Russia with a second Donbass offensive? Ukraine expects ‘new attack attempts’

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Will: Kim Hornickel, Tobias Utz, Daniel Dillmann, Andreas Apetz

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The military situation in the Ukrainian war reaches its climax: the ticker for Monday, May 16.

  • Situation in Mariupol critical: Azovstal steelworks still under fire
  • Russia wants to send new soldiers: Reservists must go to war in Ukraine
  • Dead and wounded in the Donbass: Russia loses a third of its ground combat troops in the Ukrainian war.
  • All the latest news and developments on the conflict in Ukraine in our ticker.

+++ 08:00: Ukraine expects a new offensive by the Russian army in the Donbass. After the withdrawal of Russian units around Kharkiv, more soldiers are now deployed in eastern Ukraine, said Oleksiy Arestovich, adviser to President Zelenskyy. It is assumed that Russia will make “new attack attempts”.

Ukrainian War: Attempts to rescue Mariupol steelworks fail

+++ 7:30 a.m.: According to the Ukrainian government, the rescue of at least the injured defenders of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol failed because of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The factory is under heavy fire from the Russian army – and some critics at home accuse kyiv of having abandoned the soldiers. Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyr stressed that a military operation to free those trapped is currently not possible. They’re working on proposals to get them released – but ‘Putin just doesn’t agree’.

Ukrainian War: Ukrainian success at Kharkiv – advance to Russian border

Update for Monday, May 16, 2022, 6:30 a.m.: Ukrainian troops report a symbolic success in their counter-offensive in the eastern region of Kharkiv: they have at least advanced to the border with Russia. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense released a video on Monday evening showing a dozen soldiers next to a border post in the national colors of blue and yellow. According to the information, they belong to a brigade of volunteers from the city of Kharkiv.

Ukrainian war: Russia probably wants to send new soldiers

+++ 11 p.m.: Despite massive Russian attacks, the Ukrainian army still controls around 10% of the Lugansk region. This was announced by the regional governor, Serhij Hajdaj, on Sunday May 15. In particular, Russian troops have not been able to capture the outskirts of the cities of Rubishne, Sievzherodonetsk and Lyssychansk so far. The Kremlin, on the other hand, said last week that pro-Russian separatists, with the help of the Russian military, had advanced to the administrative borders of Lugansk. Hajdaj called these statements “fantasy” at the time.

Ukrainian soldiers patrol a recently recaptured village north of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian soldiers patrol a recently recaptured village north of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine. © Mstyslav Chernov/dpa

+++ 9 p.m.: According to the Ukrainian general staff, the Russian army deploys less than 20% of its total capacity in certain areas. This is reported by the Kyiv Independent news portal. This information cannot be independently verified. However, it can be assumed that they are connected with the heavy losses of Russia in the Ukrainian war.

Ukrainian war: Russia wants to send new soldiers

+++ 7:30 p.m.: Russia apparently plans to send new troops to Ukraine. As the Kyiv Independent news portal reports with reference to the Ukrainian General Staff, 2,500 reservists are to be sent to the war zone. As a result, soldiers were trained at training grounds in the Russian oblasts of Voronezh, Belgorod and Rostov.

Ukrainian war: dead and wounded after rocket attacks in the Donbass

+++ 6 p.m.: Two people died in Russian shelling in Sieverodonetsk, a city in Donbass. This was announced by the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajday, on Telegram. He had previously mentioned nine injuries following attacks on a clinic.

+++ 4:15 p.m.: The Russian government has released an interim military report. The army lost a total of 165 aircraft, 125 helicopters, 879 unmanned aerial vehicles, 306 anti-aircraft missile systems and 3098 tanks in the Ukrainian war. Information provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense cannot be independently verified. However, the Ukrainian government assumes significantly higher losses in the Russian army.

+++ 3:30 p.m.: Turkey wants to block Finland’s possible NATO membership. A unanimous result is required to join the military alliance.

+++ 2:45 p.m.: According to a report, Russia is making tactical mistakes in the Donbass. This was analyzed by the think tank “Institute for the Study of War”. Specifically, it is the failed attempt by Russian soldiers on Wednesday May 11 to build a pontoon bridge over the Siversky Donets River. This “shows a surprising lack of tactical flair”, according to the report. The think tank also notes that the planned referendum in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson is causing “considerable confusion among Russian leaders at various levels.”

Ukrainian War: Missile attack on Lviv

+++ 1 p.m.: According to Ukrainian reports, the Russian armed forces fired missiles at military infrastructure in the Lviv region in the west of the country for the first time after a break of a few days (see 8:30 am update). After the attack, nothing is known of death or injury, the head of the military administration, Maxym Kosyzkyj, told the Telegram news channel. The extent of the destruction is under investigation. An object near Javoriv – presumably around the military training area there – was reportedly completely destroyed.

Ukrainian war: the Russian offensive in the Donbass late

+++ 11:45 a.m.: Russian forces lost a third of their ground combat troops deployed in Ukraine in February. According to British intelligence experts, this is exacerbated by the loss of crucial bridge-building and reconnaissance equipment. “Russian forces are increasingly constrained by destroyed resupply capabilities, persistently low morale and reduced combat effectiveness,” the UK MoD’s Ukraine War Intelligence Update daily tweeted. Despite some initial early progress, Russia has not made substantial territorial gains over the past month (see also 10:25 am update).

Ukrainian War: Russia uses phosphorus bombs

+++ 10:40 a.m.: Russia reportedly fired phosphorus bombs at the Azov steelworks in the port city of Mariupol. Mariupol city council deputy Petro Andryushchenko said on Telegram that “hell has come to earth”. Such incendiary bombs cause devastating damage. Their use is prohibited.

+++ 10:25 a.m.: British military intelligence sees the Russian offensive in the Donbass far behind the original schedule. “Under current conditions, it is unlikely that Russia will be able to significantly accelerate its advance in the next 30 days,” the British military said in its Twitter situation report.

+++ 8:30 a.m.: Ukrainian authorities report a rocket attack in the Lviv region. According to local governor Maxim Kosizki, military infrastructure was affected. According to Kosizki, it is still unclear whether anyone was killed or injured. The extent of the destruction has yet to be determined. Lviv is located in western Ukraine, not far from the Polish border.

First assessment of Sunday, May 15, 6 a.m.: Russian and Ukrainian forces continue to fight fiercely in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. As the Ukrainian military announced in a Facebook update, the situation remains difficult but is under control. Late Saturday evening, soldiers repelled 12 attacks in the Donbas region, destroying eight tanks, five artillery systems, nine armored fighting vehicles and six drones.

(aa/dil/tu/kh with dpa/AFP)

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