· Top 5 Headlines
· President Zelensky’s Message of the Day
· Ukraine Summer Offensive Summary
1. President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday landed at a Danish air force to inspect F-16 fighter jets bound for Ukraine. Following the training of Ukrainian pilots by a coalition of allies, the first group of six Danish jets is slated to be in Ukraine by early 2024. Nineteen jets have been pledged across two years by Denmark. Netherlands will provide jets as well, though the exact number is not yet known. They are the first two countries to commit F-16s to Ukraine’s defense. It is reported that 70 Ukrainian personnel are already being trained on the F-16.
2. The pace of Ukraine’s summer offensive reflected a shortage of military equipment and an unwillingness to needlessly sacrifice Ukrainian troops, Zelensky told Western journalists in response to accusations of it being too slow. "If you have a shortage of armored vehicles, a shortage of tanks... then you will simply lose people... You will go one, two, three or five kilometers, but you will lose thousands of people,” Zelensky said. “They will simply die, and you will not achieve the goal that we need it. This is a complete de-occupation of our entire territory," the President added.
3. Ukraine would exchange Russia’s Belgorod region for NATO membership, Zelensky quipped to Western journalists when asked about recent ‘land swap’ suggestions. "Exchange of territory? We’re ready to exchange Belgorod for our membership in NATO," answered the President.
4. There are currently 360,900 refugees from Ukraine with temporary protection visas in the Czech Republic, most of whom are women and children. More than 8.25 million Ukrainians have become refugees since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, according to the UN. More than 5.14 million Ukrainian refugees have applied for temporary resident status in Western Europe. However, more than 75% of refugees report that they plan to return to Ukraine, according to independent surveys.
5. This includes expansion of the production of munitions, drones, anti-aircraft missiles and other types of weapons, especially 155 mm howitzer artillery shells, where production has increased from about 14,000 units per month to 28,000 per month.
President Zelensky’s Message
F-16s will instill fresh confidence and motivation in both warriors and ordinary citizens. They will produce fresh results for Ukraine and the rest of Europe.— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) August 20, 2023
I thank you once again, dear @MinPres Mark, @Statsmin Mette, your teams, and the peoples of the Netherlands and Denmark. pic.twitter.com/ffSdtMHkfI
Ukraine Summer Offensive Summary
Operational Aspects - Southern Front
Geolocated footage published on August 19 and 20 shows that Ukrainian forces recently advanced east of Robotyne and pro-Russian milbloggers have conceded that the AFU controls the northern part of the village.
Geolocated footage published on August 19 & 20 shows that UKR forces recently advanced east of Robotyne. A Kremlin-affiliated milblogger claimed that UKR forces captured unspecified RU positions west of Verbove and continue to attack RU positions along the Robotyne-Verbove line. https://t.co/vRw0SRD30t pic.twitter.com/Hk6W7Qxath— Institute for the Study of War (@TheStudyofWar) August 21, 2023
The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces also conducted counteroffensive operations in the Berdyansk direction (western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhzhia regional area), ISW reported.
A Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces continue to face issues with counterbattery capabilities on all sectors of the front, but particularly in the Zaporizhzhia direction, according to ISW. The milblogger also claimed that Russian units are facing officer shortages due to manpower losses and that privates command some Russian companies, which should have a junior officer in command.
Pro-Ukrainian milblogger Kravchuk claimed that the AFU is undertaking probing assaults near Marfopil-Dorozhnyanka in western Zaporizhzhia
“understanding that the main reserves and the most combat-capable forces of the [Russian forces] have been transferred to the Robotyne area.”
Two Ukrainian civilians were killed by Russian artillery fire at Kozatske in Kherson region, the regional governor said on Telegram.
Pro-Russian milblogger and propagandist War Gonzo posted the following: “The Armed Forces of Ukraine are striving to expand their bridgeheads on the left bank [of the Dnipro River], on the islands in the delta. Such attempts were recorded in several places: at Hola Prystan, Oleshky, Kozachi Laheri and Nova Kakhovka. The powerful work of the Ukrainian artillery from the high right bank does not allow the infantry units of the RF to enter into combat contact with the groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the islands.”
Independent analyst and satellite imagery specialist Brady Africk posted images showing 20 Russian helicopters at the Berdyansk airfield in occupied southern Ukraine.
More than 20 Russian helicopters are visible in new satellite imagery of the airport in occupied Berdyansk.— Brady Africk (@bradyafr) August 19, 2023
Over the past few months, Russian forces at this base dug new revetments to protect vehicles and equipment. pic.twitter.com/VKnQaRuBBZ
Operational Aspects - Northern Front
According to pro-Russian milbloger Rybar, “Russian troops from the ‘Western’ group are storming Ukrainian positions in the Synkivka area, although it is premature to declare an operational encirclement and an imminent liberation of the village.”
Pro-Ukrainian milblogger Deep State posted: “The enemy's campaign is successful south of Masyutivka, the village of Serhiivka, and landings in the Serebryansky forest.” He blamed these setbacks on “tactical and strategic miscalculations.”
Russian shelling of Kupyansk in Kharkiv region injured 11 people, with seven in critical condition, the Regional Military Administration reported.
Other Operational Aspects
Russian authorities in Moscow, Rostov region, Novgorod region, Kursk region and Belgorod region claimed Ukrainian drone attacks were repelled overnight.
The overnight strikes follow a drone mission on a Russian airfield in Novgorod over the weekend which damaged Russian bombers, according to analysts.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in its daily update, reported that 142 Ukrainian population settlements had come under Russian artillery and/or mortar fire. This is one of the highest days on record during the full-scale invasion.
Ukrainian milblogger Deep State estimated on his Telegram channel that Ukraine’s FPV (first person view) drone missions are currently around 170 per day compared to Russian forces’ 80. He noted that “it is already better than in July, but it is not enough. To win, our advantage must be multiple.”
In Kirov region, a military mobilization tent was burnt down by an apparent arsonist.
Ukrainian naval authorities claimed that a Russian submarine armed with four Kalibr missiles is now permanently patrolling in the Black Sea. They indicated that this is in addition to other Russian missile carriers with Kalibr salvos.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported 29 Russian airstrikes and 43 Russian MLRS rocket attacks. Ukraine carried out nine airstrikes on Russian positions.
The next meeting of the “Ramstein” format of Ukraine’s military allies will take place on September 18, according to Defense Minister Oleksi Reznikov.
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