• Explosions rock Ukraine’s northeast, killing a 7-year-old and two others
  • Putin rants about “justice” and Western “plunder” in bid for six more years
  • UK calls Russian advances in Avdiivka “likely their greatest” gains since spring, but Ukraine keeps wide logistics corridor open
  • AFU forces hold onto positions on the Dnipro's left bank
  • Russian strikes destroy a business in Zaporizhzhia
  • Zelensky hints at secret plans to “make sure Russia feels the full might of Ukraine”

Russian artillery in Sumy region killed three, including a young girl, and three others injured

Three civilians were killed in the northwestern region of Sumy after Russian mortars and artillery fire rained down on several towns there on Tuesday.

According to the regional administration’s post on Facebook, some 106 explosions were recorded around the region, and 22 shelling attacks on the border areas and settlements.

The social media post pointed out that Krasnopillia, Yunakivka, Bilopillia, Khotin, Velyka Pysarivka, Seredyna-Buda and Svesa communities were struck.

“Seredyna-Buda community: shelling was carried out with mortars (11 explosions), artillery (3 explosions) and MLRS (7 explosions). As a result of the shelling, three people were killed, including a 7-year-old girl, who died from her injuries in the hospital. Three people were wounded,” the regional authorities reported.


Putin unflinchingly labels his invasion of Ukraine as a ‘fight for sovereignty and justice’

In what the Associated Press described as a “ranting speech” in the lead-up to presidential elections in March, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin laid into Ukraine’s allies, claiming that the West’s aid amounted to efforts to “dismember and plunder” Russia.

Without irony, he referred to Russia’s unprovoked land grab in Ukraine as “our fight for sovereignty and justice.”

British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 18 July 2024
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British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 18 July 2024

Latest from the British Defence Intelligence.

The AP noted that Putin is now the longest-serving Kremlin leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, as he seeks another six-year term. Stalin led the Soviet Union for roughly 30 years. Putin served as Russia’s prime minister for about five years and as president for almost 20 years.

“They say that Russia is a ‘prison of nations’ and that Russians are a ‘nation of slaves.’ We have heard this many times throughout the centuries,” Putin said in his address. “Now we have also heard that Russia apparently needs to be ‘decolonized.’ But what do they really want? They want to dismember and plunder Russia. If they cannot do it by force, they sow discord.”


Operations: Avdiivka

The UK Ministry of Defence, in its public update on intelligence on Tuesday, said that Russia’s reported two-kilometer advance towards Avdiivka’s industrial zone, “although modest, likely represents one of the greatest Russian gains since spring 2023.”

The update adds: “Although Avdiivka has become a salient or bulge in the Ukrainian front line, Ukraine remains in control of a corridor of territory approximately 7 km wide, through which it continues to supply the town.”

According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) on Tuesday, Russia made “marginal” gains around the industrial zone of Avdiivka, citing geolocated footage:


Russian sources attributed those advances to transfers of military vehicles of the Russian 239th Tank Regiment (90th Tank Division, 41st Combined Arms Army [CAA], Central Military District [CMD]) to the frontline. Several Russian bloggers claimed that Moscow’s forces advanced 1.5 kilometers east of the city’s coke and chemical plant.


Zelensky says Ukraine is “preparing some serious long-range stuff”

“Today, I held a separate meeting with the Minister of Strategic Industries of Ukraine, and I can say it was optimistic,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address. “We're preparing, among other things, some serious long-range stuff to make sure the occupiers feel the might of Ukraine.”

The president also reassured Ukrainians that the country’s air defense systems, while never enough, will be “highly effective” against more Russian attacks as winter approaches.

“There is a clear need to develop and reinforce our mobile firing groups, as well as to get all highly effective air defense systems. We separately reviewed the work of Patriots and NASAMS – everything is highly effective, and I’m grateful to the partners who assist us specifically with these systems,” Zelensky said.


Operations: Dnipro River and Zaporizhizhia region

The ISW reported on Tuesday that Ukrainian forces held down their positions on the left bank of the Dnipro River on Tuesday, attacking near Poyma (4 km inland from the Dnipro River) and in a forest area near Krynky (2 km inland).

Moscow’s troops on Tuesday continued efforts to dislodge AFU units from “firmly entrenched” positions in the east bank” ISW analysts wrote, citing Russian sources.


A “prominent Russian milblogger” wrote that battles still rage in Krynky and that the Kremlin’s forces are “concentrating significant manpower along the Poyma-Krynky line. According to those sources, the units present in those areas include elements of the Russian 810th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade (Black Sea Fleet) and 61st Naval Infantry Brigade (Northern Fleet).

Meanwhile, in the city of Zaporizhzhia, Russian sources reported on Tuesday that Moscow’s aerial assaults destroyed a business “likely using an Iskander-M short-range ballistic missile,” ISW wrote.

Operations: Luhansk and Kharkiv regions

Russian troops on Tuesday reportedly made progress along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, stretching from the occupied Luhansk region into the Kharkiv region. Geolocated footage published on Monday and Tuesday seems to show that Moscow’s forces advanced north of Synkivka (9 km northeast of Kupyansk) and west of Pershotravneve (20 km northeast of Kupyansk), ISW reported.

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