Good morning from Kyiv. It was a noisy night here in the capital with air raid sirens sounding just after 3:30 a.m. and later, a series of explosions as Ukraine’s air defenses fended off yet another Russian missile attack.
According to authorities, Russia launched 18 missiles from strategic aviation planes, 15 of which were shot down.
All those directed at Kyiv were intercepted in what is the second such attack in three days.
“According to (preliminary information), no casualties among the civilian population and no destruction of residential facilities or infrastructure have been recorded,” city officials wrote on Telegram.
The city of Pavlohrad in the Dnipropetrovsk region was less fortunate with missiles injuring 25 people including three children.
❗️At night, the Russians attacked the city of #Pavlohrad in the #Dnipropetrovsk Region with missiles— KyivPost (@KyivPost) May 1, 2023
25 people were injured, including 3 children. 19 high-rise buildings and 25 private houses were damaged, the head of the RMA, Serhii Lysak, reported.
📷: Telegram / Serhii Lysak pic.twitter.com/xHz9LAZQH1
What’s happening today?
Elsewhere in the ongoing conflict, it was a busy weekend and Ukraine has not-so-subtly hinted that a huge blaze in Russian-occupied Crimea was part of Kyiv’s preparations for the expected counteroffensive.
While not directly admitting responsibility for the attack, Natalia Humeniuk, the spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern command, said on Sunday evening that the massive blaze destroyed 10 oil tanks with a capacity of some 40,000 tons.
“The fact that the enemy’s logistics are undermined... this work is preparatory for the broad, full-scale offensive, which everyone expects,” she told national television on Sunday.
She said such moves are causing “anxiety” in Russia’s military command. You can read more about that story here.
Today is also Labour Day in Ukraine which, until 2017, was known as “Day of International Solidarity of Workers”, a holiday founded under the USSR.
The name was changed under Ukraine's recent and expansive decommunisaiton drive and today is far less about left-wing poltiical leanings and far more about marking the hopefully spring-like weather by planting at dachs and grilling shashlik in the open air.
What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?
During his daily address on Sunday evening, President Zelensky hailed a call he held that day with French President Emmanuel Macron, saying: "We are coordinating our positions to give even more strength to our soldiers and to speed up the end of the war with our victory.
"I am grateful to France and to Emmanuel personally for supporting our country and our people. Now, in this conversation, Mr. President has confirmed the supply of exactly what I mentioned in the previous conversation.
"The speed and specificity of the response is very important, it is something that greatly enhances our capabilities. Thank you for this arms package!
Zelensky also marked the “professional day of our border guards in Ukraine,” noting that these units were “the first to face the occupier in the east.”
Looking to the future, he added: “The day will surely come when Ukrainian border control for passengers at the international airports of our Donetsk and Simferopol will once again be quite commonplace.”
Zelensky also once again thanked Ukraine’s international allies, saying: “Following this week, I would like to especially thank our partners from Denmark for Caesars; Slovenia for armored vehicles; Spain for tanks; and Germany for additional defense intentions regarding armored vehicles and shells, and for air defense.
“I am grateful to America for funding in the amount of $1.25 billion to support our budget and resilience.”
What’s the latest military situation?
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) update on May 1 focuses on Russia’s defensive preparations which it says are “some of the most extensive systems of military defensive works seen anywhere in the world for many decades.”
The MoD adds: “Imagery shows that Russia has made a particular effort to fortify the northern border of occupied Crimea, including with a multi-layered defensive zone near the village of Medvedevka.
“Russia has also dug hundreds of miles of trenches well inside internationally recognized Russian territory including in the Belgorod and Kursk regions.
“The defenses highlight Russian leaders’ deep concern that Ukraine could achieve a major breakthrough. However, some works have likely been ordered by local commanders and civil leaders in attempts to promote the official narrative that Russia is ‘threatened’ by Ukraine and NATO.”
The Institute for the Study of War’s April 30 daily assessment is a special report detailing “changes in the Russian military command since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.”
It notes among other things:
· Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reluctance to appoint an overall theater commander for his invasion of Ukraine has had cascading effects on the Russian military including fueling intense factionalization, disorganizing command structures, and feeding unattainable expectations.
· The widespread failures of the Russian winter-spring offensive likely prompted Putin to divide responsibility for operations in Ukraine equally between the two factions in the MoD ahead of an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive.
· Putin’s affinity for rotating personnel and not outright dismissing commanders is emblematic of his style of domestic rule, a style of leadership not well suited for leading a military engaged in a costly war.
And that’s it for today’s Morning Memo.
Kyiv Post will bring you the latest news throughout the day and we’ll be back with another edition tomorrow.
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