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Russo-Ukraine War - 23 May 2023 - Day 454

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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 between 19 and 22 May 2023, Russian security forces highly likely clashed with partisans in at least three locations within Russia's Belgorod Oblast, near the Ukrainian border. The identity of the partisans remains unconfirmed, but Russian anti-regime groups claimed responsibility.

The most serious incident took place near the town of Grayvoran. As well as small-arms fire fights, there was an uptick in drone or indirect fire attacks near the incidents. Russia has evacuated several villages and has deployed extra security forces to the area.

Russia is facing an increasingly serious multi-domain security threat in its border regions, with losses of combat aircraft, improvised explosive device attacks on rail lines, and now direct partisan action. Russia will almost certainly use these incidents to support the official narrative that it is the victim in the war.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that no missile strikes during the day of May 23. However, Russian forces launched 25x air strikes and more than 20x MLRS attacks at the positions of Ukrainian troops and various settlements. Unfortunately, the attacks have killed and wounded civilians, damaged private residential buildings and administrative infrastructure.

The likelihood of missile and air strikes across Ukraine remains high.

Russia continues to focus its main efforts on Kup'yans'k, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Mar'inka axes. These areas of the frontline saw a total of 16x combat engagements during the day of May 23, with Bakhmut and Mar'inka remaining at the epicenter of the fighting.
Volyn and Polissya axes: no significant changes.
Sivershchyna and Slobozhanshchyna axes: Russia continues to maintain military presence in the areas of Russia bordering Ukraine. During the day of May 23, the Russian invaders fired mortars and artillery at the settlements of Khrinivka, Yeline (Chernihiv oblast), Hudove, Vovkivka, Novomykolaivka, Velyka Pysarivka (Sumy oblast), Stohnii, Udy, Strilecha, Hlyboke, Morokhovets', Lyptsi, Neskuchne, Ohirtseve, Hatyshche, Pletenivka, Vovchans'k, Varvarivka, Nesterne, Budarky, and Zemlyanky (Kharkiv oblast).
Kup'yans'k axis: Russian forces did not conduct any offensive operations during the day of May 23. The Russian adversary fired artillery and mortars at Kam'yanka, Topoli, Krasne Pershe, Novomlyns'k, Dvorichna, Masyutivka, Mala Shapkivka, Kindrashivka, Kup'yans'k, Tabaivka, Berestove (Kharkiv oblast), and Stel'makhivka (Luhansk oblast).
Lyman axis: during the day of May 23, Russian forces conducted an unsuccessful offensive operations towards Bilohorivka, and launched an air strike. Nevs'ke, Bilohorivka (Luhansk oblast), Tors'ke, and Spirne (Donetsk oblast) were shelled with artillery.
Bakhmut axis: during the day of May 23, the Russian adversary conducted unsuccessful offensives towards the settlement of Khromove. The Russian invaders launched air strikes in the vicinities of settlements of Bila Hora, Ozarianivka, and Toretsk. Kramatorsk, Vasyukivka, Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Hryhorivka, Bakhmut, Ivanivske, Stupochky, Kostyantynivka, Bila Hora, Toretsk, Pivnichne, Pivdenne, and New York (Donetsk oblast) suffered from Russian shelling.
Avdiivka axis: the Russian adversary did not conduct any offensive operations during the day of May 23. The Russian occupiers launched air strikes in the vicinities of Novokalynove and Avdiivka. The invaders fired artillery at the vicinities of settlements of Keramik, Ocheretyne, Lastochkyne, Avdiivka, Sjeverne, Vodyane, Pervomais'ke, Netaylove, Karlivka, and Nevel's'ke (Donetsk oblast).
Mar'inka axis: Ukrainian defenders repelled numerous Russian attacks in the vicinity of the city of Mar'inka. At the same time, Krasnohorivka, Heorhiivka, Maksymil'yanivka, Kurakhove, and Pobjeda (Donetsk oblast) were shelled by Russian forces.
Shakhtars'ke axis: Russian forces launched an air strike in the vicinity of Prechystivka, shelled the settlements of Paraskoviivka, Novomykhailivka, Vuhledar, Bohoyavlenka, Zolota Nyva, and Velyka Novosilka.
Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes: the Russian adversary stays on the defensive. The Russian invaders do not cease its tactics of destruction of the infrastructure of settlements near the line of active combat. During the day of May 23, the Russian occupiers launched air strikes on Hulyaipole, Mala Tokmachka, Stepove (Zaporizhzhia oblast), fired artillery at Vremivka, Burlats'ke, Novosilka, Zelene Pole (Donetsk oblast), Ol'hivs'ke, Hulyaipole, Zaliznychne, Bilohir'ya, Mala Tokmachka, Mali Shcherbaky, Kam'yans'ke (Zaporizhzhia oblast), Zolota Balka, Vesele, Kozats'ke, L'vove, Antonivka, Kizomys, Stanislav (Kherson oblast), and the city of Kherson.

The Russian adversary continues to use civilian medical facilities in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine for its own purposes. Thus, the Russian occupants turned Bilovods'k central district hospital into a military hospital. The medical facility is currently overcrowded with Russian occupants with injuries of varying severity.

During the day of May 23, the Ukrainian Air Force launched 14x air strikes on the concentrations of Russian troops and military equipment, including 3x air strikes on the anti-aircraft missile systems.

During the day of May 23, 4x Shahed combat UAVs of the Russian forces were intercepted. The Ukrainian missile and artillery troops hit 3x command posts, 4x concentrations of weapons and military equipment, 1x ammunition depot, 2x artillery units at their firing positions, and 3x other important targets of the Russian forces.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that the Kiev regime, defeated in Artyomovsk, started to carry out terrorist actions against civilians.

On 22 May this year, after the intense shelling of Kozinka international checkpoint, as well as a number of other civilian facilities in Grayvoron district of Belgorod region, a unit of a Ukrainian nationalist formation entered the territory of the Russian Federation.

In the course of the counter-terrorist operation, as a result of air strikes, artillery fire and active action by the units of the Western Military District that covered the state border, the nationalist formations have been blocked and destroyed.

The remaining nationalists were pushed back into Ukraine, where they continued to be hit until they have been completely eliminated.

The enemy losses were over 70 Ukrainian terrorists, four armoured fighting vehicles and five pickup trucks.

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation.

In Kupyansk direction, the attacks, launched by aviation and artillery of the Zapad Group of Forces, as well as the active actions of the Group, have resulted in the neutralisation of the AFU units close to Masyutovka, Timkovka, Tabayevka (Kharkov region), and Novosyolovskoye (Lugansk People's Republic).

In addition, the actions of two Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups have been disrupted close to Timkovka.

The enemy losses were up to 110 Ukrainian personnel, two armoured fighting vehicles, and two motor vehicles have been eliminated.

In Krasny Liman direction, the attacks, launched by Operational-Tactical aviation, artillery, and heavy flamethrower systems of the Tsentr Group of Forces, have resulted in the neutralisation of the AFU units close to Chervonaya Dibrova (Lugansk People's Republic) and Serebryanka (Donetsk People's Republic).

The enemy losses were over 65 Ukrainian servicemen, one tank, three armoured fighting vehicles, two motor vehicles, as well as Msta-B, D-20 and D-30 howitzers.

In Donetsk direction, the attacks, launched by aviation and artillery of the Yug Group of Forces, as well as the active actions of the Group, have resulted in the neutralisation of up to 375 Ukrainian servicemen, two tanks, five armoured fighting vehicles, four motor vehicles, one D-30 howitzer, and one U.S.-manufactured AN/TPQ-50 counter-battery radar station.

Two AFU ammunition depots of 60th and 64th mechanised brigades have been destroyed close to Verkhnekamenskoye and Stupochki (Donetsk People's Republic).

In South Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions, the attacks, launched by aviation and artillery of the Vostok Group of Forces have resulted in the neutralisation of the enemy units close to Velikaya Novosyolka (Donetsk People's Republic), Marphopol, Malaya Tokmachka, Novodanilovka and Kamenskoye (Zaporozhye region).

The actions of one Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group have been disrupted close to Olgovskoye (Zaporozhye region).

The enemy losses were over 150 Ukrainian servicemen, three pickup trucks and one Msta-B howitzer.

In Kherson direction, the enemy losses were over 20 Ukrainian servicemen, three motor vehicles, and one Msta-B howitzer.

Operational-Tactical and Army aviation, and Artillery of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have neutralised 96 artillery units of the AFU at their firing positions, manpower and military hardware at 112 areas.

The command post of the 24rd Mechanised Brigade of the AFU has been neutralised near Toretsk (Donetsk People's Republic).

Two fuel depot for AFU hardware has been destroyed near Avdeevka (Donetsk People's Republic).

Air defence facilities have intercepted 13 HIMARS and Uragan rocket-propelled projectiles.

Air defence facilities have shot down 11 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles close to Kremennaya (Lugansk People's Republic), Ivanovka, Kirillovka, Novoandreevka and Petrovskoye (Donetsk People's Republic), and Tokarevka (Kharkov region).

In total, 428 airplanes, 235 helicopters, 4,273 unmanned aerial vehicles, 424 air defence missile systems, 9,275 tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, 1,100 fighting vehicles equipped with MLRS, 4,887 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 10,395 special military motor vehicles have been destroyed during the special military operation.

Russian volunteers fighting for Ukraine have crossed into Belgorod Oblast in Russia and have taken control of some settlements along the border. Russian forces have countered, and clashes are ongoing. Russian volunteers fighting for Ukraine have crossed into Belgorod Oblast in Russia and have taken control of some settlements along the border. Russian forces have countered, and clashes are ongoing.

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