A Blog by Jonathan Low

 

Jul 22, 2022

How Ukraine's Improved Fighting Capabilities Are Beginning To Show

Weapons and training make a difference. JL 

Zoe Strozewski in Newsweek and RFE/RL report:

Ukrainian forces have destroyed a Russian artillery battalion that included howitzers, troops and other equipment. Released footage focuses on Russian weapons and personnel partially concealed among trees and then shows various points of the area being engulfed in smoke as they are targeted in a series of strikes. Ukrainian forces reportedly took out eight 2A65 Msta-B howitzers, ammunition, automobile equipment and an undisclosed number of soldiers. Ukrainian forces have repelled repeated Russian assaults on the Vuhlehirsk power plant. British military intelligence said Kyiv has for the first time acquired a “significant potential” to advance its forces on the battlefield.

Ukrainian forces have destroyed a Russian artillery division that included howitzers, troops and other equipment, according to the Command of the Airborne Assault Troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The Command made the announcement in a Facebook post Friday and shared a video that it said showed the division being decimated by the assault from Ukraine's airborne and ground troops. The footage first focuses on what appears to be the Russian weapons and personnel partially concealed among trees and then shows various points of the area being engulfed in smoke as they are targeted in a series of strikes. Ukrainian forces reportedly took out eight 2A65 Msta-B howitzers, ammunition, automobile equipment and an undisclosed number of soldiers from the Russian division.

Newsweek was not able to independently verify Ukraine's report on destroying the Russian artillery division. The defense ministries of Russia and Ukraine were contacted for confirmation and comment.

Russia has reportedly suffered several significant equipment losses in recent days as Ukraine continues its counteroffensive against Russian President Vladimir Putin's army. Ukraine's Operational Command South said earlier this week that its missile and artillery units hit several Russian command points, control stations and logistic supply bases on July 19. Ukrainian airborne assault troops also recently took out a convoy of Russian ammunition vehicles, according to the Command of the Airborne Assault Troops.

Ukraine Reports Destroying Artillery Division
Ukrainian forces have destroyed a Russian artillery division that included howitzers, troops and other equipment, according to the Command of the Airborne Assault Troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Above, Msta-S self-propelled howitzers parade through Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in central Moscow on May 9.
There have been several indications that American-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) are having a particularly large impact on the war in Ukraine's favor.

Last week, a senior U.S. Defense Department official told a background press briefing that the U.S. HIMARS are having a "significant impact on what's going on, on the front lines" in Ukraine. This was reaffirmed in a press briefing by General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III on Wednesday.

Milley stressed that Ukrainians have been "effectively employing" the rocket launching systems, "with strikes against Russian command and control nodes, their logistical networks, their field artillery near defense sites and many other targets."

Milley said that none of the U.S. HIMARS had been destroyed "to date," something Russia has contradicted.

Ukrainian forces have been successfully repelling repeated Russian assaults on the Vuhlehirsk power plant while Moscow continued to relentlessly shell the cities of Kramatorsk and Siversk, British military intelligence said on July 22, as Kyiv said that it has for the first time acquired a “significant potential” to advance its forces on the battlefield.

 

Vuhlehirsk, located some 50 kilometers northeast of Donetsk, is Ukraine's second-largest power plant and a strategic infrastructure objective that Russian forces are keen to capture.

In its daily intelligence bulletin, Britain's Ministry of Defense quoted Vitaly Kim, the governor of Ukraine’s Mykolayiv region, as saying that Russian forces had used seven air-defense missiles to strike infrastructure, energy facilities, and storage depots in the area.

British intelligence noted that Russia has stepped up the use of air-defense missile systems to attack ground targets -- a fact that betrays a critical shortages of dedicated ground-attack missiles.

It said that Russia has "almost certainly" deployed S-300 and S-400 strategic air-defense systems -- meant to shoot down aircraft and missiles at long ranges -- near Ukraine from the start of invasion.

The Ukrainian military said on July 22 that the main efforts of the Russian Army in the eastern Donetsk region are concentrated in the Kramatorsk and Bakhmut directions.

Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly address that a meeting of Ukraine’s military command on July 21 has established that Ukrainian forces “have a significant potential to advance our forces at the front and to inflict new significant losses on the occupiers," and that Kyiv needs to increase the intensity of its attacks on Russian forces.

Zelenskiy also noted that several members of the U.S. Senate have proposed a resolution recognizing Russia's aggression against Ukraine as genocide. He said it was the first result of the visit of his wife, Olena Zelenska, to Washington this week.

A bipartisan group of seven senators introduced the resolution on July 20 shortly after Zelenska spoke to members of Congress about the war, highlighting the suffering of Ukrainian civilians.


The resolution recognizes that Russia’s actions, including forced deportations to Russia and the killing of Ukrainian civilians in mass atrocities, constituted genocide against the people of Ukraine.

The resolution calls on the United States, along with NATO and European Union allies, to support the government of Ukraine to prevent further acts of Russian genocide against the Ukrainian people and supports tribunals and international criminal investigations to hold Russian political leaders and military personnel accountable.

Russia's military has kept up its relentless artillery bombardment of civilian-populated areas, including Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, where at least two people had been killed and 19 wounded. Russia denies targeting civilians.

Russian forces also bombarded a residential area of Nikopol, a city south of Zaporizhzhya, killing at least two civilians and wounding at nine others overnight, including several children.

The mayor of the southern city of Mykolayiv said the city had been targeted again on the evening of July 21 after being shelled earlier in the day, injuring one person and damaging infrastructure, energy facilities, and storage areas. He said 13 residential buildings in the city center were damaged by the shock wave and debris.

With reporting by Reuters, BBC, and CNN

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