Update 49: Russia's war with Ukraine

27 July 2023

Russia and Ukraine have been presenting very different accounts of the progress of the war in recent weeks. Ukraine has reported a measure of progress in a counteroffensive launched early last month in the east and in capturing villages in the south, while Moscow says it has contained any move forward by Kyiv's forces. Western officials and analysts report that Ukraine appears to be making limited advances in its counteroffensive against Russian forces but has yet to employ the kind of larger-scale operations that might enable a breakthrough.

Mark Milley, the US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said on 18 July that the ongoing effort was “far from a failure” but that “there’s a lot of fighting left to go and I’ll stay with what we said before: This is going to be long. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be bloody”. President Putin said on 23 July that Ukraine’s counteroffensive “has failed”. He was hosting Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, his close ally, for talks in St Petersburg. “There is no counteroffensive,” Russian news agencies quoted Lukashenko as saying, to which Putin replied: “It exists, but it has failed”.

In other developments, Ukraine’s application for NATO membership was again deferred at the NATO Vilnius Summit, while the repercussions from the Wagner mutiny in June included continuing tensions within the Russian army and increased border tensions between Belarus and Poland. The war also escalated with the US delivery of cluster munitions to Ukraine and in the Black Sea region following Russia’s withdrawal from the UN-brokered grain deal. Ukraine warned that it could target all shipping out of Russian and Russian-occupied ports and signalled its readiness to fight on the Black Sea, after Moscow’s declaration of a naval blockade and bombardment of Ukrainian ports. Despite growing calls for an end to the war, diplomacy remains stalled.

Read more in the attached pdf



Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure

Ukrainian attacks inside Russia and Crimea

The use of cluster munitions

The aftermath of the Wagner rebellion

Ukraine’s NATO membership application

The role of the CIA in Ukraine

Stalled diplomacy

Military and financial assistance to Ukraine and Russia

Humanitarian consequences of the war

Continuing concerns over nuclear power plants


Further reading:

On outcomes and consequences of the war

On the risk of nuclear war

On investigation of war crimes in Ukraine

On sanctions against Russia and post-war reconstruction in Ukraine

On the Black Sea grain agreement and global food security

On energy security in Europe (and the Nord Stream attack)

On China’s position on the war

On developments within Russia

On developments within NATO

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