‘The Situation Is Changing’ – Ukraine at War Update for May 9

On a visit to Italy on Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated to Rome-based news agency ANSA that the Alliance has no plans to deploy troops in Ukraine, contrary to earlier messaging by member state, France.

However, Stoltenberg stressed in the interview that it is still crucial to supply Kyiv with military aid.

“NATO has no intention of sending troops to Ukraine,” Stoltenberg stressed. “When I visited Ukraine last week, the Ukrainians didn’t ask for NATO troops – they asked for more military aid.”

Stoltenberg added that, although “the situation is changing now,” there are “no reports” of newly supplied Western aid on the ground.

French President Emmanuel Macron has been admonished by many of his NATO partners for insinuating over the past few weeks that sending Western troops into battle in Ukraine was “not off the table.”

The United States has recently authorized some $61 billion in military and other assistance to Kyiv, but President Joe Biden’s administration has communicated that these weapons will serve most likely in a 2025 counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion.

Stoltenberg added that Russian President Vladimir Putin still believes Russia can win and the only way to convince him otherwise is “to prove on the battlefield that he will not win, and the only way to do that is to supply Ukraine with military aid,” the NATO chief said.

Other Topics of Interest

S. Korea Vows Strong Ukraine Ties, Smooth Russia Relations

Seoul has long been asked by US and European allies to do more to help Kyiv, with speculation that South Korea would change longstanding policy due to North Korea’s alleged arms transfers to Russia.

Anti-Ukraine Republican representative spanked by House in a vote on a change of leadership

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday voted by a whopping 353-43 margin to squash the motion of anti-Ukraine provocateuse Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to remove House speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) from power.

After Johnson decided to ignore the warnings of the right-wing-fringe led by Taylor Greene and floor a vote on a $61 billion package to Kyiv last month, Taylor Greene and her very small but vocal isolationist coalition vowed revenge by staging a revolt against the newly elected speaker. House Democrats broadly had agreed to back the Republican leader in such a case, and widely joined the “nay” vote.

Under newly minted House rules, any single lawmaker can force a vote to oust the speaker, and while this resulted in the removal of Johnson’s predecessor, Kevin McCarthy of California, late last year, her motion on Wednesday was resoundingly voted down. Indeed, as AFP reported, “the Georgia conservative was booed by colleagues as she formally announced the effort on the House floor.”

In the final tally, 163 Democrats sided with conservatives in the lower chamber, slightly controlled by Republicans by a margin of only about four representatives.

Taylor Greene’s colleagues called the stunt an “outrageous” distraction from important business at hand.

US State Department says “tempo” of Kyiv aid is back on track

The Biden administration said that the pace of US funding to Ukraine is back to where it was previous to the months-long stalemate on Capitol Hill, broken last month by a bi-partisan agreement to re-fund foreign aid.

State Department spokesman Matt Miller told a press briefing on Wednesday, “I think you can expect to see us get back to the kind of tempo that we were at before we had this break in funding,” he said.

Miller specified that Ukraine should soon expect additional funding, despite reports that the bulk of the military assets promised in the $61 billion package approved in April will go toward a Ukrainian counteroffensive projected for next year.

Fighting continues in the Luhansk region, Ukraine hits an oil depot

Moscow’s units have marginally advanced along the Kreminna line in the region of Luhansk, the Institute for the Study of War (IS) reported on Wednesday. At the same time, defense forces are said to have destroyed a Russian oil depot on Ukrainian soil.

Geolocated footage published on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, Kyiv time, shows that Russian forces marginally advanced east of Yampolivka (west of Kreminna) and north of Bilohorivka (south of Kreminna). In contrast, a Russian military blogger claimed that the Kremlin’s soldiers advanced 1.5 kilometers east of Novosadove (northwest of Kreminna), but ISW said it has not observed visual confirmation of this claim.

Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces struck an oil depot in the occupied city of Luhansk with ATACMS missiles on Tuesday. Geolocated footage shows a large fire at a fuel depot in the city. A Russian blogger claimed that the strike damaged several fuel tanks, ISW reports.

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