10:35 10.05.2022

Author IHOR ZHDANOV

Information Defence: Military-Political Situation in Ukraine as of May 9th

16 min read
Information Defence: Military-Political Situation in Ukraine as of May 9th

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 9th, based on an analysis of open sources.

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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, in the Kharkiv direction, the enemy units from the 6th Army of the Western Military District, 41st Army of the Central Military District and the Coastal Troops of the Baltic Fleet are trying to prevent further advance of Ukrainian troops towards the state border of Ukraine.

In the Izium direction, groups of the 1st tank army, the 20th army of the Western Military District, 29th, 35th, and 36th armies, and 68th army corps of the Eastern Military District are concentrating efforts to prepare for the continuation of the attacks in the Izium-Barvinkove and Izium-Sloviansk directions.

In the Donetsk direction, a group of russian troops continues offensive operations in the Lyman, Severodonetsk, Popasna, Avdiyivka, and Kurakhiv directions. The russian army is trying to "cut off" the Luhansk region from Ukraine by taking control of the Lysychansk-Bakhmut route, transporting russian military equipment across the Siverskyi Donets. In the area of Bilohorivka, 6 km west of Lysychansk, there are three pontoon crossings.

In the Mariupol direction, the enemy continues to block our units near the Azovstal plant. With the support of artillery and tank fire, the enemy is conducting assault operations. The resumption of bombings by long-range Tu-22M3 bombers is possible.

russia has doubled the number of Caliber naval-based cruise missile carriers in the Black Sea, with a total volley of up to 50 missiles.

The total combat losses of the enemy from February 24 to May 9 were: combatants - approximately 25,650 (+150) people were eliminated, tanks - 1145 (+15) units, armoured combat vehicles - 2764 (+23) units, air defence - 87 +1) units, (+23) units, artillery systems - 513 (+4) units, MLRS - 185 (+6) units, aircraft - 199 (+0) units, helicopters - 158 (+2) units, automotive equipment and tankers - 1970 (+9) units, ships / boats - 12 (+0) units, UAVs of operational and tactical level - 377 (+17) units, special equipment - 41 (+2) units, cruise missiles - 94 (+ 2) from.

2. Information summaries, reviews and assessments of foreign, Ukrainian intelligence and think tanks.

According to the UK intelligence review, russia has seriously reduced the number of high-precision munitions, using obsolete missiles and bombs for shelling.

At the beginning of its invasion of Ukraine, russia publicly promoted its ability to strike and limit the side effects of bombing on cities. However, as the conflict continues beyond russia's pre-war expectations, russia's stockpiles of high-precision ammunition are likely to be depleted. Due to this, the army has to use available but obsolete munitions that are less reliable, less accurate and easier to intercept. russia will likely find it difficult to replace high-precision weapons already used in the attacks.

It is also noted that russia's invasion of Ukraine has revealed shortcomings in its ability to deliver large-scale high-precision strikes. russia subjected Ukrainian cities and towns to intense and indiscriminate bombing, without thinking of civilian casualties.

Mariupol Deputy of the City Council, Oleksandr Lashyn, got information from his sources that on May 11th, russian occupiers have an intention to use chemical weapons against Ukrainian defenders on the territory of Azovstal.

3. The russian occupiers are violating international humanitarian law and committing genocide against Ukrainians.

International and national investigation of the genocide of the russian occupiers against Ukrainians. As reported the Office of the Prosecutor General, during the investigation near the village of Makariv, the burial of three civilians was found on the roadside.

According to preliminary information, servicemen of the russian Armed Forces killed three men in the head during the occupation of the settlement.

The russian aggressors kill Ukrainian children. According to the officials, at least 226 children have been killed and 415 injured in russia's war in Ukraine.

On May 8th, the information was received about the death of a 13-year-old girl who was in one of the cars in a convoy of private cars, which on May 4th were fired upon by the occupiers in the Chuhuiiv district of the Kharkiv region.

On May 7th, girls aged 9 and 13 were wounded by enemy troops in the villages of Bilohorivka and Shypilove in the Luhansk region.

According to the available data, children suffered mostly in the following regions: the Donetsk region - 139, the Kyiv region - 116, the Kharkiv region - 99, the Chernihiv region - 68, the Kherson region - 46, the Mykolaiiv region - 44, the Luhansk region - 44, the Zaporizhzhia region - 28, the Sumy region - 17, the Zhytomyr region – 15, and 16 children were injured in the Kyiv City during the war.

The russian occupiers kill and abduct civilians, hold them hostage and torture them. According to RIA Melitopol, in the occupied city on the eve of May 9th, the russian military staged a "real terror" to the city's residents, according to a local newspaper. Under the guise of searching for guerrillas and saboteurs, the russian military reportedly broke into apartments and garages, conducted "searches" and stole cars.

The russian invaders are launching missile and bomb strikes on civilians, towns and villages. On the night of May 9th, the occupiers fired on settlements, and there were dead and wounded in the Kharkiv region and the Donbas area.

The Dnipropetrovsk region. Late in the evening, the occupiers fired on the Zelenodolsk community, and no one was injured.

In the Chernihiv region, the night passed quietly, but on May 8th, at about 5 pm, russians fired mortars at the outskirts of the villages of the Horodnianske community near the state border. There are no reported victims.

The Kharkiv region. In the afternoon of May 8th, russians fired several times from the MLRS on the outskirts of the city, no one was injured. In the Kharkiv district, two people were injured and one died. During the day, active shelling of Bohodukhiv and districts continued: 4 wounded, and 3 people were dead. In the evening of May 8th, shelling of the occupiers was recorded in the Lozivskyi and Zolochivskyi districts: 2 people were wounded.

The Luhansk region. As a result of heavy shelling in Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, the village of Shypilove 5 objects were damaged: houses, outbuildings, a prayer house was destroyed in the village Shypilove. Eleven people who were hiding in the basement in Shypilove and on whom russians opened fire, stopped communicating.

As a result of the shelling, 3 people were killed (including two volunteers from the Transcarpathia – the Zakarpattia region), 3 more were injured. At night, the occupiers fired on Lysychansk.

In the Donetsk region at night, russians fired on Novomykhailivka, Avdijivka, Mar’inka , and settlements of the Ocheretyn territorial community. As for now, there is information about one wounded civilian in Novomykhailivka.

The russian invaders bombed the St. George's Hermitage of the Holy Dormition Sviatohorsk Lavra of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Donetsk region.

The Odesa region: on May 8th, there were several missile attacks, mostly involving aircraft. 6 missiles destroyed air defence forces. The missile strike in the region damaged the power substation and gas pipeline in the Artsyz community, destroyed several private houses and damaged recreation areas in Odesa. There are victims there.

On the morning of May 9th, the russian army launched a missile strike on the Odesa region, four “Onyx” missiles from the “Bastion” missile complex in the Crimea.

As a result of attack of the russian occupation troops on May 9th in the Mykolaiiv area, one man was lost.

UN Secretary-General António  Guterres was "shocked by the news" of a russian bombing of a school in Bilohorivka, in the Luhansk region, where people were hiding. The statement does not mention that the bombing of the Luhansk region, including schools in Bilohorivka, is carried out by russian troops.

On May 7th, the russian occupiers dropped a powerful bomb on a school building in the village of Bilohorivka in the Luhansk region, where 90 people were hiding from the shelling. 60 people were reported as killed.

A "parade" on May 9th in the temporarily occupied territories. According to RIA Novosti, the Immortal Regiment was held in Kherson, Skadovsk and Enerhodar occupied by russian troops.

Kremlin media are spreading a video of the Immortal Regiment being held in Kherson. A group of people with red flags organised a meeting in the city park of Slavy (Glory). The media wrote that people would be taken from the Crimea for this purpose. The video was spread by russian propagandists.

It is also reported that in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, "festive events" are held in honour of the Victory Day. An "immortal regiment" was also held in the occupied Skadovsk.

The russian military failed to gather residents of occupied Melitopol to celebrate May 9th, said the Mayor Ivan Fedorov, informing that people continue to flee the occupation, although it is difficult. RIA "Melitopol" writes that about 3,000 people from the Crimea were brought to the city by the "Immortal Regiment".

The russian invaders have deployed 300 meters of "St. George's ribbon" in the encircled Mariupol and are trying to create a picture for russian TV with the help of "touring artists" from the occupied territories. And all this against the background of cannonade from Azovstal, where the enemy resumed the assault on Ukrainian defenders.

On May 9th, during a parade in Moscow and putin's speech, it was not broadcast from a russian satellite to the occupied Ukrainian regions.

During the parade and speech of the leader of the aggressor’s country in the capital of the enemy state, which broadcast all russian propaganda channels, broadcast from the russian satellite to the occupied Ukrainian regions was unexpectedly turned off.

4. Evacuation of civilians, exchange of prisoners.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine received a total of about 32,000 appeals to search for russian soldiers, and approximately 12,000 of such appeals went to the agency's hotline.

5. Political and socio-economic situation in Ukraine, economic losses due to russian aggression.

Restoration of infrastructure in the de-occupied and war-affected areas. Road workers built a temporary bypass road near the destroyed bridge on the M-03 Kyiv-Poltava highway in the Kyiv region near the village of Borshchiv.

The Mayor of Irpin Oleksandr Markushyn said that as of May 9, the sappers detecting the mines had superficially monitored 100% of the city.

The Fozzy Group, which includes the Silpo and Fora supermarket chains, has reopened a cannery in Vorzel near Kyiv.

6. International support and assistance to Ukraine.

Political support for Ukraine. Ukraine filled in the second part of the questionnaire to obtain the status of a candidate for the membership in the European Union. This was announced by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The President of the European Council Charles Michel arrived in Odesa on May 9th to celebrate the Day of Europe.

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, visited Irpin and Borodianka on May 9th.

Military assistance to Ukraine. The Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau has announced additional military assistance to Ukraine in the amount of 50 million Canadian dollars (about 40 million US dollars) and announced new sanctions against russian oligarchs and those close to the putin regime.

The American arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp plans to almost double the production of Javelin anti-tank systems due to growing demand after the russian invasion of Ukraine.

Financial assistance to Ukraine. In the form of grants and loans, Ukraine has already agreed on a total support of $10 billion, of which $4.5 billion has already been received. This was stated by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.

The countries of the European Union should consider withdrawing russia's frozen foreign exchange reserves and sending them to Ukraine after the war. The EU Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Borrel told about this in his interview for The Financial  Times.

7 . Speech by the russian president putin on May 9th.

At a Victory Day parade in Moscow, the russian president putin said that russia had "given a precaution against the NATO aggression" when it invaded Ukraine and did not declare mobilisation for the war.

According to him, russia "has always advocated the creation of a system of equal and indivisible security" so that the horrors of global war do not recur. The russian president mentioned russia's unsuccessful blackmail of the Western world and reiterated several reasons for the war, without mentioning that russian troops had been stationed near Ukraine's borders for almost a year before the invasion.

He stressed that "last December (2021) we offered to conclude an agreement on security guarantees. russia called on the West to have an honest dialogue, to find reasonable compromises, to take into account each other's interests. All in vain. NATO countries did not want to hear us. They had completely different plans.

Preparations were underway for the next punitive operation in the Donbas, for the invasion of our historic lands, including the Crimea. In Kyiv, they announced the possible acquisition of nuclear weapons. The NATO bloc has begun active military development of the adjacent territories. Thus, a threat was created that was absolutely unacceptable for us, right next to our borders.

All indications were that a clash with the neo-Nazis, the Banderas, on which the United States and its smaller companions had relied, would be inevitable. We have seen the deployment of military infrastructure, the work of hundreds of foreign advisers, and the regular supply of state-of-the-art weapons from the NATO countries.

The danger grew with each passing day, and russia warned against aggression. It was a forced, timely and the only right decision - the decision of a sovereign, strong, independent country.”

putin said that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States “talked about its uniqueness, thereby humiliating not only the world but also its satellites, who have to pretend that they do not notice anything and humbly swallow it all.”

He accused the world of "inciting Russophobia" and "praising traitors". The russian president said that "today the militias of the Donbas together with the soldiers of the russian army are fighting on their land", that they are fighting for the Motherland, and its future, “so that there is no place for executioners, punishers and the Nazis in the world.”

8. Political and socio-economic situation in russia, the impact of international sanctions on it.

New sanctions and restrictions against russia. The US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control has published a list of individuals and companies (OFAC list), against which sanctions were imposed for russia's involvement in the war in Ukraine.

Greece has helped keep russia's pre-war oil exports despite sanctions that have officially closed European ports to russian ships. This was reported by Die World.

Bulgaria has threatened not to support a new package of European Union sanctions against russia unless it is exempted from the proposed ban on russian oil.

Hungary has not changed its position on the oil embargo against russia and insists it is not ready to support it despite the difficult negotiations that have taken place in recent days and the concessions offered to it.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is travelling to Budapest to meet with the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, apparently to persuade him about the oil embargo against russia in the sixth EU sanctions package.

The negative impact of sanctions on the russian economy. russia's Ministry of finance predicts a 12% cut in the aggressor's GDP due to sanctions, which could wipe out a "decade of economic growth."

This was reported by Bloomberg with reference to the internal forecast of the russian Ministry of Finance and its interlocutor.

 

***

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.

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