23 May: Battles for Bakhmut, "liberation" of the Belgorod region

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Situation summary of the war in Ukraine by region for Tuesday, May 23, 2023.
Zelensky and Ukrainian Naval Infantry / Photo: Zelensky’s Official Telegram Channel

Zelensky and Ukrainian Naval Infantry / Photo: Zelensky’s Official Telegram Channel

[For urgent updates please follow Ukrainian Freedom News in Telegram]

By Pavlo Vitenko

Summary by regions

Luhansk Region

Yesterday, the Russians shelled Stelmakhivka, Nevske, and Bilohorivka.

The Russian army has once again focused its attention on Bilohorivka, firing rocket and barrel artillery, attacking from the air, and launching infantry assaults.

During the day, the Russians carried out 87 shellings (fired 392 shells) in the Luhansk region.

Donetsk Region

Russian troops carried out 35 shellings, in Avdiivka, Chasiv Yar, Toretsk, Velyka Novosilka, New York, Tonenke, Karlivka, Stara Mykolayivka, Ivanivske, Druzhba, Mykolayivka, Chervone were under fire.

Seven residential buildings, a shelter, power lines, a solar power station, a car, and a hospital were damaged.

One person died and 5 were injured in the Donetsk region during the day.

Sumy Region

In the morning, the Russians carried out six shellings on the border of the Sumy region. 29 explosions were recorded. The Velyka Pysarivka and Shalyhyne communities were shelled. According to preliminary data, there were no victims or destruction of civil infrastructure. The data is being verified.

Yesterday, during the day, the Russians carried out 12 shellings. 80 explosions were recorded. The communities of Bilopillia, Myropillia, Yunakiv, Nova Sloboda, and Velyka Pysarivka came under fire.

One person with a shrapnel wound was taken to a medical facility in the Velyka Pysarivka community. A private house, a car, and an outbuilding were damaged by shelling.

Kharkiv Region

In the Slobozhansk direction, the invaders shelled Morozova Dolyna, Shevchenka, Kozacha Lopan, Hoptivka, Lukyantsi, Zelene, Staritsa, Hatyshche, Pletenivka, Vovchansk, Varvarivka, Nesterne, Budarky, and Chuhunivka with mortars and artillery.

In the Kupiansk direction, the enemy carried out unsuccessful offensive actions in the area of Masyutivka and carried out airstrikes near Orlianske, Kislivka, and Tabaivka. Kamianka, Fiholivka, Novomlynsk, Dvorichna, Zapadne, Kupiansk, Husynka, Tabaivka, and Berestove came under artillery and mortar fire.

As a result of the shelling of Kupiansk from rocket launchers, eight private residential buildings, and commercial buildings were damaged. Women aged 76 and 53 and a man aged 35 were injured.

The enemy launched a missile attack from the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system on the Vyazov village of Kharkiv district. Two rockets hit an open area, in a field. There were no damages or injuries.

Dnipropetrovsk Region

Yesterday, in the Dnipropetrovsk region, the enemy shelled the Nikopol district with heavy artillery. The Russian army fought in Marhanets and Chervonohryhorivka communities. There are no dead or injured.

Zaporizhzhia Region

The Russian military carried out 94 strikes on 20 settlements, in particular, on Novodanylivka, Hirke, and Mala Tokmachka – by air strikes, on Malynivka – by UAVs, on Chervone and Bilohirya – by anti-aircraft missiles. The Russians attacked 88 artillery units in Gulyaipole, Orikhiv, Zaliznychne, Olhivske, Shcherbaky, Plavni, Kamianka, Stepnohirsk, and other front-line settlements.

18 destroyed civilian objects were recorded.

Kherson Region

The invaders carried out 61 shellings (fired 373 shells) during the day, Kherson was shelled six times.

A 45-year-old man died as a result of enemy strikes on Stanislav. Four residential buildings were damaged.

A 62-year-old woman received a shrapnel wound as a result of artillery fire in the village of Kachkarivka, Beryslav district.

Enemy attacks on the village of Kozatske and the village of Vesele in the Kakhovsky district continue. Two women were injured.

At night, the Russians dropped two guided aerial bombs on Kizomys. One house was destroyed, and two others were damaged.

The enemy attacked the village of Mykhailivka in the Beryslav district with barrel artillery, and the technical equipment on the mobile phone tower was damaged.

Another 47 people were evacuated from the territory of the region liberated from the Russians.

Regional Military Administrations and their membership are sources of information about events in each region of Ukraine

UKRAINE: One helicopter and 480 occupiers: the General Staff updated the data on Russia’s losses in the war

The fighting in Bakhmut continues for the heights: ISW analysts on the current situation in the city

«The enemy does not manage to take the dominant heights»: Maliar about the current situation in Bakhmut and its surroundings

NYT showed the completely destroyed Bakhmut from a bird’s eye view


Zelensky arrived at the frontline.

WORLD: «It’s time to put an end to the Kremlin dictatorship»: the Freedom of Russia Legion on the liberation of the Russian Federation

In the Belgorod region, the Kremlin is introducing a «counter-terrorist operation regime».

The Freedom of Russia Legion reported the liberation of the villages of Kozinka and Gora Podol. They announced the beginning of the assault on the village of Graivoron.

«The purpose of the operation is to divert attention from the fact that Ukraine allegedly lost the city of Bakhmut» Peskov commented on the situation in the Belgorod region.

Ukrainian intelligence for the first time commented on the situation in the Belgorod region: «Establishment of a security zone»

The raid of Russian volunteers to the Belgorod region caused panic and confusion in the Russian Federation – ISW

Most Russian military observers reacted to the events in the Belgorod region with relatively varying degrees of concern, alarm, and anger.

After the raid of the Freedom of Russia Legion and the «Russian Volunteer Corps» to the Belgorod region, the information space of the Russian Federation experienced panic and incoherence, to which it is prone under conditions of significant information upheavals.

This is stated in the report of the American Institute for the Study of War.

Analysts draw attention to the fact that some Russian military observers focused on the fact that the «RDK» and «LSR» include mostly citizens of the Russian Federation, and called them traitors to the state. Observers accused Russian volunteers of working for Ukrainian intelligence.

Other Russian military observers put forward versions that the events in the Belgorod region are a purposeful information operation to divert attention from the alleged capture of Bakhmut by the occupiers. Observers called sowing panic in the information space of the Russian Federation on the eve of a potential counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation as another goal of the operation.

Russian terrorist Ihor Girkin (Strelkov) said that he had long warned that cross-border raids could be part of Ukraine’s broader counteroffensive strategy.

At the same time, the owner of Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin took advantage of the events in the Belgorod region to accuse the Russian government and its bureaucratic inaction of facilitating the attack. Prigozhin also criticized the Russian Ministry of Defense for its failure to strengthen the country’s borders and protect it.

Analysts summarize that the majority of Russian military observers reacted to the events in the Belgorod region with relatively different levels of concern, anxiety, and anger. However, the information space of the Russian Federation did not rally around one coherent answer. First of all, it shows that the attack took Russian commentators by surprise.

By Pavlo Vitenko, Ukrainian Freedom News

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