• Zelensky nominates Crimean Tatar as new Minister of Defense
  • Suspected FSB building in Russia struck by Ukrainian drone
  • Watch Russian ship detonated in the Black Sea by Turkish-made UAV
  • Ukrainian forces continue southward march from Bakhmut
  • AFU forces may be getting better at navigating minefields
  • Power vacuum left in Kherson by departing Russian VBV forces

Russian drones didn’t hit Romania, Bucharest says

NATO member Romania said it "categorically denies" Russian drones fell on its soil, rejecting a claim by Kyiv that they detonated there overnight during a strike on the Ukrainian port city of Izmail.

A spokesperson for Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oleg Nikolenko, said in a post on Facebook that Russia’s Shahed drones had fallen and detonated on the territory of Romania during Russian airstrikes on the port.

According to Odesa Regional Military Administration head Oleh Kiper on Telegram, Ukraine’s air defense shot down 17 drones in a 3.5-hour attack in the Odesa region.

“With their terrorist attacks on the Ukrainian port infrastructure, the purpose of which is to create a global food crisis, Russian drones and missiles threaten the residents of other countries as well. It is possible to stop this with firm action,” the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, Andriy Yermak wrote in a Telegram post.


Ukraine claims gains near Bakhmut

Ukraine said on Monday it had made gains against Russian forces in the south and clawed back territory near Bakhmut in the east, as it battles to break through Russian defenses.

“The enemy is on the defensive in the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson sectors,” Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said, referring to two southern regions that Moscow claimed to annex last year.

She said Ukraine's forces had made success near the towns of Novodanylivka and Novoprokopivka in the south, and had also captured three square kilometres (around one square mile) near Bakhmut.

ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 21, 2024
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ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 21, 2024

Latest from the Institute for the Study of War.

“The enemy in the south is suffering significant losses in personnel, weapons and equipment,” she said.

Earlier, Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrsky, Commander of the Ground Forces, posted a video showing the 22nd Separate Mechanized Brigade on a mission, involving a BM-21 Grad MLRS.

In this campaign, in all, Ukraine’s missile and artillery forces struck six clusters of Russian troops and weapons, 12 artillery systems in firing positions, 2 ammunition depots, 2 control points, and an anti-aircraft missile system, Syrsky said.


Here is the AFU Ground Forces’ video:

“New approach” at Ukrainian Defense Ministry

President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday announced the departure of Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, AFP reported, calling for “new approaches” to the war 20 months into Russia’s full-scale invasion.

According to AFP: The announcement came hours after Ukraine fought off an attack by Russian drones in the southern Odesa region early Sunday that hit a Danube port on the border with NATO member Romania.

“Oleksiy Reznikov has been through more than 550 days of full-scale war,” Zelensky said in his daily evening address. “I believe that the ministry needs new approaches and other formats of interaction with both the military and society at large.”

He nominated Rustem Umerov, a Crimean Tatar who has been head of the State Property Fund since last year, to replace Reznikov. The nomination is subject to approval by Ukraine’s parliament.

Ukrainian drone hits suspected Russian FSB building


Reuters reported that a Ukrainian drone struck a non-military building on Sunday, causing a blaze that Russian firefighters quickly put out. There were no reported casualties in the explosion in the city of Kurchatov, near Kursk, not far from the Ukrainian border.

The governor of the Kursk region, Roman Starovoit in his Telegram post did not say which building was hit, but unnamed sources claimed that it belonged to the Russian FSB, the successor to the Soviet KGB.

Medium-range drone destroys Russian ship in Black Sea

A Turkish-made drone destroyed an unspecified Russian ship in the Black Sea on Sunday. In this social media post, the UAV is identified as a Bayraktar TB2, made for the Turkish Armed Forces and in use by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).

Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of Defense on Sunday has taken credit for downing other drones over the Black Sea. “Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were destroyed in the air over the Black Sea near the Crimean Peninsula and over the territory of the Kursk region by air defense systems on duty,” the Russian Defense Ministry wrote on Telegram.

Watch the Russian ship explode here:

One day of war ‘costs Ukraine $100m’

One day of war costs Ukraine $100 million, Oleksii Reznikov has said in an interview with Ukrinform, when answering critics who suggest that most of the work of equipping the army is actually done by volunteers.


“A day of war costs us $100 million,” he said. “Now take the budgets of all the respectable large volunteer foundations and see how much they raise. And take the state, which spends $100 million per day in general. Just think about it.

“Therefore, it is unfair to present claims to the government - to the military and political leadership, to everyone – from local leaders to parliament, government, or president, that everything is done by volunteers. This is not the case.”

Finding paths through Russian minefields near Robotyne

Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces Spokesperson Oleksandr Shtupun said on Sunday that minefields near the next series of Russian defensive positions are less dense than the initial defensive layer that Ukrainian forces had encountered. He noted that Ukrainian forces are deploying more vehicles in these areas and maneuvering more equipment and troops towards the next Russian position, but they acknowledged that minefields will still present a significant threat.

General Oleksandr Tarnavsky said that Ukrainian forces spent more time on mine clearing than they expected to at the beginning of the counteroffensive, and that consistent Russian artillery and aviation fire forced Ukrainian infantry to conduct mine clearing only at night.

With a better understanding of the location of minefields and how to remove them, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Ukrainian forces may now be better positioned to maneuver more freely in the rear positions of the breached Russian defensive layer. The ISW noted that Tarnavsky’s description of the Russian minefields may pertain only to the immediate Robotyne area, and that Ukrainian forces may encounter heavily dense minefields going forward.


Operations – Kherson

The ISW reported that “generally reliable Russian military bloggers” have consistently claimed over the past few days that Ukrainian forces maintain positions on the left bank of the Dnipro River, northwest of Pidstepne and in the Antonivka Bridge area. One milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces have been able to transfer supplies and personnel to positions on the left bank during the past week. Another reported that mobilized personnel and volunteers are better defending the Kherson direction after certain units of the Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) departed for the Zaporizhzhia region.

Operations – Lyman-Kupyansk

Maliar reported that in the northeast, in the Kupyansk sector, Ukrainian forces repelled multiple Russian attacks preventing them from advancing.


South of Kupyansk, in the direction of Lyman, Russian attacks on Novoyehorivka and Bilohorivka in the Luhansk region were unsuccessful.

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