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Russian missile strike on Odesa, military aid, and one more downed Russian vessel: Ukraine’s weekly news digest

While Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine is entering its third year, the situation is still intense, with regular updates on attacks on civilians, offensive and defensive operations, and responses from the international community.

Here is what you may have missed on the news from Ukraine from April 29 to May 6.

Photo of the week

The National University “Odesa Law Academy” in flames after the Russian missile strike.
Photo: Operational Command “South” / Facebook

Russia attacked Odesa with cluster munition

On April 29, Russia targeted Odesa with a ballistic missile with cluster munition. The enemy hit the civilian infrastructure, including one of the buildings of the National University “Odesa Law Academy”. At least six people were killed and 32 more were injured.

Just in three days, on May 2, Russian terrorists once again shelled Odesa with missiles: this time, the “Nova Poshta” postal terminal was hit. As a result, approximately 904 shipments worth ₴3 million ($76,000) were destroyed. The employees hid in the bomb shelter on time and were not harmed.

The “Nova Poshta” postal terminal after the Russian missile strike.
Photo: the “Nova Poshta” postal operator / Facebook

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian forces have been carrying out a systematic campaign of missile and UAV attacks on Odesa, one of the biggest cities in the South of Ukraine, targeting mostly civilian and port infrastructure.

New military aid for Ukraine

Over the past week, several partner states announced new military assistance packages for Ukraine.

Thus, the Federal Government of Germany renewed the list of arms and military equipment sent to Ukraine on its official website. According to updated information, ten more Marder infantry fighting vehicles with ammunition and spare parts will be provided to Ukraine, as well as additional ammunition for Leopard 2 tanks, almost 30,000 rounds of ammunition for Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, and other capabilities.

Marder infantry fighting vehicle.
Photo: Reuters

The Latvian government also approved the new batch of military aid to Ukraine. According to Evika Siliņa, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia, the country will transfer NBS anti-aircraft installations and tactical unmanned surveillance systems to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Russia‘s repeating attempts to destroy the Ukrainian energy system

Due to the Russian attacks in the spring of 2024, about 50% of the Ukrainian energy system was damaged shared Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, in an interview with Foreign Policy.

“Russian ballistic missiles are the real scourge of this war. They’ve been mainly used recently to destroy our energy system (…) We hold on because we have learned a lot. We are resilient; we know what the stakes are. But just to give an understanding to your viewers, half our energy system is damaged and we still have to run the country, run the war effort, and rally the world’s support,” stated Kuleba.

In addition, as of the beginning of May 2024, Russian shellings caused “more than a billion dollars worth of losses” to the Ukrainian energy industry, emphasized German Galushchenko, Minister of Energy of Ukraine.

As reported earlier, during Russian massive attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure in March-April 2024, the Dnipro HPP in Zaporizhzhia was severely damaged, while the Trypilska Thermal Power Plant in the Kyiv region was completely destroyed.

Russia’s ongoing military provocations on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

On May 2, the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine reported that Russian troops launched combat drones over the nuclear reactors of the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP). Moreover, Russian forces have equipped launch sites for their UAVs right next to the sixth reactor of the ZNPP to prevent the Ukrainian military from attacking their positions due to safety regulations.

A Russian soldier on the territory of the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP.
Photo: Andrey Borodulin / AFP

“The listed facts are another evidence of the criminal and irresponsible activity of the Russian aggressor state at the nuclear facility occupied by it, which can have catastrophic consequences,” noted the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.

Another Russian military vessel is down

On May 6, Ukrainian forces destroyed the Russian military speedboat. The enemy target was successfully eliminated with the help of the Magura V5 naval drone by the special unit of the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.

Earlier, Ukrainian defenders have already destroyed a number of Russian military vessels using the Magura V5 naval drones, including the large enemy landing ship Caesar Kunikov. In total, since the beginning of the full-scale war against Ukraine, Russia has already lost 26 military boats and one submarine.

Read more: What are the Russian death toll and other losses in Ukraine?

Stats of the week 

  • Since February 2022, more than 297 Ukrainian citizens, including 15 children, were killed by Russian explosive objects, and another 669, including 78 children, were injured.
    Source: Oleksandr Khorunzhyi, Press Officer of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine. May 1, 2024.
  • Since December 2023, Russian forces have executed at least 21 Ukrainian soldiers who attempted to surrender.
    Source: Human Rights Watch. May 2, 2024.  
  • During April 2024, Russian forces used more than 300 missiles of various types, almost 300 “Shahed” drones, and more than 3,200 guided aerial bombs to attack different regions of Ukraine.
    Source: Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine. May 2, 2024.
  • Since February 2022, Russian troops have destroyed or damaged more than 250,000 Ukrainian residential buildings, up to 4,000 schools, and more than a thousand hospitals. Source: Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine. May 3, 2024.
  • During April 2024, 444 cases of the usage of chemical ammunition by Russian troops were recorded.
    Source: Command of the Support Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. May 3, 2024.