Live War in Ukraine, Day 423: Zelensky hints counterattack imminent / Ukraine acquires 230 tanks and 1,550 armored vehicles in recent months / Russians launch Shahed drones again

The US said it would soon begin training Ukrainian forces to use Abrams tanks, and Germany announced a deal to set up a repair center in Poland for tanks stationed in Ukraine.

Bahmuth is a Ukrainian soldier on the battlefieldPhoto: LIBKOS / AP / Profimedia

Key information on the war in Ukraine, day 423, live text:

09:55What is happening at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant / what international experts say about the UN.

09:18 According to the Institute for War Studies, recent key developments on the frontline include:

  • Moscow’s army launched limited ground offensives along the Kubyansk-Svatov-Kremina line.
  • Russian forces continued to advance in and around Bahmut, but never completed a decisive maneuver around the city.
  • Russian troops continued offensive operations on the Avdivka-Donetsk front and conducted a limited ground offensive in the west of the Donetsk region.
  • Ukrainian forces have established positions on the eastern (left) bank of the Kherson region, Russian sources said.

09:00 AUSTIN: Allies have delivered more than 230 tanks to Ukraine in recent months.

The Contact Group for Ukraine’s Defense has delivered more than 230 tanks and 1,550 armored vehicles “in a few months,” U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Friday after a meeting at the Ramstein base.

Zelenskiy hints that a counterattack is imminent

08:55 The Ukrainian military destroyed four of five Iranian-made Shahed drones launched by Russia into Ukraine on Friday evening, the Kyiv Independent reported, citing the Air Force Telegram.

The air force said Russian forces had launched drones into Ukraine from its southeastern border, but did not say where the drones landed or whether there were any casualties or damage.

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07:51 AFP REPORT: The life of the only surviving family doctor in the bomb-ravaged town of Chivrsk in eastern Ukraine

01:30Video Zelensky: Now we must all focus on unity, mobilization and security

00:48 “They were so aggressive!” The Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova explains the incident to the President of Tatarstan

00:10 Reznikov announced that Ukraine had received a “green light” to cooperate with the NATO procurement agency.

A brief recap of recent events:

  • The U.S. decision to supply Ukraine with 31 advanced M1A2 Abrams tanks could be a game-changer but not a silver bullet, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley said Friday.
  • Six German-made Panther 2A4 tanks destined for Ukraine have left Spain by ship, according to the Navy Watch website.
  • Allies move to bolster Ukrainian tank forces ahead of counter-offensive: ‘Putin can’t play with time, we will persevere’
  • Ukraine pressed allies for long-range weapons, aircraft and ammunition, while the United States held a meeting on Friday at Germany’s Ramstein air base to discuss increasing support for Kiev.
  • The Russian Defense Ministry said offensive troops were fighting in the western part of Bakhmut, the last part of the Ukrainian city. Ukraine said Russian forces had made some progress in the battle for Bahmut, but the situation was under control.
  • NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said NATO allies had agreed Ukraine would eventually become a member, and Ukrainian President Zelensky had been invited to attend a summit of the Western military alliance in July. The Russian Foreign Ministry said NATO’s statements on Ukraine joining the alliance were “dangerous”.
  • A Moscow court has ordered the arrest in absentia of Bulgarian investigative journalist Christo Grosev, whose reporting for Bellingcat has angered Russia. “Why don’t they poison us when we don’t exist?!”, the journalist replied.
  • Ukraine’s state-owned gas company Naftogaz has held talks with Exxon Mobil, Halliburton and Chevron over projects in Ukraine as the government in Kiev seeks to attract foreign investment back into its energy sector.
  • A deal to allow safe exports of Ukrainian grain to the Black Sea could expire next week after Russia said it would not approve any new ships unless its operators guaranteed transit by May 18.
  • Reuters notes that Ukraine’s chances of blocking grain exports to Eastern Europe have improved as Romania opted against a unilateral ban on food imports. Ukraine announces “resumption of B√Ęstroe as an alternative route” for its grain exports.
  • Viktor Orban wants to put spokes in Ukraine’s wheels in NATO. After Stoltenberg announced that all allies agreed, Hungary’s prime minister questioned the annexation.
  • The head of Ukraine’s main intelligence directorate, General Krylo Budanov, reacted bitterly to the news that Russia had issued an arrest warrant in his name, saying he might finally be satisfied.
  • The Kremlin on Friday denied any plans to launch a second mobilization campaign to send people back to Ukraine.
  • Kazakhstan accelerates oil exports It ignores Russia in the first quarter of 2023 as it tries to reduce its dependence on its larger neighbors.
  • Lithuania intends to disconnect its energy grid from Russia, testing its ability to end its last remaining energy link with Moscow.
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