Russia ramps up artillery on border, Ukraine loses foothold in east

According to the Ukrainian military, Russian forces have attacked a number of villages in eastern Ukraine in a bid to expand their control over the area, but without complete success.

According to the AP news agency, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a daily note today (May 13) that Russian troops had attacked a number of villages near Donetsk, Lyman, Bakhmut and Kurakhiv in eastern Ukraine. In addition, Russian troops continued shelling and airstrikes on the port of Mariupol, the city of Novopavlovsk and the industrial town of Zaporizhzhia – a haven for refugees leaving Mariupol. Russia is also moving more artillery units to the border near Chernihiv.

Ukrainian troops have withdrawn from the city of Rubishne in the Lugansk region after weeks of resistance, the CNN news agency quoted reports from the region as saying. Videos broadcast from the city showed fierce fighting on the outskirts of Rubishne, and a bridge connecting the city to neighboring Severodonetsk was destroyed.

According to the latest analysis by the Institute for the Study of War, by May 12 the Russian army could control almost all of Rubishne and possibly capture the town of Voevodivka north of Severdonetsk.

According to Reuters news agency, the Russian Defense Ministry announced today that the Russian military had attacked the Kremenchug oil refinery in central Ukraine, destroying production capacity and oil storage tanks there. In addition, Russian forces shot down a Ukrainian Su-27 fighter jet in Kharkiv. However, the above information has not been independently verified.

Satellite images from BlackSky and the European Space Agency show that three bridges vital to Ukraine’s counteroffensive have been knocked down. According to a photo taken by BlackSky on May 12, parts of the bridges over the Siverskyi Donets river have collapsed near the villages of Rubizhne and Staryi Saltiv, about 10 km south of the Russian border. The village of Rubizhne near Staryi Saltiv has the same name as the city of Rubizhne in the Luhansk region. Recently, Ukraine regained control of these villages.

The Ukrainian military today released video showing the destruction of a pontoon bridge and part of a Russian military convoy attempting to cross a river in the Donbass region. Britain’s MoD confirmed Ukraine’s claims, saying Russia had lost at least one combat battalion and some equipment to deploy the pontoon. The Russian army has not yet made any significant progress, despite the concentration of its forces in the Luhansk and Donbass regions of eastern Ukraine.

Hoai Linh