Today’s Briefing D: Zelensky describes the Russian strikes as “terror” in central Ukraine. AI drones and tank bombs from the 1950s; bunkers on the go; USN in the South China Sea; And a little more.

Nearly two dozen Ukrainians were killed in alleged Russian missile strikes In the central district of Vinnytsia, south of Kyiv, on Thursday. Ukraine’s Interior Minister Denis Monastirsky told reporters that 21 people were killed in the alleged missile attacks by submarines, including three children, and 91 others were wounded. over hereVideo immediately after the accident, which was posted on Twitter Thursday morning.

“What is this, if not an explicit verb Terror? “ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Telegram. Russia is “a murderous country. A terrorist state,” he wrote on Thursday.

“This is terrorism, [the] The willful killing of civilians to spread fear.” Zelensky’s chief diplomat, Foreign Minister Dmitro Kolebaon Twitter on Thursday, adding that “Russia is a terrorist state and should be legally recognized as such.”

The top US military officer called his Ukrainian counterpart on Wednesday evening. Kyiv General Valery Zaloghny says he highlighted the “main effort” of Vladimir Putin’s invading forces “in the north of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, trying to drive us out of our positions.”

Zaluzhny also said that Ukraine “runs[d] To repel massive enemy attacks” in several different locations Around central-western Luhansk, including Izium-Slovyansk, Sviatohirsk-Slovyansk, Lysychansk-Soledar, Lysychansk-Siversk and Popasna-Soledar. Speaking with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Army, General Mark Milley, Zaloghny said: “I have emphasized that the Ukrainian side clearly understands responsibility for every weapon and will not allow it to fall into the hands of terrorists.”

Incidentally: The two are known to have last spoken on July 1, and have spoken at least 19 times so far since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February – three calls in March; six in April; five in May; three in June; And twice so far in July.

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Welcome to Thursday’s edition of The D Brief, brought to you by Ben Watson with Bradley Peniston. If you are not already subscribed to The D Brief, you can do so here. And check out the others one defense Newsletters here. On this day in 1957, Egyptian military captain and nurse Rawya Attia, 31, has become the first female MP in Cairo, and in the wider Arab world.

Russian aircraft strike northern and central positions across the Donetsk Territory, which lies to the west of the recently occupied Luhansk Territory, Says the Ukrainian army in the latest update of the battlefield. Russian forces appear to be attempting several different investigative attacks westward around Donetsk — for example, “in the direction of Verknokamiansky” and toward Kudima and Vershina, Ukraine says. Some of these have had “partial success” (around Kamyanka, for example); Others (in the south of Kharkiv, just north of Donetsk) led to the retreat of the Russian-backed forces.
Ukraine says Russian forces ran out of food in some occupied territories, Although it is not clear where exactly. The Kyiv army also claims that “the staffing level of platoon commanders in units of the 2nd Combined Arms Army in the Central Military District remains low,” and says that this is due to “large losses and refusal to participate in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine.” (It should be noted that we are not able to verification of Kyiv’s allegations, although they proved to be much more credible than Russian officials).
Remember that recent White House claim that Russia wants Iranian drones? It appears that other Iranian weapons are already in Ukraine, according to Ukraine Weapon Tracker The writing team on Twitter Wednesday. This includes the Iranian-made HM-16 mortar system.
Ukrainian Developers They are allegedly using artificial intelligence to find and geotag Russian camouflaged equipment With ready-made drones re-equipped to drop 1950s-era tank bombs and 3D-printed tail fins. This is according to some interesting new reports from a journalist Marcin Weroywhose work was reported (and further explained) on Twitter Wednesday by a drone researcher Chris Owen.
Russia seems to reinforce its western front with circular concrete bunkers, They drive to the battlefield in a family like military trucks these It was recently filmed on the highways of Ukraine and posted on social media. The EconomistOliver Carroll said he saw such things throughout the conflict zone; He spoke quite a bit on Twitter over here.
Today in Russian claims: Moscow’s state-run media is trying to link US intelligence to alleged artillery strikes on civilians in eastern Ukraine, TASS reported Thursday, without any supporting evidence. Russia also claims to have destroyed “an artillery platoon of US-made M777 howitzers … in the Kharkov region,” according to a separate report Thursday from TASS.
New: Russia wants to annex the Zaporozhye region in southeastern Ukraine by “early autumn”. That’s when you plan to hold a referendum since Kremlin officials insisted on Thursday that Ukrainians currently living there “want to become a territorial entity within Russia,” TASS again reported, citing Yevgeny Palitsky, “the head of the region’s military and civil administration.” (In case you’re curious, fall begins in about 10 weeks.)
For the record: the United States ranked 11th in terms of support for Ukraine, Donor countries’ share of GDP, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (with current data as of July 1). In descending order, the top ten includes Estonia at the top, followed by Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Greece, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Portugal and Denmark.
The commander of the Italian army is at the Pentagon this morning. Defense Secretary Lorenzo Guerini arrived at 10:30 a.m. ET for a conversation with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his company. Austin met with his Dutch and Australian counterparts at the Pentagon on Wednesday.
Additional reading:

The US Navy just sailed across the South China Sea, Passing through the Paracel Islands for the second time this year, officials from the Seventh Fleet announce Wednesday.
The Chinese Navy quickly complained about the entry of the United States into its “territorial waters”, According to CNN. But Seventh Fleet officials called the Chinese characterization “wrong” and “the latest in a long line of [People’s Republic of China] actions of distorting legitimate US naval operations and asserting its excessive and illegitimate maritime claims at the expense of its Southeast Asian neighbors in the South China Sea.”
“The United States defends the right of every nation to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law permits, As did the USS Benfold here, US Navy officials said. “Nothing the People’s Republic of China says otherwise will deter us.”
From the region:

Finally: Some conclusion on “one of the most egregious and destructive acts of espionage in American history.” On Wednesday, a federal jury in Manhattan indicted a former CIA employee on nine criminal charges, including illegally sharing national security information. US attorney Damien Williams is mentioned in the bolded line above; He said former agency employee Joshua Schulte, 33, acted with malice against the CIA when he handed over hacking tools to WikiLeaks that have since been referred to as the “Vault 7” leak in 2017. Now he could face Up to 80 years in prison for the combined charges, according to court news. The New Yorker Schulte, who is also facing child pornography charges, just a month ago; Find #LongRead here.

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