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Victorious news of 817th day of war: Russian ship Cyclone destroyed, blasts in Luhansk, stabilization of Kharkiv front

20 May, 2024 Monday

France is discussing the possibility of granting Ukraine permission to attack Russia’s territory with its weapons, explosions reported in the temporarily occupied Luhansk


France mulls granting Ukraine permission to attack Russian territory with its weapons

Jean-Louis Bourlanges, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in France's lower house, urges a doctrine change to allow Ukraine to use French weapons against Russian territory.

Le Figaro reported the information.

Jean-Louis Bourlange issued a statement calling on France to “get out of the waiting game and decide not to prohibit Ukraine from attacking Russian territory with its weapons anymore.

“The time seems to have come,” he said, emphasizing that Paris “has been expressing for months its desire to be at the forefront of solidarity with Ukraine and inter-allied coordination.”

In his opinion, “the change in the doctrine is absolutely legitimate, as it puts an end to the unacceptable asymmetry between the position of the aggressor and the position of the victim of aggression.”

Ukrainian army may have destroyed the Russian Cyclone ship

Ukraine's Armed Forces are checking information about the possible destruction of Russia's ship Cyclone, armed with the Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile system.

Navy spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk stated this, Radio Liberty reports.

"In fact, this information is still being verified. Because to be 100% sure, we still need to get the relevant results of objective control. As soon as we have these results, we will definitely inform the public about it. But yes, there is a fairly high probability that there is no longer any cruise missile carrier in Crimea, if the information about the Cyclone is confirmed. And yes, there is such a possibility. And yes, it is high. We are talking about the fact that most likely two units were hit. So, yes. But we are waiting for more results," Pletenchuk said.

The Navy spokesman also suggested that the headquarters of the Russian ship brigade was hit.

"Perhaps this time the information about the destruction of not only the ship's warehouse will be confirmed, but also the possibility that the headquarters of the relevant surface ship brigade was damaged," Pletenchuk said.

According to the Navy spokesman, the Cyclone served as an air defense system in the bay of temporarily occupied Sevastopol.

Explosions in Luhansk, Russian base might have been struck with missiles

On the morning of May 20, explosions were heard in the temporarily occupied Luhansk.

The head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, Artem Lysohor, reported this on Telegram.

“Another difficult start to the week for the occupiers in Luhansk. According to information from open sources, there was another successful strike of our missile launchers on an occupiers' base in the village of Yuvileine in the suburbs of Luhansk. In local chat rooms, Luhansk residents confirm that a military camp has been set up at the site of the hit in the middle of civilian buildings. Until 2014, an academy of internal affairs was operating in the area, which was then chosen by the Russians (as a base - ed.),” wrote Lysohor.

He added a video showing a column of smoke at the site of the explosions. Judging by the video, the cameraman is on Kotsyubynskoho Street in the center of the occupied city, and the smoke column is rising in the western part.

Journalist Denys Kazanskyi also wrote about the damage to the territory of the former Academy of Internal Affairs, which Russian troops used as their base.

Ukrainian Armed Forces stabilize northern Kharkiv region front

Ukrainian forces control 60% of Vovchansk in the Kharkiv region, despite ongoing Russian offensives. Kharkiv regional military administration reports that intense battles are ongoing for every house and street.

This was reported by Roman Semenukha, deputy head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, during a telethon broadcast.

"The enemy keeps trying to push the Armed Forces of Ukraine out of Vovchansk. Currently, we control about 60% of the city, but the assaults continue," Semenukha said.

He added that Russia is focusing its assaults on Vovchansk, Lyptsi, and both flanks of Vovchansk.

"Today, in some areas, our forces are conducting their own assaults to improve positions. There's also ongoing shelling of border areas, including Bohodukhiv, Kharkiv, and Chuhuyiv districts," he noted.

As of 2:38 p.m., the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, Syniehubov, reported that the Defense Forces have stabilized the front line in the north of the region.

Ukraine will soon get promised aid, priority is air defense systems, missiles — U.S. Secretary of Defense

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has made the statement today, May 20, at the opening of the meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group.

“Some 50 countries of conscience from around the world are standing up for Ukraine again today. And we're going to continue to get Ukraine the support that it needs. The United States remains determined to do our part. We are again delivering urgently needed assistance to Ukraine. And the security assistance that we are now rushing to Ukraine will make a real difference in this fight,” Austin said,” Austin said.

He also stated that they are supplying ammunition for systems such as HIMARS, strengthening air defense systems, and providing heavy armored vehicles. He mentioned that additional aid packages are being provided following US President Joe Biden's signing of $51 billion in aid last year. Austin noted that Russia is now deploying various resources such as Shahed UAVs, drones, and Korean missiles. Observing the hardships faced by the innocent population of Ukraine, he emphasized that air defense systems and missiles for these systems are top priorities on their agenda to help Ukraine secure its airspace.

According to him, Ukraine will soon receive what it has been promised.

“And thanks to the passage of the supplemental, we'll continue to approve substantial security assistance packages for Ukraine. And you'll see a steady flow of U.S. assistance to Ukraine week after week. President Biden announced an additional package worth $400 million earlier this month. And that will help Ukraine defend Kharkiv and other frontline areas under renewed Russian threat. We've already delivered many of Ukraine's top-priority requirements and much more assistance is on the way. That includes additional munitions for NASAMS and Patriot air-defense systems more HIMARS systems and ammunition Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems. This package also includes armored vehicles. And that's essential for Ukraine's work to reconstitute its arsenal. Meanwhile, our fellow Contact Group members continue to step up to meet Ukraine's most urgent needs. Together, we have now committed more than $95 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the start of Putin's full-scale invasion in February 2022,” Austin added.

Austria to donate €5 million to restore Ukraine's energy infrastructure

The Austrian Ministry of Climate Protection will allocate €5 million to Ukraine. The money will be used to restore Ukraine's energy infrastructure, which has been severely damaged in over two years of war.

RBC-Ukraine reported the information, citing Der Standard.

“As a neutral country, Austria is obliged to stand on the side of humanity in this war,” said Austrian Minister of Climate Protection Leonore Gewessler.

According to her, the money was supposed to contribute to making the recovery process “at least a little easier.” 

Ukraine's Ambassador to Austria Vasyl Khymynets expressed gratitude for the “strong signal of solidarity.”

“Against the backdrop of Russian efforts to destroy Ukraine's energy infrastructure through air strikes and artillery shelling, this financial assistance from the federal government is extremely important for the restoration of energy infrastructure and the supply of electricity to the population of Ukraine,” Khymynets said.

The money was allocated from the budget of the Austrian Ministry of Climate Protection. The money will be distributed in Ukraine through the Energy Community and used to purchase much-needed spare parts, generators and repair power lines.

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