This Week in the Russia-Ukraine War (June 23)

a missile is fired from a missile launcher near a forest

Ukraine will receive additional AIM-120 AMRAAMs to use in its NASAMS air defense systems.

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

Ukraine is included on a list of recipients of AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) as part of a $1 billion contract awarded to RTX (formerly Raytheon Technologies). Ukraine uses AMRAAMs in its National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System launchers. RTX was awarded a contract worth up to $1.2 billion in December 2022 to deliver six NASAMS batteries to Ukraine.

Denmark plans to increase military aid to Ukraine by DKK21.9 billion ($3.21 billion) from 2023-2028, the Danish Defense Ministry announced. An initial fund valued at DKK7 billion ($1 billion) was established in March.

Despite recent momentum regarding the potential transfer of F-16s to Ukraine, U.S. officials said it could be months before the U.S. formally approves allies to train Ukrainian pilots on the aircraft.

Both sides have suffered heavy losses during Ukraine’s counteroffensive, and Russian forces appear to have established robust defenses in southern Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky conceded in an interview with the BBC  this week that the operation has moved “slower than desired.” Ukraine has captured eight villages in the last few weeks, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar confirmed on Monday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had “a very productive conversation” with African leaders who traveled to the region to promote a peaceful resolution of the war, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said this week, but nevertheless, Moscow believes there is “no stable ground” for negotiations with Kyiv.

The DoD overestimated the cost of weapons donated to Ukraine by $6.2 billion, freeing up funds to continuing supplying arms as the end of the 2023 fiscal year approaches. The figure, which comprises $3.6 billion in FY23 funds and $2.6 billion from FY22, is twice as much as initial estimates outlined by officials last month. The surplus will be used for future drawdowns of U.S. inventory that will be donated to Ukraine.

A report in The New York Times this week detailed struggles in Ukrainian procurement efforts throughout the war, which has seen up to $800 million tied up in moribund arms contracts. The report added that significant amounts of military hardware donated from abroad has not been immediately usable on the battlefield, requiring upgrade first before being ready for combat.

Ukraine is in talks with Western defense companies to produce military equipment locally, government official Sergiy Boyev told Reuters at the Paris Air Show. “We are certain that we will have the contract agreements signed within the next few months,” Boyev said.

The European Union plans to provide $54.5 billion in aid to Ukraine from 2024 through 2027 to help with rebuilding efforts, world leaders announced at a two-day gathering in London. The U.S. said it would provide another $1.3 billion in the near term, bringing the U.S. contribution to $64.3 billion. Britain said it would provide $3 billion worth of World Bank loans to help with rebuilding as well. The World Bank estimates rebuilding efforts could cost over $400 billion.

The MBDA-built Storm Shadow cruise missile is supporting Ukraine’s new counteroffensive, according to Ukrainian officials.  These missiles struck important military targets inside Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory prior to the start of ground operations.

A key bridge in the Russian-occupied Kherson region has been hit by a Storm Shadow missile.  The bridge at Chongar, which links Crimea and the Kherson region, is a key supply route for Russian troops in the area.

Donated SAMP/T Mamba surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems are operational in Ukraine.  The SAMP/T system is protecting key installations in Ukraine from missile and drone attacks.  Ukraine has already received the U.S.-made Patriot air defense system.

Russia continues its campaign against Ukraine’s infrastructure, firing cruise and ballistic missiles and attack drones.  The latest attacks took place on June 22, targeting the cities of Odesa and Kryvy Rih.

Ukraine continues to put pressure on Western officials for full NATO membership ahead of an alliance summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July. Ukraine’s accession into NATO wouldn’t take place during an ongoing war, but Kyiv still wants to see more practical steps to move forward short of full membership, such as security guarantees.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a resolution Wednesday calling on the White House to approve donating long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to Ukraine. The move puts additional pressure on the administration, which has been hesitant to provide long-range weapons to Ukraine to avoid potentially escalating the conflict.




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