War in Ukraine / July 18
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Day 146: Russia can force Ukraine to prolong the war
In the last two weeks, the pressure of the Russian army has slowed down. There are several reasons: active shelling of military depots, powerful border defense by the Ukrainian army, and in some places a counteroffensive, lack of infantry to resume offensives, and supply disruptions. Western experts do not advise to relax: reducing the pace does not mean the end of the war.
Thus, according to the Institute for the Study of War, ISW, Russia can deliberately prolong the war: Putin and the Russian army need it to restore combat capability. If such a scenario develops, Ukrainian positions will be much weaker. The reasons are as follows:
- Russia continues active shelling of both the contact line and Ukrainian cities far from the front. Both Ukrainian soldiers and the civilian population die, this creates powerful psychological pressure.
- The Russian economy has a greater margin of safety than the Ukrainian economy. Winter can be a turning point, when it will simply not be possible to buy the required amount of energy carriers: Europe itself is suffering from an energy crisis.
- Russia will be able to use the tactical pause to deconserve old equipment and deliver it to the front. No matter how old tanks or artillery are, they are still tanks and artillery, which are many times less in Ukraine.
- More than 20% of the territory of Ukraine is still under Russian occupation: the longer these regions are under foreign control, the greater the pressure on the local Ukrainian population living there. Russia will use this time for maximum integration into its political space.
According to ISW, Russia currently does not have any significant territorial gains and, most likely, will concentrate its forces on the captured Luhansk region first, and then Donbass. There are not enough forces in the Russian army for anything else.
At the same time, it is important for Ukraine to make every effort to end the war before the cold weather sets in.
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Airstrike, missile and MRL damage
- As a result of the night shelling by Russian troops, 2 residential multi-storey buildings were hit – one of the houses’ residents were evacuated. The water supply system was also damaged – in a part of the city there were water supply breakdowns.
- Russian troops carried out air strikes in the area of Verkhnii Saltiv and Rubizhne. In Kharkiv, Kyivs’kyi district was shelled from MLRS – 2 multi-storey residential buildings were partially destroyed.
In Zolochiv, shelling caused fires in private households, outbuildings and garages. Russian troops also shelled Derhachi, Pechenihy, Prudyanka, Ruski Tyshky, Pytomnyk, and Korobochkyne. During the day, as a result of Russian shelling, 4 fires were recorded, incl. landfill and wheat field with an area of 250 hectares.
- During the day, 15 cases of the destruction as a result of the Russian army shelling were recorded in the region.
In Mala Tokmachka, the territory of the prison was repeatedly shelled.
Vozdvyzhivka and Kamyanske were shelled as well.
- As a result of the shelling, a dairy cattle breeding enterprise was damaged. The administrative building and equipment were damaged, and some animals died.
- Russian troops launched 12 missiles on the city. One of the missiles hit the airport. Hits in a car dealership and a salon selling agricultural machinery were also recorded. Other missiles hit the outskirts of the city.
- The Russian military fired cluster shells at the Korabelnyi District of the city. Damage in the residential community was recorded: windows and roofs in houses were damaged. 2 people were injured.
- Russian Su-35 aircraft fired 4 missiles from the Black Sea. 2 missiles hit a military infrastructure facility, where a fire broke out. 1 missile hit the bridge across the Dniester Estuary, which had already been destroyed earlier. Another 1 missile was shot down over the sea.
- An elderly resident of the village of Myla was blown up by a Russian mine in the forest and died.
- The territory of the community was shelled 3 times over the day, 29 strikes were recorded.
- As a result of the shelling, a 2-storey building was destroyed. 6 people were killed, 2 injured.
- Russian troops shelled the town, destructions in the industrial zone were recorded.
- Russians destroyed ~10 private houses, 4 houses burned down, several household buildings also burned. Water supply and gas pipeline were damaged on one of the streets. The hospital, industrial and energy enterprises, and the port were damaged. A 75-year-old woman was wounded.
This was the free part of the military brief
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