A fuel depot ablaze in Russia’s Krasnodar region after a suspected Ukrainian strike, May 3, 2023

Tuesday’s Coverage: 100,000 Russian Casualties in Bakhmut Assault Since November

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said his Government is not behind a drone attack on the Kremlin.

Alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in Helsinki, he said, “We don’t attack Putin, or Moscow, we fight on our territory.”


Russian shelling has killed at least 16 people and injured 22, including a seriously-wounded child, in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

Twelve of the fatalities were in Kherson city. The Ukraine Prosecutor General’s office has launched a war crimes investigation of the attacks on a supermarket and the train station. An ambulance crew at the railway station was targeted.

Three engineers working to restore power near the villages of Stepanivka and Muzikyvka, close to Kherson, were slain.


Three Russian Navy ships were in the Baltic Sea in the area where Nord Stream gas pipelines were sabotaged last September, according to an investigation by four Nordic broadcasters.

The warships were traced using satellite images and intercepted radio communications by the Russian fleet, explained Denmark’s DR, Norway’s NRK, Sweden’s SVT, and Finland’s Yle.

In June and September last year, the ships sailed from navy bases in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad to waters northeast of the Danish island of Bornholm. All had turned off their automatic tracking systems.

A tugboat, capable of launching mini-submarines, was in the same area on September 21-22. A Danish patrol vessel took 26 photos of a Russian submarine rescue vessel near the site on 22 September.

Three of the four Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines were damaged by the blasts on September 26.


Ukrainian officials have firmly rejected the Kremlin’s claim that Kyiv tried to assassinate Vladimir Putin in a drone attack early Wednesday.

A senior Ukrainian Presidential official said the Government had “nothing to do with” the drone strike. The source added that an attack on the Kremlin would “change nothing on the battlefield” and would probably “provoke Russia to take ‘more radical’ actions”.

Yuliia Mendel, a former Presidential spokesperson, tweeted:

Footage on social media showed a small smoke cloud rising over the Kremlin. Russian officials later claimed a “planned terrorist action” by two drones.

The Kremlin said Putin was uninjured, and there was no material damage.

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced a ban on the launch of unmanned aerial vehicles, with the exception of those used by State authoritieSts.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “we simply don’t know” if the reports are accurate. He added, “[We] take anything coming from the Kremlin with a large shaker of salt.”

The mayor of Lviv in western Ukraine, Andriy Sadovyi, circulated video of the purported drone strike:


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has arrived in Finland for a state visit.

German outlets are reporting that Zelenskiy will be in Berlin on May 13. However, “sources close to the Ukrainian government” said the announcement was “irresponsible” and it is doubtful if the trip can be made.


At least three civilians have been killed and five wounded in a strike on a supermarket in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.


The Ukraine Air Force said it destroyed 21 of 26 Iranian-made Shahed drones launched by Russia overnight.

Officials in Kyiv said all drones were downed. However, one struck an administrative building in Dnipro in south-central Ukraine, causing a fire which was extinguished by the morning.

Seven other drones were intercepted over the Dnipropetrovsk region.

An oil depot was targeted in Kropyvnytsky in central Ukraine. High-rise buildings and houses were damaged or destroyed in the Mykolaiv Zaporizhia, and Donetsk regions.


After a phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has announced another tranche of aid for Kyiv.

Wellington has provided training and humanitarian assistance throughout the Russian invasion. Hipkins said the deployment of 95 New Zealand defense personnel, working with Ukrainian troops near London, will be extended to June 30, 2024. More than $5 million NZD ($3.12 million) will be given to initiatives such as the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund, the UN High Commission for Refugees, and the International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor and Trust Fund for Victims.

New Zealand is also imposing sanctions on another 18 entities and 9 individuals supporting Russia.

Hipkins explained, “Unfortunately the conflict appears set to continue for some time. We and likeminded partners will not back off and allow Russia to impose their might on the innocent people of Ukraine.”

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Another fuel depot has exploded inside Russia, pointing to Ukrainian operations ahead of a counter-offensive against Russian-occupied areas in Ukraine.

The storage facility is ablaze in the village of Volna in the Krasnodar region in southwest Russia. The complex is close to the Kerch Strait Bridge that crosses the Sea of Azov to Russian-occupied Crimea in Ukraine.

Video shows flames and black smoke over the large tanks, marked “Flammable”, on the site. District head Fedor Babenkov aid the blaze cover 1,200 square meters.

Krasnodar Governor Veniamin Kondratyev posted on Telegram, “The fire has been classified as the highest rank of difficulty.”

Kondratyev said there were no casualties: “Every effort is being made to prevent the fire from spreading further. There is no threat to residents of the village.”

Last Saturday a Russian fuel depot in Sevastopol in Crimea was detonated. On Monday, a freight train was derailed and burned out in an apparent attack in the Bryansk region of Russia, also near the Ukraine border.

Ukraine’s political and military leadership rarely claim responsibility for any attacks inside Russia and Russian-occupied territory.

Strikes have been carried out since last summer on Russian fuel and ammunition depots, military bases, and logistics and supply points.

Some of the operations degraded Russian capabilities before a Ukrainian counter-offensive in the autumn, which liberated all of the Kharkiv region in the northeast and much of the Kherson region in the south.

Analysts anticipate that Ukraine, bolstered by military assistance from an international coalition, will pursue another counter-offensive later this spring or in the summer.

Ukraine Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said last Friday, “Preparations are coming to an end. Equipment has been promised, prepared and partially delivered. In a global sense, we’re ready.”