Russia-Ukraine War Newsletter – JUNE 26 – JULY 2, 2023

Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on July 3, 2023

● The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue offensive operations in several areas of the front, weakening the Russian defense.

● On June 27, Russian troops attacked the center of Kramatorsk with ballistic missiles, as a result of which 13 civilians were killed and more than 60 people were injured.

● In response to Russia’s deployment of nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus, the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, stated that Warsaw is ready to participate in the NATO Nuclear Sharing program. According to the information from the Commander of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Serhiy Nayev, nuclear weapons have not yet been transferred to Belarus, only their carriers.


The Armed Forces are currently conducting counteroffensive operations in multiple directions in an attempt to disrupt the prepared defense of the Russian troops. Ukrainian units achieved tactical success in the Bakhmut area, advancing south of the city (Klishchiivka and Kurdiumivka areas). This creates a threat of encirclement of Russian units in Bakhmut itself. The Armed Forces of Ukraine also advanced in the area of Velyka Novosilka, liberating the village of Rivnopil in the Donetsk region. The Ukrainian unit was able to occupy a small bridgehead on the left bank of the Dnipro near Kherson, forcing the Russian command to keep additional forces in the area. Furthemore, strikes continue against the rear infrastructure of the Russian army (in particular, in Melitopol and Berdiansk – the key cities for ensuring the grouping of Russian troops in the southern direction).

Russian troops continue to attack the territory of Ukraine. In particular, in the afternoon of June 27, a rocket attack was carried out on Kremenchuk (the Poltava region); on the night of July 2, drones were used in the direction of Kyiv, but were shot down by air defense. On the night of July 3, 13 ‘Shaheds’ were shot down in eastern and southern regions.

During the week, the Russian command concentrated on strikes on the frontline regions of Ukraine. Russian forces continue to attack civilian infrastructure, resulting in civilian casualties. The rocket attack on the center of Kramatorsk on the evening of June 27 was the bloodiest in recent times. The rocket hit the cafe, killing 12 people and injuring 65 people. Members of the Colombian delegation of journalists and politicians who came to Ukraine to familiarize themselves with the situation came under attack.

As a result of other actions of the Russian troops on the territory of the Donetsk region during the week, 9 people were killed and 21 people were injured. Losses of civilians in the Kherson region for a week amounted to 3 people killed and 22 people injured. In the Kharkiv region, 3 people died and 5 people were injured. At least 2 people were killed and 7 people were injured in the Zaporizhzhia region.

The situation in the Zaporizhzhia NPP area remains difficult. There are signs that the Russian command is preparing to carry out a terrorist attack on the station. Preparation of such an operation is evidenced by the evacuation of some representatives of the Russian administration from the facility. The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, and the head of the State Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, reported on the urgency of the threat. At the same time, the situation is being closely monitored in the USA, but at the moment they do not see any signs of an imminent explosion of the station.


In the new report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights “Detention of civilians in the context of the armed attack of the Russian Federation on Ukraine” it is noted about 864 documented cases of arbitrary detentions carried out by the Russian Federation in Ukraine in the period from 24.02.2022 to 23.05.2023. Of these, more than 91% of civilians pointed to torture and ill-treatment by the Russian side. The report also mentions 75 documented cases of arbitrary detention by Ukrainian security forces, mostly of people suspected of conflict-related crimes. At the same time, the document emphasizes the provision by Ukraine (in contrast to the Russian Federation) of full access to detained persons. Thus, as the report notes, the number and nature of cases in Ukraine and the Russian Federation cannot be compared with each other. The Office of the Ombudsman of Ukraine stated that the described violations by the Ukrainian side regarding the detention of civilians are questionable and require confirmation.

According to the Russian publication “Important Histories”, since the Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Federation has illegally deported from 4.4 to 19.5 thousand Ukrainian children to its territory. At the same time, more than 1,100 children deported from Ukraine were placed under the so-called preliminary guardianship of Russian families (this figure is three times higher than that which the Russian occupation authorities announced publicly).

Preliminary joint assessments of the KSE Institute, the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Reconstruction indicate that the Russian forces’ detonation of the Kakhovskaya HPP caused at least $2 billion in direct damage to Ukraine. Almost half of them (950 million dollars) are damages caused to the housing stock and housing and communal services, primarily on the left bank of the Kherson region. Also, almost a third of all losses ($624 million) are losses for the Ukrainian energy sector.

The Russian Federation has completely stopped the registration of cargoes within the framework of the Black Sea Grain Initiative since June 26. Currently, 29 ships with 1.4 million tons of food are blocked in Turkish territorial waters. In 11 months, 45 countries received 32.5 million tons of food as part of the initiative, and another 25 million tons, according to the Ukrainian government, could not be exported due to Russian delays. Russia announced the termination of the grain agreement from July 17, 2023.

The Cabinet of Ministers appointed Herman Smetanin as the new general director of Ukroboronprom. At the same time, it was announced that instead of the state concern “Ukroboronprom” (63 state and state-owned weapons-producing enterprises), a joint-stock company “Ukrainian defense industry” was created, which will be managed according to corporate governance standards.


On June 29-30, another summit of the European Union was held in Brussels. The main issue on the agenda of the summit was the situation in Ukraine and EU assistance in countering Russian aggression and its consequences. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi took part in the work of the EU summit via teleconference. As a result of the summit, the heads of state and government of the European Union adopted a resolution in which they confirmed Ukraine’s steadfast support in the fight against the Russian war of aggression. At the same time, the EU Council approved the decision to increase the European Peace Fund by €3.5 billion, which will allow, in particular, to continue and increase military aid to Ukraine.

At the summer session of the OSCE PA on July 1 in Vancouver, a decision was made to create a special committee on Ukraine for consultations between parliamentarians of 57 participating countries regarding assistance to Ukrainians due to the invasion of Russia.

In order to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities, international partners are allocating new packages of military and economic aid. The Danish government will provide a military aid package to Ukraine worth 1.3 billion Danish kroner (over 170 million euros), which includes, among other things, anti-aircraft missiles, demining machines and funds for the purchase of artillery ammunition. The United States has officially announced the allocation of a new package of military aid to Ukraine in the field of defense, which amounts to $500 million and provides for the provision of missiles for Patriot systems, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, missiles for HIMARS, minesweeping equipment, shells of 155 mm and 105 mm caliber, etc. The Australian government will provide Ukraine with a new aid package worth $73.5 million, which will include M113 armored vehicles, special purpose vehicles, medium trucks, etc. In turn, Bulgaria also approved the decision to provide Ukraine with a new package of military aid. Lithuania acquired two NASAMS medium-range anti-aircraft missile systems, which will be transferred to Ukraine.

In addition, the World Bank approved the allocation of a loan to Ukraine in the amount of 1.5 billion dollars under the guarantees of the Japanese government. Also, Ukraine received $1.2 billion from the United States of America and $15 million from the Republic of Finland, grant funds came through the Trust Fund of many donors of the World Bank. Spain will provide humanitarian aid by allocating 55 million euros to Ukraine to finance small and medium-sized enterprises and to provide schools with environmentally friendly energy systems.

International leaders continue to make official visits to Ukraine, demonstrating support and solidarity with the Ukrainian people. This week, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi held talks with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Spain Pedro Sánchez, during the meeting the leaders adopted a joint declaration. It is worth noting the symbolic fact that the visit took place on the first day of Spain’s presidency of the EU Council. The head of state also held bilateral meetings with the President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda and the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda, who were visiting Kyiv this week. In addition, Volodymyr Zelenskyi held a meeting with the ex-Vice President of the United States of America, Senator Mike Pence, and with members of the International Working Group on the Environmental Consequences of War (which included, in particular, the famous environmentalist Greta Thunberg).

This week, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, held telephone conversations with the President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, and with the Prime Minister of Norway, Jonas Har Stere.

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.