1:53 p.m .: According to their own statements, Russian troops have hit the enemy’s important weapon systems and depots in Ukraine. A warehouse with ammunition for Ukrainian rockets near Soledar in Donbass was destroyed. This was announced by the Ministry of Defense in Moscow on Wednesday in its situation report. A launch pad for US-made Harpoon anti-ship missiles was also destroyed in the Odessa region. The information provided by the Russian military was not independently verifiable.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has ordered his troops to take more decisive action against Ukrainian drones over the border area with Russia. It must also be prevented that Ukrainian troops shell residential areas in places that have been conquered by Russian forces. According to the ministry, Shoigu said this after inspections of Russian units deployed in Ukraine. Moscow officially describes the war against the neighboring country that began on February 24 as a special military operation.
12:17 p.m .: In the city of Kharkiv, three people were killed by rocket fire. Another person was injured. This is reported by the governor of Kharkiv, Oleh Syniehubov, on his Telegram channel. Apparently, a Russian missile hit a bus station in Saltivka, a northern district of the city. A 13-year-old boy is also among the dead.
12:12 p.m.: The strategically important Antonovsky Bridge, the only road bridge over the Dnieper in Kherson, is said to have been so badly damaged by Ukrainian attacks that it is expected to be closed to traffic. This is reported by the Russian news agencies Tass and Ria Novosti, citing information from the Russian authorities in the Cherson region in southern Ukraine.
“We counted about eight hits on the Antonivka bridge, the bridge was seriously damaged,” said deputy chief of the occupation administration of the Kherson region Kirill Stremousov, according to Ria Novosti. A total of twelve missiles with US Himars missile launchers were on the one kilometer long structure had been fired. There were already hits the day before.
The British Ministry of Defense had previously said the bridge was likely still usable. The ministry relied on intelligence reports. However, the bridge is a weak point for Russian troops in the occupied region opposite the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia.
Wednesday, July 20, 8:26 a.m.: The experts from the American “Institute for the Study of War” (ISW) believe that Putin could use nuclear threats to try to stop a Ukrainian counter-offensive in the annexed regions of Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk . The Russian doctrine, which allows the use of nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory, also applies to newly annexed areas in Ukraine, according to the ISW. According to the ISW, Ukraine may have only a narrow window of opportunity to retake counter-offensive occupied Ukrainian territory before the Kremlin annexes that territory.
7:36 p.m .: According to Ukrainian information, the Russian armed forces have made further gains in the battles for the Donbass in eastern Ukraine. “The enemy launched an attack in the Pokrovske area, was partially successful and is establishing itself on the southern outskirts of the village,” the Ukrainian general staff said in its situation report on Tuesday evening.
Pokrovske is a settlement ten kilometers east of the important transport junction of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. The Siwersk – Soledar – Bakhmut line is considered to be Ukraine’s next line of defense in front of the conurbation around the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.
According to their own statements, the Ukrainian military has succeeded in repelling Russian attacks on other front sections in the Donbass. The attacks were unsuccessful both north of Slowjansk and east of Siwersk. “The Ukrainian fighters inflicted significant losses on the occupiers,” says the situation report at one point. The information cannot be verified independently.
4.30 p.m .: The Russian military apparently has major problems due to a lack of personnel. This is reported by the Ministry of Defense in London, citing intelligence reports. It sees the military planners in a dilemma. The reason: the massive clout of the Russians is only sufficient for an offensive in the east or a successful defense in the south-west – a dilemma.
According to the information, Moscow needs six armies with a total strength of 150,000 soldiers for the Donbass alone. In the past few weeks, however, Russia has deployed only 100 men at the same time in offensive operations. Accordingly, British intelligence predicts that the attack will proceed very slowly without operational breaks.
Also interesting: Recently, the Russian military has increasingly fought with conscientious objectors. Thousands of young Russians are said to have already taken advantage of this opportunity. Professional soldiers had already submitted resignations.
10:58 a.m.: Ukrainian forces are apparently preparing to sink the Russian Black Sea Fleet and recapture Crimea. Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Havrylov told The Times. Accordingly, the south of his country is exposed to a constant threat from Russian warships in the Black Sea. “Given the new technologies and capabilities that we are receiving, we must address this threat.”
9:55 p.m .: Russia has promised Ukraine tougher conditions than before if peace talks are resumed. In the negotiations in Turkey in March, concrete results were achieved before Kyiv broke off contact, Yuri Ushakov, an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, complained on Monday, according to the RBK news agency. “So if the negotiations are resumed now, it will be on completely different terms,” said Ushakov – without giving details.
After the negotiations, Russian troops withdrew north of Kyiv – also in view of the bitter military resistance of the Ukrainians. As a result, among other things, mass graves of civilians were discovered in the small town of Bucha. Since then, there have been no new peace talks.
As early as February, Putin had stated that the goals of what Moscow called a “special military operation” against Ukraine were the “denazification” and “demilitarization” of Ukraine, its neutral status, the cession of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and the recognition of Crimea, which had been annexed since 2014 called Russian. Moscow entered the negotiations with these demands.
However, Russian troops have also occupied parts of the Zaporizhia region in south-eastern Ukraine and almost the entire Kherson region in the south. The pro-Russian administration deployed there has long been talking about plans to hold referendums on accession to Russia. A commander of the Russian troops has also named the creation of a Russian corridor along the Black Sea coast to the conflict region of Transnistria in the neighboring Republic of Moldova as a war goal.
11:40 a.m.: “Up to 250 foreign fighters” were killed in a rocket attack on the base of the Ukrainian Foreign Legion in Kostyantynivka. This is reported by the “ria” agency, citing the Russian Ministry of Defense. There was no more precise information.
10:08 a.m .: According to the Ministry of Defense, the Russian military should concentrate on destroying long-range and artillery weapons in Ukraine. This was ordered by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, his ministry said.
The Ukraine recently attacked and destroyed dozens of Russian ammunition depots, mainly thanks to the Himar systems from the USA.
You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.