 and 7 July.

Less certain are whereabouts of lots of Ukrainian Army and National Guards units. For example: 1st Tank, 92nd Mech and plenty of others seem to be nowhere near the frontlines. Instead, one gets to see photographs taken during training on such NATO-supplied weaponry like T-72M1s from the Czech Republic and Poland.

Polish- and Czech-supplied T-72M1s of an Ukrainian Army unit undergoing training on them.

AIR/MISSILE WAR

Since 6 July, Kyiv is reporting that the VKS is trying to run a large-scale SEAD campaign against Ukrainian air defences in between of Odessa and Mykolaiv. The VKS is using Kh-31P and Kh-58 guided missiles, and Kalbr cruise missiles. Ukrainians report that so far Russians were not successful, and they shot down two Kalibrs. Two other Kalibrs are known to have hit: they destroyed two agricultural barns with 35 tons of grain in the Odessa region.

Perhaps in the course of related operations, Ukrainians claimed the downing of a VKS Su-35 into the sea off Odessa, while the Russians claimed two Ukrainian Su-25s and two Mi-24s as shot down by their interceptors. Yesterday, there was another air battle between Ukrainian and Russian air forces in the area between Mykolaiv and Kherson, after which the Russians claimed a MiG-29 and a Su-25, while Ukrainians claimed that their fighters avoided (at least) two air-to-air missiles. Of course, cross-checking and obtaining evidence all of this is going to take a few weeks.

Hard to say exactly what is going down, but from such reports, plus reports about strikes on the empty and abandoned tanker Millenial Spirit (registered in Moldova) — supposedly hit by two Kh-31s, yesterday (doubt this: Kh-31 needs radar signals to guide; Su-34s and Kh-29s or Kh-35s are more likely culprits) — and air combats, it’s obvious that there is vivid activity. It is perfectly possible that much of this is related to the Ukrainian special forces re-taking Zminyi Island, back on 4 July, and Russians then claiming to have destroyed all of them. Actually hit (apparently: by two missiles) was the quay.

Su-34 underway low over the Black sea, back in late June.

Elesewhere….Yesterday, Russians heavily shelled the centre of Kramatorsk, while Ukrainians have hit additional Russian depots, including one in Donetsk one in Ilovaisk, one in Shakhtersk (where the entire town was evacuated because of resulting secondary explosions; plus the local bridge should’ve been hit and disabled, too), then a POL-dump in Budyonovka, and another depot in Nova Kakhovka.

BATTLE OF DONBASS

Kharkiv…the Russians attacked Sosnivka, but were forced back on Kozacha Lopan. Similar happened in the Dementiivka area. The Russians then shelled Kharkiv again, killing and wounding a number of civilians.

Sloviansk….the Russians continued shelling and attacking Krasnopillya, Dolyna and Bohorodichne the last two days, and tried to target Ukrainian artillery further south and south-east.

Siversk-Bakhmut… the Russians have heavily shelled eastern Siversk, multiple positions east of Bakhmut, and the area in between, the last two days, but so far there was no change of positions there. As mentioned in my last report, Ukrainians have recovered Bilohorivka, back on 5 July, and then further improved their positions in that area. Putin-fans abroad are now expecting Dvornikov & Co to — for the first time in eight years — change their modus operandi, and flank the rest of Ukrainian cauldron there, i.e. to attack from north (over the Siversky Donets) and from the south (over the T1302 road, probably in the Vovchoyarivka area), ‘instead’.

Bakhmut….this was the most active frontline of the last two days. Essentially, Wagner is pushing from Klynove on Vesela Dolyna, without success so far. More successful was the Wagner attack on Versyhna: not that the village was taken (it was not), but this seems to have forced Ukrainians to shorten their frontlines in the Novoluhanske area, further south — even more so because the Separatists are attacking from Travneve on Kodema and Smyhirja. Essentially, all the Ukrainians are now holding in the Svitlodarsk area is the Vuhlehirska thermal powerplant.

‘Musicians’ in Klynove, back on 2–3 July.

SOUTH

Northern Kherson…the XXII Corps RFA spent the last two days counterattacking Myrne, Lymanents, and Posad-Pokrovske — without success.

Southern Kherson…a Russian counterattack on Chornobaivka was repelled, two days ago and ever since Ukrainian artillery is targeting strongpoints of the 49th CAA in the western outskirts of Kherson. During the same period, Ukrainians have destroyed four forward military depots, too. Apparently, Ukrainians have widened their ‘bridgehead’ through the 1st and 2nd Russian defence lines along the M14, and might now be advancing along the Mykloaivske Highway. That’s going to take some time: not only that there are lots of bunkers and other fortifications to hit, but Ukrainians will have to learn to advance along specific axes in between Russian strongholds, thus isolating the latter from each other.

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From Austria; specialised in analysis of contemporary warfare; working as author, illustrator, and book-series-editor for Helion & Co.

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Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper

From Austria; specialised in analysis of contemporary warfare; working as author, illustrator, and book-series-editor for Helion & Co.

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