Russian soldier pleads guilty to war crimes

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Created: 05/18/2022, 7:24 p.m

Von: Tobias Utz, Nail Akkoyun


The Russian army suffers heavy losses from guerrilla attacks in the Ukraine war. The morale of the troops should continue to fall: the news ticker.

+++ 7 p.m.: A Russian soldier is on trial before a Kiev district court on charges of murder and “violating the laws and customs of war” under Article 438 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code. On Wednesday (May 18, 2022), the 21-year-old soldier pleaded “full” guilty and faces a life sentence.

According to the report, the accused and four other soldiers were traveling in a stolen vehicle when they saw an unarmed civilian who they believed wanted to inform the Ukrainian armed forces about them via mobile phone. “Under the impression (…), one of the soldiers ordered the accused to kill the civilian,” said the prosecutor.

A Russian soldier sits in a glass booth during a court hearing in Kyiv. He is on trial in Ukraine for the killing of an unarmed civilian. © Efrem Lukatsky/dpa

The accused fired several well-aimed shots from the rear window of his car with a Kalashnikov rifle, which hit the victim in the head. “The victim died of fractured skulls after the five soldiers left the scene,” the prosecutor said. After several days of hide-and-seek, the group finally surrendered to local residents, the prosecutor added. The hearing was adjourned to Thursday because of the excessive media interest.

Russia admits “mistakes” and heavy casualties in Ukraine war: “Now everything is going according to plan”

+++ 5 p.m.: Russia has surprisingly once again acknowledged heavy casualties and mistakes in the Ukraine war. Most recently, Vladimir Putin did so in his speech on May 9, the “Day of Victory” over Nazi Germany. On Wednesday (May 18), Deputy Secretary of the National Security Council Rashid Nurgaliyev said: “Despite all the difficulties, the military special operation will continue to the end.” The “special operation” in Ukraine will continue, despite European arms deliveries. All “tasks – including demilitarization and denazification and the protection of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics – will be fully implemented,” said the former Russian Interior Minister.

Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Russian republic of Chechnya and new controller of the city of Mariupol, also stressed that there were “mistakes” at the start of the invasion at the end of February. “In the beginning there were mistakes, there were some shortcomings, but now everything is 100% according to plan,” Kadyrov said at a political forum on Wednesday.

Ammunition seized in a village in the Kyiv region liberated by Russian occupiers.
Ammunition seized in a village in the Kyiv region liberated by Russian occupiers. © Ukrinform/dpa

+++ 12.30 p.m.: Russia has to accept the loss of other high-ranking military personnel in the Ukraine war. At least that’s what the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claims. Accordingly, several officers of the Russian army fell in the area around Melitopol. They were victims of guerrilla attacks. The Kremlin is trying to “conceal the situation there,” according to a Ukraine situation report.

+++ 10.00 a.m.: Apparently, the Russian army has considerable difficulties in compensating for the heavy losses in the Ukraine war. The morning situation report from the UK Ministry of Defense said the military was lacking in troop levels and supplies: “The combat deployment of such diverse personnel demonstrates Russia’s significant resource problems in Ukraine and is likely contributing to a fragmented command that continues to hamper Russian operations.” The report is based on an assessment by British intelligence. However, the information cannot be independently verified.

Ukrainian artillery inflicts heavy casualties on Russia

+++ 9.30 a.m.: Ukraine’s artillery appears to be inflicting heavy casualties on the Russian army. This is reported by the US news channel CNN. A video shows a Russian military pontoon bridge coming under heavy fire. Up to 70 military vehicles are said to have been destroyed in the Bilohorivka area north of Donetsk.

+++ 08.45 a.m.: Josep Borrell, EU foreign policy chief, has spoken of “impressive losses” by the Russian army in the Ukraine war. “If it’s true that Russia has lost 15 percent of its troops since the war began, that’s a world record for casualties for an army invading a country,” Borrell said after a meeting of EU defense ministers in Brussels.

Russia suffers losses – Ukraine reports shooting down of drones and fighter jets

Update from Wednesday, May 18, 06:15: Ukraine’s air defense reports successful kills in the war with Russia. According to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, at least 11 unmanned drones were shot down within 24 hours. Its own armed forces also managed to destroy a Russian SU-25 fighter jet. This is reported by several news portals, referring to an announcement by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. However, the information about Russia’s losses in the Ukraine war cannot be independently verified. Russia itself provides little or no information on this.

Ukraine war: Russia runs out of missiles

Update from Tuesday, May 17, 10:00 p.m.: Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, precision-guided missiles have been a weapon of choice for the Russian armed forces. However, the Russian tactics of the first months of the war meant that, according to Western analysts, the Russian stocks of precision weapons are now severely depleted.

“There are no more long-range cruise missile salvos and almost no Iskander strikes,” independent military analyst Pavel Luzhin told The Moscow Times. A US official told journalists in a briefing earlier this month that Russia has “stockpile problems with precision-guided ammunition.”

These reports are corroborated by a shift in Russian tactics, particularly the increased use of conventional unguided bombs, most notably in the port city of Mariupol. This also means that Russian fighter jets have to fly very low to hit targets, which in turn makes them vulnerable to portable air defenses.

Ukraine war: Setback at Luhansk – Russian losses “are high”

First report from Tuesday, May 17, 5:00 p.m.: MOSCOW – Almost three months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ukraine war is still undecided. Attempts by the Kremlin, the Ukrainian capital Kyiv to take, failed. In general, the Russian army is struggling with problems in many places and is making difficult progress. The army leadership under Russia’s head of state Vladimir Putin is currently focused on the east and south of the country.

As reports mount of the Russian troops’ declining morale, a General of Putin meanwhile even wounded Russian soldiers get executed. In addition, according to information from the Ukrainian secret services, more and more Russian soldiers are deserting.

Ukraine war: Russia’s losses are increasing – also in the east of the country

According to the Ukrainian military, they have thrown back Russian troops in front of the city of Sievjerodonetsk in the east of the country. “Near the village of Syrotyne, the Russian conquerors suffered losses and retreated,” the General Staff said in its situation report on Tuesday (May 17). Syrotyne is four kilometers south of Sievjerodonetsk. The Russian troops were also unsuccessful in several other directions.

The governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajdaj, also reported heavy fighting in the area around the city. In the suburbs of Girske and Zolotoye, several houses were destroyed by artillery shells. But the Russian troops would have had to withdraw there too. “Enemy casualties are high,” Hajdaj wrote on his Telegram channel. The information could not be checked independently.

According to Ukrainian information, the number of Russian soldiers killed is now around 27,900. 1,235 tanks, 167 attack helicopters and 201 fighter jets were also destroyed. In addition, there are currently around 1,000 Russian soldiers in Ukrainian captivity. (nak/tu with AFP/dpa)

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