Reports: Kiev using schools for military, cuts off Zaporozhye gas supply; US sends $400 million more, including HIMARS; 70 foreign ships remained blocked by Kiev mines and shelling

From Strategic Stability

Report # 97. Kiev continues to terrorize civilians in Donbass

July 9,2022

1. AFU continue to terrorize the civilian population in Donbass with the help of NATO

Armed Forces of Ukraine or AFU are inflicting massive artillery strikes on residential areas and civilian infrastructure in the DPR, which are not military facilities.

During the July 9th, according to information from the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) of the DPR, the enemy fired more than 160 shells by using Uragan and Grad MLRS, 155mm (NATO-made), 152mm and 122mm barrel artillery, as well as 120mm mortars.

The shelling took place in fourteen settlements of the DPR. Eight civilians were wounded as a result of the shelling. Thirteen residential buildings and three civilian infrastructure facilities were damaged.

During last three days AFU fired more than 750 shells against the DPR killing 11 people, including three small children on the kid’s playground, and wounding 37.

It is a state-sponsored terrorism, encouraged by the USA and other NATO countries.

2. Ukraine cut off gas supply to Zaporozhye Region

“Kyiv regime” cut off gas supply to the Zaporozhye region. This was announced in his Telegram channel by the head of the local military-civilian administration Yevgeny Balitsky. He stressed that experts examined the pipe and concluded that there was no damage.

“We understand for sure, we were turned off. The Kiev regime does not need the Zaporozhye Region, neither in people, nor in the region. These are their methods, which they used in the Crimea. Methods of genocide – turning off people’s water, gas, electricity,” Balitsky said in his address.

A comment: this is a traditional method practiced by ultra-nationalist Kiev regime. Constant shelling of water and gas pipelines in Donbass by AFU is a strategy pursued by Zelensky. For the last eight years Ukrainian presidents blocked water supply to the Crimea via special canal.

He added that the authorities of the Zaporozhye Region appealed to the Russian government with a request to supply electrical appliances and help in the current emergency.

3. Humanitarian and other issues

On July 9 the Joint Coordination Headquarters (JCHQ) of the Russian Federation for Humanitarian Response issued a statement of the developments in this domain.

The JCHQ continues to record the facts of the inhumane treatment of civilians and use of educational institutions for military purposes by AFU:

a) in Viry, Sumy region, in a school, foreign mercenaries have deployed their manpower, armament and munitions depots, as well as hardware and artillery near the educational institution;

b) in Krivoy Rog, in the gymnasium №44 (V.Skripki Street), Ukrainian nationalists have deployed their armoured equipment, artillery and MLRS, as well as observation posts around the perimeter of the educational institution;

c) in Kharkov, in the school №165 (Metrostroiteley Street), militants of Kraken nationalist battalion have deployed their manpower, a strongpoint with armament and munitions depots;

d) in New York, Donetsk People’s Republic, in the school №17 (Shkolny Alley), units of the AFU have deployed their strongpoint with armament and munitions depot, as well as armoured equipment, MRLS and artillery at the adjacent territory, while the approaches to the educational institution have been mined and the local population has intentionally been left uninformed.

Despite the repeated statements made by the JCHQ this kind of facts of inhumane treatment to the civilian population remains neglected by the international community and organizations.

It has been reliably elicited that the Ukrainian authorities ordered to conduct punitive policing in Nikolayev in order to detect and publicly punish pro-Russian citizens, as well as individuals who show their dissatisfaction with the policies of the Kiev regime.

With this purpose, employees of the Security Service of Ukraine and up to 500 militants from Tsunami nationalist battalion have arrived in Nikolayev from Kiev, Odessa and Lvov ready to carry out this kind of intimidating campaigns.

The major cynicism of this kind of inhumane acts lies in the readiness of the Kiev regime to sacrifice the lives of their own citizens in order to reach this asset that completely copies the methodology practiced by Nazis at the occupied areas during the Great National War.

In addition, according to the available information, various employees of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry are drug addicts and have a wide criminal experience: convictions of robberies, thefts, arms trafficking, burglaries, infliction of grave bodily injuries and rapes. This is the way persistent criminals have legally covered under the AFU. These facts have proved that the inhumane provocations, including those that cause deaths among civilian population, are planned and held by individuals with criminal experience. At the same time, the cases of mockery and tortures carried out by the Kiev regime against its own people have been registered and proved enough.

These crimes are being investigated in detail, the delinquent will no doubt receive their punishment.

In total, since the beginning of the special military operation, 2,409,234 people have already been evacuated to Russia, including 379,227 are children.

4. Situation in the Black Sea

In addition, 70 foreign vessels from 16 countries remain blocked in six Ukrainian ports by Kiev who refuses to deactivate sea mines it had places on a massive scale (Kherson, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Ochakov, Odessa and Yuzhniy). The threat of shelling and high mine danger posed by official Kiev prevent merchant vessels from entering the high seas unhindered. The danger to navigation from Ukrainian mines drifting off their anchors along the coasts of Black Sea states remains. The Kiev authorities continue to avoid engaging with representatives of states and ship-owning companies to resolve the issue of ensuring the safe passage of foreign vessels to the assembly area.

Between February 25 and March 4, 2022, the remnants of the Ukrainian navy’s mine clearing forces planted about 420 sea anchor mines of the YaM-1 type in the waters of Black and Azov seas, including 370 such mines in the Black Sea

and 50 in the Azov Sea (see: Report # 33 dated April 1st, 2022)

Since April 1st, 2022 the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have opened two maritime humanitarian corridors that constitute safe passages for navigation, including:

a) in the Black Sea (every day from 08:00 AM to 07:00 PM) to leave Kherson, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Ochakov, Odessa and Yuzhnyi ports towards south-west from Ukraine’s territorial sea, 139 miles long and 3 miles wide;

b) in the Sea of Azov (uninterruptedly) to leave Mariupol port, 115 miles long and 2 miles wide, towards the Black Sea.

Detailed information on the modus operandi of the maritime humanitarian corridors is broadcast daily every 15 minutes by VHF radio on 14 and 16 international channels in English and Russian.

The Russian Federation is taking a full range of comprehensive measures to ensure the safety of civilian navigation in the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

5. The Pentagon provides another military package to Ukraine for $400 million

Four HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) MLRS mounted on a wheeled chassis, ammunition for them and artillery shells, among other things, were included in another US military assistance package to Ukraine for $400 million, the US Department of Defense announced on July 8.

According to the US Department of Defense, the new aid package also includes 1,000 155mm artillery rounds, three tactical vehicles, demolition charges, counter-battery systems, and spare parts for military equipment.

The DoD said that they continue to train Ukrainian military personnel in the use of HIMARS in combat.

Military expert Boris Rozhin commented on the supply of new missiles for the HIMARS MLRS with a range of up to 300 km. He believes that the announced deliveries hint at the preparation of strikes deep into Russian territory.

A comment: such a possibility exists. It will be unverifiable to check HIMARS’ maximum firing ranges – 80 or 300 km.

In Nikolaev, Odessa, and Kharkov regions the Ukrainian armed forces continue to build fortified zones and deploy weapons, which can reach the liberated territories of the DPR, said Viktor Vodolatsky, first deputy chairman of the Duma committee on CIS affairs, Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots. “And it will be able to shoot at the territories of Russian cities – Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk regions. Therefore, the task today is to make sure that the weapons that are supplied by the West are pushed back to a distance so that they do not reach the border of the LNR and DNR, and, naturally, Russia,” the deputy specified.

He also noted that the LNR units will start helping the Donetsk People’s Republic to liberate Kramatorsk, Slovyansk, Avdiyivka and help the republic to enter its administrative borders.

6. Kraken battalion refuses to comply with Ukrainian command’s orders

The Russian Defense Ministry has reported that the Ukrainian neo-Nazi Kraken battalion has refused to follow orders from the command.

According to a statement by the Russian Defence Ministry, the personnel of the Kraken battalion were ordered to move to the town of Pokrovske (Kharkov Region). However, the fighters refused to carry out the command’s order.

“Thus, on July 7, the 226th battalion of the Ukrainian nationalist formation Kraken was ordered to move from Kharkov to the area of the village of Pokrovskoye – to the subordination of the Soledar operational tactical group. However, the nationalist commanders and the militants refused to carry out this order,” the ministry said.

The Russian Defence Ministry also noted that an order had been sent to the battalion “to shorten the treatment of wounded servicemen and send them without rehabilitation to make up for unit losses in combat areas.”

The Defence Ministry concluded that the cases of the National Battalions sent to the front line by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which previously performed the tasks of barrier troops in the rear areas, indicate an acute shortage of personnel in the first-echelon units.

7. Situation on the battlefields

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation in Ukraine. The enemy suffers considerable losses on all fronts.

Attack launched at the positions of 99th Mechanised Battalion from 61st Chaser Infantry Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) near Bereznegovatoye (Nikolayev region) has resulted in the elimination of over 75 nationalists and about 30 armoured and motor vehicles.

High-precision attack launched by Russian Aerospace Forces has resulted in the neutralisation of provisional base deployed by Tornado nationalist battalion near Zelenodolsk (Dnepropetrovsk region). Over 40 militants and up to 10 units of armament and military equipment have been eliminated.

Dure to numerous losses and desertion, units of 127th Territorial Defence Brigade deployed in Kharkov are being manned by former criminals.

Attack launched by Russian Aerospace Forces at the positions of an artillery battalion from 72nd Mechanised Brigade of the AFU deployed near Soledar, over 30 per cent of personnel have been eliminated and the major part of artillery guns have been neutralised.

High-precision attack launched by Russian Aerospace Forces has resulted in the elimination of a hangar that stored M-777 U.S.-manufactured 155-mm howitzers and up to 30 Ukrainian militants who had been shelling residential areas of Donetsk.

Operational-tactical and army aviation, missile troops and artillery have neutralised 22 command posts, including those of 98th Battalion from 108th Territorial Defence Brigade near Novovorontsovka (Dnepropetrovsk region), 16th Mechanised Brigade near Pokrovskoye (Donetsk People’s Republic), artillery units at their firing positions in 72 areas, as well as AFU manpower and military equipment in 117 areas, including 2 bases of foreign mercenaries deployed near Kharkov.

5 munitions depots have been destroyed near Pershetravnevoye (Dnepropetrovsk region), Visunsk (Nikolayev region), Bakhmutskoye and Seversk (Donetsk People’s Republic), as well as 1 depot of fuel for military equipment near Annovka (Kirovograd region).

Su-35S and MiG-31BM aeroplanes of Russian Aerospace Forces have shot down 2 Su-25 of Ukrainian Air Force near Bereznegovatoye and Chervonaya Dolina (Nikolayev region).

In addition, Russian air defence means have destroyed 15 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles near Dolgenkoye, Brazhkovka, Zelyonoye, Yakovenkovo, Peski-Radkovskiye, Grushevka, Chervony Oskol (Kharkov region), Donetsk and Svyatogorsk (Donetsk People’s Republic).

6 projectiles launched by Uragan MRLS have been intercepted near Dolgenkoye (Kharkov region) and Gornoye (Donetsk People’s Republic).

From February 24th, 2022 in total, 239 military airplanes and 137 helicopters, 1,503 unmanned aerial vehicles, 353 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,994 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, 738 combat vehicles equipped with MRLS, 3,117 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 4,099 units of special military equipment have been destroyed during the special military operation.

8. British journalist: The West deliberately does not notice the crimes of Ukraine in Donetsk

British journalist John Miller arrived in Donetsk, where he personally saw the criminal shelling of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He told a German journalist Alina Lipp about this in an interview (see: photo). John Miller spoke about the shelling of Donetsk by the Armed Forces of Ukraine that shocked him.

“It is the Ukrainian side that has been killing civilians here for years, and this is not reported in the West,” Miller told the journalist. He focused on the fact that the collective West purposefully does not notice the criminal actions of the Kyiv regime, exposing Russia as an “aggressor”. Miller said that the Ukrainian artillery had been organizing and continues to organize acts of terror against civilians in Donbass for a long time.

“This is the first war in Europe in a long time, and there is not a single British or American journalist here! Because if they were here, they would have to report that Ukraine is shelling them here,” the journalist said.

A reminder: during 2014-2022 AFU killed 13,000 and injured 34,000 civilians in Donbass wishing not to join Ukrainian ultra-Nazi regime.

– – –

Report # 98. Russia calls out the U.S. goal in arming Ukraine

July 10, 2022

1. The Russian Embassy in the USA says the delivery of four more HIMARS units is intended to prolong the conflict

The diplomatic mission’s statement went on to suggest that the planned delivery of additional MLRS of such type is intended to make up for growing casualties among Ukrainian forces. It dismissed the Pentagon’s claim that such weapons are being used by Kiev for defensive purposes.

The Ukrainian military and “nationalist groups are deploying US-supplied weapons to destroy cities of Donbass,” the statement added.

The Russian diplomats claimed that the “Ukrainian Armed Forces are constantly deliberately targeting residential areas of Donetsk,” including parts of the city where there are no Russian troops. As a result of this, “civilians are dying,” according to the embassy.

The goal of the Russian Federation is to put an end to the terror of the Kiev regime,” the embassy proclaimed, adding that “Washington with its actions is not bringing peace closer, but on the contrary, is encouraging the Ukrainian authorities to commit new blood crimes.

When asked by a journalist about the total number of HIMARS units that Ukraine would have after receiving the new four ones, the Pentagon representative said Kiev would have 12 such systems at its disposal.

The Russian MoD warned July 10, that it will destroy any HIMARS unit if they appear in Ukraine

Russian military officials also said that the Russian troops struck at the point of temporary deployment of the artillery unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. As a result of the strike, up to 100 personnel and more than 1 thousand artillery shells for M777 howitzers made in the USA were destroyed. The Russian Air Force also struck two hangars in which artillery pieces of this type used in the shelling of Donetsk were stored.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov admitted that AFU suffer heavy losses and their arms are exhausting.

2. LPR Ambassador Rodion Miroshnik: the Allied forces continue their offensive against Seversk

Allied troops (Russian plus the DPR and the LPR troops) continue to conduct military operations to liberate Serebryanka, 10 km from Seversk in the DPR. This was stated by the Ambassador of the Luhansk People’s Republic to Russia, Rodion Miroshnik. According to him, retreating Ukrainian militants are trying to shell the already liberated territories, e.g. Novodruzhesk a suburb of Lisichansk, liberated July 3rd.

3. “American Thinker”: Russia will triumphantly complete the special operation

Western countries have underestimated Russia’s will to win in Ukraine. “American Thinker” journalists say that those who do not believe in the victory of Russia are simply trying to put on a good face in a bad game. Observers of the American edition noted that Western countries underestimated Russia’s will to win, since Moscow will never allow Ukraine to join NATO.

In a blog written by Jared Peterson on July 8, 2022 entitled “Russia’s will to win in Ukraine”, its author partly noted the following:

“By Western countries could avoid the crisis in Ukraine, for this it was enough to maintain its neutral status, give autonomy to Donbass and recognize Crimea as Russian.

Western policy elites who claim not to have seen this war coming – after the Biden administration treated Ukraine as a de facto member of NATO during all of 2021, and after Russia had been saying for nearly a decade that it would not tolerate Ukraine as a U.S. military bulwark on its border – are just plain fools. If they really were this blind, they were unqualified for their jobs.

Before the war started, as late as December of 2021, the Russians very probably would have settled the Ukraine problem by a declaration of permanent Ukrainian neutrality (i.e., no NATO membership, ever); some form of reasonable autonomy for the Russian-speaking, pro-Russian Donbas within Ukraine; and recognition of Crimea as Russian. This settlement in no way would have adversely affected legitimate U.S./Western interests. …

The Russians will not be defeated, period, for the simple reason that, by orders of magnitude, Ukraine means more to them than it does to us. They see a Ukraine within NATO, armed to the teeth with U.S. sophisticated weapons aimed at them, as an existential threat to mother Russia. They won’t let it happen. They have said so for years. If the war looks as though it’s moving toward a Russian defeat, they will do what it takes to avert that. We don’t want that outcome. That way lies catastrophe. …

Other things being roughly equal (as they are in this war), victory in war goes to the side with the greater commitment and willingness to suffer. Russia has the greater will in this war. And it knows how to suffer. Therefore, it wins. …

It was a fool’s errand for the U.S. to provoke this war, and for that matter a fool’s errand from the start (1999), for the U.S. to expand NATO eastward in the total absence of any Russian threat after the collapse of the Soviet Union”.

americanthinker[dot]com/blog/2022/07/russias_will_to_win_in_ukraine.html

My comment:

Russia will win because:

1. It seeks the noble goal – to protect Russians, Ukrainians and other nations in Donbass, Crimea and in some other areas of Ukraine who do not want to live in a neo-fascist state in Europe.

2. It has a noble goal – like it did in the WWII – once again to eliminate fascism in Europe created and nourished by a group of totalitarian and non-democratic states.

3. It will not accept the policy of global domination and diktat professed by a handful of NATO authoritarian leaders.

4. It desires to create a qualitatively new world order based on equality of all nations, free trade without illegal sanctions, and free from three major types of arms races: nuclear arms race, missile defense arms race, and space-based arms race.

– – –

Report # 99. Biden must pay a huge price for waging war against Donbass

July 11, 2022

1. US-supplied HIMARS killed three civilians in Donbass

All victims were engaged in a humanitarian mission, DPR officials claim. A Ukrainian strike on Donbass that used US-supplied М142 HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) has claimed the lives of three civilians and injured 39 others, the fatalities being part of a humanitarian mission, authorities in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) reported on July 11th.

According to authorities of the DPR, additional information was received about civilian casualties as a result of shelling with the use of MLRS M142 “HIMARS” in the Amvrosievsky district.

Died were men born in 2003, 1992 and 2003; 39 people received injuries of various degrees, including a woman born in 1963, and men born in 1986, 1980, 1983, 1992, 2002, 1990, 2003, 1987, 1996, 1986, 1995, 1985, 1977, 2003, 1996, 2003, 1981, 2000, 2001, 1994, 1985, 1989, 1996, 2001, 1986, 1972, 1993, 1970, 1973, 1997, 1983, 1971, 1994, 1973, 1981, 1996 and born in 2002; the personal data of another victim is being established.

“It should be noted that all the victims are volunteers of the public organization ‘Young Republic’ and came under fire as they carried out a humanitarian mission to assist the local population,” the DPR authorities said, offering condolences to the families of the deceased and wishing speedy recovery to the injured.

According to the DPR’s representatives from the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination on ceasefire (JCCC), the Ukrainian missile strike in question hit Amvrosievsky district on July 10.

Amid the Ukraine conflict, the US and its allies have been supplying Kiev with financial, humanitarian and military aid to help it conquer Donbass. The recent deliveries included four more M142 HIMARS and ammunition.

According to the Pentagon, the US provided Kiev with eight HIMARS systems since the beginning of the conflict. If these latest package of HIMARS arrives to Ukraine, it would mean that totally there will be 12. Last week, however, Russian authorities claimed they destroyed two of these rocket systems in the DPR.

Moscow has repeatedly condemned Western efforts to support Ukraine’s military, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying in June that “flooding” Ukraine with foreign weapons will not change the course of the conflict and will only lead to more suffering and destruction in the country.

President Biden is personally responsible for all these victims, all of them being civilians.

The Biden administration is sending to Ukraine four more medium-range rocket artillery systems and higher-precision ammunition in a new package of donated weapons that defense officials said would allow Ukrainian forces to save bullets for a conflict that could extend for months or years. 

The $400 million offering is the United States’ third in as many weeks as the Pentagon tries to catch up to Ukrainian forces’ needs to launch counter-strikes and hold off further Russian advances in the Donbas region. The United States has provided $7.3 billion in military aid to Ukraine since last February, a defense official told reporters July 8.

My question: does such uncapable man named Zelensky need so much money to safe him for the sake of destruction and disintegration of Ukraine, and to pay much more money for the self-created economic recession, energy crisis, etc, in the countries of the collective West?

The United States has already provided 126 Howitzers and 410,000 artillery rounds to Zelensky.

On the other hand, the USA and its allies will not be able to maintain their current level of support for Kiev for a prolonged period of time, The New York Times reports citing anonymous officials.

Despite the fact that US President Biden has vowed to stand with Ukraine for “as long as it takes,” no one expects more billions of support for Ukraine when Washington’s currently authorized aid package of $54 billion in military and other assistance runs out, the newspaper said on July 9.

Officials admitted to the newspaper that US and European stocks of weapons will run low at some point and it would be hard to sustain the same level of material support as war fatigue grows.

2. Ukraine has million-strong army to retake South: Ukrainian defense minister

Ukraine has amassed a million soldiers, at the behest of President Volodymyr Zelensky, to recapture its southern areas, defense minister Alexei Reznikov has claimed in an interview with The Times. “We understand that, politically, it’s very necessary for our country. The president has given the order to the supreme military chief to draw up plans,” he said in an interview published on July 10. “We have approximately 700,000 in the armed forces and when you add the national guard, police, border guard, we are around a million strong,” the minister added.

My comment:

Usually, in a war time supreme military commanders never reveal their strategic military plans. Or, if they sometimes do so – it is a part of carefully arranged disinformation (naturally, not announced by C-in-C) – announced by other means of deception with the aim to deceive the enemy.

On the other hand, let’s assume that Zelensky really has such schemes in mind. But: Kiev does not have enough human resources “to regain South” and not enough military contingents to fight many days and nights along 500-1000 km front line; actually not enough tanks and APCs; not enough combat aircraft; not enough naval vessels to support the advancing troops on the ground.

By the way, “the South” militarily is not so weak. More than that: the overwhelming majority of people living in the “South” do not want to stay in a failed, undemocratic and war-mongering state named “Ukraine”.

Alexei Reznikov statement is an announcement of unprofessional defense minister seeking chip popularity in the Western press. Or/and he is wishing to consolidate morale of the AFU that has reached very low-key level.

However, Zelensky said that he had not read an interview with the head of the country’s Defense Ministry in which he announced Kiev’s plans to launch a counteroffensive in the south, and refused to comment on military plans.

In the interview Reznikov praised the British effort to help Ukraine, especially Ben Wallace, Britain’s defense secretary, who, according to him, was key to helping shift the approach from providing Soviet equipment to NATO-standard 155mm artillery, guided multiple launch rocket systems and high-tech drones. Reznikov should have praised Boris Johnson who gave advice to Zelensky to shell adjacent Russian territory by long-range MLRS.

New recruits to the Ukrainian army are trained by UK army specialists at a military base near Manchester, England. Some of them are trained to use MLRS.

The State Duma (the lower House of Russian Parliament) Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that ex-British PM Boris Johnson should be trialed as a war criminal. Volodin noted: “”Boris Johnson is behind the shelling of our peaceful cities – Belgorod [and] Kursk. British subjects should know this, he is also one of the main ideologists of the war against Russia to the last Ukrainian.” Also, the leaders of European states should think about what such a policy leads to, the Speaker added.

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