Russian forces did not conduct offensive operations in southern Ukraine and focused on defending their occupied positions with aviation and artillery. Ukrainian military officials reported that Russian forces continued to launch airstrikes near Andriivka, situated on the eastern Inhulets River’s bank near the Ukrainian bridgehead. Russian forces also continued aerial reconnaissance near the bridgehead and maintained artillery fire along the contact line in Kherson Oblast. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command stated that Russian forces are rotating manpower and redistributing equipment in unspecified directions in Kherson Oblast but noted that the composition of Russian troops in the area has not changed as of August 5. Russian forces launched rockets at Nikopol, Zaporizhia City, and Mykolaiv City from MLRS systems. Social media footage also showed Russian forces transporting a Buk air defense system near Pryazovske, southeast of Melitopol, on an unspecified date.
Ukrainian military officials confirmed several strikes at Russian strongholds and ammunition depots throughout Kherson Oblast. The Ukrainian Southern Operational Command stated that Ukrainian missile units destroyed two Russian control points belonging to the 76th Airborne Assault Division and the 49th Combined Arms Army in Chornobaivka (about 5km northwest of Kherson City), a command and observation post of an unspecified battalion tactical group (BTG) in Bruskinske along the T2207 highway, and an ammunition depot in Oleshky southeast of Kherson City. Ukrainian local officials noted that Russian forces are continuing to accumulate large quantities of military equipment in Oleshky, likely in preparation to defend logistics routes to Kherson City and to establish defensive positions on the left bank of Dnipro River. Social media users published footage of a large smoke cloud coming from Skadovsk (approximately 62km south of Kherson City), but Ukrainian officials have not confirmed any Ukrainian attack on that location as of the time of this publication.
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 conducted a limited ground attack northwest of Slovyansk and otherwise shelled settlements along the Izyum-Slovyansk line on August 6. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops tried and failed to advance on the western outskirts of Bohorodychne, about 17km northwest of Slovyansk. Russian forces continued artillery strikes on settlements along the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border, including Mazanivka, Adamivka, Kurulka, Dibrovne, Dovhenke, Krasnopillya, and Dolyna.
Russian forces did not conduct any confirmed ground attacks on Siversk and continued to shell Siversk and surrounding settlements on August 6. Social media posted to Twitter on August 5 showed elements of the Russian 55th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military district reportedly operating in the direction of Siversk. This imagery seemingly confirms that elements of Russian Colonel General Aleksandr Lapin’s “Central Group” of forces are still operating in northeastern Donetsk Oblast near the Luhansk Oblast border, as ISW has previously reported.
Russian force conducted a series of ground attacks east and south of Bakhmut on August 6. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian troops attempted to gain more advantageous tactical positions around Stryapivka, Bakhmutske, Soledar, Yakovlivka, Volodymyrivka, and Pokrovske, settlements along the eastern arc of Bakhmut and all within 12km of the outskirts of Bakhmut. Russian troops additionally continued localized ground attacks south of Bakhmut around Vidrozhennya, Vershyna, Kodema, and Zaitseve and otherwise shelled Bakhmut and surrounding settlements to support ongoing ground operations. Geolocated footage posted by the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) militia forces indicates that Russian forces have likely captured Travneve, a small settlement about 17km south of Bakhmut.
Russian forces conducted a series of ground attacks in an attempt to break through Ukrainian lines of defense in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City area on August 6. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to penetrate Ukrainian defenses north of Donetsk City in the Spartak-Avdiivka, Novoselivka Druha-Krasnohorivka, and Lozove-Nevelske directions. Russian troops also attempted to push west of their positions near Oleksandrivka towards Maryinka, about 5km west of the Petrovskyi district of Donetsk City. Ukrainian sources additionally refuted Russian claims that Russian forces have full control over Pisky, and geolocated footage of Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) soldiers in Pisky indicates that Russian troops likely only control the southeastern outskirts of Pisky.
Russian forces conducted several limited ground attacks southwest of Donetsk City in the direction of the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border on August 6. The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to break through Ukrainian defenses around Krylivka, Pavlivka, Novomaiorske, and Prechystivka- all southwest of Donetsk City and within 30km of the Zaporizhia Oblast border. Russian forces continued air and artillery strikes in the area between Donetsk City and the oblast border.
Amnesty International has said the Ukrainian army is endangering the life of civilians by basing themselves in residential areas, in a report rejected by Ukrainian government representatives as placing blame on it for Russia’s invasion.
The human rights group’s researchers found that Ukrainian forces were using some schools and hospitals as bases, firing near houses and sometimes living in residential flats. The report concluded that this meant in some instances Russian forces would respond to an attack or target residential areas – putting civilians at risk and damaging civilian infrastructure.
It also criticised the Ukrainian army for not evacuating civilians who could be caught up in the crossfire.
“We have documented a pattern of Ukrainian forces putting civilians at risk and violating the laws of war when they operate in populated areas,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general.
However, the head of Amnesty Ukraine’s office, Oksana Pokalchuk, wrote on Facebook that her operation disagreed with the report. She said they were cut out of the pre-publication process when they complained that the report was based on incomplete evidence compiled by foreign colleagues.
“Our team’s arguments about the inadmissibility and incompleteness of such material were not taken into account,” wrote Pokalchuk. “The representatives of the Ukrainian office did everything they could to prevent this material from being published.”
Ukraine’s deputy defence minister, Hanna Maliar, accused Amnesty of “distorting the real picture” and of failing to understand the situation on the ground. She said Ukrainian soldiers were deployed in cities and populated areas to defend them from Russian attack.
“There is no chronology of events [in the report]. The Russian Federation is committing the crime here. Ukraine is protecting its land. Moscow ignores all the rules of war. And unlike Ukraine, it doesn’t let in international organisations like Amnesty,” said Maliar.
Speaking at a briefing in Kyiv, Maliar stressed that the Ukrainian armed forces laid on buses to evacuate civilians from the frontline. Some refused to go, despite repeated pleas and offers of transport to safer regions. Ukraine gave access to outside agencies including the international criminal court and carried out its own investigations into abuses committed by its troops, she said.