May 21,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 818

Attack on Kharkiv: extensive damage, seven injured

In Kharkiv, Ukraine, debris from a Shahid drone has caused damage and injuries in four different locations. Fires broke out in two residential buildings and a garage as a result of the falling debris, with three people suffering acute stress reactions. Additionally, a minibus was damaged and caught fire due to another piece of debris. In total, 25 trucks and buses were damaged, along with three cars. Seven people were injured, including a 53-year-old civilian who was harmed during a missile attack on a transport infrastructure facility. The State Emergency Service reported a total of five injuries caused by the Russian Shahid shelling. The attacks occurred throughout the night, and while there were no casualties, the damage to property and injuries indicate the impact of the strikes.


Symbolic number of the Day


Ten Ukrainian service members have successfully completed training on maintaining F-16 fighters in the Netherlands. The Netherlands, which has agreed to provide Ukraine with at least 24 F-16 fighters, conducted the training to ensure that the Ukrainian service members are equipped to handle the maintenance of these aircraft. The training covered various critical components of the fighter jet, including helmets, oxygen systems, and onboard parachutes. Additionally, the service members assembled and tested an emergency rescue kit, which includes food and medicine, to assist pilots in surviving for several days after an emergency landing. The purpose of the training was to prepare the service members for any possible risks during F-16 flights, thereby enhancing the protection of Ukrainian pilots. The Ministry of Defense emphasized the importance of well-maintained aircraft and the trust F-16 pilots place in the fighters responsible for maintenance.


War in Pictures


The 92nd Separate Assault Brigade named after Kosh Ataman Ivan Sirko’s public relations service has published a photo report of the artillerymen’s work. “The D-44 field gun in the skillful hands of the Cossacks of the 92nd Separate Assault Brigade named after Kosh Ataman Ivan Sirko works like a clock. Thanks to the precise coordinates of aerial reconnaissance men, the artillery always repels the Russian enemy,” the 92nd Separate Assault Brigade’s public relations service said in a statement.


Video of the Day

The Kraken special forces unit has released a video of Russian assaults on Chasiv Yar. “For several days in a row, every morning, the occupiers have been trying to storm Chasiv Yar with dozens of heavy weapons. Not a single attempt has been successful. And the last one on the video brought us new prisoners who will be exchanged for Ukrainian army servicemen,” the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Kraken unit said in a statement.


ISW report


US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reiterated the White House’s unwillingness to approve Ukraine’s use of US-provided weapons in strikes against military targets in Russia following a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (also known as the Ramstein format) on May 20. Austin stated that the US expects that Ukraine will “continue to use the weapons that [the US] provided on targets inside of Ukraine.”

Austin vaguely noted that “the aerial dynamic is a little bit different,” but stated that he would not speculate further. ISW continues to assess that US and other Western limitations on Ukraine’s ability to strike military targets in Russia have created a sanctuary in Russia’s border areas from which Russian aircraft can conduct glide bomb and missile strikes against Ukrainian positions and settlements and where Russian forces and equipment can freely assemble before entering combat.

These US and Western policies are severely compromising Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against current Russian offensive operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast or any area along the international border where Russian forces may choose to conduct offensive operations in the future. UK Foreign Minister David Cameron recently announced that Ukrainian forces may use UK-provided weapons to strike targets in Russian territory, and other European countries may be considering lifting similar restrictions.

French National Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee Chairperson Jean-Louis Bourlanges stated on May 19 that France should allow Ukrainian forces to use French-provided weapons to strike military targets inside of Russia and noted that “the right to self-defense excludes the right to protect the territory of the aggressor.”Bourlanges stated that lifting the current restriction is not a question of Western intervention in the theater of operations but would “lift an unjustifiable taboo.”


War heroes

Fighter Volodymyr Ilchenko, with the call sign Khmel, died on December 17, 2023, near the village of Synkivka in the Kupiansk district of Kharkiv Oblast. 

During a combat mission, he sustained a mine blast injury incompatible with life. The fighter was 25 years old. Volodymyr Oleksandrovych was a native of the village of Korpylivka, Khmelnytskyi Oblast. When he turned fourteen, he became an orphan. He received a secondary specialized education as a welder and worked at the Agrotekhmash production enterprise. He loved football, table tennis, and fishing in his free time. He lived in the city of Krasyliv. 

He was mobilized for military service in October 2023. He was trained and joined the 95th separate airborne assault brigade, where he held the position of senior rifleman. “Vovchyk was a wonderful husband and dad. We have been together since we were 14 years old… He is the best person I know. Always smiling, polite, cheerful, reliable. A good friend, a colleague, always ready to help. He had authority among his colleagues. He loved life very much, dreamed of seeing his daughter running into his arms, but, unfortunately, he died without seeing her leave. I feel his love even now. I believe he is with us and protects us,” wrote his wife Lesia Ilchenko.

Volodymyr was buried on the Alley of Heroes in the town of Krasyliv. The defender is survived by his daughter Emilia, wife Lesia, brother Leonid and sister Bohdana.

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


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