May 30, 2023 - Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, Jack Guy, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, May 31, 2023
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1:13 a.m. ET, May 30, 2023

1 killed in "massive" drone attack on Kyiv, Ukrainian officials say

From CNN's Mariya Knight

An explosion of a drone is seen in the sky over the city during a Russian drone strike, in Kyiv on May 30.
An explosion of a drone is seen in the sky over the city during a Russian drone strike, in Kyiv on May 30. Gleb Garanich/Reuters

One person was killed and at least three others were injured as a result of explosions in Kyiv early Tuesday as the city's air defenses intercepted 20 drones, the Ukrainian military said.

In a Telegram post, the Kyiv city military administration said a fire broke out at a high-rise apartment building in Holosiivskyi district due to falling debris and warned that people may be trapped under rubble.

Authorities also reported that debris fell on several other districts of the capital, including Pecherskyi, Darnytskyi, Dniprovskyi, Podilskyi and Sviatoshynskyi.

It marks the 17th aerial attack on Kyiv this month, with the Russians varying their assaults with missiles, drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, according to Ukrainian officials.

“The attack was massive, from different directions, in several waves. The air alert lasted almost 3 hours!” the Telegram post said.

The drone attacks Tuesday come after after Moscow's forces launched an unusual daytime missile attack on Kyiv Monday that Ukraine's military said signified a change in Russian tactics.

11:03 p.m. ET, May 29, 2023

Anti-Putin Russian fighters claim new incursion into Russia

From CNN's Mariya Knight

The Russian Volunteer Corps, a group of anti-Putin Russian nationals aligned with the Ukrainian army, claimed Monday that its members had reentered Russian territory.

"Yesterday, Russian border guards celebrated their professional holiday. The fighters of the Russian Volunteer Corps congratulated them by successfully crossing the 'holey' state border once again," the group wrote in a Telegram post. 

The group published photos of armed men in a field, but the pictures don't clearly indicate where they were taken. CNN cannot verify the authenticity of the photos.

"The aim of our incursion will be evident in the near future," the Russian Volunteer Corps added.

The group's claimed incursion comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the importance of protecting borders near the combat zone in his Border Guard Day address on Saturday, calling it “a separate and very significant task.”

Last week, the Russian Volunteer Corps and the anti-Putin Freedom for Russia Legion claimed responsibility for a cross-border attack in Russia’s southwestern region of Belgorod.

The chief of the private military Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, claimed last week that Russian defense forces are “absolutely not ready to resist the Russian Volunteer Corps in any shape or form.”  

9:00 p.m. ET, May 29, 2023

1 person hospitalized after explosions in Kyiv, mayor reports

From CNN's Mariya Knight and Josh Pennington

One person has been hospitalized in Kyiv’s Holosiivskyi district after explosions were heard in the capital in the early hours of Tuesday, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

Klitschko also reported that "all emergency services" are headed to Podilskyi district, without providing any further details.

According to Klitschko, a house in Darnytskyi district and three cars in Pecherskyi district caught fire as a result of falling debris.

9:29 p.m. ET, May 29, 2023

Russia is transferring forces to Bakhmut to replace Wagner fighters, Ukrainian military says

From CNN's Mariya Knight

Russia has been transferring its forces to Bakhmut to replace fighters from the Wagner group, said Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesperson for the Eastern Grouping of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, during an interview with Ukrainian media on Monday.

"Yes, [Russia] is currently rotating its units [in Bakhmut] — primarily in light of the significant losses the Wagner group has suffered. They are forced to do it, not for any other reason,” Cherevatyi said. “Units of airborne forces and motorized infantry units of are entering [Bakhmut]. We know what units they are; we know their commanders and their combat capabilities."

Cherevatyi noted “all of these Russian units have been taking part in hostilities since 24 February 2022 and have sustained significant losses.”

He also said Russia used “recently mobilized soldiers” to replenish those units.

In recent days, “the dynamics of combat clashes in the Bakhmut direction have been approximately the same," Cherevatyi said.

Some context: Cherevatyi’s comments echoed those of Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar, who said Russians are "replacing troops from Wagner with regular units and trying to stabilize the defense in this area."

On Sunday, Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said the handover of his fighters' positions in Bakhmut to Russian army units may extend to June 5.

12:41 a.m. ET, May 30, 2023

Zelensky says the timing of Ukraine's counteroffensive has been set

From CNN's Mariya Knight

Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 25.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 25. UPI/Alamy/AP

Ukraine has made a decision on the timing of its counteroffensive, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address on Monday. 

“As usual, the commander-in-chief and the commanders of the operational directions reported to the staff,” Zelensky said. "Not only the supply of ammunition, not only the training of new brigades, not only our tactics. But also, the timing. This [the timing] is what is most important. The timing of how we will move forward. We will.”

“The decisions have been made,” he added.

Zelensky did not provide further details on when the counteroffensive would launch.

8:41 p.m. ET, May 29, 2023

1 person killed, several injured after shelling in Russia's Belgorod region, governor says

From CNN's Mariya Knight and Josh Pennington

One person was killed and several others were injured by shelling in the town of Shebekino in Russia's Belgorod region, the region's governor said.

Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov said on his Telegram channel on Monday that it was a "difficult day" and that there was "a lot of shelling."

Gladkov noted that in recent days Belgorod had endured a “large amount of damage caused by hours of shelling” that caused the power, cell phone connection, heat and water to go off in numerous areas, which have now been restored.

The governor mentioned Novaya Tavolzhanka, Grafovka, Murom and Arkhangelsky being among the affected areas. 

8:40 p.m. ET, May 29, 2023

At least 2 killed in airstrike near Bakhmut, Ukrainian officials say

From CNN's Svitlana Vlasova in Kyiv and Tim Lister

The State Emergency Service of Ukraine released video Monday of the immediate aftermath of what it says was a Russian airstrike on a gas station in Toretsk, a town near the eastern city of Bakhmut. 

At least two people were reportedly killed and eight were wounded in the strike, the unit said on Facebook, and three injured individuals were removed from the rubble.

Toretsk is regularly hit by Russian artillery as well as occasional airstrikes. Earlier Monday, the Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic accused the Ukrainians of shelling the occupied town of Horlivka from positions around Toretsk. 

1:14 a.m. ET, May 30, 2023

Russia will not go into a negotiation without winning the war in Ukraine, EU's top diplomat says

From CNN’s Sugam Pokharel 

Josep Borrell speaks during the first day of the 38th meeting of the Cercle d'Economia, in Barcelona on May 29.
Josep Borrell speaks during the first day of the 38th meeting of the Cercle d'Economia, in Barcelona on May 29. David Zorrakino/Europa Press/Getty Images

Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top diplomat, said on Monday he was “not optimistic” about how the Russia-Ukraine conflict will play out this summer.

Borrell added that he believes Russia will only negotiate if it wins the war.

“I am not optimistic about what will happen in Ukraine this summer. I see a concentration of troops on both sides, I see Russia's clear intent to win the war, (Russia) will not go into a negotiation if it doesn't win the war,” he said, speaking in Barcelona. 

Borrell's remarks come as Moscow hit Kyiv with an array of missile fire Monday in a surprise daytime attack, hours after an overnight barrage of the Ukrainian capital and across the country.

1:14 a.m. ET, May 30, 2023

Moscow "changes tactics" and hits Kyiv with daytime missile attack

From CNN's Rob Picheta and Tim Lister

Missile parts on a street after a Russian strike in Kyiv on May 29.
Missile parts on a street after a Russian strike in Kyiv on May 29. Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

Russia hit Kyiv with an array of missile fire on Monday in a surprise daytime attack, hours after an overnight barrage of the Ukrainian capital and across the country.

Explosions were heard in central Kyiv late in the morning on Monday, sparking sirens and sending residents rushing for shelter just as the city recovered from a more typical overnight bombardment.

Kyiv’s armed forces said it downed 11 Iskander missiles launched by Russia in the daytime raid. One man was hospitalized after missile fragments landed in the Podilskyi district, Kyiv’s mayor Vitalii Klitschko said.

Serhii Popko, head of Kyiv city military administration, said this attack shows “the enemy changed its tactics — after prolonged, nighttime attacks only, it struck a peaceful city during the day, when most residents were at work and outside.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky posted a video of a child running for shelter as an explosion is heard in the background.

“Ukrainian children. Every time an air raid alert sounds,” he said. “This is what an ordinary weekday looks like.”

His wife, Olena Zelenska, reposted the video, adding: “Morning after sleepless night under fire. Anxiety once again… Children running and screaming for shelter to the sounds of explosions. But it should not be like this.”

Hours earlier, cities across Ukraine were hit by a wave of Russian strikes.

The Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, said 37 cruise missiles, dozens of Shahed drones and a reconnaissance UAV were shot down by Kyiv’s forces — the vast majority of those fired.

Read more here.