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World Ukraine’s southern counteroffensive ‘gathering momentum,’ leaving some Russian troops ‘highly vulnerable,’ says UK intel

16:31  28 july  2022
16:31  28 july  2022 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

White House warns that Russia plans to annex more of Ukraine and is forcing Ukrainians to apply for Russian citizenship

  White House warns that Russia plans to annex more of Ukraine and is forcing Ukrainians to apply for Russian citizenship Moscow is "is beginning to roll out a version of what you could call an annexation playbook, very similar to the one we saw in 2014," an NSC official said."We're seeing ample evidence in the intelligence and in the public domain that Russia intends to try annex additional Ukrainian territory," Kirby said.

  Ukraine’s southern counteroffensive ‘gathering momentum,’ leaving some Russian troops ‘highly vulnerable,’ says UK intel © Provided by Washington Examiner

‘GATHERING MOMENTUM’: The latest British intelligence concludes Ukraine's long-awaited effort to retake the southern city of Kherson, which fell to Russian forces in early March, is having some initial success.

“Ukraine’s counter-offensive in Kherson is gathering momentum,” said the U.K. assessment, posted on Twitter, which notes Ukrainian forces have established a “bridgehead” south of the river that forms the northern boundary of Russian-occupied territory and have effectively used U.S.-supplied HIMARS to disable a key resupply route leaving a group of Russian troops cut off.

Pentagon chief says Russia's 'relentless shelling' of Ukraine 'harkens back to the horrors of WWI'

  Pentagon chief says Russia's 'relentless shelling' of Ukraine 'harkens back to the horrors of WWI' "Ukraine needs the firepower and the ammunition to withstand this barrage and to strike back at the Russian weapons launching these attacks," Austin said."Russia is keeping up its relentless shelling, and that's a cruel tactic that harkens back to the horrors of World War I," Austin said in a press conference following the fourth meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, which brings together dozens of countries to hold discussions on Ukraine's defense needs.

“Ukraine has used its new long-range artillery to damage at least three of the bridges across the Dnipro River which Russia relies upon to supply the areas under its control,” according to the latest post, which says one of the river crossings, the 1000-meter-long Antonivsky bridge near Kherson city, is now in all likelihood “unusable.”

“Russia’s 49th Army is stationed on the west bank of the Dnipro River and now looks highly vulnerable,” the assessment concludes.”Similarly, Kherson city, the most politically significant population center occupied by Russia, is now virtually cut off from the other occupied territories. Its loss would severely undermine Russia’s attempts to paint the occupation as a success.”

UKRAINE HITS KEY BRIDGE IN RUSSIAN-CONTROLLED CITY WITH HIMARS ROCKETS: REPORTS

CIA Director William Burns dispels rumors that Putin is unwell saying 'as far as we can tell, he's entirely too healthy'

  CIA Director William Burns dispels rumors that Putin is unwell saying 'as far as we can tell, he's entirely too healthy' "He believes it's his entitlement, it's Russia's entitlement, to dominate Ukraine," CIA Director William Burns said in Aspen.From the introduction of Russian currency to the complete shuttering of Ukrainian broadcasting, the Kremlin is taking extreme measures to make Ukrainian towns look, feel, and operate like Russia.

RUSSIAN FORCES STRAINED: A separate assessment by the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War says Russia’s current limited offensive in the eastern Donbas region is likely to conclude before seizing any other major urban areas.

“Russian forces appear able to sustain only two significant offensive operations in Ukraine at this time, one attempting to seize Siversk and the other advancing on Bakhmut,” the ISW says. “Russian forces have committed enough resources to conduct near-daily ground assaults and to seize territory on these two axes but have been unable to sustain a similar offensive operational tempo or to make similar territorial gains elsewhere in Ukraine.”

Russian troops continue to meet stiff resistance, although Ukrainian officials say the Luhansk People’s Republic Militia claims to have captured Vuhlehirska Thermal Power Plant.

Russia, Ukraine trade missile strikes on war's 150th day

  Russia, Ukraine trade missile strikes on war's 150th day KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia's military fired a barrage of missiles Saturday at an airfield in central Ukraine, killing at least three people, while Ukrainian forces launched rocket strikes on river crossings in a Russian-occupied southern region. The attacks on key infrastructure on the 150th day of Russia's war in Ukraine marked new attempts by the warring parties to tip the scales of the grinding conflict in their favor. In Ukraine's centralThe attacks on key infrastructure on the 150th day of Russia's war in Ukraine marked new attempts by the warring parties to tip the scales of the grinding conflict in their favor.

Russia is also facing challenges in trying to force the capitulation of local Ukrainian citizens in areas under Russian control, according to the ISW.

“Ukrainians in occupied territories are refusing to collaborate with Russian occupation officials en masse, forcing the Kremlin to import Russian citizens to fulfill basic tasks,” the group says. “Russian officials continue to struggle to procure enough labor to reopen businesses, clear rubble, or establish occupation bureaucracies in occupied Ukrainian territory.”

“Russian occupation officials are likely leveraging food aid and other humanitarian assistance to force occupied populations to cooperate with and work for Russian occupiers,” the ISW reports. “The Mariupol City Council announced on July 27 that Russian forces stopped providing humanitarian assistance to Mariupol residents to force residents to demine and clear rubble on behalf of the occupation administration in exchange for food.”

Meanwhile, Russia launched heavy missile strikes on Ukraine’s Kyiv and Chernihiv regions, which haven’t been targeted in weeks, according to the Associated Press.

Neither Moscow nor Kyiv can control Ukraine's skies. These are the jets they're using to fight the air war.

  Neither Moscow nor Kyiv can control Ukraine's skies. These are the jets they're using to fight the air war. As of late July, observers have identified 36 Russian aircraft and 35 Ukrainian aircraft as lost, but the totals for both sides are likely higher.Throughout the buildup to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, NATO countries, including the US, insisted they would not send troops to the region amid concern that the presence of their personnel on the ground would lead to a dangerous escalation of the conflict.

RUSSIAN FORCES CAPTURE UKRAINE'S SECOND-BIGGEST POWER PLANT

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HAPPENING TODAY: President Joe Biden is expected to speak by phone today with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, although the White House is not confirming the timing of the call, the fifth between the two leaders.

“This is about keeping the lines of communication open with the President of China — one of the most consequential bilateral relationships that we have not just in that region but around the world because it touches on so much,” said John Kirby, the NSC coordinator for strategic communications, during a White House briefing yesterday.

Moldova says it fears a Russian invasion as more neighbors ring alarm over Ukraine war

  Moldova says it fears a Russian invasion as more neighbors ring alarm over Ukraine war Moldova, which neighbors Ukraine, has a breakaway region backed by Russian forces. The Moldovan prime minister said a Russian invasion is "a risk."Throughout the buildup to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, NATO countries, including the US, insisted they would not send troops to the region amid concern that the presence of their personnel on the ground would lead to a dangerous escalation of the conflict.

“And I think the president — I know he’s looking forward to this conversation. There is a lot for them to talk about,” Kirby said, listing tensions over Taiwan, recent aggressive actions taken by the Chinese military, and China’s “excessive maritime claims” in the South China Sea.

“I’m sure that in one form or another he will reaffirm that there’s no change to America’s commitment to the One China Policy — none, zero — and that we continue to not want to see cross-Strait issues or tensions resolved unilaterally, and certainly not by force, and there’s no reason for it to.”

THE PELOSI TRIP: The White House continues to insist it’s not pressuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to delay her so-far unannounced planned visit to Taiwan, while privately counseling Pelosi that the timing is not good.

“The speaker of the House makes her own decisions about travel,” said Kirby. “We provide facts, context, analysis, geopolitical realities for what she’ll be facing wherever she goes. Our job is to inform her decision-making process, and we’re doing that. The speaker makes the decisions.”

Pelosi has refused to confirm her plans to lead a congressional delegation to Taipei next month, citing security reasons, although Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) confirmed that Pelosi invited him to join the delegation. McCaul declined, according to the Associated Press, but his office said he believes Pelosi and other members of Congress should be free to visit Taiwan.

China has delivered repeated warnings for Pelosi to stay home. “We have repeatedly made clear our firm opposition to Speaker Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan,” said China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian at yesterday’s daily briefing. “If the U.S. side insists on making the visit and challenges China’s red line, it will be met with resolute countermeasures. The U.S. must bear all consequences arising thereof.”

'New Cold War': Russia and West vie for influence in Africa

  'New Cold War': Russia and West vie for influence in Africa JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Russian, French and American leaders are crisscrossing Africa to win support for their positions on the war in Ukraine, waging what some say is the most intense competition for influence on the continent since the Cold War. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and French President Emanuel Macron are each visiting several African countries this week. Samantha Power, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, went to Kenya and Somalia last week. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, will go to Ghana and Uganda next week.

UK WARNS ABOUT CHINA'S 'WARFIGHTING' NUCLEAR WEAPONS AS TAIWAN CRISIS LOOMS

NORTH KOREA’S NUCLEAR SABER-RATTLING: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un used the 69th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953 as an opportunity to threaten the use of nuclear weapons.

“Our armed forces are completely prepared to respond to any crisis, and our country’s nuclear war deterrent is also ready to mobilize its absolute power dutifully, exactly and swiftly in accordance with its mission,” Kim said in a speech Wednesday, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

The “Victory Day” speech comes as U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies have warned that North Korea appears on the verge of conducting its first nuclear test since 2017.

AS NORTH KOREA PREPARES FOR FIRST NUCLEAR TEST IN 5 YEARS, BIDEN ADMINISTRATION SAYS ALL US DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS HAVE BEEN REBUFFED

US PROPOSED PRISONER SWAP: The White House and State Department are not confirming what it has offered Moscow in return for the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan, but it’s widely reported that President Joe Biden is willing to trade convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout, dubbed the "Merchant of Death,” for the freedom of the Americans.

“In the coming days, I expect to speak with Russian Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov for the first time since the war began,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a State Department briefing. “We put a substantial proposal on the table weeks ago to facilitate their release. Our governments have communicated repeatedly and directly on that proposal. And I will use the conversation to follow up personally and, I hope, move us toward a resolution.”

The offer was made weeks ago, said NSC spokesman John Kirby, and so far the Russians have not responded. “The president and his team are willing to take extraordinary steps to bring our people home, as we’ve demonstrated with Trevor Reed, and that’s what we’re doing right here. It’s actively happening now. This has been at the top of the mind for the president and for his whole national security team.”

Two of Putin's top Russian pilots were killed by US-supplied HIMARS, report says

  Two of Putin's top Russian pilots were killed by US-supplied HIMARS, report says One of the Russian pilots' fathers revealed that he believed his son's death was caused by HIMARS, a long-range weapons system from the US.Throughout the buildup to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, NATO countries, including the US, insisted they would not send troops to the region amid concern that the presence of their personnel on the ground would lead to a dangerous escalation of the conflict.

“I’m not going to negotiate this thing in public, and I’m not going to talk about specific individuals. Our focus on individuals right now is on getting Mr. Whelan and Ms. Griner home. And that’s where the president’s head is,” Kirby said. “We’ve made a proposal. We urged the Russians to move positively on that proposal so we can get these two individuals home. The details of it I think are best left between us and our Russian counterparts.”

‘MERCHANT OF DEATH’: WHO IS VIKTOR BOUT, THE ARMS DEALER BIDEN OFFERED RUSSIA IN PRISONER SWAP?

INDUSTRY WATCH: Northrop Grumman Corporation released its second quarter 2022 financial results this morning, reporting sales of $8.8 billion, down from $9.2 billion in the second quarter of last year, and a profit of $946 million compared with $1 billion, for the same quarter last year.

“Lower sales reflect continued headwinds from the macroeconomic environment, including a tight labor market and extended material lead times, which are affecting the timing of sales,” the company said in a release.

The Rundown

Washington Examiner: Russian forces capture Ukraine's second-biggest power plant

Washington Examiner: Ukraine hits key bridge in Russian-controlled city with HIMARS rockets: Reports

Washington Examiner: Military making plans should Pelosi go to Taiwan: Report

Washington Examiner: UK warns about China's 'warfighting' nuclear weapons as Taiwan crisis looms

Washington Examiner: US makes 'substantial proposal' to Russia for Griner and Whelan's release

Washington Examiner: ‘Merchant of Death’: Who is Viktor Bout, the arms dealer Biden offered Russia in prisoner swap?

Washington Examiner: Griner testifies in Russian court that she wasn't read her rights when arrested

Washington Examiner: Opinion: Biden would make a big mistake trading Viktor Bout for Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan

Washington Examiner: Biden’s Middle East adviser says Iran nuclear deal reentrance 'highly unlikely'

Washington Examiner: TikTok spends record amount on lobbying blitz targeting House, Senate, and White House

Washington Examiner: Trump asks court for absolute immunity from Jan. 6 lawsuits

Washington Examiner: Jared Kushner claims John Kelly shoved wife Ivanka Trump

Washington Examiner: Opinion: House’s bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act rightly rebukes Biden’s Pentagon budget

Washington Examiner: Opinion: Seeking return to power, Benjamin Netanyahu buddies up to Russia and China

AP: Man’s 63-month prison term matches longest for Capitol riot

AP: Slovakia may consider giving Ukraine Russian-built warplanes

AP: US rocket system enables Ukraine to pummel key supply bridge

New York Times: U.S. Military Coordinates A Sort Of Wedding Registry For Arms To Ukraine

Defense One: Navy Fleet Plan Needs 3-5% Annual Budget Increases For The Next Two Decades

NPR: The Largest Navy Exercise In The World Is Underway, Increasingly Focused On China

Stars and Stripes: Navy’s Four Drone Ship Prototypes Get Unprecedented Workout At RIMPAC

Bloomberg: U.S. Aircraft Carrier Enters South China Sea Amid Taiwan Tensions

Reuters: Pentagon Chief Gave Pelosi Security Assessments But Won’t Comment On Taiwan

Washington Post: Taiwan Sharpens Defense Amid Threats From China

AP: Pacific Defense Chiefs Meet Against Backdrop of Rising China

Air Force Magazine: Headed to Poland to Boost NATO, F-22s Arrive in UK

Air Force Magazine: US, UK Will Have ‘Avenue’ to Share Best Practices for Sixth-Gen Fighter Development

Air Force Magazine: Mid-Tier Programs Running Out of Time; Overruns Coming, Kendall Says

USNI News: 10 Navy Helicopters Suffer Major Damage, Several Blown Over in Sudden Norfolk Storm

19fortyfive.com: A Possible First: Ukraine Seems to Hit Russian Territory with Kamikaze Switchblade Drone

19fortyfive.com: Putin Can't Stop Ukraine's HIMARS Attacks

19fortyfive.com: The Russian Military Is Running Out of Soldiers in Ukraine

19fortyfive.com: World's Largest Submarine: Russia's Belgorod Is a 'Mothership' and Nuclear Torpedo Threat

19fortyfive.com: The U.S. Navy Feared Russia's Only Aircraft Carrier Could Sink

Calendar

THURSDAY | JULY 28

8:30 a.m. — George Washington University Project for Media and National Security Defense Writers Group virtual conversation Gen. Stephen Townsend, outgoing commander, U.S. Africa Command https://nationalsecuritymedia.gwu.edu

8:30 a.m. — Federal Computer Week virtual workshop: “Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) 2.0: What's Changed and What's Next?" with Diane Knight, lead for the Defense Department's CMMC Program Management Office https://events.fcw.com/cmmc

9 a.m. 1 West Pratt St. — National Defense Industrial Association 2022 Defense Conference and Exhibition, with the theme "Competition, Climate Change, and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Defense - Defining Challenges/Delivering Solutions," with Assistant Defense Secretary for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs Deb Rosenblum https://www.ndia.org/events/2022/7/26

9:30 a.m. G50 Dirksen — Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing for Milancy Harris to be deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security; Radha Plumb to be deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment; Brendan Owens to be assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations, and environment; and Laura Taylor-Kale to be assistant secretary of defense for industrial base policy https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/hearings

12:30 p.m. 214 Massachusetts Ave. N.E. — Heritage Foundation discussion: “Lessons Learned from the War in Ukraine," with IRIS Independent Research President Rebecca Grant; retired Army Col. David Johnson; and Bryan Clark, Hudson Institute senior fellow https://www.heritage.org/defense/event/lessons-learned-the-war-ukraine

1:30 p.m. — Center for a New American Security virtual fireside chat with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr.; and Stacie Pettyjohn, senior fellow, director, CNAS Defense Program. https://www.cnas.org/events/virtual-fireside-chat

7 p.m. 600 I Street N.W. — Politics and Prose Bookstore book discussion: "Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy," with author and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; and Andrea Mitchell, chief NBC News Washington correspondent https://www.politics-prose.com/event/book

FRIDAY | JULY 29

8:30 a.m. 2118 Rayburn — House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel nearing: "Service Members’ Reproductive Health and Readiness,” with testimony from Sharon Arana, active-duty service member; Theresa Mozzillo, active-duty service member; Dr. Jackie Lamme, OB-GYN, Naval Medical Officer; Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi, OB-GYN, Texas-based civilian; Gil Cisneros, undersecretary of defense personnel and readiness; Seileen Mullen, acting secretary of defense health affairs; and Caroline Krass, Pentagon general counsel https://armedservices.house.gov/hearings

9 a.m. 1616 Rhode Island Ave. N.W. — Center for Strategic and International Studies conference: “The Nuclear Posture in Review,” Former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller, lecturer at Stanford University https://www.csis.org/events/nuclear-posture-review

MONDAY | AUGUST 1

6:00 p.m. 1201 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. — Hudson Institute book discussion: “The Arc of a Covenant,” a history of U.S.-Israel relations, with author Walter Russell Mead, distinguished fellow, Hudson Institute; and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-arc-of-a-covenant-book-talk

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Our armed forces are completely prepared to respond to any crisis, and our country’s nuclear war deterrent is also ready to mobilize its absolute power dutifully, exactly and swiftly in accordance with its mission.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in a speech to war veterans on the 69th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, as quoted by state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Washington Examiner Videos

Tags: National Security, Daily on Defense, War in Ukraine, China, Nancy Pelosi

Original Author: Jamie McIntyre

Original Location: Ukraine’s southern counteroffensive ‘gathering momentum,’ leaving some Russian troops ‘highly vulnerable,’ says UK intel

Two of Putin's top Russian pilots were killed by US-supplied HIMARS, report says .
One of the Russian pilots' fathers revealed that he believed his son's death was caused by HIMARS, a long-range weapons system from the US.Throughout the buildup to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, NATO countries, including the US, insisted they would not send troops to the region amid concern that the presence of their personnel on the ground would lead to a dangerous escalation of the conflict.

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