What’s happening in Bakhmut. China begins a diplomatic game. Russian attack helicopter crashes over occupied Crimea, the pilots were killed.
What’s happening in Bakhmut
On Thursday, May 11, a wave of reports about Ukrainian troops gains in Donetsk region surfaced on Russian pro-war social media sites. The reports also said that Ukrainian forces were conducting irregular activity and preparing to advance on the other parts of the front.
Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin said that in Bakhmut, “the situation is developing according to the worst of the predicted scenarios.” He continued to blame Russian regular troops for abandoning their positions without any fight, further complicating the situation for Wagner fighters.
On Thursday evening, Russian military bloggers almost simultaneously posted updates, showing something close to panic. This was both true of marginal pro-war social media sites and most popular milbloggers. The Russian Defense Ministry refuted the reports, saying in a late-night comment that statements “circulated by individual Telegram channels about ‘defense breakthroughs’ that took place in various parts of the front line do not correspond to reality.”
Commenting on the situation in Bakhmut over the past week, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said on May 12 that “the enemy failed to materialize their plans. The enemy suffered great losses of manpower, and our defenders advanced two kilometers in the direction of Bakhmut. We did not lose a single position in Bakhmut this week,” she said.
At the meeting with President Zelenskyi on Friday, chief military commanders said that Ukrainian troops had stopped the advance of Russian forces and pushed them back in some areas.
The 24th separate assault battalion Aidar in cooperation with other units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces recaptured from the Russians some territory south of Ivanivske village near Bakhmut. Russia’s 4th separate motor rifle brigade and 374th separate rifle battalion took heavy losses in the battles on May 11.
In the past day around Bakhmut, there were 40 combat engagements. Almost 200 Russian troops were killed, 244 more injured, and 15 others taken captive, spokesperson for the Eastern Military Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Colonel Serhiy Cherevatyi said. Ukrainian troops destroyed three Russian tanks, an infantry fighting vehicle, three Msta-B howitzers, and five field ammunition storage sites, he added. “Our defensive operation [around Bakhmut] continues to be successful and achieves one of the main goals — to wear down the enemy’s combat capabilities and exsanguinate them,” Cherevatyi said.
China begins diplomatic game
China is sending its special envoy to Ukraine and Russia starting next week in an effort to help reach a political settlement of Russia’s war against Ukraine, its Foreign Ministry said Friday.
Li Hui, China’s special representative for Eurasian affairs and a former ambassador to Moscow, will also visit Poland, France and Germany, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.
“The visit of the Chinese representative to relevant countries expresses China’s commitment to promoting talks for peace. It fully shows that China stands firmly on the side of peace,” Wang said at a daily briefing Friday.
Russian attack helicopter crashes over occupied Crimea, two pilots dead
Two Russian pilots were killed on Friday when a Russian Mi-28 military helicopter crashed in occupied Crimea, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The crash occurred during a training flight in Dzhankoy district.
The Defense Ministry said it believed the preliminary reason for the crash was equipment failure. The helicopter was flying without weapons, and it caused no damage on the ground.
“The Mi-28N ‘Night Hunter’ is an attack helicopter designed to strike armored and non-armored vehicles, low-altitude and low-speed aerial targets, and the troops on the battlefield,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Why ban on Moscow Patriarchate is a question of national security? Ukraine in Flames #428
The Ukrainian Church has long played a unifying and state-building role. However, russia intervened here as well. The Moscow Metropolitanate, which would not have arisen without the Kyiv one, has been mythologizing the history of its formation and “special mission” for centuries. Years of national liberation struggle, repressions, hidden oppression, and now a full-scale war have shown that the russian federation uses the church and religion as a very important tool of political influence. Watch Ukraine in flames #428 to find out about undercover russian spies and saboteurs under the guise of priests and why the ban on Moscow Patriarchate is not a question of religious freedom, but an issue of national security and defense.
- Oleksandr Sagan, PhD in Philosophy, Head of the Department of Religious Studies at Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy
- Liudmyla Filipovych, PhD in Philosophy, Religious Scholar, Professor at Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy
- Andriy Kovalyov, Candidate of Political Sciences, Religious Scholar, Military Officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine