Good morning, Kyiv Post readers. Here’s your Morning Memo for May 25 to get you up to speed on events in Ukraine:

·      Top Headlines

·      Military Situation Report (Day 457)

·      President Zelensky’s Message of the Day

·      FYI Kyiv Locals

·      Quote of the Day

Top Headlines

More military aid is headed to Ukraine following the 12th meeting of the Ramstein Contact Group, including: a new $300 million US package with more HIMARS capabilities; a $117 million Finnish package; a $60 million Lithuanian package; four Leopard 2 tanks from Spain, and; a commitment from Denmark and the Netherlands to head the European coalition for F-16 pilot training for Ukraine. South Korea will also provide “hundreds of thousands” of 155mm Howitzer artillery shells, WSJ reported.

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Russia launched another missile and drone attack against Ukrainian cities including Kyiv last night. Explosions were recorded in Dnipro and Kyiv.

All incoming missiles and drones were reportedly shot down. It is the 13th attack this month on Ukraine’s capital city.

There were explosions in Russian and Russian-occupied territory last night. That includes Russian-occupied Berdyansk, the Russian city of Krasnodar, and at Russia’s Rostov airfield last night.

Moscow and Minsk signed a deal to deploy Russian tactical nuclear missiles on Belarusian territory. A White House spokeswoman called the move “irresponsible” and “provocative.” However, she added that “we have not seen any reason to adjust our own nuclear posture” and there were “no signs that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons from the territory of Belarus.”

WORLD BRIEFING: April 21, 2024
Other Topics of Interest

WORLD BRIEFING: April 21, 2024

The world in focus, as seen by a Canadian leading global affairs analyst, writer and speaker, in his review of international media.

106 Ukrainian POWs, who had fought in Bakhmut, were returned from Russian captivity. 68 had previously been considered missing.

Ukrainian exports to the EU will not be subject to customs duties and quotas for one more year. The EU suspended them until June 2024. There is currently a temporary ban on four Ukrainian agricultural exports to the EU.

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Europe has overcome dependence on Russian energy sources over the last 12 months through gas consumption reduction. “Now we can say that we are no longer dependent on them," said Tim McPhie, a European Commission spokesman. According to him, the EU has also stopped importing Russian coal.

Divisions in Russian society “might end as in 1917 with a revolution when first the soldiers rise up,” according to Wagner Group’s Yevgeniy Prigozhin in an interview reported by the Washington Post. Prigozhin also asserted that the war has backfired by failing to “demilitarize” Ukraine. He also called for totalitarian policies, including martial law, compulsory mobilization, and “living like North Korea for a few years.”

UK’s Parliament unanimously voted to recognize the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as a genocide of the Ukrainian people. MPs said the Holodomor – a man-made famine - must be recognized as a genocide in solidarity with Ukrainians. The Holodomor has been recognized as a genocide by parliaments in nearly three dozen countries.

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Military Situation Report

The Karlivsky dam, 15 kilometers west of Donetsk city, was blown by Russian forces using an S-300 missile and approximately 30 people needed to be evacuated.

Two Russian Su-25 aircraft were shot down, the National Guard of Ukraine claimed.

Following Russian fakes about his ill health, General Valery Zaluzhny, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, made several appearances in social media.

Over the last day, one Ukrainian civilian was killed and 18 were injured during Russia’s full-scale invasion.

The May 25 campaign assessment from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) had the following key take-aways:

·      Wagner’s Yevgeny Prigozhin announced Wagner Group has begun handing over its positions in Bakhmut to the Russian Ministry of Defense and claimed Wagner will entirely withdraw from the city on June 1.

·      Belgorod Region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov announced that Russian officials have created seven territorial defense battalions in Belgorod Region as of May 24 following the all-Russian pro-Ukrainian raid into Belgorod Region.

·      Prigozhin held a meeting with representatives of Russian regions bordering Ukraine to discuss fortifying border areas.

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·      Wagner and Russian forces have engaged in previous efforts to fortify border areas, and the recent Belgorod Region raid exposed major shortcomings in these efforts.

·      Russian forces continued limited ground attacks northeast of Kupyansk and south of Kreminna.

·      Russian forces continued limited ground attacks around Bakhmut as Wagner Group f reportedly began their withdrawal.

·      Russian forces continued ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.

·      Russian sources claimed that Russian forces shot down six drones over Crimea.

The update at 06:00 on May 25 (Day 457) for the last 24 hours from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports:

·      Four missile attacks – not including the latest early morning wave;

·      36 Shahed drone attacks – with all incoming destroyed;

·      55 Russian air raids;

·      19 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) attacks;

·      28 combat engagements during continued fighting around Bahkmut, Mariinka, Lyman, and Avdiivka;

·      Russian artillery, rocket, mortar and/or airborne fire in the following regions: Chernihiv (five); Kharkiv (16); Sumy (six); Luhansk (six); Donetsk (26); Zaporizhya (12), Dnipro (one), and Kherson (11), and;

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·      Ukrainian air forces undertook five raids against Russian positions.

President Zelensky’s Message

"Today, we have another positive result from our team working on exchanges. We have returned 106 more of our warriors from Russian captivity - they fought in the Bakhmut sector.

"It is very important that there was no information about many of these 106 people at all - they were considered missing. But we found them. We brought them back home. eight officers, 98 soldiers and sergeants...- Volodymyr Zelensky in his nightly address

FYI Kyiv Locals

You can own a fragment from Kyiv’s “sky bridge.” The pieces were recovered after a Russian air attack on the popular site, which has been fully restored. The fragments are being auctioned off to raise funds for the war effort.

According to the Kyiv City Council: "This is a unique fragment of a glass structure 10x3.5 cm with an LED in a protective box. The body contains a button that turns on the backlight. In total, only 100 such souvenirs were produced.”

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Quote of the Day 

“You have become our temporary shelter, a reliable rear, a huge humanitarian and military hub through which aid from all over the world is coming to Ukraine.

"We are sincerely grateful for the military assistance already provided by Poland, which is being effectively used on the battlefield by our defenders.” - Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk speaking to Poland’s parliament

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