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Foreign Policy Research Institute

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Source: Army FM  


  • Changes at the front


After the retreat of the armed forces of Ukraine from Lysichansk, the front moved west towards the Siversk-Bakhmut line. Despite the statements of the Russian leadership, the Russian occupation troops have not yet captured the entire territory of the Luhansk region, however, if the Russian army can restore the offensive pace, Ukraine risks losing the key cities of the Donetsk region - Slovyansk and Kramatorsk. The attack on Slovyansk and Kramatorsk is conducted from two directions – by Lyman and Lysychansk groups. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, according to the information of the Russian side, captured Hryhorivka next to Bilohorivka. As noted in the British intelligence report, in Donbas, Russian forces continue to conduct artillery strikes across a broad front followed by, in some areas, probing assaults by small company and platoon-sized units. The Russian offensive continues, despite statements about a respite.

One of the factors hindering the advance of Russian troops is the destruction of ammunition depots. Thanks to the delivery of HIMMARS MLRS, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have destroyed more than 20 Russian ammunition depots over the past week using American systems, and also, probably, using Ukrainian “Tochka-U” systems, as in the case of the destruction of a warehouse near occupied Luhansk.

In the Kharkiv region, Russian forces continue to attempt limited ground offensives northwest of the city of Kharkiv, but do not gain success. The occupying troops continue to shell the city of Kharkiv and settlements to the northeast, northwest and southeast of the city.

In the South, Russian troops are strengthening the defense, in particular on the left bank of the Dnieper, preparing for defense and preparing retreat routes - through the Dam in Nova Kakhovka and across the Antonivsky Bridge in Kherson. In the Kherson region, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have liberated the village of Ivanivka. There were also attacks on Russian munition depots in Kherson and around the city, in Nova Kakhovka and Melitopol as well as on military headquarters, as a result of which personnel were destroyed and a Russian major-general was killed.

Defense Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov, in an interview with the British Sunday Times, spoke about the order of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to develop a plan to liberate Russian-occupied territories in the south. This is an important political message against the backdrop of the information propaganda of the Russian Federation, but also the determination of the future plans of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.


  • Military assistance


In the first half of July, Ukraine received the following weapons:

From Lithuania:

-Bayraktar TB2

From Denmark:

-Modernized M113G4DK armored personnel carriers (quantity is not specified)

From Finland:

-Aid package for 20 million euros (items are not specified)

From USA:

-4 HIMARS systems

-M113 armored personnel carriers

From United Kingdom:

-FV103 Spartan armored personnel carriers (2 units were filmed, but the total number may reach 40 units)

From Poland:

-New batch of Krab self-propelled guns (Quantity is not specified)

From Czech Republic:

-Mi-24 attack helicopters (Quantity is not specified)

In addition, a number of aid packages were announced. The US announced a new $400 million package that includes four additional HIMARS and additional ammunition for those HIMARS; three tactical machines for the recovery of equipment; 1,000 155 mm shells; explosive munitions; spare parts and other equipment. Australia will transfer 14 APCs and 20 Bushmasters to Ukraine, thus the number of Australian Bushmasters in Ukraine will reach 60 units. Great Britain announced the transfer of self-propelled guns and kamikaze drones. 

Also, a video of the use of the Milan-2 ATGM and HPD-2A2 anti-tank mines appeared on the Internet. Such mines are used in the French, Belgian and Norwegian armies. The Territorial Defense of Ukraine, in turn, received a batch of 60-mm mines for its mortars from an unnamed Asian country. These mines are of Japanese production.



  • Russia: internal and external challenges


1. Against the backdrop of significant human losses, the Russian Federation continues covert mobilization on its territory. Now it is becoming more and more difficult to call the mobilization campaign covert, because the agitation of citizens to join the armed forces of the Russian Federation has become so massive that it takes place on the highest-rated political programs of federal channels, such as Dmitry Kiselev's project. The ideological indoctrination of potential occupants is projected both on civilians (on the air, on the street, on the Internet), and on the military themselves. For example, plaques of shame, boards of traitors, with photographs of those who refused to participate in hostilities against Ukraine, are installed in military units. The level of desertion in the army of the Russian Federation, however, is not high enough to talk about a complete loss of morale and predict the failure to form combat units in the near future. This rate does not exceed 10%. Given the social moods within the aggressor-state, the occupying army will continue to be replenished with motivated fighters who believe that they are killing the Nazis, who were pushed into the war with Russia by the Americans and NATO. This will allow Russia to continue armed aggression in the future. In addition to ideological motivation, citizens of the Russian Federation are also guided by financial prospects. According to the documents of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, published by the Russian media, a private soldier or a sailor receives from 200 thousand per month. In case of participation in offensive operations, this amount can double. The maximum salary of officers can reach almost 500 thousand rubles. This is a big money for Russians and their families. To ensure these payments in the face of an economic downturn, the country has already begun cutting funding for a number of other programs. In addition to the official salary, the military of the Russian Federation loot and send to their families equipment, which they would never buy doing an honest work. Some Russians are offered freedom in exchange for participation in the war - information is being disseminated on the Internet about the mobilization of prisoners in Russian prisons. Judging by the long queues on the video, there are enough people willing to kill Ukrainians in exchange for the prospect of being released in Russia.

In addition, Ukrainians who have taken Russian passports are being mobilized in the occupied territories. Such unprepared persons are thrown in front of the advancing troops to identify the positions of the Armed Forces and adjust the fire, as well as to identify the traps set. Mobilized Ukrainians from Donetsk were used in this way when they were sent to unsuccessful assaults on Azovstal. In addition to the mentioned processes, according to the Meduza publication, a new military structure called the "Sobyanin regiment" is being organized in Moscow. The unit is financed from the budget of Moscow. Analysts of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) assume that the Kremlin ordered the regions of the Russian Federation to form "volunteer battalions" to participate in the war in Ukraine. Battalions can be formed from 34,000 servicemen, if each region of the Russian Federation creates at least one military unit numbering 400 people. The formed battalions are currently going to training grounds and will probably finish their month-long training by the end of August. Thus, Russia retains the mobilization potential to continue armed aggression against Ukraine, without declaring war and starting general mobilization, which in the long run could destabilize the Kremlin's internal positions.


2. The second aspect that should be noted in the report for the first half of July is the continuation of the Russian Federation's preparations for holding a referendum on the occupied Ukrainian territory. In Russia, obtaining a Russian passport was finally simplified at the legislative level. Fake videos of huge queues for humanitarian aid, which Russian propagandists call "queues for passports", are spreading online. In the cities of the South, billboards appeared with the inscription "Only the people who live here will determine their future. And we will respect any choice they make.” Russian propaganda does not mention that expressing a pro-Ukrainian position is severely punished and actually prohibited. The Russian Federation is preparing another fictitious referendum to legitimize the annexation in the eyes of its own population, since the international community will not accept this show, which could affect other states in 2014, but now this farce with an alleged manifestation of the will of the local population, part of which has left, and part of which is waiting for the Armed Forces of Ukraine - is obvious.

Propaganda activities are also carried out in the occupied territory with the aim of glorifying the USSR and discrediting the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Azov Regiment. In particular, even before the statements of the leadership of Ukraine, the narrative was promoted that Ukraine is not going to return the occupied south, deliberately cut off communications and struck civilian objects (when the Ukrainian Armed Forces were destroying military depots).

1. Сколько получают участники спецоперации на Украине, 09.06.2022,