Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 814

As the war enters its 814th day, these are the main developments.

Here is the situation on Saturday, May 18, 2024.


  • At least two people have been killed and 19 were wounded in the Russian bombing of Kharkiv, regional chief Oleh Syniehubov said on the Telegram app. Four of the wounded were in a critical condition.
  • A Ukrainian drone attack killed one person and injured another in southern Russia’s Belgorod region, according to the regional governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov. He said the drone hit the village of Novaya Naumovka, where the two residents were tending a garden.

  • Ukrainian authorities say about 8,000 civilians from the recent flashpoint town of Vovchansk, 5km (3 miles) from the Russian border, have been evacuated.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he expects Russia to step up its offensive in the northeast, as he warned in an interview with the AFP news agency that Ukraine only has 25 percent of the air defences it needs to hold the front line.
  • Zelenskyy also conceded that Russian troops have advanced between five to 10km (3-6 miles) along the northeastern border before being stopped by Ukrainian forces, adding that the region could be the “first wave” in a wider offensive.
  • The commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskii, has said Russia’s new offensive has “expanded the zone of active hostilities” by almost 70km (45 miles) to attempt to force Ukraine to spread its forces and use reserve troops.
  • Zelenskyy said the situation in Kharkiv has been “controlled” but “not stabilised”, adding that Ukraine needs “120 to 130” F-16 fighter jets or other advanced aircraft to achieve air “parity” with Russia.

Politics and diplomacy

  • Zelenskyy has signed two laws allowing prisoners to join the army and increasing fines for draft dodgers fivefold. The controversial mobilisation law goes into effect on Saturday.
  • The Ukrainian leader has urged China to attend a peace summit in Switzerland after President Xi Jinping hosted his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Beijing.
  • Putin criticised next month’s peace conference and called it a vain attempt to enforce terms of a peaceful settlement on Russia.
  • The Russian leader said any prospective peace talks should be based on a draft deal negotiated by Russia and Ukraine during their talks in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2022.
  • During his visit to China, Putin claimed that Russia’s offensive in Kharkiv was aimed at creating a buffer zone and there were no plans to capture the city.
  • White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said the Biden administration does not encourage or enable attacks with US-supplied weapons inside Russia.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies