Russian Ops in Ukraine: Advances in Donbas, Ukraine Surrenders at Azovstal

1. Russia continues to make slow and steady progress in Donbas, the primary area of Russia’s focus;
2. Additional Russian salients and encirclements take shape within the much largers Izyum, Lyman, Severodonetsk, Papasnya cauldron area;
3. Ukrainian “offensive” northeast of Kharkov appears to have been a costly photo-op and little more;
4. Ukrainian militants hiding in the Azovstal industrial complex begin to surrender dealing a mostly political blow to Ukraine;
5. Ukrainian militants had long since been out of the fight (since mid to late-April);
6. Pentagon claims most M777 howitzers are already on the front in Kharkov and Donbas;
7. US M777s have yet to make any discernible difference on the battlefield;
8. Pentagon admits Russia still has the majority of its combat power prepared against Ukraine available to it;

References:

US Department of Defense – Senior Defense Official Holds a Background Briefing May 16, 2022: https://www.defense.gov/News/Transcri…

Guardian – Hundreds of Ukrainian troops evacuated from Azovstal steelworks after 82-day assault: https://www.theguardian.com/world/202…

BBC – Mariupol: Hundreds of besieged Ukrainian soldiers evacuated: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe…

BBC – Ukraine underplays role of far right in conflict (2014): https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe…

Financial Times – ‘Don’t confuse patriotism and Nazism’: Ukraine’s Azov forces face scrutiny: https://www.ft.com/content/7191ec30-9…

Institute for the Study of War – RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE CAMPAIGN ASSESSMENT, MAY 16: https://understandingwar.org/backgrou…

Ukrainian General Staff (Facebook) – Operational Update for May 17, 2022: https://www.facebook.com/GeneralStaff…