The Russian army is reacting to a NATO exercise in the Baltic Sea with military maneuvers. Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops are reporting a success against the Russian fleet in the Black Sea – and also their own air raids against the Russian soldiers in the south. All news about the attack on Ukraine can be found here in the ticker.
Wednesday, 07:02: Russia’s only aircraft carrier is still not operational. As the Russian news agency “Tass” reports, according to “Reuters”, the “Admiral Kuznetsov” suffered another setback in repair work and will not return to active service before 2024. Last year, the planned return had to be postponed from 2021 to 2023.
11:32 p.m .: In the contested eastern Ukraine, Russian troops have not yet achieved a breakthrough, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “The situation at the front has not undergone any significant changes in the last 24 hours,” said Zelenskyy in his daily video message on Tuesday evening. “The extremely heroic defense of Donbass continues.”
The fiercest fighting continued for Sieverodonetsk, Lysychansk and Popasna. “It can be felt that the occupiers did not believe that the resistance would be so strong,” said the President. Russia is now trying to deploy additional units in the Donbass, but also in the southern Ukrainian region of Cherson, in order to stop Ukrainian counterattacks.
“But what’s the point? One way or another, the majority of the occupying forces have long since realized that they have no prospects in Ukraine,” said Zelenskyy. Since the start of the Russian attack, more than 31,000 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine. “Since February 24 Russia is paying for its absolutely senseless war against Ukraine with more than 300 of its soldiers every day.And the day will come when the number of casualties will exceed the limits of what is permissible even for Russia.”
8:16 p.m .: According to the operator, hundreds of civilians have sought refuge in a chemical plant in the fiercely contested city of Sievjerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine. About 800 people are currently staying there, according to the company website on Tuesday. Among those seeking protection are 200 factory workers and 600 residents of the city.
The workers stayed at the factory to secure the remaining portion of the “highly explosive chemicals,” a lawyer for businessman Dmytro Firtash, whose group operates the plant, said on the website. The Ukrainian presidency initially did not confirm the information when asked by AFP.
Ukrainian soldiers and Russian troops continued to fight bitterly in the streets of Sieverodonetsk on Tuesday. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in Moscow that the Russian armed forces had taken complete control of the residential areas of the strategically important city. The city’s mayor had previously said the situation was changing “every hour”.
8:07 p.m .: According to official information, at least three people were killed and six others injured by Russian fire in the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine. Russian troops fired on Kharkiv and several villages, regional governor Oleh Synyehubov said on Tuesday evening on the Telegram news channel. “The enemy is unable to break the resistance of our defenders. Instead, the occupiers use terror by firing on unarmed people.”
In the city of Bashtanka in the southern Ukrainian region of Mykolayiv, two people were killed and three injured in Russian rocket attacks, the general prosecutor’s office said. According to reports from eyewitnesses, there were violent detonations in the regional capital of Mykolaiv itself, Ukrainian media reported.
Casualties were also reported from the area controlled by pro-Russian separatists. Representatives of the self-proclaimed “Luhansk People’s Republic” said a man around 70 years old was killed in Ukrainian attacks near the front line in the town of Pervomaysk. Tens of thousands of people were temporarily without power because of the shelling.
4:11 p.m .: According to the United Nations, at least 4,253 civilians have been killed since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. At least 5,141 other civilians were injured, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Tuesday. According to the information, 272 children are among those killed. Another 433 girls and boys were injured. The actual number of civilians killed and injured is likely to be much higher, it said.
Most civilians were killed or injured when fired on from a wide radius by explosive weapons such as artillery and rocket launchers. In addition, civilians were hit in airstrikes. According to the High Commissioner, the targeted shelling of residential areas and civilians is a war crime.
2:54 p.m .: According to Moscow’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Russia has taken almost 6,500 Ukrainian soldiers captive. The number is 6,489, after 126 members of the Ukrainian armed forces had surrendered in the past few days, Shoigu said on Tuesday about the preliminary results of the military special operation, as the war is officially called in Moscow. According to the minister, around 50 units of foreign military equipment, including armored vehicles and howitzers, have also been destroyed in the past ten days. The information could not be verified by an independent party.
Regarding the situation in the embattled city of Sievjerodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, Shoigu said that all residential areas there were under Russian control. Bloody street fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops has been going on for days in the administrative center of the Luhansk region. Now it is about taking the industrial zone in the city and the surrounding villages, said the minister.
Overall, 97 percent of the Luhansk region is now under Russian control, Shoigu said. The complete capture of the Luhansk region and the Donetsk region was repeatedly mentioned as the main goal of the war. In the Donetsk region, the cities of Sviatohirsk and Lyman and 15 other towns were taken, Shoigu said. In Sviatohirsk is the arch monastery of the Dormition, which was also recently shot at, and which is one of the most important sanctuaries of Russian Orthodoxy. Moscow’s Defense Ministry has again denied Ukraine’s allegations that Russian troops shelled the religious site.
11.45 a.m .: In parallel to a NATO maneuver in the Baltic Sea, Russia has started its own major military exercise of its Baltic Fleet. More than 20 warships and boats are involved in the exercise, the Russian military said on Tuesday, according to a report by the Interfax news agency. In addition to corvettes and frigates, these also include missile boats, submarine destroyers and landing craft. The squadron also includes anti-submarine aircraft of the type Il-38 and attack helicopters.
According to the Russian military, these are planned combat exercises. Nevertheless, the timing is piquant: The NATO maneuver “Baltops 2022” with 45 ships under the leadership of the US Navy is still running in the Baltic Sea until the middle of the month. 45 ships are involved in the exercise.
The activity of Russian troops in the Baltic Sea region has increased noticeably. At the beginning of May, the Russian army held major military maneuvers in the Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad, simulating the launching of Iskander missiles. The short-range missiles with an official range of up to 500 kilometers can be equipped with both conventional and nuclear warheads. In April, the Russian Ministry of Defense launched a multi-week exercise to check the operational readiness of the Baltic Fleet.
Since the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, tensions have also grown in the Baltic region. Sweden and Finland have applied to join NATO. High-ranking Russian politicians such as former President Dmitry Medvedev threatened to station nuclear weapons in the Baltic region.
You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.