A drone attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet wounded six. A train with the bodies of 300 Russian marines arrived in Baltiysk. Russia facing heavy troop losses as Ukrainian military wages its counter-offensive in Kherson.
The death toll from a strike on a bus stop in the southern city of Mykolaiv on Friday climbed to seven after two men died in hospital, Ukraine authorities said.
Reuters reported them saying Russian bombardments targeting the south and east of the country on Saturday had left another dead in Mykolaiv and one dead in Bakhmut.
In Ukraine’s second city of Kharkiv, in the north-east, three Russian S-300 missiles struck a school, the mayor, Igor Terekhov, said on Telegram, adding that the main building was destroyed.
A Ukrainian spokesman said its forces had set fire to grain fields around Mariupol so they could not be used by Russian forces.
The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has said the country’s harvest could be half its usual amount this year.
He posted on Twitter: “Ukrainian harvest this year is under the threat to be twice less. Our main goal — to prevent global food crisis caused by Russian invasion. Still grains find a way to be delivered alternatively.”
The Ukrainian military repelled attempted Russian advances in eastern Ukraine and pounded critical Russian logistical hubs overnight into Saturday as Russia continued to bombard towns and cities along the 400-mile front line.
Ukraine made small but steady gains in the southern region of Kherson, a port city in the south where thousands of Russian soldiers are now largely isolated after Ukrainian strikes on key supply routes.
A senior U.S. Defense Department official acknowledged those advances at a news briefing on Friday and said there was growing evidence that steep Russian losses had left some units ill-prepared to fight.
The official described Russia’s recent efforts as a failure both on the battlefield and at home, where Moscow’s rhetoric about its ambitions in Ukraine has grown more bombastic in recent days. Senior Kremlin officials have talked of regime change in Kyiv, and Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev of Russia posted a map on his Telegram channel depicting a Ukraine swallowed up by Russia and its neighbors.
Although Russia’s forces are trying to push deeper into the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, they have not been able to break through Ukrainian defenses, according to Ukrainian and Western officials.
“Throughout July, the occupiers have been trying to storm Donetsk region,” Serhii Haidai, the head of the military administration in neighboring Luhansk Province, said in a statement. But unlike with the Russians’ push in the spring and early summer, when they could use their significant artillery advantage to flatten areas before advancing, Mr. Haidai said the Ukrainians’ destruction of Russian ammunition depots had “made it much more difficult for them to replenish arms stocks and maneuver.”
- Russian forces conducted ground assaults around Bakhmut and the environs of Donetsk City as well as southwest of Izyum. One assault east of Bakhmut made limited gains.
- Russian forces did not conduct ground assaults near Siversk again, suggesting that they are deprioritizing operations in that area.
- Satellite imagery showed Russian reinforcements concentrated near the Ukrainian border on the ground line of communication (GLOC) leading toward Izyum.
- Ukrainian forces disrupted a Russian ground assault in Kherson Oblast with preemptive artillery strikes.
- Ukrainian officials claim that damage to the railway bridge across the Dnipro near Kherson renders Russian forces unable to resupply their positions on the west bank of the river by rail.
Subordinate Main Effort—Southern Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk Oblasts (Russian objective: Encircle Ukrainian forces in Eastern Ukraine and capture the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)
Russian forces resumed offensive operations southwest of Izyum and began accumulating military equipment in Belgorod Oblast, just east of the Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully launched assaults on Brazhivka and Dmytrivka, approximately 16 and 18km southwest of Izyum respectively, on July 30. Geolocated footage also showed Ukrainian forces striking an advancing Russian tank in Brazhivka with an anti-tank guided missile on an unspecified date. Geolocated satellite imagery showed a Russian military buildup between June 19 and July 28 in Urazovo, Belgorod Oblast, 12km east of the international border. Russian forces may be increasing military equipment in the area to support westward advances from Izyum, as the buildup is only 55km northeast of Russian GLOCs in Kupyansk that connect to both Izyum and settlements south of Kharkiv City. Russian forces have recently launched several localized attacks northwest of the current Izyum-Slovyansk line, and ground assaults southwest of the line alongside military buildup may support a westward offensive operation.
Russian forces did not launch ground assaults northwest of Slovyansk or conduct offensive operations around Siverk on July 30, likely prioritizing frontal assaults around Bakhmut instead. Russian forces continued to shell Krasnopillya, Dolyna, Adamivka, and Mazanivka northwest of Slovyansk, and damaged the bus station building in Slovyansk. Russian forces also fired artillery at Kramatorsk, Siversk, and settlements around Siversk. The Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation (JFO) reported that Ukrainian forces liberated an unnamed settlement in the Donetsk Oblast direction (the Ukrainian operational direction that refers to Luhansk and Donetsk Oblast.)
Russian forces made limited gains southeast of Bakhmut and launched a series of unsuccessful assaults south and northeast of the city on July 30. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces secured positions on the outskirts of Semihirya (approximately 15km southeast of Bakhmut) after launching an attack from three directions. Russian forces reportedly attempted unsuccessfully to advance west to Travneve from Dolomytne, both settlements approximately 10km northeast of Horlivka. Ukrainian forces also reportedly stopped Russian advances towards Vershyna and Pokrovske, southeast and northeast of Bakhmut, respectively. The Ukrainian General Staff noted that Russian forces are attempting to set conditions for offensive operations in the directions of Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and west of Donetsk City.
Russian forces launched unsuccessful ground attacks northeast and southwest of Avdiivka, and southwest of Donetsk City on July 30. Ukrainian forces reportedly repelled Russian assaults on Krasnohorivka, Avdiivka, and Pisky, likely in an effort to envelop Ukrainian fortifications in Avdiivka from the northeast and southwest. Russian forces also conducted unsuccessful offensive operations in Mariinka and Pavlivka, approximately 22km and 50km southwest of Donetsk City, respectively.
Supporting Effort #1—Kharkiv City (Russian objective: Defend ground lines of communication (GLOCs) to Izyum and prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border)
Russian forces did not conduct offensive operations around Kharkiv City on July 30 but continued to shell settlements northwest, northeast, and southeast of the city. Kharkiv Oblast Administration Head Oleg Synegubov reported that Russian forces launched five S-300 missiles at two Kharkiv City districts.
Supporting Effort #2—Southern Axis (Russian objective: Defend Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts against Ukrainian counterattacks)
Ukrainian forces reportedly preempted a Russian ground assault in northwestern Kherson Oblast on July 30. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian artillery fire stopped Russian forces from launching an assault from occupied Brunskyne on Bilohirka, both located on the western bank of the Inhulets River in northwestern Kherson Oblast. Russian forces also launched airstrikes near Novohryhorivka and Andriivka, both near the Kherson-Mykolaiv Oblast border. Russian forces continued to shell Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk Oblasts with tube and rocket artillery on July 30. Dnipropetrovsk Oblast authorities reported that Russian forces fired 40 Grad Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) rockets at Nikopol, on the western Dnipro River bank. Mykolaiv Oblast officials also reported that Russian forces struck Mykolaiv City with Smerch MLRS.
Russian forces continued efforts to restore logistics and establish defensive positions south of the line of contact amidst continuous Ukrainian strikes on Russian ground lines of communication (GLOCs) and ammunition depots. Social media footage showed Russian concrete fortifications along the Tyahynka-Nova-Khakovka road, likely part of an effort to create defensive positions along the R47 highway to Kherson City and defend on the western Dnipro River bank. Ukrainian officials and satellite imagery confirmed additional damage to a key railroad bridge, just 8km east of the damaged Antonivsky Road Bridge near Kherson City. Kherson Oblast Administration Advisor Serhiy Khlan stated that the damages to the railroad bridge fully precludes Russian military equipment transfers via rail to northern Kherson Oblast. Khlan also noted that eye witnesses saw another strike reportedly on a Russian ammunition depot in Nova Kakhovka on July 30. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command confirmed that Ukrainian forces destroyed the command post of the 34th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade in Bruskynske on July 29. Ukrainian forces also struck a Russian military truck and vehicles parked outside a building in Enerhodar, which Russian occupation officials claimed were part of a humanitarian convoy.