We’ve got more from the UK’s MoD.
On what Ukraine’s troops are focusing on, it adds:
Ukrainian forces are focusing their targeting on bridges, ammunition depots, and rail links with growing frequency in Ukraine’s southern regions.
Including the strategically important railroad spur that links Kherson to Russian-occupied Crimea, almost certainly using a combination of block, damage, degrade, deny, destroy, and disrupt effects to try to affect Russia’s ability to logistically resupply.
The MoD then adds it believes the war is about to enter a “new phase”.
Russia’s war on Ukraine is about to enter a new phase, with the heaviest fighting shifting to a roughly 350km front line stretching southwest from near Zaporizhzhya to Kherson, paralleling the Dnieper River.
As we just mentioned, the UK’s Ministry of Defense has revealed there is a significant build-up of Russian forces in southern Ukraine.
However, the MoD said it was unclear whether these additional forces were for a new assault on Ukrainian territory of in anticipation for a Ukrainian counter-offensive.
Long convoys of Russian military trucks, tanks, towed artillery, and other weapons continue to move away from Ukraine’s Donbas region and are headed southwest.
Equipment was also reported to be moving from Russian-occupied Melitopol, Berdiansk, Mariupol and from mainland Russia via the Kerch Bridge into Crimea.
Battalion tactical groups (BTG), which comprise between 800 and 1,000 troops, have been deployed to Crimea and would almost certainly be used to support Russian troops in the Kherson region.
On 02 August 2022, a new BTG had been deployed to Crimea and BTGs are also being re-deployed from Eastern Grouping of Forces. These will most likely be sent into the Kherson region in the coming days.
Good morning, it’s approaching 8.30am in London and 9.30am in Kyiv. Here’s a summary of the latest developments in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- Russia is amazing troops in the south of Ukraine but the purpose of the build-up is not yet clear, UK intelligence has warned. The Ministry of Defense says Russian forces could be preparing for a new assault or merely anticipating a counter-offensive from Ukraine
- Ukraine has accused Russian forces of strikes near a nuclear reactor at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia power plant in the country’s south east. Energoatom, the state-run operator of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, said in a statement: “Three strikes were recorded on the site of the plant, near one of the power blocks where the nuclear reactor is located.” Russia’s defense ministry accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the plant, saying a leak of radiation had been avoided only by luck.
- A European Union plan to cut gas use and help Germany wean itself off dependency on Russia will come into effect early next weekthe bloc’s presidency said on Friday. Last week, EU member states agreed to reduce their use of gas by 15% over the winter, with exceptions for some countries and despite opposition from Hungary.
- A leading Russian hypersonics expert has been arrested on suspicion of treason, the state-controlled Tass news agency reported on Friday. Andrei Shiplyuk heads the hypersonics laboratory at the Novosibirsk Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, according to the institute’s website, and has in recent years coordinated research to support the development of hypersonic missile systems, Reuters reports.
- Vladimir Putin has with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for talks that were expected to focus on Russia’s war in Ukraine and that are being rumored to include Kremlin efforts to circumvent western sanctions. The Russian president welcomed Erdoğan to Sochi, a resort city on the Black Sea, by thanking the Turkish president for help in securing an international deal that resumed grain exports from Ukraine that had been disrupted by the Kremlin war machine – as well as Russian foodstuffs and fertilisers – to world markets. They agreed to boost cooperation in the transport, agriculture, finance and construction industries, they said in a joint statement after a four-hour meeting.