The situation in Ukraine: May 26 - June 1, 2022

The worsening situation in the Donbas, the decision to provide Ukraine with long-range missile systems, and negative signals about granting Ukraine the status of a “candidate” for EU membership.

On the Donetsk front, the advance of Russian troops continued. The RF Armed Forces captured the city of Liman - an essential springboard for coordinating the offensive southeast of Izyum and most of the city of Severodonetsk. The Ukrainian command may consider the issue of a complete withdrawal from the town of Severodonetsk to avoid encirclement. The front line is already shifting towards the city of Sloviansk (the town is being shelled) and the city of Bakhmut.

Ukrainian troops are trying to “stretch” Russian reserves and reduce pressure in the Donbas, periodically carrying out tactical counterattacks north of Kharkiv and Kherson regions.

The probability of a new offensive of the RF Armed Forces in Kyiv in the coming months is minimal. But exacerbations and provocations are possible on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border to "bind" Ukrainian reserves.

Russian politicians continue to make statements that the occupied territories in southern Ukraine will become part of the Russian Federation. An accelerated procedure for issuing Russian passports to residents of the temporarily occupied territories of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions has been launched.

There are also signs of an ongoing large-scale behind-the-scenes dialogue between the Russian Federation and the United States, one of which is the game of “raising the stakes.”

On the one hand, the United States decided to provide Ukraine with medium-range missile systems (almost simultaneously, the same decisions were made by Britain and Germany (plus air defense systems), which potentially expanded the combat zone by 70-80 km "into the depths" of the Russian Federation and its occupied territories There is a constant increase in forces and an expansion of the range of means used in the war and supplies from the Western partners of Ukraine: first small arms - then armored vehicles and artillery - now missile systems (the Russian Federation has been using all these means since the first days of the war).

On the other hand, this week, the US unexpectedly supported Italy's peace plan presented at the UN. The program is based on the neutral status of Ukraine. It also provides for the autonomy of Crimea and Donbas. The White House has not yet reached a unified position on the issue of confiscation of Russian assets in favor of Ukraine. It's about $300 billion.

In addition, the parties have made significant progress in discussing the conditions for a possible unblocking of the export of Ukrainian agricultural products - a “grain truce” in southern Ukraine. But in general, the problem of blocked Ukrainian ports and food exports has not yet been resolved. Russia, India, and other countries occupied the deficit formed in the world market. In April, wheat exports from Ukraine fell by 32% compared to the same period in 2021, while Russian exports, on the contrary, rose by 18%.

The agreed partial EU embargo on the supply of Russian oil products will not cause critical damage to Russia's oil revenues. Under the sixth package, Russia will lose $10 billion a year instead of $22 billion, which will amount to about 5% of Russia's annual income from oil exports. And given rising oil and energy prices in general, the damage is likely to be even less.

It will likely be a problem for Ukraine to obtain even the status of a candidate member of the European Union.

The Parliament of Ukraine supported the changes to the budget, increasing spending by 287 billion, which will lead to an increase in the budget deficit and the amount of public debt.

Military Situation

Slobozhansky direction: shelling of the city of Kharkiv resumed. There is a possibility that the Russian Federation is preparing to resume the offensive in the north of the Kharkiv region. In the Izyum direction, the Russian Federation is probably preparing for an active offensive against the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. There are ongoing attempts of the Russian offensive in the area of the Dolgenke settlement.

Donbas: The Russian Armed Forces captured the city of Liman and the nearest small settlements, most of the city of Severodonetsk. RF Armed Forces are trying to take control of the Lysychansk-Bakhmut highway. The highway is being shelled. This creates a risk of encirclement of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Severodonetsk and Lysychansk; there is a high probability that these cities will be surrounded within the next few days. The Russian Armed Forces stormed several settlements north of Popasna and attacked the town of Pokrovske, 7 kilometers east of the town of Bakhmut.

South direction: in the north of the Kherson region, the Armed Forces of Ukraine carried out a counteroffensive, after which the RF Armed Forces retreated along the left bank of the Ingulets to positions near the villages of Andreevka, Lozovoe, and Belogorka. Subsequently, the RF Armed Forces withdrew even further - to the settlement of Kostromka. It is about eight kilometers from the river Ingulets. Now the RF Armed Forces are strengthening their defenses in this direction and are trying to regain their lost positions. There is a pull-up of the reserve of the Russian Federation from Crimea.

Black Sea-Azov direction: without significant changes. The Russian Federation is shelling the coast of the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions.

Combat map.



The situation in the occupied territories.

In general, the situation in the temporarily occupied territories remains complicated. Russian politicians continue to make statements that the occupied territories in southern Ukraine will become part of the Russian Federation. Earlier, President of the Russian Federation V. Putin signed a decree on simplified admission to Russian citizenship of residents of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Khusnullin said that the accelerated procedure for issuing Russian passports to residents of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine has already been launched. On May 30, more than 50 people applied for Russian citizenship. For his part, the Secretary of the General Council of the United Russia party, the ex-governor of the Pskov region, Andrey Turchak, said that the Kherson region and the LDNR would become part of Russia. In the south of the Zaporizhzhia region, the Russian Federation will consider holding a "referendum" similar to the one held in Kherson.


The political negotiation process between Ukraine and the Russian Federation remained on pause. But this week, the US-backed Italy's proposed peace plan. The plan is based on the neutral status of Ukraine. It also provides for the autonomy of Crimea and Donbas. "The United States supports any effort for a peaceful settlement of the situation in Ukraine if the Ukrainian people support them." - US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said. This peace plan involves implementing four stages of agreements under the supervision of the International Assistance Group (GIF), which will include the US, France, Germany, Turkey, China, Canada, Britain, Poland, Israel, the UN, and the EU. The Italian peace plan has already been criticized in Ukraine and Russia. Therefore, American support for the peace plan may be a game to enhance the international reputation of the United States.

At the same time, it cannot be ruled out that behind these statements, there is preparation for a freeze of the conflict or a truce (there is an ongoing behind-the-scenes dialogue between the United States and Russia, and the global fear generated by the Russian invasion, the ghosts of the food and energy crises create conditions for reaching agreements), or the desire of the United States diplomatically stop the Russian offensive in the Donbas.

The Italian peace plan provides:

  1. Ceasefire and demilitarization of the front line;

  2. The prospect of an early accession of Ukraine to the EU and the consolidation of its neutral status (outside NATO) at the peace conference, but with certain security guarantees;

  3. Development of an agreement between Ukraine and Russia to "resolve contradictions" on internationally recognized borders (primarily on the Crimea and Donbas occupied by the Russian Federation). Probably, this includes the complete autonomy of the "disputed" territories and the autonomous management of security;

  4. A multilateral pact for peace and security in Europe involves providing arms control, suppressing emerging conflicts, and "measures to strengthen confidence." “This is a reorganization of international balance sheets, starting with relations between the EU and the Russian Federation.

According to the Italian proposal, the temporary ceasefire in the 1st phase should be accompanied by monitoring mechanisms and the demilitarization of the front line to discuss everything and pave the way for a final cessation of hostilities. And at each stage, adherence to the obligations assumed by the parties will be checked so that you can move on to the next one.

Also, US President D. Biden, in a column published in New York Times, clarified its position. The main ones are the following:

- deliveries of weapons are carried out in such quantities that Ukraine " can fight on the battlefield and take the most vital position at the negotiating table."

We will not be directly involved in this conflict, either by sending American soldiers to fight in Ukraine or by attacking Russian forces. We do not encourage or allow Ukraine to strike outside its borders .”

- “We do not want to continue the war to cause damage to Russia. I will not pressure the Ukrainian government - either publicly or privately - to persuade it to make territorial concessions."

- "If Russia does not pay a high price for its actions, it will signal to other potential aggressors that they too can seize territory and subjugate other countries."

D. Biden publicly forbade Ukraine from using American weapons to strike the territory of Russia. In the words of D. Biden, there is a hint that a negotiation process may take place shortly. The Ukrainian government will be forced to make certain territorial concessions. The United States is also very concerned about China's further actions.

Public opinion.

Ukrainians believe that corruption in Europe is lower than in Ukraine.
According to the Gradus study Research. The survey was conducted among Ukrainian refugees about what they liked more in Ukraine and what in Europe.

Ukrainians prefer their native mentality and way of life (36% for the fact that it is better in Ukraine, 19% - in Europe)

At the same time, Ukrainians prefer the arrangement of European cities (22% vs. 41%), the quality of tap water (21% vs. 38%), sorting and garbage disposal (14% vs. 45%)

Only 11% of respondents are sure that there is less corruption in Ukraine than in Europe (36% believe there is less corruption in Europe).

The clear advantages of Ukraine are digitalization, a lower level of bureaucracy, and the size of tariffs.

Most Ukrainians, who felt good about Russia before the war, now feel bad about it.

According to a survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS). In the three years before the war, there was a gradual decline in positive attitudes towards Russia.

So, in 2013, bad attitude towards the Russian Federation - 10 %, and sound - 82%

At the beginning of February 2022, they treated the Russian Federation well - 34%

a lousy attitude towards the Russian Federation - 50%

After the start of the war.

in May 2022, 92% of citizens were already maltreated in the Russian Federation.

and good only - 2%

In all regions of Ukraine, the vast majority of residents have a bad attitude towards the Russian Federation. In the South - 90%, and in the East - 85% (before the war, 45% and 53% had a good attitude towards the Russian Federation).

80% of those who used to treat the Russian Federation well now have a bad attitude towards it.

82% of citizens in the territory occupied after February 24, 2022, have a terrible attitude towards the Russian Federation, and 6 % have a good attitude.

The war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine causes: anger / indignation / hatred / disgust (53%), pride in Ukraine / army (52%) and anxiety / fear (38%).

Socio-economic situation.

Financial assistance to Ukraine.

Currently, Ukraine needs about $5 billion a month in additional financing. Now you can count on more than $11.5 billion, Roman Kachur, Ukraine's representative at the World Bank, said. World Bank Commits $1 Billion, $2 Billion More Expected Congress The US voted in favor of a package that included $8.5 billion in direct aid. The Government of Canada has announced that it will hand over $1 billion in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). In recent weeks, the government has reached an agreement to receive a loan from the Japanese government for $300 million and financial support from the World Bank for $1.5 billion. The German government intends to provide Ukraine with €1 billion in grant assistance. This was announced by the German Ambassador to Ukraine, Anka Feldhusen.

The sources of financing for the state budget from February 24 to May 25 are war bonds, loans from international financial organizations, and bilateral loans and grants, the Finance Ministry said.

13.8 billion dollars, or UAH 404.2 billion, were received in two months. For the functioning of the budget and three months for this purpose, the National Bank has already "printed" 120 billion hryvnia, or 4.1 billion dollars. Thus, the NBU issued UAH 50 billion in May, exactly as much as in April. Another UAH 89.9 billion came from selling military government bonds to other investors. Also, UAH 41.3 billion was received from the International Monetary Fund in a loan. From the USA, Britain, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, and Iceland, Ukraine received grants and non-refundable assistance funds. Of the total aid of 13.8 billion dollars, Ukraine received 1.35 billion dollars in grants.

At the same time, the parliament supported the changes to the budget, increasing spending by 287 billion. The law’s implementation will increase the budget deficit and the amount of public debt. Most of the budget spending will go to national security and defense - almost 248 billion. At the same time, the implementation of the law will lead to an increase in the budget deficit and the amount of public debt.

The National Bank of Ukraine sharply - by 10% (up to 25%) raised the discount rate, trying to contain inflation.

The situation around Ukraine.

A partial EU embargo on the supply of Russian oil products will not cause critical damage to Russia's oil revenues.

This week EU leaders, after much debate, agreed on a sixth package of sanctions against Russia, including an embargo on the purchase of oil and petroleum products. New EU sanctions will impose a ban on tanker oil from Russia. Pipeline deliveries are not affected by them. They made a "temporary exception" for her. How temporary is unknown. Earlier it was said that the embargo on tankers would come into effect in 6-8 months. The European Union also intends to ban the insurance of tankers carrying Russian oil within the sixth package of sanctions. Wall Street Journal reports, citing EU officials and diplomats.

In turn, the Office of the President of Ukraine was dissatisfied with the compromise oil embargo against the Russian Federation. Too slow, too late, and not enough. We are dissatisfied,” said Ihor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of the Presidential Office

Approximately more than 2/3 of oil imports from the Russian Federation will fall under the sanctions. Russia could lose about $22 billion in oil revenues a year. But due to the partial embargo on Russian oil that the EU agreed to under the sixth package, Russia will lose about $10 billion a year. Stopping pipeline deliveries via the northern branch of the Druzhba oil pipeline to Poland and Germany would cut Russia's revenues by another $12 billion, based on 2021 volumes and an average Urals oil price this year of $85 per barrel. At the same time, Russia would continue to earn about 6 billion dollars on exports to Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic through the southern branches of Druzhba.

In 2021, the export of crude oil and petroleum products accounted for 37% of Russia's export revenue. Two world regions provide 90% of Russian oil exports. These are the European Union and China. In 2021, Europe bought about 42% of Russian oil, China – had 14%, and another 30% remained in Russia.

At the end of 2021, oil exports amounted to about $180 billion in foreign exchange earnings. Thus, a partial embargo on the supply of Russian oil products to the EU will roughly deprive Russia of 5% of its export earnings from the sale of oil. And given the rise in oil prices, the damage may be even less.

Oil continues to rise in price against the backdrop of the EU embargo against Russia. After the European Union approved a partial ban on oil imports from the Russian Federation, exchange prices reached a maximum in two months. The price per barrel of Brent exceeded $124. Brent could rise above $150 per barrel in a sharp decline in Russian oil exports.

The White House has not yet reached a unified position on the issue of confiscation of Russian assets due to military aggression in Ukraine.

The administration of US President Joe Biden opposes the confiscation of Russian assets (we are talking about $ 300 billion) and their redistribution in support of Ukraine. They fear this will undermine the US reputation as an "investment haven" and encourage other countries to transfer their assets into other currencies. The US House of Representatives discussed the possibility of using Russian substation assets. At the same time, the United States did not plan to transfer Russian funds in favor of Ukraine - only its own Ministry of Finance will distribute them at its discretion, up to the definition of any conditions and criteria. In addition, the freezing of assets through the imposition of sanctions is similar to the total seizure of property. The owner loses control over the purchase until the restrictions are especially lifted. But the freezing of assets should not be confused with confiscation or expropriation since freezing does not deprive a sanctioned person of their property rights.

Deliveries of weapons to Ukraine.

The United States will transfer HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems to Ukraine, superior in accuracy and range to those used by the Russian army. In an op-ed published in the evening Washington time in the New York Times, President Joe Biden clarified a little in their words that the United States will not supply Ukraine with missiles " capable of finishing off Russia." The new $700 million aid package to Ukraine will include HIMARS highly mobile artillery rocket systems and munitions that allow Ukrainians to launch missiles up to 80 km. In a column published in N the New York Times, President Joe Biden clarified their position “We are not seeking a NATO war with Russia. As much as I disagree with Mr. Putin, no matter how savage his actions seem to me, the US will not seek to overthrow him in Moscow .”

All this is done with the aim that Ukraine, according to D. Biden, “could fight on the battlefield and take the strongest possible position at the negotiating table.”

Himars installations, where you can install tactical missiles that hit 300-500 kilometers, the United States refused to provide.

As a result, the United States provided Ukraine with medium-range missile systems that are not significantly capable of changing the course of events at the front. But they are expanding the combat zone by 70-80 km " inland" both from the side of Ukraine and from the side of the Russian Federation and the territories it occupies. At the same time, the supplies of weapons necessary for Ukraine will arrive in the country only within a few months.

Germany slows down the supply of weapons to Ukraine. The missile defense missiles and radar promised by Chancellor Scholz to Kyiv are not in the reserve of the Bundeswehr. Deliveries can come directly from enterprises.

In general, during the three months of the war, we are witnessing a constant expansion of the range of arms supplies from simple small arms to more and more complex and long-range weapons. They switched from armored vehicles and artillery to modern missile systems. Logically, the conflict is developing, and the question of when Ukraine will receive new aircraft and more modern missile systems should take 3-6 months.

The situation with the unblocking of Ukrainian ports and the food crisis.

Since the Russian invasion, most of the current export of Ukrainian grain has been blocked in the country due to closed ports and the Russian blockade of the Black Sea. It also means there won't be enough storage available when the 2022 harvest is due. At the moment, about 1.5 million tons of grain are blocked in the ports. Approximately 20 million tons of grain of the old crop must be taken out of Ukraine. The war in Ukraine has led to a sharp increase in food inflation worldwide. Developing countries, which are more dependent on food imports, suffer the most from the food crisis. According to the UN, the world's wheat stocks are left for ten weeks.

Russia occupied the deficit formed in the world market. In April, wheat exports from Ukraine fell by 32% compared to the same period in 2021, while Russian exports, on the contrary, rose by 18%. At the same time, the occupying authorities of the Kherson region began to export the grain of the last harvest, harvested by Ukrainian farmers, to the territory of the Russian Federation.

Western countries are considering various options for unblocking ports, including the partial lifting of sanctions against the Russian Federation and Belarus. Also, the export of grain from Ukrainian seaports can be carried out with the help of military convoys. Also considered was the option of providing Ukraine with a sufficient amount of anti-ship weapons that would repulse the Russian navy. The blocking of Ukrainian ports also dramatically complicates the delivery of weapons to Ukraine. At present, the US is ready to support the export of grain and fertilizers from Russia.

The United States is building a strategy to counter China.

US Secretary of State E. Blinken announced the opening of “China House” at the State Department, a group of diplomats within the agency who will coordinate US policy to counter China’s global ambitions. Washington's strategy of " investing, aligning, competing " is being built to counter China's rising global power.

Even as [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin’s war continues, we will remain focused on the most serious long-term challenge to the international order – and that is the challenge coming from the People’s Republic of China.”

The move follows Biden's recent trip to Asia. He was accompanied by E. Blinken and other senior US officials on visits to South Korea and Japan, where the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, also known as IPEF, was launched.

Ukraine may not get EU candidate status this summer.

The countries of the European Union (EU) are still far from consensus, not only on the accelerated accession of Ukraine to the EU but even on granting Ukraine the status of an EU candidate, which Kyiv expected to receive this summer. All major countries of the European Union, except Italy, are against granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for membership. After the EU summit, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi stated this at a press conference.

As it turned out, some Western European countries, calling Ukraine "part of a united Europe" and supporting it in confrontation with Russia, still insist that you need to follow the general rules in the Ukrainian case. During her visit to Kyiv, the head of the German Foreign Ministry, Burbock, rather vaguely said that some solution to the issue of granting the status would be found, which would be reported by the European Commission.

Turkey is blocking the project of integrating Finland and Sweden into the North Atlantic alliance.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Sweden and Finland are unlikely to become candidates for membership in the Alliance at its upcoming summit if Turkey's demands are not met before it starts. Erdogan accuses Finland and Sweden of harboring the Kurdistan Workers’ Party activists, which the Turkish authorities call a terrorist organization. Turkey threatens to use its veto power to block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO. At the same time, negotiations between Sweden and Finland with Turkey regarding Ankara's demands for these countries to join NATO did not lead to anything. The parties did not even agree on the timing of the next meeting, which means that Turkey will continue to block NATO expansion. Turkey doubts that a compromise will be found before the Madrid summit.