Russian attack on Kharkiv killed two

On May 16, a tragic Russian attack on Kharkiv Oblast claimed the lives of two women, as reported by the Kharkiv Oblast Office of the Prosecutor General via Telegram.

In the recent onslaught, Chuhuiv and the village of Hrafske in the Chuhuiv district bore the brunt, leaving three women, aged 69, 81, and 87, injured, according to regional governor Oleh Syniehubov. Additionally, a 72-year-old woman suffered injuries in an assault on the embattled town of Vovchansk.

Tragically, the Office of the Prosecutor General later confirmed the passing of the 87-year-old woman from the village of Hrafske, while the injured victim in Vovchansk succumbed to her wounds.

Furthermore, the attack inflicted damage to essential infrastructure, including a dormitory, clinic, and a residence in the village of Mala Danylivka, causing injuries to four medical personnel.

As Russian forces intensified their offensive operations in the northern regions of Kharkiv Oblast on May 10, both Kharkiv and numerous border settlements have faced relentless bombardment.

Disturbingly, reports indicate that Russian forces are not only targeting civilians but also capturing them and obstructing their evacuation efforts in the besieged northern areas of Vovchansk. Tragic accounts of executions have also emerged.

In response to the escalating violence, a total of 8,779 civilians from Kharkiv Oblast have been evacuated from their homes, as reported by Syniehubov on May 16.

The conflict continues to rage across various sectors, including Kupiansk, Siversk, Kramatorsk, Pokrovsk, and Kurakhove, underscoring the urgent need for humanitarian intervention and cessation of hostilities.

Power outages in Ukraine may last until August - PM`s advisor

During a press conference in Kyiv on May 16, Yurii Boiko, an advisor to Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, delivered concerning news about the duration of power outages in Ukraine, projecting that they may persist until August.

The onset of rolling blackouts on May 15 was necessitated by power shortages stemming from relentless Russian attacks. Ukraine's state-owned energy operator, Ukrenergo, clarified that critical infrastructure would be exempt from these restrictions, while other facilities and residential areas across the nation would experience controlled power cuts distributed evenly.

Boiko emphasized that these conditions, initiated earlier than expected due to a sudden cold spell, could persist until August. He attributed the strain on the power grid to the widespread use of heating devices by citizens.

As a member of the Ukrenergo supervisory board, Boiko anticipates a marginal improvement in electricity supply by August or September, driven by factors such as warmer weather. However, he cautioned that the forthcoming winter would undoubtedly pose significant challenges, with no immediate prospects of fully restoring the generation capacity lost within two months.

Recent intensified missile and drone strikes by Moscow targeting critical infrastructure have exacerbated the situation. Notably, several thermal power plants, including the Trypillia plant, a key electricity supplier to regions such as Kyiv, Zhytomyr, and Cherkasy oblasts, fell victim to these attacks. Moreover, a large-scale assault on May 8 targeted energy infrastructure in Poltava, Kirovohrad, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, and Vinnytsia oblasts, leading to the decommissioning of at least two hydroelectric power plants.

Russia captures shoots civilians in northern Vovchansk

On May 16, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko delivered alarming news, revealing that Russian forces were detaining Ukrainian civilians and obstructing their evacuation efforts in the beleaguered northern sector of Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast.

Klymenko issued a stark warning, stating, "We are witnessing the first instances of civilian executions perpetrated by Russian military personnel," via his Telegram channel.

Confirmation from Ukraine's Defense Ministry on May 15 affirmed the incursion of Russian units into the town's northern territories. However, Ukrainian armed forces reportedly thwarted their attempts to establish a deeper stronghold within Vovchansk.

Klymenko disclosed a tragic incident involving the fatal shooting of a Vovchansk resident by Russian soldiers, as he resisted their commands and endeavored to flee on foot. Law enforcement initiated a criminal investigation citing violations of international humanitarian law.

Additionally, other civilians are reportedly being forcibly detained and confined to underground shelters by Russian forces, according to the minister's statements.

Despite the ongoing conflict, Ukraine's police force persists in evacuating civilians from harm's way, Klymenko asserted.

As of February, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has documented a staggering 30,457 civilian casualties, with 19,875 individuals sustaining injuries, as a direct consequence of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The OHCHR acknowledges that the actual toll is likely higher due to Russia's prohibition on monitoring activities in occupied territories, where civilian losses are anticipated to be most severe, notably in Mariupol.

A U.N. report from last December underscored 142 documented cases of summary executions of Ukrainian civilians by Russian forces, underscoring the gravity of the situation.