Russia’s war in Ukraine | CNN (2024)

Live Updates

By Joshua Berlinger, Thom Poole, Tori B. Powell and Matt Meyer, CNN

Updated 4:55 PM EDT, Sat May 27, 2023

Russia’s war in Ukraine | CNN (1)

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03:19 - Source: CNN

What we covered here

  • Hinting at an offensive: Ukraine’s commander in chief hasratcheted up speculationthat a counteroffensive against Russian forces could be imminent. Kyiv has sent mixed signals about the campaign, potentially by design.
  • Russia taking fire: Shelling killed at least one person in Russia’s Belgorod region Saturday, according to officials. Other attacks on Russian soil targeted a pipeline and killed a construction worker near the border, authorities said.
  • Meanwhile, multiple explosions have rocked the Russian-occupied city of Mariupol.
  • Hospital attack: Rescuers finished searching the rubble in Dnipro Saturday after strikes killed two people and wounded at least 32 others at a medical clinic, officials said. It marks the latest devastating attack on Ukraine’s health care system.

19 Posts

We’ve wrapped up our live coverage for the day. You can read more about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine here, or scroll through the updates below.

Ukraine's military has carefully crafted its messaging on the counteroffensive. Here's what we know

From CNN's Olga Voitovych,Andrew CareyandNick Paton Walsh

With just a few words and a slickly produced piece of military propaganda, the commander in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces ratcheted up speculation Saturday that a long-awaited counteroffensive could be imminent.

The video came online following weeks of speculation regarding when Ukraine would start its counteroffensive — or whether it might have already begun.

Despite its language, Zaluzhyni’s post made no explicit mention of an impending military operation, and there have been few details reported on the ground of specific build-ups of troops and weapons — though it should be noted that any such reporting would likely fall foul of Ukraine’s martial law restrictions.

Information wars: Both Russia and Ukraine have been known to engage in disinformation campaigns to confuse enemy forces.

Ukrainian officials are keeping details of the operation under wraps, including whether or not it has already begun. That is likely an attempt to confuse the Russian military.

There are also public relations factors at play. Declare the counteroffensive underway, and the clock ticks immediately for the first results. Avoid doing so, and any mounting losses Russia sustains are just considered part of normal frontline attrition.

Russia taking fire: The Ukrainian military has been spotted moving military hardware toward the front lines and carrying out attacks against Russian targets that could facilitate an offensive, including strikeson Thursday and Saturdayin the Russian-occupied southern port city of Berdiansk.

The Kremlin said Saturday that, in the past 24 hours, its forces had shot down 12 Ukrainian drones flying over Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia, a trio of Ukrainian territories that are all part-occupied by Russian forces.

Also on Saturday, explosions hit the Russian-occupied city of Mariupol, and attacks on Russian soil killed one person in Belgorod, targeted a pipeline and killed a construction worker near the border, according to Russian authorities.

A senior US official confirmed to CNNearlier this monththat Ukraine has begun conducting “shaping” operations, striking strategic targets to shape the battlefield in favor of Kyiv’s advancing forces. Shaping is a standard tactic used prior to major combined operations, but it can also be used simply to confuse the enemy.

Read more here.

Russian shelling in Ukraine's Kharkiv region leaves at least one person dead, regional leader says

From CNN's Mariya Knight

At least one person is dead and another is injured after Russia shelled Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region Saturday, according to the region’s military administration.

The attack took place in the village of Shipuvate, which is about 50 kilometers (around 30 miles) from the Russian border, and in the region’s eastern Kupyansk district, according to the official, Oleh Syniehubov.

A 61-year-old woman died in Shipuvate, the regional leader said. The person injured was a man who suffered shrapnel wounds and has since been hospitalized.

Russian attacks across Zaporizhzhia region leave at least 1 person dead

From CNN’s Mariya Knight and Mitchell McCluskey

At least one person is dead and two others wounded after Russia attacked 16 settlements across Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region, according to the region’s military administration.

The person killed was identified as a 73-year-old woman in Novodanylivka and the two wounded people were both women in Huliaipole, according to the head of Zaporizhzhia’s military administration, Yurii Malashko.

Fifteen civilian structures have been destroyed across Zaporizhzhia, Malashko said on Telegram Saturday.

The regional leader claims 108 attacks were carried out in the following areas:

  • 96 artillery attacks on Huliaipole, Novodanylivka, Novoandriivka, Stepnohirsk, Kamianske and other villages
  • 6 multiple launch rocket system attacks on Huliaipilske, Bilohirsk and Temyrivka,
  • Unmannedaerial vehicle attacks on Stepove, Olhivske, Malynivka and Chervone
  • Missile attacks on the villages of Rizdvinka and Liubytske

CNN cannot independently verify battlefield developments.

Austria will finance demining equipment for Ukraine, government says

From CNN's Inke Kappeler in Berlin
Russia’s war in Ukraine | CNN (2)

A sign, written in Ukrainian and Russian, warns of mines in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine on January 2.

Austria will finance land mine removal equipment worth 2 million euros (about $2.15 million) for Ukraine, the Austrian government said in a statement.

The government went on to say that the dangerous land mines also complicate the use of agricultural land.

“Some 10.6 million people in Ukraine rely on demining assistance,” the statement read. “With already more than 250,000 km² of Ukrainian territory, the area contaminated by landmines in Ukraine is about three times the size of Austria.”

Ukrainian farmers have been forced to clear land mines by hand, risking their lives for planting season, CNN has previously reported.

Explosion damages Russian oil pipeline building near border with Belarus

From CNN's Darya Tarasova and Clare Sebastian

An explosion in Russia’s Pskov region damaged an administrative building of an oil pipeline near the border with Belarus, local governorMikhail Vedernikov said Saturday.

Vedernikovclaimed the building in the Nevelsky District was attacked by two drones.

There were no casualties and emergency services are at the scene,Vedernikovsaid.

Few other details are available on the incident at this stage, but we will bring you more as we get them.

Elsewhere in Russia Saturday, Ukrainian mortar shelling killed a construction worker near the border with Ukraine.

Shelling kills at least 1 person and wounds several others in Russia's Belgorod region, governor says

From CNN's Darya Tarasova

Shelling killed at least one person and wounded several others in Russia’s Belgorod region Saturday, according to state news agency TASS.

The shelling targeted the region’s Shebekinsky district and hit “two large enterprises,” Belgorod Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov said, according to TASS. There is a fire at one facility, he added.

Belgorod made headlines this week whena group of anti-Putin Russian nationals, who are aligned with the Ukrainian army, claimed responsibility for an attack there.

The region borders northeastern Ukraine.

Russia shoots down 12 Ukrainian drones over 24 hours, defense ministry claims

From CNN's Darya Tarasova

Russia has shot down 12 Ukrainian drones over various settlements over the course of 24 hours, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

The ministry’s news service claims Russia’s defenses shot down drones in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic, and in Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia.

Russian air defense systems also intercepted two long-range “Storm Shadow” cruise missiles and 19 rockets from HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, it says.

Explosions reported in Mariupol, Ukrainian official says

From CNN's Olga Voitovych

Three explosions have been reported in Mariupol, a southern Ukrainian city occupied by Russia, a Ukrainian official said Saturday.

One of the explosions was caused by Russian air defense systems in Nikolske, a settlement just northwest of the city, Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the city’s Ukrainian mayor, wrote on Telegram.

Smoke can also be seen rising from the side of a railway station in the area, according to Andriushchenko.

Pro-Russian officials have in recent days accused Ukraine of striking Mariupol, a city it once fiercely defended. Andriushchenko has commented on the blasts online, but the Ukrainian military has not officially claimed responsibility for the attacks.

CNN cannot independently verify battlefield developments.

Hundreds of German civil servants are being expelled from Russia

From CNN's Claudia Otto in Berlin

Hundreds of German diplomats and state employees living and working in Russia have been expelled by Moscow and given just days to leave the country, a spokesperson from Germany’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Saturday’s order is the latest in a series of tit-for-tat expulsions that began after Germany decided to kick out several Russian diplomats who had been accused of working for Russia’s intelligence service. Russia responded by expelling 20 German diplomats in April.

The foreign ministry spokesperson said the latest order applies to German diplomats, state employees working in Russia and teachers at the government-sponsored Goethe Institute, which offers German language courses and cultural exchange programs. All must leave the country by June 1.

The statement called the latest move “unjustified” and “incomprehensible.”

“This limit, set by Russia as of the beginning of June, requires a major cut in all areas of our presence in Russia,” the statement read. “The Federal Government is now concerned to ensure a minimum presence of intermediaries in Russia while maintaining a diplomatic presence as well.”

Russian construction worker killed in mortar shelling, regional governor says

From CNN's Darya Tarasova

Ukrainian mortar shelling killed a construction worker in the Russian border district of Sudzhansky, the regional governor claimed on Telegram Saturday.

The worker had been stationed near the village of Plekhovo, where crews were fortifying the defensive line along the state border, according to Roman Starovoyt, the Kursk region governor.

Plekhovo is less than two miles from the Ukrainian border, in western Russia.

Analysis: Ukraine’s counteroffensive is shrouded in confusion. That may be the plan

From CNN's Nick Paton Walsh, Vasco Cotovio and Fred Pleitgen
Russia’s war in Ukraine | CNN (3)

Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, attends a ceremony on March 10, in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the commander in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, has added to speculation that a long-expected massive counteroffensive by Kyiv against Russia’s occupying forces could be imminent.

“The time has come to take back what is ours,” Zaluzhnyi wrote Saturday morning.

Zaluzhnyi’s post comes after about a month of potential hints that a counteroffensive operation could be in the works, including an uptick in certain types of attacks and the deployment of military hardware.

Officially, however, the operation has not begun. Ukrainian President VolodymyrZelenskywill havefinalsayonwhen the operation is set to begin. But he may not even do that publicly, to keep Moscow off-balance.

It is possible we only learn the counteroffensive has begun when its first tangible results are revealed. A lot of what is happening is not playing out in public, even if the plan is set in stone.

CNN’s William Bonnett and Svitlana Vlasova contributed to this post.

Fresh explosions reported in the Russian-occupied port city of Berdiansk

From Olga Voitovych in Kyiv, Ukraine

Explosions were reported close to the Russian-occupied city of Berdiansk in southern Ukraine on Saturday, marking the second time in 48 hours the port city was hit.

Ukrainian official Viktor Dudukalov, the exiled deputy chairman of the Berdiansk District Council, told Ukrainian national television that facilities housing Russian soldiers in the village of Novopetrivka were hit. The targets were about 15 kilometers (9 miles) to the northeast of the city center.

Dudukalov suggested the hits could have been from “Storm Shadow” cruise missiles, which Britain said it had given to Ukraine several weeks ago. With the acquisition of those missiles, Kyiv’s forces were given the ability to strike targets further into Russian-occupied territory.

Ukraine’s armed forces typically do not officially comment on types of weaponry used in particular strikes.

Some background: Russia captured Berdiansk in the first week of its full-scale invasion in February 2022 and then subsequently used it to land its warships. The port city had previously been hit by a missile strike in the early hours of Thursday, according to an official working for the Russian authorities who occupy the city.

A Russian strike on a Ukranian hospital killed at least 2 people. Here's where things stand

From CNN staff
Russia’s war in Ukraine | CNN (4)

Firefighters extinguish a fire in a hospital building hit by a Russian missile on May 26, in Dnipro, Ukraine.

It is approaching 1 p.m. in Ukraine, where first responders have finished working to clear debris after adevastating Russian strikeon the Ukrainian city of Dnipro yesterday.

  • Search and rescue complete: After working through the night, emergency services finished clearing the rubble of the three-story medical facility in Dnipro that had been struck by Russian forces a day earlier, Ukrainian authorities said Saturday.
  • The toll: At least two people were killed and another 32 were wounded, including five in critical condition. Two of those injured were children, ages 3 and 6. Three people remained unaccounted for as of Saturday morning.
  • Vet clinic among sites struck: More than three dozen high-rise buildings, at least 20 private houses, several schools and a local stadium were damaged in the attack, a local official said. A veterinary clinic was also struck, forcing staff tosave animalsfrom the burning building.
  • War crimes condemnation:An incensed adviser to Ukraine’s president called the attacks “clear evidence” that Russiaintentionally targets civilianswith strikes like the one on Dnipro. The adviser said such attacks should be considered war crimes —a sentimentechoed by the French government. There have been more than 900attacks on Ukraine’s health care systemsince Russia’s full-scale invasion began, according to the World Health Organization.

Top Ukraine military official hints counteroffensive could be imminent

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Andrew Carey in Kyiv
Russia’s war in Ukraine | CNN (5)

Ukrainian military conducts training on Leopard 2 tanks at the test site on May 14.

In a short but surely carefully crafted post on the messaging app Telegram, the commander in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces has ratcheted up speculation that a massive counteroffensive against Russia’s occupying forces could be imminent.

The text appears underneath a video just over a minute in length showing Ukrainian forces apparently training at sunrise.

The video shows an array of Western-provided equipment, including German-made Leopard 2 tanks, seen as one of the key battlefield acquisitions by Ukraine in recent months, as well as US-made MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) armored vehicles, M777 artillery pieces and HIMARS rocket launchers.

The video ends with soldiers and their commander chanting a defiant message: “Ukraine, my native motherland, Lord, our heavenly father, bless our decisive offensive, our sacred revenge, our holy victory.”

Officially the counteroffensive is yet to begin. As we have previously reported, the different signals from Ukraine may be an attempt to keep Moscow off-balance.

Search operations completed at site of Dnipro medical facility

From CNN's Olga Voitovych
Russia’s war in Ukraine | CNN (6)

A firefighter examines the destroyed building of a medical facility, the site of a missile strike, in the city of Dnipro on May 26.

Search and rescue operationsat the site of a medical facility in the city of Dnipro that was struck by Russian forces have been completed, State Emergency Service of Ukraine said on Saturday.

Rescuers have finished clearing the rubble of the three-story building, the service said.

More than three dozen high-rise buildings and more than 20 private houses were damaged around the site of the Friday attack,Serhii Lysak, head of the regional military administration,said on the messaging app Telegram Saturday.

One person killed in Russian shelling of Kherson

From CNN's Alex Stambaugh and Josh Pennington

One person was killed after Russian shelling of Ukrainian-held parts of Kherson,Oleksandr Prokudin, the head of the Kherson regional military administration, said on Saturday.

Prokudin claimed Russia had launched “45 attacks, firing 193 shells from mortars, artillery, Grad, tanks, UAVs and aircraft” on the region over the past day.

He said the shelling occurred in residential areas of the region’s settlements, including a grain elevator in the Beryslav district.

EU warns against Russia's "extremely dangerous" move to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus

From CNN’s Lauren Kent in LondonandXiaofei Xu

The European Union is condemning the agreement between Moscow and Minsk to deploy Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus, calling it “a step which will lead to further extremely dangerous escalation,” the bloc said Friday.

“The Belarusian regime is an accomplice in Russia’s illegal and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine,” the European External Action Service said in a statement, calling on Belarus to “reverse decisions that can only contribute to heightening tensions in the region, and undermine Belarus’ sovereignty.”

“Any attempt to further escalate the situation will be met by a strong and coordinated reaction,” the European Union warned in the statement.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday thatthe transfer of some tactical nuclear weaponsfrom Russia to Belarus has begun, according to state news agency Belta.

More than 900 attacks onhealth care in Ukraine since Russian invasion began, WHO says

From CNN's Lauren Kent in London
Russia’s war in Ukraine | CNN (7)

Police officers stand near the site of a missile strike on a hospital, fenced by warning tape on May 26, in Dnipro, Ukraine.

There have been more than 900 attacks on health care in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began, according to thelatest figures from the World Health Organization.

Of the 974 total attacks, 873 of them impacted medical facilities, WHO data shows. In total, strikes on health care in Ukraine have resulted in at least 101 deaths and 136 injuries sinceFebruary 24, 2022.

Russia’s attack on amedical facility in Dnipro city on Fridayis not yet included in the WHO data or death toll, given that the organization’s process for verifying attacks takes some time. The most recent attack on health care in Ukraine that is recorded by WHO occurred on May 7, 2023, and impacted a mobile clinic.

“Attacks on health care workers, patients, transport, supplies, and health facilities are a flagrant violation of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law and must stop now,” Harris added. “We call for an immediate cessation of all activities that endanger the lives of health care workers and patients or impede delivery of essential health services.”

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Deadly Russian strikes obliterate Dnipro medical facility in central Ukraine
Ukrainians claim to have destroyed large Russian warship in Berdiansk
Iran has a direct route to send Russia weapons – and Western powers can do little to stop the shipments
Russian raiders of Belgorod side with Ukraine but struggle to stick to Kyiv’s official line

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Go deeper:

Deadly Russian strikes obliterate Dnipro medical facility in central Ukraine
Ukrainians claim to have destroyed large Russian warship in Berdiansk
Iran has a direct route to send Russia weapons – and Western powers can do little to stop the shipments
Russian raiders of Belgorod side with Ukraine but struggle to stick to Kyiv’s official line
Russia’s war in Ukraine | CNN (2024)


Why is Ukraine in war with Russia? ›

The Russo-Ukrainian War is an ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, which began in February 2014. Following Ukraine's Revolution of Dignity, Russia occupied and annexed Crimea from Ukraine and supported pro-Russian separatists fighting the Ukrainian military in the Donbas war.

How many Russian troops are in Ukraine now? ›

Strength. The strength of Russian invading forces, including Russia-controlled "people's militias" of DPR and LPR, is estimated at 190,000 personnel. The strength of Russian forces fighting at 24 February 2024 is estimated at 500,000.

What is a Russian glide bomb? ›

Russia had launched 96 glide bombs, two missile strikes, 4000 shells and 44 kamikaze drones over the last 24 hours, according to the Ukrainian army. A glide bomb is a standard air-dropped bomb modified to be launched from a distance rather than directly over the target - with some weighing up to 1.5 tonnes.

How many children have been killed in the Ukraine war? ›

According to official UN data, at least 600 children have been killed in attacks since the escalation of the war in 2022. More than 1,350 children have been injured.

Why is Ukraine important to the United States? ›

U.S.-Ukraine Relations

The United States established diplomatic relations with Ukraine in 1991, following its independence from the Soviet Union. The United States attaches great importance to the success of Ukraine's transition to a modern democratic state with a flourishing market economy.

How much territory has Ukraine lost? ›

By 11 November 2022, the Institute for the Study of War calculated that Ukrainian forces had liberated an area of 74,443 km2 (28,743 sq mi) from Russian occupation, leaving Russia with control of about 18% of Ukraine's territory.

Can Russia sustain losses? ›

The British International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said on February 12 Russia could probably sustain its annual rate of vehicle losses—over 3,000 AFVs for at least two or three years—mainly by reactivating vehicles from storage.

Who has the biggest army in the world? ›

China has the largest standing army, with over 2 million active personnel. With increasing defense spending over the last decades, the country also ranks third in the number of tanks and second in the number of aircraft carriers in service.

How much has Russia lost in the war? ›

Total casualties
Russian forces409,820 losses (180,000 killed)Armed Forces of Ukraine
136,500 killedBBC News Russian estimate
150,000 killed, 350,000 woundedFrench estimate
500,000 killed and woundedUK estimate
15 more rows

Does Russia have laser guided bombs? ›

KAB-1500L is a Russian precision guided weapon, part of KAB-1500 family, a laser guided bomb and also the current production standard for use on 4+ and 4++ generation fighter jets, like the Sukhoi Su-30MKI/Sukhoi Su-30MKK, Sukhoi Su-34 and Sukhoi Su-35.

Why do bombs have propellers? ›

A bomb fuse comprising firing mechanism movable from an unarmed position to an armed position and vice Versa, propeller means actuatable by air pressure to move said mechanism to the armed position, and means energized by said movement to the armed position effective to return said mechanism to the unarmed position ...

What is a flying bomb called? ›

The British and Americans called the missile the Buzz Bomb because of the buzzing noise of its air-breathing pulsejet engine, and also the Flying Bomb, Doodle Bug, and Robot Bomb.

How many children died in WWII? ›

When World War II ended in 1945, six million European Jews were dead, killed in the Holocaust. About 1.5 million of the victims were children.

How many civilians died in Ukraine war 2024? ›

Number of civilian casualties during the war in Ukraine 2022-2024. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) verified a total of 30,457 civilian casualties during Russia's invasion of Ukraine as of February 15, 2024. Of them, 19,875 people were reported to have been injured.

How many Palestinian children have been killed? ›

More than 13,800 Palestinian children were killed in Gaza, and 33 Israeli children were killed by armed groups in the 7 October attacks. At least 725 children have been injured since 7 October in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and 114 have been killed.

Was Ukraine part of Russia? ›

Most of Ukraine fell to the Russian Empire under the reign of Catherine the Great; the Crimean Khanate was annexed by Russia in 1783, following the Emigration of Christians from Crimea in 1778, and in 1793 right-bank Ukraine was annexed by Russia in the Second Partition of Poland.

When did Russia invade Ukraine? ›

What is the US stance on Russia Ukraine? ›

The United States has supported Ukraine during the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. After it began on 24 February 2022, President Joe Biden condemned the invasion, provided military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and sanctioned Russia and Belarus, the two countries most involved in invading Ukraine.

Why did the Ukraine war start for kids? ›

Ukraine and Russia became separate countries after the breakup of the Soviet Union, in 1991. Putin claimed the attack was necessary to protect people in two parts of eastern Ukraine. These regions are controlled by separatist groups. The groups want their regions to break away from Ukraine.


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