Today’s D Brief: New Ukraine artillery is impacting Russia; Shoigu orders new offensives; $500M from EU to Kyiv; HIMARS to Estonia?; And a bit more.


Russia’s invading forces are having some trouble with Ukraine’s long-range artillery. So on day 145 of Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion, his defense chief officially prioritized the destruction of Western-supplied weapons, according to Moscow’s state-run media TASS

Why now? Ukraine officials claim to have destroyed 30 Russian logistics and ammunition hubs with those partner-supplied systems, Reuters reported Monday from Kyiv. And that has “likely degraded Russian forces’ ability to sustain high volumes of artillery fire along front lines,” analysts at the Institute for the Study of War wrote over the weekend, citing heat anomalies inside Ukraine observed by NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System. 

Also: Russia’s military chief recently ordered offensives “in all directions” across Ukraine. That’s according to state-run media on Saturday, which still maintains that the Russian-backed forces are “de-Nazifying” Ukraine. And that new order from Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu means Russia’s “operational pause” is officially over. 

But don’t expect “a massive increase in ground attacks across Ukraine,” ISW predicts. Instead, we’re likely to see “limited ground assaults focused on the Slovyansk-Siversk-Bakhmut salient” to the east, and possibly even an offensive “to take control of the entirety of Kharkiv Oblast [to the northeast], despite the extraordinary low likelihood” of success there. Russia has, however, been hitting the Kharkiv region with airstrikes over the past 24 hours, including “near Verkhnyi Saltiv and Rubizhne,” Kyiv’s military said Monday in its latest battlefield update. Russia has also allegedly tried and failed to push offensives in several places around the Donetsk oblast—including Spirne, Serebryanka, Novoluhanske, and Semihirya—since Sunday. 

Russia remains notably reliant on “radio-electronic warfare to suppress satellite communication channels,” and it’s still using lots of drones for scouting and reconnaissance across the country, Ukraine’s military says. 

Commercial shipping is still blocked in the northwestern portion of the Black Sea, Ukraine’s armed forces say. And overall, Russia’s Ukraine invasion is estimated to “cost roughly $1 trillion in global output this year,” the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing a report from the British Economist Intelligence Unit. And in case you’re wondering, “Russia’s official inflation rate soared to 15.9% in June—far higher than in the U.S. and Europe—government figures show. Analysts anticipate that unemployment will rise later this year,” the Journal reports. The Associated Press has more on the expected economic impacts to both Europe and Russia, here

Coverage continues below…

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European Union diplomats are discussing a $500 million plan to continue arming Ukraine during a meeting today in Brussels. That tranche will raise the EU’s tally to about $2 billion, according to Reuters. The next measures for the bloc should be a full Russian “energy embargo, price cap on [Russian] oil, [and a] ban on all Russian TV channels,” Ukraine’s top diplomat, Dmytro Kuleba tweeted Monday morning.
Meanwhile, French officials are planning to turn some public lights off at night to conserve energy, according to AP. German officials are recommending similar measures for ordinary homeowners, AP reported separately over the weekend.
Turkey’s president is making noise again about NATO’s Nordic expansion, according to Agence France-Presse. Reuters has a tiny bit more on that threat, here.
Greek Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos is dropping by the Pentagon this afternoon. In case you missed the drama, Greece wants to buy about 20 F-35s from the U.S. But even if that moves forward—while Greece’s regional rival, Turkey, struggles to acquire F-16s from the U.S. since it lost F-35 access after buying a Russian air defense system—Athens wouldn’t receive those F-35s any sooner than 2027. Panagiotopoulos is expected at the Pentagon around 2 p.m. ET.
Estonia could be getting six HIMARS from the U.S. after the potential sale was greenlit on Friday by officials in the State Department. That deal is worth about $500 million, and also includes up to 36 M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, as well as missile pods, warheads, and related equipment from Lockheed Martin. 

  • Estonia’s Prime Minister just regained a parliamentary majority after several weeks of uncertainty in Tallinn. Reuters has more from the capital, here.  

And Norway was just cleared to buy more than 250 medium-range air-to-air missiles for about a billion dollars. Those missiles are expected to be used on Norway’s growing F-35 fleet, which is expected to become fully operational with 52 aircraft in 2025. This latest missile deal concerns Raytheon Missile Systems Company; and it, too, was announced Friday by the State Department’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
Developing: The U.S. military could train Ukrainian pilots on American F-15 and F-16 aircraft next year—that is if an amendment to the House’s defense policy bill survives reconciliation with the Senate’s version in the fall, Defense News reported Friday. The training could occur in either Mississippi or Texas. More here.
Additional reading: 

Lastly: U.S. Marine Corps Assistant Commandant Gen. Eric Smith headlines an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington this afternoon. Seth Jones of CSIS moderates that discussion, which is expected to revolve around the Corps’ Force Design 2030 and Talent Management 2030 programs. Details and registration here.

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