1. Brink: The US is seriously considering designating Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, but it requires careful analysis. “We are looking into this matter, it requires careful analysis in accordance with American law. But, in the meantime, we are holding Russia accountable for its actions and will continue to do so. Together with our partners and allies around the world, we have imposed an unprecedented number of sanctions, and we will continue to do so.” continue to do this,” said the US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink. States and allies are using “all available means,” including many of those that can be applied to a state sponsor of terrorism. “However, we also take such an announcement seriously. And we will continue to hold Russia accountable in accordance with our law,” Brink said. State sponsors of terrorism – a list of countries that, according to the official position of the US State Department, support acts of international terrorism. Inclusion in the list causes severe economic and political sanctions on the USA – a ban on the supply of weapons, control over the export of dual-purpose goods, ban on economic assistance, as well as the imposition of various financial and other restrictions. The compilation of the list began on December 29, 1979. At different times, Libya, Iraq, South Yemen, and Syria were included in it. Then Cuba, Iran, and North Korea joined. On June 24, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations supported a resolution calling on the State Department to recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. Representatives of the Ukrainian authorities, in particular President Volodymyr Zelensky, have repeatedly called on the world to recognize the Russian Federation as a terrorist state. (Source: YouTube).
1. Military counterintelligence officers of the SBU destroyed a Russian T-72 tank and 15 invaders with an attack drone. The unique service gives the intercepted story of the occupier-eyewitness to his mother. According to the invader, his “colleagues” gathered on the tank to watch a movie. As a result of jewelry being hit by a projectile from a Ukrainian combat copter, the occupiers were destroyed. The time and place of the event are unknown. (Source: UP).
2. Several explosions occurred on the outskirts of temporarily occupied Melitopol on the night of July 24. The blast damaged the railway infrastructure in the Melitopol district, which was used to transport military equipment and personnel in the direction of Vasylivka and Tokmak. In addition, explosions were heard at the Melitopol airfield, which the occupiers are unsuccessfully trying to rebuild after the attacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and to the east of the city near the village of Kostyantynivka. On July 8, it was reported that Melitopol partisans destroyed the railway bridge between Melitopol and Tokmak. “We are hoping for a surprise from the resistance movement, and we are waiting for confirmation of the information,” Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov said. (Source: Telegram).
3. Aviation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the combat day on July 23 struck six enemy concentrations of manpower and equipment and a support point. “Meanwhile, the enemy’s losses have been confirmed: 54 anti-aircraft guns, three T-62 tanks, three Grad rocket launchers, a Msta-B gun, armored vehicles, and vehicles, as well as the destruction of an ammunition depot and a munitions supply point in the Kherson region.” – noted operational command “South”. OK “South” characterizes the situation in the operational zone as complex and dynamic, but controlled. No signs of the formation of enemy strike groups were detected. Yesterday, almost simultaneously, with seven Kalibr cruise missiles and additionally with two Kh-22 missiles from Tu-22 strategic aviation aircraft, the enemy struck twice in Kropyvnytskyi on military and transport infrastructure facilities. As a result of the rocket attack, three people were killed, and 19 people were injured. More than 50 occupiers with the support of two T-62 tanks and one BTR-82A in the direction of Sukhy Stavok, Andriivka, and the forces of motorized rifle and tank platoons in the direction of Bruskinske, Biloghirka carried out offensive actions. They had no success and were left with losses. During the day, the enemy attacked several more times: the attack Ka-52 performed tasks in the Biloghirka area. Without our losses. The Mi-8 also failed in the Novomykolaivka area. Without our losses. Four Kalibr-type cruise missiles also attacked Odesa yesterday. From the waters of the Black Sea, the enemy hit the Odesa sea trade port with Kalibr cruise missiles. Two missiles were shot down by air defense forces. Two hit elements of the port infrastructure. One of the port workers was injured. There are no other losses. In the evening, the enemy directed four Kalibr cruise missiles at Mykolaiv. As a result, the educational institution was completely destroyed, several estates and private buildings were damaged, and the firemen extinguished the fire. A local resident was trapped under the rubble, his neighbors helped him get out. It is currently known that several cars were completely destroyed, and the blast wave blew out windows in apartment buildings. The information is being clarified. As of yesterday, a ship group was maneuvering in the Black Sea near Cape Tarkhankut in the direction of Anapa. Two missile carriers are ready for missile strikes with 16 calibers, a large landing ship is waiting nearby. The threat of missile strikes remains relevant to all regions of southern Ukraine. (Source: LB).
4. The Russian military is trying to repair the destroyed bridges in the Kherson region and restore the supply routes for ammunition and heavy equipment, said Yury Sobolevsky, First Deputy Head – Head of the Executive Office of the Kherson Regional Council. “The quality of work and the safety of using bridges is a big question since everything is done “in haste”, and specialists were involved in the repair work, perhaps not at gunpoint,” the official believes. This week it was reported that in the Kherson region, the Antonovsky bridge across the Dnieper and the Darevsky bridge across the Ingulets river came under shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Ukrainian side stated that in this way they are trying to cut off the Russian group in Kherson from supplies. (Source: Meduza).
5. The Ukrainian military destroyed a detachment of the Sakhalin OMON near Lysychansk. 12 people from the party were killed, and the rest (how many of them are not specified) were seriously injured. The death toll is being selected. This information was confirmed by the head of the Lugansk military administration Sergei Gaidai. According to him, the riot police came under fire from Ukrainian artillery. In addition, Gaidai said, on July 23, the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed the barracks with the Russian military in Kadievka. (Source: Telegram).
1. UK Intelligence: Russia did not “expand” its war; maintaining long-term control over the occupied areas was almost certainly the original goal of the invasion. Russia invaded the areas in February, and the occupying authorities have been publicly discussing the prospects for legal independent referendums since at least mid-March. There is a real possibility that Lavrov made comments about expanding the NWO to pave the way for holding referendums in the occupied territories outside of Luhansk and Donetsk. (Source: Twitter).
2. ISW: Ukrainian troops are likely preparing to launch or have already launched a counter-offensive in the Kherson region. Military experts suggest that open source information on the progress and pace of this counter-offensive is likely to be limited and delayed. The Russian military continued limited ground attacks northwest of Slovyansk, east of Seversk, and south of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. At the same time, NASA FIRMS data for the period from July 15 to July 23 show a consistently lower number of shelling along the entire front line in Donbas, which indicates that American HIMARS constrains the capabilities of Russian artillery. The Kremlin continues to form regional volunteer battalions and likely intends to have 16 such battalions by the end of July. The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, said that Colonel General Sergei Kuzovlev is the acting commander of the Southern Military District (SMD). In this position, he succeeded Alexander Dvornikov, who was called the commander of the entire Russian invasion of Ukraine in the spring. Kuzovlev previously served as chief of staff – first deputy commander of the Southern Military District. He commanded the Russian group in Syria from November 2020 to February 2021. (Source: Telegram).
Economy, Social life, and Culture
1. The Seaports Administration reported that it has started preparing the Odesa, Pivdenny, and Chornomorsk seaports for the resumption of their work. Caravans will be formed in the ports for the arrival and departure of ships with grain. The restoration of the work of three seaports in the Odesa region began after the signing of an agreement in Istanbul on the export of Ukrainian grain, ASPU (Administration of Sea-Ports of Ukraine) reported. “Taking into account the above, we inform you that the arrival and departure of ships to the specified seaports will be carried out by forming a caravan, which will be accompanied by the lead ship,” the message reads. The ASPU was asked to submit applications for the inclusion of vessels for the purpose of drawing up plans for the formation of caravans. (Source: Facebook).
2. Malyar: Of the more than 38,000 women currently serving in the Armed Forces, 7,000 have come since the start of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine. “Indeed, more than 38,000 women serve in the Armed Forces today. So that you understand the dynamics, we have had two surges in the increase in the number of women in the Armed Forces. The first time is in 2014, the second is in 2022. This is the character of a Ukrainian woman. She joins the Armed Forces herself and takes her place of honor,” Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar believes. At the beginning of the war, women in the army faced certain problems. In particular, it was not possible to attract women to all military professions. However, now a woman in the army can decide for herself what to do there. “We have female tankers, gunners – absolutely everything they want. Even deep-sea military diving. We have a unique instructor. There was a discussion about professions that harm health when a causal relationship is established. Our women defended their right to choose even such professions,” said the deputy minister. Also, women faced the fact that army life is adapted exclusively for men. “Today, the Armed Forces have taken a direct course to organize everything as comfortably as possible for women who choose this profession. And it is worth saying that today Ukraine has one of the largest indicators of the number of women in the Armed Forces among NATO member countries. In addition 38,000 women who are military personnel, we also have civilian women who work in the Armed Forces. That is, in total, we have more than 50,000 women in the Armed Forces,” says Malyar. (Source: YouTube).
3. Fitch Ratings lowered Ukraine’s long-term issuer default rating (EDR) in foreign currency from CCC to C (pre-default). The corresponding decision is related to Kyiv’s plans to agree with creditors on the postponement of payments on the state debt for two years. According to Fitch’s rules, a commercial debt restructuring with material changes in terms, which is necessary to avoid a traditional default, is considered a “distressed debt exchange” and means a pre-default condition. After Ukraine’s consent solicitation is approved, which the agency believes is likely, Ukraine’s long-term rating will be downgraded to ‘RD’ (restricted default) and securities – to ‘D’ (default). At the same time, if bondholders do not agree to Ukraine’s request, Fitch considers the risk of missed payments or the initiation of another restructuring to be high. (Source: Censor).
4. In Ukraine, during the five months of the war, more than a thousand cases were opened for cooperation with the Russian Federation. According to the head of the National Police of the country Igor Klymenko, at the moment 174 people are suspected in criminal cases of collaborationism. In addition, the police detained more than 1,530 people on suspicion of involvement in sabotage activities. (Source: Facebook).
1. Four foreign soldiers were killed in a battle with Russian invaders near Siversk in Donbas. According to their commander, Ruslan Miroshnychenko, Americans Luke “Skywalker” Lyutsyshyn, Brian Young, Canadian Emile-Antoine Rois-Sirois, and Swede Edward Selander Patrignani died on July 18. They were part of the territorial defense special operations forces. Their unit was not far from Siversk. The soldiers were transferred to Hryhorivka, northeast of the city, and tasked with taking up firing positions and clearing the ravine where the Russians were trying to cross the river. “They did it successfully. But at the end of the task, they were ambushed by Russian tanks,” Miroshnychenko said. The first projectile wounded Luk Lyukyshyn. Three other foreigners rushed to help him to evacuate, but they all died from the second projectile. A representative of the State Department confirmed the death of two US citizens and said that American diplomats are providing consular assistance to their families. He refused to divulge other details. The Russians attempted to establish a bridgehead, with at least six Russian tanks supporting four APCs with up to 70 foot soldiers. The Ukrainian forces needed to clear the territory from the enemy. For this, in particular, they formed a group of professionals with experience in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With Ukrainian machine gunners and paratroopers, the advance of the Russians was stopped – after a two-hour intense battle, the occupiers retreated with significant losses. (Source: Politico).
2. Tomasz Valentek was a member of the International Legion of Ukraine and died on the territory of Donbas, having fallen under artillery fire at the beginning of the week. The deceased was an MMA fighter. Information about his death was confirmed by the MMA Polska organization. (Source: Twitter).
3. After a meeting with the President, the Office, and the Government team, the Chairman of the Committee on Armed Forces of the US House of Representatives, Adam Smith, in an interview with the media, named the number of HIMARS and MLRS that will be transferred to Ukraine by the US and its allies. Now we are talking about 25-30 units and a large amount of ammunition for them. The logistics of delivering missiles for MLRS is now a key issue, and the military will understand me well here. This logistics is and will be systemic to ensure the stable and efficient operation of the MLRS in different areas of the front. (Source: Telegram).
1. At least 183 religious buildings in 14 regions of Ukraine have been destroyed or have been beaten to varying degrees since the beginning of the full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation. These are churches, mosques, synagogues, and educational and administrative buildings of religious communities of Ukraine. Among the buildings damaged due to the enemy attack: were 5 – Muslim, 5 – Jewish, and the remaining 173 – Christian. 22 belong to Protestant communities, 19 to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, three to the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), and two to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGC). The most significant number of destroyed religious buildings in Donetsk (45) and Luhansk (40) regions. After they are – Kyiv (34) and Kharkiv (25) regions. Almost three-quarters (73%) of the objects – 127 out of 173 damaged Christian buildings, entirely or partially destroyed due to the Russian attack – belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. According to the Statute of the Administration of the UOC, which was in effect until May 27, 2022, the UOC was part of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) while having a significant degree of autonomy. As a result of the brutal Russian attack on Ukraine and its support by the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church, particularly Patriarch Kirill personally, the UOC distanced itself from the Russian Orthodox Church by the decision of the Council of the UOC on May 27. According to the new Statute, the head of the UOC is no longer a member of the Synod of the ROC, the UOC is not guided by the decisions of the Bishops’ Council of the ROC, and the elected head of the UOC does not have to receive the blessing of the patriarch of the ROC to begin his service at the head of the UOC. As a reaction to this decision of the UOC, the Russian Orthodox Church annexed the UOC parishes in Crimea and several others in the temporarily occupied territories. At the same time, the UOC continues to recognize its connection with Ecumenical Orthodoxy through the Russian Orthodox Church. While maintaining such a connection, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church does not formally coordinate its international activities with the Russian Orthodox Church. It denies any ties of subordination to the Russian Orthodox Church. Even though the UOC officially informed the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience about the change in the Statute, as of 07/23/2022, the new Statute on the management of the UOC and the UOC’s explanation regarding it have not been published on the official website of the UOC. (Source: Censor).
2. “Since February 24, the terrorist country has killed at least 18 medical workers, and more than 50 others have been injured. 123 objects of the health care system cannot be restored, 746 need to be restored. These data change almost every day,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement. of Ukraine. On average, four evacuation flights are made every week for the treatment of Ukrainians abroad. “Now 17 states receive our patients in the best specialized clinics. In addition, 17 medical convoys have been completed to transport children with oncological diseases for treatment abroad. In total, 1,274 Ukrainians have been sent for treatment abroad,” the Ministry of Health said. (Source: Facebook).
1. GUR: Russian civilian aviators are participating in the war against Ukraine. Pilots and aviation personnel of Russian state airlines operating within the structure of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation are involved in the war. Crews of An-124-100 and Il-76 MD aircraft have repeatedly transported personnel, weapons, and military equipment to participate in the war against Ukraine. In social networks and private conversations, the pilots express their dissatisfaction with their participation in combat operations, complain about the impossibility for themselves and their family members to go abroad, and discuss their prosecution and punishment for war crimes after the defeat of the Russian Federation. Ukrainian intelligence has published a list of pilots involved in the war – employees of OJSC “State Airline “224 flight unit” (stationed at the Mihalove airfield in Tver). (Source: Liga).
2. A batch of Iranian drones was sent across the Caspian Sea to Russia. In the future, military cargo is planned to be delivered to the borders of Ukraine via Astrakhan and Volgograd. The basis of the cargo is the “Shahed 129” heavy strike drones. Its development was based on the Israeli Hermes 450 drone and the American MQ-1 Predator. The length of the fuselage of “Shahed 129” is 8 meters. The wingspan is 16 meters. The declared combat load is up to 400 kg. Flight speed – up to 150 km/h with a radius of up to 200 km. The declared flight range is up to 1700 km. The developers claim that the drone can stay in the air for up to 24 hours. It can be armed with Sadid-1 anti-tank missiles (a copy of the Israeli Spike-ER) or a high-precision planning bomb with a fragmentation warhead – Sadid-345. Almost nothing is known about the actual combat characteristics of Iranian drones since they have not yet been used in a full-scale war. Therefore, the capabilities of “Shahed 129” may differ from those declared. (Source: Censor).
Refugees1. More than 2.8 million people have arrived in Russia from Ukraine since February. Among the arrivals – were 448 thousand children. According to the source, about half of the refugees have DPR and LPR passports. On the territory of 59 regions of Russia in 652 points of temporary accommodation, there are 33.3 thousand people, including 11241 children. The Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly accused Russia of forcibly removing the population from the territories under the control of the Russian military. President Volodymyr Zelensky said on July 13, “two million of our people have been taken to Russia.” According to him, documents are taken away from these people and taken to remote Russian regions so that later it would be difficult for them to return home. (Source: Meduza).