- Former British Prime Minister David Cameron, who this week returned to government in a new role as foreign secretary, traveled to Ukraine and met with Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday.1
- In what was his first overseas trip of the new job, Cameron said the UK would continue to provide moral and diplomatic support to Ukraine, but further reassured Zelenskyy that above all, the UK would continue providing 'the military support that you need not just this year and next year, but however long it takes.” Zelenskyy, meanwhile, thanked the UK for its continued support.1
- The visit comes amid trying times for Ukraine. Earlier in the week, it was reported that Russia amassed 40K troops near the Donetsk city of Avdiivka and had surrounded the city from three directions. In the latest analysis from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a US military-affiliated think tank that tracks battlefield progress in the war, it reported that Russia continues to make battlefield gains near Avdiivka.2
- With Ukraine's earlier counteroffensive appearing to have died down, Russia also launched renewed offensive operations across the front lines. Analysis from the ISW earlier in the week reported that 'Russian forces are likely trying to regain the theater-level initiative in Ukraine by conducting several simultaneous offensive operations in eastern Ukraine.'3
- In its latest analysis, Russia is reported to have made gains in the Luhansk region, namely near Kupiansk. However, Russia's efforts in the Zaporizhzhia region were reportedly rebuffed and it is Ukraine that made localized gains, according to ISW; its analysis also showed that heavy fighting continued in the outskirts of Bakhmut, where both Russia and Ukraine have traded territory in recent days.4
- However, in the southern Kherson region, where fighting had earlier been bogged down by flooding caused by the collapse of the Nova Khakovka dam in June, Ukraine this week reported successes there. After gaining a foothold on the east bank of the Dnipro River — which not only cuts through Kherson but divides Russia and Ukraine's control of the region — Ukraine has continued to conduct 'larger-than-usual operations,' according to ISW.4
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by UK Government. Russia thinks it can wait this war out, and that the West will eventually turn its attention elsewhere. This couldn't be further from the truth. The UK and its Western partners will continue to support Ukraine in fighting against Russian aggression for as long as the country needs.
- Pro-Ukraine narrative, as provided by Ukrainska Pravda. Ukraine continues to appreciate the UK's vast support — particularly as the world's attention has shifted to the Middle East. It's a tragedy what's happening in that region, but Ukraine also needs to be focused on because of the catastrophic ongoing tragedy stemming from Russia's ruthless invasion.
- Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by TASS. It's time for Ukraine to realize that it cannot defeat Russia militarily. The sooner they realize this, the sooner the conditions for a peaceful settlement will be created.