Ukraine Daily Summary - Friday, May 5

Army of hired guns: How Russia’s 'PMCs' are becoming the main invasion force -- "We all want to see Putin in the Hague" -- Russia unlikely to launch significant offensive in Ukraine this year -- Aftermath of Russian aggression: One year later in Borodianka -- and more

Friday, May 5

Russia’s war against Ukraine

A couple stands in front of a damaged multistory residential building, where a Russian strike killed 23 people, in Uman, Cherkasy Oblast.

The Ukrainian Air force shot down what it said was its own drone that lost control over Kyiv on May 4, 2023. (Sergei Supinskyi/AFP via Getty Images)

Zelensky meets Dutch, Belgian prime ministers, signs joint declaration. According to Presidential Office, the document includes the countries’ pledges to continue providing Ukraine with defense aid, support the Ukrainian peace formula and contribute to imposing additional sanctions against Russia over its invasion.

Zelensky: We all want to see Putin in the Hague. During a speech at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on May 4, President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed confidence that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin would be made to face justice for war crimes committed against Ukraine.

Zelensky criticizes idea of ‘hybrid’ tribunal during speech at the Hague. During his speech to the Hague on May 4, President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized the idea of a hybrid tribunal to punish Russian war crimes.

Air Force reports destroying Ukrainian Bayraktar drone that lost control over Kyiv. The drone shot down over Kyiv late on May 4 was Bayraktar TB2, used by Ukrainian forces, that had lost control “during a scheduled flight,” Ukraine’s Air Force reported.

Explosions reported in Sevastopol, Russian proxy claims drone attack. Two explosions were heard in the Crimean city of Sevastopol on the evening of May 4. Mikhail Razvozhaev, the head of the illegal Russian occupation government of Sevastopol, said that Russian air defense had destroyed a drone near the Belbek military airfield, located just outside of the city.

Governor: Drone targets oil refinery in Russia’s Rostov Oblast. A drone allegedly targeted an oil refinery in Russia’s Rostov Oblast overnight on May 4, Governor Vasily Golubev wrote on his Telegram channel.

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US intelligence chief: Russia unlikely to launch ‘significant offensive’ in Ukraine this year. Russia will unlikely be able to launch a “significant offensive operation this year” in Ukraine as it lacks ammunition and troops, Director of U.S. National Intelligence Avril Haines said on May 4, adding that it doesn’t depend on the outcome of the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Zelensky on Ukraine counteroffensive: ’We don’t think about failure.’ President Volodymyr Zelensky said on May 4, as cited by Ukrainska Pravda, that Ukraine is actively preparing for an upcoming counteroffensive, and there are no options for failure for the country’s leadership.

US denies Russia’s accusations of coordinating Kremlin drone attack, EU urges Moscow not to escalate war. White House National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby called Russian claims that the U.S. was behind the May 3 alleged Ukrainian drone attack on the Kremlin “ridiculous,” CNN reported.

Peskov: Russia considering ‘variety of options’ on how to respond to Kremlin drone attack. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said “a variety of options” were being considered on how to respond to the alleged Ukrainian drone attack on the Kremlin on May 3, according to Russian state media.

Official: Russia holds over 20,000 Ukrainian civilians hostage. Russia is holding over 20,000 civilians hostage, according to the estimates from Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets reported by the Ukrainian state news outlet Ukrinform.

Media: Russia cancels May 9 celebrations in at least 21 cities. Russian authorities have canceled May 9 celebrations in at least 21 cities, Russian independent outlet Vertska reported on May 4.

Read our exclusives

Army of hired guns: How Russia’s ‘PMCs’ are becoming the main invasion force

Private armies are illegal in Russia, so naturally, Moscow has been using them for decades. Now, it’s making them the main invasion force.  

Photo: Oliver Bunic / AFP via Getty Images

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Ukraine war latest: Zelensky in The Hague calls for special tribunal; Drone shot down over Kyiv

A series of unusually loud blasts were heard across Kyiv late on May 4 as local authorities reported the work of air defense.

Photo: President’s Office

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Human cost of war

Update: 23 killed, 46 injured in Russian attack on Kherson Oblast. The casaulty numbers in the May 3 Russian attack on Kherson Oblast have risen to 23 people killed and 46 injured, Governor Oleksandr Prokudin reported on May 4.

Russian forces attack Chernihiv Oblast, killing 1 person. One woman was killed by Russian strikes in Chernihiv Oblast, regional Governor Viacheslav Chaus reported on May 4.

General Staff: Russia has lost 192,590 troops in Ukraine since Feb 24, 2022. The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on May 4 that Russia had lost 192,590 troops in Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24 last year. This number includes 650 casualties Russian forces suffered just over the past day.

The aftermath of Russian aggression: One year later in Borodianka

The aftermath of Russian aggression: One year later in Borodianka

International response

Bloomberg: EU seeks to target countries helping Russia evade sanctions. The European Union is discussing a new sanctions mechanism aimed at third countries that are not doing enough to prevent Russia from bypassing restrictions already in place, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the issue.

Media: Bulgaria to lift ban on Ukrainian imports. Bulgaria will lift its ban on Ukrainian imports once the European Commission’s market stabilization measures come into force, Euroactiv reported on May 4.

In other news

Odesa Mayor detained over embezzlement charges. Ukraine’s High Anti-Corruption Court ordered a 60-day detention of Odesa Mayor Hennadiy Trukhanov on May 4 and set bail at Hr 13 million (about $352,000), the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) reported.

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