On May 17th, during the opening of the 75th Cannes Film Festival, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy spoke live via satellite video, calling on a new generation of filmmakers to fight against dictators through film creations.
Referring to Charlie Chaplin’s satirical film “The Great Dictator” released in the early days of World War II, Zelenskyy said that the Russian-Ukrainian war was the largest war since World War II, and he hoped that a new generation of filmmakers would not remain silent about it but will create films oppose authoritarianism and aspire to freedom in today’s era.
Zelenskyy quoted Chaplin’s final speech in “The Great Dictator” to show his determination against authoritarians, “The hate of men will pass, the dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people.”
Affected by the Russian-Ukrainian war, this year’s Cannes Film Festival has banned Russians with ties to the Russian government from attending. The film festival will screen several creations by Ukrainian filmmakers this year.
On May 18, Kulichenko, a 33-year-old Ukrainian man, told the media about his experience of survival. He and his two brothers were detained, tortured, executed, and buried alive by the Russian soldiers. He is the only survivor among the three brothers.
It is reported that Kulichenko lived in the village of Dovzhyk in the Chernihiv region of Ukraine. Soon after the Russia-Ukraine war began, the Russian army occupied their villages. On March 18, when the Russian army was bombed, it began to retaliate against civilians. The Russian army first detained the three brothers in the basement and interrogated them for three days, and after which they were beaten with metal rods by Russian soldiers. They were then blindfolded and taken out into the field with their hands and legs tied with duct tape. A Russian soldier put the barrel of a gun in his mouth and shot him, but luckily the bullet only pierced his cheek and exited through his right ear.
The Russians threw them into a pit and covered them with earth. He struggled to crawl out of the soil and fled to the nearest home where he was rescued. Kulichenko said Russian army’s atrocities need to be heard by all, as similar things are happening not only in Ukraine but also in other places of the world.
It is also reported that the Chernihiv District Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation into Russian war crimes and confirmed that two of Kulichenko’s brothers were executed by the Russian army. So far, more than 11,600 cases of alleged war crimes by the Russian army have been recorded across Ukraine.
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) analyzed that the Russian army is likely to have lost one-third of the ground forces it put in the invasion of Ukraine in February.
The MoD released an analysis of the Russian invasion on the 15th, saying that the attack on the eastern Donbus region is “significantly behind schedule”. There has been no substantial acquisition of territory in the past month.
Furthermore, it was analyzed that it is highly possible that one-third of the ground force that was put in in February was lost.
The MoD also pointed out that the chronic lack of equipment to cross rivers and the decline in morale may have hindered the Russian military operations.
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Russian forces continue their full-scale armed aggression against Ukraine. Units of the Russian military task force continues to be at “full” combat readiness.
Russian forces continue to destroy Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, launching missile and bomb attacks and shelling population centres and infrastructure. And full evacuation of civilians and the wounded from the combat zone was not allowed.
Russian forces continued offensive operations in the eastern combat zone to establish full control over the territories of Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson oblasts and to keep the land corridor open to the occupied Crimea.
In the direction of Ijum, the 1st Armored Army and 20th All Army Corps of the Western Military District, the 29th, 35th and 36th All Army Corps and 68th Army Corps of the Eastern Military District, and a separate group of units of the Airborne Corps focused their primary efforts on inflicting fire damage on Ukrainian units in a certain area.
In the Donetsk direction, the occupation forces artillery and jet artillery units concentrated their main efforts on continuing the offensive against Lyman, Severonezhik, Bakhmut, Avdiyev and Kulakhov regions to take full control of the city of Rubizhne and capture the settlements of Lyman and Severonezhik.
In the city of Mariupol, Russian forces used rockets, bombs, artillery and tanks to block Ukrainian forces near the Azovstal factory.
In the direction of South Buh and Tavriya, Russian forces tried to improve their tactical position.
In the Mykolayiv direction, Russian forces continued their attacks on the positions of Ukrainian defenders. Russian forces used electronic systems to suppress radio channels.
In the direction of Kryvyi Rih, Russian troops opened fire on Ukrainian artillery units.
Russian troops carry out engineering works and establish new positions in the settlements of Bruskinske and Velyka Oleksandrivka to consolidate the occupied territories.
In the direction of Bessarabi, the situation in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova remains tense.
On May 10, air force and army air defence units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine hit four Russian Orlan-10 drones.
In addition, a brigade of Ukrainian Armed Forces commandos destroyed a Russian-made Mi-24 helicopter.
The Ukrainian Air Force continued to fire on Russian forces from the air in certain directions.
In Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Ukrainian defenders repelled 12 Russian attacks, destroying 12 tanks, four artillery systems, 19 armored fighting vehicles, seven vehicles and two sets of enemy special engineering equipment.
On their way to France for training, the Ukrainian national football team stopped by NFSC’s camp in Medyka, Poland. They visited the tent of the NFSC and ROLF to rest and drink coffee. They thanked the NFSC for its humanitarian assistance to Ukrainian refugees.
According to Reuters on May 10th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a US$40 billion bill to extend further assistance to Ukraine by 368 to 57. Besides funds for security assistance and replenishing stocks of U.S. equipment sent to Ukraine, the legislation authorized a further $11 billion in Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows the President to authorize the transfer of articles and services from U.S. stocks without congressional approval in response to an emergency.
In addition, the bill authorized $4 billion in Foreign Military Financing to provide support for Ukraine as well as other countries affected by the crisis and $14 billion in humanitarian assistance, including $5 billion to address global food insecurity and $9 billion for an economic support fund for Ukraine.
On May 11, UK Prime Minister Johnson announced that the UK had reached a security agreement with Sweden and Finland, committing military support from the UK for the two countries should they be under attack. In addition, the pact also intensifies intelligence sharing among the three states and accelerates joint military training, exercises, and deployments.
Johnson, echoing the same account as Miles Guo who has previously stated that the Russian-Ukrainian war had certainly changed the political landscape in Europe and around the world, said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had changed the landscape of European security and Russia has failed.
According to foreign report on May 9th, US President Joe Biden signed the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 today, allowing accelerated arms deliveries to aid Ukraine. During World War II, the Lend-Lease Act was seen as a key measure to help defeat Nazi Germany.
In signing the bill in the Oval Office, Biden said the United States supports Ukrainians in defending their country and democracy and fighting againts Putin’s brutal war. He hinted that he was prepared to make political concessions in Congress so that he could quickly get congressional approval of another $33 billion aid to Ukraine.
Biden is clear that the cost of succumbing to aggression is greater than the billions of dollars the United States is now aiding Ukraine.
In addition to directly assisting the Ukrainian government and army, the Lend-Lease Bill passed by the United States this time will also be helped by Poland and other Eastern European countries which affected by Russian aggression.
The Lend-Lease Bill signed by President Biden on the 9th is based on a plan to help Europe defeat Adolf Hitler during World War II, which helps streamline the process of aiding the flow of armaments.
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