Ukraine Daily Summary - Monday, 23 May 2022

Russian forces use hostages as human shields in Chernihiv Oblast -- Explosion in Enerhodar injures self-proclaimed ‘mayor’ and his bodyguards -- Mariupol on verge of outbreak of infectious diseases -- Syrian barrel bomb experts in Russia to work with Putin’s forces -- Russia will be unable to disrupt US military assistance to Ukraine -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Monday, 23 May 2022

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Russia’s war against Ukraine


Russian soldiers patrol a street in occupied Melitopol on May 1, 2022. (Getty Images)

Ukraine’s parliament extends martial law for 90 days, until Aug. 23. Martial law was first imposed in Ukraine on Feb. 24, the day Russia launched its full-scale war.

Institute for the Study of War: Russian forces likely preparing to resume offensives on Ukraine’s southern axis. The U.S. think tank said Russian troops are likely preparing for Ukrainian counteroffensives and protracted operations in southern Ukraine. Citing Ukraine’s military, they report that Russian troops in the region are building secondary lines of defense, bolstering air defense systems, conducting reconnaissance, and shelling Ukrainian positions, indicating that they are prepping for subsequent offensives.

Ukraine’s Military: Russian frigate Admiral Makarov leaves Sevastopol. Ukraine’s Operational Command “South” said on May 22 that the warship made its way to Russian positions in the Black Sea, increasing the probability of missile strikes on Ukraine.

Armed Forces: Russia loses 184 military vehicles in Donbas within a week. The list includes, among others, one anti-aircraft missile system, 43 tanks, 20 artillery systems, and 79 armored fighting vehicles. Russia has also lost three aircraft.

Explosion in Enerhodar injures self-proclaimed ‘mayor’ and his bodyguards. Self-proclaimed mayor of temporarily occupied Enerhodar, Andrii Shevchyk, and his bodyguards were injured in a blast at the entrance of his apartment building early on May 22. Enerhodar Mayor Dmytro Orlov confirmed the accident and said they are being treated at a local hospital. “We can conclude that the collaborator was the target,” said Orlov.

Mariupol on verge of outbreak of infectious diseases. Mayor Vadym Boychenko said that in addition to the humanitarian catastrophe created by Russia’s forces, the city faces an outbreak of contagious diseases. “The sewers don’t work. There are chaotic mass burials all over the city. During the summer rains, all these (toxins) will get into the rivers, sea and the springs where people get their water,” he said.

Russian military vehicles put on display in central Kyiv. A Russian T-72 tank, a BMD-4 infantry fighting vehicle, part of a Tigr military vehicle, and an electronic warfare vehicle are exhibited on the Mykhailivska Square in Kyiv.

The Guardian: Syrian barrel bomb experts in Russia to work with Putin’s forces. European officials reportedly believe that over 50 experts linked to the Syrian military’s notorious barrel bombs are in Russia to potentially develop a similar campaign against Ukraine. Barrel bombs are crude explosives packed into a drum, often dropped from a helicopter.

White House: Russia will be unable to disrupt US military assistance to Ukraine. U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a press briefing on May 22 that the supply chain of weapons into Ukraine is “diverse and resilient.” According to Sullivan, even if Russia targets some shipments of Western weapons in Ukraine, it will not fundamentally disrupt provisions.

Ukraine’s parliament bans Russian war symbols. On May 22, the Verkhovna Rada banned the symbols “Z” and “V,” which have been used by Russia to promote its war. However, President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for them to be permitted for educational or historical purposes.

Bloomberg: Russia’s Aeroflot to face shortage of aircraft parts. The Russian flagship carrier, which is currently under international sanctions, will be forced to scrap some of its aircraft within the next three months to provide spare parts for its fleet. Before Russia’s war, the carrier operated flights to 56 countries, compared to 13 countries by mid-May.

Ukraine bans medications produced in Russia, Belarus. The Ukrainian parliament approved changes to the country’s law on medicines on May 22, “restricting the flow” of those medications that have been at least partially produced by the enterprises located in Russia or Belarus.

Russian occupiers abduct mayor of Dvorichne village in Kharkiv Oblast. Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Synehubov told Suspilne media that Halyna Turbaba, the mayor of Russian-occupied Dvorichne, has been illegally detained by Russians for four days.

245 people forcibly deported from villages near Mariupol to Russia on May 21. Petro Andriushchenko, an advisor to the Mariupol mayor, reported that people were deported to Russia from filtration camps in the occupied Nikolske and Bezymiane villages in Donetsk Oblast. According to the official, another 313 people were deported from Mariupol to the filtration camp in Bezymiane.

Ukrainian air defense shoots down Russian missile in Kyiv Oblast. According to Kyiv Oblast Military Administration, the missile was shot down in the Fastivskyi District on May 22. No casualties have been reported yet.

Nine injured in Russia’s shelling of Mykolaiv during past 24 hours. As of May 22, 151 people injured by Russia’s attacks are hospitalized in Mykolaiv, the city’s council reported. Russian military shells Mykolaiv using with cluster munition. Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych asked residents to stay away from windows.

Read our exclusive, on the ground stories

Unlike Ukraine’s manufacturing plants, warehouses and stores, many of which lie in ruins, its IT sector has had much better luck. In the first quarter of 2022, the industry’s export revenue hit a record $2 billion despite martial law and mobilization, up 25% year-over-year, according to Danylo Hetmantsev, the head of the parliament’s finance and taxation committee. Read our story on Ukraine’s resilient tech industry here.

The Kyiv Independent talked to a number of Ukrainians fleeing Russian occupation. Read their stories here.

The human cost of Russia’s war

Prosecutor General’s Office: Russian forces use hostages as human shields in Chernihiv Oblast. From March 3 to 31, 350 residents were kept in a 197-square-meter school basement in Yahidne, where Russian troops had set up headquarters. Among the hostages were elderly people, as well as 77 children and five infants. Due to a lack of sufficient space, sanitation, fresh air, food, and water, 10 elderly people died.

One killed, four injured in Russian airstrike on Malyn, Zhytomyr Oblast. Malyn Mayor Oleksandr Sytailo reported late on May 22 that one Ukrzaliznytsia railway employee was killed. Three other railway employees and one citizen were wounded in the attack. Sytailo added that the attack damaged local railway infrastructure, around 150 residential buildings, several shops and cafes, and industrial factories in the area.

Russian forces kill five, wound 11 in Donetsk Oblast on May 22. Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said that, of those killed, two were in Lyman, one in Dachny, one in Klinov, and one in Avdiivka.

Rescuers recover over 150 bodies from beneath rubble in Kharkiv since start of war. According to Deputy Head of the State Emergency Service Anatolii Torianyk in a televised address on May 22, 250 people have been rescued and 98 damaged areas unblocked.

Zelensky: Ukraine may be losing up to 100 soldiers fighting in the east every day. President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a press briefing on May 22 that 50-100 soldiers may be dying every day defending Ukraine in “the most difficult direction,” in the country’s eastern regions. Ukraine doesn’t publish its military casualties. As of April 16, Zelensky said that 2,500-3,000 Ukrainian troops had been killed, and up to 10,000 had been injured.

International response

Josep Borrell: ‘The time to push forward European defense is now.’ Depleted stockpiles resulting from EU military support to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s war point to shortfalls in European security and underinvestment in the EU’s defense industry for a number of years, the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell wrote in a blog post on May 22. Russia’s assault on Ukraine “represents a tectonic shift of the European security landscape,” Borrell said.

New Zealand to send 30 army personnel to train Ukrainian soldiers in UK. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that her country will send 30 defense force personnel to the U.K. to help train Ukrainian soldiers\ operating L119 light field guns.

Duda: EU must ‘open its doors’ to Ukraine as a candidate in June. Polish President Andrzej Duda said that Kyiv is waiting for a signal from the EU leadership that the bloc is open to welcoming Ukraine. A decision on Ukraine’s EU candidate status is expected to be raised during the European Council meeting in late June.

YouTube deleted over 9,000 channels, 70,000 videos related to war in Ukraine. The Guardian quoted Neal Mohan, chief product officer at YouTube, saying they were removed for “content violations,” for instance, describing Russia’s all-out invasion as a “liberation mission.”

French Minister: Ukraine should not have illusions about quick EU membership. French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune told Radio J that it would take Ukraine at least 15 to 20 years to achieve this goal. He called it a lie that Ukraine could join the bloc within six months or even a couple of years. “I don’t want to offer Ukrainians any illusions or lies,” said Beaune.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Thaisa Semenova, Daria Shulzhenko, Natalia Datskevych, Asami Terajima, Toma Istomina, Oleksiy Sorokin, Olga Rudenko, Olena Goncharova, Teah Pelechaty, Lili Bivings and Brad LaFoy.

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