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Russo-Ukraine War - 20 May 2022 - Day 86

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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 eighty-sixth day of the heroic opposition of the Ukrainian nation to the Russian military invasion continues.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has revealed a weeks-long mystery about the siege of the Azovstal in Mariupol: How were supplies delivered to fighters in the steel mill? Ukrainian pilots risked Russian anti-aircraft fire to fly medicine, food and water to the steel mill on helicopters, suffering a large amount of casualties, Zelenskyy said in an interview on the third anniversary of his inauguration as president. He said the effort also included retrieval of bodies and picking up the wounded. “They are absolutely heroic people, who knew that it would be difficult, knew that to fly would be almost impossible,” Zelenskyy said.

To justify military failures, Russian propagandists are changing their rhetoric and explaining with a "strategic plan" their refusal to advance Russian troops deep into Ukraine. According to Ukrinform, the Center for Combating Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine reports in a Telegram. "Several pro-Kremlin media outlets have begun to propagate the thesis that suspending the advance of Russian troops into Ukraine is a" strategic plan "of Russia's military-political leadership to prolong hostilities until the onset of the cold season," the statement said.

This "strategy" is justified by the propagandists as follows: with the onset of cold weather, regardless of the situation in Ukraine, the collective West will be forced to agree to Russia's gas ultimatum on any terms. At the same time, as noted, in fact, by such manipulations, Russian propagandists are trying to disguise the military defeats of their own military. Relevant in this context is the assessment given by US Army General Ben Godges: "With such fighting, losses - by the end of the summer - Russian forces will decline, and Ukraine will have sufficient potential to launch a counteroffensive ," said the Center for Countering Disinformation.

Despite recent calls between the Pentagon chief and the top US military general with their Russian counterparts, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other senior US diplomats are not ready to follow suit with Russian diplomats. State Department Spokesman Ned Price said there were no indications that such a call between US and Russian diplomats would help decrease the violence in Ukraine. For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app. “It is in our assessment, not the time at the moment for a high-level call… precisely because we have seen no indication that the Russians are serious about engaging in a constructive dialogue,” Price told Al Arabiya English during a call with reporters.

Russia's success in the special operation in Ukraine will mean for Washington "the collapse of the hegemony of the collective West," so the United States is interested in continuing the "war to the last Ukrainian." This opinion was expressed on Friday by the head of the LDPR faction, chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, Leonid Slutsky. “For Washington, the success of Russia’s special operation will mean the collapse of the hegemony of the collective West and its neo-colonial policy. Namely, the United States cannot allow this. Therefore, the United States is vitally interested in continuing the“ war to the last Ukrainian ”. than collateral damage," Slutsky wrote on the Telegram channel.

The UK Ministry of Defence reported that as many as 1,700 Ukrainian soldiers are likely to have surrendered from the Mariupol Azovstal steel factory. An unknown number of Ukrainian forces remain inside the factory. Once Russia has secured Mariupol, it is likely they will move their forces to reinforce operations in the Donbas. Staunch Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol since the start of the war means Russian forces in the area must be re-equipped and refurbished before they can be redeployed effectively. This can be a lengthy process when done thoroughly. Russian commanders, however, are under pressure to demonstrably achieve operational objectives. This means that Russia will probably redistribute their forces swiftly without adequate preparation, which risks further force attrition.

There was more criticism of the Russian offensive strategy on Russian social media. “The war of attrition in Donbas is continuing, and the strategic impasse for the Russian army (while the Ukrainian army is buying time) is becoming more pronounced,” Igor Strelkov (Girkin), a former FSB officer who orchestrated much of pro-Russian unrest in Donbas in 2014, wrote on his Telegram channel.

The Russians do not stop conducting offensive operations in the Eastern Operational Zone and shelling the area along the line of contact and in the depths of the defense of Ukrainian troops in the Donetsk operational area and in the Slavic direction. The Russians are launching missile strikes on infrastructure facilities and residential neighborhoods in Ukraine. Artillery shelling of Ukrainian cities continues, resulting in numerous civilian casualties.

In the Volyn and Polissya directions, units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus (up to seven battalions) perform tasks on a rotating basis to cover the section of the Ukrainian-Belarusian border. According to available information, Two missile divisions of the Tochka-U tactical missile complex and the Tornado multiple rocket launcher division have been deployed at separate ranges in the territory of the Republic of Belarus.

In the period from June 22 to July 1 this year in the Gomel region is scheduled to hold a meeting with conscripts. The threat of rocket bombings and artillery shelling from the territory of the Republic of Belarus has not disappeared.

In the Seversky direction, in order to clarify the position of Ukrainian units, the Russians conducted air reconnaissance with the use of UAVs, and continued the engineering equipment of positions on the territory of the Russian Federation along the state border of Ukraine. In the Slobozhansky direction, the Russians fired artillery at the positions of Ukrainian troops north of the city of Kharkiv, and inflicted air strikes and conducted remote mining on the routes of possible deployment of units of the Defense Forces. In the Slavic direction of the Russians grouping, the main efforts are focused on conducting offensive operations, regrouping troops, as well as the accumulation of material and technical resources.

The Russians fired artillery at the positions of Ukrainian troops to the south and southwest of the city of Izyum. In order to clarify the position of Ukrainian troops, he conducted air reconnaissance with two Orlan-10 UAVs. According to available information, in the area of the settlement of Yaremivka the Russians tried to bring a pontoon crossing over the river Seversky Donets.

In the temporarily occupied territories of Kharkiv region, the Russians continued to block the work of Ukrainian mobile operators, distributes propaganda materials, tried to establish broadcasting on Russian TV and radio channels. In the Donetsk direction, the Russians were trying to conduct active hostilities in the Lyman, Severodonetsk and Bakhmut directions. In the Lyman and Severodonetsk directions, the Russians fired on the positions of Ukrainian units in the areas of the settlements of Lyman, Siversk, Lysychansk, and Severodonetsk.

In the Bakhmut direction, with the support of artillery, Russians conducted an offensive, trying to seize new frontiers in the area of the settlement of Popasna, but Ukraine claimed that they had no success. OSINT Aggregator reported "There is a growing risk that Russian forces around Popasna may be gaining momentum against Ukrainian defenders in the area. Today Russia captured Nova Kamyanka, Stryapivka, Volodymyrivka, Trypillya & Druzhba to the W and Troitske to the S of the city." Ukraine War Map reports the Russian "attacking in multiple directions out from Popasna and has reportedly captured Vrubivka and Druzhba".

In the Kurakhiv direction, with the support of artillery and assault aircraft, the Russians launched an offensive in the direction of the settlement of Novomykhailivka (10 km south of Marinka), and had no success.

In Mariupol, the Russians were filtering the local population. Russia’s defence ministry said the last group of Ukrainian forces holed up in Mariupol’s Azovstal steel works has surrendered. On Novopavlovsky, Kryvyi Rih, In the Kherson and Zaporizhzhya directions, the Russians continues to shell units of Ukrainian troops. In the South Buz and Tavriya directions, the grouping of the occupying forces focuses on the maintenance of the occupied frontiers, conducting reconnaissance, engineering equipment of positions and logistical support of units. The Russians continued engineering work on the equipment of the second line of defense. In order to prevent the advance of Ukrainian units, the bridge over the Ingulets River in the area of Davydovo Brod was mined.

As part of the recruitment of units that suffered casualties, in the area of the village of Chornobaivka, the Russians moved about 130 units of military equipment. In the Tavriya direction, the Russians took measures to provide logistics to the troops. In the Bessarabian direction, Russian special services were taking measures to destabilize the situation in the region. Information about mining of social infrastructure facilities and so-called “state” institutions in the cities of Tiraspol, Bender, Dubossary and Rybnytsia was again disseminated.

The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that the aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed more than 280 nationalists, disabled 59 units of military equipment per day. According to the agency, the Russian Aerospace Forces with high-precision missiles destroyed the launcher of the Osa-AKM air defense system and the illumination and guidance radar of the Ukrainian S-300 air defense system. Russian air defense systems shot down 10 UAVs and intercepted 17 Smerch MLRS shells of Ukraine in a day, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) use Su-57 fighter jets during the military operation in Ukraine, a source in the military-industrial complex told TASS.

German news agency DPA reported that the country will ship the first 15 Gepard anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine in July. DPA reported that the delivery, which includes training and almost 60,000 rounds of ammunition, was agreed following talks between Germany’s defence minister and her Ukrainian counterpart. Gepard — German for “cheetah” — is considered highly effective against low-flying aircraft and lightly armoured ground targets. It was decommissioned by the German military in 2012 but some 50 mothballed units are being restored by manufacturer KMW for use by Ukraine.

The Group of Seven (G7) leading economies agreed Friday to provide $19.8bn in economic aid to Ukraine to ensure its finances do not hinder its ability to defend itself from Russia’s invasion. German finance minister Christian Lindner told reporters that $9.5bn of the total amount was mobilized at meetings of the G7 finance ministers in Koenigswinter, Germany, this week.

Germany struck a deal to receive liquefied natural gas imports from Qatar as part of a shift away from Russian energy. The German government said that the agreement was signed during a visit by Qatar's Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. The European nation wants to reduce its dependence on Russian energy in light of the invasion of Ukraine. Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told German media that his country could deliver LNG as early as 2024. About 55 percent of Germany's natural gas imports came from Russia before the invasion. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a news conference that the deal with Qatar secured enough LNG for his country.

Germany's Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder stepped down from the board of the Russian state-owned oil company, a week after the Bundestag announced he would lose his taxpayer-funded office and staff. Schröder was a Social Democratic party (SPD) chancellor from 1998 to 2005. After leaving office, he went on to work for Russian energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft, among others.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that from February 24 to May 19, the number of people who left Ukraine reached 6,404,679; over the past day, 43,563 refugees crossed the borders of neighboring states. According to the information posted on its website, 887,651 people arrived in Russia during the specified period, 3,439,857 - in Poland, 937,082 - in Romania, 626,548 - in Hungary.



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Page last modified: 17-10-2022 19:16:46 ZULU