Russian Offensive Marketing campaign Evaluation, August 4

August 4, 9 pm ET

Click on right here to see ISW’s interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is up to date each day alongside the static maps current on this report.

Ukraine is probably going seizing the strategic initiative and forcing Russia to reallocate forces and reprioritize efforts in response to Ukrainian counteroffensive operations. Russian forces are more and more transferring personnel and tools to Kherson and western Zaporizhia Oblasts on the expense of their efforts to grab Slovyansk and Siversk, which they seem to have deserted. Russian forces are additionally redeploying navy tools – artillery and aviation particularly – to Crimea from elsewhere in Ukraine. Russian forces have beforehand withdrawn from or suspended offensive operations on Kharkiv Metropolis and the southern axis to prioritize capturing Luhansk Oblast, however they did so on their very own initiative based mostly on the altering priorities of their commanders. Russian forces on this case seem like responding to the Ukrainian counteroffensive menace in Kherson Oblast slightly than intentionally selecting targets on which to pay attention their efforts. Even after Ukrainian forces defeated the Russian try to seize Kyiv early within the conflict, the Russians have been ready to decide on freely to pay attention their operations within the east. Ukraine’s preparations for the counteroffensive in Kherson and the preliminary operations in that counteroffensive mixed with the dramatic weakening of Russian forces usually seem like permitting Ukraine to start actively shaping the course of the conflict for the primary time.

The seriousness of the dilemma dealing with the Russian excessive command seemingly depends upon Ukraine’s potential to maintain important counteroffensive operations on a number of axes concurrently. If Ukraine is ready to press exhausting round Izyum because it continues rolling into the counteroffensive in Kherson, then Russian forces will start confronting very troublesome decisions. They may seemingly have to resolve both to desert their westward positions round Izyum in favor of defending their floor traces of communications (GLOCs) additional north and east or to commit extra personnel and tools to attempt to maintain the present entrance line. Such forces must come from one other axis, nonetheless, placing different Russian features in danger. 

Russian forces are seemingly working in 5 to seven strike teams of unclear measurement round Bakhmut, based mostly on the Ukrainian Common Workers descriptions of Russian assaults within the space. Current Ukrainian Common Workers studies have most incessantly recognized Vershyna, Soledar, Kodema, Bakhmut, and Yakovlvka because the repeated targets of localized concentrated Russian efforts round Bakhmut.[1] The Russian teams attacking these targets are reportedly working out of the close by settlements of Pokrovske, Streapivka, Roty, Semihirya, and Vidrozhnnya for now.

Explosions occurred close to the Donetsk Drama Theater and Penal Colony #124 in occupied Donetsk Metropolis on August 4.[2] Russian media broadly publicized the explosions and blamed Ukrainian artillery, however the Ukrainian Workplace of the President denied any shelling of Donetsk Metropolis on August 4.[3] The restricted harm seen within the movies Russia has produced as proof of the Ukrainian assault close to the Donetsk Drama Theater seems to be inconsistent with artillery shelling.[4] Russian officers haven’t supplied footage of the reported assault on Penal Colony #124. Russian milbloggers broadly printed the Russian-provided footage of the aftermath of the explosion close to the Donetsk Drama Theater and used the chance to harshly criticize Ukrainian forces for alleged strikes on civilian targets.[5] Had been the explosions Ukrainian shelling, they might carry additional emotional weight with DNR supporters as a result of they occurred throughout a farewell ceremony for an occupation forces officer KIA on August 3.[6] Russian forces seemingly hope to make use of the emotional response of DNR audiences to such claimed Ukrainian assaults to garner help for brand spanking new offenses within the Avdiivka space and additional recruitment campaigns.

Key Takeaways

  • Ukraine is probably going seizing the strategic initiative and forcing Russia to reallocate forces and reprioritize efforts in response to Ukrainian counteroffensive operations.
  • Russian forces tried to advance northwest of Izyum.
  • Ukrainian forces performed a collection of localized counterattacks between Izyum and Slovyansk and regained positions in quite a lot of settlements.
  • Russian forces continued floor assaults northeast and south of Bakhmut.
  • Russian troops continued makes an attempt to advance on Pisky and performed a restricted floor assault southwest of Donetsk Metropolis.
  • Russian forces continued to switch tools and personnel to northeastern Kherson and western Zaporizhia Oblasts.


We don’t report intimately on Russian conflict crimes as a result of these actions are well-covered in Western media and don’t straight have an effect on the navy operations we’re assessing and forecasting. We are going to proceed to judge and report on the results of those legal actions on the Ukrainian navy and inhabitants and particularly on fight in Ukrainian city areas. We completely condemn these Russian violations of the legal guidelines of armed battle, Geneva Conventions, and humanity though we don’t describe them in these studies.

  • Fundamental Effort—Japanese Ukraine (comprised of 1 subordinate and two supporting efforts);
  • Subordinate Fundamental Effort—Encirclement of Ukrainian Troops within the Cauldron between Izyum and Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts
  • Supporting Effort 1—Kharkiv Metropolis
  • Supporting Effort 2—Southern Axis
  • Mobilization and Power Technology Efforts
  • Actions in Russian-occupied Areas

Fundamental Effort—Japanese Ukraine

Subordinate Fundamental Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian goal: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Japanese Ukraine and seize the whole thing of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)

Russian forces tried to advance northwest of Izyum on August 4. The Ukrainian Common Workers reported that Russian troops performed an unsuccessful assault within the path from Bairak to Husarivka, about 35km northwest of Izyum.[7] Russian forces are seemingly persevering with makes an attempt to penetrate deeper into Kharkiv Oblast however are unlikely to have the ability to achieve important floor on this endeavor.

Ukrainian forces are seemingly benefiting from the redeployment of Russian forces away from the Slovyansk axis and performed localized counterattacks to regain floor southwest of Izyum and northwest of Slovyansk on August 4. Ukrainian Common Workers Fundamental Operations Deputy Chief Oleksii Gromov acknowledged that Ukrainian forces have superior on Russian defensive traces in Dmytrivka, Mazanivka, and Sulyhivka- all about 15km southwest of Izyum.[8] Ukraine’s 93rd Brigade moreover acknowledged that its troops retook Dibrovne, 20km southwest of Izyum.[9] Gromov famous that Ukrainian troops liberated Mazanivka and Dmytrivka, each about 20km northwest of Slovyansk alongside the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border.[10] As ISW beforehand reported, Russian forces have been redeploying particular person models from the Slovyansk axis in the direction of Zaporizhia and Kherson Oblasts within the south, thus depriving the Russian effort in northwestern Donetsk Oblast of obligatory fight energy to safe features alongside the Izyum-Slovyansk line.[11] Current Ukrainian features between Izyum and Slovyansk point out that the redeployment of Russian troops to the south is leaving exploitable gaps within the Russian protection of this axis.

Russian forces didn’t conduct any confirmed floor assaults within the Siversk space on August 4 and continued air and artillery strikes on and round Siversk Metropolis.[12] 

Russian forces continued combating northeast and south of Bakhmut on August 4. Gromov confirmed that Ukrainian troops withdrew from positions in Semihirya and Dolomitne (15 and 18km southeast of Bakhmut, respectively) in the direction of Kodema, the place they’re persevering with to defend towards Russian floor assaults.[13] The Ukrainian Common Workers added that Russian forces are additionally combating round Travneve, Semihirya, and Vershyna, all inside 20km southeast of Bakhmut.[14] Russian forces are persevering with floor assaults round Soledar (about 6km northeast of Bakhmut) in Yakolvika and Straypivka with the intention to advance southwest in the direction of Bakhmut.[15]

Russian forces continued floor assaults in the direction of Pisky from the northwestern outskirts of Donetsk Metropolis and moreover performed restricted assaults southwest of Donetsk Metropolis on August 4. Gromov confirmed that Ukrainian troops withdrew from the Butivka coal mine and took up new positions south of Avdiivka on July 30, which is in step with ISW’s latest assessed management of terrain within the Donetsk Metropolis space.[16] The Ukrainian Common Workers reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully tried to advance on Pisky from Vesle, about 1km due east, and Lozove, 6km southwest.[17] Numerous Russian sources, together with the 11th Regiment of the Donetsk Individuals’s Republic (DNR), claimed that Russian and DNR forces have taken full management of Pisky, however this declare is unlikely contemplating that Ukrainian sources recommend that Russian forces are nonetheless conducting frontal assaults and artillery strikes on Pisky from a number of instructions.[18] Russian forces additionally reportedly performed an unsuccessful assault northwest of Donetsk Metropolis within the neighborhood of Marinka and continued to shell alongside the Avdiivka-Donetsk Metropolis line.[19]

Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv Metropolis (Russian goal: Defend floor traces of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and forestall Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)

Russian forces didn’t conduct any confirmed floor assaults northeast of Kharkiv Metropolis and continued efforts to take care of occupied frontiers alongside this axis on August 4.[20] The Ukrainian Heart for Strategic Communications reported that Russian forces launched 4 missiles from Belgorod on the Nemyshlianskyi district in southeast Kharkiv Metropolis.[21] Russian forces additionally continued routine shelling on Kharkiv Metropolis and settlements to the north, east, south, and southwest with mortars, tanks, and tube and rocket artillery.[22]

Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian goal: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts towards Ukrainian counterattacks)

Russian forces launched unsuccessful assaults on Ukrainian positions close to the Inhulets River on August 3 and August 4. Ukrainian navy officers reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully attacked Bilohirka, Lozove, and Andriivka (on the jap Inhulets River financial institution), and within the path of Bila Krynytsya (on the western Inhulets River financial institution).[23] Russian forces are seemingly persevering with offensive operations within the space to suppress the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River and disrupt Ukrainian threats to Russian floor traces of communication (GLOCs) alongside the T2207 freeway. Russian forces have intensified their air marketing campaign alongside the contact line in Kherson Oblast and reportedly launched airstrikes on 17 settlements.[24] Russian forces additionally continued to shell over 25 settlements alongside the Kherson Oblast administrative border, fired 60 missiles at Nikopol utilizing Grad MLRS, and unsuccessfully launched Onyx anti-ship missile at Odesa Oblast that exploded within the air.[25]

Russian forces continued to redeploy navy personnel and tools from different axes to defend present Russian positions in southern Ukraine. Ukrainian Common Workers Fundamental Operations Deputy Chief Oleksiy Gromov reported that Russian forces transferred three battalion tactical teams (BTGs) that had been working on the frontline across the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast administrative border to northeastern Kherson Oblast.[26] The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command added that Russian forces have continued to switch unspecified parts of the 35th Mixed Arms Army (CAA) which have beforehand fought in Izyum and Kyiv Oblast to northeastern Kherson Oblast.[27] Gromov added that Russian forces additionally strengthened the Zaporizhia Oblast frontline with one BTG and are replenishing stockpiles of weapons and provides in Melitopol. Russian forces will seemingly prioritize the protection of occupied positions north of Melitopol over the frontlines in Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast administrative border space. These BTGs and parts of the 35th CAA are unlikely to generate the mandatory fight energy for additional offensive operations on condition that these models seemingly skilled important losses of personnel and tools on different axes. Gromov additionally famous that Russian forces are transferring massive quantities of navy tools to Kherson Oblast through the Kerch Strait Bridge and are utilizing Crimea as a “bridgehead for stockpiling weapons.“ Gromov acknowledged that Russian forces are additionally regrouping aviation tools from the Japanese Navy District (EMD) in Crimea, and geolocated social media footage confirmed the motion of Russian navy tools throughout the Kerch Strait Bridge.[28]

Ukrainian forces continued to strike Russian GLOCs, positions, and navy bases in Kherson Oblast. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command reported that Ukrainian aviation struck two Russian strongholds within the areas of Blahodatne and Pravdyne, each positioned northwest of Kherson Metropolis.[29] Ukrainian forces have additionally reportedly destroyed the command submit of the Russian 22nd Army Corps throughout a strike on Chornobaivka, additionally northwest of Kherson Metropolis.[30] Advisor to the Kherson Oblast Administration Head Serhiy Khlan additionally reported explosions at a Russian ammunition depot in Nova Mayachka (roughly 48km southeast of Kherson Metropolis) however didn’t specify if Ukrainian forces struck the depot.[31] Social media customers reported witnessing explosions close to the Antonivskyi Railway Bridge, however it’s unclear if Ukrainian forces tried to strike the bridge on August 3.[32]

Mobilization and Power Technology Efforts (Russian goal: Increase fight energy with out conducting common mobilization)

Russian navy authorities continued to take measures to compensate for personnel losses in Ukraine. Ukrainian Common Workers Fundamental Operations Deputy Chief Oleksiy Gromov reported on August 4 that Russian forces are forming extra reserves to replenish models which have suffered losses in Ukraine, noting that Russian navy officers are contemplating the redeployment of Russian troops from Syria to replenish the military.[33] Gromov additionally reported that Russian management is getting ready legislative modifications that prohibit the discharge of troopers if martial legislation is said in an effort to cease the outflow of navy personnel.[34] Gromov added that there’s a scarcity of cadets for Russian navy establishments, and there may be “a low exercise charge” of civilians signing navy contracts.[35]

Russian federal topics continued to kind extra volunteer battalions to deploy to Ukraine. The Ministry of Social Safety of Karelia introduced the process for volunteers of the “Ladoga” and “Onega” models to obtain the promised cost of 100,000 rubles (roughly $1,612) upon enlisting.[36] Petrozavodsk Navy Commissioner Vladimir Kudrik introduced on June 27 that the Republic of Karelia will kind the “Ladoga” and “Onego” models with over 300 complete volunteers for deployment to Ukraine.[37] Luhansk Individuals’s Republic (LNR) Head Leonid Pasechnik introduced that 200 volunteers from the Russian Special Forces College will deploy to Donbas from their coaching grounds in Gudermes, Chechnya, “within the coming days.”[38] These volunteers are seemingly recruits of unspecified volunteer battalions that underwent coaching in Chechnya.

Exercise in Russian-occupied Areas (Russian goal: consolidate administrative management of occupied areas; set circumstances for potential annexation into the Russian Federation or another future political association of Moscow’s selecting)

Russian authorities continued setting circumstances for long-term Russian management of the occupied territories in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Fundamental Navy Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reported on August 4 that the Russian Ministry of Building and Housing and Communal Affairs launched a doc titled “Idea of the Grasp Plan for the Improvement of the Metropolis of Mariupol.”[39] The report states that Russian occupation authorities intend to completely combine Mariupol into the Donetsk Individuals’s Republic (DNR) with a prospect of accession into Russia and that the Ministry plans to revive transport and social infrastructure “inside the subsequent few years.”[40] The report initiatives Mariupol’s inhabitants to develop to 200,000 by 2025. Its inhabitants had numbered roughly 500,000 previous to the latest Russian invasion of Ukraine.[41]

Residents of occupied territories continued resisting Russian occupation efforts on August 4. Advisor to the Ukrainian Ministry of Inner Affairs Vadym Denisenko reported that Russian occupation officers have struggled to seek out volunteers to kind customary 15-person election commissions and have as a substitute established a 7-person committee in Kherson Metropolis.[42] Earlier Kherson Oblast elections had 10,000 commissions whereas Russian officers are solely planning to kind 1,500, of which most shall be staged for TV propaganda efforts.[43]

The Ukrainian Resistance Heart reported that Russian forces are illegally seizing companies in Kherson Metropolis and that Ukrainian staff refuse to work for Russian-controlled enterprises.[44] Kherson Oblast Administration Head Dmytro Butrii reported that Russian authorities kidnapped Hornostaiv neighborhood head Dmytro Lyakhno and native volunteer Oleksandr Slisarenko for reportedly refusing to cooperate with occupation officers in Kherson Oblast on August 3.[45]

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