May 6, 2023 Russia-Ukraine news

By Sophie Tanno, Adrienne Vogt and Matt Meyer, CNN

Updated 2117 GMT (0517 HKT) May 6, 2023
2 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
5:00 a.m. ET, May 6, 2023

Russian authorities begin evacuations from Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia region

From CNN's Katharina Krebs in London and Yulia Kesaieva in Kyiv

Russian-installed authorities in the annexed Zaporizhzhia region of southern Ukraine announced the evacuation of some of the residents front-line settlements due to "intensified shelling."

"Over the past few days, the enemy has intensified shelling of settlements located in close proximity to the line of contact," the region's Russian-appointed acting Gov. Yevgeny Balitsky said.

"In this regard, I decided to evacuate, first of all, children with their parents, the elderly, the disabled, patients of medical institutions from enemy fire and move them from frontline territories deep into the region."

Balitsky claimed the evacuations are a "necessary measure" designed to ensure the safety of residents of the front-line territories. Ukrainian officials have said Russian forces have used evacuations as a means to forcibly deport Ukrainians.

The evacuations come amid rumours of a looming Ukrainian counteroffensive, with the Zaporizhzhia region likely to be a target.

4:54 a.m. ET, May 6, 2023

Ukraine’s war effort gets complicated with Russia jamming US-provided rocket systems

From CNN's Alex Marquardt, Natasha Bertrand and Zachary Cohen

A High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) of the Ukrainian army fires close to the frontline in the northern Kherson region on November 5, 2022.
A High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) of the Ukrainian army fires close to the frontline in the northern Kherson region on November 5, 2022. Hannibal Hanschke/EPA/Shutterstock/FILE

Russia has been thwarting US-made mobile rocket systems in Ukraine more frequently in recent months, using electronic jammers to throw off its GPS guided targeting system to cause rockets to miss their targets, multiple people briefed on the matter told CNN.

Ukrainian military officials, with US help, have had to come up with a variety of different workarounds as it continues to use the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), which has been perhaps the most revered and feared piece of weaponry in Ukraine’s fight.

But in recent months, Ukraine's systems have been rendered increasingly less effective by the Russians’ intensive blocking, five US, British and Ukrainian sources tell CNN, forcing US and Ukrainian officials to find ways to tweak the HIMARS’ software to counter the evolving Russian jamming efforts.

“It is a constant cat-and-mouse game” of finding a countermeasure to the jamming, a Pentagon official said, only to then have the Russians counteract that countermeasure. And it is not clear how sustainable that game is in the long term.

Electronic warfare is carried out by both sides, up and down the front line where there is heavy drone activity used for surveillance and in partnership with artillery targeting.

With a major Ukrainian counteroffensive expected to start very soon and Ukraine’s reliance on HIMARS, solutions are even more of a priority so that Ukrainian troops can make significant headway.

“It’s one thing to be able to hold the Russians off where they are right now. It’s another thing to drive them out,” retired US Army Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson told CNN. “They’re dug in, they’ve been there for a year.”

CNN’s Oren Liebermann contributed to this report.

Read the full story here.