Good morning, Kyiv Post readers. Here’s your Morning Memo for May 22 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

Latest Headlines

The situation at Bakhmut remains contested. While Russian forces appear to control the majority of the administrative lines of the city, Ukrainian forces appear to be making progress on its outskirts. Ukraine’s senior infantry commander visited the battlefield yesterday and said that his forces “continue offensive actions on the flanks near Bakhmut” and that “this will give us the opportunity to enter the city when the operational situation at the front changes.”

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A further tranche of $375 million in US military aid for Ukraine was announced after Presidents Biden and Zelensky met at the G7 Summit in Hiroshima. The package includes: ammunition for HIMARS;155mm and 105mm artillery rounds; TOW missiles; Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems, and; armored bridging systems.

A further wave of Russian long-range weapons again targeted Ukraine last night. Explosions were reported last night in Odesa, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, and Dnipro. Russian forces used a combination of Iranian Shahed drones and long-range missiles launched from TU-95 bombers based near the Caspian Sea.

Why Russia Cannot be Allowed to Win Against Ukraine
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Why Russia Cannot be Allowed to Win Against Ukraine

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Extensive Russian anti-tank and anti-infantry fortifications in western Crimea and on routes to Melitopol and Mariupol have been revealed by BBC analysis of satellite photography.

Military Situation Report

The May 22 campaign assessment from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) had the following key take-aways focused on Bakhmut:

·      Wagner Group mercenaries have likely secured the western administrative borders of Bakhmut city while Ukrainian forces are continuing to prioritize counterattacks on Bakhmut’s outskirts.

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·      Ukrainian military sources reported that Russian forces lost part of the dominant heights around Bakhmut and noted that sustained Ukrainian advances could lead to a tactical encirclement of Wagner forces in Bakhmut.

·      The Ukrainian 3rd Separate Assault Brigade stated on May 20 that their counterattacks have expanded the Ukrainian salient in the Bakhmut area to 1,750 meters wide by 700 meters deep in an unspecified area.

·      Wagner’s offensive operations would likely culminate after months of attritional urban combat, and it is unlikely that Wagner, in its current depleted state, will continue fighting beyond Bakhmut.

The update at 06:00 on May 22 (Day 453) for the last 24 hours from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports:

·       6 Russian missile attacks – prior to the overnight assault;

·       52 Russian air raids;

·      65 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) attacks;

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·      37 combat engagements during continued fighting, especially around Bahkmut and Mariinka in the Donetsk region;

·      Russian artillery, mortar and airborne fire in the following oblasts: Chernihiv (1); Kharkiv (21); Sumy (7); Luhansk (5); Donetsk (31); Zaporizhzhia (10), and (7) Kherson.

·      Ukrainian air forces undertook 21 raids against Russian positions. 

·      Civilian casualties from Russian attacks: 3 dead and 7 injured.

President Zelensky’s Message

“As of today, we have a [pilot] training mission. This is the first step. Then, there is the appropriate number of months to train our pilots. I cannot tell you now how many planes we will manage to get. I can’t say exactly when it will be. We will speed it up [and] I am sure [Ukraine will receive fighter jets], because we already have an understanding of the countries we are working with. We worked with them even before the F-16 training mechanism was unlocked.” - Volodymyr Zelensky following G7

FYI Kyiv Locals 

An installation symbolizing the resilience and faith of Ukrainian prisoners of war from Azovstal was opened in Kyiv on St Sophia Square over the weekend.

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“The NGO Association of Families of Azovstal Defenders seeks to remind Kyiv residents and guests that a year of captivity is not only about the suffering, torture and hunger of prisoners, but also about their families' lives in the unknown, fear and pain,” curators said.

Kyiv doesn’t plan to host beach season this year, according to city hall. Citizens are advised to refrain from visiting beaches, as there are no shelters on beaches and recreation areas. In Kyiv, using river vessels, small boats, sports vessels, jet skis, and water recreational vehicles is also prohibited.

Quote of the Day

"I assured President (Volodymyr) Zelensky, together with all G7 members, our allies, and partners around the world, we will not waver. (Vladimir) Putin will not break our resolve as he thought he could two years ago, almost three years ago." - President Joe Biden during G7

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