Good morning, Kyiv Post readers. Here’s your Morning Memo for May 23 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

Momentum for F16 fighter jets for Ukraine continued to build with the EU’s High Representative saying he hopes they will be delivered soon and the US State Department calling it a “priority” for “the coming months.” The EU’s Josep Borrell welcomed the G7’s support for F16s for Ukraine and said that “pilot training has already begun.

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Also yesterday, Matthew Miller, State Department spokesman, said: “The President has made it very clear we... will work with our allies and partners to provide Ukraine with F-16 jets… I cannot announce when or how this will happen or from which countries they will come. However, it is our priority, and we will start implementing it in the coming months.” 

NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly called for an international tribunal to prosecute Russian crimes of aggression. In a statement following its weekend sitting, NATO PA said that “Russian troops have trampled on international humanitarian law, committing war crimes by attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine and possibly crimes against humanity and genocide.

Ukrainian Special Ops Say They Destroyed Russian Hyacinth-S Self-Propelled Gun Using HIMARS
Other Topics of Interest

Ukrainian Special Ops Say They Destroyed Russian Hyacinth-S Self-Propelled Gun Using HIMARS

The Russian self-propelled gun was discovered by the 73rd Maritime Center of the SSO during reconnaissance operations in the southern front line.

The disrupted power line that feeds Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been restored and the plant is back on the grid. As a result of Russian shelling on the night of May 22, the last high-voltage transmission line which supplied power to the Russian-occupied site was disconnected and the plant was relying on diesel generators.

This is the seventh time since the temporary occupation of the [plant] that Russians have created a nuclear and radiation hazard in the NPP area,” said Ukrenergo, the Ukrainian energy operator.

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Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the unit a “diversionary group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Mykhailo Podolyak of the Office of the President of Ukraine said:  "Ukraine is watching the events in the Belgorod region of Russia with interest… It has no direct relation to it.”

Military Situation Report

The May 23 campaign assessment from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) had the following key take-aways focused on Bakhmut:

·      Elements of the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK) and Freedom of Russia Legion (LSR) conducted a raid into Belgorod Oblast on May 22. Russian sources began reporting on the morning of May 22 that a detachment of the RDK and LSR consisting of two tanks, an armored personnel carrier, and nine other armored vehicles crossed the international border and captured Kozinka, a settlement in the Grayvoron region of Belgorod Region within 600 meters of the border with Sumy Region. Several Russian sources claimed that the grouping then captured the settlements of Glotovo and Gora Podol.

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·      Wagner Group’s Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that Wagner forces will withdraw from the entire frontline in Ukraine after June 1 to reconstitute and train for about two months. 

·      Russian forces launched another large-scale drone and missile strike against Ukrainian infrastructure on the night of May 21-22. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on May 22 that Russian forces launched 21 Shahed drones at Ukraine and 21 missiles at Dnipro and Zaporizhzhia cities and Kharkiv Oblast, including four Kh-101/555 air-launched cruise missiles, five Kh-22 cruise missiles, two Iskander-M ballistic missiles, five S-300 missiles, and four other unspecified missiles. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces shot down all the Kh-101/555 missiles and Shahed drones.

The update at 06:00 on May 23 (Day 454) for the last 24 hours from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports:

·      Ukrainian armed forces neutralized a Mi-24 attack helicopter, using Igla MANPADS near the village of New York in the Donetsk region.

·      20 Russian missile attacks primarily against the Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, and Kharkiv regions;

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·      48 Russian air raids;

·      90 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) attacks;

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

·      Russian artillery, mortar and airborne fire in the following regions: Chernihiv (6 population settlements); Kharkiv (28); Sumy (11); Luhansk (3); Donetsk (30); Zaporizhzhia (11), and (6) Kherson.

·      Ukrainian air forces undertook 8 raids against Russian positions.

President Zelensky’s Message

“We are doing everything to make sure that the decision at the [NATO] summit in [Vilnius, Lithuania in July] is the one that will work for us. By the way, today there was an important declaration from the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Things are called what they are: a clear recognition of Russia's crimes against our country as genocide, a clear condemnation of ruscist ideology.” – Volodymyr Zelensky in his nightly address from a train travelling back from the G7 summit

FYI Kyiv Locals 

Sculptures from the Sherlock Holmes series adorned Poshtova Ploshcha in Podil yesterday as part of marking the birthday of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, the literary detective’s creator.

The sculptor, Volodymyr Zhuravel, told Vechirny Kyiv that “Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, Inspector Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson arrived in Kyiv to do their part to speed up the arrest of the war criminal, international terrorist ‘poo’ and his gang.”

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Quote of the Day

“[There are] various proposals on restoring peace in Ukraine springing up like mushrooms after rain… There are too many such proposals. That is why Ukraine suggests the international community focus on the peace formula proposed by the President of Ukraine. It consists of ten points that relate to the security, nuclear, humanitarian, social and environmental aspects of the war, as well as the issue of rebuilding.” – Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said after meeting his Moroccan counterpart yesterday.

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