Russians prepare to resume offensive in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine extends martial law until August 23

22 May, 10:36 AM
A toddler looks at a destroyed Russian tank at an exhibition in Kyiv on May 21. (Photo:REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)

A toddler looks at a destroyed Russian tank at an exhibition in Kyiv on May 21. (Photo:REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)

Today, May 22, is the 88th day of Ukraine's defense against a full-scale Russian invasion.

6.50 p.m: Some 50-100 Ukrainian servicemen die at a war front every day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

Zelensky revealed that number explaining why the ban for men to leave the country is still in force. During a press briefing with Polish President Duda Zelensky was asked whether he would respond to a petition to cancel the ban for men to leave the country that has already got 25,000 signatures. 

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Zelensky was rough, saying the petition authors should have probably addressed the petition to the families of those soldiers, who died at war.

5.34 p.m: Nine civilians were wounded by the Russian shelling of Mykolaiv Oblast in the past 24 hours, Mykolaiv Oblast council has reported.

"Now the Bereznehuvatska and Shirokovska communities and the city of Mykolaiv get the most. Residential buildings have been destroyed once again, ”the statement reads.

As of May 22, more than 150 civilians, wounded by Russian shelling, are currently getting medical treatment at hospitals.

5.29 p.m: Russian missile fell in the Samara river of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, local governor Pavlo Reznichenko has reported.

"We have an" arrival "in the Pavlograd district. A rocket hit the Samara River. People were not injured. Orcs began "denazification" of Ukrainian fish," Reznichenko said. 

5.26 p.m: Ukrainian air defense shot down a Russian missile over the Fastiv district of Kyiv Oblast, Kyiv Oblast Military Administration has said in a statement.

No casualties have been reported so far.

5.14 p.m: Ukrainian paratroopers shot down a Russian attack bomber SU-25 Grach, Ukrainian Air Force has reported.

"The armored plane of the occupiers was forever landed by the calculation of the Igla MANPADS," the Air Force statement reads. 

"This fact once again confirms the professionalism of anti-aircraft soldiers of the Airborne Assault Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine." 

2.54 p.m. The Ukrainian parliament has extended martial law until Aug. 23.

Ukrainian lawmakers have also extended the mobilization until the same date.

On Aug. 24 Ukraine celebrates Independence Day.

2.07 p.m. Polish President Andrzej Duda made a speech in the Ukrainian parliament, saying that the Polish people are thankful to Ukrainians for their active resistance and fight for freedom.

Ukraine's State Center for Strategic communications highlighted Duda's main points:

  • "After Bucha, Borodyany, and Mariupol, there can be no business with Russia."
  • "Ukrainians are not refugees in Poland. You are our guests. We will do everything to make Ukraine a member of the European Union. "
  • "No one will be able to break our unity. Neither hostile politicians, nor foreign agents, nor the jury at Eurovision."

2.02 p.m. Russia has already lost more than 29,000 soldiers killed in action in Ukraine since Feb. 24, Ukraine's Army General Staff has reported.

Some 200 Russian occupiers were killed in the last 24 hours.

12.00 p.m. Russian collaborator Andriy Shevchyk, the puppet mayor of the occupied town of Enerhodar, has reportedly been injured in a blast, Dmytro Orlov, the legitimate Ukrainian mayor of Enerhodar has reported in a Telegram statement.

Earlier, several Ukrainian media reported that an explosion had occurred on the morning of May 22 in Enerhodar.

All the circumstances of the incident are being investigated. "But we have accurate confirmation that during the explosion the self-proclaimed head of the ‘people's administration’ Shevchyk and his bodyguards were injured. They were hospitalized with injuries of varying severity," Orlov wrote.

No one else was injured in the blast. "From this, we can draw the obvious conclusion that the (assassins) were waiting for the collaborator and hit (them) accurately," Orlov said.

Previously Ukrainian guerillas were reported to have killed a high-ranking Russian military officer and damaged a rail line  in Melitopol, another occupied city in Zaporizhzhya Oblast.

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As Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his late-night address, unfortunately, the war is continuing.

"The war is not over. We still need to fight and move forward to victory. It may seem to some in some cities in the rear that the war can be forgotten. People think they can become carefree. Or even careless. But no, that's not the case. Ukrainians are dying every day for our independence. Daily," said Zelensky.

Indeed, the heaviest fights have been going on in Donbas. Russia has deployed practically all of its military resources to destroy Ukraine, Zelensky added. 

In Luhansk Oblast, Ukrainian forces have once again destroyed a pontoon crossing over the Siversky Donets River, which Russians have been trying to cross despite heavy losses and several failed previous attempts. 

"Crossing the river is an impossible mission for the Russians, thanks to our soldiers of the 30th Separate Mechanized  Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and their comrades from other law enforcement agencies. Our forces opened fire (on the Russian bridge-crossing operation),"the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army said.

As a result of the attack, the occupiers lost significant forces - at least one battalion tactical group.

The Russians are continuing their offense all along the Luhansk Oblast front, where Ukraine controls only 10% of the territory. Heavy fighting goes on for Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. In the Belgorod region of the Russian Federation, the enemy deployed launchers of the Iskander-M operational-tactical missile system.

The Russians continue to shell Chernihiv and Sumy regions from the territory of the Russian Federation, while in Kharkiv Oblast the Ukrainian army is counterattacking. After retreating for two weeks, the Russians renewed shelling of Kharkiv and the outskirts of the city, and have been trying to prepare an offensive in the region, Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Synehubov said in a statement.

Over the past 24 hours, five people were wounded in Saltivka, and three people were wounded in Lozova, Shevchenkove, and Chuhuiv. Three more civilians were injured inRussian shelling of the town of Derhachi. Russian invasion forces are mostly focused on maintaining the occupied territories of Kharkiv Oblast and preventing the further advance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In the strategically important Izyum district, the Russian invading forces are preparing to resume their offensive, and are shelling the settlements of Vernopil, Dibrivne, and Dovhenke. Ukrainian forces are holding their positions, Ukraine’s General Staff says.

Overnight the Russians also attacked Zaporizhzhya Oblast. Missiles struck civilian infrastructure in one of the villages of the Vilnyanska community, the local council reported. Casualties have been reported, although the exact number is still unknown.

Polish President Andrzej Duda arrived in Kyiv today, his press service reported. Duda will speak in the Ukrainian parliament today.

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