RUSSIA ATTEMPTS TO SLOW UKRAINIAN RESUPPLY: On the 70th day of its offensive, Russian forces unleashed more missile strikes across Ukraine and stepped up artillery attacks, as its troops make little progress on the ground in their effort to take over all of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, which borders Russia.
In Lviv, in western Ukraine, near the Polish border, three cruise missiles hit a power plant, while in other cities, railroad stations, fuel and ammunition depots, and artillery positions were targeted by Russian aircraft and artillery.
“In order to destroy Ukraine’s transport infrastructure, the Russian enemy fired missiles at facilities in Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad, Lviv, Vinnytsia, Kyiv, Zakarpattia, Odesa and Donetsk oblasts,” according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.
“What we believe this is, is an attempt by the Russians to try to hit targets that they believe are affecting the Ukrainians' ability to resupply or reinforce themselves,” said Pentagon press secretary John Kirby on CNN last night.
“We've seen them hit weapons production facilities in Kyiv, for instance. We've seen them in central Ukraine go after what they believe are weapon storage facilities or ammo depots,” Kirby said. “And then they have also begun to try to hit transportation hubs because they know that the Ukrainians are using things like the rail lines to move their troops and to move their equipment.”
‘THEY ARE TRYING TO VENT THEIR POWERLESSNESS’: In his nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Russia has continued to bombard the Azovstal steel plant complex in Mariupol even as U.N.-brokered evacuations of civilians continue for another day.
“Currently, Russian troops are not adhering to the agreements. They continue massive strikes at Azovstal. They are trying to storm the complex,” Zelensky said, putting the number of women and children who were safely evacuated to Zaporizhzhia at 156. “This is not a victory yet, but this is already a result. And I believe that there is a chance to save our other people.”
“Apparently, the Russian military has reacted extremely nervously to our success today. Various Ukrainian cities have once again become targets for Russian missiles and Russian strikes,” Zelensky said.
“The scale of today's shelling clearly does not indicate that Russia has any special military purpose. Strike at Zakarpattia? What exactly can it give Russia? They are trying to vent their powerlessness. Because they can't beat Ukraine.”
KREMLIN DEPORTS NEARLY 40,000 FROM MARIUPOL TO RUSSIA, UKRAINIAN OFFICIAL SAYS
‘PUTIN MUST PAY A PRICE’: The head of the European Union called for an increase in the economic pressure on Russia, proposing a ban on all Russian oil imports by the end of the year.
"Putin must pay a price, a high price for his brutal aggression," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, proposing the gradual phase-out of Russian oil.
“Finally, we now propose a ban on Russian oil. Let's be clear: it will not be easy. But we simply have to work on it. We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion. To maximize pressure on Russia, while minimizing the impact on our economies,” she said on Twitter.
In addition, von der Leyen called for targeting Russia's biggest bank with further sanctions. The proposal must still be approved by the 27 member states.
WESTERN LEADERS PREDICT SPEEDY END TO WAR AS PUTIN SIGNALS SURGE
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HAPPENING TODAY: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin welcomes Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi to the Pentagon at 11 a.m. as President Joe Biden prepares for a visit to Japan and South Korea which is just over two weeks away.
At the White House yesterday, national security adviser Jake Sullivan met his Japanese counterpart Akiba Takeo to go over preparations for the trip. “The two agreed that the meeting between the President and Prime Minister [Fumio] Kishida is an opportunity to affirm the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance, take steps to strengthen deterrence in the region, and advance our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the White House said in a statement.
13TH NORTH KOREAN MISSILE TEST: As if to mark the impending Biden visit, as well as next week’s inauguration of South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol, North Korea launched a ballistic missile over the East Sea, its 13th ballistic missile test of the year.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the launch came from the Sunan area in Pyongyang at noon Korea time, and that the missile flew 292 miles, reaching an altitude of 485 miles and a speed of Mach 11, according to the Yonhap news agency.
The test comes one week after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to “take measures for further developing the nuclear forces of our state at the fastest possible speed.”
NEW SACEUR: His name has been out there for a while, but yesterday the Pentagon made it official, announcing that Biden has nominated Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli to be NATO's next supreme allied commander, an assignment that also includes taking over as commander of the U.S. European Command.
Cavoli, a Russian speaker who has led the Army in Europe for the past four years, will replace retiring Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters.
BIDEN HIGHLIGHTS LOCKHEED MARTIN FACILITY MAKING KEY WEAPON FOR UKRAINE
MILLEY TO ADDRESS WEST POINT GRADS: Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been tapped to deliver the commencement address at this year's U.S. Military Academy’s Class of 2022 graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 21.
It will be Milley’s first visit to West Point as a graduation speaker. Milley, a native of Winchester, Massachusetts, graduated from Princeton University in 1980.
'LEADERSHIP' MOST IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RUSSIA AND UKRAINE, MILLEY SAYS
Washington Examiner: Kremlin deports nearly 40,000 from Mariupol to Russia, Ukrainian official says
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Washington Examiner: State Department now considers Brittney Griner 'wrongfully detained' in Russia
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Washington Examiner: Western leaders predict speedy end to war as Putin signals surge
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Task & Purpose: What overturning Roe v. Wade could mean for the US military
Washington Post: Russian TV Portrays Simulated Nuclear Strike Wiping Out Britain, Ireland
Washington Post: Austin Says Weapons Provided By U.S. Are Making A Difference In Conflict
New York Times: Sensing A Stalled Russia, The West Funnels Support And Arms To Kyiv
Stars and Stripes: U.S. Weapons Stockpiles Will Not Be Depleted To Dangerous Levels For Ukraine War, Military Officials Tell Senators
Air Force Magazine: Greater Threat Doesn’t Necessarily Mean More B-21s Needed: Brown
Breaking Defense: Air Force backtracks, now says it’s paying for KC-46 panoramic camera fix
Breaking Defense: New Marine Corps Aviation Plan Makes ‘Digital Interoperability’ A Top Priority
Air Force Magazine: Austin: Need to Consider ‘Range of Capabilities’ in Developing Hypersonic Weapons
Air Force Magazine: Calvelli to Be Sworn In as First Space Acquisition Chief This Week
Military Times: Army officer convicted in first known COVID court-martial
Washington Post: Years-Long Delay For U.S. Arms Delivery To Taiwan
Reuters: U.S. Relieved As China Appears To Heed Warnings On Russia
19fortyfive.com: NATO and The West Must Help Ukraine Defeat Russia
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19fortyfive.com: Agile Combat Employment: How the US Air Force Would Fight Russia?
The Cipher Brief: Opinion: Australia Must End its Pacific Stupor Before it’s too late
The Cipher Brief: Opinion: How Layered Defense in Ukraine is Shaping Future U.S. Military Operations
Forbes: Opinion: GAO’s Latest Report On The F-35 Fighter Acquisition Program Finds No Major Problems. Really.
WEDNESDAY | MAY 4
8 a.m. 901 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. — Economic Club of Washington, D.C. discussion with Kathy Warden, chair, CEO and president of Northrop Grumman Corporation. https://www.economicclub.org/events/kathy-warden
8:30 a.m. 2900 K St. N.W. — National Defense Industrial Association U.S.-Sweden Defense Industry Conference: “The Return of Great Power Competition," with Swedish Ambassador to the U.S. Karin Olofsdotter; Swedish Ministry of Defense State Secretary J.O. Lind; and Michael Vaccaro, principal deputy assistant secretary for defense industrial base policy in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, https://www.ndia.org/events/2022/5/4/18th-us-sweden-defense-industry-conference
10 a.m. 106 Dirksen — Senate Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing: “FY2023 Homeland Security budget,” with testimony from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas http://appropriations.senate.gov
10 a.m. — Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual discussion: “Force Design 2030 and Marine Corps Modernization Efforts," with Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl, commanding general at Marine Corps Combat Development Command; and retired navy Vice Adm. Peter Daly, CEO and publisher at the U.S. Naval Institute https://www.csis.org/events/maritime-security-dialogue
11 a.m. — Atlantic Council virtual discussion: “China's Discourse Power Operations in the Global South," with Paul Nantulya, research associate at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies; Dawn Murphy, associate professor of international security at the Air War College; Kenton Thibaut, resident China fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab; and Pepe Zhang, associate director at the Atlantic Council's Latin America Center https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/event/report-launch
12 p.m. — Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress virtual event: “Russia’s Politics, Propaganda and Memory,” with Jade McGlynn, senior researcher, Monterey Initiative; Ben Noble, associate fellow, Chatham House https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register
2 p.m. — Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual "Civics at Work" launch event, focusing on civic education as a national security imperative, with Brad Smith, president and vice chair of Microsoft; Tom Fanning, president and CEO of the Southern Company; Teresa Hutson, vice president of tech and corporate responsibility at Microsoft; Michael Carney, senior vice president of emerging issues at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation; and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center https://www.csis.org/events/civics-work-launch-event
2:30 p.m. 562 Dirksen — Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe hearing: “Russian War Crimes in Ukraine," with U.S. Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack; Ukraine Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova; Wolfgang Benedek, emeritus university professor of public international law at the University of Graz; Veronika Bilkova, associate professor and faculty of law at Charles University in Prague; Marco Sassoli, international law professor at the University of Geneva; and Timothy Snyder, history professor at Yale University and permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna Livestream at https://www.youtube.com/user/HelsinkiCommission
3:30 p.m. 192 Dirksen — Senate Appropriations Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing: FY2023 Veterans Affairs budget, with testimony from VA Secretary Denis McDonough http://appropriations.senate.gov
4:30 p.m. G-50 Dirksen — Senate Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing: "The Nuclear Weapons Council,” with testimony from Jill Hruby, Energy undersecretary for nuclear security and administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration; Heidi Shyu, Defense undersecretary for research and engineering; William LaPlante, Defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment; John Plumb, assistant Defense secretary for space policy; Adm. Christopher Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Adm. Charles Richard, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command http://www.armed-services.senate.gov
6 p.m. — Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual discussion: “Australia's Election: Foreign Policy and National Security Implications," with Amelia Adams, senior U.S. correspondent at Nine Network Australia; Peter Hartcher, political editor and international editor at the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age; and Stan Grant, ABC international affairs analyst and host of "China Tonight" https://www.csis.org/events/australias-election-foreign-policy
THURSDAY | MAY 5
9:30 a.m. — Brookings Institution virtual discussion: “U.S. Grand Strategy Under President Biden and Beyond," with panels on "The Biden Administration's National Security Agenda,” and "Future National Security Challenges" https://connect.brookings.edu/register
9:30 a.m. — Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual discussion: “Ukraine's Impact on Asia and Korea," with former South Korean Ambassador to Russia Wi Sung-lac; and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, director of Stanford University's Institute for International Studies https://www.csis.org/events/capital-cable-47-ukraines-impact-asia-and-korea
11 a.m. — Washington Post Live virtual discussion with Swedish Ambassador to the U.S. Karin Olofsdotter on "the growing public support in her country to join NATO" and rising tensions between her country and Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. https://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live
12 p.m. — Hudson Institute virtual discussion: “National Security Presidential Memorandum-13 (NSPM-13) and the Future of Cyber Warfare," with Alexei Bulazel, cyber policy expert at the Alumnus, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Computer Security Team; J.D. Work, professor at the National Defense University; Joshua Steinman, CEO and co-founder of Galvanick; and Ezra Cohen, adjunct fellow at Hudson https://www.hudson.org/events/2109-virtual-event
1 p.m. — Nextgov, Defense One and Route Fifty virtual discussion: “Cyber Defenders: Part Two, The Road Ahead," with Steven Hernandez, chief information security officer and director of information assurance services at the Education Department; https://events.nextgov.com/cyber-defenders-part-two
2:30 p.m. — Atlantic Council virtual discussion: “The national security implications of small satellites," with Alan Pellegrini, CEO at Thales North America; Nicholas Eftimiades, professor at the Penn State University Homeland Security Program; Paula Trimble, policy chief and legislative affairs director at the Defense Department's Space Development Agency; Bleddyn Bowen, associate professor at the University of Leicester; Paul Graziani, CEO and co-founder at Analytical Graphics Inc.; Sandra Erwin, senior staff writer at SpaceNews; and Frederick Kempe, president and CEO at the Atlantic Council https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/event
1 p.m. — SETA Foundation at Washington D.C. virtual discussion: “Can the Western Policy Help Ukraine Achieve Victory?” with Steven Pifer, nonresident senior fellow, Brookings Institution; Kathryn Stoner, senior fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University; Kilic Kanat, research director, SETA Foundation; and moderator Kadir Ustun, executive director, SETA Foundation https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register
3 p.m. 2121 K St. N.W. — International Institute for Strategic Studies roundtable discussion: “America's Defense Trade," with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Security Mira Resnick; and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Defense Trade Mike Miller https://www.iiss.org/events/2022/05/defense-trade-roundtable
4 p.m. — Woodrow Wilson Center Polar Institute virtual discussion: “Nordic Security Perspectives in the Arctic," with Norwegian Ambassador to the U.S. Anniken Ramberg Krutnes; Danish Ambassador to the U.S. Lone Dencker Wisborg; and Michael Sfraga, chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and the WWC Polar Institute https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/nordic-security-perspectives-arctic
7 p.m. — Council for a Livable World virtual discussion, “Nuclear Justice and the Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons," with Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif.,https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register
7:30 p.m. — Stanford University Institute for International Studies Sidney Drell Lecture: “The President's Nuclear Button," with Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif. https://fsi.stanford.edu/events/presidents-nuclear-button
FRIDAY | MAY 6
4 a.m. Florence, Italy — Woodrow Wilson Center Global Europe Program virtual conference: “The State of the Union: A Europe Fit for the Next Generation?" with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/state-union-europe-fit-next-generation
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“So these weapons, touched by the hands — your hands — are in the hands of Ukrainian heroes, making a significant difference. And that’s something each and every day you could and should be proud of … In fact, they’ve been so important there’s even a story about Ukrainian parents naming their children — not a joke — their newborn child ‘Javelin’ or ‘Javelina.’”
President Joe Biden talking to workers Tuesday at the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy, Alabama, that makes the Javelin anti-tank missile.