Day 447 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russia claims to have Destroyed a "Patriot" System but shows No Proof

Ukraine | May 16, 2023, Tuesday // 11:22|  views

Day 447 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:

  • Russia announced that it destroyed the "Patriot" with a hypersonic missile
  • IEA report: Russian oil exports hit highest level since war in Ukraine
  • Peace plan: Putin and Zelensky agreed to host leaders from Africa
  • Saudi King Salman has invited Zelensky as a guest of honor to the Arab League summit
  • Air alert across Ukraine after more Russian attacks
  • An unusually powerful Russian attack shook Kyiv
  • The president of the Ukrainian Supreme Court was detained for a bribe in the amount of .7 million
  • Macron said he had opened the door to training Ukrainian fighter pilots
  • ISW: Kremlin prepares to declare Prigozhin a traitor
  • CIA recruits spies in Russia with Telegram video

Russia announced that it destroyed the "Patriot" with a hypersonic missile

The Russian military announced that it destroyed an American Patriot air defense system with a Kinzhal hypersonic missile last night.

The claims appeared in the Russian military's daily briefing, hours after an "extremely high-density" attack in the early hours of the day was reported by Kyiv. Radio "Zvezda" reported that the overnight airstrikes were aimed at Ukrainian military units and ammunition depots.


Earlier, the Ukrainian military said it had destroyed 18 Russian missiles overnight, six of which were Kinzhal missiles.

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, called the attack a salute to the special envoy for Eurasian affairs, who is arriving in the Ukrainian capital.

The ministry does not provide evidence of the destruction of the Patriot. According to the Ukrainian Air Force Command, all missiles fired at Kyiv were shot down - including six hypersonic "Kinzhal" missiles. At the same time, photos appeared on Ukrainian channels with a malfunctioning Patriot missile found on a street in Kyiv.

IEA report: Russian oil exports hit highest level since war in Ukraine

Russian oil exports have reached their highest level since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine despite heavy Western sanctions, bringing in $15 billion. This was announced today by the International Energy Agency (IEA), quoted by AFP and BTA.

The Paris-based international body said in its monthly report that Russian exports reached 8.3 million barrels a day last month after the country failed to follow through on its threat to cut output by 500,000 barrels a day.

"It is possible that Russia will increase production to compensate for the loss of revenue," the IEA report said.

Despite international sanctions against its oil, Russia has managed to redirect hydrocarbon exports to other countries (China, India, Turkey), but Moscow "doesn't seem to have much difficulty finding buyers for its crude oil and oil products," the report states.

"In April, Russia's oil exports reached their post-invasion peak of 8.3 million barrels per day (including refined products)," the IEA wrote, representing a "$1.7 billion" increase in revenue to $15 billion dollar.

Following the December 5 sanctions on Russian crude oil transported by sea, a second EU embargo on the purchase of Russian petroleum products, combined with a price cap on those products, which applies to G7 countries, is in effect since February 5.

The report also highlighted "a better-than-expected recovery in Chinese demand" with "an all-time record March of 16 million barrels per day" for the Asian country, the world's second-largest consumer after the US.

Global oil demand "will grow by 2.2 million barrels per day on an annualized basis in 2023 to reach an average of 102 million barrels per day per day," according to the same source.

Peace plan: Putin and Zelensky agreed to host leaders from Africa

An African delegation including a group of leaders will visit Russia and Ukraine to discuss a peace plan. This was announced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at a briefing with the Singaporean Prime Minister, quoted by Reuters.

The plan Ramaphosa spoke of has the support of Senegal, Uganda and Egypt. The latter two countries' relations with Russia are particularly good, and last year the chairman of the African Union, Senegalese President Macky Sall, was in Moscow to discuss restrictions on Ukrainian grain exports due to the port blockade - just before the grain deal was agreed.

Ramaphosa mentioned two other countries: Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which may also participate. The African Union and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have already been briefed on the mission. The United States and Great Britain also know; according to Ramaphosa, expressed their support "cautiously".

This comes days after South Africa, which maintains close ties with Russia, drew the West's attention: the US accused it of exporting weapons to Moscow, an action that Pretoria supports the war in Ukraine, as evidenced by the loading of them on a Russian ship in Cape Town in December.

After the dispute between the US and South Africa last week, the commander of the South African ground forces visited Moscow and spoke with Russian counterparts, but assurances came from the country that the "goodwill visit" had been planned for a long time.

The Kremlin also announced Putin's conversation with Ramaphosa (but with the claim that it was dedicated to the Russia-Africa meeting in July and the BRICS meeting in Johannesburg in August). It was not known that there was such a thing with Zelensky.

Ramaphosa previously spoke with the leaders of Russia and Ukraine about options to end the conflict. "My discussions with them showed that they are both ready to accept African leaders," he said. "Whether this will be successful or not will depend on the discussions that will take place," he said.

There was an attempt at African mediation - but with the participation of only one country - half a year ago, when Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo was in Moscow and Kyiv.

Saudi King Salman has invited Zelensky as a guest of honor to the Arab League summit

Saudi King Salman has invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to participate as an honored guest at the Arab League summit, which will be held this week in the Saudi kingdom, DPA reported, citing diplomatic sources in Riyadh.

The agency added that the meeting will take place in the coastal city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia this Friday.

According to the sources, this will be an opportunity for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss with Ukrainian President Zelensky ways to end the war in Ukraine by finding common positions that would lead to the start of negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv. So far, there is no confirmation of this information from Kyiv.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly offered to mediate in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Last year, Riyadh said it had brokered between Russia and Ukraine the release of 10 prisoners of war from different countries.

Friday's summit will also be the Arab League's first in which Syria will once again participate, with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad also invited to the summit.

Air alert across Ukraine after more Russian attacks

Ukraine has declared an air alert across the country due to further Russian attacks.

After a three-day European tour, President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Western countries for their support.

Local authorities in Kyiv reported explosions and casualties from the Russian attacks. This is the eighth such attack on the capital this month.

The air alert in several regions of Ukraine gradually covered its entire territory, but was canceled before 9:00 a.m. Bulgarian time.

The Ukrainian General Staff announced that there was no change in the situation on the front line. Heavy fighting in the Bakhmut area continues, and in the last 24 hours, attempts at offensive actions have not yielded results. Mariinka continues to be at the center of the battles.

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that his country will train Ukrainian fighter pilots, as will Poland and Great Britain. Macron also said he did not discuss the delivery of military aircraft to Ukraine during Volodymyr Zelensky's visit to Paris.

Zelensky himself described the new weapons promised by the Europeans as "important and powerful" and in a video message thanked for the help:

"Three long days and our warriors and our country are growing stronger, much stronger. We are returning home with new military aid, newer and more powerful weapons for the front, more protection for our people, greater political support."

Zelensky's return from a tour of Rome, Berlin, Paris and London coincided with the news of the arrest of the president of the Supreme Court of Ukraine. Vsevolod Knyazev, who has been in office for a year and a half, was detained for a bribe in the amount of 2 million and 700 thousand dollars. A poll shows that most Ukrainians (84 percent) approve of publishing data on wartime corruption, as the issue negatively affects unity and support from partners.

An unusually powerful Russian attack shook Kyiv

Drones, cruise missiles and even possibly ballistic missiles were fired at Kyiv in the early hours of the day. On "Telegram", the head of the city administration, Serhiy Popko, said that the attack was "extremely dense" - the largest number of rockets were fired at Kyiv in such a short time.

There are reports of injuries, but no details have been released.

This is the eighth attack on Kyiv this month - the cases have increased in the last two weeks. Air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine and could be heard for several hours, local media reported.

Popko claims that most "enemy targets" have been found and destroyed. Videos appeared on social networks showing how the anti-aircraft defense was activated.

It is not known whether any of the rockets reached their target, but the mayor of the city reported debris in Shevchenkivskii, Darnitskii and other areas not far from the center. According to preliminary data on the FREEDOM channel, the damage was insignificant - a non-residential building and cars were burned.

It also follows from the words of the mayor Vitaly Klitschko that another drone attack was carried out southeast of Kyiv, in Boryspil. Ukraine's main airport is also in Boryspil, but it is closed.

The attack comes as President Volodymyr Zelensky tours European capitals in an attempt to secure more arms shipments to Ukraine ahead of a long-awaited counteroffensive against Russian forces.

The president of the Ukrainian Supreme Court was detained for a bribe in the amount of .7 million

The Chairman of the Supreme Court of Ukraine Vsevolod Knyazev was detained for a bribe of 2.7 million dollars, reported UNIAN, quoted by BTA.

The arrest was announced yesterday, the day Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky returned to the country after a three-day tour of Europe. Zelensky announced that he had received promises of more aid from allies and assured that support for Ukraine's accession to the European Union had increased.

The fight against corruption is one of the main conditions that the EU sets for Kyiv.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NAB) of Ukraine announced that, together with the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAP), they uncovered large-scale corruption in the Supreme Court (SC).

"NAB and SAP have uncovered large-scale corruption in the Supreme Court, namely a scheme to obtain illegal benefits from the leadership and judges of the Supreme Court. Urgent investigative actions are currently being carried out. Details later," reads the statement published on Facebook.

A law enforcement source confirmed to UNIAN that the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Ukraine Vsevolod Knyazev was found guilty of accepting a bribe of 2.7 million dollars.

Knyazev takes up the post from December 1, 2021.

"In connection with what is happening", an extraordinary meeting of the Plenum of the Supreme Court will be held today, the highest court in Ukraine announced on Facebook.

Macron said he had opened the door to training Ukrainian fighter pilots

French President Emmanuel Macron said he had "opened the door to training Ukrainian fighter pilots" as of now. He made this statement a day after he spoke with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, who was visiting him in Paris, reported AFP, quoted by BTA.

Macron added that this preparation will be done together with several other European countries that are ready for it. "I believe that discussions (on the matter) are also underway with the Americans," Macron said in an interview with French TV channel TF1.

However, he added that the mention of a possible future delivery of fighter jets to Kyiv "would be a theoretical debate". "Today we need to start the training. Several European countries have agreed on this," Macron said, without going into more details about this training process.

Paris has so far postponed the issue of a possible future delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine, explaining in particular that it would take many months to train pilots to fly them. The start of pilot training could eventually pave the way for the delivery of the planes as well.

In the interview, Macron did not go into detail about what new supplies of weapons there will be from Paris to Kyiv. "We have decided to supply new ammunition," he limited himself to saying.

Macron also mentioned, without going into further details, the training of Ukrainian military personnel who will be tasked with carrying out the Ukrainian counteroffensive and resisting the enemy, and they will be taught how to repair combat equipment and artillery systems. "This is what Ukraine needs," the French president said, adding that his country's strategy is simple - to help Ukraine resist, to organize the moment it decides to do so, its counter-offensive to eventually bring back all at the negotiating table and on terms that it would choose and to build a sustainable peace for itself.

In a joint statement Sunday after their meeting with Zelensky, the two presidents said France would train and equip several battalions of Ukrainian forces with dozens of armored military vehicles and light tanks, including the AMX-10RC.

"Fighter Coalition"

Politico notes that during his visit to Britain on Monday, Zelensky said he wanted to create a "fighter coalition" to supply modern aircraft to Ukraine. But while the UK has also pledged to train Ukrainian fighter pilots, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the question was not an easy one.

Britain has said it will organize basic training for Ukrainian pilots this summer, while also joining forces with other countries to provide F-16 fighter jets.

"We want to create this coalition for the fighter jets, and I'm optimistic about this... I think you will soon find out about some very important decisions, but we need to make a little more effort," Zelensky told journalists after his meeting with Sunak.

In his traditional evening video address, which this time Zelensky delivered from the train he was traveling to Kyiv from London on - the last stop of his European tour, the Ukrainian president said that Britain and Poland had agreed to become part of a coalition to train Ukrainian military pilots of modern Western aircraft, reported "Reuters".

"Great Britain - yes. Poland - yes," Zelensky said. He expressed confidence that "France and other partners (also) will join".

ISW: Kremlin prepares to declare Prigozhin a traitor

The Kremlin is preparing mechanisms to recognize the head of PMC "Wagner" Yevgeny Prigozhin as a traitor. But that most likely won't happen in the near future.

This is how specialists from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) commented on the publication of the "Washington Post" about Prigozhin's alleged attempts to contact the Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) and hand over the positions of the Russian military in exchange for the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Bakhmut.

Analysts suggest that Moscow was aware of Prigozhin's potential contacts with the GRU.

"Unnamed Kremlin sources said the Russian president's administration was preparing an information operation to publicly discredit Prigozhin, but noted that it was unlikely to threaten him while Wagner's forces were on the front lines. Prigozhin commands Wagner's forces in the Donbas, his removal would disrupt Russian positions in Bakhmut, and Putin is unlikely to take such a risk," ISW adds.

Prigozhin accused the Washington Post of spreading lies.

"Regarding the location of Russian troops. I will reveal a secret to you - in modern warfare, the location of troops is not secret information at all, it is visible from satellite images," he said, as quoted by his press service.

CIA recruits spies in Russia with Telegram video

The US Central Intelligence Agency stepped up its efforts to persuade Russians to release state secrets with an emotional Telegram video on Monday aimed at those unhappy with the rule of its President Vladimir Putin, AFP reported.

The short video shows a Russian family with a child experiencing obvious life problems, asking themselves if this is what they dreamed of.

The advice to them is to take action to make things better - to provide information to the CIA and at the same time continue to be Russian patriots.

The video is accompanied by text with instructions on how to do this using a Tor browser to access the so-called dark web and encryption tools that would ensure their protection.

"The CIA wants to know the truth about Russia and is looking for people they can count on to tell us the truth. Your information may be more valuable than you think," the video said.

Novinite is still the only Bulgarian media that publishes a summary of events and highlights related to the conflict, every single day. Our coverage began on day one - 24.02.2022 and will not stop until the war has concluded. Despite the pressure, our independent media will continue to provide its readers with accurate and up-to-date information. Thank you for your support! #stayinformed

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Tags: Ukraine, Zelensky, Russia, Kyiv


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