“Russian forces are increasingly moving troops and equipment to Kherson Oblast and the western part of Zaporozhye Oblast, to the detriment of their efforts to occupy Donbas Slovyansk and Siversk, which they seem to have left behind,” the institute said.

According to him, the army is also moving military equipment – mainly artillery and air force – to the annexed peninsula of Crimea from other parts of Ukraine.

The institute reminds that the Russian army has changed its combat priorities since the beginning of its invasion of Ukraine, but it was always on its own initiative. The redeployment of forces now appears to be being forced by a Ukrainian counter-offensive in the south of the country.

If Ukrainian forces manage to maintain adequate pressure around Izjum in the Kharkiv region, where they have already captured several villages, and at the same time persist in the offensive near Kherson in the south of the country, Russian forces will begin to face very difficult decisions about which territories to surrender or which to attack stop operations, says ISW.

According to the morning intelligence of the Ukrainian General Staff, Russian forces are attacking in the direction of Bakhmut and Avdijivka in the Donetsk region. Ukrainian General Oleksiy Gromov confirmed that Ukrainian defenders had withdrawn from the villages of Semihirja and Dolomitne. The fighting is taking place, among others, over the villages of Soledar north of Bakhmut and Pisky near Donetsk.

In the Kherson region, Russian forces launched attacks in an attempt to eliminate the Ukrainian bridgehead across the Inhulets River, but were repulsed. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian army continues to attack Russian logistics and command points in the area, according to Ukrainian sources, the Russian headquarters in Chornobayivka on the outskirts of Kherson and an ammunition depot in the village of Nova Majachka east of the regional capital were hit.

More grain has sailed from Ukraine

Meanwhile, three more ships have left Ukraine with a total of 58,000 tons of corn, the Turkish Defense Ministry said. This happened as part of an agreement to resume food exports from Ukrainian ports blocked by the Russian invasion.

The Turkish Ministry of Defense said on Twitter that the Panamanian-flagged Navistar carrying 33,000 tons of corn was en route from Odessa, Ukraine, to Ireland. The ship will undergo inspection at the International Coordination Center (JCC) near Istanbul, which has been established by agreement between the UN, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine.

The second Rojen ship, sailing under the Maltese flag and carrying 13,000 tonnes of maize, has left the port of Chornomorsk and is heading to Great Britain. The third Polarnet ship, sailing under the Turkish flag, also departed from Chornomorsk and its destination is the Black Sea port of Karasu in Turkey. These two vessels will also be inspected by an inspection team made up of representatives of Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations.

This week, the Razoni was the first vessel since the beginning of the Russian invasion to leave a Ukrainian seaport with a cargo of Ukrainian agricultural products. In the meantime, she has successfully passed inspection in Istanbul and is now heading to a Lebanese port.

Due to the Russian invasion, which began on February 24 this year, 20 to 25 million tons of grain are blocked in Ukrainian ports, according to Kiev. Before the invasion and subsequent sanctions, Russia and Ukraine accounted for almost a third of the world’s wheat exports together. Ukraine is one of the world’s major grain exporters, and some poorer countries in Africa and the Middle East depend on supplies.