Here’s an overview of the recent events and developments during the 72nd week of the russia-Ukraine war.
After terminating its part in the Black Sea Grain initiative, russia seems to have resorted to further relentless attacks of terrorism to try and unnerve the civilian population and make allies of Ukraine think twice before becoming involved in the transport of Ukrainian grain.
On July 20th, russia pummeled Odesa with missiles and destroyed agricultural warehouses, ruining the goods stored inside. In addition to the infrastructure that was destroyed, the attack also injured several civilians.
On July 23rd, the historic Transfiguration Cathedral, situated in the heart of Odesa’s UNESCO-listed center, faced a devastating attack during a russian airstrike.
Rebuilt after being demolished during Stalin’s atheism campaign in the 1930s, the cathedral suffered a missile strike that left the roof with a large hole, the altar collapsed, and several walls were charred by fire. The city endured multiple strikes, resulting in damage to schools, residential buildings, and a revered 19th-century mansion. Tragically, one person lost their life, and 14 others were hospitalized, as reported by the regional governor.
Ukraine reinforced: new military aid arrives
This week has seen the announcement of several new military aid packages for Ukraine. The United States has declared the transfer of a new package of military aid for Ukraine that equals over a billion dollars in equipment. The package includes ammunition, mine-clearing equipment, drones, and tactical vehicles. Spain will send four tanks, armored personnel carriers, and other equipment to Ukraine in the next week. Additionally, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands have announced in a joint statement that they are sending over armored personnel carriers to Ukraine.
Generous support: countries rally with financial grants for Ukraine
The Prime Minister of Ukraine has announced that Japan has agreed to act as a guarantor for a 1.5$ billion dollar loan from the World Bank meant to help Ukraine’s economy. Azerbaijan has decided to send 7.6 million dollars for humanitarian assistance and Sweden has allotted more long-term financial support for Ukraine over the next four years.
Update F-16 training for Ukrainian pilots
The locations of training for Ukrainian F-16 pilots have been narrowed down in the last week. Training will begin in Denmark but will later also take place in Romania. Furthermore, although Canada has no F-16s of its own to transfer, Canada has promised to help Ukraine prepare appropriate infrastructure for the maintenance and upkeep of F-16s.
Ukrainian counteroffensive marches on
Ukraine continues to make progress in the direction of Bakhmut, particularly on both the north and southern fronts of the city. The counteroffensive continues at a steady pace with areas first needing to be demined, a difficult and tedious task, to ensure the safety of defenders before the territories are passed through. As demining continues, it is likely that the counteroffensive will pick up steam. It is important to remember that the liberation of Kherson did not come in a single week or even a month so patience is key.