Press digest – Ukraine
Third month of heroic resistance of Ukraine against Russian military invasion
Key updates on the war against Ukraine as of May 23, 2022
📌 On May 21, all civilians, medics, wounded and seriously wounded were taken out of the territory of Azovstal.
“Our guys received a signal from the military that they have the right to go out and save their lives. We are waiting for options of the exchange. All the defenders of Mariupol will return home”, – said Volodymyr Zelensky.
The President underlined that Mariupol is all about absolutely heroic people. Talking about 400 border guards, numerous National Guardsmen, paratroopers, even representatives of the SSU, doctors, ordinary people. Also, there are many pilots, who, unfortunately, became heroes posthumously.
📌 Within the last month alone, 714 tons of TNT bombs were dropped on Azovstal, excluding shells from Grads, Tornadoes, Tochka-U and missiles from boats.
📌 The bodies of more victims of the Russian military were found near Bucha in the village of Buzova. An elderly woman and her 27-year-old grandson were found in their own backyard. They died in late February during the shelling. Thus, the number of casualties in the Kyiv region approached 1,300, – the National Police of Ukraine.
📌 More than 663 children were injured as a result of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine. 232 children were killed and 431 wounded. These numbers are not final, the work is in progress to get the data in places of active hostilities, in the temporarily occupied and liberated territories.
📌 Russian occupation forces are firing heavily along the entire line of contact and trying to fire artillery deep into the defenses of Ukrainian troops.
📌 In the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, Russian soldiers continue to carry out measures of the administrative and police regime, violate the rights and freedoms of civilians, prohibit free movement and relocation to the territory controlled by the Government of Ukraine.
📌 On May 20, a Russian shell hit the center of Lozova, Kharkiv region, in particular, the local Palace of Culture. At least seven people, including an 11-year-old child, were injured. About 10 multi-storey buildings were damaged.
In recent days, about 30 people have been injured by the shelling of Kharkiv region.
📌 In recent days, the Russian military has intensified shelling throughout Ukraine:
- On May 20, a school was shelled in Severodonetsk, Luhansk Oblast, where more than 200 people, including children, were sheltered. In recent days, more than 30 people have been killed and about 50 injured in the region, and more than 170 houses have been destroyed.
12 civilians killed and 16 wounded in Donetsk region. It is impossible to determine the exact number of victims in some cities.
Mykolayiv region was shelled with cluster shells and Tornado rocket systems. About 10 victims.
On May 21, a rocket attack on a military infrastructure facility was launched in the Rivne region, injuring 6 people.
- On May 21, a rocket attack on a military infrastructure facility was launched in the Rivne region, injuring 6 people.
- After cluster shelling in the Kherson region on May 21, three people died, partial and complete destruction of about 380 private homes.
- The shelling of the border areas of Chernihiv region, as well as Dnipropetrovsk, Zhytomyr, Poltava, Odesa, Sumy and Zaporizhzhia regions continues.
📌 On May 21, with the use of strategic aircraft, another air-based cruise missile strike was launched in the Odesa region. They hit an industrial plant with fertilizers. As a result of the impact, a funnel with a diameter of 12 and a depth of 3 meters was formed on the territory of the enterprise. The industrial facilities have been destroyed.
📌 There are two Russian ships in the Black Sea with a total volley of up to 16 Caliber cruise missiles – the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
📌 On May 20, Russian troops blocked the exit from the Kherson region to the territories controlled by the Ukrainian authorities and are trying to send everyone who wants to leave, to the Crimea, as the only possible direction. Also, bridges and roads in the Kherson region are mined.
At the same time, the military set the fee for leaving the occupied Kherson region at $ 1,000 or their equivalent. However, then they shoot after them.
📌 Also, the Russian military imitates fire from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, they use air defense equipment to shoot down their own missiles and say it is shelling the civilian population by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
📌 For three days, Russian troops blocked civilian vehicles which were staying near Vasylivka in the Zaporizhzhia region. Finally, some of them were allowed to pass by. During this time, a column of about a thousand cars formed there. As of the evening of May 20, about a hundred of these vehicles had left Vasylivka.
📌 The SSU conducted an investigation and obtained evidence that the rocket attack on the Kramatorsk railway station was carried out from the occupied Donbass.
The security service received unequivocal evidence of Russian military involvement in the April 8 shelling of a train station in Kramatorsk, which killed 61 people and injured 121.
📌 On May 21, a civilian vessel with the flag of the Republic of Togo, in transit through Ukrainian territorial waters near Zmiiniy Island, received a signal from the Russian military to leave the territorial waters. They claimed that that territory belonged to the Russian Federation, otherwise weapons would be used on the ship.
📌 Italy and Germany will pay for Russian gas in rubles. Gas importers in these countries have received government approval to pay for gas on Russian terms.
⚠️ On May 20, the Russian military completed dismantling the rubble of the destroyed Drama Theater and removing the bodies of the dead by truck. The dead were buried under unnamed numbers in a mass grave in Mangush – Petro Andryushchenko.
⚠️ The International Committee of the Red Cross has registered hundreds of prisoners of war from the Azovstal plant since the beginning of the May 17 evacuation.
- The registration process involves filling out a form with personal information such as name, date of birth and next of kin. This information allows the ICRC to track down those who have been abducted and help them stay in touch with their families.
- In accordance with the mandate given to the ICRC by States under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the ICRC must have immediate access to all prisoners of war in all places of detention. The ICRC should be allowed to interrogate prisoners of war without witnesses, and the duration and frequency of these visits should not be unduly limited.
- The ICRC maintains a confidential dialogue with the parties to the conflict regarding their obligations under international humanitarian law.
⚠️ Over the last two weeks, the number of people in the Bezimenne / Kozatske filtration camps in the Novoazovsk district has increased from 2,000 up to 3-4,000. Russian troops continue the practice of taking men from Mariupol to these filtration camps. No resident was released from the camp in five weeks, said Mariupol Mayor’s Adviser Petro Andryushchenko.
⚠️ Within May 18-21, 856 people, including 113 children, were deported from Mariupol to the Bezimenne filtration camp. 70 people, including 12 children, were deported to Russia from the Nikolske filtration point. 175 people, including 17 children, were deported from Bezimenne to Russia.
⚠️ Mariupol was “handed over” to the Kadyrovites, evacuation from the city is de facto impossible. Residents are urged not to return to take their belongings, because this is a one-way route. In addition to the humanitarian catastrophe, the city is on the verge of an outbreak of infectious diseases. No water. The sewer does not work. There are chaotic burials all over the city.
⚠️ Russian troops arranged a tour of the ruined Mariupol with the final point in the Drama Theater of the city.
⚠️ A new access system has been introduced in Mariupol and Mariupol district: a pass for cars and passengers is required to enter / exit the city, move around and inside Mariupol. Valid for three days, but it is one-time.
⚠️ Starting from the new school year, Russian forces plan to completely russify the educational process in Mariupol and teach only Russian language and literature, Russian history and mathematics.
⚠️ Russia cut off gas supplies to Finland on May 21 at 7:00 am because the country refused to pay for Russian gas in rubles, as demanded by the aggressor.
⚠️ The Russian government has acknowledged that sanctions have destroyed all logistics in the country. The Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation Vitaly Savelyev said: “We have to look for new logistics corridors.”
📌 Estimated losses of the Russian Federation Army in Ukraine:
📌 Since the beginning of May, the Armed Forces have liberated 23 settlements in Kharkiv Oblast.
📌 Since May 19, 132 people, including children, have been evacuated from Luhansk region.
📌 The Ukrainian military defeated a column of Russian marines in the Luhansk region, – the officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Anatoliy Shtefan said.
📌 Residents of ORDLO (The uncontrolled portions of the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions) refuse to fight against the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to the Defense Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, local residents cooperate with the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of Ukraine. Also, people in the occupied territories are trying to sabotage the instructions of Russian soldiers and avoid any cooperation with them.
📌 British intelligence reports that Russia has problems due to the lack of drones due to sanctions and their downing by Ukrainian forces. In addition, according to British intelligence, Russian crews are avoiding flights over Ukrainian territory, probably due to the threat from Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile systems.
📌 On May 21, as part of a visit to Ukraine, Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa visited Irpin.
“I have witnessed brutal, arbitrary, and unjustified attacks. War always affects innocent people. Families that had a life, a job, a district to live, were forced to give up everything to try to save their lives. What strikes me the most is the violence against civilians,” Costa said.
📌 On May 22, Polish President Andrzej Duda addressed the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. This is the first foreign president to speak from this rostrum after a full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation.
PUBLIC AND BUSINESS SUPPORT
📌 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has become the most influential person of the year according to Time readers. Zelensky received more than 3.3 million votes and took first place with 5% of the vote.
📌 The European energy exchange Nord Pool suspends trading in Russian electricity – this means that the Baltic countries will not receive electricity from Russia from Sunday.
📌 A rally in support of Ukraine was held in Berlin.
📌 A parade of embroidered shirts (vyshyvanka) took place in Prague, attended by thousands of Ukrainians grateful to the Czech Republic for their hospitality and assistance.
INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT OF UKRAINE
📌 On May 18, the National Bank of Ukraine received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom 5 million pounds (or over 182 million hryvnias in equivalent) to a special account opened to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
📌 The UN has provided construction materials for the urgent repair of private houses in the Zaporizhzhia region, which were damaged by shelling by Russian troops.
📌 The European Parliament supported the suspension of EU import duties for one year for all Ukrainian exports.
📌 Japan will allocate €2 million to maintain security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities attacked by Russia.
📌 Portugal will provide up to € 250 million in financial support to Ukraine.
📌 The EU transferred a new tranche of € 600 million to Ukraine for macro-financial assistance.
📌 G7’s leading economies and global financial institutions provide $ 19.8 billion. assistance to support public finances of Ukraine.
📌 Serbia has announced sanctions against Belarus over its financial and transport system in connection with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
📌 The Minister of Finance of Canada Christia Freeland has announced an additional loan of 250 million Canadian dollars (over 195 million US dollars) for Ukraine via an administered account in the IMF.
📌 A group of more than 40 Rammstein countries will meet again on Monday, May 23, online to discuss further defense support for Ukraine, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.
📌 US President Joe Biden signed into law $40 billion to help Ukraine.
📌 Estonia has called on NATO to bring ships into the Black Sea to unblock Ukrainian ports, Lieutenant General Rigo Terras said.
📌 Lithuania officially stops importing Russian gas, oil and electricity.
📌 Germany will provide Ukraine with lethal weapons, as well as money for the purchase of necessary artillery ammunition and interception equipment. The corresponding decision has already been made, said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.