Ukraine Daily Summary - Friday, May 19

Overnight on May 19, explosions were reported in Lviv, as well as in Chernihiv, Mykolaiv, and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts -- US signals to allies that it won’t block them from exporting F-16 jets to Ukraine -- Ukrainian defenders control southwestern Bakhmut, advance in outskirts -- Russia's war in Ukraine may become 'frozen' conflict -- and more

Friday, May 19

Russia’s war against Ukraine

A couple stands in front of a damaged multistory residential building, where a Russian strike killed 23 people, in Uman, Cherkasy Oblast.

A Russian missile shot down over Kyiv Oblast on May 18, 2023. (Photo: Andriy Nebytov / Telegram)

Overnight on May 19, explosions were reported in Lviv, as well as in Chernihiv, Mykolaiv, and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts. Russian attacks in the city of Kryvyi Rih, located in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, injured two people, one seriously, and damaged several buildings.

Air Force: Ukraine downs 3 cruise missiles, 16 drones overnight. Ukraine’s air defenses successfully shot down three out of the six cruise missiles and 16 out of the 22 kamikaze drones Russia launched at Ukraine overnight on May 19, Ukraine’s Air Force reported on Telegram.

Ukraine’s military reports breakthrough in Bakhmut outskirts. Ukraine’s Third Assault Brigade reported making a breakthrough in the western outskirts of Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, on May 18. As a result of the breakthrough, the brigade has gained a foothold “for a further counteroffensive.”

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Official: Ukrainian defenders control southwestern Bakhmut, advance in outskirts. In the past day, Ukrainian troops have made localized advances south and north of the city, in some areas by up to one kilometer, according to Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar.

Ambassador: One counteroffensive cannot determine course of entire war. Ukraine’s Ambassador to NATO Natalia Halibarenko said that allies should have realistic expectations about the upcoming counteroffensive in an interview with Lithuanian media outlet LRT on May 18.

Politico: Russia’s war in Ukraine may become ‘frozen’ conflict. U.S. officials are discussing an action plan in case Russia’s war in Ukraine turns into a “frozen” conflict, Politico reported on May 18, citing people familiar with the talks.

Read our exclusives

Ukraine strikes back around Bakhmut as Wagner reaches last streets in the city

On the evening of May 9, just half a day after a single T-34 tank rolled through Red Square during Moscow’s subdued Victory Day celebrations, something unexpected happened.

Photo: Perun/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

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Why Ukrainian writers refuse to share stages with Russian authors at festivals

At this year’s PEN World Voices Festival, Ukrainian writers Artem Chapeye, Artem Chekh, and Iryna Tsilyk discovered at the eleventh hour that there would also be an event with three Russian journalists, about the “victims of tyranny.”

Photo: Beowulf Sheehan/PEN America

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Human cost of war

Russian rocket strike kills 1, injures 2 in Kharkiv Oblast. At least one person was killed, and two more were injured during a Russian strike against the village of Tsyrkuny, Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported on May 18.

Russian attacks on Kryvyi Rih seriously injure 2, damage several buildings. Russian attacks on the city of Kryvyi Rih in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast overnight on May 19 injured two people and set fire to several buildings, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Governor Serhiy Lysak reported on Telegram.

General Staff: Russia has lost 201,100 troops in Ukraine.The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on May 18 that Russia has lost 201,100 troops in Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion, with an estimated 510 casualties on May 17.

International response

Bloomberg: Zelensky to visit G7 summit in person. President Volodymyr Zelensky will travel to Japan this week to join the Group of Seven (G7) leaders in person, people familiar with the planning told Bloomberg. Japanese officials earlier said that Zelensky would join virtually.

G7 leaders to discuss international summit on Ukraine peace. Group of Seven (G7) leaders will discuss the idea of holding an international summit on Ukraine peace when they meet in Japan this week, Reuters reported, citing an EU official.

Norway to send Ukraine rocket launchers, artillery location radars. Norway will supply Ukraine with up to eight multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) and three Arthur artillery location radars, Norwegian Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said on May 18.

Reuters: Pentagon discovers $3 billion accounting error in valuing Ukraine weapons aid. The Pentagon has acknowledged a significant accounting error that overestimated the value of ammunition, missiles, and other equipment provided to Ukraine by approximately $3 billion. This miscalculation may potentially result in increased weapon shipments to Kyiv to strengthen its defense against Russian forces.

CNN: US signals to allies that it won’t block them from exporting F-16 jets to Ukraine. Sources familiar with the matter told CNN that the Biden administration has conveyed to European allies its willingness to permit them to export F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

Opinions and insights

Carl Bildt: The high stakes of NATO’s Vilnius summit

With NATO’s mid-July summit in Vilnius fast approaching, the question on everyone’s mind is how to avoid another debacle concerning Ukraine’s prospective membership in the alliance.

Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images

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In other news

Ukraine commemorates anniversary of Crimean Tatars’ forced deportation, genocide. The Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar flags were lowered at the Foreign Ministry on May 18 to commemorate the forced deportations carried out by the Soviets in 1944, Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzheppar reported.

Ex-Supreme Court Head detained for 60 days. Now former Supreme Court Head Vsevolod Kniaziev will be held in custody until July 14 if he doesn’t post bail set at Hr 107 million ($2.9 million), Suspilne news outlet reported on May 18.

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