Russo-Ukraine War - 22 May 2023 - Day 453
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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 Russia is highly likely creating a new 'elite' attack aviation group code-named 'Shtorm' to operate over Ukraine. The unit is likely to consist of at least one squadron of Su-24 FENCER and Su-34 FULLBACK fighter-bombers, and a squadron of attack helicopters.
The mix of aircraft types suggests the group will have a primary role of ground attack missions. Credible Russian media reports suggest that the Russian MoD aims to attract highly skilled and motivated pilots by offering large pay incentives and opening recruitment to retired aviators.
The creation of the group highlights how Russian assesses its regular air force squadrons have severely underperformed in their core function of conducting airstrikes on Ukrainian lines.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that during the day of May 22th, the Russian Federation launched another massive missile and air strike against the civilian and critical infrastructure of Ukraine.
In general, Russian forces launched 21x missile strikes on the cities of Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia and populated areas of Kharkiv Oblast using 4x Kh-101/Kh-555 air-launched cruise missiles (destroyed by Ukrainian defenders), 5x Kh-22 cruise missiles, 2x Iskander-M ballistic missiles, 5x S-300 anti-aircraft guided missiles and 4x others (types to be determined).
In addition, the Russian forces carried out 42x airstrikes, in particular, using Iranian strike UAVs of the "Shahed" type. According to detailed information, 21x out of 21x drones were destroyed by Ukrainian defense forces. Also, the Russian occupiers launched about 50 MLRS attacks on Ukrainian settlements and Ukrainian Defense Forces. Unfortunately, there are injuries among the civilian population, residential buildings, private houses, a kindergarten and other civilian infrastructure were damaged.
The threat of missile and air strikes remains high across Ukraine.
The Russian forces continue to concentrate main efforts on the Kup'yans'k, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Mar'inks axes.
In total, up to 25x firefights occurred on specified axes. Heavy fighting continues in the cities of Bakhmut and Mar'inka.
Volyn' and Polissya axes: the operational situation has not changed significantly, there are no signs of the formation of offensive groupings.
Sivershchyna and Slobozhanshchyna axes: Russia continues to maintain enhanced military presence in the areas bordering Ukraine. The Russian adversary shelled with artillery and mortars such settlements: Tymonovychy, Halaganivka, and Zarechye of the Chernihiv Oblast; Khodyne, Hirky, Budky, Katerynivka, Tymofiivka, Oleksandrivka in the Sumy Oblast, as well as Morozova Dolyna, Shevchenka, Kozacha Lopan', Hoptivka, Lukyantsi, Zelene, Staritsa, Hatyshche, Pletenivka, Vovchans'k, Varvarivka, Nesterne, Budarky and Chugunivka in the Kharkiv Oblast.
Kup'yans'k axis: Russian invaders carried out airstrikes near the settlements of Orlyanske, Kislivka and Tabaivka of the Kharkiv Oblast. Kam'ianka, Figolivka, Novomlyns'k, Dvorichna, Zapadne, Kup'yans'k, Husynka, Tabaivka, Berestov in Kharkiv Oblast and Stelmakhivka in Luhansk Oblast were under artillery and mortar fire.
Lyman axis: the Russian forces carried out airstrikes in the vicinities of Bilogorivka in the Luhansk Oblast and Verkhn'okam'ians'ke in the Donetsk Oblast. In particular, Nevske and Bilogorivka of the Luhansk Oblast, Tors'ke, Spirne and Vesele of the Donetsk Oblast were shelled by artillery.
Bakhmut axis: Russian troops continus to conduct offensive operations. Battles for the city of Bakhmut continue. The Russian occupier forces launched airstrikes near Bakhmut and Ivanovsky. Vasyukivka, Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Markove, Hryhorivka, Bakhmut, Ivanovs'ke, Stupochki, Bila Hora, Torets'k, Severnye, Pivdene, and New York of the Donetsk Oblast were under Russian shelling.
Avdiivka axis: the Russian adversary conducted unsuccessful assault operations on Novokalynovy and Vodyanyi settlements. During this day, Russian airstrikes were carried out in the Avdiivka and Pervomaisky areas. russians shelled with artillery areas of Novokalynove, Berdychi, Avdiivka, Vodyane, Pervomais'ke and Karlivka of the Donetsk Oblast.
Mar'inka axis: Ukrainian Defense Forces repelled numerous Russian attacks in the vicinities of Mar'inka. In addition, the village of Pobyeda, Donetsk Oblast, got under Russian shelling.
Shakhtars'k axis: the Russian forces did not conduct any offensive operations. At the same time, they carried out airstrikes in the vicinities of Vugledar, Prechistivka and Zolotaya Niva and carried out artillery shelling of Vugledar, Novoukrainka and Prechistivka.
Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes: Russian forces are on the defensive. At the same time, they do not stop destroying the infrastructure of settlements, which are near the frontline. Russian airstrikes were carried out in the vicinities of Mala Tokmachka and Novodanilivka of Zaporizhzhya Oblast. Russian forces shelled: Vremivka, Novopil' of the Donetsk Oblast; Olhivske, Hulyaipole, Biloghirya, Mala Tokmachka, Novodanilivka, Novoandriivka, Mali Shcherbaki of the Zaporizhia Oblast and Zaporizhzhia city; Havrylivka, Beryslav, Vesele, Kozats'ke, Burgunka, Antonivka, Veletens'ke of the Kherson Oblast and the city of Kherson.
Ukrainian Air Force carried out 8x strikes on manpower and military equipment concentration areas, as well as 2x strikes on anti-aircraft missile systems.
Ukrainian Armed Forces also destroyed a Russian Mi-24 attack helicopter and a Russian reconnaissance UAV.
Ukrainian missile and artillery units hit 3x weapons and military equipment concentrations, 3x ammunition warehouses, 11x artillery pieces and the Russian forces' radar station.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that the previous night, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation launched a group strike by high-precision long-range air-based weapons against facilities of the Dnepr airfield.
The purpose of the strike has been achieved. All the assigned targets have been destroyed.
As a result of the strike, hangars with weapons and ammunition, aviation equipment, as well as a technical missile preparation position were hit.
In Kupyansk direction, aviation, artillery, and troops of the Zapad Group of Forces have engaged the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) close to Dvurechnaya, Masyutovka, Sinkovka, Kotlyarovka, and Krakhmalnoye (Kharkov region).
In addition, actions of three sabotage and reconnaissance groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were thwarted near Timkovka, Ivanovka, and Kislovka (Kharkov region).
Up to 50 Ukrainian servicemen, two motor vehicles, and one D-30 howitzer have been neutralised during the day.
An ammunition depot of the 103rd Territorial Defence Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been eliminated close to Stelmakhovka (Lugansk People's Republic).
In Krasny Liman direction, Operational-Tactical and Army aviation, artillery, and heavy flamethrower systems of the Tsentr Group of Forces engaged the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine close to Nevskoye, Chervonaya Dibrova (Lugansk People's Republic), and Grigorovka (Donetsk People's Republic).
Up to 55 Ukrainian troops, two armoured fighting vehicles, three motor vehicles, one Msta-B and D-30 howitzer were destroyed.
In Donetsk direction, the Yug Group of Forces, aviation, and artillery have eliminated up to 270 Ukrainian troops, four armoured fighting vehicles, three motor vehicles, and one D-20 and two D-30 howitzers.
In South Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions, aviation and artillery of the Vostok Group of Forces inflicted a fire damage on AFU units close Shevchenko (Donetsk People's Republic), and Marfopol, Malaya Tokmachka, and Nesteryanka (Zaporozhye region).
One sabotage and reconnaissance group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been disabled close to Novodonetskoye (Donetsk People's Republic).
More 150 Ukrainian servicemen, two pick-up trucks, and two D-30 howitzers have been neutralised during the day.
Moreover, an ammunition depot of the 65th Mechanised Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces was destroyed close to Orekhov (Zaporozhye region).
In Kherson direction, the fire damage has neutralised over 20 Ukrainian servicemen, four motor vehicles, one Giatsint-B gun, and a Msta-B howitzer during the day.
In addition, an ammunition depot of the 123rd Territorial Defence Brigade was destroyed near Stanislav (Kherson region).
Operational-Tactical and Army aviation, and artillery of the Russian Group of Forces have engaged 98 AFU artillery units, manpower, and hardware in 107 areas during the day.
Air defence facilities have shot down one Mi-8 helicopter of Ukrainian Air Force near Lozovoye in (Donetsk People's Republic).
In addition, five HIMARS multiple rocket launchers have been intercepted.
In addition, 17 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles have been destroyed in the areas of Kremenets, Peski, Aleksandrovka, Veseloye (Donetsk People's Republic), Sladkaya Balka, Marfopol (Zaporozhye region), and Sergeyevka and Lyubimovka (Kherson region).
In total, 428 airplanes and 235 helicopters, 4,262 unmanned aerial vehicles, 424 anti-aircraft missile systems, 9,257 tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, 1,100 combat vehicles equipped with multiple launch rocket systems, 4,881 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 10,379 pieces of special military hardware have been destroyed during the special military operation.
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