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Russo-Ukraine War - 18 May 2023 - Day 449

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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 the Russian state is likely effectively banning senior officials from resigning from their jobs while the 'Special Military Operation' continues. The measures likely extend to at least regional leaders, security officials and members of the powerful Presidential Administration.

In private, many officials are likely highly sceptical about the war, as well as often experiencing work stress within the dysfunctional wartime apparatus. The ban is likely enforced with strong hints that resignees will face trumped up criminal charges.

As well as being concerned about capability gaps resignees would leave, the authorities are likely also attempting to prevent any impression of defeatism, and to bolster a sense of collective responsibility for the war.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that during the day, Russian forces fired 36 rockets and 23 air strikes, and fired about 30 bombardment from jet systems of Ukrainian troops and settlements. The probability of missile and air strikes across Ukraine remains high.

Russia continues to focus the main efforts on the limansʹkomu, bakhmutsʹkomu and marjinsʹkomu directions. During the day, there were 17 combat clashes on the mentioned areas of the front, the hottest battles are fought for Bakhmut and Maryinka.
In the Volyn and Polísʹkomu directions, the operational environment without significant changes, no signs of the formation of offensive groups have been detected.
In the Sívers верkomu and Slobozhans верkomu directions, Russia continues to maintain a military presence in border areas with Ukraine.
During this day carried out mortar and artillery shelling of the settlements leonivka chernihiv region; Boyaro-Ležačí, pavlívka, basívka, miropíllâ sumy region, as well as staricâ, sinel гомnikove, ogírceve, gatishche, nesterne, budarki in kharkiv region.
In the direction of artillery and mortar shelling of the Russian forces, the settlements of Kamyanka, Kolodyazne, Figolivka, Novomlinsk, Dvorichna, Zapadne, Masyutivka, Liman First, Tabayivka, Berestove Kharkiv region and Stelmakhivka Luhansk region.
In the Limansky direction during the day, Russian forces did not conduct offensive actions. Artillery shelling suffered makííí леріvka, bílogorívka luhansk region; verkhnyokamiansʹke and spírne donetsk region.
In the Bakhmutsʹkomu direction, Russia continues to lead offensive actions. Heavy battles continue for the city of Bakhmut. Also, the opponent led unsuccessful offensive actions towards the settlement of ivanívsʹke. He made aviation strikes in the areas of Bogdanivka settlements, Bakhmut. Vasyukivka, Zaliznyanske, Orihovo-Vasilivka, Bogdanivka, Bakhmut, Ivanivka, Chasiv Yar, White Mountain, Northern Donetsk region were affected by Russian shelling.
In the Avdiiv direction, Russian forces carried out offensive actions in the direction of the North, had no success. During the day, they conducted aviation strikes in the areas of Novokalynovogo and Avdiivka. They carried out artillery shelling of the settlements of Novokalinove, Berdyči, Avdiivka, Tonenʹke, Pervomajske, Karlivka and Nevelske of Donetsk region.
In the maríins Наkomu direction, the units of the defense forces once again repelled numerous attacks of the Russian forces in the area of the city of marinka. At the same time, Russia continues to destroy settlements along the collision line, carrying out artillery shelling of Krasnogorivka, Maryinka and Victory of Donetsk region.
In the Shakhtar direction during the day, Russian forces did not conduct offensive actions. They made aviation strikes near the settlements of Zolota Niva and Velika Novosílka. Shelling, in particular, vuhledar, prečistívku, novoukraí Новоnku and shahtarsʹke.
Russia continues to conduct defensive actions on Zaporizhzhya and Kherson directions. Launched an aviation strike on the settlement of Novopil Donetsk region and carried out the artobstrations. Among them are Burlatske, Donetsk region; Olgivske, Charivne, Bilogirâ, Mala Tokmachka, Novodanilivka, Novoandriivka, Stepove, Kamianske and Plavni Zaporizhzhia region, and the city of Kherson.

Russian zagarbniki continue to put pressure on locals in the temporarily occupied territories of the Kherson region, including the Genichesky district. Yes, threatening deportation, occupiers force Ukrainian citizens to receive Russian passports.

The living force of the Russian forces arrived to individual settlements of Kakhovsky district. Residences are placed not only in vacant houses, but also settle in settlements where civilians currently live. People who are outraged are facing eviction.

Recently, Russia has stepped up counter-intelligence measures in the temporarily captured Kherson district. On the roads between settlements, the number of roadblocks has significantly increased, there are prudent checks of vehicles, documents, special attention is paid to the content of phones.

Aviation Defense Forces per day imposed 6 strikes on the areas of concentration of the personnel and military equipment of the Russian forces.

During this day, 21 winged rockets and 7 Russian reconnaissance UAVs of different types were destroyed by Ukrainian defenders.

Missile troops and artillery units hit the arms and military equipment focus area, ammunition depot, 3 artillery units on the firing position, an anti-aircraft missile complex, 7 radio-electronic combat stations and the Russian occupiers radi-location station.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that last night, the Russian Armed Forces launched group strikes by high-precision long-range sea- and air-based weapons against the enemy's reserves and full-sized depots storing foreign armament and hardware.

The purpose of the strike has been achieved. All the assigned targets have been engaged.

As a result of the strikes, significant stockpiles of AFU weapons and ammunition were destroyed, and the movement of reserves into combat areas was thwarted.

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 Novomlynsk and Kotlyarovka (Kharkov region).

The actions of two sabotage and reconnaissance parties were foiled by active operations by units of the 138th and 27th Motorised Rifle Brigades. During the day, the enemy lost 60 Ukrainian military personnel, two armoured fighting vehicles, two motor vehicles, and a D-20 howitzer in this direction.

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 Ploshchanka and Kuzmino (Lugansk People's Republic).

Two sabotage and reconnaissance groups have been eliminated by units of the 98th Airborne Division near Chervonaya Dibrova (Lugansk People's Republic).

During the day, more than 75 Ukrainian troops, one tank, four armoured fighting vehicles, two pick-up trucks, and a D-30 howitzer were neutralised.

In Donetsk direction, assault detachments fought to liberate Artyomovsk with active support of the Airborne Troops.

Operational-Tactical and Army aviation and artillery of the Yug Group of Forces have inflicted a fire damage on the enemy's manpower and hardware 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 has suffered losses of up to 200 Ukrainian troops, one tank, three armoured fighting vehicles, five motor vehicles, and two Gvozdika self-propelled artillery systems in this direction in the past 24 hours.

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 (Donetsk People's Republic).

The enemy's losses in this direction during the day have amounted to up to 150 Ukrainian troops killed and wounded, five motor vehicles, one Strela-10 surface-to-air missile vehicle, one FH70 howitzer, and one U.S.-made M777 artillery system.

In Kherson direction, over 35 Ukrainian troops, one armoured fighting vehicle, and three 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 one Su-24 aircraft of Ukrainian Air Force near Slavyansk (Donetsk People's Republic).

Russian air defence facilities have shot down one Mi-8 helicopter of Ukrainian Air Force near Novopavlovka (Zaporozhye region).

In addition, four HIMARS and one Uragan projectiles have been intercepted during the day.

Moreover, 11 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down close to Pologi, Romanovskoye (Zaporozhye region), Gorlovka, Peski, Blagodatnoye, Volodino (Donetsk People's Republic), Nikolayevka, Novovodyanoye, and Kremennaya (Lugansk People's Republic).

In total, 428 airplanes and 234 helicopters, 4,208 unmanned aerial vehicles, 423 air defence missile systems, 9,218 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, 1,100 combat vehicles equipped with MRLS, 4,843 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 10,284 units of special military equipment have been destroyed during the special military operation.

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