Ukraine Daily Summary - Wednesday, May 24

Russia claims defeating Belgorod incursion without providing any footage -- Air Force denies start of F-16 training, says preparations underway -- Who does Crimea really belong to? -- Slovenia recognizes victims of Holodomor genocide -- and more

Wednesday, May 24

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.

President Volodymyr Zelensky visits Ukrainian marines at the front line. (Volodymyr Zelensky / Official Telegram channel)

Intelligence chief: Ukraine has enough weapons, counteroffensive to begin ’soon.’ Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov said in an interview with the Japan Broadcasting Corporation on May 23 that Ukraine has enough weapons and that the long-awaited counteroffensive would begin “soon.”

Zelensky visits troops at front line (PHOTOS). Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky visited naval infantry troops at the front line to mark the Day of the Ukrainian Marines.

Air Force denies start of F-16 training, says preparations underway. Ukraine’s Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat refuted reports that Ukrainian pilots were already learning to fly F-16 fighter jets, saying the preparation for the program is still ongoing.

General Staff: Russian forces unsuccessfully attempt to advance on village near Bakhmut. Russian forces unsuccessfully attempted to advance on the village of Khromove near Bakhmut, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported in its evening update on May 23.

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Belgorod Oblast incursion

Russia claims ‘defeating’ Belgorod incursion without providing any footage.

Russian Defense Ministry announced a defeat of the “Ukrainian formations” that supposedly attacked Russia’s Belgorod Oblast. The Kyiv Independent could not independently verify the claim, while the Russian Defense Ministry provided no footage backing their claim.

Russian Volunteer Corps denies military equipment damaged, combatants killed during Belgorod Oblast incursion. The Russian Volunteer Corps, one of the Russian anti-government groups who have declared themselves to be fighting on Ukraine’s side, denied claims made by Russian officials on May 23 regarding the destruction of their military equipment and casualties among their combatants.

‘Counter-terrorist operation’ in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast canceled. Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of Russia’s Belgorod Oblast, reported calling off the “counter-terrorist operation” shortly after Russian Defense Ministry announced a defeat of the Belgorod incursion.

NYT: Anti-Kremlin fighters appear to use US-made armored vehicles. Armed Russian anti-government groups appear to have used at least three American-made armored vehicles in the Belgorod Oblast incursion, according to the pictures and videos verified by The New York Times.

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Ukraine war latest: Kyiv denies EU diplomacy chief’s claim that Ukrainian pilots began F-16 training

Ukraine’s Air Force denied EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell’s claim on May 23 that several European countries, including Poland, had already “started training” Ukrainian pilots on U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets.

Photo: AFP via Getty Images

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Human cost of war

Russian forces shell Kherson Oblast, killing a woman. Russian forces shelled the village of Kozatske on May 23, killing one woman, the Kherson Oblast Prosecutor General’s Office reported.

General Staff: Russia has lost 204,360 troops in Ukraine.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on May 23 that Russia has lost 204,360 troops in Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion, with an estimated 480 casualties on May 22.

Who does Crimea really belong to?

Who does Crimea really belong to?

International response

France ‘prepared’ to provide security guarantees for Ukraine. France is “prepared to enter into agreements with Ukraine aimed at providing it with security guarantees,” according to a statement published by the French Foreign Ministry on May 23.

US official: F-16 jets to take ‘several months at best’ to arrive in Ukraine.

It will take “several months at best” to deliver U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, according to U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, cited by CNN.

Orban claims Ukraine can’t win war, Kyiv pledges to fight until complete liberation of Ukrainian territories. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko responded to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s statement that Ukraine couldn’t win the war with Russia, saying that “Ukrainians will continue to fight until the complete liberation of their territories from Russian occupation.”

Slovenia recognizes victims of Holodomor genocide. Slovenia’s National Assembly has adopted a declaration commemorating the Ukrainian victims of the Holodomor genocide, Ukraine’s Embassy in Slovenia reported on May 23.

Ukraine receives another 1.5 billion euros in EU macro-financial assistance.

Ukraine has received another 1.5 billion euros (about $1.6 billion) as part of the European Union’s macro-financial assistance package, the Finance Ministry reported on May 23.

In other news

The Kyiv Independent’s journalist speaks about Ukraine’s recovery at UK parliament. The Kyiv Independent’s head of investigations, Anna Myroniuk, spoke before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British Parliament on the challenges of the upcoming Ukraine reconstruction on May 23.

The Kyiv Independent becomes member center of OCCRP. The Kyiv Independent joined the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a global network of investigative newsrooms, as a member center. OCCRP is an independent award-winning non-profit organization launched in 2006 by journalists Drew Sullivan and Paul Radu. The network unites dozens of media outlets from across continents.

Russian state media: Gershkovich’s detention extended until Aug 30. A Moscow court extended Wall Street Journalist reporter Evan Gershkovich’s detention until Aug. 30, Russian state media RIA Novosti reported on May 23.

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