25 May, 10:52 AM

Russian airstrikes hit Zaporizhzhya, Kryvyi Rih, and Kharkiv oblasts

Today, May 25, is the 91st day of Ukraine's defense against a full-scale Russian invasion. Putin's war is entering its fourth month.

4:41 pm: Russian occupation authorities have begun distributing Russian passports in Mariupol.

"Precisely today did the so-called DNR (Donetsk People's Republic) give the start signal for Mariupol and the again occupied Donetsk territories to receive Russian passports, without needing to receive a passport of the so-called DNR," announced Mariupol mayoral advisor Petr Andrushchenko.

"The de facto annexation of Mariupol has begun."

4:27 pm: The European Commission has suggested adding sanctions-dodging to the list of crimes against the EU.

According to an press statement by the European Commission, this decision would allow for the creation of a single fundamental standard in criminal investigations across the entire EU. These EU-general rules would also simply investigations, prosecutions, and sentencing in all EU member states.

3.07 p.m. Europe should not be looking for ways to help Putin save face, states European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

"I keep hearing more and more often that journalists, in their questions, are using a phrase like 'saving face', 'appeasement', 'how can we end this and move forward?' My answer is thus: it's not the time to talk about saving face for Russia. It's not time to talk to about appeasement. It is now the time that we much put forward all of our efforts (to help Ukraine -ed.)," Metsola said.

2.51 p.m. The Lysychansk-Bakhmut highway has not been cut off, says Governor Hayday.

This means that Luhansk Oblast has not been cut off from the rest of Ukraine.

"There's still access to Lysychansk and Severodonetsk," the governor noted.

2.20 p.m. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has signed an order for a "simplified admission for Russian citizenship" process for the residents of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya and Kherson Oblasts.

The order amends an April 2019 document simplifying procedures for obtaining Russian citizenship for residents of the Donbas puppet authorities, and has already come into force.

12.53 p.m. The SBU security service has summoned former Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and former National Security and Defense Council secretary Oleksandr Turchynov for questioning over a "criminal case."

According to SBU spokesperson Artem Dehtyrenko, the summoned individuals did not show up for questioning.

11.32 a.m. Russian forces have advanced closer towards Severodonetsk, and are now in mortar range. Combat continues on the outskirts of the city, reports Governor Hayday.

He emphasizes that the city is under continuous attack.

"The Ruscists are attacking those places were people are likely hiding," he said.

"(Attacks) constantly fly at the territory of the Azot chemical plant."

11.15 a.m. Over 200 fighters from the Donetsk puppet authority have refused orders from puppet leader Denis Pushilin.

"We refuse to go to the slaughter in the LNR (Luhansk People's Republic) – it's an entirely different republic," said one of the strikers.

The fighters complain that they were first thrown into the assault on Mariupol, and now have been told to go to their deaths in Luhansk Oblast.

10.08 a.m. NATO is unlikely to attempt a kinetic de-blockade of Ukraine's Black Sea ports, warns Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

"If NATO didn't close the skies over Ukraine during the most tragic moments of the war, then why would they now open the Black Sea, in order to freely export Ukrainian agricultural products?" the Minister said.

"I would welcome this development with my whole heart, but I don't think that there will be enough strength and courage to find a forceful solution."

9.44 a.m. Total losses of the Russian military in Ukraine as of May 25 –

According to data provided by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, for the previous day, the enemy took the greatest amount of losses in the Lyman direction.

  • Manpower — 29450 (+100)
  • Tanks — 1305 (+3)
  • Armored fighting vehicles — 3213 (+19)
  • Artillery systems — 606 (+0)
  • Multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) — 201 (+0)
  • Anti-air defense systems — 93 (+0)
  • Airplanes — 206 (+1)
  • Helicopters — 170 (+0)
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — 491 (+11)
  • Cruise missiles — 112 (+0)
  • Boats/cutters — 13 (+0)
  • Motor vehicles — 2217 (+5)
  • Specialized equipment — 44 (+1)

9.40 a.m. Former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder has declined an invitation to join the supervisory board of Russian state-owned gas monopoly Gazprom.

"I have long declined my candidacy for the supervisory board of Gazprom," Schröder claimed.

Schröder had previously been chairman of the supervisory board at Rosneft, the Russian state-owned oil company, since 2017, before stepping down on May 20 amid moves to strip him of official parliamentary benefits in Germany.

9.37 a.m. Russia has conducted on airstrike in Sumy Oblast.

According to regional governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyi, the missile damaged dozens of homes in the town of Krasnopillya. The strike is presumed to have been fired from an aircraft within the territory of Russia itself.

9.32 a.m. President Zelensky sits down for the Davos Ukrainian Breakfast Discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

8.54 a.m. Russians continue to attack the town of Severodonetsk in Luhansk Oblast. Over the past day, Russian attacks killed six residents and wounded another eight.

The Russians are focusing their fire on areas containing bomb shelters, said Hayday, and have been doing so since morning.

8.45 a.m. As a result of the airstrikes on Zaporizhzhya Oblast, one person has died and another three have been wounded.

Three missiles struck civilian structures in the Shevchenko district, and a shopping center in the Oleksandriv district.


President Volodymyr Zelensky, in his nightly address to the nation, reacted to a statement made by Russian Defense Mininster Sergei Shoigu, calling Shoigu's words about a "purposefully slow advance to minimize victims" to be "insanity."

"Today, there was another absolutely insane statement coming out of Russia about how they are purposefully slowing down their offensives actions," Zelensky said.

"Well, after three months of looking for a reason to figure out why they didn't manage to break Ukraine in three days, they've been unable to think of anything better than than to insist that it was planned that way."

Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the National Defense Management Center of the Russian Federation, stated that Russia has completed minesweeping operations around the occupied port of Mariupol and is now ready to release blockaded foreign ships. This "humanitarian corridor" will be implemented in the morning.

Russian forces fired on the town of Merefa in Kharkiv Oblast with three cruise missiles, one of which was shot down by Ukrainian air defenses. The number of victims was not clarified.

In the village of Savyntsi, two people were wounded as a result of the attack.

Half of the population of Kherson Oblast has fled – approximately 500,000 people – according to regional governor Hennadiy Lahuta. 90% of pharmacies in the oblast are closed, while prices for medicine have tripled at a minimum.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that a EU embargo of Russian oil  may be in the cards in a "matter of weeks".

"Here, we're working hard to find technical solutions," she said.

"Solidarity solutions from other member states, but also the financial investment into, for example, renewables. It's a complex mechanism. I hope that we're done with that in a matter of weeks."

Russian forces fired four cruise missiles at Zaporizhzhya Oblast. One was intercepted by Ukrainian air defenses. The details of the attack are being clarified.

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