As the Russian military began moving their forces from the Zaporizhzhia Oblast to Bakhmut, the Ukrainians decided to seize this opportunity to target the relocating convoys. The act of troop relocation creates areas of concentrated military forces, as they have to gather in one location before being transported. These areas become prime targets for HIMARS strikes.
Today, the Ukrainians launched precision strikes on Mariupol, a crucial logistical hub connecting southern and eastern Ukraine, where the Russians are moving their forces and equipment. Movements towards the city were observed on the ground and in the sky, as Russian transport helicopters were spotted leaving Bryansk.
Local residents reported multiple explosions and at least four direct hits on Russian military facilities at an airfield west of the city. The Ukrainian Mariupol Mayoral Advisor announced that all residential facilities at a small base were hit, eliminating 150 Russian soldiers in a single strike.
By creating instability in Bakhmut, the Ukrainians not only forced the Russians to weaken their defenses in other regions but also made it easier to eradicate enemy forces.
Over recent days, the Russian southern supply line experienced a series of setbacks. Ukrainians successfully launched a drone strike on a vital railway connection supplying the Kherson Oblast. Russians reported that out of seven drones launched by the Ukrainians, two hit their intended target. The aftermath of the strike led to another train derailment.
Similar incidents occurred near Simferopol and in the Krasnoyarsk Krai, inside Russian territory. Ukrainian sabotage teams allegedly detonated an improvised explosive device along a railway near Chystenke, causing eight train cars to derail.
The Spokesman for the Ukrainian Intelligence Services explained that these railway connections are vital for the Russians to transport weaponry, ammunition, heavy equipment, and troops to the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. In response, Russian sources warned about the security of their southern supply lines and predicted an increase in sabotage activities.
Interestingly, the most successful drone strikes often involve only a small number of drones. This suggests that the prior widespread drone deployments were mainly to gauge the layout and capabilities of the Russian air defenses.
Russian forces are also conducting airstrikes. Since the start of May, they have launched significant missile and drone strikes almost daily, especially targeting Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. The most successful recent Russian strike was in the Odesa Oblast.
Locals reported hearing ten explosions, two of which were visible. It seems that two out of ten rockets hit an industrial area on the city’s outskirts. Russian sources speculated that these facilities were used for storing Western equipment and ammunition.
However, most of their strikes have been unsuccessful. Just yesterday, an almost fully intact Shahed-136 drone that failed to explode was discovered by Ukrainian forces. They are now reportedly replicating the drone for future use against the Russians.
In addition to this, remnants of Russian cruise missiles are being collected by Ukrainians. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that the Russians launched 22 Kh-101 and Kh-555 missiles, six Caliber missiles, and two Iskander missiles, with a 96% success rate by Ukrainian air defenses.
Despite Russian military officials denying these claims, the Kremlin has recently accused three scientists specializing in hypersonic missiles of treason. This suggests that the Kremlin suspects that vital technical information about their weapons systems has been leaked, hindering their success rate with the strikes.
The most significant news, however, is the US approval to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets. Countries like the Netherlands, Denmark, and Belgium previously expressed readiness to provide Ukraine with F-16s, and now with US legal approval, this has become possible.
US officials also stated they would support a joint effort to train Ukrainian pilots on these fourth-generation fighter aircraft to enhance and improve the Ukrainian Air Force’s capabilities. Pentagon representatives asserted that they could complete the training of Ukrainian pilots in four months.
In our daily frontline report, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what’s happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.