Analysts from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) have pointed out that the Ukrainian strikes on military targets behind Russian lines are compromising the logistics and counter-battery defences of the Russian forces.
Details: The report notes that Ukrainian troops pursued counteroffensive operations in at least three frontline areas on 22 July
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Ukraine's counteroffensive operations may soon galvanise, adding that the slowdown is partly due to limited logistical support.
Ukrainian officials said on 22 July that Ukraine's campaign to intercept Russian military targets in rear areas was successfully disrupting Russian logistics and counter-battery defences, working to Ukraine's advantage.
Colonel Serhii Baranov, Chief of the Main Directorate of Rocket Forces and Artillery and Unmanned Systems of the General Staff of Ukraine, stated that Ukrainian Rocket Forces and Artillery were responsible for approximately 90% of Russian losses.
He said that Ukrainian rocket and artillery units have created a long-range "fire fist" with Western high-precision missiles and artillery systems, noting that Ukrainian strikes have become so strong and accurate to the point that Russian forces can no longer conduct effective counter-battery fire.
Nataliia Humeniuk, Head of the Joint press centre of the Defence Forces of Ukraine's south, said that Ukrainian strikes on Russian ammunition storage points in the deep rear are generating logistical problems for the Russian military.
She noted that this trend is evident in the decrease in the number of Russian attacks in Kherson Oblast, which suggests that Russian troops are experiencing "shell hunger" in the region.
Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, Commander of the Tavriia Operational and Strategic Group of Forces, compared Ukraine's counteroffensive to boxing on 13 July, saying that Ukraine intends to "hold the opponent at arm’s length" to avoid close combat, as Ukraine can effectively defeat Russian forces at a great distance.
Analysts say that the statements by Baranov, Humeniuk and Tarnavskyi indicate that the Ukrainian military is successfully conducting this disruption campaign.
The campaign is a central aspect of Ukraine's plan to create an asymmetric attrition gradient to preserve Ukrainian forces at the cost of slower territory gains while gradually depleting Russians and their hardware.
Furthermore, the experts recall that the Defence Forces struck a Russian oil depot and ammunition storage point in Crimea.
To quote the ISW’s Key Takeaways on 22 July:
- Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations on at least three sectors of the front on July 22.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Ukrainian counteroffensive operations may soon increase in tempo and that the delay in counteroffensive operations was in part due to limited materiel.
- Ukrainian officials stated on July 22 that Ukraine’s interdiction campaign against Russian military targets in rear areas is successfully degrading Russian logistics and counterbattery capabilities, likely contributing to an asymmetrical attrition gradient in Ukraine’s favor.
- Ukrainian forces struck a Russian oil depot and ammunition depot in Crimea as part of this Ukrainian pressure campaign.
- Further details about former Russian officer and ardent nationalist Igor Girkin’s arrest for extremism continue to suggest a shifting balance of power among Kremlin factions and a notable factionalism within the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), in which Girkin had served.
- Girkin’s affiliates have launched a public effort to cast Girkin as an embattled figure in opposition to Russian leadership.
- Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line and in the Bakhmut area but did not make gains.
- Russian forces conducted offensive operations in the Kupyansk and Bakhmut areas and along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line and made claimed advances in the Kupyansk area.
- Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations along the western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhia Oblast border area and in western Zaporizhia Oblast but did not make advances.
- Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhia Oblast border area but did not make any confirmed or claimed advances.
- Prominent Russian Federation Council members opposed a bill aimed at increasing the upper age limit for the conscription age while maintaining the lower limit of 18.
- Russian occupation authorities continue to relocate Ukrainian children in occupied Ukraine to Russia.
- The Wagner Group’s footprint in Belarus is likely expanding.