In today's summary:
- The Kremlin declined to comment on the removal of General Ivan Popov from command of the 58th Army;
- Military expert Kovalenko: other senior officers will also talk about problems in the troops;
- Z-channels distribute a video in which the Ukrainian DRG allegedly shot down a car with civilians;
- Several drones were intercepted in the sky of the Voronezh and Kursk regions;
- For unknown reasons, the Russian command strikes on Zmeiny Island for the second day in a row;
- Overview of the state of Russian artillery after a year and a half of the war from the Ukrainian OSINT resource;
- Bulgaria for the first time will officially transfer a package of military assistance to Ukraine;
- The Russian military was sent a box of Cheburashka-Cossacks to the front as talismans.
Scandal with General Ivan Popov
The dismissal of the commander of the 58th Combined Arms Army (OVA), Major General Ivan Popov, remains the most discussed event of recent days. Recall that on July 12, State Duma deputy, former commander of the 58th OVA Andrey Gurulev posted a voice message from Popov on his Telegram channel. In it, the army commander said that he was removed for the problems brought to the attention of the "senior authorities" with counter-battery combat and the lack of rotation of personnel. As Popov said, in this way the higher leadership "treacherously and vilely beheaded the army at the most difficult and tense moment."
The number of listenings to General Popov's appeal has exceeded 3.5 million. However, there is still no official explanation from the Russian authorities regarding the personnel decision made. During the briefing, the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, did not comment on the situation, suggesting that he contact the Russian Defense Ministry. “We do not comment. Still, we are talking about the military, about the Ministry of Defense. Therefore, we suggest that you go there for comments,” he said.
The Russian "volunteer" Roman Alekhin says that even before Popov, for such frankness with the authorities, the commander of the 27th motorized rifle brigade of the 1st tank army with the call sign "Warrior" was removed, who allegedly "turned it into an exemplary brigade" in six months of command. Alekhin, who was in charge of supplying the 27th brigade, refuses to work with the Ratnik's replacement, as he is not sure that the "humanitarian aid" will not then be on sale on the Avito service.
Voenkor Vladimir Romanov adds that Ivan Popov, appointed commander of the 58th Army, commanded near Kharkov, where on the eve of the Ukrainian offensive he reported that the situation was critical, for which he was also removed. In the Reuters investigation , on the basis of papers left by the Russians in Balakleya, the commander of the Balakleya group of troops, then Colonel Ivan Popov, really appears. Exactly when and under what circumstances he left this position is unknown, however, judging by the materials studied by Reuters, the group’s affairs were indeed not going well even before the start of the Ukrainian offensive operation.
Ukrainian military expert Oleksandr Kovalenko, in an interview with The Insider, noted that two groups of influence have long been formed in the Russian Ministry of Defense, and everything that happens is elements of a confrontation between them in the struggle for power:
One is centered around Sergei Shoigu himself, who is under the patronage of the Lubyanka. It includes Surovikin, Dyumin and Mizintsev. In principle, they partly supported Prigogine, they were in the same bunch. And there is a group that can be conditionally called "blue blood". These are people with a pedigree from officers, whose military science passes from generation to generation. These are those who are called "kirzachs".
And now we are seeing this confrontation between groups of influence. Those who were under the patronage of the FSB supported Prigozhin, and the “blue blood” did not support either side and is in disgrace after all these showdowns, and disgrace is a black list .
Kovalenko is sure that statements about problems in the Russian army will also come from other representatives of the officer corps:
So you held the Zaporozhye region and leaked it, you could not keep it on the defensive, you are to blame. A purge has begun, and you lose everything, you are left with nothing. Probably better to be proactive. Let's see how many other combined arms armies and army corps are currently in the combat zone in Ukraine. Everyone has their own respected general, who may well become such a truth-seeker, so that, as a result of certain actions, in the near future he will not be objectionable and not fall under the distribution.
The situation at the front
The representative of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Andriy Kovalyov said that the Ukrainian troops are successfully conducting offensive operations north and south of the city of Bakhmut . “In the direction of Belaya Gora - Andreevka, they were successful, they are gaining a foothold on the achieved lines,” Andreev said. According to him, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are holding back the offensive of the Russians in the Kupyansky , Limansky , Avdeevsky and Maryinsky directions .
Ukrainian troops also continue to move towards Rabotino in the Zaporozhye direction and are clearing mines in the area. The Russian Telegram channel "ARCHANGEL OF SPETSNAZ Z" posted a video in which, as stated, "thanks to the engineers of the 58th Army, the Leopards are smashed to pieces."
At first glance, it might seem that the tank was indeed destroyed. But, as noted by the Ukrainian OSINT-project CyberBoroshno | CyberBoroshno”, at the same time the Ukrainian Telegram channel “Directly Gachi” published a video showing how the 15th operational brigade, using a tank equipped with a minesweeper, clears minefields.
The researchers studied both videos and concluded that they were the same event. That is, Russian channels are trying to pass off the work of a tank with a mine sweep as a tank blowing up on a mine.
The advancement of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to Rabotino is confirmed by the WarGonzo project of “commander” Semyon Pegov. WarGonzo also writes that Ukrainian forces came out from the north to Priyutnoye in the Uludar sector . Telegram indeed published a Ukrainian video from Russian trenches, reportedly filmed in the area of this village.
So far, there are no significant changes in the area of the Antonovsky bridge opposite Kherson. According to one of the separatist field commanders in the Donbass in 2014, and now the well-known Z-figure Igor Girkin (aka Strelkov / Runov), the Armed Forces of Ukraine hold a foothold in the area of the bridge itself and the dacha near it, as well as the northern outskirts of several other small islands nearby . Russian troops, avoiding the “execution” from the high right bank, pulled back to the southern part of Antonovsky Island and hold the southern part of the dacha village.
Girkin also said that the Ukrainians are successfully replenishing and supplying their bridgehead, since it is not possible to interrupt communication with the right bank of Russian artillery and aviation. He believes that at the moment there is a positional impasse in this area, in which both sides cannot solve their tasks of destroying or expanding the bridgehead. “Most likely, the enemy will seek a solution through operations to force the Dnieper upstream,” he sums up.
Mutual shelling and sabotage
On the night of July 14, several drones were shot down in the Voronezh and Kursk regions. As a result of falling debris, no one was injured. According to Shot, a drone shot down in Kurchatov exploded just 4 km from the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant . The blast wave knocked out windows in eight apartments of a residential building.
Satellite images confirm a successful hit on an ammunition depot in the occupied Novoalekseevka in the Kherson region a few days ago. The pictures show the destroyed warehouses located 100 kilometers from the front line.
Photos of the aftermath of the strike on the Dune Hotel in Berdyansk have emerged. This hotel with a swimming pool and sauna on the first line of the Sea of Azov was supposedly the command post of the Russian 58th Army. As a result of the Storm Shadow missile strike, Lieutenant General Oleg Tsokov was killed. First, Ukrainian sources spoke about his death, then Z-channels, and, finally, the death was confirmed by a member of the State Duma Committee on Defense and ex-commander of the 58th Army, Andrei Gurulev.
The command of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports that Russia attacked Ukraine on Friday night with 17 kamikaze drones of the Shahed family (aka Geran) from the southeast. 16 of them were shot down, according to the Ukrainian military. Also, one reconnaissance drone was shot down at night, another six were hit the day before.
Head of the Office of the Ukrainian President Andriy Yermak said that in the Zaporozhye region , Russian troops fired mortars at the city of Orekhov . As a result, several houses were destroyed and one man died.
Also, on the night of July 14, the RF Armed Forces hit Krivoy Rog with drones, there is significant damage. According to the head of the Dnepropetrovsk regional military administration, Serhiy Lysak, six "Shaheds" were shot down, but it was not possible to intercept all the drones. One building was completely destroyed as a result of the attack, three more were damaged. Special equipment was damaged, a 56-year-old man was injured.
For unknown reasons, the Russian command for the second day in a row strikes at Zmeiny Island in the Black Sea. The operational command "South" of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports that on the eve of the Russian Aerospace Forces, another airstrike was launched on the island. The day before, the island had also been bombed.
A week ago, on July 8, on the 500th day since the start of the war in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky posted a video from Zmeiny Island , which Russian troops left a year ago. Since then, it has remained "no one's": neither the Russians nor the Ukrainians, as far as is known, even try to gain a foothold there.
“500 days of full-scale war. Serpentine. A free island of a free Ukraine," the commentary to the video on Zelensky's Telegram channel says. “We honored the memory of the heroes who gave their lives in this battle, one of the most important during a full-scale war.”
When Zelensky visited the island and this video was made, it is not specified.
Z-channels are circulating a video in which, presumably, the Ukrainian DRG allegedly fired on a car with civilians southeast of Vuhledar.
The description that accompanies this video says that "a group of special forces from one of the security agencies of the Russian Federation" noticed how the Ukrainian reconnaissance group opened fire on people in a civilian car. The Russian military at that moment allegedly aimed mortars at the enemy.
As the Moscow Calling Telegram channel notes , the footage looks like a staged performance: the Russian special forces were “lucky” that a group of saboteurs rode right at them in a Cossack armored car and dismounted in this very place where the video is being filmed. Then the special forces point mortars at the DRG, but they do it so slowly that the saboteurs have time to shoot civilians without understanding who is riding in a car with a white flag, and the Russians are watching them and doing nothing.
Vladimir Putin said that since June 4, the Russian military has destroyed 311 tanks, of which a third are Western-made. The level of tank losses announced by the President of Russia is already comparable in scale to the battle of Prokhorovka in 1943 (despite the fact that in the current Russian-Ukrainian war there are practically no direct tank-to-tank collisions). Moreover, a third (that is, about a hundred) of destroyed Western-made tanks roughly corresponds to the total volume of Leopard tanks (various modifications) and Challenger 2 transferred to Ukraine and delivered to the country.
The Ukrainian OSINT resource "Viyskovy Vyshtun" gives an overview of the state of Russian artillery after a year and a half of the war.
The losses of Msta-S howitzers of various modifications (regular troops were armed with 850 howitzers of such howitzers, about 150 units were in storage) amounted to about 20%. These are significant losses, which the Russians are compensating for by using less long-range, but more powerful 240-mm Tyulpan mortars and reactivating a similar Msta-S howitzer, the 2S5 Giacint.
As for the Tulips, the main storage location for these mortars was the 94th arsenal in Omsk, where there were up to 200 units in 2021. Another 176 units were located at another site. As of May 2023, their number has decreased by about 70 units.
Removed from storage and thrown into battle, "Tulips" are increasingly falling under the blows of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. To date, only confirmed losses amount to 13 units. There are plenty of them in storage, but the rates of reactivation of these particular systems are not exactly known.
Also, open sources give a picture of the regular destruction of howitzers 2S5 "Hyacinth-S". It is this howitzer that will soon become the most massive 152 mm howitzer on the battlefield and will replace the Msta-S. According to The Military Balance, at the beginning of the war, 100 2S5 units were in service with the RF Armed Forces, 850 were in storage. Confirmed losses are 28 units, but according to other OSINT projects, it reaches 50, that is, up to 50% of regular howitzers.
A video has appeared showing the defeat of an unusual Russian armored personnel carrier equipped with a remote mining complex.
The BTR-80 ran into a mine, was later finished off by ammunition dropped from a drone and exploded.
Also, a remarkable video appeared on the network with an unsuccessful attempt to shoot down a Ukrainian reconnaissance drone DJI Mavic from the Tor air defense system. Presumably, the rocket's fuse, which is supposed to fire when approaching the target, simply did not react to the small drone, and the rocket flew past.
Armaments and military equipment
The Ukrainian resource "Word and Deed" sums up the results of the NATO summit from the point of view of the announced military assistance.
Recall, the United States announced a new $800 million military aid package for Ukraine a few days before the NATO summit, which ended on July 12 in Vilnius. Among other things, it included ammunition for air defense, HIMARS and Patriot systems, artillery shells, cluster munitions, 32 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, 32 Stryker armored personnel carriers and other military equipment.
The new aid package from Germany includes 20,000 artillery shells, two Patriot launchers, 25 Leopard 1A5 tanks, 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles.
In addition, Norway promised to supply Ukraine with two launchers and two control centers for the NASAMS anti-aircraft missile system, as well as a thousand Black Hornet miniature drones.
The UK aid package includes more than 70 pieces of combat and logistics equipment, ammunition for Challenger 2 tanks, as well as funds for the restoration of equipment and the creation of a rehabilitation center for the military in Ukraine.
French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the NATO summit promised that his country would provide Ukraine with long-range SCALP missiles (analogues of the British Storm Shadow) with a range of 250 kilometers. According to media reports, a total of 50 such missiles will be transferred.
Even before the summit, the Czech Republic promised Ukraine combat helicopters and 100,000 large-caliber ammunition. Slovakia will provide 16 self-propelled guns Zuzana, Canada will supply armored vehicles. Australia , a non-NATO member, has pledged 30 Bushmaster armored personnel carriers.
Bulgaria will officially allocate military equipment to Ukraine for the first time. According to Ivaylo Mirchev, a deputy from the ruling coalition, about 100 armored vehicles from the warehouses of the Ministry of Internal Affairs will be provided to Kyiv. These are armored personnel carriers manufactured in the 1960s and 1970s, which were purchased by the then "Internal Troops" (the current gendarmerie), but were not used.
Ukrainian sources are spreading a video of a Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, which is said to have remained on the move after a direct hit from a T-72 tank.
Z-channel "Military Informant" notes that in Russia the localization of the production of drones of the "Shahed" family (aka "Geran") continues. The authors of the channel make such a conclusion based on a photograph of the surviving warhead of one of the kamikaze drones published by the Ukrainian side, on which Russian letters are visible and which is not similar to those that were previously discovered. It should be noted that the investigation of the publication “Protokol” on the production of drones in the technopark “Alabuga” also talks about the planned phased localization of their production and reaching volumes that will surpass Iranian ones.
Participants of the pro-government youth “Movement of the First” in the Tomsk region collected parcels for the participants in the “special operation”. Including a box of “Cheburashka-Cossacks” was sent to the front as talismans. In the photographs, embroidered letters Z are visible on the cheburashki.
As reported on the movement’s VK page, “for several months, the guys, together with teachers, poured trench candles, made dry army souls, wove tactical bracelets, sewed pillows and underpants for hospitals.” This post was later removed.
About the main events of the war on July 13 - in the previous report: “The uprising of Spartak in the Russian army, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are fighting in the Zaporozhye direction. What's going on at the front .