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Russo-Ukraine War - 15 May 2023 - Day 446

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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" (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 03 May 2023, several uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) struck Russia's Seshcha Airbase, 150km north of the Ukrainian border. One An-124 heavy transport aircraft of Russia's Military Transport Aviation (VTA) was likely damaged.

Seshcha is a hub for the VTA in western Russia and has played a major role in enabling Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Russia also uses the site to launch Iranian-produced one-way-attack UAVs towards Kyiv.

The VTA is a well-resourced element of the Russian Air Force, essential for transport across the vast country. Russian leaders will be concerned that Russia's air defences continue to be compromised, holding at risk key strategic assets such as VTA bases.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that during the day of May 15th, Russian forces launched 2x missile strikes on Kostyantynivka, Donetsk Oblast, using the S-300 air defense system. In addition, Russian forces carried out 38x airstrikes and launched more than 25 MLRS attacks.

The threat of missile and air strikes remains across Ukraine.

Russia continues to concentrate its main efforts on the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Mar'inka axes. In total, up to 37x firefights took place on specified axes. Heavy fighting continues in the cities of Bakhmut and Mar'inka..
Volyn and Poliske axes: the operational situation has not changed significantly.
Sivershchyna and Slobozhanshchyna axes: Russian forces carried out mortar and artillery attacks on the settlements of Yeline, Murav'yi, Chernihiv Oblast; Vovkivka, Iskriskivshchyna, Volfyne, Shpyl', Stepok of the Sumy Oblast, as well as Kozacha Lopan, Hoptivka, Luk'yantsi, Gatyshche, Budarky, Nesterne, Krugle, Zemlyanki, Staritsa in the Kharkiv Oblast.
Kup'yans'k axis: Russia does not stop trying to improve the tactical position. During this period, it conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the Masyutivka area. It carried out an airstrike in the area of the settlement of Kislivka. Dvorichanske, Kamianka, Krasne Pershe, Mitrofanivka, Figolivka, Novomlynsk, Dvorichna, Zapadne, Kindrasivka, Kupyansk, Kislivka, Tabaivka, Berestov of Kharkiv Oblast and Stelmakhivka of Luhansk Oblast came under Russian artillery and mortar fire.
Lyman axis: during the day, Russian forces did not conduct offensive operations. russian forces carried out an air strike in the area of Spirny. Makiivka and Bilogorivka of the Luhansk Oblast and Verkhn'okam'yans'ke and Spirne of the Donetsk Oblast were bombarded by russian artillery.
Bakhmut axis: Russia continues to conduct offensive operations. Heavy fighting continues for Bakhmut. In addition, during the day, the Russian adversary conducted unsuccessful attacks on the settlement of Ivanovske. Hryhorivka, Bohdanivka, Bakhmut, Ivanivs'ke, Druzhba, Severnye, Petrivka, Toretsk of the Donetsk Oblast were subjected to Russian shelling.
Avdiivka axis: Russian forces continue to destroy the infrastructure of settlements; carried out airstrikes on Avdiivka; shelled Stepove, Lastochkina, Avdiivka, Pervomaiske and Karlivka in the Donetsk Oblast.
Mar'inka axis: Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled numerous Russian attacks in the vicinities of Mar'inka. At the same time, Krasnohorivka, Gostre, Heorghiivka, Mar'inka, and Novomykhailivka of the Donetsk Oblast were subjects to Russian fire.
Shakhtars'k axis: during the day, Russian forces shelled the settlements of Vugledar, Prechistivka, Novoukrainka, and Shakhtars'ke.
Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes: Russian occupiers stayed on the defensive. They carried out airstrikes on the settlements of Vil'ne Pole in the Donetsk Oblast, Mala Tokmachka in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and Stanislav in the Kherson Oblast.
Meanwhile, the Russian occupiers shelled the settlements of Burlatske, Vilne Pole, Novopil' of the Donetsk Oblast; Ol'hivske, Malynivka, Hulyaipole, Zaliznychne, Hulyaipil'ske, Biloghir'ya, Mala Tokmachka, Orihiv and Kam'ians'ke of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and the city of Kherson.

Recently, in the temporarily captured territory of the Zaporizhia Oblast, the people who had agreed to cooperate with the Russian occupiers, they were asked to write down an agreement of the renunciation of Ukrainian citizenship, instead accepting Russian citizenship. Those who refuse are threatened by the occupiers with dismissal from their jobs and further persecution.

In order to strengthen control over the population in the temporarily occupied Crimea, operative groups of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB of the Russian Federation conduct raids on railway and bus stations. Crimean Tatars are first targets to be inspected.

During the day, Ukrainian Air Force carried out 7x strikes on areas where the Russian forces' personnel and military equipment were concentrated and 7x - on the Russian forces' anti-aircraft missile systems.

Ukrainian missile and artillery units the control post, 2x concentrations of Russian troops, 3x artillery units at firing positions, 2x electronic warfare stations, and ammunition depot.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that in Kupyansk direction, aviation and artillery of the Zapad Group of Forces have engaged the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) close to Sinkova and Berestovoye (Kharkov region).

In addition, thanks to the coordinated actions of units of the 138th Motorised Rifle Brigade near Dvurechnoye (Kharkov region), actions of three sabotage and reconnaissance groups were foiled overnight.

The enemy has suffered losses of up to 145 Ukrainian troops, two armoured fighting vehicles, three motor vehicles, two Gvozdika self-propelled artillery systems, and one D-20 howitzer in this direction in the past 24 hours.

In Krasny Liman direction, Operational-Tactical and Army aviation and artillery of the Tsentr Group of Forces engaged the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine close to Nevskoye (Lugansk People's Republic).

Units of the 76th Air Assault Division have neutralised two sabotage and reconnaissance groups near Chervonaya Dibrova (Lugansk People's Republic).

The enemy has suffered losses of over 75 Ukrainian troops, two armoured fighting vehicles, three pick-up trucks, one Gvozdika self-propelled artillery system, and one D-30 howitzer in this direction in the past 24 hours.

In Donetsk direction, assault detachments continue the fiercest battles on the western outskirts of the city of Artyomovsk, as well as units of the 4th Motorised Rifle Brigade near Krasnoye (Donetsk People's Republic).

Operational-Tactical and Army aviation and artillery of the Yug Group of Forces have inflicted a fire damage on the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine close to Chasov Yar and Bogdanovka (Donetsk People's Republic).

The Russian aviation have made 7 sorties in this area during the day. The Group's artillery have performed 72 firing missions.

The enemy's losses in this direction during the day amounted to up to 235 Ukrainian servicemen and mercenaries, one tank, four armoured fighting vehicles, seven motor vehicles, and D-20, D-30, and Msta-B howitzers.

In South Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions, aviation and artillery of the Vostok Group of Forces inflicted a fire damage on the AFU units close to Ugledar and Vodyanoye (Donetsk People's Republic). The enemy's losses have amounted to over 150 Ukrainian troops, and five motor vehicles in this direction during the day.

In Kherson direction, up to 30 Ukrainian troops, one armoured fighting vehicle, and four motor vehicles have been destroyed.

Operational-Tactical and Army aviation, Missile Troops and Artillery of the Russian Group of Forces have engaged 68 AFU artillery units, manpower and hardware in 97 areas during the day.

One U.S.-made AN/TPQ-37 counter-battery radar station has been destroyed near Krivaya Luka (Donetsk People's Republic).

Fighter aviation of Russian Aerospace Forces has shot down Mi-24 and Mi-8 helicopters of Ukrainian Air Force near Selidovo and Brusovka (Donetsk People's Republic).

Air defence forces have intercepted 7 HARM anti-radar missiles, one Storm Shadow long-range cruise missile, and 10 HIMARS MLRS projectiles during the day.

Moreover, 21 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down close to Novopokrovka, Vodyanoye, Rabotino (Zaporozhye region), Lyubimovka, Novaya Kakhovka (Kherson region), Gorlovka, Peski, Volodino (Donetsk People's Republic), Kremennaya and Novokrasnyanka (Lugansk People's Republic).

In total, 425 airplanes and 233 helicopters, 4,156 unmanned aerial vehicles, 421 air defence missile systems, 9,169 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, 1,100 combat vehicles equipped with MLRS, 4,821 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 10,214 units of special military equipment have been destroyed during the special military operation.

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