The latest war in Ukraine: Wagner's group 'broken' by the battle in Bakhmut - Russia warns NATO about F-16 planes (2023)

the central point
  • Zelensky says that Bakhmut is not occupied by Russia|But Putin says the battle for the cities is over and praises Wagner's warriors
  • Could the fall of Bakhmut be a turning point in the war? | Alex Rossi
  • WATCH: Mercenaries raise the Russian flag in Bakhmut
  • Russian efforts at Bakhmut 'block' preparations for a counter-offensive - while Wagner 'falls'
  • 'Very likely' Russia to create new 'Elite' strike aircraft group
  • Western allies agreed to supply Ukraine with F-16 planes - here's why they will be Putin's 'main focus'
  • Do you have a question about war? Ask our experts
  • Live streaming with Olive Enokido-Lineham


Zaporizhia nuclear power plant continues with external power supply

Ukraine's state grid announced that the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant has been reconnected to an external power source.

The power plant, the largest in Europe, was "completely" disconnected from the power supply this morning and put on standby after reports of a fire in the electrical plant in the city.

Backup diesel generators had earlier been activated at the facility in southern Ukraine to keep nuclear fuel cool and prevent a potential disaster.

Both sides blamed the other for the breakup.

Russian officials there said Ukraine cut the transmission line, and Ukraine's state-run nuclear power company Energoatom said Russian shelling caused the problem.

Russia seized the plant at the start of the war, but today put it into emergency generators after Ukraine cut a power line it still controls.

The closure has sparked concern in the West, with the head of the UN nuclear watchdog warning that the situation at the facility is "extremely sensitive".


Denmark hopes to host a peace summit in July

Denmark wants to host a summit in July to discuss how to bring peace to Ukraine, Denmark's foreign minister said.

"It would be great if Ukraine found time for such a meeting," Rasmussen said, according to Danish news agency Ritzau.

"Then Denmark is obviously willing to host the meeting," he added.

As the war progressed, more and more countries offered Ukraine and Russia negotiations or a peace plan to end the conflict.

China called for a ceasefire in a 12-point document, Pope Francis wanted to send a personal peace envoy, and South Africa recently organized a delegation of African leaders meeting with Vladimir Zelensky and Vladimir Putin to discuss a settlement plan.


State of nuclear security 'extremely sensitive' after plant stand-by

The head of the UN nuclear watchdog warned that the nuclear safety situation around the Zaporiz thermal power plant is "extremely fragile" and "unsustainable".

Raphael Grossi made the comments after the plant was disconnected from external power and switched to an emergency generator this morning.

"This morning, for the seventh time during the conflict, Ukraine's Zaporizhia power plant lost all external power," said IAEA chief Mr. Rossi.

Russia seized Europe's largest nuclear power plant with six reactors at the start of the war and has repeatedly expressed concerns about its safety.


Bachmut is a "rat trap" for the Russian army, Kiev did not let Moscow "deep"

A Ukrainian member of parliament described Bakhmut as a "rat trap" for Russian forces and said Kiev was doing a good job preventing Moscow's troops from going "deep" into Ukrainian territory.

Golos party lawmaker Andrii Osadchuk told Sky News that Ukraine knew from the beginning that Bakhmut was an ordinary town from a "technical point of view" but claims it is important to the Kremlin.

He said: "The Kremlin desperately needed a victory from the beginning of the war, but they had no victories, only losses. They created the myth of Bachmut as if it was very important to them.

"From the very beginning, we realized that Bachmut is a normal city, not a big one, from a technical point of view.

"At the end of the day, Bakhmut is a rat trap for the Russian military in southeastern Ukraine, and the Ukrainian military will certainly continue to operate because our goal is simple - we must eliminate as many of their soldiers as possible."

He added that while defending Bakhmut, the Ukrainian army did not allow the Russians to go deep into Ukrainian territory and reached other cities such as Kramatorsk.

The country's deputy defense minister, Hannah Malial, said Ukrainian troops were continuing to advance around the devastated city, but added that the "intensity" of their operations had been reduced.


Russia's response to Bachmut's claims shows a 'widening rift' between the Kremlin and blogger Mir

The US Institute for the Study of War said Russia's response to the alleged seizure of Bakhmut showed a "widening rift" between the Kremlin and ultra-nationalist military bloggers.

It cites key inconsistencies in the way Bachmut's victory was portrayed on Russian state television and by Russian ultranationalist bloggers Mir.

While Russia and Wagner's group claim to have fully occupied Bakhmut, Ukraine disputes this.

ISW said Russian state television described the so-called capture of the city as a "watershed historical event" that would help it seize surrounding areas, including Kramatorsk and even the Dnieper.

"One Russian state media outlet made the chilling comment that Wagner's staff at Bachmut must feel like 'their grandfathers in Berlin,'" the think tank reported.

It added that the Kremlin may have tried to exaggerate the significance of its alleged capture of the city due to a lack of tactical success on the ground.

But some prominent Russian military bloggers responded to the alleged occupation of Bakhmut by focusing on a potentially imminent Ukrainian counteroffensive and shifting to more conservative expectations of Russian actions, the institute said.

ISW says, "Bachmut is not Berlin" and the atmosphere seems to be.

08:21:57 sati

At least 8 injured in missile attack by '20 Shahed' drones

Ukraine announced that at least eight people were injured in last night's Russian airstrike in the Dnipropetrovsk region.

The country's air force said the attack was carried out with 16 different types of missiles and Shahed drones.

It is added that the air defense system destroyed 20 drones and four cruise missiles.

Governor Serhiy Lysak saidtelegraphAt least one person was injured in an attack in the city of Dnipro, and seven people were injured in an attack in the Synelnykivskyid district of the Dnipropetrovsk region.

A large number of buildings, including private houses, residential buildings and administrative infrastructure, were damaged or destroyed, he added.

Photos after the disaster showed wrecked vehicles and destroyed cars inside the firehouse.

Ukrainian security expert Maria Avdeeva claimed on Twitter that Moscow had used "20 Shahed drones", adding that the new Russian tactic involves attacking the city with multiple weapons.


Russian efforts at Bakhmut 'block' preparations for a counter-offensive - while Wagner 'falls'

Russia's deployment and use of munitions in the battle for Bahmut will "build up" its preparations for an immediate counteroffensive in Kiev, an expert said.

General Sir Richard Barrons, the former head of the Joint Forces Command, told Sky News that Moscow must mobilize its "precious personnel reserves" to stop Ukrainian forces north and south of the city.

Speaking of the city, he said: “It became a signature battle between the two sides, they threw thousands of men into it and it was almost a draw - but the losses on both sides were staggering.

"Russia had to mobilize valuable reserves of personnel and ammunition to stop the Ukrainians from moving north and south of the city, which would prevent their offensive preparations, but the next big thing is the Ukrainian counter-offensive."

He added that Wagner's group was "broken" in the battle for Bachmut.

"The key to this is that Wagner's group was out of the game, at least for a while, it was broken by Bachmut," he said.

The mercenary group has been heavily involved in fighting in the city, but founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said his troops would leave the conflict zone later this week.

"As we said yesterday. We are handing over positions to the (Russian) Ministry of Defense and leaving the conflict zone on May 25."


Russian shelling causes a power outage at the Zaporozhye - Energoatom nuclear power plant

Ukraine's state-owned nuclear power company claims that the failure at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was caused by Russian shelling.

Energoatom said the outage occurred after external power lines were fired upon.

We previously reported that the plant had switched to auxiliary and emergency generators, citing a local official installed by the Russians in the Moscow-controlled area of ​​the region (see post 06.25).

The factory was occupied by Russia in the first days of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.


'Very likely' Russia to create new 'Elite' strike aircraft group

The Ministry of Defense said it was "highly likely" that Russia would form a new air strike group to operate over Ukraine.

The ministry said the group, codenamed "Shtorm," is likely to consist of a variety of aircraft, suggesting it will play an important role in land-based attacks.

It added that Russian media reported that the Russian Ministry of Defense wanted to attract highly trained pilots by offering high salary incentives.

It said the group noted that Moscow assessed that its regular air squadrons were performing poorly when conducting airstrikes on Ukrainian routes.

The force is likely to consist of at least one squadron of Su-24 Fencer and Su-34 Fullback fighter-bombers and a squadron of attack helicopters, the ministry said.


Who controls Bachmut?

The Ukrainian city of Bakhmut is still the focus of intense fighting.

Over the weekend, Wagner's group and Russian forces claimed to have taken full control of the eastern city - but Ukraine disputes this and the situation remains unclear.

If Bakhmut falls, it will mark the end of the longest and bloodiest battle of the 15-month war.

Well, anything new?

Over the weekend, footage emerged of Wagnerian mercenaries raising the Russian flag in Bakhmut. Russia and Ukraine have opposing views on the situation.

Ukrainian officials admit they now control only a small part of the 400-year-old city.

General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the chief of ground forces of the Ukrainian armed forces, said: "Although we now control a small part of Bakhmut, the importance of its defense has not lost importance.

"It gives us the ability to go into the city if things change. And that will definitely happen."

On Sunday, the Ukrainian president insisted that Russia had not occupied the city, but added that he could not share the "tactical point of view" of his troops.

This is the latest image of the territory on earth, accurate as of early Sunday, fromInstitut rata...

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