May 20,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 817

Russian attacks against Ukraine kill 12, injure 55 over past day

In the past 24 hours, Russian attacks on Ukraine have resulted in the deaths of at least 12 civilians and the injury of at least 55 others. The majority of the casualties occurred in the Kharkiv Oblast, where 12 people were killed and 40 were wounded. 

A double missile strike by Russian Iskander-M missile systems in the northern outskirts of Kharkiv claimed the lives of six individuals, including a pregnant woman. It wounded 28 others, including two medics. Additionally, a missile strike on the village of Novooosynove in Kupyansk district killed two people and injured five, while another strike on the village of Kivsharivka in the same district resulted in three deaths and four injuries. 

There were also reported incidents in Kharkiv and Vovchansk, where two women were injured, one man was wounded and another killed, respectively. 


Symbolic number of the Day


The Ukrainian military has announced that it successfully shot down all 29 drones launched by Russian forces in an overnight attack. Sixteen drones were shot down over the southern part of the Mykolaiv Oblast, resulting in damage to a private house and a fire. Additionally, three drones were shot down over the western part of the Lviv Oblast, but no damage was reported. The attack also targeted the Odesa and Poltava Oblasts with drones, while the Kharkiv Oblast was attacked with an Iskander-M ballistic missile. Recently, Russia has escalated its use of drones and missiles in attacks against Ukraine, causing significant damage to the country’s energy infrastructure. Ukrainian forces have successfully shot down all 90 Shahid drones launched by Russia over the past week, according to the Defense Ministry’s spokesman.


War in Pictures


Russian military personnel launched a missile attack on the city of Izyum in the Kharkiv Oblast, targeting the historic Palace of Culture and causing significant damage. The attack occurred during the night of May 19-20 and an Iskander missile is believed to have been used. The Kharkiv Oblast Prosecutor’s Office and police investigators are conducting a thorough investigation to document the war crimes committed by the Russian military. A pre-trial investigation has been initiated under the supervision of the Izium Local Prosecutor’s Office, focusing on the violation of laws and customs of war. The attack on this architectural monument is seen as a significant act of destruction and further evidence of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.


Video of the Day

That night, the Russians attacked Ukraine with “shaheds” for more than six hours in a row. At dawn, a mobile firing group of the Odesa border guard detachment destroyed three kamikaze drones approaching the coast. The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine released video evidence of this. 


ISW report


Ukrainian forces reportedly conducted successful drone strikes against Russian military infrastructure and oil refineries in occupied Crimea, Krasnodar Krai, and Leningrad Oblast on the night of May 18 to 19. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian forces destroyed nine ATACMS missiles over occupied Crimea.

A prominent Kremlin-affiliated Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian forces launched 12 ATACMS against Sevastopol Bay — nine of which Russian forces shot down near Sevastopol and Belbek airfield, and three of which struck a vessel in Sevastopol port. Footage published on May 19 purportedly shows Russian forces attempting to repel Ukrainian drones over the port in Novorossiysk, Krasnodar Krai. Krasnodar Krai Governor Venyamin Kondratyev claimed that Russian air defense suppressed over 10 drones near Novorossiysk and that falling debris caused fires.

Sources in Ukrainian intelligence told Ukrainian outlet Suspilne that Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) and Unmanned Systems Forces conducted successful drone strikes against the Slavyansk oil refinery in Slavyansk-on-Kuban, Krasnodar Krai and against the Kushchyovskaya airfield in Krasnodar Krai where Russian forces station Su-34, Su-25, Su-27, and MiG-29 aircraft used to conduct strikes in Ukraine. The sources stated that the Ukrainian drone strikes damaged several aircraft at the Kushchyovskaya airfield and several distillation columns at the Slavyansk oil refinery. Slavyanskiy Raion Head Roman Sinyagovsky claimed that six drones fell on the Slavyansk oil refinery, and Krasnodar Krai Operational Headquarters reported that Russian air defense suppressed at least 10 drones over Slavyanskiy and Kushchyovskiy raions.

Ukrainian forces previously conducted successful drone strikes against the Kushchyovskaya airfield in April 2024 and the Slavyansk oil refinery in March and April 2024. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces also destroyed the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s (BSF) Kovrovets Natya-class minesweeper, although it is unclear if Ukrainian forces destroyed the minesweeper near occupied Sevastopol, Crimea, or Novorossiysk, Krasnodar Krai as the BSF has redeployed the majority of its naval assets to Novorossiysk over the past year.

Suspilne also reported on May 19 that its sources within Ukrainian special services stated that Ukraine’s Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) caused explosions at an unspecified number of vertical fuel tanks at the Vyborg oil depot in Leningrad Oblast with three explosive devices. Geolocated footage published on May 18 shows a large fire at the oil depot, although Leningrad Oblast Governor Alexander Drozdenko denied reports that drone strikes caused the explosions and claimed that pyrotechnics caused the explosions near the oil depot.


War heroes


Fighter Ihor Utiuz, with the call sign “Elephant”, died on December 7, 2023, near the village of Verbove, Zaporizhzhia Oblast. During the battle, he shielded his comrades from an enemy drone. The warrior was 27 years old.

Ihor Olehovych was originally from Kyiv. He entered the National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.” In his second year, he dropped out because of a serious injury he received during the Revolution of Dignity. In civilian life, he worked as a rafting instructor and was a boat and kayak rental manager. He was very fond of this business. He dreamed of conquering all the turbulent rivers on all continents.

In the first hours of the Russian invasion, he did not hesitate to return to Ukraine from abroad to voluntarily defend his homeland. He fought as a member of the 78th separate airborne assault regiment “Herts” as an external pilot (operator) of a UAV. He was awarded the medal “For Sacrifice and Love for Ukraine” by the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, as well as numerous certificates and letters of commendation.

“He was the universe for us. Throughout his life, he was a courageous fighter for justice, a loyal friend and fighters-in-arms, a true patriot of independent Ukraine. He had a big heart, open to everyone, and always helped his friends and strangers. No matter what difficult circumstances he found himself in, he always encouraged others and said that everything would be fine,” said Nina Utiuz, the deceased’s mother. 

“His main wish was for our victory in the war. After it, he planned to travel a lot, adjusting his trips so that he could get to football matches. He wanted a peaceful and quiet life with his family in a free and independent Ukraine. He wanted to have children, and he wanted his first child to be a girl. He dreamed of a house far away in the mountains with incredible views. Igor had a goal to create a charity foundation that he would call “White Elephant,” added the bride Yevhenia.

“A man who knew exactly what his life values and principles were. A man who was convinced that small actions can make the world a better place,” said friend Vladislav. Ihor was buried at the Forest Cemetery in Kyiv. The defender is survived by his parents, fiancée, relatives, friends and fighters-in-arms.

*Ihor’s story on the Heroes Memorial – a platform for stories about the fallen defenders of Ukraine.


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