Ukraine not to receive membership invitation at NATO summit, promise to invite later instead

NATO member states will not offer Ukraine a membership invitation at the alliance's summit in Vilnius, which began on July 11, Interfax Ukraine reported.

Instead, according to Interfax's sources, a joint communique will be issued promising to invite Ukraine later when all member states agree with it and when the conditions allow.

The yearly meeting of NATO leaders held this time in the Lithuanian capital has been much anticipated for the possible invitation of Ukraine to the alliance, seen by Kyiv as fundamental for its and Europe's future security from further Russian aggression.

Leaders of several member states, including Poland, the Baltic States, and Canada, have all expressed their public support for Ukraine joining the alliance.

However, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said multiple times in the lead-up to the summit that joining NATO was impossible for Ukraine as long as Russia's war continues on Ukrainian territory.

Instead, Stoltenberg announced at the summit, Ukraine's path towards NATO will be simplified, removing the requirement of completing a Membership Action Plan (MAP), representing a change "from a two-step process to a one-step process.”

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Vilnius for the summit on July 11, although he has not participated in the main event with all leaders.

The day before the summit, Zelensky publicly expressed his frustration with the alliance's choice not to admit Ukraine to NATO in any concrete timeframe, calling NATO's lack of clarity "unprecedented and absurd."

Russian attacks kill 1, injure 3 in Kherson Oblast

Russian forces have launched strikes against Kherson Oblast, killing one person and injuring at least three more, Governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported on July 11.

According to the governor, Russian attacks targeted the city of Kherson, hitting the local humanitarian headquarters and at least five residential buildings.

Two people were injured during the attack; one is in severe condition, Prokudin informed on Telegram.

Russian forces also attacked the village of Sofiivka in the Stanislav community with Grad rocket launchers, killing one woman and injuring a man, the governor said.

On the morning of July 11, Prokudin reported that three people were injured in Russian strikes against Kherson Oblast over the past day.

France to send long-range missiles to Ukraine

France will transfer long-range missiles to Ukraine to support its ongoing counteroffensive, French President Emmanuel Macron said at the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 11.

The French military operates SCALP-EG cruise missiles, an equivalent to the British Storm Shadow missiles.

NATO leaders indicated earlier that individual members will present their own aid packages for Ukraine during the summit. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gar Stere said that Oslo will increase its aid to Ukraine by over $238.6 million, putting its total value for 2023 at $960 million.

The U.K. agreed to provide its Storm Shadows missile with a range of over 250 kilometers on May 11. A few days later, Macron said France would also send missiles that would "allow Ukraine to resist."

Kyiv seeks to acquire the U.S.-made Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) long-range missiles as well, but Washington has not yet approved their provision.

NATO allies have convened in Vilnius for a two-day summit to discuss further aid for Ukraine and Kyiv's membership bid, among other topics.

Update: 5 injured in Russian strikes on Kherson

As of around 3:30 p.m. local time, five people are known to have been injured in Russian attacks against Kherson on July 11, according to the regional governor.

This number includes an eight-year-old girl who was in the yard of her house when Russia targeted the city, Oleksandr Prokudin said.

Russian strikes on Kherson also wounded two men and a woman aged between 52 and 68, reads the report. According to Prokudin, Russian July 11 attacks hit the local humanitarian headquarters and at least five residential buildings in the city.

The official added that another man was injured in the Kindiika village near Kherson. All the victims have been hospitalized.

Earlier the same day, the oblast governor reported that Russian forces had struck the village of Sofiivka in the Stanislav community, killing one woman and injuring a man.

Kherson and other regional settlements on the Dnipro River's west bank have been continuously subjected to Russian shelling since Ukrainian forces liberated them in November 2022.

Russian forces were pushed to the river's east bank, where they have since been firing at the liberated territories, regularly resulting in civilian deaths and injuries.