Russo-Ukraine War - 09 May 2023 - Day 440
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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" (SVO - spetsialnaya voennaya operatsiya) 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 UK Ministry of Defence reported that on 28 April 2023, the head of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, announced that regional water supplies were dangerously low. Water scarcity has been a growing issue for Russian-occupied Donetsk since Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
The Siversky-Donets canal which supplies the region remains largely under Ukrainian control but has been frequently contested along its long route. Russian forces have likely been seeking to secure the canal to reduce water scarcity within Donetsk.
The Siversky-Donets canal traverses through the town of Chasiv Yar, approximately 6km to the west of Bakhmut. Russia's heavy use of indirect artillery to support the capture of Bakhmut and surrounding territory has likely inflicted collateral damage to the canal and other regional water infrastructure, undermining Russia's efforts to remedy the lack of water that its invasion originally created. To compensate for its lack of success in capturing and retaining the canal Russia is likely constructing a water pipeline to mitigate the water shortage in Donetsk City. However, this is highly unlikely to fully compensate for the occupied regions' reduced access to water.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that during this day, Russian forces launched 20x missile and 30x air strikes, and conducted about 30x MLRS attacks on Ukrainian settlements and Ukrainian Defense Forces. Russia used 17x cruise missiles, 15x of which were successfully intercepted by Ukrainian defenders. Moreover, 3x S-300 SAMSs hit Kramatorsk and Kostyantynivka. The attacks caused damage to civilian infrastructure.
The threat of further missile and air strikes remains high across Ukraine.
Russia further concentrates on Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Mar'inka axes. During the day, Russian forces carried out almost 30x attacks on the specified axes. Heavy battles for Bakhmut and Mar'inka are ongoing.
Volyn' and Polissya axes: no signs of the formation of Russian offensive groupings detected. Certain units of the armed forces of the Russian Federation remain stationed at various training grounds in the Republic of Belarus.
Sivershchyna and Slobozhanshchyna axes: Russia maintains enhanced military presence in the areas bordering Ukraine. Zaliznyi Myst and Murav'yi (Chernihiv oblast); Tovstodubove, Bachivs'k, Stari Virky, Iskriskivshchyna, Volfyne, Yunakivka, Mogrytsia, Popivka, and Slavhorod (Sumy oblast); as well as Hoptivka, Varvarivka, Bugruvatka, Ohirtseve, Hatyshche, Pletenivka, Tyche, Mala Vovcha, Budarky, Zemlianka, Vilkhuvatka, Dvorichans'ke, and Khatne (Kharkiv oblast) came under mortar and artillery fire during the day.
Kup'yans'k axis: aiming to improve tactical situation, Russian forces have attempted unsuccessful attacks on Ukrainian positions in the vicinities of Masyutivka and Stelmakhivka.
Kam'ianka, Kolodyazne, Krasne Pershe, Figolivka, Dvorichna, and Lyman Pershyi (Kharkiv oblast); Stelmakhivka (Luhansk oblast) came under artillery and mortar fire.
Lyman axis: Russian forces attempted unsuccessful offensive operations in the vicinities of Biloghorivka. Makiivka, Biloghorivka, and Vesele (Luhansk oblast); as well as Yampolivka and Spirne (Donetsk oblast) were targeted by Russian artillery.
Bakhmut axis: Russia continues to advance.
During the day, Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations in the city of Bakhmut, and attempted to advance towards Ivanovs'ke and Stupochki.
Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Bohdanivka, Chasiv Yar, Zalizne, and New York (Donetsk oblast) came under fire.
Avdiivka axis: Russian forces did not conduct offensive operations. However, russian aircraft launched an air strike in the vicinities of Avdiivka.
Avdiivka, Pervomais'ke, Netaylove, and Karlivka (Donetsk oblast) suffered from Russian bombardments.
Mar'inka axis: Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled numerous Russian attacks in the vicinities of Mar'inka. Moreover, Russian forces shelled Heorghievka (Donetsk oblast).
Shakhtars'ke axis: Russian forces stayed on the defensive during the day. Russian forces shelled Novomykhailivka, Vodyane, Vuhledar, Prechistivka, and Velyka Novosilka.
Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes: Russian occupiers stayed on the defensive. Meanwhile, they shelled Vremivka and Novopil' (Donetsk oblast); Olhivs'ke, Malynivka, Hulyaipole, Charivne, Mala Tokmachka, Orihiv, Novodanylivka, Kam'ianske, and Plavni (Zaporizhzhia oblast); Antonivka, Molodizhne, and Zelenivka (Kherson oblast).
On May 8, the Russian occupiers started to take preschool and school-age children along with their parents, as well as educators and other public sector employees, out of the town of Kamianka-Dniprovsk (Zaporizhzhia oblast) to Berdyansk. However, only few people volunteered to be evacuated. At the same time, all medical workers of the local hospital were asked to work.
During the day, Ukrainian Air Force launched 4x air strikes on the concentrations of Russian troops, and 2x anti-aircraft missile systems. Ukrainian missile and artillery troops attacked 2x concentrations of Russian troops and 1x electronic warfare station.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that, the previous night, the Russian Armed Forces launched a concentrated long-range, sea- and air-launched high-precision attack on temporary enemy reserve areas and ammunition depots.
The purpose of the strike has been achieved. All the assigned targets have been engaged.
As a result of the strikes, the movement of reserves as well as the delivery of ammunition to combat areas has been thwarted.
In Kupyansk direction, aviation and artillery of the Zapad Group of Forces have engaged the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine close to Sinkova and Berestovoye (Kharkov region).
Over the past 24 hours, up to 35 Ukrainian troops, one tank, two motor vehicles, and one Akatsiya self-propelled artillery system have been neutralised in this direction.
In Krasny Liman direction, Operational-Tactical and Army aviation and artillery of the Tsentr Group of Forces have inflicted fire damage on enemy manpower and hardware close to Chervonaya Dibrova and Nevskoye (Lugansk People's Republic).
The enemy suffered losses of up to 75 Ukrainian troops, two armoured fighting vehicles, three pick-up trucks, one Grad MLRS, and two D-30 howitzers.
In Donetsk direction, assault detachments continued their offensive in the west part of the city of Artyomovsk. Airborne Troops support the action of the assault detachments paralysing the enemy on the flanks.
Operational-Tactical and Army aviation and artillery of the Yug Group of Forces inflicted fire damage on the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) close to Bogdanovka and Chasov Yar (Donetsk People's Republic). Russian aviation conducted five sorties in this area during the past 24 hours. The artillery have performed 73 fire tasks overnight.
The enemy has suffered losses of over 465 Ukrainian troops and mercenaries, two tanks, six armoured fighting vehicles, six motor vehicles, one Grad self-propelled artillery system, and two D-20 and D-30 howitzers in the past 24 hours.
In South Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions, aviation and artillery of the Vostok Group of Forces carried out attack against AFU units in the areas of Ugledar (Donetsk People's Republic) and Gulyay Pole (Zaporozhye region).
Over 90 Ukrainian troops, two armoured fighting vehicles, two motor vehicles, and one Msta-B howitzer have been neutralised during the day.
Moreover, one ammunition depot of the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been hit close to Shcherbaki (Zaporozhye region).
In Kherson direction, Russian troops have neutralised up to 30 Ukrainian troops, five motor vehicles, and two Gvozdika self-propelled artillery systems during the day.
Moreover, an ammunition depot of the 124rd Territorial Defence Brigade was neutralised close to Antonovka (Kherson region).
Operational-Tactical and Army aviation, Missile Troops and Artillery of the Russian Group of Forces have engaged 72 AFU artillery units, manpower, and hardware in 94 areas during the day.
An ammunition depot of the 54th Mechanised Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been hit close to Verkhnekamenskoye (Donetsk People's Republic).
Russian air defence facilities have shot down one Su-25 airplane of Ukrainian Air Force near Belozerka (Kherson region).
Air defence systems have downed three HIMARS and Uragan MRLS projectiles and one Tochka-U tactical missile during the day.
In addition, 10 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were destroyed close to Golikovo (Lugansk People's Republic), Spornoye (Donetsk People's Republic), Removka (Zaporozhye region), as well as Novaya Mayachka and Belozerka (Kherson region).
In total, 419 airplanes and 230 helicopters, 4,052 unmanned aerial vehicles, 421 air defence missile systems, 9,046 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, 1,098 combat vehicles equipped with MLRS, 4,774 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 10,077 units of special military equipment have been destroyed during the special military operation.
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