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Friday, July 12, 2024

China-Taiwan Weekly Update, July 12, 2024

Authors: Matthew Sperzel and Daniel Shats of the Institute for the Study of War; Alexis Turek of the American Enterprise Institute

Editors: Dan Blumenthal and Frederick W. Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute

Data Cutoff: July 11, 2024 at 9am EST

The China–Taiwan Weekly Update is a joint product from the Institute for the Study of War and the American Enterprise Institute. The update supports the ISW–AEI Coalition Defense of Taiwan project, which assesses Chinese campaigns against Taiwan, examines alternative strategies for the United States and its allies to deter the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) aggression, and—if necessary—defeat the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The update focuses on the Chinese Communist Party’s paths to controlling Taiwan and cross–Taiwan Strait developments.

Key Takeaways

  • The PLA significantly increased its daily incursions into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone in July to expand the PRC’s coercive pressure on the ROC as “punishment” for the election of ROC President Lai Ching-te.
  • The PRC is using cross-strait events such as the Cross-Strait Youth Summit to legitimize the Kuomintang as a negotiating partner on behalf of Taiwan and promote its pro-unification message.
  • The PRC framed collaboration between NATO and Indo-Pacific states as a threat to regional security.
  • CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping welcomed Belarus to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and advocated for Turkey to join the organization. Xi seeks to use the SCO to legitimize PRC-led institutions and undermine Western-led security frameworks.
  • The PRC’s cyber defense agency issued disinformation about the US Intelligence Community and denied that the Volt Typhoon cyber threat actor is a PRC state-sponsored group.
  • The CCG anchored its largest ship in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone as an intimidation tactic following reports of Philippine Coast Guard base construction in Sabina Shoal.

Cross-Strait Relations

Taiwan

The PLA significantly increased its daily incursions into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in July to expand the PRC’s coercive pressure on the ROC as “punishment” for the election of ROC President Lai Ching-te. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) reported 232 ADIZ violations by PLA aircraft in the first ten days of July, more than the totals for most months on record. This included 56 violations on July 10, which is tied with October 4, 2021, as the highest daily total on record.[1] 36 of the aircraft involved in the July 10 incursions flew through the southern and southeastern part of the ADIZ on their way to the Western Pacific for air-sea joint training exercises with the Shandong aircraft carrier and other PLA Navy vessels.[2]

The high number of ADIZ violations in July is part of a trend of increased ADIZ violations after Lai Ching-te took office as president of Taiwan on May 20. There were at least 325 PLA violations of Taiwan’s ADIZ in June and 289 in May, the second and third-highest monthly totals on record, respectively. The June total is the highest for any month without a large-scale PLA exercise. The record for most ADIZ violations in one month was 446 in August 2022, when the PRC responded to then-US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan with record-scale military exercises around Taiwan.[3] The number of ADIZ violations that Taiwan’s MND reports does not include PRC vessels and aircraft around Taiwan’s outlying islands such as the Kinmen and Matsu archipelagos.

The heightened number of violations reflects an intensified PRC pressure campaign against Taiwan under the new administration of Lai Ching-te, whom the PRC considers a dangerous separatist. The high frequency of ADIZ violations drains Taiwan’s resources, exhausts military personnel, and degrades Taiwan’s threat awareness. Taiwan does not scramble aircraft in response to all PRC ADIZ violations, but it does put military personnel on standby to respond quickly if needed.

 

A PLA drone flew near an airport on Taiwan’s Matsu Islands and disrupted two flights. The ROC Army Matsu Defense Command detected a PRC military drone hovering 5 nautical miles from Matsu’s Nangan Airport on July 2. The command notified the airport control tower, which alerted nearby aircraft and had two flights to delay their landing at the airport. The drone remained in the area for 20 minutes before leaving.[4] It did not enter the airspace above Matsu’s restricted or prohibited waters.[5] This is the first reported instance of a PLA drone approaching Taiwan’s outlying islands outside of a military exercise.

A Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) ship tried to expel Taiwanese fishing boats fishing near the Penghu Islands and east of the median line of the Taiwan Strait. A Taiwanese Coast Guard Administration (CGA) ship patrolling the median line of the Taiwan Strait on July 5 discovered a CCG ship 3.5 miles east of the median line trying to expel Taiwanese fishing boats there. The CCG ship was 30 miles northwest of Mudou Island, part of Taiwan’s Penghu archipelago, and within Taiwan’s claimed Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). It was not in the PRC’s territorial waters or contiguous zone. Taiwan’s CGA ship cut between the CCG and fishing boats and broadcast for the CCG to leave and stop interfering with Taiwanese boats.[6] The PRC claims Taiwan as its territory and considers the entire Taiwan Strait to be part of the PRC’s EEZ.

The PRC is increasing the frequency, scope, and aggressiveness of its “law enforcement” patrols around Taiwan as part of a pressure campaign against ROC President Lai and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration.[7] The CCG began conducting patrols around Taiwan’s outlying Kinmen archipelago, including into Kinmen’s restricted and prohibited waters, after two PRC fishermen died while fleeing a CGA pursuit in Kinmen waters in February 2024. It boarded and detained a Taiwanese fishing boat for illegally fishing in PRC waters near Kinmen on July 2, the first such detainment in 17 years, and continues to hold the crew as of July 9.[8] The PRC has detained since March an ROC soldier of the Kinmen Defense Command whose fishing boat drifted into PRC waters.[9] CCG operations in Taiwan-controlled waters and EEZ serve to enhance the PRC’s claims and erode Taiwan’s control over those waters and territories.

The ROC CGA expelled a PRC research vessel that entered “restricted or prohibited waters” off Taiwan’s east coast. The PRC scientific research vessel Tan Kah Kee, also known as the Jia Geng, sailed in waters near Taiwan’s Yilan County on July 7. At one point the vessel came within 20 nautical miles of Taiwan’s coast, which is within Taiwan’s contiguous zone. A CGA vessel expelled it from the area. Tan Kah Kee is a 3,600-ton research vessel owned by the PRC’s Xiamen University’s Marine Operations. It is equipped with acoustic sensors, weather radars, and submarine drones it can launch to map the ocean floor.[10] Taiwan’s National Security Bureau Director Tsai Ming-yen said the vessel did not cast any underwater equipment and was mainly there to collect hydrological data.[11] A Financial Times report from February 2024 noted that some such research vessels have ties to the PLA, however, and that the data they collect including meteorological data have military applications.[12] Taiwan will conduct its annual Han Kuang military exercises in July, including sensitive weapons tests and drills in Yilan County.[13]

The February 2024 Financial Times report found that PRC research vessels sailed into or along Taiwan’s eastern contiguous zone nine times between September 2023 and February 2024, an increase from previous years.[14] The incursion by the Tan Kah Kee into Taiwan’s contiguous waters is the first such incursion that ISW has noted since February. In addition to collecting data, the PRC may use ostensibly non-military and scientific vessels around Taiwan in tandem with near-daily air and naval violations of Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) and increasing CCG patrols near Taiwan’s outlying islands to wear down Taiwan’s threat awareness and resources, forcing it to be selective in which perceived incursions it chooses to respond to. Blurring the lines between military and civilian activities also has the effect of making it more difficult for Taiwan to determine which activities are potential threats.

 

A Taiwanese government investigation found that three Taiwanese military facilities had installed banned PRC-made devices including routers. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislative Caucus Chair Huang Kuo-chang is leading an investigation into the Taiwanese military’s use of PRC technologies. The Ministry of National Defense's (MND) Armaments Bureau confirmed on July 4 that it had found two Huawei routers and a PRC-manufactured Advantech data reader installed at the army’s Hungchailin Camp. It also found 128 PRC-made inverters at solar installations at the Hungchailin base, the Pinghai Navy Base, and Tri-Service General Hospital’s Songshan Branch. Taiwan had banned the installation of these PRC-made devices at military facilities due to security concerns. The MND Armaments Bureau said it ordered the Taiwanese contractors who illegally installed these devices to remove the devices and would investigate them for breach of contract. Huang claimed in a press conference that the DPP administration had allowed its green energy initiative in the military to become a “fifth column for Beijing,” alluding to fears that the PRC could use the banned telecommunications devices to spy on Taiwanese bases.[15] Huang also accused Taiwan’s National Defense University of using PRC-made routers and computers and concealing this fact from the MND, which did not find PRC-made devices at the university. The MND also said on July 10 that it was investigating the military’s use of PRC-made dashcams and had already removed over 800 such dashcams from military vehicles. KMT legislator Hsu Chiao-hsin said Taiwan had blacklisted the vendor who won the army contract for the dashcams in 2021, on the same day the military placed its order.[16]

The PRC is using cross-strait events such as the Cross-Strait Youth Summit to legitimize the Kuomintang (KMT) as a negotiating partner on behalf of Taiwan and promote its pro-unification message. The CCP kicked off the Cross-Strait Youth Summit in Beijing on July 3 and the Cross-Strait Youth Development Forum in Hangzhou and other cities on July 6. The forums are annual events that the PRC’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) and other agencies host to promote youth exchanges between the PRC and Taiwan and promote a message of cross-strait unity. KMT Vice Chairman Sean Lien Sheng-wen attended the Cross Strait Youth Summit and gave a speech in which he encouraged young people on both sides to connect in person and said the KMT hopes both sides of the strait can shelve their disputes and seek common ground.[17] Lien also told cross-strait media that any action that does not contribute to cross-strait exchanges and a friendly atmosphere is unnecessary. His comment referred to Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council’s (MAC) decision to upgrade its travel warning to the PRC after the PRC issued legal guidelines promising harsh punishments for “Taiwan independence diehards.”[18] Former KMT Chair and Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou also spoke at the summit via video conference and urged young people to work together to “create a bright future for the Chinese nation.” About 600 people attended the forum including TAO Director Song Tao, who gave the opening speech.[19]

Song Tao also attended the opening of the Cross-Strait Youth Development Forum on July 6 together with former KMT Chair and current chair of the China Cyan Geese Peace Education Foundation Hung Hsiu-chu. Around 800 people attended in total.[20] Song met with Hung on July 8 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. According to a PRC readout, Song and Hung both expressed the need to jointly oppose Taiwan's independence and promote national reunification and rejuvenation.[21]

The CCP invites KMT figures such as Lien, Hung, and Ma to participate in cross-strait events and negotiations as part of an effort to legitimize the KMT as an interlocutor on behalf of Taiwan in contrast to the DPP. The PRC cut off official exchanges with Taiwan after Tsai Ing-wen of the DPP became president of Taiwan in 2016. CCP officials have repeatedly met with KMT officials and invited them to PRC-hosted events during this time. Sean Lien and fellow KMT vice chairman Andrew Hsia are frequent participants in such meetings. The CCP insists that all cross-strait negotiations must be on the mutual basis of the “1992 consensus,” which Ma and the KMT recognize but Tsai and the DPP do not. The 1992 Consensus is an alleged verbal agreement between semi-official representatives of the PRC and the then KMT-ruled ROC following negotiations in 1992. It states that both sides agree there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of China. The CCP interprets this “one China” to be the People’s Republic of China, however, while the KMT interprets it to be the Republic of China.

China

The PRC framed collaboration between NATO and Indo-Pacific states as a threat to regional security. PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) spokesperson Lin Jian criticized NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s pledge on July 9 to expand NATO cooperation with Indo-Pacific partners Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. Most of the leaders of these Indo-Pacific states are attending the NATO summit from July 9-11. The exception is Australia, which sent Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles.[22] Lin accused NATO of “expanding its power across its boundaries, provoking confrontation, and engaging in hegemony and bullying.”[23] Lin stated that NATO’s strengthening of security ties with countries surrounding the PRC amounted to implementing the US “Indo-Pacific Strategy” and has undermined peace in the region.

Lin condemned the NATO summit declaration that held the PRC responsible for enabling Russia’s war against Ukraine.[24] Lin blamed the US for using NATO to spread false information and undermine PRC-EU relations. Lin claimed that the PRC’s “constructive role on the Ukrainian issue is widely recognized by the international community.” The PRC began military exercises with Belarus near the Polish border during the NATO summit.[25]

The PRC is also frustrated with the strengthening of defense cooperation between US allies in the Indo-Pacific. Lin criticized the signing of a Reciprocal Access Agreement between the Philippines and Japan that permits the temporary stationing of troops in each other’s territory for exercises and patrols. Lin stated that such cooperation instigated a “new Cold War” and highlighted Japan’s militaristic history.[26] Japan finalized a Reciprocal Access Agreement with Australia in August 2023.[27] The PRC’s dissatisfaction with security cooperation is based on the perception that collaboration between liberal democracies in the region has the potential to mount stronger resistance to PRC efforts to advance certain interests which it relies on maintaining a dominant military presence for, such as enforcing territorial claims over Taiwan and the South China Sea.

CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping welcomed Belarus to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Xi seeks to use the SCO to legitimize PRC-led institutions and undermine Western-led security frameworks. The SCO is a Eurasia-focused multilateral security forum established by the PRC and Russia in 2001. Belarus joined the SCO at the organization’s 2024 regional security forum on July 4 and is the first new member state since the SCO admitted Iran in 2023.[28] Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that Turkey sought full membership in the SCO after a meeting with Xi on the sidelines of the summit. Erdoğan first expressed interest in Turkey joining the SCO in 2022.[29] Turkey would be the first NATO member to join the organization.

Xi called on member states to pursue change in an increasingly unstable world and strengthen ties with each other, especially security cooperation and exchanges that enhance mutual trust.[30] Xi’s appeal reflects the PRC’s goal to present the SCO as a viable alternative to the Western-led security architecture and highlight the need to pursue other security arrangements as the existing one fails to prevent instability. Xi’s comments reflect the PRC’s goal to build solid ties between the member states and bolster the SCO as a long-lasting alternative to the Western-led security architecture. Strong participation in PRC-led institutions is beneficial to the PRC’s ability to pursue its interests freely. Xi has used his platform at past SCO summits to advance PRC goals, including playing up the threat of terrorism in Xinjiang, advocating for Central Asian states’ participation in the Belt and Road Initiative, and “opposing interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” a phrase which PRC officials usually use in reference to Taiwan.[31]

Xi met separately with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the week of the SCO summit. PRC readouts of the meetings highlighted alignment between Xi and the leaders of both countries on the war in Ukraine.[32] Orban later praised the PRC as a “key power” in promoting peace in Ukraine and stated that “China has a peace plan. America has a war policy.” The PRC released a vague 12-point peace plan in February 2023 that advocated for a political settlement to the war in Ukraine.[33] Ukraine and Western allies regarded it as a non-starter due to its failure to demand Russia’s withdrawal from occupied territory. The PRC’s publicization of meetings with the two leaders seeks to play up divisions among NATO members and show that there is no uniform policy on Ukraine. Praise from Orban also helps the PRC to rebuke NATO's accusations of the PRC’s responsibility for the crisis as Russia’s enabler.

The PRC’s cyber defense agency issued disinformation about the US Intelligence Community and denied that the Volt Typhoon cyber threat actor is a PRC state-sponsored group. The PRC’s National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center (CVERC) published a report on July 8 that responds to US and Five Eyes accusations of PRC state-sponsored hacking. The report alleges that the cyber threat actor Volt Typhoon is not a PRC state-sponsored group. It also claims that the US and FVEY assessments are sensationalist lies that US intelligence agencies fabricated to demonize the PRC and earn more funding from Congress. State media outlet Xinhua highlighted the US intelligence community’s motivation to enhance its surveillance powers.[34]

CVERC published the report in both Chinese and English, which is unusual for the agency’s announcements. CVERC’s release of an English version suggests the target audience includes the international community, as the PRC attempts to rebuff US and Five Eyes allegations of PRC misconduct in cyberspace. The PRC issued the report on the same day that the United States, Five Eyes partners, Germany, South Korea, and Japan published a joint advisory about malicious cyber operations of Advanced Persistent Threat 40 (APT40). The joint advisory includes the assessment that APT40 is affiliated with the PRC’s Ministry of State Security (MSS), marking the first such attribution by Australia, Japan, and South Korea.[35]

The CVERC report is the second part of a series first published on April 15 that followed US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) advisories about Volt Typhoon in February and March.[36] The PRC’s accusation that the US advisories are disinformation is consistent with previous instances of flipping the narrative when its state-sponsored malign cyber activities become public. For example, MFA spokesperson Lin Jian responded to US and Five Eyes partner accusations about the PRC’s election-related hacking by citing PRC threat intelligence reports that supposedly exposed US-based APTs including several US intelligence agencies.[37] The PRC uses blame shifting to divert public attention from PRC malicious cyber activities and crowd the information space with narratives that target the United States and US allies.

Southeast Asia

Philippines

The China Coast Guard (CCG) anchored its largest ship in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) near Sabina Shoal. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported that the CCG’s largest vessel, the CCG-5901, entered the Philippines’ EEZ on July 2. The CCG-5901 traveled through the Second Thomas Shoal and Panganiban Reef to its destination in the Sabina Shoal, where it has been anchored since July 3.[38] The PCG released a statement on July 6 accusing the PRC of attempted intimidation.[39] PRC MFA spokesperson Lin Jian responded that the CCG was operating within PRC sovereign territory per international law.[40] Lin did not comment on whether the CCG’s actions were in response to territorial disputes in Sabina Shoal.

Yang Xiao of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), an arm of the Ministry of State Security, previously accused the PCG of attempting to build a permanent maritime base in Sabina Shoal. Yang stated that such behaviors would lead the PRC to increase its law enforcement presence around Sabina Shoal.[41] The anchoring of the CCG-5901 in Sabina Shoal serves the dual purpose of intimidating the PCG and acting on earlier CCG threats of increasing their law enforcement presence in the disputed territory. With the CCG-5901 anchored in Sabina Shoal, the PCG is unlikely to continue building a maritime base. Preventing the construction of a base in Sabina Shoal is in the best interest of the PRC, as a PCG base will allow the Philippines to enhance resupply capabilities to the Second Thomas Shoal and Sierra Madre.

The PRC released a report accusing the Philippines of causing environmental harm to coral reefs in Second Thomas Shoal. The PRC Ministry of Natural Resources released a report accusing the Philippines of causing “serious damage” to the coral reef ecosystem around Second Thomas Shoal.[42] The Ministry states that this damage is caused by the “illegal” beaching of the Philippine warships, including the BRP Sierra Madre. The Sierra Madre was grounded by Manila in 1999 to defend and enhance its territorial claims.[43] The report calls on the Philippines to remove its warships and halt further damage to underwater ecosystems. The Philippine task force on the South China Sea rejected the PRC’s accusation, instead placing the blame for any ecological damage on PRC actions. The task force called for an independent, third-party investigation into ecological damage in the South China Sea and its causes. PRC MFA spokesperson Lin Jian responded to the Philippines’ accusation on July 10.[44] Lin rejected the idea that the PRC caused any damage to coral reefs in the Second Thomas Shoal, and contrasted the damaged Second Thomas Shoal with the well-maintained and PRC-held Scarborough Shoal, reiterating the threat to coral reef ecosystems posed by the Philippines’ military activities.[45]

The PRC and Philippines have competing claims over the Second Thomas Shoal along with other regions of the South China Sea. If the Philippines were to remove the Sierra Madre it would improve the PRC’s ability to assert its claim over the Second Thomas Shoal. Preventing damage to marine environments is a stated component of CCG responsibilities and could serve as a justification for increased CCG presence in the Second Thomas Shoal and surrounding areas.[46]

 


[1] https://x.com/MoNDefense

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qbfYF0VgDBJoFZN5elpZwNTiKZ4nvCUcs5a7oYwm52g/edit?pli=1&gid=905433190#gid=905433190

[2] https://www.taiwannews dot com.tw/news/5899891

[3] https://x.com/MoNDefense

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[4] https://focustaiwan dot tw/cross-strait/202407020023

[5] https://www.cna.com dot tw/news/aipl/202407040310.aspx

[6] https://news.ltn.com dot tw/news/politics/paper/1655032

[7] https://www.taipeitimes dot com/News/front/archives/2024/07/09/2003820540

[8] https://www.zaobao dot com.sg/news/china/story20240708-4112827

[9] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/china-taiwan-weekly-update-july-3-2024

[10] https://www.newsweek.com/china-research-ship-jia-geng-taiwan-east-coast-1922231

https://news.ltn.com dot tw/news/politics/breakingnews/4729129

[11] https://www.taipeitimes dot com/News/front/archives/2024/07/09/2003820540

[12] https://features.csis.org/snapshots/china-research-vessel-taiwan/

[13] https://tw.news.yahoo.com/%E8%90%AC%E5%AE%89%E6%BC%94%E7%BF%92722%E9%85%8D%E5%90%88%E6%BC%A2%E5%85%89%E6%BC%94%E7%BF%924%E5%A4%A9%E5%88%86%E5%8D%80%E5%AF%A6%E6%96%BD-%E5%91%8A%E8%AD%A6%E7%B0%A1%E8%A8%8A%E6%A8%A1%E6%93%AC%E9%A3%9B%E5%BD%88%E7%81%AB%E7%AE%AD%E6%94%BB%E6%93%8A-060901653.html

[14] https://www.ft.com/content/0dfb94d7-e140-4d6c-97b9-18ec410d6a7c

[15] https://www.cna.com dot tw/news/aipl/202407040422.aspx

https://www.taiwannews.com dot tw/news/5899054

https://www.taipeitimes dot com/News/taiwan/archives/2024/07/07/2003820454

[16] https://udn dot com/news/story/10930/8087331

[17] https://www.chinatimes dot com/realtimenews/20240703002640-260409?chdtv

[18] https://www.cna.com dot tw/news/acn/202407030349.aspx

[19] https://www.chinadaily dot com.cn/a/202407/04/WS66863f42a31095c51c50c5c3.html

[20] http://www.news dot cn/tw/20240705/5558b907a89247eba5ff8c05d8e75b35/c.html

[21] http://www.gwytb.gov dot cn/xwdt/zwyw/202407/t20240708_12633896.htm

[22] https://www.mfa dot gov.cn/fyrbt_673021/202407/t20240709_11451027.shtml

[23] https://www.mfa dot gov.cn/fyrbt_673021/202407/t20240709_11451027.shtml

[24] https://www.mfa dot gov.cn/fyrbt_673021/202407/t20240711_11452358.shtml

[25] https://www.reuters.com/world/china-belarus-start-joint-military-drills-near-polish-border-2024-07-09/

[26] https://www.mfa dot gov.cn/web/wjdt_674879/fyrbt_674889/202407/t20240708_11449964.shtml

[27] https://www.mofa.go.jp/press/release/press1e_000453.html#:~:text=The%20Japan%2DAustralia%20RAA%20aims,forces%20and%20the%20civilian%20components.

[28] https://www.gov dot cn/yaowen/liebiao/202407/content_6961221.htm#:~:text=%E7%99%BD%E4%BF%84%E7%BD%97%E6%96%AF%E6%88%90%E4%B8%BA%E4%B8%8A%E5%90%88%E7%BB%84%E7%BB%87,%E6%8E%A5%E6%94%B6%E4%BC%8A%E6%9C%97%E4%B8%BA%E6%88%90%E5%91%98%E5%9B%BD%E3%80%82

[29] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-07-05/nato-ally-turkey-seeks-membership-in-china-led-sco-says-erdogan

[30] https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/zyxw/202407/t20240704_11448356.shtml

[31] http://www.news dot cn/politics/leaders/20240704/8b7564e8a3954edebc0c5a1d613e0798/c.html

[32] https://www.gov dot cn/yaowen/liebiao/202407/content_6961305.htm

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[34] http://www.news dot cn/world/20240708/86f5dd3dd0ac445db29a55f34cdf43df/c.html

[35] https://www.cisa.gov/news-events/cybersecurity-advisories/aa24-190a

[36] https://www.cisa.gov/topics/cyber-threats-and-advisories/nation-state-cyber-actors/china/publications

https://www.cverc dot org.cn/head/zhiyao/news20240415-FTTF.htm

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https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy2205

https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/news/china-state-affiliated-actors-target-uk-democratic-institutions-parliamentarians

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/seven-hackers-associated-chinese-government-charged-computer-intrusions-targeting-perceived

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/parliamentary-network-breached-prc

[38] https://x.com/jaytaryela/status/1809161219259162791

[39] https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/china-anchors-monster-ship-in-south-china-sea-philippine-coast-guard-says-2024-07-06/

[40] https://www.mfa.gov dot cn/web/wjdt_674879/fyrbt_674889/202407/t20240708_11449964.shtml

[41] https://www.globaltimes dot cn/page/202407/1315227.shtml

[42] http://www.news dot cn/world/20240708/9c8576aaccd945d5ad68efd9f1b13b1d/c.html

[43] https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/china-claims-philippine-warships-damaged-reef-atoll-south-china-sea-2024-07-08/

[44] https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/philippines-rejects-chinas-accusation-environmental-damage-south-china-sea-2024-07-09/

[45] https://www.mfa.gov.cn/web/wjdt_674879/fyrbt_674889/202407/t20240710_11451567.shtml

[46] https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Portals/10/CASI/documents/Translations/2021-02-11%20China_Coast_Guard_Law_FINAL_English_Changes%20from%20draft.pdf

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 11, 2024

Angelica Evans, Grace Mappes, Riley Bailey, Christina Harward, and Frederick W. Kagan

July 11, 2024, 6:50pm ET

Click here to see ISW’s interactive map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report.

Click here to see ISW’s 3D control of terrain topographic map of Ukraine. Use of a computer (not a mobile device) is strongly recommended for using this data-heavy tool.

Click here to access ISW’s archive of interactive time-lapse maps of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These maps complement the static control-of-terrain map that ISW produces daily by showing a dynamic frontline. ISW will update this time-lapse map archive monthly.

Note: The data cut-off for this product was 1:30pm ET on July 11. ISW will cover subsequent reports in the July 12 Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment.

Russian authorities reportedly attempted to assassinate leading figures in the European defense industrial base (DIB), likely as part of Russian efforts to disrupt and deter Western aid to Ukraine and Russia's wider efforts to destabilize NATO members. CNN reported on July 11 that five US and Western officials stated that US intelligence uncovered a Kremlin plan in early 2024 to assassinate German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger.[1] US intelligence reportedly informed the German government, which was able to foil the plot. CNN reported that the planned assassination against Papperger was one of multiple plans to kill European defense industry executives, but that the plot against Papperger was the "most mature." European authorities have reported that Russian actors and proxies have conducted sabotage and other hybrid warfare operations aimed at deterring and disrupting Western aid to Ukraine, and NATO and its member states have repeatedly warned about intensifying Russian hybrid operations on NATO member territory.[2]

Finnish authorities reported an increase in GPS "malfunctions" in the past week and that most disruptions to aviation and maritime GPS and radar originate from within Russia.[3] Finnish federal transport and communications agency Traficom told Finnish outlet Iltalehti on July 11 that GPS "malfunctions" have increased in the past week in reference to a specific incident in the Gulf of Finland overnight on July 10-11.[4] A Finnish maritime pilot reported on X (formerly Twitter) that he experienced severe GPS and radar malfunctions overnight while guiding other boats near Kotka and Hamina on Finland's southern coast.[5] The pilot published footage of his radar malfunctioning and reported that GPS was unavailable for 90 percent of the route between the Orrengrund pilot substation and Hamina harbor.[6] Reports of increased GPS and radar disruptions in the Gulf of Finland cohere with reports of Russian GPS jamming affecting Baltic states and other areas of Europe. Likely Russian jamming from Kaliningrad has previously jammed the GPS of a plane carrying then–UK Defense Minister Grant Shapps and forced Finnish aircraft carrier Finnair to ground multiple flights out of Finland.[7] The GPS interference in the Baltics forced Finnair to cancel flights to Tartu, Estonia until the Tartu airport implemented an approach solution for planes flying into the airport that does not rely on GPS.[8] Russia's apparent GPS jamming is likely part of Russia's intensifying hybrid campaign directly targeting NATO states likely aimed at undermining support for Ukraine and NATO unity.[9]

Ukraine intends to hold a second meeting of the Global Peace Summit by the end of 2024 and reportedly plans to invite Russia to participate. Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office Ihor Zhovkva stated on June 21 that Ukraine wants to hold the second meeting of the summit by the end of 2024, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated on July 4 that "Russian representatives must be present" at any subsequent summit that discusses a legitimate plan to end the war.[10] Bloomberg reported on July 11 that a Ukrainian official stated that Ukraine wants to convene the second meeting of the summit before November 2024 and invite Russian representatives.[11] The Kremlin pointedly stated that Russian representatives would not have attended the first meeting of the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland in June even if they had been invited.[12] Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated that he is opposed to any agreement short of Ukrainian surrender, however, despite other Kremlin officials continuing to feign interest in meaningful negotiations.[13] The first meeting of the Ukrainian-initiated Global Peace Summit aimed to create a global consensus on negotiations about the war in Ukraine so that Ukraine and its international partners can present a joint peace plan to a Russian representative at a subsequent peace summit, and Ukraine has never indicated that it intends to exclude Russia entirely from its peace process.[14]

European Union (EU) leadership is reportedly considering restricting Hungary's power as EU Council president following Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow and his efforts to present himself as a potential mediator between Russia and Ukraine. POLITICO Europe, European Pravda, and Ukrainian outlet Suspilne reported on July 8, 9, and 11 that they obtained a copy of a letter from Orban to European Council President Charles Michel detailing Orban's July 5 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and various claimed Russian positions on negotiations and the frontline situation in Ukraine.[15] Orban reportedly advocated for immediate peace negotiations in the letter and claimed that he did not offer any opinions or policy proposals to Putin on behalf of the EU or EU Council during his visit to Moscow.[16] Orban claimed in the letter that he will continue his efforts to facilitate negotiations and "clarify the possibilities for achieving peace" in the coming weeks. The Financial Times (FT) reported on July 10 that, according to three people familiar with the matter, the EU's legal service told member states that Orban's trip to Moscow may have violated a series of EU treaties that forbid any "measure that could jeopardize the attainment of the Union's objectives."[17] Several diplomats told FT that many EU member states are considering boycotting ministerial meetings in Hungary and that a sub-group of member states are discussing how to use the EU treaty to restrict Hungary's power and influence as EU Council president. Pro-European political group Renew Europe president Valerie Hayer called on the European Council to prematurely terminate Hungary's EU Council presidency following Orban's visit to Moscow.[18] Orban has previously flouted EU foreign policy and norms, including opposing sanctions against Russia, and will likely continue to use his position as EU Council president to posture himself as a potential mediator for the end of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.[19]

The Russian government continued efforts to root out critical voices and consolidate control over the Russian information space. Russian federal censor Roskomnadzor stated on July 11 that the agency may require social media account owners with a daily audience of over 1,000 people to provide identifying information to Roskomnadzor in the future.[20] Roskomnadzor stated that in accordance with a Russian law requiring consumers to have "reliable information" about the owner of an information distributor, the agency could require account owners to provide their full name and contact information to the Russian government. Roskomnadzor noted that it will prohibit Russian companies from advertising on the social media pages of owners who have not provided their information to the agency. The Russian government has likely identified the individuals behind most prominent Russian social media accounts but is likely aiming to identify the owners of smaller social media accounts that claim to have insider information into the inner workings of the Russian government, military, or companies. BBC reported in September 2023 that advertisements are a significant money-making method for more prominent Russian milbloggers, and Roskomnadzor likely hopes to force smaller channels whose owners may need the supplemental income to provide their information by restricting their advertisement revenue.[21]

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed that it prevented a terrorist attack against an Orthodox church in Maykop, Republic of Adygea on July 11.[22] The FSB claimed that a man from Central Asia, supposedly affiliated with an unspecified international terrorist organization, planned to murder the church's clergy and security guards and burn down the church. The FSB claimed that officers found and seized prohibited materials, the flag of an unspecified terrorist organization, a knife, and components of an incendiary device belonging to the man. The Russian government opened an investigation into the terrorist attack.

Key Takeaways:

  • Russian authorities reportedly attempted to assassinate leading figures in the European defense industrial base (DIB), likely as part of Russian efforts to disrupt and deter Western aid to Ukraine and Russia's wider efforts to destabilize NATO members.
  • Finnish authorities reported an increase in GPS "malfunctions" in the past week and that most disruptions to aviation and maritime GPS and radar originate from within Russia
  • Ukraine intends to hold a second meeting of the Global Peace Summit by the end of 2024 and reportedly plans to invite Russia to participate.
  • European Union (EU) leadership is reportedly considering restricting Hungary's power as EU Council president following Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow and his efforts to present himself as a potential mediator between Russia and Ukraine.
  • The Russian government continued efforts to root out critical voices and consolidate control over the Russian information space.
  • The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed that it prevented a terrorist attack against an Orthodox church in Maykop, Republic of Adygea on July 11.
  • Ukrainian forces advanced north of Kharkiv City; and Russian forces recently advanced south of Siversk, northwest of Avdiivka, and west of Donetsk City.
  • Russian federal subjects (regions) continue to use monetary incentives as part of Russia's crypto-mobilization recruitment efforts.

We do not report in detail on Russian war crimes because these activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We will continue to evaluate and report on the effects of these criminal activities on the Ukrainian military and the Ukrainian population and specifically on combat in Ukrainian urban areas. We utterly condemn Russian violations of the laws of armed conflict and the Geneva Conventions and crimes against humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.

  • Russian Main Effort – Eastern Ukraine (comprised of three subordinate main efforts)
  • Russian Subordinate Main Effort #1 – Push Ukrainian forces back from the international border with Belgorod Oblast and approach to within tube artillery range of Kharkiv City
  • Russian Subordinate Main Effort #2 – Capture the remainder of Luhansk Oblast and push westward into eastern Kharkiv Oblast and encircle northern Donetsk Oblast
  • Russian Subordinate Main Effort #3 – Capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast
  • Russian Supporting Effort – Southern Axis
  • Russian Air, Missile, and Drone Campaign
  • Russian Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts
  • Russian Technological Adaptations
  • Activities in Russian-occupied areas
  • Ukrainian Defense Industrial Base Efforts
  • Russian Information Operations and Narratives
  • Significant Activity in Belarus

Russian Main Effort – Eastern Ukraine

Russian Subordinate Main Effort #1 – Kharkiv Oblast (Russian objective: Push Ukrainian forces back from the international border with Belgorod Oblast and approach to within tube artillery range of Kharkiv City)

Ukrainian forces recently marginally advanced north of Kharkiv City amid continued fighting in the Kharkiv direction on July 11. Geolocated footage published on July 11 shows that Ukrainian forces marginally advanced eastward in the northern outskirts of Hlyboke (north of Kharkiv City), and a Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces continue bypassing Hlyboke to counterattack north of the settlement.[23] Some Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces crossed the Vovcha River within central Vovchansk (northeast of Kharkiv City), but a prominent Kremlin-affiliated milblogger claimed that such reports are false.[24] ISW observed recent geolocated footage showing that Russian infantry crossed the Vovcha River, however.[25] Fighting continued near Hlyboke and within Vovchansk on July 11.[26] Footage published on July 10 reportedly shows drone operators of the Russian Africa Corps operating in the Kharkiv direction following the Russian Ministry of Defense's (MoD) confirmation on July 9 that it had transferred some Africa Corps units to the area.[27]

Russian Subordinate Main Effort #2 – Luhansk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the remainder of Luhansk Oblast and push westward into eastern Kharkiv Oblast and northern Donetsk Oblast)

Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line on July 11, but there were no confirmed changes to the frontline. Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces are advancing northeast of Kupyansk near Synkivka, east of Kupyansk near Petropavlivka, southeast of Kupyansk near Pishchane and north of Berestove, northwest of Kreminna near Makiivka, and west of Kreminna near Terny on July 10 and 11.[28] Another Russian milblogger denied recent claims that Russian forces seized eastern Stelmakhivka (northwest of Svatove) and claimed that Russian forces are conducting reconnaissance-in-force operations near the settlement.[29] Russian forces also continued assaults near Nevske (northwest of Kreminna).[30] Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration Head Oleh Synehubov stated that Russian forces conducted glide bomb strikes against Borova (west of Svatove).[31]

Russian Subordinate Main Effort #3 – Donetsk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)

Russian forces recently advanced south of Siversk amid continued offensive operations in the Siversk direction on July 11. Geolocated footage published on July 11 indicates that Russian forces recently advanced along a windbreak northeast of Rozdolivka (south of Siversk).[32] Russian forces conducted offensive operations near Rozdolivka and Verkhnokamyanske (southeast of Siversk) on July 11.[33]

Russian forces continued offensive operations in the Chasiv Yar area on July 11, but there were no confirmed changes to the frontline in the area. Russian milbloggers claimed that elements of the Russian 200th Motorized Rifle Brigade (14th Army Corps [AC], Leningrad Military District [LMD]) advanced from Kalynivka (north of Chasiv Yar) towards a section of the Siverskyi-Donets Donbas Canal northwest of Kanal Microraion (easternmost Chasiv Yar).[34] A Ukrainian brigade operating in the area stated that the canal is acting as a barrier and allowing Ukrainian forces to conduct defensive operations from more advantageous positions.[35] Russian forces also continued offensive operations near Chasiv Yar and east of Chasiv Yar near Ivanivske on July 11.[36]

Russian forces continued offensive operations near Toretsk on July 11, but there were no confirmed changes to the frontline. Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces advanced in southern Pivdenne (southeast of Toretsk), within central Niu York (south of Toretsk), and east of Oleksandropil (southwest of Toretsk).[37] Ukrainian Khortytsia Group of Forces Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Nazar Voloshyn stated that elements of the Russian 109th Motorized Rifle Regiment (reportedly 1st Donetsk People's Republic Army Corps [DNR AC] and mobilization reserves) are attempting to break through Ukrainian defenses within Niu York and that elements of the 27th Motorized Rifle Division, including its 506th and 589th motorized rifle regiments, are operating in the Toretsk area.[38] Voloshyn stated that elements of five Russian units are operating in the Toretsk area, but did not identify the other two.[39] ISW has observed reports of elements of the "Veterany" Assault Brigade (Russian Volunteer Corps) and the 132nd Motorized Rifle Brigade (DNR AC) operating in the Toretsk direction.[40]

Russian forces recently advanced northwest of Avdiivka amid continued offensive operations in the area on July 11. Geolocated footage published on July 11 indicates that Russian forces recently seized Voskhod (northwest of Avdiivka), and the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that elements of the Russian Central Grouping of Forces seized the settlement on July 11.[41] Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces seized Voskhod as early as July 4, and a Russian milblogger claimed on July 11 that Russian forces advanced south of the settlement.[42] Geolocated footage published on July 11 indicates that Russian forces recently advanced westward in the fields east of Novoselivka Persha (northwest of Avdiivka).[43] A Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces advanced up to Novoselivka Persha's eastern outskirts on July 11, and another Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces crossed the Vovcha River and entered Novoselivka Persha.[44] Russian milbloggers claimed that Russian forces seized Yevhenivka (northwest of Avdiivka) and advanced further west of the settlement, advanced southward from Sokil (northwest of Avdiivka), and advanced west of Umanske (west of Avdiivka).[45] ISW has not observed confirmation of these Russian claims, however. Russian forces continued offensive operations northwest of Avdiivka near Novooleksandrivka, Lozuvatske, Vozdvyzhenka, Yevhenivka, Sokil, Prohres, and Novoselivka Persha; west of Avdiivka near Umanske and Yasnobrodivka; and southwest of Avdiivka near Karlivka on July 11.[46] Elements of the Russian "Somalia" Battalion (1st DNR AC) are reportedly fighting near Karlivka.[47]

Russian forces recently advanced west of Donetsk City and continued offensive operations west and southwest of Donetsk City on July 11. Geolocated footage published on July 10 indicates that Russian forces recently advanced northward to Medychna and Belinskyi streets in northeastern Krasnohorivka (west of Donetsk City).[48] Russian forces continued offensive operations west of Donetsk City near Krasnohorivka and Heorhiivka and southwest of Donetsk City near Kostyantynivka, Paraskoviivka, and Vodyane.[49] Elements of the Russian 150th Motorized Rifle Division (8th Combined Arms Army [CAA], Southern Military District [SMD]) are reportedly operating near Krasnohorivka, and elements of the 110th Motorized Rifle Brigade (1st DNR AC) and 255th Motorized Rifle Regiment (20th Motorized Rifle Division, 8th CAA, SMD) are reportedly operating in the Kurakhove direction (west and southwest of Donetsk City).[50]

Positional fighting continued in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area south of Velyka Novosilka near Urozhaine on July 11.[51] Elements of the Russian 36th CAA (Eastern Military District), 40th Naval Infantry Brigade (Pacific Fleet, EMD), and unspecified Spetsnaz elements (Russian General Staff’s Main Intelligence Directorate [GRU]) are reportedly operating near Urozhaine.[52]

Russian Supporting Effort – Southern Axis (Russian objective: Maintain frontline positions and secure rear areas against Ukrainian strikes)

Russian forces continued ground attacks near Hulyaipole and Robotyne and northwest of Verbove (east of Robotyne) in western Zaporizhia Oblast on July 10 and 11, but there were no confirmed changes to the frontline.[53] A Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces advanced near Mala Tokmachka (northeast of Robotyne).[54] Elements of the Russian 291st Motorized Rifle Regiment (42nd Motorized Rifle Division, 58th Combined Arms Army [CAA], Southern Military District [SMD]) and the 247th Guards Airborne (VDV) Regiment (7th VDV Division) are reportedly operating in the Zaporizhia direction.[55] Elements of the Russian 22nd Spetsnaz Brigade are reportedly operating near Robotyne.[56]

A Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces control most of the islands within the Dnipro River Delta and that Russian forces continued ground attacks in the area on July 11.[57]

Russian Air, Missile, and Drone Campaign (Russian Objective: Target Ukrainian military and civilian infrastructure in the rear and on the frontline)

Russian forces conducted a limited series of missile and drone strikes against Ukraine on the night of July 10 to 11. Ukrainian Air Force Commander Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk stated on July 11 that Russian forces struck Sumy Oblast with two Iskander-M ballistic missiles launched from Kursk Oblast and that Russian forces also launched six Shahed-136/131 drones from Primorsko-Akhtarsk, Krasnodar Krai on the night of July 10 to 11.[58] Oleshchuk reported that Ukrainian forces downed all six Shahed drones over Mykolaiv, Khmelnytskyi, Lviv, and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts.

Russian Mobilization and Force Generation Efforts (Russian objective: Expand combat power without conducting general mobilization)

Russian federal subjects (regions) continue to use monetary incentives as part of Russia's crypto-mobilization recruitment efforts. The Republic of Tatarstan is reportedly offering 100,000 rubles (about $1,150) to contract servicemembers (kontrakniki) who recruit another kontraktnik to sign a contract with the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).[59] Tatarstan recently increased one-time payments to 1.05 million rubles (about $12,000) to kontraktniki who sign up before July 31.[60]

Russian authorities are reportedly taking steps to prevent draft dodgers from leaving Russia. Russian opposition outlet Meduza reported on July 11 that the "Voskhod" Research Institute, a subordinate enterprise of the Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media, will create an information exchange system between the Russian MoD and Federal Security Service (FSB) containing military summonses data that will allow Russian authorities to prevent draft dodgers from leaving the country after receiving a military summons.[61] "Voskhod" reportedly plans to develop the software for the FSB and Russian MoD exchange by September 2, 2024.

The Russian MoD continues to posture itself as providing accurate medical care and accommodations to Russian servicemembers fighting in Ukraine. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anna Tsivileva inspected medical care facilities in Rostov-on-Don in the Southern Military District (SMD) on July 11.[62] The Russian MoD also claimed that the working group clarified issues about the provision of housing in occupied Ukraine to Russian servicemembers. Russian ultranationalists recently complained that the Russian MoD is providing inadequate medical care to injured soldiers and improperly returns injured personnel to service, including fighting on the frontline.[63]

NATO labeled the People's Republic of China (PRC) a "decisive enabler" of Russia's war in Ukraine in the final communique of the NATO summit on July 10.[64] NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated on July 10 that the PRC is providing Russia with equipment, microelectronics, and tools to help Russia build missiles, bombs, aircraft, and weapons.[65] US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in May 2024 that the PRC's export of dual-use goods to Russia has helped Russia significantly increase its defense production and that Russia is acquiring 70 percent of its machine tools and 90 percent of its microelectronics from the PRC.[66]

Russian Technological Adaptations (Russian objective: Introduce technological innovations to optimize systems for use in Ukraine)

Russian state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec stated on July 11 that it is testing its latest armored protective plates for protecting critical facilities from shrapnel, bullets, and first-person view (FPV) drone strikes.[67] Rostec stated that the plates will protect important facilities like oil and gas storage sites, ammunition depots, and energy infrastructure.[68]

A Russian milblogger called on Russia to start producing and fielding NATO-standard 155mm artillery systems based on the experience of fighting in Ukraine.[69] The milblogger lamented that Ukrainian forces are using 155mm artillery systems that have longer maximum effective ranges and that are more accurate than Russian 152mm and 122mm artillery systems.[70]

Ukrainian Defense Industrial Efforts (Ukrainian objective: Develop its defense industrial base to become more self-sufficient in cooperation with US, European, and international partners)

ISW is not publishing coverage of Ukrainian defense industrial effort today.

Activities in Russian-occupied areas (Russian objective: Consolidate administrative control of annexed areas; forcibly integrate Ukrainian citizens into Russian sociocultural, economic, military, and governance systems)

ISW is not publishing coverage of activities in Russian-occupied areas.

Russian Information Operations and Narratives

Russian officials continue to falsely frame Western responses to Russian escalation as unprompted independent escalations. Senior Kremlin officials and several Russian diplomats, including Russian Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matvienko, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, criticized the US decision to deploy long range missiles to Germany as a threat to international security and to Russia itself.[71] The Kremlin has been using nuclear saber rattling and escalatory language, including conducting tactical nuclear exercises and announcing its intent to no longer follow the provisions of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, as part of its reflexive control campaign aimed at influencing Western decision-making at key moments to stymie support for Ukraine.

Russian Security Council Deputy Chairperson Dmitry Medvedev reiterated claims on July 11 that Russia would not accept or uphold any negotiated peace settlements with Ukraine following the July 10 NATO declaration asserting that Ukraine's path towards NATO membership is "irreversible."[72]

The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) reiterated boilerplate Kremlin narratives falsely portraying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as untrustworthy to Ukrainians and international partners.[73]

Russian milbloggers continued to amplify a Ukrainian parliamentary member's claims that Ukrainian military officials are lying.[74]

Significant activity in Belarus (Russian efforts to increase its military presence in Belarus and further integrate Belarus into Russian-favorable frameworks and Wagner Group activity in Belarus)

The Belarusian Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported that Belarusian and People's Liberation Army (PLA) forces continued joint anti-terrorist training exercises near Brest, Brest Oblast.[75]

Note: ISW does not receive any classified material from any source, uses only publicly available information, and draws extensively on Russian, Ukrainian, and Western reporting and social media as well as commercially available satellite imagery and other geospatial data as the basis for these reports. References to all sources used are provided in the endnotes of each update.


[1] https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/11/politics/us-germany-foiled-russian-assassination-plot/index.html

[2] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-june-6-2024; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-june-4-2024; https://isw.pub/UkrWar050324; https://isw.pub/UkrWar052724 ; https://isw.pub/UkrWar052224 ; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-may-5-2024; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-april-29-2024 ;; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-10-2024; https://isw.pub/UkrWar052724

[3] https://www.iltalehti dot fi/kotimaa/a/339c2dc1-a349-4d45-9c83-4eed35ef4fe3

[4] https://www.iltalehti dot fi/kotimaa/a/339c2dc1-a349-4d45-9c83-4eed35ef4fe3

[5] https://x.com/LukkariHannu/status/1811203586057286007; https://x.com/LukkariHannu/status/1811209150791102813

[6] https://www.iltalehti dot fi/kotimaa/a/339c2dc1-a349-4d45-9c83-4eed35ef4fe3

[7] https://yle dot fi/a/74-20093392; https://yle dot fi/a/74-20086068; https://yle dot fi/a/74-20086338; https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-68569676

[8] https://company.finnair.com/en/media-centre/all-releases/news?id=6A26DF96E1D0D396

[9] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-april-29-2024; https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-may-3-2024; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-2-2024; https://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Russian%20Offensive%20Campaign%20Assessment%20May%205%2C%202024%20%28PDF%29.pdf

[10] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2024/07/04/ukraine-zelenskyy-russia-peace-talks/ ; https://kyivindependent.com/ukraine-wants-to-hold-another-peace-summit-by-end-of-year/

[11] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-07-10/ukraine-seeks-new-summit-with-russia-ahead-of-us-elections

[12] https://isw.pub/UkrWar041024

[13] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-07-10/ukraine-seeks-new-summit-with-russia-ahead-of-us-elections ; https://isw.pub/UkrWar070524

[14] https://isw.pub/UkrWar063024 ; https://isw.pub/UkrWar061524

[15] https://suspilne dot media/786355-orban-nadislav-golovi-evroradi-lista-u-akomu-rozpoviv-pro-vlasne-bacenna-miru-miz-ukrainou-ta-rf/ ; https://www.politico.eu/article/viktor-orban-letter-european-council-charles-michel-vladimir-putin-war-in-ukraine-russia-kremlin/ ; https://hungarytoday dot hu/letter-by-viktor-orban-addressed-to-eu-leaders-surfaces-detailing-the-hungarian-pms-peace-initiative/ ; https://www.eurointegration.com.ua/news/2024/07/8/7189766/

[16] https://isw.pub/UkrWar070524 ; https://suspilne dot media/786355-orban-nadislav-golovi-evroradi-lista-u-akomu-rozpoviv-pro-vlasne-bacenna-miru-miz-ukrainou-ta-rf/

[17] https://www.ft.com/content/81b1ccc4-e1af-4e34-a551-a05faad1f6e1

[18] https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2024/jul/11/renew-europe-calls-on-european-council-to-stop-hungarys-ongoing-presidency-europe-live?CMP=share_btn_url&page=with%3Ablock-668f85e98f08cae75f96c586#block-668f85e98f08cae75f96c586 ; https://www.eurointegration.com dot ua/news/2024/07/11/7190015/

[19] https://www.voanews.com/a/eu-dilemma-dealing-with-hungary-viktor-orban/7479954.html ; https://www.chathamhouse.org/2024/07/orban-using-hungarys-eu-council-presidency-bulldoze-eu-norms ; https://ip-quarterly.com/en/european-unions-hungary-problem ; https://www.politico.eu/a rticle/hungary-veto-eu-russia-gas-sanctions/ ; https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-threatens-silence-hungary-orban-if-blocks-ukrainian-aid-funds-article-7/

[20] https://tass dot ru/obschestvo/21332093 ; https://www.rbc dot ru/technology_and_media/11/07/2024/668fa9b59a7947819d86454a

[21] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-66653837

[22] https://t.me/tass_agency/260026 ; https://t.me/tass_agency/260052 ; https://meduza dot io/news/2024/07/11/fsb-soobschila-chto-predotvratila-napadenie-na-pravoslavnyy-hram-v-adygee; https://www.interfax dot ru/russia/970348

[23] https://t.me/VARYAGI_155/97; https://x.com/EjShahid/status/1811372320772034757; https://x.com/EjShahid/status/1811372454285115471; https://t.me/motopatriot/24708

[24] https://t.me/DnevnikDesantnika/12617; https://t.me/RVvoenkor/72252; https://t.me/rybar/61715

[25] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-10-2024

[26] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0278ybt4qmoMjheuF8RpPxMWUSEF33kSEcrjewghEgF5APFYsMDv6dHBvYPp8oaLyxl

[27] https://t.me/milinfolive/125801; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-9-2024

[28] https://t.me/rybar/61715 ; https://t.me/rybar/61724 ; https://t.me/dva_majors/47066 ; https://t.me/DnevnikDesantnika/12614 ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0278ybt4qmoMjheuF8RpPxMWUSEF33kSEcrjewghEgF5APFYsMDv6dHBvYPp8oaLyxl

[29] https://t.me/NgP_raZVedka/18352

[30] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0278ybt4qmoMjheuF8RpPxMWUSEF33kSEcrjewghEgF5APFYsMDv6dHBvYPp8oaLyxl

[31] https://suspilne dot media/kharkiv/787833-11-lipna-golovni-novini-harkova-onlajn-hronika-podij-dna/?anchor=live_1720706639&utm_source=copylink&utm_medium=ps; https://t.me/synegubov/10325

[32] https://t.me/creamy_caprice/6034; https://t.me/Khortytsky_wind/688

[33] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0278ybt4qmoMjheuF8RpPxMWUSEF33kSEcrjewghEgF5APFYsMDv6dHBvYPp8oaLyxl

[34] https://t.me/rusich_army/15740 ; https://t.me/dva_majors/47078 ; https://t.me/wargonzo/20974 ; https://t.me/DnevnikDesantnika/12624 ; https://t.me/rybar/61724 ; https://t.me/dva_majors/47066

[35] https://armyinform.com dot ua/2024/07/11/v-24-ombr-rozpovily-detali-potochnoyi-oborony-chasovogo-yaru/

[36] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0278ybt4qmoMjheuF8RpPxMWUSEF33kSEcrjewghEgF5APFYsMDv6dHBvYPp8oaLyxl

[37] https://t.me/z_arhiv/27253 ; https://t.me/DnevnikDesantnika/12626

[38] https://armyinform.com dot ua/2024/07/11/skilky-pidrozdiliv-rf-atakuyut-nashi-mista-na-toreczkomu-napryamku-vidpovid-syl-oborony/

[39] https://armyinform.com dot ua/2024/07/11/skilky-pidrozdiliv-rf-atakuyut-nashi-mista-na-toreczkomu-napryamku-vidpovid-syl-oborony/

[40] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-10-2024 ; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-9-2024

[41] https://t.me/mir_perezagruzka/936; https://t.me/creamy_caprice/6036?single; https://t.me/mod_russia/40934;

[42] https://t.me/dva_majors/46713; https://t.me/z_arhiv/27202; https://t.me/DnevnikDesantnika/12444; https://t.me/z_arhiv/27255

[43] https://t.me/creamy_caprice/6033; https://t.me/Khortytsky_wind/688;

[44] https://t.me/motopatriot/24706 ; https://t.me/NgP_raZVedka/18351 ; https://t.me/NgP_raZVedka/18354

[45] https://t.me/rybar/61725 ; https://t.me/z_arhiv/27255 ; https://t.me/rybar/61724 ; https://t.me/dva_majors/47066 ; https://t.me/NgP_raZVedka/18349

[46] https://t.me/voin_dv/9688 ; https://t.me/NgP_raZVedka/18349 ; https://t.me/wargonzo/20974 ; https://t.me/rybar/61725 ; https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0278ybt4qmoMjheuF8RpPxMWUSEF33kSEcrjewghEgF5APFYsMDv6dHBvYPp8oaLyxl ;

[47] https://t.me/wargonzo/20981

[48] https://t.me/creamy_caprice/6032; https://t.me/ssternenko/30945

[49] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0278ybt4qmoMjheuF8RpPxMWUSEF33kSEcrjewghEgF5APFYsMDv6dHBvYPp8oaLyxl

[50] https://t.me/astrahandm/12277 ; https://t.me/nm_dnr/12462 ; https://t.me/nm_dnr/12463 ; https://t.me/boris_rozhin/129723 ; https://t.me/warhistoryalconafter/173408 ; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/37583

[51] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0278ybt4qmoMjheuF8RpPxMWUSEF33kSEcrjewghEgF5APFYsMDv6dHBvYPp8oaLyxl ; https://t.me/DnevnikDesantnika/12615

[52] https://t.me/voin_dv/9689

[53] https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/pfbid0278ybt4qmoMjheuF8RpPxMWUSEF33kSEcrjewghEgF5APFYsMDv6dHBvYPp8oaLyxl ; https://t.me/rybar/61724 ; https://t.me/dva_majors/47066 ; https://t.me/wargonzo/20974

[54] https://t.me/DnevnikDesantnika/12616

[55] https://t.me/boris_rozhin/129661 ; https://t.me/dva_majors/47082

[56] https://t.me/dva_majors/47074

[57] https://t.me/rusich_army/15746

[58] https://t.me/ComAFUA/346

[59] https://t.me/Govorit_NeMoskva/30039; https://t.me/astrapress/59473 ;

[60] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-6-2024

[61] https://meduza dot io/feature/2024/07/11/meduza-vyyasnila-kogda-v-rossii-mozhet-poyavitsya-sistema-obmena-dannymi-mezhdu-fsb-i-minoborony-dlya-zapreta-vyezda-iz-strany-muzhchin-s-povestkami

[62] https://t.me/mod_russia/40927; https://t.me/mod_russia/40918 ; https://t.me/tass_agency/259996 ; https://t.me/mod_russia/40928

[63] https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-5-2024; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-2-2024; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-june-30-2024; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-june-23-2024;

[64] https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_227678.htm

[65] https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/nato-allies-call-china-decisive-enabler-russias-war-111827361; https://apnews.com/article/nato-china-pacific-washington-59876b88cad3ccf15cc5443912fe3d5b

[66] https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-july-3-2024

[67] https://t.me/tass_agency/259967 ; https://t.me/rostecru/7800

[68] https://t.me/tass_agency/259967 ; https://t.me/rostecru/7800

[69] https://t.me/milinfolive/125835

[70] https://t.me/milinfolive/125835

[71] https://t.me/tass_agency/259971; https://t.me/belta_telegramm/257833; https://t.me/tass_agency/259995 ; https://t.me/MID_Russia/43143; https://t.me/tass_agency/260051; https://t.me/tass_agency/260057; https://t.me/MID_Russia/43152; https://t.me/MID_Russia/43151

[72] https://t.me/medvedev_telegram/516 ; https://x.com/MedvedevRussiaE/status/1811293604406530151 ; https://t.me/tass_agency/259974

[73] https://t.me/tass_agency/259963 ; https://t.me/RVvoenkor/72235; https://t.me/sashakots/47799

[74] https://t.me/warhistoryalconafter/173365 ; https://t.me/NeoficialniyBeZsonoV/37573 ;

[75] . https://t.me/modmilby/40267; https://t.me/belta_telegramm/257910