US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (L) greets Ukraine Defense Minister Rustem Umerov at the Pentagon, Washington DC, July 2, 2024

Tuesday’s Coverage: Hungary’s Orbán in Kyiv

Map: Institute for the Study of War


At least three civilians have been killed and 18 wounded, including a 14-year-old girl, in Russia’s latest deadly attack on Dnipro city in south-central Ukraine.

Last Friday, the Russians killed two people and wounded 12, including a 7-month-old baby, in a missile strike on an apartment block.

“The enemy is continuing insidious attacks,” Dnipropetrovsk regional Governor Serhiy Lysak posted.

The head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional council, described a “massive” barrage, posting images of buildings ripped open by the attack and shattered glass strewn across the ground.

“This is what one of the city’s shopping centers looks like now. Cars and windows were smashed, and a petrol station was hit. All the consequences are still being investigated,” Mykola Lukashuk said.


European officials say Chinese companies are developing an attack drone for Russia to use in its invasion of Ukraine.

The officials said the drone is similar to the Iran-made Shahed which has been an essential weapons in Russia’s attacks on energy infrastructure and other civilian sites.

They said Russian companies proposed a copy of the Iranian “kamikaze” UAV in talks with Chinese companies last year. Development has begun in China with the drone undergoing testing before either ready-made UAVs or components to be assembled are sent to Russia.

The sources said no Chinese drone has yet been deployed in Ukraine.

Chinese defense websites report development of the Sunflower 200, which is similar in appearance to Iran’s Shahed 136 drone.

At the G7 summit earlier this month, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said Chinese leader Xi Jinping had promised that he would not supply weapons to Russia. “If he is a person who can be respected, then he will not do this,” Zelensky emphasized.


In his nightly video address to the nation, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said of the visit of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to Kyiv on Tuesday:

We see that these are now completely different relations between Ukraine and Hungary – more concrete and transparent, reflecting mutual interests. We agreed on various economic and political details, which our teams will handle. It’s important that we outline our relations and achievements in a new agreement defining good neighborly relations between Ukraine and Hungary.

Orbán, a long-time ally of Vladimir Putin, held up European Union aid to Ukraine and accession talks for Kyiv for months before finally giving way earlier this year. The visit was his first to Ukraine since 2012.

At the joint press appearance with Zelenskiy, Orbán said he asked for consideration of a quick ceasefire that could accelerate peace talks — echoing the Kremlin’s line of “peace negotiations” which would leave Russia in occupation of four regions “annexed” by Vladimir Putin in September 2022.

Zelenskiy did not respond to the comments. Later, the deputy head of the Presidential Office, Ihor Zhovkva, said Orbán was given the “opportunity to express his thoughts”: “The President of Ukraine listened to him, but in response, he stated Ukraine’s position – clear, understandable, and well-known.”


UN human rights experts say Russia has violated international law by imprisoning US citizen and Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention highlighted a “striking lack of any factual or legal substantiation” for the espionage charges against Gershkovich, seized at the end of March 2023 by Russian security personnel. They said he should be released “immediately”.

Gershkovich was arrested in Yekaterinburg as he was working on stories about the recruiting methods of the Wagner Group mercenaries, and the views of Russian citizens invasion of Ukraine.

Gershkovich’s trial began in Yekaterinburg on June 26. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has expressed support for Ukraine’s eventual membership in NATO.

Austin spoke on Tuesday about next week’s summit of the 32-nation bloc in Washington: “We will take steps to build a bridge to NATO membership for Ukraine.”

On Monday, in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy challenged the Biden Administration’s hesitancy:

We hear the opinions of the [Democratic and Republican] parties. And this suggests that no one sees Ukraine in NATO today. Unfortunately.

It is so-called “one step forward, two steps back” policy. I do not think that this is the policy of world leaders.

If America is afraid of irritating Putin, and that is why we are not invited, then we ask the United States to give us as much as possible that can protect us.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Zelenskiy’s Chief of Staff, Andrii Yermak, discussed the issue on Tuesday.

State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said, “They spoke about a number of issues, including the upcoming Washington NATO Summit and allies’ intention to bring Ukraine closer to NATO membership and helping to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend against Russian aggression.”

During a meeting with Ukrainian counterpart Rustem Umerov at the Pentagon, Austin said the US will soon announce more than $2.3 billion in security assistance for Ukraine.

The package includes anti-tank weapons and air defense interceptors, and allows accelerated procurement of the NASAMS surface-to-air missile system) and Patriot air defense systems.