Day 455: Ukrainian troops slowly advance on flanks of Bakhmut

Ukrainian troops slowly advance on the flanks of Bakhmut. Germany may join the fighter jet coalition for Ukraine. UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace visits Kyiv.

Ukrainian troops slowly advance on flanks of Bakhmut

On Wednesday, May 24, the intensity of fighting on the flanks of Bakhmut was dwindling, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said on Telegram. “Throughout the day, the intensity of fighting on the flanks of Bakhmut was decreasing. But that does not mean that the enemy grows weaker. On the contrary, the enemy builds up forces on the flanks and constantly conducts artillery shelling,” Malyar said.

At the same time, Ukrainian troops “slowly advance”, she said. Inside Bakhmut, the enemy has decreased the number of assault operations and is rotating units, she added.

“Our troops retain control of a part of Litak neighborhood in the south-western area of the city,” the Deputy Defense Minister said.

UK Defence Secretary visits Kyiv

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Wednesday to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov. The UK and Ukrainian defense chiefs discussed the prospects of Ukraine joining NATO in light of the Vilnius summit and equipment Ukraine needs most urgently, Reznikov told a joint news conference. He emphasized conversations they had about “weapons that can strike the enemy at long range, such as Storm Shadow missiles.” 

“The latest weapon that the UK has supported Ukraine in using and acquiring is the Storm Shadow deep strike missile,” British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said. “We supplied it because of Russia’s constant use of its long-range weapons to target civilians and civilian critical infrastructure,” he added.

Oleksiy Reznikov confirmed that the Storm Shadow missiles supplied by the UK are already in use by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Germany may join jet coalition, sends more Leopards

Germany may join the fighter jet coalition for Ukraine, even though it does not have F-16s in its air force, Ingo Gerhartz, chief of the German Air Force, told the Tagesspiegel newspaper. “Countries that don’t have F-16s can contribute in a different way, like with infrastructure or training,” he said. 

“110 Leopard 1A5 tanks. Soon,” Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Oleksii Makeiev tweeted, possibly implying delivery of tanks to Ukraine. He also added to the post a photo of himself standing next to a tank and a video of tank in a warehouse.

Recent changes in German foreign policy and support for Ukraine. Ukraine in Flames #440

Germany, like other European countries, has had a nuanced relationship with russia, influenced by factors such as historical ties, economic interests and regional stability, but russian invasion of Ukraine has been a catalyst for reevaluating these relationships and shaping new approaches. German foreign policy traditionally emphasized diplomacy, multilateralism, and humanitarian aid, reflecting a commitment to peaceful resolutions of conflicts. However, the evolving security environment in Europe has challenged established norms and raised concerns about the potential impact on Germany’s national interests. These factors have contributed to a reassessment of Germany’s position and a greater willingness to provide military assistance to Ukraine. Watch Ukraine in flames #440 to find out about recent changes in German foreign policy and increase of military aid to Ukraine.


  • Kateryna Zarembo, Analyst on the Foreign Policy of Ukraine
  • Orest Boichuk, Associate Professor at Stefanyk Precarpathian National University