Good morning, Kyiv Post readers. Here’s your Morning Memo for May 12 to get you up to speed on events in Ukraine:

Latest Headlines

1.     Ukraine will receive 31 Abrams tanks from the US by the beginning of autumn.

That’s what US Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, said during Senate testimony yesterday, and added that the tank delivery is scheduled to coincide with the completion of tank training currently being undertaken by Ukrainian crews.

We are doing everything we can to expedite the delivery of these tanks,” Austin said in response to a question during a Senate Intelligence Committee briefing.

The tanks were originally pledged by US President Joe Biden in January 2023, but are unlikely to feature in Ukraine’s pending counteroffensive. And, they’re different tanks.

2.     Ukraine’s law-and-order system is to be fully reformed.

This was announced by President Volodymyr Zelensky during his nightly address yesterday. The reform is a pre-requisite for Ukraine to receive full European Union membership – or even timetable for talks.

The announcement came two days after a visit to Kyiv by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who subsequently said “Work needs to continue.”

However, no details of the “comprehensive strategic plan” have been released thus far.

Military Situation Repor 

The May 11 daily assessment from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) says:

EXPLAINED: How Ukraine Could Soon Achieve a ‘Significant Breakthrough’ in the South
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EXPLAINED: How Ukraine Could Soon Achieve a ‘Significant Breakthrough’ in the South

Western analysts have outlined three factors that need to hold true for Ukraine’s troops to make further progress in the south. Meanwhile, Russian sources sound more than a bit flustered.

·      Ukrainian forces likely did break through some Russian lines in localized counterattacks near Bakhmut, prompting responses from Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).

·      The deployment of low-quality Russian forces on the flanks around Bakhmut suggests that the Russian MoD has largely abandoned its aim of encircling a significant number of Ukrainian forces there.

·      President Zelensky stated that Ukraine needs more time to launch a counteroffensive because it is waiting for the delivery of promised military aid.

·      Unnamed Kremlin sources claimed that Prigozhin’s recent rhetoric is “seriously disturbing the top leadership” of Russia.

·      Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks northeast of Kupyansk and along the Svatove-Kreminna line.

·      Ukrainian forces reportedly continued to conduct localized counterattacks around Bakhmut.

·      Russian forces targeted Ukrainian positions west of Huliaipole and in Kherson region.

·      Russia needs to produce over 29 million shells per year to satisfy Prigozhin’s demands for Wagner to use 80,000 shells per day – 13 times more than Russia’s pre-invasion annual production rate.

·      Russian officials continue to risk international humanitarian efforts by threatening to dissolve the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which is set to expire on May 18.

The May 12 Situation Update (via Facebook) from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine says:

·       Russian forces launched six missile attacks, in particular on the cities of Slovyansk, Kostyantynivka, and Zaporizhzhia.

·       Russian forces undertook 59 air strikes and 95 MLRS attacks on the positions of Ukrainian troops and various settlements.

·       Russian forces continue to focus their main efforts on Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Mar’inka axes, with 44 enemy attacks repelled. The fiercest fighting is for the cities of Bakhmut and Mar’inka.

·       There were more than 60 Russian air strikes, artillery or mortar, barrages or infantry assaults across Chernihiv, Sumy, Luhansk, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson and Kharkiv oblast (with more than 20 targeting the latter).

President Zelensky’s Non-Message to Eurovision

Eurovision organizers have said that Zelensky will not be allowed to address the final of the song contest this coming Saturday. The statement of the European Broadcasting Union refers to “strict rules” that prohibit “political or similar statements.”

The event is being held this year in the English city of Liverpool, in lieu of Kyiv following Ukraine’s win last year.

Quote of the Day

Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov yesterday tweeted the following:

Infographic of the Day

Today’s infographic shows a massive improvement in Ukraine’s air defenses since October 2022. It has been provided by UA War Infographics and produced by Top Lead.

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