Overview:

  • Economy Minister leads delegation to Washington to discuss further aid
  • Zelensky grateful for missiles that defended Kyiv over the weekend
  • Russians and Ukrainians in tight battle on Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line
  • AFU may have clawed back a little territory near Avdiivka
  • WATCH: US news program highlights Ukrainian art looted by Russian troops
  • Stalemate continues in the western Zaporizhzhia region under heavy fighting

Ukrainian leaders land in Washington to ask for more aid from the White House, US Congress

President Volodymyr Zelensky’s aide, Andriy Yermak, said he arrived in the United States on Sunday with a delegation spearheaded by the Economy Minister for talks.

“Focus areas of discussion: President Zelensky’s Peace Formula, strengthening Ukraine’s defense, comprehensive cooperation and many other important topics,” Yermak wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “I’m grateful to our partners for their support of Ukraine. Together we stand. Keep moving forward.”

The delegation, led by Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko, will discuss “the President’s formula for peace, strengthening Ukraine’s defense, comprehensively deepening our cooperation and many other important topics,” he commented.

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The group is slated to talk with both Congress and US President Joe Biden’s administration, AFP reported.

Zelensky thanks partners for air defense that shot down missiles headed for Kyiv

“I thank all of our partners who helped in strengthening Ukraine’s air defense,” President Zelensky posted on social media on Sunday. “Patriots, NASAMS, IRIS-T, SAMP-T, Ravens, Hawks, and other systems. Although not all details can already be revealed, the Ukrainian air shield is already stronger than it was last year.”

Kyiv announced over the weekend that Patriot missiles, made by US-based Raytheon Technologies, had struck down incoming Russian missiles headed for the Ukrainian capital.

OSCE Official Gets Jail Term for 'Spying' in Russian-Held Ukraine
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OSCE condemned it as "a grave violation of participating states' commitments under international law" and called for the immediate release of Vadym Golda and two other jailed OSCE officials.

Zelensky has often repeated that air defense systems are at the top of Kyiv’s priorities while discussing aid with Western allies.

“Our capabilities have improved, but they do not yet allow us to protect our entire territory. We are working to strengthen our air shield even more. Every country and leader who assists us in strengthening air defense saves lives,” he said.

 

Operations: Kupyasnk area

The Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line continues to be a tightly contested front, with opposing forces trading gains over the weekend.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) made marginal advances on Sunday, clearing a Russian position south of Pershotravneve (24 km east of Kupyansk), geolocated footage indicates:

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Meanwhile, footage posted that same day shows that Russian forces advanced to positions west of Serhiivka (13 km west of Svatove), corroborating Russian claims that Russian forces captured the town. Russian sources also reported that the Kremlin’s invaders advanced near Kyslivka (20 km southeast of Kupyansk) and Makiivka (22 km northwest of Kreminna) on Saturday.

The Ukrainian General Staff reported on Saturday that Russian units conducted unsuccessful offensive operations in four settlements east of Kupyansk and three towns west of Svatove. As reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Ukrainian Ground Forces Command Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Volodymyr Fityo contends that “Russian forces continued offensive operations in the Kupyansk direction but are regrouping because Russian forces have not achieved strategic successes in the past month of fighting.”

Operations: Avdiivka area

Fighting around the town of Stepove, about 3 kilometers north of the pivotal city of Avdiivka, escalated over the weekend, with both sides claiming small advances.  

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The ISW said that “the Ukrainian Telegram channel specifically covering the tactical situation around Avdiivka claimed on Saturday that Ukrainian forces pushed Russian forces out of Stepove after Russian forces had temporarily established positions in the settlement.” The ISW clarified that it had no visual evidence of Russian forces holding positions on the outskirts of the city or in Stepove itself. Russian bloggers over the weekend said that Russian forces are conducting heavy assaults west of the famous Terrikon slag heap and near the coke plant in northern Avdiivka.

Other Russian bloggers on the ground made unverified claims on Sunday that Russian forces made marginal advances just south of the city near the “Tsarska Okhota” restaurant, which AFU troops had been using temporarily as a base.

Also, geolocated footage published on Saturday seems to show that Ukrainian forces advanced south of Avdiivka near the E50 highway. Conversely, a Russian military blogger claimed on Sunday that Ukrainian forces “counterattacked and restored control over previously lost positions in the direction of Vodyane (7 km southwest of Avdiivka) in the past week.”

Russians steal priceless antiques, cut paintings from frames, reports say

In what the US news program “60 Minutes” calls the “biggest art theft since the Nazis,” Russian soldiers have looted more than 30 Ukrainian museums, hauling away invaluable artifacts and paintings:

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Operations: Zaporizhzhia region

AFU units made slight gains in western parts of the Zaporizhzhia region on Sunday, the ISW reported, citing Russian bloggers. They claimed that Ukrainian soldiers marginally advanced near Novoprokopivka (just south of Robotyne) and took positions northwest of Verbove (10 km east of Robotyne). “A Ukrainian military observer also reported that Ukrainian forces were successful west of Robotyne and knocked elements of the Russian 136th Motorized Rifle Brigade (58th Combined Arms Army, Southern Military District) out of positions on tactical heights in the area,” the ISW said.

The think tank also reported that Russian forces continued offensive operations in the area on Sunday and also made small gains there, and just north of Kopani in that same area, as suggested by geolocated footage:

Humanitarian aid continues to pour in 

The founder of the US humanitarian aid project Operation White Stork reported to Kyiv Post this weekend that the Chicago-based charity has just passed the mark of 50,000 first aid kits delivered to soldiers and civilians in Ukraine. The organization also has provided hundreds of evacuations for war-torn villagers, and other gear, especially bullet-proof vests. Here is a video of their aid delivery in action:

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