Good morning, Kyiv Post readers. Here’s your Morning Memo for May 18 to get you up to speed on events in Ukraine:

·      Latest Headlines

·      Military Situation Report

·      President Zelensky’s Message of the Day

·      FYI Kyiv Locals

·      Quote of the Day

·      Infographic of the Day

Latest Headlines

At the 11th hour to its expiration, the Black Sea Grain Initiative has been extended for another two months, Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced late yesterday.

Ukraine will not accept any “peace proposals” involving the loss of its territories or the “freezing” of the war, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told visiting Chinese Special Envoy Li Hui.

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Using long-range bombers, Russia launched another overnight missile assault against Ukraine. One person was killed and two injured in Odesa. Ukraine reportedly neutralized all incoming missiles against Kyiv.

Falling debris from destroyed missiles caused fires in Kyiv, but no injuries. It was the ninth attack on Kyiv during May and was described as “unprecedented in power, intensity and variety” by local officials.

“Minor” is the damage to a Ukrainian-operated Patriot air defense system following a Russian missile attack near Kyiv on May 16, according to three cited US officials. The system continues to function and does not have to be moved for repairs, officials said.

A New Phase in Arms Production: from American Warehouses to Ukrainian Factories
Other Topics of Interest

A New Phase in Arms Production: from American Warehouses to Ukrainian Factories

In response to Russia's armed aggression Ukraine, once the world's breadbasket, has had to focus more on reinforcing it military arsenal along with most countries in the West.

G7 leaders arrive today in Hiroshima, Japan to discuss the war on Ukraine and consider tighter sanctions on Russia. The US is likely to present a new sanctions package focused on enforcement.

Hungary will block the next tranche of EUR 500 million of EU military support for Ukraine and any new package of sanctions against Russia unless Kyiv removes Hungarian bank OTP from the list of sanctioned war sponsors, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó said. He also accused Ukraine of wanting to blow up an oil pipeline and being “increasingly hostile to Hungary.”

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With Ukraine high on the agenda, the Council of Europe “heads of state” summit finished in Iceland. It decided to: support President Zelensky’s 10-Point Peace Plan; acknowledge progress in creating a Special Tribunal for Russian accountability; create a Register of Damages as the first part of a compensation mechanism for Ukraine from Russian aggression; and, call for the release of Ukrainian civilians held by Russia, especially deported children.

Military Situation Report

More than 200,000 Russians have now been killed-in-action during the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Western intelligence estimates are lower.

The May 17 campaign assessment from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) had the following key take-away:

·      Russian and Ukrainian officials acknowledged continued limited Ukrainian counterattacks near Bakhmut on May 17. Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces spokesperson Colonel Serhiy Cherevaty stated that Ukrainian forces advanced up to 500 meters in the Bakhmut direction and continue to attack Russian flanks. The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that Russian Airborne Forces made marginal advances, but acknowledged continued Ukrainian counterattacks against Bakhmut’s flanks near Bohdanivka (5km northwest of Bakhmut) and Ivanivske (6km west of Bakhmut).

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The update at 0600 on May 17 for the last 24 hours from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports:

·      Prior to the early morning nation-wide attack, 15 Russian missile and rocket attacks, primarily against Bakhmut, Kherson and Odesa. One fatality occurred in Odesa. 

·      42 Russian air raids;

·      36 combat engagements in Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka areas;

·      Russian artillery and mortar fire at population settlements in Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Sumy, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia (20 sites), and Kherson oblasts, including the city of Kherson;

·      Ukrainian air forces undertook 20 air raids, including 8 versus Russian missile and rocket systems.

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President Zelensky’s Message

New attacks on Sumy, Chernihiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia and Donbas Oblasts… all this proves again and again that we need even more consolidation of the world to put pressure on Russia. Even more strength for our soldiers to destroy every position of terrorists, and even more support for our people to save lives and restore security to our cities and villages.” – Volodymyr Zelensky during his nightly televised address

FYI Kyiv Locals

A new floral panno (flower-bed art) of more than 60 square meters is being installed in the Dnipro district called “Girl Stepping Toward Victory.”

Quote of the Day

“The Ukrainian people are demanding accountability for Russia’s war crimes…It is important for Ukrainians today because the prospect of accountability can already deter Russian soldiers from committing new war crimes. But it is also important for the future because only justice can be the foundation for lasting peace in Ukraine.” – Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission at the Council of Europe summit

Infographic of the Day

Today’s infographic from TopLead compares Russia’s war losses – as claimed by the Ukrainian armed forces – to the size of the different countries’ armies. Western intelligence estimates lower figures for Russian casualties.

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