Update from Ukrainian military expert Oleg Zhdanov – 16 August

Posted on 16 August 2022



Oleg Zhdanov, the Ukrainian military expert, with his battlefield and military-political situation update on 16 August 2022.

Kyiv time of the update – 16:00

Volyn-Polesye (Belarus – North)

No major changes except that Belarusian armed forces are conducting military command drills – not the first time, it’s one of the ways to prepare military command during both peace and wartime. The danger of missile strikes remains. As of now, air siren continues in all northern regions of Ukraine and it has now spread to parts of Western and Central Ukraine. A few missiles launched to Zhytomyr Oblast – Belarus is continuing threatening Ukraine, yet now threats materialised into real attacks.


Continued shelling of Ukrainian territory by adversary with an aim to lock up Ukrainian forces and prevent transfer to other sections of the border. No other changes.

Kharkiv direction

Adversary uses missile and gun artillery. No activity of assault operations by the adversary.

Sloviansk direction

Shelling continues. Adversary conducts rear re-supply operations by shelling Ukrainian positions, meanwhile attempting to increase own resources. There is information that part of the Russian forces are expecting fuel deliveries, similarly to the early stages of the war.

Kramatorsk direction

More shelling. The enemy conducts assault operations towards Lysychansk oil refinery and Ivano-Daryevvka.

Bakhmut direction

Mass shelling from both guns, MLRS and tanks. Assault operations towards Vladimirovka, Bakhmutskoye and Soledar. Near Soledar, Knauf plant is now likely under control of the Russian mercenaries – not confirmed yet, but UAV footage shows just that. Otherwise, in this direction all attacks were repelled. Towards Pokrovskoye-Bakhmutskoye, Horlivka-Zheleznoye the fights continue. 

Avdiivka direction

Artillery shelling, adversary attempts an offensive towards Staromihkaylovka-Nivelskoye. 

Novopavloskoye-Zaporizhye direction

Continued artillery shelling. Offensive operations towards Sladkoye-Novomikhaylovka. Sadly, the enemy has partial success in this direction, fights continue.

Yuzhniy Bug (Pivdenniy Bug) direction

Artillery and aviation strikes (the latter only in this direction, potentially due to 3 takedowns of Ka-52 helicopters in recent days, or due to regrouping of pilots and supply improvement). Assault operations by the adversary to improve tactical position towards Zelyoniy Gai-Novogrigorievka. This resulted in substantial losses and retreat for the adversary. It’s a third attempt to assault, possibly a recon-by-fire to find out weak spots in Ukrainian defence. May lead to Russians actually taking a defensive position.

The Black Sea

As before, two Kalibr missile carriers remain on duty – up to 16 missiles can be launched.

City shelling by and against Ukraine

Kharkiv, Sumy, Chernihiv and Zhytomyr Oblasts were all attacked. Ukraine struck an industrial zone in Donetsk, and Aradakovo (Luhansk), leading to detonation of ammunitions. Today, two strikes carried out in Crimea, though we don’t know exactly what it was. Russian MoD rushed to say “it was due to misuse of fire” at the temporary stockpile which lead to the detonation. Ukraine does not confirm or deny this information. 

The Dzhankoy substation attack could be to prevent transfer of electricity from Zaporizhzhia NPP to Crimea. This is a follow-up to Saky smoking incident. 

Another incident in Gvardeyskoye in Crimea where in 2014, transport planes were landing during takeover of Crimea. Ammunitions detonated but there is little information – Russian MoD has not made up a version yet.

Military-political situation

  • New Zealand to send 120 instructors to Britain to train Ukrainian servicemen – 6th country to do so. Many countries are keen to teach Ukrainians to lead a modern war with modern means. 
  • In Russia, Armiya-2022 expo has opened, where previously allies and friends were invited, or at least countries with decent relationship with Russia, or arms buyers. This year however, two things were shocking. First was that Putin said how Russia has “many” allies (not juridically though – Russia has none, only strategic partners like Belarus). Putin also said that Russian weapons are years ahead of the best examples of the Western weaponry. Not sure what it means – Kinzhal is no different from ballistic rockets except for launch method; Tsirkon missile is not yet finished its tests. Sarmat (Satan-2) is in singular example, only made first test launch in March to see whether it will fly at all. T-14 Armata project is now closed. Other weapons are little different from Soviet examples. Surely they must have something better than HIMARS, kamikaze-drones, UAVs and gun artillery of the West? We will see.
  • Next, Shoygu made a speech and listed countries friendly with Russia, these include Burundi, Guinea Republic, Cameroon, Mali, Sudan, Uganda, Chad, Ethiopia and South Africa. These countries sent their representatives to Russia. Some of these countries reached good potential and living standards, yet these are not Western countries and the issue of democracy is not solved there.
  • Next, in Crimea the tourist season is in full swing. To exit Crimea, there is a 25 km long queue at the Crimean bridge. This is reported by Russian channels and media. 
  • China again started drills near Taiwan – it’s becoming a TV show. A US Congress delegation plans to visit Taiwan, so China taking positions again around the island. How long this will last is unclear.
  • Along with explosions in Crimea, yesterday Zelensky announced creation of coordination board for de-occupation and reintegration of Crimea and Sevastopol – a big step for a department responsible for such a task in Ukraine. The explosions might be related to that.
  • UN is ready to help IAEA mission to reach Zaporizhzhia NPP. A good sign, the mission is ready to come to Kyiv and visit the NPP for inspection. Over 70 countries demanded Russia to withdraw troops from the NPP and stop shelling.
  • Yesterday, Israel struck facilities in Syria. These facilities are located directly near the Russian military base. Russian military had to bow down to let the missiles through. Israel is bombing facilities related to terrorist organisations that could supply weapons to be used against Israel. Russia did not take down these missiles. Double standards on Russia’s part.
  • Statistics of Russian strikes in Ukraine showed that for one military object, Russia strikes 13 civilian facilities. Just some information to think about what kind of war Russia is conducting – is it not genocide?

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