dispatches
June 10

Sitrep for June 7-10, 2024 (as of 8 a.m. UTC+3)

Frontline Situation Update

There have been no significant changes on the Donetsk axis. Russian soldiers released a video showing them planting flags after rushing inside a partially destroyed building in the Kanal neighborhood of Chasiv Yar. As usual, "flag photo ops" are in no way proof of territorial control; the real status of an area is always better portrayed by how freely soldiers move around flag-planting locations. In this instance, the soldiers fled from the building back to Russian-controlled territory, encountering an abandoned infantry fighting vehicle along the way, which they later destroyed with an FPV drone. Although DeepState has marked about half of the neighborhood as captured, we believe the area shown in the video still to be contested.

There have been minor Russian advances near the village of Klishchiivka; however, they do not affect the overall situation on the Donetsk (Bakhmut) axis.

Russian forces have begun advancing towards the village of Novooleksandrivka near the village of Ocheretyne, in the Pokrovsk direction. According to Andrey Babichev, serving in the 93rd Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and better known for his vlog Moto Life UA, their goal is to reach the village of Vozdvyzhenka and cut off the Pokrovsk-Kostiantynivka highway. However, the Russian Armed Forces are still some way from achieving this goal.

After capturing the village of Netailove, Russian forces have made further small gains in the village of Umanske.

There have also been minor advances in the town of Krasnohorivka, north of Marinka, where fighting has been raging for several weeks.

On the Kharkiv axis, the RuAF continue fighting for the town of Vovchansk. Although Bild journalist Julian Röpcke notes successful counterattacks by the AFU, the overall situation in the town has not changed. Additionally, Russian forces have still not been able to take advantage of the capture of the villages of Buhruvatka and Starytsya, as previously anticipated, to cross the Siverskyi Donets River and advance towards Vovchansk from the west. On the western flank of the Kharkiv axis, Russian forces continue fighting near the village of Lyptsi without significant progress.

Bloomberg believes that the window for a Russian breakthrough, created by long delays in Western arms deliveries to Ukraine, is narrowing. Stable supplies of ammunition now enable the AFU to better resist Russian forces.

We believe that the situation will gradually change. The Ukrainian Army will have more opportunities for offensive maneuvers, while the RuAF will face increasing technical problems. The lack of significant battlefield successes leads to intensified terror against Ukrainian civilians through attacks on energy infrastructure, particularly on the country's power generating capacities.

Putin's statements at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum are consistent with our findings that Russia will not be able to achieve its desired goals in the short term with its current forces. However, since the tactics of the RuAF involve the gradual expulsion of the AFU from coveted territories, a new wave of mobilization is not yet necessary. It is likely that these territories refer to the four regions of Ukraine that have been formally annexed by Russia, but it is difficult to imagine the enemy being squeezed out on the right bank of the Dnipro River followed by the capture of the city of Kherson (in the absence of a crossing, a successful fording of such a large river seems almost impossible).

Furthermore, during the SPIEF, Putin announced that 300,000 new contract soldiers had been recruited in 2023. It is worth noting that in December 2023, Putin spoke of 486,000 people who had "voluntarily" signed contracts. The number of contract soldiers recruited in 2024—over 160,000—coincidentally matches the estimates of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine's Ministry of Defense and US military experts.

The assessments of Ukrainian military observer Kostiantyn Mashovets turned out to be closer to our team's conclusions: according to his data, on average, each Russian operational grouping of forces receives between 1,000 to 1,500 combat personnel as replacements or reinforcements every month and may receive 2,000 if the grouping is responsible for active offensive operations. It is worth noting that, according to our assessment, the current recruitment rate is 10 to 15 thousand people monthly.

Pro-Russian military correspondent Yury Kotenok claims that Russian forces had to switch to a defensive posture on some sections of the frontline on the Donetsk axis due to a lack of personnel.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov announced the capture of the village of Ryzhivka in the Sumy region, which is located 4 kilometers [2.5 mi] from the village of Tyotkino in the Kursk region. However, this does not mean the beginning of a RuAF offensive also in the Sumy region, firstly because Ryzhivka has long been considered a contested area due to recurring attacks and its proximity to the Russia-Ukraine border, and secondly because the "capture" was carried out by fighters from the Akhmat-Chechnya unit, known for their staged combat videos. We doubt that attacks in this area will continue in the near future.

Western Assistance

Emmanuel Macron announced that French Mirage 2000-5 aircraft would be prepared and transferred to Ukraine in partnership with other countries. From open sources, it is known that they are also in service in Taiwan, Greece, Qatar and some other countries.

According to La Tribune, France has only 26 Mirage 2000-5 aircraft. If France wants to keep at least one squadron of 20 aircraft, it can transfer no more than six fighter jets to Ukraine. If a larger number is to be transferred (12 is the likely number mentioned), it will need to negotiate their return with other countries.

At the end of last week, the US Department of State approved the sale of F-16 spare parts to Taiwan in two packages worth $80 million and $220 million. Many researchers noted the late timing of the press release, which was posted outside of business hours. It is currently unknown whether this is a coincidence or indirectly indicates the possible transfer of Mirage 2000-5 aircraft from Taiwan.

On June 7, after a meeting between Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Joe Biden, a new US military aid package for Ukraine worth $225 million was announced. This package is similar to previous smaller packages. It includes missiles for Hawk air defense systems, ammunition for HIMARS MLRS, 155mm and 105mm artillery rounds, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles and Javelin anti-armor systems.

We compared past lists of military aid provided by the Pentagon since the start of the Russian full-scale invasion. For reasons unknown to us, there are not many changes between the data from May 24 and June 7. The number of M113 armored personnel carriers increased by at least 200 units, but the number of 155mm howitzers only increased from 198 to 200 units, and the total number of mortars changed from 227 to "more than 200."

Some European and American officials claim that the lack of Russian advances in the Kharkiv region is due to the renewed supply of weapons to Ukraine. While this is an important factor, we believe that the lack of reserves and technical problems on the Russian side played a larger role.

On June 4, the Atesh movement [a military partisan movement in the occupied territories of Ukraine and in Russia] published photos showing barges installed by the RuAF on the southern side of the Crimean Bridge as a protective structure. British intelligence, based on satellite images, confirms that the installation of these barges began on May 10. It is worth noting that similar barges were installed last year but were subsequently damaged by a winter storm. This year, the barges appear to be positioned significantly closer together, and no nets are visibly stretched between them—perhaps the quality of the images does not allow them to be seen.

It remains unclear whether the recent lack of attacks on the Crimean Bridge is related to protective measures or other factors. In our previous sitrep, we reported that all Russian ships and submarines had left the port of Novorossiysk and headed towards the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait. It is likely that the Russian side anticipates new strikes on the bridge during the summer.

The monitoring group of the Crimean Wind Telegram channel reported that on the night of June 9, a drone attacked a Russian military ship near the port of Yeysk. Initially, it was reported that a large landing ship was hit, but later satellite images allowed its length to be measured, leading to the conclusion that it was more likely a Project 22160 patrol ship, such as the Vasily Bykov type patrol ship. Damage to the ship is indirectly confirmed by an oil slick that was not visible in the image from the previous day.

Ukrainian and Russian Strikes

On June 9, Ukrainian forces struck an ammunition storage facility near the village of Rakitnoye in the Belgorod region. Secondary detonations can be heard in video footage from the scene. Messages in local chats also confirm the presence of the storage facility, while one video shows a Ural military truck stationed near the site. There is no information suggesting that Western weaponry was used in this strike, leading us to suppose that a drone was used.

Sky News, citing an anonymous source among Ukrainian military personnel, reported that the AFU struck a command post in the Belgorod region, marking the first use of Ukrainian aircraft against targets on Russian territory. It is claimed that the target was successfully hit and that damage assessment is currently underway. We have not encountered any reports of hits on command posts in recent days and cannot confirm that any airborne weapons were used against targets on Russian territory.

On June 7, a strike was carried out on a long-known Russian repair base and the barracks of the former Luhansk Higher Military School, located on the southeastern outskirts of Luhansk.

At the same time, two residential buildings in the Vatutina Quarter were hit, with six people reportedly killed and 60 others injured as a result. Russian authorities claim that the attack was carried out by the AFU using ATACMS tactical ballistic missiles. A dashcam video shows the trajectory of a missile arriving from the eastern side, where no Ukrainian troops are present, followed by several explosions: one on the roof of residential building No. 27B, another in the middle part of residential building No. 22, and an airburst somewhere between them. Eyewitnesses report air defense systems operating at the same time.

The cladding of residential building No. 27B was damaged, likely as a result of an airburst caused by an anti-aircraft guided missile that hit the building with pre-made submunitions. At the same time, we do not exclude the possibility that the missile that hit the roof could have been launched from the Ukrainian side and shot down by two Russian anti-aircraft missiles.

A section of building No. 22 collapsed. Since no entrances can be seen in the photos and video showing the aftermath of the strike, it is evident that the section on the southeast side must have been destroyed. However, the surviving remains of the roof indicate that the missile hit the building not from above, but from the side. Therefore, the attack was likely launched from the east or southeast, where there are no AFU positions.

Izvestia [The News, a Russian pro-Kremlin daily broadsheet newspaper and a news channel] published photographs of missile debris found at the site. The Polkovnyk Henshtabu [Colonel of the General Staff] Telegram channel identified one of them as a part of the steering unit of a Russian S-300 5V55 anti-aircraft guided missile.

At this time, we believe the above-mentioned incident to be more of a tragic accident than a deliberate attack on residential buildings. Russian anti-aircraft missiles likely attempted to intercept Ukrainian missiles or drones, and at least one of them inadvertently struck a residential building.

On June 7, a missile strike targeted the village of Sadove in the Kherson region on the left bank of the Dnipro River. Statements from the Russian side about the incident somewhat contradict each other and do not fully align with photos from the scene. According to the pro-Russian administration, 22 people, including one child, were killed, and another 15 were injured. Volodymyr Saldo, the Russian-appointed governor of the Kherson region, has claimed that an empty building was hit by a HIMARS MLRS rocket. After local residents gathered at the site to clear the rubble, a second strike was carried out. Other reports state that the strike hit the store while it was occupied by customers. The aftermath photos show an abandoned area with no fire trucks or ambulances visible, but there is a column of civilian vehicles with trailers filled with garbage. Additionally, the photos show a small crater that looks more like the result of a mortar bomb rather than a HIMARS MLRS rocket.

On June 8, Ukrainian drones attacked the Akhtubinsk military airfield in the Astrakhan region, where at least one of the latest Russian Sukhoi Su-57 multirole fighter aircraft was located. Despite claims by regional authorities that all drones were intercepted, the pro-Russian Telegram channel Fighterbomber, associated with the Russian Air and Space Force, stated that three of them reached their target. Satellite images show signs of impacts, but the extent of the damage is difficult to assess. According to pro-Russian blogger Aleksey Voevoda, the damage is minor. Andrii Yusov, a representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine, mentioned the possibility of two aircraft being hit, but no confirmation has been received yet. Although this aircraft does not play a significant role in the current war, its damage is an important media victory: it is a rare item, comparable to the Armata tank.