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Russo-Ukraine War - 16 May 2022 - Day 82

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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]


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy replaced the head of its Territorial Defence Forces. The Defence Ministry said Zelenskiy had appointed Major General Ihor Tantsyura to take over from Yuriy Halushkin as commander of the force. Thus, document 36336/2022 refers to the dismissal of Yuri Galushkin from the post of Commander of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Kyiv does not talk about the reason for the exchange, and Galushkin was not transferred to another top position, so it will hardly be a reward for good service.

And by decree #337 / 2022 Igor Tantsyur was appointed to this position. There is little information about Igor Tantsyura in open sources. Until now, Tantsyura was the Chief of Staff - Deputy Commander of the Land Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Prior to that, the Major General took part in the Russian-Ukrainian war and was the first deputy commander of the Joint Forces Operation. Galushkin had been the commander of the Troop Forces since 01 January 2022. Igor Tantsyura was previously the head of the 169th Training Center of the Land Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In 2019, he became Chief of Staff and First Deputy Commander of the Joint Forces Operation.

Reportedly Galushkin was dismissed for “for numerous miscalculations in the organization of the service”. One rumor suggested he had sent the 109th and 110th Brigades into combat without adequate armament. Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov stated "The 109th Troops Battalion, together with Marines, Guards, Border Guards, Police, SBU and Intelligence Soldiers, has been participating in the heroic defense of Mariupol for more than 80 days. ... The explosive growth of the structure, especially in conditions of intense fighting - is a huge experience, it is mistakes and achievements, it is successes and, unfortunately, losses."

The Ukrainian 110th Separate Territorial Defense Brigade launched successful artillery strikes on a stationed Russian armored group in Zaporizhia Oblast on 26 April 2022. But days later, units of the 110th Brigade from Zaporizhzhia Oblast suffered massive losses in defending part of the Zaporozhye front. Russian forces were able to advance in the area by almost 20 kilometers. Allegedly because the defenders did not have enough anti-tank weapons (according to other reports, they were not sufficiently trained in their use). Some militia units in the Donbas allegedly had the same problem of insufficient equipment for fighting Russian tanks.

While the soldiers of the Lviv 103rd Brigade of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were at the front, their wives, sisters and mothers were "fighting" in the Lviv region. Women claim that their men were deceived - instead of defending the Lviv region, they were sent east unprepared and improperly armed. The wives and relatives of the soldiers of the 103rd Brigade gathered in the evening of 11 May 2022 in the crowded hall of the House of Officers in Lviv. The women took the initiative. Then the conversation lost its logical consistency and tact. "They went there in their cars, did not receive fuel, they were advised to refuel themselves," "When brought, they sat for 4 hours in the pits with machine guns. And most importantly - shot at their retreating. It is good that there were no casualties. They have no radios. When the volunteers brought the walkie-talkies, the battalion headquarters took away those walkie-talkies.” “The guys are unprepared and demoralized. They were twice at the training range, they were taught to dig dugouts and trenches. And now they have thrown our children "for meat", deceived ", - continued to be heard from the hall.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the troops who have reached the Russian border near Kharkiv, after a group of soldiers recorded a victorious video of their efforts to push the Russians back to the border and away from the capital Kyiv. “Fellows in Kharkiv, 227 battalion, 127 brigade of the Ukrainian territorial defence. I'm very grateful to you, on behalf of all Ukrainians, on my behalf and on behalf of my family. My gratitude has no limits… great job. I'm very grateful to all the fighters like you. Everything [all occupied territories] will be Ukraine. Glory to Ukraine,” he said.

Finland and Sweden announced bids to join NATO, reversing their traditional and longstanding policies of military non-alignment. Russia described the Nordic nations’ NATO bid as a “grave mistake”. Turkey set demands for Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership, saying it wanted the two countries to end support for Kurdish armed groups on their territory, and to lift the ban on sales of some arms to Turkey. Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets said Sweden and Finland joining NATO would increase the security of the Baltic region. Russia is “the only country that threatens European security” and “openly waging a war of aggression”, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said debating NATO bid.

Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy issued the most direct threat to Helsinki and Stockholm so far. “They [Finland and Sweden] know that the moment they become members of NATO, this will trigger certain reciprocal steps from the Russian side. If there are NATO units on these territories, then these territories will become targets—or potential targets—for a strike,” he said. “NATO is an extremely hostile bloc for us; it is an enemy, and NATO itself considers Russia an enemy. This means that Finland and Sweden will suddenly go from neutral countries to being part of the enemy, and they will bear all of the associated risks.”

The European Union strongly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and does not recognize a single kilometer of land seized by the Russian occupiers and trying to declare it its territory. This was stated by EU High Representative Josep Borrell in Brussels following a meeting of the EU Council of Foreign Ministers. "We do not recognize a single square kilometer of Ukrainian land that is admired by the Russians, as we have not done in relation to the Crimea. We do not recognize any part of Ukraine that (the invaders - ed.) May try to call part of the Russian Federation. We defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine and hope that Ukraine will win this war. This means that we hope that they (Ukrainians - ed.) will be able to repel the invasion and expel the attackers from their own borders," Borrel said.

Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba stated "Russia is not as brave as it pretends to be. They will not take the risk of military conflict with NATO. ... I’m a Ukrainian foreign minister, how can you expect me to say that I do not want to restore [the] territorial integrity of my country? No one in Ukraine or in Europe seems to have doubt that Ukraine will win. The question exactly is what will victory look like, and how specific elements of victory will be achieved. Some things can be regained by military force, others can be regained by diplomacy. In the end, victory is a combination of two – military victory on the ground and diplomatic victory at the negotiating table. So we will get that I think. I appreciate your interest in how the victory [would] look like, I do not know the exact parameters yet. But I give you 100 percent that we will win and Russia will be defeated. This is also another element that everyone has to understand – the victory of Ukraine implies defeat of Russia."

The UK Ministry of Defence reported that following exercise activity earlier this month, Belarus has announced the deployment of special operations forces along the Ukraine border, as well as air defence, artillery and missile units to training ranges in the west of the country. The presence of Belarusian forces near the border will likely fix Ukrainian troops, so they cannot deploy in support of operations in the Donbas. Despite early speculation, to date Belarusian forces have not been directly involved in the conflict. However, Belarusian territory was used as a staging post for Russia’s initial advance on Kyiv and Chernihiv. Russia has also launched air sorties and missile strikes from Belarus. Belarusian President Lukashenko is likely balancing support for Russia’s invasion with a desire to avoid direct military participation with the risk of Western sanctions, Ukrainian retaliation and possible dissatisfaction in the Belarusian military.

A Senior US Defense Official reported that the Russians now had 106 total operational BTGs inside Ukraine. Putin committed about 80 percent of the total BTGs to Ukraine. Of the 140 plus BTGs that he had available to him that he still had a majority of those available to him. The eastern grouping of troops has more than 20 BTGs in that eastern grouping, but not all of them are in Ukraine. In the central grouping of troops had all their BTGs are in Ukraine, and that's a little less than 20. The eastern grouping and the central grouping are focused largely on the Donbas region. The western grouping of troops is very small and has about five total BTGs attached to it. The biggest grouping of troops is the southern grouping, which has more than 50 BTGs assigned to it, and obviously they are focused in the southern part. Between Kherson all the way to the west and Mariupol all the way to the east and as far north as Velyka Novosilka and as far north as Zaporizhzhya.

The Russians continue to take casualties. They continue to lose equipment and systems every day in the fighting. It is a dynamic fight right now in the Donbas particularly. There's back and forth every single day, and it's not like the Russians haven't made some progress. They have. It's been uneven, slow, incremental, short, and small, but they have continued to make a little bit of progress.

Russian forces continue to attack Ukrainian forces in the Donbas region. They did not make significant territorial gains in that region, both sides exchanging artillery fire even over the last 24 hours. The Russian forces seemed to be focusing their efforts largely near Izyum and -- and to the north of Lyman. The Ukrainians regained some ground around Kharkiv, even though Kharkiv continued to be hit by airstrikes and bombardment, artillery was being used in and around Kharkiv, but Ukrainians pushed Russian forces to within three to four kilometers of the Russian border.

There was heavy fighting near Donetsk, moving basically east to west, and the Russian forces were making some small gains to the west of Donetsk. It was not entirely clear what the goal is there, but just to the west, a little bit south of west from Donetsk, is the town of Velyka Novosilka, which is where the Russian forces have stopped advancing south of that, coming up out of Mariupol. So it could be an attempt by them to link up with their Russian forces that have sort of been stuck south of Velyka Novosilka.

It appears as if they have made no progress with trying to cross over those pontoon bridges, over the Donets River, about 30 kilometers northwest of Luhansk. Tthey have made several bridging attempts over the Donets and just have not been able to be successful. They have been stymied in every effort by the Ukrainians. And so it's going to be difficult for them to make any significant gains in the Donbas area until they can reposition forces or find less well-defended areas to cross that river, but they just haven't been able to make much progress.

In the air domain, pretty much consistent. The airspace is contested, and there is a general wariness by Russian pilots to fly very long inside Ukrainian airspace. Again, they were flying about 250 sorties, strikes are focused again on the Joint Forces Operation area of the Donbas -- Kharkiv and Mariupol. So again, no big, major changes to that. The Russians did fire some long range missiles into the vicinity of Lviv. It looked as if they were trying to target the Yavoriv training area. There was minimal damage.

The Russians continued to conduct offensive operations in the Eastern Operational Zone. The Russians focused its main efforts on the Donetsk direction. In the Slobozhansky direction, it is trying to deter the offensive of the Defense Forces north of the city of Kharkiv and prevent them from reaching the State Border of Ukraine. They prepared for offensive operations by units concentrated in the area of the city of Izyum.

The Russians's efforts were focused on destroying facilities in the Eastern Operational Zone and industrial facilities in the depths of Ukraine. In the Volyn, Polissya and Seversky directions, the situation has not changed significantly. In the Slobozhansky direction, the Russians reinforced the grouping of troops with special forces and air defense units. In the Kharkiv direction, the main efforts of the Russians were focused on maintaining their positions and preventing the advance of Ukrainian troops. The Russians tried to fight in the direction of the village of Ternov, but were unsuccessful. In the Slavic direction, the Russians, with the help of units of the 20th General Army, replenished losses, trying to resume the offensive. As a result of the fire, the Defense Forces of the Russians depots stationed in the city of Izyum destroyed a significant stockpile of ammunition.

In the Donetsk direction, the Russians fired on Ukrainian units with mortars, artillery, multiple rocket launchers and aircraft. In the Lyman direction, the Russians conducted offensive operations in the area of the village of Shandrygolove. In the direction of the village of Lyman, according to the results of hostilities, they had no success, trying to strengthen the grouping of its troops. In the Severodonetsk direction, the occupiers fought in the area of the settlement of Borivske, and suffered casualties. In the Avdiivka direction, the Russians acted in the direction of the settlement of Sukha Balka. They fired on individual positions of the Defense Forces with cluster munitions.

In the Bakhmut direction, the Russians were fighting in the areas of Toshkivka and Pylypchatyne. In the area of Gorsky, the Russians suffered losses and withdrew. In the Kurakhiv direction, the Russians attacked in the area of Maryinka and Novomykhailivka, but had no success.

In Mariupol, the Russians focused its efforts on blocking and defeating Ukrainian units near the Azovstal plant, an continued massive artillery and air strikes. Hanna Maliar, Ukraine deputy defense minister reported that 53 severely wounded defenders of Mariupol were evacuated to the occupied Novoazovsk. Another 211 had been evacuated to the occupied Olenivka. They’re supposed to be exchanged in a prisoner swap with Kyiv, later on. President Zelensky stated : "A difficult day. But this day, like all others, is aimed at saving our country & our people. I want to emphasize that Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive." The leader who values human life. 266 Ukrainian servicemen were evacuated from Azovstal as of now." Measures are underway to rescue the remaining #Azovstal fighters.

The Russians did not conduct active hostilities in the Novopavlovsk and Zaporizhzhya areas. They carried out fire damage to civilian infrastructure in the areas of the settlements of Vremivka, Novosilka, Mala Tokmachka and Novoandriyivka. Russians inflicted an air strike on the settlement of Malinovka, and took measures for the logistical support of troops. In the South Buzh direction, the Russians did not conduct active hostilities, shelling civilian infrastructure with artillery and mortars in the areas of the settlements of Oleksandrivka, Shevchenkove and Novovorontsovka. The Defense Forces of Ukraine fired at the Russians's ammunition field near the settlement of Davydiv Brid.

The situation in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova remained without significant changes. Personnel of units of the operational group of Russian troops continue to be on high alert. Provocations by the Russian side in the region are not ruled out. Ships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in the Black and Azov Seas continued to perform tasks to isolate the area of hostilities, reconnaissance and fire support in the coastal direction.

Larisa Brown, Defence Editor of The Times, reported "President Putin is making low-level tactical decisions that would normally be decided by an officer in charge of as few as 700 Russian troops, western military sources say. A military source said that Putin and General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff, were dictating basic movements of their forces in Ukraine. “We think Putin and Gerasimov are involved in tactical decision-making at a level we would normally expect to be taken by a colonel or a brigadier”, the source said.... Western sources believe that Putin’s micromanagement of the war could be contributing to the military failures in the Donbas region..." Putin held the rank of lieutenant as an artilleryman, as the commander of a 122mm howitzer artillery battery.

Russia is using private military companies and proxy militias to make up for the heavy troop losses Ukraine as it has run out of combat-ready reservists, DC-based Institute for the Study of War said. “Russian private military companies are reportedly forming combined units with airborne elements due to significant losses in manpower. Denaturing elite airborne units with mercenaries is shocking, and would be the clearest indication yet that Russia has exhausted its available combat-ready manpower reserves,” the analysts said. The analysis added: “The Ukrainian Military Intelligence Directorate stated that Russian forces are conducting covert mobilization and creating new units with newly mobilized personnel who likely have insufficient training to be effective and little motivation to fight.” Russian forces deployed new conscripts from the occupied settlements in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts to maintain an offensive around Kharkiv City, “likely due to the lack of Russian reserves.”

Ukrainian Air Defence destroyed 5 Russian air targets on May 16. The Air Force's strike aircraft made over 10 flights to hit ground targets, in particular, the control point of the Rusxian battalion-tactical group. Anti-aircraft missile units of the Air Force shot a Su-25 attack aircraft of the Russian occupiers and an enemy cruise missile. In addition, the Ukrainian Air Force's air defenses destroyed at least three Orlan-10 UAVs. 5 air targets were hit during the day: 1 aircraft (Su-25), 3 UAVs (OTR), and 1 cruise missile.

On the 155mm ammunition, 64 percent of the total -- and the total announced that $150 million package, is 209,000 rounds total have been committed for 155mm rounds, and more than 130,000 of them have been transferred into Ukraine, and more gets in every day. Three of the Mi-17s of the 11 that were left to be transferred -- three of them have been transferred to Ukraine, and we got feedback from the Ukrainians that one of them -- the first one that was transferred of the 11, the first one that was transferred has already flown two missions.

The latest polls by Germany’s RTL and N-TV networks showed support for arming Ukraine dropping from 55% in April to 46% in May. Meanwhile, 44% of Germans now condemn this policy, up from 33% in April.

Tom Friedman wrote in 1996 “No two countries that both have a McDonald's have ever fought a war against each other.” America's fast-food giant McDonald's rolled out the process to sell its hundreds of restaurants in Russia, joining scores of Western companies who are exiting the Russian market amid international sanctions. "The humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, and the precipitating unpredictable operating environment, have led McDonald's to conclude that continued ownership of the business in Russia is no longer tenable," the Chicago-based company said. McDonald's had already announced the temporary closure of its some 850 restaurants in Russia in March, soon after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. McDonald's first restaurant in Russia opened in the middle of Moscow over three decades ago, soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall and before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Many at the time saw this as a symbol of the melting Cold War tensions between the US and the Soviet Union.



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Page last modified: 17-10-2022 19:16:45 ZULU