The situation as of 8:00 a.m. on July 25, 2022
Russian forces are carrying out intensive shelling along the entire front line and launching missile strikes on strategic facilities in the rear of Ukrainian forces. They are trying to resume the offensive in several directions in the Donetsk region, but with no success. Instead, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are increasing activity in the southern direction, creating conditions for a counteroffensive.
Battle for Donbas
Attacking from the east, Russian forces are trying to advance in the area of the Vuhlehirsk thermal power plant and in the direction of Siversk. They are also concentrating forces for an offensive against Sloviansk in the northern and northwestern directions.
Shelling and rocket fire continues in the Donetsk region. The priority targets of Russian attacks in recent days have been Kramatorsk, Sloviansk, and Bakhmut. During July 21-24, at least 7 people were killed and 29 injured in the Donetsk region.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces carried out strikes against the facilities of Russian troops in the temporarily occupied territories. On July 23, a warehouse on the territory of a machine-building plant in Horlivka (Donetsk region) was destroyed. Also, Russian military locations in Kadiivka and Khrustalnyi (Luhansk region) were destroyed.
Russian troops launched unsuccessful attacks north of Kharkiv. They have not stopped shelling the city and surrounding areas with artillery and aircraft.
On July 21, 4 people were killed; 25 people were wounded as a result of the strike on Kharkiv‘s housing infrastructure. The next day, 1 more person was reported killed in the region; 5 civilians were wounded.
Shelling continues on the front line. On the morning of July 23, Russian troops launched a missile strike near Zaporizhzhia.
The Russian military stationed themselves on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and continue to use this facility as a base for their operations. However, the Ukrainian Armed Forces were able to launch precise strikes on their positions near the plant.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to use high-precision weapons to strike crossing points that are strategically important to Russian forces. A Russian battery of S-300 anti-aircraft systems and other facilities were destroyed. The increased activity of the Ukrainian military in this area proves that Ukrainian troops have already launched a counteroffensive in the Kherson direction.
Russian troops are strengthening their defense lines and intensive shelling of Mykolaiv region in order to restrain the actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Housing and civilian infrastructure is being damaged by their actions.
Shelling of Ukrainian territory
In recent days, there have been several strikes on the territory of the Dnipropetrovsk region. In particular, the shelling of the towns of Nikopol and Apostolove continues. On July 22, 1 person was killed and 9 were wounded in these areas. The shelling did not stop on the following days. On the night of 25 July, strikes were recorded in the Nikopol, Dnipro and Kryvyi Rih districts of the region.
In the morning of July 23, the Russian military launched a missile strike in the Kirovohrad region. As a result, the Kanatove military airfield and Ukrzaliznytsia facility were damaged; at least 3 people were killed and 19 wounded.
On the same day, Russian troops launched a missile attack on the port of Odesa. The building of the Odesa Fine Arts Museum was also damaged. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine stressed that such actions on the part of the Russian Federation called into question the agreements to unblock the Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which had been agreed the day before in Istanbul with the mediation of Turkey and the United Nations. The UN Secretary General unequivocally condemned the attack on the port of Odessa.
Russian hackers carried out a cyber attack on the servers and networks of Ukrainian radio. They aired a fake about the hospitalization of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has updated civilian casualties from Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. As of July 18, the confirmed casualties are 11,862 (5,110 dead, 6,752 wounded). According to the Office of the Attorney General, as of the morning of July 24, more than 1,042 children (358 dead, 684 wounded) suffered as a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine.
Ukrainian intelligence reported attempts by the Russian Federation to use relatives of Ukrainian POWs for anti-Ukrainian propaganda measures. They are encouraged to go to Russian territory, allegedly to simplify the process of releasing their relatives from captivity. In fact, such actions complicate the resolution of this issue and are used by the Russian special services and propaganda in their interests.
The UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, stated that since February 24, she has received more than 150 appeals concerning sexual violence committed by the Russian military in Ukraine. This information is preliminary; the actual number of rapes of civilians could be much higher.
Ukrainian official sources calculate losses and damages caused by Russian aggression against Ukraine. According to the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, as of July 22, Russian troops damaged 129 cultural heritage monuments in Ukraine. In addition, 105 objects of valuable historical buildings of Ukrainian cities were damaged. Such actions can be qualified as a war crime according to the Hague Convention of 1954.
According to the Ministry of Healthcare, since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, at least 18 Ukrainian medical workers have been killed and more than 50 medical workers have been wounded. Infrastructure has suffered significant losses: 123 healthcare facilities cannot be restored and another 746 require repair. This demonstrates the purposeful destruction of medical infrastructure by Russian troops.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine informs that since the beginning of the full-scale war, Russian troops have caused about UAH 204 billion worth of damage to the Ukrainian environment. More than 2,000 facts of crimes against nature on the territory of Ukraine have now been documented.
The mayor of the temporarily occupied city of Melitopol reports new strikes against the Russian military in the area. Explosions were recorded at the city airfield, where Russian troops are based. The railroad used to deliver equipment and personnel to the front line has also been damaged.
The National Bank of Ukraine adjusted the official exchange rate of the hryvnia against the U.S. dollar, raising it by 25% to 36.6 hryvnia per U.S. dollar. According to the estimations of the National Bank, the adjustment of the exchange rate will increase the inflow and sale of foreign currency proceeds by exporters, minimize the speculative component in the behavior of market participants, in particular “card tourism”, and will stabilize exchange rate expectations.
The National Bank of Ukraine Board decided to keep the discount rate at 25% per annum. NBU states the rapid growth of inflation in Ukraine. According to the forecasts of the Bank, by the end of 2022, it may exceed 30%. International foreign exchange reserves of the state during the second half of 2022 will decrease by 8.6%, to $20.8 billion.
POLITICAL AND DIPLOMATIC EVENTS
Agreements to unblock Ukrainian ports were signed in Istanbul on July 22 to unfreeze grain exports amid a global food crisis caused by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The agreements, concluded for 120 days with the possibility of further prolongation, provide for the unblocking of three Ukrainian ports (Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi) for grain and food exports. In addition, a Joint Coordination Center will be established under the auspices of the UN, which should include representatives of Turkey, Ukraine, the UN and the Russian Federation. The parties guarantee the safe movement of vessels transporting grain and food products from Ukrainian ports. It should be stressed that Ukraine has not signed any agreements with Russia on these issues. Instead, Turkey and the UN, which acted as guarantors of the negotiation process, signed two mirror agreements with Ukraine and Russia. The Ministry of Infrastructure stated that because of the unblocked Ukrainian Black Sea ports it is possible to export about 3 million tons of agricultural products every month. Moreover, according to Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Mustafa Naiiem, thanks to the unblocking of these ports, export revenues will increase by $1 billion a month. However, Russia’s aggressive actions in the Black Sea, namely the attacks on the port of Odesa on July 23, cast doubt on the implementation of the agreements.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi met with a delegation from the United States House of Representatives, headed by Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Adam Smith, who was on a visit to Kyiv. The head of state noted the importance of United States support for Ukraine’s security, particularly in the context of the latest aid package containing HIMARS artillery systems, shells and unmanned aerial vehicles worth about $175 million. Zelenskyi also called on partners to take part in Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction, namely in the implementation of the Fast Recovery plan for infrastructure in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian president had another phone conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The politicians discussed the issue of increasing the training of Ukrainian servicemen on British territory and other aspects of military cooperation. Johnson assured Zelenskyi of London’s unwavering support regardless of who becomes his successor as prime minister.
On July 23, on the initiative of First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, the second summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen was held. The event was held in the format of teleconference bridge between Ukraine, Poland, Belgium, Great Britain and the USA, which was broadcasted in more than 20 countries. The main purpose of the event was to discuss the post-war future of Ukraine and the world and to raise funds for ambulances for Ukraine. Spouses of Latvian and Lithuanian presidents Andra Apine-Levite and Diana Nausėdienė arrived in Ukraine for the summit.
The United States of America is considering the possibility of giving legal qualification to Russian crimes committed on the territory of Ukraine. According to U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink, they are carefully studying the issue of declaring Russia a state sponsor of terrorism in connection with its actions in the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In addition, U.S. Senators Jim Risch (Republican Party) and Ben Cardin (Democratic Party) have submitted a draft resolution recognizing Russia’s actions in Ukraine, particularly the deportations and intentional killing of civilians, as genocide of the Ukrainian people.
Ukraine’s partners report an increase in military supplies. British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that London is going to transfer additional artillery systems and ammunition, counter-battery radars, anti-tank weapons and UAVs to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The provision of additional military assistance has also been confirmed by the US Department of Defense. However, Jake Sullivan, the U.S. Presidential National Security Adviser, stated that Washington was not going to supply Ukraine with ATACMS missiles with a range of up to 300 kilometers. The Biden administration is concerned that such actions might be perceived by Russia as direct involvement of the United States in the conflict.
On July 22, the EU Council decided to allocate to Ukraine a new tranche of €500 million from the European Peace Facility to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces. According to the current priorities expressed by the Ukrainian government, €490 million will be allocated for military equipment, while €10 million will be used to provide equipment and expendables. The total EU contribution under the European Peacekeeping Fund for Ukraine since the start of full-scale Russian aggression now stands at €2.5 billion.
As its partners continue to provide military assistance to Ukraine, the Russian Federation, through its lobbyists, is trying to discredit this process. It continues to promote the narrative that Western weapons are being smuggled out of Ukraine. In this way, Russia seeks to stop the supply chain of military assistance. In particular, on July 21, the media quoted Europol spokesman Jan Op Gen Oorth to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) agency, who reported that the European Police Office was claiming signs of arms smuggling from Ukraine. After the Ukrainian side expressed its concern over such statements and its readiness to discuss the issue substantively, the European Police Office stressed that it was only talking about a potential threat, not specific cases.
The Russian Federation continues preparations to legally formalize control of the temporarily occupied territories in the south of Ukraine. In Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, the occupation administrations are engaged in the formation of so-called electoral commissions. This indicates possible preparations for pseudo-referendums as early as this fall, the results of which could result in the annexation of the respective territories by Russia.
The information in the digest is collected from official sources — reports of state authorities of Ukraine, Ukrainian and international news agencies. The accuracy of the data is carefully checked by the project team and corrected in case of fake news.