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Russian troops target Ukraine’s Bakhmut: officials

01.08.2022 10:30
The Ukrainian military reported on Monday that Russian forces were staging an offensive on the city of Bakhmut in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region.
The Ukrainian military reported on Monday that Russian forces were staging an offensive on the city of Bakhmut in Ukraines eastern Donetsk region.
The Ukrainian military reported on Monday that Russian forces were staging an offensive on the city of Bakhmut in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region.PAP/EPA/Sergey Kozlov

In its latest operational update, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote: “In the Bakhmut direction, shelling was recorded near Berestove, Soledar, Bakhmut, Kostyantynivka, Vesela Dolyna, Zaitseve, Vershyna, Kodema, Semyhirya and Travneve."

It added that Russian units "made an airstrike near Kodema.”

Moreover, Russian forces “tried to carry out reconnaissance of the positions of our troops in the direction of Yakovlivka,” Ukraine’s military command said, adding that "the enemy's reconnaissance group was neutralised."

In addition, “the enemy also tried to conduct assaults in the directions of Vershyna and Soledar, but was unsuccessful and retreated,” the Ukrainian General Staff reported. 

It also said that the Russian army was conducting "an offensive in the direction of Bakhmut, hostilities continue.”

Russia making slow progress 'on Bakhmut axis' 

Meanwhile, the UK Ministry of Defence said that Russia’s progress "on the Bakhmut axis" has been slow.

In their latest intelligence update, published on Monday, the UK analysts wrote: “Over the last four days, Russia has continued to attempt tactical assaults on the Bakhmut axis, northeast of Donetsk, only managing to make slow progress.”

The British ministry of defence added: “As briefed by the Ukrainian authorities last week, Russia is likely reallocating a significant number of its forces from the northern Donbas sector to southern Ukraine.”

Russia modifying Donbas offensive 

According to the UK analysts, “Russia is probably adjusting the operational design of its Donbas offensive after failing to make a decisive operational breakthrough under the plan it had been following since April.”

“It has likely identified its Zaporizhzhia front as a vulnerable area in need of reinforcement,” the British defence ministry said. 

Russia to 'restart assaults' on Kharkiv?

At the same time, “Russian forces have resumed localised ground attacks northwest and southwest of Izyum and may be setting conditions for offensive operations further west into Kharkiv Oblast or toward Kharkiv City,” according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

In its latest analysis of the war in Ukraine, published on Sunday night, the US-based think tank added that Russian forces "maintained positions around Balaklia and Velyka Komyshuvakha for months and may use these two areas as springboards for an offensive operation.”

According to the ISW, Russian units “may use their positions around Balaklia to restart assaults on Kharkiv City from the southeast.”

However, Russian forces "are extremely unlikely to seize Kharkiv Oblast or capture Kharkiv City – the second most populated city in Ukraine – given the pace of Russian progress in Donbas and continued challenges in force generation and logistics,” the US experts said.

The ISW has previously said that “Russian President Vladimir Putin may have ordered Russian forces to take Kharkiv City and the unoccupied portion of Kharkiv Oblast,” but predicted that “he is unlikely to be successful in such goals.”

“Russian forces may also be conducting spoiling attacks to prevent Ukrainian counter offensives,” the US experts said on Sunday.

Other developments

Meanwhile, the Kremlin "has not responded to the International Red Cross (ICRC) request to access the Olenivka prison as of July 31, hindering the international investigation efforts” into Friday’s rocket attack that killed more than 50 Ukrainian POWs, the ISW said.

It added that Russian forces “continued ground attacks northwest of Slovyansk, northeast of Siversk, and to the east and south of Bakhmut."

The US analysts also said that Russian troops “made marginal gains in the Avdiivka area and continued ground attacks towards Avdiivka and Pisky."

In addition, “Russian authorities began recruiting volunteers for the Nevsky and Ladoga Battalions in Russia’s Leningrad Oblast," according to the ISW.

The US analysts also reported that “Russian occupation authorities continued to prepare for a referendum" in the southern Kherson region and "took measures to depict support for Russian control of the occupied territories.”

Monday is day 159 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, facebook.com/GeneralStaff.uaunderstandingwar.org