July 1

Sitrep for June 28-July 1, 2024 (as of 8:30 a.m. UTC+3)

Frontline Situation Update

According to DeepState reports, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have advanced in the Serebryanske forestry in the Kreminna direction. The 12th Special Operations Azov Brigade successfully regained ground south of positions we previously reported on.

Additionally, in the Svatove direction, the Azov Brigade, along with the 95th Separate Air Assault Brigade of the AFU, regained control over an area approximately 1.5 km [0.9 mi] deep and 5 km [3.1 mi] wide near the village of Terny. This information was confirmed by the pro-Russian blogger Anatoly Radov, who noted that the situation for Russian forces in that area continues to deteriorate.

In the Toretsk direction, Russian forces have advanced in the village of Pivdenne up to Kharkiv Street. According to the prevailing version of events, the Russian Armed Forces seized an opportune moment to advance during an AFU rotation. Social media posts suggest that the 24th Mechanized Brigade of the AFU, which had held positions in Pivdenne for over a year, began a gradual transfer to Chasiv Yar in early June. The unit slated to replace them remains unknown at this time.

To avoid confusion, it is worth noting the naming discrepancies in different sources regarding villages in the Toretsk direction. In pro-Russian sources and on Russian-language maps like Yandex Maps, the villages of Pivnichne and Pivdenne are labeled with those exact names. However, the Russian Ministry of Defense refers to Pivnichne as Kirove, its former name until 2016. Ukrainian military observer Kostiantyn Mashovets translates both names into Russian and refers to them as Severnoye [Northern] and Yuzhnoye [Southern].

The Russian advance in the Toretsk direction is not yet large-scale enough to suggest an imminent breakthrough to the Pokrovsk-Kostiantynivka highway. However, in the Ocheretyne direction, according to Andrii Babichev, who serves in the 93rd Mechanized Brigade of the AFU and is better known for his vlog Moto Life UA, the situation is different. After the capture of the village of Novooleksandrivka, the highway is now within reach of enemy fire, making any travel increasingly dangerous.

The RuAF are still unable to advance in the Bakhmut direction towards the town of Kostiantynivka, as capturing the town of Chasiv Yar remains an extremely difficult task.

Ukrainian military expert Serhii "Flash" Beskrestnov discussed the challenges of countering Russian air-dropped bombs equipped with Universal Gliding and Correction Modules (UMPK). According to him, existing electronic warfare systems are unable to suppress the navigation system of the latest UMPK. These versions are now equipped with Kometa controlled reception pattern antennas featuring an 8-beam anti-jamming antenna system, also known as a digital phased array antenna.

In practical terms, this advanced antenna design allows it to dynamically change its beam pattern. This capability enables the antenna to effectively receive GPS signals from directions where it is not being jammed by EW systems.

Countering this new system is theoretically feasible with 5 to 7 jammers positioned around the path of a flying air-dropped bomb. This could potentially be achieved by deploying a network of jammers, each emitting 50 to 100 watts of power, close to the frontline. However, in practice, putting such a dense system into place is deemed impossible.

Beskrestnov also mentioned the idea of targeting the navigation equipment of delivery aircraft, given that jamming the GPS signal used by the UMPK kit is practically impossible. While this idea makes sense—if the aircraft drops the bomb in the wrong location, it will miss its target—in practice, this also has proven unfeasible. Ukrainian engineers studying the UMPK noticed a wire connecting the delivery aircraft’s navigation system directly to the UMPK. Therefore, in the event of GPS interference, the aircraft automatically switches to using the CRPA antenna of the UMPK, effectively bypassing the impact of EW.

In contrast, JDAMs, lacking such advanced CRPA antennas, remain susceptible to EW systems.

Pro-Russian sources report that Ukrainian forces have started to escort their Baba Yaga hexacopter drone bombers with two FPV kamikaze drones equipped with night vision cameras and thermal imagers. These kamikaze drones attack Russian machine gun or anti-aircraft gun crews attempting to shoot down heavy UAVs. This tactic mirrors the historical development of conventional military air forces, where it became necessary to escort bombers with fighters for protection.

The Ukrainian Terra Aerial Reconnaissance Unit of the 3rd Separate Assault Brigade has demonstrated a new tactic for targeting houses harboring Russian soldiers. First, an FPV drone with a high-explosive warhead strikes the roof, creating an opening. Then, a second drone equipped with a thermobaric warhead flies through the newly created hole. Thermobaric munitions are particularly effective in this application as they create an aerosol cloud that fills the surrounding space before exploding, virtually igniting the air, which is especially effective for dealing with targets inside bunkers or buildings.

Ukrainian and Russian Strikes

The Russian Ministry of Defense has published a number of video evidence of 9K720 Iskander mobile short-range ballistic missile strikes on various targets:

  • A video shows a strike on a train in the village of Ukrainka in the Zaporizhzhia region. While military vehicles are visible on the train, it is impossible to identify their types or determine the extent of the damage.
  • Another video depicts a strike on a train transporting tanks in the town of Vilniansk. It appears the missile hit near the railway station rather than the train itself. Although the moment of impact is not shown in the video, a photo of the aftermath of the strike reveals a large crater next to a burnt building near the railway station. According to local authorities, two missiles were used, with the landing site of the second missile still unknown. The strike resulted in the deaths of seven people, including three children, and 38 injured, including nine children. The high number of casualties is attributed to the station's location in the town center, where many people were out during the weekend. Additionally, witnesses reported that children were celebrating a graduation nearby.
  • The Russian MoD claimed that an Iskander missile destroyed an M270 launcher and published a purportedly corroborative video. However, this video cannot be considered as confirmation. While the first part of the video shows an M270 launcher, the second part, following an edit, shows a different vehicle entering a hangar: either a truck or a tanker.

On June 28, a Ukrainian drone attacked an oil depot in the Tambov region. The video shows that the tanks were surrounded by wire mesh, which did not protect them from the drones but likely hindered firefighting efforts.

We previously reported that following Vladimir Putin’s visit to North Korea and the signing of a bilateral security agreement between Russia and the DPRK, a representative of South Korea’s president stated that his country would reconsider its decision to limit weapons supplies to Ukraine. CIT has detailed the types of weapons South Korea could transfer to Ukraine in an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

We specifically highlighted older American M60 machine guns, which could prove valuable given the acute shortage of machine guns in the AFU. Additionally, South Korea possesses several types of Russian-made armored vehicles such as BMP-3 IFVs and T-80U tanks, which AFU soldiers could use without requiring additional training. While South Korea could transfer these vehicles to Ukraine, it would require denouncing its existing cooperation agreement with Russia, a process that could take at least six months. Furthermore, even if the agreement is denounced, South Korea would still violate the end-user license agreement, which prohibits transferring weapons to third countries without prior authorization. Many European nations have already taken similar steps, transferring their Soviet and Russian military equipment to Ukraine, having determined that further cooperation with Russia is no longer feasible.

In addition, South Korea could potentially assist Ukraine by offering training for Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighters at its training centers. Starting next year, European training centers will no longer support pilot training on these aircraft, as they are being adapted to accommodate the newer F-35s. Meanwhile, training capacities in the United States are currently fully used.

Fifty Ukrainians have completed F-16 servicing training in Denmark. Following the summer break, another ground crew, also comprising 50 men, will start their training.

OSINT researcher Jompy, who analyzes Russian equipment stockpiles using satellite images, reports that Russia’s stocks of MT-LB multi-purpose armored vehicles are depleting. There are a few MT-LBu multi-purpose fully amphibious armored carriers left, which are a less common variation of the MT-LB. Additionally, stockpiles of BMD airborne infantry fighting vehicles and BMP infantry fighting vehicles are also running low. The BTR-70 armored personnel carriers, BTR-60 and MT-LBu carriers are now being removed from storage. Although these vehicles have not yet reached the frontline, this trend is noteworthy. It indicates a growing equipment shortage within Russia, which could potentially impact the frontline situation in the coming months.

Svitlana Onishchuk, the head of the Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Military Administration, stated that the Burshtyn Power Plant is beyond repair following repeated attacks. The plant was hit 12 times and has been completely destroyed. Consequently, the town of Burshtyn may be left without heat and hot water this winter, prompting regional authorities to seek assistance from the government. This year, Russia has focused its strikes not on distribution networks but on power generation facilities, causing significant damage to Ukraine's infrastructure.

Journalists from the Takiye Dela [So It Goes] media outlet analyzed court statistics and found that in the first half of 2024, at least 11,376 migrants were expelled from Russia, marking a 25% increase compared to the same period last year. Following the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack, the risk of expulsion for migrants peaked at 81% in April 2024. By June 2024, the average expulsion rate had decreased to 77%, up from 74% in 2023 and 70% in 2022.

However, despite increased expulsions, it appears this measure has not effectively enhanced domestic security. In June 2024 alone, Russia experienced at least two terrorist attacks: one at a pre-trial detention center in Rostov and another in Russia’s constituent Republic of Dagestan. Additionally, the fabricated criminal case against fifteen-year-old student Arseny Turbin, who was sentenced to five years for allegedly sending an application to the "Freedom of Russia Legion," appears unrelated to genuine counter-terrorism efforts.

Vacationing in the city of Sevastopol, and Crimea in general, is considered dangerous due to several factors. Firstly, there are over two hundred military targets around the city, making the area a focal point for Ukrainian attacks. Additionally, the presence of sea mines poses a significant risk. Mines can drift from the Dnipro River or from mined shores, as evidenced by a video from Odesa showing a sea mine exploding near a beach. Despite warnings from authorities, beachgoers often disregard safety precautions. Numerous videos have shown police attempting to clear beaches and warning signs indicating beach closures. Although about 20 beaches in Odesa and surrounding regions officially opened in early June, swimming during storms and in restricted areas remains strictly prohibited for safety reasons.

The Movement of the First [state-led youth movement] will send children for a summer vacation in North Korea. According to the organization's chairman, Grigory Gurov, the children's camp is "an absolute equivalent of the Artek children's center, with good conditions."

On June 30, we hosted a livestream. The recording is available at the following link. We plan to make these live broadcasts on a weekly basis to answer your questions on current events.