Russian forces have been continuing their offensive military operations in eastern Ukraine since July 2. Russian efforts to surround and capture Lysychansk continue after the fall of the nearby town of Severodonetsk. Russian troops attempt to surround Ukrainian defenders outside the town of Lysychansk and block their logistical support; heavy fighting is reported in the area.
Russian elements also continued to stage attacks on several settlements near the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway (T1302). Russian artillery targeted Berestove, Yakovlivka, Vidrodzhennia and Mayorsk. Kremlin forces also launched unsuccessful assaults on the Vuhlehirska Thermal Power Plant from Dolomite and Myronyvka on July 1. Russian forces continue to gain territory as they approach Sloviansk from the northwest. The Ukrainian defenders repelled the Russian attacks along the Mazanivka-Dolyna-Bohorodychne line.
Along the southern front, Russian forces continue to maintain largely defensive positions. Missile and artillery strikes and limited ground assaults continue to be reported in many locations. In the Odessa region, a missile strike hit a high-rise building in the Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi district, killing at least 21 people; a similar strike on a residential building in the town of Serhiivka killed at least 19 people and injured dozens.
Russian units withdrew from Snake Island in the Black Sea on July 1 following heavy Ukrainian missile and artillery fire. Ukrainian forces reportedly secured the island on July 2.
Ukrainian intelligence services indicated on July 1 that a direct military offensive from Belarus remains unlikely despite the deployment of seven battalions of the Belarusian armed forces near the border with Ukraine.
Disruptions and shortages
Ukrainian Railways (UZ) has restored near-regular commuter services to much of the central and western parts of the country and continues to operate evacuation trains from most major cities, including Kyiv; however, rail services are subject to disruption without notice. Civil aviation remains suspended and the country’s seaports are closed.
The government has extended Ukraine’s existing nationwide martial law decree until August 23. Curfews are in effect in several regions. In the Kyiv region, a curfew is in effect from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., with some variations at the municipality level, until at least July 3. In Mykolaiv, a curfew is in place from 22:00 to 06:00. In the Zaporizhzhia region, the curfew runs from 23:00 to 05:00. Generally, civilians must stay indoors during curfew hours; exemptions exist for critical infrastructure workers and people in need of urgent medical care or bomb shelters. Depending on local developments, authorities may extend or change curfew hours on short notice.
Intermittent telecommunications, internet and utility disruptions continue across much of the country. Reports also indicate a shortage of basic supplies, including groceries and pharmaceuticals, in several towns facing Russian ground assaults. Finally, the National Bank of Ukraine has limited foreign currency transfers and withdrawals.
Russia continues to make slow progress on several axes in Ukraine, with the most significant progress being made in the Ukrainian region of Lugansk. Russian-backed forces control more than 90% of the region. The main objective of the Russian forces will probably be the encirclement of the Ukrainian defenders in the Lysychansk region after the gains of Moscow south of the city and the capture of Severodonetsk. The fall of Lysychansk would effectively give Russia full control of Luhansk, which is probably an important goal for Moscow. Russia will likely redefine attacks on Sloviansk as its next target; the territorial situation in this area has remained broadly the same for several days, with Russia concentrating its efforts on operations around Lysychansk. Russian operations north of Kharkiv continue, with the aim of securing the border region and supply lines.
Ukraine is likely aiming to further weaken Russian forces in an effort to eventually block the Russian advance. However, Kyiv forces are coming under increased pressure in the Donbass as Russia continues to conduct heavy artillery and aerial bombardment ahead of daily ground assaults on Ukrainian defensive positions.
While the conflict remains largely concentrated in the east and south of the country, particularly in the Donbass, Kharkiv and Kherson regions, residents are increasingly returning to the central and western regions, in especially in Kyiv. Additionally, although many foreign governments continue to advise against travel to Ukraine, many business operations are resuming in the central and western regions of the country; however, strikes continue to target critical infrastructure and other sites across the country.
Avoid traveling to Ukraine until the situation stabilizes; consider leaving the country if it is safe to do so. In the event of combat or airstrikes, shelter in place until the situation becomes clear. If authorities report an impending fire, stay away from windows and exterior walls. Strictly obey the instructions of local security personnel, especially when instructed to enter air-raid shelters.
Maintain contact with diplomatic representations. Confirm that a thorough communication plan exists to ensure prompt accountability of all staff operating in Ukraine. Reconfirm the status of public transport services, road routes and borders before departure. Due to the threat of unexploded ordnance, consider avoiding off-road travel. Travel only on busy routes. Do not approach suspicious unexploded ordnance.