According to British intelligence, Russia is using 50-year-old T-62 tanks for aggressive war in southern Ukraine. The Ukrainian army in eastern Ukraine is still under massive pressure from the Russian army. You can find all the news about the attack on Ukraine in the ticker.
8:10 a.m.: According to the UN, around 4,000 civilians have died in Ukraine since the beginning of the war. Accordingly, at least 3942 civilians were killed. Another 4,591 people were injured, according to the UN Human Rights Office. The actual number of civilians killed is in all probability much higher, since reports from the contested areas only arrive with delays.
7.50 a.m .: In its daily intelligence update, the British Ministry of Defense announced that the Russian unit SGF (Southern Grouping of Forces) will probably remain in southern Ukraine. According to their information, Russia is said to have brought 50-year-old T-62 tanks from Russia to the areas where the SGF is stationed.
According to British intelligence, the T-62 tank is particularly vulnerable to anti-tank weapons. The deployment of the 50-year-old tank “shows Russia’s lack of modern and combat-ready equipment,” the intelligence agency writes.
Friday, May 27, 3:13 a.m.: The Ukrainian army is under heavy pressure in the far east of its front.
Read here what new attack strategy Russia is using in Donbass: Territorial gains in Donbass – military experts dissect Russian strategy change: “No breakthrough so far”
10:26 p.m .: In the Russian North Caucasus, 115 national guards have refused to be deployed in the war against Ukraine. However, this earned them a dismissal, which was declared lawful by a military court, according to information on Thursday. This was reported by the Interfax agency from Nalchik, the capital of the Kabardino-Balkaria republic.
The National Guards reportedly refused to obey orders and returned to their barracks. When their contracts were subsequently terminated, they sued, but lost the case. The verdict is not yet legally binding.
According to media reports, 15 members of the OMON police unit have also lost their jobs in the southern Russian region of Krasnodar. They had been on an exercise in Crimea in February and had refused to be used in the war against Ukraine.
In addition to the regular army, the Russian leadership is also sending units of the National Guard into the “military special operation”, as the war is officially called. In all units there is a high proportion of young men from the particularly poor regions of Russia. This also includes Kabardino-Balkaria and Dagestan in the Caucasus or Buryatia in Siberia. For these men, the army or the police are often the only prospect of a job. According to experts, these peripheral republics are also disproportionately affected by the number of Russian dead and wounded in the Ukraine war.
6:01 p.m .: According to local authorities, at least seven people were killed in attacks by the Russian army in the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine. Another 17 people were injured, Ukrainian regional commander Oleg Sinegubov said on Thursday, according to a report by the online newspaper Ukrajinska Pravda. “The enemy is cowardly shelling Kharkiv,” he said. Sinegubov called on people not to take to the streets without need and to go to the bomb shelters in the event of an air raid.
There is heavy fighting in the region, he said. The enemy had to accept numerous casualties. This information could not initially be verified by an independent party.
2:16 p.m .: According to the Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister, Russia is moving its infamous Iskander missiles to the Belarusian city of Brest. From there they could reach destinations in western Ukraine.
12:26 p.m .: Ukraine’s problems in Donbass are getting worse. Zelenskyy’s adviser Oleksiy Arestovych expressed concern on TV because the Ukrainian troops are losing speed: “We have now lost to the Russian army in terms of speed. The Russian side managed to accumulate their reserves in front of us.”
But that is not the only thing causing problems for the Ukrainians. In contrast to the first weeks of the war, society is now splitting further and further. He expects an increasing burden on the people and also assumes that there could be power struggles.
8:23 a.m .: Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov warned of an attack on Poland via Telegram. “The issue of Ukraine is already closed. I’m more interested in Poland,” he said, “should there be an order, we’ll show that we’re ready in six seconds.”
Kadyrov, also known as “Putin’s bloodhound”, claims to have supported the Russian army in Ukraine with his units since the beginning of the war. His men are considered particularly brutal. However, it is unclear whether and how Kadyrov is really involved in the Russian attacks.
7.30 a.m .: According to British military intelligence, the Russian Air Force is partly responsible for some tactical errors and failures. For example, the attempt to take Kyiv via the military airport in Hostomel or the recent defeat on the Siverski River.
“The failures demonstrate strategic mismanagement and Russia’s failure to ensure air superiority,” Thursday’s Intelligence Update said.
10:49 p.m .: In the embattled city of Lysychansk in eastern Ukraine, the local police buried at least 150 people in a mass grave. This was announced by the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajday, on his Telegram channel on Wednesday. In an emergency, the police have to take on many tasks, including those of undertakers, he wrote.
Victims of the Russian shelling were buried in the grave, as well as people who died of natural causes. Video showed the bodies being thrown into a pit in white bags, each labeled with their name. After the war the dead should be properly buried, the governor promised.
Hajdaj said that 95 percent of the eastern Ukrainian administrative region of Luhansk was occupied by Russian troops. The situation is “extremely bad”. The cities of Sievjerodonzek and Lysychansk, which used to have 100,000 inhabitants each, are still in Ukrainian hands, but have been under heavy fire for days. Hajdaj said there were only about 40,000 civilians left in the region, and hardly anyone wanted to leave.
8:42 p.m .: According to the Kiev general staff, the heavy Russian shelling of the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievjerodonetsk continued throughout Wednesday. The Ukrainian military leadership said the city and nearby towns would be attacked with artillery and from the air.
Sieverodonetsk and neighboring Lysychansk are the last major cities still held by Ukrainian troops in the Luhansk Oblast. Russia wants to completely conquer the area in order to add it to the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic. Moscow had recognized this as an independent state a few days before the attack on Ukraine – just like the People’s Republic of Donetsk.
The Ukrainian General Staff also reported attacks on the towns of Berestove, Lypove and Nyrkove. These are behind the Ukrainian defenders on the strategically important road to Bakhmut. It was said that the attacks had been repelled. However, the information was initially not verifiable. Foreign observers fear several Ukrainian brigades could be encircled in Sieverodonetsk.
“In some directions, the Russian groups undoubtedly have tactical successes, that’s basically no secret,” Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motusianyk said in Kyiv. But it is not correct to speak of a Ukrainian withdrawal. The Ukrainian army is trying to to improve their position and then attack again.” There are many settlements in the area that go from hand to hand. The situation is very dynamic.”
3:34 p.m .: In a simplified procedure, the residents of the Zaporizhia and Cherson regions in southern Ukraine should be able to apply for Russian passports. Russian head of state Vladimir Putin signed a corresponding decree on Wednesday. The pro-Russian officials newly appointed in the areas have already expressed their wish for the regions to be annexed to Russia.
Applicants do not have to have lived in Russia, prove sufficient financial means or pass a Russian language test.
A similar presidential decree has also applied to residents of the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine since 2019. Hundreds of thousands of residents of these regions have already received Russian passports.
8:07 a.m .: According to information from Kyiv, Russian troops have gone on the offensive in eastern Ukraine and are fighting heavy battles for the city of Sievjerodonetsk. “With the help of artillery support, the Russian occupiers are launching an attack on the village of Sieverodonetsk, fighting continues,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in its situation report on Wednesday morning.
In addition to Sievjerodonetsk, the nearby town of Lyman is also a target of the Russian attacks. Here, too, the ground offensive is supported by airstrikes and artillery. In addition, the General Staff reported fighting from the Bakhmut area southwest of Sievjerodonetsk. Russian troops attacked the villages of Komyschuvahka, Jakowliwka and Troitzke, but retreated again after losses. In the Avdiivka area there was continuous artillery fire on the defenders’ positions.
According to the situation report, it was quieter on other front sections. North of Kharkiv there were only isolated skirmishes around the town of Ternowo. In the Sloviansk area, which is considered a strategic Russian target, only a few unsuccessful attempts were made to attack. There is no major fighting in southern Ukraine.
6:27 a.m .: According to the authorities, the city of Zaporizhia in eastern Ukraine was hit by several rockets early on Wednesday morning. “Today, May 25, at 05:13, Russian forces fired four ballistic missiles at Zaporizhia,” the oblast administration announced on its Telegram channel. The “Kyiv Independent” also reports that there was an air alert at around 3:20 a.m.
One of the missiles was intercepted by air defenses. The rescue workers are on site to get an idea of the situation, the damage and possible victims of the attack.
Meanwhile, the military experts at the US war research institute Institute for the Study of War (ISW) report in their latest analysis of Ukraine that the Russian military is concentrating forces from different directions in the heavily contested Luhansk region. The reserves needed for an offensive would be withdrawn from the areas around Kharkiv, Izyum, Donetsk and Zaporizhia. In the last week, the Russian troops in the Luhansk region managed to gain more territory than in the whole of May, the analysts said.
In the region, Russian troops and their pro-Russian separatist allies now control 90 percent of the territory. The Ukrainian military holds the agglomeration between the cities of Sieverodonetsk and Lysychansk – both cities were major cities before the war. According to the ISW analysis, Moscow’s intention is to encircle several small Ukrainian units in the area at the same time. However, despite the progress made, the Russians have not yet achieved a “major breakthrough”.
You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.