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Russia Ukraine War (Putin's War) - Page 1

A lightning raid that stuns Moscow.
Michael Weiss and James Rushton

KYIV — Russia may have taken the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut Sunday, but forces aligned with Ukraine apparently took a tiny part of Russia on Monday — or so video and photograph footage suggested as of just after noon local time. Ukrainian armored vehicles, including at least one tank, were seen attacking a border post, in the town of Kozinka, in the Belgorod region of southern Russia.

Drone footage, taken from the Ukrainian side of the border, showed a lone tank advancing toward the Russian border checkpoint in Kozinka, the main building of which had several large holes blasted in its exterior walls. A group of three light armored vehicles was also spotted in the same location, with Ukrainian marks — white crosses — clearly painted on their hulls. Footage circulating on social media and purportedly shot inside the checkpoint building showed Russian passports scattered on the floor, a portrait of Vladimir Putin hanging on the wall and a dead border guard.

Story by Jon Jackson

Rail traffic was suspended between two major Crimean cities following a Thursday train derailment that railway officials blamed on "interference by outsiders."

On Friday, an intelligence update from the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense said a major consequence of the rail suspension was that it disrupted "deliveries of supplies and potentially also weaponry, such as Kalibr cruise missiles," to Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said regaining the peninsula is one of his country's objectives in the war started by Russian President Vladimir Putin in February 2022. Crimea has also been the site of numerous attacks in recent weeks, including multiple drone strikes on the region's largest city, Sevastopol.

The British Defense Ministry's intelligence update about the derailment noted that the incident highlights security concerns for Putin as he tries to maintain his hold on the peninsula.


KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia fired 30 cruise missiles against different parts of Ukraine early Thursday in the latest nighttime test of Ukrainian air defenses, which shot down 29 of them, officials said. One person died and two were wounded by a Russian missile that got through and struck an industrial building in the southern region of Odesa, according to Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesperson for the region's military administration.

Amid the recently intensified Russian air assaults, China said its special envoy met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during talks in Kyiv earlier this week with Ukraine's chief diplomat. Beijing's peace proposal has so far yielded no apparent breakthrough in the war, and Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Thursday that the warring parties needed to “accumulate mutual trust” for progress to be made.

Six infamous Dagger missiles were shot down by U.S. Patriot defenses in one incredible night that changes the calculus of Putin’s threat to Ukraine.
Marcel Plichta

Russian officials must be reeling in utter disbelief after Ukraine claimed six of their most sophisticated missiles were blasted out of the sky in an incredible night of drama over Kyiv. When Ukraine’s Defense Express outlet reported that just one Kh-47 “Dagger” missile had been shot down with a U.S.-made Patriot air defense system earlier this month, it prompted fury in Russia.

On Saturday, U.S. officials told CNN that the Russian missile attack on May 5 was targeting the Patriot itself. Russian officials called the interception “wishful thinking”—even as Ukrainian and U.S. officials made statements to the contrary. The Kremlin had believed these weapons were all but “unstoppable.”

Those Russian claims were left in disarray early Tuesday when a further six Kh-47s were reportedly shot down in a single night. In one of the most intense aerial assaults on the capital since the war began, Ukrainian air defenses took down 18 missiles that were targeting the city.

Story by Paul D. Shinkman

The Kremlin on Monday attempted to downplay an explosive new report suggesting Wagner Group mercenary leader Yevegeny Prigozhin told a Ukrainian intelligence service that he would give them the positions of Russian troops in exchange for withdrawing from the besieged city of Bakhmut.

“It looks like another duck,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, employing a Russian idiom for a hoax or a media stunt, lamenting that a “respected news organization” would buy into it. But, ultimately, he declined to comment on the substance of the report.

Peskov faced questions about the damning story in The Washington Post, based on recent U.S. intelligence assessments leaked through the online gaming platform Discord, that detailed Prigozhin’s machinations, apparently in an attempt to bolster his forces’ position around the strategic city in eastern Ukraine.

Story by insider@insider.com (Mia Jankowicz)

Ukraine says it has shot down an unprecedented six Russian Kinzhal missiles over Kyiv early Tuesday, amid a fierce bombardment from land, sea and air. Officials said on Tuesday that air defenses had repelled an intense array of missiles and drones overnight in a startling defense against the Kinzhal, a weapon that Putin has touted as unstoppable.

The Kinzhal is capable of carrying a nuclear payload, but in the conflict so far has delivered powerful conventional strikes on Ukrainian targets instead. The claimed feat comes days after Ukraine said it took down a single Kinzhal for the first time, using the Patriot missile-defense system it was recently given by the US.

According to the commander-in-chief of Ukraine's army, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, six Russian MiG-31K jets launched the  Kinzhal missiles overnight. He said a further nine Kalibr cruise missiles were shot down after being launched from the Black Sea, as well as three land-based S-400, Iskander-M missiles, in a post that was echoed by Ukraine's Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk.

Story by Альона Сонько

The head of the logistical support unit of the 501st Separate Marine Infantry Battalion reportedly changed allegiance and defected to the enemy.

The department recalled that at the time, Russian propagandists spread falsehoods claiming that Ukrainian military personnel voluntarily surrendered in the besieged Mariupol.

In reality, the marine infantry leader conspired with the Russians and effectively convinced the commander to surrender. The traitor urged the commander to cease defensive actions, surrender weapons, and personnel. The 277 battalion servicemen were given orders for relocation, but in fact, they were transferred to the so-called “DPR” (Donetsk People’s Republic).

“The military personnel were deceived, and thus, they were not aware and could not comprehend the unlawful nature of the order or directive to surrender in captivity,” the bureau said.

Story by sbaker@insider.com (Sinéad Baker)

Russian soldiers who have taken over military positions in Bakhmut from Wagner troops have quickly abandoned them out of fear, a Ukrainian officer told The Times of London.

The head of intelligence for Ukraine's 228th Battalion, who goes by the call sign "Zulu," said Ukraine's efforts have been aided by soldiers from the traditional Russian military taking over from the mercenary force.

"As soon as Wagner left and the regular Russian troops stepped in, they abandoned their positions," he said, adding: "The Wagner fighters would hold positions until the very end. Many of them were prisoners, right? So they knew it was either fight or go back to prison."

The Wagner Group, which has thousands of mercenary fighters and prisoners serving in Ukraine, has spearheaded Russia's efforts to capture the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. The battle is considered the longest and bloodiest of the war to date.

Story by By REUTERS

Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Russia's Wagner private militia, on Monday dismissed a report in the Washington Post, sourced to a US intelligence leak, that he had offered to reveal the position of Russian troops to the Ukrainian government, and the Kremlin called it a "hoax."

Wagner's soldiers have been at the forefront of a bloody Russian offensive to take the city of Bakhmut.

The Post reported that Prigozhin in January offered to tell Ukrainian intelligence the positions of Russian forces, with which his militia has frequently been at loggerheads, in exchange for Ukraine pulling back from the area. The paper said Ukraine had rejected the offer.

Story by Milla

Ron DeSantis, a likely candidate for the president in 2024, appears to be pandering to Trump’s MAGA crowds as Florida’s governor joined the Pro-Russian propaganda.

DeSantis declared that US support for Ukraine is not a “vital” national interest, which enraged many Republican senators.

Republican Senators Vs. DeSantis
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham spoke to CNN, explaining that if Putin isn’t stopped, this will go further, and adding, “To say this doesn’t matter is to say that war crimes don’t matter,”

Sen. John Cornyn from Texas also wanted answers. He stated, “Gov. DeSantis is a veteran. He’s a smart guy. I think he’s a been a very good governor, and I don’t understand him saying that Ukraine isn’t important to the United States.”

Sen. Marco Rubio said in a radio interview, “It’s not a territorial dispute in the sense that any more than it would be a territorial dispute if the United States decided that it wanted to invade Canada or take over the Bahamas.”

By Dan Peleschuk

KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine's military on Monday hailed recent advances around Bakhmut as its first successful counterattack in the battle against Russian forces fighting for control of the eastern city.

But Kyiv also said the situation in Bakhmut was difficult. It cautioned that Moscow had not changed its goal of capturing the city and was sending assault troops to Bakhmut's outskirts.

The Ukrainian military said last week it had started to push Russian forces back in and around Bakhmut after months of heavy fighting, and Moscow acknowledged that its forces had fallen back north of the city.

Story by Zeleb.es

Here's what we actually know about the situation
The Ukrainian Armed Forces are on the march again and recapturing territory around Bakhmut in a new offensive that has seen Russian positions crumbling and Wagner mercenaries running for their lives.  

The surprise offensive
Operational security around the surprise offensive has been tight but both sides have slowly released more and more information on the situation around the embattled Bakhmut, and isn’t looking good for Russia.

Story by Shane Harris, Isabelle Khurshudyan

In late January, with his mercenary forces dying by the thousands in a fight for the ruined city of Bakhmut, Wagner Group owner Yevgeniy Prigozhin made Ukraine an extraordinary offer.

Prigozhin said that if Ukraine’s commanders withdrew their soldiers from the area around Bakhmut, he would give Kyiv information on Russian troop positions, which Ukraine could use to attack them. Prigozhin conveyed the proposal to his contacts in Ukraine’s military intelligence directorate, with whom he has maintained secret communications during the course of the war, according to previously unreported U.S. intelligence documents leaked on the group-chat platform Discord.

Prigozhin has publicly feuded with Russian military commanders, who he furiously claims have failed to equip and resupply his forces, which have provided vital support to Moscow’s war effort. But he is also an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who might well regard Prigozhin’s offer to trade the lives of Wagner fighters for Russian soldiers as a treasonous betrayal.

Story by ktangalakislippert@insider.com (Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert)

When Ukrainians shot down a Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missile last week, they used a Patriot defense system donated by the United States to destroy the munition that had been "wreaking havoc" on their military. But officials on Friday told CNN the defense system itself was the target of the attack — and the Patriot expertly defended itself.

In their first known successful intercept of a Kinzhal missile, Ukrainian forces fired at the Russian warhead from multiple directions using the Patriot system, one official told CNN, "demonstrating how quickly they have become adept at using the powerful system," which was delivered to the country last month.

A representative for the Pentagon, in an email to Insider, referred to Department of Defense spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder's press briefing on Tuesday, which confirmed Ukrainians "did down a Russian missile by employing the Patriot missile defense system" — but did not specify whether it was a Kinzhal — or "Killjoy" — missile.

Story by mloh@insider.com (Matthew Loh)

An unknown saboteur broke into a Russian airfield and set fire to a supersonic jet, and the local authorities didn't know it happened until they found out on social media, per reports from independent Russian media.

Footage of the burning aircraft emerged on Monday on the Telegram channel for the Freedom of Russia Legion, a Ukrainian organization that consists of military defectors from Russia and Belarus.

The damaged jet, a Su-24 model, was stationed near the town of Novosibirsk, Siberia, according to the Telegram post. Novosibirsk is some 2,000 miles east of the frontline in Ukraine. The post said the bomber jet was slated for repairs, and blamed "unknown partisans" for the attack.

Story by Sébastien Roblin

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been tough on Russia’s inventory ground attack aircraft, with photos confirming at least 60 of its Sukhoi bombers and attack jets destroyed or heavily damaged by early May 2020. And a recent incident suggests even those deployed thousands of miles away from Ukraine may still be in the line of fire.

On May 8, just prior to Russia’s Victory Day holiday, saboteurs filmed themselves setting fire to one Su-24 supersonic bomber parked near some woods by the Sukhoi aircraft factory at Novosibirsk—located 1,800 miles east of Ukraine in Siberia. The Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association Plant there is engaged in producing the Su-24’s successor, the Su-34 Fullback bomber.

Story by nmusumeci@insider.com (Natalie Musumeci)

The boss of the notorious Russian paramilitary Wagner Group said that some of the Kremlin's forces "abandoned their positions" and ran away from the frontlines of Moscow's war with Ukraine.

In a video published to Telegram on Tuesday, Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin mocked the Russian troops as he detailed how they ran from their positions near the war-torn Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

"So today, one of the units of the Ministry of Defense fled from one of our flanks, abandoned their positions," Prigozhin said. "They all fled and opened up a front almost two kilometers [1.24 miles] wide and 500 meters [1,640 feet] deep."

Russia launched its biggest swarm of drones for months against Ukraine today after Volodymyr Zelensky vowed Russia will be defeated 'as Nazism was' on the eve of Moscow's dialed-down Victory Day parades. Officials said attacks hit cities including Kharkiv, Kherson, Kyiv, Mykolaiv and Odesa ahead of the May 9 victory day commemoration tomorrow, a symbolically important holiday for President Vladimir Putin. In Kyiv, the city's mayor said Russia had fired 60 Iranian-made kamikaze drones at Ukrainian targets, including 36 at the capital, all of which had been shot down. Debris hit apartments and other buildings, injuring at least five people.

Story by Ukrainska Pravda

The Russian invaders continued to focus their primary efforts on Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka fronts, and Russia carried out about 30 attacks during the day.

Source: General staff on Facebook

Details: During the day, Russia has launched 11 missile strikes and 59 air strikes on Ukraine, carrying out 76 attacks from multiple-launch rocket systems. Civilians were injured, private residential buildings and other civilian infrastructure were destroyed and damaged.

The probability of missile and air strikes throughout Ukraine remains high. Russia continues to focus its primary efforts on Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka fronts – Russia made about 30 attacks. Heavy battles are continuing for the cities of Bakhmut and Marinka.

Story by Ukrainska Pravda

On the Tavriia front, the Russian invaders focused their primary efforts on carrying out positional defence, preventing Ukrainian troops from securing the islands at the mouth of the Dnipro River and the loss of control over the held frontiers and logistics routes in the occupied territories.

Russia keeps two operational groups of troops in the border areas of its Bryansk and Kursk oblasts. They are reportedly doing this to prevent the deployment of Ukrainian forces to areas of active hostilities.

Story by Marc Santora, Eric Schmitt and John Ismay

An American-made Patriot air-defense missile successfully intercepted one of the most sophisticated conventional weapons in Russia’s arsenal for the first time over Kyiv on Thursday night, the Ukrainian air force claimed on Saturday.

The downing of a Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missile by a Patriot missile, confirmed by three senior U.S. officials, appeared to offer the first proof that Russia’s hypersonic missiles — presented as invulnerable by President Vladimir V. Putin — could be defeated by current Western missile defense systems.

“I congratulate the Ukrainian people on a historic event,” Lt. Gen. Mykola Oleshchuk, the commander of the Ukrainian air force, said in a statement posted on the Telegram messaging app. “Yes, we have shot down the ‘unparalleled’ ‘Kinzhal.’”

Story by Ukrainska Pravda

Andrii Yermak, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, has reported that 45 Ukrainian defenders were brought back from Russian captivity.

Source: Yermak on Telegram

Quote: "42 men and three women who defended Azovstal [steel plant in Mariupol - ed.].

All of them are fighters of the National Guard’s regiment, created nine years ago on the Azov Sea coast.

Story by Stephanie Whiteside

(NewsNation) — The Drug Enforcement Agency on Friday announced the results of an operation targeting fentanyl and methamphetamine trafficking driven by the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels. Operation Last Mile was a yearlong operation targeting cartel-driven drug trafficking within the U.S.

“The results of this operation – over 3,000 arrests and the seizure of almost 44 million fentanyl pills – demonstrate the Justice Department’s unrelenting commitment to working with our state and local partners to keep fentanyl out of our communities and save American lives,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said.

Story by Gideon Rubin

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ performative ongoing feud with Disney reflects the breach of an “uneasy truce” between politicians and corporations that served a purpose, Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle contends.

“Sure, if politicians threatened a firm’s bottom line, the business would fight back. But there were limits: Companies tended to conduct these battles politely, for fear of offending regulators who held a great deal of power over them, or customers who might disagree with them,” McArdle writes.

“And they did not pick fights on matters that didn’t directly affect their profits.”

The truce started crumbling around a decade ago, McCardle writes, noting Florida's dispute with Disney over culture issues follows a corporate boycott of Indiana over a religious freedom law that LGBTQ+ advocates argued was discriminatory, and Delta’s withdrawal of group discounts to the NRA and CEO’s signing open letters in protest of new laws imperiling reproductive rights, among other disagreements between business and political leaders.

Story by Ukrainska Pravda

The Republic of Belarus has introduced a temporary border control on the border with Russia.

Source: Belarusian newspaper Zerkalo with reference to sources and hotline of the State Border Committee of Belarus

Details: According to the publication’s sources, a border checkpoint is being established between Russia and Belarus on the M1 highway near the border.

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