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1.     NATO’s position regarding full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine has not changed, an official spokesperson told Ukrainian media outlet Suspilne. “Only Ukraine should decide on the time and conditions for achieving peace.” Earlier, Stian Jenssen, a senior NATO official, gave an interview in which he called Ukraine’s renunciation of some territories in exchange for NATO membership “a possible solution.” Ukrainian officials condemned the comments with Mykhailo Podolyak, a Presidential advisor, calling them “an encouragement of a global criminal and the destruction of international law.”

2.     Ukrainians should be prepared for the fact that the war will last a long time, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on her Telegram channel. “In this war, the road to victory will be long and difficult. ‘two to three weeks,’ ‘until the end of the year,’ ‘next spring’ – all this is not true,” she wrote. Earlier, as reported by UNIAN, Minister of Defense Oleksiy Reznikov expressed confidence that Ukraine will win by next summer.

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3.     Sweden will provide another package of military aid to Ukraine of about $315 million, Suspilne reported. The package will include ammunition for air defense systems and combat vehicles.

4.     Ukraine is defying Russia’s abandonment of the Black Sea grain deal by exporting 18 percent more grain in the last six weeks. Using alternative arrangements, Ukraine exported 3.1 million tons of grain and leguminous crops between July 1 and Aug. 14, 2023. By way of comparison, in the same period last year, Ukraine exported 2.7 million tons of grain and leguminous crops, including 658,000 tons of wheat, 226,000 tons of barley, and 1.8 million tons of corn.

Brussels to Finalize Ukraine EU Talks Framework ‘by Summer’
Other Topics of Interest

Brussels to Finalize Ukraine EU Talks Framework ‘by Summer’

For the European Union and Ukraine to start negotiations, the executive, led by von der Leyen, must draw up a framework for the talks, which must be approved by all 27 EU member states.

5.     The Czech Republic has frozen more than $400 million in Russian assets, the Czech Ambassador told Ukrainian officials.

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6.     The Swedish SKF company, the world’s biggest maker of industrial bearings, reported its factory in Lutsk in western Ukraine came under a Russian missile attack. “Last night, there was an attack on the city of Lutsk in Ukraine and our factory has been hit in that attack. We are very sad to confirm that three of our colleagues have been killed,” SKF’s spokesperson Carl Bjernstam said. The company has around 1,100 employees in Ukraine, the majority of whom work at its Lutsk factory. Last April, SKF announced its withdrawal from the Russian market.

7.     The Budget Committee of the Verkhovna Rada allocated $90 million to five settlements for pilot projects for comprehensive reconstruction, according to the parliament’s press service. The villages and cities that will be in the pilot are: Borodyanka in the Kyiv region; Trostyanets in the Sumy region; Tsyrkuny in the Kharkiv region; Posad-Pokrovske in the Kherson region; and Yahidne in the Chernihiv region.

8.     An international working group on sanctions against Russia will present a plan to prevent supplies of equipment necessary to produce Russian UAVs. “I was at the front with the President,” Andriy Yermak, the President’s Chief of Staff said. “I heard from the military about the problems posed by Russian UAVs, particularly Lancet combat and Orlan reconnaissance drones. This is a threat that we have no right to ignore.” The plan will include proposals to prevent the supply of microelectronics, machine tools and other equipment necessary for the production of UAVs.

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9.     Ukrainian troops are using experimental thermal imaging equipment to detect Russian mines, according to CNN. It reported that after mines receive heat from the sun, and when the soil cools at night, the mines are visible on the thermal imager as white dots. A unit operating under this new method uses special charges to detonate detected mines.

10.  North Macedonia became the 15th country to join the declaration of the Group of Seven on long-term security guarantees to Ukraine, President Zelensky said. The framework was developed and approved at the NATO summit in Lithuania and is meant to give Ukraine bi-lateral help in case of future Russian attacks.

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President Zelensky’s Message

Ukraine Summer Offensive Summary

Snapshot

Grinding Ukrainian gains at Robotyne (western Zaporizhzhia region; southern front) and Dibrova (Luhansk region; northern front). Reports of pontoons across the Dnipro.

Operational Aspects on the Southern Front

Kyiv announced on Wednesday morning that its forces had liberated the settlement of Urozhaine in the industrial Donetsk region.

"Urozhaine was liberated. Our defenders are entrenched at the outskirts. The offensive continues," Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar announced in a statement on social media.

Geolocated footage posted on Aug. 14 indicates that the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) advanced into Robotyne, and further Russian and Ukrainian reporting published on Aug. 15 suggests that Ukrainian forces have committed additional counteroffensive brigades to the western Zaporizhzhia region, ISW reported.

ISW further reported that AFU Colonel Petro Chernyk stated that the Ukrainian counteroffensive is advancing slowly in southern Ukraine because Ukrainian forces must overcome a three-echeloned Russian defensive line. Chernyk stated that the Russian line of defense includes a first line of minefields stretching several kilometers wide; a second line with artillery, equipment, and personnel concentrations; and a third line of rear positions meant to preserve resources. Chernyk noted that Ukrainian counterbattery measures are especially important in order to prevent Russian artillery from targeting Ukrainian mine-clearing equipment.

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Operational Aspects on the Northern Front

Coordinates published by a Russian milblogger on Aug. 15 indicate that Ukrainian forces have advanced south of Dibrova (7 kilometers southwest of Kreminna), according to ISW. Russian forces have been strongly pushing their own attacks on this front for the past month.

Other Operational Aspects

A pro-Ukrainian milblogger posted that Ukrainian forces have established pontoon bridges across the Dnipro River near Kozachi Laheri, where a raid was undertaken last week, and are reinforcing on the left-bank of occupied Kherson region.

General Developments

President Zelensky said real combat experience should become a priority during the training of the mobilized, following a visit to the southern front. “Real combat experience, modern challenges and trends on the battlefield, fire and maneuver, the skills that our soldiers have and which must be extended to all brigades and made a priority in training centers, especially during the training of the mobilized – [this is what’s needed],” he said on social media.

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace has signed a contract through the International Fund for Ukraine (IFU) for the delivery of Counter Unscrewed Aerial Systems (C-UAS), which will be donated to Ukraine. The delivery consists of several CORTEX Typhon systems, developed to counter a wide spectrum of UAVs with solutions to either physically harm or otherwise disable the aerial threat. The IFU was established by the UK and international partners to identify and procure critical capabilities and deliver them quickly to Ukraine.

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