Russian soldier pleads guilty to war crimes

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The Russian army suffers heavy losses from guerrilla attacks during the Ukrainian War. Troop morale should continue to drop: the ticker.

  • Launching drones: Ukraine reports shooting down several drones and fighter jets from Russia.
  • Russia is running out of missiles: Vladimir Putin’s army has already been severely depleted by the ongoing war in Ukraine.
  • Russia’s losses in the Ukrainian War: All information about the conflict in Ukraine in our ticker.

+++ 7 p.m.: A Russian soldier is on trial in a kyiv district court for murder and “violating the laws and customs of war” under Article 438 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code. On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, the 21-year-old soldier pleaded “fully” guilty and faces a life sentence.

According to the report, the accused and four other soldiers were traveling in a stolen vehicle when they saw an unarmed civilian who they said wanted to notify the Ukrainian Armed Forces by cellphone. “Under the impression (…), one of the soldiers ordered the accused to kill the civilian,” said the prosecutor.

Ukrainian War - First War Crimes Trial

A Russian soldier sits in a glass booth during a hearing in kyiv. He is on trial in Ukraine for the murder of an unarmed civilian. © Efrem Lukatsky/dpa

The accused fired several well-aimed shots from the rear window of his car with a Kalashnikov rifle, which hit the victim in the head. “The victim died of fractured skulls after the departure of the five soldiers,” said the prosecutor. After several days of hide and seek, the group finally went to the residents, added the prosecutor. The hearing was adjourned to Thursday due to excessive media interest.

Russia admits ‘mistakes’ and heavy losses in Ukraine war: ‘Now everything is going according to plan’

+++ 5 p.m.: Russia has once again surprisingly admitted heavy losses and mistakes in the war in Ukraine. More recently, Vladimir Putin did so in his May 9, “Victory Day” speech over Nazi Germany. On Wednesday May 18, Deputy Secretary of the National Security Council Rashid Nurgaliev said: “Despite all the difficulties, the military special operation will continue to the end.” The “special operation” in Ukraine will continue, despite European arms deliveries. All “tasks – including demilitarization and denazification and protection of the people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk – will be fully implemented,” the former Russian interior minister said.

Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Russian republic of Chechnya and new comptroller of the city of Mariupol, also pointed out that there were “mistakes” at the start of the invasion in late February. “At first there were mistakes, there were some shortcomings, but now everything is 100% according to plan,” Kadyrov told a policy forum on Wednesday.

Ammunition seized in a village in the kyiv region liberated by the Russian occupier.
Ammunition seized in a village in the kyiv region liberated by the Russian occupier. © Ukrinform/dpa

+++ 12:30 p.m.: Russia must accept the loss of other high-ranking military personnel in the war in Ukraine. At least that’s what the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claims. As a result, several Russian army officers fell in the vicinity of Melitopol. They were victims of guerrilla attacks. The Kremlin is trying to “hide the situation there”, according to a Ukrainian situation report.

+++ 10:00 a.m.: Apparently, the Russian army has considerable difficulty in compensating for the heavy losses of the war in Ukraine. The UK Ministry of Defense morning situation report said the army was short of troop levels and supplies: “The combat deployment of such diverse personnel demonstrates Russia’s significant resource problems in Ukraine and likely contributes to a fragmented command that continues to hamper Russian operations.” The report is based on an assessment of British intelligence. However, the information cannot be independently verified.

Ukrainian artillery inflicts heavy losses on Russia

+++ 9:30 a.m.: The Ukrainian artillery seems to inflict heavy losses on the Russian army. This is reported by the American news channel CNN. A video shows a Russian military pontoon bridge under heavy fire. Up to 70 military vehicles were reportedly destroyed in the Bilohorivka region, north of Donetsk.

+++ 08:45: Josep Borrell, EU foreign policy chief, spoke of “impressive losses” of the Russian army in the war in Ukraine. “If it is true that Russia has lost 15% of its troops since the beginning of the war, it is a world record of losses for an army invading a country,” Borrell said after a meeting of defense ministers of the EU in Brussels.

Russia suffers losses – Ukraine reports downing of drones and fighter jets

Update for Wednesday, May 18, 06:15: Ukrainian air defense reports successful victories in the war with Russia. According to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, at least 11 unmanned drones were shot down in 24 hours. Its own armed forces also managed to destroy a Russian SU-25 fighter jet. This is reported by several news portals, referring to an announcement from the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. However, information about Russia’s losses in the Ukrainian War cannot be independently verified. Russia itself provides little or no information on this.

War in Ukraine: Russia is running out of missiles

Update for Tuesday, May 17, 10:00 p.m.: Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, precision-guided missiles have been a weapon of choice for the Russian armed forces. However, Russian tactics in the early months of the war meant that, according to Western analysts, Russian stocks of precision weapons were now seriously depleted.

“There are no more long-range cruise missile salvoes and almost no more Iskander strikes,” independent military analyst Pavel Luzhin told the Moscow Times. A US official told reporters at a briefing earlier this month that Russia had “problems stockpiling precision-guided munitions”.

These reports are corroborated by a change in Russian tactics, in particular the increased use of conventional unguided bombs, notably in the port city of Mariupol. It also means that Russian warplanes have to fly very low to hit their targets, making them vulnerable to portable air defenses.

Ukrainian War: setback in Lugansk – Russian losses “are high”

First report for Tuesday, May 17, 5:00 p.m.: MOSCOW – Almost three months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian war is still indecisive. Attempts by the Kremlin to capture the Ukrainian capital of kyiv have failed. In general, the Russian army is struggling with problems in many places and is making difficult progress. The leadership of the military under Russian head of state Vladimir Putin is currently focused on the east and south of the country.

As reports of declining Russian troop morale mount, one of Putin’s generals is said to have even had wounded Russian soldiers executed. Moreover, according to information from the Ukrainian secret service, more and more Russian soldiers are deserting.

Ukrainian War: Russia’s losses increase – also in the east of the country

According to the Ukrainian military, they repelled Russian troops in front of the city of Sievzherodonetsk in the east of the country. “Near the village of Syrotyne, the Russian conquerors suffered losses and retreated,” the General Staff said in its situation report on Tuesday, May 17. Syrotyne is four kilometers south of Sievzherodonetsk. Russian troops also failed in several other directions.

Luhansk region governor Serhiy Hajdaj also reported heavy fighting in the area around the city. In the suburbs of Girske and Zolotoye, several houses were destroyed by artillery shells. But the Russian troops should have retreated there too. “Enemy casualties are high,” Hajdaj wrote on his Telegram channel. The information could not be independently verified.

According to Ukrainian information, the number of Russian soldiers killed is now around 27,900. 1,235 tanks, 167 attack helicopters and 201 fighter jets were also destroyed. Additionally, there are currently around 1,000 Russian soldiers in Ukrainian captivity. (nak/tu with AFP/dpa)

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