Overview:

  • US Senate to float bill on its southern border to pave way for Kyiv aid, but Trump Republicans vow no military aid for Ukraine
  • €50B package from EU is a “clear signal to Russia,” president says
  • Foreign nationals reported killed in Russian strikes on Kherson
  • AFU gains in Zaporizhzhia region
  • Moscow continues its march on Avdiivka and other Donetsk fronts

US Senate announces vote on border/Kyiv, House Republicans say it’s dead on arrival

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on Thursday that a vote on border security, a precursor to any bipartisan agreement on Ukraine aid, will take place in the upper chamber on Wednesday next week, at the latest.

The text of the Senate bill will be released by the end of this week, Schumer said, but House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said that the bill is dead on arrival already in the lower house, without even seeing the contents of the proposal.

House Republicans for over a month had refused to consider Democratic President Joe Biden’s $60 billion proposal for aid to Kyiv without an accompanying agreement on US border security.

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However, in recent weeks, at former president Donald Trump’s insistence, reflecting Trump's pro-Kremlin stance, Republican Congress members in the House of Representatives have balked at voting for any assistance for Ukraine at all.

Zelensky grateful for “long-awaited” accord in Brussels

In his evening address to the nation on Thursday, President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his gratitude to Brussels for approving €50 billion ($54 billion) of aid to Kyiv. The president said this would send a “clear signal” to Russia.

“Today the EU has made a long-awaited decision,” he remarked. “This is a clear signal to Moscow that Europe will withstand and that Europe will not be broken.”

ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 23, 2024
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ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 23, 2024

Latest from the Institute for the Study of War.

The 27-nation bloc had been wrangling with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to get the measure approved and came through at the eleventh hour after gaining lukewarm support from Hungary.

Air strikes in Kherson kill two foreign nationals, wound three others

Two French citizens were killed by Russian airstrikes on Kherson on Thursday and three other foreigners were wounded, AFP reported.

“Foreign volunteers were killed and injured as a result of an enemy strike on Beryslav,” the region’s governor Oleksandr Prokudin announced on social media.

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The drone attack on the Kherson suburb by the Dnipro River is one of a long series of attacks that have hit the frontline settlement throughout Russia’s two-year invasion.

Operations: Zaporizhzhia region

Geolocated footage published on Thursday seems to show that troops of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) recently advanced southwest of Staromayorske near the Zaporizhzhia-Donetsk regional border, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported.

Both Russian and Ukrainian sources said that fighting is also ongoing southeast of Velyka Novosilka near Zolota Nyva; south of Velyka Novosilka near Urozhaine, and southwest of Velyka Novosilka near Pryyutne. A Kremlin-linked military blogger noted that Russian infantry groups are “attacking with armored vehicle and tank support north of Pryyutne,” the ISW wrote.

Russian sources also claimed that the AFU captured a forested area northwest of Verbove, but ISW analysts said they have not obsrved confirmation of these claims.

Operations: Donetsk region

Moscow’s forces wrested territory from Ukraine along several fronts in the Donetsk region on Thursday, ISW reported, including around Donetsk, Avdiivka, and further north in the Kharkiv region, along the Kupyansk front.

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Geolocated footage posted Thursday indicates that Russia marginally advanced northeast of Heorhiivka (west of Donetsk), while Kremlin-loyal bloggers also claimed that Russian forces are advancing near Novomykhailivka (southwest of Donetsk).

Imagery published that same day indicates that Russian forces recently marginally advanced in “the dacha area on the northern outskirts of Avdiivka,” the ISW reported, while prominent Kremlin-affiliated military blogger made unverified claims that Moscow’s soldiers rolled further along Sportyvna, Soborna and Chernyshevskoho streets in the city’s southern reaches.

Fighting continues northwest of Avdiivka near Stepove; near the city’s coke and chemical plant; near the ruins of the Tsarska Okhota restaurant area in the southeastern outskirts; west of Avdiivka near Sjeverne; and southwest of Avdiivka near Pervomaiske and Nevelske.

The ISW noted that a spokesperson for a Ukrainian brigade operating in the area said the Russians are not changing their tactics there, relying on “constant infantry assaults.”

Geolocated images from Thursday also show that, along the Kharkiv-Luhansk border, Russia’s troops advanced to a section of the P07 Kupyansk-Svatove highway east of Tabaivka.

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