Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on July 10, 2023
- Ukrainian cities remain the target of permanent Russian missile strikes. In particular, residential buildings in Sumy, Lviv and Pervomaiskyi (Kharkiv region) were hit during the week, leading to large-scale casualties among the civilian population.
- President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi made a series of visits on the eve of the NATO Summit in Vilnius – to Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Turkey. President of Poland Andrzej Duda also visited Ukraine. The United States has decided to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions.
- The satellite recorded the appearance of unknown objects on the roof of the power unit of the temporarily occupied ZNPP. They may be explosives planted by the Russian military for provocations (simulating shelling of the station by the Armed Forces of Ukraine).
The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue offensive operations in several directions on the territory of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions. In the east, they are trying to take control of key positions south and north of Bakhmut. In the south, the Ukrainian military is gradually advancing in the areas of Velyka Novosilka and Orikhiv. Strikes continue on warehouses, military bases and logistics routes of Russian troops. In particular, during the week such targets were hit in Makiivka (Donetsk region), Sukhodilsk (Luhansk region) and Berdyansk (Zaporizhzhia region). On July 9th, the Russian authorities reported the operation of air defense systems simultaneously in several regions – the Bryansk region, the Rostov region, and the occupied Crimea.
Russian troops continue strikes at the territory of Ukraine, using missiles and kamikaze drones. Attacks are becoming smaller in scale, but carried out with high intensity. Being unable to deal with Kyiv’s powerful air defense, the Russian command is reorienting its strikes to other cities. In particular, in the afternoon of July 3, the UAVs targeted the city of Sumy. Drone hit a multi-storey residential building, 3 people were killed, 21 people were injured. On July 4, as a result of a missile strike on a residential area of the city of Pervomaiskyi (Kharkiv region), 43 people (including 12 children) were injured. On the eve of July 6, 10 people were killed and 42 people were injured as a result of a missile attack on Lviv. On the night of July 7, kamikaze drones were used against the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine; as a result of the attack 2 people were killed in the Dnipropetrovsk region.
As a result of the Russian strikes, the loss of civilians in the frontline regions of Ukraine amounted to at least: in Donetsk region – 12 people killed and 33 people wounded (the largest losses were the result of shelling of Lyman on July 8); in Kherson region – 4 people killed and 29 people wounded. In Kharkiv region, in addition to the victims of a missile strike on Pervomaiskyi, 9 people were injured as a result of shelling and mine explosions. In Sumy region shelling killed at least 2 people and injured 1 person.
Russian troops continue the militarization of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The satellite recorded the appearance of unknown objects on the roof of the IV power unit of the station. It can be systems of electronic warfare or explosives planted to simulate the shelling of the station by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Although IAEA officials say they do not record an immediate threat to the plant’s safety, they do not have access to the entire territory of the facility, so the danger of a terrorist attack at ZNPP remains relevant.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS
On July 8, five commanders of the “Azov” brigade returned from captivity, who were previously supposed to stay in Turkey until the end of the war. These men led the defense of the city of Mariupol until May 20, 2022, and were sent to Turkey as part of a prisoner exchange facilitated by Ankara. Russia stated that the return of the commanders is a “direct violation of existing agreements.” In June 2023, Russia violated the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War by initiating a judicial process against the “Azov” prisoners in Rostov-on-Don.
Also, on July 6, as part of a new prisoner exchange with Russia, Ukraine repatriated 45 of its citizens, including representatives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, National Guard, State Border Guard Service, as well as two civilians.
Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency, who have been conducting inspections at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant recently, as of July 5, 2023, have not found any visible traces of mines or explosives in the areas of the nuclear power plant accessible to them. However, they have requested additional access to the roofs of two reactor units to confirm the absence of planted explosives. In turn, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine claims that Russian military forces continue to mine the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and its facilities.
On July 3, 2023, the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA), integrated into Eurojust, officially began its work in The Hague. The center’s activities will be aimed at assisting in the preparation of cases at an early stage regarding crimes of aggression by Russia. The center will bring together independent prosecutors from different countries around the world to facilitate the swift exchange of evidence and coordination of a joint strategy for investigating Russian crimes in Ukraine.
On July 5, 2023, Ukrainian President V. Zelenskyi implemented the decision of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) to impose sanctions on 18 companies associated with Russian oligarchs Mikhail Fridman, German Khan, and Petr Aven. Among these companies are the Luxembourg-based ABH Holdings SA and the Cyprus-based ABH Ukraine Limited, which are direct shareholders of the Ukrainian “Sens Bank” (formerly known as “Alfa-Bank Ukraine”). The corresponding sanctions provide grounds for the nationalization of “Sens Bank” and a range of other Russian assets in Ukraine.
FOREIGN POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT
On the eve of the NATO Summit in Vilnius, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi has started a tour of European countries to strengthen military and political support for Ukraine and enhance defense cooperation capabilities. As part of his official visit to the Republic of Bulgaria, Volodymyr Zelenskyi held a meeting with the President of the country, Rumen Radev, and the Prime Minister, Nikolai Denkov. The leaders discussed security issues, the implementation of the Peace Formula, political support for Ukraine, and a Joint Declaration on Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration was signed between Ukraine and the Republic of Bulgaria. During the visit to the Czech Republic, the President of Ukraine met with the President of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel, and the Prime Minister, Petr Fiala, as well as with the President of the Senate of the Czech Parliament, Milos Vystrcil, and the President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament, Marketa Pekarova Adamova. In particular, a Memorandum in the field of military-technical cooperation between Ukraine and the Czech Republic was signed. In Bratislava, the head of the Ukrainian state held talks with the President of Slovakia, Zuzana Caputova, and the Chairman of the National Council, Boris Kollar. During a working visit to Istanbul, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi held negotiations with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The leaders discussed the situation in the Black Sea region, and a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the field of strategic industrial sectors.
In addition, on July 9th in Lutsk, Volodymyr Zelenskyi met with the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, discussing bilateral relations in the context of historical memory policy (the 80th anniversary of the Volhynian tragedy), as well as the upcoming NATO Summit.
International partners continue to consolidate efforts and provide military assistance to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities. The US Department of Defense officially announced the allocation of a new package of military aid to Ukraine in the amount of $800 million, which includes the transfer of Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, Stryker armored personnel carriers, 105mm and 155mm artillery shells, as well as demining equipment, Stinger and Javelin air defense systems, and more. The United States has also approved the transfer of cluster munitions to Ukraine for the first time. Finland approved a new package of military aid to Ukraine amounting to approximately 105 million euros, including anti-aircraft weapons and ammunition. Germany will provide the latest armor-piercing sub-caliber ammunition DM73 for Ukrainian military forces. Additionally, Ukraine signed a contract with Slovakia for the production of 155mm self-propelled artillery systems Zuzana 2, while the Czech Republic will transfer combat helicopters and artillery shells to Ukraine. In turn, the Netherlands allocated over 118 million euros for a new aid package to Ukraine, aimed at reconstruction, strengthening the healthcare sector, humanitarian assistance, and subsidies for Ukrainian businesses.
This week, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi also had phone conversations with President of France Emmanuel Macron, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sweden Ulf Kristersson, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Olaf Scholz, President of Guinea-Bissau Umaro Sissoco Embalo, Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, and Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costa (during the conversation, the leaders adopted a joint declaration).
The information in the newsletter is collected from official sources—reports of state authorities of Ukraine, Ukrainian and international news agencies. The accuracy of the data is carefully checked by the project team and corrected in case of fake news.