President Zelensky meets US officials
Russian forces are launching an all-out assault to encircle Ukrainian troops in twin cities straddling a river in eastern Ukraine.
The battle could determine the success or failure of Moscow’s campaign in the east. It came as Ukrainian Defence Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk warned that the war in the east would likely determine the fate of Ukraine as a whole.
The easternmost part of the Ukrainian-held Donbas pocket, the city of Sievierodonetsk on the east bank of the Siverskiy Donets river and its twin Lysychansk on the west bank, have become pivotal battlefields, with Russian forces advancing from three directions.
Mr Motuzyanyk said: “Now we are observing the most active phase of the full-scale aggression which Russia unfolded against our country. The situation on the (eastern) front is extremely difficult, because the fate of this country is perhaps being decided (there) right now.”
Meanwhile, two top Russian security officials vowed on Tuesday that Moscow will achieve all the goals set for the “military operation” in Ukraine.
Ukraine says at least 14 civilians killed in Russian attacks Tuesday in east
Ukraine’s military has said that Russian troops killed at least 14 civilians and injured 15 more on Tuesday during mass attacks in the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions, the focus of Moscow’s latest offensive.
Writing in a Facebook post, it said Russian troops had used aircraft, multiple rocket launchers, artillery, tanks, mortars and missiles in their assault on the two regions, large parts of which are controlled by Russian-speaking separatists.
Eleanor Sly24 May 2022 21:05
US says 20 countries promised advanced weapons to Ukraine, including harpoon launcher and missiles
Nearly four dozen nations have committed to offering new weapons systems and other security assistance to Ukraine as its defence forces continue to push back against Russian troops, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has said.
Mr Austin announced the new weapons transfers following a meeting of defence ministers for the 24-country Ukraine Contact Group, during which the group received a briefing from Ukraine Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov.
Speaking to reporters at the close of the meeting, Mr Austin said attendees had “gained a sharper and shared sense of Ukraine’s priority requirements and the situation on the battlefield”.
Eleanor Sly24 May 2022 20:49
Russia wages all-out assault to encircle Ukraine troops in east
Russian forces have encircle Ukrainian troops in twin cities straddling a river in eastern Ukraine, in a battle which may determine the success or failure of Moscow’s main campaign in the east.
“The situation on the [eastern] front is extremely difficult because the fate of this country is perhaps being decided [there] right now,” Ukrainian Defence Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told a televised briefing.
Eleanor Sly24 May 2022 20:30
McDonald’s golden arches pulled down from Moscow restaurant as company leaves Russia
The internationally famous golden arches of McDonald’s were pulled down from a restaurant close to Moscow after the fast-food chain said it is pulling out of Russia.
Stores in hundreds of locations across the country were closed down in March following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, in a move that cost the business around $55 million per month.
An existing McDonald’s licensee, Alexander Govor, who operates 25 restaurants in Siberia, has bought 850 Russian restaurants and has agreed to operate them under a new name, according to AP.
Eleanor Sly24 May 2022 20:10
EU accuses Russia of using food supplies as a weapon
Russia is using food supplies as a weapon with global repercussions, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the annual World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, she said “global cooperation” was the “antidote to Russia’s blackmail”.
“In Russian-occupied Ukraine, the Kremlin’s army is confiscating grain stocks and machinery (…) And Russian warships in the Black Sea are blockading Ukrainian ships full of wheat and sunflower seeds,” Ms von der Leyen added.
Tom Batchelor24 May 2022 19:49
UK criticises ‘Putin’s despicable blockade of Odesa’
The UK and allies are working to help Ukraine export vital food supplies but there are “
no current plans” for Royal Navy warships to help break Russia’s blockade.
The government said it was working “intensively” with partners to find ways to allow grain exports to resume, but it played down the prospect of Royal Navy warships risking a clash with Russia to break Vladimir Putin’s blockade.
A UK government spokesman said: “Putin’s despicable blockade of Odesa is preventing food getting to people who need it.
“We will continue to work intensively with international partners to find ways to resume the export of grain from Ukraine.
“However, there are no current plans to deploy UK warships to the Black Sea.”
Tom Batchelor24 May 2022 19:40
Ukraine war could be start of WW3, says Soros
Billionaire financier George Soros said on Tuesday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may be the beginning of World War Three, adding that the best way to preserve free civilisation was for the West to defeat Vladimir Putin’s forces.
“The invasion may have been the beginning of the Third World War and our civilisation may not survive it,” Mr Soros told Davos, according to a text of his speech released by his office.
“The best and perhaps only way to preserve our civilization is to defeat Putin as soon as possible. That’s the bottom line.”
Tom Batchelor24 May 2022 19:11
Russian MPs pass bill aimed at curbing ’unfriendly’ foreign media
Russia’s parliament has passed a bill giving prosecutors powers to shut foreign media outlets in Moscow if a Western country has been “unfriendly” to Russian media, following the closure of some Russian state news outlets in the West.
The bill, passed in the first reading by the lower house of parliament, or Duma, also prohibits the distribution of articles or other materials from media that have been closed by the prosecutor’s office.
It needs to undergo two more readings, be reviewed by the upper house of parliament, and signed by President Vladimir Putin to become law.
The journalists of a media organisation deemed to be an offender under the bill would have their foreign ministry accreditation withdrawn – meaning they could not work in Russia.
The new bill adds to the challenges facing foreign media after Russia in March adopted a law which penalized what it termed spreading “fake” news about its army.
Tom Batchelor24 May 2022 18:55
British warships could be sent to protect freighters carrying Ukrainian grain
The Royal Navy could be sent to the Black Sea unders plans to create a “protective corridor” to allow ships carrying Ukrainian grain to leave the country.
The UK is in talks with allies including Lithuania about the formation of an “alliance of the willing” to help lift the Russian blockade of Ukraine’s ports. It is thought that Egypt and other countries reliant on Ukrainian produce could also help.
If this proved possible, the waters near the Ukrainian coast would need to be de-mined before exports could resume.
Read the full report here:
Tom Batchelor24 May 2022 18:39
Canada purchases 20,000 artillery rounds for Ukraine
Canada has purchased 20,000 artillery rounds of Nato standard ammunition for Ukraine to support it in its defense against Russia’s invasion, Defence Minister Anita Anand said on Tuesday.
The ammunition was bought from the United States for about C$98m (£61m) and would soon be delivered to Ukraine.
The US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, on Monday said that some 20 countries had announced new security assistance packages for Ukraine during a virtual meeting with allies aimed at coordinating arms for Kyiv.
Tom Batchelor24 May 2022 18:24