Russia's attacks on ships in Black Sea will provoke Ukraine's immediate response. Column by Serhiy Zgurets
Following the Kremlin's threats, Ukraine's MoD stated that starting July 21, all vessels in the Black Sea sailing towards Russian or Russia-held seaports will be treated as those carrying military cargo. Ukraine also has the means to respond rapidly if Russians try to attack our or international vessels
Ukraine also has the means to respond rapidly if Russians try to attack our or international vessels.
Another Russian attack on Ukraine's port infrastructure
For the fourth night in a row, Russia has attacked Ukraine's port infrastructure. These attacks have resulted in the destruction of some port terminals and a significant amount of grain that was prepared for export.
On July 20 alone, 19 cruise missiles and the same number of Shahed kamikaze drones were launched at Odesa and Mykolaiv. Russia also uses air-launched Kh-22 missiles, sea-launched Kalibr missiles, and land-based missiles from the Iskander and Bastion coastal missile systems.
Given the lack of modern air defense systems in this area, some of the missiles were not intercepted by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This primarily concerns Kh-22 missiles and Oniks supersonic missiles. Russia has also announced that all vessels heading to Ukrainian ports will be considered potential carriers of military cargo and will therefore be attacked.
Following the Kremlin's threats, Ukraine's Defense Ministry stated that starting July 21, all vessels sailing in the Black Sea towards Russian seaports and ports on the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine will be treated by Ukraine as carrying military cargo.
I think that after the first attempt by the Russians to attack our or international vessels in the Black Sea, Ukraine's response will be quite quick, and we have the means to do so.
Also, it should be noted that this missile and mine terror of the Russian Federation, after its withdrawal from the grain deal, is aimed not only at blocking our ports. Russia is trying to create a global food crisis. The international community recognizes this.
The only solution is to increase military aid to Ukraine and to build up and improve Ukraine's air defense. This is exactly what the chief of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said. It is quite a reasonable proposal to strengthen our air defense with anti-aircraft missile systems.
Ukraine has started using cluster munitions provided by the United States
Yesterday it became known that Ukraine has started using cluster munitions provided by the US. Using this ammunition, the Defense Forces will be able to break the well-fortified positions of the Russian invaders in southeastern Ukraine. The Washington Post reported this concerning a Ukrainian official. This is definitely good news.
General Syrskyi said that although the counteroffensive is slower than we would like it to be, the AFU is advancing daily fighting deeper into the occupied territories. Every day our units advance 500 to 1000 meters. It is very difficult, as the main forces of the Russian army are concentrated in the Lyman direction and around Bakhmut.
The invaders outnumber the Ukrainian troops, especially in artillery. According to Oleksandr Syrskyi, our soldiers can currently respond with one shot to 7-8 shots of the Russians. However, I think that now, in addition to destroying the front lines of the occupiers in southeastern Ukraine, cluster munitions will be used to destroy the Russians in Bakhmut. As well as in the Lyman sector, where the enemy has intensified its activities along the entire frontline, from Kupiansk to Kreminna. A grouping of up to 100,000 Russian troops has been amassed here.
The situation in the Lyman sector
National Guard officer Oleksandr Doroshenko said that the situation in the Lyman sector has not changed dramatically. Defense forces continue to hold the line. Recently, the enemy has been trying to attack in small groups. In particular, according to Doroshenko, the Russians were attacking in groups of 7-10 people. They tried to storm some positions of the National Guard. He also informed that over the past day, the Russians had used chemical weapons against the positions of Ukrainian troops. After the attack, the soldiers had problems with their eyes, but, as the officer noted, our soldiers did not need to be evacuated. During the day, the enemy tried to actively use armored vehicles. The Ukrainian infantry successfully fired at the enemy's vehicles with anti-tank weapons.
National Guard officer Oleksandr Doroshenko also denied that Russian troops had been able to enter the village of Torske. According to him, this settlement is and has been controlled by Ukrainian troops. Indeed, the enemy was able to take some positions in the forest to the north of Torske. However, these are only a few positions. Doroshenko said that the enemy is constantly changing tactics. The Russians see that they cannot attack through the forest, so they select several positions of Ukrainian units and continue to work on them with firepower.