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Ukraine Daily - Saturday, 7 May 2022

Amnesty International investigation reveals 'pattern of crimes committed by Russian forces' -- Russia’s renewed effort to secure Azovstal is linked to May 9 ‘Victory Day,' Putin’s desire to have a 'symbolic success' in Ukraine -- Russian forces illegally deported Ukrainians to obtain fake ‘passports’ from Russian-occupied Luhansk Oblast -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Saturday, 7 May 2022

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Russia’s war against Ukraine


Ukrainian soldiers stand next to their armored personnel carrier in a combat zone close to Izium on April 18, 2022. (Photo by ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images)

UN Security Council issues first statement on Ukraine since Russian invasion. The UN Security Council, including Russia, adopted the text on May 6, expressing “deep concern regarding the maintenance of peace and security in Ukraine.” However, the text explicitly did not mention the terms “war,” “conflict,” or “invasion.”

Ukrainian troops repel 8 Russian attacks. Russian forces continue to attack Ukrainian positions in eastern Ukraine, but are reportedly suffering heavy material and personnel losses. In the past 24 hours alone Russian losses have included three tanks, eight artillery pieces, including four multiple rocket launchers, seven armored combat vehicles, three special engineering units, and one regular vehicle. The Ukrainian army also downed 14 Orlan-10 UAVs.

Amnesty International investigation reveals ‘pattern of crimes committed by Russian forces.’ Russian forces “must face justice for a series of war crimes” committed in the region northwest of Kyiv, Amnesty International said on May 6 after publishing a comprehensive investigation. During a 12-day investigation, Amnesty researchers documented cases in Bucha, Borodyanka, Novyi Korohod, Andriivka, Zdvyzhivka, Vorzel, Makariv, and Dmytrivka.

Berlin bans Ukrainian flag, symbols on May 8-9. Ukrainian activists planned to hold a peaceful rally in Berlin to pay their respects to the victims of World War II, which included many Ukrainians. Berlin authorities forbade them to bring Ukrainian symbols, putting them on the same list as Russian imperialist symbols, including Z signs in support of Russian aggression and Saint George ribbons. Germany has been heavily criticized for its reluctance to help Ukraine since Russia started its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24.

Yermak: 50 civilians evacuate from Azovstal on May 6. Almost 500 civilians have been evacuated so far, said Andriy Yermak, head of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office Ukrainian authorities said that about 1,000 civilians remained at the Azovstal steel plant prior to the evacuation. The highly fortified Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, is being besieged and stormed by Russian troops.

Putin to include a flight by the Il-80 Eimak command and control plane at annual May 9 Victory Day Parade. The aircraft, NATO reporting name Il-80 Maxdome, is registered as a civilian aircraft but would carry Russia’s top brass in the event of a nuclear war, Russia’s Defense Ministry said, as cited by Reuters. The plane will take part in a Victory Day parade for the first time since 2010. The parade will also feature supersonic fighters and Tu-160 strategic bombers.

Vereshchuk: 41 Ukrainians released in new prisoner exchange with Russia. Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that 28 soldiers and 13 civilians were released from Russian captivity on May 6.

UK intelligence: Russia’s renewed effort to secure Azovstal is linked to May 9 ‘Victory Day,’ Putin’s desire to have a ‘symbolic success’ in Ukraine. “Whilst Ukrainian resistance continues in Azovstal, Russian losses will continue to build and frustrate their operational plans in southern Donbas,” the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote on May 6.

No quick end to Russia’s war in Ukraine, says Zelensky. President Volodymyr Zelensky said on May 6 that he doesn’t see any desire from Russia to end the war after 72 days of fighting. He also called on the world to act more decisively because losses and the scale of damage and losses increase with each passing day.

2,100 people left occupied Kherson Oblast on foot, by car. Over 2,000 civilians escaped from frontline villages north in the direction of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, according to the Kherson Regional Administration.

G7 leaders to hold video conference with Zelensky on May 8. “It will cover current issues, particularly the situation in Ukraine. Ukrainian President (Volodymyr) Zelensky will take part and report on the current situation in his country,” said Christiane Hoffmann, the German government spokesperson.

Ukraine intelligence: Russian forces illegally deported Ukrainians to obtain fake ‘passports’ from Russian-occupied Luhansk Oblast. Russian occupiers are forcing Ukrainians who were illegally deported to the Russian-occupied town of Sorokine in Luhansk Oblast to obtain documents identifying them as “citizens” of the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic,” the Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate reported on May 6. In case of refusal to obtain the documents, Ukrainians are threatened with “repressive measures.”

Governor: Russian offensive in Luhansk Oblast expected to intensify. Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Haidai said on May 6 that in the next 3-4 days, Russian forces will put all efforts to break through either to Sievierodonetsk or Popasna, two large cities still under Ukraine’s control, and try to encircle Ukraine’s forces.

Foreign Ministers of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia visit Kyiv. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said the trip was “about the rebuilding, restoration and the EU candidate status for Ukraine.” Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said his counterparts are completing their visit to Kyiv on Feb. 23, interrupted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia launches attack on Zaporizhzhia Oblast with artillery, airstrikes. Russian troops have attacked Huliaipole and Orikhiv, towns in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, with artillery and airstrikes, Zaporizhzhia Military Administration reported on May 6. Until recently, there haven’t been active hostilities in the region.

Read our exclusive, on the ground stories

Combat in Donbas is raging, but it’s not going the way Russia wanted it to. Almost 20 days in, the much-anticipated and feared grand offensive falls short of Russian expectations. It is still not close to achieving its ultimate goal — the encircling and crippling of the core Ukrainian military group in the region. Read our story here.

The human cost of Russia’s war

Russian troops fire at evacuation vehicle near Azovstal, kill Ukrainian soldier. Russian troops also wounded six soldiers who were on their way to pick up civilians from the besieged Azovstal steel plant. The attack was committed during a pre-agreed ceasefire set to allow the evacuation of civilians to take place.

Ukraine’s military: Russia loses 24,900 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on May 6 that Russia has also lost 1,110 tanks, 2,686 armored personnel carriers, 1,926 vehicles and fuel tanks, 502 artillery systems, 171 multiple launch rocket systems, 83 anti-aircraft defense systems, 155 helicopters, 199 aircraft, 324 UAVs, and 11 boats.

Prosecutor General’s Office: Russia’s war kills 223 children in Ukraine, injures 408. The figures are expected to be higher since they do not include child casualties in the areas where hostilities are ongoing and in the occupied areas, the Prosecutor General’s Office said.

International response

US authorizes additional $150 million in military assistance to Ukraine. U.S. President Joe Biden said on Twitter on May 6 that the package would comprise of “U.S. arms, equipment, and supplies for Ukraine to reinforce its defenses to counter Russia’s offensive in the East.” No additional information was provided on the contents of the package.

Reuters: Biden to sign additional $100 million weapons package for Ukraine in coming days. The package will likely include more munitions for howitzers, according to Reuters citing undisclosed U.S. officials.

UK to donate 287 mobile generators to Ukraine. These generators, with enough power to supply almost 8,000 homes, will be used for hospitals, shelters, and other essential services. The U.K. previously donated 569 generators to Ukraine.

Bloomberg: EU proposes to revise sanctions on Russian oil to give Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic more time to comply. The EU has proposed a revision to its Russian oil ban that would allow Hungary and Slovakia to buy Russian oil until the end of 2024, and until June 2024 for the Czech Republic, Bloomberg reports, citing anonymous sources. “All other member states would phase out their imports by the end of this year as originally proposed, with imports of crude halting in six months and refined petroleum products in eight months.”

Italy seizes $700 million super yacht allegedly linked to Putin. Italian authorities have detained the Scheherazade yacht, the owner of which they say has “significant economic and business links” to “prominent elements of the Russian government,” on May 6. The 459-feet yacht is docked at the western Italian port of Marina di Carrara. The move is part of a wider crackdown by the West on assets owned by Russian oligarchs and government officials.

Biden to sign lend-lease for Ukraine into law on May 9. White House spokesperson Jen Psaki confirmed the decision on May 6, adding that U.S. President Joe Biden would take part in a G7 video meeting on May 9. Under the lend-lease law, Ukraine will be able to get military equipment faster, bypassing bureaucratic procedures. The name echoes the World War II-era measure that allowed the U.S. to quickly resupply the Allies in the fight against Nazi Germany.

Die Welt: Germany confirms sending 7 howitzers to Ukraine. German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said on May 6 that they will send seven Panzerhaubitze 2000 howitzers to Ukraine, Die Welt reported. Panzerhaubitze 2000 howitzers are among the most powerful artillery weapons in the Bundeswehr inventories and can hit targets at a distance of 40 kilometers (25 miles).

Estonia to help Ukraine rebuild Zhytomyr Oblast. Estonia’s Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets announced plans on May 6 to assist in the reconstruction of homes, kindergartens, and major infrastructure projects, Interfax Ukraine reports. Estonia will also reportedly send demining experts to the liberated regions of Ukraine.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Daria Shulzhenko, Alexander Query, Olena Goncharova, Sergiy Slipchenko, Teah Pelechaty, Oleg Sukhov, Oleksiy Sorokin, Olga Rudenko and Brad LaFoy.

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