·      Top 10 Headlines

·      Ukraine Summer Offensive Summary

·      Infographic of the Day

·      President Zelensky’s Message of the Day 

Headlines

1.     Ukraine began negotiations with the US regarding a long-term, bilateral agreement with security guarantees, according to President Zelensky’s office. Twelve countries agreed to form such agreements at the recent NATO Summit.

2.     Russia wishes to buy ammunition from North Korea, said John Kirby, the US National Security Advisor. “The information we have received indicates that Russia is seeking to expand military cooperation with the DPRK, in particular through the sale of artillery shells to Russia,” he said, citing the recent visit of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to the hermit nation.

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3.     US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned Russia’s weaponization of global food supply in an address to the UN Security Council.

4.     Two Ukrainian tennis players have won through to the quarterfinals of the World Tennis Association tournament in Washington DC. Marta Kostyuk (ranked #34) beat France’s Caroline Garcia (ranked) by 6:2, 6:3. She joins Elina Svitolina, who is making a major comeback after motherhood, who defeated a self-proclaimed neutral Russian opponent to make the quarters. In the quarters, Kostyuk will play against Russian Lyudmila Samsonova. The tournament features a public statement that Ukrainian players do not shake the hands of their Russian or Belarusian opponents.

‘Yes,’ Ukraine to Receive Long-Range ATACMS, Says Senator Mark Warner – War Update for April 23
Other Topics of Interest

‘Yes,’ Ukraine to Receive Long-Range ATACMS, Says Senator Mark Warner – War Update for April 23

US Senator affirms Ukraine to receive long-range projectiles; Poetry of Soviet-era poet Vasyl Stus to feature at Harvard University lecture; Zelensky hosts US bi-partisan Congressional delegation

5.     Russia is pounding Ukraine with Kh-55 cruise missiles, which were officially handed over by Kyiv to Moscow in 1999 to pay debts for consumed Russian gas. Journalists of the Scheme media outlet matched missile registration numbers in the text of the 1999 handover agreement and with the numbers of those Russia has used during the full-scale invasion. They discovered a dozen missiles launched at Ukrainian cities, including some that have taken lives.

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6.     Ukraine is spending about $50 billion a year to repel the Russian invasion, said Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. As reported by UNIAN, he announced a new estimate of the costs of the war at the conference of ambassadors of Ukraine. Shmyhal noted that this is more than the revenue part of the budget in peacetime.

7.     Russia is allegedly recruiting women in prisons in occupied Ukraine and the south of the Russian Federation to participate in the invasion of Ukraine, according to Russian democratic activists. According to journalists who spoke with relatives of the prisoners, the women signed a two-year contract with the Russian Ministry of Defense.

8.     The birth rate in Ukraine decreased by 28 percent since 2021, demographic researchers said. The birth rate was particularly affected by migration from Ukraine, caused by the start of a full-scale war. Some 97,000 children were born in Ukraine from January to July 2023, which is 28 percent fewer than during the corresponding period in 2021, when 135,079 babies were born.

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9.     Russian propagandists are obsessed with the spokesperson for Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine, Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, because of her transgenderism. “Sara informs the English-speaking audience – she objectively covers the events of the Russian-Ukrainian war, debunks Russian fakes and propaganda,” Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said. “Sarah’s audience reach on Twitter alone was 28.3 million users. So, the enemies get excited on hateful social networks, of course. However, this has only increased Sarah’s audience,” she added.

10.     An explosion occurred in a parked car near the “Moscow City” business and financial center in Russia’s capital. “An unknown man detonated a grenade in Chervonogvardiysky Proezd near Moscow City,” a Russian Telegram channel said.

Ukraine Summer Offensive Summary

Snapshot

The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations on the southern front in the Zaporizhzhia-Donetsk regional border area and western Zaporizhzhia region axes, and that some gains were made on the eastern front in Bakhmut. At the same time, senior Ukrainian officials described their heavy defense of the northern front.

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Operational Aspects on the Northern Front

Pro-Russian milbloggers said Russian forces continued their “creeping offensive” in the vicinity of Kreminna.

Ukraine’s senior infantry commander, General Oleksandr Syrsky, posted: “On the Lyman and Kupyansk axes, [we] considered the issue of adequate response to the offensive actions of the enemy, increasing the effectiveness of fire damage to the enemy, and combating drones of various types.”

The General continued: “In terms of continued active offensive actions of the enemy in the Kupyansk and Lyman axes, our troops daily disrupt his plans to break through our defenses, cause significant losses in personnel and equipment, and reduce the offensive potential of enemy troops.”

A pro-Russian milblogger posted: “In the Kupyansk and Lyman [sectors], the enemy has concentrated people and equipment and is surging to pull our forces away from the eastern direction of the offensive. Our defenders have repelled all enemy assaults in grueling battles.”

General Developments

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Russia has used at least 1,961 Shahed drones on the territory of Ukraine, President Zelensky said in his nightly address. That would be at a cost of around $40 million.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius again ruled out supplying Ukraine with long-range Taurus missiles, saying it was “not a top priority” right now.

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Ukraine asked Germany in late May to provide it with Taurus air-to-surface cruise missiles which have a range of more than 500 kilometers, but the government has so far rebuffed the request, AFP reported.

In the Moscow region, there was an explosion at a battery warehouse in the village of Achkasovo.

The Governors of the Russian regions of Kursk and Belgorod reported shelling of local villages.

Operational Aspects on the Eastern Front

General Syrsky posted: “In the Bakhmut sector, we continue to carry out offensive actions, step by step, in conditions of strong enemy resistance, our fighters are vacating the territory.”

“In all eastern axes, where hostilities are taking place, we have recorded an increase in [Ukrainian] shelling,” he said.

“Today, in the Bakhmut sector, our troops are dealing with dense artillery fire, mining and strong enemy resistance,” a pro-Russian milblogger posted.

Operational Aspects on the Southern Front

“Restlessness of the enemy in the deep rear is an established method of the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU),” said the spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern forces, adding that Ukraine’s tactics “work extremely delicately, very remotely and in measured portions.”

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A leading pro-Russian milblogger said that “the enemy once again tried to attack Urozhayne and Pryyutne” as well as attacks on Robotyne.

Another pro-Russian milblogger added: “The AFU has become more active near Urozhayne. Thus, opening a new axis of impact.”

Ukrainian Director of the Department of Planning of the Main Directorate of the National Guard Colonel Mykola Urshalovych stated that Ukrainian forces advanced up to 650m into Russian defenses along a 1.5-kilometer front in the Melitopol axis, ISW reported.

A pro-Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces advanced near Mykilske (27 kilometers southwest of Donetsk City) in the western Donetsk region, ISW reported.

Air defense systems went off in several regions of occupied Crimea, according to occupation officials.

Russian forces again shelled Kherson City, said Regional Governor Oleksandr Prokudin. According to him, the latest round of shelling hit a shopping center and a medical facility. No casualties were reported at this time.

Infographic of the Day

President Zelensky’s Message

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