1. Russian President Putin convenes a Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) leaders summit. The meeting will take place on May 16. The event is allegedly dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Collective Security Treaty and the 20th anniversary of the Organization. “The leaders will exchange views on current issues in the region and the world, and discuss a joint response to various challenges and threats. Alexander Lukashenko is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. One of the main topics of discussion will be cooperation and cooperation. work on import substitution, “the statement said. (Source: Censor).
1. UK Intelligence: Alexander Lukashenko, who seized power in Belarus, balances support for Russia and a desire to avoid direct involvement of his troops in the Russian-Ukrainian war so that Western countries do not impose further sanctions on his regime. “President of Belarus Lukashenko is probably balancing on the edge of supporting the Russian invasion and the desire to avoid direct military participation because of the risk of Western sanctions, revenge on Ukrainians, and possible discontent of Belarusian troops,” the statement said. British intelligence notes that Belarus announced in early May the deployment of special operations forces along the border with Ukraine, as well as air defense, artillery, and missile forces at landfills in the west. “The presence of Belarusian forces near the border is likely to be recorded by Ukrainian troops, so they cannot deploy to support operations in Donbas,” the report said. However, despite previous assumptions, Belarusian troops have not yet been directly involved in the conflict. The territory of Belarus was used only as a springboard for the attack on Kyiv and Chernihiv. Russia has also launched missile strikes and airstrikes from Belarus. (Source: Twitter).
2. In the Odesa region, 2 naval enemy anchor mines, which were brought close to the coast in stormy weather, were removed and neutralized by specialists of the Navy subversive team. (Source: Telegram).
1. Russia’s actions effectively ended the 1997 NATO-Russia Fundamental Cooperation Agreement. “The Russian government has made it clear that the NATO-Russia Fundamental Act is worth nothing. We must now acknowledge that this basic act was unilaterally broken by Russia, not NATO,” said German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbok. The 1997 agreement was designed to build trust and limit the military presence of both sides in Eastern Europe. NATO suspended practical cooperation with Russia in 2014 after Moscow seized the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula. Russia closed its mission to NATO and the Alliance’s office in Moscow in October 2021 in response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats. (Source: Reuters).
2. NYT: The destruction wreaked on a Russian battalion as it tried to cross a Siverskiy Donets in northeastern Ukraine last week is emerging as among the deadliest engagements of the war, with estimates based on publicly available evidence now suggesting that well over 400 Russian soldiers were killed or wounded. And as the scale of what happened comes into sharper focus, the disaster appears to be breaking through the Kremlin’s tightly controlled information bubble. Perhaps most striking, the Russian battlefield failure is resonating with a stable of pro-Russian war bloggers — some of whom are embedded with troops on the front line — who have reliably posted to the social network Telegram with claims of Russian success and Ukrainian cowardice. “The commentary by these widely read milbloggers may fuel burgeoning doubts in Russia about Russia’s prospects in this war and the competence of Russia’s military leaders,” the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based research body, wrote over the weekend <…> As the news of the losses at the river crossing in Bilohorivka started to spread, some Russian bloggers did not appear to hold back in their criticism of what they said was incompetent leadership. “I’ve been keeping quiet for a long time,” Yuri Podolyaka, a war blogger with 2.1 million followers on Telegram, said in a video posted on Friday, saying that he had avoided criticizing the Russian military until now. “The last straw that overwhelmed my patience was the events around Bilohorivka, where due to stupidity — I emphasize, because of the stupidity of the Russian command — at least one battalion tactical group was burned, possibly two” <…> Another popular blogger, who goes by Starshe Eddy on Telegram, wrote that the fact that commanders left so much of their force exposed amounted to “not idiocy, but direct sabotage.” And a third, Vladlen Tatarski, posted that Russia’s eastern offensive was moving slowly not just because of a lack of surveillance drones but also “these generals” and their tactics. “Until we get the last name of the military genius who laid down a B.T.G. by the river and he answers for it publicly, we won’t have had any military reforms,” Mr. Tatarski wrote. Western military analysts have also pored over the imagery and say the attempted crossing demonstrated a stunning lack of tactical sense. They have speculated that Russian commanders rushed the operation, desperate to make progress. Some also suggested that it was a reflection of disorder in the Russian ranks. If the estimates that hundreds of soldiers were killed or injured prove accurate, it would be one of the deadliest known engagements of the war. (Source: NYT).
3. ISW: The Russians will continue to try to encircle Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, at least from the south, possibly focusing on cutting the last highway connecting Severodonetsk and Lysychansk with the rest of Ukraine. Russian troops probably abandoned the goal of completing a large-scale encirclement of Ukrainian units from Donetsk to Izyum in favor of capturing Luhansk Oblast. It is noted that the Russians are likely to try to keep the line west of Vovchansk to protect their landlines (GLOC) from Belgorod to Izyum. It is unclear whether they will succeed. Russian troops did not advance in the Slavic direction due to an unsuccessful offensive in the Izyum area. Unsuccessful attempts by the Russians to force the Seversky Donets near Kreminna may shift Russian operations further east. Most likely, the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Izyum area will begin in the near future. Russian forces are strengthening the occupied settlements in the south, which indicates that Russian
1. On May 15, Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin had a telephone conversation with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov. Austin told a Ukrainian counterpart about his telephone conversation with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, in which he “called for an immediate end to the conflict in Ukraine and stressed the importance of maintaining communication channels.” The Pentagon chief also assured the Minister of Defense of Ukraine of his unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and measures to provide Kyiv with security assistance to strengthen its capabilities to counter Russian aggression. “The parties have agreed to maintain close ties,” Kirby added. The Ukrainian side has not yet reported a telephone conversation. (Source: Censor).
2. Huge queues may arise at Russian airports due to the transition to the manual screening of passengers and luggage. The Airport association warned that more than 30 airports, including Domodedovo and Pulkovo, would have to switch to manual screening due to the expiration of the service life of foreign screening equipment. Because of the sanctions, manufacturers will not supply new equipment to Russia, and it is impossible to set up production of their own in a short time, according to the Airport Association. In this regard, members of the association are asking the Ministry of Transport to extend the service life of inspection equipment. (Source: Meduza).