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Russo-Ukraine War - 14 May 2022 - Day 79

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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. 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 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]

The eightieth day of the heroic opposition of the Ukrainian people to the Russian military invasion continues. The Russians continue to conduct offensive operations in the Eastern Operational Zone. The aggressor fired along the entire line of contact and in the depths of the defense of Ukrainian troops.

The US assessed that Russia had 105 operational BTGs in Ukraine total, as the Russians are continuing to add BTGs that are in the Donbas. The US assessment is that the Russians still have the vast majority of their assessed and available combat power still available to them.

There were anecdotal indications that morale and unit cohesion remain a problem, soldiers not obeying orders or, not fighting as well or as aggressively as they are being told they are expected to, even to the point where some officers are refusing to obey orders. There is no anecdotal evidence of unit cohesion and morale problems in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. They have demonstrated a very strong will to fight and an eagerness to continue to defend positions, best represented by the continued lack of progress by the Russians, particularly in the Donbas.

The UK Ministry of Defence reported the Russian-imposed military-civilian administration in Kherson announced they will ask Russia to include Kherson Region in the Russian Federation. A central part of Russia’s original invasion plan was highly likely to use rigged referendums to place the majority of Ukraine’s regions under long-term pro-Russian authority. The fact that Russia has only succeeded in imposing a pro-Russian local leadership in Kherson highlights the failure of Russia’s invasion to make progress towards its political objectives in Ukraine. If Russia carried out an accession referendum in Kherson, it will almost certainly manipulate the results to show a clear majority in favor of leaving Ukraine. Citizens in the Kherson region are likely to continue to demonstrate their opposition to Russian occupation.

The greatest activity of the occupiers is in the Slobozhansky and Donetsk directions. The Russians remain threatened by missile and bomb strikes on military and civilian facilities in Ukraine. In the Volyn, Polissya and Seversky directions, the situation did not change, the Russians did not take active action. On the territory of the Gomel region of the Republic of Belarus, demining works are recorded in the areas where the units of the Russian Federation are based.

They Russians were still fighting over Kharkiv, with Ukrainian resistance in and around Kharkiv. There have been continued airstrikes and bombardment by Russian forces around Kharkiv. The Ukrainians continue to make progress in reclaiming towns and villages around Kharkiv. Over the last couple of days they have been able to push north, push the Russians away farther to the north from Kharkiv, and pushing them to the east. There was not any change in eastward pushing in the last day or so, but some progress by them pushing Russian forces closer to the border and away form Kharkiv. In the Kharkiv direction, the occupiers focused their main efforts on maintaining their positions, control of supply routes on highways to the north and east of the city of Kharkiv, as well as preventing the advance of Ukrainian troops in the direction of the state border.

Most of the activity is in the Donbas area, and essentially the Russians were not making any major gains in the Donbas. It is very much an artillery fight back and forth, and Ukrainian artillery is frustrating Russian efforts to make much ground, including frustrating their efforts to cross the Donets River, as the Russians continued to try to find a sense of momentum in the northern Donbas. The failure to make some of those crossings was affecting their ability to consolidate their forces, because the Russians were not getting many people across the river and that's affecting their ability to mass reinforcements in the northern Donbas. In in addition to the shelling of the Russian bridging efforts across the Donets, they really haven't made much progress on that Izyum-to-Slovyansk axis. And so there's a lot of fighting in between Izyum and Slovyansk, but the Russians are just not really able to force a breakthrough, though they had taken control of Oleksandropillia as they advanced North from Popasna.

The regrouping of Russians units and the creation of stockpiles of material and technical means continue in the Slavic direction. In the Donetsk direction, the Russians group focuses its main efforts on preparation for offensive operations in the areas of the settlements of Severodonetsk, Soledar and Bakhmut, replenishes reserves and regroups units. Up to two battalion tactical groups were moved in this direction. The Russians conducted assault operations along the line of contact with the support of aircraft and artillery, with partial success in the area of Avdiivka. In the Lyman and Severodonetsk directions, the Russians were regrouping troops. The strengthening of the group with forces to the battalion tactical group in the area of the Novy Aidar railway station was noted.

In Mariupol, the Russians continues to blockade Ukrainian units near the Azovstal plant, inflicting massive artillery and air strikes, conducts assault operations. Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra made a plea for the city of Mariupol and fighters holding out at the Azovstal steel plant at the end of their appearance in the Eurovision Song Contest. “Please help Ukraine, Mariupol. Help Azovstal right now,” lead singer Oleh Psiuk shouted from the front of the stage in the Italian city of Turin after the band performed its song “Stefania”.

In the Zaporozhye direction, the Russians focused its main efforts on artillery shelling of Ukrainian positions. The situation in the South Bug area has not changed significantly. The aggressor focused his main efforts on maintaining the occupied frontiers, conducting reconnaissance, replenishing ammunition and fuel and lubricants, engineering equipment of the positions, and carrying out artillery shelling of the positions of Ukrainian troops.

In the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova, armed groups have been transferred to daily operations. At the same time, units of the operational group of Russian troops continue to be on high alert.

In the air domain, over the last 24 hours, they flew about 250 sorties. Again, this is pretty much in the mean range of what they have done. And they're focusing their strikes, not surprisingly, on the JFO and on Mariupol but also Kharkiv and inside the JFO, particularly on Slovyansk, as they were trying to make progress towards Slovyansk, so strikes on Slovyansk is not something that is a surprise.

There were active efforts by the Ukrainians to dislodge the Russians from Snake Island, and the Russians were just trying to reinforce particularly some of their air defense there. But there's really no change to Russian naval posture, in a macro sense, in or outside the Black Sea. Ships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in the Black and Azov Seas perform tasks to isolate the area of hostilities, reconnaissance and fire support in the coastal direction. The Russians were trying to increase its military presence on Snake Island, strengthening the air defense system. Russia dismissed Ukraine’s claim it had damaged a modern navy logistics ship in the Black Sea and showed photos of what it said was the vessel with no signs of damage.

Russian troops continued to deliberately destroy Ukraine's civilian infrastructure by launching missile strikes and artillery shelling of settlements in Donetsk, Odesa, Luhansk and Kharkiv oblasts. The Russians in the temporarily occupied territories of eastern and southern Ukraine were trying to attract Ukrainian citizens to work in occupation institutions and illegal law enforcement agencies, violating their rights and freedoms.

Head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak emphasized that Ukraine needs the unity of Europe in supporting Ukraine, in particular on its path to membership in the European Union, and imposing more effective sanctions on Russia, especially the oil embargo. He said this during an online conversation with representatives of the European Policy Centre. Andriy Yermak reminded that on the initiative of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy he had gathered leading international experts (Yermak-McFaul group) to work out recommendations on effective long-term sanctions on Russia. They have developed an Action Plan to strengthen sanctions. Its main point is a complete embargo on Russian energy - the main source of funding for the Russian army.

"Today, our country, being neither a member of NATO nor a member of the EU, has been repelling one of the world's most powerful armies for so many days. And today, the European Union and NATO must finally understand that as much as Ukraine needs the EU and NATO, so much does NATO and the EU need Ukraine. I believe that without Ukraine today, neither the European Union nor NATO will be strong," he said.

On the training side, up to almost 370 Ukrainian soldiers have completed M777 training, about 30 of them have completed a maintenance course, and there were another 17 or so that were still in the two week maintenance course. And about 20 or so Ukrainians are in the midst of training on the Puma, the unmanned aerial system. The training that was done on the Phoenix Ghost has been completed.

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Page last modified: 17-10-2022 19:16:44 ZULU