In today's summary:
- Russian sources write about "sabotage" and "very bad news" in Maryinka;
- Yevgeny Prigozhin gave his interpretation of the meaning of the wording of the Ministry of Defense "occupation of advantageous lines" near Bakhmut;
- Disputes over the American Patriot air defense system, "damaged" or "damaged" in Kyiv;
- The shelling of Nikolaev: in Russia they talk about the destruction of an ammunition depot, in Ukraine - about hitting a shopping center and a car dealership;
- Russian media write about the "first shelling" of the Belgorod region from tanks;
- Poland and Belgium are ready to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets, but they won't give planes;
- In Russia, they want to put the Dobrynya-2 drone into production, in Z-channels they say that the first model is three times more expensive than the cost;
- Ramzan Kadyrov compared the comfort of the modernized T-72 with the Maybach.
The situation at the front
One of the field commanders of the pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass in 2014, Igor Girkin (aka Strelkov / Runov), posted on his Telegram channel a post from another channel, which is conducted on behalf of a Russian military volunteer, describing the difficult situation in Maryinka (a suburb of Donetsk ).
The author assures that the capture of Marinka was “a matter of two months, and in the presence of shells - a week or two”, however, at present there is “gross managerial sabotage of successful military operations”, therefore he calls “to prepare for very bad news” and does not exclude abandonment of Maryinka by Russian troops. The post was "removed at the request of the authorities" from the original channel.
Recall that the pro-Russian forces have not abandoned their attempts to take Maryinka since 2015, and intense battles for the city with a pre-war population of less than 10,000 people have been ongoing since April last year. As a result of the Russian offensive, the settlement was almost completely destroyed .
Girkin also gives an assessment of the situation in Bakhmut . As he writes, the Ukrainian forces do not plan to surround the Wagner PMC group in the city, but only “smooth out” dangerous ledges on the flanks with more propaganda than military results.
The authors of the Rybar Telegram channel believe that the Russian forces are “playing along” with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, pulling the most experienced units into the “Bakhmut meat grinder”. Andrey “Murz” Morozov, a well-known blogger and serviceman of the 2nd Army Corps of the Russian Armed Forces, previously warned about such Ukrainian tactics. “Rybar” hints, and Morozov says bluntly, that as a result, the Russians will not have any reserves left to block Ukrainian offensive actions in other directions.
The same “Murz” describes the situation on the flanks in Bakhmut as “ dumping ” by Mr. Prigozhin of toxic assets, which became in the context of the reduction in the number of PMCs, the shortage of shells and the expected counter-offensive of dill, normally not dug positions on the flanks. The GRAY ZONE channel associated with PMC Wagner responds to this in the spirit that the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is to blame for everything.
The officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who maintains a Twitter account under the nickname Tatarigami_UA, admits that the situation of Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut itself is extremely difficult, primarily due to the superiority of Wagner PMCs in artillery. “Regardless of the training, experience and training of our soldiers, if the incessant shelling destroys our positions to the ground, we will not be able to hold them,” he writes.
Associated with PMC Wagner "military commander" Alexander Simonov publishes a map of the situation in Bakhmut .
Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Anna Malyar reports that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are holding their recently taken positions in the Bakhmut area. Their total area is about 20 sq. km. Malyar says that the Ukrainian army continues to move on in some directions. She admits, however, that there is heavy fighting going on in the city itself and that the enemy is showing "some progress".
According to one of the founders and the main public representative of Wagner PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin, the “Wagnerites” have only to take the last quarter of Bakhmut . Prigozhin also commented on a passage from today's report of the Russian Ministry of Defense that in the vicinity of Bakhmut "as a result of the offensive actions of the Airborne Forces units , a more advantageous line of defense has been occupied." According to Prigozhin, this is how the Ministry of Defense describes a situation in which units of the regular troops “f*cked, crap themselves.”
In response to a media question whether Sergei Shoigu accepted Prigozhin's invitation to come to Bakhmut , the latter replied that the Minister of Defense "has been on the territory of Bakhmut for about a week at the headquarters of the assault unit in one of the Bakhmut basements." At the same time, he mentioned that it was not about the current, but about the "future" Minister of Defense.
The completely destroyed Bakhmut can be seen on Maxar satellite images. The view of the city from space in May 2022 is compared with how it looks a year later:
Mutual shelling and sabotage
There is a fierce debate about what happened to the American Patriot complex, covering Kiev , during the massive shelling on the night of May 16 with cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as kamikaze drones.
Z-channels in Telegram write about the destruction or serious damage to the air defense system. In particular, the Rybar Telegram channel publishes, with reference to “sources in the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, information about a strike on a positional area at the Zhuliany airport with the destruction of one launcher and serious damage to another. The third launcher allegedly remained intact.
The state agency RIA Novosti, citing a source, writes that "American air defense systems were suddenly hit from an air ambush," and "the enemy could not do anything to protect their anti-aircraft systems."
In Kiev , the SBU identified six bloggers who filmed and posted videos on social networks demonstrating the air defense of the capital of Ukraine. It is noted that these videos quickly spread through Telegram channels and public pages of Russian propagandists. This could help the Russian side to correct air strikes on the territory of Ukraine. The SBU also reports on the blocking of several public webcams broadcasting from the locations of air defense systems.
According to The New York Times, Ukrainian air defense systems did shoot down six Kinzhal missiles, but the Patriot complex received damage, the severity of which is being assessed. A Reuters source says US and Ukrainian officials are debating whether the air defense system can be repaired on site. Finally, according to updated information from CNN, the damage to the complex turned out to be minor (that is, it would not require its evacuation from Ukraine for repairs), and the radar station, without which the launchers of the complex cannot work, was not damaged at all.
The pro-Russian Telegram channel Fighterbomber agrees with the opinion of Yury Ignat, a representative of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, that the deployed complex is too difficult a target to destroy with a single hit of the "Dagger", but comes to a rather unexpected conclusion about the need to use the "Dagger" in a nuclear version.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced a strike on Nikolaev . According to them, the target was an ammunition depot on the territory of a shipyard. The Russians launched a “group strike with high-precision long-range weapons” from the sea against it. The agency assures that “the targets of the strike were achieved” and “the designated object was hit”
The head of the Nikolaev regional administration, Vitaly Kim, said that a shopping center and a car dealership were destroyed as a result of Russian shelling. He confirmed his words with photographs of destroyed civilian infrastructure. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine clarifies that Russia attacked the city with two Caliber cruise missiles.
The Kiev city military administration will conduct an urgent check of shelters and bomb shelters. Residents of the city complained that the owners of the objects restrict access to them, and often at the time of the shelling they turn out to be locked. After the inspection, the balance holders of the premises will be required to provide immediate access to them.
RIA Novosti publishes a video about the preparation of propaganda shells with calls to surrender and their subsequent shelling of Ukrainian positions. The effectiveness of such measures seems at least controversial. Earlier, the Russian military showed other methods of moral and psychological influence on the enemy, for example, the ZS-88 sound broadcasting station based on the BTR-80.
Russian media report shelling of the Kuibyshevsky district of Donetsk . It is reported that three local residents were hit in the store and killed.
It is also reported that Yasinovataya was shelled from the Grad MLRS, as a result of which “the roof of an apartment building was damaged” and six people.
Telegram-channel Baza writes about the “first shelling” of the territory of the Russian Federation from a Ukrainian tank. The Stary farm in the Belgorod region came under fire, where 12 shells of 125 mm caliber arrived. There were no casualties as a result of the shelling.
In fact, reports of shelling of the Belgorod region from Ukrainian tanks have appeared before .
In the Bryansk region, border guards landed two drones: one in the Sevsky district, the second in the vicinity of the village of Belaya Berezka .
In the Kaluga region, about 100 km from Moscow , a drone exploded. Russian Telegram channels write that this happened on the evening of May 16 near the A108 highway near the village of Tarutino . The first to report the drone crash was a truck driver who spotted the fall of a bird-like object.
In the Belgorod region , a drone that flew in from the Ukrainian village of Pletnevka dropped two ammunition at the Shebekino border checkpoint . This happened around midnight. It is reported that as a result of the detonation of explosive devices, the administrative building caught fire.
Gradually, information appears about the crew members of aircraft and helicopters of the Russian Aerospace Forces, lost on May 13 in the sky over the Bryansk region . In social networks, the names of the dead crews of two Mi-8 MTPR-1 helicopters differ :
Vyazma: Taran, Chigileichik, Osipov, Yakimov (EW)
Island: Ignatov, Podvigin, Savchenko, Khozhainov (EW)
The 440th separate helicopter regiment is deployed in Vyazma ( Smolensk region ), and the 15th brigade of army aviation is deployed in Ostrov ( Pskov region ).
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine published a video of the destruction of two Russian self-propelled guns 2S5 "Hyacinth". Moreover, if one of the installations was destroyed by the fire of Ukrainian artillerymen from the 44th separate brigade named after Hetman Daniil Apostol, then the other one was “hooked” by the ammunition of the first one, which was 70 meters away from it.
Japan is going to accept wounded Ukrainian servicemen for treatment. While we are talking about several patients who will be in the Central Hospital of the Self-Defense Forces of the country. Previously, Japan had never accepted foreign military personnel for treatment.
Armaments and military equipment
The prime ministers of Great Britain and the Netherlands at a conference in Iceland made an official statement about the work on creating an international coalition to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets and train Ukrainian pilots.
Poland and Belgium are also ready to participate in the training of Ukrainian pilots on the F-16. At the same time, representatives of both countries say that they cannot provide Ukraine with their aircraft of this model, since both have them in small quantities, and all of them are in operation.
Uralvagonzavod has completed testing of the Russian wheeled self-propelled gun 2C43 Malva. Russian Telegram channels note the lack of such inexpensive and useful systems at the front on the Russian side. It is noted that wheeled self-propelled guns require much less manpower and resources for maintenance than tracked self-propelled guns, and at the same time are less vulnerable to counter-battery fire than sedentary towed guns. In the Armed Forces of Ukraine, such systems are represented by the Czech DANA and DANA M2, the Slovak Zuzana 2, the French CAESAR and Bogdan's own Ukrainian development (so far in a single copy). In addition, deliveries of high-tech Swedish Archer wheeled self-propelled guns are expected.
The German company Hensoldt is going to manufacture and supply to Ukraine six TRML-4D multifunctional radar systems with an active phased array antenna (AFAR). They allow you to detect air targets. Delivery will be made in the second half of 2023.
Puerto Rican company RedCat will supply FPV drones to Ukraine. Delivery is expected in June this year. It is noted that these high-speed, small yet powerful drones are capable of conducting aerial reconnaissance even in conditions where the GPS signal is blocked. Separately, it is said about the delivery of the "night" UAV Teal 2, equipped with a Hadron 640R thermal imager, which allows to obtain a high-quality thermal imaging image.
The Ukrainian military demonstrates a Russian SuperCam S350 UAV taken as a trophy (which the Ukrainian Air Force mistakenly called SuperCum, which gave rise to a wave of memes ).
The Russian concern Almaz-Antey is going to produce up to 3,000 Dobrynya-2 FPV drones per month. Compared with the first version, the characteristics of the drone "has doubled". It is known that "Dobrynya" could be in the air for 17 minutes, and the range of its remote control was 1.5 km.
In one of the Russian Z-channels, they dismantle the “insides” of the first Dobrynya and come to the conclusion that it should cost 52,000 rubles, not 162,000. The authors suggest that the new modification will cost about 300 thousand rubles, which means that the Russian army will lose 100 million rubles a month on the purchase of a thousand of these drones. They are wondering why pay for the assembly of these drones in Russia, when no one bothers to buy much cheaper and more advanced analogues.
On the territory of the Donetsk region , controlled by Ukraine, movement on trawls towards the front of the American infantry fighting vehicles M2A2 Bradley ODS-SA was noticed. Russian Z-channels note that despite attempts to disguise the equipment, it is given out by the dimensions and protruding parts.
A funny video has been published on the Telegram channel of the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, about how he will “drive into Kiev” and “crack Abrams like nuts” on a modernized T-72 tank. Attached to the text of the post is a video with a very pleased Kadyrov, who rides in a tank with the inscription "Akhmat is strength." The improved T-72 is reported to have the "comfort and convenience of a Maybach".
While Kadyrov is enjoying the convenience of a modernized tank, the Russian military has seen an S-60 anti-aircraft gun mounted on the chassis of a T-54/55 tank (according to other sources , on a BTS-4 tractor based on the T-44M tank). ). The remake looks, to put it mildly, strange, but given the lack of armored vehicles, it can provide the S-60 crew with some kind of mobility and armor. Previously , such systems were noticed on trucks in service with both sides of the conflict.
Recall that the Zvezda TV channel recently showed the 2B9 Vasilek mortar installed on the MT-LB. Earlier we talked about the MT-LB version with machine guns taken from torpedo boats, the Soviet artillery tractor ATS-59G with the 2M-3M naval gun mounted on it, and the MT-LB with the same 2M-3M gun .
TASS reports that the Russian Center for Integrated Unmanned Solutions (CCBR) is studying an American FPV drone. It allegedly uses technology for NASA's Martian missions - in particular, we are talking about batteries. Director General of the Central Design Bureau Dmitry Kuzyakin emphasizes that the engines installed on the drone are "produced exclusively for the military."
About the main events of the war on May 16 - in the previous report: “The Wagner PMC is advancing in Bakhmut, six Kinzhals were shot down over Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry “hit” the Patriot air defense system. What is happening on the front line.