Ukrainian forces still fighting in Bakhmut, Russia brings reinforcements
Ukrainian forces are still fighting in Bakhmut, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported.
"The struggle for dominant heights continues on the flanks – the north and south of the suburbs," Maliar said. "Our fighters do not allow the enemy to gain a foothold there."
She noted that Russian forces are sweeping captured parts of Bakhmut, bringing in further reinforcements and supplies.
"Bakhmut's defense forces are fulfilling their military tasks," Maliar said/ "The offensive potential of the enemy has been significantly reduced, huge losses have been inflicted on the enemy, and we have gained certain actions, which will be discussed later."
Russian governor announces 'counter-terrorist operation' in Belgorod Oblast, claims casualties
Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of Russia's Belgorod Oblast, announced a "counter-terrorist operation" in the region on May 22 amid reported attacks by Russian anti-government groups.
During such operations, the Russian authorities can increase ID checks and law enforcement presence on the streets, forcing locals to leave certain areas, and shut down industrial facilities that use explosive, radioactive, chemically, and biologically dangerous substances.
Earlier the same day, the Russian Volunteer Corps, allegedly fighting on Ukraine's side, claimed its members conducted combat operations in the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine.
A similar group, the Freedom of Russia Legion, said it was "returning home" to Russia and urged Russian citizens not to resist their arrival. Later, the group reported capturing the settlements of Kozinka and Gora-Podol and starting an assault on Grayvoron town in the Belgorod region.
According to Gladkov, three people were purportedly injured in Grayvoron as a result of what he called an attack by a Ukrainian sabotage-reconnaissance group. He claimed two people had been wounded in a strike on a village near Grayvoron.
The Kremlin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, as cited by Russian state-owned news agency TASS that Russia's dictator Vladimir Putin had already been informed of the incident. Peskov added that Russian forces were working to "push out" the "sabotage group" from the region.
Andrii Yusov, a spokesperson for Ukraine's military intelligence, confirmed the operation to Ukrainian news outlet Suspilne, saying it aims "to liberate these territories from Putin's regime and push back the enemy to create a certain security zone for protecting Ukrainian civilians."
Yusov then told CNN that the units that had crossed the border were "part of defense and security forces" in Ukraine, but "in Russia, they are acting as independent entities."
The Ukrainian leadership has "nothing to do" with May 22 events in Belgorod Oblast, according to Mykhailo Podoliak, an advisor to the head of Ukraine's Presidential Office.
Russian May 22 attack on Izium, Kharkiv Oblast, injures child
Russian troops conducted a missile strike on Kharkiv Oblast's city of Izium on May 22, wounding a 10-year-old boy, reported Prosecutor General's Office.
The prosecutors wrote that the Russian attack also damaged residential buildings, outbuildings, and an enterprise.
The report reads that Russian forces launched two Soviet-era S-300 missiles at Izium from Russia's Belgorod Region bordering Ukraine. Ukraine's Armed Forces liberated Izium from Russian occupation in September 2022.
The city and other surrounding areas of Kharkiv Oblast, due to its proximity to the Russian border, have been under constant attack since the start of the full-scale invasion.
According to the Prosecutor General's Office, Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine has killed 482 children and injured 981 more as of May 22, 2023.
Ukraine's military intelligence confirms operation by Russian anti-government groups in Belgorod region
Armed Russian anti-government groups allegedly fighting on Ukraine's side have started a combat operation in Russia's Belgorod Oblast, spokesperson for Ukraine's military intelligence Andrii Yusov reported on May 22.
The operation conducted by the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps aims "to liberate these territories from Putin's regime and push back the enemy to create a certain security zone for protecting Ukrainian civilians," said Yusov.
Russian shelling of Ukrainian border oblasts from the Belgorod region has recently increased, causing "significant damage to civilian infrastructure and casualties among civilians," the intelligence official explained to another Ukrainian media outlet Hromadske.
Earlier the same day, the Russian Volunteer Corps claimed its members conducted combat operations in Russia's Belgorod Oblast, bordering Ukraine. The group published a video on May 22 purporting to show their group's activities in the region and Russia's Bryansk Oblast.
The Freedom of Russia Legion claimed on Telegram that it was "returning home" to Russia and urged Russian citizens not to resist their arrival. Later, the group reported capturing the settlements of Kozinka and Gora-Podol and starting an assault on Grayvoron town in the Belgorod region.
Belgorod Oblast Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov claimed attacks on several settlements in his region, later saying that a Ukrainian sabotage-reconnaissance group had allegedly entered the Grayvoron district.
The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, as cited by Russian state-owned news agency TASS that Russia's Vladimir Putin had already been informed of the incident. Peskov added that the alleged Ukrainian sabotage aimed "to divert attention from the situation in the Bakhmut area."
The Russian Volunteer Corps previously claimed to have conducted attacks on Bryansk Oblast on March 4, claiming the Ukrainian military's support. Kyiv has denied any connection to the group's operations. The Freedom of Russia Legion was founded by a unit of Russian soldiers who claimed to have switched sides shortly before the start of the full-scale invasion in February 2022.