Ukraine Daily Summary - Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Russian military stole ancient gold artifacts --Russia forcibly deports over 8,787 Ukrainians in single day -- If Ukraine doesn't get EU candidacy status, it means Europe is trying to deceive us -- Ukrainian forces liberate four settlements in Kharkiv Oblast -- Russian forces shell main pipeline, Sievierodonetsk left without gas -- and more

Ukraine Daily

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

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Russia’s war against Ukraine


A man walks at the damaged street in the city of Kharkiv on May 8, 2022. (Kostyantyn Chernichkin)

Zelensky: Russia won’t agree to release Ukrainian defenders of Azovstal. Several options for a possible evacuation offered to the Russian military by Ukraine have been ignored, President Volodymyr Zelensky said during his speech to the parliament of Malta on May 10. Zelensky said that Ukraine continues trying to rescue the remaining soldiers at Azovstal, a highly fortified still plant in Mariupol. Russian forces continue to storm Azovstal.

FM Kuleba: If Ukraine doesn’t get EU candidacy status, it means Europe is trying to deceive us. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the Financial Times that the most important thing for Ukraine right now will be getting the candidate status for the EU membership. Kuleba emphasized that Ukraine is the only place in Europe where people are dying for the values of EU. “I believe that this should be respected,” he said.

Ukrainian forces liberate four settlements in Kharkiv Oblast. The list includes the villages of Cherkaski Tyshky, Ruski Tyshky, and Bairak, as well as the Rubizhne city, the General Staff reported on May 10.

Pentagon: Putin two weeks behind plans in Donbas and southern Ukraine. A senior U.S. Department of Defense official said at a closed briefing for journalists on May 10 that Russia’s current position is about two weeks behind schedule of “what [Putin] would like to see,” RFE/RL reports. The official also said that while Russia’s military continues to gather forces, it is suffering losses and has not achieved any of Putin’s major goals.

German embassy to return to Kyiv. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, during her visit to Ukraine, said the country will start reopening its embassy in Kyiv. The embassy will begin operating at a limited capacity, Baerbock noted, and the German ambassador to Ukraine, Anka Feldhusen, will again be the German representative in Kyiv.

Luhansk Oblast Governor: Russian forces shell main pipeline, Sievierodonetsk left without gas. According to Governor Serhiy Haidai, the whole city of Sievierodonetsk is cut off from gas supply due to the Russian shelling.

Kyiv City Council: 390 buildings damaged in Kyiv since Feb. 24. As a result of Russia’s invasion, a total of 390 buildings in Kyiv were damaged, 222 of those are apartment buildings. Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the estimated cost of renovating damaged buildings would be over 70 million euros.

Top US intelligence official: Putin’s war could become ‘more unpredictable and potentially escalatory.’ Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 10 that Russia’s refocus on Donbas is likely “only a temporary shift,” Politico reports. Haines warned that “Putin’s strategic goals have probably not changed” and that Putin could seek more “more drastic means” in Russia and abroad to achieve his objectives, including imposing martial law.

Russian forces sustain loses throughout southern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces report that 79 Russian combatants have been killed and 12 pieces of military equipment destroyed, including UAVs, artillery pieces and combat vehicles.

Russia forcibly deports over 8,787 Ukrainians in single day. Russian authorities reported that nearly 9,000 Ukrainians, including 1,106 children, were deported to Russia from Ukraine, specifically the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, over the last 24 hours. Since the start of Russia’s all-out war 1,208,225 people have reportedly been forcibly moved to Russia, including 210,224 children.

Sumy Oblast governor: Loud explosions in several cities. Dmytro Zhyvytskyi said that the explosions were heard on the evening of May 10 in several cities of the region’s Shostkynskyi District. The official asked residents to stay in bomb shelters during air raids.

Study: Ukrainian small, medium-sized businesses lost up to $85 billion due to Russia’s war. After two and a half months of the full-scale Russian invasion, almost 90% of such companies need emergency funding, according to the Advanter Group, a Kyiv-based think tank. The total funding required is $54 billion. Half of these enterprises either shut down completely or suspended most of their activities.

Prosecutor General’s Office: Russian military stole ancient gold artifacts from occupied Melitopol, proceedings initiated. Scythian gold dated back to the fourth century B.C. may have been stolen among other exhibits from a local museum in occupied Melitopol in April, according to prosecutors.

Third of gas transit through Ukraine to Europe may be interrupted due to Russia’s war. Since several key gas facilities are located in the currently occupied Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine won’t be able to ensure the transit of up to 32.6 million cubic meters of gas per day from Russia to European countries starting May 11, Ukraine’s gas transmission system operator said. Ukraine may move gas transit to Ukrainian-controlled territory to fulfill its transit obligations.

The human cost of Russia’s war

UN: 7,172 civilian casualties in Ukraine due to Russia’s war. According to the UN’s human rights agency, as of midnight on May 9, Russia’s war against Ukraine has killed 3,459 civilians and wounded 3,713 since Feb. 24. The agency believes the actual figures are considerably higher. Most of the recorded casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems.

Russian shelling in Zaporizhzhia kills 1, injures 8. The Zaporizhzhia Oblast Administration reported on May 10 that Russian troops fired on civilian infrastructure in the town of Orikhov in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, killing one civilian and injuring eight others. It also said that due to the intensity of Russian shelling, humanitarian aid is temporarily suspended in the area.

Eight to ten Russian generals killed in war against Ukraine. According to Scott Berrier, head of the U.S. defense intelligence agency, after two and a half months of the war, the death toll among Russia’s top military leadership ranges from 8 to 10 people. This figure far exceeds the number of U.S. generals who died over two full decades of conflict in Afghanistan.

International response

Congress passes nearly $40 billion aid package to Ukraine. The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted 368-57 on May 10 to pass a roughly $40 billion bill to deliver military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. All 57 opposing votes were from Republicans. The bill will go next to the Senate for a vote before it can be signed into law by U.S. President Joe Biden.

UN Security Council to discuss humanitarian crisis in Ukraine on May 12. The meeting was requested by France and Mexico. The UN Humanitarian Office together with UNICEF officials are expected to brief the council then though no vote is scheduled.

Lithuania recognizes Russia’s war against Ukraine as genocide, Russia as terrorist state. The Lithuanian parliament voted unanimously on a resolution stating that Russia’s intent is to wholly or partially destroy the Ukrainian nation and break its spirit by killing entire families while also abducting and raping people, and that Russia’s armed forces and mercenaries committed mass war crimes on Ukraine’s territory, particularly in Bucha, Irpin, Mariupol, Borodyanka and Hostomel.

Hungary won’t block Ukraine’s EU membership. Hungary’s ambassador to Ukraine, István Íjgyártó, told Espresso TV channel that the country won’t block Ukraine’s potential membership in the European Union “when the time for it comes.”

China’s Xi agrees with Macron on urgency of ceasefire in Ukraine. Chinese leader Xi Jinping “agreed on the urgency of a ceasefire” in Ukraine during a call with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, the Élysée Palace said in a statement. “The two Heads of State reiterated their commitment to respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and agreed on the urgency of reaching a ceasefire,” the statement reads.

Czech Republic replaces Russia on UN human rights council. The United Nations General Assembly elected the Czech Republic to the Human Rights Council on May 10 to replace Russia, suspended last month over its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The Czech Republic was elected with 157 votes in favor, with 23 countries abstaining.

WHO members pass resolution against Russia. Members of the World Health Organization’s European region passed a resolution that could result in the closure of Russia’s office and the suspension of meetings in the country in response to its invasion of Ukraine. The resolution referred to a “health emergency” in Ukraine, meaning mass casualties from the Russian military actions.

Western officials accuse Russia of mass cyberattack on satellite internet in Ukraine shortly before invasion. The attack targeted the satellite network operated by Viasat provider, owned by the Swedish media conglomerate Modern Times Group. As a result, thousands of modems were shut down to “disrupt Ukrainian command and control during the invasion,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. According to the EU Council, Russia could launch similar cyberattacks on other countries, “putting the security of Europe’s citizens at risk.”

In other news

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra makes it to Eurovision-2022 finals. With their song “Stefania,” Kulash Orchestra made it to the Eurovision-2022 finals set to take place on May 14. The song, gaining in popularity since the start of Russia’s full-scale war, has already been performed by musicians globally. The other finalists include Switzerland, Armenia, Iceland, Lithuania, Portugal, Norway, Greece, Moldova, and Netherlands.

Ukraine’s first president Leonid Kravchuk dies at 88. Ukrainski Novyny news agency reported Kravhchuk’s death citing his family member. Kravchuk served as Ukraine’s first president after the country became independent in 1991-1994.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Asami Terajima, Thaisa Semenova, Natalia Datskevych, Sergiy Slipchenko, Oleg Sukhov, Olena Goncharova, Oleksiy Sorokin, Olga Rudenko, Toma Istomina, Lili Bivings and Brad LaFoy.

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