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Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 441: US announces a new $1.2 billion aid package to Ukraine

Russo-Ukrainian War. Day 441: US announces a new $1.2 billion aid package to Ukraine
Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

Ukraine’s air defense destroys 23 out of 25 Russian cruise missiles in an overnight strike. Prigozhin mocks Putin in a new video. The US announces a new $1.2 billion military aid package for Ukraine, including air defenses, ammo, and satellite imagery services.

Daily overview — Summary report, May 10

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 18.00 pm, May 10, 2023 is in the dropdown menu below:

Situation in Ukraine. May 9, 2023. Source: ISW.

Day 441 of the russian full-scale military aggression against Ukraine has begun.
During the day of May 9, the adversary launched 23x missile and 43x air strikes, 97x MLRS attacks. The enemy used various types of missiles for missile attacks, most of them were intercepted by Ukrainian defenders, but, unfortunately, some have hit their targets. In particular, 5x S-300 missiles hit the cities of Kup’yans’k, Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, and Kostyantynivka.
The likelihood of further missile and air strikes across Ukraine remains high, as the enemy continues its terror tactics.
The adversary focuses its main efforts on Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Mar’inka axes, having conducted 46x attacks. The fiercest fighting is for the cities of Bakhmut and Mar’inka.
Volyn and Polissya axes: no significant changes.
Kharkiv Battle Map. May 9, 2023. Source: ISW.
Sivershchyna and Slobozhanshchyna axes: the adversary fired artillery at the settlements of Hasychivka, Zaliznyi Mist, Murav’i (Chernihiv oblast), Tovstodubove, Bachivs’k, Stari Vyrky, Iskryskivshchyna, Volfyne, Yunakivka, Mohrytsya, Popivka, Slavhorod (Sumy oblast), Hoptivka, Varvarivka, Buhruvatka, Ohirtseve, Hatyshche, Pletenivka, Tykhe, Mala Vovcha, Budarky, Zemlyanky, Vil’khuvatka, Dvorichans’ke, and Khatnje (Kharkiv oblast).
Kup’yans’k axis: the adversary attempted to improve its tactical situation, conducting offensive operations near the settlements of Masyutivka and Stel’makhivka, to no success. The invaders fired artillery and mortars at Kam’yanka, Kolodyazne, Krasne Pershe, Fyholivka, Novomlyns’k, Dvorichna, Kindrashivka, Lyman Pershyi, Tabaivka (Kharkiv oblast), and Stel’makhivka (Luhansk oblast).
Donetsk Battle Map. May 9, 2023. Source: ISW.
Lyman axis: the enemy conducted unsuccessful offensives in the vicinity of Bilohorivka. Makiivka, Bilohorivka, Vesele (Luhansk oblast), Yampolivka, and Spirne (Donetsk oblast) were shelled with artillery.
Bakhmut Battle Map. May 9, 2023. Source: ISW.
Bakhmut axis: the adversary continues to advance. During the day of May 9, it conducted unsuccessful offensives in the city of Bakhmut, as well as towards the settlements of Ivanivske and Stupochky. Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Bohdanivka, Bakhmut, Ivanivske, Chasiv Yar, Stupochky, Zalizne, and New York, (Donetsk oblast) suffered from enemy shelling.
Avdiivka axis: the adversary did not conduct any offensive operations. Russian aircraft launched an air strike in the vicinity of Avdiivka. The invaders shelled the settlements of Novokalynove, Avdiivka, Pervomais’ke, Netaylove, and Karlivka (Donetsk oblast).
Mar’inka axis: Ukrainian defenders repelled numerous enemy attacks in the vicinity of the city of Mar’inka. At the same time, Heorhiivka (Donetsk oblast) and other settlements were shelled by the enemy.
Shakhtars’ke axis: the enemy did not conduct any offensive operations during the day of May 9. The invaders launched an air strike in the vicinity of Velyka Novosilka, shelled the settlements of Novomykhailivka, Vodyane, Vuhledar, Prechystivka, and Velyka Novosilka.
Zaporizhzhia Battle Map. May 9, 2023. Source: ISW.
Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes: the adversary stays on the defensive. Russian aircraft launched air strikes at Orikhiv, Kizomys, and Stanislav. The invaders shelled the settlements of Vremivka, Novopil’ (Donetsk oblast), Ol’hivs’ke, Poltavka, Malynivka, Hulyaipole, Charivne, Mala Tokmachka, Orikhiv, Novodanylivka, Novoandriivka, Stepove, Kam’yans’ke, Plavni (Zaporizhzhia oblast), Antonivka, Molodizhne, and Zelenivka (Kherson oblast).
Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. May 9, 2023. Source: ISW.
In Enerhodar, the russian occupiers organized a so-called “evacuation” for family members of Zaporizhzhia NPP employees. Yet, the employees of the power plant are not allowed to leave the city.
The so-called “authorities” put in office by the occupation forces announced the evacuation to recreation centers and hotels of Berdyans’k and Kyrylivka. However, those who agreed were taken to Rostov oblast (russia) and placed in tent camps.
The situation was somewhat different in Velyka Bilozerka. Last week, most of the collaborators used their own vehicles to leave for Crimea.
During the day of May 9, the Ukrainian Air Force launched 8x air strikes on the concentrations of troops and military equipment of the adversary, as well as 2x air strikes on the anti-aircraft missile systems.
During the day of May 9, Ukrainian defenders intercepted 6x various-type UAVs of the enemy, 3x of them Shahed.
The Ukrainian missile and artillery troops hit 1x command post, 4x concentrations of troops, 2x artillery units at their firing positions, and 1x electronic warfare station of the adversary.

Military Updates

Shelling by Russian Troops. Icelandic Data Analyst.

Ukraine’s air defense destroys 23 out of 25 Russian cruise missiles in overnight strike. Air raid alert was announced in the middle of the night on Tuesday, 9 May, in all oblasts of Ukraine. During the night of 9 May, the Ukrainian air defense destroyed 23 out of 25 cruise missiles launched by the Russian aggressor. According to the commander of the Air Force, Mykola Oleksiuk, and the Chief Commander of the Armed Forces, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, in just two waves of attack, the Russian forces launched 25 cruise missiles of the Caliber and X-101/X-555 types.

Ukrainian soldiers complete the latest four-week instructor training course in Lithuania. After returning to Ukraine, the servicemen can train other Ukrainian soldiers. Their skills and knowledge will be applied at military training centers. “The Ukrainian soldiers learned military pedagogy, basics of marksmanship and weaponry, the skills needed to plan and conduct training sessions independently,” the Lithuanian Defense Ministry wrote.

Final plans for counteroffensive not yet approved by Zelenskyy – Ukraine Security Council Secretary. The final plans for the anticipated counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, including the timing and directions of troop movement, have not yet been approved by the country’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. This was stated by Oleksii Danilov, Secretary of the Security and Defense Council, on the national telethon, Liga reports.

Ukraine has what it needs to successfully retake territory – US State Secretary Blinken. CNN reports that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken thinks Ukraine has the resources it needs to retake territory in an anticipated counteroffensive. “They have in place […] what they need to continue to be successful in regaining territory that was seized by force by Russia over the last 14 months,” he said at a joint news conference with UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

Ukrainian military keeps working to exhaust Russians in Kherson Oblast – Ukrainian Command South. In recent days, Ukraine’s Defense Forces have destroyed four Russian artillery pieces, and hit ammunition storage facilities in the Russian-occupied eastern-bank part of Kherson Oblast three times, according to Natalia Humeniuk, head of the Joint Press Center of the Southern Defense Forces.

Frontline report: Massive HIMARS raid makes Russians believe counteroffensive to start on May 9. Russian forces relocated at Bakhmut to prepare for a massive storming operation. At the same time, Ukrainians advanced in the Khromove area and the northeastern side of Bakhmut’s “citadel,” and conducted an extensive HIMARS raid, which made many Russian sources believe that Ukraine was going to launch its counteroffensive on 9 May close to midnight.

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

  • On 09 May 2023, the make-up of Russia’s annual Victory Day Parade in Red Square highlighted the materiel and strategic communications challenges the military is facing 15 months into the war in Ukraine.


  • Over 8,000 personnel reportedly took part in the parade, but the majority were auxiliary, paramilitary forces, and cadets from military training establishments. The only personnel from deployable formations of regular forces were contingents of Railway Troops and military police.


  • A vintage T-34 from a ceremonial unit was the sole tank on parade. Despite heavy losses in Ukraine, Russia could have fielded more armoured vehicles. The authorities likely refrained from doing so because they want to avoid domestic criticism about prioritising parades over combat operations.

Losses of the Russian army 

Losses of the Russian Army. Source: Euromaidan Press.


Kyiv Oblast discovers remnants of Russian missile, avoids casualties. Kyiv Oblast’s law enforcement officers discovered remnants of a Russian missile and a massive crater, resulting in some structural damage but thankfully no casualties. The revelation was made by Andriy Nebytov, the Kyiv Oblast Police Chief, in a message on Telegram: “Parts of an enemy missile were found in a populated area in one of the region’s districts. There is partial destruction of civil infrastructure. However, thanks to the skilled work of the Armed Forces’ air defense, we managed to avoid human casualties and turn another Russian cruise missile into scrap metal”.


The EU considers prohibiting access to ports for vessels transporting Russian oil above the price caps. The EU proposed prohibiting access to ports for vessels that attempt to circumvent sanctions on Russian oil, transporting the oil with prices above the price caps, Bloomberg writes, referring to its sources. The outlet writes that the 11th package of EU sanctions on Russia, currently being negotiated, will reportedly focus on closing loopholes in the restrictions. The EU also proposed targeting vessels that switch off navigation systems as part of the planned sanctions package.

UK intel reports growing water scarcity issue in Russian-occupied Donetsk. In its latest intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine, the British Defense Ministry reports on the ongoing water scarcity issue in Russian-occupied Donetsk, which has worsened since the 2022 invasion, and warns that the dearth of water in the area could worsen despite Russian attempts to remedy the situation.

Russian invaders abduct Ukrainian volunteer caring for elderly grandmother in occupied Melitopol. This is the second time that Illya Yenin has been abducted by the Russians and there are strong grounds for fearing that torture is being used to extract some surreal ‘confession’


Latvian FM calls for EU support of Ukraine’s membership on Europe Day. Latvian Foreign Minister, Edgars Rinkēvičs, has called for the European Union’s support for Ukraine’s bid to join the bloc. His remarks came as he congratulated Ukraine on its first synchronized celebration of Europe Day with the EU. Rinkēvičs expressed his sentiments in a morning tweet on Tuesday. He emphasized that a democratic, legal, and modern Latvia in a strong, effective, and united European Union is the basis for the country and society’s security and development. “Supporting Ukraine and its EU membership will make Europe even stronger. Happy Europe Day!” Rinkēvičs added.

European Commission president visits Kyiv to celebrate Europe Day. President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, arrived in Kyiv on Tuesday, 9 May, to celebrate Europe Day.

Poland hands over 10 MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine. Poland has already transferred ten Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine as part of its military support. This was announced by Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak during his visit to Canada, according to Ukrinform.

Britain prepares to send long-range missiles to Ukraine – WP. Britain, which has prided itself on being ahead of its Western allies in introducing new weapons systems to Ukraine, such as Western-made tanks, now appears poised to send Kyiv the long-range missiles the Biden administration has long denied, the Washington Post reports.

US announces new military aid package for Ukraine, including air defenses, ammo, satellite imagery services. On 9 May, the US Department of Defense (DoD) announced a new security assistance package to “reaffirm the steadfast US support for Ukraine, including to bolster its air defenses and sustain its artillery ammunition needs.” The Pentagon says the package totals up to $1.2 billion and is being provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).

New Developments

Ukraine condemns participation of Central Asian and Caucasian leaders in Moscow military parade. On May 9, 2023, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the participation of the Armenian Prime Minister and the Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan in an event held in Moscow’s Red Square. During the event, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is wanted by international justice for committing war crimes, justified the killing of Ukrainians, destruction of Ukrainian cities and villages, kidnapping of Ukrainian children, and repression against residents of occupied Ukrainian territories. On the night before the meeting, Russia launched 25 missiles against Ukraine, including 15 targeted at Kyiv, causing further deaths and destruction in Ukrainian lands.

A single tank (WWII-era) participated in Russia’s May 9th parade. On 9 May 2023, significantly fewer units of Russian military equipment, including just one tank from the World War II era, participated in the parade on Red Square in Moscow than in previous years. This observation was made by Oliver Alexander, an analyst referenced by Radio Liberty, based on parade footage. According to Alexander’s data, only 51 units of equipment rolled through Red Square this year. Last year, when the parade was already reduced compared to times before Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, 131 combat machines participated. In 2021, there were 197, meaning a reduction of almost four times compared to the last year before full-scale war.

Aerial displays for parades in Moscow and other Russian cities was cancelled. The aerial part of Russia’s Victory Day parade in Moscow’s Red Square and several other Russian cities was cancelled, officially due to weather conditions, according to Russian Interfax. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, 11,000 servicemen participated in the military parade at Red Square on 9 May 2023. The mechanized column reportedly included 131 units of modern military equipment, as well as historic equipment represented by a Soviet tank – T-34-85, which led the mechanized column.


  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of  May 9, 2022:

Russian President Vladimir Putin declined to use his Victory Day address to make any significant rhetorical changes and reiterated existing narratives, preparing for a protracted war and framing Russia as successfully resisting the entire West. Putin stated in his annual address marking the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany on May 9 that “a real war has been unleashed against Russia” and that Russia has repelled international terrorism and will continue to “defend” residents in Donbas.[1] Putin has previously claimed the West is waging a global “war” against Russia.”[2] Putin has previously referred to the Russian military campaign in Ukraine as a ”war” but this rhetoric, whether an intentional acknowledgment of the scale of the fighting or not, has not corresponded with any changes in the Kremlin’s approach to the “special military operation.”[3] Putin similarly declined to use recent notable events such as his annual New Year’s Eve address or his February 2023 address to the Federal Assembly to offer any concrete vision on how to reverse the Russian military’s setbacks in Ukraine or reframe the war.[4] Putin has instead used these events to reinforce long-standing rhetorical lines aimed at preparing the Russian public for a protracted war in Ukraine by evoking the memory of World War Two without calling on Russian society to support full mobilization.[5]

Putin additionally attempted to use Victory Day celebrations to rally Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) partners, many of which have sought to reduce their reliance on the Kremlin since February 2022. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Turkmen President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev joined Putin at the Moscow Victory Day parade in Red Square.[6] Putin emphasized the importance of CIS leaders attending the event and repeated boilerplate Kremlin rhetoric that Russia is pursuing a multi-polar world order.[7] Putin’s latest efforts to rally CIS countries were muted by the reluctance of several Central Asian leaders initially expressed towards attending the Victory Day event, and Lukashenko did not join the rest of the leaders at an earlier wreath-laying ceremony.[8] Lukashenko also did not deliver his traditional Victory Day address in Minsk, Belarus, although it is not immediately clear why.[9] Other non-Western states have largely rebuffed the Kremlin’s attempts to coalesce a potential anti-Western coalition, most notably China through its increasing rhetorical distancing from Russia.[10] ISW has previously assessed that the degradation of Russian military power in Ukraine has likely made this Russian effort even less attractive to other states.[11]The Victory Day events showcased far less military equipment than usual (including only a single World War Two–era T-34/85 and no modern tanks, which Russia badly needs in Ukraine) and demonstrated the further degradation of the Russian military, despite the Kremlin’s attempts in previous weeks to downplay Victory Day by downsizing parades and outright canceling events.[12]

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin seized the Victory Day holiday as an opportunity to mock Putin and question his judgment. Prigozhin referred to a “happy grandfather” figure who “thinks that he is good” during a discussion of ammunition shortages and Russia’s future prospects in Ukraine.[13]Prigozhin then rhetorically asked what Russia and future generations should do and how Russia can win if the “grandfather” turns out to be a “complete asshole.” Prigozhin also noted that unnamed figures (likely referring to Putin and the senior Russian MoD figures) should stop showing off on Red Square. Prigozhin is likely referring to Putin, who is often referred to as “grandfather” (or more specifically “Bunkernyi ded” or “bunker grandfather”), and Prigozhin has previously attacked other senior Russian officials and officers by name — but has not done so against Putin. Prigozhin has previously attempted to upstage Putin’s authority through similar rhetorical stunts.[14] Prigozhin’s escalating attacks on Putin may — if the Kremlin does not respond to Prigozhin’s thinly veiled criticism of Putin on Victory Day — further erode the norm in Putin’s system in which individual actors can jockey for position and influence (and drop in and out of Putin’s favor) but cannot directly criticize Putin.

Prigozhin announced that Wagner forces will not withdraw from Bakhmut by his previously stated deadline of May 10, despite the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) failing to provide Wagner with additional shells. Prigozhin stated on May 9 that Wagner will continue to fight for Bakhmut and will continue to uphold its demands in the next few days.[15] Prigozhin stated that Wagner did not receive the total ammunition the Russian MoD allegedly promised in a May 7 order, and claimed Wagner only received 10 percent of the requested ammunition on May 8. Prigozhin added that the Russian MoD order threatened Wagner with treason if Prigozhin withdrew his forces from Bakhmut, likely one of the reasons why Prigozhin is not following through on his May 5 threat to withdraw from Bakhmut if the Russian MoD failed to fully supply Wagner with ammunition by May 10, a threat he dropped on May 7.[16] Prigozhin also noted that he has not been able to contact the deputy theater commander in Ukraine and the intermediary between the Russian MoD and Wagner, Army General Sergey Surovikin.

Prigozhin’s failure to follow through on his May 5 withdrawal threat indicates that he is cognizant of his dependence on the Russian MoD. Prigozhin attempted to blackmail the Russian MoD into reprioritizing the Bakhmut offensive so he could independently claim victory in the city at the expense of the Russian military’s likely preparations ahead of the planned Ukrainian counteroffensive.[17] Prigozhin criticized officials in charge of allocating ammunition of pointlessly conserving shells and allowing Russian servicemen to die in battle, though the Russian MoD is likely (smartly) conserving limited ammunition to repel a Ukrainian counteroffensive.[18] Prigozhin likely expected the Russian MoD to entirely cave to his demands at the risk of abandoning their own objectives for regular Russian forces but likely realized he cannot follow through with his ultimatum at this time. Prigozhin also likely anticipated that Surovikin would be able to coerce the Russian MoD into satisfying Wagner’s demands; but his inability to reach Surovikin, if true, indicates that Prigozhin does not have as much leverage within the Russian MoD as he imagined.

Prigozhin continued to blame high casualties and the slow pace of advances in Bakhmut on other Russian irregular formations to frame Wagner as the only competent force operating in the area. Prigozhin accused the 72nd Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 3rd Army Corps of abandoning a strategic position in Bakhmut which resulted in 500 Wagner casualties on May 9.[19] Prigozhin accused the Russian MoD (which he nicknamed “the Russian Ministry of Drama”) of focusing on internal conflicts instead of fighting, which he claimed led forces to “run away.” Prigozhin also criticized the Russian “Potok” battalion — which is affiliated with Russian state energy company Gazprom — for fleeing. Wagner-affiliated Telegram channels previously accused “Potok” of abandoning Wagner’s flanks in Bakhmut, and ISW assessed that Prigozhin launched a campaign to undermine Russian state-affiliated private military companies (PMCs).[20]

Russian forces conducted another large-scale series of missile strikes against Ukraine on the night of May 8 to 9. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on May 9 that Ukrainian air defenses shot down all 8 Kalibr cruise missiles and 15 of the 17 Kh-101/Kh-555 missiles that Russian forces launched.[21] The Ukrainian General Staff reported that three S-300 missiles struck civilian infrastructure in Kramatorsk and Kostyantynivka in Donetsk Oblast.[22] The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian forces conducted a concentrated strike on Ukrainian temporary deployment points and ammunition depots, successfully striking all targets.[23] The continuation of Russian missile strikes at a smaller scale than the daily strikes during the failed Russian campaign against Ukrainian critical infrastructure likely indicates that Russian forces are more focused on sustaining a regular series of missile strikes than the actual effectiveness of the strikes.[24]Russian forces may be attempting to conduct an almost daily series of missile strikes in order to portray themselves as constraining potential upcoming Ukrainian counteroffensive operations, although the diminished effectiveness of the strikes is likely not significantly constraining Ukrainian actions.

Key Takeaways

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin declined to use his Victory Day address to make any significant rhetorical changes and reiterated existing narratives, preparing for a protracted war and framing Russia as successfully resisting the entire West.
  • Putin additionally attempted to use Victory Day celebrations to rally Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) partners, many of which have sought to reduce their reliance on the Kremlin since February 2022.
  • Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin likely seized the Victory Day holiday as an opportunity to mock Putin and question his judgment in one of his most direct challenges of Putin to date.
  • Prigozhin announced that Wagner forces will not withdraw from Bakhmut by the previously stated deadline of May 10 despite the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) failing to resolve the claimed “shell hunger.”
  • Prigozhin’s failure to abide by the withdrawal threat he made on May 5 indicates that he is cognizant of his dependence on the Russian MoD.
  • Prigozhin continued to blame high casualties and the slow pace of advance in Bakhmut on other Russian irregular formations to frame Wagner as the only competent force operating in the area.
  • Russian forces conducted another large-scale series of missile strikes against Ukraine on the night of May 8 to 9.
  • Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks northeast of Kupiansk and along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
  • Russian forces continued to make marginal gains within Bakhmut and continued limited offensive operations along the Avdiivka–Donetsk front.
  • Russian forces targeted Ukrainian positions west of Hulyaipole and in Kherson Oblast.
  • Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov opened a new military camp for the “Sever Akhmat” Special Purpose Regiment in the Republic of Chechnya.
  • Russian occupation officials continue to deport civilians deeper into Russian-occupied territory.
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