4:45 p.m .: For several weeks, Ukraine has had Himars (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) rocket launchers. With this, the defenders repeatedly succeed in attacking Russian ammunition depots far behind their own front.
Military expert Phillips O’Brien explains on Twitter the significance of these attacks. He quotes the Ukrainian governor of Luhansk: According to this, the attacks on the camps mean that the Russian soldiers can no longer store their ammunition and other supplies in the vulnerable goods depots. Instead, ammunition should now be delivered directly to the soldiers at the front, without fixed intermediate stations in the war zone.
According to O’Brien, this is a clear sign of how successful the attacks are for Ukraine – and how devastating for the Russian army. “If Russia really does this, they will have serious problems. If they really do without the interim storage facilities, that means that they are practically improvising.” In addition, Putin’s army needs an enormous number of trucks in order to be able to maintain the supply chains own that amount, O’Brien doubts, summing up: “Bring more long-range weapons systems to Ukraine!”
4:16 p.m .: According to British intelligence experts, Russia has repeatedly given false information about alleged successes in its invasion of Ukraine. The scope and scale of Russian advances remain limited, the Defense Ministry’s daily intelligence update on the Ukraine war said in London on Saturday. The statement made by the Russians a few days ago that they had advanced into the city of Siwersk was not true.
“Russia has also previously made hasty and false claims of achievements,” the statement said. The reason for this is probably at least in part the desire to demonstrate successes to the population at home and to strengthen the morale of their own troops.
The Ukrainians, on the other hand, have successfully repelled Russian attacks since withdrawing from the city of Lysychansk, according to British experts. The line of defense has since been shortened and strengthened, which proved essential to thwart the Russian offensive.
Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression at the end of February, the British government has regularly published intelligence information on the course. Moscow accuses London of a targeted disinformation campaign.
10:51 a.m .: During an inspection of the troops involved in the Ukraine war, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered an expansion of the attacks on the neighboring country. “After hearing (the situation report), the head of the Russian Defense Ministry gave the necessary instructions to expand the activities of the army groups in all directions of attack in order to deprive the Kiev regime of the possibility of further massive artillery and rocket attacks on infrastructure and civilians in Donbass and in other regions,” said the ministry on Saturday.
This is Shoigu’s second inspection of Russian forces in Ukraine. The first took place at the end of June. At the current event, the Russian Defense Minister honored two high-ranking generals, including the head of Army Group “Center”, Colonel-General Alexander Lapin, who is considered to be one of the leaders in the conquest of the Sievjerodonetsk-Lysychansk conurbation in the Donbass by troops loyal to Moscow.
Saturday, July 16, 8:17 a.m.: According to Ukrainian information, the Russian armed forces have intensified the attacks in the east of the country after regrouping their forces. In the past 24 hours, Ukraine has fended off Russian assault attempts in the direction of Bakhmut and in front of Donetsk, the General Staff in Kyiv said in its situation report on Saturday. “After regrouping, the enemy resumed the attack on the Wuhlehirsk thermal power plant, and hostilities continue,” the statement said. The information cannot be verified independently.
However, military experts from the Institute for the Study of the War (ISW) have also observed that Russian troops are ending the breather they had after capturing the Sievarodonetsk/Lysychansk conurbation. At the moment it is still a matter of minor skirmishes. “If the operational hiatus is actually over, the Russians will probably continue and intensify their attacks for the next 72 hours,” says the ISW analysis.
10:08 p.m .: One day after the devastating rocket attack in the western Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia, an air alarm was triggered throughout Ukraine. Videos and photos circulated on social networks on Friday evening, which are said to show flying rockets and clouds of smoke in the southeastern city of Dnipro. The governor of the central Ukrainian region of Poltava, Dmytro Lunin, also confirmed explosions in Kremenchuk.
According to the Odessa military governor, Maxym Marchenko, another rocket was shot down over southern Ukraine. However, a total of three rockets were fired into the area. Details of possible victims and destruction were not known for the time being. Information from the war zones cannot be independently verified.
At least 23 people were killed in a Russian rocket attack on the center of the western Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia on Thursday. Almost 200 people needed medical help, 80 of them were taken to hospitals. Eleven people are still considered missing.
9:29 p.m .: The United States has rejected the Russian account that the missile attack in the central Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia hit a military target. “I have no indication that a military target was anywhere near there,” a senior US Department of Defense official, who asked to remain anonymous, said Friday. Rather, the hit object looks “like a building with apartments”.
The Russian missiles hit downtown Vinnytsia on Thursday, hundreds of kilometers from the frontline of the war. According to Ukrainian sources, at least 23 people were killed, including three children. More than hundreds of other people were injured.
However, Russia denied attacking civilians in Vinnytsia. Rather, a meeting of high-ranking Ukrainian army commanders “with representatives of foreign arms suppliers” was shot at, the Defense Ministry said in Moscow on Friday. “The participants in the meeting were eliminated.”
On the other hand, the Ukrainian army had announced that three Russian rockets had hit a building with offices and small shops and an adjacent parking lot in Vinnytsia. Pictures circulated by local rescue workers showed a 12-story building badly damaged.
8:32 p.m .: According to its own statements, Ukraine has received its first delivery of the modern M270 multiple rocket launcher system. The first M270s have arrived, Defense Minister Oleksiy Resnikov said on Friday in the online networks. “No mercy for the enemy,” he added, referring to the invading Russian forces.
In June, Great Britain announced the delivery of the M270 system to Ukraine. This allows targets to be hit at a distance of up to 80 kilometers with precision-guided missiles.
Ukraine has already received other modern missile systems from the West. These systems allow the Ukrainian armed forces to launch attacks on the Russian army from a greater distance, without being within range of the Russian artillery themselves.
Reznikov called the M270 “good company on the battlefield” for the Himars missile launchers recently delivered to Ukraine by the United States.
7:13 p.m .: In occupied parts of Ukraine, the administrations deployed by Russia are threatening residents with expulsion to Ukrainian-controlled territory if they express criticism of the new leadership. This is intended to “maintain order” and counteract “threats to socio-political stability”, according to decrees published on Friday in the southern Ukrainian regions of Zaporizhia and Cherson.
A deportation is threatened, among other things, in the case of “denigration” of the government organs and the foreign policy of Russia as well as the Russian army and the occupation organs. Unauthorized demonstrations or the disruption of school operations or referendums are also to be punished in this way.
After invading the neighboring country at the end of February, the Russian army occupied large parts of southern Ukraine. It is feared that Russia wants to incorporate Cherson and Zaporizhia through referendums – similar to the neighboring Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014.
In the two occupied areas, however, the residents repeatedly protested against the new rulers. In addition, attacks are increasing. Recently, Kyiv gave its citizens hope that they would soon be able to reconquer cities like Cherson and Melitopol with the help of Western weapons.
12:07 p.m .: The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed that it has attacked the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsy. According to a statement, “high-precision missiles” hit the “officers’ garrison house” in the city. A meeting of the command of the Ukrainian Air Force with representatives of foreign arms suppliers would have taken place there. “At the meeting, they discussed handing over the next batch of aircraft, weapons of destruction and organizing repairs of the Ukrainian aviation fleet to the Ukrainian military,” the Defense Ministry said.
11:27 a.m .: A Briton who was arrested by pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk in April has died in captivity. This was announced by the pro-Russian authorities. The DPR Ombudsman said that “British mercenary Paul Ury, who was being held captive in the DPR, died on July 10 due to illness and stress.” “Adequate medical assistance was provided,” the statement said. Ury was arrested at a checkpoint in the region in April.
8:06 a.m .: According to the Mykolaiv regional administration, Russia fired at least ten rockets at two universities in the city in the morning. Videos on social networks show several explosions at one of the two universities. It is unclear whether there are injuries or deaths. The information could not initially be independently verified. The mayor of the city also reported heavy shelling. He asked the residents to take shelter in protective bunkers.
Friday, July 15, 7:38 a.m.: According to information from Kyiv, the Russian armed forces are repositioning themselves in eastern Ukraine to continue their offensive in the Donbass region. “The enemy regrouped in the Kramatorsk region in order to renew their attacks on Siwersk,” the general staff said on Friday. The city in the north of Donetsk Oblast has around 12,000 inhabitants.
Artillery shelled Kramatorsk as well. The city is part of a conurbation with around 500,000 inhabitants, which Kyiv has developed into the most important fortress in the Donbass. The information cannot be verified independently.
The northern part of the metropolitan area, the city of Sloviansk, is once again the focus of Russian attack efforts. There the Russians tried to improve their tactical position with the help of artillery fire on a number of towns north of the city in order to be able to attack again, according to the situation report of the General Staff.
Fighting is also going on in the direction of Bakhmut – an important transport hub south-east of Kramatorsk. Among other things, there were air raids on a thermal power plant, the Ukrainian military reported. The main efforts of the Russians were aimed at capturing the cities of Bakhmut and Soledar.
“Our fighters successfully stopped attempts at an enemy storm in the Kodemi and Bilohorivka areas, as well as attempts to capture the villages of Spirne and Vershyna. The occupiers met stiff resistance, suffered significant casualties and had to retreat shamefully,” the situation report says. The evening before, the pro-Russian separatists had reported the capture of two towns near Soledar.
1:59 p.m .: According to their own statements, the Russian armed forces have inflicted heavy losses on the Ukrainian military with heavy artillery, air and rocket attacks. The latest airstrikes have cost the Ukrainians up to 1,000 soldiers and more than 100 military vehicles and weapon systems, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday. This information could not be verified independently.
Among other things, 43 soldiers were killed and 170 injured in Chasiv Yar in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk, Konashenkov said. Ukraine reported an airstrike on a residential building in the small town on Saturday. According to Ukrainian sources, 48 dead civilians have now been recovered from the rubble.
The Russian army spokesman also reported on the renewed use of the sea-based Kalibr missiles. The guided missiles with a range of several hundred kilometers were fired at a factory for high-voltage systems in Zaporizhia and destroyed several rocket launchers in the hangars there.
1:20 p.m .: According to the information agency of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry “ArmyInform”, fighter jets from the Russian Air Force tried to bomb the snake island of Zmiiny – and instead hit the sea. That explains the Ukrainian task force “South”. According to the report, two bombs from the Su-27 fighter jets fell into the sea near the island.
You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.