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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 814: Zelenskyy claims Russians failed to breach Ukraine’s main defense lines in Kharkiv Oblast

Exploiting a window of opportunity as Ukraine awaited weapons deliveries from the allies, Russian forces started an offensive in Kharkiv Oblast, however, Ukrainian forces managed to stabilize the frontline, with the deepest point of the Russian advance limited to 10 kilometers.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy talks to Ukrainian journalists, May 2024. Credit: Presidential Office
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 814: Zelenskyy claims Russians failed to breach Ukraine’s main defense lines in Kharkiv Oblast


The EW backpack revolution: How Ukrainian portable tech jams Russian drones. As Russian drones evolve, Ukrainian forces are embracing cutting-edge, portable electronic warfare systems to stay ahead. One standout innovation is a soldier-worn backpack that detects and jams drones from hundreds of meters away.
Delayed Western aid allowed Russia to attack Kharkiv Oblast. As Ukraine waited for new weapons deliveries debated for months by the US Congress and European Union, Russia seized the initiative with a lightning offensive in Kharkiv province on 10 May, marking its most significant gains in nearly a year.


Updated: Russian attacks on Kharkiv and Odesa kill four, injure 36 . Russian attack on Kharkiv on 17 May wounded 25 people, with four of them in serious condition and the rest in moderate condition.

Frontline report: Ukraine seizes initiative after wildfires ravage Russian positions in Luhansk Oblast. The arrival of over 50 British self-propelled guns, AS-90, has significantly bolstered Ukrainian artillery capabilities, potentially shifting the balance of power in the Serebryansky forest area.

Zelenskyy: Ukrainian forces stabilize Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast. According to Zelenskyy, the deepest point of the Russian advance in the Kharkiv region is 10 kilometers, but they have failed to breach Ukraine’s main defense lines.

As of 17 May 2024, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the invasion to the present day:

      • Personnel: 489870 (+1410)
      • Tanks: 7547 (+18)
      • APV: 14552 (+14)
      • Artillery systems: 12603 (+38)
      • MLRS: 1071 (+1)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 800 (+2)
      • Aircraft: 353 (+2)
      • Helicopters: 326 (+1)
      • UAV: 10073 (+45)
      • Cruise missiles : 2200
      • Warships/boats: 26
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 17104 (+56)

Intelligence and technology

Russian snipers use Austrian rifles in war against Ukraine, despite EU sanctions . Despite the EU imposing export restrictions on arms supplies to Russia, Russian companies continued to receive new shipments of Austrian-made Steyr Mannlicher rifles, with 11 sniper rifles imported in February 2024 alone, investigation finds.

UK intel: No shift on war in Ukraine expected after Russia replaced Shoigu with Belousov as defense minister. Russia’s appointment of economist Belousov as new defense minister, replacing Shoigu, is unlikely to have major immediate effect on Russia’s approach to war in Ukraine, per UK intelligence.

Ukraine attacks Russia’s oil facilities at eastern Black Sea coast. Overnight, a massive drone attack targeted oil facilities in Tuapse and Novorossiysk in Russia’s Krasnodar Krai, hundreads of kilometers behind the frontline.


Pentagon: Ukraine can use US weapons only on the battlefield in its territory. The US insists that Ukraine must not use American-supplied weapons to strike inside Russia, focusing instead on reclaiming its sovereign territory, a Pentagon official says.

Lithuania sends Ukraine recon drones, ammunition, generators. Lithuania delivers a new shipment of aid to Ukraine, including reconnaissance drones and ammunition, as stated by Defense Minister Laurynas Kasčiūnas.

Ukraine peace summit: 50 countries confirm attendance so far, Russia not invited. Switzerland, hosting the Ukraine Peace Summit in June, has secured commitments from key Western allies, including Germany, Italy, Canada, and France. However, the Swiss Foreign Ministry is actively seeking greater participation from Global South nations to ensure a more balanced and inclusive dialogue.

EU Council bans Russia’s RIA Novosti, Izvestia, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, and Medvedchuk’s Voice of Europe. The EU has banned four Kremlin-linked media outlets from broadcasting in the bloc – RIA Novosti, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Izvestia, Voice of Europe – for spreading propaganda supporting Moscow’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

EU to sanction four Russian media outlets to combat Russian propaganda. The European Union is set to add Voice of Europe, RIA Novosti, Izvestija, and Rossiyskaya Gazeta to the 14th sanctions list against Russia.

Humanitarian and social impact

Ukrainian refugees’ plans to return home drop as Russian war continues. When asked about conditions for returning to Ukraine, Ukrainian refugees prioritized the restoration of critical infrastructure (34%), safety (34%), housing (26%), and an end to the full-scale invasion (26%), according to the survey.

Read our earlier daily review here.

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