Ukraine Daily Summary - Thursday, May 25

Russia’s Kinzhal missile is not hypersonic. Nor is it invincible -- First F-16 fighter jet in Ukraine will be one of the strongest signals from the world -- Prigozhin's heightened profile fuels intensified attacks on Russian military -- US lawmakers urge Biden to transfer frozen Russian assets to Ukraine -- and more

Thursday, May 25

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.

Destroyed Russian military vehicles on display in front of Saint Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, the headquarters of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, on May 24, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Photo by Roman Pilipey/Getty Images)

Zelensky: First F-16 fighter jet in Ukraine ‘will be one of the strongest signals from the world’. 

In his nightly address on May 24, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the first F-16 fighter jet delivered to Ukraine “will be one of the strongest signals from the world” that Russia is “only becoming weaker and more isolated.”

UK Defense Secretary visits Ukraine, meets Reznikov.

U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace made an unannounced visit to Kyiv on May 24 and met with his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov. The officials discussed security issues, the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, and Kyiv’s prospects for joining the alliance.

Defense Ministry: Russian forces attempt to strengthen flanks on outskirts of Bakhmut. 

Russian forces are attempting to strengthen their positions on the flanks of the Bakhmut suburbs, relying on constant shelling to achieve this goal, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported on May 24.

Ukraine reportedly shoots down all Russian aerial targets during May 25 Kyiv attack.

Ukraine shot down all the Russian aerial targets in an early morning Russian strike on Kyiv on May 25, according to preliminary information reported by Kyiv City Military Administration head Serhii Popko.

National Police: Family with 4 children evacuated 300 meters from front line. 

Police officers evacuated a family with four children from the village of Pivnichne in Donetsk Oblast after a Russian projectile struck near their house, Ukraine’s National Police reported on May 24.

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Russian governor claims several drones shot down over Crimea. 

Drones were shot down over Russian-occupied Sevastopol overnight on May 25, Mikhail Razvozhayev, Russian-installed governor of the city, reported on his Telegram channel.

Moscow claims Russian Black Sea Fleet ship attacked by unmanned surface vehicles. 

A reconnaissance ship belonging to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was attacked by three unmanned surface vehicles, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed on May 24.

ISW: Prigozhin’s heightened profile fuels intensified attacks on Russian military. 

In the wake of Russia’s capture of Bakhmut, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the notorious figure at the head of the Wagner Group, appears to be leveraging his increased visibility to launch aggressive assaults on the Russian military establishment and elites, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest update.

Military intelligence says Prigozhin one of its main targets. 

Deputy Defense Intelligence Chief Vadym Skybytskyi told German publication Welt in an interview on May 24 that Wagner mercenary group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin was one of the Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate’s main targets.

Reuters: Kyiv investigating Belarus’ potential involvement in child abductions.

The Prosecutor General’s Office told Reuters on May 24 that Ukraine was investigating Belarus’ possible role in the illegal transfer of Ukrainian children from Russian-occupied territories.

Read our exclusives

White House to look into weapons used during Belgorod attack

White House spokesman John Kirby said Washington is “looking into those reports that U.S. equipment and vehicles could’ve been involved” in the fighting within Russian borders.

Photo: Getty Images

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Russia’s Kinzhal missile is not hypersonic. Nor is it invincible

For years, Russia’s Kinzhal missile was portrayed by the Kremlin’s propaganda machine as an invincible, cutting-edge hypersonic weapon, symbolizing Russia’s supremacy in advanced military tech.

Photo: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency

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Human cost of war

Ukrainian boxing champion dies in combat near Bakhmut. 

Ukrainian national team boxer Oleksandr Onyshchenko died in combat near the city of Bakhmut, the Boxing Federation of Ukraine announced on May 24.

Russian forces shell Kherson Oblast, injuring woman. 

Russian forces shelled Kherson Oblast on May 24, injuring one woman, the Kherson Oblast Military Administration reported.

Who pays for US weapons sent to Ukraine and why it’s worth it

Who pays for US weapons sent to Ukraine and why it’s worth it

International response

US approves $285 million sale of NASAMS air defense system to Ukraine. 

In a move to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities against potential Russian threats, the United States has authorized the sale of a NASAMS air defense system and associated equipment worth $285 million to Kyiv.

US lawmakers urge Biden to transfer frozen Russian assets to Ukraine. 

U.S. lawmakers from both political parties sent a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden urging him to transfer frozen Russian assets to Ukraine, according to a May 23 press release from Congressman Adam Schiff’s office.

NYT: US officials believe Ukrainians likely behind Kremlin drone attack. 

U.S. intelligence agencies believe that Ukrainians were likely behind the May 3 drone attack on the Kremlin, the New York Times reported on May 24.

Norway considers training Ukrainian pilots. 

Norway will “consider various ways to contribute to the training and education of Ukrainian personnel on F-16 fighter jets,” according to a statement released by the Norwegian Defense Ministry on May 24. 

Latvia pledges 2 million euros for reconstruction of Chernihiv. 

Chernihiv will receive two million euros from Latvia for the reconstruction of the city, the Chernihiv City Council reported on May 24.

Opinions and insight

Andreas Umland: Why Russia and Ukraine will not find a compromise soon

“The prospects for a positive outcome of negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv are rather dim – at least, as long as the current Russian regime remains intact,” Andreas Umland, an analyst at the Stockholm Centre for Eastern European Studies, writes in his latest op-ed.

Photo: Vladimir Aleksandrov/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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In other news

Orthodox Church of Ukraine to switch to Revised Julian calendar, celebrate Christmas on Dec 25. 

The Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has approved switching to the new Julian calendar from Sept. 1. It means the Church will celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25 instead of Jan. 7. 

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Oleksiy Sorokin, Dinara Khalilova, Teah Pelechaty, Kate Tsurkan, Olena Goncharova, and Brad LaFoy.

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