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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 818: Ukraine destroys Russia’s Tsyklon ship, last surface Kalibr missile ship in Crimea

As the war grinds on, neutralizing Russia’s naval dominance brings Ukraine one step closer to securing sea control and unblocking grain exports from its ports.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 818: Ukraine destroys Russia’s Tsyklon ship, last surface Kalibr missile ship in Crimea

Exclusive

The Case for Ukraine’s NATO Accession. At the signing ceremony of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949, then-US President Harry Truman remarked that if this “simple document” had existed in 1914 and 1939, “it would have prevented the acts of aggression which led to two world wars.”
Europe finds its courage to stand up to Russia. From debates on troop deployment to speeches about the pre-war era, there is a growing sense in the EU that the time for appeasing Putin has passed.

Military

Ukraine destroys Tsyklon, Russia’s last surface Kalibr missile ship in occupied Crimea. Ukraine’s military updates that the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s missile carrier Tsiklon was destroyed in occupied Crimea on 19 May, not a minesweeper as earlier reports suggested. It reportedly was the last surface carrier of the Kalibr cruise missiles.

Mariupol partisans set Russian warehouse on fire, advisor confirms.

ISW: Russia accumulates grouping in Sumy Oblast to draw Ukrainian soldiers from other fronts. Although the forces are limited in number, their objective is likely to divert Ukrainian troops at the international border.

UK intel: Russia’s focus remains on Avdiivka axis in attempt to split Ukraine forces in Donetsk Oblast. Despite opening a new axis in Kharkiv Oblast, Russia’s operational focus remains on attacks northwest of Avdiivka, seeking gains to split Ukrainian forces in Donetsk Oblast, per UK intelligence.

Ukraine destroys 15 Russian tanks, 34 armored vehicles, 42 artillery systems over last 24 hours. The most intense situation is on the Pokrovsk front, where enemy forces continue to advance despite efforts to stabilize the situation.

  • Personnel: 495070 (+1380)
  • Tanks: 7605 (+15)
  • APV: 14699 (+34)
  • Artillery systems: 12779 (+42)
  • MLRS: 1077 (+1)
  • Anti-aircraft systems: 811 (+4)
  • Aircraft: 354
  • Helicopters: 326
  • UAV: 10290 (+54)
  • Cruise missiles: 2207 (+2)
  • Warships/boats: 27
  • Submarines: 1
  • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 17311 (+60)

Intelligence and technology

Ten Ukrainian soldiers completed F-16 maintenance training in the Netherlands. The Dutch Ministry of Defense reported that 10 Ukrainian military personnel completed F-16 maintenance training. Earlier, the Netherlands pledged 24 F-16s to Ukraine.

Ukraine to receive advanced YPR-765 armored vehicles from the Netherlands. Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren announced during an online meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in the “Ramstein” format that the Netherlands will supply Ukraine with YPR-765 armored vehicles.

International

Politico: Brussels push to start Ukraine’s EU membership talks in June. EU diplomats plan to start formal negotiations on Ukraine’s membership by 25 June.

Baerbock reaffirms Germany’s support for Zelenskyy as president of Ukraine. On the morning of 21 May, Baerbock arrived in Kyiv for her seventh visit to Ukraine in two years.

Minister: EU foreign ministers approve frozen Russian assets proceeds use to help Ukraine. The Czech FM announced that EU foreign ministers approved using proceeds from frozen Russian Central Bank assets to support Ukraine, with 90% allocated to military aid. Proceeds could reach $3.25 billion this year.

Top Latvia diplomat’s half marathon effort nets €14,000 for Ukraine combat drones. Latvia’s Foreign Minister Baiba Braže participated in a half-marathon fundraiser, collecting over €14,000 in public donations to purchase military drones for Ukraine’s defense.

Germany’s air defense initiative for Ukraine supported by CopyOcontinue where you stoppedHere are the remaining categories with the relevant entries:

Humanitarian and social impact

The Guardian: Convoy of donated Ulez vehicles finally arrives in Ukraine, more expected soon. A convoy of 20 vehicles donated to Ukraine through London’s ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) scrappage scheme arrived over the weekend, with more expected to follow, according to The Guardian.

UN sounds alarm on dwindling Ukraine humanitarian aid amid growing needs. UN warns humanitarian assistance to Ukraine declining despite rising needs more than two years after Russia’s invasion, leaving millions displaced and vulnerable populations struggling.

Ukraine downs 28/29 Irano-Russian Shahed drones overnight. The Air Force reports downing 28 of 29 Russian Shahed drones on 21 May; Kharkiv Oblast authorities say four people has acute stress reactions to the attack.

The Moscow Times: Russia unilaterally decides to redraw maritime borders with Lithuania and Finland in the Baltic Sea. Russian authorities have decided unilaterally to change the country’s maritime borders with Lithuania and Finland in the Baltic Sea, declaring new internal waters and adjusting geographical coordinates, according to a draft government decree published on the legal acts portal.

The Economist: Russians planned to encircle Kharkiv and repeatedly shell it during renewed offensive, plans say. On the morning of 10 May, Russia initiated a new offensive in Kharkiv Oblast, opening a new front in the war against Ukraine.

Military: Russia ramps up border provocations in Chernihiv, Sumy oblasts in northern Ukraine. Russia conducts sabotage and reconnaissance operations in the border communities of Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts and increases border minefields as Ukraine inflicts losses on Russian troops.

New developments

US Defense Secretary Austin reaffirms restrictions on Ukraine’s use of American weapons in Russia. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reiterated the White House’s unwillingness to approve Ukraine’s use of US-provided weapons in strikes against military targets in Russia.

ABC News: US top diplomat Nuland says aid crucial for Ukraine to hit bases inside Russia. Nuland advocates for a shift in the US assistance strategy, suggesting that bases within Russia should be considered fair targets if used for launching attacks or supplying troops into Ukraine.

German FM Baerbock arrives in Kyiv to reiterate Berlin’s support. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrived in Kyiv to reiterate German solidarity with Ukraine, vowing continued assistance for EU bid and defense against Russia.

Read the daily review for Mon 20 May 2024, here.

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