UARU
HIMARS strikes on Russian ammo dumps likely impairing invaders' ability to conduct artillery fire — ISW
17 July, 2022

HIMARS strikes by the Armed Forces of Ukraine against Russian ammunition depots, logistics elements, and command and control facilities appear to have degraded Russian artillery fire capabilities, writes the American Institute for the Study of War in its latest report.

Analysts note that the Ukrainian forces began regularly hitting Russian targets with M142 HIMARS systems on June 25. Since July 10, the number of heat anomalies detected by NASA's Resource Management System (FIRMS) remote sensing has significantly decreased in Donbas.

"The destruction of these ammunition depots has likely degraded Russian forces’ ability to sustain high volumes of artillery fire along front lines" the ISW believes.

However, analysts note that the decrease in the number of thermal anomalies also partially coincides with the Russian operational pause from July 6 to 15. In particular, already on July 15, the number of thermal anomalies increased somewhat.

Source: NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System over Donbas, July 6 and Esri, Maxar, Earthstar Geographics, and the GIS User Community

Source: NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System over Donbas, July 14 and Esri, Maxar, Earthstar Geographics, and the GIS User Community

Source: NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System over Donbas, July 15 and Esri, Maxar, Earthstar Geographics, and the GIS User Community

ISW believes that the intensity of artillery shelling along the Slovyansk-Bakhmut direction in the coming days may indicate what has had a greater impact on the reduction of artillery shelling: the operational pause or Ukrainian strikes on warehouses.

Destruction of enemy bases

In recent weeks, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have consistently targeted warehouses and other important facilities of the Russian army. For example, on July 6, a large-scale fire broke out at an oil depot in occupied Donetsk — Russians claim that it was caused by an attack on the part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The Operational Command "South" reported airstrikes on a stronghold and an area where Russians were concentrated on July 7, as well as on a cluster of Russian equipment in the area of ​​Davydiv Brid and Pravdyne in Kherson Oblast. And on July 8 and July 11, in Nova Kakhovka, Kherson Oblast, the Armed Forces of Ukraine hit the occupiers' depots.

As calculated by the Russian BBC service, from June 24 to July 8 alone, the Ukrainian military destroyed 14 Russian ammunition dumps in the occupied territories. On July 14, the General Staff of the Armed Forces reported that the Russian invasion forces decided to place their ammunition depots at a distance of no closer than 100 kilometers from the front line, so that they would not be destroyed by the Ukrainians.