Ukraine Situation Report: North Korea May Send Forces To Occupied Territories

As part of its recently signed mutual aid pact with Russia, North Korea is planning to send forces into in Ukraine as early as next month, according to Reuters.

The agreement calls for Pyongyang to send construction and engineering forces to Russia-occupied territories of Ukraine for rebuilding work. The outlet cited a South Korean government official quoted by the South Korean TV Chosun cable network. There was no indication of how many personnel would be involved or the exact nature of their work.

Regardless of what they do or where they go, those forces would be “cannon fodder,” the Pentagon’s top spokesman said Tuesday.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder was responding to a question about the Russia-North Korea agreement.

Ryder said North Korea should think twice about fighting in Ukraine.

“That’s certainly something to keep an eye on,” he told reporters on Tuesday about the potential for North Korean troops to set foot in Ukraine. “I think that if I were North Korean military personnel management, I would be questioning my choices on sending my forces to be cannon fodder in an illegal war against Ukraine. And we’ve seen the kinds of casualties that Russian forces – but again, something that we’ll keep an eye on.”

North Korea has already been providing artillery shells and missiles to Russia. There are growing concerns that Russian expertise might be used to help with the further development of Pyongyang’s ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons — as well as other weapons and technologies. Even just sending large numbers of laborers to setup fortifications and rebuild critical military infrastructure in occupied areas would be a problem for Ukraine.

The possibility of North Korean despot Kim Jong-un sending personnel to Ukraine on Russia’s behalf is something we previously explored almost a year ago.

Last August, a Russian talk show host claimed that 100,000 North Korean “volunteers” were ready to assist Russia in Ukraine.

Russia Channel One talk show host Igor Korotchenko suggested Russia welcome the North Koreans’ help not only on the frontlines but also as workers. Pyongyang confirmed a plan to send laborers to rebuild occupied Ukraine, according to a report from NK News at the time.

Clearly, that has yet to transpire. However, as the war in Ukraine drags on, relations between Moscow and Pyongyang continue to grow amid mutual need by both nations. Whether North Korean forces actually do arrive in Ukraine remains to be seen, but the threat that they will is exacerbating tensions on two continents.

Before diving into more developments from the conflict in Ukraine, The War Zone readers can review our previous coverage here.

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On the battlefield, there was little real movement by either side.

In Kharkiv Oblast, Ukrainian forces recently advanced within Vovchansk (about 30 miles northeast of Kharkiv City) amid continued fighting in the northern part of that region on June 25. “Geolocated footage published on June 25 indicates that Ukrainian forces recently marginally advanced along Soborna Street in central Vovchansk,” ISW reported.

In Luhansk Oblast, Russian forces “reportedly advanced along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line on June 25, but there were no confirmed changes to the frontline in this area.”

In Donetsk Oblast, Russian forces “recently advanced southeast of Siversk during a platoon-sized mechanized assault,” according to ISW. “Geolocated footage published on June 24 shows Ukrainian forces repelling a platoon-sized mechanized assault comprised of four armored fighting vehicles (AFVs) south of Spirne (southeast of Siversk) during which Russian forces marginally advanced.”

Russian forces in the oblast continued offensive operations near Chasiv Yar and near Torestks on June 25 but did not make any confirmed advances. They did however make marginal advances northwest of Avdiivka.

“Limited positional engagements continued in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area near Urozhaine and Staromayorske (both south of Velyka Novosilka) on June 25,” ISW noted.

In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, “positional fighting continued in western Zaporizhia Oblast near Robotyne, Verbove (east of Robotyne), and Mala Tokmachka (northeast of Robotyne) on June 25, but there were no changes to the frontline.”

In Kherson Oblast, fighting “continued in the east (left) bank of Kherson Oblast, including near Krynky, on June 25, but there were no changes to the frontline.”

The War Zone has obtained new satellite imagery from this morning of the Russian space tracking site hit Monday by U.S.-made Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) short-range ballistic missiles.

The high-resolution images of Russia’s NIP-16 space communications and tracking site in Vitino, Crimea, show no major damage to structures or antennas. There were clearly multiple large grass fires though. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t damage, there likely was, especially if this was an ATACMS submunition strike, but shrapnel damage is not going to be visible in this resolution of imagery. Still, no structures are burned out or partially destroyed.

The images below are from today and from May 20th for comparison:

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{"properties": {"satellite_azimuth": 101.12404992079807, "satellite_elevation": 83.99206150742953, "sun_azimuth": 244.63178610707786, "sun_elevation": 53.93823909771948}}
PHOTO © 2024 PLANET LABS INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRINTED BY PERMISSION. 
{"properties": {"satellite_azimuth": 101.12404992079807, "satellite_elevation": 83.99206150742953, "sun_azimuth": 244.63178610707786, "sun_elevation": 53.93823909771948}}
PHOTO © 2024 PLANET LABS INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRINTED BY PERMISSION. 

After spotting heavy traffic in a building in Kherson Oblast, Russian forces struck the building with a glide bomb, the Russian Archangel of the Special Forces Telegram channel reported Wednesday.

“Our reconnaissance UAV operators noticed cars coming and going day and night,” Archangel of the Special Forces stated. “Various equipment is being brought in, and enemy FPV operators are also flying from this place, as the ‘retreaters’ pointed out.”

“Having drawn conclusions, they were hit by” an “ODAB” (Obyomno-Detoniruyushchaya Aviatsionnaya Bomba) series fuel-air explosive (or thermobaric) bomb “with a UMPC-1500” glide bomb kit,” the Telegram channel reported.

The video shows the weapon flying toward then striking the building, followed by a huge eruption of orange-yellow flames.

There was a major shakeup in the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Monday.

President Volodymyr Zelensky replaced Lt. Gen. Yurii Sodol, Commander of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, with Brig. Gen. Andrii Hnatov, former head of staff and deputy commander of Operational Command Pivden (South), according to Ukrainian Pravda.

“We discussed staffing issues” at a meeting, Zelensky said on his official site

Zelensky did not specify the reasons for the dismissal, Ukrainian Pravda noted. However,  on 24 Bohdan Krotevych, Chief of Staff of the Azov Brigade of the National Guard, filed a request with the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) calling for an investigation into Sodol “due to heavy losses of personnel” the publication wrote.

Krotevych was among the Ukrainian troops trapped in the Azov steel plant during the Russian siege of Mariupol in 2022. You can read more about that in our exclusive interviews with him at the time.

For the first time in 15 months, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday spoke with his Russian counterpart.

Austin, who initiated the call, spoke by phone today with Russian Minister of Defense Andrei Belusov, the Pentagon’s top spokesman told reporters Tuesday afternoon. 

“During the call, the Secretary emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication amid Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder. “The last time Secretary Austin spoke to his Russian counterpart, then Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, was on March 15, 2023.”

Ryder declined to answer several questions seeking greater detail about the Austin-Belusov discussion.

For the first time in 15 months, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with his Russian counterpart. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images) Andrew Harnik

The German Defence Ministry is planning to order over two million artillery shells worth a record €15 billion (about $16 billion) to replenish its stockpile, Der Spiegel reported.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius has submitted a draft contract with manufacturers Diehl Defense and Nammo Raufoss to the parliamentary budget committee, the publication reported. The contract entails the purchase of up to 2.35 million 155mm artillery shells.

The shells will be manufactured and delivered by 2030. Germany wants an initial order 200,000 rounds of ammunition to replenish its stockpiles.

The contract also states that NATO members and Ukraine can order additional artillery shells under this agreement, with the overall framework providing for the possibility of purchasing 2.3 million rounds of ammunition.

The first shipment of artillery shells from an international effort spearheaded by the Czech Republic has arrived in Ukraine, Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced Tuesday on Twitter.

The ammunition from that initiative “arrived in Ukraine some time ago,” he said without offering any specific date. “We do what it takes.”

The Czechs said in May that the first 50,000 to 100,000 artillery shells would reach Ukraine in June, Reuters reported. Officials in that country said they so far had around 1.7 billion euros ($1.82 billion) in payments or firm commitments from 15 donor countries, “which was enough for half a million artillery rounds to be delivered to Ukraine by the end of the year,” Reuters explained.

The initiative, first announced by Czech President Petr Pavel in February, “aims to procure 800,000 artillery shells for Ukraine,” Euromaidan Press reported.

As the U.S. need for artillery shells grows amid the war in Ukraine and planning for potential future conflicts, a new plant in Texas is set to begin rolling shell bodies off its assembly lines in the coming months.

The first of three production lines at the new General Dynamics Ordnance & Tactical Systems 155mm shell body plant in Mesquite will be fully operational by the fall, The Wall Street Journal reported. Employees of the main subcontractor, the Turkish firm Repkon, are finishing the installation and commissioning of that first line and are already working on the second line. Each line will produce 10,000 shell bodies per month, the publication reported.

When it comes to shells it needs, the news has improved for Ukraine.

During a visit to the frontlines, Reuters found that one artillery unit in Donetsk – the scene of heavy fighting -was able to fire their U.S.-donated M109 A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers at will.

That marks a significant change from recent complaints of a “shell hunger” limiting the number of rounds Ukrainian troops could fire, which contributed to Russian advances. That hunger has been slaked in large measure by the long-delayed delivery of U.S. donations.

Despite Western sanctions, Russia has managed to ramp the manufacturing of weapons to fight Ukraine, according to a new report by a London-based think tank.

Overly cautious decision-making by Western governments and delays in sharing intelligence among Western allies has hampered the ability to limit Russia’s weapons production, according to the report by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). 

“Although the U.S. and its partners have touted an array of sanctions over the past two years to choke off Moscow’s access to key parts needed to build weapons, Russia has dramatically increased the production of artillery rounds, cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and drones since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022,” according to NBC News, citing the report.

The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for former Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov charging them with war crimes for ordering attacks on Ukraine’s power infrastructure.

Between at least Oct. 10, 2022, and at least March 9, 2023, the two were “allegedly responsible for the war crime of directing attacks at civilian objects (Article 8(2)(b)(ii) of the Rome Statute) and the war crime of causing excessive incidental harm to civilians or damage to civilian objects (Article 8(2)(b)(iv) of the Rome Statute), and the crime against humanity of inhumane acts under article 7(1)(k) of the Rome Statute,” ICC said Tuesday in a media release.

ICC found that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that the two suspects bear responsibility for missile strikes carried out by the Russian armed forces against the Ukrainian electric infrastructure…During this time frame, a large number of strikes against numerous electric power plants and sub-stations were carried out by the Russian armed forces in multiple locations in Ukraine.”

You can see one of those attacks in the video below.

The ICC also “found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the alleged strikes were directed against civilian objects, and for those installations that may have qualified as military objectives at the relevant time, the expected incidental civilian harm and damage would have been clearly excessive to the anticipated military advantage.”

In addition, “there are reasonable grounds to believe that the suspects intentionally caused great suffering or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health, thus bearing criminal responsibility for the crime against humanity of other inhumane acts.”

Of course, it is one thing to charge these two, actually taking them into custody is another.

Meanwhile, Russian attacks on Ukraine’s power infrastructure continue unabated.

In the last seven Russian strikes alone, Ukraine has lost about nine gigawatts of generating capacity, according to Volodymyr Kudrytsky, head of Ukrenergo. To put that in perspective, Kudrytsky likened that to three months of energy consumption in all of the Netherlands and the combined consumption of Slovakia and the Baltic states.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering revamping his nation’s nuclear weapons doctrine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday during a press conference, NBC News reported.

“President Putin has said that work is underway to bring the doctrine into line with current realities,” Peskov told reporters without elaborating, the network reported.

Peskov’s statement came after a senior member of the Russian parliament said on Sunday that Moscow could reduce the decision-making time for using nuclear weapons stipulated in official policy if it believes that threats are increasing, according to NBC.

Last month, we reported that Russia announced plans to conduct drills practicing the use of tactical nuclear weapons, in response to what it claimed were provocative threats from the West. The planned exercise followed earlier Kremlin warnings of an increased risk of nuclear confrontation as Western allies continue their military support of Ukraine, subject to a full-scale invasion by Russia in February 2022.

In the wake of the recently signed Russian-North Korean arms pact, South Korea stepped up its rhetoric about the potential supply of arms to Ukraine, something it has yet to do.

​​National security adviser Chang Ho-jin said Sunday that South Korea will not be bound by anything with regard to its assistance to Ukraine if Russia provides North Korea with precision weapons, South Korea’s Yonhap News reported.

“Director of National Security Chang made the remark during a TV appearance, underscoring the point that Seoul’s decision on whether to provide weapons to Ukraine depends on how Russia’s military cooperation with North Korea goes,” the publication reported.

“I would like to emphasize that it all depends on what Russia will do,” Chang said on KBS TV. “Will there be any line remaining for us if Russia gives precision weapons to North Korea?”

Chang’s remark means South Korea could provide lethal weapons to Ukraine if Russia crosses the line.

South Korea’s provision of arms to Ukraine would be a very big deal, something we posited earlier this month. You can read about it here.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited frontline troops in Donetsk Oblast on Wednesday with Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and its new Ground Forces commander.

“I was pleased to personally visit and thank our heroic and efficient 110th and 47th brigades,” Zelensky said on Twitter. “I also thanked our combat medics, both men and women, who perform the most important work of stabilizing the wounded, saving lives, and providing maximum support. Witnessing such dedication and willingness to help is truly touching.”

“In the Donetsk region, I held a detailed meeting on security and support for the people,” he added. “We addressed many issues, including ensuring essential services such as water, social issues, evacuation, defense assistance, and housing restoration.”

On Tuesday, Zelensky expressed confidence that his nation will soon join the European Union.

“Historic moment,” he said Tuesday in his evening address. “Ukraine has officially begun accession negotiations with the European Union. We’ve worked hard to reach this point. Today we held the first intergovernmental conference, and we are committed to fulfilling every requirement to navigate through all chapters of our relations with the EU, culminating in an accession treaty for Ukraine.”

The Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Ihor Klymenko thanked U.S. Ambassador Bridget A. Brink for badly needed demining equipment.

Among the donated items was a GCS-200 demining machine, handed over to the units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

In addition, Ukrainian National Police of Ukraine explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams received Dodge RAM trucks, X-ray machines, two types of blasting machines, metal detectors, and more.

“This aid, which is constantly flowing to Ukraine, affects our stability and will continue to affect our stability after the end of the war. We are saving people, demining territories and continuing to rebuild our state,” the Minister of Internal Affairs said.

“Today I joined Minister Klymenko to donate equipment to the brave Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams at @NPU_GOV_UA@MVS_UA who demine Ukraine’s farmland, remove missile fragments, & destroy left behind explosives,” Brink said in a Tweet. “They risk their lives to save lives every day.”

German authorities are pushing back on reporting that a May fire at a German arms manufacturing plant was caused by saboteurs.

They “see no evidence of sabotage” following the alleged arson attack at the Berlin factory owned by German metal manufacturer Diehl, Der Spiegel reported on June 25.

The factory belongs to Diehl Metal Applications, a subsidiary of the Diehl group that manufactures IRIS-T air defense systems. A total of 18 in two variants have been donated by Germany to Ukraine.

According to Der Spiegel, the Berlin police believe an accident was the likely cause of the fire, while the Prosecutor’s Office in Karlsruhe and the Berlin Public Prosecutor General’s Office say they have found no evidence of arson.

“We assume that the cause was a technical defect that was not our fault,” a Diehl spokesperson told Der Spiegel.

The denial of arson comes after allegations that the fire was the work of Russian saboteurs trying to disrupt the flow of arms to Ukraine as reported by The Wall Street Journal and the German Bild publication, citing unnamed security officials.

New information is coming to light about how Ukraine has improved its fleet of uncrewed surface vessels (USVs), also known as sea drones.

We know they’ve already added rocket launchers and infrared-guided R-73 (AA-11 Archer) short-range air-to-air missiles. Now it turns out Ukraine added sea mines to its sea drones last year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The tactic – developed by Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU – used Sea Baby USVs to plant over 15 underwater mines near Russian-occupied Crimea, the publication reported. This operation damaged four Russian warships, including Project 1239 Bora-class missile corvette Samum, Project 22160 Vasily Bykov class patrol ship Pavel Derzhavin, a large tugboat, and a modern minesweeper Vladimir Kozitsky

The SBU developed this strategy after Russia fortified Sevastopol’s port entrance against direct drone attacks. The plastic bottom mines, weighing 180 kg (almost 400 pounds) are nearly undetectable in shallow, silty waters, the publication reported. After six weeks of intelligence gathering, SBU’s Sea Baby drones covertly placed two mines along Russian naval routes.

Ryder, the Pentagon’s top spokesman, declined to comment on a CNN story suggesting that the Biden administration might soon lift the ban on U.S. military contractors working to fix donated equipment in Ukraine.

“I’m not going to comment on any reports of internal discussions or proposals that may or may not be under consideration,” he told reporters. “You know, the bottom line is, the President and the Secretary have been clear that we’re not going to send us troops to fight in Ukraine, and that won’t change.”

CNN reported that, once approved, “the change would likely be enacted this year, officials said, and would allow the Pentagon to provide contracts to American companies for work inside Ukraine for the first time since Russia invaded in 2022. Officials said they hope it will speed up the maintenance and repairs of weapons systems being used by the Ukrainian military.”

As an example of that, we noted in February that a pair of battle-damaged M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) had to be returned to the U.S. for repairs.

Under a new plan being pushed by two top advisors to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Ukraine would only get new arms from the U.S. if it agrees to peace negotiations with Russia, according to Reuters.

At the same time, the U.S. would warn Moscow that any refusal to negotiate would result in increased U.S. support for Ukraine, retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg told the news outlet in an exclusive interview. He is one of Trump’s national security advisers.

The Trump campaign tried to create some distance from that proposal. Spokesperson Steven Cheung told Reuters that only statements made by the former president or authorized members of his campaign should be deemed official.

As Reuters noted, the proposal is the most detailed plan yet by associates of Trump who has bragged about being able to quickly settle the war in Ukraine if he beats President Joe Biden in the Nov. 5 election. He has yet to say how though.

It would mark a major shift in the U.S. position on the war and would face opposition from European allies and within Trump’s own Republican Party, Reuters added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has his own 10-point peace plan, would almost surely object, as would many Ukrainians.

On Tuesday, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters, including from The War Zone, that only Ukraine gets to decide when and how to make peace.

There have been numerous recorded instances of Ukraine’s donated Bradley Fighting Vehicle taking out Russian armor. On Wednesday, Ukraine’s 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade released video showing one of its Bradleys taking out a drone with its Bushmaster M242 25 mm automatic cannon.

The Ukrainian Defense Intelligence Directorate (GUR) said it carried out an attack Tuesday on a field ammunition depot in Russia’s Voronezh region, about 125 miles from the border.

A video released by GUR shows a plume of smoke rising in the distance as the sound of ammunition cooking off can be heard.

The attack on the depot in the Olkhovat district was carried out by soldiers of the Department of Active Actions of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, GUR stated.

The fire, which GUR said was still burning as of 3 a.m. local time (10 a.m. Eastern), consumed about 3,500 square meters (about 11,500 square feet).

“Considering the size of the warehouse, it seems that it will explode for a long time,” GUR wrote on its Telegram channel.

The Russian Astra Telegram channel claimed Ukraine used two drones to conduct the attack on a warehouse with more than 3,000 shells.

Satellite imagery confirmed that the geolocated site came under attack.

Last week, we reported that Yeysk Airfield was targeted in a massive Ukrainian multi-domain drone strike.

The Ukrainian Navy on Tuesday offered new details about that strike. Not only is the airfield home to a major tactical jet forward operating base, which includes Sukhoi Su-34 Fullbacks, there are additional Russian military facilities nearby. Including, it turns out, a training site for drone operators. The Ukrainian Navy said it destroyed scores of drones in the attack. 

The Ukrainian Navy said on Telegram that, in cooperation with the Security Service of Ukraine, it hit the military training ground of the 726th Air Defense Training Center at Yeysk on June 21. 

“This institution is engaged in the training of military personnel for the use of UAVs of various types,” the Ukrainian Navy stated.

It claimed to have destroyed 20 Shahed-136 drones, 50 Lancet loitering munitions as well as 40 Zala and 10 SuperCam reconnaissance drones.

“There are also casualties among the instructors and technical staff from Yelabuga,” the Ukrainian Navy claimed.

The War Zone cannot independently verify any of these claims, but satellite imagery after the attacked showed the facility was indeed attacked.

Video claiming to show the destruction of a German-donated IRIS-T SLM medium-range surface-to-air missile system emerged on social media.

Posted by the Russian The_Wrong-Side Telegram channel, it opens with a drone view of the system’s transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) parked in a tree line in a small village near the city of Krivyi Rih. It then cuts to an explosion resulting in a white cloud, followed by a wider image of several smoldering vehicles, one of which appears to be the IRIS-T TEL.

The strike, about 120 miles from the front lines, was carried out by an Iskander short-range ballistic missile with a cluster munition warhead, The_Wrong_Side claimed.

That warhead was “used so effectively that in addition to the launcher, a vehicle in the neighboring forest belt was also destroyed,” The_Wrong_Side stated.

Last June, we wrote about a Russian drone attacking a Hensoldt TRML-4D truck-mounted radar, a key component of the IRIS-T system. A launcher was hit as well.

Russia has made repeated claims about destroying these systems, of which Germany has donated eight. However, the Oryx open-source tracking group has only acknowledged damage to the aforementioned radar. The actual number of damaged or destroyed IRIS-T systems could be higher, though, because Oryx only tabulates losses it can visually verify.

You can see that attack in the video below:

You can see an example of a Russian submunition in this video, which shows a Ukrainian technician using one hand to disassemble a fragmentation variant. It contains more than 300 steel balls in cast aluminum hemispheres.

Video has emerged claiming to be the first recorded use by Ukraine of US-donated M30 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) munitions carrying 404 M101 Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM) submunitions. You can see the troops standing in the intersection of two tree lines, then the submunitions explode over a wide area.

Lithuanian Defense Minister Laurinas Kasciunas said that his country may withdraw from the Convention on Cluster Munitions, a decision to do so may be made in the near future Lithuanian Lrytas news outlet reported

“I hope that in the near future” the issue of withdrawal from the Convention will be considered, he said.  “My time is running out, so I have to deal with everything.”

The last minutes of a Ukrainian’s soldier’s life are captured in this very graphic video. It shows Ukrainian troops firing as they advanced up a set of stairs in a heavily damaged building in Bakhmut. The soldier, who recorded in the scene via a helmet camera, is the second in line. As he lays down covering fire for the soldier on the point, he is hit and slumps to the ground. The video ends with his fellow soldiers trying to save him.

https://twitter.com/goreclipps/status/1805546582307389646?s=12

Ukraine displayed an array of tracked uncrewed ground vehicles (UGV) that range from machinegun-toting models to those that can haul supplies. It is unknown how many of these have made it to the battlefield, but as aerial drones have proliferated, UGVs are beginning to have a greater presence on the battlefield.

Foreign Policy Research Institute Senior Fellow Rob Lee scoffed at comments made last week by a senior French officer about the value of electronic warfare countermeasures against drones.

“No one knows what percentage of UAVs are lost to EW in Ukraine,” Lee said on Twitter. “It’s often impossible to tell, UAV pilots have an incentive to blame EW whenever they lose a UAV/miss a target, and it will vary depending on the type of UAV.”

Lee was reacting to comments made last week by French Army Chief of Staff Gen. Pierre Schill during the Eurosatory defense show in Paris.

Schill essentially said that the now-ubiquitous banes of troops on both sides are a passing fancy, already being mitigated by electronic warfare countermeasures.

“Already today, 75% of drones on the battlefield in Ukraine are lost to electronic warfare,” the general told reporters.

Meanwhile, Russian troops continue to complain about the flow of FPV drones. Among other issues, they say that units only get them if they are requested by a commander.

During a desperate encounter, a Ukrainian soldier took on two Russian troops in a trench, which you can watch below.

Out of ammunition, the Ukrainian soldier tossed a grenade at the Russians, who are just around a bend. The grenade exploded, leaving one Russian immobile and the other stunned. The Ukrainian then reloaded and fired at the Russians, killing them both.

Russian troops, who have largely unable to shoot down Ukrainian First-Person View (FPV) drones, found a new way to counter them.

As you can see in this video below, Russian troops on a Chinese-made DesertCross All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) were chased by a Ukrainian FPV but lived to see another day after a desperate attempt to survive worked. One of the soldiers tossed his rifle at the drone, detonating it before it could injure the troops.

Russian troops have added a new addition to their so-called “turtle tanks.”

Thanking those who donated to his crowd-sourcing fundraising efforts, a Russian soldier added chains to the front of his tank, which is covered in metal sheeting.

The chains were being added, he explained, so that the turtled tank can help clear mines. However, as you can see in the video below, they don’t reach the ground, so it remains unclear how that will work.

A long history of looking at images of enemy weapons like aircraft and ships for future identification has continued in this conflict. Russian troops are studying Ukrainian drones.

On Tuesday we wrote about two waves of U.S.-made Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) short-range ballistic missile strikes on Crimea, including one on the Russian Black Sea port city of Sevastopol.

Video emerged Tuesday from that attack showing cluster munitions from one of those missiles raining down in the ocean and on a crowded beach, sending vacationers scurrying for cover.

The video, which shows the cluster munitions falling in a straight line, adds further validation to suggestions that the missile was hit by a Russian air defense munition.

U.S. officials also say that the ATACMS was intercepted, causing the submunitions to rain down on the beach.

Drones aren’t just used to kill troops and destroy vehicles. They are also used for resupply. After downing one of those Russian resupply drones, Ukrainian troops found an interesting haul. It was a care package consisting of Italian coffee, dehydrated food and some over-the-counter medications.

And finally, for these Ukrainian stationary bikers, it is damn the Russian attacks, full speed ahead.

As a thick black plume from a Russian strike on the Black Sea port city of Odesa rose in the background, a group of about a half-dozen women furiously peddled atop a roof in that city.

“They think they can kill us, but they don’t know what it means to be Ukrainian,” one of the women remarks.

That’s it for now.

Contact: howard@thewarzone.com

Howard Altman Avatar

Howard Altman

Senior Staff Writer

Howard is a Senior Staff Writer for The War Zone, and a former Senior Managing Editor for Military Times. Prior to this, he covered military affairs for the Tampa Bay Times as a Senior Writer. Howard’s work has appeared in various publications including Yahoo News, RealClearDefense, and Air Force Times.

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