Day 764: Russia preparing to launch another major offensive in May or June, Zelenskyi says

Russia is preparing to launch another major offensive in May or June, Zelenskyi says. A Russian fighter jet crashes into the sea in Crimea. The President of France’s National Assembly addresses Ukraine’s Parliament.

Russia preparing to launch another major offensive in May or June. Ukraine not ready, Zelenskyi says 

Another major offensive from Russia is expected around the end of May or in June, President Zelenskyi said in an interview with CBS News published Thursday. He didn’t specify in which directions Russia could possibly strike. 

With spring approaching, Zelenskyi said Ukraine’s forces had managed to hold off Russian advances through the worst of the winter months. But he acknowledged that the invading Russian troops and their seemingly endless supply of missiles and shells had destroyed “some villages.”

“We have stabilized the situation. It is better than it used to be two or three months ago when we had a big deficit of artillery ammunition, different kinds of weapons,” Zelenskyi said.

“We didn’t have rounds, artillery rounds, a lot of different things,” he said, stressing that while his troops have managed to keep the Russians largely at bay up to now, they’re not prepared to defend against another major Russian offensive expected in the coming months.

That, he said, was expected around the end of May or in June.

“And before that, we not only need to prepare, we not only need to stabilize the situation, because the partners are sometimes really happy that we have stabilized the situation,” Zelenskyi said of the U.S. and Ukraine’s other backers. “No, I say we need help now.”

The CBS team joined Zelenskyi as he inspected freshly dug underground bunkers in Ukraine’s northeast, on the outskirts of the city of Sumy.

The entire area is on a war footing in response to a significant buildup of Russian troops just across that border, and attacks on nearby villages, Zelenskyi told the journalists. “Usually, when they attack by artillery and destroy the villages, after that, they always tried to occupy,” he said. “We don’t know what will be tomorrow. That’s why we have to prepare.”

He said what’s needed most are American Patriot missile defense systems, and more artillery. While he’s grateful for the billions of dollars in U.S. support his country has already received, he said the nature of the funding dedicated by the American government to help Ukraine must be put into perspective. “Dozens of billions remain in the U.S.,” he said. “Let’s be honest, the money which is allocated by the Congress, by the administration, in the majority of cases, 80% of this money — well, at least more than 75% — stays in the U.S. This ammunition is coming to us, but the production is taking place there, and the money stays in the U.S., and the taxes are staying in the U.S.”

Russian fighter jet crashes into sea in Crimea

A Russian fighter jet crashed into the sea off the coast of Sevastopol in Crimea on Thursday. Russia-installed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev said on Telegram that the pilot ejected from the jet before it crashed and was rescued by local crews.

A video circulated on local Telegram channels showing a falling aircraft on fire. “In Sevastopol, Russian forces shot down their own aircraft as it was taking off from the Belbek airfield,” a post on the Telegram channel called “Crimean wind” said. 

Shortly before the crash, there was an explosion. The plane that crashed could be a Russian Su-27 fighter jet, but the reports remain unconfirmed.

President of France’s National Assembly addresses Ukraine’s Parliament

Yaël Braun-Pivet, the President of France’s National Assembly arrived in Kyiv on Thursday with a delegation of colleagues. 

“In Ukraine with Valérie Rabault [the First Deputy President of the National Assembly], Thomas Gassilloud [the Chairman of the Defense Committee], and Benjamin Haddad [the Chairman of the France-Ukraine Friendship Group] to reaffirm the National Assembly’s support for the Ukrainian people. Thank you, dear Ruslan Stefanchuk for the warm welcome!” she said on X.

Braun-Pivet delivered a speech to the Ukrainian Parliament. She was interrupted by air raid sirens.

“As Ukraine reforms, modernizes its structures, and fights corruption, it does not pass laws to meet a particular externally dictated membership criterion. It does so for itself and for the sake of the destiny it has chosen,” she said, according to a text released by the Ukrainian Parliament. 

“Even in the difficult situation you are in, it is necessary to preserve the integrity of your democratic and parliamentary institutions. (…) You have been able to preserve it, and this is important at a time when Russian propaganda is always ready to exploit any of your weaknesses to turn it against you,” she added.

“The day will come when a peaceful Ukraine restores its legal borders. The day will come when the 26 free seats belonging to Crimea and Donbas, which I see here in the hall, are filled. The day will come when martyr cities rise again, when war criminals pay, when grain from Ukrainian fields once again feeds all those suffering from hunger without hindrance.”

“The day will come when Ukraine will no longer be a frontline, but the ‘eastern gate’ of the European Union, majestic and welcoming, like all your people. This day will be the day of Victory, your Victory. You are not alone in this, and you can count on France, together with its partners, France will help to strengthen its defense industry, just as it will soon help to rebuild it,” Braun-Pivet said.

Ukraine and Taiwan stand together against disinformation. Ukraine in Flames #591

China’s information campaign against Taiwan is a major challenge for both its government and civil society today. A report from Stockholm University’s Varieties of Democracy project, published in March 2023, highlighted Taiwan’s continuous struggle as one of the world’s top targets for external disinformation over the past decade. The primary source of this disinformation is, of’course, the People’s Republic of China. Watch Ukraine in flames #591 to find out more about the similarities between Russian and Chinese propaganda tactics used to justify aggression towards sovereign countries, and how joining efforts to counter authoritarian propaganda will provide greater benefits in protecting the information integrity of Ukraine and Taiwan.


  • Puma Shen, Taiwanese Legislator, Associate Professor at National Taipei University, Board Member of Doublethink Lab 
  • Anton Tarasyuk, Co-Founder and Expertise Lead at Mantis Analytics 
  • Levi Bochantin, Social Engagement Researcher at Doublethink Lab