- Ukraine on Saturday again ruled out agreeing to a ceasefire with Russia and said Kyiv would not accept any deal with Moscow that involved ceding territory.
- The United States Department of Defense officially informs, that «155 mm M777 towed howitzers are secured for transportation to Ukraine by United States Air Force airmen as part of U.S. security assistance.
- President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine needs to become a full candidate to join the EU, rather than signing up to the kind of broader “European political community” antechamber proposed by France
- Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova says almost 4,000 men from Mariupol held in ‘filtration camps’ in occupied Donetsk region
- Security Service of Ukraine press center states that Ukraine launches hotline for Russian army's soldiers to surrender
- The White House: the President of the US Joe Biden signs bill providing $40 billion in aid for Ukraine.
- The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy expects decision on MLRS for Ukraine to be taken at Ramstein-2 meeting.
- Russian forces prepare for a Ukrainian counter-offensive – ISW
- Canada will provide about $210 million in additional support to Ukraine.
- Ukrainian defenders repel 11 enemy attacks, destroy eight tanks in eastern Ukraine.
- Ukraine Can Receive Patriot SAM from the United States.
Side note: news are marked in accordance with the Kyiv time zone: Eastern European Time (EET), GMT/UTC+2
Thank you for your attention! This feed is closed. But Defense Express has already started a new one: Day 88th of War Between Ukraine and Russian Federation (Live Updates)
01:00 Bild ststes that Germany has unused Marder vehicles which it refuses to provide to Ukraine.
The German newspaper Bild has obtained a classified document stating that Germany has 62 Marder infantry fighting vehicles that are no longer used and could therefore be given to Ukraine, The Kyiv Independent reports.
Earlier Germany stated it cannot supply any Marder vehicles to Ukraine because all 343 of them were being used by the German military.
As Defense Express reported eaarlier Rheinmetall automotive and arms manufacturer didn’t leave much choice for German Government stating readiness to reinforce the Armed Forces of Ukraine with 100 units of Marder infantry fighting vehicle to withstand russia.
Find more details on the theme in a publication by Defense Express:
Rheinmetall Requests to Send 100 Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicles to Ukraine. Official Germany Thinks
00:25 Seven civilians killed in Russian shelling across Donetsk region
In Donetsk region on Saturday, May 21, Russian troops killed seven civilians, injuring ten.
This was announced on Telegram by the head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko, Ukrinform reports.
"On May 21, the Russians killed seven civilians in Donetsk region: three in Lyman, two in Mykolaivka, one in Avdiyivka, and one in Sviatohirsk. Another 10 people were injured," the statement said.
In addition, a person in Kostiantynivka was wounded by Russians in Luhansk region, Kyrylenko said.
It is currently impossible to determine the exact number of casualties in Mariupol and Volnovakha.
00:05 Ukraine on Saturday again ruled out agreeing to a ceasefire with Russia and said Kyiv would not accept any deal with Moscow that involved ceding territory, The Guardian reports citing Reuters.
Acknowledging that Kyiv’s stance on the war was becoming more uncompromising, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak told Reuters that concessions would backfire on Ukraine because Russia would hit back harder after any break in fighting: "The war will not stop [after any concessions]. It will just be put on pause for some time."
Podolyak was speaking with Reuters in an interview in the heavily guarded presidential office, where some of the windows and corridors are protected by sandbags, the agency said.
You can read the full interview here.
23:25 The Ukrainian military destroyed enemy vehicles and a pontoon crossing over the Siverskyi Donets River near the village of Serebryanka, Donetsk region
"The Russians planned to redeploy personnel and heavy armored vehicles across a pontoon crossing over the Siversky Donets River near Serebryanka. But the Russians forcing the river is ‘mission impossible’ due to 30 SMB soldiers and other security forces,” the statement reads.
Find more details on the theme in a publication by Defense Express:
Defenders of Ukraine Destroy Another Enemy Pontoon Bridge Over Siverskyi Donets, Inflict Heavy Losses on russians (Video)
22:50 President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy spoke with Italian prime minister Mario Draghi Saturday afternoon, and says he stressed the importance of more sanctions on Russia and unblocking Ukrainian ports.
Zelenskiy tweeted that he had also thanked Draghi for his “unconditional support” of Ukraine’s bid to become a member of the European Union. Draghi initiated the call, he said.
22:25 The Joint Forces Operation Task Force continue to conduct a defense operation in a certain area of responsibility in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas.
Ukrainian troops acting as a part of Joint Forces Operation (JFO) Group continue to conduct a defense operation in a certain area of responsibility in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas. Ukrainian defenders repulsed here 9 enemy attacks on Saturday, May 21. Fighting with the occupier is currently underway at 4 more locations
The relevant statement was made by the Joint Forces Operation Task Force on Facebook.
According to the statement, Ukraine’s brave warriors inflict losses on rashist invaders in manpower and equipment.
In the past 24 hours, the Joint Forces Operation Task Force destroyed:
• 5 tanks;
• 4 artillery systems;
• 10 combat armored vehicles;
• 2 enemy trukcs.
Find more details on the theme and key points of the report in a publication by Defense Express:
21:35 Ukrainian military destroy Russia’s Pion gun used to shell Sievierodonetsk
The members of the National Guard of Ukraine have destroyed Russia’s Pion gun, which was used to shell Sievierodonetsk and ruin a bridge between the regional center and Lysychansk.
“The punishment was quick to come. The National Guard destroyed the Pion gun, which had been used to ruin Pavlohradskyi Bridge and shell Sievierodonetsk,” Haidai wrote.
In addition, Haidai thanked Russian propagandists, who were bragging about the weapons and provided a tip-off to adjust fire.
21:10 The United States Department of Defense officially informs, that «155 mm M777 towed howitzers are secured for transportation to Ukraine by United States Air Force airmen as part of U.S. security assistance.
It was reported on U.S. Department of Defense official page on Facebook.
20:25 Film “Mariupol Fortress. Last Day at Azovstal” was released.
Film “Mariupol Fortress. Last Day at Azovstal” by Dmytro Kozatsky, an Azov Regiment fighter, the regiment's press secretary who spent 84 days at the steelworks next to his comrades, has been released.
The film was posted on the Telegram channel of Petro Andriushchenko, adviser to Mariupol mayor.
The film, which Orest (Dmytro Kozatsky) made the day before his captivity, shows the steelworks from the inside. The Russians destroyed the Azovstal, dropping bombs from the sky, constantly firing artillery from the ground, and launching missiles from the sea. Twisted metal rods, rails, various broken production structures, and the open sky visible in the holes of the bombed industrial building.
"The last day at Azovstal. The video was edited by BABYLON’13 based on materials provided by the Mariupol Garrison. We are all indebted to our Defenders of Mariupol. There are no words to describe their feat and heroism," reads the caption below.
As reported, Ukrainian service members defended Mariupol for more than 80 days. On May 16, the evacuation of Ukrainian defenders from the Azovstal steelworks, blocked by Russian invaders, began. More than 50 seriously wounded soldiers were evacuated to a facility in Novoazovsk for medical treatment. More than 200 people were taken to Olenivka through the humanitarian corridor. An exchange procedure will be carried out to return them home.
19:45 The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has released an operational update on the state of warfare as of 18.00 on May 21, 2022.
According to Ukraine’s General Staff operational report, The greatest russian invaders’ activity continues to be concentrated in the Eastern Operational Zone. Occupation forces are preparing to resume the main offensive in the Slovyansk direction. They are aiming to encircle Ukraine’s forces and hold administrative borders of Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts.
The Command of the Occupying Troops of the russian federation continues to carry out covert mobilization measures in order to replace servicemen who have suffered casualties outside the territory of Ukraine. Work is underway to attract to the ranks of the armed forces of the aggressor's troops persons who are on temporarily occupied by russian occupiers territories of Ukraine.
Find more details on the theme and key points of the report in a publication by Defense Express:
Ukraine’s General Staff Operational Report: russia Try to Hold Occupied Frontiers, Covert Mobilization Continues
19:25 President of UkraineVolodymyr Zelenskiy warns that only a diplomatic breakthrough rather than an outright military victory could end Russia’s war on his country, as Moscow cut gas supplies to Finland.
“There are things that can only be reached at the negotiating table,” Zelenskiy said, just as Russia claimed its long-range missiles had destroyed a shipment of western arms destined for Ukraine’s troops.
Zelenskiy also appealed for more military aid as the US president, Joe Biden, formally signed off a $40bn package of aid for the Ukrainian war effort, The Guardian reports citing AFP.
19:00 President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy: Ukraine needs to become a full candidate to join the EU, rather than signing up to the kind of broader “European political community” antechamber proposed by France.
“We don’t need any alternatives to the application of Ukraine to join the European Union, we don’t need such compromises,” Zelenskiy told reporters in Kyiv during a press conference with visiting Portuguese prime minister António Costa, The Guardian reports citing AFP.
Earlier this month, French president Emmanuel Macron suggested Ukraine could take “decades” to become a full EU member and should aspire instead to join a “European political community”, a sort of antechamber for the European Union.
18:21 Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova: Almost 4,000 men from Mariupol held in ‘filtration camps’ in occupied Donetsk region.
“The occupiers increase the pace of deportation of men from bombed Mariupol to ‘filtration camps’. Currently, according to rough estimates, there are almost 4,000 men in such camps in Bezimenne and Kozatske, Novoazovsk district, Donetsk region,” Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova posted on Telegram.
The Commissioner added that the number of Ukrainian men in "filtration camps" had doubled over the past two weeks alone. None of those detained in the camps returned. The men are held in horrible conditions. They sleep on the floor in unbreathable and unsanitary [rooms]. They are subjected to torture and abuse, Ukrinform reports.
18:00 Due to a high probability of being hit by Ukraine’s air-defense systems, russia is searching for new safe routes to conduct a cruise missile assault, possibly aiming at Kyiv or Vinnytsia.
Read more details in the article by Defense Express: Russia Might Search the Route to Strike Supersonic Cruise Missiles at Kyiv and Vinnytsia (Analysis)
17:15 The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a joint briefing with Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa: We expect a positive decision on MLRS supply.
Zelenskyy expects a decision on MLRS for Ukraine to be taken at Ramstein-2 meeting.
“Such meetings are already a positive result… We expect a positive decision on MLRS supply. I have no secrets. We call on all countries to supply MLRS systems, thanks to which Ukraine will be able to take the initiative and liberate its territory," Zelenskyy said at a joint briefing with Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa in Kyiv, Ukrinform reports.
16:50 Security Service of Ukraine press center: Ukraine launches hotline for Russian army's soldiers to surrender.
After intercepting phone calls from soldiers conscripted by Russia in the Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine we compare their service to “slavery” and ask for help, Ukraine’s State Security Service launched the “2024” hotline for the Russian army’s soldiers willing to surrender, Kyiv Independent reports.
16:30 New weaponry doesn’t always mean reliable weaponry, especially when talking about russia’s one-of-a-kind production. Common AKMS assault rifle ends up being better than advanced AK-12.
Read more about the reasons why russian special forces opt for an old rifle in the article by Defense Express: Russia Face Problems With Their “Answer to the US M4” AK-12 Assault Rifle, russian Troops Switch It to Common AKMS
16:04 The Operational Command "North": Russians fire mortars on border areas of Chernihiv region.
"The occupiers continue to fire on the border areas of Chernihiv region. At about 12:10-12:20, observers recorded nine shellings from, probably, a 120mm mortar towards Hremyach," the Operational Command "North" posted on Facebook, Ukrinform reports.
15:00 The 80th Separate Air Assault Brigade fighters keep annihilating russian occupiers and their armor. Thus, in a matter of a day 8 units of enemy armor were destroyed.
Their successful work was recorded and now you can see it the article by Defense Express: Stugna-P ATGM Destroys Heavy Armor With Infantry On It (Video Compilation)
14:30 ThePresident of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy: Victory in this war will be won on battlefield, but the war will end diplomatically.
“It was not us who started this war, but we will have to end it. I can repeat these words today, but the meaning is different… I really thought we could have put an end through a dialogue. Now I understand that the ending will also be diplomatic, the ending itself. But, unfortunately, I thought it was a dialogue, which had certain duration, and we could have found answers to many questions, and many decisions taken by the Russian side. I really thought so. But now, it’s like a vehicle, neither gasoline nor electric, a hybrid one. Thus, the war is also difficult. The victory will be very difficult too. It will be bloody, definitely won on the battlefield, but the ending will definitely be in diplomacy,” Zelenskyy told, Ukrinform reports.
14:10 The White House: the President of the US Joe Biden signs bill providing $40 billion in aid for Ukraine.
According to an announcement by the White House, U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law the “Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022” on May 21. The package includes military, economic, and humanitarian aid for Ukraine as it battles the Russian aggression, Kyiv Independent reports.
13:52 The Head of Luhansk Regional Military Administration Serhii Haidai: Ukraine forces fending off Russian offensive in Luhansk region as enemy targets Sievierodonetsk.
"I really hope that Luhansk region is now fulfilling a huge mission as it is holding back an unrealistically large influx of Russian troops so that our forces have time to get the long-sought weapons we’ve been all waiting for, namely long-range artillery that can destroy heavy equipment and enemy reserves,” he said, Ukrinform reports.
13:30 As was previously mentioned, the UK and allies are going to arm Moldova with modern weapons, as even though Moldova isn’t a NATO member, there are concerns that russia could target the country's Transnistrian region to further incorporate it into the russian federation.
More details you will find in an article by Defense Express: UK & Allies to Make Ukraine and Moldova's Defense 'NATO standard'
12:32 Russian army lost more than 3,100 armored carriers and 28,850 personnel in Ukraine
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has published a new summary of total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02 to 21.05. Last day, russians suffered the greatest losses in the Bahmut direction (Donetsk region, Donbas).
Here is the infographic by Defense Express:
Find all the figures in our statistics here:
12:15 Russia uses its Syrian "Reconnaissance Strike" tactics in Ukraine
Russia has attempted to implement the concept of ‘Reconnaissance Strike’ it refined in Syria, as suggested by the UK Ministry of Defense in the latest intelligence report on Ukraine. The mentioned russian tactics imply the use of reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles to identify targets to be struck by combat jets or artillery. But the actual implementation in Ukraine faced a problem.
Russains became careful with the use of UAVs, essential for the task, due to their shortage which is caused both by Ukrainian air defense and economical sanctions. Vulnerable to being shot and jammed, they get downed quite often. At the same time, the manufacture of more drones requires foreign components, especially electronics, the import of which was banned by the sanctions.
10:58 UK and allies to arm Moldova with modern weapons
The United Kingdom has begun discussions with its international allies about sending modern weaponry to Moldova to protect it from Russia, the Guardian reports. UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in an interview with Telegraph, that she "would want to see Moldova equipped to NATO standard".
Despite Moldova not being a NATO member, there are concerns that russia could target the country's Transnistrian region to further incorporate it into the russian federation.
"Putin has been absolutely clear about his ambitions to create a greater Russia – and just because his attempts to take Kyiv weren’t successful it doesn’t mean he’s abandoned those ambitions," Liz Truss noted, recalling the retreat of russian troops from Ukraine's capital in April.
10:25 Russians disperse a peaceful rally in Enerhodar
Rescuers of the State Emergency Service gathered to protest against the abduction of a fire brigade commander Vitalii Troian, says the Zaporizhzhia region administration. Ukrainian firefighters placed 14 units of special equipment in front of a local culture center. The occupation forces forcibly dispersed the rally and damaged the fire trucks. Another acting commander was abducted. To justify their actions, russians started to lie there was no rally at all.
The reason for the initial abduction of the fire brigade commander was that he had not agreed to collaborate with the occupiers, his colleagues think, according to the Telegraf news agency.
The city of Enerhodar is a satellite city in the vicinity of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
09:51 Ukrainian paratroopers continue to show results of their work
Air Assault Forces Command published a video showcasing Ukrainian anti-tank units at work. According to the message, eight pieces of russian armor got eliminated: three tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles and two airborne fighting vehicles on May 20.
09:17 Russian forces prepare for a Ukrainian counter-offensive – ISW
US-based Institute for the Study of War suggests russians are preparing for a major Ukrainian counter-offensive and a protracted conflict in the north and south of Ukraine. Russian forces are focusing on digging in and reinforcing defensive positions in Kharkiv and along the Southern Axis in preparation for the Ukrainian counteroffensive, the Institute assesses. Meanwhile, the majority of active offensive operations remain in the eastern part of the country.
In the south, russian forces focused on strengthening existing defensive lines and creating secondary defensive lines instead of offensive. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops are bringing engineering equipment to frontlines on the Southern Axis (Kherson, Mykolaiv) to construct a second line of defense.
The experts also say russian media sources may be overstating the number of Ukrainian defenders who have been evacuated from Azovstal, Mariupol "to either maximize the number of Russian prisoners of war who may be exchanged for Ukrainian soldiers or to avoid the embarrassment of admitting they have been locked into a months-long siege against only “hundreds” of Ukrainian soldiers".
Russian defense ministry earlier said 2349 Ukrainian soldiers had left the Azovstal plant.
Learn more on the topic:
08:35 Five air targets destroyed by Ukrainian air defense
Air Force Command published a report on russian losses on May 20. Five air targets were shot down, including
- three UAVs – two "Orlan-10" and a "ZALA-421-08";
- one cruise missile; and
- one unidentified target (likely, a helicopter; more details later).
Ukrainian aircraft provided support to the ground forces by attacking clusters of russian equipment and manpower. Airstrikes led to at least minus 20 armored fighting vehicles on the invaders' side.
08:11 Russian military have blocked all exits from the temporarily occupied Kherson, Ukraine NOW informs. The only way out available for the citizens is to the annexed Crimea. Patrols in the city have been intensified, the number of checkpoints has increased.
The evacuation to the Ukrainian-controlled territory from the occupied region is hindered, says Stratcom Centre, referring to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
07:42 Lithuania imposes a de-facto embargo on russian energy carriers
Lithuania won't buy any more oil, gas and electricity from russia, Suspilne media reports. Exchange operator Nord Pool decided to abandon the business with Inter RAO, russian importer to Baltic countries. The energetic needs of the country would be covered with local green energy and import from the EU and US, said the Ministry of Energy of Lithunania.
"This is a very important milestone not only on Lithuania's path to energy independence. It is an expression of our solidarity with Ukraine at war, we cannot allow our money to finance the Russian military machine," said Energy Minister Dainius Kreivis.
07:12 Zelensky offered to create a special foundation to make russia pay for the crimes
In his daily address, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky stated that russia must be forced to financial accountability for the crimes in Ukraine, "for everything it has destroyed in Ukraine. Every burned house. Every ruined school, ruined hospital. Each blown up house of culture and infrastructure facility. Every destroyed enterprise. Every shut down business, every hryvnia lost by people, enterprises, communities and the state."
Zelensky urged partner countries to legally recognize that Russia must be held financially responsible for the crimes it committed in Ukraine. He proposed partners sign a multilateral agreement and create a mechanism through which everyone who has suffered from Russia's actions will be able to receive compensation for all losses. For that to work out, russian funds and property under the jurisdiction of the partner countries must be seized or frozen, and then confiscated and directed to a specially created fund.
This will not only make sure russia is held accountable for the war but also prevent any other aggressive actions, whether by russia or any other potential aggressor.
"Evil must get retribution and know that it will be punished," he said, noting that such an agreement will have long-lasting significance. "That would be fair. And Russia will feel the true weight of every missile, every bomb, every projectile it has fired at us."
01:30 Canada will provide CAD 250 million (about $210 million) in additional support to Ukraine through the International Monetary Fund. That's according to Canada's Department of Finance.
"At the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Germany, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, announced an additional loan of $250 million to Ukraine through the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Administered Account for Ukraine," the statement said.
Together with previous financial support, this loan brings Canada’s financial commitment to Ukraine to $1.5 billion this year.
01:05 According to the statement of Air Force Command on Facebook, on May 20, Ukrainian fighters are patrolling the airspace in the territory controlled by the Armed Forces, and the strike aircraft of the Air Force continue to strike at the enemy objects. As a result of air strikes, at least 20 enemy armored combat vehicles were destroyed.
The air defense units of the Land Forces shot down two drones: Orlan-10 and Zala. Another Orlan-10 operational-tactical UAV and one cruise missile were destroyed by air defense units of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Also, one unknown target was shot down (probably an enemy helicopter, information to be clarified).
In general, 5 air targets of invaders were shot down during the day - 3 unmanned aerial vehicles, 1 cruise missile and 1 unknown (probably helicopter).
As Defense Express reports Ukrainian troops acting as a part of the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) Group continue to conduct a defense operation in a certain area of responsibility in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas. In the Joint Forces Operation Area Ukrainian Troops Repel 11 Enemy Attacks
00:30 According to the Kremlin-controlled media, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Azovstal and the entire city of Mariupol were under Russian control. In total, 2,439 Ukrainian defenders have been evacuated from the plant since May 16, Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed. Ukraine hasn’t confirmed this.
00:01 According to The Washington Post, the bill, passed on an 86-to-11 vote by the Congress on Thursday, provides a combined $20 billion in military aid that is expected to finance the transfer of advanced weapons systems, such as Patriot anti-aircraft missiles and long-range artillery. Also included in the bill is more than $8 billion in general economic support for Ukraine, nearly $5 billion in global food aid to address potential food shortages sparked by the collapse of the Ukrainian agricultural economy and more than $1 billion in combined support for refugees.