May 15, 2023 - Russia-Ukraine news

By Rhea Mogul, Brad Lendon, Christian Edwards, Aditi Sangal, Mike Hayes, Lianne Kolirin, Elise Hammond and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, May 16, 2023
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10:12 p.m. ET, May 14, 2023

Zelensky says Ukraine and its allies can make Russia’s defeat "irreversible" 

From CNN's Sugam Pokharel

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at a news conference in Berlin on May 14.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at a news conference in Berlin on May 14. Markus Schreiber/AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that Ukraine and its allies can make Russia’s defeat “irreversible” this year. 

"Now is the time for us to determine the end of this war this year. This year we can make the aggressor's defeat irreversible," he said at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin. 

"The time for action is now. We all want this war to finally end, but to end in a just and fair peace. Ukraine and the whole of Europe must be free. Our territorial integrity and security, as well as the territorial integrity and security of all European nations, must be guaranteed."

Zelensky said he would talk to Scholz about his quest for fighter jets, while admitting that “it's not an easy question.” He said Ukraine is working to create a “fighter jet coalition” and is asking Germany to join. 

In March, Poland became the first NATO member to pledge MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. Slovakia completed the transfer of its 13 MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in April.

Zelensky on Sunday also thanked Germany for providing Ukraine with defense and financial support. 

"German assistance is the protection of life," Zelensky said. "The lives of our people in cities and villages, which are reliably protected, in particular, by the air defense systems you have provided. The lives of our soldiers on the battlefield, which are protected by the armored vehicles you have provided. Social life in Ukraine, which is protected by your financial support."
9:24 p.m. ET, May 14, 2023

Russia's air force may have suffered one of its worst days since the Ukraine war began

From CNN's Tim Lister and Kostan Nechyporenko

Smoke rises after a SU-34 warplane crashed in Bryansk, Russia, on May 13.
Smoke rises after a SU-34 warplane crashed in Bryansk, Russia, on May 13. kommersant/Telegram

Four Russian aircraft were shot down within Russian territory, according to unconfirmed reports, in what would mark a significant coup for Ukraine.

There are conflicting accounts about how many planes and helicopters may have been brought down inside the Russian region of Bryansk, but one Russian media outlet says that at least two combat aircraft — an Su-34 and an Su-35 — and two Mi-8 helicopters crashed.

Ukraine has not confirmed its air defenses were involved in the reported downing of the Russian aircraft on Saturday, but says the aircraft “ran into some trouble.”

Bryansk is on the border with Ukraine and has seen previous attacks blamed on Kyiv.

Multiple crashes within Russian territory at the same time would be unprecedented. Some analysts believe Ukrainian air defenses may have been pushed forward as the Russian air force uses more “glide munitions” that can fire at targets from distance.

The Ukrainian air force spokesman, Yuriy Ihnat, said Sunday that a Russian “strike air group attacked Ukraine from the north, from Bryansk Oblast. They do this almost every day. They carry out strikes with guided bombs.”
In this instance, he said, “they ran into some trouble. They wanted to bomb our civilians, our peaceful people.” He went on to call it a “black day” for Russian aviation.

Social media videos geolocated by CNN show at least one helicopter crashing near the town of Klintsy in Bryansk, which is 50 kilometers from the Ukrainian border.

Aleksandr Bogomaz, the governor of Bryansk, confirmed that a helicopter had crashed, injuring one civilian, but gave no details on the cause.

Another video, showing an aircraft coming down and a column of black smoke, has been geolocated to a village in Bryansk some 25 kilometers from Klintsy.

The official Russian news agency TASS published video of one helicopter exploding in mid-air and confirmed that an Su-34 fighter had crashed, without indicating the cause.

Read more here.