Ukraine Daily Summary - Saturday, May 11

Russia's Kharkiv Oblast operation aims to divert Ukrainian forces from Donetsk Oblast -- Ukraine to receive first F-16 fighter jets 'within weeks' -- Military intelligence drones strike oil refinery in Russia's Kaluga Oblast -- While Xi tours Europe, China feeds Russia's war machine -- and more

Saturday, May 11

Russia’s war against Ukraine

A young girl wears face paint in the colors of the Ukrainian flag as people line the streets to pay their respects to a fallen soldier, Nazar Hryntsevych “Grenka”, on May 10, 2024 in Vinnytsia. During his lifetime, Hryntsevych was the youngest defender of Mariupol and the Azovstal steel plant. He survived captivity and died at the age of 21. (Kostiantyn Liberov /Libkos/Getty Images)

Defense Ministry: Russian forces attempt breakthrough in Kharkiv Oblast. Russian forces attempted a breakthrough of Ukraine’s line of defense in Kharkiv Oblast, the Defense Ministry reported on May 10.

Zelensky: Heavy fighting ongoing along front line, more troops will be sent to Kharkiv sector. Heavy fighting with Russian troops is ongoing along the entire front line, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on May 10 after listening to Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi’s report.

Military: Russia unsuccessfully tries to break through in Donetsk, Luhansk oblasts. The Russian military constantly storms the village of Nevske and the Serebrianske forestry lands in Luhansk Oblast, as well as shells the city of Makiivka in Donetsk Oblast.

Military: Russia’s Kharkiv Oblast operation aims to divert Ukrainian forces from Donetsk Oblast. Rather than conducting a major offensive campaign north of Kharkiv Oblast, “Russia is trying to pull our (Ukrainian) forces and resources from Donetsk Oblast to Kharkiv Oblast,” military spokesperson Nazar Voloshyn told Hromadske.

Commander: ‘Critical phase’ in Russia’s war to come in next 2 months. The “critical phase” in Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine will come in the next two months, Oleksandr Pavliuk, Ukraine’s Ground Forces commander, said in an interview with The Economist published on May 10.

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Media: Ukraine to receive first F-16 fighter jets ‘within weeks.’ The Evening Standard’s source did not reveal which of the allies will be the first one to deliver the planes.

Commander: Ukraine to create 10 new brigades to defend Kyiv, other areas. “Defending Kyiv remains one of our main concerns, no matter how tough it is in the east”, Oleksandr Pavliuk, Ukraine’s Ground Forces commander, said.

Source: Military intelligence drones strike oil refinery in Russia’s Kaluga Oblast. The strike against the Pervyy Zavod plant was reportedly carried out with kamikaze drones.

PM Shmyhal: Ukraine allocates $179 million for energy system restoration. The government allocated over Hr 7.1 billion ($179.4) to rebuild Ukraine’s power grid, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on May 10.

Ukraine could recruit up to 20,000 convicts into army, Justice Minister says. Ukraine could fill its ranks with as many as 20,000 convicts in a move that would also help ease overcrowding in Ukrainian prisons, Justice Minister Denys Maliuska told BBC Ukraine in an interview published on May 10.

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Ukraine war latest: Russia launches new offensive targeting Kharkiv Oblast

President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on May 10 that Russian forces had begun a new offensive operation targeting Kharkiv Oblast. The president added that the Ukrainian command had known about a potential offensive in this direction and had been preparing.

Photos: Adri Salido/Anadolu via Getty Images

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Ukraine pins hopes on international pressure for all-for-all POW exchange

As Ukraine prepares for a major peace summit in June, President Volodymyr Zelensky sees an opportunity to free all Ukrainian prisoners from Russia before the end of the war. The possibility of an all-for-all prisoner swap will be one of the subjects at Ukraine’s upcoming global peace summit in Switzerland.

Photo: Oleksandr Gusev/Global Images Ukraine

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While Xi tours Europe, China feeds Russia’s war machine

As Chinese President Xi Jinping toured Europe this week to discuss Ukraine and trade, China remains Russia’s leading source of sanctioned dual-use goods, fueling the ongoing war.

Photo: Matthieu Rondel/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Human cost of war

Civilian casualties reported amid intense Russian attacks in Kharkiv Oblast. Intense Russian attacks in the north of Kharkiv Oblast, which forms part of the Ukraine-Russia border, have killed three civilians and injured four others, the Prosecutor General’s Office reported on May 10.

Russian attacks on Donetsk Oblast kill 2, injure 2. Russian troops attacked Chasiv Yar and the village of Yelyzavetivka in Donetsk Oblast on May 10, killing two people and injuring two others, the General Prosecutor’s Office reported.

Russia attacks 9 communities in Sumy Oblast, killing 1, injuring 2. Artillery shelling injured a resident of Seredyna-Buda. Earlier, the administration reported that attacks in Esman killed a 64-year-old woman and injured her teenage granddaughter.

General Staff: Russia has lost 479,710 troops in Ukraine since Feb 24, 2022. This number includes 980 casualties Russian forces suffered over the past day.

International response

Belgium to allocate nearly $10 million for Ukraine’s energy infrastructure restoration. The additional funds will be directed to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Belgium Development Cooperation Minister Caroline Gennez said.

US unveils $400 million defense aid package for Ukraine. U.S. President Joe Biden on May 10 authorized a $400 million defense aid package for Ukraine, according to a statement on the White House’s website.

State Department: More announcements on Ukraine aid to come in next few weeks. The U.S. will make more announcements on military aid to Ukraine “in the next few weeks,” U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters on May 9.

US includes 37 Chinese entities to trade blacklist due to national security concerns. Apart from 11 companies reportedly connected to the 2023 spy balloon incident, 22 were added to the list because they were linked to China’s efforts to improve its quantum technology.

Canada pledges $56 million to German-led air defense initiative for Ukraine. “Through Canada’s investment in Germany’s Immediate Action on Air Defense Initiative, we are working together to provide Ukraine with the crucial air defense systems that it needs to protect its people,” Canada’s Defense Minister Blair said while hosting his German counterpart, Boris Pistorius, in Ottawa.

Czechia provides Ukraine over $800,000 for forestry development. The funds are part of a broader initiative known as “Strengthening Ukraine’s Forest Monitoring Capacity to Align with EU Standards.” The goal is to improve Ukraine’s ability to monitor forests and collect accurate data.

Czechia places Russian GRU general linked to ammunition depot blasts on wanted list. The country’s investigators believe that Andrey Averyanov coordinated the supposed Russian sabotage operation in 2014 that led to ammunition depot blasts in the eastern Czech town of Vrbetice, killing two people and causing damages in tens of millions of dollars.

In other news

Kyiv Independent’s ‘Uprooted’ investigation wins Bucha Journalism Conference Prize. The Kyiv Independent’s investigative documentary “Uprooted” on Russia’s abduction of Ukrainian children has won the Bucha Journalism Conference Prize in the “best investigation of Russian war crimes” category.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Kateryna Hodunova, Katya Denisova,  Oleksiy Sorokin, Elsa Court, Martin Fornusek, and Abbey Fenbert.

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