1. During his visit to Berlin, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that he told his German counterparts that Germany must make a choice. “Either you lead this process of Ukraine accession and write your names into history books, or it will happen without your leadership,” (Source: UP).
1. Finland officially announces that it will apply for NATO membership. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin made the announcement at a joint news conference. The Finnish parliament is expected to consider the decision in the coming days. Finland and Sweden have been considering joining NATO to boost their defense since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February. (Source: AP).
1. SBU: In an intercepted phone call, a Russian soldier says Russians use forbidden weapons. “Phosphorous bombs, cluster munitions – they have allowed us to use everything that is banned by international conventions,” a Russian serviceman says to a friend in a call that was intercepted and published by the Ukrainian Security Service, apparently referring to his commandment. (Source: YouTube).
2. General Staff: Russian forces regroup, conduct several offensives in eastern Ukraine. Despite losses, Russian forces continue to advance in the eastern Lyman, Sievierodonetsk, Avdiivka, and Kurakhiv areas as they regroup their units, Ukraine’s General Staff of the Armed Forces said. Twelve Russian attacks were repelled in the Donetsk and Luhansk directions over the past 24 hours and eight tanks, five artillery systems, nine units of armored combat vehicles, and five enemy vehicles were destroyed. (Source: Facebook).
1. ISW: Russian forces making tactical mistakes in the east, resulting in the south being uncertain. A failed attempt by Russian troops to set up a pontoon bridge across the Siversky Donets River on May 11 “showed a stunning lack of tactical sense” and allowed “Ukrainian artillerymen to kill hundreds and destroy scores of vehicles with concentrated strikes,” the Institute for the Study of War said. The report also added that rumors about a planned referendum to annex Kherson Oblast to Russia suggest “considerable confusion within the Russian leadership at various levels” about what is the best way to move forward and the prospect of securing the occupied territories. (Source: TKE).
2. Andrusiv: Any work is rewarded, and so is ours. In 80 days we have come a long way from shock, panic, and retreat to pride, courage, and counterattack. I decided to summarize some of the strategic heights we have achieved in these terrible 80 days. Victory over Putin’s symbols <…> At first we defeated him near Kyiv, which, he sincerely believed, would capture in a couple of days. We defeated it near Kharkiv and Mykolaiv where it was possible to stop enemy attacks. We defeated him at sea without a fleet, sinking the cruiser Moscow and throwing his ships back to the Crimea. After all, our greatest victory over him is the disgraceful May 9 <…> We overcame the distrust and fear of the West. Remember the first days. Today, it is hard to believe that all these Western leaders have actually said goodbye to us. Talk about 48 and 96 hours. That they can do nothing. As we did not want to give air defense <…> We created the preconditions for victory at the front. By stopping the enemy in most areas, gaining Western weapons, and successfully mobilizing, we have reduced the chances of the Russian army’s success to almost zero. The last pogrom near Belogorovka is a symbol of our military power and will be a symbol of demotivation for them <…> However, despite the general success of our defense, there are victories that we failed to achieve, although they are very necessary <…> Mariupol – Azovstal. We did not manage to free our guys. Although I can say that the President is using every opportunity to do so. There is little hope, but some chances still remain <…> We still could not organize our rear. We are talking primarily about the economy. Frankly, our economic policy is a catastrophe that each of us is now experiencing in the queues for refueling. And in the coming days, we will begin to see this catastrophe with empty shelves in stores where goods will not be delivered. And in a month this catastrophe will turn into a wild rise in prices caused by fuel prices <…> We still could not achieve real sanctions. (Source: Facebook).
Economy, Social life, and Culture
1. Zelensky: ‘We will do everything to one day host Eurovision in a Ukrainian Mariupol.’ The president thanked Kalush Orchestra for its performance at Eurovision 2022 and all who voted for Ukraine. “I’m sure our victorious chord in the battle with the enemy is not far off,” Zelensky said. (Source: Telegram).
1. Prosecutors: Russia’s war killed at least 227 children, and wounded 420. As of May 15, at least 139 children have either been killed or injured in Donetsk Oblast, 99 in Kharkiv Oblast, 68 in Chernihiv Oblast, 48 in Kherson Oblast, 45 in Luhansk Oblast, 44 in Mykolaiv Oblast, 28 in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, 17 in Sumy Oblast, 16 in Kyiv Oblast, 16 in the city of Kyiv, and 15 in Zhytomyr Oblast, the Prosecutor General’s Office said. (Source: Facebook).