#UkraineWar Update (Day 154) – Multiple #News Sources

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US accelerates delivery of weapons to Ukraine – Pentagon

July 27th 2022

The United States is moving as quickly as possible to deliver weapons and military equipment to Ukraine. The Pentagon announced this. The most attention is pointed at HIMARS coming with the latest package of defense assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Pentagon message mentions that Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Ukrainian Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov met to discuss the outcomes of the recent Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting, the Ramstein-4. They also discussed ongoing security assistance to Ukraine and recent U.S. commitment of additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

Secretary Austin reassured Minister Reznikov that “the United States is moving as quickly as possible to deliver equipment to Ukraine.” Counting the new package, Ukraine will have 16 American HIMARS systems in total. The United States also committed to sending more MLRS ammunition, precision-guided artillery ammunition, tactical vehicles, and other necessary support. In addition, Ukraine has already received a certain number of similar systems – M270 MLRS.

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SOURCE = MIL.IN.UA

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Pentagon chief approves plan to treat wounded Ukrainian soldiers at US military hospital in Germany

July 27th 2022

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has approved a plan to treat wounded Ukrainian troops at a US military hospital in Germany, according to several media reports. Austin had, on May 26, verbally greenlighted the treatment of Ukrainian soldiers at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in western Germany, CNN reported, citing a Pentagon memo. The defense chief then formalized the decision in a memo on June 29, per CNN. The outlet added that the approval allows up to 18 Ukrainian troops to be treated at a time. The memo marks the first time Ukraine’s wounded troops have been offered treatment at a US military hospital since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion in February.

An anonymous US official said no Ukrainian troops had been treated at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center yet, according to a Reuters report published on Tuesday evening. The center is the largest American military hospital outside the US and is located near the Ramstein Air Base. Meanwhile, several Ukrainian soldiers have already received treatment at civilian hospitals in the US. A video posted on Tuesday by Anton Geraschenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Minister for Internal Affairs, showed soldiers testing the prosthetic legs they were fitted with at a Chicago medical facility.

SOURCE = Business Insider

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Ukraine War Frontline Update by Oleg Zhdanov – 27 July 2022

July 27th 2022

Northern direction – Volyn – Polesye (Belarus)

No changes. Belarusian forces continue air reconnaissance but they do not enter Ukrainian airspace after two UAVs were taken down.

Siversk direction

No changes. Continued shelling resulting in casualties among civilian population, and infrastructure damage.

Kharkiv direction

Continued shelling. Along the line and in near rears, Russian forces are creating pontoon crossings over water obstacles to shorten supply lines to the frontline. This is caused by attacks on ammo caches. Kharkiv city shelled substantially.

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SOURCE = WarTranslated

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Russia will not take Donbas in ‘immediate future’, say western officials – as it happened

July 27th 2022

Russia has “definitively” lost the initiative in the battle for the Donbas in Ukraine, according to western officials. Moscow will not take the eastern industrial heartland in the “immediate future”, one official said, but “they are not just going to give up and go home”. They said there has been “wax and wane” in the war in Ukraine, and Russia has the capacity to “adapt and adjust what they are doing”, according to a Press Association report. Earlier this month, western officials said the sustainability of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine was “challenging”, with Moscow making “genuine headway” on the objective it claimed was the rationale for the invasion – the supposed liberation of the Donbas. But a western official said on Wednesday that Russia has “definitively lost the initiative” in the battle for the region. They said it is believed that securing the full extent of Donetsk Oblast remains the “minimum political objective of the Donbas campaign”, but it looks “increasingly unlikely” that Russia will achieve this in the next several months.

SOURCE = The Guardian

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Tactical Successes for Ukrainian Army in Kherson Region

July 27th 2022

Ukrainian Armed Forces have seen tactical successes involving the liberation of populated areas occupied by the Russians, as Ukrainian forces move closer to Kherson. On July 27 Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated two villages, Andriivka and Lozovo, from the Kherson region from the occupiers. The Southern General Command of the Ukrainian Army reported that Ukrainian aviation had conducted four strikes on Russian positions in the Kherson region. Four enemy strongholds in Andriivka, Biloghirka, and Blagodatny were hit. “Andriivka was released and finally cleared of the Russian occupation forces. In Kosovo, Ukrainian troops reliably secured their positions,” the command noted.

The Armed Forces also confirmed an attack on the Antonio bridge in Kherson region. This information was confirmed on national TV by the head of the Ukrainian defense forces press center, Natalya Humeniuk. “The work of our artillery is so delicate and jewel-like that it is aimed at demoralizing the enemy’s army,” she said. On July 25, the Institute of War Studies noted that the Ukrainian army had damaged all three bridges in Kherson which the Russians use for their purposes. The Armed Forces are also keeping logistical and transport routes that are strategically important for the enemy under constant fire control.

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SOURCE = Kyiv Post

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Germany approves sale of 100 howitzers to Ukraine – Spiegel

July 27th 2022

BERLIN, July 27 (Reuters) – Germany has approved the sale of 100 tank howitzers worth 1.7 billion euros to Ukraine, magazine Der Spiegel reported, citing a spokesperson for manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW). KMW has already started manufacturing the howitzers, the Panzerhaubitze 2000 model, the full run of which which will take several years to complete, Spiegel said. It added that it was not yet clear when the first of the howitzers could be delivered. Ukraine has pleaded for the West to send more and better artillery as the country runs out of ammunition for its existing Soviet-era arsenal, which is dwarfed by Russia’s.

SOURCE = Reuters

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Why aren’t ships rushing to export grain from Black Sea ports after Ukraine-Russia deal?

July 27th 2022

With countries across the world on the brink of famine, shipping companies aren’t rushing to export millions of tons of trapped grain out of Ukraine, despite a breakthrough deal to provide safe corridors through the Black Sea. The reason? Explosive mines are lurking in the waters, leading ship owners to weigh up the risks and question exactly how the deal will unfold. The complexities of the agreement have set off a slow, cautious start, but it’s only good for 120 days — and the clock began ticking last week. The goal over the next four months is to get some 20 million tons of grain out of three Ukrainian sea ports blocked since Russia launched its invasion on 24 February.  That provides time for about four to five large bulk carriers per day to transport grain from the ports to millions of impoverished people worldwide who are facing hunger.

It also means things could go awry. Only hours after the signing Friday, Russian missiles struck Ukraine’s port of Odesa — one of those included in the agreement. Another key element of the deal offers assurances that shipping and insurers carrying Russian grain and fertiliser will not get caught in the wider net of Western sanctions.  But the agreement brokered by Turkey and the UN is running up against the reality of how difficult and risky the pact will be to carry out. “We have to work very hard to now understand the detail of how this is going to work practically,” said Guy Platten, secretary-general of the International Chamber of Shipping, which says it represents national shipowners associations, accounting for about 80% of the world’s merchant fleet. “Can we make sure and guarantee the safety of the crews? What’s going to happen with the mines and the minefields, as well? So, lots of uncertainty and unknowns at the moment,” he said.

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SOURCE = Euro News

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Russian forces admit using phosphorus, cluster munitions in Ukraine – intercept

July 27th 2022

Also, Ukrainian pilots are told to be so skillful in engaging their targets that the invaders don’t even have time to detect their warplanes on radars. That’s according to a call of a Russian soldier stationed in Kherson region, intercepted by the Security Service of Ukraine, Ukrinform reports. “We sit there and listen to the radio comms. Our air defense guys say: readiness 1, two planes to arrive soon, within 10-15 minutes. And then their next message is: they have already engaged us and flew off. That’s it,” the invader tells his parents.

And this is not a communication delay on the part of the Russians, but the top skills of Ukrainian pilots, the SBU stresses. At the same time, the enemy continues to actively use internationally-proscribed types of weapons – phosphorus and cluster munitions. “We drop phosphorus… cluster… No one gives a damn… Everything melts there… Also, it looks beautiful at night…” the invader admits. The SBU systematically records violations of the laws and customs of war, committed by the invaders. More than 7,000 criminal proceedings have already been initiated into such cases.

SOURCE = Ukrinform

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Thousands of Ukrainians sign petition to make UK’s Boris Johnson their PM

July 27th 2022

To recognise Boris Johnson’s support for Ukraine amidst the Russian invasion, thousands of Ukrainians have signed a petition to make the 58-year-old their Prime Minister. Since Tuesday, over 5,000 people have signed the petition that also wants to grant the outgoing British PM citizenship. Johnson has fallen out of favour at home and eventually announced his resignation in early July after hundreds of ministers left their posts. However, he is still revered in Kyiv for his outspoken backing of Ukraine as it repels Russian aggression. The petition, addressed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, lists Johnson’s strengths as: “Worldwide support for Boris Johnson, a clear position against the military invasion of Ukraine, (and) wisdom in the political, financial and legal spheres.”

A few hours after the petition was posted, Johnson handed Zelenskyy the Sir Winston Churchill Leadership Award for displaying “great courage, defiance, and dignity” in the face of Russia’s invasion. Zelenskyy did not mention the new petition when accepting the award, but if it gathers 25,000 signatures, he will be obliged to respond officially. The Ukrainian President, who accepted the honour via video link from Kyiv, referenced Churchill, the British PM during World War II, saying that Johnson “had no thought of quitting the struggle” when things got difficult. Meanwhile, Johnson recalled how Zelenskyy confirmed on February 24 that Russia had invaded, adding, “In that moment of supreme crisis, you faced a test of leadership that was, in its way, as severe as Churchill’s challenge in 1940.” Zelenskyy thanked Johnson and Britain for their support.

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SOURCE = AsiaNet Newsable

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Ukraine’s grain is ready to go. But ships aren’t. Why? Risk

July 27th 2022

Shipping companies are not rushing to export millions of tons of grain trapped in Ukraine, despite a breakthrough deal to provide safe corridors through the Black Sea. That is because explosive mines are drifting in the waters, ship owners are assessing the risks and many still have questions over how the deal will unfold. The complexities of the agreement have set off a slow, cautious start, but it’s only good for 120 days — and the clock began ticking last week. The goal over the next four months is to get some 20 million tons of grain out of three Ukrainian sea ports blocked since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion. That provides time for about four to five large bulk carriers per day to transport grain from the ports to millions of impoverished people worldwide facing hunger. It also provides ample time for things to go awry. Only hours after the signing Friday, Russian missiles struck Ukraine’s port of Odesa — one of those included in the agreement.

Another key element of the deal offers assurances that shipping and insurers carrying Russian grain and fertilizer will not get caught in the wider net of Western sanctions. But the agreement brokered by Turkey and the U.N. is running up against the reality of how difficult and risky the pact will be to carry out. “We have to work very hard to now understand the detail of how this is going to work practically,” said Guy Platten, secretary-general of the International Chamber of Shipping, representing national shipowners associations that account for about 80% of the world’s merchant fleet. “Can we make sure and guarantee the safety of the crews? What’s going to happen with the mines and the minefields, as well? So lots of uncertainty and unknowns at the moment,” he said. Getting wheat and other food out is critical to farmers in Ukraine, who are running out of storage capacity amid a new harvest. Those grains are vital to millions of people in Africa, parts of the Middle East and South Asia, who are already facing food shortages and, in some cases, famine.

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SOURCE = The Washington Post

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Ukraine war round-up: Rockets hit bridge and warm words for Johnson

July 27th 2022

People in the Russian-occupied southern city of Kherson woke to news of a new Ukrainian rocket strike on a bridge connecting it to the east bank of the Dnipro river. The Russian-backed authorities closed the Antonivskiy Bridge to civilian traffic after the overnight bombardment, the third in a week. The attack using the high-precision Himars system further punctured the bridge with holes. It is a crucial supply line for Russian forces as they prepare to defend the city from an expected Ukrainian counter-offensive, although Russian-appointed officials say it is used mainly by civilian traffic. In his video address late on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pledged to rebuild the Antonivskiy Bridge and other crossings after regaining control of the region. “We are doing everything to ensure the occupiers have no logistical capabilities on our land,” he said.

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SOURCE = BBC News

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