The USA fears the Ukrainian counteroffensive will become carnage
The White House predicts that the expected counteroffensive of Ukrainian troops will turn into "carnage".
The Washington Post, citing government sources.
"The rate at which Russian forces are being killed or wounded in Ukraine has spiked in recent months, according to estimates disclosed by the White House this week," the Washington Post says. Since December alone, some 20,000 Russians have been killed in action, and another 80,000 have been wounded.
According to US officials, many of these casualties have occurred in Bakhmut. White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby has said that nearly half of those 20,000 dead Russians are Wagner Group fighters, particularly convicts recruited to the front.
The US has said that such fierce fighting shows that the bloody carnage may become even worse after the start of Kyiv's counteroffensive to retake the occupied territories.
An intelligence leak at the end of February, obtained by the Washington Post, showed that 42,500 Russian soldiers and up to 17,000 Ukrainians have died in combat since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Rob Lee, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute who has closely followed the conflict, said that Russian forces had suffered significant losses during the winter offensive in Vuhledar, Kreminna, Marinka, and elsewhere. "When you’re attacking, you’re typically going to take more casualties," Lee noted.
Given this, he suggests that a Ukrainian counteroffensive may face similar obstacles and increase the number of casualties among Ukrainian soldiers.
Zelenskyy has not spoken to White House about leaked secret documents
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he had no conversations with the White House regarding the large-scale leak of classified US intelligence documents. Zelenskyy called these leaks harmful for both Washington and Kyiv, and it transpires that the Ukrainian president discovered the leak of classified information from the media.
"I did not receive information from the White House or the Pentagon beforehand. It’s definitely a bad story. It is unprofitable for us. It is not beneficial to the reputation of the White House, and I believe it is not beneficial to the reputation of the United States," - said Zelenskiy in the interview partially published by The Washington Post.
According to a US official, Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, discussed the leaks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba during a telephone conversation in April. The publication specified that previously, the dialogue between Blinken and Kuleba was scheduled to discuss a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman also made several calls with her counterparts.
WP writes WP that the leaks have created friction between Ukraine and the United States. In private conversations, Ukrainian officials told the publication that Washington's failure to protect confidential information could lead to Kyiv sharing less intelligence with the United States.
Some documents indicate that the United States is spying on Ukrainian officials, including Zelenskyy. Whether this caused tension and loss of trust between states, Zelenskyy told WP: "I cannot risk our state." He noted that disclosing his feelings is not worth the potential harm to US support for Ukraine's military efforts.
"Where I can speak frankly, I do it. But there are high risks. If it were my war against [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, and there were two of us on the battlefield, I would tell everyone what I think of them. But here, the story is a little different. We are all responsible," Zelenskyy said.
An unnamed White House official told the publication that the Biden administration is "in constant communication with our Ukrainian counterparts about a range of issues, including over the unauthorized disclosures." However, he did not comment on the details of these discussions.
Zelenskyy, who became embroiled in ex-President Donald Trump's first impeachment scandal, said it was not the first time US leaks had complicated his life. He was now more focused on preparing Ukraine to retake Russian-occupied territory.
"I don’t know if it’s a manipulation, an accident, and so on, and why should I? Despite such information movements, I have to prepare the state for de-occupation, not for other steps. And this is my task. Do you remember how our conversation with Trump got out? They printed it. Well, honestly, I didn’t give my permission for that either.," he said.
Commenting on the leaks of classified information, Zelensky told WP that he considers them a "TV show" that may interest some people but ultimately helps Russia at a critical moment.
"Somewhere it’s hype, somewhere it’s a scandal. For us, anything that informs our enemy in advance in one way or another is a minus. I don’t see any advantages here," Zelenskyy said.
At the same time, Zelenskyy refused to confirm or deny the information in the leaks or to answer how sensitive the leak was for Ukraine.
"It is not sensitive. If I answer you, it’s sensitive; it means there are real documents. Please, stop playing games with me. I am the president of a country at war," he said.
Russians prepare provocation on Ukraine's northern border
Russian troops in Bryansk and Kursk oblasts of Russia have received uniforms of Ukrainian defenders and are preparing a provocation on Ukraine's northern border.
Russian servicemen stationed in the Bryansk and Kursk [oblasts] received Ukrainian military uniforms.
This is reported by local[s], cooperating with the Ukrainian underground [resistance]. All these actions indicate that the Russians are preparing a provocation under a false flag to mobilize their society and also to mislead the world society to divert attention from the crimes of the [Russian ] armed forces."
Russians attack Kherson Oblast killing three people, injuring five people
The occupiers attacked the villages of Kizomys and Veletenske in Kherson oblast.
A 28-year-old man died in Veletenske. Four more people were injured and taken to a hospital in Kherson, where they received medical treatment.
Updated: The Kherson Oblast Prosecutor’s Office reported that three locals were killed and five were injured in the attack on several villages in the oblast.
According to the preliminary reports, the occupiers launched artillery and aircraft attacks on civilians. Civil infrastructure facilities were also damaged, including residential buildings, outbuildings, and motor vehicles.
Russian forces launch a missile attack on Zaporizhzhia's civilian infrastructure
The Russian military attacked the city of Zaporizhzhia on the night of 2-3 May, damaging private houses but causing no casualties. Front-line settlements of Zaporizhzhia Oblast were under attack for several hours.
"Peaceful houses in one of the private sectors of the city were again caught in the crosshairs of enemy missiles. As a result of the attack, one house was destroyed, two were badly damaged, and in about 40 houses, windows and roofs were broken. Thank God there were no casualties." reported Anatolii Kurtiev, Secretary of Zaporizhia City Council.