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1.     “[The US] continues to carefully monitor the status of developments at the power plant,” the White House’s spokesperson said on Wednesday. Karen Jean-Pierre added that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) cannot be an objective in a zone of combat operations. The UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), called for additional access to the plant’s rooftops and parts of its turbine halls and cooling system to “confirm the absence of mines or explosives at the site.” Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said that “Russia deploying military personnel, installing fortifications on at least three reactors, placing explosives at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant directly threatens a nuclear incident at Europe’s largest atomic power station.” Russia continued to blame Ukraine.

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2.     Lviv in western Ukraine was hit by a Russian missile / drone attack around 3 a.m. At least three people were killed and more than eight injured when a missile fragment stuck a multi-story apartment building and destroyed about 50 apartments, according to Lviv’s Mayor.

3.     Xi Jinping personally warned Vladimir Putin against using nuclear weapons in Ukraine, indicating Beijing is concerned about Russia’s war even as it offers tacit backing to Moscow, according to western and Chinese officials who spoke to the UK’s Financial Times. The face-to-face message was delivered during the Chinese president’s state visit to Moscow in March.

A Сounter To JD Vance
Other Topics of Interest

A Сounter To JD Vance

The stark reality is that without very immediate military backing and supplies from the US, Ukraine could lose the war, or at least significantly more territory, the author writes.

4.     Forty-six reputable Western experts, military officers and diplomats released a signed letter on Wednesday calling for Ukraine to be given a roadmap to NATO membership as soon as possible. The White House yesterday stated its support for an “open door” policy for NATO membership. Ukraine has maintained it needs security guarantees prior to membership; negotiations about potential multilateral agreements are underway with the US, UK, Germany, France and other allies prior to the NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on July 11-12.

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5.    The first meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council, a new format of cooperation between Kyiv and the Alliance at the level of “heads of state and government,” will take place on 12 July, the second day of the NATO Summit in Vilnius. It will be opened by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The announcement means that President Volodymyr Zelensky is more likely to attend the Summit in person.

6.    Georgia’s ambassador to Ukraine confirmed that he met with the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, who asked him to leave the country within 48 hours to hold consultations on the issue of Mikheil Saakashvili. "Of course, we agreed, because it was a demand and request of the President of Ukraine," Ambassador Zakarashvili said. At the same time, Irakli Kobakhidze, chair of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party, stated that the government has ruled out engaging in consultations with Ukraine over the case of Saakashvili, who is also a Ukrainian citizen.

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President Zelensky’s Message

Ukraine Summer Offensive Summary

Snapshot

Ukrainian forces reportedly conducted counteroffensive operations in five sectors of the front and made gains in some areas. Ukrainian forces reportedly conducted missile strikes on Russian rear positions along the entire front over the last 24 hours, including an oil field in occupied Donetsk. Ukrainian forces reportedly have some control of the southern flank of Bakhmut.

General Developments

·      The UK is set to launch a training program for Ukrainian pilots on Western jet trainers in August, said James Heappey, the UK’s Minister of State for the Armed Forces. Heappey said that 20 Ukrainian pilots will start basic ground school training in the UK in August.

·      The Armed Forces of Ukraine have yet to reach their full potential, but the counteroffensive is going to plan, according to the senior Ukrainian generals for overall ground forces and for the southern front.  Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrsky, said he was confident of re-taking Bakhmut.  The southern front’s commander, Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavsky, said the situation was stable and added that “the main thing is that we haven’t reached our full potential.”

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·      During Wednesday, the Russian forces launched 48 airstrikes and 54 MLRS attacks on Ukrainian troop positions and populated settlements.

·      During June, Ukrainian forces destroyed 157 of 193 incoming Russian missiles and drones, or 82 percent, according to data released by the Ukrainian air force.

Operational Aspects in Luhansk, Avdiivka, Maryinka, Kherson, Russia and other areas

·      Ukrainian forces reportedly conducted a series of missile strikes targeting Russian rear positions along the entire front overnight and during the day on July 5. Video footage and claims by pro-Russian forces were cited by ISW who said, “Ukrainian forces launched a coordinated series of strikes aimed at degrading Russian logistics and ground lines of communication (GLOCs) throughout the theater.”

·      ISW reported that geolocated footage and pro-Russian milbloggers indicated that Ukrainian forces struck: an ammunition depot and oil facility in Makiivka, Donetsk region (6 km northeast of Donetsk City); near Debaltseve (52 km northeast of Donetsk City); a railway station in Yasynuvata (6 km northeast of Donetsk City); a Russian occupation administration building in Volnovakha, Donetsk region); Russian positions near Yakymivka (16 km southwest of Melitopol). ISW further cited pro-Russian sources regarding: an attempt to strike Berdyansk in the Zaporizhzhia region with Storm Shadow Cruise missiles; a Ukrainian missile in the vicinity of Berdyansk, and; that Russian air defenses were activated near Skadovsk, Kherson region (60 km southeast of Kherson City).

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·      A Ukrainian official confirmed that Ukrainian forces maintain positions in east (left) bank Kherson region near the Antonivka bridge, ISW reported.

·      One civilian was killed and at least five injured by Russian shelling on Bilozerka in Kherson region yesterday, according to local and Presidential authorities.

·      The defense forces of Ukraine hit the Chonhar Bridge in Crimea and the parallel crossing over Lake Syvash with Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missiles, confirmed Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, yesterday.

·      In Luhansk, Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove line, and Russian and Ukrainian forces continued skirmishing around Kreminna, according to ISW. Fighting is particularly prominent around Novoselivske, Dibrova, and the Serebryanka forest.

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·      According to pro-Russian sources, Russian forces unsuccessfully conducted assaults near Marinka.

·      According to Russian Telegram channels, combat continues in Belgorod, Russia near the Ukrainian border.

Operational Aspects in Zone A. TO518 / Mokri Yaly River Axis - boundary of the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions, and Zone B. Western Zaporizhzhia

·      General Hromov reported on July 5 that Ukrainian forces have advanced 7.5 kilometers into Russian-controlled territory in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and along the administrative border between the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions.

·      Ukrainian assaults with indecisive results took place yesterday around Urozhaine, Staromaiorske, Rivnopil, Pryyutne, and Robotyne, both Ukrainian sources and pro-Russian sources indicated.

Operational Aspects in Zone C. Bakhmut

·      Geolocated footage posted on July 5 shows Ukrainian forces have advanced southwest of Berkhivka (6 km northwest of Bakhmut), west of Yahidne (2 km north of Bakhmut), and southwest of Bakhmut, according to ISW.

·      Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said last night that the situation on Bakhmut’s flanks remains “dynamic” and there were no significant advances after a day of fighting on the northern flank. However, she also said that Russian forces “cannot leave the city” suggesting Ukrainian control of the Klishchiivka pocket on the southern flank of Bakhmut.

·      “The stakes have been raised so much that the enemy has started using barrage detachments and tries to ensure the stability of the troops with weapons aimed at their backs,” Malyar further claimed yesterday.

·      According to ISW, pro-Russian milbloggers reported that Ukrainian forces liberated an important height near Klishchiivka (7 km southwest of Bakhmut), which confirms earlier Ukrainian sources’ claims.

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