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Russo-Ukraine War - 05 May 2022 - Day 71

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A number of claims and counterclaims are being made on the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the ground and online. While GlobalSecurity.org takes utmost care to accurately report this news story, we cannot independently verify the authenticity of all statements, photos and videos.

On 24 February 2022, Ukraine was suddenly and deliberately attacked by land, naval and air forces of Russia, igniting the largest European war since the Great Patriotic War. The military buildup in preceeding months makes it obvious that the unprovoked and dastardly Russian attack was deliberately planned long in advance. During the intervening time, the Russian government had deliberately sought to deceive the world by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

"To initiate a war of aggression... is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." [Judgment of the International Military Tribunal]

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" in Ukraine in response to the appeal of the leaders of the "Donbass republics" for help. That attack is a blatant violation of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. Putin stressed that Moscow's goal is the demilitarization and denazification of the country.

The seventy-first day of the heroic opposition of the Ukrainian people to the Russian military invasion continued. Ukraine is unlikely to launch a counteroffensive in its war with Russia before mid-June, when it hopes to have received more weapons from its allies, an adviser to President Zelenskyy said. Political adviser Oleksiy Arestovych also said he did not expect Russia’s offensive in Ukraine to produce any “significant results” by May 9, when Russia celebrates victory over Nazi Germany. Ukraine's defense forces are launching a counteroffensive in the Kharkiv and Izyum directions. This was announced by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny in a conversation with the Chairman of the Joint Committee of the Chiefs of Staff of the United States, General Mark Milley.

The Kremlin accused the West of preventing a “quick” end to Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine by supplying weapons and intelligence to the country. Dmitry Peskov said the West is “incapable of hindering the achievement” of the goals of Russia’s military operation. “The United States, Britain, NATO as a whole hand over intelligence… to Ukraine’s armed forces on a permanent basis,” Peskov told reporters.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Russia “already lost the war in Ukraine”. Pressed by a reporter to define what victory looked like for Ukraine, Psaki instead said Russian President Vladimir Putin had failed in his own objectives by invading the neighboring country. “He wanted this to be a moment to divide NATO, to divide the west,” Psaki said. “Clearly that is not what is happening.”

The Ukrainian side is still interested in peace talks with Russia; there is no toughening of Kyiv's positions under pressure from the collective West. Thus, the press secretary of the President of Ukraine, Sergei Nikiforov, denied the assertion of the Ukrayinska Pravda publication about a change in approaches to negotiations with the Russian Federation after the visit of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Kyiv. “As for this publication and the previous publication of this publication, I can say that the journalists missed. Either this is just a mistake, or they have incorrect sources that are actually far from the negotiation process, or this is a deliberate manipulation,” Nikiforov said.

A captured serviceman of the Donbass battalion said that the Ukrainian military was supplied with special drugs that they took before the battle, which made them lose fear and lower their pain threshold. "I know about one drug - "Teofidrin" - it was supplied to us by volunteers. We used it immediately before the fight, after which our fear disappeared. <...> We could go into battle calmly, without fear of anything. Strong, of course, breaking after it . <…> But they were leaving, they were worried," the prisoner of war said in a video that was distributed by the Russian Defense Ministry. According to the captive Ukrainian, most often such drugs are used by the military from the volunteer battalions "Donbass", "Azov", "Aidar".

Teofedrin-N is prescribed as an aid in respiratory diseases accompanied by bronchospasm, including bronchial asthma; chronic obstructive bronchitis; and emphysema. The combined drug has a bronchodilator and antispasmodic effect. The bronchodilatory effect of the drug is due to the combination of methylxanthine derivatives (theophylline, caffeine) with the sympathomimetic ephedrine and m-anticholinergic atropine, which is the main active principle of belladonna extract. Phenobarbital eliminates the excitation of the central nervous system.

The drug increases the lumen of the bronchi, dilates the vessels of the lungs and lowers pressure in the pulmonary circulation, stimulates the respiratory center, dilates the coronary vessels and increases the frequency and strength of heart contractions, “Without the interim introducing oil and gas embargo on Russia by the European Union, Russia will continue to make billions of euros and investing by selling oil and gas to the EU. And they will then invest this money in the Russian war machine that will continue killing people in Ukraine,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said. “It’s very clear and simple. The more you pay for Russian gas and oil, the longer this war will continue.”

“The Russian war against Ukraine is absolutely unprovoked and unjustified. Even if Russia had any concerns with regards to NATO’s policy, these concerns should have been addressed at the negotiating table. Instead, Russia preferred war,” Kuleba said. “If anyone knocks on your door, you do not immediately fire back with the rifle killing that person. You first try to understand who is knocking and what does he want. Russia decided to fire and kill,” he added.

“I would like to remind you that the initial plan of Russia was to conquer entire Ukraine within days. Since the beginning of the invasion, this plan failed,” Kuleba said. “Then Russia said it will conquer Luhansk and Donetsk region of Ukraine in full, and this plan is also failing. Russia has not achieved a strategic goal on the battleground of Ukraine.”

The UK Ministry of Defence reported that Belarusian land forces had been observed deploying from garrison to the field, for exercises. This is in line with seasonal norms as Belarus enters the culmination of its Winter Training cycle in the month of May. Russia will likely seek to inflate the threat posed to Ukraine by these exercises in order to fix Ukrainian forces in the North, preventing them from being committed to the battle for the Donbas. Deviation from normal exercise activity that could pose a threat to allies and partners was not currently anticipated.

The Russians continued to conduct full-scale armed aggression against Ukraine. The Russians did not stop conducting offensive operations in the Eastern Operational Zone in order to establish full control over the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and maintain the land corridor between these territories and the occupied Crimea. At the same time, it provoked tensions in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova and in the territory of the Republic of Belarus. The Russians carried out regrouping, took measures to replenish ammunition and fuel. and were trying to improve the tactical position of troops.

In the temporarily occupied territories, the Russians continued to steal the products of agricultural enterprises. The Russian side continued to accuse the Government of Ukraine of creating a humanitarian catastrophe in the territory controlled by the Russians. Also, the invaders imitate humanitarian activities with demonstrative distribution of food kits and medicines to local residents. The Russians continued to launch missile strikes on transport infrastructure to prevent the movement of humanitarian aid and military-technical assistance. The use of mortars and artillery along almost the entire line of contact continued.

The Russians did not take active action in the Volyn and Polissya areas. Engineering equipment for positions in the border areas of the Kursk region continued in the Seversky direction. In the Slobozhansky direction, the Russians tried to restore the lost positions near the city of Kharkiv, made an unsuccessful attempt to attack near the settlement of Stary Saltiv. Due to the constant medical losses of personnel, the Russians increased the system of medical support of troops, using a network of civilian medical institutions in the temporarily occupied territories of Kharkiv region. The Russians built a hospital on the basis of Kupyansk City Hospital.

The Russians did not stop trying to improve the tactical position of its units in the area of the city of Izyum, and carried out artillery shelling of nearby settlements, but had no success. Due to heavy losses, the Russians withdrew units from the 4th Tank Division of the 1st Tank Army and the 106th Airborne Division of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to rebuild.

In the Donetsk direction, the Russians tried to capture Popasna, take full control of the city of Rubizhne and provide favorable conditions for the continuation of the offensive in the direction of the cities of Lyman and Severodonetsk, but was unsuccessful. In the South Bug area, the Russians focused on fortifying positions, replenishing ammunition, fuel and logistics. Administrative and police measures are underway in the temporarily occupied territories. The Russians continued to carry out filtering measures against local residents, preventing evacuations to the territory controlled by the Ukrainian authorities. At the same time, the Russians were taking measures to replenish personnel losses through accelerated training of military servicemen under contract.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced the destruction of three more Ukrainian aircraft - Su-24, Su-25 and Su-27. According to the military department, the aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces hit 93 areas of concentration of manpower and Ukrainian military equipment during the night. The Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed aviation equipment at the Kanatovo airfield, an ammunition depot and a fuel storage facility in the Nikolaev region, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Since the beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine, the Russian armed forces have destroyed 149 aircraft, 726 unmanned aerial vehicles, 2,834 tanks and armored vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as 325 multiple rocket launchers, said the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Major General Igor Konashenkov. Aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out strikes on 45 military facilities in Ukraine, including a depot of rocket and artillery weapons in the Luhansk People's Republic.

“Russian air defense systems shot down three unmanned aerial vehicles during the day: over the settlements of Malaya Kamyshevakha in the Kharkiv region, Seversk in the Luhansk People’s Republic, as well as in the vicinity of the Zmeiny Island, the Bayraktar TB-2 unmanned aerial vehicle,” he said. The Russian Armed Forces destroyed two ammunition depots and a command post of the 24th separate mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with high-precision air-launched missiles.

Russian forces reportedly entered the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, rather than its outskirts, for the first time on 04 May 2022, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said. “The extent of this Russian advance remains unclear, and Russian forces likely face further costly fighting if they intend to clear the entire facility,” the ISW wrote in its assessment on Russia’s offensive. It added that the “Kremlin likely hopes” to capture Azovstal to “cement the Kremlin’s growing effort to claim complete control of Mariupol by May 9”, which is the date Russia celebrates its victory over Nazi Germany.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said recent Russian strikes in western Ukraine were aimed at critical infrastructure sites. “They are attempting to hit what we assess to be critical infrastructure targets out towards the west – electrical power, transportation hubs, that kind of thing. We think this is an effort to try to disrupt the Ukrainians’ ability to replenish and reinforce themselves,” Kirby told reporters. “Particularly these most recent strikes, we are still assessing the degree to which they hit what they were targeting. They are not good at precision strikes. They are not discriminant with how they target.”

The US provided Ukraine with intelligence that allowed its troops to target and kill many of the Russian generals who have died in the current war, the New York Times has reported, citing senior American officials. “The targeting help is part of a classified effort by the Biden administration to provide real-time battlefield intelligence to Ukraine,” the NYT reported the officials as having said. The report said that the US provided Ukraine with location and other details about the Russian military’s headquarters, which are frequently relocated, and that Ukraine combined this with its own intelligence, which included intercepted conversations, which helped locate senior Russian officers. Then Ukraine conducted strikes and other attacks on these locations.

The transfer of intelligence data on the location of the Russian military by the United States to the Ukrainian side further inflates the conflict. This opinion was expressed to TASS by Andrey Bystritsky, Chairman of the Council of the Foundation of the Valdai International Discussion Club. "This should be considered in the general context, unfortunately, of the escalation of the conflict. Because de facto the United States and some Western countries use Ukraine as such a proxy force against Russia. And this can only negatively affect the course of the special operation, because intelligence data allows strikes on the Russian armed forces, and this leads to an increase in casualties," he said. "Intelligence data allows us to take a more active attitude towards military operations. It is clear that this does not contribute to a speedy end to the conflict."

According to Bystritsky, the activities carried out by the United States and part of the West in the form of arms supplies and intelligence transfers are their direct participation in the conflict. "We live in such a complex world, which is very intertwined and interdependent. And in this situation it is very difficult to draw clear boundaries [of direct participation in the conflict]. But the fact that this is involvement in the conflict is beyond doubt. Arms trade is a global phenomenon, intelligence exchange existed even before this conflict. But in this case, it is at least the lack of neutrality and involvement in the conflict to a certain extent on one of the parties. In this case, on the Ukrainian one," the agency's interlocutor said.

Under American pressure, German Chancellor Olaf Scholze and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock have agreed to provide heavy weapons to Ukraine. That policy is deeply unpopular; according to a May 5 poll, 57% of Germans believe that heavy weapons deliveries to Ukraine would lead to an expansion of the war to other countries in Europe, versus 34% who support heavy weapons deliveries.

Berlin will help Prague replace heavy armored vehicles in the Czech army, which it transfers to Ukraine. This was reported by the CTK news agency. Details were not reported. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala held talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Thursday. The Czech Prime Minister was received by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. "We have agreed on the modernization of the [Czech] defense system. Our groups [of experts] continue negotiations on forms of cooperation," Fiala quoted CTK as saying.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to visit, the German president’s office said, three weeks after Steinmeier was snubbed by Kyiv. Zelenskyy made the invitation in a telephone call with Steinemeier, during which “past irritations were cleared up” and Steinemeier expressed his “solidarity, respect and support” for Ukraine.

In an open letter initiated by former Green politician Ralf Fücks, 57 intellectuals have called on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to support Ukraine with heavy weapons. Signatories include prominent German figures from the media, academia and politics, such as writers Eva Menasse and Herta Müller, pianist Igor Levit, politician Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, Deniz Yücel, the president of the PEN Center Germany and Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner. The letter encourages Scholz to "swiftly put into action the Bundestag's resolution for arms deliveries to Ukraine." The letter argues that "whoever wants a negotiated peace that does not amount to Ukraine's submission to Russian demands must strengthen its defense capability and weaken Russia's war capability to the maximum."

A third operation is under way to evacuate civilians from the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol and the besieged Azovstal steel plant, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. “I hope that the continued coordination with Moscow and Kyiv will lead to more humanitarian pauses to allow civilians safe passage from the fighting and aid to reach those in critical need,” he told the 15-member Security Council. “We must continue to do all we can to get people out of these hellscapes.” Guterres declined to give details on the new operation “to avoid undermining possible success.”

Svyatoslav Palamar, a commander of the Azov regiment, said in a video on Telegram that wounded Ukrainian soldiers holed up in the plant were “dying in agony from inadequate treatment”, urging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to “take care” of them and to find a way to remove the bodies of soldiers who had died.

"As for the similar demands of the nationalists who hide in the underground premises of the [Azovstal] plant, then, of course, they are very similar to similar demands that were previously voiced by terrorists in Syria and elsewhere," the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

More than 5.7 million refugees from Ukraine have arrived in neighboring countries since the start of the special military operation of the Russian Federation, over the past day their number has increased by more than 50 thousand, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said. According to information posted on its website, from February 24 to May 4, the number of people who left Ukraine reached 5,707,967. Over the past day, 50,782 refugees crossed the borders of neighboring states. According to the UNHCR, 714,713 refugees arrived in Russia during the specified period, 3,119,196 - in Poland, 854,292 - in Romania, and 545,311 - in Hungary.

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Page last modified: 17-10-2022 19:16:42 ZULU