Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on May 29, 2023
● Bakhmut is almost completely controlled by Russian troops, but they had to pay a heavy price for this. Significant losses of personnel force the reorganization of forces, which reduces the intensity of Russian attacks in other directions.
● Russian troops carry out intensive strikes on the territory of Ukraine, using missiles and UAVs. Their targets are civilian objects, such as the hospital in Dnipro, which was hit on May 26. During the night of May 29, Russian troops launched an assault on Ukraine’s military installations and vital infrastructure, utilizing 40 cruise missiles and 35 kamikaze drones. Ukrainian defence forces successfully intercepted and neutralized a significant portion of the enemy’s arsenal, downing 37 cruise missiles and 29 drones.
● On May 22-23, Russian volunteers fighting against V. Putin’s regime raided the territory of the Bryansk region of the Russian Federation.
Russian troops control almost the entire territory of Bakhmut and announced the capture of the city, but admit significant losses incurred in the battles for it. Exhausted units of the so-called “PMC Wagner” are withdrawn from this direction. The need to regroup forces and wait for a counteroffensive of the Armed Forces forces the Russian command to reduce the intensity of attacks in other areas of the front as well.
On May 22-23, Russian volunteer units fighting against V. Putin’s regime (the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Freedom of Russia Legion) raided the territory of the Bryansk region of the Russian Federation. They destroyed the checkpoint of the Russian border guards in the city of Grayvoron. The Russian authorities were forced to declare a regime of counter-terrorist operation in the territory of the region.
The Russian fleet Ivan Khurs reconnaissance ship was attacked by naval drones in the waters of the Black Sea. The released video shows the moment of the explosion near its side, which could have damaged the ship.
The Armed Forces strike Russian military facilities in the temporarily occupied territories. In particular, targets were hit in Melitopol, Mariupol, and Berdiansk. Also, Russian sources report UAV attacks on objects on Russian territory – in Krasnodar and Bryansk region.
Russian troops continue to attack the territory of Ukraine. On the night of May 25, they carried out a massive attack using kamikaze drones against Kyiv, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Lviv, and Chernivtsi regions. The Ukrainian military reports the destruction of all 36 UAVs involved in the attack. The following night, a combined attack using missiles and drones was carried out against Kyiv and Dnipro (in the latter, 1 person was injured).
On the morning of May 26, a hospital in Dnipro was hit by a rocket attack, as a result of which at least 4 people died and 30 people were injured. On the night of May 28, Russian troops carried out the largest attack using UAVs. According to the Ukrainian command, air defense shot down 58 drones. As a result of falling debris in the capital of Ukraine, 1 person died, 2 more people were injured. An industrial enterprise was affected in Zhytomyr.
On the night of May 29, Russian forces carried out a combined attack using both missiles and UAVs. Air defense worked on the territory of Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Lviv and Khmelnytskyi regions. The Ukrainian military reports the destruction of 37 cruise missiles and 29 kamikaze drones.
During the last week, the loss of civilians in the border and front-line regions of Ukraine as a result of Russian strikes amounted to at least: in the Donetsk region – 6 people were killed and 31 people were wounded; in the Kherson region – 4 people died and 12 people were injured; in the Kharkiv region – 3 people died and 10 people were injured; in the Zaporizhzhia region – 1 person killed and 8 people injured.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS
On May 25, a new exchange of prisoners of war took place between Ukraine and Russia, as a result of which the Ukrainian side returned 106 people. The released persons are servicemen who fought in the Bakhmut direction, many of whom were considered missing.
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly adopted a declaration in which it called for the allies to speed up the supply of necessary military equipment to Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression. The declaration contains a call to the member states of the Alliance to recognize the Russian PMC Wagner Group as a criminal and terrorist organization. In addition, the Assembly is determined to hold the Russian regime accountable for “aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity and possible acts of genocide committed in Ukraine.”
On May 27, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi signed a decree on the introduction of new sanctions against 51 individuals and 220 legal entities, in particular Russian and Belarusian companies, including the structures of MTS and Russian Railways, Karachevsk Elektrodetal Plant, Sarapulsky Radio Plant, Chelyabinsk Forge-and-Press Plant etc., as well as Belarusian companies – Minsk Automobile Plant, Minsk Mechanical Plant named after S.I. Vavilova, Vitebsk Radio Parts Plant Monolit, Orsha Aircraft Repair Plant.
The Russian side continues to block the export of grain from Ukraine’s largest port “Pivdennyi”, effectively excluding it from the “grain initiative”. According to the information of Yurii Vaskov, Deputy Minister of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine, Russian inspectors have been refusing to check and pass heavy cargo ships bound for “Pivdennyi” for about a month (since April 29). Currently, the port stores about 1.5 million tons of products for export to 10 countries.
FOREIGN POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT
On May 25, the 12th meeting of the Contact Group on Defense of Ukraine was held in the “Ramstein” format, at which the issue of strengthening Ukrainian air defense, as well as the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, was discussed. US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin noted that the Contact Group has already allocated $65 billion in defense aid to Ukraine.
The government of the Federal Republic of Germany handed Ukraine a new package of military aid, which includes the TRML-4D aerial surveillance radar station, Biber bridge-laying machines, mobile demining systems, as well as Vector reconnaissance drones, anti-drone combat equipment and a radio-electronic intelligence system. Spain is preparing to hand over four more Leopard 2 tanks and a batch of M113 armored personnel carriers to Ukraine. The Netherlands will allocate 260 million euros for the purchase of 155 mm artillery ammunition for Ukraine.
In turn, Finland will hand over the 16th package of military aid to Ukraine, which will include air defense equipment and ammunition with a total value of 109 million euros. The Canadian government has announced the provision of additional military aid to Ukraine, including AIM-9 missiles, additional ammunition and an expansion of the training program for the Ukrainian military.
An important decision on the way to holding Russia accountable for war crimes in Ukraine was the decision of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which on May 22 recognized the crimes of the Russian Federation against Ukraine as genocide, and the terrorist regime in the Russian Federation was classified as racism. In addition, the Parliaments of Great Britain and Slovenia recognized the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as genocide of the Ukrainian people.
This week, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, held a meeting with American Senator Lindsey Graham and the Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Sweden, Pål Jonson, who arrived on official visits to Ukraine.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba made a second tour of African countries. The minister visited Morocco, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Mozambique. The opening of the Ukrainian embassy in Rwanda was agreed. Together with the leaders of African countries, they discussed challenges to global food security, which became actualized due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as identified priorities for bilateral cooperation and strengthening relations with Ukraine.
The information in the newsletter is collected from official sources—reports of state authorities of Ukraine, Ukrainian and international news agencies. The accuracy of the data is carefully checked by the project team and corrected in case of fake news.