In WWII Germany’s invasion of Russia absolutely failed by 1943 but the retreat and surrender would take two more years and a greater toll. The winning became much more complex after that meeting in Yalta, Crimea.
“I have a question about the strategic defeat of America that you mentioned as our goal. Of course it sounds impressive, most of our viewers will like it. ... But I have a feeling, you’ll probably disagree, but after fifteen months of fighting, when we have not only failed to crush Ukraine, but also could not move the front from Donetsk, well, it’s a little early to talk about America’s strategic defeat.”
Russia launched missiles at Ukraine’s capital Kyiv early on Friday, in the 13th attack so far in May. There were no casualties, but falling debris damaged the roof of a shopping centre.
Russia has moved ahead with a plan to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, claimed on Thursday that the relocation of some of the weapons from Russia to Belarus had already started, according to reports.
Dutch prosecutors have seized a plot of land near Amsterdam that belongs to Vladimir Putin’s former son-in-law, a joint investigation by the Guardian and two other media organisations revealed. The plot of land in Duivendrecht is owned by Jorrit Faassen, a Dutch businessman who was married to Maria Vorontsova, the Russian president’s elder daughter.
Britain is likely to keep Russian state assets immobilised for some time after the war in Ukraine ends, and certainly until Moscow has agreed to pay compensation for the damage it has inflicted, British officials have confirmed. The Council of Europe summit last week established a digital register of damage for Ukraine as the first step towards an international compensation mechanism for victims of Russian aggression.
The US has long asked Ukraine not to use US-provided military equipment to carry out attacks inside Russian territory, the top US general said on Thursday, following accusations by Russia that pro-Ukrainian militia had used US armoured vehicles.
Russia has signalled that if demands to improve its grain and fertiliser exports are not met then it will not extend the Black Sea grain deal before 17 July. It made the same threat and demands in March, then agreed last week to renew the export pact for 60 days.
Unverified footage appears to show a drone speedboat attack on the Russian naval vessel the Ivan Khurs in the Black Sea on Wednesday. The video appears to show at least one of the drones getting extremely close to the ship, though it remains unclear whether or not any damage was done.
Russia’s Wagner mercenary group has begun withdrawing its forces from the devastated Ukrainian city of Bakhmut and transferring its positions there to regular Russian troops, according to its founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
- Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin announced on May 25 that the Wagner Group began handing over its positions in Bakhmut to the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and claimed Wagner will entirely withdraw from the city on June 1. It remains unclear if Wagner will be able to withdraw the entirety of its contingent by June 1 and if Russian MoD troops will execute a successful relief in place.
- Russia and Belarus signed agreements formally advancing preparations to deploy Russian tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus as part of a longstanding effort to cement Russia’s de facto military control over Belarus, though Russia has not yet deployed nuclear weapons to Belarus and their possible deployment is highly unlikely to presage any Russian escalation.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the leaders of the Eurasian Economic Union member states and several other post-Soviet heads of state at the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Moscow on May 25, likely to expand sanctions evasion opportunities.
- Belgorod Oblast Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov announced that Russian officials have created seven territorial defense battalions in Belgorod Oblast as of May 24, likely in order to posture his engagement in the defense of Russian border areas following the May 22 all-Russian pro-Ukrainian raid into Belgorod Oblast.
- Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin held a meeting with representatives of Russian oblasts bordering Ukraine to discuss fortifying border areas on May 24.
- Wagner and Russian forces have notably engaged in previous efforts to fortify border areas, and the recent Belgorod Oblast raid exposed major shortcomings in these efforts.
- Russian political strategist Konstantin Dolgov claimed on May 25 that he was fired as a result of his May 23 interview with Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin.
- Russia conducted another massive Shahed-131/136 drone strike across Ukraine on the night of May 24 to 25.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin continued attempts to portray Russia as an effective international mediator by mediating negotiations between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
- Russian forces continued limited ground attacks northeast of Kupyansk and south of Kreminna.
- Russian forces continued limited ground attacks around Bakhmut as Wagner Group forces reportedly began their withdrawal from frontline areas the city.
- Russian forces continued ground attacks along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Russian sources claimed that Russian forces shot down six drones over Crimea.
- Russian forces are reportedly continuing to recruit personnel with various diseases.
- Russian occupation officials continue to announce partnerships with various local Russian officials to improve the standard of living in occupied territories.
Russian Subordinate Main Effort #1 – Luhansk Oblast (Russian objective: Capture the remainder of Luhansk Oblast and push westward into eastern Kharkiv Oblast and northern Donetsk Oblast)
Russian forces continued limited ground attacks northeast of Kupyansk and south of Kreminna on May 25. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations near Masyutivka, Kharkiv Oblast (13km northeast of Kupyansk) and Bilohorivka, Luhansk Oblast (12km south of Kreminna). Geolocated footage published on May 24 shows Ukrainian forces recapturing positions on the eastern outskirts of Spirne (25km south of Kreminna) on an unspecified date. A Russian milblogger claimed that positional battles continued near Bilohorivka and Spirne and that Russian forces did not conduct offensive operations in the Kreminna area on May 24.
Russian Subordinate Main Effort #2 – Donetsk Oblast (Russian Objective: Capture the entirety of Donetsk Oblast, the claimed territory of Russia’s proxies in Donbas)
Click here to read ISW’s new retrospective analysis on the Battle for Bakhmut.
Russian forces continued limited ground attacks around Bakhmut as Wagner Group forces reportedly began their withdrawal from frontline areas the city on May 25. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian troops conducted unsuccessful offensive operations in the direction of Bakhmut and Ivanivske (3km southwest of Bakhmut). Footage posted on May 25 shows Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin speaking with Wagner fighters in Bakhmut and discussing how they have begun to withdraw to the rear of Bakhmut and will entirely withdraw from the city on June 1. A Russian milblogger claimed that Russian forces have shifted their focus to the T0504 Chasiv Yar-Bakhmut and O0506 Khromove-Bakhmut highways and remarked that heavy fighting continues on the flanks of Bakhmut. The milblogger claimed that Russian forces are now trying to capture Ivanivske and Khromove (3km due west of Bakhmut). Several Russian sources indicated that forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) are increasingly arriving in Bakhmut and supplanting Wagner fighters within the city.
Russian Supporting Effort – Southern Axis (Russian objective: Maintain frontline positions and secure rear areas against Ukrainian strikes)
Russian sources claim that Ukrainian forces struck a Russian Su-25 attack aircraft over Zaporizhia Oblast on May 25. A Russian milblogger published footage purportedly showing the aftermath of a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile defenses striking a Russian Su-25 in an unspecified location in Zaporizhia Oblast. Other milbloggers amplified reports of smoke near Melitopol and claimed that Ukrainian forces downed the Su-25.
“It didn’t sink, but it was hit, there is significant damage to the hull and equipment. Now the Russians are hastily repairing it.”…
"According to the incompletely confirmed information, but information nonetheless, "Ivan Whores" (#IvanKhurs.) is proceeding under its own power to a repair dock (where I cannot share) to fix the damage received"-Igor "Boris will fix" Girkin
The Russian reconnaissance ship Ivan Khurs was seemingly hit by an unmanned surface vessel in the Black Sea, new video shows, disputing a claim by Moscow, which said on Wednesday it had been able to thwart a Ukrainian attack on the craft.
Footage shared by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense on social media Thursday and analyzed by CNN appeared to show the moments just before the impact.
The video is filmed from a camera placed on the surface vessel. It shows the vessel as it approaches a larger ship at high speed.
CNN analysis determined the ship is likely to be the Ivan Khurs. It also shows the tip of the unmanned surface vessel, similar to the unmanned surface vessels seen in video posted by the Russian Ministry of Defense on Thursday.
The feed cuts as the vessel comes within a few yards of the ship.
"When the Russian reconnaissance ship 'Ivan Khurs' met a Ukrainian drone," the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said in a tweet. "Indeed, a perfect match!"