·      Top 7 Headlines

·      President Zelensky’s Message of the Day

·      Ukraine Summer Offensive Summary

Headlines

1.     The US has approved sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine from Denmark and the Netherlands as soon as pilot training is completed, according to a letter by the US Secretary of State seen by Reuters. Ukraine has actively sought the US-made F-16 fighter jets to help it counter Russian air superiority. Denmark and the Netherlands have been leading international efforts to train pilots.

2.     The UN recorded 26,384 Ukrainian civilian victims subjected to Russian aggression since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Security Council was told. The victims include 9,444 killed and 16,940 wounded. The real figures are most likely much higher, officials emphasized.

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3.     President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a law to reform Ukraine’s appointment of judges as part of the country meeting requirements to join the European Union. “I just signed one of the key laws that Ukraine needs to open negotiations with the European Union on the accession of our state... The law guarantees transparent, professional and honest selection of judges of the Constitutional Court. Our state is one step closer to accession to the European Union,” Zelensky said.

Make Putin Realize Ukraine's Destiny Lies in NATO and EU – Boris Johnson
Other Topics of Interest

Make Putin Realize Ukraine's Destiny Lies in NATO and EU – Boris Johnson

The former British PM announced three key steps he said would significantly improve Ukraine's position in the war with Russia.

4.     Ukraine received two more IRIS-T air defense systems from Germany in the face of increasing Russian missile strikes, AFP reported. Since Ukraine received Western support, there are fewer successful strikes on Kyiv, but Moscow has mounted increasing aerial attacks on cities in the south and west of the country. On Tuesday, Russian missiles killed three people in Lutsk, while several missiles were downed over Lviv.

5.     Only Ukraine can decide the terms of a possible peace negotiation with Russia, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said. Stoltenberg reiterated the Alliance’s position after controversial remarks by his chief of staff which were a “mistake.”

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6.     A civilian cargo ship sailing from Ukraine reached Istanbul in defiance of Moscow’s Black Sea blockade, AFP reported. The Hong Kong-flagged Joseph Schulte container ship was shown on marine traffic sites approaching its final destination in Turkey after moving along a western route controlled by NATO members Romania and Bulgaria. The ship’s mission came days after the Russian navy fired warning shots and boarded a Turkish-owned vessel sailing to the Ukrainian river port of Izmail.

7.     Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia have joined the G7 declaration in support of Ukraine - which is an umbrella for bilateral, long-term security guarantees. Their move brings to 19 the total number of countries who have pledged to make commitments. The text of the joint Declaration of the G7 countries is published on the website of the President of Ukraine.

President Zelensky’s Message

Ukraine Summer Offensive Summary

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Snapshot

Guessing games underway after fall of Urozhaine, progress near Robotyne – and a call from senior Russian commander to “freeze the front.”

Operational Aspects on the Southern Front

The senior commander of Russian southern front forces suggested that Russia “freeze the war along current frontlines,” ISW reported. “Vostok” Battalion commander Alexander Khodakovsky stated that Russia will not be able to topple Ukraine militarily in the near term and that Russian forces are unlikely to easily occupy additional Ukrainian cities. His comments came after the fall of Urozhaine and may be part of Kremlin power games, ISW said.

In its own assessment of the situation on the southern front, ISW said: “Recent Ukrainian advances north and northeast of Robotyne (10 kilometers south of Orikhiv) in western Zaporizhzhia may allow Ukrainian forces to begin operating in the areas past the densest minefields. If the areas around the second Russian line of defense are less heavily mined, then they would likely be more conducive to more rapid Ukrainian gains…

[Following their wider degradation in defending Robotyne and Urozhaine], the lack of Russian operational reserves means that Russian forces will have to reinforce certain areas of the front at the expense of others, likely weakening Russian defensive lines in aggregate and offering Ukrainian forces opportunities for exploitation.”

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Additional geolocated footage published on August 14 indicates that the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) advanced southwest of Novoprokorivka (16 kilometers south of Orikhiv), according to ISW.

Pro-Russian milblogger Rybar said on Telegram that “units of the RF Armed Forces are heroically holding back the onslaught of the AFU at the Robotyne-Verbove line.” Heroism is often synonymous with massive casualties in Russian war descriptions.

Russian forces continued to reinforce infrastructure at a key airfield in occupied Berdyansk.

Other Operational Aspects

The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed a Ukrainian sea drone attempted to destroy two ships of the Black Sea Fleet some 237 kilometers southwest of Sevastopol.

Explosions potentially related to drones were heard and recorded over Moscow.

Pro-Ukrainian milblogger Butusov Plus posted video of an apparent Ukrainian HIMARS attack on a Russian position in occupied Kherson.

Russian MiG-31 aircraft are primarily used for psychological terror rather than actual combat missions, according to a Ukrainian military expert. Oleksandr Kovalenko, a commentator from the “Information Resistance” group, told national television that 90 percent of MiG sorties do not have Kinzhal missiles on board. However, they are designed to trigger air alerts and societal anxiety in Ukraine.

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The Ukrainian partisan movement in occupied territories – Atesh – said “the occupiers are preparing a large-scale mobilization for almost all age groups of Crimea.” Atesh believes that the mobilization will take place after the staged “elections,” which are scheduled for September.

The governor of the Belgorod region of the Russian Federation, claimed a Ukrainian drone was shot down over the region.

“The destruction of two Russian Ka-52 helicopters in the same day could indicate that protracted Russian aviation operations without rest may be degrading Russia’s limited cadre of pilots, although it would be premature to draw firm conclusions from two instances,” ISW said.

Operational Aspects – Eastern Front

Geolocated footage published on August 16 indicates that Ukrainian forces made marginal gains in southern Klishchiivka (7 kilometers southwest of Bakhmut), according to ISW.

Pro-Russian milblogger Rybar posted that “the difficult situation remains near Klishchiivka.”

Operational Aspects – Northern Front

Pro-Russian milbloggers claimed progress near Kupyansk, which ISW acknowledged some advances.

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General Developments

Germany handed Ukraine a new package of military aid, which included two IRIS-T air defense system launchers, 4,500 rounds of 155-mm howitzer ammunition, 10 radars, and 16 transport vehicles.

Ukraine plans to hold a Defense Industry Forum with international and domestic weapons manufacturers, President Zelensky announced.

“We are planning this event for the fall. For the first time, such a large-scale event will be held at the state level,” Zelensky said. “Ukrainian and foreign arms manufacturers. Our power. The power of our partners. The whole world, which is interested in ensuring that international law and humanity have the appropriate an arsenal of protection against any kind of terror.”

President Zelensky signed a decree to reform territorial military recruitment and social services centers. All regional “military committees” – some which are suspected of corruption – would be dismissed in Ukraine under the change. He added that 112 criminal investigations have been opened against former officials of the “military committees,” and 33 charges have been announced.

Ukraine may receive Soviet-era Mi-24/35 helicopter gunships from the Czech Republic’s stocks, according to the Czech News Agency, which cited the country’s Defense Minister.

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