Bob Homans May 20
Ukraine – 5/20 Sitrep
Compiled by: Robert Homans
Twitter - @rhomansjr
May 20, 2022
A New Movie – Coming to a Theater or Streaming Service Near You
The movie is entitled “Sniper – The White Raven.” The movie features 43 graduates of the “Wild Field” sniper school, including my friend’s instructor. She is part of the women’s sniper team, to which many of you recently contributed. Before the war started, Wild Field operated over 1,000 sniper schools throughout Ukraine. My friend reported that the main actor in the movie is a former pacifist, and he “liquidated his first object” 2 days ago.
My friend’s sniper team is made up entirely of volunteers. Territorial defense, the way there are organized into small teams that can act independently, and the crowdfunding that is a major source of financial support for their operations, is the “secret sauce” of Ukraine’s success on the battlefield. The weapons that Ukraine is now receiving from the West is a necessary but not sufficient conditions for Ukraine’s battlefield success.
As this article in the New York Times describes, the Army and territorial defense units, and their respective organizations, arose out of the volunteer battalions that were established during Euromaidan in 2013/2014, but also they have taken a great deal from civil society organizations that now serve as almost a shadow government in Ukraine. The training that the Army has received from the West, in small unit tactics and incorporating non-commissioned officers into its command structure, complemented the organization that had already existed and ensured its acceptance. The Army, territorial defense, and civil society can be viewed almost like a troika.
What is also interesting about the New York Times article is, if the article is true not even the Ukrainian General Staff predicted the level of Ukraine’s success, in response to Russia’s attack.
Vyshyvanka Day - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and MPs from the Liberal Party of Canada posed in Vyshyvankas: Today we have worn vyshyvanka to honour Ukrainian culture, traditions and history; and to support the Ukrainian people, who continue to defend against Russian aggression. Our support for the Ukrainian people will always stay strong - Trudeau. Trudeau’s Cabinet includes at least 1 individual of Ukrainian descent.
Polish President: A potential threat from Russia still exists. But over 10,000 troops from "the largest", "most powerful", "experienced", and "best-equipped" army in the world are stationed in Poland. These soldiers have combat experience. We also have the American infrastructure, heavy weapons, and anti-missile defence, thanks to which part of Poland is already protected by the American Patriot system.
Bloomberg: US Treasury Secretary - The US has already banned oil imports from Russia, and European Union countries are aiming to do the same thing. The G-7 also discussed the potential of using secondary sanctions to enforce a price cap on Russian oil.
Company Press Release: The Swiss insurer Zurich Insurance has agreed to sell the Russian business and cease commercial activity in Russia.
States that buy stolen Ukrainian grain from Russia can be considered involved in the crime - Counsellor of Ukrainian Mission to UN, Open debate in connection with "Conflict and food security".
The Wall Street Journal: The United States is considering a six-month lifting of sanctions on Belarusian production of potash fertilizers in exchange for the transit of Ukrainian grain.
US response to Russia’s offer to export 25 million tons of grain: "Stop blocking Black Sea ports! Allow the free movement of ships, trains and trucks transporting food from Ukraine. Stop threatening to suspend food and fertilizer exports to countries, which criticize your war of conquest.”
The Estonian government has decided to create strategic gas and grain reserves," Postimees reports. The government has ordered the Estonian State Reserve Center to form a natural gas reserve in the equivalent of at least one terawatt-hour, as well as a strategic grain reserve in the amount of at least 7,500 tons.
Governor of Belgorod. 59 houses were shelled in the village of Solokhi in the Belgorod region: yesterday 19 houses were damaged. Governor of Kursk: supposedly "Ukrainian troops" shelled the villages of Alekseevka and Dronovka in Kursk.
Romanian Ministry of National Defense: ⚡️France will deploy an air defense detachment at the Romanian military base of Capu Midia. The French Embassy in Bucharest specified that the Mamba medium-range air defense system, serviced by a hundred military personnel, will be deployed at the Capu Midia base.
Head of Roscosmos: "If the Americans were on the moon, then why did they fail to fly there again for so long.” "Why haven't they been able to build a ship and test it yet? And a super-heavy rocket that can do what they did in the late 60s?".
Foreign Policy: Russia is reconsidering its goals in the Donbas due to a series of failures. At the same time, the Ukrainian military is pushing the Russians to the border. The Pentagon added that Putin tried to transfer additional manpower to the Donbass, but this did not lead to success.
● Odesa is not threatened by an attempted Russian landing in the near future, according to the Pentagon.
Social Media: March in support of Ukraine in Budapest.
French President does not rule out the spread of the Russian invasion beyond Ukraine. "The recent incidents in Transnistria show that the spread of the conflict to neighbouring countries cannot be ruled out.".
The US Congress approved the $40 billion aid to Ukraine and submitted the document to President Joe Biden for signature.
CBC News: Armed Forces Secretary: The military history books will include the heroic defence by the soldiers of Mariupol on the territory of "Azovstal" as a fundamental factor of Ukrainian success in the war with Russia.
Reuters: G7 countries will commit $18.4 bln in funds for Ukraine as financial support - .
Reuters: The US will provide Ukraine with an additional $100 million of aid, .The new aid package will include additional artillery munitions and counter artillery battery radars.
● The U.S. is working to supply advanced anti-ship missiles to Ukraine to help defeat Russia's naval blockade.
CNN: Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder lost his position in the German Parliament (Bundestag) due to ties with Russia. Today, it was announced that he resigned his position on the Board of Rosneft, likely to avoid the personal sanctions recommended by the European Parliament.
Politico: The European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the EU to impose sanctions against former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, and former Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissel, who first became famous for her curtsey to Putin at her wedding, over their business ties with Russia. Her wedding was held not long after Russia’s invasion of Crimea.
NATO Secretary-General: Russia’s offensive in Donbas has stalled, but that does not mean that Russia has abandoned its strategic goals.
Turkish President Recep Erdoğan called the relationship with Russia «strategically important» and stressed that the volume of Russian gas imports to his country is 50%, so he will not give it up. Also, the Turkish President added that he does not intend to choose between Russia and Ukraine.
US President is holding negotiations with the leaders of Sweden and Finland, whose countries have applied for NATO membership. The main issue is Turkey’s position.
● US President : New members joining Nato is not a threat to any nation. It never has been. Nato’s purpose is to defend against aggression.
● NATO remains relevant, effective and necessary in the face of new threats
● Finnish President: At this moment, the Ukrainians are fighting not only for their freedom and democracy but also for our general security. He adds that Finland, together with the EU and the USA, supports Ukraine in every way.
● Swedish Prime Minister: The current situation in Ukraine reminds us of the darkest days of European history. She stresses that the countries have shown transatlantic unity in opposing Russian aggression and helping Ukraine.
Head of the Ministry of Digital Development of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, was included in the Politico Tech 28 European digital leaders rating. He was shortlisted and took first place in the Rulebreakers or “Rules Breakers” category.
President of Belarus: The time will come, and we'll make our own 'Mercedes' cars during a meeting with the governors. He also announced that he would meet with Putin to discuss steps on import substitution.
The Russian military satellite Cosmos-2555 de-orbited and burned up in the atmosphere. It was launched on an Angara-1.2 light-class launch vehicle, on which the letter Z was painted.
The European Parliament voted for a resolution calling for punishment for war crimes against Ukraine
Prime Minister of Poland: "Putin must be isolated, and the ideology of the "Russian world" must be eradicated. He stressed that today's battle for Ukraine could determine the future for several centuries."
Australian Defense Minister: The Australian government will send 14 more M113 tracked armored personnel carriers and 20 Bushmaster armored personnel carriers to Ukraine.
European Parliament: Supported the abolition of EU import duties on all Ukrainian exports for one year in order to support the country's economy. The corresponding vote took place on Thursday.
Press Secretary of the Russian President: The Kremlin does not agree that its import substitution program has "failed", hard work is being done in this regard.
Deputy Head of the Main Military-Political Directorate of the Armed Forces: The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation does not consider the letters Z and V to be official military symbols, they "do not carry a special load."
The United Kingdom included Aeroflot, Rossiya and Ural Airlines in its sanctions list.
Russia allowed Turkey to two-thirds of the market for flights between countries due to a shortage of aircraft after the imposition of sanctions related to the invasion of Ukraine.
Deputy Foreign Minister: Russia is ready to return to negotiations with Ukraine when Kyiv expresses readiness for this.
Promoter: The leader of the rock group DDT, Yuri Shevchuk, was penalized because of his words about the war and the homeland at a concert in Ufa, Russia.
NATIONAL INCLUDES OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Kingdom: More than a million refugees have returned to Ukraine. The mayors of Kyiv and Kharkiv ask people not to return to these cities yet because it is still dangerous.
ICANN the corporation that manages domain names donated $1 million in support of Ukraine’s Domain Name System. According to the Head of the Ministry of Digital Development of Ukraine, this will help to support its stable functioning, despite massive cyberattacks from Russia.
Ministry of Defense: In the last two weeks, the Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated 23 settlements in the Kharkiv region.
● In annexed Crimea, Russia is restoring the combat capabilities of units that suffered significant losses.
● In Sievierodonetsk, the enemy carried out an assault, suffered losses and withdrew to the previously occupied positions. Fighting continues in the area of Toshkivka.
● The Russians conducted offensives in the area of the Oleksandropil settlement (Donetsk region) and tried to improve the tactical position in Pylypchatyne, Druzhba and Trypillia villages but failed.
● In the Avdiivka direction, with the support of artillery, the enemy conducted assault operations in Novobakhmutivka, had no success, suffered losses and retreated.
● In the Kurakhiv direction, the enemy, with the support of rocket artillery and heavy fire systems, launched an offensive in the areas of the settlements of Stepne, Slavne and Marinka, but without success.
● The frequency of Russian rocket attacks on Ukraine is unexpectedly high, on average 10-14 ballistic and cruise missiles per day.
Institute for the Study of War: Russian Armed Forces concentrated on holding their positions north of Kharkiv to prevent further Ukrainian counter-offensives. Russian troops also tried unsuccessfully to resume offensive operations southwest of IzIum. It did not work.
President's Office: Ukrainian troops in the south of the Kharkiv region recently crossed the Seversky Donets and created a threat to the enemy's Izyum grouping. “Our troops managed to do this by unknown means and managed to cross over to the other side.”
Ministry of Infrastructure: Ukraine and the United States signed a Memorandum on transport cooperation. The document provides for a significant renewal of the railway and road industries in Ukraine.
Russian military equipment planned for use in the war in Ukraine suffered during a traffic accident, flipped over and needs to be repaired before it can be used. The accident was in Crimea and one Russian soldier died, and another was seriously wounded.
Ukrainian : Russia intends to forcibly transfer about 2 million citizens from Ukraine. Currently, 1.3 million Ukrainians have been deported. "Ukrainians are massively deported to Russia through "filtration camps" to the most remote regions of the Russian Federation. Without documents and resources. The removal of citizens was carefully planned in advance; I have documentary evidence for this," she stresses.
Filtration camps were first used by Russia in Chechnya, to separate Chechens to subject them to various levels of beatings and torture. Ukraine recently released a recording between a Russian soldier serving in Ukraine, and his wife who is a kindergarten teacher in Russia. The wife was heard telling her husband how much she hated the Ukrainian children who have been deported to her town, who are attending her school. Apparently, the children refused to participate in Russian Victory Day celebrations at the school. The soldier’s wife told her husband that she wanted to respond by taking 1 Ukrainian child and cutting off 1 finger per day until the other Ukrainian children started “behaving.” The Ukrainian SBU has since placed calls directly to her, her husband, and her Mother-in-Law.
Graty: 27-year-old artist was detained, due to pouring blue and yellow paints on the doors of the Yevpatoriia administration and throwing a Molotov cocktail into the building on May 16. Friends and human rights defenders have been trying to find Zyza, but it is not possible to ascertain his whereabouts. Yevpatoriia is a city on the western coast of Crimea. During the Crimean War, Yevpatoriia was the site of the initial landing of British troops.
Ukrainian Ombudsman: Russian soldiers rape children in front of their parents; among the victims is a 9-month-old girl. The Ombudsman reports that her phone line receives calls every day with reports of sexual crimes committed by Russians. The phone line has received 56 calls regarding sexual abuse in the last 24 hours.
● Russians are reeducating to the "standards of the Russian Federation" about 3.5 thousand teachers in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
● As of May 19, 2022, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine, 231 children have died and 427 children have been injured. In the past 24 hours alone, two children were killed and three minors were injured.
For a very interesting account of the Russian occupation of one Ukrainian city, read the article in the “New Yorker,” on the Russian occupation of Melitopol, located in Southern Ukraine between Mariupol and Kherson.
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine: It is foolish to say that the war will end in May because Russia is not as weak as Ukrainians would like it to be.
A popular Ukrainian FM channel "Russian Radio" officially became "Bayraktar Radio". This decision was made by the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting at a meeting on May 19. The station also changed its logo.
International Committee of the Red Cross: Indicated it registers all military personnel leaving Azovstal. As stated on the website of the Committee, the information collected will allow tracking Ukrainian military personnel and maintaining contact with their families. At the same time, the ICRC says that they do not accompany the military to their places of detention.
Security Service of Ukraine: The service arrested Oleg Tsarev's brother organize terrorist attacks in the Dnipropetrovsk region. According to the SBU, this relative of the former people's deputy was confident in the imminent victory of Russia: he expected the occupation of the region and was promised the post of head of the regional state administration. During the searches, law enforcement officers found weapons and ammunition, TNT bombs, bank cards and passports of a Russian citizen.
● During interrogation a captured Russian soldier tells how his commanders left them to their fate. “The command ran away and left us with our colleagues. Nobody came and helped, they just left us"
● Preparations for general mobilization have begun in Russia “The Russians began to receive mobilization orders, obliging them to appear at the military registration and enlistment offices within 10 hours if mobilization is announced. The mass mailing goes, in particular, to people who have never served in the army, but have just graduated from military departments, ”the intelligence service said.
● After the imposition of sanctions, the supply of Chinese technologies to Russia has sharply decreased: the supply of laptops from China to Russia in March fell by 40% compared to February; imports of smartphones decreased by 2/3; imports of telecommunications network equipment decreased by 98%.
● The military invasion of Ukraine did not go unnoticed for small businesses in Russia. In March and April, more than 60,000 bankruptcy cases were registered in Russia.
President's Office: The information spread yesterday about the blowing up of the train by partisans in Melitopol is not entirely true. "I have to disappoint you a little. The rails were blown up, but in front of the train. According to my information, not a single occupier died and the train was not injured.”
The national postal operator "Ukrposhta" on May 23, on the Day of the Marine Corps of Ukraine, as well as on the 40th day after the "tragic death" of the Russian military cruiser "Moskva", will issue the stamp "Russian warship ... DONE!".
National Bank of Ukraine: 5 million pounds sterling was sent to support the Ukrainian army by the British Foreign Office
The trial of war criminal Vadim Shishimarin, who confessed that he killed a 62-year-old man in the Sumy region during the Russian invasion, continues today in Kyiv. In response to the prosecutor's question whether he admits his guilt entirely, the Russian gave an affirmative answer and said that he did not refuse to testify.
The wife of the Sumy man he killed asked for a life sentence for Shishimarin. However, the woman will not mind if he is exchanged for the Ukrainian military from Azovstal.
Two Russian soldiers who shelled Kharkiv with ballistic missiles are on trial in the Poltava region. The pair have already pleaded guilty to violating the customs of war.
Institute for the Study of War
● Unsuccessful attempts by Russian troops to attack Slavyansk and Zaporozhzhia continue
● "Russian forces and artillery were most active in the settlements east of Avdiivka, but were unable to achieve any territorial advance.
Kharkiv Regional Military Administration : Russians failed to “mobilise” the local population of Izium town. People were given a choice of deportation to Russia or join their armed forces.
● Approximately 20-25% of the Kharkiv region is still under Russian occupation.
● Over the past 24 hours, Russian troops bombarded the Kyiv, Saltivka and Oleksiivka districts of Kharkiv from the MLRS BM-30 Smerch, BM-21 Grad and “Uragan”. A shell hit a private house in Derhachi last night.
● In Mala Danilivka village, a garage and a car caught fire from a strike by Russian troops. Around five in the morning 7 garages of the zooveterinary academy were on fire. According to preliminary reports, there were no casualties.
● In the morning, 3 people were injured as a result of shelling in Shevchenkovo settlement.
Luhansk Regional Military Administration: Thirty-seven people, including five children, were evacuated today from Sievierodonetsk, despite the heavy shelling of the city. Russians are shelling the whole "road of life". The evacuation truck barely escaped.
● A man died from Russian shelling in the Mountain community. Three more were injured:, despite the difficult situation, 17 people were evacuated, 4 of them were children.
● Rubizhne shared the fate of Mariupol. The industrial town has been completely destroyed, there are no surviving buildings, and many houses are impossible to restore. There are only graves in the courtyards.
National Police of the Donetsk region: Over the last twenty-four hours Russians bombarded: - Soledar, Bakhmut, Siversk, Avdiivka, Lyman, Marinka, Romanivka, Bakhmutske, Khrestyshche, Donetske, Kalynove, Sydorove, New-York. Russian troops hit the residential buildings, hospital, sanatorium, sports complex, shopping centre and objects of critical infrastructure. Five civilians were killed and five wounded.
Adviser to the mayor of Mariupol: The bodies of the dead from under the rubble of the Mariupol Drama Theater are being transported by Russian Soldiers towards Staryi Krym (a city in the eastern part of Crimea). According to him, local traffic is recorded for two days in a row. The clearing area is guarded and locals are not given access, thus continuing the operation to cover up the consequences of war crimes.
● May 18, the Russian troops transferred 127 citizens of Mariupol (among them are 12 children) to the filtration camp in the village of Bezimennyi, Novoazovsk district.
● During the last month, Russians dropped the TNT equivalent of 714 tons of bombs, on the "Azovstal" plant in Mariupol. This does not include ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, artillery and mortar shells and shelling by naval vessels.
Operational Command Pivden (South): The Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed another ammunition base in Kherson, two T-72 tanks, self-propelled artillery and howitzer, two Grad rocket launchers and an anti-aircraft missile system "Tor", armoured vehicles, and 40 Russian soldiers on May 20.
● Russia continues trying to establish an operational base on Snake Island without success.
Zaporizhzhia Regional Administration: At the checkpoint near Vasylivka, Zaporizhzhia region, the Russian military does not allow people to leave. In front of the checkpoint, thousand of cars formed a queue.
In Enerhodar, on May 18, at around midnight, the occupants arrived at the firehouse of the 13th State Fire and Rescue Unit and searched the office of the chief of the State Fire and Rescue Squad, Vitalii Troian. After which they sealed the office and took the head to an unknown place.
● In occupied Enerhodar, fire station personnel protested against the Russian soldiers who kidnapped Vitalii Troian, the commander of the firehouse.
● The occupiers used force against the firefighters demonstrating in support of the kidnapped chief. They are beating people and damaging fire and rescue equipment.
Vyshyvanka Day in temporarily occupied Kherson. Local residents placed Ukrainian national symbols throughout the city, and the word “Kherson'' was written on the walls in blue and yellow paints.
Operational Command Pivden (South): Russian troops are trying to strengthen their position on the Zmiinnyi island. The Russians have been prevented by storms from executing their plans.
REST OF UKRAINE
Mayor of Zhytomyr: Ukraine will strengthen the border with Belarus in the Zhytomyr region to prevent the invasion of Russian troops. "The enemy will not have a second attempt. They will not be able to enter Ukraine as they entered on February 24. On May 1, we started building concrete blocks along the entire boundary line", – he says
In the morning, there were two explosions near the city of Malyn in the Zhytomyr region..
At the end of May, 6 communal cinemas will resume screenings in Kyiv.
Comparing Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to Russian invasion of Ukraine using Wikipedia and Ukraine Ministry of Defense Daily Bulletins. Soviet and Russian military losses not including captured equipment.