Good morning, Kyiv Post readers. Here’s your Morning Memo for May 15 to get you up to speed on events in Ukraine:

Latest Headlines

President Zelensky visited the leaders of Italy, Germany, and France, as well as the Pope, and secured new military commitments. At a news conference in Germany, he said what’s needed before the start of Ukraine’s counteroffensive are “a few more meetings.”

Russia’s battlefield situation appeared to be deteriorating. Over the weekend, this included: self-inflicted destruction of five aircraft and nine pilots; Ukrainian troops apparently took 10 positions in the northern and southern outskirts of Bakhmut; the combat deaths of two high-ranking battlefield commanders, and; the destruction of supply facilities in occupied Luhansk.

Five Ukrainian civilians died when a mine blew up at an agricultural facility in Mykolayiv oblast; three people were killed and 13 wounded in Russian artillery and rocket attacks across Kherson, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, and Donetsk oblasts. A Russian missile attack destroyed an industrial facility and hit targets in Khmelnitsky and Ternopil, both in western Ukraine.

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Rumors swirl over health of Lukashenko. A Russian politician has confirmed that Alexander Lukashenko is ill but played down how sick the Belarus dictator is, saying “he needs some rest, that's all.”

Military Situation Report

The UK Ministry for Defence on May 14 issued an Intelligence Update that described the diminished capacity of Russian forces in Ukraine.

Why Russia Cannot be Allowed to Win Against Ukraine
Other Topics of Interest

Why Russia Cannot be Allowed to Win Against Ukraine

“There is a war going on in Ukraine for the future of the whole of Europe:” Finnish Defense Minister, Antti Häkkänen, Dec. 24, 2023

The May 14 campaign assessment from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) had the following key take-aways:

·      Russian forces conducted another series of Shahed drone and missile strikes against Ukraine on the night of May 13 to 14;

·      Increasingly regular series of Russian drone and missile strikes are likely a part of a new Russian air campaign in Ukraine aimed at degrading Ukrainian abilities to conduct counteroffensive offensive operations in the near term, and;

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·      Ukrainian forces continued counterattacking around Bakhmut on May 14.

The update at 0600 on May 15 for the last 24 hours from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports:

·      11 Russian rocket attacks particularly on Kharkiv, Konstantinivka and Zolochiv;

·      41 Russian airborne assaults;

·      Russian artillery and mortar attacks took place in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, Zaporizhya, and Kherson oblasts, with some 40 population centres targeted in the two southern regions;

·      46 combat incidents particularly in the Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinksky areas, and;

·      17 air raids were conducted by the Ukrainian Air Force, which appears to be a continual increase.

President Zelensky’s Message

Quote of the Day

Russia can lose without being cornered. It has 11 time zones of space for retreating soldiers and plenty of practice in propaganda refashioning. Indeed, Russian leaders have already indicated what they will do if they believe that they are losing: change the terms of reference and change the subject in Russian media.

Professor Timothy Snyder, New York Times

Infographic of the Day

Today’s infographic from UA War Infographics and Top Lead shows the declining number of international leaders who participate in Russia’s Victory Day Parades in Moscow.

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