·      Top 5 Headlines

·      President Zelensky’s Message of the Day

·      Ukraine Summer Offensive Summary

·      Infographic of the Day

Top Headlines

1.     US President Joe Biden said Thursday that Russia’s Vladimir Putin has already lost Russia’s war on Ukraine, expressing hope that Kyiv’s summer offensive would force Moscow to the negotiating table. “Putin’s already lost the war. Putin has a real problem,” Biden told a press conference in Helsinki, Finland. “There is no possibility of him winning the war in Ukraine.”

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2.     Senior Ukrainian military officials confirmed they had received controversial cluster munitions from the US. ”We just got them. We haven’t used them yet, but they can radically change [the battlefield],” Ukrainian southern forces army commander Oleksandr Tarnavsky told US broadcaster CNN. “The enemy also understands that with getting this ammunition, we will have an advantage,” Tarnavsky said, adding that Ukrainian forces would not deploy the weapon in heavily populated areas.

3.     In a sign of its anger at Western backing for Kyiv, Moscow said it would regard F-16 fighter jets sent to Ukraine as a nuclear threat because of their capacity to carry atomic bombs. “Russia cannot ignore the ability of these aircraft to carry nuclear weapons. No amount of assurances will help here,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying by the Russian foreign ministry.

WATCH: Ukrainians Capture Russian ‘Blyat-Mobile Barn Tank’ With Crew for the First Time
Other Topics of Interest

WATCH: Ukrainians Capture Russian ‘Blyat-Mobile Barn Tank’ With Crew for the First Time

Dubbed “blyat-mobiles” on social media, after a common Russian vulgarity, the tanks and other vehicles fitted with drone protection have become choice targets.

4.     The Black Sea Grain Initiative is again on the brink as its July 17 expiration date looms. The deal on Ukrainian grain exports will collapse next week if Russia does not agree to renew it. It will top the agenda of current UN-EU talks in Brussels, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen said. “The ball is in President Putin's court… Russia has a responsibility to prolong the initiative,” Von der Leyen said, standing next to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. The talks come as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that “not one” of Moscow’s conditions for the deal to function had been met, including his demand to re-open an ammonia pipeline to Odesa that is owned by own of his cronies.

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5.     Lyudmyla Kichenok became the first Ukrainian to win a Wimbledon title when she paired with Mate Pavic of Croatia to take the mixed doubles title by defeating China’s Xu Yifan and Belgium’s Joran Vliegen 6-4, 6-7(9), 6-3. It was also the first Grand Slam title of any type for 30-year-old Kichenok, who is currently ranked World No.15 in doubles. “I try to encourage the people in Ukraine and I hope this helps a little because they are fighting for their freedom,” Kichenok, from Dnipro, said to a huge ovation from the Centre Court crowd. Earlier on Thursday, wildcard Elina Svitolina’s great Wimbledon run came to an end when she lost 6-3 6-3 to Czech Marketa Vondrousova in the women’s singles semi-finals.

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President Zelensky’s Message

Ukraine Summer Offensive Summary

Snapshot

Ukraine continues interdiction of Russian rear; no territorial changes at an overall level, but hints in the south; no “monopolization of initiative” across theaters, says one analyst, due to parity of weapons and tactics.

General Developments

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that this week’s NATO Summit in Vilnius saw foreign partners pledge more than $1.7 billion in new military aid to Ukraine. The minister listed seven countries that have offered further military aid packages, including Germany, Australia, Norway, the UK, France, the Netherlands and Canada.

Ukrainian air defense forces took down 20 Shahed drones, primarily around the Kyiv region, and two Kalibr missiles yesterday.

Operational Aspects in Bakhmut

Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said that Ukrainian forces continued to press forward on the southern flank, while Russian forces unsuccessfully counterattacked on the northern flank.

Fighting continued around Klischiivka and the southern canal, according to Deep State.

Operational Aspects in Luhansk, Kherson, Russia and other areas

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Fighting is occurring for Novoselivsk, as well as the Serebryanka forest, according to Ukrainian milblogger Deep State. The town is “factually in the gray zone,” as Russian forces seek to press an advantage at the Luhansk part of the front. Pro-Russian sources said counterattacks took place near Torsk.

Russian forces fired mortars at the village of Popivka in Sumy Oblast from the territory of Russia. As a result, a 60-year-old resident was killed in his own household, Ukraiinska Pravda reported. Sumy was subjected to particularly heavy shelling yesterday.

“In recent days, the enemy intensified the redeployment of personnel, ammunition, and equipment across the [Kerch] Bridge which is one of the reasons for the traffic jams on it,” the military partisan movement Atesh posted on Telegram.

Russian forces continued to try to dislodge Ukrainian troops from positions around the Antonivka Bridge across the Dnipro River near Kherson, according to Deep State.

Ukrainian special forces appear to be continuing operations among islands on the Dnipro, according to their own claims, such as the below video, and those of pro-Russian milbloggers. One of the latter posted on Telegram: “Devils still swim along the Dnipro in high-speed boats.”

Shahed attacks and explosions were reported last night in Kryviy Rih and Odesa, according to Ukrainian air defense sources.

Explosions were reported in the Russian regions of Belgorod, Voronezh and Kursk, according to multiple sources.

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Operational Aspects on Boundary of the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions and in Western Zaporizhzhia

Malyar mentioned several population settlements on the southern front for the first time. She said that “in the directions of Novodanilivka, Shyroka Balka, Mala Tokmachka, and Novopokrovka, our troops were successful and are now entrenched on the achieved frontiers. The enemy is now moving divisions and using all available reserves. Due to the fact that our fighters destroy enemy equipment warehouses every day, the number of enemy shelling has decreased somewhat.”

Pro-Russian sources said Ukrainian forces pressed the attack near Pryyutne and Staromaiorske, which are in the regional border area.

About 200 Russian occupation officials and the Kremlin-appointed leader of Tokmak were killed, an exiled Ukrainian local government official claimed. Ivan Fedorov, the exiled mayor of occupied Melitopol, said that Ukrainian forces “have successfully worked on the occupiers’ positions in Tokmak. Intelligence reports that the forging and stamping plant is done [struck – ed.].” 

There are currently about 500 Russian military personnel and employees of the Rosatom nuclear company at the Zaporizhzhia NPP, it was claimed. “About 500 Russian soldiers and Rosatom employees are at the plant. We don’t know what kind of weapons they use to mine the plant,” Head of the Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration Yuriy Malashko told a briefing.

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In a report by UkrInform, Malashko stated that Russian occupiers use the plant’s territory to shell populated settlements in the Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions and to store weapons and ammunition.

Fighting continued around Robotyne south of Orikhiv, according to Deep State, and Zherebyanka southwest of Orikhiv, according to pro-Russian sources.

Infographic of the Day

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