Day 457 of the Invasion of Ukraine: At least Two People died after Russian shelling of a Hospital in the City of DniproUkraine | May 26, 2023, Friday // 12:08| views
Day 457 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- Two people died after Russian shelling of a hospital in the city of Dnipro
- Advisor to Zelensky: Prigozhin is preparing for the division of Russia
- Russia will launch a pre-emptive strike if the West provides Ukraine with nuclear weapons, Medvedev said
- Ukraine said it shot down 10 missiles and more than 20 drones after Russian attacks
- Another missile attack against Kyiv
- Transfer of Russian tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus
- Pentagon: Allies will train Ukrainians on F-16s, but they are not 'magic weapons’
- Prigozhin: Russia will lose the war
Two people died after Russian shelling of a hospital in the city of Dnipro
Ukraine has reported two deaths after a hospital in the city of Dnipro was hit by Russian shelling.
Russia claims that new Ukrainian attacks have taken place on its territory.
???? At least two are dead and 23 are wounded, including two children, after a Russian missile struck a medical clinic in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro, in an attack described by President Zelensky as a "crime against humanity"— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) May 26, 2023
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Intense Russian drone and missile attacks have been carried out in Dnipro and the region. Kyiv has also come under attack again. Russia fired 17 missiles and 31 kamikaze drones, with ten cruise missiles, 23 Iranian Shahed drones and two reconnaissance drones downed.
Russia has also reported attacks on its territory that it claims were carried out by Ukrainians.
There was an explosion in Krasnodar, suspected to have been caused by a drone attack.
The patrol police of Dnipro showed the first minutes after the strike on the city outpatient clinic. pic.twitter.com/z9Lr42R37U— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) May 26, 2023
Advisor to Zelensky: Prigozhin is preparing for the division of Russia
The boss of "Wagner" Yevgeny Prigozhin is preparing for the partition of Russia.
This was announced by the adviser to the Ukrainian president Mykhailo Podolyak, quoted by "Unian".
"He (Prigozhin) understands that Russia is moving towards certain fatal events, he understands that there will be a division: a redistribution of property, influence, territories and the like. The classic 'Putin' vertical will disappear and instead of Putin will come people of the type of Prigozhin. Separation is just around the corner, so Prigozhin is trying to increase his subjectivity," announced Podolyak.
The leader of "Wagner" does not respect anyone, including Putin, that is why he pays "compliments" to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the adviser believes.
"He openly criticizes the Russian military command, and I have no doubt that Prigozhin will bring his conflict with Shoigu and Gerasimov to an end, and it will look spectacular," Podolyak added.
Earlier in the week, Prigozhin announced that the war had made Ukraine the most famous country in the world and also helped it to militarize itself as best as possible.
Russia will launch a pre-emptive strike if the West provides Ukraine with nuclear weapons, Medvedev said
Russia will have to launch a pre-emptive strike if the West provides Ukraine with nuclear weapons, said Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council and former President of the country Dmitry Medvedev, quoted by Reuters and TASS.
"There are irreversible laws of war. If it comes to nuclear weapons, it will be necessary to launch a pre-emptive strike," Medvedev said. He expressed the opinion that the "Anglo-Saxons" do not fully understand this and think that it will not come to that.
"Under certain conditions, it will be possible," emphasized the former president. According to him, there is a possibility that the USA and the EU will supply Ukraine not only with F-16 fighter jets, but also with nuclear weapons.
Medvedev expressed this opinion in a conversation with journalists during his visit to Vietnam, TASS notes.
"Europe has gone mad. The US generally acts in accordance with its pragmatic interests. They are not at war, they are making money. They are trying to destroy an age-old enemy," the Russian leader stressed. "As for Europe, for me this is an incredible story. They continue to heat up the situation with their decisions."
He did not rule out the possibility of Kyiv getting both aircraft and nuclear weapons.
Medvedev also expressed the opinion that with some of his recent statements, Kyiv is examining the readiness of the Ukrainian public to accept the division of the country, along the lines of Korea, TASS notes.
Ukraine said it shot down 10 missiles and more than 20 drones after Russian attacks
Ukraine has shot down 10 missiles and more than 20 drones fired by Russia in overnight attacks on the capital Kyiv, the city of Dnipro and eastern regions, Ukrainian officials said, quoted by Reuters.
Russia has stepped up missile and drone attacks against Ukraine this month, targeting mainly logistics and infrastructure facilities ahead of an expected Ukrainian counter-offensive.
The Ukrainian Air Force said it shot down 10 missiles fired from the Caspian Sea, 23 Iranian Shahed drones and two reconnaissance drones.
A total of 17 rockets and 31 drones were fired during the attacks, which began around 10:00 p.m. on Thursday and continued until 5:00 a.m. on Friday.
Several drones and several missiles hit targets in Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions, officials said.
No deaths reported.
"It was a very difficult night. It was noisy - the enemy launched a massive attack on the region with rockets and drones," Serhiy Lysak, the regional governor of Dnipropetrovsk region, said on Telegram. "Dnipro suffered," he added.
Lysak explained that several houses, cars and private companies, including a transport company and a gas station, were damaged.
Kyiv authorities said the roof of a shopping center, a private house and several cars were damaged. The governor of Kharkiv region also reported damage to several private houses and industrial facilities.
Russia, which launched its full-scale invasion 15 months ago, has launched hundreds of missile attacks since last October, attempting to destroy critical infrastructure and energy facilities.
It has shifted the focus of its missile strikes to try to disrupt preparations for a Ukrainian counteroffensive, military officials said.
Another missile attack against Kyiv
The Ukrainian capital Kyiv was the target of a Russian missile attack last night. According to the local administration, the attacks were carried out by Tu-95 strategic bombers from the Caspian Sea region.
All missiles were shot down by anti-aircraft defenses. Damage from falling debris was reported in two neighborhoods of the Ukrainian capital. There are no reports of casualties.
Intense Russian drone and missile attacks took place in Dnipro and Dnipropetrovsk region. A fire broke out in a residential house and a transport company was seriously damaged.
On the active fronts, the intensity of the battles decreases. The Russian attacks around Kupiansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka are the most. In the last 24 hours, about 20 combat clashes took place.
Spain will provide Ukraine with four more Leopard 2 tanks, as well as a new batch of M-113 infantry fighting vehicles, the Spanish Ministry of Defense announced.
Earlier, the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced that the countries of the Contact Group for Ukraine have provided a total of more than 60 billion euros in military aid to Kyiv.
Transfer of Russian tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus
The United States has condemned the transfer of Russian tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, but for now Washington will not change its nuclear doctrine, the State Department announced.
The Belarusian president announced that the transfer began yesterday. However, Alexander Lukashenko could not confirm whether the weapons are already on the territory of his country.
Russia's defense minister said Iskander-M missiles, which can carry conventional or nuclear warheads, had been handed over to the Belarusian armed forces, and some Su-25 jets had been converted to be able to use nuclear weapons.
For the first time since 1991, Russia transferred tactical nuclear weapons outside its territory.
Pentagon: Allies will train Ukrainians on F-16s, but they are not 'magic weapons’
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said European allies are developing a coordinated program to train Ukrainian forces how to operate F-16 fighter jets, but Pentagon leaders warned it would be a costly and complex endeavor and not a magic bullet for the war, the Associated Press reported, BTA reported.
Austin said the allies had concluded that, along with training, Ukraine would need to develop its aircraft maintenance and servicing capabilities, as well as acquire sufficient ammunition. He added that air defense systems are still the weapons Ukraine needs most for its broader efforts to establish control over its airspace.
"There are no magic weapons," said US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, speaking at a joint news conference with Austin at the Pentagon. According to him, the provision of ten F-16 fighters could cost two billion dollars, including maintenance,
"The Russians have a thousand fourth- and fifth-generation fighters, so if you want to challenge Russia in the air, you're going to need a significant amount of fourth- and fifth-generation fighters," Milley added.
According to the general, the allies did the right thing by first providing Ukraine with a significant amount of integrated air defense. He added that the F-16 fighter jets have a role in the future as part of Ukraine's air capabilities, but "creating an Air Force of the necessary size and range will take considerable time."
Austin said the defense ministries of the Netherlands and Denmark are working with the US on this, and that Norway, Belgium, Portugal and Poland have already offered to contribute to the training. In addition, the Allies have created a fund so that other countries can contribute to the joint effort.
"We expect more countries to join this important initiative," Austin said, adding that the training is "an important example of our long-term commitment to the security of Ukraine."
Earlier, Austin said he hoped Ukrainian pilot training would begin in the coming weeks, which would provide long-term support to Ukraine, but not necessarily for an expected spring counteroffensive against Russia.
Austin and Milley spoke at the end of a virtual meeting of defense officials from around the world to discuss continued military support for Ukraine. At the forum, Ukrainian leaders provided them with an update on the military effort and the gaps facing their armed forces. Austin said the biggest gap continues to be ground-based air defense.
At their 12th meeting, the leaders also heard information on preparations for the expected counter-offensive and discussed how allies struggling with their own supplies can continue to support Kyiv’s fight against Russia.
Prigozhin: Russia will lose the war
Once again, the head of "Wagner" Yevgeny Prigozhin criticized the Russian war. In an interview, he warned of the defeat of the Kremlin. He also spoke of tens of thousands of dead Russian soldiers. The figure is in stark contrast to Russia's claims.
"We have to prepare for a very difficult war," he told pro-Kremlin journalist Konstantin Dolgov, who posted a video of the interview with Prigozhin on Wednesday night.
In order not to lose, Russia must declare martial law and switch the economy to munitions production, Prigozhin said. "We need to start a new mobilization," said the confidant of Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin. “All must work only for the war”.
Prigozhin again recalled the numerous defeats of the Russian troops, who "wet their pants" in front of Kyiv and in Kherson, and then left. The 61-year-old also claimed that it was not he who started the "special military operation", but others. At the same time, Prigozhin declared that the struggle that had just begun must be brought to an end.
Prigozhin also spoke about the Kremlin's declared military goal of "demilitarization" of Ukraine. “Today, Ukraine has much more and heavier weapons and more combat personnel than before the war”, he pointed out. “In fact, Russia has ‘militarized’ the country”. Prigozhin even praised the Ukrainian army as one of the best in the world. "They have a high level of organization, a high level of training, a high level of intelligence, they have a variety of weapons. They work with all systems - Soviet or NATO - equally successfully."
In contrast, he again criticized the Russian Ministry of Defense for not providing Wagner's army with sufficient ammunition or the requested personnel. Prigozhin stated that all of Donbas could have been taken today if he had received the requested 200,000 troops as reinforcements. "Wagner" today had 6,000 men who could lead a company. Therefore, they could control an army of 600,000 soldiers. But there are fears in the military leadership that the soldiers of "Wagner" may turn against the Russian power apparatus and eventually go to Moscow, he said.
Prigozhin also refuted the Kremlin's claims about the number of soldiers killed in the war against Ukraine. He said his troops had lost more than 20,000 fighters in the protracted battle for the city of Bakhmut. This figure is in stark contrast to Moscow's claims that Russia lost just over 6,000 soldiers during the invasion.
On Thursday, Wagner's chief announced that his soldiers would hand over their positions in Bakhmut to regular forces. Accordingly, all Wagner mercenaries must be withdrawn by June 1st. Prigozhin recently announced that Bakhmut, which had been hotly contested for months, had been completely captured. The battle for the city in Donetsk region is believed to be the bloodiest so far since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The information cannot be independently verified at this time.
The Ukrainian command denied the report and said that Wagner's forces were effectively defeated at Bakhmut.
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