This Week in the Russia-Ukraine War (June 9)

F-16 Fighting Falcon. Image – Paul Friel [CC BY 2.0]

A snapshot of recent news from sources around the world on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Dozens of Dutch F-16s originally destined to be delivered to a private contractor have now been freed up, potentially to join the Ukrainian Air Force. Separately, sources told Australian Financial Review that former Australian F/A-18s may head to Ukraine.

Russian officials have said that the supply of Western F-16 fighters to Ukraine would represent an escalation of the war, specifically pointing out that F-16s can be modified to carry nuclear weapons.

Following the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine, Ukraine has called for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss and demand new international sanctions on Russia.

Floodwaters from the broken dam could increase the danger posed by landmines in the region for years to come. Mines can be uprooted and swept downstream, potentially for miles. They may also end up covered in debris, making them difficult to identify.

Despite Russia’s declaration of victory in the battle for Bakhmut, the Ukrainian military continues to put pressure on Russian forces on the city’s fringes.

Ukraine’s planned counteroffensive will utilize not only Western weaponry, but also combat training from NATO partners. Among the newly trained forces is the 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade, which is back in Ukraine near the front line.

Reports indicate Kyiv is providing drones to groups of pro-Ukrainian sympathizers and agents to conduct acts of sabotage inside Russia.

Germany’s Rheinmetall has received a contract to supply another batch of 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine over the coming months, adding to the 40 Marder IFVs delivered earlier this year.

The Belgorod region in Russia near the border with Ukraine was shelled in recent days. Ukraine says its military has not been involved in the incursion, blaming the attacks on Russian volunteer fighters. Last month, the Russian military said it repelled cross-border attacks by a Ukrainian “sabotage group.”

Ukrainian officials said its air defense forces intercepted additional missiles and attack drones launched by Russia.  This attack took place on June 4 and targeted Ukrainian military facilities and critical infrastructure.

Russia fired over 300 Iranian-made attack drones at targets inside Ukraine during May, according to the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD).  The systems used by Russia include Iran’s Shahed series.

Ukraine is conducting its own unmanned air vehicle (UAV) program.  Kyiv has developed a very stealthy UAV known as Vidsyich (Repel).  Ukraine has dozens of developers working on UAVs.

Ukraine might receive retired fighter aircraft Australia.  The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is replacing its in-service F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft.  The Hornets could be made available for export to Ukraine.

Russia has performed another air strike on targets inside Ukraine.  Kyiv said its air defense forces down 10 attack drones and four cruise missiles.

Russia has a sufficient capacity to continue its missile attacks on Ukraine.  Moscow changed its strategy to concentrate on a smaller number of important targets.


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