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Russo-Ukrainian War, Day 126: “Russia is more dangerous than it’s ever been in our lifetime”.

The Russian army continues the assault operations south and southwest of Lysychansk. Russian forces failed to advance along the Kharkiv-Bilhorod highway. Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensives north of Kherson, reportedly liberating two settlements. Russian cruise missiles hit residential buildings in the Mykolaiv, Sumy, Dnieper, and Kharkiv Oblasts. The mayor of Kherson is kidnapped. In Kremenchuk, three-day mourning is declared for the victims of the missile strike on the shopping mall. The British Minister of Defense says Russia Russia is “more dangerous than it’s ever been in our lifetime,” The US expands the list of sanctions against the Russian Federation. Lithuania bans the passage of Russian gas through the country’s transportation system. NATO leaders arrive in Spain for the summit. NATO’s Stoltenberg speaks with Zelenskyy.

Daily overview — Summary report, June 28

According to a military expert , as of June 28,

The Donetsk Oblast. Ukrainian army is holding its positions near Bohorodychne-Krasnopillya. In the area of Novoluhansk, the situation is difficult, but the Ukrainian army is holding its positions and undertakes minor local counterattacks. The Russian invaders tried to cross the Siverskyi Donets west of Pryvillia by ferry but this maneuver could take a considerable time as they have destroyed three major bridges.

Lysychansk vicinity. No information is being shared for security reasons.

The Kharkiv Oblast. Fierce battles in the Bayrak-Rubizhne area. The total number of Russians in the northern region is up to 4000 personnel and 160 units of equipment. It’s not enough to go deeper than 3-5 km. The direction of Izium and the Pechenihy reservoir: no changes; a successful counterattack of the Ukrainian army.

Zaporizhzhia direction and south of the Donetsk Oblast. The Ukrainian army repulsed the attacks of the Russian invaders and made attempts to recover some previously surrended settlements. Ukrainian troops also undertook counterattacks and pushed the Russians back from some front positions. There are positive developments in the direction of Polohy.

Kherson Oblast. Expecting to hear some good news from the northeast and some other parts of the Oblast.

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, June 29, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below.

Show the Content

According to information from the General Staff as of 06.00 29.06.2022, supplemented by its [18:00 assessment].

The one-hundred-twenty-sixth (126) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.

The combat readiness of the armed forces of the republic of belarus is being checked in the Volyn and Polissya areas. According to the available information, military meetings with conscripts are planned to be held in the Gomel region from June 28 to July 16 this year. According to the meeting plans, the formation of separate infantry battalions of territorial troops, combat coordination, as well as the organization of protection and defense of facilities will be worked out.

The threat of air and missile strikes from the territory of the republic of belarus on objects on the territory of Ukraine remains.

In the Siversky direction, the enemy continues to hold up to three battalion tactical groups from the 1st Panzer and 20th Combined Arms Army and Airborne Troops in the border areas in the Bryansk and Kursk oblasts. The aggressor fired artillery at the positions of the Defense Forces in the border areas of Sumy and Chernihiv oblasts.

In order to fire at the border areas of Sumy oblast, the deployment of “Grad” multiple rocket launchers in the immediate vicinity of the state border of Ukraine was noted.

In the Kharkiv direction, the enemy’s units focus on maintaining previously occupied positions. In order to clarify the position of our troops, the enemy conducted air reconnaissance in the areas of the settlements of Tsyrkuny and Kutuzivka.

In the Sloviansk direction, the enemy focused its main efforts on conducting assault operations in order to reach the Bohorodychne-Krasnopillya line and create conditions for a further attack on Barvinkove and Sloviansk.

russian enemy fired on the positions of our troops in the areas of the settlements of Mayaki and Serebryanka.

As part of the logistical support and manning of the casualties, the enemy moved weapons and military equipment to certain areas.

In the Donetsk direction, the main efforts of the enemy are focused on conducting hostilities in the Lysychansk and Bakhmut directions in order to encircle the city of Lysychansk.

Lysychansk situation. June 29, 2022. Credit: DeepMap.Live ~

Lysychansk situation. June 29, 2022. Credit: DeepMap.Live

In the Lysychansk direction, the enemy continues its offensive in the direction of Vovchoyarivka — Verkhnokamyanka.

In the Bakhmut direction, there is an offensive in the direction of Midna Ruda — Klynove. It is partially successful, it is fixed in the northern part of Klynove ​​and near the E-40 highway (near the Vuhlehirskaya TPP). In order to maintain the pace of the offensive in this direction, the occupiers strengthened the group with one battalion tactical group.

The occupiers moved up to two battalion tactical groups from the Avdiivka and Bakhmut directions to the Novopavlivsk direction.

The enemy did not take active action in the Avdiivka, Kurakhiv and Zaporizhzhia directions. Carries out systematic fire action in order to restrain units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine and prevent their transfer to other areas.

Kherson Situation. June 29 2022. Credit: ISW. ~

Kherson Situation. June 29 2022. Credit: ISW.

In the South Buh and Tavriya directions, the units of the invaders are concentrating their main efforts on maintaining the previously occupied frontiers and preventing our troops from conducting counter-offensive operations in the Kherson and Mykolayiv oblasts.

In the Kryvyi Rih direction, the enemy, in order to strengthen its units, moved to a certain area to one battalion tactical group.

In the Mykolayiv direction, for the purpose of covering areas of concentration of the armament and military equipment, the aggressor in addition developed the S-300VM anti-aircraft missile battery.

In the north-western part of the Black Sea, a ship group of the russian federation’s Black Sea Fleet continues to carry out tasks to block maritime communications and conduct reconnaissance. Three carriers of naval-based cruise missiles of the “Caliber” type are ready for the use of missile weapons in the Black Sea.

Ukrainian aircrafts and helicopters continue to strike airstrikes on clusters of enemy manpower and military equipment in certain areas. The occupiers continue to suffer significant losses in battles with the Ukrainian Defense Forces.

Military Updates 

Watch our exclusive interview preview. Lieutenant General (Retired), Ben Hodges, the former commanding general of the US Army in Europe, speaks about the Russian massive missile attacks on Ukraine. The full interview is forthcoming shortly and will cover Ukraine’s weapons needs and supplies.

German self-propelled guns PzH 2000 are already working at the fronts, proving to be reliable, fast and accurate in combat work.

Donetsk Oblast Situation. June 29 2022. Credit: DeepMap.live ~

Donetsk Oblast Situation. June 29 2022. Credit: DeepMap.live

In the Donetsk Oblast, the Russian invaders have reportedly attempted a crossing of the Siverskyi Donets to the west of Pryvillya.

The Russian army continues to destroy Lysychansk . They deliberately shelled three pumping stations, destroyed two bridges, and a car tunnel connecting two separate parts of the city, and hit a gathering of civilians, shelling the market area.

Luhansk Situation. June 29 2022. Credit: ISW. ~

Luhansk Situation. June 29 2022. Credit: ISW.

In the Luhansk Oblast, areas of the city were shelled several times.

In the Kharkiv Oblast, a missile partially destructed a residentiall building and damaged eighboring buildings. 2 injured. A missile also hit a plant in Kharkiv.

In the Poltava Oblast, Poltava Oblast, after a missile attack on a shopping center in Kremenchuk, as per the Office of the Prosecutor General, 40 people are reported missing. The Russian Federation officials claim that they targeted a weapon warehouse and did not target the shopping center and that the shopping center caught on fire by accident.

In the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, six missiles were fired from the Black Sea with Caliber cruise missiles . In Dnieper, the railway infrastructure and industrial enterprise were destroyed. A local car service station is hit by a Russian missile.

In the Mykolaiv Oblast, the Russians fired at Ochakov. 3 killed, including a 6 y.o. girl, 6 were injured, a 3-month-old-baby in a coma. At night, 11 missiles fired at Mykolaiv from the Bastion coastal complex from the occupied Kherson region, hitting the stadium, military infrastructure, social and agricultural facilities.

In the Kherson Oblast, Russian invaders kidnapped the mayor of Kherson Igor Kolykhaev.

In the Black Sea, the military operation on the Zmiiny Island continues. The Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed 3 Russian anti-aircraft missile and gun systems “Shell C1.” 2 ships in the Black Sea are in full combat readiness to launch 16 missiles.

In the Odesa Oblast, the Russian invaders launched five more missile strikes. The enemy continues to attack the Izmail district with Onyx-type cruise missiles. No casualties or damage reported.

In Belarus, in Mozyr, a column of the Russian army reported heading towards the border with Ukraine: 3 trawls based on KAMAZ with 4 missiles for the S-400 air defense system and a military truck crane, 1 unit of the S-400 air defense system.

Several explosions reported in the temporarily occupied Berdyansk.

According to British Defence Intelligence , (last 48 hours):

  • Russian forces continue to make incremental advances in their efforts to encircle the town of Lysychansk. Since 25 June 2022, Russian forces have advanced a further 2km near the Lysychansk oil refinery, south of the town.
  • There is a realistic possibility the missile strike on the Kremenchuk shopping center on 27 June 2022 was intended to heat a nearby infrastructure target. Russia’s inaccuracy in conducting long range strikes has previously resulted in massive civilain casualty incidents, including at Kramatorsk railway station on 9 April 2022.
  • Russian planners highly likely remain willing to accept a high level of collateral damage when they perceive military necessity in striking a target.
  • It is almost certain that Russia will continue to conduct strikes in an effort to interdict the resupplying of Ukrainian Frontline forces. Russia’s shortage of modern precision strike weapons and the professional shortcomings of their targeting planners will highly likely result in further civilian casualties.

Losses of the Russian army

As of Monday 29 June , the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:

Humanitarian

The Coordinating Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War conducted an exchange with the Russian Federation according to the formula 17 for 15 , according to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense. 16 Ukrainian servicemen returned home, including 2 officers and 14 soldiers. One civilian was also released. Five of those released are seriously injured and in need of urgent treatment. This was the 13th prisoner of war exchange between Ukraine and Russia.

Ukraine returned the bodies of another 46 defenders, 21 of them from Azovstal, the Ministry for the Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories reported.

Civic disobedience cases were reported in Mariupol. Residents staged a protest due to the demolition of 9-story buildings. Upon the arrival of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation representatives, the residents lay down under the tractors, said Pyotr Andryushchenko, adviser to the mayor of Mariupol. Also, the residents staged a riot for insufficient compensation for clearing rubble. The Russian military dispersed the protestors with shots in the air.

The Mariupol Theater is cynically planning the first performance on September 10 to celebrate the “liberation of Mariupol from Nazi invaders” with a Chekhov’s play called “Vaudeville.”

️Environmental 

In the Mykolaiv Oblast, 10 hectares of winter wheat burned, reports the State Emergency Service.

Legal 

Ukraine is conducting detailed work to identify the military of the Russian Federation, involved in the shelling of Ukraine. War crimes have no statute of limitations.

Support

Lithuania adopted a law restricting Russia’s access to the country’s gas transportation system , as well as to the LNG terminal in the city of Klaipeda, amid a “threat to national security,” reports The Kyiv Independent. Only the transit of gas to Russia’s Kaliningrad will be allowed through the country’s territory.

️ The world’s largest manufacturer of premium alcoholic beverages, the British company Diageo (Smirnoff, Black Label, Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Baileys, Captain Morgan, etc), leaves Russia.

The US adopted new sanctions, “ striking at the heart of Russia’s ability to develop and deploy weapons and technology used for Vladimir Putin’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine. ” The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 70 entities, many of which are critical to the Russian Federation’s defense industrial base, including State Corporation Rostec, the cornerstone of Russia’s defense, industrial, technology, and manufacturing sectors, as well as 29 Russian individuals. “We once again reaffirm our commitment to working alongside our partners and allies to impose additional severe sanctions in response to Russia’s war against Ukraine,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen. “Broad multilateral commitments and actions by G7 members this week further cut off the Russian Federation’s access to technology that is critical to their military. Targeting Russia’s defense industry will degrade Putin’s capabilities and further impede his war against Ukraine, which has already been plagued by poor morale, broken supply chains, and logistical failures.”

Today’s designations were taken in tandem with the US Department of State, which is imposing sanctions on an additional 45 entities and 29 individuals . Included in the State Department’s action is the designation of Russian Federation military units and the re-designation of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), which have been credibly implicated in human rights abuses or violations of international humanitarian law in Ukraine.

Concurrent with today’s sanctions actions, OFAC prohibited the importation of Russian gold into the United States , and Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a joint alert with the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, advising vigilance against Russian and Belarusian export control evasion. Financial institutions and the private sector continue to play a key role in disrupting Russia’s efforts to acquire critical goods and technology to support its war-making efforts.”

️France will send Ukraine a “significant number” of armored personnel carriers and auxiliary vehicles of its own production.

️Finland will allocate 70 million Euros to Ukraine. “Finland has decided to grant additional EUR 70 million to development cooperation and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Finland’s long-term development cooperation in Ukraine focuses on education, rule of law, energy, and climate resilience.” the Finnish Foreign Ministry said on Twitter.

“Upon requests from Ukraine, the European Union will supply the war-torn country with $12 million worth of medical equipment, protective gear, and specialized equipment for public health risks such as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats, the bloc announced Monday in a statement,” reports CNN.

New developments 

Zelensky and Stoltenberg spoke on the first day of the NATO summit in Madrid. Zelenskyy asked for air defense systems. The summit will look into a decision to increase the NATO military contingent in Eastern Europe.

Turkey, Finland and Sweden signed a trilateral memorandum. Turkey will support the invitation of Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO at the NATO summit in Madrid this week.

️ Russia openly threatens NATO countries. Roskosmos published satellite images of “decision-making centers” in Madrid, Washington, London, Paris, Berlin, and Brussels, “supporting Ukrainian nationalists” indicating their coordinates.

Russia is the most direct and immediate threat to Europe, said British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.

French President Emmanuel Macron refused to recognize Russia as a “sponsor of terrorism.” According to him, France does not share “a similar methodology.”

️Bulgaria expels 70 diplomats and technical staff of the Russian embassy ; the expulsion is reportedly connected with espionage.

Assessment 

  1. On the war.

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of Saturday 28 June, 2022:

Ukrainian forces are likely conducting a fighting withdrawal that may include pulling back from Lysychansk and Luhansk Oblast in the near future and which probably aims to force the Russian offensive to culminate prematurely. The Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) Ambassador to Russia Rodion Miroshnik and Russian milbloggers claimed that Ukrainian forces began a large-scale withdrawal from Lysychansk towards Siversk, Kramatorsk, and Sloviansk on June 28.[1] Although ISW cannot confirm independently Miroshnik’s claims of an ongoing withdrawal, Ukrainian forces may continue the fighting withdrawal that began in Sievierodonetsk to Ukrainian strongholds around Siversk, Kramatorsk, and Sloviansk. The staunch but limited Ukrainian defense of Sievierodonetsk imposed high costs on the Russians despite new Russian tactics intended to limit Russian casualties. Kyiv could continue this approach until the Russian attack culminates or Ukrainian forces reach more defensible positions along a straighter line dotted with fortified cities and towns.

Russo-Ukrainian War, Day 126: “Russia is more dangerous than it’s ever been in our lifetime” ~~

The pace and outcome of the next phase of the current campaign may depend in part on Russia’s ability to recoup combat power from the forces that participated in the Battle of Sievierodonetsk. The remaining Russian forces in Sievierodonetsk will need to cross the Siverskyi Donets River into Lysychansk from Sievierodonetsk or its surrounding settlements to participate further in the Russian offensive. This movement could require some time since the Russians destroyed the three main bridges across the river near the city. Miroshnik claimed that Russian forces have already crossed the Siverskyi Donets River from Kreminna and are building bridgeheads for further attacks on Lysychansk from the north.[2] ISW cannot independently verify Miroshnik’s claims. If they are true, and Russian forces threaten to complete the cauldron by pushing from the north and southwest of Lysychansk, then Ukrainian forces will likely abandon Lysychansk as well and conduct a fighting withdrawal to more defensible positions. Russian forces that have engaged in continuous offensive operations in Sievierodonetsk will also require some time to restore combat capabilities before participating in an assault on northern or northeastern Lysychansk. An unnamed Pentagon official stated that Russian forces continue to endure significant losses in fights for small territorial gains, and Russian groups that fought in Sievierodonetsk likely lost personnel and equipment.[3] The locations and strength of the Russian troops that seized Sievierodonetsk remain unclear at this time, however. A notable acceleration of Russian attacks from the south of Lysychansk or from across the Siverskyi Donetsk River would likely indicate that the Russians have completed a redeployment of forces from Sievierodonetsk. ISW has not yet observed such indicators.

Ukraine’s Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) reported that the Kremlin replaced Western Military District (WMD) Commander Alexander Zhuravlev with the former commander of the 8th Combined Arms Army (CAA) Andrey Sychevoy.[4] CIT added that WMD Chief of Staff Aleksey Zavizion was relieved. ISW cannot independently verify these reports and will continue to monitor the situation for further corroboration.

Russian forces continue to look for additional reserves to replenish personnel losses in Ukraine, but these reserves are unlikely to initiate rotations or provide combat-ready manpower. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov announced that he will form four new battalions “with an impressive number of personnel” on June 26.[5] Kadyrov also announced that Chechen forces formed a West-Akhmat battalion “in the shortest possible” time and claimed that the unit would deploy to a well-equipped base in Chechnya. Chechen forces will likely deploy the newly-created battalion to the frontline without sufficient training. Social media users also released footage of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) rounding up “volunteers” in Donetsk City as part of the recruitment campaign on June 28.[6] Wives of servicemen of the Russian 5th Guards Separate Tank Brigade issued a video plea for the immediate rotation of their husbands back home, noting that their husbands had left their permanent bases of deployment in January 2022 for “exercises in Belarus.”[7] The video indicates that the Russian military command has expressed its intentions for unit rotations.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian forces continued to launch assault operations south and southwest of Lysychansk. The Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) officials claimed that Ukrainian forces had begun to withdraw from the city, but ISW cannot confirm these claims.
  • Russian forces launched unsuccessful offensive operations north of Sloviansk and conducted spoiling attacks on settlements west of Izium, likely to disrupt Ukrainian counteroffensives.
  • Russian forces failed to advance along the Kharkiv City-Belgorod highway and continued to undertake measures to hinder Ukrainian advances towards the international border or Izium.
  • Ukrainian forces continued to launch counteroffensives north of Kherson City and reportedly liberated two settlements.
  • Russian forces continued to transfer military equipment and personnel east of Melitopol.
  • Russian occupation authorities are maintaining unsuccessful efforts to introduce ruble salary payments and set conditions to inflate electoral numbers in a future referendum.

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