Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine


A man is seen inside his damaged apartment after a missile strike at a nearby abandoned building in the city of Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, on May 26. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

There are now 110 operational Russian battalion tactical groups (BTGs) inside of Ukraine, which is an increase from 97 BTGs the US assessed were inside of Ukraine as of May 9, a senior US defense official told reporters Thursday. That is an increase of about 13 BTGs in about two and a half weeks. 

“The largest contingent remains in the south. But the western grouping, the central grouping and the eastern grouping each have roughly the same number of BTGs inside Ukraine,” the official said.

Russian forces have made “some incremental gains” in their push towards Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, the official added, “not a lot but some incremental gains.”

Around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, the US assesses that Ukrainians have “continued to push Russian forces further away” in a range of “a few kilometers to more than 10 kilometers within the Russian border,” the official said, “so no major change there.”

Meanwhile, 85 of the M-777 howitzers that the US has provided to Ukraine over the course of the last three military assistance packages are “forward,” meaning they are being used on the frontlines of the war, the official told reporters Thursday. 

Out of the 209,000 155 mm projectiles that were promised to Ukraine from the US, 190,000 of them have been transferred to Ukraine, the official added. 

Nine of the 11 total Mi-17 helicopters the US promised to Ukraine have been transferred to Ukraine. The last two helicopters will arrive either “later this month or very early in June,” the official said.

US and NATO allies continue to train Ukrainian soldiers on US and NATO weapons systems outside of Ukraine, the official added. 419 Ukrainians soldiers have completed M-777 howitzer training, about 30 Ukrainians have completed the basic howitzer maintenance course, and another 17 have completed the more advanced 14-day maintainer course for the Howitzer systems, the official continued.

About 20 Ukrainian soldiers are completing the second iteration of the training on the Phoenix Ghost Unmanned Aerial Systems, or drones, that the US provided to Ukraine, the official added. 

The US is “also helping facilitate training” for Ukrainians on coastal defense missiles now that Denmark has agreed to contribute Harpoon launchers and vehicles to Ukraine, the official said.

“Some training that needs to be done on how to use the Harpoon was not designed for coastal defense, it was designed for anti-ship warfare, ship-to-ship warfare, so this is a relatively new application of the missile, and therefore we know they’re going to need a little bit of training on that,” the official said.

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: Ipodifier