#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Wagner leaves Bachmut. Moscow opens a front line 875 km long


On May 25, the Swedish Ambassador to Russia M. Mard was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, who declared that, taking into account the conflicting course followed by Sweden towards the Russian Federation, Moscow has decided to put an end to activity of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation from 1 September 2023 in Gothenburg. At the same time, the head of the Swedish diplomatic mission was informed of the withdrawal by the Russian side from September 1, 2023 of its consent to the activities of the Swedish Consulate General in St. Petersburg, reports the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Swedish Ambassador has been informed that the Russian side, in response, has decided to declare five Swedish diplomats “persona non grata”, including three employees of the Office of the Defense Attaché at the Swedish Embassy in Moscow.

The United States makes it clear, even directly to Ukraine, that it does not support the use of American weapons by Kiev for sorties in Russia, says the White House opening an investigation. Washington believes that one of the Ukrainian special services may be responsible for the drone incident over the Kremlin in early May, according to the New York Times, citing informed American sources.

The NY article notes that “US intelligence agencies do not know which unit carried out the attack.” It is not clear whether Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky or his top officials knew about the operation, although some US officials believe Zelensky was unaware. Also, according to US officials, the Ukrainian side may be responsible for the murders of Daria Dugina and Vladlen Tatarsky, as well as the explosion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

The EU is discussing the transfer to Ukraine of profits from Russian assets worth €196.6 billion, which are frozen in the Belgian clearinghouse Euroclear due to sanctions. The Financial Times reports it, citing European officials.

While NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the decision on supplying Western fighters to Ukraine has not yet been made, he said. The UK government is committed to providing Ukraine with much-needed combat air support as soon as possible. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s representative told TASS. “We achieved a real breakthrough at the G7 summit [Hiroshima] thanks to the support of [US President Joe] Biden [proposal] to create a coalition to transfer [Ukraine] F-16 fighters. The UK will be part of this coalition, together with its European allies. We are committed to providing Ukraine with the air combat support it needs as soon as possible,” he said. In addition, the first stage of training of Ukrainian pilots to fly American F-16 fighters will take place in Great Britain. According to a British government spokesman, around 20 pilots will take part in initial training. “This will be basic ground training for Ukrainian pilots who will then be ready for more specific F-16 training,” the spokesman said. Ukraine plans to send fluent English-speaking pilots into training to speed up training.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that: “If we stop supplying Kiev with weapons now, Ukraine will end tomorrow”

The adviser to the head of Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, Mikhail Podolyak, said that the counteroffensive of Ukrainian troops will not be a “single event”, it will be dozens of “different actions” that are already underway and will continue. Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s deputy bureau chief Ihor Zhovkva said that Kiev would launch a counter-offensive as soon as it received all the necessary weapons from the Western allies, thereby refuting the claim of Zelenskyy’s bureau chief adviser Mikhail Podolyak , according to which the offensive began several days ago, he told the Italian Rai.

The Russian Defense Ministry showed footage of the destruction of Ukrainian unmanned boats that attempted to attack the ship “Ivan Khurs”. On May 24, the draft law on denunciation by Russia of the agreement with the Russian Federation was presented to the State Duma Ukraine on the use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait

“Poland is a hostile state, its leadership is now hysterical with Russophobia,” Peskov said, commenting on Warsaw’s statements about preparations for a coup and hostilities in Belarus. Russia has an obligation to ensure the security of Belarus, “which we will do in the face of a clear threat,” he stressed.

The Head of the SVR Naryshkin on what happened to the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian forces Zaluzhny said: “We receive information about it, but there is no guarantee that it is 100% reliable.” Photos have appeared online from Zelensky’s staff of the Chief of Staff which are said to be from the last few days, but are actually from May 2.

The governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov said that the issue of arming self-defense units should be resolved in the legal field “We have them (self-defense units). Almost 3 thousand people, seven battalions along the border. They have been training since November last year. They are already combat-ready units, dressed in uniform, equipment has been provided. The only thing that has not yet been resolved according to the current legislation is the issue of weapons,” said the head of the region.

He added that during the invasion of the territory of the Graivoronsky urban district, Ukrainian saboteurs should not have involved self-defense forces. “There were enough military personnel and it was not necessary to solve this problem, but now we are looking for legal bases (to arm self-defense) to push back the enemy if necessary,” the head of the region stressed.

The United States has not yet concluded whether American equipment was used by saboteurs in the Belgorod region, the State Department said. Andrey Chernyak, a representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, says he does not know where the Ukrainian saboteurs got the American equipment used in the attack on the Belgorod region, reports Politico. According to him, Western military assistance is intended for Ukrainian troops. “Every bullet is tracked not only by us, but also by our Western allies,” he added.

According to the GUR representative, it is not known where the saboteurs got the American equipment. According to Chernyak, they act independently, but he admitted that the department maintains contact with them.

On 25 morning around 09:00 online first videos of Wagner’s men leaving Artemovsk – Bachmut. According to Yevgeny Prigozhin the transfer of the position to the regular troops will last until June 1st. The DPR flag was hoisted in the city.

The Wall Street Journal writes that against the backdrop of heavy losses among professional troops, Kiev sent untrained mobilizers to Artemovsk, trying to detain more experienced military personnel with Western-supplied equipment for the offensive. The WSJ writes of a group of people mobilized in February in the Ukrainian 93rd Mechanized Brigade, which mainly included “poor people from villages in the Kharkov region, many of whom were unemployed, doing odd jobs as laborers”.

Almost none of them had combat experience. According to the documents and photographs cited by the newspaper, at the base where they were taken, the mobilized were given Soviet-era weapons and uniforms and two days later they were taken to Konstantinovka, near Bachmut – Artemovsk. A couple of days later the foreman of the company arrived and said that he had orders to send people to Bachmut-Artemovsk in groups of six. According to the WSJ, some of the men threatened to write an official refusal to comply with the order, citing their lack of training and inability to shoot. However, the Ukrainian military replied that “Bachmut will be the teacher”.

From social sources it is taken that against the background of the withdrawal of PMC units from Bachmut (Artyomovsk), the Ukrainian side unilaterally announced the exchange and return of 106 prisoners (8 officers and 98 soldiers), as well as the bodies of 2 mercenaries. Considering that the exchange took place near Bachmut, and not in the Sumy or Zaporozhzhia regions, it was most likely not organized by Russian Defense Ministry negotiators, but by Prigozhin’s men. So far, there is no information on how many Russians have returned from captivity.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Sergei Shoigu more than 2.5 thousand foreign mercenaries operate on the Kiev side.

On the night of May 24, the Ukrainian armed forces tried to strike the Crimean peninsula with drones. In total, seven Mugin-5 UAVs were used at facilities in different parts of the republic. Target designation was provided by an American RQ-4B UAV. The Russians write.

The drone attack, according to sources in the Russian social sphere, was quite expected. In anticipation of the Black Sea air raid, five US Air Force and NATO Air Force reconnaissance aircraft operated. In this case, it is more interesting how well the air defense units of the RF Armed Forces adapted to regular attacks. If earlier anti-aircraft missiles were used, now the Most UAVs are shot down by anti-drone rifle detachments, which have proven their effectiveness against low-flying targets.

According to war correspondents on the Zaporizhzhia front after an intense surge of Russian units from the Crimea deep into the Kherson and Zaporozhzhia regions, “more than 70% of the region” was taken. Russian troops allegedly managed to break through the land corridor from Donetsk and Rostov to the Crimea and to occupy the entire coastal strip along the Azov Sea.

Currently, Ukrainian formations are preparing for a counteroffensive against Russian positions near Orekhov, Gulyaipol and other sectors along the Zaporizhzhia frontier. And the fate of the territories taken by the Russians will depend on the outcome of this offensive.

Currently in Russia the military top echelons are discussing how to turn 875 km of the state border into the front line. Rustem Klupov, a veteran of military intelligence, declared a Hero of the Russian Federation, said in live streaming: “The border guards do not have their own troops, but only the border service, they are not able to cope with this task 100% . Territorial Defense Battalions are deployed along the state line. But they lag behind in the speed of deployment, inferior in the speed of action to sabotage and reconnaissance groups. More precisely, terrorist intelligence. In addition to intimidating the civilian population, they divert our attention away from the main front line in the main directions”.

Information from the Russian Defense Ministry says that along the front line on May 25 the situation was as follows: in the Kupyansk direction, airstrikes and artillery fire of the “Western” group of forces hit enemy units in settlement areas of Masyutovka, Timkovka, Kotlyarovka of the Kharkov region and Stelmahovka of the Luhansk People’s Republic.

In the settlement areas of Novomlynsk, Sinkovka of the Kharkiv region, Ivanovka of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Rozovka of the Luhansk People’s Republic, the actions of four Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups were stopped.

In the Krasno-Limansky direction, operational-tactical and military aviation, artillery fire and heavy flamethrower systems of the “Center” force group hit Ukrainian units in the areas of Yampolovka settlements of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Raigorodka and Chervonaya Dibrov of the Republic Luhansk people.

In the Donetsk direction, airstrikes and artillery fire were recorded, active operations of units of the “Southern” group of forces.

Two warehouses with ammunition of the mechanized brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed in the areas of Stupochka and Avdiivka settlements of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

In the South-Donetsk and Zaporozhzhia directions, air strikes, artillery fire and heavy flamethrower systems of the Vostok group of troops hit Ukrainian units in the areas of Novomikhailovka, Novoselka settlements of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Malaya Tokmachka and Nesteryanka of the Zaporozhye region .

Online videos show attack in Kherson direction with FAB-500 against Ukrainians. Warehouses destroyed.

Graziella Giangiulio

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