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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 823: Russian forces have not achieved Putin’s goals in Kharkiv Oblast

Russian troops have failed to achieve Vladimir Putin’s stated goal of creating a “buffer zone” to the north of Kharkiv, though there are signs that Russia is gathering forces for another attempt.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 823: Russian forces have not achieved Putin’s goals in Kharkiv Oblast


Georgia’s Foreign Agents law: Russia’s new frontline in its war against freedom in the world. The protests engulfing in Tbilisi are not only about Georgian democracy, but about countering an ever-expanding zone of global Russian influence
Kremlin intensifies sabotage and propaganda in the West ahead of EU elections. As Europeans prepare to head to the polls for the EU elections, security officials warn that the Kremlin is intensifying its efforts to destabilize the continent through a multi-pronged campaign of sabotage, propaganda, and political interference.


Russia loses 244 soldiers, tank, three armored personnel carriers in battles with Ukrainian military on Kharkiv front. The most intense fightings are on the Kupiansk and Pokrovsk fronts. Ukrainian troops are taking measures to hold their positions and destroy the enemy’s offensive potential.

Zelenskyy: Russia gather troops for new offensive attempt in Kharkiv Oblast. Speaking from a printing house Factor-Druk in Kharkiv, which Russians destroyed on 23 May, Ukraine’s president Zelenskyy warned that Russia is preparing for a new offensive 90 km (55 miles) north-west from Kharkiv and urged world leaders to attend the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland.

ISW: hasty start and limited manpower hinder Russian progress in Kharkiv offensive . Russian forces likely launched their Kharkiv offensive prematurely, using an understrength force, in an attempt to establish a foothold before the arrival of resumed US military aid to Ukraine, which was approved in April after 6-months delays.

Frontline report: Russian encirclement operation of Vovchansk fails despite strategic bridge strikes. With an estimated 8,000 troops deployed in the Kharkiv direction, and likely no more than 5,000 in the Vovchansk area, Russian forces have been unable to sustain the prolonged offensive needed to capture the city.

As of 26 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: 501190 (+1110)
  • Tanks: 7662 (+12)
  • APV: 14803 (+17)
  • Artillery systems: 12953 (+24)
  • MLRS: 1083 (+1)
  • Anti-aircraft systems: 814
  • Aircraft: 357 (+1)
  • Helicopters: 326
  • UAV: 10425 (+11)
  • Cruise missiles : 2209
  • Warships/boats: 27
  • Submarines: 1
  • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 17639 (+31)

Intelligence and technology

British intelligence: Russia has not achieved Putin’s goals in Kharkiv Oblast. Russian troops have failed to achieve Vladimir Putin’s stated goal of creating a “buffer zone” to the north of Kharkiv.

Musk: SpaceX allocates “significant resources” to combat Russian attempts to jam Starlink in Ukraine. Elon Musk asserted that Russian forces successfully disabled every communication system in Ukraine, except Starlink, which continues to operate despite Russian interference efforts.


Zelenskyy rebuked Central Asian countries for non-participation in the Peace Summit. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy considers the non-participation of Central Asian countries in the Peace Summit a weakness and urges them to join, even with a dissenting opinion.

“Moscow does not limit itself to anything”: Polish FM supports authorizing Ukraine for strikes on Russia with Western weapons. Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has backed a proposal to allow Ukraine to launch strikes with Western weapons on Russian territory.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz opposes using Western weapons to strike Russia. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has spoken out against Ukraine’s use of weapons provided by Western allies for strikes against Russia.

Humanitarian and social impact

Ukraine says women in Russian captivity subjected to physical and psychological abuse. Concerns escalate as the fate of some Ukrainian women missing since 2014 remains unknown, with Russia’s silence amplifying fears of human rights abuses and disregard for humanitarian principles.

Update: Kharkiv hypermarket death toll rises to 16, among them a child. The death toll from the Russian attack on the Epicenter construction hypermarket in Kharkiv on Saturday has risen to 16, among them a 12-year-old girl.

Russian attack on Vinnytsia Oblast injures 3, damages homes. In the early hours of 26 May, the debris from the Russian drone fell on the residential buildings and cars in Zhmerynka, Vinnytsia Oblast.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz: Putin told me that Ukraine “belongs” to Russia. Just before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian leader Vladimir Putin was telling Chancellor Scholz his ideas that Ukraine supposedly “belongs” to Russia.

NYT: Russia conducts sabotage operations across Europe to undermine support for Ukraine. Russian military intelligence, the G.R.U., is behind arson attacks in Europe aimed at undermining support for Ukraine’s war effort, security officials say.

Read the daily review for Sat May 25 2024 here

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