Russian negotiator says peace talks with Ukraine are ongoing - Ifax

Russia has used aging munitions in order to bombard Ukrainian towns with 'little or no regard for civilian casualties,' an intel report reads.

 Russian 9K37 Buk self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile launchers. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Russian 9K37 Buk self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile launchers.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Russian chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said on Monday that peace talks with Ukraine had not stopped and that they were being held remotely, according to the Interfax news agency.

Moscow has accused Kyiv of stalling the talks and using reports of atrocities committed by Russian troops in Ukraine to undermine negotiations and denies targeting civilians in what it calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine. 

Asked when in-person talks might be held with Ukrainian negotiators, Medinsky said: "We need more specifics on hand in order to meet in person."

Ukraine and Russia have not held face-to-face peace talks since March 29, though they have met by video link.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last month that there was a high risk that the talks would end, blaming public anger with what he said were Russian atrocities committed as they retreated from parts of northern Ukraine around Kyiv.

 Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during a session of a parliament where British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses Ukrainian lawmakers via videolink, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 3, 2022.  (credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS) Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during a session of a parliament where British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses Ukrainian lawmakers via videolink, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 3, 2022. (credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Russia is taking hits

Russia's stockpile of precision-guided munitions has likely been heavily depleted, according to a British Defense Ministry intelligence update on Monday morning.

"At the onset of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia publicly promoted its ability to conduct surgical strikes and limit collateral damage," the update began. "It stated that Ukrainian cities would therefore be safe from bombardment.

"However, as the conflict continues beyond Russian pre-war expectations, Russia’s stockpile of precision-guided munitions has likely been heavily depleted. This has forced the use of readily available but aging munitions that are less reliable, less accurate and more easily intercepted. Russia will likely struggle to replace the precision weaponry it has already expended," the report reads. 

In addition, "Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has revealed shortcomings in its ability to conduct precision strikes at scale. Russia has subjected Ukraine’s towns and cities to intense and indiscriminate bombardments with little or no regard for civilian casualties."

Russia continues its campaign in eastern Ukraine

Moscow was continuing its "full-scale armed aggression" in order to establish "full control over the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts (regions) and create a land corridor between mainland Russia and occupied Crimea," the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote on its Facebook page on Monday morning.

The main Russian thrusts were occurring in the directions of Slobozhansky and Donetsk, but there is still a high probability of missile attacks throughout Ukraine, the post reads.

Indeed, Ukraine's military said later on Monday that four high-precision Onyx missiles fired from the Russian-controlled Crimea peninsula had struck the Odesa area in southern Ukraine, but gave no other details.

In addition, the Deputy Commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Colonel Igor Bedzai, was killed by a Russian fighter rocket during a Mi-14 naval helicopter combat mission, according to the Ukrainian news site Ukrinform.

Turning attention back to Kharkiv 

Russia was also massing forces in the area of Izium in order to attack southward toward the Kharkiv oblast towns Sulyhivka, Nova Dmytrivka and Kurulka.

It was also concentrating up to 19 tactical battalions in the Belgorod region near the Ukrainian border in order to replenish units that have suffered significant losses.

In the Donetsk region, Russian forces were focusing their efforts on breaking through the Ukrainian line of defense using aircraft and artillery, in order to take control of the towns of Rubizhne and Popasna and then continue west to Siversk, Slovyansk, Lysychansk and Avdiivka.

A  forced celebration? 

In the Zaporizhzhia oblast, Russian soldiers had seized personal documents from local citizens without reason and said that they would only be returned if the civilians participated in Victory Day celebrations, according to the Facebook post.

Combat formations were also in full readiness mode to invade the separatist Moldovan region of Transnistria.

Ukrainian air-defense systems managed to hit ten Russian targets on Sunday, including six Orlan-10 UAVs, one Forpost UAV and three cruise missiles, the army said. 

It also said it repulsed six Russian attacks and destroyed 20 tanks, one artillery system, 29 armored combat vehicles and five other vehicles, the Facebook post said.