In a Sunday interview, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said President Volodymyr Zelensky had issued orders to prioritize the liberation of southern Ukraine with the intention of reaching the country’s maritime and coastal cities, which are important for the economy. On the one hand, it makes a lot of sense. Ukraine needs to transport grain, and despite offers by other countries to transport grain by rail, it is not really possible to bring most of that commodity out of Ukraine by sea. The idea of liberating southern Ukraine represents a direct threat to the Crimean peninsula, as well as the recent “land bridge” built by Russia between Donbass and Crimea. And all this can be seen in the recent Ukrainian efforts in Kherson and both Zaporizhiya Oblast
On the other hand, the biggest threat to Ukrainian shipping is actually the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which now hangs beyond the limits of coast-based missile batteries, ready to negotiate with any ship coming from a Ukrainian port. There are many deep-water ports from Odessa to Mykolaiv, and it is not the case that international shipping is in line to take grain out of those places. On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to Zelensky about plans to build a “grain corridor” in the Black Sea. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
So is this “southern push” a true statement of Ukraine’s intentions, even as Russian forces continue to push in from the east in an effort to secure the rest of the Donbass, or does it hope to drive out Russian forces? Is being thrown out. With real effort, wherever it can be? Trying to figure this out can cause some serious stress in the brain. Hopefully it does the same for Vladimir Putin.
When it comes to what has happened in the South in the last few days, there is not much progress to report. Around the city of Kherson itself, Ukraine has bombed the airport area and the town of Chornobyka, the site of the Russian command center, with reports of great success in destroying supplies, buildings and vehicles. The accuracy of the attacks has led many to suggest that a HIMARS system is operating in the area, but that these could easily be attacks from M777s or other long-range artillery supported by drones. Don’t expect Ukraine to find HIMARS.
When it comes to actually taking over and retaining territory, Ukraine seems to have occupied some villages near Soldatsky, but Russia, on the other hand, seems to have occupied some villages west of the Inhuletes River west of Baranivka. A group has been recaptured. (Note: this apparently happened in a series of days last week. I’ve lost it in the updates.)
To the north, Russia is reportedly running another race to eliminate the Ukrainian bridgehead on the east side of the Inhulets, south of the David Breed. Some sites are insisting that Ukrainian troops withdrew from the river two weeks ago, but there is good reason to believe that some forces survived on Monday morning, fighting near the river and on Russian troops. Attempts have been made to recapture a couple of Ukrainian villages following an artillery attack. Held for most of last month.
The artillery battle here continues unilaterally in favor of Ukraine, especially in the area near Kherson. But so far Ukraine has not been able to secure any key locations west of the city that would make it more difficult for Russians to secure potential access. Overnight, there were reports that Ukraine had taken Kaselivka, and that it was strengthening its forces in the region. it is not-No.-Sure. But if true, it represents a significant shift in the front line, not only bringing Ukrainian forces closer to Kherson, about 5 kilometers along a main highway, but also forcing Russia out of a heavily fortified location. .
As with the area around Kherson, there are numerous reports of Ukrainian artillery operations in the south, with reports of destruction of storage facilities, command centers and railway depots. However, since last week, it doesn’t look like there has been any major swap in the area and on Monday’s early FIRMS map, the entire area could be snoozing.
Ukraine came down to liberate a series of villages, especially in the area from Orikhev to Hulaipol. Most of these villages appear to be under Ukrainian control even after a week. However, there are now strong opposition reports along the road just south of Hulaipol. According to some reports, this is an area where Ukraine continues to move south, reaching the outskirts of Polohi. Other reports say Russia is pursuing the same road to acquire a pair of small villages south of Hulaipol and to dispute other Ukrainian positions. Consider this map the most pessimistic of these two reports.
In the Far East of this map, in the Donetsk region, many towns and villages are listed in controversy because of the active fighting in the region, but because I could not find any good updates about them. Situation from mid-June.
The next few days can tell us whether Zelensky’s order to retake the South is a will, a disorder, or the beginning of a serious upheaval.
Monday’s briefing from the Ukrainian MOD
- Russia is focusing on strengthening control over the Luhansk region and encircling Ukrainian forces in the Donetsk Oblast.
- Near Sivarsky, Russia continues to attack villages to the east in an effort to secure the high ground before attacking the town. Both sides are exchanging guns.
- Russia shelled Karpovichi and Mykolaivka districts near Chernihiv, apparently as a traditional Russian “strategy to kill and distract civilians.”
- Most of Russia’s troops appear to be stationed along the Ukraine-Russia border near Slobozansky, north of Kharkiv. Russia seems more concerned with stifling Ukrainian progress than with aggression.
- A series of settlements near Sloviansk has come under heavy artillery and heavy bombardment by the MLRS.
- A Russian attempt to capture Krasnopilia was thwarted. Other attacks on were thwarted Krasnopil and Marinka.
The Nordstream pipeline shuts down
When Putin attacked, the Nordstream 2 pipeline was almost ready to begin work. It will never happen. Russia has now unloaded the Nordstream pipeline, claiming it will be out for “maintenance” for a month. However, European officials suspect that Russia is trying to prevent them from filling reserve tanks and storage areas before the cold weather and rising demand.
Russian material blowing up the theater
It is a Russian oil rig adjacent to Snake Island in the Black Sea. He was killed a few days ago, when Ukraine drove Russian troops out of Snake Island.
The report is in the Donetsk region.
It’s cloudy from an explosion at the airport outside Kherson.
It’s a different explosion, just outside Kherson, near Chornobyka. Both blasts are a shadow of a weekend blast that allegedly killed an ammunition supply depot.