This satellite image provided by MaxarTechnologies shows the demolished university buildings and the radio tower in Bakhmut, Ukraine, on May 15, 2023.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has enjoyed great success persuading allies to contribute advanced weapons to his country’s cause, most recently garnering an arsenal of missiles, tanks and drones on a European tour to bolster the counteroffensive’s chances against an enemy with dwindling armament.
“All players are well aware of the limited resources and time available to the Russian Federation and #Putin’s elite,” Ukraine presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted Thursday. “The path is unchanged. We will finish it off.”
∙ Moldova, a former Soviet republic of about 2.6 million people that borders Ukraine, has severed its dependence on Russian gas, Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Recean said.
West paying for freedom with guns, money, Ukrainians ‘with our lives’
Ukraine’s much-anticipated spring counteroffensive “cannot determine the course of the entire war,” and the West should have reasonable expectations, Natalia Halibarenko, ambassador of Ukraine’s mission to NATO, said Thursday.
Halibarenko told Lithuanian media outlet LRT it will probably take several offensives to drive Russian troops out of her country. Military support from the West is increasing, and she acknowledged that her country’s success depends heavily on international assistance.
“I understand that a certain fatigue is felt over time, this is normal human nature,” she said. “There cannot be that state of constant pressure. We tell Western societies that you help us with money, things, other support, but Ukrainians pay for freedom with their lives, and this should be kept in mind and not underestimated.”
1,100 Russians avoiding draft seek asylum in Finland
More than 1,100 draft-age Russians trying to avoid military conscription have fled to Finland and are seeking asylum, some of thousands awaiting determination of their fate in several European countries.
The Finnish Immigration Service says it is awaiting the European Union’s position on the asylum requests, Finnish news agency STT reports.
“We haven’t been able to issue decisions regarding asylum,” said Sanna Sutter, the Interior Ministry’s immigration director. He said other Nordic nations also have decided to wait for EU guidance, but the EU has not provided a timeline on the question.
In the Last September thousands of Russians have fled since President Vladimir Putin announced the “partial mobilization” of 300,000 people. But one soldier who made worldwide headlines when he escaped the fighting and claimed protection in Norway, says he wants to go back to Russia.
Andrei Medvedev, 26, had fought for Russia’s Wagner mercenaries before slipping into Norway in January. A few weeks later he was arrested on charges involving multiple barroom scraps and was sentenced last month to 14 days in a Norwegian jail.
I hoped that I could find peace and calm here that I could leave all the politics, the war and the army behind. But somehow I couldn’t manage, Medvedev said in Russian on a video which was translated. “We shall see what happens in Russia. If they kill me, OK. If they don’t, thanks a lot.”
Russians rejecting claims of their country’s gains
The leader of Russian mercenary troops and a popular pro-Kremlin blogger both rejected Russian Defense Ministry claims of gains in the crucial battle for the eastern Ukraine city of Bakhmut as the war slogs toward its 15-month mark with little indication an end is near.
Ukraine’s military claimed minor victories in regions north and south of the embattled, largely abandoned city that earlier was home to more than 70,000 people. Russian claims of marginal advances were dismissed by the mercenary Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin, who criticized the defense ministry on Telegram for spinning what was actually a retreat.
Russian blogger Rybar agreed, posting on Telegram that Ukraine’s “unannounced counteroffensive” is underway with fierce battles that are allowing Ukraine to fulfill an important goal against Russian Federation troops.
“They are forcing the RF Armed Forces to stretch their forces and remove the most combat-ready units from other critical areas, forcing them to be transferred to threatened sectors of the front,” Rybar posted. “Now, unfortunately, we are in the position of playing along and are following the lead of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, pulling the most experienced units of the RF Armed Forces into the Bakhmut meat grinder. … What this threatens in the short term, even a fool will guess.”
Kremlin accuses 3 hypersonic missile scientists of treason
Employees at Russia’s Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mathematics in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk published an open letter in defense of three of their hypersonic missile scientists − Anatoly Maslov, Alexander Shiplyuk, and Valery Zvegintsev − whom Russian authorities reportedly arrested under suspicion of “high treason,” the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War reports. The scientists says the arrests deter the younger generation from pursuing careers in science, which contributes to a decrease in the quality of scientific research. The Kremlin was aware of the letter and that Russian security forces was been involved in the case, said by the Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.