16 May, 10:03 AM

Russia forces thousands of Ukrainians to go through 'filtration', saboteurs try to break through border to Sumy Oblast

Today, May 16, is the 82nd day of Ukraine's defense against a full-scale Russian invasion.

10.51 p.m: Ukrainian forces might soon push the enemy to the Russian border in Kharkiv Oblast, Deputy Defence Minister of Ukraine Hanna Maliar has said.

"There is still a small area where the enemy remains - a little more, and we will be able to move close to our border. Confrontation has been going," said Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar.

Earlier it was reported that Ukrainian forces had successfully crossed the Siversky Donets River in Kharkiv Oblast. They continue to push Russians out of the Ukrainian region.

5.38 p.m: Russian occupiers have already forced more than 37,000 Ukrainians to go through so-called filtration, Ukrainian Human Rights Ombudswoman Lyudmila Denisova has said in a statement. 

According to her, "especially dangerous" in ideological terms and "unreliable" Ukrainians have to go through humiliating "filtration" every three days.

During filtration, citizens of Ukraine are interrogated, carefully examined, detained in inhumane conditions, humiliated, and tortured.

"This is not just discrimination against Ukrainians on the basis of nationality, this is one of the elements of the total genocide of our nation," Denisova said.

Ombudswoman also said that any coercion of a physical or psychological nature against civilians, in particular in order to obtain information from them or from third parties, is a gross violation of international humanitarian law and customs of war. 

5.21 p.m: A Ukrainian border guard was killed in Sumy Oblast during a battle with a Russian saboteur group that tried to break through, Hlukhiv city council has reported.

Earlier, at 7.00 a.m, a group of Russian saboteurs opened fire on a checkpoint in the Shostka area, using mortars, grenade launchers, and machine guns. 

11.28 a.m: In the morning Russian bombers attacked Odesa Oblast, Operative Command South has reported.

According to the military, Russian strategic bombers launched missiles at a tourist facility in Odesa Oblast. It was destroyed, as were nearby buildings, after which a fire broke out. Rescuers and an investigative task force are currently working at the scene.

"The enemy continues to attack the damaged and non-functioning bridge across the Dniester estuary. But it is hitting civilians. So far we know two adults and a small child were seriously injured. The rest of the information is being verified," the Ukrainian military's Operational Command South said.

11.23 a.m: Russia heavily shelled Donetsk Oblast using Grad missile systems and aircraft, killing six people and wounding another 12 over the last 24 hours, Ukraine's National Police have reported. 

Mariupol, Avdiivka, Toretsk, Lyman, Soledar, Zalizne, Bakhmut, Niu York, Dibrove, and Bakhmut were all under attack. 

Morning Digest

Yesterday, soldiers from the 127th Brigade of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reached a section of the state border with Russia in Kharkiv Oblast, forcing invading Russian troops back to Russia.

But while in Kharkiv Oblast Ukrainian troops continue to push the enemy back across the border, the situation remains difficult in the nearby Luhansk Oblast, where Ukraine now controls only 10% of the territory. Russian invaders are continuing to attack Severodonetsk in Luhansk Oblast.

Ukrainian forces had to blow up two railway bridges that connected Rubizhne, now occupied by Russians, with Severodonetsk in order to stop the Russian offensive on Lysychansk and Severodonetsk, Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said in a Facebook statement.

According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the occupiers fired at the region with the full range of weapons available to them, including aircraft, trying to kill Ukrainian army personnel and destroy Ukrainian army fortifications.

In the Lyman, Bakhmut, and Kurakhiv areas, the enemy continues to advance, and hostilities continue.

In the Avdiivka direction,  the enemy retreated to previously occupied positions after suffering heavy losses.

In total, Ukrainian forces repelled 17 enemy attacks in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts over the past day.

In the village of Olenivka in Donetsk Oblast, the Russian invaders are holding more than 3,000 Mariupol residents with pro-Ukrainian views in a "filtration" prison, Petro Andriushchenko, an advisor to the mayor of Mariupol, said in a Telegram statement. 

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