Information Defence: Military-Political Situation in Ukraine as of May 7th
Ihor Zhdanov, Information Defence Project, Open Policy Foundation
Information Defence of Ukraine provides a daily review of the military-political situation in Ukraine as of the past day of May 7th, based on an analysis of open sources.
The first review was published on February 26th. All experts of the Information Defence of Ukraine project work free of charge, on a volunteer basis. We need your help. Each of your charitable donations is important to us.
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1. The Armed Forces of Ukraine heroically restrain the enemy's attacks in the decisive battle for the Donbas.
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the enemy does not stop conducting offensive operations in the Eastern Operational Zone in order to establish full control over the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk areas and the maintenance of the land corridor between these territories and the occupied Crimea.
In the Slobozhanskyi direction, the enemies focused their main efforts on preventing further advance of the Armed Forces in the direction of the state border of Ukraine. The occupiers strengthened the groups of troops of the 20th General Army and the 1st Panzer Army of the Western Military District of russia at the expense of reserve units.
As a result of the offensive attacks of the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the enemy lost control over the settlement of Tsyrkuny. The enemy tried to launch an offensive attack in the direction of the settlement of Vernopil, was unsuccessful, sustained heavy losses and retreated.
According to the experts of the Information Defence project, the successful counter-attacks of the Armed Forces in the Slobozhanskyi direction create threats to the operational environment of the enemy group in the Iziumskyi and Barvenkovskyi operational districts.
In the Donetsk direction, the enemies concentrated their main efforts on taking full control of Rubizhne and preparing for attacks on the settlements of Lyman and Severodonetsk. Moreover, the enemy tried to take control of the settlement of Olexandrivka but was unsuccessful.
In the Mariupol direction, the enemy continues to block the units of the Defence Forces in the area of the Azovstal plant, conducting assault operations with the support of artillery and tank fire.
In the Zaporizhzhia areas, the enemy, with the support of aircraft, tried to conduct offensive operations in the direction of the settlement of Poltavka, sustained losses, retreated to the previously occupied positions.
Units of the Defence Forces in the area of the settlement of Polohy, in the Zaporizhzhia region, successfully provided fire damage on the enemy, destroying some of its weapons and military equipment. The enemy combatants left their positions.
The total combat losses of the enemy from February 24 to May 7 were: combatants - approximately 25,100 (+200) people were eliminated, tanks - 1122 (+12) units, armoured combat vehicles - 2713 (+27) units, artillery systems - 509 +7) units, MLRS - 172 (+1) units, air defence means - 84 (+1) units, aircraft - 199 (+0) units, helicopters - 155 (+0) units, motor vehicles and tank trucks - 1934 (+ 8) units, ships / boats - 11 (+0) units, UAVs of operational and tactical level - 341 (+17), special equipment - 38 (+0), cruise missiles - 90 (+0).
The greatest losses of the enemy yesterday were observed in the Slobozhanskyi operational direction. Thus, more than 100 wounded servicemen of the airborne troops of the russian federation were found in the settlement of Burchak .
The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine confirmed that a russian landing craft and two Thor anti-aircraft missile systems were hit in the area of the Zmiinyi Island with the help of the Bayraktar drone.
2. Information summaries, reviews and assessments of foreign, Ukrainian intelligence and think tanks.
According to the UK intelligence review, the war in Ukraine is causing serious damage to the most capable units and the most advanced capabilities of russia, it will be difficult to restore them due to sanctions.
The UK intelligence notes that at least one newest russian T-90M tank was destroyed in the battles. The T-90M was introduced in 2016 and has improved armour, an upgraded gun and improved satellite navigation systems.
About 100 T-90M tanks are currently in service with the best-equipped russian units, including those fighting in Ukraine. The upgraded armour of the system designed to counter anti-tank weapons remains vulnerable if it is not supported by other power elements, the review said.
The review informed that replacing upgraded and improved equipment would be particularly difficult due to sanctions that restrict russia's access to critical microelectronic components.
3. The possibility of russia's use of tactical nuclear weapons.
According to them, russia has come to the conclusion that the use of any type of nuclear weapon will be too high a price for them due to the reaction of the West to this course of events. Instead, russia seeks to increase tensions to discourage the United States and Western nations from engaging and helping Ukraine even more.
Analysts at the Information Defence of Ukraine project, like their Western colleagues, believe that the risk of russia's use of tactical nuclear weapons has decreased significantly. Our conclusions are based on the following grounds.
First. The United States and the NATO allies have radically changed their policies toward the russian-Ukrainian war. If at the first stage the main task of our partners was to prevent defeat Ukraine, the United States has now set itself the task of helping our country defeat russia in this war: with massive supplies of modern offensive and heavy weapons, tough political support, and deepening and increasing the effectiveness of economic sanctions against russia.
The change in policy is due not only to the heroic actions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, but also to the fact that the US military and political leadership has made a fundamental decision - not to respond to russia's nuclear blackmail and convey to putin as clearly as possible that the response of the West will be crucial and adequate.
That is, if russia strikes a tactical weapon at a NATO country, it will retaliate with the same force. Thus, putin's doctrine of the de-escalation of ordinary military conflict through its escalation has collapsed.
The United States and NATO are ready for a violent conflict, even with the use of nuclear weapons.
Others. The rhetoric of official russian spokesmen, who are trying to appease their Western counterparts by promoting the thesis that russia did not intend to use nuclear weapons during a "special operation", that russia has a clear legal basis for decision-making on the application of a nuclear strike, etc., has been changed drastically.
Last but not least, the change in such belligerent nuclear rhetoric to a more peaceful one is due to clear personal signals to putin that the United States has some opportunities to pose a deadly threat to him personally.
Third. At the same time, the risks of using nuclear weapons in the russian-Ukrainian war remain.
There are no international guarantees in Ukraine in case tactical nuclear weapons are used on the territory of our state. This creates certain temptations for russia to prevent Ukraine's victory in any way, including not only blackmailing with a tactical nuclear strike, but also the actual use of weapons of mass destruction.
For example, such a development of events will be quite probable in the event of a decisive victory of the Ukrainian armed forces and an offensive attack to liberate the Crimea from the occupiers.
4. The russian occupiers are violating international humanitarian law and committing genocide against Ukrainians.
The russian occupiers kill and abduct civilians, hold them hostage and torture them. A representative of the occupiers, the so-called "deputy head of the military-civil administration of the region" Kirill Stremousov in a comment to the RIA Novosti has said that “all residents of the Kherson region will have the right to obtain a russian citizenship”.
The russian invaders are launching missile and bomb strikes on civilians, towns and villages. russian troops are shelling the entire Donetsk region, and civilians are urged to evacuate. Bakhmut suffered the most as russians fired there. One person was confirmed killed and there is a reason to believe that the total number of victims will be higher. In the city, 2 private houses were completely destroyed, 11 houses and premises of several enterprises were damaged.
This morning, May 7th, russian troops launched a missile strike on the Donetsk region, resulting in a fire in the building № 1 in Kostiantynivskyi Professional Construction Lyceum in Kostiantynivka, in the Kramatorsk district. As a result of the analysis of the debris, 9 victims including two dead were found.
The enemy carried out a missile strike on Odesa, the details have not been cleared yet.
A spokesman for the State Border Guard Service, Andrii Demchenko, said in a comment to the UE that enemy aircraft had twice fired missiles and bombs into the Sumy region.
The shelling took place in the area of the “Yunakivka” border service department of the Sumy detachment. During one of the incidents, enemy planes fired not only on Ukrainian but also on the russian territory.
5. Evacuation of civilians, exchange of prisoners.
On Friday, May 6th, 50 women, children and the elderly were evacuated from Azovstal in Mariupol.
The Azov Regiment Command told Ukraiinska Pravda that three Ukrainian defenders were killed and six others were seriously injured in the evacuation of civilians from Azovstal on May 6th.
Kyiv veterans of World War II have called on russian president putin to allow Ukrainian soldiers and civilians stationed at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol to leave the encirclement.
6. Political and socio-economic situation in Ukraine, economic losses due to russian aggression.
Economic losses due to russian aggression. According to preliminary estimates, Kyiv's city budget will receive less than a third of its revenues due to russian aggression, i.e. more than UAH 20 billion.
In the capital shelling more than 200 homes were damaged. 46 schools, 30 kindergartens and more than 70 objects of city infrastructure were destroyed. The mayor Vitalii Klitschko wrote about this in the Telegram.
Restoration of infrastructure in deoccupied and war-affected areas. In the Kyiv region, gas supply has been restored to 119 settlements: 117 completely, 2 - partly, currently only some residential buildings remain without water. In the city of Irpin, gas supply was restored by 59%. Only the village of Pochepyn (15 facilities) in the Bucha district remains without gas supply.
Over the past day, emergency repair crews returned lighting to more than 5,000 families in more than 18 settlements of the liberated Kyiv and the Donetsk regions. The electricity supply in the Borodianka and Makariv communities has been completely restored.
On May 7th, the railway connection between Irpin and Kyiv was restored, and the first electric train from the capital has already arrived at the station.
7. International support and assistance to Ukraine.
Political support for Ukraine. The UN Security Council has expressed its “deep concern for the maintenance of peace and security in Ukraine. The UN Security Council recalls that all countries have committed themselves to resolving their disputes by peaceful means. The UN Security Council supports the UN Secretary-General's efforts to find a peaceful solution to the problem.”
The statements of the Security Council have been confirmed by consensus, i.e. the text was confirmed, including russia. The short text, adopted on Friday, was drafted by Norway and Mexico without the word "war".
The Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany Andrii Melnyk was outraged by the ban on Ukrainian symbols at events on May 8-9 in Berlin. This was reported by RND.
"We are shocked that the Berlin police banned the carrying of flags associated with Ukraine on May 8th and 9th", Melnyk said.
For a limited time, however, the Berlin authorities allowed Ukrainian symbols during a commemorative event dedicated to the end of the World War II in Europe to be held by the Ukrainian embassy. Activist Oleksandr Snidalov, who will take part in the action on May 8th, told the European Truth about this.
According to Snidalov, the action will start on May 8th at the midday and will last about an hour, during which the use of Ukrainian symbols is allowed.
Military assistance to Ukraine. The US President Joe Biden will sign a new package of weapons for Ukraine worth at least $150 million in the coming days. The aid package includes: 25 thousand 155-mm artillery shells; 3 anti-artillery systems AN / TPQ-36; electronic equipment for suppression of interference; spare parts for equipment.
According to the Pentagon, the United States has provided Ukraine with about $4.5 billion in security assistance during Biden's presidency, including about $3.8 billion since russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24th.
Humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The US First Lady Jill Biden, accompanied by Romanian First Lady Carmen Iohannis, visited a school in Bucharest on Saturday morning to talk to Ukrainian and Romanian educators, as well as Ukrainian mothers and children.
The UK government has promised to send 287 mobile generators to Ukraine, in addition to 569 that have already been transferred. This was reported by Sky News.
The new generators, enough to power nearly 8,000 homes, will be used for hospitals, shelters and other necessary services amid ongoing destruction in eastern Ukraine.
8. Statements, provocations and fakes of the russian aggressors.
The press center of the Azov Regiment, which defends Mariupol from the russian occupiers, denied the fake about the alleged "capitulation" of the city's defenders with a white flag.
According to some Internet sources, the defenders of Mariupol joined the russian military with a white flag. In fact, white flags are used by both groups to implement the civilian evacuation plan. This procedure is being held for the fourth time.
russian propagandists claim that on May 9th, those servicemen of the occupying forces who took part in the occupation of Ukraine, including an airborne unit, will take part in the parade on the Red Square.
9. Political and socio-economic situation in russia, the impact of international sanctions on it.
New sanctions and restrictions against russia. The newly appointed Montenegrin government is preparing a package to implement all sanctions against russia, previously imposed by the European Union.
Chinese tech giants such as Lenovo and Xiaomi, to avoid falling under Western sanctions, publicly refuse to do business with russia. This was reported by Wall Street Journal with a reference to interlocutors in the market, in particular, the traders.
The Open Policy Foundation (hereinafter - the Foundation, http://openpolicy.org.ua) is a well-known public organisation that conducts analytical research and information campaigns, in particular on Ukrainian and foreign policy, protection of the rights of young people from the temporarily occupied territories to receive higher education in Ukraine.
With the beginning of the russian aggression, the Foundation's experts, together with other leading Ukrainian analysts, have joined a team to implement the Information Defence of Ukraine project. Experts of the project prepare daily reviews of the military-political situation in Ukraine in Ukrainian, English, and Russian, the first review was released on February 26th, moderate the telegram channel “Information Defence of Ukraine”, https://t.me/info_defense_ua.
For three months now, we have been working on a volunteer basis, free of charge in the conditions of hostilities, sometimes under the sounds of air attack sirens.
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