In today's summary:
- The Ministry of Defense confirms the fighting and the loss of command personnel on the flanks in the Bakhmut area;
- The Washington Post publication on contacts between Prigozhin and Ukrainian military intelligence;
- The Russian attack on Khmelnytsky most likely hit an ammunition depot destined for disposal;
- Lugansk has been successfully bombarded with Storm Shadow cruise missiles for several days in a row;
- In Lugansk, as a result of an explosion, Igor Kornet, “acting Minister of the Interior” of the “LPR”, was wounded;
- In one day, four combat vehicles of the Russian Aerospace Forces were lost in the sky over the Bryansk region at once;
- UK will start training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighters;
- The Russian military delivered the famous robotic complex "Platform-M" to the combat zone.
The situation at the front
The report of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation provides information on how the Russian 4th separate motorized rifle brigade (SMBR) repelled the attacks of the Ukrainian battalion tactical group (BTG) in the area of the settlement. Ivanovskoye (the text uses the Soviet name Krasnoye ), and servicemen of the 3rd Battalion of the 200th Motorized Rifle Brigade also repelled two attacks east of Bogdanovka . Thus, the military department confirms the attacks of Ukrainian forces on the flanks to the north and south of Bakhmut .
Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Anna Malyar reports on the advancement of Ukrainians to the north and south of Bakhmut , as well as the clearing of the forest in the Ivanovsky region. As Malyar writes, the Ukrainian military managed to capture more than ten Russian positions. According to her, the Russian command is pulling "airborne assault detachments" to the city.
Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Alexander Syrsky speaks of "the first success of offensive operations during the operation to defend Bakhmut ".
Associated with PMC Wagner "military commander" Alexander Simonov publishes a map of the situation in Bakhmut .
According to Simonov, units of the 72nd Motorized Rifle Brigade have lost their positions southwest of Ivanovskoye (thus reducing the threat to the southern Ukrainian supply route), and Ukrainian forces are trying to reach Kleshcheevka .
A well-known military blogger and serviceman of the “People’s Militia of the LPR” (now the 2nd Army Corps of the RF Armed Forces) Andrey Morozov (known as “Murz”) writes that the Ukrainians are “unwinding the flanks in Bakhmut ”, imposing heavy defensive battles on unequipped lines to the exhausted and understaffed units of the regular troops who replaced the "Wagnerites". According to Morozov, the priority goal for the Armed Forces of Ukraine is now not territorial advance, but the maximum possible destruction of manpower as part of a series of such limited-scale offensive operations (not only in the Bakhmut region, but also near Donetsk ).
Yevgeny Prigozhin recorded a detailed video describing the situation in the Bakhmut area. He spoke about the initial plans of the Ministry of Defense and the command of the Wagner PMC in relation to the city, emphasized the operational importance of the recent advance of the Ukrainian forces and their occupation of tactical heights, and also outlined his vision of the plans of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for enveloping strikes from the flanks in order to cut the units of the RF Armed Forces and surround the "Wagnerites" .
The Ukrainian OSINT resource Deep State compared the map published by Prigogine with his own.
The conflict between Yevgeny Prigozhin and representatives of the Russian “para-war bureaucracy” continues. State Duma deputy, Lieutenant General Viktor Sobolev, warned servicemen who wish to join the Wagner PMC that they would face 15 years in prison for participating in an illegal armed group.
Prigozhin, in turn, described Sobolev as a "brainless talker" and asked to be tested for "anti-Russian dysentery." In addition, the head of the Wagner PMC called the lieutenant general a "buff cardboard" and offered to "blow to the front."
Meanwhile, The Washington Post published an article about contacts between the Ukrainian military intelligence (Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, GUR MOU) and Prigozhin. Allegedly, Prigozhin offered the Ukrainian side information about the location of army units in exchange for the surrender of Bakhmut.
According to leaked classified US intelligence documents available to The Washington Post, the head of the Wagner PMC contacted people in the GUR MOU with whom he secretly kept in touch during the war. This information was confirmed to the publication by two Ukrainian officials. According to one of them, such proposals from Prigozhin were received repeatedly, but Kyiv rejected them, as they do not trust him and doubt his sincerity. In addition, the publication removed from the posted interview with Vladimir Zelensky a fragment where contacts between Prigozhin and the GUR were discussed.
In the Z-environment, the publication was considered an "information-psychological operation" directed against Prigozhin.
The Ukrainian 24th Separate Mechanized Brigade publishes photographs of Bakhmut , shrouded in smoke from fires and smoke projectiles. The Insider compared the captured landscapes with views of Stalingrad in 1942-1943.
"Voenkor" of the Prigozhin agency FAN Alexander Yaremchuk publishes a photograph of one of the districts of Bakhmut with a mural preserved on the wall of a high-rise building. Previously, there was a house with a similar mural nearby (both created in 2020), but at the end of April it was destroyed .
The American television company CNN publishes a report from "zero" - the positions of the Ukrainian army 600 meters from the positions of the Russian military near Bakhmut . The CNN correspondent notes that the mud has finally dried up, which should facilitate a counteroffensive.
"Military correspondents" report "not a very good situation down the Dnieper from the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station" in the occupied part of the Kherson region . According to their information, there is a threat of a breakthrough of the Kakhovka reservoir , and in the meantime, water floods Russian positions, to the point that one of the Russian soldiers allegedly drowned in his own dugout.
Z-channel "Military Informant" comments on the declared capture of the "advantageous bridgehead" by the RF Armed Forces - the village of Masyutovka in the Kupyansky direction . First of all, it turns out that de facto it does not exist, since before the war a couple of people lived there, and now the ruins of a couple of houses remain from the village. In addition, it was located in a lowland, which allows the Armed Forces of Ukraine to strike at those who want to gain a foothold in it, so it is not advisable to hold it. The authors of the channel assume that there was a successful raid on the territory occupied by the Ukrainians, followed by a return to their original positions.
British military intelligence has circulated an estimate of the size of the Russian group in Ukraine at 200,000 people, consisting of 70 regiments and brigades. It is noted that it has remained virtually unchanged since the start of the war, but now Russian troops consist mainly of poorly trained mobilized using old Soviet equipment. This leads to the fact that in general they can only carry out very simple operations, where the main role is assigned to the infantry.
Earlier, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported that 48 brigades, 122 regiments and 315 "formations" of Russian forces with a total number of 369,000 people with 5,900 heavy weapons were in the combat zone.
During his visit to the UK, Zelensky said that more time was needed to prepare the Ukrainian side for a counteroffensive:
We really need time, not very much. We'll be ready in a while. I cannot share the details with you. We must prepare.
Mutual shelling and sabotage
On the night of May 13-14, Russia launched a strike with Shahed-136 (aka Geran-2) kamikaze drones at an aviation weapons depot near Khmelnitsky .
Absolutely fantastic information circulates in Z-channels that ammunition for Leopard tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles, cargo from Denmark, Germany, Italy and Japan for € 200-220 million, as well as satellite communication systems, military tablets, systems data encryption in the amount of €83 million.
In addition, information is widely disseminated about the defeat of a large batch of shells with depleted uranium, which allegedly increased the radiation background in Khmelnytsky . According to the Rybar Telegram channel, anti-aircraft missiles for Western-made air defense systems, including Patriot, were stored there. Z-channel Colonelcassad gives several versions at once, talking about both AGM-88 HARM missiles and “thousands” of unguided Zuni missiles.
It is rather difficult to believe in this, since Soviet aerial bombs intended for disposal were stored at the 649th warehouse and it did not make much sense to place additional weapons from new deliveries there, given that the Russians should be aware of the placement of ammunition at this facility at least according to Soviet military maps . Most likely, it was the weapons that were stored there before the full-scale invasion that detonated, causing a powerful explosion. Videos with him scattered across Telegram channels, and Russian "military correspondents" called him "almost nuclear."
The Russians also attacked Ternopil and reported the defeat of the Ternopil railway repair and mechanical plant. However, in fact, he came to the warehouse with humanitarian aid. The head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Andriy Yermak, connected the blow with the performance of the Ternopil group TVORCHI at Eurovision: according to him, the blow occurred at the very moment when the group performed their number.
The head of the Donetsk OVA, Pavel Kirilenko, reported on a missile attack that Russian forces carried out on Avdiivka . As a result, 4 people were killed, who were in a shelter near the idle railway hospital. Kirilenko notes that there may be more victims.
Ukrainian attacks on Lugansk continue. In the city previously inaccessible to long-range weapons of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, missile arrivals have been recorded for three days in a row. Presumably, we are talking about Storm Shadow cruise missiles transferred by the UK. Among the hit targets in Lugansk and its environs are the command post in Yubileyny and the building of the former aviation school for navigators (VVAUSh).
The OSINT project GeoConfirmed counted four successful Storm Shadow strikes against Lugansk . In addition to the above targets, it is noted that another blow hit the building of the former military unit 3035 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine on the southeastern outskirts of the city, and another hit the building of the Lugansk State University of Internal Affairs.
Z-channel Rybar notes that " Luhansk has ceased to be a safe city" and urges the Russian military not to place military personnel compactly in barracks, dormitories or "even rows in the open."
An anecdotal story happened to the deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Viktor Vodolatsky. At the time of the shelling, he was present in Lugansk , arrived at the site of the missile attack, gave an interview, and then suddenly found himself among the victims. It is alleged that he went to a burning building, where part of the wall collapsed on him.
On May 15, in the center of Luhansk , an explosion occurred in a beauty salon on Demekhina Street. As Russian media later reported , as a result of it, five people were injured, including the acting head of the occupational “Ministry of Internal Affairs of the LPR” Igor Kornet. According to a TASS source, Cornet is “severely injured” and is in intensive care.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reports the first interception of a Storm Shadow missile. It is also reported that Russian air defense forces shot down a Western-made missile in Donetsk . Its fragments fell near the Donbass Arena stadium.
On May 13, four aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces were lost in the sky over the Bryansk region at once: two Mi-8 helicopters, a Su-34 fighter-bomber and a Su-35S fighter. According to the Fighterbomber Telegram channel associated with the Aerospace Forces, four aircraft were shot down within two minutes, killing 11 crew members in total.
Presumably, they were all part of the same air group: the Su-34 struck with a 500-kilogram aerial bomb equipped with a universal planning and correction module (UMPC), the Su-35 covered it, one of the helicopters conducted electronic warfare, and the other carried a search and rescue group.
The Ukrainian side claims that a total of five Russian planes and helicopters were lost that day, all of which were hit by friendly air defense fire.
Yevgeny Prigozhin veiledly supported the version with friendly fire, the author of the Fighterbomber channel also does not exclude the version with a Ukrainian long-range anti-aircraft missile system, which was quietly pulled up to the border. In his opinion, this means the failure of either the Russian system for determining “friend or foe”, or intelligence, which did not notice the complex in time.
Pro-Russian Telegram channels use the term "ambush" when describing the loss of four aircraft. The Rybar channel, associated with the Russian Ministry of Defense, believes that (“with a 95% probability”) the “ambush” was organized with the help of NASAMS air defense systems deployed to the Russian-Ukrainian border. Moreover, the calculation of the complex allegedly knew the corridor of movement of the Russian air group.
It is possible that the Ukrainian side received accurate information on the routes of Russian aircraft, since they worked according to previously developed templates.
True, in this case it is not clear how a complex with a range of about 30 km managed to hit targets at a distance of at least 50 km from the border.
Experts interviewed by The Insider are inclined to the version of the Ukrainian air defense system located right at the border, or to the launch of AIM-120 missiles from air carriers. According to the Colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the reserve Roman Svitan, we are talking about the AIM-120D missile, which was launched from the MiG-29 fighter and guided by the NASAMS air defense system. He, like retired Russian aviation colonel Viktor Alksnis, also does not rule out that the downing could have been carried out with the help of the S-300 ground-based air defense system, which the Armed Forces of Ukraine moved to the Russian border.
The Telegram channel Helicopterpilot, associated with Russian helicopter aviation, writes that both downed Mi-8s belonged to the MTPR modification and wonders why these helicopters, designed for electronic warfare, were so close to the border, despite the threat of Ukrainian air defense systems. The author of the channel calls the incident a “black day” for Russian aviation.
Rob Lee, a senior fellow at the US Institute for Foreign Policy Research, notes that this strike was also important because the Russians have been using UMPC guided bombs for quite some time, which can pose a threat to the Ukrainian counteroffensive, launching them outside the range of Ukrainian air defense systems. In his opinion, if Ukraine has the opportunity to hit air targets behind the line of contact, this can have a significant effect on the course of hostilities.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, contrary to its custom, confirms the death of the commander of the 4th Specialized Rifle Brigade of Colonel Vyacheslav Makarov and Deputy Commander of the Army Corps for Military-Political Affairs Colonel Yevgeny Brovko.
Makarov, according to the department, was mortally wounded in the Krasnoy ( Ivanovsky ) area, Brovko also died in the Artemovsky (Bakhmut ) direction.
Interestingly, before that, Ukrainian sources reported the death of Russian officers (which, however, made a mistake with the names of the officers), as well as Andrey Morozov, mentioned above. Interestingly, the Ministry of Defense claimed that Brovko died in battle, and Makarov died from injuries received during the reflection of the Ukrainian attack, while the officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Anatoly Shtefan reported that at least the political officer (i.e. Brovko) was killed as a result of a strike on command post.
The BBC Russian Service and Mediazona provide the latest estimate of Russian casualties based on open source reports. They, together with a team of volunteers, managed to identify the names of 10,230 people who have died since early December 2022, when the Russian military began to carry out active offensive operations in the Donbas. Of these, 5522 turned out to be volunteers, mobilized and prisoners - that is, people who had nothing to do with the army before the war. These figures are based solely on data from open sources. It is noted that the real number of casualties is “definitely” even higher. The total death toll, according to these calculations, reached 22,644 people.
Based on the data on confirmed deaths during the war against Ukraine, it appears that at least half of the deaths of men aged 20 to 24 last year were related to combat operations. It should be noted that the graph shows only confirmed losses, and the total number of deaths is much higher.
One of the reasons for the heavy losses of the Russian army is insufficient supply and equipment. Dmitry Elanakov, not the most famous "military officer", wrote about the death of five mobilized from the Republic of Altai at once, who were covered with shrapnel in a UAZ "Tabletka" car. Elanakov published a photo of the car and wondered about the reasons for the lack of armored vehicles:
There is only one question, where is the armored personnel carrier? Where is the BMP? Yes, give the guys at least equipment from storage! What is your UAZ? This is a coffin. In 2014, it was still possible to fight like that, how to fight against them now, when shrapnel riddles everyone there?
The second army of the world, with which civilians Vasya and Vanya buy the UAZ "Pill", in which, as a result, five people die at once. How were you going to fight with the Americans, if now you can’t give out the equipment normally? Complete out, just.
The problem of the so-called "five hundredths" (servicemen who evade being sent to Ukraine and leave their places of service without permission) in the Russian armed forces remains quite acute. Такой вывод можно сделать из практики судебных разбирательств — по данным издания «Медиазона», только за первые четыре месяца 2023 года в российские суды поступило больше дел о самовольном оставлении части (1053), чем за весь 2022 год (1001). Некоторые из этих судебных разбирательств проходят в показательном формате — для воспитательного эффекта на них сгоняют личный состав. Один из таких процессов прошел в Доме офицеров Владикавказского гарнизона.
В Telegram-канале «Разгрузка Вагнера», связанного с ЧВК Вагнера, размещена подборка попаданий дронами-камикадзе «Ланцет» по украинским САУ Krab, гаубице М777 и РСЗО.
Исследователь неравенства Алексей Бессуднов опубликовал препринт своей работы о том, действительно ли российская сторона предпочитает посылать на войну представителей этнических меньшинств. Согласно его выводам, это не так. Основные факторы участия в войне и смерти на ней — социально-экономические. По данным исследователей, непропорционально большое число погибших бурятов и тувинцев объясняется именно тяжелой экономической ситуацией в этих регионах, что дает мужчинам больший стимул служить в армии или отправляться на войну добровольцами по финансовым соображениям. Отдельно отмечается, что смертность от войны этнических русских из Бурятии и Тувы также непропорционально высока.
Armaments and military equipment
По ходу турне президента Украины Владимира Зеленского по странам Европы появилось много новой информации о поставках вооружений.
По данным Der Spiegel, к визиту президента Владимира Зеленского правительство Германии подготовило пакет военной помощи на сумму более €2,7 млрд. Среди включенных в него категорий техники указываются 30 танков Leopard 1A5, 20 БМП Marder 1A3, 18 самоходных гаубиц калибра 155 мм на колесном шасси (вероятно, RCH-155), четыре ЗРК IRIS-T SLM, 12 пусковых установок ЗРК IRIS-T SLS и ракеты к ним, 100 бронированных машин, 15 ЗСУ Gepard, 100 грузовых автомобилей, 200 беспилотных летательных аппаратов. Следует отметить, что поставка части этой номенклатуры анонсировалась ранее.
В ближайшее время на вооружение ГУР Украины поступит более сотни беспилотников Vector. Дроны самолётного типа поставит немецкая компания Quantum-Systems GmbH.
В ходе визита во Францию прозвучала информация о передаче в ближайшее время новых бронированных машин, в том числе колесно-пушечных разведывательно-огневых машин AMX-10RC, и дальнейшей поддержке украинского ПВО.
Правительство Великобритании подтвердило дальнейшую поставку ракет к системам ПВО и новых ударных беспилотников радиусом действия более 200 км. Самое важное касается начала обучения украинских пилотов по адаптированной программе обучения британских пилотов и усилиях по передаче многоцелевых истребителей F-16 Украине совместно с другими странами. На сайте правительства подчеркивается, что украинские пилоты смогут управлять различными моделями западных боевых самолетов.
Президент Украины Владимир Зеленский ранее заявлял о работе над созданием «истребительной коалиции» по аналогии с «танковой коалицией», которая обеспечила поставки танков советского и западного производства для предстоящего украинского контрнаступления.
Генерал-лейтенант американской армии, командующий Силами космической и ракетной обороны США Дэниэл Кэрблер заявил в интервью Jerusalem Post о готовности поставить в Украину системы ПВО «Железный купол», используемые Израилем. Стоит отметить, что они предназначены для перехвата ракет малой дальности и артиллерийских снарядов, что позволит защитить от обстрелов, скажем, Херсон. На других участках фронта использовать эти системы будет затруднительно.
Что касается российской группировки в Украине, то, судя по видео, её усилил робототехнический комплекс «Платформа-М». Как пишет российский военнослужащий с позывным «Каркуша», представленный на видео необычный метод транспортировки робота связан с тем, что лебедка и аппарель для штатного «КамАЗа» оказались «пролюблены общеармейским способом».
Отметим, что ранее «Платформа-М» засветилась в эпическом ролике телеканала «Звезда».
Управляется робот с помощью геймпада Logitech. «У нас готовы сотни тысяч операторов, подготовленных миром World of Tanks», — пишет «Каркуша». Стоит отметить, что в игре World of Tanks есть деревья, ландшафт, здания и, собственно, сами танки, но людей нет. Таким образом и никакой ответственности, пусть даже за жизни виртуальных персонажей, у игрока не возникает.
О главных событиях войны 12 мая — в предыдущей сводке: «Пригожин приглашает Шойгу в Бахмут, Минобороны защищает несуществующий поселок, Луганск под обстрелом. Что происходит на линии фронта»