Ukraine War Daily Summary

25 May 22

At the grand strategic level, Ukraine has ruled out territorial concessions, and signing another Minsk Agreement. Presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said agreeing to give up territories is impossible and would only backfire as Russia would use the pause in fighting to prepare for further offensives.

The Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko had confirmed his country is supplying weapons to Russia. Belarus and Russia set up joint programs to work through Western sanctions.

Belarus has extended its military exercises near the Ukraine border until at least May 28th.

Belarus has deployed special forces, air defense, and missile units along the Ukrainian border is an effort to fix Ukrainian troops in the North and prevent them from reinforcing Donbas.

On the ground, Russian and Belarusian forces continue “demonstrative actions” to fix Ukrainian forces around Kyiv in place.

The Ukrainian military said Russia fired at Ukrainian border guards in the northeastern Sumy region.

Russian forces are attempting to retake Ternova in northern Kharkiv Oblast and seek to stabilize defensive positions near the Russian border.

Russian forces have continued to close the gap between their forces at Popasna and the Sievierodonetsk and encircle Ukrainian forces in the Donbas.

Ukraine is battling to maintain a key supply route highway to Sievierodonetsk.

Russia's assault on Donetsk has become more intense centred around forcing Lyman into submission.

Russian forces have entered Lyman to coordinate advances southeast of Izyum to launch an offensive on Siversk.

The Russian advance from Propasna moving north toward Sievierodonetsk has two main routes from Bakhmut to Lysychansk, and from

Soledar and Berestove, and Siversk.

Even though the battle for the Popasna heights is ongoing, the Russians push has gained ground solidifying their hold on Vasylivka and pushing through Volodymyrivka or Vasylivka to cut the Highway north of Soledar.

Ukrainian forces have made a quick withdrawal from Svitlodarsk and been matched by almost as rapid an advance of the Russian forces northwards.

The two main highways in the region the T1302 and T0513 are also under threat north of Soledar of being captured by Russian forces. If both roads are cut there's a risk of up to four Ukrainian brigades being cut off from the rest of Ukraine. There are unconfirmed reports that the Ukrainians have stopped reinforcing the troops fighting in the pocket and withdrawing to a more defensible line.

Russia attacked Kryvyi Rih with 3 missiles and hit a factory, which sustained serious damage.

Russia attacked Zaporizhzhia with 4 missiles, 1 killed. Russian forces struck Zaporizhzhia City in an attempt to disrupt a key logistics hub for Ukrainian forces operating in the east.

Russian forces are likely preparing to resume offensives on the southern axis. Russians forces are preparing for offensive operations in southern Kherson and Mykolaiv oblasts. They continue to strengthen their positions in the occupied areas.

Ukraine’s army said Russian forces are regularly shelling areas in the now-occupied Kherson region.

24 May 22

On the grand strategic level, there are no current plans to deploy UK warships to the Black Sea but Britain will work with international partners to find ways to resume the export of grain from Ukraine.

Canada reportedly purchased 20,000 artillery shells from the US spending about $75 million for NATO-standard ammunition.

Russian President Vladimir Putin likely out of coup fears has promoted his former personal bodyguard Major-General Alexander Kurenkov, to be the Kremlin's new Emergencies Minister.

Strategically on the ground, according to the ISW, Russian forces are attempting to achieve several simultaneous encirclements of small pockets of Ukrainian forces in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts including the broader Severodonetsk area, Rubizhne and Lysychansk and Bakhmut-Lysychansk, around Zolote northeast of Popasna, and around Ukrainian fixed defenses at Avdiivka. Russian forces have attempted these different encirclement operations daily but have not achieved any major “breakthroughs” or their stated objectives of securing the Donetsk Oblast borders or seizing all of Donbas.

Belarus has extended its military exercises near the Ukraine border until at least May 28th.

Belarus has deployed special forces, air defense, and missile units along the Ukrainian border is an effort to fix Ukrainian troops in the North and prevent them from reinforcing Donbas.

Russian and Belarusian forces continue “demonstrative actions” to fix Ukrainian forces around Kyiv in place.

Russian forces are attempting to retake Ternova in northern Kharkiv Oblast and seek to stabilize defensive positions near the Russian border.

The Russian military continue their offensive in Donetsk Oblast, shelling the cities of Kramatorsk, Lyman and Slovyansk, and are advancing in Luhansk Oblast near the villages of Lypove and Bilohorivka.

The UK Defense Intelligent Assessment has warned that “Russia’s capture of the Severodonetsk pocket would see the whole of Luhansk Oblast placed under Russian occupation.”

Russian forces are committing a significant number of their troops, artillery, and aircraft to defeat Ukrainian defenders in Luhansk Oblast and are diverting necessary resources from the Izyum axis, defensive positions around Kharkiv City, Donetsk City, and the Zaporizhia

Russian forces are making greater advances in the past week than throughout the rest of May.

Ukrainian forces are conducting a controlled orderly withdrawal southwest of Popasna near Bakhmut to protect Ukrainian supply lines against Russian offensives in the southeast of Bakhmut.

Russian Major General Kanamat Botashev has been shot down while flying over Luhansk Oblast.

Russian authorities in Mariupol announced that they will hold war crimes trials against Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol.

The Russia-backed Kherson authority shared its plan to install a Russian military base for peace and security in the region.

Russian forces are likely preparing to resume offensives on the southern axis. Russians forces are preparing for offensive operations in southern Kherson and Mykolaiv oblasts. They continue to strengthen their positions in the occupied areas.

Ukraine has said Russia is strengthening its position in the Black Sea as it added the frigate Makarov, increasing the risk of cruise missile attacks on Ukraine.

23 May 22

At the grand strategic level, Russia's Arctic Council diplomat Nikolai Korchunov has warned that Sweden and Finland's NATO accession will turn the Arctic into an "international theatre of military operations." Since last spring, Russia has carried out regular large-scale military drills to protect Arctic shipping.

Russia's EU Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov hashighlighted the uncertain status of the Aland Islands controlled by Finland. Finland keeps it as a demilitarized region but Russia has warnedthat NATO accession will militarize Aland.

Russian military convoys were reportedly seen carrying dual capable missiles toward Russia's border with Finland.

Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Slovakia will reportedly present a joint letter to the EU calling for the use of sanctioned Russian assets for Ukraine's reconstruction.

The Lithuanian Foreign Minister proposed a plan for a maritime coalition to lift the Russian blockade of the Black Sea on Ukrainian grain exports during talks with the UK Foreign Secretary.

Lithuania has confirmed that it will withdraw its ambassador from Russia on June 1st and not appoint a new one.

US has more than 102,000 troops in Europe after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The US has said that 20 countries have agreed to provide new security assistance to Ukraine.

Denmark is pledging Harpoon anti-ship missiles to Ukraine.

The Czech Republic is donating attack helicopters, rocket systems, and tanks to Ukraine. Czech Republic has already sent Soviet-era T-72 main battle tanks and BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine.

Italy, Greece, Norway and Poland are providing artillery systems and ammunition to Ukraine that is "critically needed."

Ukraine rejected a ceasefire or any territorial concessions to Moscow as Russia increased its attack in the eastern and southern parts of the country.

Belarus has extended its military exercises near the Ukraine border until at least till May 28th.

Belarus has deployed special forces, air defense, and missile units along the Ukrainian border is an effort to fix Ukrainian troops in the North and prevent them from reinforcing Donbas.

The All-Russian Officers Assembly, an independent pro-Russian veterans’ association that seeks to reform Russian military strategy, called for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin to declare war on Ukraine and introduce partial mobilization in Russia on May 19th. The following day, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu announced on May 20th that Russia will form 12 new Western Military District units before the end of the year in response to NATO expansion.

Meanwhile in a potential sign of growing domestic angst about the conduct of the war and potential mobilization, Russian Telegram channel reported that an unknown attacker threw a Molotov cocktail at the military recruitment office in the Udmurtia region. On May 19th a Russian conscript shot at a recruitment office in Zheleznogorsk-Ilimsky in Irkutsk Oblast. There have been 12 previously reported attacks on recruitment offices since the beginning of the war.

On the ground, Russian forces are reportedly withdrawing old T-62 main battle tanks from storage to form new Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs) likely the 12 from above. Russia is continuing to exhaust its remaining combat-ready reserves to maintain the momentum of the Battle of Sievierodonetsk, rather than prioritizing preparations for new reinforcements.

Russian and Belarusian forces continue “demonstrative actions” to fix Ukrainian forces around Kyiv in place.

Sone 87 people have been killed by a Russian airstrike in Chernihiv Oblast on May 17th at the Ukrainian army’s Desna training ground.

Ukrainian forces liberated a total of 24 settlements in Kharkiv Oblast during the recent counter-offensive.

The Ukrainian counteroffensive northeast of Kharkiv is forcing Russia to pull units from ongoing offensive operations in eastern Ukraine to shore up their defensive positions near Vovchansk.

Russian forces around Izyum increased their tempo of air and artillery strikes in preparation to resume their stalled offensives.

Russian operations to encircle Sievierodonetsk made minor gains driving north through Zolote. Fighting is ongoing in Lyman north of Sievierodonetsk as Russian forces attempt to cut off Ukrainian supply lines.

Russia is reportedly trying to raze Sievierodonetsk to the ground as its forces bombard the city from all sides.