Day 445 since the beginning of the war: The Russian-controlled city of Donetsk has come under fire. Ukraine receives further military aid. All information in the news blog.
The most important things at a glance
Britain pledges hundreds of combat drones to Ukraine
8.43 a.m.: Britain will deliver hundreds of new long-range combat drones to Ukraine with a range of more than 200 kilometers. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will announce this when he meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the British government said.
“Today the Prime Minister will confirm the UK’s continued deployment of hundreds of anti-aircraft missiles and unmanned aerial systems, including hundreds of new long-range attack drones with a range of over 200km.” The weapons would be delivered in the coming months.
Zelenskyi arrived in Great Britain in the morning and will be conferring with Sunak at the Prime Minister’s country residence in Checkers. Last week Britain became the first country to begin equipping Ukraine with long-range cruise missiles.
London: Drone strikes show weakness in Russian anti-aircraft defenses
8.40 a.m.: According to British intelligence services, a drone attack on a strategically important military airfield in western Russia has again revealed weaknesses in the Russian air defense system. On May 3, several drones attacked the Seshcha airfield in the Bryansk region, presumably damaging an Antonov An-124 transport aircraft, the Ministry of Defense in London said on Monday. The Russian leadership is likely concerned that anti-aircraft defenses remain vulnerable and key strategic assets such as air bases are at risk.
Seschtscha is around 150 kilometers from the Ukrainian border and, according to British information, is an important hub for the Russian air force. In addition, so-called kamikaze drones would be fired from here against targets in Ukraine.
The British Ministry of Defense has published daily information on the course of the war since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, citing intelligence information. In doing so, the British government wants to both counter the Russian portrayal and keep allies in line. Moscow accuses London of a disinformation campaign.
Zelenskyj announces talks in London
8:26 a.m.: After visits to Rome, Berlin and Paris, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced talks in Great Britain. He will meet British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London on Monday, Zelenskyy said on Twitter this morning. Great Britain is one of Ukraine’s most important partners in the fight against the Russian war of aggression.
Selenskyj was already in Great Britain in February and met, among other things, Ukrainian soldiers who were being trained there. Sunak announced at the time that Britain would be the first country to deliver longer-range missiles to Ukraine. According to information from the US broadcaster CNN, these “Storm Shadow” cruise missiles have now been handed over. London has so far turned down the request for a delivery of fighter jets, but is offering to train Ukrainian pilots.
“Britain is a leader in expanding our capabilities on the ground and in the air,” Zelenskyy wrote. “This cooperation continues today. I will meet my friend Rishi. We will have substantive negotiations, personally and with our delegations.”
Ukrainian military reports success at Bakhmut
8:23 a.m.: The Ukrainian military sees the advance in Bakhmut as the first success of the offensive to defend the city in the east of the country, which has been bitterly fought over for months. The operation continues, said the commander of the ground forces, Colonel General Olexandr Syrskji.
“The advance of our troops towards Bakhmut is the first successful offensive operation to defend the city,” he said on the Ukrainian military’s Telegram channel. “The past few days have shown that we can advance and destroy the enemy even under such extremely difficult conditions. … The mission to defend Bakhmut continues. All the necessary defense decisions have been made.”
Wagner boss Prigozhin probably wanted to betray Russian troops
2:59 a.m.: According to a newspaper report, the head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has offered the Ukrainian government to reveal the positions of Russian troops. This is reported by the Washington Post newspaper, citing leaked documents from the US secret service. Read more about it here.