In today's summary:
- A blow was struck on the Chongarsky bridge, the shortest route from the Crimea to Melitopol;
- The Ukrainians claim that Russia used Kinzhal missiles, but they "did not achieve their goal";
- Prigozhin spoke about the difficult situation at the front, his statements are refuted by “military correspondents”;
- The Ukrainian counteroffensive has so far been less successful than Western officials expected, writes CNN;
- “You just won’t even believe in these numbers” - the Russian military spoke about the losses at the front;
- Russian officials continue to publicly announce fantastic numbers of equipment lost by the Armed Forces of Ukraine;
- The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation returns to the war servicemen with serious injuries;
- Israel can supply Merkava tanks to Cyprus, which, in turn, will transfer the T-80 to the Ukrainians.
Mutual shelling and sabotage
The main event of the last 24 hours is the strike on the Chongar bridge , the shortest route from the Crimea to Melitopol . Messages about this appeared in the Telegram channels of the “head” of the Crimean administration Sergey Aksyonov and the Russian-appointed “governor” of the Kherson region Vladimir Saldo. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Ukrainian authorities have not yet commented on reports of strikes. Aksyonov said that there were no victims, the bridge was already being repaired, and they promised to restore traffic on it in an hour, but so far there is no information about the operation of the bridge. Saldo claims that Ukrainian forces used British Storm Shadow missiles to strike.
Ukrainian military expert Alexander Kovalenko, in a conversation with The Insider, points out the long-term consequences of attacks on communications that connect Crimea with parts of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions occupied by Russian troops through Chongar :
The strikes were primarily delivered to disrupt logistics. Through the village of Chongar passes not only the automobile E105 in the direction of Melitopol, the railway passes through Sivash. It is in this location that road and rail links with the mainland of Ukraine take place. The disruption of this logistics will significantly undermine the logistics of the Russian occupation forces in the south.
If this logistics is cut off, then there will be routes to the mainland through Armyansk, and this is a colossal logistical hemorrhoid, and the exit to Chaplinka is only two routes. If we are talking about Melitopol, then this is a colossal detour: go to Chaplinka, then to Novoalekseevka, which is in the Chongar region, and only then go to Melitopol. This is a colossal waste of not only fuel, if we talk about cars, but also resources. There is another option to exit through Chaplinka to the north, to the E58 highway, but it brings such logistic columns into the coverage area of our "Ukrainian - The Insider" artillery.
Pro-Russian Telegram channels draw parallels with strikes on the Antonovsky bridge across the Dnieper . The channel "Military Informant" writes that the systematic shelling of the Antonovsky bridge and the bridge over the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station for a long time allowed the Armed Forces of Ukraine to achieve serious problems with logistics from the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and ultimately became one of the main reasons for the Russians to leave the right bank of the Kherson region .
"Military Informant" notes that now the Armed Forces of Ukraine intend to implement a similar plan in relation to the Russian group in the Zaporozhye region , trying to make it difficult to supply the defending units of the RF Armed Forces at the forefront by cutting their main transport artery from the Crimea through Chongar and Sivash .
The Rybar Telegram channel associated with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, in turn, writes that “a strike on the bridge near Chongar is a good reason to start creating crossings near all structures connecting Crimea with the Kherson region .” It is noted that in addition to the transfer of the pontoons themselves, the construction of access roads on both sides of the water barrier and other work is required. This will make it possible to keep the supply of the Zaporozhye grouping from the peninsula along a short route in case of serious damage to the Chongarsky bridge , since, as the authors of the channel write, it is too costly to hit each pontoon with expensive cruise missiles for the Armed Forces of Ukraine even with all Western supplies, and the possibilities of a salvo are limited by the number of modified under them the use of media.
Telegram channels of different political orientations suggest that the purpose of the strike was to destroy the canvas and hit one of the bridge pillars, but something went wrong and the bridge survived.
Russian military expert Ilya Kramnik explains why Ukrainian Su-24s managed to take off and launch missiles at all to hit the bridge. He notes that, taking into account Western intelligence support, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are aware of the presence of Russian AWACS (Airborne Early Warning Radar System) aircraft in the air and the work of fighters on BRLS (airborne radar) radiation, therefore they can fly when these Russian detection systems are not in the air.
According to the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, on the night of June 22, Russian forces attacked Ukraine from the air with three Kh-22 missiles, three Kinzhal ballistic missiles, and Shahed family strike drones (also known as Geran). All drones were shot down by air defense systems.
It is interesting that with regard to Russian missiles, the message uses the wording “did not reach their target”, and they are not recorded as downed ones. What this could mean can be seen in a video and photo from the Krivoy Rog district of the Dnipropetrovsk region , where one of the rockets left a huge crater in the middle of a rural street. The impact reportedly damaged 10 private homes and cut off a gas pipeline, but no one was hurt.
At the same time, the Rybar Telegram channel reports that the target of one of the missile strikes was the abandoned Constar turbine plant in Krivoy Rog - four explosions thundered in the area of the enterprise. According to these data, after shelling from the workshops, the sounds of secondary detonation were heard, which indicates a possible defeat of the ammunition depot.
The situation at the front
One of the founders and the main public representative of PMC Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, spoke about the difficult situation at the front the day before. According to him, in the Kherson and Zaporozhye directions, the Ukrainian military took control of several settlements, and "the Russian army lost huge chunks of territory."
We have Pyatikhatki under the enemy, the northern part of Rabotino is under the enemy, Harvest is under the enemy. And this suggests that huge pieces have been given to the enemy, ”Prigozhin said. According to him, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are moving towards the Molochny estuary , and if they reach it, then "most of the territories that were captured during the so-called NWO will be returned to the enemy."
According to Prigozhin, the soldiers of the RF Armed Forces write letters to the command all day long that they need shells, anti-tank weapons, grenades and armor-piercing cartridges, and the shortage of personnel in active units reaches 50-60%.
“All these figures are carefully hidden. All that the leadership of the special operation is doing today is juggling facts in order to send beautiful reports to Moscow, ”says Prigozhin, saying that at the collegium of the Ministry of Defense on June 20, the Army-2023 exhibition was on the agenda, the main organizers of which were his wife and daughter of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, as well as a naval parade.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has not officially commented on this information, but Russian "military correspondents" and bloggers do not agree with Prigozhin.
Voenkor VGTRK Alexander Sladkov publishes in his channel the comments of soldiers from the directions that Prigozhin named - while the owner of the Wagner himself is not mentioned in the post. As Sladkov notes, he, on his own initiative, decided to ask them about the situation.
In particular, to the question “ Pyatihatki follow the enemy, do they go further or not?” one of the military correspondent's sources replied: "No, they were burned, many are being taken prisoner." Another interlocutor of Sladkov in the Orekhov direction to the question “Is it true that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are in Rabotino , and in Sadovoye over Tokmak ?” called this information "lies". Another source of the military correspondent answered the same question as follows: “I don’t understand at all ... Maybe they are going to surrender? Well, or do they have a vacation there, and is there someone from Tokmak in the Armed Forces of Ukraine? Gathered in a bunch so that it would be cheaper to get there?
One of the fighters located in the South Donetsk direction , in response to Sladkov’s question: “What is there in Harvest , are they breaking through <APU - The Insider> further, or not”? assured that "there is silence on the air, in the fields too."
The WarGonzo project reports that in the Zaporizhia direction, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, with the support of artillery, conducted assault operations near Zherebyanki , in the area of Rabotin and Verbovoye . According to this data, the attacks were not successful.
In the Bakhmut direction, Russian units, supported by artillery, counterattacked in the Orekhovo-Vasilyevka area - according to WagGonzo, "without advancement." Also, according to the project, twice a day the Armed Forces of Ukraine attacked in the Orekhov-Rabotino direction, the fighting continues there.
The Romanov Light Telegram channel reports that in Marinka , the “eminent unit” advanced only 200 meters. Presumably, we are talking about the special forces "Akhmat", commanded by Kadyrov's ally Apti Alaudinov (he reported on the offensive in Maryinka back in early June ).
The slowdown of the counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine can be carried out to exhaust the forces of the Russian troops and prepare for further offensive actions. This opinion is in a recent review of the statement of the analyst of the American Institute for the Study of War (The Institute for the Study of War, ISW). They added that yesterday the Armed Forces of Ukraine carried out counter-offensive operations in at least three sectors of the front.
Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Anna Malyar said on June 21 that Ukrainian troops achieved partial success in offensive operations on the Belogorovka-Shipilovka line in the direction (10 km south of Kremennaya in Lugansk ).
Russian "military correspondents" claim that Ukrainian forces also counterattacked in areas south and west of Kremennaya . Judging by the footage in Ukrainian sources , the consequences of this attack were disappointing for the Russians.
The General Staff of Ukraine reported that the Armed Forces of Ukraine continued offensive operations in the west of Donetsk and the east of Zaporozhye regions on the Volnoe Pole-Makarovka line.
Ukrainian and Russian sources report that Ukrainian forces are continuing offensive operations in the western part of Zaporizhia Oblast , both south and southwest of Orekhov , and that Russian forces are conducting counterattacks to regain lost ground in that direction.
The slower than expected pace of Ukrainian counter-offensive operations does not give grounds to underestimate the offensive potential of Ukraine, the ISW emphasizes . The APU is likely setting the stage for future major efforts, even with some initial setbacks. According to analysts, the current Ukrainian operations may have not only territorial goals. Ukrainian forces could launch several theater-wide offensives to gradually deplete Russian forces and set the stage for a future main attack. Losses are inevitable on both sides, but careful operational planning on the Ukrainian side is likely to mitigate and balance them with the equally important task of attrition and degradation of Russian forces.
CNN released a story about how Western officials assess the UAF counteroffensive. It has had less success in the initial stages, and Russian forces are showing more competence than expected in the West, two officials and a senior US military official told CNN. According to one of them, the counteroffensive "does not live up to expectations on any sector of the front."
According to these estimates, the Russian defense lines appeared to be well fortified, making it difficult for Ukrainian forces to break through them. In addition, Russian forces successfully hit Ukrainian armored vehicles with missile strikes and mines and used aircraft more effectively.
Officials warned that the counter-offensive was still in its early stages and that the US and its allies "remain optimistic" that Ukrainian forces could eventually retake the territory.
The Insider released an overview of the UAF counteroffensive, which, in particular, assesses the current situation and the future prospects of the operation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin held an operational meeting with permanent members of the Security Council of the Russian Federation. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have reduced their activity and are regrouping. Also, according to Shoigu, the available weapons of the Ukrainian army, as well as new supplies from the West, "will not significantly affect the course of hostilities."
Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev reported to Putin on the losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the period from 4 to 22 June. According to these data, the Russian military destroyed 246 tanks, including 13 Western-made units, 595 armored fighting vehicles, 279 artillery pieces and mortars, 10 fighter jets and 264 UAVs. The losses of the personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are estimated at the level of more than 13 thousand people.
The author of the Thirteenth Telegram channel, Russian serviceman Yegor Gouzenko, said that the Russians were suffering serious losses:
In fact, every day, 6-7 people of the 200th, today 4, and this is only in one airborne regiment, former prisoners died the other day, out of three hundred, six survived, and if you calculate the total losses of all units, then you simply won’t even believe in these numbers.
The idiots who rush about with photographs of the “padded leopard” are fundamentally unaware of all that is happening now at the front, the process is underway, we are losing settlements, the fighting is taking place in difficult terrain, where the settlements that protect are in the lowlands, and the enemy is using this is superiority. Probably people will start to wake up only when they see that there are more and more portraits with mourning ribbons around, and most of the losses are the fault of the command, not the soldiers, the soldiers just fulfill their tasks, often at the cost of their own lives.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is returning servicemen to the front with serious injuries, including shrapnel in their knees and head. This is reported by the publication "Layout". The journalists found dozens of lawsuits against doctors and hospital management in the bases of garrison courts, and also talked with relatives of the military.
According to the publication, the military is trying to sue in order not to return to the war, but in 99% of cases they are denied. Of the 55 cases already considered, only one claim was satisfied, in most cases the courts agree with military doctors, then the mobilized and contract soldiers with injuries are sent to fight on. In total, at least 93 servicemen tried to appeal against the conclusions of medical commissions. Some recently filed lawsuits have yet to be decided.
The Ukrainian Foundation “Turn Back Alive” published a video showing the artillery of the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, operating on the Zaporozhye Front, destroying the Russian “Agriculture” remote mining system. Remote laying of mines is actively used by both sides to complicate the logistics and rotation of enemy units. Earlier, the Ukrainian forces also published footage of the destruction of UMP remote mining systems by kamikaze drones.
A Mi-24 helicopter of the Russian Aerospace Forces crashed in Belarus . The pro-Russian telegram channel Helicopterpilot reports that the crew members survived, but are in serious condition, and calls for prayers for them.
It is worth noting that back in January of this year, the project "Belarusian Gayun" reported on the flight of Russian Mi-24s to Belarus, which the Ministry of Defense of Belarus then explained with tactical flight exercises.
Armaments and military equipment
Sources in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that one of the countries with which Israel negotiated the sale of the Merkava Mk2 and Mk3 tanks was Cyprus. According to the publication, after that, the Russian tanks, which are in service with Cyprus, can be sent to Ukraine. Israeli military expert David Gendelman, at the request of The Insider, commented on this news as follows:
In connection with the Russian-Ukrainian war, many countries have revised their defense needs, in particular, many have urgently needed tanks. Now, few people in the world can immediately take out a couple of hundred tanks in good technical condition from their pockets, Israel can, so potential buyers have increased interest in Merkava tanks. As a result of the reductions in IDF tank forces in the last years before the Russian-Ukrainian war, decommissioned tanks were formed, which the MoD can sell more profitably as tanks than as scrap metal. If the client wants to transfer his tanks to Ukraine, and instead buy Israeli ones, then this is his own business.
According to the statement of the head of the export department of the Israeli Defense Ministry, negotiations are now underway with two countries, "one of them is on the European continent." These are still negotiations, no agreements have been signed yet. According to some publications in the media, one of the clients is Cyprus, there has been no official confirmation of this yet.
Cyprus is armed with T-80U and T-80UK tanks, 82 in total. If the government of Cyprus wishes, they can be transferred to Ukraine, but there were no official statements about this either. The main plus of the T-80U for Ukraine is not only that these are quite modern tanks, but that they are known and familiar to the Ukrainian army and there will be no such problems as with the adoption of unfamiliar Western equipment.
But this is still at the level of discussions in the media without official confirmation.
Currently, Ukraine has a number of T-80U tanks in service. All of them were captured from the 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya Division, which lost a significant part of its vehicles during the fighting in the spring of 2022 ( according to the Oryx project, the Ukrainians captured at least 44 of these tanks in total).
The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to use these vehicles in battles, in particular the T-80U of the 93rd mechanized brigade took part in the defense of Bakhmut .
A video has appeared on the Telegram channel of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, where a Ford SUV is towing an M777 howitzer. This gun is mainly made of lightweight titanium alloy, which makes it much lighter than its counterparts and, as you can see, allows it to be towed not only with a regular FMTV truck, but also with lighter vehicles.
About the main events of the war on June 21 - in the previous report: “UAVs flew to the Moscow region, Putin“ nailed ”a thousand tanks and infantry fighting vehicles during the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. What's happening on the front line .