ISW: Moscow still has territorial ambitions and claims not only Donbas
The russians continue to conduct offensive operations north of Kharkiv
Rubryka reports, referring to the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) research.
As analysts note, this indicates that the Kremlin has ambitions for territories other than Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
ISW notes that these Moscow ambitions will continue to drain the workforce and equipment, potentially at the cost of offensive power on more critical lines of advance.
"Continued Russian offensive operations around Kharkiv are expending Russia's limited offensive combat capability for extremely limited gains. The diversion of Russian offensive combat power to secondary theaters in Ukraine may hasten the culmination of Russian offensive operations in the Donbas. Russian forces continued offensive operations to regain control of settlements north of Kharkiv City on June 29, indicating that the Kremlin still holds territorial ambitions beyond the Donbas," the review says.
Russian troops also continued their offensive on Sloviansk, the researchers of the events of the war added. russian forces are fighting around Bohorodychne and Krasnopillia to drive southeast on Sloviansk. russian forces also shelled Mykilske—a settlement 15km northwest of Sloviansk to set conditions for offensive operations towards Sloviansk.
The russians continued their offensive in Lysychansk and made minor gains east of Bakhmut, the analysts said in their study. "Russian forces have moved one BTG to the Bakhmut area, which indicates that Russian forces are likely prioritizing positional battles around Bakhmut and may attempt to capitalize on recent advances southeast of Bakhmut to drive directly on the city along the E40 highway," they say.
russian forces continued to focus on defensive operations. They took measures to reinforce their grouping along the Southern Axis on June 29 by deploying one battalion tactical group (BTG) to the Kryvyi Rih direction, likely to support operations near the Kherson-Dnipropetrovsk region border in Vysokopillia and Potiomkyne.
russian occupation authorities continued to set conditions to prepare for referenda on annexing occupied areas of Ukraine into the russian Federation. russian-appointed Kherson Occupation Administration Deputy-Head Kiril Stremousov stated on June 29 that his administration is preparing for a referendum on the accession of the Kherson region to russia.
- Ukrainian sources reported that russian authorities may be preparing to annex areas of southern Ukraine as the "Tavriia Gubernia" and that russian authorities are setting conditions for annexation through preparing referenda in occupied areas.
- russian forces may be planning a false flag provocation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
- russian forces continued offensive operations in and around Lysychansk.
- russian forces made marginal gains east of Bakhmut along the E40 highway and may seek to prepare for a direct offensive on Bakhmut.
- russian forces continued offensive operations to advance on Sloviansk from the northwest near the Kharkiv-Donetsk region border.
- russian forces are continuing to engage in offensive operations north of Kharkiv City, indicating that the Kremlin has territorial ambitions beyond the Donbas that will continue to attrit manpower and equipment, potentially at the cost of offensive power on more critical axes of advance.
- russian forces continued to reinforce their defensive presence along the Southern Axis.
As reported by Rubryka, the Ukrainian military repelled an assault in the direction of the Vuhlehirska thermal power plant: fighting continues near the Lysychansk Refinery.
Also, the Ukrainian military hit another enemy Pantsyr S1 anti-aircraft gun-missile complex on Zmiinyi Island.