Here is the situation as it stands on Monday, May 22, 2023.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has clarified earlier comments on the situation in Bakhmut, saying that it was “not occupied” by Russia “as of today”. Earlier, he told reporters that there was “nothing left” of the eastern city and that the Russians had “destroyed everything“.
- Russia has claimed to have fully captured Ukraine’s Bakhmut, with President Putin congratulating his troops and the mercenary Wagner Group for taking the largely-ruined eastern city.
Colonel General Oleksandr Syrsky, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, has said Ukrainian troops were approaching a “tactical encirclement’ of Bakhmut,” according to the Kyiv Independent. The commander earlier visited the front line.
- A Russian-installed official in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhia region has said Kyiv struck the Russian-occupied port city of Berdyansk with UK-supplied Storm Shadow cruise missiles. Kyiv said it had hit a Russian headquarters there but did not say what weapons it used.
- President Zelenskyy has compared the “total destruction” of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut with the World War II devastation of Hiroshima after it was hit by a US atomic bomb.
- The White House has said it estimated Russia’s army had suffered 100,000 casualties in the last five months — including the deaths of 20,000 Russian soldiers.
- The three-day G7 summit has wrapped up in Japan, with leaders pledging more support for Ukraine following Russia’s February 2022 full-scale invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took part in the summit in person.
- The G7 meeting has resulted in “unwavering unity” in supporting Ukraine to fend off Russian war, and Zelenskyy’s presence has sent “a strong message” to the world, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said after the three-day summit.
- Tens of thousands of Moldovans have rallied in the capital Chisinau to support their pro-Western government’s drive towards Europe amid what officials have said are Russian efforts to destabilise their country.
- Canada will support Ukraine for as long and as much as necessary in its conflict with Russia, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said at the G7 summit.
- United States President Joe Biden has confirmed a new military aid package worth $375m for Ukraine, saying the US would provide ammunition, artillery, armoured vehicles and training. The new pledge came days after Washington agreed to allow training on US-made F-16 fighter jets, laying the groundwork for their eventual transfer to Ukraine.