July 26, 2022

Institute for the Study of War: Russian forces achieve modest gains in northeast Bakhmut

Institute for the Study of War

Russian-backed proxy leadership continues to enunciate deadlines for the capture of additional Ukrainian territory, likely to support ongoing preparations for referenda on the annexation of these territories to the Russian Federation. Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) Deputy Minister of Information Daniil Bezsonov stated on July 25 that the DNR expects to capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast by the end of August.[1] Various Russian and Western sources have previously reported that Russia intends to hold referenda in occupied areas by the first half of September, likely sometime around September 11, which is the unified voting day in the Russian Federation.[2] Proxy leadership and Russian-backed occupation authorities are likely pushing for deadlines for military objectives to support condition setting for expedited annexation objectives, although Russian forces remain unlikely to occupy significant additional territory in Ukraine before the early autumn annexation timeline.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian proxy and occupation leadership is enunciating expedited deadlines for the capture of Ukrainian territory to align with the Kremlin’s efforts to prepare for the annexation of occupied territories into the Russian Federation.
  • Russian forces gained marginal ground northeast of Bakhmut and are continuing to fight east and south of Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces conducted a limited attack northwest of Izyum, likely to secure Russian rear areas on the Izyum-Slovyansk line.
  • Russian forces conducted limited attacks southwest of Donetsk City near the Zaporizhia Oblast border.
  • Russian forces focused on defending occupied lines and conducted a limited ground assault in northwestern Kherson Oblast.
  • Ukrainian forces continued to strike Russian logistics nodes in Kherson Oblast.
  • The Kremlin is continuing to constitute regional volunteer battalions for deployment into Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian intelligence leaks continue to reveal the Kremlin’s annexation agendas for occupied Ukraine by way of falsified referenda.

for Full report:  https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-26

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