Health Minister Viktor Lyashko announced following a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Nitzan Horowitz, that Israel will accept wounded Ukrainians for treatment and will continue to provide medical support for Ukrainian cancer patients.
Japan initially pledged $300 million last week, and is now extending a total of $600 million in loans to Ukraine, according to NHK, Japan’s Broadcasting Corporation.
Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reports that the Russian occupiers prepare a press tour for Russian and foreign journalists to the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. The media representatives are supposed to visit Kherson, Nova Kakhovka, Skadovsk, and Armiansk.
Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported on May 18 that Russian troops have not made any breakthrough along the frontline, but have lost at least 20 soldiers, two self-propelled artillery units, and armored vehicles.
Ukraine’s state-owned grid operator Ukrenergo on May 18 dismissed Russia’s claim that a Russian-seized Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant would supply Russia with electricity. “Ukraine’s power system currently has no physical connections with Russia’s power system. Therefore, the supply of electricity from Ukrainian power plants to Russia is currently physically impossible,” Ukrenergo said in a statement.
Economy Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko said on May 18 that Ukraine will receive fuel starting next week, reports Polskie Radio broadcasting service.
About $53 million will go be rerouted to assist with the humanitarian crises caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Bulgarian National Radio. The money will go towards produce and other items to assist refugees, transportation, as well as to education integration for fleeing Ukrainians.
Human Rights Watch: Russia commits summary executions, torture, grave abuses in Chernihiv, Kyiv Oblasts.
A report published on May 18 said Russian forces in northeastern Ukraine committed “apparent war crimes” from late Feb. through to March, 2022. The human rights group investigated 22 apparent summary executions, nine unlawful killings, six possible enforced disappearances, and seven cases of torture across 17 communities in the regions.
Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko signed a law on May 18 expanding the death penalty to include merely planning terrorist attacks. Previously, such punishment could not be given for an “unfinished crime.” Human rights groups fear this move will further threaten Belarusian activists and political opposition.
Two villages in Russia’s western region of Kursk bordering Ukraine came under fire on May 18, regional governor Roman Starovoit said, blaming the Ukrainian forces for the attack. No casualties were reported.
Canadian parliament voted unanimously to condemn the Soviet Union’s mass deportation of Crimean Tatars from the peninsula in 1944, which Russia continues to deny.
According the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russia lost 20 armored vehicles, a cruise missile and a Su-34 bomber over the past 24 hours. Additionally, Ukraine’s Air Force successfully carried out a mission destroying a Russian equipment depot.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that discussions are ongoing surrounding how to get Russia to pay for Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction.
Director of the Bureau of Economic Security Vadym Melnyk said the assets are derived from a mining plant, cars, and assets from a financial institution.
Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic will receive 248 million euros to help manage their borders and assist with the provision of food, transportation, and shelter to those fleeing Russia’s war.
According to an unnamed NATO military official, no significant gains for either side are predicted, although momentum has shifted in Ukraine’s favor. Discussions are reportedly ongoing over whether Ukraine can retake Russian-occupied regions of Crimea and Donbas.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on May 18 that he also expects Congress to authorize an additional $5.5 billion in support for humanitarian assistance and food security.
Head of Kryvyi Rih Regional Military Administration Oleksandr Vilkul said on May 18 that three people are dead and six wounded due to a Russian attack near the village of Davydiv Brid.
The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on May 18 that Brink’s new role confirms “U.S. support for Ukraine is only growing.” The position has been vacant for three years.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told Dutch newspaper NRC that the list includes: the liberation of Russian-occupied territories, including Donbas and Crimea, the payment of reparations by Russia, trials for Russian war crimes and crimes against humanity, and European integration for Ukraine.
Croatian President Zoran Milanovic told the N1 TV channel that he would instruct the country’s permanent representative to NATO to vote against this move. The future membership of the two Nordic countries in NATO will depend on whether Bosnia and Herzegovina’s electoral law is changed, he said, adding that Croats in Bosnia are “being destroyed” as a political entity.
According to Ukraine’s military, Russia shelled 46 settlements, destroying or damaging more than 40 residential buildings, two schools, a kindergarten and other civilian infrastructure in one day. Among the killed people were two families with children.
On May 17, the Russian military dropped a bomb on a five-story apartment building in Bakhmut, a city of 73,000 in Donetsk Oblast. Among the victims was a two-year-old child, the regional prosecutor’s office said. Four other civilians, including three children aged 9, 12 and 17, were seriously injured.
According to Mariupol City Council, Russia’s brutal bombing of the steel mill could severely damage its facilities for storing thousands of tons of hazardous chemicals. Their leakage could kill all marine life in the Azov Sea, threatening an ecological catastrophe in two other seas, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. The pictures published by the Mariupol City Council are a visualization of possible consequences of Russia’s bombing of Azovstal, not real photos.
The embassy was closed on Feb. 14, 10 days before Russia began an all-out war against Ukraine. After the U.S. flag was raised over the embassy building on May 18 in Kyiv, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the embassy is “officially resuming operations.”
Mykhailo Podoliak, an advisor to the presidential administration, told the NV radio that Russia still hasn’t fully realized the consequences of the war it inflicted on Ukraine and the impact of the Western sanctions. According to Podoliak, Russia still has illusions that it can achieve military success in Ukraine.
On May 18, Ukraine regained control over the village of Dementiivka. Hostilities with the Russian forces continue in another village, Ternova.
A total of 85 employees will have to leave Russia, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced. The move is in response to similar actions of the three European countries.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen confirmed on May 18 that the license, which expires on May 25 and allows payments to U.S. bondholders, is unlikely to be extended for Russia. Yellen added that the move won’t significantly change the situation in Russia, as “they’re already cut off from global capital markets.” Currently, Russia has $40 billion in international bonds.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has submitted a draft bill set to prolong martial law in Ukraine for 90 days. Zelensky imposed martial law on Feb. 24, with the current law set to expire on May 24.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he won’t allow either of the countries to join NATO because they support “terrorist groups” that pose a threat to the country’s national security. “It is controversial for countries to support terrorism and expect our approval,” the president said. Erdogan accused the two countries of harboring members of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party, classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU.
Kremlin-led Donetsk Oblast proxies claim that top-ranking commanders defending the Azovstal steel mill were not among about 960 soldiers that surrendered to the Russian forces. What will happen to the soldiers taken to Russian-occupied territories remains unclear. Amnesty International has said the Ukrainian defenders who surrendered must not be ill-treated and should be given immediate access to the International Red Cross.
Antonov company confirmed that five Antonov An-124-100 Ruslan airplanes are now temporarily based in Leipzig and will continue transporting cargo for commercial and government purposes. Antonov’s main hub, Hostomel Airport, was destroyed during Russian advances on Kyiv in late February.
Welt: European Parliament to propose sanctions against former German Chancellor, Austrian ex-Foreign Minister.
The members of the European Parliament want to call on the 27 EU states to include Germany’s Gerhard Schröder and Austria’s Karin Kneissl on the sanctions list, the German newspaper Welt reported. Kneissl has been on the supervisory board of the Russian state oil company Rosneft since 2021, and Schroeder is the chairman of the supervisory board within the same organization.
Security Service of Ukraine spokesperson Artem Dekhtyarenko said that two Kremlin-led militants from Luhansk Oblast were captured in March, and the court sentenced them to eight and 10 years, respectively. In Rivne Oblast, a Russian spy was sentenced to 13 years in prison for collecting intelligence on the deployment of Ukrainian troops and equipment, Dekhtyarenko added.
According to the Kremlin-controlled RIA Novosti media outlet, Russia and its proxies are set to demolish the Azovstal steel mill. The plant was the last Ukrainian stronghold of Mariupol, a city with a pre-war population of 450,000 people, completely destroyed by Russian troops.
Vadim Shishimarin, 21, is the first Russian soldier standing trial in Ukraine for war crimes. According to the prosecution, in late February, Shishimarin killed a 62-year-old civilian in Ukraine’s northern Sumy Oblast during Russia’s retreat. Shishimarin pledged guilty and is now facing a life sentence for violating the laws of war.
Several units of the 70th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade have already openly refused to take part in the war, according to the Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate. Servicemen who demanded to return to Russia were instead sent to the most dangerous part of the front, Ukraine’s intelligence claimed.
37,000 people entered Ukraine in the last 24 hours, including 33,000 Ukrainians, against 31,000 people who left the country. According to the Ukrainian news site Ukrainska Pravda, it’s the eighth day in a row when more people enter Ukraine than leave it. Over 6 million people have left Ukraine since the beginning of the war, according to the UNHCR.
People in the building managed to escape before the school was burned to the ground, Pavlo Kyrylenko, the local governor and head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration, said on May 18.
Earlier, the Ukrainian authorities said that 264 people were taken from the steel plant in Mariupol to Russian-controlled cities on May 16, and will likely be up for prisoner exchange. Ukraine didn’t say what the plan was for the troops who remained at Azovstal. Earlier reports by Ukrainian officials suggested that approximately 1,000 people were at the plant.
Russians shelled Donetsk Oblast 28 times in the last 24 hours, destroying 52 civilian infrastructure sites, the National Police reported on May 18. One of the injured children is 9 years old.
Russia used Chechens close to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov among auxiliary forces in Mariupol, British Defense Ministry reported on May 18. Combat deployment of such troops shows Russia’s resource problems in Ukraine, leading to disunited command, according to the ministry.
A missile strike hit a residential area in the western part of Mykolaiv on the morning of May 18, destroying several houses and wounding one local citizen, according to the State Emergency Service.
Ivan Kuliak was seen wearing a taped “Z,” Russia’s war symbol used by those supporting the invasion of Ukraine, while standing near a Ukrainian athlete on March 6 at the world championship in Qatar. He will also have to return his bronze medal and prize money.
Prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the two countries submitted their bids for NATO membership on May 18, casting away decades of neutrality.
According to the UN’s human rights agency, as of May 16, Russia’s war against Ukraine has killed at least 3,752 civilians and wounded at least 4,062 since Feb. 24. The agency believes the actual figures are considerably higher than the confirmed numbers. Most of the recorded casualties were caused by explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, the agency wrote in its report.
Ukraine’s Operational Command South said the two ammunition warehouses were located near the Piatykhatky and Stepanivka villages in Kherson Oblast. It also reported that fighting continues on the line of contact in Mykolaiv and Kherson oblasts where Russian troops are trying to gain a foothold and continue shelling the positions of Ukraine’s Armed Forces with mortars and artillery.
The Australian Government on May 18 announced new sanctions targeting 11 individuals and 12 entities for promoting Russian propaganda and disinformation legitimizing Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, as well as the Wagner Group, “described as a de facto private army” of Russian Dictator Vladimir Putin.
Russian troops lost at least 11 UAVs and four missiles over the past 24 hours, Ukraine’s Air Force reported on May 17.