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Russia may be preparing attack on Ukraine’s Slovyansk, Kramatorsk: report

08.07.2022 10:30
Russian forces in Ukraine have begun an operational pause, but may be preparing an assault on the cities of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk in the eastern Donetsk province, according to a US think tank.
Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, June 2022.
Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, June 2022.PAP/Abaca/Abdullah Unver

In its latest analysis of the war in Ukraine, published on Friday, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote: “The Russian Ministry of Defence announced that Russian forces are conducting an operational pause to rest and reconstitute.”

At the same time, “Russian forces continued efforts to advance toward Slovyansk from the southeast of Izyum and may be setting conditions to advance from the southeast of Barvinkove—either toward Slovyansk or toward Kramatorsk,” the US experts added.

Slovyansk and Kramatorsk 

Citing the Ukrainian General Staff, the ISW noted that “Russian forces conducted an unsuccessful assault on Bohorodychne, about 20 km northwest of Slovyansk.”

It added: “Russian forces also shelled several settlements northwest of Slovyansk, including Sulyhivka, Adamivka, Krasnopillya, Mazanivka, Dibrovne, and Dolyna. Russian forces additionally conducted limited artillery strikes to the south of Barvinkove and fired on Nikopol and Novopavlivka." 

According to the US analysts, these strikes "may suggest that Russian forces are seeking to bypass Barvinkove to the east and either move toward the E40 Izyum-Slovyansk highway to advance southeast toward Slovyansk or move directly southeast from Barvinkove toward Kramatorsk.”

The ISW further noted: “Russian forces may be setting conditions for an eventual assault on Kramatorsk—which would run parallel to advances toward Slovyansk. Russian forces conducted a missile strike directly on Kramatorsk on July 7.”

Operational pause and 'small-scale offensive actions'

Despite pausing to rest, “Russian forces have not ceased active hostilities during this operational pause and are unlikely to do so,” according to the US think tank.

The ISW said: “Russian forces still conducted limited ground offensives and air, artillery, and missile strikes across all axes on July 7. Russian forces will likely continue to confine themselves to small-scale offensive actions as they rebuild forces and set conditions for a more significant offensive in the coming weeks or months.”

Also on Thursday, Russian units made marginal gains to the southeast of Siversk and continued offensive operations to the south and east of Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region, the US analysts said.

Russian forces additionally conducted a limited and unsuccessful attack north of the northeastern city of Kharkiv, according to the ISW. 

Meanwhile, “Ukrainian partisans are likely continuing to target Russian-controlled railways around Melitopol,” in the southeast, the think tank said.


Ukraine’s General Staff on Friday reported that Russian forces continued to conduct offensive operations in the eastern Donbas region, the country’s industrial heartland made up of the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces. 

In its latest operational update, Ukraine’s military command wrote: “In the Slovyansk direction, the enemy fired artillery of various calibres in the areas of Volobuyivka, Khrestyshche, Husarivka, Chepil, Mazanivka, Dolyna, Chervone, Dibrivne, Bohorodychne and Adamivka settlements.”

It added: “In the Bohorodichny district, our defenders inflicted losses on the enemy during his next offensive attempt and pushed the invaders back.”

Meanwhile, in the Kramatorsk direction, “the occupiers shelled the Siversk, Hryhorivka, Bilohorivka, Zolotarivka, Serebryanka, Verkhnokamyansky, Zvanivka, and Rozdolivka districts with barrel and jet artillery,” according to the Ukrainian General Staff.

It reported that "the enemy led an offensive in the direction of Verkhnokamyansky, with partial success.”

Ukraine’s military command also said that Russian forces were "advancing in the direction of Veselaya Dolyna and that fighting continued "in the area of ​​the Spirne settlement."

Meanwhile, in the Kharkiv direction, the Russians continued to conduct defensive operations, according to the Ukrainian General Staff.

It said: “The enemy fired artillery, MLRS and tanks in the areas of Kharkiv, Mykilske, Lebyazhe, Udy, Dementiivka, Verkhniy and Stary Saltiv, Petrivka, Ruski Tyshki and Bayrak settlements. Made an airstrike near Petrivka.”

Ukraine’s military command stressed that “Ukrainian soldiers resolutely suppressed an attempt of an enemy assault in the direction of Dementiivka.”

Also in the north, “the enemy shelled the Myhalchyna Sloboda settlement of Chernihiv oblast with rocket artillery and mortars,” Ukraine’s General Staff said.

Friday is day 135 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, understandingwar.orgfacebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua