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War in Ukraine. Daily update. Day 78 [10.00 am, 12.05.2022🇪🇦🇫🇷🇩🇪🇭🇷🇬🇪🇦🇪🇱🇻]

Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska 

Photo: Daniel Berehulak

Cities under attack. On the night of May 12, the Russian troops inflicted several airstrikes on Novgorod-Siversk, Chernigiv region. Schools, administrative and residential buildings were damaged, as well as civilian casualties were encountered.  Another attack was made on the object of infrastructure in the Poltava region. Due to the missile attack at Lozova community, Kharkiv region, one person died. In the Mykolaiv region, 9 people were injured due to the recent shellings. Russian forces continue shelling of Zelenodilsk community at the border with Kherson region. In the Luhansk region, 26 artillery shelling throughout the region were recorded. Russian forces are trying to take control of the city of Rubizhne, block the Lysychansk-Bakhmut highway and take Severodonetsk. Within a day, 24 residential buildings were damaged. In the Kherson region, Russian troops shelled settlements with artillery BM21 Grad, damaging residential infrastructure. Forest fires continue – an area of 8 hectares is under the fire currently. In the Donetsk region, Russian forces shelled a phenolic plant in the New York community with cluster ammunition; two people were injured. Heavy fights all across the frontline continue. 

Cities under occupation. The self-proclaimed Russian authorities in the Kherson region submitted their official application to join the Russian Federation. The representative of Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, replied that the decision to apply for the inclusion of the Kherson region into the Russian Federation should be made by the inhabitants of this region so that the decision has ‘legal force’. However, the authorities would like to bypass the referendum and call for direct annexation of the region. This is explained to some extent that there is no wide public support as it was expected. Meanwhile, the Institute of War Studies predicts that Russian forces may be preparing to conduct renewed offensive operations to capture the entirety of Kherson region in the coming days. 

Mariupol.  Mariupol is more and more compared to a ‘medieval ghetto’ due to lack of medical resources and services, as well as disrupted supplies of water, gas, and electricity. Ukraine’s Ombudswoman Denysova reports that Russian forces do not give the wounded military a chance to survive, as they destroyed the second military underground hospital on Azovstal. The hospital was destroyed two days ago due to the missile attack, while 10 killed people and wounded the military and civilians. People at Azovstal are facing the life-threatening risk of infection, as there is a lack of antibiotics, medical instruments and sterile dressings. Even in case of minor injuries, doctors are forced to amputate their limbs. 

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk informed that Ukraine has proposed to Russia that wounded defenders in the Azovstal plant be exchanged for Russian prisoners of war. 

Crimes prosecution. Ukraine will hold the first court trial of the Russian military man accused of the murder of a civilian during the current Russian war in Ukraine. 21-year-old Russian soldier Vadym Shishimarin killed an unarmed resident of Sumy region as he believed that the man could inform him about the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The accused fired several shots through the open window of the car from the Kalashnikov rifle at the head of a 62-year-old victim.

The cost of war. European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis says Ukraine would need around €500-600 billion for reconstruction. Therefore, the European Union would need to prepare a coordinated response of the international community to the rising challenge, which according to Dombvskis European Commission is ready to coordinate. Werner Hoyer, president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), says the price of Ukraine’s reconstruction could cost around trillions. Thus Europe must not be left alone to face the results of the Russian war in Ukraine. Previously both Ukrainian and the EU authorities were calling for a similar plan to the Marshal Plan to rebuild Ukraine. Some European countries have already announced their readiness to rebuild certain regions or cities in Ukraine. 

Foreign policy. The Czech Senate has recognized the crimes committed by the Russian army in Ukraine as genocide of the Ukrainian people. Estonia and Lithuania have previously passed similar resolutions. 

NATO. ‘Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay,’ President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said in a joint statement in Helsinki. NATO supports the decision and it is expected that membership status will be granted quickly. The decision comes after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forces, as well as Finland’s directly bordering with Russia.

Digital security. The United States, Britain, Canada, Estonia and the European Union reported Russia was behind a massive cyberattack against a satellite internet network Viasat. Viasat is a California company that provides high-speed satellite communication services — and was used heavily by the Ukrainian government. The attack followed a few weeks after some Ukrainian government websites were hit with “wiper” software that destroys data. The attack aimed to disrupt Ukraine’s command and control of its troops during the critical first hours of Russia’s invasion.  

On Wednesday (11 May) Mykhailo Fedorov the vice-prime minister and digital transformation minister of Ukraine opened the 2022 Paris Cyber Summit. Fedorov reported that before the war Russia’s cyber capabilities were significantly overvalued. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, the West feared a hybrid attack both online and offline, yet Moscow has failed to register any significant victories on the internet. One day before the cyber conference, the G7 Digital Ministers met in Düsseldorf to discuss the future of digitalisation, with a thematic focus on cybersecurity. In a press statement, they emphasized they would continue their support of Ukraine in the defense of their networks against cyber incidents. Fedorov was also invited to join the G7 meetings in Düsseldorf, as Ukraine was high on the agenda. See a timeline created by CyberPeace Institute and outlining the numerous reported cyberattacks against Ukrainian institutions and organizations, including humanitarian NGOs and citizens. 

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