Ukraine Daily Summary - Saturday, May 25 2024

Putin looking for ceasefire to cement gains in Ukraine, Reuters reports -- Russian troops halted in Kharkiv sector, Ukraine conducts counterattacks -- Ukrainian drone attack damages 2 Russian aircraft in Krasnodar Krai -- Russia couldn't swallow NATO as it struggles to defeat Ukraine -- and more

Saturday, May 25

Russia’s war against Ukraine

Zelensky in what remains of the printing house after the Russian missile strike on May 23, 2024. (President Volodymyr Zelensky/X)

Putin looking for ceasefire to cement gains in Ukraine, Reuters reports citing sources. “(Russian President Vladimir) Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire – to freeze the war,” a senior Russian source who has worked with him told the news outlet on condition of anonymity.

NABU first deputy director suspended amid leak investigation. Gizo Uglava, the first deputy director of Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), was suspended amid an ongoing investigation into a possible leak from the agency, NABU said on May 24.

Zelensky visits Kharkiv printing house destroyed in Russian attack. “Yesterday, a Russian missile strike killed seven people here,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a post on social media, adding: “My condolences go out to their families and friends. Twenty-one people were injured.”

Media: Ukrainian drone attack damages 2 Russian aircraft in Krasnodar Krai.

Ukrainian forces damaged two Russian aircraft in Russia’s Krasnodar Krai with drones overnight on May 19, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, citing satellite imagery by Planet Labs.

Court in Khmelnytskyi Oblast releases 50 prisoners to join army after new conscription law. A court in Ukraine’s Khmelnytskyi Oblast released another 50 prisoners on the condition that they join the military under the new conscription law, the court’s press service reported on May 24.

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Ukraine announces mandatory evacuation for 123 children from Kharkiv Oblast.

Ukrainian authorities ordered the evacuation of 123 children from 36 settlements in the country’s northeastern Kharkiv Oblast, the Reintegration Ministry announced on May 24.

Zelensky: Ukrainian forces take back control near state border in Kharkiv Oblast. During the visit to Kharkiv, Zelensky met with the Ukrainian military and listened to reports from local authorities and representatives of special services.

Kuleba: Putin wants to derail Ukraine’s peace summit by claiming ‘readiness for ceasefire’. Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to disrupt Ukraine’s upcoming peace summit in Switzerland, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on May 24 in response to reports about Putin’s alleged willing to halt the war at the current front lines.

Ukraine’s drone companies face ‘death, migration, or global acquisition’ amid defense spending squeeze. A surge of domestic drone companies in Ukraine has outpaced what the government budget can support, leading many companies to increasingly seek international partnerships or face consolidation. Drones have become a transformative part of Ukraine’s military strategy. The country’s ability to mass produce these cheap and effective weapons

Polish Senate chair arrives in Kyiv on official visit. “This is an important visit for the development of interparliamentary cooperation and strengthening of Ukrainian-Polish relations,” said Ukranie’s parliament deputy chair, Olena Kondratiuk.

General Staff: Russian troops halted in Kharkiv sector, Ukraine conducts counterattacks. Ukrainian forces halted Russian troops in the Kharkiv sector and are conducting counteroffensive actions, Ihor Prokhorenko, a representative of the Main Operational Directorate of Ukraine’s General Staff, said at a briefing in Kyiv on May 24.

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Ukraine war latest: General Staff says Russian troops halted in Kharkiv sector, Ukraine conducts counterattacks

Ukrainian forces halted Russian troops in the Kharkiv sector and are conducting counterattacks, Ihor Prokhorenko, a representative of the Main Operational Directorate of Ukraine’s General Staff, said at a briefing in Kyiv on May 24.

Photo: Libkos/Getty Images

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Russia’s latest offensive into Kharkiv Oblast is stretching Ukrainian defenses

Russia’s two-pronged assault in Kharkiv Oblast that began on May 10 is exploiting Ukraine’s troop shortage, forcing it to make difficult decisions about where to commit reserves.

Photo: Libkos/Getty Images

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Human cost of war

Governor: Russian attacks on Nikopol injure 3 people. Russian forces attacked the town of Nikopol in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast on May 24, injuring three people, Governor Serhii Lysak reported.

Russian attacks against Ukraine kill 10, injure 48 over past day. Russian attacks against Ukraine killed at least 10 people and injured at least 48 over the past day, the vast majority of them in Kharkiv Oblast, regional officials reported early on May 24.

Conscript deemed fit for service dies in enlistment office due to ‘rapid health deterioration.’ The person’s health “rapidly deteriorated” on May 23, upon which he was given first aid and medics were summoned, who could only declare him dead upon their arrival, the statement read.

General Staff: Russia has lost 498,940 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24, 2022. This number includes 1,240 casualties Russian forces suffered just over the past day.

International response

German defense minister: Ukraine receives another Iris-T air defense system from Germany. “We have once again delivered Iris-T SLM and Iris-T SLS combined fire unit to Ukraine – a highly modern and well-proven medium and short-range air defense system, directly from German industry production,” Boris Pistorius said.

US announces new military package for Ukraine, including HIMARS rockets, artillery shells. The United States announced a new military package on May 24 worth $275 million, the U.S. Defense Department reported.

Media: Ukraine refuses to accept some Leopard 1 tanks from Germany, Denmark due to defects. Ukraine refused to accept some outdated Leopard 1A5 battle tanks from Denmark and Germany due to numerous defects, Danish broadcaster DR reported on May 24, citing Danish Defense Ministry documents.

UK Defense Ministry: Russia deploys its Africa Corps for Kharkiv Oblast offensive. Moscow deployed units from the Russian Defense Ministry’s Africa Corps to fight alongside Russia’s regular army and Storm-Z units comprised of convicts to attack the town of Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast over the past week, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on May 24.

Trump again claims he could have stopped Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Speaking during his first rally in New York in eight years on May 23, the former president also said he would have stopped Hamas’s attack on Israel and the ensuing war in Gaza that followed.

Germany delivers Leopard 1 tanks, drones, ammunition, other aid to Ukraine.

Berlin has handed over 10 Leopard 1 A5 tanks, four Wisent 1 demining tanks, 1.8 million rounds of small arms ammunition, a Dachs armored engineer vehicle, and other aid in its latest delivery of military aid to Ukraine, the German government said on May 22.

Orban: Russia couldn’t ‘swallow’ NATO as it struggles to defeat Ukraine. The Russian military is waging “a serious and difficult war” against Ukraine, and its capabilities are “far exceeded” by NATO, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told public radio on May 24, according to news portal Telex.

US imposes travel restrictions on politicians ’undermining democracy in Georgia. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said he is launching a review of U.S.-Georgian relations and voiced hope that Georgia’s leaders will reconsider the law.

Bloomberg: US President Biden likely to miss Ukraine’s peace summit. According to the news outlet, the event clashes with a campaign fundraiser he is set to attend alongside, among others, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and Jimmy Kimmel.

First group of Ukrainian pilots passes F-16 training in US. The aviators will now move to Europe for additional training, Politico wrote, citing an undisclosed source.

Opinions and insights

Russian missile strike reduces Kharkiv printing press to ashes, killing 7 (Photos)

Russian forces destroyed one of Ukraine’s largest printing presses amid a mass missile attack on the city of Kharkiv on the morning of May 23.

Photo: Francis Farrell/The Kyiv Independent

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Opinion: Is Europe too big for further enlargement?

“Earlier this month, the European Union celebrated the 20th anniversary of its biggest-ever enlargement, which brought 10 new members into the bloc…But, at a time of deep internal divisions and an increasingly volatile external environment, the giddy idealism of 2004 seems a distant dream, and the prospects of further enlargement appear uncertain,” writes Ana Palacio, a former foreign minister of Spain, in her recent op-ed.

Photo: Giorgi Arjevanidze/AFP via Getty Images

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In other news

Russia admits Islamic State behind Crocus Hall terrorist attack, still tries to blame Ukraine. Several gunmen opened fire at the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, a Moscow suburb, on the evening of March 22, killing at least 145 people and injuring more than 500 others.

SBU notifies Russian politician close to Putin of suspicion in absentia. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) notified Valentina Matviyenko, Russia’s Federation Council Chairwoman, who approved the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, of suspicion in absentia.

Court orders Kolomoisky to remain in custody until July 22. The Shevchenkivskyi district court in Kyiv ruled on May 24 that oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky must remain in custody until July 22 with an alternative of a Hr 1.96 billion ($49 million) bail, Unian news agency reported.

Dragon Capital firm complains about pressure from authorities, Bureau of Economic Security denies. The Dragon Capital investment group has come under undue pressure by the Bureau of Economic Security over activities of one of the company’s key assets, the company said on May 24.

Former head of state tax service released on $1.4 million bail. The former head of Ukraine’s tax service, Roman Nasirov, was released on from custody on bail worth Hr 55 million (around $1.4 million), the High Anti-Corruption Court reported on May 24.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Chris York, Martin Fornusek, Katya Denisova, Lili Bivings, Kateryna Hodunova, Teah Pelechaty, and Rachel Amran.

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