The 92nd day of the war in Ukraine is underway. The Ukrainian military says 40 cities in the Donbas region are under constant Russian bombing. The Russian army wants to conquer a key military target, Sievierodonetsk, and launches mortars from the outskirts of the city. The Ukrainian army says it has repulsed 10 attacks and destroyed Russian tanks and drones.
Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on the West for more weapons. Russia says it will unblock Ukrainian ports to allow grain exports, but calls for sanctions to be lifted instead.
8,000 Ukrainian prisoners in Donbas
There are about 8,000 Ukrainian prisoners of war held in self-proclaimed Russian-backed Lugansk and Donetsk republics, Lugansk official Rodion Miroshnik was quoted as saying by Tass news agency on Thursday, according to Reuters. “There are a lot of prisoners. Of course, there are several of them in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, but we have enough here too, and now the total number is around 8,000. There are many and literally the number is growing every day,” said Miroshnik.
School of Horror
In Mariupol, the occupiers canceled the summer holidays to teach Ukrainian children the history of Russia and the Russian language until September 1. Ukrainian books are burned.
The occupying so-called “government organizations” decided to remove the summer holidays and until September 1 to arrange an accelerated course for Ukrainian children in the Russian school curriculum. The lessons will be taught in Russian, and the subjects will also be Russian: the Russian language, the history of Russia, etc. Read more here.
Fighting continues in eastern Ukraine. Kiev claims that the West is not doing enough to help the Ukrainian army
Heavy fighting has continued in eastern Ukraine, with Russian troops about to encircle a key industrial city. Volodymyr Zelensky says the West is not doing enough to help Kiev go to war.
As the Ukrainian army reported on Thursday that 40 cities in the Donbas region were under Russian bombing, Lugansk Governor Sergei Gaidai said that fighting outside Sievierodonetsk, a key military target for Russians, was “very difficult”, adding that troops Russians bombarded the outskirts with mortars. “Next week will be decisive,” Gaidai said in a video on the Telegram, adding that he believes Russia’s goal is to “capture the Lugansk region at all costs.””It’s a colossal amount of bombing,” he said. “The occupiers bombed more than 40 cities in the Donetsk and Lugansk region, destroying or damaging 47 civilian sites, including 38 houses and a school. As a result of this bombing, five civilians were killed and 12 were injured,” the Ukrainian military said on Facebook.
The Army press release also states that 10 enemy attacks were repulsed, four tanks and four drones destroyed and 62 “enemy soldiers” killed. Gaidai said police in Lisiciansk were collecting the bodies of those killed and burying them in mass graves. Nearly 150 people were buried in a mass grave in one of the Lisiciansk districts, the source added. The families of those buried in mass graves will be able to have a post-war funeral, and police are issuing documents allowing Ukrainians to obtain death certificates for their loved ones, Gaidai said.
Zelensky said in his nightly message on Wednesday that Russian troops were “far outnumbering us” in parts of the east and reiterated Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba’s request at the World Economic Forum in Davos for more weapons for the West. “We need the help of our partners – most of all we need weapons for Ukraine, no exceptions, no limits, enough to win,” Zelenski said in his daily message to the nation. He addressed the international community with paying too much attention to Russia’s interests and too little to Ukraine.
British Ministry of Defense: Russian air force forces at the center of the biggest military failures in Ukraine
In Thursday morning’s analysis of the war, the British Ministry of Defense says that Russia’s airborne forces, also known as elite troops, have been heavily involved in several notable tactical failures since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. London says these failures include the attempt to advance on the Kyiv axis through Hostomel airfield in March, the blocked progress on the Izium axis in April and the recent failed and costly crossings of the Siverskyi Donets River. The British also point out that Russian military doctrine attributes some of the most demanding operations to the Russian Air Force. These include 45,000 people and are mostly made up of contracted professional soldiers. Its members enjoy elite status and are often overpaid.
The British Defense Ministry also says that the Russian Air Force was engaged in more suitable missions for heavier armored infantry and suffered heavy losses during the campaign. Their mixed performance is likely to reflect a strategic mismanagement of this capability and Russia’s failure to secure air superiority. The misuse of Russia’s air force in Ukraine highlights the way in which Putin’s significant investment in the armed forces over the past 15 years has led to an unbalanced general force, says London. The failure to anticipate Ukrainian resistance and the subsequent satisfaction of Russian commanders have led to significant losses in many of Russia’s elite units, according to the British Defense Ministry report.
President Zelensky’s adviser on Ukraine’s idea of ceding territory to Russia: “Go fuck yourself”
Oleksii Arestovich, one of the main advisers to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, had a nervous reaction to the idea of Ukraine ceding territories to make peace with Russia. “Our children are dying, the soldiers, the infantry are stopping the rockets with their bodies – and they are telling us to sacrifice our land?” Arestovich exclaimed amid curses reminiscent of the famous “Russian warship, go fuck yourself!” The departure of Oleksii Arestovici took place during a discussion between Mark Feygyn, a former Russian lawyer and politician, an opponent of Vladimir Putin, who now has a TouTube channel on which he interviews.
Ukrainian General Staff: Russian forces conducted unsuccessful operations
Russian forces have been unsuccessful in several of their overnight assaults, and troops have retreated with losses from the village of Zolota Nyva after a failed attack, the Ukrainian General Staff also said in a front-line report released on Thursday morning. BBC News. Russia also failed to attack Mykolayivka and Krivoy Rog, the Ukrainian military said, adding that the invading troops had focused their efforts on gaining full control of the city of Lyman in Donetsk.
Russia has bombed civilian infrastructure overnight in cities in the south of the country, and its troops have tried to reach the borders of the Kherson region, says the Ukrainian General Staff, adding that Russia has resumed its offensive on the city of Sloviansk in the region and improved its position tactics in Izium, Severodonetsk and Avdiivka.
Ukrainian partisans increasingly active in areas under Russian army occupation
Partisan movements are beginning to become more active in regions and cities in Ukraine currently under Russian military occupation. According to the BBC, the Ukrainian Army’s Military Intelligence Directorate said that between March 20 and April 12, Ukrainian partisans killed 70 Russian soldiers “on patrol during the night.” Most such guerrilla actions have been reported in the Melitopol area. One week ago, Ukrainian partisans derailed an armored Russian army train full of ammunition after being placed explosively on railway tracks.
Russia’s informational counter-offensive
The Russian military published daily operational information stating that “high-precision missiles hit 48 areas of concentration of Ukrainian military forces and equipment. “Russian air defense systems shot down a Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter over the village of Gusarovka in the Kharkov region. A Ukrainian airlift carrying ammunition and weapons was also shot down in the Kremidovka region of the Odessa region.” The Russians also say that as a result of their operations in the last 24 hours, more than 350 Ukrainian fighters have been killed and 96 weapons and military equipment have been deactivated.
Crimean Deputy Prime Minister George Muradov said “The Sea of Azov is lost forever to Ukraine.” “Ports in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions will never be Ukrainian again. I am sure that, after the reunification of our regions with Russia, the Sea of Azov will become, as before, a great interior exclusively of the Russian Federation“, he claimed. Also Vladimir Rogov, an official appointed by Russia in the occupied Zaporozhye region, who said the same thing – that the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions will never return under the control of Kiev.
At the same time, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zaharova said on Thursday that reporters from Western countries would be expelled from Russia if YouTube blocked access to its press conferences, TASS news agency reported. Zaharova holds a weekly briefing on current affairs in Russian foreign policy, which is broadcast on YouTube and other platforms.
Sanna Marin in Bucha and Irpin
On May 26, the prime minister of Finland arrived in Ukraine and purposefully visited the bloodbath in the Kyiv region.
Sanna Marin’s visit to Ukraine for Ukrainians is evidence of Finland’s support. The secretary of the city council of Irpin, Angela Makeeva, conducted an excursion for the guest from Finland. Where previously there were pits from the exhumation of dead and buried Ukrainians, now the ground is leveled. But the atmosphere of thousands of painful deaths cannot be removed by the city’s public services.
“We discussed issues of assistance in the restoration of our town because Irpin suffered the most damage, more than 70% of the city, and became the shield of Kyiv. Thank you for the uncompromising international position regarding the territorial integrity of Ukraine, for the introduction of tougher sanctions against Russia, for military support and assistance,” Angela Makeeva. Read more here.
The Minister of Defense of Estonia Is Confident in the Victory of Ukraine
Kalle Laanet shares the opinion of Ukrainians: “We need to end this war as soon as possible. Not diplomacy. The Russians just need to be driven out of the territory of Ukraine”
On May 25, the Estonian information portal ERR published an interview with the Estonian minister of defense Kalle Laanet. In his dialogue with the interviewer, Kalle Laanet argued for the victory of Ukraine, named the mistakes of Russia, and voiced his intentions to unite with other countries for the sake of Ukraine. Further details here.