In their latest intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine, published on Twitter on Tuesday, the UK analysts wrote that the Russian armed forces’ personnel shortages may be forcing Moscow "to turn to non-traditional recruitment," including "recruiting personnel from Russian prisons for the Wagner Private Military Company.”
The British ministry of defence added: “If true, this move likely indicates difficulties in replacing the significant numbers of Russian casualties.”
Small territorial gains for Russia in Donetsk province
Meanwhile, Russian troops continued to "make small incremental territorial gains in Donetsk oblast,” the UK analysts noted, adding that Russia was claiming “to have seized control of the town of Hryhorivka.”
Moreover, Russian forces also continued their assault "along the E-40 main supply route towards the cities of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk,” according to the British ministry of defence.
“Russian forces are likely maintaining military pressure on Ukrainian forces whilst regrouping and reconstituting for further offensives in the near future,” it said.
‘Unknown assailants’ kill Russian-appointed town administrator
According to the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW), ”Ukrainian partisans continued to target Russian collaborators and Russian occupation authorities on July 10 and July 11.”
In its latest analysis of the war in Ukraine, published on Tuesday, the ISW said: “The Ukrainian Resistance Centre and Russian Telegram channels confirmed that unknown assailants killed Russian-appointed Head of Velyky Burluk (northeastern Kharkiv Oblast) Yevgeniy Yunakov by planting an explosive device on his car.”
The attack happened on Sunday, only four days after Russian occupation authorities announced the creation of the Russian occupation administration in occupied parts of Kharkiv province in northeastern Ukraine, the US think tank said.
More attacks on Russian occupation authorities
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Resistance Centre said that in Nova Kachovka, in the southern Kherson Oblast, “unknown assailants” shot dead Serhiy Tomka, adding that Tomka “had regarded himself as deputy police chief in Nova Kachovka.”
“Collaboration kills,” the Ukrainian Resistance Centre said, as cited by Polish state news agency PAP.
In addition, the ISW quoted Russian military blogger Yuri Kotyenok as saying that “unknown assailants (presumably Ukrainian partisans) attempted to assassinate Russian-appointed Kherson Oblast Military-Civil Administration Head Vladimir Saldo by planting an improvised explosive device along his drive.”
The US experts added that, according to Russian media, “Ukrainian regime militants” attempted to kill Melitopol District Head Andrey Sigutu on July 11.
Russia seeks to annex occupied territory
Meanwhile, the Kremlin continued to "set annexation conditions for Ukrainian territories outside of Donbas,” the ISW wrote.
For instance, Russian President Vladimir Putin "signed a decree that simplifies the process for all Ukrainians to obtain Russian citizenship,” a procedure that may indicate “the Kremlin’s intention to annex other occupied territories like Kharkiv Oblast,” the US analysts said.
Unsuccessful Russian assaults near Slovyansk, Donetsk City
At the same time, Russian forces continued to "face desertion and personnel shortages,” the ISW said. On Monday, “Russian forces conducted limited and unsuccessful ground assaults northwest of Slovyansk and west of Donetsk City,” the think tank reported, adding that Russian units “continued air and artillery strikes around Siversk and Bakhmut.”
Belarus continues to grant Russia access to its airspace
According to the ISW, “Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is likely continuing to grant Russian forces access to Belarusian airspace to demonstrate at least nominal support to Russian President Vladimir Putin without risking direct military involvement of Belarusian Armed Forces in operations in Ukraine.”
For instance, independent Belarusian monitoring organisation The Hajun Project reported on July 11 that “a Russian Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft flew into Belarusian airspace for the first time since April 4,” as cited by the ISW.
The US think tank said that Lukashenko was "attempting to provide support to Putin's war in Ukraine short of direct Belarusian military intervention in an effort to respond to the pressure Putin is likely putting on him.”
However, “the likelihood of direct Belarusian involvement in the war in Ukraine remains low due to the effect that might have on the stability and even survival of Lukashenko’s regime,” the ISW said.
Ukraine repels Russian attacks near Kharkiv, Slovyansk
Meanwhile, “Ukrainian defenders harshly suppressed the enemy's assault attempt in the direction of Dementiivka,” in the northeastern Kharkiv Oblast, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported on Tuesday.
In the direction of the eastern city of Slovyansk, “the enemy's units continued their assault operations with the aim of improving the tactical position in the areas of Mazanivka, Ivanivka, and Dolyna,” Ukraine’s military command said.
It added: “All the actions of the enemy in the direction of these settlements were unsuccessful. Our soldiers drove the invaders back.”
At the same time, “Ukrainian aviation and missile and artillery units continue to fire at the ammunition depots, concentrations of manpower and military equipment of Russian occupiers,” the Ukrainian General Staff reported.
Tuesday is day 139 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: PAP, understandingwar.org, facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua