Photo: Atlantic Council
Map: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1508 GMT:
The US has announced another $1.2 billion military assistance package for Ukraine.
The Pentagon confirmed the provision of 155 mm artillery rounds, air defense systems and munitions, satellite imagery services, and support for training and maintenance.
UPDATE 1303 GMT:
Swinging back and forth between conciliation and foul-mouthed condemnation in his rivalry with the Russian Defense Ministry, Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin is again berating Moscow.
After saying last week that his mercenaries would leave the frontline city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region on Wednesday, Prigozhin backed away and declared that ammunition was being delivered to his fighters.
But on Tuesday, he said, “They’ve given us only 10% of what we asked for. We’ve been deceived.”
The mercenary chief said his forces would remain in Bakhmut, insisting that they get ammunition “for a few more days”.
He claimed, “A combat order came yesterday which clearly stated that if we leave our positions it will be regarded as treason against the motherland. That was the message to us.”
UPDATE 1213 GMT:
Israeli-made radar alert systems are being deployed in Kyiv.
A Lithuanian volunteer organisation, Blue/Yellow, delivered 16 ieMHR systems from Israel’s RADA Electronic Industries last week. Three are already in use.
The systems detect aerial threats including missiles, rockets, mortar shells, helicopters, and drones up to a 10-km (6.2-mile) radius. However, they do not have interception capabilities.
Israel has provided millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to Ukraine during Russia’s invasion, but has openly refrained from sending military assistance.
UPDATE 1200 GMT:
Meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have discussed European integration, defense matters, and sanctions against Russia.
Zelenskiy said he expected the European Union to soon approve its 11th set of sanctions over Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
More challenging may be Zelenskiy’s expectation that the EU will remove trade restrictions on grain exports. The bloc adopted limits after unilateral action by Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Bulgaria to restrict the exports.
Zelenskiy said the bans on movement of Ukrainian grain, foodstuffs, and other items are “harsh” and “protectionist”:
All restrictions on our exports are completely unacceptable right now. They only reinforce the abilities of the aggressor.
We are waiting for the EU to stop all restrictions as fast as possible.
The President looked forward to a “positive appraisal” of Ukraine’s candidacy for EU membership at the bloc’s summit in June, and expressed appreciation for the promise of 1 million artillery shells.
UPDATE 1013 GMT:
Moscow’s Victory Day parade has finished with the display of only one tank — a T-34 from the World War II era — and no warplanes.
Vladimir Putin’s brief speech railed against the West and NATO, presenting Russia — and himself — as a victim as he compared his invasion of Ukraine to World War II’s battles against Nazi Germany.
He said the country is “proud” of everyone fighting in Ukraine, “There is no more important thing now than your combat work.
There was no mention of Russian casualties.
UPDATE 0700 GMT:
Residents of Russian-occupied territory in southern Ukraine are describing chaos and confusion amid orders for evacuation.
On Friday, Russian proxy authorities in the Russian-occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region issued evacuation orders for 18 towns and villages, in the face of an anticipated Ukrainian counter-offensive.
More than a dozen residents, interviewed by the New York Times, said petrol stations are running out of fuel, grocery stores are being emptied, and there is no cash in ATMs.
Andriy, 38, said from Kamianka-Dnaiprovska:
They discharge people from the hospitals and take away the equipment. Then they close them. No one explains why and for how long. And people are afraid to ask since there are armed soldiers around.
Russian proxy official Andrey Kozenko said about 70,000 people will be moved. But he gave indication where they would go.
On Monday, authorities began transferring people from Tokmak, north of Zaporizhzhia city, more than 100 km (64 miles) southeast to the port city of Berdyansk.
UPDATE 0648 GMT:
Vladimir Putin will have the Victory Day consolation of the attendance of Central Asian leaders at the parade in Moscow.
Four leaders — Kazakhstan’s Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Armenia’s Nikol Pashinyan, Tajikistan’s Emomali Rahmon, and Uzbekistan’s Shavkat Mirziyoyev — issued last-minute confirmations on Monday.
Belarus’s Alexander Lukashenko arrived unannounced in Moscow on Monday evening for a “working visit”.
Kyrgyzstan President Sadyr Japarov was the only foreign leader to give advance confirmation of his participation in the Moscow ceremonies.
UPDATE 0623 GMT:
Poland has delivered 10 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, confirmed Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.
Błaszczak made the announcement during a visit to Canada on Monday.
Warsaw plans to transfer 20 MiG-29s, purchasing 48 South Korean FA-50s to replenish its air force.
Slovakia announced last month that it will send 13 MiG-29s to Ukraine.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: As Russians mark Victory Day in World War II with cancelled ceremonies in some cities and muted gatherings in others, Moscow has fired 25 missiles into Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Ukrainians are celebrating resistance of Vladimir Putin’s invasion with Europe Day on Tuesday, downing 23 of the Russian missiles and welcoming European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen to Kyiv.
At least 24 Russian cities abandoned plans for parades today, including “Immortal Regiment” processions where marchers carry portraits of relatives who fought between 1941 and 1945 against Germany. In other cities, there are fewer soldiers and less military hardware in the parades amid the heavy toll of the Ukraine invasion.
A “former Kremlin official” told the Moscow Times that the decision to cancel Immortal Regiment marches was made after a meeting with Sergey Kiriyenko, Vladimir Putin’s Deputy Chief of Staff:
The Kremlin feared what a cumulative effect the procession would have if masses of Russians marched on the Immortal Regiment with photographs and portraits of their loved ones, soldiers who died in the war in Ukraine.
Potentially, this could turn into a mass action of relatives, and a legal one at that. It would have a destructive political effect.
The overnight Russian missile attack was the second in two days, with 12 of the 25 missiles fired on the Kyiv. No casaulties or damage were reported, except for a fire caused by debris falling on a house.
The head of the Kyiv military administration, Serhiy Popko wrote on Telegram:
As at the front, the plans of the aggressor failed. [They] try to kill as many civilians as possible on this day.
[But] Kyiv stood up again and will stand up in the future!
As Ukraine marked victory in World War II on Monday, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy declared that Tuesday will be Europe Day to celebrate the closer relations with European neighbors fostered by the resistance to Putin’s assault.
Zelenskiy has called for talks on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union to begin by the end of 2023.
Good to be back in Kyiv.
Where the values we hold dear are defended everyday.
So it is such a fitting place to celebrate the day of Europe.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) May 9, 2023