Timeline: Week 25 of Russia’s war in Ukraine

Al Jazeera recaps key events in week 25 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian serviceman stands in front of headquarters of the Mykolaiv Regional Military Administration
A Ukrainian serviceman stands in front of the destroyed headquarters of the Mykolaiv Regional Military Administration building in Mykolaiv, Ukraine [File: Evgeniy Maloletka/AP]

Al Jazeera looks at the main events that marked the 25th week of the war in Ukraine:

August 10

Ukraine’s general staff say their forces repulsed Russian ground assaults in the vicinities of Sloviansk, Bakhmut and Avdiivka cities in Donetsk province.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Ukraine “will not leave unanswered” the death of 13 civilians during the shelling of Marhanets, on the northern bank of the Dnieper River directly opposite the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station. The civilians were killed during a barrage of 80 rockets from Russian forces that struck 20 homes, the governor of Dnipropetrovsk province says.

Ukraine’s military intelligence reports that in Russian-occupied Melitopol, large companies are being instructed to tell their employees that Ukraine has already been partitioned with the following messages: “Ukraine has been already divided. In the territory of western regions, Polish zlotys were put into circulation, in most shops, there are double price tags. There is nowhere to run from Russia. Ukraine is not what it used to be.”

(Al Jazeera)

The Washington Post reports that Ukraine has lost an estimated $12.4 trillion in energy, metals and mineral wealth to Russia in the occupied Luhansk and Donetsk regions, offering an explanation for why Russian President Vladimir Putin prioritised those regions for invasion.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal says the country’s creditors, led by the G7, have agreed to a moratorium on debt repayments until at least 2024, with a possible extension for another year. The moratorium will save Ukraine $6bn in payments, he says, and help to stabilise the economy and strengthen defence.

August 11

Ukraine’s general staff say their forces repulsed a Russian ground assault on the town of Pisky near Avdiivka, in southern Donetsk province, inflicting losses. In northern and central Donetsk, Russian forces attempted ground assaults on the cities of Siversk and Bakhmut, respectively, but were forced to retreat.

Ukraine’s southern command says its forces destroyed a Russian artillery ammunition warehouse in the village of Barvinok, 20km (12 miles) northwest of Kherson city, and the command post of the 126th Guards Coastal Defence Brigade 60km (37 miles) east of Kherson city.

Deputy head of the Russian State Security Council Dmitry Medvedev visits the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) to discuss reconstruction and alleged crimes by Ukrainian nationalists. He is accompanied by Russian cabinet members and the head of the FSB – Russia’s main security agency.

Latvia’s parliament names Russia a state sponsor of terrorism because of its war in Ukraine.

Estonia forbids the right to entry of Russian nationals carrying Estonian-issued visas except for diplomatic, humanitarian and transportation personnel.

Ukrainian Brigadier-General Oleksiy Gromov says 60 percent of Russia’s fighting force in Ukraine is made up of volunteers who have signed short-term contracts. Russia began seeking volunteers on a contract basis well after hostilities began on February 24. Gromov says most of the original Russian fighting force in Ukraine has been killed, wounded, or withdrawn.

Donor countries attending the Copenhagen Ukraine 2022 conference pledge $1.55bn in military aid to Kyiv. Denmark pledges $112m.

August 12

Ukraine’s general staff report that Russian offensives on Horlivka city and the Zaitseve settlement in Donetsk were partly successful and a series of ground assaults closer to Bakhmut were repulsed. Russian forces also fight towards Siversk city, in northern Donetsk, and push outward from Donetsk city, which is held by Russian-backed forces, into the southern part of the region.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai says Ukrainian partisans in near the occupied village of Verkhnokamyanska are still fighting Russians successfully.

Donetsk military administrator Pavlo Kyrylenko says Russian forces fired 11 rockets at Kramatorsk city, damaging homes and forcing people to flee to safety.

Ukrainian defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov says new M270 multiple launch rocket systems have arrived in Ukraine from Britain, without specifying how many. Each M270 system has firepower equivalent to two HIMARS rocket artillery launchers. The first M270 systems arrived on July 15. The MARS II systems, which are European variants of the M270, arrived on August 1. In each case, Ukraine did not specify the number of systems it had received.

August 13

Ukraine’s general staff say their forces defeated a Russian advance on the Lozova and Shyroke settlements in central Donetsk, inflicting losses. They also defeated a Russian advance on Avdiivka in southern Donetsk, and a separate advance on Novosilka in Kherson province.

The Russian defence ministry announces it has occupied Pisky in Donetsk.

Ukraine’s military intelligence says Russian forces shelled the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant from the direction of Vodyane village, partially destroying the plant’s fire station and the first block of the pumping station at the Thermal and Underground Communications Workshop.

Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Russian military administration at Zaporizhzhia, says Ukrainian forces shelled the nuclear power plant and the neighbouring city of Enerhodar. Ambassador of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic to Russia, Rodion Miroshnik, says Ukrainian forces fired nine rounds of munitions at the plant.

Ukraine’s Kherson provincial administration says pensions are once again being paid out in settlements liberated from Russian occupation. Ukraine says it has liberated 53 settlements since August 2.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Andriy Yermak says Zuzana 2 self-propelled artillery has arrived in Ukraine from Slovakia.

Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny says on Facebook that he and the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley estimate that a fifth of the units Russia deployed to Ukraine have been defeated. He also says “we are in desperate need of artillery fire”, stressing the oft-stated Ukrainian request for more rocket launchers.

Alexander Darchiev, director of the North America department of the Russian foreign ministry, says a legislative proposal to name Russia a state sponsor of terrorism could lead to a complete rupture in diplomatic relations with the US – something that did not happen even during the Cold War.

“If it is implemented, it will mean that Washington has crossed the point of no return with the most serious collateral damage to bilateral diplomatic relations, up to a decrease in their level and even a break. The party has been warned,” Darchiev told journalists.

Darchiev also says Russia would respond to further shipments of advanced weaponry to Ukraine by broadening the war.

“As for the correlation of massive supplies of Western weapons to Kyiv with the course and timing of the special military operation, it was clearly identified by Sergei Lavrov. Pumping Ukraine with more long-range weapons systems will lead to the fact that the geographical tasks of the special operation will be pushed back even further,” he said.

It was not clear if Darchiev meant spreading the war beyond Ukraine’s borders.

August 14

Ukraine’s general staff say they defeated Russian offensives on Soledar city, Kodema and Yakovlivka villages, and the settlements of Vershini and Zaitsevo in central Donetsk. Russian forces have had partial success, however. Further south, near Avdiivka, the Ukrainian general staff says they defeated a Russian advance on Pisky, which Russia had said a day earlier that it had occupied, and Krasnohorivka city. In northern Donetsk, the Ukrainian general staff say they defeated attempted Russian advances on Spirne, Ivano-Darivka and Serebryanka.

Ukraine’s military intelligence says Russian occupation authorities in Kherson are gathering census information by issuing questionnaires to pensioners, public utility workers, and anyone who questions their authority. They are also allegedly threatening to dismiss health workers who refuse to be paid in Russian roubles.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai says Russian occupation forces are putting pressure on people made homeless by the war to participate in a referendum on the future of the region.

August 15

Ukraine’s general staff say their forces defeated a Russian reconnaissance at Vremivka in southern Donetsk. They also say Ukrainian defenders repulsed assaults at Soledar and Kodema in the vicinity of Bakhmut in central Donetsk. Haidai says fighting is ongoing in occupied Luhansk province, and that Ukrainian partisans had forced Russian forces into retreat six times that day.

Further south, in the vicinity of Avdiivka, Ukraine’s general staff say their forces defeated a Russian advance on Pisky, which Russia says it occupied two days earlier, and Pervomaiskyi in Kharkiv province.

Dnipropetrovsk Governor Velntyn Reznichenko says Russian forces shelled settlements far from the front overnight causing damage to electricity lines, gas pipelines, homes, shops and a school.

Ukraine says it destroyed Russian equipment and ammunition in the village of Novopetrivka in Zaporizhia province, and in Kherson province.

August 16

Ukraine’s general staff say their forces repulsed Russian ground assaults in the vicinity of Bakhmut and Avdiivka, though fighting continued. In Kherson, Ukraine says it successfully stopped a Russian flanking manoeuvre by using a reconnaissance force around Osokorivka village.

Russia again accuses Ukraine of firing on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Ukrainian air force spokesman Yuriy Ignat says Russia’s invasion force has about 430 aircraft at its disposal, down from 700 at the beginning of the invasion in February. The number of available Russian helicopters has increased, from 250 to 350.

Ukraine says it has destroyed 233 Russian fixed-wing aircraft and 196 helicopters so far in the war.

Source: Al Jazeera