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Ukraine Daily Summary - Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Prosecutors identify another Russian officer suspected of atrocities in Kyiv Oblast -- Russian missiles hit Odesa for the second time on May 9 -- Sanctions begin to ‘bite’ Russia’s industrial base capabilities -- Emergency Service neutralizes 327 explosives in a day -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

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Russia’s war against Ukraine


Volunteers help load buses with water bottles then shipped to Mykolaiv, a city of 475,000 people, which has been left without water due to Russian shelling. (Oleksandr Gimanov)

Putin continues to spread lies defending war, shows no signs of backing down. Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken at Russia’s annual Victory Day parade in Moscow, saying the invasion of Ukraine was necessary “as the West was creating threats next to our borders.” He added that Russia was fighting for “the Motherland” in Donbas, a drastic drop in goals compared to the Feb. 24 speech in which he announced an all-out war.

Zelensky in his WWII victory day speech: ‘We won then. We will win now.’ President Volodymyr Zelensky, in his address on the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany, said Ukraine is fighting for a new victory in the war with Russia. “We will never forget what our ancestors did in World War II, which killed more than eight million Ukrainians,” said Zelensky. “Very soon, there will be two Victory Days in Ukraine. And someone won’t have any,” he added.

European Council president visits Odesa. Charles Michel arrived in Odesa on May 9 to celebrate Europe Day. He met there with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and visited a local port. Missile attack forced European Council President to take shelter during Odesa visit. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Telegram that his May 9 meeting with Charles Michel was interrupted by a missile attack. Both Shmyhal and Michel are unharmed.

Russian missiles hit Odesa for the second time on May 9. In the evening, a series of explosions were again reported in the city, according to Suspilne Odesa, a TV station. A fire broke out at a shopping mall as a result of the attack. Earlier on May 9, a Russian Tu-22 strategic bomber carried the Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic missiles that destroyed five buildings in the region on May 9, the Ukrainian military’s Southern Operational Command said. Two people were injured as a result of the attack. Rescuers managed to pull a dog out of the rubble.

Council of Europe General Secretary pays visit to Irpin, Borodyanka. Marija Pejčinović Burić visited Irpin and Borodyanka, towns in Kyiv oblast destroyed by Russian forces. “I am shocked at the senseless destruction caused by the Russian aggression, but I am impressed at the resilience of the Ukrainian people,” she said on the site.

Prosecutors identify another Russian officer suspected of atrocities in Kyiv Oblast. According to Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, Anton Struyev, commander of Russia’s 15th Motorized Rifle Brigade, captured two civilians in the village of Mokrets in March. He beat the captives on the head to glean information about the Ukrainian military. After that, Struyev allegedly ordered the Ukrainians to undress and locked them in a basement.

Pentagon: Sanctions begin to ‘bite’ Russia’s industrial base capabilities. An unnamed senior U.S. defense official said during a briefing on May 9 that Russia “has blown through a lot of their precision-guided munition” and continues to hit Mariupol with a lot of “dumb bombs.” According to the official, Russia faces difficulties replacing PGMs, and the sanctions and the export controls, particularly when it comes to electronic components, has had an effect on the Russian defense industrial base.

Defense Ministry: Russia can use its artillery units in the north of Crimea to attack Kherson Oblast. Russia has brought additional artillery units to the north of the occupied Crimea and can use them to attack Kherson Oblast, Defense Ministry spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said on May 9.

State Emergency Service neutralizes 327 explosives in a day. The Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine said on May 9 that 15 hectares of ground were covered. Since the start of the war, a total of 98,864 explosive devices have been defused.

More than 100 civilians remain at Azovstal plant in Mariupol. Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko also said that up to 100,000 people still remain in the whole of Mariupol, a quarter of the pre-war figure. The highly fortified Azovstal steel plant, the only pocket of resistance in Mariupol, is being stormed by Russian troops. It was previously reported that all civilians had been evacuated from Azovstal.

Ukrainian troops repel 15 Russian attacks in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. According to Ukraine’s military, Russia lost an anti-aircraft missile system, nine tanks, three artillery systems, 25 units of combat armored vehicles, three units of special engineering equipment and three cars. Air defense units also took down one Orlan-10 drone.

Pentagon: US Defense Department has evidence of forcible deportation of Ukrainians to Russia. “We do have indications that Ukrainians are being taken against their will into Russia,” Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby said on May 9. Kirby did not disclose the total number of Ukrainians forcibly deported.

Moscow-linked bishop asks Putin to release Mariupol defenders. Metropolitan Onufry, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Ukrainian branch, called on the Russian dictator to release them under the “extraction” procedure – a military term for relocating personnel out of a hostile environment. He urged Putin to show humanism to commemorate Easter and Victory Day and suggested that a third country act as a neutral intermediary.

Russia increases number of missile carriers in Black Sea. As of May 9, Russia has 7 carriers of Kalibr missiles in the Black Sea that can fire up to 50 missiles, Defense Ministry spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said, as cited by Ukrinform. Earlier on May 4, Ukraine’s military reported 3 Russian missile carriers in the Black Sea.

Russia forces Soviet-style Victory Day ‘celebrations’ in occupied Ukrainian cities. Russian state-controlled RIA Novosti news agency reported that Russia held “festivities” in occupied Kherson and Skadovsk. People were gathered in central areas of the cities and given Soviet red flags to march. Limited victory day events were held in occupied Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and bombed-out Mariupol, over 95% of which is controlled by Russian occupiers.

Bloomberg: Russia’s economy deals with the worst recession in three decades. The country’s gross domestic product is expected to shrink by 12% as a result of the Western sanctions imposed due to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, according to an internal Finance Ministry forecast obtained by Bloomberg. A potential oil embargo, a decline in Russian gas consumption by EU countries, and the mass exodus of foreign companies from the Russian market were named as the key reasons for the worst expected downturn since 1994. Natalia Lavrova, chief economist at BCS Financial Group, said the trend is likely to expand gradually, “with a lot of negative carrying over into 2023.”

Read our exclusive, on the ground stories

Anti-tank hedgehogs, military patrols and an extended curfew aren’t what one expects to see in Ukraine’s main sea resort. In May, Odesa, a Ukrainian port city on the Black Sea, usually rolls into the tourist season, which generates a substantial part of the city’s earnings. Now the beaches are mined, tourism is dead and the city of 1 million people is gearing up for war. Read our story about Odesa here.

Moldova’s Russian-occupied Transnistria region is becoming a new focal point in Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Tensions have been rising over the fate of the breakaway republic after several explosions have been reported in Transnistria, which local Russian-led authorities claimed were attacks by Ukraine. Read our report on Transnistria here.

The human cost of Russia’s war

De Telegraaf: Dutch volunteer soldier killed in Ukraine. A 55-year-old Dutch citizen who had joined the Ukrainian Foreign Legion was killed by Russian shelling near Kharkiv on May 4, De Telegraaf reported. According to the media outlet, it is the first death of a Dutch volunteer soldier in Ukraine since Feb. 24.

Russian shelling of Odesa kills 1, wounds 5. Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command said that seven “Soviet model” missiles were fired on Odesa on the evening of May 9. The resultant fires have been extinguished.

Civilian killed in Russian shelling of Mykolaiv Oblast. A fire broke on the territory of a private household in Shevchenkove village in Mykolaiv Oblast after Russian shelling on May 9. State Emergency Service reports a dead body of a man was found on the site.

Some 100 people come to St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kyiv on May 9 to say goodbye to esteemed Ukrainian war reporter Oleksandr Makhov. Makhov, a war veteran, joined Ukraine’s Armed Forces when Russia began its invasion in February. He was killed by Russian shelilng near Izium, Kharkiv Oblast on May 4.

Prosecutor General’s Office: 3 killed civilians found near Makariv, Kyiv Oblast. The bodies of three civilian men were found buried on the side of the highway near the town of Makariv in Kyiv Oblast, Prosecutor General’s Office said on May 9. “According to preliminary information, Russian soldiers shot the three men in the head during the occupation of the town.”

Ukraine’s military: Russia has lost 25,650 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24. Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on May 9 that Russia has also lost 1,145 tanks, 2,764 armored personnel carriers, 1,970 vehicles and fuel tanks, 513 artillery systems, 185 multiple launch rocket systems, 87 anti-aircraft defense systems, 158 helicopters, 199 aircraft, 377 UAVs, and 12 boats.

International response

Biden signs historic lend-lease act to help Ukraine. The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act will make it easier for the U.S. to supply weapons to Ukraine. Under the law, Ukraine can request streamlined transfers of U.S. weapons and other security assistance. The name of the act evokes the lend-lease act under which the U.S. supplied allies during World War II. “The cost of the fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is even more costly,” President Joe Biden said.

Borrell: EU should seize Russian reserves to rebuild Ukraine. The EU’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, told Financial Times that the bloc should consider seizing frozen Russian foreign exchange reserves to help pay for the cost of rebuilding Ukraine after the war.

Politico: European Commission discusses joint borrowing for Ukraine. Plans are underway to issue a new EU debt to cover Ukraine’s short-term financing needs, said diplomatic sources. According to the Ukrainian government and the International Monetary Fund, Ukraine needs $5 billion per month to maintain its economy. The U.S. has agreed to cover one-third, and this plan aims to cover the rest.

Minister: Hungary won’t support EU embargo on Russian oil. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto on May 9 backed pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s position that the ban would be like “an atomic bomb for the economy, destroying its stable energy supply” because Russian fossil fuels account for two-thirds of Hungary’s oil imports. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met Orban on May 9 to persuade him to change his stance. She said progress had been made in the talks but “further work is needed.”

US suspends 232 tariffs on Ukrainian steel, steel products for one year. In a press release on May 9, the U.S. Department of Commerce said that Ukraine’s steel communities have been among those “hardest hit by Putin’s barbarism.” The statement added that the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol has become a “lasting symbol of Ukraine’s determination to resist Russian aggression.”

Reuters: US Congress plans almost $40 billion in aid to Ukraine. U.S. congressional Democrats agreed to $39.8 billion in further aid, sources familiar with the proposal said on May 9. The proposal exceeds the $33 billion that U.S. President Joe Biden previously requested and includes an additional $3.4 billion for military aid and $3.4 billion in humanitarian aid.

Protestors in Warsaw douse Russian Ambassador in red paint. People carrying Ukrainian flags chanting “Fascists” surrounded Russian Ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev and his entourage during a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating Red Army soldiers on May 9. Russia’s Foreign Ministry condemned the action, demanding that Poland hold another wreath-laying ceremony.

In other news

Ukraine leads in the 2021 Summer Deaflympics. Ukrainian athletes have already won a total of 77 medals — 39 gold, 16 silver, and 22 bronze — in the 2021 Summer Deaflympics, Ukraine’s Ministry of Youth and Sports reported on May 9. The 2021 Games are held in Caxias Do Sul, Brazil, on May 1-15, 2022.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Anna Myroniuk, Thaisa Semenova, Natalia Datskevych, Daria Shulzhenko, Oleg Sukhov, Teah Pelechaty, Olena Goncharova, Oleksiy Sorokin, Lucy Minicozzi-Wheeland, Olga Rudenko, Toma Istomina and Brad LaFoy.

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