At the grand Strategic level, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has confirmed Russia will announce general mobilization on May 9th.
Ukraine has said it is ready if Belarus joins Russia’s war. Belarus said that it started large-scale drills on May 4th to test its combat readiness, while local residents reported spotting columns of military vehicles moving in the direction of Ukraine and Lithuania.
Retired Russian soldiers between the ages of 40 and 60 have reportedly offered contract jobs to “administer” different areas of Ukraine now under Russian occupation. This is indicative of Russia’s military manpower shortages and plans to remain in Ukraine for years to come.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday that the Russian military would consider NATO transport carrying weapons in Ukraine as targets to be destroyed.
Russia’s strike against Ukraine’s Western city of Lviv last night was aimed at slowing down railroads in an effort in interrupt efforts to resupply the military.
On the ground, Russian and Belarusian forces continue “demonstrative actions” to fix Ukrainian forces around Kyiv in place.
Ukrainian forces are ousting Russian troops from a string of villages that were used to strike Kharkiv.
Russia is continuing to partially blockade the heavily hit city of Kharkiv. Russian shelling intensified in Kharkiv and Kharkiv Oblast, targeting residential areas.
For the Russian forces the decisive terrain in east Ukraine is the convex line running from Izium through Siverskyi Donets to the Severondontsk Salient. It is here that Russia must win through or face likely defeat.
Russian forces attacking south of Izyum appear increasingly unlikely to successfully encircle Ukrainian forces in the Rubizhne area. Ukrainian forces have so far prevented Russian forces from merging their offensives to the southeast of Izyum and the west of Lyman, Slovyansk, and Kramatorsk.
Russia’s paramilitary Wagner Group is operating in Ukraine’s Donbas and recruiting foreign fighters from Syria and Libya.
Russia is regrouping its troops and building up its logistics to try and seize the whole Donetsk and Luhansk Oblast.
Cherkasy, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia are reporting explosions.
Shelling continued in much of the Donetsk and Luhansk region overnight and this morning, with some shelling south of Kharkiv and near Zaporizhia and Kherson.
Ukraine said Russian planes continued to launch air attacks on Mariupol, focusing on the Azovstal steelworks.
Ukrainian officials have lost all ability to contact the remaining soldiers and civilians at Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant.
Russia plans to hold military parade in Mariupol on May 9th. The Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate reported that Russia is conducting “preparations for the parade,” by cleaning central streets from debris, unexploded ordnance and removing the bodies of those killed.
Mykolayiv was struck several times today from the air.
Russia aims to occupy the whole Kherson Oblast and create favorable conditions to attack the cities of Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih. Russia is strengthening artillery and air defense units in Zaporizhzhia, Kryvyi Rih and Mykolaiv areas.
Odesa continues to be on high alert after reports of Russian Special Operations Forces Reconnaissance in the region, missile strikes and another increase in Russian Naval activity spotted off the coast.
Brigadier General Joseph E. Hilbert of 7th US Army training command said, Ukrainian troops took American military training “to heart,” building an effective NCO corps and simulations for large-scale combat. “The worst thing the Russians did was give us eight years to prepare.”