Russia-Ukraine crisis live updates | One dead in Russia in attack near Ukraine border: Governor

This screen grab obtained from a handout video taken on May 17, 2022 and released by the Russian Defence Ministry on May 18, 2022, shows Ukrainian service members as they are searched by pro-Russian military personnel after leaving the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Ukraine’s port city of Mariupol.

This screen grab obtained from a handout video taken on May 17, 2022 and released by the Russian Defence Ministry on May 18, 2022, shows Ukrainian service members as they are searched by pro-Russian military personnel after leaving the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Ukraine’s port city of Mariupol. | Photo Credit: AFP

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday proposed extra aid to Ukraine this year of up to nine billion euros ($9.5 billion) to help it cope with the ravages of war.

A Kyiv district court met on Wednesday to begin hearing its first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier who took part in Moscow's February 24 invasion, a case of huge symbolic value for Ukraine.

Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old Russian tank commander held in Ukraine, is charged with murdering a 62-year-old civilian in the northeast Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka on February 28. He told the court that he pleaded guilty.

Russia said on Wednesday that a total of 959 Ukrainian fighters, including 80 wounded, had surrendered from the bunkers and tunnels below Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks since Monday.

Britain and fellow G7 nations are looking at how Russian assets can be used to fund the rebuilding of Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on Wednesday.

Read more news on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis here.

Here are the latest updates:

MOSCOW

1,730 Ukrainian soldiers surrendered at Azovstal since Monday: Russia

Russia's defence ministry said Thursday that 1,730 Ukrainian soldiers had surrendered this week at the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Ukraine's port city of Mariupol.

"Over the past 24 hours, 771 militants of the Azov nationalist regiment surrendered," the ministry said in its daily briefing on the conflict.

"In total, since May 16, 1,730 militants have surrendered, including 80 wounded," it added. - AFP

KYIV

Ukraine welcomes Senate confirmation of U.S. ambassador

Ukraine welcomes the U.S. Senate's confirmation of Bridget Brink as Washington's Ambassador to Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's chief of staff said on Thursday.

"We greet the U.S. Senate unanimous decision to approve Bridget Brink (as) the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine," Andriy Yermak wrote on Twitter. There has been no U.S. ambassador in Kyiv since 2019. - Reuters

KYIV

Red Cross registers hundreds of Ukrainian POWs from Mariupol

The Russian military said Thursday that more Ukrainian fighters who were making a last stand in Mariupol have surrendered, bringing the total who have left their stronghold to 1,730, while the Red Cross said it had registered hundreds of them as prisoners of war.

The Geneva-based humanitarian agency, which has experience in dealing with prisoners of war and prisoner exchanges, said however that its team did not transport the fighters to “the places where they are held” — which was not specified. - AP

MOSCOW

One dead in Russia in attack near Ukraine border: Governor

One person died and others were injured in southwestern Russia after an attack in a village on the border with Ukraine, the governor of Kursk region said on Thursday.

"Another enemy attack on Tyotkino, which took place at dawn unfortunately ended in tragedy. At the moment, we know of at least one civilian death," governor Roman Starovoyt said on Telegram, adding that others were wounded and receiving medical attention. - AFP

MARIUPOL

Ukrainian soldiers stuck inside Mariupol steel plant

More than 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers including senior commanders, remain inside the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the southern port city of Mariupol, says Denis Pushilin, a pro-Russian separatist leader.

Russia says 959 Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered at the plant, including 80 wounded, since Monday.

It says the injured are being treated in a hospital in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region, which is controlled by pro-Russian rebels. - AFP

GERMANY

G7 finance ministers to thrash out Ukraine aid plan

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks to journalists on the sidelines of a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven industrialised nations (G7) on May 18, 2022 in Koenigswinter near Bonn, western Germany.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks to journalists on the sidelines of a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven industrialised nations (G7) on May 18, 2022 in Koenigswinter near Bonn, western Germany. | Photo Credit: AFP

G7 partners meet Thursday hoping to find a solution for Kyiv's budget troubles as the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues to roil the global economy.

Finance ministers from the Group of Seven industrialised nations are holding talks in Koenigswinter in western Germany to coordinate their response.

"The bilateral and multilateral support announced so far will not be sufficient to address Ukraine's needs, even in the short term," United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a speech in Brussels on Tuesday. - AFP

WASHINGTON

'I mean Ukraine': Former U.S. president George Bush calls Iraq invasion 'unjustified'

Former U.S. President George W. Bush mistakenly described the invasion of Iraq as "brutal" and "unjustified" before correcting himself to say he meant to refer to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Mr. Bush made the comments in a speech during an event in Dallas on Wednesday, while he was criticizing Russia's political system.

"The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq,” Mr. Bush said, before correcting himself and shaking his head. "I mean, of Ukraine."

He jokingly blamed the mistake on his age as the audience burst into laughter. - Reuters

WASHINGTON

Senate confirms Brink as new US ambassador to Ukraine

The Senate confirmed Bridget Brink late Wednesday as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, filling the post as officials plan to return American diplomats to Kyiv during the nation's continuing battle against the Russian invasion.

The veteran foreign service officer, who has spent most of her career in the shadow of the former Soviet Union, was nominated to the position last month by President Joe Biden. She was confirmed unanimously by the Senate without a formal roll call vote. - AP

KYIV

Interrogation, uncertainty for surrendering Mariupol troops

Nearly 1,000 last-ditch Ukrainian fighters who had held out inside Mariupol's pulverized steel plant have surrendered, Russia said on March 18, as the battle that turned the city into a worldwide symbol of defiance and suffering drew toward a close.

Meanwhile, the first captured Russian soldier to be put on trial by Ukraine on war-crimes charges pleaded guilty to killing a civilian and could get life in prison. Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO, abandoning generations of neutrality for fear that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not stop with Ukraine.

The Ukrainian fighters who emerged from the ruined Azovstal steelworks after being ordered by their military to abandon the last stronghold of resistance in the now-flattened port city face an uncertain fate. Some were taken by the Russians to a former penal colony in territory controlled by Moscow-backed separatists. - AP

WASHINGTON

U.S. reopens embassy in Ukraine after 3 months

The United States has re-opened its embassy in Ukraine three months after shuttering it and withdrawing American diplomats from Kyiv ahead of Russia's invasion in February.

The State Department said U.S. embassy operations in Kyiv resumed Wednesday, May 18, 2022 with diplomats returning on permanent basis to the capital from where they had been temporarily relocated to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv and neighbouring Poland. - AP

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MOSCOW

Russia expels dozens of diplomats from France, Italy and Spain

Moscow on May 18 kicked out diplomats from France, Italy and Spain in retaliation for the expulsion of Russian diplomats from European countries as part of a joint action against Russia's campaign in Ukraine.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement it was expelling 34 "employees of French diplomatic missions" in Russia and gave them two weeks to leave the country. - AFP

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MOSCOW

Russia says 959 Ukrainian soldiers surrendered at Azovstal so far

Russia's Defence Ministry said on May 18 that 959 Ukrainian soldiers had surrendered this week at the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Ukraine's port city of Mariupol.

"Over the past 24 hours, 694 militants surrendered, including 29 wounded," the Ministry said in its daily briefing on the conflict. "In total since May 16, 959 militants surrendered, including 80 wounded."

It said those requiring medical treatment were taken to a hospital in the town of Novoazovsk in Russian-controlled territory. - AFP

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KYIV

Russian soldier pleads guilty in war crimes trial in Ukraine

A Russian soldier accused of war crimes in Ukraine pleaded guilty on May 18 to killing an elderly unarmed civilian.

Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old Russian tank commander, entered his plea in a Kyiv district court hearing its first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier who took part in Moscow's February 24 invasion.

In a trial that has huge symbolic importance for Kyiv, Mr. Shishimarin is charged with murdering a 62-year-old civilian in the northeast Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka on February 28. If convicted, he faces up to life imprisonment. - Reuters

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ANKARA

Turkey’s Erdogan links Sweden’s NATO bid to return of ‘terrorists’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has threatened to block Finland and Sweden from joining NATO, urged the alliance’s members on May 18 to “respect” Ankara’s concerns about the two countries, which Turkey accuses of harbouring terrorists.

“Our only expectation from NATO allies is to first understand our sensitivity, respect and finally support it,” Mr. Erdogan told his party’s lawmakers in Parliament. - Reuters

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TOKYO

Japan urges China to play 'responsible' role on Ukraine crisis

Japan's Foreign Minister on May 18 urged Beijing to "play a responsible role" over Russia's invasion of Ukraine in his first talks with his Chinese counterpart in six months.

Japan has joined Western allies in implementing tough sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, while Beijing has declined to condemn Moscow's invasion. Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that Russia's invasion "is a clear violation of the UN Charter and other international laws," Japan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. - AFP

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2022 5:03:26 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/russia-ukraine-crisis-live-updates/article65428955.ece