Good morning, Kyiv Post readers. Here’s your Morning Memo for May 19 to get you up to speed on events in Ukraine:

Latest Headlines

Tougher sanctions against Russia and their enforcement are likely to be adopted by the G7 Leaders’ Summit starting in Japan today. According to The New York Times, President Zelensky will attend the event.

Ukrainian-operated Patriot air defense system is repaired and working, said a Pentagon spokesperson yesterday. Russia had claimed it was destroyed.

A nation-wide wave of Russian long-range weapons again targeted Ukraine last night. Explosions were reported last night in Kyiv, Lviv, Kryviy Rih, Chernihiv, Mykolayiv, Rivne, and Dnipro. Authorities reported that all objects aimed at Kyiv were destroyed. On a national basis, authorities said they destroyed 3 of 6 ballistic missiles and 16 of 26 Shahed drones fired by Russia. It was the 10th attack during May.

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Ukraine has the “necessary means” for liberating Russian occupied territories, according to NATO’s leader. At a Portugal news briefing yesterday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said the NATO Summit in July in Vilnius, Lithuania will likely adopt a “new strategic multi-year program of assistance to Kyiv.”

The Biden administration will allow European allies to export F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, according to CNN. This comes as President Volodymyr Zelensky continues to advocate for a “jet coalition” to improve Ukraine’s air defenses.

Russia 'Bogged Down' in Battle for Border Town, Ukraine's Army Chief Says
Other Topics of Interest

Russia 'Bogged Down' in Battle for Border Town, Ukraine's Army Chief Says

Kyiv has been battling a Russian land assault on its northeastern Kharkiv region since May 10, when thousands of troops stormed the border, making their biggest territorial advances in 18 months.

Military Situation Report

The May 18 campaign assessment from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) had the following key take-aways focused on Bakhmut:

·      Ukrainian forces have made tactically significant gains around Bakhmut in counter-attack operations on May 18. These operations continue localized counter-attacks Ukrainian forces have been conducting for some days and do not reflect a start of a major new operation.

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·      Multiple Russian milbloggers claimed Ukrainian forces drove through Russian defensive lines 6km west and 6km southwest of Bakhmut. The milbloggers also claimed Russian forces retreated from positions north of Sakko i Vantsetti (15km north of Bakhmut).

·      Wagner Group’s Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed Russian forces yielded 570 meters of territory north of Bakhmut, which is consistent with Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar’s statement that Ukrainian forces had advanced 500 meters north of Bakhmut, as well as 1,000 meters south of Bakhmut.

The update at 06:00 on May 18 for the last 24 hours from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports:

·      39 Russian rocket/missile attacks;

·      39 Russian air raids;

·      29 combat engagements during continued fighting focused on Bahkmut and Mariinka in the Donetsk region;

·      Russian artillery, mortar and airborne fire in the following regions: Chernihiv (one population settlement); Kharkiv (16); Sumy (six); Luhansk (three); Donetsk (24); Zaporizhya (nine), and the city of Kherson. One civilian was killed and two injured in Kharkiv oblast.

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·      Ukrainian air forces undertook seven raids against Russian positions.

President Zelensky’s Message

“Our entire Ukrainian family today honors the memory of the victims of the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people. The people against whom the crime of genocide was committed seventy-nine years ago. Hundreds of thousands of people were exiled to a foreign land… Everyone in Ukraine now recognizes this evil. Years later, having changed its symbols but not the essence of evil, evil returned.” - Volodymyr Zelensky during his nightly televised address, May 18.

FYI Kyiv Locals

Get ready for more changed Metro and street names. “City Hall” yesterday decided to de-Russify a further 26 objects.

“Ukrainian Heroes” will be the new name of Lev Tolstoy Ploshcha Metro station; “Zvirnetska” will be the new name of Druzhba Narodiv Metro station.

The full list of changes is available here.

Quote of the Day

Since the beginning of Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine, NATO member countries have provided an unprecedented level of support. And, I am sure that the Ukrainian troops have all the means necessary to regain the occupied lands… I welcome recent statements by Alliance members about providing cruise missiles and training Ukrainian pilots to use Western fighters.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, May 18.
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