Day 456: Ukraine’s air defense forces destroy all 36 Shahed drones Russia launches overnight

Ukraine’s air defense forces destroy all 36 Shahed drones that Russia launches overnight over Ukraine. Wagner chief Prigozhin vows to transfer control of Bakhmut to Russian army by June 1. Russian Volunteer Corps makes another incursion into Russia.

Ukraine’s air defense forces destroy all 36 Shahed drones Russia launches overnight

Overnight on Thursday, May 25, an air raid alert was declared in most of Ukraine, including western regions, as Russia launched swarms of Iranian-made Shahed drones at the country. Ukraine’s air defenses destroyed all 36 attack drones. Some of them targeted the capital.

The Air Command “Center” shot down at least 10 drones, the Air Command “West” (Zakhid) — 22 drones, and the Air Command “South” (Pivden) intercepted four drones, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force Command Colonel Yuriy Ihnat said.

President Zelenskyi thanked the air defense forces “for the 100 per cent result” as they destroyed all drones that Russia launched over Ukraine overnight.

Wagner chief Prigozhin vows to transfer control of Bakhmut to Russian army by June 1

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin told the mercenaries they should withdraw from Bakhmut. “Until June 1, we pull back, we rest, we prepare and then we will get new tasks,” Prigozhin said on a video released by his press service, addressing the fighters.

Russia had begun to replace Wagner units with regular troops on the outskirts of Bakhmut, but Wagner fighters remained inside the city, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said on Telegram on Thursday. Ukrainian troops maintain a foothold in Litak district on the south-western outskirts of the city, she added.

“In the Bakhmut direction, the enemy is trying to stop our advance along the flanks with artillery shelling. Now the enemy is pulling up additional units to the flanks for reinforcement,” Malyar said.

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed during an interview on May 23 that Wagner lost at least 20,000 fighters killed in action (including convict recruits and full-time professional fighters) over the course of the battle for Bakhmut. Discussions regarding reported Russian losses in Bakhmut have saturated the Russian pro-war information space and are drowning out any remaining positive informational effect resulting from the city’s capture, the Institute for the Study of War said in a report on May 24.

Russian Volunteer Corps makes another incursion into Russia

The Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), an all-Russian group fighting alongside Ukrainian troops in Ukraine, made another incursion into Russia. A video allegedly showing group members at a site inside Russia was posted to RDK’s Telegram channel on Thursday. “This time, there’s no need to prove that we shot our video not in Kyiv region, but in our homeland. We decided to make such videos our good tradition. Glory to RDK!” the message accompanying the video reads.

A name plate on the building on the video suggests that the footage was shot further into Russia, in Glotovo, Belgorod region near the village of Kozinka that the group claimed to have captured during their raid on May 22-24.

Speaking on Wednesday to reporters on the Ukrainian side of the border, fighters of the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Freedom of Russia Legion shared details of their raid into Russia on May 22-24. They said they penetrated 42 kilometers into Russia and maintained control of some towns in Belgorod region before leaving Russian territory after 24 hours. The group had managed to seize Russian armored vehicles and weapons, destroy some equipment in Russia, take prisoners, and seize the IDs of military personnel. While the active phase of the operation was over, it continues “in a different form”, they said. The Russian Volunteer Corps said two of their members were wounded, and the Freedom of Russia Legion said two of their fighters were killed and 10 other injured. The two groups said that in the operation, they used the vehicles seized from Russia. Russia earlier “captured them from the Ukrainian Armed Forces outside Bakhmut”. There were no losses of equipment, they said.

Ukraine’s path to European single market in the conditions of war. Ukraine in Flames #441

Trade openness and integration with the EU can bring several benefits to Ukraine’s economy. By establishing closer economic ties with the EU, Ukraine gains access to a larger market, which can provide opportunities for increased trade and investment. This access allows Ukrainian businesses to expand their customer base and tap into the EU’s consumer demand. Moreover, integration into the EU internal market encourages the adoption of higher standards and regulations, which can enhance the competitiveness and quality of Ukrainian products and services. Watch Ukraine in flames #441 to find out about the path of Ukraine to the EU’s internal market in the conditions of war. 


  • Markiyan Dmytrasevych, Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine
  • Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine – Trade Envoy of Ukraine
  • Yulia Klymenko, People’s Deputy of Ukraine, First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee for Transport and Infrastructure