The situation as of 8:00 a.m. on September 5, 2022
The main hostilities are taking place in the south, where the Ukrainian Armed Forces continue their counteroffensive. Active combat operations are also underway in the Donbas and Kharkiv region. Ukrainian troops have succeeded in certain areas, and have launched further strikes against Russian military infrastructure. The Russian army is trying to hold the front line on the right bank of the Dnipro River, without abandoning its offensive attempts in Donbas. Non-selective shelling of civilian infrastructure continues, primarily in the Kharkiv and Mykolaiv regions.
An IAEA commission came to the territory of Zaporizhzhia NPP. It noted the threat to the safety of the plant as a result of the hostilities.
Battle for Donbas
The aim of the Russian troops is to establish full control over the territory of the Donetsk region. In particular, they have stepped up the intensity of attacks in the Bakhmut direction, and they continue advancing in the Avdiivka area. However, in some parts of the front, the Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to improve their position by liberating a settlement located south of Lyman.
The shelling of civilian infrastructure in the Donetsk region is ongoing. On September 3, the Russian military shelled enterprises in Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, they hit a recreation center in Kurakhove community, and struck a kindergarten in Soledar. In total, 14 people were killed and 18 civilians were wounded as a result of the shelling in the region between September 1 and 4.
Russian troops hold positions near Kharkiv. The shelling of Kharkiv‘s civilian infrastructure continues. On September 2, a missile strike in the city destroyed a modern sports arena –the premises of the Lokomotyv Sports Complex named after H. Kirpa. On the night of September 3, a school in Kharkiv was damaged by rocket attacks. On September 3, 1 person was killed and 2 civilians were injured as a result of the shelling on the territory of the region. The next day, another person was killed and 3 people were wounded in the Kharkiv region.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces were striking at the infrastructure of the Russian forces in the Kharkiv direction. On September 2, they managed to destroy a train of fuel and lubricants in the Kupiansk district of Kharkiv region.
The front line remains stable. On September 2, the Ukrainian Armed Forces hit a train of ammunition of Russian troops near the airfield in Melitopol. Subsequently, they continued shelling Russian military positions in the area.
The AFU continues its offensive, which resulted in the liberation of Vysokopillia, a population center to the north of the Russian bridgehead on the right bank of the Dnipro River. It was an important link in the defense of Russian troops in the Kryvyi Rih direction.
The Ukrainian military continues strikes aimed at weakening the logistics, communications, and military infrastructure of the Russian grouping in the temporarily occupied Kherson region. On September 1, they reported extensive damage to ammunition and fuel and lubricants depots and strikes on logistics and transportation routes. The destruction of Russian facilities in and around Kherson continues. A recreation center used by the Russian military was destroyed. New strikes were carried out against Russian crossings, including the bridge in Nova Kakhovka.
In addition, the neutralization of much of Russia’s air defenses with AGM-88 HARM anti-radar missiles over the past month allows to use the Bayraktar TB2 strike and reconnaissance UAVs, which have destroyed a significant amount of Russian military equipment and artillery in recent days.
The Russian Federation is attempting to strengthen and reinforce its position through increased troop presence in this area. In particular, witnesses in Crimea reported the movement of military equipment towards Kherson.
In response to the AFU offensive, Russian troops continue intensive shelling along the front line. They are striking in the Kryvyi Rih direction using MLRS. At least 1 child was killed and 12 civilians were wounded in recent days. The shelling of Mykolaiv continues unabated. 1 person was wounded in the city because of the actions of Russian troops on September 3. On the same day, 1 child was killed and 4 people (including 2 children) were wounded in the region. On September 4, a missile strike was launched against Ochakiv, damaging an elevator and destroying several thousand tons of grain. On the same day, a massive attack was launched on Mykolaiv again, and significant damage to civilian infrastructure (including medical and educational institutions) was recorded.
Shelling of Ukrainian territory
Rocket attacks continue on the territory of Ukraine, but the Ukrainian air defense system demonstrates high efficiency. Major General Mykola Zhyrnov, head of the Kyiv City Military Administration, reported that Ukraine’s air defense system shoots down 50 to 70% of Russian missiles. In particular, on the night of September 1, air defense units intercepted one of the two missiles fired at the territory of Odesa region. On the evening of September 1, a missile was intercepted in the Kherson region. On the night of September 3, air defense units shot down all five Kalibr missiles used by the Russian forces to hit the city of Dnipro. On the morning of September 4, two missiles were shot down in the Mykolayiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions.
Artillery shelling of certain border regions of Ukraine from the territory of the Russian Federation continues. The target of the attacks is the territory of the Sumy region, where a forest fire broke out as a result of the shelling. In addition, strikes were recorded in the Chernihiv region.
The Security Service of Ukraine exposed two botfarms, which were trying to destabilize the situation in the state with the help of fake accounts in social networks, retransmitting Russian propaganda and trying to discredit the AFU and the top leadership of Ukraine.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine has recorded more than 22,000 shellings since the beginning of the war, 90% of which were targeted at civilian objects. Overall, more than 24,000 civilian targets were hit in Ukraine. At the same time, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the number of civilians killed since February 2022 could be at least 7,000; at least 5,500 more were wounded. According to the Prosecutor General, as of the morning of September 4, as a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, the number of affected children increased to 1,122 (382 children killed, 740 wounded). According to the government platform Children of War, as of September 4, 7,297 children had been deported and 232 were missing.
The international human rights organization Human Rights Watch, in its report “‘Filtration’ and the Crime of Forcibly Transferring Ukrainian Civilians to Russia,” described the forced displacement of civilians as a violation of the laws of war by the Russian Federation, and in some cases it can be considered a crime against humanity. Since the beginning of the war, occupation administrations and Russian commanders have been moving people into Russian territory without their consent. Thousands of Ukrainian citizens have been subjected to forced, harsh and humiliating screening procedures (so-called “filtration”). During these screenings, people are searched, their biometric information is collected, and political views are questioned. At this point, it is impossible to establish how many Ukrainians have been taken to Russia. According to some Russian media reports, as of mid-August their number was 3.4 million, including 555,000 children.
On September 2, Ukraine conducted another prisoner exchange in the Donetsk region, returning 14 military personnel.
Russian troops remain inside the premises of educational institutions in the temporarily occupied territories even after the start of the school year. A school building in the occupied village of Orlianske (Zaporizhzhia region), where about 70 Russian soldiers live on the first floor, has children studying on the second floor. Russian military equipment has been placed in the school yard. A similar situation is found in other schools in the region. Five central schools in Melitopol have military bases, barracks and ammunition depots. Thus, Russian Federation is using Ukrainian children as a “human shield”.
The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine reported that the Russian Federation began mobilization among men in the temporarily occupied Melitopol (Zaporizhzhia region). Local residents are issued summonses and required to fight on Russia’s side.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine has determined that the damage from air, land and water pollution as a result of the full-scale Russian invasion is more than UAH 962 billion. About a third of Ukraine’s entire forest fund has been affected, and the number of forest fires has multiplied.
All EU member states, except Hungary, have agreed to financially guarantee another €5 billion of macrofinancial assistance in the form of long-term loans for Ukraine. The package is expected to be formally adopted at the EU General Affairs Council in Brussels on September 20. The €5 billion is part of a macrofinancial assistance of up to €9 billion announced by the European Commission in May.
The Ministry of Economy reported that due to the “Grain initiative” Ukrainian exports in August increased by 25% and amounted to 7.29 million tons, which equals $3.36 billion in monetary terms ($411 million more than in July). According to the data, the negative balance of Ukraine’s foreign trade in goods in August decreased by almost a third compared to the previous months of summer.
The press service of the National Bank of Ukraine reported that business continues to adapt to military conditions. This is confirmed by the fact that the Ukrainian business in August somewhat weakened the negative assessment of the prospects of its economic activity – the business activity expectations index rose to 44.1 from 43.6 in July.
POLITICAL AND DIPLOMATIC EVENTS
On September 1, a mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in occupied Enerhodar. IAEA Director General Raphael Grossi noted in a statement that he had gathered quite important information at the Zaporizhzhia plant. But he drew attention to the fact that the issue of returning the ZNPP to Ukrainian control is “beyond the capabilities” of the IAEA, which is in charge of inspections and technical issues. Grossi said that the “physical integrity” of the facility had been “violated”. He pointed out two main problems: the threat to the external power supply that supports the cooling and other systems, and the condition of the personnel. However, he did not mention the need for a demilitarized zone around the ZNPP. Six representatives of the IAEA mission were at the plant during the visit of the mission; in the future, two representatives of the Agency will permanently work at the plant. But this did not reduce the danger level. Already on September 3 the nuclear power plant was again disconnected from the outer power line as a result of the shelling. Currently, only one reactor works at the plant with six reactors – it generates electricity for cooling and other important on-site safety functions.
On September 4, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi had a telephone conversation with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The sides discussed the soonest possible allocation of the next tranche of EU macrofinancial assistance to Ukraine. Additionally, Zelenskyi noted the need to prepare the 8th package of sanctions, which should also include a ban on issuing visas to Russian citizens. As is known, the EU decided only to suspend the agreement on a simplified visa regime with Russia, which will make it more difficult for Russians to travel to Europe, but will not ban such visits. The President also said that steps had been coordinated with von der Leyen to limit Russia’s super-profits from oil and gas sales.
Volodymyr Zelenskyi held a meeting with the visiting Danish Foreign Minister, Jeppe Kofod. The Ukrainian President thanked the Danish government for its support during the war. In his turn, Jeppe Kofod said that in the draft budget of Denmark for the next year, Ukraine is the first priority as a recipient of financial and military assistance; Denmark will be especially active in helping the Mykolayiv region, which was significantly affected by the hostilities.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal held a meeting in Germany with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, during which he stressed that Russia unleashed an energy war against Europe, in response to which the EU should completely refuse Russian energy resources as soon as possible. The Ukrainian Prime Minister suggested that Scholz work together on a possible EU and UN mission to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which, according to Shmyhal, should help overcome the energy crisis. Shmyhal emphasized that it is important to continue working together on the demilitarization of the Zaporizhzhia NPP.
On Sept. 2, G7 countries adopted a price cap on Russian oil in an attempt to reduce the Kremlin’s ability to finance a war against Ukraine. The initiative includes incentives for oil-importing countries seeking insurance coverage and transportation services from G7 and EU-based companies to adhere to price ceilings when buying Russian oil.
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.