As the war enters its fourth month, fighting remains focused on eastern Ukraine, while there continue to be daily reports of airstrikes and shelling in many other regions.
Humanitarian conditions worsen in both eastern and southern Ukraine, with ongoing, wide-scale disruptions in electricity, water and gas supplies.
The World Food Programme renews its call to open Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea to allow for the export of food amid fears of global hunger and further crises.
As of 19 May, the UN and humanitarian partners have reached nearly 6.9 million people in need across Ukraine.
Over 6 million people received food assistance and 2 million health-related support from the UN and humanitarian partners since 24 February.
Situation Overview as of 12 p.m. on 25 May
General security and humanitarian situation. On 24 May, the war in Ukraine entered its fourth month. As hostilities continue unabated in eastern Ukraine and other parts of the country are targeted by airstrikes almost daily, the fears of a prolonged war mount. On 22 May, the Parliament of Ukraine extended the martial law introduced on 24 February for another 90 days. The President of Ukraine also warned that the upcoming few weeks would likely be the most difficult yet.
Meanwhile, on 25 May, the President of the Russian Federation signed a decree allowing Ukrainians residing in southern Khersonska and southeastern Zaporizka oblast to receive Russian citizenship under a simplified procedure. The simplified procedure for eastern Donetska and Luhanska oblasts residents has already been in place since 2019.
During the reporting period, heavy fighting continued in eastern Ukraine, mainly in Luhanska and Donetska oblasts, while there were also daily reports of airstrikes, missile strikes and bombardments across Ukraine. Hostilities in Luhanska oblast were concentrated around its administrative centre, Sievierodonetsk, where the shelling of residential buildings on 19 May reportedly resulted in at least 12 people being killed. On the same day, shelling was reported to have destroyed a residential building, house and office in Bakhmut in the Government-controlled-areas (GCA) of Donetska oblast, where the remaining 20,000 residents have also reportedly suffered constant bombardment, and the humanitarian situation has been described as dire. Widespread missile strikes were also reported in 18 settlements in GCA of Donetska oblast on 24-25 May. And there were also damages and casualties reported in non-Government-controlled areas (NGCA) of both Donetska and Luhanska oblasts.
Elsewhere, on 20 May, a missile strike was reported to have damaged a cultural centre, residential buildings, health-care and educational facilities in Lozova in Kharkivska oblast (east), injuring eight people, including a child. On the same day, there were reports of missile strikes in Odeska oblast (south), resulting in, at least briefly, concerns of an ammonia leak. There were reports of repeated missile attacks between 20 and 23 May, evidently targeting railway infrastructure in Zhytomyrska oblast (north) but with residential and commercial buildings also being hit and with at least one Ukrainian Railways employee killed and three others and a local resident injured. Also, on 20 May, there were reports of missiles striking infrastructure in Poltavska oblast (centre). On 22 May, Mayor Alexander Senkevich reported that the city of Mykolaiv (Mykolaivska oblast, south) was being shelled with cluster bombs, warning residents to take shelter. On 23-24 May, there were reported missile attacks on railway infrastructure in Dnipropetrovska oblast (centre), also destroying several houses. On 24 May, mortar shelling was reported in Sumska oblast (north-east). On 25 May, missiles were reported to have killed at least one person, injured three others and damaged 62 houses in Zaporizhzhia (Zaporizka oblast).
The humanitarian situation has been described as particularly concerning in a number of areas of Ukraine. On 20 May, it was reported that some 15,000 were sheltering in Sievierodonetsk where water and electricity had already been cut off for several days. A city hospital was reported to have suffered repeated attacks and, as a result, is only able to provide limited health-care services – at a time of increasing demand. And on 21 May, a bridge leading to Sievierodonetsk was destroyed, leaving the partially encircled city reachable by only one road. This is expected to further complicate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the city and the evacuation of civilians.