1. In Mariupol, they are going to hold a trial of the Ukrainian military, who held the defense at Azovstal. It is envisaged that this will be followed by several more trials, which may be carried out in other places. Earlier, the head of the “DPR” Denis Pushilin announced that the Ukrainian military who surrendered at the Azovstal plant would be tried on his territory, where they are currently located. (Source: Meduza).
1. ISW: On May 23, Russian troops (again) moved forward slightly on different sectors of the front in the area of Severodonetsk-Lysichansk, Liman, and in the direction of Bakhmut. The fact that situation of Ukrainian troops in the area seems to be getting worse write different sources. According to Russian sources, very close to Severodonetsk, to the north of it, Russian troops occupied the village of Shchedrishchevo. To the south of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, the Russians presumably took Zolote, leveling the front in this small area north of Popasnaya and advanced west and south of Popasnaya, towards Bakhmut. However, Russian forces are unlikely to take Bakhmut quickly (if at all they can), given their past experience of urban fighting in eastern Ukraine. In the north of this slowly contracting arc, the Russians stormed the city of Liman on May 23 and occupied at least its northern outskirts. In the southern sector, north and northeast of Donetsk, the Russians have intensified their bombardment of the semi-encircled Avdiivka and are likely preparing to storm it. On the other front, in the Kharkiv region, Russian troops continue to hold lines northeast of Kharkiv, in Liptsy and Rubizhne (not to be confused with Rubizhne in the Luhansk region). Moreover, the grouping in this direction was reinforced by units from the DPR and LPR, which may indicate the determination of the Russians to hold the front here and prevent the Ukrainians from cutting the highway leading from the north to Izyum. From Izyum, Russian troops are trying to advance to Sloviansk and Kramatorsk – the administrative center of the Ukrainian part of the Donetsk region. (Source: Telegram).
1. “The attitude towards people is less aggressive in Russian filtration camps,” said Pavlo Lisyansky, director of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Security <…> LDNR is a territory of lawlessness, a territory of lack of rights. People are treated harshly, and cruelly, they even commit crimes, and they can even kill them there <…> the program, in principle, is the same in the Russian Federation and in the LDNR. They are now undergoing so-called denazification courses <…> this is copied from Chinese schools for forced political re-education <…> These schools have three levels. There is an entry-level – for those people who don’t really understand. The second level is for people who have supported Ukraine politically for more than three or four years. And the third is for very tough and ossified people who have always fought against the Russian Federation or against the “LPR” and “DPR”. These political schools are accompanied by physical violence, moral pressure, and humiliation – everything is present there. (Source: CT).
Economy, Social life, and Culture
1. Additional temporary regime restrictions have been introduced in the border districts of Kyiv, Zhytomyr, and Rivne regions. Prohibited: movement of persons and vehicles, carrying out all types of work from 22:00 to 5:00; stay of civilians in forests; transportation of weapons and any means of active defense without appropriate permits; taking photographs, videos of roads, infrastructure, location, or relocation of military units; use of any aircraft and production of watercraft on rivers; wearing military uniforms; conducting various kinds of recreation, swimming, hunting, etc. The restrictions do not apply to representatives of military formations. Restrictions will run from May 23 until the end of martial law. Since May 10, such restrictions have been introduced in three districts of the Chernihiv region – Koryukivsky, Chernihiv, and Novgorod-Siversky. (Source: LB).
1. The Federal Security Council of Germany has been blocking the supply of 100 Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine for more than a month. Journalists read an internal letter from the German Defense Ministry. It states that the first hundred usable BMPs could be repaired in 6 weeks. The rest would take more than 15 months. If the German authorities approved the supply of cars in March, the AFU could successfully defend itself from the Russian occupation forces by Marders. BMP manufacturer Rheinmetall initially did not dare to ask the German government to agree to an agreement with Ukraine on the transfer of equipment. However, the company applied on April 22. But the document is still not approved by the German authorities. The head of the Rheinmetall concern said that the company will be able to deliver the first batch of BMP Marder in three weeks, but is still waiting for a decision from the German government. Ukraine will receive the first 15 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks from Germany in July. (Source: Bild).
1. Denisova: Russia uses rape and sexual violence in other forms as tactics of warfare. Over the past 24 hours, several people from Oleksandrivka, Kherson Oblast, have called the psychological helpline of the Ukrainian Parliament’s Commissioner for Human Rights, said Lyudmyla Denisova, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights. They gave permission to publish information about the facts of sexual violence by Russians: Two girls aged 12 and 15 were raped by Russians; Girl 6 months old, Russians raped with a teaspoon; Two two-year-old twin boys and their mother were at home. Five Russians broke in, one held the mother, and the other two raped the children orally and anal. The children died from ruptures and blood loss; A three-year-old boy was raped in front of his mother by two Russians, and the child died of his injuries. Denisova recalled that sexual violence was strictly prohibited by Article 27 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949. She also asked UN Under-Secretary-General, Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten, to initiate an investigation into the relevant Russian authorities, bring perpetrators to justice, and take measures to prevent sexual violence by Russian troops. (Source: LB).
2. The Solomensky District Court of Kyiv sentenced 21-year-old Russian military Vadim Shishimarin to life imprisonment in the case of the murder of a 62-year-old civilian from the Sumy region Alexander Shelipov. The meeting was broadcast on the YouTube channel of the courts of Ukraine. Russian military Vadim Shishimarin was given a life sentence for the murder of an unarmed 62-year-old Ukrainian. Shishimarin – commander of the 4th tank Kantemirovskaya division of the Moscow region. The representative of the prosecution had previously asked to recognize the Russian military as guilty under Part 2 of Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (“Violations of the laws and customs of war”) and to impose the maximum sentence on him – life imprisonment. This is the first trial of its kind since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, 2022. The judge read out Shishimarin’s characterization, mentioning that a man went to serve under a contract in the Russian army to earn money: the salary of a serviceman was about $500. He also read out the records of the examination of the machine guns and their numbers, including the number of the Shishimarin machine gun, and said that a forensic experiment was conducted at the scene of the murder with the participation of four witnesses. The court concluded that the murder was premeditated. Refusal to carry out the order of an unknown person did not threaten Shishimarin, he could also pretend that he shot and missed, and the behavior of the accused at the trial shows that Shishimarin understood the danger of his actions, the court said. The court rejected the testimony of the defendant and the lawyer that the Russian military had no intention of killing Shelipov. According to the investigation, on February 28, 2022, Sergeant Shishimarin shot a 62-year-old man in the head while he was riding a bicycle and talking on the phone. This happened in the village of Chupahovka, Sumy region. Vadim Shishimarin testified at the trial and explained why he shot an unarmed man. “There was a man there, he was talking on the phone. Ensign Makeev was ordered to shoot. I refused. Then another soldier ordered me to shoot in a threatening tone, arguing that he would hand us over. I fired a short burst,” he said. Answering the judge’s question about the “internal attitude” to the victim, the military said: “I didn’t want to kill him. I shot to get rid of me.” On May 19, the victim in the case, the widow of the murdered Katerina Shelipova, spoke. She said that she was at home that day (her husband died not far from the house) and heard the shots, and when she went out into the yard and went to the gate, she saw Shishimarin with a machine gun in the car. “I closed the gate and stood. When the shooting ended, I went outside and saw my husband. He had already been shot in the head. I started screaming. The victim said she would like a 21-year Russian military life sentence. “But if he is replaced by our defenders of Azovstal, I will not mind,” the woman added. In addition to Shishimarin himself, Ivan Maltisov, an ordinary soldier who fought and surrendered along with the accused, was interrogated in court. Maltisov was in the same car and witnessed what was happening. (Source: CT).
3. Zelensky: In the village of Desna, Chernihiv region, 87 people were killed as a result of a missile attack carried out by Russia on May 17. The blow was inflicted on the training center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine located in the village. Whether all 87 people died there is not specified. (Source: Interfax).