This Week in the Russia-Ukraine War (August 18)

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

MIM-23 HAWK Anti-Aircraft Missile System. Image – wikimedia/Lt.Col Dragoş Anghelache

Sweden is sending its 13th military aid package to Ukraine to support weapon systems that were delivered earlier.  This latest round of support will consist of spare parts and ammunition and is worth SEK3.4 billion ($313.5 million). Sweden has previously delivered Leopard 2 tanks and HAWK anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Russia confirmed that its military carried out a strike earlier in the week on the Swedish SKF plant in Lutsk, Ukraine, claiming that it was a military target.

The Biden administration requested $13.1 billion in new military aid for Ukraine, which would cover the first three months of fiscal year 2024, starting October 1.

The U.S. announced a $200 million assistance package for Ukraine, covering the delivery of ammunition for the Patriot air defense system and HIMARS.

Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat said this week that Kyiv does not expect it will have F-16s in the skies before the end of the year. Ukraine’s Western partners are still working out the details of training programs for Ukrainian pilots.

The U.S. has authorized Denmark and the Netherlands to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. Washington has said it will expedite approval once pilot training is complete.

RUAG has explained the Swiss veto of its request to sell 96 Leopard 1A5 tanks to Ukraine. RUAG had originally purchased the tanks from Italy in 2016.

Rheinmetall said on Monday that it will deliver the Luna-NG drone system to Ukraine. The defense manufacturer said it had received a “low double-digit million euro” contract for the drones.  Ukraine should receive the system before the end of the year.

Kongsberg will deliver several CORTEX Typhon counter-UAV systems to Ukraine, the company said. The system was ordered through the International Fund for Ukraine at a cost of about GBP56 million.

Heavy fighting in recent days has revolved around the village of Robotyne, located in the Zaporizhia Oblast, as Ukrainian troops attempt to push toward the larger cities of Melitopol and Berdyansk. Elsewhere along the front, Ukraine announced that it had retaken the small village of Urozhaine, in Donetsk.

Russia has performed another attack on Odesa, a major Ukrainian port on the Black Sea.  Ukrainian officials say their air defense forces engaged three waves of Russian missiles and drones.

The German government remains unwilling to provide the TAURUS cruise missile to Ukraine, but has not made a final decision.  German officials are weighing the consequences of supplying Ukraine with these long-range missiles.

Ukrainian forces launched attacks on Russian positions in Crimea on August 12.  Ukrainian missiles targeted the bridge that crosses the Kerch Strait.

Russia fired 28 cruise missiles in an overnight barrage on targets in western and central Ukraine.  Ukrainian air defense forces engaged these missiles and claimed to have downed 16.  This report is unconfirmed.

Russian forces have reportedly attacked a facility in Ukraine that builds unmanned surface vessels.  These USVs have carried out an unknown number of attacks on Russian warships in the Black Sea.  Moscow claims its missile attack was successful and the target was destroyed.

Russian officials claim that additional attack drones have targeted Moscow.  Local air defense forces shot down three Ukrainian drones southwest of the Russian capital.

Ukraine has used a locally developed USV to attack the Kerch Bridge.  This bridge links the Crimean Peninsula with Russian territory.  The Ukrainian government has released information on a USV known as Sea Baby.





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