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Ukraine Daily Summary - Friday, 6 May 2022

Over 10,000 Russian alleged war crimes under investigation in Ukraine -- Russian shelling of Azovstal plant not stopping -- Russian forces attack positions they left in Kherson and Mykolaiv regions -- Russian forces fail to capture Popasna, Rubizhne in Luhansk Oblast -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Friday, 6 May 2022

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Russia’s war against Ukraine


A young volunteer undergoes live fire training on the firing range at a Territorial Defense Force facility on April 30, 2022 outside Lviv. Providing both medical as well as tactical and weapons training, the group has trained hundreds of volunteers from western Ukraine to defend their country. Comprising of 25 regional groups, the Territorial Defense Force has seen it’s numbers surge since Russia invaded just over two months ago. (Getty Images)

Pentagon: Most Russian forces leave Mariupol as fighting continues. U.S. Defense Department officials said on May 5 that as fighting continued in Mariupol and surrounding the city’s Azovstal steel plant, most of the Russian troops stationed in the city have left. Russian forces have reportedly moved north of Mariupol, leaving a small number equivalent to “a couple of battalion tactical groups” in the city.

Ukraine’s Air Force: 15 Russian aerial targets destroyed. Ukraine’s Air Force downed 14 Orlan drones and one plane, which was shot down by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile unit.

Zelensky: Russian shelling of Azovstal plant ‘not stopping.’ President Volodymyr Zelensky said during his nightly address on May 5 that Russian forces have not stopped shelling the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol even as “civilians still need to be taken out.” He continued: “Women, many children remain there. Just imagine the hell — more than two months of constant shelling, bombing, constant death nearby.” It is unclear how many civilians remain trapped in the plant.

Pentagon denies helping Ukraine ‘target’ Russian generals. Responding to New York Times report published on May 4, Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby confirmed on May 5 that the U.S. supplies Ukraine with military intelligence “to help Ukrainians defend their country.” However, “we do not provide intelligence on the location of senior military leaders on the battlefield or participate in the targeting decisions of the Ukrainian military,” Kirby said.

Zelensky: Russia has fired over 2,000 missiles at Ukraine. In a speech on May 5, President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that 2,682 Russian warplanes have also been recorded in Ukrainian airspace. He noted that, as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was speaking to the Verkhovna Rada on May 3, Russia fired 15 missiles at Ukraine.

General Staff: Russian forces attack positions they left in Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. According to the latest update by the General Staff, Russian forces carried out a number of attacks targeted at Kherson and Mykolaiv oblasts’ settlements which had been liberated by the Ukrainian army. In Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Ukraine’s army repelled 11 attacks and reportedly destroyed eight tanks, eleven units of armored combat vehicles and five other vehicles.

Ukraine’s military: Russian forces fail to capture Popasna, Rubizhne in Luhansk Oblast. Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that Russian troops attempted to seize the cities of Popasna and Rubizne in Luhansk Oblast to ensure “favorable conditions” for an offensive on Lyman and Sievierodonetsk but didn’t succeed.

Police: Over 10,000 Russian alleged war crimes under investigation in Ukraine. National police chief Ihor Klymenko said police are investigating over 10,000 Russian war crimes committed since Feb. 24.

Der Spiegel: Bundestag president to visit Kyiv. Barbel Bas plans to travel to Kyiv at the invitation of Ukraine’s Parliamentary Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk to “commemorate all the victims of the World War II and to hold political talks” with him. Bas did not specify the date of the visit, but the war commemoration ceremonies will take place on May 8.

Culture Ministry to remove Russian propaganda from Ukrainian libraries. Removed literature will be replaced by “high-quality Ukrainian-language literature and books by Ukrainian publishers,” the Culture Ministry said on May 5.

Ukraine’s biggest thermal power plant stops due to coal shortage. Zaporizhzhia Thermal Power Plant near the city of Enerhodar ceased operations due to Russian occupation, as well as infrastructure damage and ongoing hostilities in Ukraine’s southern regions causing coal supply disruptions, Enerhodar Mayor Dmytro Orlov said on May 5. The plant’s shutdown won’t affect locals, Orlov added.

UK intelligence: Russia may use military exercise in Belarus to deter Ukrainian forces. While the U.K. Defense Ministry does not currently see a threat in the exercise, Russia will “likely seek to inflate the threat posed to Ukraine” by the training to “fix Ukrainian forces in the North and prevent them from being committed to the battle for the Donbas.”

Ukraine’s Security Service: Popular pro-Russian blogger, politician Anatoly Shariy detained in Spain. The controversial Ukrainian blogger was detained on May 4. Ukrainian authorities suspect Shariy of high treason, saying he has been paid by Russia to spread disinformation to harm Ukraine’s national security. Shariy has lived in exile in the EU since 2012. Shariy was released from Spanish custody on May 5 after surrendering his passport and agreeing to travel restrictions.

Pentagon: Russian troops make ‘some small progress’ in Donbas. Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said that Russian forces have made “some small progress, particularly in the north part of the Donbas.” He added that Russian troops expected to make more progress at this point, and Ukrainians are “putting up a very stiff resistance.”

Chornobaivka mayor hospitalized, his deputy kidnapped by Russian occupiers. On May 2, Russian forces captured the village council of Chornobaivka, north of Kherson, questioning then kidnapping the deputy mayor. The same day, the mayor of the village Ihor Dudar was hospitalized after an encounter with Russians who searched his home, authorities reported on May 5.

Commander: Ukraine launches counteroffensives in Kharkiv Oblast. Valeriy Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, announced that Ukrainian troops have now switched to launching counteroffensives near Kharkiv and the Russian-occupied city of Izium, Kharkiv Oblast. He added that fierce battles still continue in the vicinity of Popasna, Kreminna and Torske in Luhansk Oblast, where the main efforts of the Russian occupiers are focused.

The human cost of Russia’s war

UN: 6,731 civilian casualties in Ukraine due to Russia’s war. Michelle Bachelet, a top UN human rights official, said on May 5 that her office is also documenting the forced disappearances of local Ukrainian authorities, journalists, and civil society activists. Bachelet’s office has investigated 180 cases of disappearances so far, with five of the individuals found dead.

15-year-old volunteer killed by Russian shelling while evacuating animals from zoo. Staff and volunteers came under fire while evacuating African buffalos from Feldman Ecopark, a zoo located in the outskirts of Kharkiv, zoo owner Oleksandr Feldman said. Feldman added that an additional two people were injured and that “the doctors are fighting for their lives.”

Prosecutor General’s Office: Russian forces shell monastery in Donetsk Oblast, wound 7 people. Russian troops on May 4 shelled the Sviatohirsk Lavra, a monastery affiliated with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) in Donetsk Oblast.

Ukraine’s military: Russia loses 24,700 troops in Ukraine. Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on May 5 that Russia has also lost 1,092 tanks, 2,651 armored personnel carriers, 1,907 vehicles and fuel tanks, 499 artillery systems, 169 multiple launch rocket systems, 83 anti-aircraft defense systems, 155 helicopters, 196 aircraft, 312 UAVs, and ten boats.

Russian shelling kills woman in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Russian forces attacked a residential building in the town of Polohy on May 5, Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration reported.

Governor: Heavy shelling kills 5 civilians in Luhansk Oblast. Serhiy Haidai said that Russian forces attacked residential areas in Luhansk Oblast 24 times on May 4, killing five locals.

Medic: People dying from infection at Azovstal, situation critical. A military medic at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol recorded a video message asking Turkey to help organize the evacuation of civilians and wounded Ukrainian military personnel. “People die on my hands from a lack of antibiotics, from purulent wounds in 2022. We are constantly shelled from the sea, air, and land,” he said.

International response

Biden, Scholz will not recognize Russian territorial gains in Ukraine. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed in a call on May 5 that they will not acknowledge any Russian territorial gains in Ukraine, a German government spokesperson said in a statement.

Bloomberg: EU seeks to sanction Putin’s rumored mistress. The European Union has proposed sanctioning Alina Kabaeva, a former gymnast, who is “reportedly closely associated” with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Bloomberg reported citing the EU statement. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that the U.S. withheld sanctioning Kabaeva, concerned that Putin would view it as a personal attack.

Japan to use nuclear reactors, reduce dependency on Russian energy. Japan has been increasing its reliance on Russian gas since shutting down nuclear reactors after the Fukushima disaster in 2011. However, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said nuclear power would again be a part of the country’s future energy policy.

Bush calls Zelensky ‘Winston Churchill of our time.’ Former U.S. President George W. Bush thanked Zelensky for “his leadership, his example, and his commitment to liberty” in an Instagram post on May 5. He also “saluted the courage of the Ukrainian people.”

Jill Biden to spend Mother’s Day with Ukrainian refugees in Slovakia. U.S. First Lady Jill Biden will depart on the evening of May 5 for a four-day visit to Romania and Slovakia, which will include Mother’s Day activities with Ukrainian refugees in Kosice, Slovakia. There, the First Lady will visit a refugee center and two different schools.

Maria Prymachenko painting sells for $500,000, proceeds to go to Ukraine’s Armed Forces. The painting “Flowers grew near the fourth power unit” was sold at a charity auction organized by the Serhiy Prytula Charitable Foundation. It was purchased by a Ukrainian living overseas. The starting price was $5,000.

Polish PM: International donors conference raises $6.5 billion for Ukraine. The conference in Warsaw, aimed at helping Ukraine deal with the economic and humanitarian fallout of Russia’s war, was hosted by Poland and Sweden, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.

In other news

Being an outspoken enemy of the Kremlin nearly cost Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny his life. Read our movie review on “Navalny” documentary here.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Asami Terajima, Daria Shulzhenko, Thaisa Semenova, Lucy Minicozzi-Wheeland, Teah Pelechaty, Olena Goncharova, Oleksiy Sorokin, Olga Rudenko and Brad LaFoy.

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