Here is the situation as it stands on Friday, May 5, 2023:
- Russia launched new air raids on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, as well as cities including Odesa and Zaporizhzhia. Attacks on Kyiv continued into the evening.
- Ukrainian air defences shot down 18 out of 24 Russian drones, the Kyiv city administration said.
- The death toll of Russian shelling near Kherson on Wednesday rose to at least 23 people, the regional governor said. Oleksandr Prokudin said 46 people had been injured in the attacks.
- A drone was shot down near an airbase in Russian-annexed Crimea, the Moscow-installed Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev said on Telegram.
- Nearly 50 Russian attacks were repelled along the main sectors of the front line in eastern and southern Ukraine, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said. The heaviest fighting remains in Bakhmut and in Maryinka, further south in the Donetsk region, it said.
- The leader of Russia’s Wagner mercenary force complained that his repeated requests for ammunition were being ignored. In an audio message published by his press service on social media, Prigozhin said the “active phase” of the counteroffensive “could be a matter of days” away.
- Russia is very unlikely to use its nuclear weapons, a top US intelligence official said, suggesting restraint by Moscow even as it endures heavy casualties.
- The United States denied any involvement in an alleged drone attack on the Kremlin. “I can assure you that there was no involvement by the United States in this. Whatever it was did not involve us,” National Security spokesperson John Kirby told MSNBC in an interview. “We had nothing to do with this.”
- The US said it did not encourage or enable Ukraine to strike outside its borders after Moscow accused Washington and Kyiv of being behind the Kremlin attack which it claimed was an attempt on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s life. Russia has provided no evidence Kyiv was involved.
- The former Russian president and deputy head of the country’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, called the European Union’s foreign policy chief an “impudent old fool” on Twitter, after he warned Moscow against escalating the war following the alleged drone attack.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to the Netherlands. Visiting the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Zelenskyy said a special tribunal should be created to hold Russia to account for its “crime of aggression”.
- Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said technical personnel from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations will meet on May 5 to discuss the Black Sea grain deal.
- Finland received a diplomatic note from Russia complaining about vandalism at a Russian consulate on the Aland Islands, the Finnish foreign ministry said. On Wednesday evening, the Russian foreign ministry also said a group of people had thrown “an explosive noise device” at the building, causing damage.
- US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said she discussed the war between Ukraine and Russia on a trip to Brazil, adding that peace negotiations could “not be based on rewarding Russia”.
- US Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy visited former US Marine Paul Whelan in Mordovia, a southeastern Russian region.
- Speaking at a joint news conference in The Hague with the Dutch and Belgian prime ministers, Zelenskyy said it was crucial that Western governments delivered weapons to Kyiv as quickly as possible as it defends itself against Russian forces and prepares for a counteroffensive.
- Talks on a potential donation of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine were progressing and there were “no taboos”, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.
- Ukraine’s ambassador to Israel said an Israeli-designed missile detection system was being tested in Kyiv and could be activated within two months.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies