Weekly roundup. Ukraine resists Russia’s invasion. Days 712-716

This week has been tense for Ukraine. Russia has intensified attacks on the country by almost a quarter, Ukraine’s Interior Minister said. Russian forces make gains in four areas. Ukraine’s shell shortage undermines its ability to conduct sufficient counterbattery warfare. Russia launched another major missile and drone strike at targets across Ukraine, killing five and injuring more than 40 others. Attacks were reported in the country’s five regions – Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mykolayiv, Lviv, Dnipro, and in the capital.  

Late in the week, President Volodymyr Zelenskyi dismissed Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi. He will be replaced by Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi.

Hundred Ukrainian service members return home after Ukraine, Russia hold 51st prisoner swap since invasion. Of the 100 Ukrainian service members liberated on Thursday, 49 are members of the National Guard, 25 are from the State Border Guard Service, 26 are from the Ukrainian Armed Forces, including 11 members of the Territorial Defense Force. 

“Service members returning home are soldiers and sergeants. Eighty-four took part in the defense of Mariupol, of which 82 are from the Azovstal garrison. Others served in Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” Ukraine’s Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War said. “Among those saved is a medic who was saving lives of the wounded at the Azovstal steelworks. There are also brothers Mykola and Roman,” the message reads. 

At least 28 of the Ukrainians released suffered from serious injuries or illnesses, the coordination headquarters said. The oldest Ukrainian service member released has turned 62, and the youngest is 20.