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Russo-Ukraine War - 26 May 2023 - Day 457

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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 over at least the last 20 years, Russia has experienced a proliferation of paramilitary groups out of its regular armed forces. However, this 'paramilitarisation' has dramatically accelerated since Russia's invasion of Ukraine and is particularly important in the Crimean Peninsula.

The leader of Russian-occupied Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, has been instrumental in setting up several local units, which often claim affiliation with the Cossack tradition. Most have been given some semi-official status as reserve units of the regular army.

Aksyonov is likely keen to burnish his patriotic credentials by recruiting fighters, but he is likely also concerned about the regular army's ability to defend the peninsula. The main element of the Russian garrison, 22nd Army Corps, is currently mostly deployed outside the peninsula and has taken heavy casualties.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that during the day of May 26th, Russian forces launched 18x missile strikes on populated areas of the Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk Oblasts using 10 Kh-101/Kh-555 air-based cruise missiles (destroyed by Ukrainian Armed Forces) and, twice during the day, used 8x S-300/S anti-aircraft guided missiles -400 in the city of Dnipro.

In addition, Russian forces carried out 60x airstrikes, in particular, used Iranian strike drones of the "Shahed" type on the cities of Merefa and Izyum of the Kharkiv Oblast, and also used guided aerial bombs on Avdiivka and the village of New York. At the same time, they carried out about 34x MLRS attacks on Ukrainian settlements and Ukrainian Defense Forces. Unfortunately, there are dead and wounded among the civilian. Medical institution in the city of Dnipro, educational institutions in Izyum and New York, apartment and private buildings were damaged.

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

Russia continues to concentrate its main efforts on the Kup'yans'k, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Mar'inka axes. In total, 18x combat clashes took place on the indicated axes.
Volyn' and Polissya axes: the operational situation has not changed significantly.
Sivershchyna and Slobozhanshchyna axes: the Russian forces carried out an airstrike in the Zemlianok area of the Kharkiv Oblast, shelled the settlements of Senkivka, Sosnivka, and Zaliznyi Myst in the Chernihiv Oblast; Svarkove, Stari Virky, Pavlivka, Volfine, Basivka, Zapsilya, Myropyllya, Velika Pisarivka of the Sumy Oblast, as well as Odnorobivka, Kozacha Lopan', Strelecha, Hlyboke, Neskuchne, Zelene, Ternova, Staritsa, Hatyshche, Vovchans'k, Karaichne, Mala Vovcha, Budarki and Vilkhuvatka in the Kharkiv Oblast.
Kup'yans'k axis: the Russian forces does not stop trying to improve the tactical position. They conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the area of Masyutivka. Carried out airstrikes near Kislivka, Kotlyarivka, Tabaivka, and Raigorodka in the Kharkiv Oblast. Kolodyazne, Dvorichna, Masyutivka, Kislivka, Kam''ianka in Kharkiv Oblast and Stelmakhivka in Luhansk Oblast were subjected to Russian artillery and mortar attacks.
Lyman axis: the Russian forces carried out unsuccessful offensive operations in the vicinities of Bilogorivka. There, they carried out an airstrike. Nevs'ke, Dibrova, Belogorivka of the Luhansk Oblast shelled by artillery; Verkhn'okam'ians'ke and Spirne of the Donetsk Oblast.
Bakhmut axis: Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations near Predtechny. They carried out airstrikes in the districts of Hryhorivka and Bila Hora. Vasyukivka, Privillia, Orihovo-Vasylivka, Hryhorivka, Bakhmut, Kalynivka, Chasiv Yar, Ivanivs'ke, Stupochki, Predtechine, Kostyantynivka, Bila Hora and Pivnichne of the Donetsk Oblast were affected by Russian shelling.
Avdiivka axis: Russians did not carry out any offensive operations. They carried out airstrikes on Avdiivka and Pervomaiske, carried out artillery attacks on the settlements of Avdiivka, Pervomaiske, Karlivka and Nevelske in the Donetsk Oblast.
Mar'inka axis: units of the defense forces repelled numerous Russian attacks in the area of the city of Mar'inka. At the same time, Heorgiyivka and Pobeda in the Donetsk Oblast also got under Russian shelling.
Shakhtars'ke axis: the Russian air force launched an airstrike in the Vugledar area, shelling the settlements of Paraskoviivka, Vugledar, and Prechystivka.
Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes: Russian forces are on the defensive. Made an airstrike near Stepovoy Zaporizhzhia Oblast. They shelled the settlements of Vremivka, Novosilka, Donetsk Oblast; Olhivs'ke, Hulyaipole, Zaliznychne, Biloghirya, Mala Tokmachka, Mali Shcherbaki and Kam'ians'ke of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast; Zolota Balka, Vesele, Kozatske, L'vove, Antonivka, Kizomys, Stanislav of the Kherson Oblast and the city of Kherson.

Several dozen Russian troops arrived in the temporarily captured Novopetrykivka of the Donetsk Oblast to carry out so-called "counter-sabotage measures". Invaders search private houses, seize mobile devices, illegally take possession of local residents' vehicles. However, they are simply robbing citizens.

Ukrainian Air Force carried out 8x strikes on Russian manpower and military equipment concentrations.

Ukrainian missile and artillery units hit 3x control points, 2x areas of concentration of weapons and military equipment, 1x ammunition depot, 2x artillery units in firing positions, 1x anti-aircraft defense and 1x more important Russian target.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that in Kupyansk direction, aviation and artillery of the Zapad Group of Forces inflicted fire damage on the units of the enemy close to Masyutovka, Timkovka, Kotlyarovka (Kharkov region), and Stelmakhovka (Lugansk People's Republic).

In addition, actions of four sabotage and reconnaissance groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were thwarted near Novomlynsk, Sinkovka (Kharkov region), Ivanovka (Donetsk People's Republic), and Rozovka (Lugansk People's Republic).

Up to 190 Ukrainian servicemen, three motor vehicles, and one D-30 howitzer have been neutralised in these directions during the day.

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 enemy close to Raigorodka, Chervonaya Dibrova (Lugansk People's Republic), and Yampolovka (Donetsk People's Republic).

Up to 65 Ukrainian personnel, three pick-up trucks, one Gvozdika self-propelled artillery system, as well as D-20 and D-30 howitzers have been eliminated.

In Donetsk direction, units, aviation, and artillery of the Yug Group of Forces have eliminated up to 270 Ukrainian troops, three armoured fighting vehicles, two motor vehicles, and one D-30 howitzer during the day.

Moreover, two ammunition depots of the 80th Air Assault and 110th Mechanised brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been annihilated close to Stupochka and Avdeevka.

In South Donetsk and Zaporozhye directions, aviation, artillery, and heavy flamethrower systems of the Vostok Group of Forces have hit the enemy units in the areas of Novomikhailovka, Novoselka (Donetsk People's Republic), and Malaya Tokmachka and Nesteryanka (Zaporozhye region).

One sabotage and reconnaissance group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been disabled close to Vladimirovka (Donetsk People's Republic).

Up to 110 Ukrainian servicemen, four motor vehicles, and two D-30 howitzers have been neutralised in these directions during the day.

In Kherson direction, up to 25 Ukrainian troops, two motor vehicles, and one Gvozdika self-propelled artillery system have been destroyed over the past 24 hours.

Operational-Tactical and Army aviation, and artillery of the Russian Group of Forces have engaged 95 AFU artillery units, manpower and hardware in 102 areas during the day.

Russian air defence forces have intercepted eight HIMARS MLRS shells during the day.

In addition, 28 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were destroyed in the areas of Tokarevka (Kharkov region), Chervonaya Dibrova, Kremennaya, Zhitlovka, Zatishnoye, Novokrasnyanka (Lugansk People's Republic), Svetlodarskoye, Yevgenovka, Zelenyi Gai (Donetsk People's Republic), Chubarevka (Zaporozhye region), and Kairy (Kherson region).

In total, 429 airplanes and 235 helicopters, 4,321 unmanned aerial vehicles, 424 anti-aircraft missile systems, 9,298 tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, 1,100 combat vehicles equipped with multiple launch rocket systems, 4,901 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 10,447 units of special military hardware have been destroyed during the special military operation.

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