·      Top 10 Headlines

·      President Zelensky’s Message of the Day

·      Ukraine Summer Offensive Summary

Headlines

1.     The deadly crash of the plane on which Wagner warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin was aboard was a signal from the Kremlin, a senior aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky said. “The demonstrative elimination of Prigozhin and the Wagner command two months after the coup attempt is a signal from Putin to Russia’s elites ahead of the 2024 elections. ‘Beware! Disloyalty equals death,’” Mykhaylo Podolyak wrote on social media.

2.     The Prigozhin plane was shot down by Russian air defense systems, reported Financial Times. The UK media outlet cited anonymous information provided by a Western intelligence official.

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3.     US President said he was not surprised by the death of Wagner warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin. “Perhaps you remember when you [the reporter] asked me about him [Prigozhin]? I said that I would be careful about what I drink and what I drive. I don’t know exactly what happened, but I’m not surprised,” he said. Biden added that “there’s not much going on in Russia that Putin isn’t behind.”

4.     The death toll in a Russian strike on a school in the Ukrainian village of Romny in Sumy region has risen to four, the Interior Minister said. Rescuers found the bodies of the “school director, deputy director, secretary and librarian” under the rubble, he added.

British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 15 July 2024
Other Topics of Interest

British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 15 July 2024

Latest from the British Defence Intelligence.

5.     Ukraine will receive F-16 multi-purpose fighters as soon as possible but needs to meet a number of conditions, the Dutch Minister of Defense said in Kyiv. “As of now, we have agreed to transfer the F-16 to your country as soon as possible, when the conditions are met. It is about when the personnel – pilots and technical specialists – are trained and ready; when Ukraine has the proper infrastructure; and when we have prepared all the necessary measures,” she said. The Minister suggested a six-to-eight-month timeframe and that the number of planes dispatched to Ukraine itself is still to be determined.

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6.     The third summit of the Crimean Platform took place in Kyiv. President Zelensky noted that the return of Crimea to Ukraine will take place not solely through diplomatic means. He also noted that several companies at the international, national, and local levels are ready to enter Crimea and work immediately after liberation.

7.     The Prime Minister of Japan announced up to $7 billion in aid to Ukraine while speaking online at the third summit of the Crimean Platform. He noted that Tokyo will use its experience and knowledge in the field of post-war reconstruction. “Japan is on the side of the people of Ukraine in order to ensure peace and return it to the beautiful Ukrainian land.”

8.     Russian attacks on Ukraine’s grain infrastructure on the Danube River – including 8 airstrikes in the last month – have destroyed more than 270,000 tons of grain, said Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister. “The world needs to understand that attacks on grain infrastructure are attacks on countries in Africa and Asia that are already running out of food,” he said.

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9.     Russian oil exports via the Black Sea have practically ceased after recent Ukrainian naval attacks, Bloomberg reported. Over the past week, only one tanker left the largest Black Sea port of the Russian Federation, and export volumes fell to 100,000 barrels per day. The volume of oil exports across the Black Sea became the lowest since the beginning of the war. Normally, the route accounts for about a quarter of all Russian oil exports.

10.  Russian Helicopter Pilot Defects in Astonishing Saga Worthy of Hollywood. Early reports that the crew of a Russian Mi-8 helicopter became lost and landed at a Ukrainian airfield by mistake concealed a far more surprising narrative. The latest information indicates the Russian pilot had been working with Ukrainian military intelligence (HUR) to arrange his defection to Ukraine, and that the pilot’s family had been evacuated from Russia to Ukraine months before. The two Russian crewmates, who were not in on the deal, brandished weapons and were “eliminated” by Ukrainian forces.

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President Zelensky’s Message

Ukraine Summer Offensive Summary

Snapshot

Ukrainian forces lifted their colors over Robotyne in southern Ukraine – the 11th village liberated since the beginning of their summer offensive.

Operations – Southern Front

On Ukraine’s Flag Day, soldiers of the 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade raised a Ukrainian flag over liberated Robotyne in western Zaporizhzhia.

Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) continued to make advances in and around Robotyne in the western Zaporizhzhia Region as of Aug. 22 amid indications that Russian forces likely have a limited presence in the settlement, ISW reported.

The Ukrainian advance in the Robotyne area brings Ukrainian forces closer to launching operations against second lines of defense that may be relatively weaker than the first Russian defensive line in the area, ISW said.

Satellite imagery from November 2022, December 2022, and August 2023 shows that Russian forces have notably sped up the expansion of defensive fortifications near Chervonoselivka (38 km southwest of Velyka Novosilka and 27 km from the current frontline) in the Zaporizhzhia Region over the last month.

Other Operations

There was a Russian aerial strike on Dnipro early this morning with reports of casualties.

Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, Kyrylo Budanov, said that Russia is operating 436 aircraft in its war against Ukraine, including 27 Tu-22 strategic bombers (from an original 31). His comments follow Ukraine’s recent destruction of an additional Russian bomber.

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Ukraine destroyed a Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system on the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. “At about 10 a.m. an explosion occurred... destroying a Russian long- and medium-range S-400 Triumph air defense system,” the Ukrainian defense ministry said on social media. This was confirmed by pro-Russian milblogger Rybar on his Telegram channel and by NASA imagery.

Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations on at least two sectors of the front on Aug. 22 and made advances near Bakhmut and in the western Zaporizhzhia region, according to ISW.

Russian forces conducted offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line, in the western Donetsk-eastern Zaporizhzhia regional border area, and in western Zaporizhzhia on Aug. 22 and advanced in certain areas, according to ISW.

According to the 18:00 daily update of the General Staff of the AFU, during the day of Aug. 23, Russian forces launched 9 missile strikes, 49 air strikes, and 40 MLRS attacks at the positions of Ukrainian troops and various settlements. The Ukrainian Air Force launched 10 airstrikes against Russian positions.

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According to the General Staff, Russian forces shelled around 100 Ukrainian settlements with artillery and/or mortar fire.

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