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Ukraine Updates: Over 22,000 Killed in Mariupol, Russia Tightens Its Grip on Donbas

Ukraine Updates: Over 22,000 Killed in Mariupol, Russia Tightens Its Grip on Donbas

“They are simply erasing Severodonetsk from the face of the earth.”

Day 90 of the full-scale invasion.

The death toll in Mariupol is over 22,000. Something tells me that won’t be the final number.

I guess former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger will be happy to hear that Ukrainian forces retreated from Svitlodarsk.

In short: It’s all about Donbas.

Russia: You’ll Get Food if You Lift Sanctions

Who needs nuclear weapons when you can use food for leverage? Russia has a grip on areas around Ukraine’s ports, holding food hostage:

Russia has called for the lifting of sanctions that were imposed over its invasion of Ukraine as part of a “comprehensive approach” aimed at averting a global food crisis.

Ukraine is one of the world’s top grain exporters but it has built up vast stockpiles that it is unable to send abroad due to a Russian blockade of its ports.

The Kremlin’s Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said Russia was ready to provide a humanitarian corridor that would allow ships a safe route out of Ukraine – if sanctions were lifted and Kyiv de-mined nearby waters.

Yesterday, the European Union accused Russia of using food supplies as a weapon with global repercussions.

Earlier, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said food prices worldwide would keep going up while the impasse continued.

Easy Russian Citizenship for Those in Southern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to make it easier for those in southern Ukraine to gain Russian citizenship.

The Russians occupy Kherson. The order also goes to those in Zaporizhzhia, which is still under Ukraine’s control. Russia has control of surrounding areas though.

Russia has been attacking Zaporizhzhia:

Ukrainian authorities say two areas of the major southern city of Zaporizhzhia were struck by Russian missiles early this morning, leaving one person dead and three others wounded.

Four missiles were reportedly fired just after 05:00 local time (03:00 BST) and one was intercepted, in what is being seen as the biggest attack on the city. The regional administration says a shopping centre and at least 62 homes were damaged in the strike.

Much of Russia’s offensive is centred on eastern Ukraine, but Russian forces are in control of part of the big Zaporizhzhia region, including the big nuclear power station on the southern bank of the Dnipro river.

Ukrainian officials say Russia has gathered three of its battalion tactical groups at Vasylivka around 50km (30 miles) south of Zaporizhzhia but it is not yet clear whether they plan to launch an offensive on the city.


Will the outcome in Donbas determine Ukraine’s fate? Some officials think so:

The Russian offensive in the Donbas has made significant gains, with Ukrainian officials saying the “fate of the country” could be decided in the ongoing battles.

Moscow’s troops were close to encircling the neighbouring cities of Severodonetsk and Lyschansk, whose capture would give them control of half of the eastern region.

The cities straddle the Siversky Donets river, and Ukrainian forces are heavily dug in after resisting Moscow-backed separatists in the war of 2014.

There were unconfirmed reports Russian forces had cut off the road through which Kyiv has been resupplying its fighters in Severodonetsk.

“Now we are observing the most active phase of the full-scale aggression which Russia unfolded against our country,” Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, a spokesman for the Ukrainian ministry of defence, said.

“The situation on the [eastern] front is extremely difficult, because the fate of this country is perhaps being decided [there] right now.”


This is just awful:

Sergiy Gaidai, governor of the eastern region of Lugansk, has said Russian forces were bombarding the industrial city of Severodonetsk with air strikes, rockets, artillery and mortars in an effort to solidify control over the province and move further into Ukraine.

“The situation is very difficult and unfortunately it is only getting worse. It is getting worse with every day and even with every hour,” Mr Gaidai said in a video on Telegram.

“The Russian army decided to completely destroy Severodonetsk.”

He added: “They are simply erasing Severodonetsk from the face of the earth.”


Ukrainian forces have retreated from Svitlodarsk, a contested town in eastern Donbas.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk regional military administration, confirmed the news. He also said it looks bleak in Lyman, which is located in the northern Donetsk region:

“About 10,000 civilians remain in occupied Svitlodarsk,” Kyrylenko said. “No more than 30% of the population left the city. Today, May 24, the Russian army entered Svitlodarsk in the Donetsk region. Russian flags have already been hoisted there.”
According to Kyrylenko, Svitlodarsk had been surrounded on three sides, and that the city had not been under intense shelling, so much of the civilian population remained.

“This is not a retreat [of the Armed Forces of Ukraine], but a regrouping,” he said. “This is the right and logical decision in this situation to save the lives of [the military] and regroup.”

Pro-Russian Telegram channels showed images of the Russian flag being hoisted over the city administration building in Svitlodarsk.

Kyrylenko also described the situation as “very difficult” in Lyman, a city further north in Donetsk region.

“It’s now under constant fire,” he said. “The enemy entered the territory of the Lyman community a long time ago. Their main goal is to take the centre of the community of Lyman. The estuary is now partially under control, they enter, then they are kicked out, heavy artillery drives in, and tanks enter the outskirts of the city to conduct shelling and occupy the entire center and the entire Lyman community. The situation there is now one of the tensest along the entire front line, along with Avdiivka.”

Mariupol Deaths

Petro Andriushchenko, the advisor to the Mariupol mayor, told CNN at least 22,000 Mariupol residents lost their lives as Russia attacked the port city nonstop for weeks:

“Mariupol is now a city of ghosts,” an adviser to the mayor of the ruined Ukrainian port city said Tuesday.

Speaking to CNN’s Melissa Bell, Petro Andriushchenko — who has fled to Ukrainian held territory — said that Mariupol town hall officials believe that at least 22,000 residents of the city were killed during three months of war — a figure that cannot be independently supported, with the free press now unable to get access to the city and those still inside too scared to speak openly.

The figure of 22,000 is based, Andriushchenko said, on the many contacts he and other town hall officials continue to have with officials trapped inside. But he believes the actual figure could be much higher.

Andriushchenko said that the process of reburying the dead has been complicated by Russian official insistence that reclaimed bodies be brought to a morgue and that a person claiming a body must agree to record a video in which the applicant says the deceased was killed by the Ukrainian military.

Andriushchenko said that, based on the information gathered from his network of sources, Mariupol tonight is a city thrown back to the Middle Ages.

“It is absolutely dark inside the city. The only lights are from Russian troops and Russian patrols,” he said. “Everywhere it’s the smell of death and the smell of fire.”

The mayor’s adviser said his contacts paint a picture of a city in the grips of a humanitarian catastrophe with very little contact to the outside world. Mobile phone connections are only just beginning to be re-established.

He said residents are unable to move freely, with special passes needed for any movement within the city and a filtration system keeping them from fleeing altogether.


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taurus the judge | May 25, 2022 at 8:38 am

Yeah, Russia is losing badly and Putin has no clue and all that false propaganda.

As I have tried to tell people, don’t buy into the false propaganda.

Russia has been in control of this from day 1 and that will not change. ( barring a full WWIII response).

The UK does not have a chance and never did- this has been one big psyop for reasons yet to be determined.

Putin’s definition of victory ( or specific military goals) still remain a mystery and all we hear is biased speculation.

And yes, Putin has been “exercising” ( troubleshooting) his military- just as we have done with ours over the last few decades. It was never “out of control”.

Are there violations of the law of war and war crimes and other atrocities being committed by both sides?- you couldn’t convince me otherwise that they are ( and probably in vast quantities)

That’s the morning SITREP

    AnAdultInDiapers in reply to taurus the judge. | May 25, 2022 at 3:38 pm

    Sorry but you keep posting and have yet to provide any evidence to support your curious assertions.

    For instance, if Russia has been in control of this from day 1 then why have they lost a third of their invasion force?
    Why did they expend so much effort and so much material trying – and failing – to take Kiev?
    Why are they now deploying T62 tanks that should’ve been melted down for scrap forty years ago?

    These are simple questions, I’m sure you’ll have no trouble providing straightforward answers.

      taurus the judge in reply to AnAdultInDiapers. | May 26, 2022 at 8:24 am

      aww, my poor little no combat, no experience REMF is whining.

      You put forth a straw man argument that would require me literally being a member of the Russian O-Plan team to answer in order to build a smokescreen big enough for you to hide behind.

      Sadly ( for you) I CAN address them reasonably accurately from commonly known Soviet Doctrine.

      Here they are:

      You>>>For instance, if Russia has been in control of this from day 1 then why have they lost a third of their invasion force?

      You wouldn’t know this obviously because you have never actually done anything but the correct military term for the force is “expeditionary” force. (Invasion is the mission- the force proper is tooled for initial contact)

      Not significantly different than Normandy and others. The initial contact is full of unknowns and depending on intel there may be several scenarios playing at one ( cant prepare for them all- too much logistics in too little time). Then there are always “surprises”. Higher than normal casualties in this type of contact is normal and expected.

      You>>>Why did they expend so much effort and so much material trying – and failing – to take Kiev?

      Urban combat is always slower and more extensive than a rolling hill engagement- look at Stalingrad or Leningrad or even Berlin. They followed what is known as standard Soviet doctrine and the losses are well within what the Soviets are known to sacrifice to achieve an objective. You obviously don’t grasp that because that part was cut from “Call of Duty” so I doubt you even know that type of thought even exists.

      You>>> Why are they now deploying T62 tanks that should’ve been melted down for scrap forty years ago?

      Because they are in their inventory and available. In case you are not aware, the 62 is a very formidable tank ( granted obsolete by modern MBT standards) and due to its characteristics is reasonably well suited to mechanized operations moreso that the much heavier MBT’s. Even the M-4 Sherman remained in active service (many with different main guns) into this century. These older tanks ( properly maintained) don’t “rot” like a tomato and still retain combat effectiveness in various scenarios.

      The Mujahedeen inflicted heavy damage on the Russians with WWI bolt actions.

      Then again, you wouldn’t know any of this because you have never actually done anything but play videos and thumb type so listen to those of us who do know and learn.

      Yes they were simple and I hope that was straightforward and specific enough for you. I can make it simpler if you didn’t understand what I wrote.

It is difficult for the Western mind to process Russia’s way of war. The Enlightenment age did not make it to Russia. Russia is willing to claim a win over territory that is nothing more than smoldering rubble, won by no concern for casualties among its own military and certainly no concern for civilian casualties of any kind.

    taurus the judge in reply to Whitewall. | May 25, 2022 at 9:07 am

    No its not difficult at all. We not only saw it but experienced it from WWII, and to a lesser extent Korea and Nam. (China is the same way- don’t believe otherwise) We KNEW it to be true and prepared foreign policy and military training accordingly.

    The problem is that “The greatest generation” did such a good job of keeping them in check by preparation to deliver of overwhelming force that the worthless ones of today have created a false perception that the “world” holds the same values they do.

    The result is our managed weakening.

      CommoChief in reply to taurus the judge. | May 25, 2022 at 9:50 am

      True. The space created in the wake of overwhelming success in WWII allowed the west the room to make major errors in judgement. The military was was cut not just in proportion to the end of a world war by trimming the fat but gleefully into the bone. The shock of Korea laid bare the folly of a lack of training budget. Soldiers who hadn’t even qualified with a weapon Duncan to no training budget were pulled out of fat city garrison duty in Japan, rushed to Korea and died in vain because of our establishment leaders folly.

      Philosophically many in the west were, quite correctly, focused on restarting their lives put on hold by the mass mobilization of WWII. Successive generations were harmed by the infiltration of effete ideas into our institutions. The red scare, the ill fated Goldwater campaign were the only bumps in the road for a growing chorus of what Ambassador Kirkpatrick called ‘the blame America first crowd’.

      Today we have a largely bifurcated society with a dwindling number of people who have real world, practical life skills and a growing number who have zero skills or despite impressive credentials don’t actually produce tangible goods. These knowledge workers or laptop class haven’t faced real adversity in their lifetime. They don’t fix or repair they ‘call a guy’ to have it done. This group together with the large underclass dependant upon the largesse of Uncle Sugar and a growing bureaucracy of govt employees are largely insulated from economic realities of the marketplace and the the general uncertainties the rest of us face. Their paycheck didn’t stop in the corona mania lockdown. They are ‘essential’.

      In sum, simply look around today in your daily life. If the lights went out today and stayed out how many of the people you know would you draft onto your team tasked to rebuild? How many have any worthwhile practical skills? How many have ever faced and triumphed over true challenges or adversity? How many have the psychological mindset to subordinate their individual desires to the well-being of the group?

      I would speculate that for most of us the answer is not very many. The victory of the west in WWII, especially in the US, created the false perception shared by far too many that the world is one big happy interconnected community. A fantasy that because we think, believe and act in certain ways that these values are universal. Real life isn’t the same as a Benetton advert, no matter how many intersectional lectures about diversity, equity and inclusion we are subjected to.

        Whitewall in reply to CommoChief. | May 25, 2022 at 10:09 am

        God help us if America ever takes the looming ‘next step’ from our current Cold Civil War to the next step of an actual hot one with something more than words flying. Advanced societies don’t look or do so well in this scenario.

    Whitewall in reply to Whitewall. | May 25, 2022 at 9:16 am

    Some truth in that. Also, during WW2, there was no live tv bringing war and casualties to our nightly news. If media available now was available then, WW2 and Korea might have turned out different. The public has little appetite for that kind of imagery.

      thad_the_man in reply to Whitewall. | May 25, 2022 at 10:52 am

      The US had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the war by tricking Japan into attacking at Pearl Harbor. There was great rewsistance eto entering the war, check out for example Joseph Kennedy .

        Whitewall in reply to thad_the_man. | May 25, 2022 at 4:43 pm

        I think most democracies are slow to go to war and have to spend a long time selling the public if not fooling the public. The nature of a democracy. Especially a super power.

        Barry in reply to thad_the_man. | May 25, 2022 at 8:29 pm

        “…by tricking Japan into attacking at Pearl Harbor.”

        Some trick. And those stupid Japs fell for it.

        Nuts, absolutely nuts.

        The Japs were butchering and raping every thing in Asia. We decided not to help them with supply’s. That was the “trick”.

    thad_the_man in reply to Whitewall. | May 25, 2022 at 10:47 am

    To quote Blackkadder ( on how WWI started”. “George, the British Empire spans a quarter of the global while the German Empire consists of a small sausage factory in Tanganyika. I hardly think we can be absolutely absolved on the imperialistic front. ”

    ** cough cough **Iraq, shock and awe.

I would point out that the last few days are demonstrating the contrast in Russian actions now v the early weeks. The restraint on the part of Russian forces early on in targeting and in their overall prosecution of their strategy was uncharacteristic of them. The Russians have almost always relied on the military principle of mass; particularly so in use of artillery to destroy not only troop formations but to crush morale. If you’ve never been on the receiving end of artillery, mortar and rocket fire day in and day out it’s difficult to understand the psychological impact it has.

The images emerging now show just how much coordinated effort went into creating a widespread (false) narrative that Russian forces were engaged in deliberate, wanton destruction and indiscriminate, ruthless acts at the beginning and early stages of their campaign. In fact, the current images demonstrate the complete opposite by clearly showing what more/less unrestrained warfare truly look like. Brutal, relentless, unforgiving and ultimately very effective.

Why is LI still just copy pasting overtly propagandistic sources?

These are sources that literally called a formal surrender “evacuation”, had been actively declaring the Dunbass offensive had failed.

I and others have suggested sources that aren’t pro-Russian or pro-Ukrainian and are handling the situation in an honest way, why are propaganda outlets like CNN and the BBC considered the gold standard for the war in Ukraine here (but apparently not on any other topic especially not on a topic Republicans are involved in)?

taurus the judge | May 25, 2022 at 11:26 am

@ Diaper,

Do you have anything to add?

Is there any more REMF “front line expertise” on how weak and ineffective the wussy Russian Army is and how out of touch Putin is?