Day 456: May 25
First of all, on 25 May, Ukrainians published a video of how they attacked the Russian intelligence ship Ivan Khurs with marine kamikaze drones. The attack happened a day before, and the Russian Defense Ministry published the first videos of the incident. The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that Ukrainians attacked the ship with three uncrewed surface vessels and that all of them were destroyed. However, the published video only showed the destruction of one drone. Later Russian sources published a photo allegedly of the return of the intact ship to Sevastopol.
Footage by the Russian MoD shows the destruction of only one of the USVs that tried to attack the Ivan Khurs signals intell ship
The massive explosion suggests that another drone that had reached the ship could have significantly damaged it
📹Russian MoD's Zvezda TV channel pic.twitter.com/ickvTR8sZ2
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) May 25, 2023
On 25 May, Ukrainians published footage of one drone actually hitting the intelligence ship, which put the Russian Ministry of Defense and all Russian sources in a very inconvenient position. It looks like Ukrainians delayed the release of the footage on purpose to further discredit the Russian Ministry of Defense for reporting false information, as not all drones were neutralized, and at least one actually hit the target. Moreover, the ship arriving in Sevastopol is not the same and is actually the mine sweeper Aleksandrit. The fate of the intelligence ship is yet unknown, but even if Ukrainians failed to sink it, they still killed at least one bird by conducting a successful information operation.
On 25 May at night, Ukrainians also conducted a drone strike on the Russian military objects in Crimea. Some Russian sources reported that Ukrainians launched up to 16 drones. Later, Russian sources reported neutralizing seven drones. In the meantime, local residents reported seeing an explosion in a warehouse near Dzhankoi, which later caught on fire. The goal of the drone attack once again seems to be undermining Russian capabilities to supply the Kherson group because there are a lot of important railway connections and warehouses around Dzhankoi.
Less than an hour ago, Ukrainians conducted a massive Storm Shadow missile strike on Berdiansk. This is the second strike over the last 3 days, and if previously Ukrainians hit military facilities on the airfield, then on 25 May, at least four explosions reportedly happened in the harbor. Judging by the footage, Ukrainians managed to destroy at least one ammunition depot.
A series of explosions were also reported in the main centers on the Zaporizhzhia front, namely in Vasylivka, Tokmak, and Melitopol. Local residents published footage of smoke near the Melitopol airfield. Later, it was confirmed that the Ukrainian air defense managed to shoot down a Russian fighter jet near Melitopol and also struck at least two command centers in Vasylivka and Tokmak.
Explosions were also reported on the territory of the Russian Federation. Local residents managed to catch on camera how the Russian air defense shot down an object near an airfield in the Rostov region. Some sources claimed it was a Ukrainian drone attack, while others speculated it could have been a drill.
In anticipation that the next Ukrainian strike might as well target the Crimean Bridge, Russian forces closed the bridge and conducted military exercises under cover of a smokescreen. It is unclear whether the official explanation is correct or whether Russians used the smokescreen to conceal something else.
Overall, as expected, Ukrainians gradually shifted their focus to the Zaporizhzhia direction after conducting up to a dozen missile strikes on Luhansk. The main targets right now are the deep rear supply hubs, such as Berdiansk, even though Ukrainians are also hitting other targets closer to the contact line. Berdiansk not only connects Melitopol and Mariupol and is out of reach of HIMARS rockets, but it also receives a lot of supplies via the Azov Sea, which is why over the last year, Russians have created a lot of military warehouses that Ukrainians are now striking with Storm Shadow missiles almost every day.
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.
- Frontline report: Ukraine strikes Russian troop in Belgorod region with drones, targets ammunition warehouses along the frontline
- Frontline report: Russia relocates forces to Belgorod after two days of insurgent fighting
- Frontline report: Ukraine’s Russian units capture some 35 km² in Russia’s border region
- Frontline report: Russian mechanized assaults fail in the Avdiivka direction