The Ukrainian question is leading. a real split within the American Democrat sphere at least from what can be seen from the statements officially or unofficially released by President Joe Biden’s entourage.
According to Politico, the United States is preparing for a long-term freeze on the Ukrainian conflict. Under this option, (not necessarily official) borders could be defined that Ukraine and Russia would agree not to cross. According to the newspaper, the Biden administration believes that the upcoming Ukrainian counter-offensive “will not deal a fatal blow to Russia”.
The Financial Times wrote that the United States considers the next five months decisive for the outcome of the conflict in Ukraine and the last real chance for Kiev to make a difference on the ground. Ukraine’s allies fear that the level of military support for Kiev will soon reach its peak, the newspaper said. The pre-approved aid packages are enough to provide Kiev with what it needs for the next five months. One of the officials suggested the current level of support could be maintained for a year or two, but no longer, the article said.
Jake Sullivan, national security assistant to the president of the United States stated that: ”Whether a counter-offensive has started depends on who is leading it, and I won’t tell the rooftops. I will let the Ukrainians characterize what they are doing,” Sullivan told reporters. According to him, “intense military activity continues.”
A group of 14 congressmen has sent a letter to US President Joe Biden’s administration asking them to immediately unblock the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, reported The New York Times. And the US Department of Defense is not against the transfer of F-16 fighters to Ukraine. Source Pentagon.
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger believes Ukraine should be admitted to NATO as it becomes the country with the best weapons and least experienced leadership in Europe.
John Kirby, spokesman for the US National Security Council said: “We are observing. We are seeing signs that Iran and Russia are expanding their unprecedented defense cooperation.”
EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell has proposed increasing the fund for military assistance to Ukraine by 3.5 billion euros, Reuters reported, citing EU sources. According to the agency, Borrell suggested that the bloc’s governments invest more in the so-called “European Peace Facility”, which has already allocated some 4.6 billion euros for military assistance to Ukraine.
The Chinese government’s special representative for Eurasian affairs Li Hui said during his visit to Kiev on May 16-17 that there is no one-size-fits-all method for solving the Ukrainian crisis and that China will help in his own way to solve it. this problem. The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced it on Thursday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked to hold a peaceful summit on Ukraine without the Russian Federation, his request will be discussed by the G7. Zelensky wants to advance his “peace plan” and G7 leaders could discuss his proposal at a meeting in Japan, the Financial Times reported, citing an unnamed European official.
On the Russian side, it is claimed that on May 16, following an attack by the Kinzhal hypersonic missile system on Kiev, a multifunctional radar station was hit and completely destroyed, as well as 5 launchers of the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system produced by the USA, a source from the Ministry for the Russian Defense.
In the Ukrainian social sphere, there are fears that the Chief of the General Staff, Valery Fedorovich Zaluzhnyi is seriously and seriously injured. The posts complain that previously there was talk of easing from the public sphere for 9 days, now for 40. In fact, Zaluzhnyi has disappeared from the public scene since early May.
The acting head of the Zaporozhzhia region Balitsky said that the Ukrainian troops missed the opportunity for a counteroffensive in the Zaporozhzhia region, now they have no chance of success. He commented that there is no need to evacuate the residents of Energodar and the employees of the Zaporozhzhia nuclear power plant.
High-ranking sources report that on the Zaporizhizhia front line the Armed Forces of Ukraine concentrated a group of strike troops of about 65 thousand people in the direction of Zaporizhizhia itself, which was chosen as one of the main points of attack during the offensive operational planning. The forces of about two army corps and air assault troops were concentrated. The main units and formations of the group are 80-100 km from the contact line. The group is ready. Looks like waiting for an order.
According to other sources “prior to a breakthrough attempt, a massive rocket and artillery attack was planned against positions, locations, checkpoints, command posts, headquarters, warehouses, bases of the Russian Armed Forces and civilian facilities both in Zaporozhzhia , Kherson regions, LDNR, Crimea and Sevastopol and the “old” Russian territories. An attempt to deliver a distraction blow in the direction of the Belgorod region of Russia is also possible.
In the Kherson direction, local sources report that engineering works have been noted in preparation for an offensive with a forcing of the Dnieper: in a number of areas, mines have been found and are being removed near water barriers.
In the morning of May 18, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu monitored the organization of combat training of servicemen who entered military service at the training grounds of the Western Military District.
Clashes continue on the front line.
By now it is clear that for the Ukrainians at the moment the only real opportunity is drone attacks on Russian territory, which they have been doing for weeks now and still exploiting Putin’s opponents to carry out attacks. On May 18, two IEDs exploded as a train loaded with grain passed under the railway tracks near the village of Chistenkoye, near Simferopol, Crimea. According to preliminary information from the Crimean Transport Minister, about eight carriages derailed near Simferopol. The railway tracks are expected to be restored and open to traffic by this evening. Traffic was blocked and people transport went on wheels.
According to sources from the social sphere, “due to the lack of technical means to detect air targets, the Ukrainian command decided to establish observation posts staffed by military personnel. In large settlements of Ukraine, on the roofs of high-rise buildings, they began to install additional anti-aircraft observation posts. The calculation includes 2-3 people carrying optical means of observation and radio stations. According to the plan, when an air target is detected, anti-aircraft systems are notified and an air defense radar is also launched. There would be no other way to Kiev.
Again according to the same sources, there are now no career officers on the front line of the Ukrainian troops. In order to preserve the command personnel, Ukrainian middle and senior officers are prohibited from being in the so-called “red zone”. The visit to the advanced front is permitted only in exceptional cases and with prior agreement with the superiors.
On 17 May 2023, no bombing of settlements was recorded by the LPR’s representative office in the JCCC.
Denis Pushilin told RIA Novosti that the prospect of complete liberation of Bachmut is close enough. The situation on the flanks at Bachmut, according to the latest information, is improving, their strengthening has had an effect.
According to the military at the front at 12.00 on May 18 the situation in Bachmut was as follows.
Ukrainians may lose their last positions in the city before the end of the week – the average forecast now on both sides is 1-3 days. What is left of Bachmut’s garrison will roll back to Krasnoye and Khromovo with losses over the next few days. The rest will remain in the city, as they have already stopped taking you prisoner.
Since after the ousting of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from Bachmut, the fighting will continue in the fields west of the city, as well as in Khromovo and Krasnoy regions, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will continue to pretend that the “Bachmut Fortress” is standing, after which , in 1-2 weeks they will announce that he “retired to more advantageous positions” and “in general, Bachmut never really mattered.”
The current attacks north and south of the city are unlikely to lead to any significant breakthroughs on the front, but tactical successes could allow the Armed Forces of Ukraine to somewhat dampen the inevitable tantrums in Ukraine over the surrender of the Bachmut Fortress.
In the middle of the day on May 18, the Ukrainians continued to attack in the direction of Berkhovka and Kleshcheevka. There are intense battles. The Ukrainian soldiers continue to attack also in the Sacco and Vanzetti area. The village itself is held by Russian troops, Ukrainians are pressing from the northwest and north. Now those reserves are being used that have been harvested for a long time in the area of \u200b\u200bKonstantinovka, Chasov Yar and Aleksandrovka.
With all the tactical problems for the Russians in the area of Bogdanovka, Kleshcheevka and Sakko i Vancetti, the continuation of these attacks after the loss of Bachmut on the Ukrainian side meant will allow, with command and control of the Russian Defense Ministry, the strengthening of the interaction of the Russian Defense Ministry with PMC “Wagner”, to destroy part of the Ukrainian operational reserves in the Slavyansko-Kramatorsk direction, which will be of no small importance in subsequent battles for break through the line of defense of the armed forces of Ukraine Konstantinovka-Chasov Yar-Rai-Aleksandrovka, with the aim of entering the agglomeration Slavnya-Kramatorsk. The fighting here will also be heavy.
In the Krasno-Limansky direction, the Ukrainian military began to use UAVs more intensively. In the Kremennaya-Svatove section, an increase in the use of various unmanned aerial vehicles by Ukrainian militants is noted. Reconnaissance drones are most commonly used, but attack and kamikaze drones are also used.
According to social media rumors: 7 Russian Tu-95 nuclear bombers have flown towards Ukraine. Ukrainian pro-government social networks are in a panic: they report that ten Russian Tu-95MS strategic missile carriers and four Tu-22 bombers are now in the air. In the early afternoon of May 18, the crews of the Su-25 attack aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces Air Force launched missile air strikes on military facilities and equipment of nationalist units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Confirmations from the Ukrainian military are awaited.