Photo: Dobra Kobra/Shutterstock
Source: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1153 GMT:
UK military intelligence assesses that Russia has lost up to 1/3 of the forces committed to its February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
The latest report notes that Russian forces have sustained heavy losses in their Donbas offensive and are “increasingly constrained by degraded enabling capabilities, continued low morale, and reduced combat effectiveness”: “Under the current conditions, Russia is unlikely to dramatically accelerate its rate of advance over the next 30 days.”
UPDATE 1146 GMT:
As diplomats from NATO countries meet Sunday in Berlin, NATO Deputy-Secretary General Mircea Geoana has told reporters, “The brutal invasion [by] Russia is losing momentum. We know that with the bravery of the Ukrainian people and army, and with our help Ukraine can win this war.”
UPDATE 1057 GMT:
Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Syniehubov says about 2,000 people are returning each day to Kharkiv, after Russian forces failed in their attempt to overrun Ukraine’s second city.
Ukraianian officials confirmed last week that a counter-offensive had driven Russian units outside artillery range and about halfway back to the border, more than 10 miles from Kharkiv’s northern edge.
UPDATE 1039 GMT:
Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Met @SecBlinken in Berlin. More weapons and other aid is on the way to Ukraine. We agreed to work closely together to ensure that Ukrainian food exports reach consumers in Africa and Asia. Grateful to Secretary Blinken and the U.S. for their leadership and unwavering support. pic.twitter.com/E3oru9jfIJ
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) May 15, 2022
UPDATE 1026 GMT:
President Sauli Niinistö has confirmed that Finland will apply for NATO membership.
The membership proposal is expected to be tabled in Parliament for ratification on Monday, with Sweden likely to follow on Tuesday.
Niinistö told Vladimir Putin on Saturday, “Russia’s massive invasion of Ukraine in Feb. 2022 has altered the security environment of Finland….Finland decides to seek NATO membership in the next few days.”
Putin said Finland’s abandonment of neutrality is a mistake and insisted that the country does not face a security threat.
UPDATE 0739 GMT:
Russian forces have fired four missiles on “military infrastructure” in Yavoriv in the Lviv region in western Ukraine.
Lviv Governor Maxim Kozitsky wrote on Telegram that “the object is completely destroyed”, but there were no casualties.
UPDATE 0623 GMT:
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has pledged to hold the 2023 Eurovision Final in the port city of Mariupol, after the country’s emotional victory in the 66th song contest on Saturday.
Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe! Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision!…
Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful, rebuilt!
Among those watching the final in Turin, Italy were Ukrainian defenders. Vitaly said, “We will also win. We have shown that we can not only fight, but we can also sing very nice.”
This is how Ukraine’s Eurovision presenter and commentator Timur Miroshnychenko reacted to the news of Kalush Orchestra’s victory. Due to Russia’s never-ending rocket attacks, Timur had to go on air from a bomb shelter. pic.twitter.com/oIXrDPvQX2
— Myroslava Petsa (@myroslavapetsa) May 14, 2022
ORIGINAL ENTRY: The G7 countries — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US — have issued a statement — have warned that 43 million people are being pushed towards famine by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
After a three-day meeting in northern Germany, the G7 said in a statement:
Russia’s unprovoked and premeditated war of aggression has exacerbated the global economic outlook with sharply rising food, fuel and energy prices. Combined with Russia blocking the exit routes for Ukraine’s grain, the world is now facing a worsening state of food insecurity and malnutrition….This is at a time when 43 million people were already one step away from famine.
Canadian foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said, “We need to make sure that these cereals are sent to the world. If not, millions of people will be facing famine.”
Russia’s occupation or blockade of Ukraine’s seven Black Sea ports has halted the pre-war export of commodities which could feed 400 million people. The UN’s World Food Program estimates an additional 47 million people are at risk of hunger with sharply rising food prices and a fertilizer shortage.
The situation was compounded on Saturday with a ban on wheat exports by India, which has about 10% of the world’s grain reserves.
In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told US President Joe Biden that Delhi was ready to supply the world. The World Food Program was in discussions with Indian officials in May.
However, the Government may have balked because of a persistent heat wave affecting this year’s harvest.
The Indian Commerce Ministry said limited exports will be allowed at the request of individual governments whose own food supply is vulnerable.
Another Convoy Escapes Mariupol, but No Relief for Azovstal Fighters and Medics
Hundreds of cars and vans, with civilians from the Russian-occupied port city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine, reached Zaporizhzhia on Saturday night.
The convoy made the 132-mile journey after waiting days for Russian troops let them escape.
Tens of thousands of civilians remain in the city, following the Russian siege, bombardment, and ground assault of more than 11 weeks. Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko says more than 21,000 people were killed, many buried in mass graves quickly dug by the Russians outside the city.
Meanwhile, Russia continues to block any evacuation of seriously-injured fighters and of medics from the besieged Azovstal steel works.
The last civilians were finally permitted to depart last week, but about 1,000 defenders — more than half of them badly wounded — remain in the complex. The Russians have rejected Ukraine’s offer of an exchange of those freed from Azovstal for a release of Russian POWs.
Ukraine Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said negotiations are focusing on the evacuation of about 60 fighters and medics.
Turkey went farther on Saturday, proposing an evacuation by sea of hundreds of the wounded.
Turkish Presidential advisor Ibrahim Kalin said he personally discussed the proposal with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv two weeks ago and that it remains “on the table” despite no sign of consideration by the Kremlin.
Turkey’s proposal is for evacuees would be taken by land to the port of Berdyansk on the Sea of Azov, and then by a Turkish ship across the Black Sea to Istanbul.
Kalin said the Russian position “changes day to day”.
Families of the trapped soldiers appealed to China’s President Xi Jinping to act as a mediator.
At a Saturday press conference in central Kyiv, the families said time is running out for the soldiers, many of them injured and with dwindling medical supplies and almost no food.
Tanya Vychnyk, who last saw her 21-year-old son Artem in February, said she’s praying for a miracle: “It is hell in there, they are in real hell. They deserve to stand on the surface of the earth and see the sun.”