May 23, 2024

As the war enters its 797th day, these are the main developments.

Here is the situation on Wednesday, May 1, 2024.

Table of Contents

Fighting

  • At least three people were killed and three injured after a Russian missile struck the Ukrainian port city of Odesa early on Wednesday.
  • At least one man was killed and nine injured in the northeastern city of Kharkiv after Russia struck a railway line with a guided bomb damaging nearby residential buildings in the latest attack on Ukraine’s second-biggest city. Ukraine’s railway company said the 24-year-old victim was one of its employees.
  • One woman was killed and three people injured in Ukrainian shelling along the border in Russia’s Kursk region, according to the regional governor there.
  • Moscow said Ukraine had attacked Crimea, which Russia invaded and annexed from Ukraine in 2014, with Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS). The Russian Ministry of Defence said six of the missiles were shot down, along with 10 drones and two guided bombs. It did not say where the weapons were brought down or whether there was any damage. Ukraine did not comment.
  • The spokesman for Ukraine’s border service told the Ukrinform news agency that about 30 Ukrainian men had died trying to cross Ukraine’s borders illegally in an attempt to avoid fighting in the war since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Under Ukrainian law, men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to leave the country as they may be mobilised to fight.
  • Ukrainian soldiers discovered Lidya Stepanovna, a 97-year-old Ukrainian woman, who said she had walked 10km (6 miles) under shelling to escape Ocheretyne in Donetsk, now occupied by Russia, and reach areas controlled by Kyiv. Stepanovna is now in a shelter for evacuees.

Politics and diplomacy

  • Andrzej Szejna, the Polish deputy foreign minister, said Poland would not “protect” Ukrainian men on its soil who had escaped the draft. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian men of military age are living in the country, according to UN figures.
  • The OVD-Info rights group said Stanislav Netesov, a man who went to a Moscow police station after he was attacked at a bus stop, was instead accused of “discrediting” the Russian army because his hair was dyed in the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag. Netesov, whose hair is dyed blue, yellow and green, was also given a notice for a draft enlistment centre, OVD-Info said.
Lidya Stepanovna. She is sitting on a bed with a shawl around her head and leaning on a cane.
Lidya Stepanovna walked 10km (6 miles) with her cane amid continued shelling to escape Ocheretyne after Russian troops entered the front line town [Ukrainian National Police of Donetsk region via AP]

Weapons

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine needed “a significant acceleration” in deliveries of weaponry from its partners, particularly the United States, to enable its troops to face advancing Russian forces along several sectors of the front line. Top Ukrainian commander Oleksandr Syrskii has said the Russians are intent on seizing the town of Chasiv Yar to coincide with the commemoration on May 9 of the Soviet victory in World War II.
  • Norway said it would increase its aid to Ukraine this year by 7 billion Norwegian crowns ($633m). Some 6 billion crowns ($540m) will go to air defence and ammunition. “It’s a matter of life and death for the people of Ukraine,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store told a news conference.
  • US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Washington had been encouraging countries with Patriot missile systems to donate them to Ukraine. Austin did not name the countries but Spain, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden are among the European nations that have Patriots.

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