Skip to content

11:35: Two People Killed, Eight Injured in Kharkiv Incident

Ukraine conflict in real-time updates

A snapshot from the AI-controlled biopic "Putin" by director Patryk Vega.
A snapshot from the AI-controlled biopic "Putin" by director Patryk Vega.

11:35: Two People Killed, Eight Injured in Kharkiv Incident

Two people lost their lives in a Russian attack that occurred in Kharkiv district. This information was shared by the military authority in the region. The head of the military administration, Oleh Synegubov, revealed that one of the injured individuals was a first aider.

On Saturday, the Russian troops halted their advancement towards Kharkiv, as per a statement released on Telegram by the Ukrainian General Staff. "No significant activities were observed by the Russian ground forces in the direction of Kharkiv. The defending forces are working diligently to strengthen their positions, replenish resources, conduct surveillance, and keep a close eye on enemy movements," the message read.

Despite the halted progress towards Kharkiv, Russian airstrikes are still underway. Eight individuals sustained injuries as reported by the Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform.

In the eastern half of Ukraine, all regions have instated an air alert. Multiple sources in Ukraine released the news. According to the online platform Ukrajinska Pravda, a Russian missile was heading towards Kiev.

The Ukrainian Navy has disclosed that they were able to sink a Russian minesweeper hailing from the Black Sea Fleet during the mid-night hours. The Navy published a blanked-out image of the "Kovrovets", a minesweeper belonging to the "Project 266M" class that was launched back in 1974.

The six drones, which hit a refinery in southern Russia as mentioned in a previous update at 06:09, carried steel balls, as per Russian sources. As stated by the head of the refinery in the Krasnodar region, the drones were larger. They held "much larger cargo and were filled with destructive resources in the form of steel balls", the Russian state news agency Tass mentioned. The plant has presumably halted operations, and the damages are being assessed. The Russian Ministry of Defense disclosed that Ukraine shot down 57 drones in Krasnodar.

The center of the attacks persists to be Chasiv Yar. The recently implemented law on mobilization mandates Ukrainian men who are fit for military service to report. In conjunction with combat drones, missiles and glide bombs are being used in a new series of attacks. Journalist Jürgen Weichert, reporting from Kiev, sheds light on the current state of affairs in the country.

The BBC provided an article discussing Russia's increased use of glide bombs and the difficulties that Ukraine faces in shooting them down. The article stated, "With all of their available air defense ammunition, they would be used up too quickly." According to Justin Bronk from the Royal United Services Institute, the only possible solution is to shoot down the planes that launch these glide bombs, but Ukraine lacks weapons with the suitable range necessary to perform this task. If Ukraine moves one of their limited Patriot systems closer to the front, there's a risk of losing them.

Glide bombs are said to be simple, self-propelled bombs that can be launched from a considerable distance, keeping aircraft safe. They're easy to produce and have a destructive impact. Ukraine security expert Mariia Zolkina told the BBC, "They allow Russia to bypass the Ukrainian defense lines without deploying infantry." Russia is also heavily targeting civilian areas with these glide bombs. Security Council member Andrey Kovalenko shared this information on Telegram, stating, "The city of Vovchansk has suffered extensive damage from the enemy who attacks it mercilessly with glide bombs."

Ukraine successfully defended against a major Russian air attack, as asserted by the Ukrainian Air Force. In the nighttime, Russia launched a barrage of 37 attack drones against Kiev, Odessa, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Vinnytsia, Zhytomy, Cherkasy, and Kherson, and all Iranian-type Shahed drones were shot down by the air defense.

Russia is capitalizing on Ukraine's depleted resources on all fronts. Even though they have received military aid from the United States, many Ukrainian units have been weakened. Ukraine is facing the challenge of thinning out their troops and recruiting new soldiers. Russia is applying pressure to several regions.

This information could not be corroborated, but Russia claims to have intercepted nine US ATACMS missiles above the Russian-occupied Crimea during the night. Additionally, an enemy drone was shot down, announced the Ministry of Defense in Moscow on Telegram. Three other drones were intercepted and destroyed above the Russian region of Belgorod near the border, and an additional 57 were downed above the Krasnodar region.

Ukraine Update:

Every morning, the Ukrainian army shares information on Facebook about the number of Russian soldiers killed or wounded the previous day. Yesterday (Saturday), there was a loss of 1,210 soldiers, bringing the total Russian losses in the war to 492,290 soldiers. The Ukrainian army also claims to have destroyed 16 tanks and 35 armored vehicles. This data cannot be verified.

Russian Pressure on Chassiv Yar:

The Russian invasion forces are intensifying their efforts to capture the strategically important city of Chassiv Yar in the eastern region of Donetsk. The think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believes that Russia wants to force Ukraine to withdraw troops from the area around Chassiv Yar with a new offensive in the Kharkiv region. The ISW analysis also suggests that Russia is continuing to advance in Kharkiv.

The ISW mentions a demand made by former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who wants the planned "buffer zone" in Ukraine to encompass the entire country. Medvedev, who is Deputy Head of the Russian Security Council and a hardliner in Putin's circle, made this demand, which implies that the alleged "buffer zone" is just a thinly veiled justification for Russia's long-held intention to subjugate the whole of Ukraine.

Drone Incident in Southern Russia:

In the southern Russian city of Slavyansk-na-Kubani, a drone crashed onto the site of an oil refinery, according to the authorities in the Krasnodar region. There was a "local fire," but no casualties or damage were reported. Ukraine has been targeting refineries in Russia for some time now.

Danone Leaves Russia:

French dairy giant Danone has completed the sale of its Russian business to a businessman with ties to Chechnya after 30 years in the country. According to the Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform, the dairy company Vamin Tatarstan, owned by businessman Mintimer Mingasov, had previously agreed to pay 17.7 billion roubles (180 million euros) to take control of Danone's Russian business. Experts estimate the real value to be up to 80 billion roubles. In July last year, Yakub Zakriyev, a nephew of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, was appointed as the new head of Danone's Russian subsidiary.

Explosions in Crimea:

There have been reports of explosions on the Russian-occupied Black Sea peninsula of Crimea during the night. The air defenses in Sevastopol have reportedly repelled a missile attack, but no damage was inflicted on the civilian infrastructure, according to the Crimean governor appointed by Moscow.

Drones Attacks in Ukraine:

Russia is conducting massive drone attacks in Ukraine overnight. The areas affected include Kiev, Sumy, Vinnytsia, Cherkasy, Mykolaiv, and Odessa. Explosions have been heard in many places. An air raid alert was previously issued in large parts of the country. No information about damage or casualties is available so far.

Shelling in Kharkiv Region:

According to Ukrainian reports, civilians were shot at during the night in two towns in the north-eastern region of Kharkiv. The Ukrainian Public Prosecutor's Office is investigating the Russian airstrike on a residential area in the regional capital, Kiev, as a possible war crime. Six civilians, including three young people, were injured. Moscow denies deliberately attacking civilians. Since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, thousands of people have been killed and injured.

Germany's Defense Budget Increase:

Reports suggest that the German government wants to significantly increase military aid for Ukraine this year. The Federal Ministry of Defense has announced an additional requirement of 3.8 billion euros for military support. So far this year, the coalition government has allocated 7.1 billion euros for military aid. The extra-budgetary expenditure is expected to be submitted to parliament for approval in June. The Ministry of Finance, led by Christian Lindner, has signaled its approval.

Ukrainian Combat Operations:

The Ukrainian General Staff reports 77 combat operations within 24 hours. Seven of these are still ongoing. "The Russian troops are trying to improve their tactical position," the General Staff says in a statement on their Telegram channel. The Ukrainian army has conducted four attacks to drive the Russians out of occupied positions.

At 22:25, a Ukrainian aviation hero sadly passed away during a combat mission. Lieutenant Colonel Denys Vasyliuk was an admirable individual who had been honored with the "Order of Valor" for his personal bravery and heroism. The 831st Tactical Aviation Brigade, where he served, shared this information on their Facebook page. He held two significant positions in this organization, as chief of staff and deputy commander of an aviation squadron. The brigade has now shared that this dedicated pilot tragically lost his life "recently" while on a mission. Unfortunately, no further details about his death have been disclosed. Thus far, there has been no official statement released by the Ukrainian air force.

At 21:57, during an event in Cannes, Polish director Patryk Vega presented a biopic about Russian President Vladimir Putin. The film features a deep fake version of Putin created with the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI). The plot was ambitiously envisioned with a happy ending, but sadly, Putin passing away was part of it. While Vega tried to contact Putin to gauge his interest in appearing in the film, he specified jokingly. Since Putin was unavailable, the director decided to use AI to create an AI-generated version of the president. The technology involved needed 20,000 high-resolution pictures to function properly, which they could not obtain from the available footage. Therefore, Vega developed a new system that leverages AI to generate a life-size look-alike of any actor. Putin's expressions, mannerisms, and features can be seen in the movie, from his typical authoritarian stance to scenes of him at a desk and playing the piano. The results are astonishing. This marks the first film to make use of this technology, which can showcase Putin in a way the real-life Putin could not.

21:35 Taiwan's Foreign Minister, Joseph Wu, candidly describes how Ukraine's war influences Taiwan's destiny in an interview with the Kyiv Independent. He considers the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a wake-up call for Taiwan. If Ukraine falls to Russia, Taiwan could potentially become the next target for conflict. Even after two years, Wu deems that Taiwan's future is inextricably linked to the outcome of the war in Ukraine. If Russia is triumphant in Ukraine, politicians from various sides expect Beijing to attempt the "reunification" of the mainland with Taiwan using force.

A snapshot from the AI-controlled biopic

Read also: