In today's summary:
- Ukrainian troops continue to put pressure on the flanks of the Russian group in Bakhmut;
- The legendary village of Sacco and Vanzetti was under threat of loss;
- In Bakhmut, approximately 1% of the urban development area remains under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine;
- Yevgeny Prigozhin proposes to add a new term to textbooks on military art - "Gerasimov's rebound";
- A tragicomic story from the Bryansk region, where, without any participation of Ukrainians, the RF Armed Forces lost four servicemen;
- The Russian Ministry of Defense continues to claim that the "Daggers" seriously damaged the American Patriot air defense system, this is not confirmed in the United States;
- In the Crimea, a train with grain was blown up: eight wagons left the tracks, five of them turned over;
- The United States forbids European allies to train pilots from Ukraine to fly F-16 fighters.
The situation at the front
Russian forces captured 99% of Bakhmut . The German publication Bild writes about this, indicating that the Wagner PMC over the past two days managed to break through to the west of the city occupied by Ukrainian troops. According to the publication, the Ukrainians are holding the line on one side of the westernmost street. “After a few more garages, and then two kilometers of open country to the next Ukrainian-held village called Ivanovskoe ,” notes Bild.
Meanwhile, the representative of the Eastern Group of Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Serhiy Cherevaty, said on the air of the national telethon that the Ukrainians managed to advance in the Bakhmut direction at a distance of 150 to 1,700 meters.
Media resources close to PMC Wagner continue to scrupulously map the successes of the Ukrainian troops. "Voyenkor" Alexander Simonov posted a new version of the map with the situation in the Bakhmut area.
Simonov claims that units of the RF Armed Forces have lost their positions to the north of the settlement of Sakko and Vanzetti , but in the settlement itself. Ukrainians have not entered yet.
Previously, this point on the map became legendary after the bombastic message that " Sacco and Vanzetti is completely taken under control" by Wagner PMC assault units and no less majestic photographs with participants in the assault.
The population of Sacco and Vanzetti , according to the 2001 Ukrainian census, was three people.
One of the founders and the main public representative of PMC Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in a daily voice report, speaks of the withdrawal of units of the Russian Defense Ministry in the north of Bakhmut to a distance of up to 570 meters, which “exposes the flanks.” In addition, Prigozhin publicly asked Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Commander of the Joint Forces (Forces) in Ukraine Valery Gerasimov "not to give up the flanks" and "not to give up the settlement of Sacco and Vanzetti ".
Somewhat earlier, Prigogine, in a mocking manner , suggested supplementing military textbooks with the new term "Gerasimov's rebound":
As reported by the [Russian] Ministry of Defense, the Russian Airborne Forces, as a result of the offensive in the Artemovsk [Bakhmut] area, took an advantageous line. Yes, indeed, the Russian Airborne Forces, as a result of the enemy’s offensive in the Artemovsk [Bakhmut] area, occupied a line advantageous for the enemy. This new strategic maneuver, which, I am sure, will be inscribed in all military textbooks, will be called an instant decisive rebound from the enemy. Gerasimov's rebound. It will be inscribed in the same way as Guderian's tank wedge, as Pokryshkin's Kuban bookcase, or as Brusilovsky breakthrough.
Military expert Alexander Kovalenko told The Insider that the situation on the flanks is really difficult for the Russian command:
To date, the Russian command has been drawn into fierce battles inside the city. They are trying to put the squeeze on the plot along Yubileinaya and Chaikovsky streets in order to announce that Bakhmut has been captured. But at the same time, they lost control over the flanks, over the field due to the fact that they pulled all the troops into the city, and this may end up in the fact that in the short term Bakhmut may find himself in a very interesting position, which could be cutting the logistical arteries and returning to the city of the Ukrainian Defense Forces from the north and from the south.
Or there may be an exit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the routes M03, M06 and T0513, and so Bakhmut will be in the operational environment if the intensity of the movement of the Armed Forces of Ukraine continues. Soledar, Bakhmutskoye, Pokrovskoye - everything for which the Russian troops laid tens of thousands of lives of their regular troops and Wagnerites - everything will return under the control of Ukraine. What happens on the flanks demonstrates permanent goals of this order.
At the same time, in Bakhmut itself, according to the "military officer" Simonov, the Wagner PMC "reached the finish line": the main battles are taking place in the "Airplane" area and in the private sector behind Yubileynaya Street .
Alexander Kovalenko, in a conversation with The Insider, added that Yubileynaya Street is the main line of defense now. In addition, the line of defense runs along Tchaikovsky Street :
For quite a long time, a security buffer has been created in the neighborhoods from Tchaikovsky Street to Korsunsky Street, such a gray zone where urban combat operations are constantly ongoing. And more important is the intersection of Yubileinaya and Chaikovsky, for which fierce battles are being waged. Now the Wagners are especially trying to move along the streets of Polevaya, Pavel Novgorodtsev and 1st and 2nd Lesnaya. It is this section that is important for them, because control over this intersection opens the gate to control over Chaikovsky and Yubileinaya. Today, it is in Bakhmut that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are in such a triangle with a length of almost 3.5 km, which they hold .
The Telegram channel of the Ukrainian 3rd Separate Assault Brigade talks about advancing "on the western outskirts of Bakhmut " to a width of about 2 km and a depth of up to 700 meters and "creating a bridgehead for further counteroffensive." It is not yet clear which section of the line of contact is being referred to.
The UMFT - UA Military Flight team Telegram channel posted footage of the shelling of the southwestern outskirts of Bakhmut , which, as stated, refutes Prigozhin's complaints about the lack of ammunition among the mercenaries.
An open data researcher tweeting under the nickname NLwartracker reports that units of the 10th Tank Regiment of the newly formed 3rd Army Corps of the Russian Armed Forces arrived in the area of the village of Otradovka south of Bakhmut . Previously, they were stationed near Avdiivka , where they participated in numerous unsuccessful frontal attacks and suffered heavy losses, including most of their tanks and IFVs. They were restoring combat readiness near the city of Lisichansk and, it seems, replenished with new mobilized from different regions of Russia, but mainly from Buryatia.
Their arrival in the area south of Bakhmut is probably an attempt to stop the advance of Ukrainian troops in this direction. Part of the units took up positions along the T0513 road . Ukrainian forces are advancing both north and south of Bakhmut , so the next weeks will be decisive for the fate of Russian forces and Wagner PMC mercenaries inside the city.
Mutual shelling and sabotage
The Russian Ministry of Defense decided to put an end to the debate about the fate of the American Patriot air defense system covering Kiev by issuing the following message :
According to reliable data, on May 16, as a result of a strike by the Kinzhal hypersonic missile system in the city of Kiev, a multifunctional radar station was hit and completely destroyed, as well as 5 launchers of the US-made Patriot anti-aircraft missile system.
Recall that earlier, even the Rybar Telegram channel, affiliated with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, wrote about the defeat of two air defense systems: one was allegedly destroyed and the other damaged.
CNN, citing US government officials, reported that two components of the Patriot battery were damaged, but the damage was minor. According to these data, the complex remained operational during the Russian attack. US officials report that according to their information, there was no direct hit on the SAM and damage is minimal.
The Pentagon said that the Patriot air defense system damaged in Kyiv was repaired and that it is in full working order. This was announced during a press conference by the representative of the US Department of Defense Sabrina Singh.
Earlier, Reuters correspondent Idris Ali, citing his sources in the Pentagon, reported that the damage caused to the complex was so insignificant that it had already been eliminated.
It is worth noting that the defeat of six elements of the complex declared by the Ministry of Defense coincides with the number of Kinzhal missiles, which the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine had previously announced the shooting down, although Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed that the Russians launch fewer Kinzhals than the Ukrainians "supposedly shoot down with their own statements."
Middlebury Institute of International Studies professor Geoffrey Lewis, an expert on nuclear weapons, notes in a Twitter thread that, although you should not completely trust Ukrainian statements about the defeat of all missiles, it is still extremely unprofitable to “exchange” several “Daggers” for damage to one of the complexes. for the Russians.
According to the Command of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, on the night of May 18, 30 missiles were fired in Ukraine - 22 Kh-101 / Kh-555 cruise missiles from Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic aircraft, six Caliber cruise missiles from ships in the water area Black Sea and two cruise missiles from ground-based systems "Iskander-K". 29 out of 30 missiles are reported to have been intercepted.
In addition, two kamikaze drones of the Shahed family (aka Geran) and two reconnaissance drones of the operational-tactical level were shot down.
It is known that an infrastructure object in the Khmelnytsky region was hit by a night shelling of the RF Armed Forces. This was reported in the regional administration. No harm done. Information about the destruction is being established , the OVA said in a statement.
Russian Telegram channels publish footage of attacks on Odessa and its environs . The representative of the Ukrainian operational command "South" Natalya Gumenyuk reported about the hit in the "industrial object" - according to her, one person was killed and two were injured.
Photographs of X-55 cruise missiles that fell in Kiev with a missing warhead appeared.
The Telegram channel "Military Informant" believes that the missiles were used by the Russian Aerospace Forces as decoys to identify the positions of the Ukrainian air defense.
According to the ASTRA Telegram channel, a fallen Russian cruise missile "Caliber" was found in the Crimea near the village of Vulkanovka . There were no casualties.
On the afternoon of May 18, the head of the Kharkov regional military administration, Oleg Sinegubov, reported that a Russian missile had hit a residential building in the village of Tsirkuny near Kharkov . He later reported one dead and two wounded and published photographs of the aftermath of the strike.
On the section of the railway in the Bakhchisarai region, the canvas was blown up. Eight wagons left the tracks, five of them overturned. Mash writes that a funnel with a diameter of 15 and a depth of two meters formed in the railway embankment, residents of adjacent settlements heard a strong explosion at about eight in the morning. Information about the derailment of the wagons was confirmed by the Russian-appointed head of the Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov. There were no casualties.
In the Kursk region, the village of Glushkovo was shelled . As reported, shells hit a local sports and recreation complex, a residential building, two people were injured.
Also in the Kursk region, a drone dropped ammunition at the Sudzha checkpoint. Border guards Artem Postnikov and Ruslan Ken were hospitalized in a local hospital with shrapnel wounds.
And in the village of Vnezapnoe, border guards “landed” a drone that tried to attack a cell tower. Later, another UAV tried to attack the village of Gordeevka , Rybar reports . His work was also stopped by the border services, the drone that fell into the minefield was destroyed. According to preliminary data, there were no casualties or damage.
In the Bryansk region in the village of Zhecha, a grenade launcher fired at an oil loading station of Russneft. The grenade launcher was allegedly attached to a tree and fired remotely. There was no fuel leak and no one was injured.
The ASTRA Telegram channel tells a revealing and somewhat tragicomic story from which certain conclusions can be drawn about the nature and nature of the losses of Russian forces in the regions bordering Ukraine. According to the channel, on May 17, in the village of Kister, Bryansk region, a contract soldier of military unit 11388, senior lieutenant Danila Tyutyunov, crashed into a tree on an ATV and died on the spot. His passenger, Lieutenant Dmitry P., was injured.
After the accident, their colleagues, serviceman of military unit 92088 Vladislav G. and medical instructor Vladimir F., went to help them. Vladislav G. escaped with minor injuries, and Vladimir F. ended up in intensive care with amputation of the foot, rupture of the esophagus, fractures of the jaw, and fractures of the legs.
Thus, the Russian army lost four soldiers on its territory killed and wounded without any participation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
"Pskov province" learned the names of five helicopter pilots who died in the Bryansk region : these are Sergey Ignatov, Andrey Podvigin, Maxim Savchenko, Viktor Khozhainov and Denis Yakimov. At least two of them are captains.
Recall that on May 13, in the sky over the Bryansk region , according to a number of sources, two military aircraft and two helicopters were shot down. The Russian authorities have not yet reported about the dead Russian helicopter pilots.
The active use of Lancet kamikaze drones by Russian forces is forcing Ukrainians to resort to drastic measures. There were photographs with ten-meter masts installed in front of the launchers of the S-300 air defense system with a grid stretched between them. From some previously published videos, it can be concluded that at least some of the effectiveness of such protective measures against Lancets and other UAVs .
Armaments and military equipment
The New York Times writes , citing a high-ranking Ukrainian official, that the United States has banned European allies from training pilots from Ukraine to fly F-16 fighters. Britain and the Netherlands announced the creation of an international coalition for the purchase of modern fighter jets, which Kyiv requests as military assistance.
Deliveries of F-16s can only be made with US approval. Pilot training can also take place only with the consent of Washington, where they still do not want to send fighter jets to Kyiv, referring to the fact that it is too expensive and time consuming. A Joe Biden administration official told the NYT that the United States intends to focus on delivering other weapons, but does not exclude that it will eventually issue licenses to allies in Europe to re-export F-16s to Ukraine.
At the same time, Politico notes that the Joe Biden administration has faced serious pressure from European countries, the Ukrainian leadership and the bipartisan leadership in the United States, who insist on sending fighter jets to Ukraine. It is expected that the issue of F-16 deliveries will be raised at the G7 meeting in Japan.
Norway, together with the UK, will provide Kiev with three artillery counter-battery radars and eight M270 MLRS. In addition, today in Oslo they talked about the transfer of additional NASAMS air defense systems to Kyiv. Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk said this after his visit to Norway.
The Swedish media claim that a whole brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been trained in the country. The fighters of the brigade mastered Swedish heavy equipment: Stridsvagn 122 tanks (Leopard 2A5 variant), CV90 infantry fighting vehicles and Archer wheeled self-propelled artillery mounts, the transfer of which was previously reported.
The supply of modern infantry fighting vehicles will come in handy - a video was published in one of the telegram channels, where the Ukrainian assault group comes to storm the Russian position on the armor of the tank, like the Soviet " tank landing " during the Second World War. As in those days, this may indicate a lack of protected equipment specifically designed to transport infantry to the battlefield.
In anticipation of modern technology, Ukrainians come up with new improvised means of fire destruction. The 68th Jaeger Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has published a video of a bottle of Molotov Cocktail (aka Bandera Smoothie) being dropped from a drone onto a Russian trench. The video shows that although the position is covered by a net against which the bottle is broken, its contents still catch fire and pour into the trench.
On the main events of the war on May 17 - in the previous report: “The Ministry of Defense occupies“ advantageous lines ”near Bakhmut, disputes about the fate of the Kiev Patriot. What's happening on the front line .