Here’s an overview of the recent events and developments during the 71st week of the russia-Ukraine war.
Ukraine’s NATO accession goals garner positive signals post-war
This week, President Zelenskyy attended the NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania where the leaders of NATO member states met and discussed how the alliance can help Ukraine in its war against russia. During the summit, leaders also discussed the possibility of Ukraine becoming a NATO state after it wins the war. In a significant show of support, NATO member states agreed to waive the MAP requirement for Ukraine once it begins the accession process.
This move will make it easier for Ukraine to join NATO more quickly in the future.
Ukraine bolstered with abundant military aid
This week has brought many new military aid packages for Ukraine with many being announced at the NATO summit in Lithuania.
The President of France, Emmanuel Macron announced that France will send long-range missiles to Ukraine to support Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
The United Kingdom has also decided to send more military aid to Ukraine, primarily munition for Challenger tanks, vehicles, and funds for equipment repair.
Bulgaria intends to transfer around one hundred armored personnel carriers to Ukraine.
Germany has agreed to send more infantry fighting vehicles and ammunition and Norway is sending reconnaissance drones to Ukraine.
More progress on F-16s for Ukraine
The United States has officially green-lit the training of Ukrainian personnel on F-16s by European countries after undergoing a formal review. Under a coalition created by Denmark and the Netherlands, training for Ukrainian pilots, support personnel and repair technicians will take place in August in Romania. It is possible that other types of aircraft may also be included in the training program. Foreign Minister Kuleba hopes that F-16s will be in the skies of Ukraine by March 2024.
Counteroffensive continues onwards
Ukraine continues to make progress in its counteroffensive, prioritizing the lives of its defenders by acting cautiously and being patient. Colonel Mykola Urshalovych announced that Ukraine’s Armed Forces have advanced almost two kilometers in the direction of Melitopol. The AFU has also made advances in the direction of Berdanysk. These advances are made difficult by intense artillery bombardments and minefields.
Ukraine needs more anti-mine equipment to help its troops advance and more artillery firepower to liberate its lands.
Ukraine’s defense industry flourishes
Baykar, the manufacturer of the famous Bayraktar armed drone will build a production plant for Bayraktars in Western Ukraine. Rheinmetall, a prominent German arms manufacturer has also announced that it will open up a facility in Western Ukraine in the next twelve weeks. This facility will produce armored vehicles and also help train Ukrainian personnel to service the equipment.
These facilities will help the AFU provide more vehicles and other military capabilities to protect its defenders and continue to liberate territory.