Day 841: Zelenskyi delivers remarks at G7 summit in Italy

Zelenskyi delivers remarks at the G7 summit in Italy. NATO approves a plan for the Alliance to lead coordination of security assistance and training for Ukraine. Ukraine seeks to degrade Russian air defenses ahead of anticipated F-16 fighter jet deliveries, ISW says.

Zelenskyi delivers remarks at G7 summit in Italy

President Volodymyr Zelenskyi spoke at the G7 summit in Italy on Thursday. He called on member countries to bolster Ukraine’s air defenses, particularly with Patriot systems. Zelensky urged the G7 states to make sure that Ukraine gets F-16 fighter jets at the soonest possible time. He also emphasized the importance of seized Russian assets for Ukraine’s rebuilding. He said he hoped for the decisions at the summit to strengthen energy security.   

Here are the highlights from Zelenskyi’s address, as quoted by his office.

“I am grateful to you for the joint security declaration of the Group of Seven, which was adopted last year on July 12. Today, as part of this declaration, we are signing two more security agreements with the United States and Japan. These are strong agreements. By doing so, we are completing the security architecture of relations between Ukraine and the Group of Seven – there will be seven agreements with all of you. Thank you. Our people see that the world’s leading democracies are truly committed to supporting Ukraine’s independence and the rights of every nation,” Zelenskyi said. 

“Secondly, we have to make our cooperation in providing specific assistance to our soldiers perfect already now. With each of you, we are discussing several things that are most needed – air defense and, above all, Patriots that shoot down all Russian missiles, as well as our long-range capability and the ability to destroy Russian terrorists wherever they are, including on the territory of Russia. The recent permission to use Western weapons outside our territory to defend Kharkiv and other cities has strengthened our defense against Russian attacks. But we are still looking for additional Patriots, and need to continue to take the same strong steps as were taken for our long-range capability. I also ask you to do everything you can to accelerate our transition to the F-16, which means speeding up pilot training and increasing the number of training facilities for pilots. And I have one message from our military – they are grateful for all the military support packages you have provided and ask you to deliver them to Ukraine, to our soldiers as soon as possible,” he said.

“We all understand that it is fair that Russia is the one to pay for the damage caused by the Russian war. I ask you to support the plan to use Russian assets, which will quickly provide Ukraine with USD 50 billion. You are all aware of the details. This is a completely operational plan. And this is money that should work to support both defense and reconstruction. We also need to create a working mechanism for confiscating Russia’s USD 300 billion in frozen assets – we need to make the states that support terror, understand that they will pay for it,” Zelenskyi said.

NATO approves plan for Alliance to lead coordination of security assistance, training for Ukraine

NATO member states agreed on Thursday on a plan for the Alliance to have a leading role in providing and coordinating assistance and training for Ukraine, according to media reports.

The idea is for the Alliance to coordinate the security assistance and training process, partly by using NATO’s command structure and drawing on funds from its common budget.

The plan foresees establishing a group under NATO command, similar to SAG-U, Security Assistance Group for Ukraine, which is mainly based in the U.S. Army Europe headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany, and counts around 300 service members.

The document was agreed at the NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels. It will be publicly released on Friday after the ministers endorse it. 

The plan was long blocked by Hungary. The country’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, said he feared the initiative could result in a “direct confrontation” with Russia.

On Wednesday, Orbán met with NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, and agreed that his country will not veto the plan as long as it’s not forced to take part. Hungary will not send the personnel to the activities and not fund weapons for Ukraine.

Ukraine seeks to degrade Russian air defenses ahead of anticipated F-16 fighter jet deliveries, ISW says

Ukrainian forces may be conducting an effort aimed at degrading Russian air defenses, which, if successful, could enable Ukraine to more effectively leverage manned fixed-wing airpower, including the F-16s, in the long run, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its latest report.

The Ukrainian General Staff reported on June 12 that Ukrainian forces targeted one S-300 air defense battery and two S-400 air defense batteries near occupied Belbek and Sevastopol, Crimea overnight on June 11 to 12. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that the strikes destroyed at least two S-300/S-400 Russian air defense radar systems and caused secondary ammunition detonations.

Geolocated imagery published on June 12 shows damaged and destroyed Russian S-300 assets north of occupied Yevpatoria and a destroyed Russian S-400 radar system south of occupied Dzhankoy, supporting the Ukrainian General Staff’s June 10 report about strikes against Russian air defense assets in these areas.

Founder of the Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) “Kraken” Regiment Kostyantyn Nemichev confirmed on June 12 that Ukrainian forces used HIMARS to destroy four Russian S-300 systems in Belgorod Oblast on an unspecified date, and Ukrainian outlet Suspilne referred to Nemichev’s statements as the first official Ukrainian confirmation of strikes against a Russian S-300 battery in Belgorod Oblast on June 1 or 2.

Ukrainian forces’ destruction of the Russian air defense systems in Belgorod Oblast reportedly prompted the Russian command to deploy air defense assets from Crimea to Belgorod Oblast in early June 2024, reportedly degrading Russian air defense coverage around Crimea.

GUR Spokesperson Andriy Yusov also clarified on June 12 that Ukrainian drone strikes against the Akhtubinsk Airfield in Astrakhan Oblast between June 7 and 8 damaged two Russian Su-57 fighter aircraft instead of just one aircraft as previously reported.

S-300/S-400 air defense systems and Su-57 fighters are significant Russian air defense and aviation assets that deny Ukraine the ability to fly aircraft near the front and support Russian offensive operations in Ukraine.

Ukrainian forces may seek to actively degrade Russian air defenses before Ukraine receives a significant number of aircraft in order to set conditions for Ukraine’s future use of manned fixed-wing airpower closer to frontline areas. Ukrainian forces may be attempting to degrade Russian air defenses ahead of anticipated F-16 fighter jet deliveries to Ukraine, which reportedly will begin in small quantities in summer and fall 2024. Ukrainian forces may be able to eventually work towards a concept of operations that combines fixed-wing airpower to support ground operations if the Ukrainian military receives a sufficient number of fighter jets, Western partners train enough trained pilots, and if Ukraine succeeds in degrading Russian air defense capabilities, ISW said.

Wartime Journalism: Balancing Safety and Reporting in Ukraine. Ukraine in Flames #624

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 became the main challenge for Ukrainian society, including the media environment. Journalists became the targets of attacks, threats, and kidnappings. Due to the temporary occupation of territories and the resulting security risks, many newsrooms were forced to stop their work or relocate away from the hostilities. Outlets that continue to operate in Ukraine suffer from a lack of qualified personnel. In the near future, the industry is threatened by a depletion of human resources. Watch Ukraine in flames #624 to find out about the security of journalists in Ukraine and challenges for the media community in wartime. 


  • Oksana Buts, Researcher of the Media Development Foundation
  • Daria Orlova, PhD in philosophy, Associate Professor of the Mohyla School of Journalism (National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”)
  • Anastasia Chornohorska, Representative of the International Solidarity Fund in Ukraine