Important Notice: this service will be discontinued by the end of 2024 because for multiple years now, Plume is no longer under active/continuous development. Sadly each time there was hope, active development came to a stop again. Please consider using our Writefreely instance instead.

Ukraine Daily Summary - Sunday, May 15

Russia’s only succeeding in imposing its proxies as leadership in Kherson ‘highlights the failure of Russia’s invasion’ -- Russian occupiers force civilians entering Mariupol to drop Ukrainian license plates -- Russian missile attack hits Lviv Oblast -- Ukraine appears to have ‘won the Battle of Kharkiv’ -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Want to get the news faster? Follow our website:

Russia’s war against Ukraine


A man walks between a bomb crater and the ruins of a row of houses that the explosion destroyed in Malotaranivka just outside Kramatorsk on May 8, 2022. (The Kyiv Independent)

Russian missile attack hits Lviv Oblast. Lviv Oblast Governor Maksym Kozytskyi wrote on Telegram that a series of explosions erupted in Lviv Oblast early in the morning on May 15. According to Kozytskyi, the missile strike hit military infrastructure facilities. There is currently no information on casualties.

Vereshchuk: Negotiations underway to evacuate 60 people from Azovstal. According to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, Russia does not agree to a full evacuation, hence the sides are talking about evacuating 60 seriously injured people and doctors from the Azovstal steel plant in besieged Mariupol. There are over 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers left at Azovstal, hundreds of them wounded.

Azovstal defender: About 600 wounded at plant. The defender described their conditions as “simply terrible.” The defender, a local police officer, said, “injured soldiers without limbs lie next to each other in unsanitary conditions, with flies, sounds of pain, and foul smells.” He added that defenders have no medicine, and the operating room is just a table against the wall where wounded soldiers are operated on without anesthesia.

Reuters: Large convoy of evacuees from Mariupol reaches Zaporizhzhia safely. Petro Andriushchenko, aide to Mariupol’s mayor, earlier said the convoy contained between 500 to 1,000 cars, which represents the largest single evacuation from the city since Russia’s full-scale invasion began on Feb. 24.

Local media: Russian occupiers force civilians entering Mariupol to drop Ukrainian license plates. According to Mariupol media 0629, people entering the city from neighboring settlements reported that the occupiers stopped their cars and forced them to replace official Ukrainian license plates with those illegally issued by Russia’s proxies in Donetsk Oblast.

Zelensky urges US to officially recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. President Volodymyr Zelensky told U.S. Republican senators in Kyiv that he counted on the U.S. to further strengthen sanctions. “In addition, we believe that Russia should be officially recognized as a state sponsor of terrorism,” Zelensky said.

Zelensky signs law banning pro-Russian parties. The law allows to ban parties that support, or whitewash Russia’s war against Ukraine and deny the fact that Moscow occupies Ukrainian territories, including Crimea and eastern Donbas. It will come into force a day after its official publication.

Institute for the Study of War: Ukraine appears to have ‘won the Battle of Kharkiv.’ The Institute for the Study of War states in its latest May 13 report that it appears that Ukraine has “won the Battle of Kharkiv”, with evidence suggesting Russia has likely decided to withdraw fully from its positions around the city resulting from the strength of Ukrainian counterattacks and a lack of reinforcements.

General Staff: Russian military continues offensive in eastern Ukraine. The Russian troops are preparing to attack several cities in Donetsk Oblast, such as Sievierodonetsk, Soledar, and Bakhmut, Ukraine’s General Staff reported. Russia continues to launch airstrikes and shell the region with artillery.

UK Defense Ministry: Russia’s only succeeding in imposing its proxies as leadership in Kherson ‘highlights the failure of Russia’s invasion.’ Earlier on May 11, Kremlin’s proxies in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Kherson Oblast announced they are seeking outright annexation of Kherson by Russia, instead of their “original invasion plan” to hold a referendum to pronounce the Ukrainian region a so-called breakaway “republic.” According to the recent intelligence update by the U.K. Defense Ministry, it “highlights the failure of Russia’s invasion to make progress towards its political objectives in Ukraine.”

Russian occupiers set up anti-aircraft systems on Snake Island in Black Sea. Russian occupiers try to “provide cover from possible damage to its fleet,” by setting up anti-aircraft systems on the temporarily Russian-occupied Snake Island (Zmiinyi Island) in the Black Sea, Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reports.

Ukraine’s intelligence: Russia exhausted its combat-ready battalions. Russia is going through a covert mobilization, Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate representative Vadym Skibitsky said on May 14. Russia is mobilizing new troops in Belgorod and Rostov oblasts, but their lack of training and combat experience makes them inefficient on the battlefield, Skibitsky said.

Ukrainian Air Force destroys 201 Russian planes to date. Yuriy Ignat, spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, said that on May 14 Ukraine’s Air Force destroyed one Su-30/Su-34 aircraft, seven unmanned aerial vehicles, a platoon base, a command and control post, 10 armored vehicles. Nearly 30 Russian troops were killed as a result, Ignat said.

Governor: Russian shelling destroys around 50 houses in Luhansk Oblast every day. Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Haidai said on May 14 that Russian forces destroyed more than 50 houses in the areas in and near the towns of Hirske and Popasna in the previous day. According to Haidai, Russian shelling destroys “about 50 houses” in these areas every day.

Russia shells Ukrainian border villages in Sumy Oblast, Chernihiv Oblast. Russians fired five unguided aircraft missiles at villages in Sumy Oblast, close to the Russian border, on May 13, Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service reported. There were no casualties. Russia also shelled the outskirts of Bleshnia village in Chernihiv Oblast on the morning of May 14, North Operational Command reports. No casualties have been reported.

Kubrakov: Russia’s war destroyed 23% of Ukraine’s railway network. The cost of damage already reached $90 billion, and the figure is growing every day, Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on May 14. Over 6,300 kilometers of tracks were damaged, as well as 23,573 kilometers of roads, including 289 road bridges, 41 railway bridges.

Foreign Ministry advises Russia not to stick its nose in Ukraine’s European integration. The ministry’s spokesman Oleh Nikolenko said that Russia should mind its own business in response to Moscow’s recent threats regarding Ukraine’s potential accession to the EU. “Russia has not reached historical development high enough to reflect on European values,” he said in a comment to European Pravda.

Ministry of Culture: Russian military committed over 300 crimes against Ukraine’s cultural heritage. A number of museums, palaces, ancient cemeteries and other cultural sites were severely damaged or destroyed in 13 Ukrainian oblasts, according to the ministry. The regions affected the most include Kharkiv Oblast (90 objects), Donetsk Oblast (70), and Kyiv Oblast (62).

Russian Ambassador: Moscow will not “capitulate” in Ukraine. Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov also stated on a talk show that “the U.S. is becoming increasingly involved in a conflict with the most unpredictable consequences for the two nuclear powers,” Russian state-controlled news agency RIA Novosti reported. The ambassador also claimed Russian Dictator Vladimir Putin’s goals in Ukraine will be “completely fulfilled.”

Read our exclusive, on the ground stories

Azovstal garrison: ‘We’ll keep fighting as long as we’re alive’. Death. Fire. Smoke. Bombs. Joy. Hope. Faith. And pride. Those are the things that spell the days of soldiers at Azovstal, the last Ukrainian fortress in the Russian-besieged city of Mariupol. Read the full story here.

People of Kramatorsk endure war by living and helping. Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast — Artur Serdiuk had just climbed under the covers at half past four in the morning, when the Russian airstrike hit 25 paces from his house. Read the full story here.

The human cost of Russia’s war

Russian shelling kills 3 civilians, injures 4 in Donetsk Oblast on May 14. Governor of Donetsk Oblast Pavlo Kirilenko said on Telegram two civilians were killed in Bohorodychne and one in Keramik. He also stated that two people injured in Luhansk Oblast were being treated in Bakhmut.

Prosecutors: Russia’s invasion has killed 227 children in Ukraine, injured 420. The figures are expected to be higher since they do not include casualties in the areas where hostilities are ongoing and in the Russian-occupied areas, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office said. The number also doesn’t include pre-February victims of the war Russia has been waging since 2014.

General Staff: Russia lost 27,200 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on May 14 that Russia has also lost 1,218 tanks, 2,934 armored personnel carriers, 2,059 vehicles and fuel tanks, 551 artillery systems, 195 multiple launch rocket systems, 88 anti-aircraft defense systems, 163 helicopters, 200 aircraft, 411 UAVs, and 13 boats.

International response

Antony Blinken arrives in Berlin to meet with NATO. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote on Twitter on May 14 that he had arrived in Berlin where he will “informally meet with NATO foreign ministers to discuss our alliance and sustained action to address Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine.”

Turkey offers naval evacuation for Ukrainian defenders from Azovstal. Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told Reuters that Turkey had offered to evacuate wounded soldiers and civilians on a ship across the Black Sea from the port of Berdiansk after they are transported there by land from the steel plant. The offer is still “on the table,” he said, though Moscow hasn’t agreed to it yet.

UK Foreign Secretary: ‘Strategic and moral imperative for us all is that Ukraine wins.’ In her op-ed for the Daily Express, Liz Truss has urged world leaders to provide Ukraine with heavy weapons such as tanks, airplanes, and ammunition, as well as keep putting sanctions on Kremlin-linked officials and industries, saying that there is a need to “relentlessly ramp up the pressure for as long as Putin’s troops remain in Ukraine.”

Scholz: No changes in Putin’s position on Ukraine. After a May 13 phone call with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in an interview with German media T-Online that he does not see any changes in Putin’s position. “It should gradually become clear to Putin that the only way out of this situation is to reach an agreement with Ukraine,” Scholz said as quoted by T-Online.

Reuters: G7 foreign ministers vow to reinforce Russia’s isolation. Foreign ministers from the G7 group of nations vowed on May 14 to continue supplying weapons to Ukraine and work to ease global food shortages due to the war in Ukraine, according to Reuters. They also said they would boost efforts to reduce and end reliance on Russian energy supplies as quickly as possible.

Medvedev says Russia doesn’t care whether G7 countries recognize its occupation of territories in Ukraine. Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev made the comment following a statement by G7 foreign ministers saying that their countries support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will never recognize borders set up as a result of the Russian military aggression.

Hungary president: ‘We will forever say no to all efforts to restore the Soviet Union.’ Katalina Novak, Hungary’s new president, condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine on May 14. She also said she supports Ukraine’s accession to the EU and that Hungary would “be happy to mediate” between Ukraine and Russia. Novak also demanded an investigation and punishment for war crimes. “We are not neutral, we are on the side of innocent victims and the truth,” she said.

Indian Embassy to reopen in Kyiv on May 17. India’s External Affairs Ministry announced that the Indian Embassy in Kyiv, which had temporarily relocated to Poland on March 13, will resume operations on May 17.


The Ukrainian rap and folk band Kalush Orchestra at the Eurovision 2022 Song Contest, where they earned Ukraine’s third victory. AFP/Getty Images

In other news

Ukraine wins the Eurovision Song Contest. The Ukrainian rap and folk band Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision Song Contest with their song “Stephania.” This is the third time Ukraine has won Eurovision, after singers Ruslana in 2004 and Jamala in 2016.

Zelensky: ‘We will do everything to one day host Eurovision in a Ukrainian Mariupol.’ The president thanked Kalush Orchestra for its performance at Eurovision 2022 and all who voted for Ukraine. “I’m sure our victorious chord in the battle with the enemy is not far off,” Zelensky said.

Kyiv renames iconic Soviet-era arch. The rainbow-shaped installation will now be officially called “Ukrainian People’s Freedom Arch.” The arch was constructed by the Soviet government in 1982 as a symbol of the “reunion” of Russians and Ukrainians and was later officially called the “People’s Friendship Arch.”

Want to get the news faster? Follow our website:

Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Alexander Query, Natalia Datskevych, Daria Shulzheno, Oleksiy Sorokin, Toma Istomina, Olga Rudenko, and Lili Bivings.

If you’re enjoying this newsletter, consider becoming our patron on Patreon or donating via GoFundMe. Start supporting independent journalism today.