Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy greets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Kyiv, May 14, 2024 (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty)

EA-Times Radio Special: Why Did Putin Replace His Defense Minister? — A Long War and Russia’s Economy

Tuesday’s Coverage: America’s Blinken in Kyiv as Russia Attacks in Kharkiv

Map: Institute for the Study of War


The European Union has agreed a broadcast ban on four Russian propaganda outlets: Prague-based Voice of Europe and Russia-based Izvestiya, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, and Ria Novosti.

In March, the Czech intelligence service exposed the Kremlin-financed network using Voice of Europe. Investigative journalists documented a series of MEPs and political activists used by the outlet to push Kremlin lines.

Belgian authorities have opened an investigation into the pyaments to European legislators.

The outlets are added to more than a dozen Russian channels blocked over the invasion of Ukraine.


At least 11 civilians, including a 15-year-old boy and an 88-year-old man, have been wounded by a Russian airstrike on the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

Several residential buildings and an educational institution were damaged.

At least six people were injured in the neighboring Mykolaiv region when a Russian missile attack set afire a car repair service.


Modifying the Biden Administration’s position, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that it does not encourage Ukraine to strike targets inside Russia with American-supplied weapons — but the decision is up to Kyiv.

Administration officials had said as recently as yesterday (see 0706 GMT) that the ban on use of US arms, including ATACMS long-range missiles, was still in place.

Blinken said at a press conference in Kyiv that a bilateral security agreement could be signed within weeks.


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced another $2 billion military aid package for Ukraine.

At a joint press conference alongside Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Kyiv, Blinken said, “We’re rushing ammunition, armoured vehicles, missiles, [and] air defenses to get them to the frontlines.”

Kuleba added, “Every delay of supply results in setbacks.”


Maxim Timchenko, the CEO of DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private energy producer, says recent Russian strikes have knocked out almost all of the company’s output.

“I couldn’t imagine that after three attacks we can lose more than 90% of our generation capacity,” Timchenko told an online briefing from Kyiv. “That’s what’s happened after the winter season.”

DTEK runs most of the thermal power plants that Russia has targeted since late March, in its largest missile and drone strikes of 2024.

Timchenko said Russia had changed tactics since its “energy war” from autumn 2022 to spring 2023 failed to break Ukraine’s electricity grid. Instead of trying to disrupt flow of electricity from the west to the east, Moscow is targeting the centers of power generation. As a result, only one of Ukraine’s nine thermal power stations is still in operation.

“Before these attacks we had 5,000 megawatts of capacity available for power generation. Today it’s about 600,” Timchenko summarized.

He expressed hope for a large increase in international aid at a recovery conference in Berlin next month, with equipment — new or used — and financial support.


The local police chief says Russian forces have established positions inside the town of Vovchansk, about 5 km (3.1 miles) from the border, in the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine.

“The situation is extremely difficult. The enemy is taking positions on the streets of the town of Vovchansk,” Oleksiy Kharkivskiy posted on Facebook.

Defense Ministry spokesperson Dmytro Lazutkin said, “[Russian forces] are trying to gain a foothold in the northern part of the town with small infantry units. Our task is to destroy the enemy, to prevent them from gathering more forces and gaining a foothold.”


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has cancelled a visit to Spain and Portugal, reportedly because of Russia’s offensive in the Kharkiv region.

Zelenskiy was expected to sign a bilateral security cooperation agreement with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

Presidential Press Secretary Sergii Nykyforov posted on Facebook, “Volodymyr Zelenskiy has instructed that all international events scheduled for the coming days be postponed and new dates coordinated.”


Members of Ukraine’s Parliament are in Washington, trying to persuade the Biden Administration to allow strikes on Russian territory with US-supplied weapons.

The legislators are emphasizing that the Administration’s ban is preventing attacks on Russian forces as they pursue a cross-border offensive against the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine.

“The main problem right now is the White House policy to limit our capability,” said David Arakhamia, the Parliamentary leader of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party.

“We saw their military sitting one or two kilometers from the border inside Russia, and there was nothing we could do about that,” added Oleksandra Ustinova, the head of the Parliamentary commission on arms and ammunition.

But two US officials said the Administration’s line had not changed: “The assistance is for the defense and not for offensive operations in Russian territory.”

Last month, the Administration finally allowed the supply of ATACMS missile systems with a range of 300 km (186 miles), but only for strikes on Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine such as Crimea.


Ukrainian drones attacked an oil refinery in the Rostov region in southwest Russia overnight.

An official in the Ukraine State security agency confirmed the strike.

Rostov Governor Vasily Golubev said two drones hit the refinery in the Proletarsky district, causing two explosions. He claimed there was no fire or casualties.

Large fires were also reported on Wednesday morning around Russia’s Belbek airbase in occupied Crimea.

The Russian proxy head of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhaev, acknowledged a “massive” Ukrainian missile attack on the airbase and over the Black Sea, with fragments of a downed missile falling on the city

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed 10 US-made ATACMS long-range missiles were launched.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Visiting Kyiv on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has emphasized a long-term commitment to Ukraine’s resistance of the 26 1/2-month Russian invasion.

Blinken met President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and other senior officials in the capital. At a press conference, he asserted, “Ukraine can count on its partners for sustainable, long-term support.”

The Secretary of State spoke of the authorization of $60.8 billion of military aid, finally passed in late April after a 6 1/2-month blockade by Trumpists and hard-right Republicans.

All of us admire your extraordinary resilience, your endurance, your strength, your leadership. And we know this is a challenging time, but we also know that the assistance is now on the way. Some of this has already arrived, some will be arriving. And that’s going to make a real difference against the ongoing Russian aggression on the battlefield.

He referred to a 10-year security pact in which the US “will support Ukraine’s defense and security across a range of essential capabilities: from its air force to its air defense, from drones to demining”: “If Russia or anyone else were to attack Ukraine, we will work with Ukraine immediately at the highest levels to coordinate how to help you beat back the threat.”

Blinken did not give a specific timeline for Ukraine’s accession to NATO, but he promised tangible steps to increase NATO’s role in building a resilient, capable Ukrainian force, supporting its ongoing reforms, (and) better integrating Ukraine into the alliance”.

He concluded, “You have a lot to teach the alliance. NATO will be more secure with your military by our side.”

President Zelenskiy thanked Blinken for the US aid, but emphasized the need for additional air defense systems, especially around Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv, in the face of intense Russian missile and drone strikes.

Russia’s Threat in Kharkiv

Russia has used the lengthy blockade of US aid to regain the initiative on the frontline, particuarly in eastern Ukraine with an advance in the Donetsk region.

The Russians launched a cross-border offensive into the Kharkiv region in the northeast last Friday, grabbing about 100 square km (39 square miles) and threatening the town of Vovchansk.

On Tuesday, Moscow claimed the capture of a 10th village, Buhruvatka, as Ukrainian troops established new defense lines.

But Ukraine’s head of military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, said the situation was “not catastrophic” with indicators of stabilization.

“It is definitely not true to say that Russia has had a significant success. At the same time, we must remember that the situation is quite tense and changing very rapidly,” Budanov said on national television.

Meanwhile in Kyiv, Blinken joined the Ukrainian band 19.99 on stage, playing guitar on a cover of Neil Young’s Rockin’ in the Free World. He introduced the song:

Your soldiers, your citizens – particularly in the northeast, in Kharkiv – are suffering tremendously. But they need to know, you need to know, the United States is with you, so much of the world is with you and they’re fighting not just for a free Ukraine, but for the free world.

And the free world is with you, too.