Russian troops conducted limited ground assaults near the city of Sloviansk, according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War (IOW).
While the heaviest fighting in Ukraine has recently centered on Donbass, analysts believe Russia has recently implemented an operational pause in military offensives.
The IOW report said Russia launched offensives northwest of Sloviansk and southwest of the city of Donetsk, a key target for Moscow’s forces.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered military units across Ukraine to step up operations to prevent strikes on Russian-occupied parts of the country, the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday. published on its website.
The ministry said Shoigu “has given the necessary instructions to expand the activities of the army groups in all directions of attack”.
The IOW report quoted the Ukrainian army general staff as saying Kyiv forces repelled a Russian assault on the town of Bohorodychne. The report says Ukrainian footage of a Russian mobile unit being destroyed indicates Russian troops are trying to advance near the town.
He also said Russian forces appeared to be attempting to advance towards the town of Siversk and the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway.
The report speculated that the Russians resumed their offensive too soon, under pressure to maintain momentum.
“The Russian military appears to feel continued pressure to resume and continue offensive operations before it can reasonably have rebuilt sufficient combat power to achieve decisive effects – at reasonable cost to itself, however.
“The resumption of the Russian offensive could therefore fluctuate or even stagnate for some time,” the report said.
Here are the other headlines from the war in Ukraine on Saturday, July 16.
Ukrainian defenses hold firm
A UK Ministry of Defense assessment appears to confirm the IOW summary, with reports of fighting in the same areas.
The ministry added that the Ukrainian Defense Forces had successfully repelled Russian attacks since the surrender of Lysychansk. He said the Ukrainian troops had been strengthened by having a shorter and straighter defensive line to guard.
“This helped concentrate force and fire against reducing Russian attacks and helped reduce Russian momentum,” the ministry said.
Russia strikes towns and villages across Ukraine, killing 17 people
Russia has stepped up its assault on towns and villages across Ukraine, with Ukrainian officials announcing the death of 17 civilians.
Sergei Shoigu, Russian Defense Minister, gave the order “to further intensify the actions of units in all operational areas”, the ministry said.
Ukraine’s atomic energy agency Energoatom said Russia was stockpiling weapons at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, to bomb surrounding Nikopol and Dnipro regions.
Energoatom Chairman Petro Kotin described the situation at the plant as “extremely tense” with 500 Russian troops controlling the facility.
Russian strike kills three in Kharkiv region
A Russian strike reportedly hit the town of Chuhuiv in northeastern Ukraine, in the Kharkiv region, killing three people and injuring three others.
The attack reportedly damaged a residential building, a school and a store.
In a post on the Telegram online platform, Governor Oleh Synehubov said rescuers were digging through the rubble.
Gazprom says there is no sign of a turbine
Russian gas supplier Gazprom said on Saturday it had asked German engineering firm Siemens for details about returning a turbine to deliver gas from the Nord Stream pipeline to Europe.
Canada, where the turbine is being repaired, last week issued a waiver that would exempt it from sanctions imposed on Russia by Western countries.
Despite the waiver, Gazprom said it was unsure whether the turbine – which is used at a compressor station for Nord Stream 1 – will be returned.
Gazprom carries out maintenance of the gas pipeline for a period of 10 days and has stopped delivering gas through the conduit, which passes under the Baltic Sea
There are fears that Moscow could use the annual work on the pipeline – which was scheduled well in advance – to shut down the gas in response to Western sanctions over Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Catch up on DW’s Ukrainian content
Russian President Vladimir Putin has removed his longtime ally Dmitry Rogozin from the top job at Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency. No reason was given for the reshuffle. Some Russian media have speculated that Rogozin, a staunch Kremlin supporter, could be tasked with overseeing Russian-held territories in eastern and southern Ukraine.
DW explains this, and a wider reshuffling of Moscow officials.
A Briton captured by pro-Russian forces in Ukraine has died in custody, Moscow-backed separatists have said.
Non-governmental organizations described Paul Urey as a humanitarian aid volunteer, while Russian-backed separatists insisted he was a “professional” soldier.
Read this and more from our Friday updates.
rc/sms (AFP, Reuters, dpa, AP)
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Post expires at 2:49pm on Friday July 22nd, 2022