Update 04 August

4 augusti, 2022

Russian forces made incremental gains in Donetsk Oblast and all of Ukraine remains under risk of Russian missile attacks as Russian forces continue targeting civilian and military infrastructure far from the front line.

In northern Ukraine, Russian forces continued fired barrel and rocket artillery at civilian infrastructure. On 01 August, Russia targeted Senkivka and Lypkivka of the Chernihiv Oblast and Stara Huta, Pavlivka, Pokrovka, and Bilopylla in Sumy Oblast.

In the east of Ukraine, Russian military forces continued limited unsuccessful ground attacks along the Kharkiv city front line. Fighting continued near Dementiivka and reports indicated on 03 August that Russian forces failed to advance in the Kochubeivka-Dementiivka direction, approximately 40km north of the city of Kharkiv. Intensive Russian shelling continued in north, east, and south of Kharkiv city and on 03 August, Russian forces struck two neighbourhoods in Kharkiv with S-300 air defence missiles shot from Belgorod, killing at least one civilian and damaging residential and commercial buildings.

Russian forces continued to shell settlements west and southeast of Izyum, on the Kharkiv City-Izyum line and carried out limited ground assaults northwest of Slovyansk along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border.

In the Donbas, in Donetsk Oblast Russian military forces continued to conduct ground assaults east and northeast of Siversk and made a limited and unsuccessful attack on Ivano-Darivka on 02 August. Russian forces made gradually advances southeast of Bakhmut and continued to conduct ground attacks to the northeast, east, and southeast of Bakhmut. On 03 August, the Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russia conducted assaults around Volodymyrivka, Yakovlivka, and Soledar (all within 15km northeast of Bakhmut), Pokrovske (about 5km due east of Bakhmut), and Vidrozhennya, Kodema, Zaitseve, Semihirya, and Dolomytne (all within 20km southeast of Bakhumt). On 04 August, Russian forces shelled Toretsk, about 35km southwest Bakhumt, killing at least eight people. In addition, Russia advanced in the direction of Donetsk city-Pisky and continued launching unsuccessful assaults on Avdiivka.On 04 August, authorities in the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) claimed that five civilians have been killed due to Ukrainian shelling in residential areas of the centre of Donetsk city.

On 28 July, the Olenivka prison, in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Donetsk Oblast, suffered an attack that killed at least 50 prisoners of war, which Russia and Ukraine accused each other of and requested an investigation into the deadly blast. The UN is setting up a fact-finding mission to investigate the attack. US intelligence believe Russia is preparing to falsify evidence to blame Ukrainian forces for the attack of the prison ahead of visits to the site by outside parties. On 03 August, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry’s Intelligence department claimed that the detonation was carried out by fighters of the private military commando ”Wagner Group” using a highly flammable substance, which caused the rapid spread of fire in the facility.

In the south of Ukraine, Russian forces continued to shell Ukrainian forces along the Kherson Oblast border. Russian forces attempted to regain lost positions in northwest Kherson Oblast on 02-03 August. Russian bombardment of civilians continued in Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk Oblasts. The city of Mykolaiv has been under heavy shelling all week with more than 25 settlements shelled in and around the city, damaging civilian and commercial buildings.

In the night of 03 August, Russian forces launched a series of rocket attacks on the Zaporizhzhia Oblast. One rocket hit ​​the village of Vilnoandriivka and the other an infrastructure facility in the Zavodsky district of Zaporizhzhia city. On 04 August, Western officials stated that the situation in and around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Energodar, is not as critical as it has been presented after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expressed its concern. The IAEA accused Russian forces of violating nuclear safety principles and using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to play on Western fears of a nuclear catastrophe in Ukraine in an attempt to undermine the willingness of Western countries to provide military support for a Ukrainian counter-offensive. Western officials added that Ukraine would be careful not to attack the plant, even if Russia uses it as a launching pad for artillery strikes.

In western Ukraine, the Ukrainian authorities reported that Russian forces launched eight Kh-101 precision-guided missiles aimed at central, southern and western Ukrainian territory on 02 August, and that the Ukrainian air defence shot down seven of the missiles, with the remaining one hitting an anti-aircraft missile complex in Lviv Oblast, near the Polish border. No casualties have been reported so far. All of Ukraine remains under risk of Russian missile attacks, however, the risk of a Russian ground invasion of central and western Ukraine remains low.

International Developments

Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom continues to maintain a reduced flow of gas to Europe due to the delayed return of the Nord Stream 1 turbine – which was undergoing maintenance in Canada – and the malfunctioning of other equipment. On 04 August, Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Gazprom need to verify that the turbine is not subject to Western sanctions. On the other hand, Germany has stated that the turbine could be returned immediately. Russia is very likely to be using the issue as a pretext to cut energy supplies in revenge for Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

On 03 August, the first grain shipment to leave the Ukrainian port of Odesa since the war started passed the inspection by Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN personnel working at a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in nearby Istanbul. Ukraine stated that 17 vessels are loaded and awaiting permission to leave the country and that three ports in the Black Sea are scheduled to renew the export of millions of tonnes of wheat, corn and other crops. The UN-brokered Black Sea agreement is intended help alleviate shortages and rising prices. However, consumers are likely to face even higher wheat prices in the second half of 2022, as importers – who have so far provided supplies bought several months earlier at cheaper prices – will reflect the costs of when wheat prices reached decade highs in May. For this reason, global wheat consumption in July-December could drop by five to eight percent from a year ago.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov declared on 03 August that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was a deliberate attempt by Washington to provoke China. Lavrov stated the visit reflected Washington’s desire to demonstrate its ”impunity and show its lawlessness”. Pelosi’s arrival in Taiwan on 02 August prompted China to conduct the largest military manoeuvres in its history in the seas surrounding Taiwan, raising the risk of confrontation and international tensions already heightened by the war in Ukraine. Russia has come out in support of China due to their strong partnership and recognise Taiwan as part of China.

On 03 August, the Swiss government imposed new sanctions against Russia, banning the purchase, import or transport of gold and gold products from Russia, as had already been imposed by the EU. None of the measures against Russia were aimed at agricultural or food trade between third countries and Russia, in order to tackle the global food and energy crisis. The Swiss government also noted that Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, has also had its assets frozen and is prohibited from providing funds, economic resources or technical services.

On 02 August, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions against a number of Russian elites: several oligarchs, a major steel production company and two of its subsidiaries, a financial institution accused of running a sanctions evasion operation and its CEO, as well as Alina Maratovna Kabaeva – Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alleged girlfriend.

Humanitarian developments

According to the latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there have been more than 10 million border crossings since the latest Russian invasion began on 24 February. Europe has already taken in 6,180,946 Ukrainian refugees. The countries that have taken in the most refugees are Russia, with more than 1,800,000 people, Poland with more than 1,200,000, and Germany and the Czech Republic, with more than 900,000 and 400,000 people respectively.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk and the Head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko, announced that the mandatory evacuation of the Donetsk Oblast has begun, with the first train leaving Pokrovsk and arriving further west in the city of Kropyvnytskyi. An evacuation train is expected every paired-numbered day.

On 03 August, Ukrainian authorities reported that nearly 6,000 people remained stuck due to heavy flooding in the route to Zaporizhzhia through Vasylivka checkpoint, which is one of the few ”green corridors” that allow civilians to escape Russian-occupied territories to safer, Ukrainian-controlled parts of the country. The number of Ukrainian refugees trying to cross the checkpoint had increased due to Ukraine’s counteroffensive and intensifying fighting toward the occupied city of Kherson.


It is likely that Russian forces have decided to attack Avdiivka frontally from the Russian occupied territory of Donetsk Oblast rather than wait for Ukrainian forces to withdraw from their defensive positions as a result of Russian envelopment operations northeast Avdiivka.

Due to intensified fighting in southern Ukraine and continued partisan movements in the occupied territories, Russian forces have withdrawn airborne tactical groups from Donetsk Oblast and redeployed units to the occupied territories of Kherson Oblast over the past two weeks. In addition, the UK Ministry of Defence also noted that Russian forces have probably identified Zaporizhzhia Oblast as a vulnerable front that needs to be reinforced. These Russian troop movements are likely to deprive the Slovyansk effort of needed combat power and create an opportunity for Ukrainian forces to launch a counteroffensive around Izyum.

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