·      Top 10 Headlines

·      President Zelensky’s Message of the Day

·      Ukraine Summer Offensive Summary

·      Infographic of the Day

Headlines

  1.     A night-time drone attack on Moscow damaged two office blocks and temporarily shut down Vuknovo international airport. An explosion and fire occurred in the police building in Trubchevsk in Russia’s Bryansk region and a drone fell near Taganrog, where there is a major military airfield, in Russia’s Rostov region. The Chonhar bridge in temporarily occupied Crimea was also hit with occupational authorities posting information for motorists on what to do during an assault.

2.     Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that war was coming to Russia. “Gradually, the war is returning to the territory of Russia – to its symbolic centers and military bases. And, this is an inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process,” Zelensky said on a visit to a hospital for wounded servicepeople in the western city of Ivano-Frankivsk.

3.     Very early this morning, there was a Russian strike on Kharkiv and explosions were heard in Ukraine’s second largest city. Another Russian strike killed two people in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia over the weekend, authorities said. Two civilians were also killed in a missile attack on the northeastern city of Sumy, the municipal city council said, with 20 more hurt, after a higher education institution was hit. One person was killed by Russian artillery barrages on Kostiantynivka in the Donetsk region.

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4.     Saudi Arabia will host a Ukrainian-organized peace summit in early August, officials say. The summit will be held in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah and some 30 countries are anticipated, one official said. It will focus on President Zelensky’s proposed 10 Point Peace Formula, according to Andriy Yermak, Zelensky’s Chief of Staff. 

Moscow Says It Won’t Participate in the Second Peace Summit
Other Topics of Interest

Moscow Says It Won’t Participate in the Second Peace Summit

Russia’s deputy foreign minister said that Ukraine’s “peace formula” is a “dead-end” and complained about the deliberate “ignoring of other initiatives” to end the war in Ukraine.

5.     In advance of the Saudi meeting, Ukraine will start discussions this week with the US about providing security guarantees prior to Kyiv joining NATO, Yermak also said. The talks follow-up on pledges by the Group of 7 (G7) at the NATO summit in Lithuania earlier this month. “Security guarantees for Ukraine will be concrete, long-term obligations ensuring Ukraine’s capacity to defeat and restrain Russian aggression in the future,” he posted.

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6.     Pope Francis called on Russia to return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative to allow safe passage of Ukrainian grain to world markets. “I am calling on my brothers, the authorities in the Russian Federation, to re-establish the Black Sea initiative so that the wheat could be safely transported,” the Pope said during his weekly Angelus prayer. Following Russia’s pull-out, wheat prices have risen.

7.     Ukraine is 60 percent ready for the 2023-2024 heating season, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal was reported as saying by Suspilne. “But we must be aware that, just as last year, Russian terrorists can still attack our energy sector and critical facilities this winter,” President Zelensky said, adding that preparations for “all possible scenarios” were under discussion.

8.     250 Ukrainian children have been taken from occupied Melitopol and supposedly found new families in Russia, according to its exiled mayor. Another 1,000 minors are in so-called recreation camps, according to Ivan Federov. “It will be extremely difficult to return these children after de-occupation,” he posted on Telegram.

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9.     In Kyiv, part of the Soviet coat of arms was removed from the shield of the “Motherland” monument, Suspilne reported. The element weighs 80 kilograms. When all the elements are removed, the Ukrainian “tryzub” or trident will be installed in their place.

10.     “Russian soldiers are dying in Ukraine for Africa’s freedom,” the senior spokesperson for Russian foreign policy bizarrely told a summit of African leaders. Meanwhile, Russia’s former President Dmytro Medvedev outdid her by directly threatening to use nuclear weapons in case of success of the Ukrainian offensive. Medvedev, who is now Deputy Chairman of the Security Council wrote on Telegram: “There is simply no other way out.”

President Zelensky’s Message

Infographic of the Day

Ukraine Summer Offensive Summary

Snapshot

Explosions occurred in Moscow, Bryansk, and Rostov regions in Russia, and the Chonhar bridge in occupied Crimea was hit, while Russian attacks took at least five civilian lives in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia, Sumy and Donetsk regions.

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Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations on at least three sectors of the front and made claimed advances in some areas, ISW reported.

Ukrainian military sources claimed small successes on the southern flank of Bakhmut and gradual advances in the Berdyansk (western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhzhia regional boundary area) and Melitopol (in western Zaporizhzhia region) axes.

General Developments

Russian general Sergei Surovikin, detained after the mutiny of the leader of Wagner Yevgeny Prigozhin, has had his form of detention changed, according to an independent Russian media source. “His family is still tight-lipped. The only thing that can be understood is that the form of isolation has been changed for him and now he is already in a living room, but any communication is prohibited,” it said.

Journalists of CNN visited a secret Ukrainian military base where naval drones are being tested.

British military intel said that Wagner forces in Belarus are lacking heavy equipment.

The Ukrainian Air Force has converted some of its 1960s-vintage S-200 surface-to-air missile systems into surface-to-surface weapons by adding a GPS seeker to the systems’ eight-ton V-860/880 missiles. According to an expert, the first confirmed S-200 strike, around July 9, may have blown up an industrial site somewhere in Bryansk region just north of the Russian border with Ukraine.

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Russian propaganda channels shared an update on Ukrainian equipment losses during the full-scale war. They allege that Ukraine has now lost more than 11,000 tanks and other armoured vehicles. The number is almost certainly an overestimate as Ukraine is known to have never had more than 1,500 tanks.

Operational Aspects in Bakhmut

Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said: “Today, we continued our advance on the southern flank around Bakhmut. There are certain promotions. Northern flank – battles continue without changes in positions. The enemy is now charging additional forces and resources to the Bakhmut axis.”

Operational Aspects in Donetsk, Crimea and other areas

The Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) announced that Ukrainian forces successfully struck the Chonhar bridge on the M-18 (Dzhankoi-Melitopol) highway between occupied Crimea and occupied Kherson region, ISW reported.

Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Svatove-Kreminna and Avdiivka-Donetsk City lines and did not make any confirmed gains in these areas, ISW said.

A pro-Russian milblogger wrote: “The daily shelling of the border areas of Russia continues. The settlements of the Bryansk, Belgorod, Kherson regions, as well as the Donetsk People’s Republic, were under the blows – unfortunately, there are destructions and victims.”

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Malyar said: “The enemy is active in the Kupyansk and Lyman axes. Today, there were several attempts to advance, but [they] failed and suffered losses. Fighting continues in the Avdiivka axis. The enemy is unsuccessfully trying to advance. Today, the enemy increased assault operations in the Maryinka axis with the use of equipment – tanks, BMPs. But unsuccessfully.”

Ukrainian partisans reportedly sabotaged Russian military equipment in occupied Mariupol, Donetsk region on July 29, ISW said.

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

Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations in the western Donetsk region and western Zaporizhzhia region and claimed marginal advances, ISW said.

Following last week’s loss of Staromaiorske, a pro-Russian milblogger has written: “Some experts assessed the abandonment of the village as a serious loss. I specifically asked the military who work in this direction. They told me everything was under control. Leaving Staromaiorske is not critical. It will not lead to any serious problems in our defense. Allows you to use the gap to your advantage. I already wrote that in the process of repelling the Ukrainian offensive, you may have to retreat with a fight from part of the settlements in the gray zone, pulling the enemy closer to our artillery.”

The 70th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the AFU scattered “death cards” on the local battlefields. They read: “We Are Close. Death Is Inevitable.”

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