According to President Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian soldiers locked in the Mariupol steelworks are not allowed to leave the premises according to the will of the Russian besiegers. The city of Zaporizhia was shelled on Tuesday evening. All news about the attack on Ukraine can be found here in the ticker.
7:22 a.m .: The Ukrainian armed forces have reported gaining ground around the second largest city of Kharkiv in the east of the country. “The occupiers are gradually being pushed back from Kharkiv,” said President Volodymyr Zelenskyj in a video message on Wednesday night. “The villages of Cherkasy Tyshky, Rusky Tyshky, Rubishne and Bayrak were liberated,” the Ukrainian general staff said on Facebook.
While the Russian armed forces could hit the city of Kharkiv “even less” with artillery attacks, the “intensity of the bombing in the Kharkiv district has increased”. According to the Ukrainian regional administration, the Russian troops are also leaving “death traps” – mines.
While the Ukrainians regain control of lost territories in the north-east of the country, the Russians are gradually advancing about 150 kilometers to the south-east in the Donbass. Ukraine’s Southern Command reported “merciless” attacks by Russian forces on homes, farms and power supplies.
Wednesday, May 11, 3:01 a.m .: At least one person was killed and eight others injured in new Russian attacks near the southeastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia on Tuesday evening. According to the regional administration, mainly residential buildings in Orekhovo were hit, Ukrajinska Pravda reported. Because of the intensity of the shelling, the delivery of humanitarian aid to the town was temporarily interrupted. The information could not be independently verified.
11:10 p.m .: According to the will of the Russian besiegers, the Ukrainian soldiers entrenched in the Mariupol steelworks are not allowed to leave the premises. The Russian military has rejected any proposal for the unhindered withdrawal of the fighters from the Azovstal plant, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, according to Ukrajinska Pravda on Tuesday. “The defenders of Mariupol are staying there, they are continuing the resistance on the Azovstal site.” Kyiv is continuing to use all available diplomatic options to enable the rescue of the soldiers. Russia insists on surrender of Azovstal defenders.
Zelenskyi previously stated that Ukraine currently does not have the heavy weapons needed for a successful push to liberate Mariupol. More than two months after the beginning of the war and after heavy fighting for the port city of Mariupol, the last Ukrainian soldiers have entrenched themselves in the Azovstal plant and are offering fierce resistance to the Russian soldiers and pro-Russian separatists.
8:40 p.m .: According to the head of the US defense intelligence service, Scott Berrier, between 8 and 10 generals of the top Russian military leadership have been killed in the Ukraine war so far.
8:25 p.m .: The Russian army’s most modern main battle tank, the T-90M, is said to have been blown up by a Swedish defense weapon. On Saturday, British intelligence reported that at least one T-90M tank was destroyed in battle. Now Ukrainian drone footage near Kharkiv shows the attack. According to the 127th Battalion of the Ukrainian Army, the T-90M was attacked from a few hundred meters away by the Carl Gustav anti-tank weapon. The T-90M is considered one of the most modern weapon systems and has only been built since 2011. 5,000 of these weapons were already delivered to Ukraine in early March. They were manufactured by the Swedish technology group “Saab”.
7:36 p.m .: The US Department of Defense has no evidence of the use of hypersonic missiles in the recent Russian attacks on the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. He could not confirm the use of such weapons in Odessa, a high-ranking ministry official said in a telephone switchboard with journalists on Tuesday. Airstrikes on Odessa have increased in recent days. According to the Ukrainian military, the Russian air force fired Kinschal hypersonic missiles at the southern Ukrainian port on Tuesday night.
The US Department official said there was no evidence of an attack on Odessa by ground forces or from the Black Sea. “Odessa is still firmly under Ukrainian control.” The Ukrainian agency Unian, citing the local military leadership, had reported that at least one person had been killed and five others injured in the night air raids in Odessa. “Ukrainska Pravda” reported that “tourist objects” were hit and at least five buildings were destroyed.
The US Department official said that since the war began, Russian forces have used hypersonic weapons on 10 to 12 occasions. He emphasized that Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet achieved his most important goals, neither in the south nor in Donbass in the east of Ukraine. According to US estimates, Putin is “two weeks or maybe even more” behind schedule.
4:38 p.m .: The US secret services expect a long-lasting Ukraine war with the risk of further expansion and escalation. US intelligence coordinator Avril Haines said Tuesday at a congressional hearing in Washington that Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing for a “protracted conflict in Ukraine, in which he remains committed to achieving goals beyond Donbass.” Putin is determined to create a land connection to the pro-Russian separatist region of Transnistria in the east of the Republic of Moldova.
“We assume that Putin’s strategic goals probably haven’t changed,” Haines said. The relocation of the Russian armed forces to the Donbass is probably only temporary.
In the short term, Putin wants to capture the two eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, control the city of Kherson and then build a land bridge around the southern part of the country to Transnistria, a separatist region of Moldova where Russian troops are currently stationed, Haines said. But in order to reach Transnistria, according to the intelligence services, Putin would have to launch a full mobilization inside Russia, which he has not done so far.
Haines also warned of an escalation of the conflict. The uncertainty of the struggle, which is developing into a war of attrition, coupled with the mismatch between Putin’s ambitions and Russia’s military capabilities, means an “unpredictable and potentially escalating trajectory” in the coming months.
“With both Russia and Ukraine believing they can move forward militarily, we see no viable avenue for negotiation, at least in the short term,” Haines said. Putin also likely expects US and EU resolve to weaken in the face of inflation and food shortages.
Haines stressed that the US still believes that Moscow will continue to use “nuclear rhetoric” to prevent the US and the West from increasing support for Ukraine. “We continue to believe that President Putin would likely authorize the use of nuclear weapons only if he perceived an existential threat to the Russian state or regime,” Haines said.
4:19 p.m .: According to the Ukrainian government, there are still more than a thousand Ukrainian soldiers in the Azov-Stahl industrial complex in Mariupol, which was besieged by Russian troops. “Hundreds are injured,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk told the AFP news agency on Tuesday. Some of the soldiers were “severely injured” and had to be “urgently” taken out of the steelworks, Vereshchuk said. “The situation is getting worse every day.”
She also rejected statements by two local officials that there were still around a hundred civilians in the plant. “That’s not true,” she said. The head of the Azov regiment “officially declared” to Ukrainian government officials and a UN representative that “there is no longer a civilian, woman, child or old person in Azov steel”.
The Azov Steelworks is the last bastion of the Ukrainian military in the devastated Mariupol. Hundreds of civilians also holed up in the sprawling industrial complex with many underground facilities for several weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Over the weekend, after a series of evacuations, Vereshchuk announced that all “women, children and elderly civilians” had been evacuated from the complex.
1:57 p.m .: Almost eleven weeks after the start of the war, the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine advanced to the administrative borders of the Luhansk region, according to military information from Moscow. The small town of Popasna, which until recently was heavily contested, has now been “cleansed” of Ukrainian “nationalists,” Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday. Russia has repeatedly stated that the Luhansk region should be completely wrested from Urcain control.
Luhansk governor Serhiy Hajdaj, on the other hand, described these statements as “fantasy”. The Ukrainian soldiers should have retreated from Popasna, but the Russians did not break through the defenses, he wrote in the Telegram news service.
11:35 a.m .: Vladimir Putin has again lost three high-ranking military officers. Thus, Russia confirmed that Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Blinov fell in Ukraine. So far, it had been said that Blinov was alive. On Monday, however, a picture of him appeared at a grave in Volograd. The deaths of two other senior soldiers were also announced on Monday. A good 40 military leaders are said to have already died in Ukraine.
11:14 a.m .: In a new appeal, the high Ukrainian clergyman Onufrij Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin asked for the rescue of people from the steel mill in the port city of Mariupol. Putin should behave like a Christian and let the surrounded civilians, fighters and security forces flee to areas controlled by Ukraine or to third countries. A mediating country chosen by the Kremlin could lead the mission, said the head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s largest Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The cleric asked Putin, himself a member of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Russian Orthodox Church, to remember his parents who were once fighting for their lives in the German-held city of Leningrad (now St Petersburg). “The residents of Mariupol and their defenders are in the same situation today,” Onufriy said, according to media reports on Tuesday.
According to Ukrainian media, former commander of the Azov regiment Maxim Zhorin said diplomatic efforts to rescue the fighters were ongoing. At the same time, he said that a process was under way to free Mariupol from the Russian blockade with a military operation. But that takes a lot of time. And the fighters there might not have that time anymore.
9:57 a.m .: According to the local governor, 44 bodies were discovered in the rubble of a residential building in Izium. The building was destroyed by Russian rocket fire in March, according to Governor Oleg Synyehubov. However, Izium itself has only now been liberated by the Russian occupiers.
You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.