Russia relies on Kalibr-type missiles to disrupt Ukraine counteroffensive

Russia views cruise missiles of the Kalibr type as a key potential for strikes deep inside Ukrainian territory to disrupt the expected counteroffensive, but their stockpile is likely limited, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on May 12.

Overnight on May 9, Russian Black Sea Fleet launched eight SS-N-30a SAGARIS land attack cruise missiles (NATO reporting name of Kalibr) at Ukraine, which, as the ministry wrote, was only the second use of these rockets since March 9.

Until March 2023, the Russian navy often launched Kalibrs to attack Ukraine but then temporarily stopped using them to restore its reserve stocks, reads the ministry's latest intelligence update.

Besides the short-term task of trying to hinder Ukraine's upcoming counteroffensive, Russia reportedly expects Kalibr missiles to perform "an important role in any hypothetical conflict with NATO."

"How to use these scarce and expensive weapons is one of the numerous dilemmas Russian commanders face because the war in Ukraine has gone on much longer than they originally planned for," the update concludes.

Ukraine's Armed Forces have begun "shaping operations" ahead of the long-awaited counteroffensive, CNN reported on May 12, citing a senior U.S. military official and a top Western official.

Shaping, a standard tactic developed before major joint operations, involves attacking targets such as weapons depots, command centers, armored vehicles, and artillery systems to prepare the battlefield for the advancing force.

Defense ministry confirms Ukrainian advance in Bakhmut area

Ukrainian soldiers have advanced two kilometers toward Bakhmut and haven't lost any positions in the area in the past week, Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on May 12.

According to Maliar, Russian troops "failed to implement their plans and "suffered heavy losses of manpower" on the front line. "At the same time, the enemy gives false information about the lack of weapons, which probably aims to justify the real situation," the Ukrainian official added.

She likely referred to Wagner Group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin's recent rant directly blaming Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Staff head Valery Gerasimov for the fighters' deaths, saying that Wagner was being deprived of the ammunition to continue the assault on Bakhmut.

Two were killed, and 22 were injured in Russian attacks against Ukraine over the past day

In the last 24 hours, Russian attacks were reported in nine Ukrainian oblasts – Sumy, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, Luhansk, and Donetsk.

According to local authorities, two civilians were killed, and 22 more were injured in the Russian attacks.

Russian forces used mortars, tanks, artillery, multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), small arms, grenade launchers, anti-aircraft missile systems, drones, and tactical aviation to strike 161 settlements, Ukraine's Defense Ministry media center said on May 12.

According to the media center, 179 infrastructure facilities have been hit.

In Donetsk Oblast, one person was killed in Sloviansk, and 12 more people in the region were wounded, according to Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. Russian attacks against Ukraine's eastern region damaged multiple houses and a school, said Kyrlenko.