Ukraine War Updates: Moscow Submits to Wagner Demands, Kyiv Claims Downing Hypersonic Missile
“Ukraine’s air force claimed Saturday to have downed a Russian hypersonic missile over Kyiv using newly acquired American Patriot defense systems.”
As Russia’s war on Ukraine rages on for more than 14 months, the conflict increasingly threatens to bring Moscow and U.S.-led NATO alliance into a direct military conflict.
This week, a Russian fighter plane engaged a Polish aircraft over the Black Sea, European media outlets reported Sunday afternoon. According to these reports, a Russian Sukhoi fighter jet on Friday attempted to intercept a Polish transport aircraft operating on behalf of the European Union’s border authority, Frontex.
“A Russian SU-35 jet carried out “aggressive and dangerous manoeuvres” approaching the Polish aircraft without keeping a secure distance, leading to turbulence, loss of altitude and a temporary loss of control of the plane by the Polish crew,” Reuters news agency reported citing official Polish sources.
This is not the first time Russia and Poland have been at loggerheads with each other since the beginning of the Ukraine war. In November 2022, an escalation involving the West was feared when a soviet-made missile landed on a Polish farm, killing two people. The missile turned out to be an errant Ukrainian missile. A military confrontation between Russia and Poland could trigger Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which provides for collective defense if a member nation faces “armed attack” for outside.
Sky News reported the details of the incident:
A European Union border guard aircraft was on patrol over the Black Sea when a Russian SU-35 carried out “aggressive and dangerous manoeuvres”, according to a border guard spokesperson.
The Polish aircraft temporarily lost control after the Russian plane crossed in front of it – just five metres from its nose – leading to turbulence and a loss of altitude, Anna Michalska said.
The Russian jet approached the Polish crew three times before flying away, she added.
Romanian and Spanish combat aircraft were put on standby to intervene, but this did not prove necessary.
The Romanian defence ministry said the behaviour was completely unacceptable and was evidence of Russia’s “provocative” attitude in international airspace over the Black Sea.
Bakhmut: Moscow gives in to Wagner Group’s demands, vows more ammo
Moscow appears to have averted a battlefield conflict after convincing Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of the Wagner mercenary group, to keeps his men in the fight.
On Friday, Prigozhin threatened to pull his fighters from Bakhmut if they were not provided with enough military supplies, signaling infighting between the Wagner chief and the Russian military’s top brass. The Wagner mercenaries have played a central role in the battle for Bakhmut, a strategic town with symbolic value to both Moscow and Kyiv.
Prigozhin wanted the positions abandoned by his mercenaries to Muslim Chechen fighters. “The chief of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner on Saturday asked Moscow to let him hand over his positions in the hotspot city of Bakhmut to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov,” public broadcaster France24 reported.
Germany’s state-run DW TV reported:
The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said the group has been promised more ammunition following a threat he made on Friday to withdraw his forces from Bakhmut due to a lack of support from Moscow.
“They promised to give us all the ammunition and armaments we need to continue the operations,” said Prigozhin, after he earlier criticized Russia’s handling of the battle in Bakhmut in a series of angry video messages.
Sunday’s statement implied Wagner would not fulfill its earlier threat of withdrawing from Bakhmut on May 10. (…)
Prigozhin had threatened to “pull out Wagner units from Bakhmut because in the absence of ammunition they are facing a senseless death.” The pullout was supposed to start on May 10.
Drone wars: Ukraine hits Crimea; Russia launches large-scale strike
As both sides battle for air superiority, Russia and Ukraine remain locked in a drone war.
Russia reportedly staged a large-scale night-time drone strike. “Air raid alerts blared for several hours overnight into early Sunday over roughly two-thirds of Ukraine, with officials saying that air defence systems shot down a number of drones, including one over Kyiv’s airspace,” Reuters reported.
Kyiv tried to hit Russian naval assets around the occupied Crimean Peninsula. “Russia’s air defences detected and destroyed 22 Ukrainian drones over the Black Sea overnight, the country’s defence ministry said on Sunday in a daily briefing,” the France 24 TV channel reported.
Kyiv claims intercepting Russian hypersonic missile
Ukrainian military on Friday claimed to have shot down a Russian hypersonic missile with the U.S. Patriot air defense system.
In May 2022, Russia reportedly introduced hypersonic missiles to the Ukrainian battlefield, first nation to uses the advanced high-velocity ballistic missile. Hypersonic missiles fly five to ten times as fast as the speed of sound, making them very hard—if not impossible—to intercept.
The Associated Press reported Friday:
Ukraine’s air force claimed Saturday to have downed a Russian hypersonic missile over Kyiv using newly acquired American Patriot defense systems, the first known time the country has been able to intercept one of Moscow’s most modern missiles.
Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk said in a Telegram post that the Kinzhal-type ballistic missile had been intercepted in an overnight attack on the Ukrainian capital earlier in the week. It was also the first time Ukraine is known to have used the Patriot defense systems. (…)
Oleshchuk said the Kh-47 missile was launched by a MiG-31K aircraft from Russian territory and was shot down with a Patriot missile.
The Kinzhal is one of the latest and most advanced Russian weapons. The Russian military says the air-launched ballistic missile has a range of up to 2,000 kilometers (about 1,250 miles) and flies at 10 times the speed of sound, making it hard to intercept.
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Great, one step closer to WW3
Hurry, everyone under their desks!
This was genius:
One more drill to add to terrify the elementary kids.
“Children! Dive under your desks! Jimmy, where’s your mask!?!!!”
Weakening Russia and demonstrating the effectiveness of our weapons weakens an entire network of enemy nations and REDUCES the chances of WW3.
Wasting this opportunity and allowing Russia to grow in size, power, and prestige increases the chances of WW3.
Can you go ahead and get Vietnam to do the same thing? Then we could take down China ….at least according to your logic. Gin up another proxy war + send huge % of arms to not even nominal allies to use/sell/keep not that we know what the hell is up with them in Ukraine b/c the establishment neocons keep refusing to demand a completed and passed audit before sending another nickel.
It would have been far better to continue having Russia at arms length from and casting a very wary eye on China across a militarized border. Instead this foolishness has pushed them into a closer working relationship. Particularly their economies which are trading outside the $ and around the sanctions. The same sanctions that Europe evades by continuing to purchase Russian oil/gas but from China and India.
Penny-wise and pound-foolish. Wasting this opportunity is fiscally and strategically irresponsible. If you actually care about spending then target Social Security.
There are accountability measures in place. For example the US military has observers keeping track of things as well as can be expected in a war.
I’ve heard this strategy before on Ben Shapiro’s podcast for example. He thinks that it is a cheap way to remove Russia from the world stage in that they will not be able to stage any military expeditions for decades because of the destruction of it’s armed forces in Ukraine. Interesting thought, I think but not one I think America should be almost wholly funding in Europe.
The entire war represents an appalling failure of NATO, the U.S.’s and Europe’s emasculated and failed deterrence, and, by extension, the emasculated and failed leaders behind them. A credible deterrent and credible leadership prevents such belligerence in deed, if not in word.
No way would Putin have pulled such a stunt if President Trump had been in office. It is not coincidental that both of Putin’s Ukraine incursions have occurred on the watch of narcissist-incompetent, Obama, and, dotard-marionette, Biden.
Despots exploit manifest weakness that is telegraphed by western leaders.
I don’t disagree except to note that Russia didn’t pull out of Crimea while Trump was president, and I don’t recall that he ever mentioned it.
Russia didn’t withdraw under Trump’s tenure, but, that incursion occurred during Obama’s tenure. My point is that no new incursions/belligerent actions took place on Trump’s watch.
And my point was that he didn’t do anything to reverse what happened prior.
“Sufficient unto the day are the problems thereof.”
If Trump had to reverse every one of Obama’s brain farts, he would have used up all eight years.
Do you have a few idea’s on how Trump could have got that done outside of direct military conflict?
“Ukrainian military on Friday claimed to have shot down a Russian hypersonic missile with the U.S. Patriot air defense system.”
Now, I don’t know squat about modern weapons systems, but…
Nine months ago, everybody was talking about Russia and China having new hypersonic missiles, and we had nothing to shoot them down with.
Now we are supposed to believe that we gave the Ukranians something we had, and they shot one down with it?
I’d sooner believe that the Ghost of Kiev disabled a Russian flying saucer with a well-placed yabluchnyk. “Red Five standing by.”
Who, exactly, was saying we “cannot shoot them down?” The Russians? Chinese? US Pundits? Analysts? Retirees? Even, “persons who actually know , but who quite reasonably are not going to give away actual capabilities?”
It’s like those “unstoppable supercavitating torpedos” and the mysteriously non-deployable T-14. Or the Russian and ChiComs supposedly existing 6th-gen stealth super aircraft.
Based on nothing but prior history of Ukrainian propaganda, I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be a kite shot down by a paper airplane.
You may be right. We have difficulty targeting and destroying ballistic missiles, let alone hypersonic cruise missiles.
Once you get low enough, even hypersonic missiles don’t travel very fast.
Prigozhin apparently said that the Kremlin said if the pulled out they would be declared traitors to the Motherland. He gave them a few more days.
The Victory Day parade apparently was rather short with only one T-34 tank