DAY 435

Victory Chronicles
-DAY 435

May 4,2023


Above: Western weaponry is flowing in to be quickly and efficiently incorporated into preparations for counteroffensive.  Today, President Zelensky is in the Hague to address the International Criminal Court.  (Photo: President’s Administration)

Above: UK Ministry of Defence

Above: The CSIS report on Russian equipment losses (see below) uses Oryx’s estimates of visually confirmed enemy losses as the lower bound and the Ukrainian MoD’s daily reporting as the upper bound.  Invaders still have superiority in terms of raw numbers of equipment and weapons. It has been roughly estimated that, as of February 2023, Moscow has 13-15 times more aircraft than Ukraine, 7–8 times more tanks and 4 times more armored fighting vehicles.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies released an assessment of “the overall impact of Western sanctions and allied export regulations on Russia’s defense sector to date, as well as the Kremlin’s ability to overcome them.” Among key findings are:

  • Sanctions create shortages of higher-end foreign components and force Moscow to substitute them with lower-quality alternatives. For now, Moscow’s efforts at state-backed import substitution remain largely unsuccessful.
  • Moscow faces challenges accessing the foreign-made components necessary to produce and sustain a range of weapons systems, from missiles to tanks and aircraft. The US Secretary of Commerce said, “The Russian military is struggling to find spare parts for their tanks, for their satellites, for their rocket-mounting systems,” adding that the international sanctions blocked Russian access to “almost all semiconductors, night-vision goggles, avionics.”
  • The Kremlin must rely on its prewar stockpiles of older equipment and cooperation with countries willing to evade the spirit of sanctions to supply Moscow with restricted dual-use items and technology via a web of illicit supply chains.
  • Moscow works to establish alternative routes through obscure suppliers and multiple land corridors to access restricted foreign components and technologies. This effort has so far proved to be somewhat successful, as imports of dual-use commodities to Russia in 2022 exceeded their prewar levels.  Common pass-through countries cited include Iraq, Bosnia, Serbia,Turkiye, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Kazakhstan.
  • In order to close loopholes in the effort to curtail Moscow’s ability to wage war, the report recommends continued supply of high-end equipment to Ukraine at a faster pace; identify and target illicit networks; tighten imports of dual-use technology to Russian civilian sector entities; terminate grandfathered sales agreements made before sanctions were imposed; created a unified EU sanctions monitoring body.

Above: New Voice of Ukraine sat down with the new president of the new American University Kyiv, located at Poshtova Ploscha in Podil, Kyiv.   Dan Rice is not only the university’s new president but also a West Point graduate, former marine and advisor to General Zaluzhny. Mr Rice said that his title of advisor is deceptive as General Zaluzhny “doesn’t need advice”.  Mr Rice explained that his unexpected journey to Ukraine began when he opened his Florida home to Ukrainian refugees, one of whom had a Kyiv restaurant where the future president gave comedy performances.  Here are some of his key observations:

  • On the state of the Russian military: I’d say the likelihood that the Russian army will collapse continues to increase every day. They’re being degraded to the point that they can’t replace their troops, they can’t recruit, they can’t do another mass mobilization without having the people riot. And they’re losing all of their best equipment and all of their best units and all of their best ammunition. I mean, they’re bringing in T-55 tanks. Those are historical museum pieces.
  • On Bakhmut: Bakhmut is where the Russian army went to die. And I think Putin has continued to make blunder after blunder, violating all the principles of war. He attacked in the wrong month: you don’t attack in February in these conditions.
  • On the Ukrainian counteroffensive: When it comes, it will be a well-planned, well-coordinated attack. Wherever it comes, it will likely break through the Russian lines. And I think that, with the new combat power that Ukraine has, it could be a decisive battle. As to whether Ukraine wins in 2023 or 2024 – it’s anybody’s guess. Prepare for a long war, hope for a short one. But I think there will be a major battle that Ukraine wins decisively.


Above: Screenshot video showing a UFO hitting a dome in the Kremlin compound May 3, above the bleachers going up for May 9.  Russian propaganda media lost no time in making the ridiculous claim that two drones knocking into the dome were staged by Washington through its proxy Ukraine to assassinate their heavily-bunkered leader.  (CNN)

  • Controversially, ISW assessed the May 3 drone strikes on a Kremlin rooftop as a staged false flag to scare Russians into accepting mass mobilization.  The arguments for a staged attack include that it is “extremely unlikely that two drones could have penetrated multiple layers of air defense and detonated or been shot down just over the heart of the Kremlin in a way that provided spectacular imagery caught nicely on camera.”
  • Further, the Kremlin’s immediate, coherent, and coordinated response to the incident is in variance with similar previous incidents wherein there has been disorganization until an agreed narrative is developed. The alarm for public safety would also justify canceling May 9 spectacles, especially if Moscow is short on human and man-made parade props.
  • The Kremlin may be planning to conduct more false flag operations ahead of a Ukrainian counteroffensive in order to increase domestic fear about the war. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on May 2 that Russian forces in Bryansk and Kursk oblasts received Ukrainian uniforms in order to conduct a false flag operation in border areas.

Ukrainian General Staff of the Armed Forces estimated enemy losses since February 24, 2022 (with daily additions)

  • Liquidated personnel, 192,590 (+650)
  • Tanks, 3,707 (+5)
  • Armored personnel vehicles, 7,216 (+17)
  • Artillery systems/MLRS, 2,962/547 (+16/3)
  • Anti-aircraft systems, 304 (+4)
  • Aircraft/helicopters, 308/294 (0)
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles, 2,523 (+18)
  • Cruise missiles, 947 (0)
  • Warships/boats, 18 (0)
  • Vehicles and fuel tanks, 5,886 (+21)
  • Special equipment, 370 (+7)


Above: Strikes on a Epitsentr building materials store in Kherson on Wednesday.  At least 21 civilian fatalities. (Ukrainska Pravda)

Above: The Chernihiv ODA reported 17 explosions on May 3 in populated areas.  Civilian casualties as a result of air strikes on people’s homes. (Radio Svoboda)

Glory to Ukraine!
The 435th day of the Russian large-scale invasion has begun.

  • The Russian Federation continues to disregard the laws and customs of war, and uses terror tactics.
  • On the night of May 4, 2023, the enemy again attacked with “shaheds” from the north (Bryansk region) and from the south – the eastern coast of the Sea of Azov.
  • The invaders used up to 24 “Shahed” attack drones. 18 of these attack UAVs were destroyed.
  • Over the past 24 hours, the enemy launched 2 rocket and 68 air strikes, launched 67 attacks from rocket salvo systems. Civilians suffered, private residential buildings and other civilian infrastructure were destroyed and damaged.
  • The probability of further enemy missile and air strikes on the entire territory of Ukraine remains high.
  • The enemy continues to focus its main efforts on conducting offensive actions in the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiiv and Marin directions – 40 enemy attacks were repulsed. The fiercest battles are fought for Bakhmut and Maryinka.
  • In the Siverskyi and Slobozhanskyi directions: During the past day, artillery and mortars shelled the settlements of Buchka, Chernihiv region; Novovasylivka, Rozhkovichi, Vorozhba, Basivka, Yunakivka, Myropyllya and Zapsilya of the Sumy region, as well as Sotnytsky Kozachok, Guryev Kozachok, Baranivka, Chervona Zorya, Strelecha, Gatishche, Vovchanski Khutory and Mykolaivka in the Kharkiv
  • Kupyansk direction: Topoli, Kamianka, Figolivka, Novomlynsk, Dvorichna, Zapadne, Liman Pershiy, Kislivka, Krokhmalne and Berestov of the Kharkiv region came under enemy fire.
  • In the Lyman direction: Makiivka and Bilogorivka in Luhansk region and Torske, Verkhnyokamianske and Spirne in Donetsk region were subjected to artillery shelling.
  • In the Bakhmut direction, Vasyukivka, Orihovo-Vasylivka, Bakhmut, Ivanovske, Chasiv Yar, Bila Gora, Northern and Southern, as well as New York of the Donetsk region were affected by enemy shelling.
  • In the Avdiyiv direction, the enemy shelled the settlements of Novokalynove, Berdychi, Avdiyivka, Lastochkine, Severna, Tonenke, Karlivka, Netaylove, and Pervomaiske.
  • In the Marinsky direction, Krasnohorivka, Donetsk region, came under fire.
  • In the direction of Shakhtarsk, the enemy shelled the settlements of Vugledar, Bogoyavlenka, Novoukrayinka, Prechistivka, Zolota Niva, and Shakhtarske of the Donetsk
  • In the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson directions: The enemy launched a missile attack on the city of Zaporizhzhia and an air strike on Kizomys, Kherson region. The artillery shelled the settlements of Vremivka, Novosilka, and Novopil of the Donetsk region; Gulyaipole, Mala Tokmachka, Novodanilivka, Orihiv, Novoandriivka and Kamianske of the Zaporizhzhia region; Kapulivka in Dnipropetrovsk region; Red Lighthouse, Tokarivka, Antonivka, Kizomys and the city of Kherson. Civilians died.

Support the Armed Forces! United we will win! Glory to Ukraine!


Above: Kharkiv at sunset. (бродяча кішка по імені Лізка)

  • Russian forces continued limited ground attacks near Kreminna on May 3. Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive operations near Dibrova (5km southwest of Kreminna) and Bilohorivka (10km south of Kreminna).
  • Russian forces have not advanced in “some time” on the Kupyansk-Svatove-Lyman line and are behaving cautiously but maintaining high rates of artillery fire. Russian forces fired over 565 artillery rounds at Ukrainian positions and engaged in 11 combat clashes on this line over the past day


Above: Ukrainian soldiers prepare their ammunition at the frontline positions near Vuhledar, Donetsk region(Western Slope Now)

  • Russian forces continued to make gains in and around Bakhmut as of May 3. Geolocated footage from May 2 and 3 shows that Russian forces advanced closer to the O0506 highway northwest of Khromove (immediately west of Bakhmut) and captured the Bakhmut Medical College in western Bakhmut. Russian forces conducted unsuccessful ground attacks towards Ivanivske (6km west of Bakhmut), Predtechyne 14km southwest of Bakhmut), and Niu York (30km southwest of Bakhmut).
  • Russian forces continued to conduct ground attacks on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line on May 3. Russian forces conducted unsuccessful ground attacks near Sieverne (7km west of Avdiivka), Pervomaiske (11km southwest of Avdiivka), Marinka (27km southwest of Avdiivka), and Novomykhailivka (10km southwest of Donetsk City).
  • Russian forces are increasing preparations for hostilities in rear areas of western Donetsk Oblast. Russian forces are restoring infrastructure, including port infrastructure, necessary to conduct hostilities and circular defense in the Mariupol


Above: (Top) Screenshot of CCTV footage of a different blazing oil refinery in Krasnodar than the one reported yesterday.  Russian propaganda media called it the result of drone attacks. The map shows the locations of refinery fires near the Kerch bridge on Wednesday and on the Black Sea on Thursday.  (The Print)

International Atomic Energy Agency observers have found explosives in the main turbine hall of Russia-occupied Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. The agency told Ukrainian regulators that Russian troops have placed military equipment, weapons, and explosives in the turbine hall of ZNPP’s fourth reactor. These reckless actions by Russian forces pose significant hazards to both personnel of the nuclear power plant and residents of nearby settlements.

Russian forces conducted heavy air and artillery strikes against westbank Kherson Oblast on May 3. Russian troops carried out 110 artillery strikes against areas on the west bank with over 550 shells and struck civilian infrastructure in Kherson City. Russian tactical aviation launched five guided aerial bombs at Kizomys, just west of Kherson City.

Ukrainian forces continued striking Russian concentration areas on the east bank of Kherson Oblast on May 3. Ukrainian troops conducted 100 fire missions against Russian weapons, equipment, and personnel concentrations on the east bank. A local Kherson Oblast Telegram channel posted an image of a pamphlet of unknown origin on the east bank that warns residents to avoid being near positions of the 205th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade in the Nova Kakhovka area due to potential Ukrainian strikes.

Above: Pilot and a Ukrainian MiG-29. (OSINTtechnical)

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