Key Takeaways

  • Ukrainian forces continue to counterattack in the Bakhmut area amid unconfirmed claims of further marginal Ukrainian gains southwest of the city as of May 13.
  • Russian forces conducted a Shahed-131/136 drone strike against Ukraine on the night of May 12 to 13.
  •  Russian media reported that two Russian Mi-8 helicopters, an Su-34 bomber, and an Su-35 fighter crashed in Bryansk Oblast on May 13, which some Russian sources claimed was caused by Ukrainian air defenses.
  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces struck rear Russian areas in Luhansk Oblast with British Storm Shadow cruise missiles on May 12 and 13, prompting heightened Russian anxiety about potential Ukrainian abilities to target Russian logistics.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin’s insistence on conducting the war in Ukraine in the style of the “Great Patriotic Special Military Operation” has opened the door for several hardline actors to advocate for the institutionalization of increasingly Stalinist domestic policies.
  • Former Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Sergey Avakyants reportedly received an appointment to lead a new Russian force generation organization called “Voin” (“Warrior”), which reportedly replaced Russia’s legacy Russian Volunteer Society for Assistance to the Army, Aviation, and Navy of Russia (DOSAAF).
  • Belarusian President Lukashenko was reportedly hospitalized at a presidential hospital in Minsk on May 13.
  • Russian forces continued limited ground attacks northeast of Kupyansk and northwest of Svatove.
  • Russian forces made marginal gains within Bakhmut and continued limited offensive operations along the Avdiivka-Donetsk front.
  • Russian forces targeted Ukrainian positions in southern Ukraine west of Hulyaipole.
  • Russian forces are reportedly replenishing units with mobilized personnel.
  • Russian authorities continue efforts to deport Ukrainian children to Russia under the guise of “rest and relaxation” schemes.

Authors: Riley Bailey, Karolina Hird, Nicole Wolkov, George Barros, and Frederick W. Kagan.

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