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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 815: Fighting for strategic Kharkiv grinds on

A Russian offensive on Kharkiv Oblast has already displaced nearly 10,000 civilians and caused infrastructure damage.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 815: Fighting for strategic Kharkiv grinds on

Exclusive

Ten things about the Crimean Tatar deportation you always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask. The hushed-up Soviet crime is one that Russia continues to spin in its ongoing occupation of Crimea, and one that Ukraine insists was genocide.
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.
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.
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.

Military

Battles ongoing: Ukrainian soldiers struck 18 Russian positions, two anti-aircraft missile systems, and one radar station as of 18 May. Combat engagements continue across the front line, with Ukrainian Defense Forces actively responding to Russian attempts to improve their tactical positions.

Zelenskyy: Ukrainian forces repel Russian assault on Chasiv Yar, destroy over 20 enemy armored vehicles. Despite significant losses, the enemy persists in its efforts to capture the city in Donetsk Oblast, while Ukrainian troops remain steadfast in defending their positions.

ISW: Kharkiv offensive slows, but Russia fixes Ukrainian forces along border. Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russian troops advanced 10 km before Ukrainian forces “stabilized the situation.”

As of 18 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: 491080 (+1210)
  • Tanks: 7560 (+13)
  • APV: 14595 (+43)
  • Artillery systems: 12639 (+36)
  • MLRS: 1071
  • Anti-aircraft systems: 801 (+1)
  • Aircraft: 354 (+1)
  • Helicopters: 326
  • UAV: 10108 (+35)
  • Cruise missiles: 2203 (+3)
  • Warships/boats: 26
  • Submarines: 1
  • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 17169 (+65)

Intelligence and Technology

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.

Pentagon: Ukraine hits 14% of Russia’s oil output, electricity resilient. Ukraine has intensified attacks on Russian targets, including refineries, to deplete Putin’s war resources.

Lithuania to transfer six AMBER-1800 radar systems to Ukraine as part of German-led initiative. Lithuania will transfer six of its AMBER-1800 radar systems to Ukraine as part of a German initiative aimed at strengthening Ukraine’s air defense.

International

Estonian PM Kaja Kallas names three reasons why Ukraine is not supported enough. She believes that sufficient support for Ukraine from the free world is hindered by fear.

Ukraine’s FM Kuleba urged the world to provide weapons to Ukraine rather than consider concessions to end the war. According to Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s main message to the international community remains unchanged—Ukrainians need weapons to repel Russian aggression, and talk of concessions to end the war is twisted logic.

Zelenskyy expects a three-point action plan from the upcoming peace summit in Switzerland. According to President Zelenskyy, Ukraine expects that the participants of the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland will together draw up a three-point action plan related to free navigation, energy security, prisoner exchange and the return of deported children.

Humanitarian and Social Impact

Kharkiv civilian death toll reaches 4 after Russian strike on 17 May. On 18 May, a 33-year-old man died in the hospital.

Nearly 10,000 Ukrainians displaced by Russian assault on Kharkiv Oblast. Among the displaced are 2,500 residents of Vovchansk, a city occupied by Russian forces in 2022 before being liberated by Ukraine.

Ukraine shoots down 13/13 Russian Shahed drones, but energy sites hit. The Russians managed to strike an energy facility in Poltava Oblast, causing damage but no casualties.

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.

Ukraine seeks US intelligence on targets inside Russia – media. Washington has previously denied such appeals to avoid escalation.

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.

Zelenskyy to AFP: Ukraine’s air defense at 25%, Russia’s Kharkiv assault to come in waves. In the new interview, he discussed air defense, the Russian offensive, China’s role in peace talks, and the West’s stance on the war’s outcome.

Read the daily review for Fri 17 May 2024, here.

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