Events: Evacuation from Azovstal
The president referred to Tuesday’s rocket attacks by Russia, which hit targets in the Lviv, Sumy, Chernihiv and Luhansk regions. “It is a way for the Russian army to compensate for a number of failures in the east and south of our country,” Zelenskyj said.
He mentioned, however, that similar attacks, he said, had no military impact. Despite this, the Ukrainian army plans to strengthen the air defense, writes the AP agency.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Army reported that Russia was continuing its artillery shelling of Ukrainian military positions and civilian infrastructure in the border settlements of the Chernihiv and Sumy regions. Near Kharkov, Russian troops are concentrating on trying to maintain occupied positions and prevent further advance by Ukrainian troops.
The Ukrainian army on Tuesday repulsed twelve enemy attacks on the Donetsk and Luhansk fronts, destroyed three tanks, three artillery systems, six units of combat armored vehicles and seven enemy vehicles, the Ukrainian staff said. This information cannot be verified from independent sources.
Evacuation from Azovstal
According to information from the Ukrainian General Staff, the Russian army in Mariupol continues with artillery and air attacks on the remaining Ukrainian soldiers blocked at the local Azovstal steelworks.
Mariupol City Council warns that the bombing could damage facilities containing tens of thousands of tons of hydrogen sulfide solution, which, if spilled into the Sea of Azov, will destroy the local fauna and flora. According to Unian, Mayor Vadym Boychenko stressed the need for international experts and UN representatives to visit the site immediately to help avert the environmental disaster.
According to the BBC, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Hanna Maliarová stated that the Ukrainian army knows exactly how many defenders remain in the area of the steelworks, but emphasized that this was “very sensitive information.”
Kyiv is working to ensure that its soldiers, who are still in the industrial plant, are brought to safety. “The evacuation mission continues, it is supervised by our soldiers and members of the intelligence services,” President Zelensky said in a speech.
Exchange of prisoners
Russia’s Defense Ministry said almost a thousand Ukrainian soldiers who had stayed in the area had surrendered to the invading forces since Monday. Office spokesman Igor Konashenkov said 694 fighters surrendered on Wednesday, 29 of whom were injured. The Ukrainian authorities have not yet confirmed this information.
“It is dangerous to comment on this objectively, given that, unfortunately, they are not yet on Ukrainian territory,” explained Ukrainian President’s adviser Mykhailo Podoljak. From the wreckage of the steelworks, the occupiers are taken by the occupiers to the former penal colony in Olenivka, a territory under Russian control.
Already on Monday, Kyiv announced that more than 250 soldiers had been evacuated from the factory, including dozens of wounded. They also left for territory controlled by Russia.
While Russia calls the departure of fighters from Azovstal a capitulation, Ukraine avoids the term, the AP agency noted. Kyiv has previously said that soldiers have completed their combat mission by tying up a number of invading forces in Mariupol for many days and now have orders to protect personnel lives.
But their future is uncertain. Some Russian politicians want to label the Azov Regiment, to which some Mariupol defenders belong, a terrorist group and demand the death penalty for its members. According to Kiev, it is their exchange for Russian prisoners. According to the Ukrainian president, “the most influential international mediators” are involved in the talks.
Ukrainian guerrillas managed to blow up a Russian armored train of ten wagons in occupied Melitopol in the south of the country, writes the newspaper Ukrainska pravda with reference to local media and the Zaporozhye region defense staff. The claim cannot be verified from independent sources.
“Eyewitnesses in Melitopol reported that they heard the noise of explosions and gunfights at the meat processing plant. Subsequently, local journalists confirmed that the Ukrainian guerrillas blew up an armored train, “the daily wrote.
The guerrillas detonated the bomb under the train from a distance. It exploded as a wagon with Russian soldiers passed over it, according to Ukraine. She added that they were soldiers from units taking turns at the front. The blast damaged the tracks in both directions. In addition to the armored train, the attack also blocked the next set of fuels and lubricants.
The daily also recalled Wednesday’s report from the Zaporozhye authorities, according to which Melitopol guerrillas liquidated a group of high-ranking Russian commanders, and the April information of the Ukrainian General Staff, according to which the guerrillas killed about seventy enemy soldiers in the city in three weeks.
Russia will continue the attacks, says Pavel
The former chairman of the NATO Military Committee, retired general Petr Pavel, also agrees with the statement of the Ukrainian president that the Russian missile attacks are diverting attention from the military failures in the east.
“The operation is definitely not developing as the Russian leadership envisioned, the attacks on various parts of Ukraine are to keep the Ukrainian armed forces in tension and also on alert throughout the territory, so that they cannot concentrate all their forces only on the east. At the same time, supply routes run through western Ukraine, along which Western aid comes to Ukraine, which the Russians are trying to disrupt, ”says Pavel.
Studio 6: Retired General Petr Pavel on the current development of the war in Ukraine
In the coming weeks, the former Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Army expects that despite successful defense and some counterattacks, Russia will continue to attack. “I think it would be a mistake on the one hand to underestimate the Russian army, even though it has certainly not shown much efficiency in recent times. But he still has the resources. Although it has suffered heavy losses of both manpower and technology every day, it still has the capacity to sustain the war for a relatively long time, “he warned.
Commission for the assessment of damage caused by Russian aggression in Ukraine
According to The Kyiv Independent, President Zelensky has signed a decree setting up a commission to assess the damage done to Ukraine by Russian military aggression.
According to the decree, the task of the body should also be to ensure compensation for damage caused by the Russian army and to set up measures for the post-war reconstruction of the country.
The Ukrainian army also said on Wednesday that troops of the Belarusian armed forces were strengthening their positions on the Belarusian-Ukrainian border in the area of Brest and Gomel. According to the army report, the situation in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova is still tense, but it has not changed significantly.
British Ministry of Defense: Russia makes more use of Chechen fighters
In an effort to overcome the Ukrainian resistance, Russia has begun to make significant use of fighters who are not part of the regular Russian army, warns the British Ministry of Defense.
According to a regular report on the development of the war, these are mainly Chechen forces, whose several thousand fighters have primarily moved to Mariupol and parts of the Luhansk region. “These forces probably consist of individual volunteers and units of the National Guard, which is normally intended to secure the government of the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov,” the ministry said, referring to military intelligence.
According to British information, Kadyrov personally oversees the deployment of forces, while his cousin Adam Delimchanov apparently served as a Chechen field commander in Mariupol. “The combat deployment of such diverse troops shows Russia’s significant problems in securing resources in Ukraine, and this is likely to contribute to command disunity, which continues to hamper Russian operations,” the British authorities said.