Ukrainian troops storm from Kharkiv to the Russian border. Russia has probably given up the Kessel target in eastern Ukraine. All news about the attack on Ukraine can be found here in the ticker.
11:24 p.m .: More than 260 Ukrainian soldiers have been evacuated from the Azov steel group in the port city of Mariupol, which has been besieged by Russian troops for weeks. 53 seriously injured were taken to Novoazovsk for treatment on Monday and 211 other soldiers to Olenivka, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said in the evening. Both places are in areas under the control of the Russian military. The plan is for the soldiers to return to Ukrainian-controlled areas in a prisoner exchange.
9:04 p.m .: The Kremlin has been claiming for weeks that the flagship “Moskva” sank due to a storm off the Ukrainian coast. Now the Ukrainian army has released audio evidence that they fired at the warship with two R-360 Neptun anti-ship missiles and sank it. This makes the Moskva the largest sunk warship since World War II.
In the audio recording, one of the ship’s crew members can be heard yelling that the “Moskva” was hit twice and has “two holes below the waterline.” In addition, the connection to the bridge was interrupted and the ship was already tilting about 30 degrees to the side. The crew member goes on to say, “There is no way to move. We will try to carry out a crew rescue.”
Moscow has so far reported one dead and 27 missing crew members. According to media reports, the losses are significantly higher. According to the Lithuanian Defense Minister, there were 485 crew members on board, including 66 officers. A total of 54 crew members were rescued by a Turkish ship.
8:01 p.m .: According to Ukrainian sources, several people were killed by Russian shelling of the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk. The Russian troops would bomb the city “incessantly,” said the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Gajdaj, on Monday in the messenger service Telegram. “At least ten people were killed.”
Because of the ongoing shelling, access to the area and communication are currently significantly more difficult, Gajdaj explained. He urged residents not to leave the shelters.
In an earlier statement, Gaiday warned of artillery attacks on Severodonetsk and the nearby city of Lysychansk. This caused fires in residential areas. “Severodonetsk was hit hard,” he wrote, posting photos of the destruction. “We are still in the process of determining the number of damaged houses.”
The mayor of Severodonetsk, Oleksander Striuk, said about ten days ago that the city was “virtually surrounded” by the armed forces of Moscow and the pro-Russian separatists. According to him, 15,000 of the former 100,000 inhabitants were still in the city.
5:14 p.m .: A Russian attack has hit a warehouse with highly flammable ammonium nitrate in the region around the city of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine. The governor of the neighboring Donetsk region shared a photo of a cloud of orange smoke over fields on Telegram on Monday, but added that the explosion “poses no danger to the local population”.
The governor further announced that a “Russian shell” hit the camp. The column of smoke above the depot is frightening, but there is no reason to panic. Ammonium nitrate is a highly flammable substance used in the manufacture of nitrogen fertilizer – but also as a basis for explosives. The substance repeatedly leads to devastating accidents. In August 2020, ammonium nitrate stored in the Lebanese capital Beirut triggered the devastating explosions that destroyed the port and a significant part of the city.
3.40 p.m .: After days of negotiations, the Russian and Ukrainian military have agreed, according to Moscow, to remove injured fighters from the steelworks in Mariupol. Initially, there was no official confirmation of this in Ukraine. The Defense Ministry in Moscow announced on Monday that a ceasefire was in effect and a humanitarian corridor would be opened. The Ukrainian fighters were to receive medical treatment in the pro-Russian separatist-controlled city of Novoazovsk in eastern Ukraine.
The government in Kyiv had always demanded that the injured be transferred to the area controlled by Ukraine or to a third country. Already in the morning, pro-Russian separatists reported that the first Ukrainian fighters had surrendered and left the steelworks with white flags. This was later denied by the Ukrainian side.
11:02 am: Ukraine has reported another missile attack on the Black Sea coastal region of Odessa. According to the US broadcaster CNN, the local military administration announced that “as a result of a missile strike by strategic aircraft in the Odesa region, tourist infrastructure was damaged, buildings were destroyed and a fire broke out”.
Russia continued to shell the badly damaged bridge over the Dniester estuary south of Odessa, officials said. Two people were injured.
10:59 a.m.: Fighting along the front lines continues in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. According to Vadym Denysenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Minister, the key area of the Russian offensive is now the area around Severodonetsk in Luhansk. “The Russians are concentrating their forces there. This is the only place where they can progress. That will be the hottest area in the coming days,” he said on Ukrainian television on Monday. “I hope we’ll be able to fight them back.”
Denysenko added that around Izyum “the Russian attacks are suffocating” and further north “the Russians are retreating and blowing up bridges. Our forces are counterattacking.”
CNN obtained satellite images showing that three bridges west of Russia’s supply lines to Izyum were destroyed last week.
In Mariupol, Russia is continuing its massive artillery and air strikes to block and destroy the units trapped at the Azov Steel Plant in Mariupol, according to the General Staff. Several hundred wounded soldiers are still trapped in the facility.
In his daily video message late Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the government was conducting “very complicated and delicate negotiations to save our people from Mariupol, from Azovstal.”
5:16 a.m .: The Russian army has apparently given up one of the main goals in eastern Ukraine. This is the conclusion reached by the war researchers of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai. Accordingly, Putin’s troops are no longer trying to encircle the Ukrainian fighters in an area from Donetsk to Izyum.
Instead, efforts are focused on capturing the entire Luhansk region, they say. The battle for Severodonetsk is now a priority for the Russians. According to the ISW report, the army is trying to attack there from the north and south. This means that the encirclement would be significantly less than originally planned.
The Russian military leadership has apparently realized that a complete capture of the Donetsk region will not be possible. And that it is difficult to generate progress west of Luhansk either. According to the ISW, Putin’s troops no longer attacked along multiple axes. This is also related to the bitter defeat of the Russians when crossing the Donetsk River near Kreminna.
Also read: Battalion destroyed, hundreds of dead suspected – Ex-General after Russian river debacle: “It’s worse than that”
3:01 a.m .: Ukrainian troops report a symbolic success in their counter-offensive in the eastern Kharkiv region: they have at least advanced to the border with Russia at one point. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense released a video showing a dozen soldiers next to a border post in the national colors of blue and yellow on Monday night. According to the information, they belong to a volunteer brigade from the city of Kharkiv.
The Ukrainian military had already reported in the past few days that they were gradually pushing back Russian troops near Kharkiv. Russia had already withdrawn its troops in northern Ukraine after being stopped in front of the capital Kyiv. Russia is currently concentrating on the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, where pro-Russian separatists have controlled some areas with help from Moscow since 2014.
02:34: According to the observers of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the Russian troops are converting conquered areas into fortresses. Accordingly, Putin’s fighters are digging trenches and erecting concrete barriers in order to gain permanent control over the regions. Such incidents are reported, for example, in the west of the city of Zaporizhia, in the Mykolayiv region and near the city of Melitopol.
2:19 a.m .: The Russian army shelled a hospital in the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk on Sunday. This was announced by the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai, via Telegram. Nine people were injured in the attack. Work continued in the hospital during the shelling. Haidai continued: “The orcs (editor’s note: derogatory term for the Russian troops) carried out a total of eleven air strikes against Severodonetsk on Sunday.” A chemical plant and a school were also hit.
Monday, May 16, 1:22 a.m .: According to the Ukrainian government, the rescue of at least the injured defenders of the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol failed due to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The plant is under heavy fire from the Russian military – and some critics at home accuse Kyiv of having abandoned the soldiers.
Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyr emphasized that a military operation to free the trapped people is currently not possible. They are working on proposals to get them released – but “Putin just doesn’t agree to it.”
9:37 p.m .: Despite heavy Russian attacks, according to the regional governor, the Ukrainian army still controls around ten percent of the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk. In particular, the Russians have not been able to capture the outskirts of the cities of Rubishne, Sievjerodonetsk and Lysychansk, Serhiy Hajday said on Sunday. Moscow said last week that pro-Russian separatists, with the help of the Russian army, had advanced to the administrative borders of Luhansk just eleven weeks after the war began. Hajdaj called these statements “fantasy” at the time.
In the Donetsk region, also in eastern Ukraine, 3 civilians were killed and 13 others injured in Russian attacks on Sunday, according to the regional administration.
Russia launched a war of aggression against its neighbor on February 24. The fighting is now largely concentrated in the east and south of Ukraine. Pro-Russian separatists are laying claim to the entire territory of the two Ukrainian administrative regions for the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, which were recognized by Russia a few days before the invasion.
7:42 p.m .: According to the Ukrainian general staff, Russia plans to send 2,500 reservists to Ukraine. The new soldiers should first be trained in camps, writes the Kyiv Independent.
7:01 p.m .: Several wives of the last Ukrainian fighters in the port city of Mariupol have described catastrophic conditions in the Azovstal steelworks besieged by Russian troops. There is only one glass of water per person per day, said one of the women in an interview quoted by the Ukrainian media on Sunday. The woman said she was last able to talk to her husband on the phone a few hours ago. She and the others once again called for the evacuation of all entrenched fighters – first the seriously injured among them. Their situation is “terrible”: Some are missing arms or legs, there are hardly any drugs or narcotics.
According to Ukrainian sources, around 1,000 defenders of Mariupol have holed up in the steelworks, which has been surrounded and fired upon by Russians and pro-Russian separatists for weeks. Around 600 are said to be injured, it was said recently. The Ukrainian army is far from Mariupol and currently has no chance of liberating the city, which has been largely occupied by the Russians. “The mood is pessimistic because there is almost no hope of rescue,” said one fighter’s wife in the interview. “They are preparing for the final battle because they don’t believe in a diplomatic solution.”
6:34 p.m .: According to official information, two people died as a result of Russian shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievjerodonetsk. A house was hit during the attacks on Saturday, the military governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajdaj, announced on Sunday. The artillery shelling has continued in the past few hours, Hajdaj wrote on the social network Telegram. He had previously spoken of nine injured as a result of attacks on a hospital. The information could not be verified at first.
4:52 p.m .: According to US information, Ukraine has brought numerous new US M-777 howitzers to the front lines. The US Embassy in Kyiv tweeted. According to the diplomatic mission, 89 of the 90 promised guns have now been delivered.
3:35 p.m .: According to Ukrainian information, the Russian armed forces have fired missiles at military infrastructure in the Lviv region in the west of the country for the first time after a break of days. After the attack on Sunday morning, nothing was known about dead or injured, said the head of the military administration, Maxym Kosyzkyj, on the Telegram news channel. The extent of the destruction is being investigated. An object near Javoriv – presumably around the military training area there – is said to have been completely destroyed.
It was therefore the first time in about a week that there was an air alert in the region near the Polish border. In the situation report of the Russian military, there was initially no information on this.
The Ministry of Defense in Moscow said that two Ukrainian command posts, eleven troop concentrations and four ammunition dumps had been hit during air strikes during the night. The targets were therefore in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. Attacks with artillery fire hit six other command posts and 123 targets with troops and technology, said ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. 150 Ukrainian fighters were “destroyed”.
The Russian air defense shot down 15 drones in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions and around Snake Island in the Black Sea, Konashenkov said. Rockets were also intercepted in the Kharkiv and Cherson regions. The Russian information could not be verified by independent parties. The attacks would continue, it said.
9:54 a.m .: Russia has fired phosphorus bombs on the Azov steelworks in the port city of Mariupol, according to Ukrainian sources. “Hell has come to earth. To Azovstal,” Mariupol city council deputy Petro Andryushchenko wrote on Sunday in the Telegram news channel. Such incendiary bombs are ignited by contact with oxygen and cause devastating damage. Their use is prohibited. Andryushchenko released a video with aerial photos showing a rain of fire falling on the steel mill. Artillery shelling of the industrial zone could also be seen on the initially unverifiable recordings of unclear origin.
Andryushchenko also published pictures showing inscriptions on bombs. The pictures have been circulating on the Internet since Sunday morning. Accordingly, the Russian military is said to have reacted to Ukraine’s victory in the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC). It was initially not clear where these photos came from. The alleged bombs read in Russian: “Kalusha, as requested! Auf Azovstal” and in English “Help Mariupol – Help Azovstal right now” (in German: Help Mariupol – Help Azovstal immediately) with the date 14 May. The singer of the band Kalusha Orchestra, which won the ESC, said these words in an appeal on the stage in Turin.
Hate comments read that the phosphorus bombs were the Russian salute to the ESC victory. Russian media reported the victory on Sunday night, but unlike in previous years, state television was not allowed to show the show. Russia is excluded from the ESC because of the war of aggression against Ukraine.
8:41 a.m .: The Russian offensive in Donbass is well behind schedule by the British Ministry of Defense. “Despite initial minor advances, Russia has failed to make significant territorial gains in recent months while attrition has remained consistently high,” the ministry wrote on Twitter on Sunday morning.
Russia has now probably lost a third of the ground forces deployed in February. These delays will almost certainly be exacerbated by the loss of critical assets such as bridging equipment and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance drones, it said.
“Russian forces are increasingly being constrained by weaker capabilities, persistently low morale and reduced combat effectiveness.” Many of these capabilities could not be quickly replaced or restored and would likely continue to hamper Russian operations in Ukraine given the current conditions, Russia is unlikely to drastically increase its rate of advance over the next 30 days.”
8:07 a.m .: According to Ukrainian authorities, there was a rocket attack in the Lviv region on Sunday morning. As the governor, Maxim Kosizki, reports on Telegram, parts of the military infrastructure were hit. It is still unclear whether people were 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.
You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.