Good morning, Kyiv Post readers. Here’s your Morning Memo for May 29 to get you up to speed on events in Ukraine: 

·      Top Headlines

·      Military Situation Report (Day 459)

·      President Zelensky’s Message of the Day

Top Headlines

As of the publishing of this memo, Ukraine's capital was under a 16th attack, during the daylight hours around 11:20 a.m. Follow the story as it is updated in Kyiv Post Breaking News.

Last night, 67 of 75 Russian drones and missiles were destroyed by Ukrainian air defense systems. It was the largest ever air assault on Ukraine by Russia, the second in two nights, and the 15th this month on Kyiv. It consisted of 40 Kh-101/555 35 missiles fired bombers flying over the Caspian Sea and 35 Iranian Shahed 136 drones. One of the destroyed drones – which cost about $20,000 each – was destroyed over the Kyiv Reservoir by the Ukrainian Navy.

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Five positions in Russian-occupied Berdyansk in Ukraine’s were hit with five explosions, according to Ukrainian claims. Berdyansk is a port city on the Russian-occupied “land bridge” between Mariupol and Crimea.

The number of military clashes around Bakhmut was significantly reduced. A Ukrainian military spokesman reported there was one clash over the day – while Russian troops continue shelling the positions of Ukrainian forces.

Patriot Missiles and Leopard Tanks In Spain’s Upcoming Aid Package for Ukraine
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Patriot Missiles and Leopard Tanks In Spain’s Upcoming Aid Package for Ukraine

Spain said the package, including 155mm artillery shells or missiles for the Patriot system alongside other modern equipment, will arrive by the end of June.

Turkey’s re-elected President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was congratulated by Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky.

Australia was emphatically and publicly called on by Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov to provide Hawkei armored vehicles. Australia has not made any pledges of military aid to Ukraine since October 2022.

Compromising with Russia is a “direct path to the next stages of war, escalation and significantly strengthening the role of global terrorism, according to Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine in an interview with an Italian media outlet. Podolyak noted that President Zelensky’s 10-Point Peace Formula is the basis of the planned G7-endorsed global peace talks in July. 

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“I have to say I didn’t expect it... People should be, honestly, embarrassed,” said Ukrainian tennis star Marta Kostyuk after being booed at the French Open for not shaking the hand of a Belarusian opponent. Kostyuk is from Kyiv and her father was under bombardment last night.

A decision about Ukraine in NATO will not be made until the war’s end, according to President Zelensky’s representative in Ukraine’s national parliament. He predicted that more specific bilateral or multilateral decisions on Ukraine's closer integration into NATO structures may be adopted during the NATO summit in Vilnius in July.

However, the head of the President’s Office, Andriy Yermak, said that a key factor for ending the war could be the invitation of Ukraine to NATO. Yermak also stated that joining NATO is not only a wish of Ukraine but "absolutely a reality that the modern world, modern Europe, needs."

Military Situation Report

The May 28 campaign assessment from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) had the following key takeaways:

·      Russian forces conducted the largest Shahed drone strike against Ukraine since the start of the war overnight on May 27-28.

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·      Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that the Russian relief in-place operation in Bakhmut may continue past his initial June 1 deadline and last until June 5.

·      The tempo of Russian operations around Bakhmut remains notably low.

·      Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks northeast of Kupyansk and along the Svatove-Kreminna line.

·      Russian forces conducted limited offensive operations along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City front.

·      Russian forces continued to fire on areas in Southern Ukraine.

The update at 06:00 on May 29 (Day 459) for the last 24 hours from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports:

·      97 Russian air raids including 59 Shaheds of which 58 were destroyed;

·      39 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) attacks;

·      19 combat engagements during continued fighting particularly around Mariinka;

·      Russian artillery, rocket, mortar and/or airborne fire in the following regions: Chernihiv (7); Kharkiv (20); Sumy (11); Luhansk (2); Donetsk (38); Zaporizhya (8), Dnipro (1), and Kherson (13), and;

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·      Ukrainian air forces undertook 15 raids against Russian positions. 

President Zelensky’s Message

“Throughout its history, Kyiv has seen various meannesses from invaders. It has survived them all, and it will survive the ruscists. None of them will be here! 

“Kyiv and all our cities, our entire Ukraine, will put an end to the history of Moscow’s despotism, which has been bringing enslavement to many different peoples for a very long time...

“Because strength is in people, it is in cities, it is in life, and when life, people, and the most important cities for culture are despised, Russia will only face defeat.- Volodymyr Zelensky in his nightly address

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