For the Saker Blog by Saker Staff

Khodakovsky’s (commander of Vostok Battalion) noted that they have +1,800 prisoners of war in custody. Another 80-90 surrendered over the past 24 hours and the estimate is that a few hundred is still in the hole.

It is visible! It is palpalable! Morale in the both the Armed Forces of the Ukraine as well as in the general society is dropping like a stone. Soldiers are laying down their weapons, surrendering or simply try to walk home after Azovstal, because the fairy tale, the fantasy of proud and committed nazi soldiers bravely resisting, has shattered. The will to resist from the Ukrainian side is crumbling fast.

These are just a few and reports of Ukrainian forces surrendering are many and increasing.

  • 11 servicemen of the 25th airborne brigade and 17 soldiers of the 54th mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine voluntarily laid down their arms and went over to the side of the DPR – Yevgeny Poddubny 2022-05-18
  • We are now witnessing the breakdown of Ukrainian forces in the Donbas.
  • The period of disintegration of the Ukrainian army has begun.
  • We are now witnessing the breakdown of Ukrainian forces in the Donbass.
  • RusVesna Reports: There is a mass surrender of Ukrainian soldiers in the LNR against the backdrop of the surrender of the Azov militants from Azovstal: “We want to live,” says a serviceman of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
  • … they were sent to go on the offensive, despite the fact that the commanders had already fled, abandoning their subordinate soldiers. The remaining Ukrainian servicemen surrendered because they “wanted to live”.
  • War correspondent Yevgeny Poddubny reports that in the DPR, twenty servicemen of the 95th Airborne Assault Brigade of Ukraine voluntarily laid down their arms and surrendered.
  • During the night, five more servicemen from the 95th Air Assault Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine surrendered to the DPR forces.
  • The prisoners said that the command recently used them as ordinary infantry, which was tasked with “being in the trenches and trying to hold back the offensive.”
  • In the trenches, from where the Ukrainian paratroopers surrendered, at least three dozen of their colleagues died, who could not withstand the attacks of artillery and armored vehicles, and then collided with an assault unit of the special forces of the allied forces of the DPR and the Russian Federation. The survivors refused further resistance and raised the white flag.

We can fill a page or two with similar reports.

The rule of thumb is that if you have a competent fighting force of say 600 ‘bayonets’, and 200 walk off the job, either by attrition or by surrender or by simply going awol, the fighting force cannot fight any longer. Yes, they can do a lot of damage still, and as many reports of surrenders as there are, unfortunately, there are as many reports of these forces willy nilly firing on villages and towns, taking over houses and larger structures (schools, hospitals) and hiding behind civilians and non-combatants where Kadyrov’s special forces take them out in brutal hand to hand combat while these combatants torture the civilian inhabitants.

It remains a hard and bloody grind. Yet, cauldrons are forming and the Russian forces continue the grind, day by day, and night by night. Here are some sketches of what looks like four forming now. Cauldrons

It seems that these settlements have truly now been liberated by Russian forces/LPR National Militias over the last 24 hours as part of the offensive from Popasnaya:

  • Vladimirovka
  • Tripolye
  • Khamyshevaka
  • Vrybovka
  • Zolotoe.

At least in this area of the Lugansk People’s Republic the Ukrainian defense lines are crumbling.  Shoigu confirms:

Shoigu gave an overview of the situation:

Opening speech by the Russian Minister of Defence, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, at the Russian Defence Ministry Board Session  (📑Key points

🔻About the special military operation

▫️ The liberation of the Lugansk People’s Republic is nearing completion. The Ukrainian Armed Forces, trying to delay the advance of Russian troops, are not letting local residents out of cities and towns and are using them as human shield.

▫️ Suffering defeat on the “ground”, the Kiev regime seeks to achieve at least short-term successes in certain areas, passing them off as major ones.

▫️ On the eve of Victory Day, the Ukrainian authorities made an adventurous attempt to seize Snake Island. This dubious action turned out to be a complete failure. Any provocation in the future would be severely dealt with

▫️ The blockade of the Azovstal plant continues. Nationalists blocked inside the plant are actively surrendering. To date, 1,908 people have laid down their arms.

▫️ The Russian Armed Forces are doing all they can to prevent civilian deaths. More than 1,377,000 people have been evacuated to Russia from dangerous regions of the people’s republics, as well as from Ukraine, since the beginning of the special military operation.

▫️ I would like the personnel for their professionalism, courage and heroism in accomplishing the tasks set by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief.

🔻On the situation in the Western strategic direction

▫️ The situation in the Western strategic direction is characterised by growing military threats near Russia’s borders. Over the past eight years, US strategic bomber flights in Europe have increased 15-fold. American ships with guided missiles have entered the Baltic Sea on a systematic basis.

▫️ Finland and Sweden have applied to join NATO. Tensions continue to rise in the Western Military District’s area of responsibility. Adopt adequate countermeasures.

▫️ By the end of the year, 12 military units will have been formed in the Western Military District. The ongoing organisational measures are synchronised with the supply of modern weapons and military equipment to the troops.

🔻On equipping the Aerospace Forces and the Navy with medium- and long-range unmanned aerial vehicle systems

▫️ Unmanned aerial vehicles are actively used by the Armed Forces for a wide range of missions. Over the past 10 years, their flight intensity has increased sevenfold and their annual flight time has risen 23-fold. Since 2015, unmanned aerial vehicles have been monitoring almost all of Syrian territory around the clock.

▫️ During the special military operation in Ukraine, UAVs conduct aerial reconnaissance and carry out selective point-blank strikes against enemy targets in dense urban areas, preventing damage to civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties. Information obtained from UAVs is transmitted in real time to consumers. This enables troops to react quickly to changes in the situation and act as effectively as possible.

▫️ The army and navy continue to receive modern systems with unmanned aerial vehicles for operational purposes.

▫️ Strategic UAVs are expected to be delivered in the near future. Their use will save pilots and significantly reduce the cost of reconnaissance and firing missions by reducing the consumption of ammunition and the resource of aircraft.

Let’s take a quick look at the battlefield through the eyes of the intrepid reporters at Readovka:

The topic of the day was the surrender of the touted “Azovstal hero” radical Sviatoslav Palamar with the call sign Kalina. Our sources reported in the morning that the “manure” was already ( in Rostov-on-Don. By evening, however, a video appeared online ( in which “Kalina” himself was broadcasting that the 85th day of the war was going on, and that he and his command were still at the Azovstal plant. He also talked about some kind of secret special operation. Some authors ironically say that it is most likely a sex change operation.

⚔️ The situation on the fronts remains tense, but the successes of the Allied forces are hard to ignore:

▫️ On the Kharkov front, losses in manpower, equipment, and concentration by Ukrainian forces are beginning to be felt. Today ours were able to liberate ( Ternovaya near the Russian state border.

▫️Izium front – fighting near Krasny Liman, where up to 1,500 enemy soldiers are under threat of being surrounded. Heavy fighting is going on in the woods near the village of Dolgenkoye.

▫️The Lugansk front is becoming a black mark for the Ukrainian army. Even the commanders on the ground themselves are already telling the top military leadership about the lack of heavy equipment and the incompetence of some leaders. So the 3rd battalion of the 115th brigade of the AFU refused ( to go into battle near Severodonetsk. Meanwhile, our forces are developing a grandiose offensive from Popasna in several directions – it is not for nothing that they fought so hard for this bridgehead for almost a whole month. It is reported that Allied troops from the north of the city entered ( Viktorovka, to the south they took ( Troitskoye, to the northeast they half-cleared Toshkovka, and to the west they are fighting for Pilipchatino. There is also information that our paratroopers have liberated ( the village of Vladimirovka, near Soledar, and Wagner’s “music” has liberated Tripillya. In fact, all this work that has been done guarantees tight fire control of our artillery over the Soledar-Lisichansk highway. The storming of Severodonetsk does not stop either – the fighters go into battle from three directions at once.

▫️On the Donetsk Front, fighting is taking place near Novoselovka-2 and Novobakhmutovka, as well as on the outskirts of New York – the Avdeevka cauldron continues to “forge”, the front is pushing further away from Gorlovka.

▫️ In Mariupol, more than half of the garrison in bunkers left Azovstal ( This was reported by the head of the DNR Denis Pushylin. More than 2,000 heavily armed fighters have now surrendered (

▫️The Southern Front appears to have taken an operational pause to bring in reserves and strike assets. “Courtesies” are being exchanged between artillerymen on both sides.

💣 Our border territories have once again been hit by chaotic Ukrainian shelling. This time it was ( the village of Tetkino in the Kursk region, where, according to the governor, one person was killed by shrapnel. In the evening, there was another report from Kursk region that AFU fired mortars at ( the villages of Alekseevka and Dronovka.

🚀Air Arrivals. Yasinovataya again received ( strikes on civilians by the AFU. They also reached ( the settlement of the mine named after them. Lenin. The Petrovsky district of Donetsk was also shelled ( There was air defense work in Kherson.

👁From interesting things: swastikas, prayers and pagan rituals – Azov people, who in a hurry left the base near Mariupol, abandoned ( all their nationalist paraphernalia on it

👁It’s no secret that stopping the supply of weapons and ammunition to the AFU on the front line is the main task of our army. We found ( on the net a list of large ammunition depots in the central part of Ukraine, which is definitely worth “calibrating”.

The grind will continue and so will the reconstruction. The Russian government has now created a special office responsible for the restoration of the liberated territories of the Ukraine, says the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Marat Khusnullin.

It is interesting to note also if you read the Russian MoD early morning report, the numbers of military targets being hit, are increasing.  Notable this morning is: 17 Ukrainian Smerch multiple-launch rockets intercepted near Topolskoe, Malaya Kamyshevakha, Snezhkovka in Kharkov Region and Chernobaevka in Kherson Region.

We close with two wonderful reports on the Azovites where the meme: ‘I laughed my Azov’ took root.

Translate this one for sure. It is the journalist Steshin who was on the spot and probably still is.

That is it for today. Enjoy your discussion and be careful with the Ukie propaganda. It is everywhere.

The Essential Saker IV: Messianic Narcissism's Agony by a Thousand Cuts
The Essential Saker III: Chronicling The Tragedy, Farce And Collapse of the Empire in the Era of Mr MAGA