Russian troops continue to shell and bomb Ukrainian positions in the combat areas and their deep hinterland. Mykolaiv and Kramatorsk fell victim to a massive rocket artillery strike (multiple launch rocket systems with a range of tens of kilometres). The rocket attack damaged, among others, railway infrastructure in Cherkasy and Dnipro, as well as facilities near Brovary in the Kiev Oblast and Kropyvnytskyi. Defenders reported that some enemy rockets were shot down. Delays in the movement of dozens of passenger trains have reached several hours. The information provided by the Ukrainian side from the battle areas is increasingly enigmatic or, as in the case of the situation in the Izyum-Barvinkove-Sloviansk triangle, non-existent.
The Ukrainians point to the increasingly intensive shelling of the border areas of the Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts and the expansion of enemy groupings on the opposite side of the border. Subdivisions of the 90th Tank Division from the Central Military District (MD) are to be developed in the Kursk Oblast, while in the Gomel Oblast the aggressor is increasing the number of air defence systems. Also, the exercises of special forces and electronic warfare subunits, which began in Belarus, are presented in the context of the threat of renewed Russian activity from the north. Kiev fears an armed provocation in this border region.
After a hiatus of nearly two weeks, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine provided information on the invader’s personnel problems. Soldiers of the 38th Mechanised Brigade from the 35th Combined Arms Army (CAA) of the Eastern MD were to refuse further participation in the war. In turn, the subunits of the 2nd Army Corps (the so-called Lugansk People’s Militia) of the Southern MD, after being complemented with residents of the villages closest to the combat area, are characterised by a low moral and psychological state, have major problems with their weapons and are not ready to perform their tasks.
According to American data, two of the twelve battalion tactical groups that took part in capturing the city remained in Mariupol (they are supposed to number less than 2,000 soldiers). The remaining units were redeployed to the border of the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk oblasts, in the area of Velyka Novosilka.
According to Ukrainian military intelligence, the aggressor is escalating the situation in Transnistria to create the appearance of preparing the Russian troops stationed there for an attack and to disperse and tie up the Ukrainian army in the next direction. The personnel of the Russian Army Operations Group in the Transnistrian region does not exceed 300 people, and the combined human potential of the Transnistrian and Russian forces is about 1,400 people. The territory of Transnistria may be useful for establishing supply lines for the invading troops. However, a condition for the success of this plan is the establishment of a land corridor through the southern regions of Ukraine, which, given the effective resistance of the defenders, currently seems unlikely.
The Ukrainian defence ministry has said that a covert mobilisation of unemployed and members of Cossack organisations is underway in the Belgorod and Kursk oblasts and the southern regions of Russia. Former military personnel residing in post-Soviet states are also being sought. They are to be offered to earn at least 200,000 roubles ($3,000) a month.
Over the past 24 hours, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine has demined an area of 396 ha and neutralised 1592 munitions and mines. Since the beginning of the war, 92,909 munitions and 583 kg of explosives, including 1964 aerial bombs, have been neutralised in an area of 17,000 ha.
On 4 May, Spanish law enforcement authorities – following a joint action by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) with the Prosecutor General’s Office and foreign partners – detained pro-Russian blogger Anatoly Shariy. In 2021 SBU charged him with treason and acting against national security in the information sphere. There is circumstantial evidence that he collaborated with Russian services. The activities of the Shariy Party were suspended in March. In 2021 Lithuania revoked his refugee status, granted in 2012...read more