UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS

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DAY 146

Victory Chronicles
-DAY 146

July 19,2022

COMBAT HIGHLIGHTS

Above: Ukrainian service members fire a shell from a towed howitzer FH-70 at a front line, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Donbas Region, Ukraine July 18, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

  • Ukraine said Russian troops tried unsuccessfully to advance towards the city of Avdiyivka north of Donetsk, but were pushed back after several days fighting, suffering heavy losses, with some 40 dead.
  • Ukraine’s top military commander said U.S.-supplied long-range rocket systems “stabilize the situation” through “major strikes at enemy command points, ammunition and fuel storage warehouses.”
  • The E.U. Foreign ministers approved 500 million euros to reimburse member states for weapons sent to Ukraine. That brings the bloc’s total spending on Ukrainian military aid to 2.5 billion euros.
  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered generals to prioritize destroying Ukraine’s long-range missile and artillery weapons after strikes on Russian supply lines.
  • The Russian Ministry of Defense’s meeting with the leadership of the Eastern grouping of forces in Ukraine suggests that the Kremlin will not focus on seizing Slovyansk at this stage of the campaign but will instead prioritize attempting to seize Siversk and Bakhmut.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin’s likely effort to put the burden of supporting operations in Ukraine on ethnic minorities to avoid conducting a general mobilization of ethnic Russians may be sparking resistance in ethnic enclaves in Russia.
  • Russian forces conducted a series of ground attacks east of Siversk and south of Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces intensified efforts to advance on Avdiyivka and conducted limited ground assaults along the Donetsk City-Avdiyivka frontline.
  • Russian authorities are continuing to integrate occupied areas into the Russian trade economy.

RUSSIA WAR CRIMES

Above: Mykolaiv has faced regular Russian missile strikes in recent weeks as the Russians have sought to soften Ukrainian defenses. Photo: Reuters via South China Morning Post

  • Russian forces kept up their bombardment of cities across Ukraine, with intense shelling of Sumy in the north, cluster bombs targeting Mykolaiv and a missile strike in Odesa in the south, authorities said on Tuesday.
  • Russian missile strike in Odesa injured at least four people, burned houses to the ground, cluster shell strikes in Mykolaiv injured at least two and more than 150 mines and shells fired on Sumy region, said Ukraine authorities.

BOYCOTT RUSSIA

Olympiada gold mine in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, is one of the largest in the world. Photo via ABCDust

  • The European Council has agreed on a new sanctions package, albeit one without additional Russian energy sanctions. On balance, the new “maintenance and alignment” package tightens already existing sanctions. The package adds a few dozen aggressor country individuals including a deputy prime minister and bans imports of Russian gold, excluding jewelry.  Russian gold exports in 2021 were valued at $15 billion.  The package now goes to member states for debate and adoption.

UKRAINE TO ROOT OUT COLLABORATORS

Above (L to R): Iryna Venediktova, the prosecutor general of Ukraine, and , Ivan Bakanov, the chief of Ukraine’s security service, both dismissed by President Zelensky. Photo via The New York Times

  • Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, said the country had opened 651 treason investigations into employees of the country’s law enforcement agencies and others who were suspected of working with Russia.
  • Russian sympathizers are reporting the locations of Ukrainian targets like garrisons or ammunition depots, officials say. Priests have sheltered Russian officers and informed on Ukrainian activists in Russian-occupied areas. One official said collaborators had even removed explosives from bridges, allowing Russian troops to cross.
  • Ukraine’s shadow war against Russian collaborators came into sharp relief on Sunday, when Zelensky dismissed two senior law enforcement officials. He did not accuse them of betrayal, but suggested that they had turned a blind eye to traitors in sensitive positions.
  • Zelensky specifically cited Ukraine’s security service, an unwieldy force of 27,000 personnel, the largest in Europe. Many intelligence chiefs graduated from K.G.B. schools, and Western allies say that the service has too many areas of operation, leaving it open to corruption and prone to straying from its spy-hunting role.

GREECE

Above: US Marines participate in joint allied exercises off the coast of Skyros Island, Greece, in May 2022.  Photo via US Defense Department

  • US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III hosted a meeting at the Pentagon with Greek Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos where the leaders discussed strengthening cooperation, particularly in the context of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
  • A new defense agreement between the US and Greece increases both US and NATO presence in Greece. A US defense department press release mentioned US Naval forces access to the Port of Alexandroupolis in northeastern Greece that provides quick entrance into the Sea of Marmara and the Bosporus Strait into the Black Sea.  “That access allows us to continue to provide military assistance to Ukraine and to counter malign actors and exercise and operate in the Balkans and eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea region,” Mr Austin said.
  • Mr Panagiotopoulos stated, “Greece is a key hub for supporting and … projecting allied presence in a region facing various forms of revisionism…whether it takes the form of questioning basic rules governing the international legal order, or whether it’s expressed as the pursuit of changing internationally recognized borders …constitutes a major threat to the interests of Greece, the interests of the United States, and the North Atlantic alliance in general.”

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