A firefighter tries to extinguish a blaze from a Russian missile strike on a food warehouse in Odesa in southern Ukraine, May 8, 2023
Sunday’s Coverage: Russia Walking Away from Bakhmut Assault?
Map: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1527 GMT:
The food warehouse struck by a Russian missile early Monday belonged to the Red Cross.
The 1,000 square meter building, in Odesa in southern Ukraine, was destroyed. There were no workers or volunteers present.
A statement confirmed, “The provision of humanitarian aid and the activities of some projects of the Odesa Regional Organisation of the Red Cross of Ukraine have been suspended.”
Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said Russia fired 60 Iranian-made drones, including 36 at the capital.
All of the drone fired on Kyiv were down. However, debris hit apartment blocks and other buildings, injuring at least five civilians.
UPDATE 0929 GMT:
In expectation of a Ukrainian counter-offensive, Russian forces are evacuating local proxy officials, children, and teachers from the town of Tokmak in the occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region.
People are being moved from Tokmak, north of Zaporizhzhia city, more than 100 km (64 miles) southeast to the port city of Berdyansk.
Parents have been told not to enroll children into schools. Queues for petrol are in place, with no further deliveries planned.
Tokmak had a pre-invasion population of about 30,000.
UPDATE 0753 GMT:
UK military intelligence notes that Russian military recruiters are targeting migrant workers from central Asia.
The recruiters are visiting mosques and immigration offices, where they use staff who speak Tajik and Uzbek.
Sign-up bonuses of $2,390 and salaries of up to $4,160 a month are being offered. Those who go to the frontline in Ukraine can also be given a fast-track path of six months to one year, instead of the usual five years, for Russian citizenship.
UPDATE 0555 GMT:
Ukraine’s General Staff said Russia attacked with 16 missiles, 35 Iranian-made Shahed drones, and 52 shellings early Monday.
The General Staff said all 35 drones had been downed. However, it added, “Unfortunately, there are killed and wounded among civilians, [and] a damaged high-rise building, private residences, and other civilian infrastructure.”
Air force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said about eight older Kh-22 cruise missiles were fired at Odesa: “Some of them did not reach their targets”.
A Kh-22 destroyed an apartment in Dnipro on January 14, killing 45 civilians, including six children, and injuring more than 70.
The Russians use Tu-22 M3 long-range bombers from Cape Tarkhankut in Russian-occupied Crimea.
The General Staff report noted, “The probability of further Russian missile and air strikes across Ukraine remains high.”
UPDATE 0413 GMT:
Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin has stepped back from his threat to withdraw his fighters from the frontline city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.
Prigozhin declared on Friday that the mercenaries would leave on Wednesday unless they received ammunition and supplies. His invective-filled rant targeted Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and Chief of Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the overall commander of the Russian invasion.
But on Sunday, he said in an audio message on Telegram:
We have been promised as much ammunition and weapons as we need to continue further operations. We have been promised that everything needed to prevent the enemy from cutting us off will be deployed.
A spokesman for the Ukraine military’s Eastern Command, Serhiy Cherevaty, said the episode was an attempt by Prigozhin to distract from Wagner’s heavy losses in its “human wave” assault.
“489 artillery strikes over the past 24 hours in the area around Bakhmut – is that an ammunition hunger?” he asked.
Ukraine Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, overseeing the defense of Bakhmut, said Russian forces have escalated shelling and hope to complete the occupation of the city by Tuesday — Russia’s Victory Day marking the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.
The Institute for the Study of War assesses that Russian commanders had shifted the priority from seizing Bakhmut, with its limited strategic importance since last autumn, to defensive preparations for an anticipated Ukrainian counter-offensive. However, they have been forced to relent by the combined opposition of Prigozhin and Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov.
Kadyrov supported Prigozhin over the weekend by declaring that his fighters would replace the Wagner Group in the center of Bakhmut, withdrawing the Chechens from other Russian frontlines.
However, the ISW notes that “Prigozhin has not published the official document” supposedly promising ammunition and supplies, and that it “cannot verify Prigozhin’s claims at this time”.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Russia launched another set of missile and drone strikes across Ukraine early Monday.
At least five people were injured in attacks on Kyiv, and missiles started a large fire at a food warehouse in the port city of Odesa in southern Ukraine. Explosions were reported in the Zaporizhia and Kherson regions in the south.
Powerful explosions occurred in #Odesa. The occupiers wrote that the missile strikes were aimed at ammunition depots and bridges, the goal is to undermine the logistics of the Ukrainian Armed Forces for troop relocation. pic.twitter.com/P1DLba9EP5
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) May 7, 2023
In Kyiv, three people were injured in the Solomyanskyi district. Two were wounded by falling debris from a downed drone in the Sviatoshyn district, also in the west of the capital.
Drone wreckage dropped on a runway of Zhuliany, one of Kyiv’s two passenger airports. There was no fire, and emergency services are cleaning up the site.
A two-story building was damaged by remnants of a drone. No casualties were immediately reported.
Russia has carried out more than 20 waves of missile and drone strikes across Ukraine since October 10. Initially, the attacks tried to break energy infrastructure, but Ukraine survived the winter and the grid was fully repaired in April.
The Russians carried out their first significant wave since March 9 last week, with a series of attacks. However, the assault was much diminished compared to the first waves of more than 100 missiles and drones. Damage was limited, but 24 civilians were slain when a nine-story apartment block was levelled in Uman in central Ukraine.
Ukraine War, Day 432: Air Defenses Down 15 of 18 Russian Missiles
Russian shelling has also continued, with at least 23 civilians killed in the Kherson region last Wednesday.