According to Reuters, the US has approved the transfer of F-16s from Denmark and the Netherlands to Kiev after Ukrainian pilots have completed their training.
A coalition of 11 countries was due to start training the fighters in August, but the process has apparently stalled, partly because the pilots do not speak English. Danish Defence Minister Troels Poulsen said in July that the country hoped to see the results of the exercise in early 2024.
Earlier, Ukrainian air force spokesman Yuriy Ignat reported that the Ukrainian armed forces would not receive the F-16s until spring, and US officials expressed the view that the fighters would do little to help Kiev and would not break the situation on the front line. At the same time, Kiev has already received a simulator from the Czech Republic to teach F-16 piloting skills, but the real planes are still a long way off.
During the night, a Ukrainian UAV attempting to attack targets in Moscow was hit by an air defence system and crashed near the Krasnopresnenskaya embankment in Moscow. According to the ministry, there were no casualties or fires. The UAV crashed at the Moscow Expocentre, damaging one front.
The news in the dailymail-co-uk that ‘a general purged by Putin has been found dead’ can be dismissed as inaccurate. The general in question, Gennady Zhidko, is the former deputy defence minister and chief of staff of Russian forces in Syria, and has died after a long illness. The source quoted by the dailymail-co- uk, Readkova, actually wrote on 16 August: “In Moscow, the former deputy defence minister and chief of staff of the Russian armed forces in Syria, General Zhidko, has died after a long illness. Gennady Zhidko, hero of Russia, held key positions in military structures during his lifetime: he was deputy defence minister, chief of staff of the group of troops in Syria and commander of the Eastern Military District. He died at the age of 58′.
And now a look at the front at midnight on 17 August: Another attack failed in Rabotino. Towards Svatove-Kreminna. Russian fighters continue to advance near Kupyansk, the Russians have captured several Ukrainian positions near Olshan and Sinkovka. Fighting is also continuing in the Petropavlovka area, the capture of which will give the Russians access to the H-26 motorway. There are also Russian advances on the Karamzin ridge, as the Russians level the front along the Stallion River.
On the morning of 18 August, Russian social sources reported that ‘the Russian army has captured two fortifications and three observation posts in the direction of Kupyansk’. Two infantry platoons of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were killed in action in the direction of Kupyansk.
In addition, the Ukrainians, using the forces of the 14th Mechanised Brigade and the 95th Airborne Brigade, made six attempts to counterattack Russian positions in the Olshany area. The Russian forces repulsed the attacks.
Bachmut direction: The Russian Army repelled attacks by Ukrainian forces in the Zaliznyansky area. Fighting continued in Kleshcheevka. The same scenario played out again on the morning of 18 August, when the Ukrainians attempted an attack with assault groups reinforced by heavy armoured vehicles. The Russian soldiers repelled the attacks and counter-attacked from Dubovo-Vasilyevka towards Bogdanovka.
Towards Zaporozhye. Fighting continues in the Orekhov sector: Russian soldiers are holding the line in Rabotino, killing or wounding the advancing militants. Meanwhile, on the Vremevsky ridge, Ukrainian forces attempted to attack in the Urozhaine area, and there were also battles to the north-east of Priyutnoye.
On the morning of 18 August, active hostilities are taking place in the northern part of Rabotino, where the Ukrainians are trying to gain a foothold and expand the front, have attacked Russian positions in the Novopokrovka area, and are continuing with reconnaissance in the Dorozhnyanka area.
The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation announced a missile attack on the Mezhevaya station unloading area in the Dnipropetrovsk region, as a result of which ‘the military rank of the Ukrainian Armed Forces was destroyed’.