Russian troops have concentrated their efforts on limited offensive actions in Donbas – in the area of the Vuhlehirsk thermal power plant, on the Bakhmut-Siversk line, and near Avdiivka. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are stepping up pressure on Russian positions on the right bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region. They are striking at the transport infrastructure, which is critical for the logistical support of the Russian grouping in the area. Active shelling along the entire front line and missile strikes by Russian forces on Ukrainian territory continue.
Battle for Donbas
The area of the Vuhlehirsk TPP, located near the town of Svitlodarsk, remains the epicenter of active combat operations. Russian troops are attempting to capture the facility and have partial success in advancing. Achieving a result here will allow them to continue their attacks on Bakhmut and, in prospect, to carry out an offensive on Kramatorsk and Sloviansk from the south. Russian troops are also creating conditions for attacks on the Soledar-Siversk line. On the Sloviansk direction, fighting is ongoing in the area of Sviatohirsk.
Russian troops continue shelling along the entire front line. They hit a hotel building in Bakhmut. On July 27, large-scale explosions occurred in Avdiivka, and the city was shelled with artillery. Instead, the Armed Forces of Ukraine struck an oil depot in Donetsk, where Russian fuel supplies were stored.
Between July 25-27, at least 9 civilians were killed and 17 wounded in the Donetsk region.
In Kharkiv region, Russian troops are defending occupied positions and carrying out shelling of the region’s territory. As a result of a strike on Chuhuiv on the night of July 25, a school and a house of culture were damaged, and 3 people were killed. On the morning of 28 July, the town was again the target of shelling. Rocket attacks continue in Kharkiv and nearby communities. On July 27, 6 people were injured as a result of the shelling in the regional center. The Russian Federation uses S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to target ground targets in Kharkiv, indicating that the Russian Federation lacks surface-to-surface missiles.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine are gradually increasing the intensity of operations in the Kherson direction. On the night of July 27, the Ukrainian military used high-precision weapons to strike strategically important transport facilities in Kherson – the Antonivskyi Road Bridge and the railroad bridge across the Dnipro River. Damaging them significantly complicates the support of the Russian grouping on the right bank of the river. Thus, the logistics routes of the Russian troops in Kherson region are kept under fire, which complicates their operations and replenishment.
However, Russian troops retain the ability to strike Ukrainian positions and civilian infrastructure. They do not stop shelling in the Mykolaiv region. A missile strike was carried out on the port infrastructure in the region.
Shelling of Ukrainian territory
Russian troops are launching strikes in Dnipropetrovsk region. Continuous shelling of border communities on the territory of Sumy and Chernihiv regions persists. A missile strike in the Odesa region damaged private buildings in coastal villages. Over Volyn region, Ukrainian air defenses shot down enemy UAVs. Their falling debris resulted in the death of 1 person and injured 3 others. In the morning of July 28, missile strikes were launched from the territory of Belarus against the territory of Kyiv and Chernihiv regions, including explosions recorded in the Vyshhorod district near the capital of Ukraine.
According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as of July 25, the number of civilian casualties in Ukraine since the beginning of the large-scale Russian invasion is 12,272 (5,237 killed and 7,035 wounded). According to the Office of the Prosecutor General, as of the morning of July 27, the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine resulted in over 1,048 child casualties (358 children killed, 690 wounded).
The process of returning the bodies of fallen servicemen in accordance with the Geneva Convention norms continues. As a result of another exchange on July 26, 2022, Ukraine returned the bodies of 25 more fallen military personnel.
The Russian military continues its repressive actions in the temporarily occupied territories. In Enerhodar, at the Zaporizhzhia NPP, they are holding about 100 plant workers captive. On the territory of Kherson region during the occupation they kidnapped at least 300 local activists and 63 representatives of local authorities. The Russian occupation administration is trying to intimidate the local population, minimize resistance and replace the kidnapped Ukrainian officials with their protégés.
The Russian Armed Forces are also preventing Ukrainian civilians from leaving the temporarily occupied territories. According to Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov, queues of more than 1,000 vehicles with people wishing to leave have formed at the Russian checkpoint in Vasylivka (Zaporizhia region). At the same time, the Russian military artificially complicates the process of leaving, allowing 20 to 150 cars a day. It is reported that during the week of waiting in line in difficult conditions 5 people out of 5,000 civilians died.
Since the beginning of full-scale armed aggression, Russian troops in Ukraine have damaged at least 183 religious buildings. 5 Muslim, 5 Jewish, and 173 Christian structures are among those destroyed or damaged. By its actions, the Russian Federation violates the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict.
In temporarily occupied Kherson, a car exploded with two representatives of the so-called “police” formed by the occupation administration. According to intelligence, one of them was killed.
On July 26, Naftogaz failed to pay its Eurobond holders on the last day of the grace period, which means the company is in default. This will have serious consequences, particularly with regard to Naftogaz’s future borrowings, which are necessary for the stable passage of the heating season.
The European Investment Bank has allocated €1.59 billion in financial assistance to Ukraine to restart critical infrastructure and essential projects.
The head of the National Bank Kyrylo Shevchenko in an interview with Reuters revealed that by the end of the year Ukraine wants to sign a new agreement with the IMF for $15-20 billion with repayment within 2-3 years.
After the National Bank of Ukraine adjusted the official exchange rate of the hryvnia against the U.S. dollar by 25% to 36.6 UAH/USD, the average exchange rate on the cash market fell below the psychological limit of 40 UAH/USD.
POLITICAL AND DIPLOMATIC EVENTS
A Joint Coordination Center set up under the so-called “grain agreement” to ensure safe export of Ukrainian agricultural products by sea began its work in Istanbul. But its effectiveness remains questionable at a time when Russia is demonstratively violating its guarantees and using the blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports in its geopolitical interests.
The European Union published its annual report on Ukraine’s implementation of the Association Agreement, in which it positively assessed the steps taken by Kyiv on the way to European integration. The report covers Ukraine’s implementation of reforms within the framework of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU from December 1, 2020 until the beginning of Russia’s full-scale military aggression on February 24, 2022. High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell summarized that Ukraine has made important steps in the implementation of the Agreement. Adaptation to European requirements is being actively pursued.
The process of deepening cooperation with the European Union is underway. The Verkhovna Rada passed a law adapting the Ukrainian customs legislation to that of the EU member states. Also the European Union included Ukrainian logistic routes in the Trans-European transport network.
Ukraine intensifies contacts with South America. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has held a meeting with Alejandro Giammattei Falla, President of the Republic of Guatemala, who was on a visit to Kyiv. Additionally, Zelenskyi had the first conversation in the history of Ukrainian-Uruguayan relations with the president of this state, Luis Lacalle Pou.
On July 27, Slovenian Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon arrived in Kyiv, demonstrating the Slovenian authorities’ support for Ukraine. Slovenia is preparing a new aid package for Ukraine and is ready to launch new programs, particularly for the rehabilitation of war-affected Ukrainians.
The German government has approved the sale of 100 Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled artillery units to Ukraine. The cost of the contract is estimated at €1.7 billion. At the same time, the production of the entire number of units may take several years.
The UK has imposed new sanctions against Russia’s top leadership in response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It is noted that sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, were imposed against 42 new individuals and entities, including several governors of Russian regions. At the same time, the EU Council extended sanctions against a number of economic sectors of Russia for another six months. The restrictions apply to the financial, energy, technology, transport, dual-use goods, industry and luxury goods sectors.
The Russian Federation keeps using the energy factor as an element of blackmail and pressure on Europe. It has cut gas supplies through the Nord Stream-1 pipeline to 20% of its capacity. European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson stated that such actions of Russia are politically motivated. In the context of rising gas prices, the EU countries agreed on a voluntary consumption reduction plan.
The Ukrainian prosecutor’s office is investigating activities aimed at undermining the defense and potential of the state and strengthening Russian influence in Ukraine. Former Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Hryshchenko and former Ukrainian Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych are reportedly suspected of high treason. Both officials worked in the government at the time of President Viktor Yanukovych and were involved in the 2010 Kharkiv Agreements, which extended the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s stay in Crimea.
In Ukraine, changes in the system of state and military command were approved. In particular, Ruslan Demchenko was dismissed from the post of First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council and Head of the Intelligence Committee. Andrii Kostin, who previously served as chairman of the parliament’s legal committee, was appointed Prosecutor General of Ukraine. Also, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi dismissed Hryhorii Halahan from his post as commander of the Special Operations Forces and appointed Viktor Khorenko in his place.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson presented Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi with the Sir Winston Churchill Award for leadership demonstrated in war conditions.
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.