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Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 433: Another large-scale strike against Ukraine

Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 433: Another large-scale strike against Ukraine

Russian forces conducted another overnight large-scale missile strike against Ukraine. The White House assessed that the Russian offensive against Bakhmut has failed. Russian sources continue to claim that Ukrainian forces are conducting raids across the Dnipro River.

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1652965616595116032

Daily overview — Summary report, May 2

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 18.00 pm, May 2, 2023 is in the dropdown menu below:

Situation in Ukraine. May 1, 2023. Source: ISW.

 
Day 433 of the russian full-scale military aggression against Ukraine has begun.
The russian federation continues to use terror tactics. During the day of May 1, the enemy launched 19x missile attacks (Ukrainian defenders successfully intercepted 15x Kh-101 and Kh-555 enemy cruise missiles), 17x air strikes, and 25x MLRS attacks.
Unfortunately, the attacks have killed and wounded civilians, including children. Residential multi-storey buildings, private housing, schools, hospitals, kindergartens, and other civilian infrastructure were destroyed or damaged.
The likelihood of the enemy missile and air strike launches across Ukraine remains high.
The occupiers continue to focus their main efforts on the offensive operations on Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Mar’inka axes. 41x attacks of the adversary were repelled. Bakhmut and Mar’inka remain at the epicenter of the fighting; Ukrainian soldiers are holding the line.
Volyn and Polissya axes: no signs of the formation of enemy offensive groups were found.
Kharkiv Battle Map. May 1, 2023. Source: ISW.
Sivershchyna and Slobozhanshchyna axes: during the day of May 1, the enemy launched 1x guided aerial bomb attack on Lyzunivka (Chernihiv oblast), killing 1x child. The invaders shelled the settlements of Leonivka, Krasnyi Khutir, Karpovychi, Hrem’yach, Novhorod-Sivers’kyi (Chernihiv oblast), Seredyna-Buda, Shostka, Khodyne, Iskryskivshchyna, Volfyne, Sadky (Sumy oblast), Udy, Hoptivka, Strilecha, and Khatnje (Kharkiv oblast).
Kup’yans’k axis: the enemy did not conduct any offensive operations. The adversary fired artillery and mortars at Fyholivka, Zapadne, Lyman Pershyi, Kyslivka, Kup’yans’k, Krokhmal’ne, and Berestove (Kharkiv oblast).
Donetsk Battle Map. May 1, 2023. Source: ISW.
Lyman axis: the adversary attempted to improve the tactical situation and conducted unsuccessful offensives in the vicinities of Novoselivs’ke and Bilohorivka. Russian aircraft launched an air strike at Bilohorivka, Hryhorivka and Spirne. The adversary shelled Makiivka, Dibrova, Bilohorivka (Luhansk oblast), Verkhn’okam’yans’ke, and Spirne (Donetsk oblast) with artillery.
Bakhmut Battle Map. May 1, 2023. Source: ISW.
Bakhmut axis: the enemy continues its offensive operations. Battles in the city of Bakhmut continue. In addition, during the day of May 1, the adversary conducted unsuccessful offensives towards the settlement of Predtechyne. An air strike was launched on Bakhmut and Bila Hora. Vasyukivka, Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Novomarkove, Hryhorivka, Bakhmut, Khromove, Chasiv Yar, Ivanivske, Kostyantynivka, Dyliivka, and Pivdenne (Donetsk oblast) suffered from enemy shelling.
Avdiivka axis: the adversary conducted offensive operations in the vicinities of settlements of Sjeverne and Pervomais’ke, to no success. Russian aircraft launched an air strike on Avdiivka. The invaders shelled Lastochkyne, Sjeverne, Pervomais’ke, and Karlivka (Donetsk oblast).
Mar’inka axis: the adversary keeps attacking the positions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces. Fighting for Mar’inka continues. Heorhiivka (Donetsk oblast) also came under enemy fire.
Shakhtars’ke axis: the enemy did not conduct any offensive operations during the day of April 12. The invaders shelled Vuhledar, Bohoyavlenka, and Novoukrainka (Donetsk oblast).
Zaporizhzhia Battle Map. May 1, 2023. Source: ISW.
Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes: the occupiers stay on the defensive. They are shelling settlements, including Vremivka, Novosilka, Novopil’ (Donetsk oblast), Malynivka, Chervone, Hulyaipole, Charivne, Bilohir’ya, Mala Tokmachka, Novodanylivka, Shcherbaky, Zelenyi Hai (Zaporizhzhia oblast), Nikopol’ (Dnipropetrovsk oblast), Ivanivs’ke, Kozats’ke, Osokorivka, Zolota Balka, Kachkarivka, Respublikanets’, Beryslav, Vesele, Odradokam’yanka, Tyahynka, Bilozerka, Kizomys (Kherson oblast), and the city of Kherson.
Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. May 1, 2023. Source: ISW.
The russian occupation forces have reinforced the counterintelligence and police regimes in the temporarily occupied territory of Zaporizhzhia oblast. In particular, the invaders have banned entry to Dorozhnyanka, Reshetylivka, Kostyantynivka, and Chumats’ke for civilians who are non-residents of these settlements.
In Hornostaivka (Kherson oblast), significant problems with russian providers’ cellular signal are reported. This contrasts to the stable connection of national providers of Ukraine. The local command of the russian occupation forces explains this as the aftermath of the damage inflicted by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
During the day of May 1, the Ukrainian Air Force destroyed 3x russian anti-aircraft missile systems and launched 7x air strikes on the concentrations of the adversary troops. Also, 1x reconnaissance UAV Orlan-10 of the enemy was shot down.
During the day of May 1, Ukrainian missile and artillery troops hit 1x command post, 6x concentrations of weapons and military equipment, 2x ammunition depots, and 1x fuel and lubricant depot of the enemy.

Military Updates

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1653094186755711009

Russia lost 100,000 troops since December — White House. Only since December, Russia has suffered 100,000 casualties, including more than 20,000 killed, according to The White House. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the estimates are based on intelligence data. Russian troops suffered the largest losses in Bakhmut — a city in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast with a pre-war population of 60,000 which they have been struggling to occupy fully since December 2022.

Modern fighter jets for Ukraine: Defense Minister explains delays in the decision. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov expressed his confidence that Ukraine will receive modern fighter jets from its allies, saying that the delays concerning this decision are related to budget calculations. He shared his thoughts during an interview aired on a national TV on 1 May 2023.

Ukrainian Air Force started using American Zuni rockets to support ground forces. Ukrainian Su-25 jets designed to support ground forces were spotted using American Zuni air-to-ground rockets on the pictures published by Ukraine’s Air Force commander on 1 May, 2023. The US announced a supply of 4000 of these rockets in January 2023. The photo of the rockets installed on Ukraine’s Su-25 jet was published by Ukraine’s Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk. “[Revenge] for children in Uman,” says the inscription written on the rocket by Ukrainian pilots. It refers to the latest Russian air strike on Ukraine’s high-rise residential building in the central-Ukrainian city of Uman, which killed 23 people, including five children.

Ukrainian air defense destroys 15 of 18 cruise missiles launched by Russia at night. Ukrainian Air Defense Forces successfully destroyed 15 out of 18 enemy cruise missiles during a massive attack on the night of May 1, Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi reported. This incident followed a series of air raid alerts throughout the country between 2:30 and 3:00 a.m. At around 2:30 am, Russian occupiers attacked Ukraine with strategic aviation – nine Tu-95s from the Olenegorsk area (Murmansk region) and two Tu-160s from the Caspian Sea area.

Ukrainian counterattack in Bakhmut forces Russian retreat from some positions. Ukrainian defenders have successfully repelled Russian attacks in the Lyman direction and captured 10 Russian invaders. In Bakhmut, defense forces managed to push Russia back from some of their positions through counterattacks, Military Media Center of the Defense Forces reports citing Commander Oleksandr Syrskyy of the Eastern Military Group.

According to British Defence Intelligence, (last 48 hours): 

https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1653336048657657858

  • On 27 April 2023, Russian military-linked social media claimed that Russia’s Deputy Defence Minister, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, had been dismissed. Mizintsev held the military logistics portfolio, and had only been in post for eight months.
  • Mizintsev’s sacking was not immediately confirmed, but speculation about his future highlights how logistics problems remain at the heart of Russia’s struggling campaign in Ukraine. Russia does not have enough munitions to achieve success on the offensive. Paucity of ammunition drives internal divisions, most notably between Russia’s Ministry of Defence and Wagner Group.
  • Russia continues to give the highest priority to mobilising its defence industry, but it is still failing to meet war time demands. While Russia’s political leaders persist in demanding success on the battlefield, Russia’s logistics professionals are stuck in the middle.

Losses of the Russian army 

Losses of the Russian Army. Source: Euromaidan Press.

Humanitarian 

Russian aviation destroyed a closed school in Ukraine’s borderland region, killing a 14-year-old girl. Around 3:37 p.m., Russian aviation attacked a not working school in the Novhorod-Siverskyy district of Chernihiv Oblast. A 14-year-old girl who was nearby died, Oblast Head Viacheslav Chaus and Head of Ukraine’s Presidential Office Andriy Yermak reported. The school was located in Ukraine’s region bordering Russia, which Ukrainian troops liberated in the spring of 2022.

Missile attack in Dnipropetrovsk oblast leaves 25 injured, including 3 children. A missile attack in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine, has resulted in injuries to 25 people, including three children, the head of the military administration of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Serhiy Lysak reported. The incident occurred following a series of air raid alerts announced throughout the country around 2:30-3:00 a.m.

South Africa invites Putin to BRICS summit via Zoom after ICC issues arrest warrant – Sunday Times. South Africa has invited Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to participate in the upcoming BRICS summit via Zoom instead of in person, following the issuance of an arrest warrant for the Russian president by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Sunday Times reports that the move places South Africa’s ruling party in an uncomfortable position after it refused to support sanctions against Russia or condemn its aggression in Ukraine.

Support

UK purchases missiles with a range of 100-300 km for Ukraine. UK announced a purchase of missiles with a range of 100-300 km for Ukraine, according to the website of the UK-led International Fund for Ukraine (IFU). The list of military equipment that the UK plans to purchase for Ukraine within the IFU program by 4 May 2023 includes long-range missiles with a range of 100 to 300 km. The payload of ammunition should be from 20 to 490 kg.

General Zaluzhnyi holds an extended meeting with the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Cavoli, to discuss potential scenarios. General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), met with NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), the Commander of US European Command, General Christopher Cavoli, to discuss potential battlefield scenarios and Ukraine’s requirements for future actions, as reported by the official Telegram channel of the Commander-in-Chief of the AFU.

Czech Republic and allies seek ammo supply increase to Ukraine. The Czech Republic and the allies will seek to increase the ammunition supply to Ukraine. Together with other allies, the Czech Republic will seek to increase the supply of ammunition to Ukraine, as reported by České Noviny from a press briefing following Czech President Petr Pavel’s return from a visit to Ukraine. According to Pavel, Ukraine is suffering from a severe lack of ammunition required to launch a counteroffensive and regain control of its territory occupied by Russia.

New Developments

Ukraine asks Japan to provide equipment for electronic warfare. Ukraine’s Defense Minister said in his interview for the Japanese outlet Kyodonews that Ukraine has asked Japan to provide equipment for electronic warfare that could jam Russian drones and prevent them from attacking civilian infrastructure. The minister said he “understands” Japan’s “neutrality” in areas where the country’s pacifist Constitution prevents it from providing weaponry. “But you are a very, very modern country with electronic warfare. We need it vitally,” he said, requesting Japan to provide equipment that would jam Russian drones.

Ukraine Amb to Ireland calls for Jameson whiskey boycott over Russian trade. Ukraine’s Ambassador to Ireland, Larysa Gerasko, has called for a boycott of Jameson whiskey due to the company’s decision to continue trading in Russia, RTE reports. Gerasko accuses Jameson of funding Russian aggression in Ukraine through its business dealings. Jameson, owned by French company Pernod Ricard, resumed sales in Russia last year.

Fuel and timber train derails after explosion on railway in Bryansk Oblast, Russia. A train carrying fuel and timber derailed and caught fire after an explosion on the railway in Unetsky district, Bryansk Oblast, which borders Ukraine. According to Governor Alexander Bogomaz, there were no casualties. Governor Bogomaz reported in his Telegram channel that an unidentified explosive device detonated on the railway track, causing the locomotive of the freight train to derail. The incident occurred at the 136th kilometer of the Bryansk-Unetsa railway track.

Assessment 

https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-may-1-2023*

  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of  May 1, 2022:

Russian forces conducted another large-scale missile strike against Ukraine on the night of April 30 to May 1. Ukrainian sources reported that nine Tu-95 and two Tu-160 strategic bombers took off from Murmansk Oblast and near the Caspian Sea and launched 18 Kh-101/555 cruise missiles at Ukraine.[1] Ukrainian air defense shot down 15 of the missiles.[2] Geolocated footage from Pavlohrad, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, shows that one of the missiles struck the Pavlohrad Chemical Plant and caused a massive explosion on impact.[3] The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed on May 1 that the strikes targeted Ukrainian military-industrial objects and successfully disrupted the production of military resources.[4] The Russian MoD has recently shifted its rhetoric and is actively describing strike campaigns, likely in an effort to portray a proactive approach to growing concerns in the Russian information space regarding a Ukrainian counteroffensive. Russian milbloggers claimed that the missiles struck Ukrainian air defense systems and a transportation hub in Pavlohrad.[5] Ukrainian Air Force Spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat noted that the fact that both the Tu-95 and Tu-160s carried far fewer missiles than their maximum load suggests that Russia continues to struggle with adequate production of such munitions.[6]

The White House assessed on May 1 that Russian forces have suffered 100,000 causalities—80,000 wounded and 20,000 killed—in fighting for Bakhmut since January 2023.[7] US National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby announced that half of the 20,000 killed in action were Wagner Group fighters. Kirby also assessed that Russia’s offensive on Bakhmut has failed.[8]

Ukrainian officials continue to signal Ukraine’s readiness for potential counteroffensive operations. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov stated on May 1 that Ukraine is “reaching the finish line” in terms of when it will be ready to launch counteroffensive actions.[9] Reznikov noted that the ratio of available ammunition still does not favor Ukraine but stated that Russian capabilities continue to be limited.[10] Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Head Kyrylo Budanov emphasized on April 30 that the main goal of the Ukrainian counteroffensive remains the liberation of all Ukrainian territory and stated that he hopes Ukraine will be able to improve its positions along the entire frontline in order to effectively threaten Russian logistics in occupied Crimea and Donbas.[11]

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin is likely using his rehabilitated standing with Russian leadership to amplify his self-promotion efforts and his longstanding issues with the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD). Russian sources began circulating an alleged letter from the MoD to Prigozhin on April 30 responding to Prigozhin’s Apil 29 interview wherein he threatened to withdraw Wagner forces from Bakhmut if the Russian military fails to provide more ammunition to Wagner.[12] The letter, dated April 23, lists all the artillery ammunition and equipment that the Russian MoD provides to Wagner.[13] A Russian official may have released the letter to stop Prigozhin from using the issue of artillery shortages to criticize the MoD as he has done in the past.[14] Prigozhin responded by stating that the figures provided by the unverified document are still not sufficient for what Wagner needs to complete its assigned tasks.[15] Prigozhin then claimed on May 1 that Wagner is in possession of large stocks of weapons it captured from Ukrainian forces during the seizure of Soledar in January 2023, and Prigozhin rhetorically boasted that he has enough arms to support a million-strong army.[16] Prigozhin suggested that he would offer to exchange these stocks of weapons for the resources that Wagner requires.[17] Prigozhin will likely continue to rely on his existing informational lines of attack to promote himself and seek further privileges from the Russian military as he retains a rehabilitated standing with Russian leadership.[18]

The Russian MoD confirmed on April 30 the replacement of Russian Deputy Minister of Defense for Logistics Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev with Colonel General Aleksey Kuzmenkov. The MoD provided no justification for the replacement nor did it specify whether Mizintsev has a new role. Russian milbloggers began speculating about the replacement of Mizintsev with Kuzmenkov, who was then Deputy Head of the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia), on April 27.[19] Regular changes to the Russian military command have resulted in increasingly factionalized Russian military and disorganized command structures that degrade Russia’s military capability, as ISW has recently assessed.[20]

The Russian MoD opposition faction is likely attempting to remove select MoD officials by publicly criticizing their war efforts. Russian milbloggers complained that Deputy Defense Minister Colonel General Yunus-bek Yevkurov visited the Kherson direction months ago and did not fulfill his promise to allocate 140 to 150 boats to Russian forces to defend the islands in the Dnipro River Delta.[21] One milblogger claimed that the lack of watercraft prompted Kherson Oblast occupation head Vladimir Saldo to order his administration in mid-April to start commandeering civilian boats for Russian military use.[22] Milbloggers’ criticism of Yevkurov follows the dismissal of the Russian Deputy Defense Minister for Logistics Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev on April 27.[23] Mizintsev was reportedly dismissed after Commander of the Russian Airborne (VDV) forces and Wagner affiliate Colonel General Mikhail Teplinsky’s inspection of the Northern Fleet troops revealed significant issues with supply provisions.[24] Teplinsky reportedly assumed command of Russian forces in southern Ukraine in mid-April and may be using his new appointment to remove Russian MoD officials with the justification that they are failing to adequately supply troops. ISW assessed on April 30 that Teplinsky likely gained Russian President Vladimir Putin’s favor in late March, and the milbloggers’ criticisms against Yevkurov is likely an ongoing effort to weaken or remove a group of Russian military commanders and officials who are loyal to Russian Chief of General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov.[25]

Key Takeaways

  • Russian forces conducted another large-scale missile strike against Ukraine on the night of April 30 to May 1.
  • The White House assessed on May 1 that the Russian offensive against Bakhmut has failed.
  • Ukrainian officials continue to signal Ukraine’s readiness for potential counteroffensive operations.
  • Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin is likely using his rehabilitated standing with Russian leadership to amplify his self-promotion efforts and his longstanding issues with the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).
  • The Russian MoD confirmed the replacement of Russian Deputy Minister of Defense for Logistics Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev with Colonel General Aleksey Kuzmenkov.
  • The Russian MoD opposition faction is likely attempting to remove select MoD officials by publicly criticizing their war efforts.
  • Russian forces conducted ground attacks along the Svatove-Kremmina line.
  • Russian forces continued ground attacks in and around Bakhmut and on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
  • Ukrainian officials indicated that Wagner Group and other Russian forces are struggling to maintain their pace of offensive operations in Bakhmut.
  • Russian sources continue to claim that Ukrainian forces are conducting raids across the Dnipro River.
  • The recent increased prevalence of Russian private military companies (PMCs) operating in Ukraine may be necessitating certain changes in the overall command structure.
  • Russian officials and occupation authorities continue efforts to integrate occupied territories into the Russian socio-economic system.
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