Russia-Ukraine crisis live updates | Russian official seeks base in Ukraine’s Kherson region

A police officer walks next to a school building damaged by a Russian military strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in the settlement of Kostiantynivka, in Donetsk region.

A police officer walks next to a school building damaged by a Russian military strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in the settlement of Kostiantynivka, in Donetsk region. | Photo Credit: Reuters

A captured Russian soldier who pleaded guilty to killing a civilian was sentenced by a Ukrainian court on May 24 to life in prison — the maximum — amid signs the Kremlin may, in turn, put on trial some of the fighters who surrendered at Mariupol’s steelworks.

Meanwhile, in a rare public expression of opposition to the war from the ranks of the Russian elite, a veteran Kremlin diplomat resigned and sent a scathing letter to foreign colleagues in which he said of the invasion, “Never have I been so ashamed of my country as on February 24.”

Also, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for “maximum” sanctions against Russia in a video address to world leaders and executives at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He also revealed one of the deadliest single strikes of the war, a missile attack on a village near Kyiv that killed almost 90 people.

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


Jailed Kremlin foe Navalny lambasts Putin’s ‘stupid war’ in Ukraine

Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday lambasted President Vladimir Putin in a live court hearing, casting him as a madman who had started a “stupid war” in Ukraine based on lies.

“This is a stupid war which your Putin started,” Mr. Navalny told an appeal court in Moscow via video link from a corrective penal colony. “This war was built on lies,” Mr. Navalny said. - Reuters


Russia steps up shelling, seeking gains in Ukraine’s Donbas

Heavy fighting was raging in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, where Russian forces have stepped up their bombardments beyond the frontlines, Britain’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

Moscow faces stiff Ukrainian resistance to its effort to encircle the area around the city of Sievierodonetsk and consolidate Russian control of the Luhansk region — the main focus but not the only Russian effort in the campaign to capture the Donbas, the Ministry said in the update posted on Twitter.

Cities not under Russian control were constantly shelled, and one Ukrainian official said Russian forces targeted civilians trying to flee. - AP


UK in discussion over how to get grain out of Ukraine

Britain is in discussions with Ukraine about how to help get grain out of the country after Russia blocked its main sea ports, Transport Minister Grant Shapps said on May 24.

Mr. Shapps said he was very concerned about the issue, which has seen global food prices soar as Ukraine is unable to export nearly 25 million tonnes of grains, and met Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksander Kubrakov last week. - Reuters


Philippines leader rebukes Putin for killings

Outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sharply criticised Russian leader Vladimir Putin for the killings of innocent civilians in Ukraine, saying while the two of them have been tagged as killers, “I kill criminals, I don’t kill children and the elderly.”

Mr. Duterte, who openly calls Putin an idol and a friend, voiced his rebuke for the first time over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in remarks aired on Tuesday where he blamed the three-month-old war for the spike in global oil prices that has battered many countries, including the Philippines. - AP


Biden: Leaders navigating ‘dark hour’ after Ukraine invasion

President Joe Biden told fellow Indo-Pacific leaders assembled for a four-country summit on May 24 that they were navigating “a dark hour in our shared history” due to Russia‘s brutal war on Ukraine and he urged the group to make greater effort to stop Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

“This is more than just a European issue. It’s a global issue,” Mr. Biden said as the “Quad” summit with Japan, Australia and India got under way.

While the President did not directly call out any countries, his message appeared to be pointed, at least in part, at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with whom differences persist over how to respond to the Russian invasion. - AP


Russia intensifies Donbas offensive as war enters fourth month

Russian forces on May 24 stepped up their offensive on the last pocket of resistance around Lugansk in Ukraine‘s eastern Donbas region, as the conflict entered its fourth month.

Since Moscow’s invasion in late February, Western support has helped Ukraine hold off its neighbour’s advances in many areas - including the capital Kyiv - but Russia is now focused on securing and expanding its gains in Donbas and the southern coast. - AFP


Ukraine’s Zelensky urges allies to pressure Moscow on prisoner swap

Ukraine‘s President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Kyiv was ready for an exchange of prisoners with Russia “even tomorrow” and called on his allies to put pressure on Moscow.

“The exchange of people - this is a humanitarian matter today and a very political decision that depends on the support of many states,” Mr. Zelenskiy said in a question-and-answer video link with the audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos. - Reuters


Russia may set up military base in Ukraine’s Kherson region

The Russia-appointed administration of Ukraine‘s Kherson region will ask Moscow to set up a military base on its territory, Russia‘s RIA news agency quoted a local government official as saying.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February, seizing, in particular, the Kherson region which is adjacent to Crimea, the peninsula which Moscow has controlled since an earlier conflict in 2014.

It has installed a new administration there and started introducing the Russian rouble as a currency. - Reuters


Russia accused of spreading disinformation

The United States and Britain are accusing Russia of spreading disinformation online and manipulating public opinion about the war in Ukraine and vehemently rejecting Russian claims that the West is aiming to control all information flows and define what is true or not true.

Britain’s Deputy Ambassador James Roscoe told a U.N. Security Council meeting on the use of digital technologies in maintaining the peace that Russia has conducted cyber-attacks and used “an online troll factory to spread disinformation and manipulate public opinion about their war.” - AP


Ukraine a global issue, not regional one, Biden says in Asia

The crisis in Ukraine is a global issue, not a regional one, U.S. President Joe Biden said at a meeting of the Quad grouping of countries in Tokyo on May 24.

“This is more than just a European issue. It’s a global issue,” Mr. Biden said.

Stressing that Washington would stand with its “close domestic partners” to push for a free and open Indo-Pacific region, he said: “Russia‘s assault of Ukraine only heightens the importance of those goals of fundamental principles of international order, territorial integrity and sovereignty.” - Reuters

Read more

EU oil embargo ‘in days’ as Ukraine isolation drives Russia closer to China

The European Union will likely agree on an embargo on Russian oil imports “within days,” according to its biggest member Germany, as Moscow said it saw its economic ties growing with China after being isolated by the West over its invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told global business leaders in Davos that the world must increase sanctions against Russia to deter other countries from using “brute force” to achieve their aims. - AP


Pentagon says more high-tech weapons going to Ukraine

Nearly 50 defence leaders from around the world met and agreed to send more advanced weapons to Ukraine, including a Harpoon launcher and missiles to protect its coast, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters.

And Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that “low-level” discussion is underway on how the U.S. may need to adjust its training of Ukrainian forces and on whether some U.S. troops should be based in Ukraine.

The U.S. withdrew its few troops in Ukraine before the war and has no plans to send in combat forces. Mr. Milley’s comments left open the possibility troops could return for embassy security or another non-combat role. - AP


Attack on Desna leaves 87 dead

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says last week’s attack on the town of Desna resulted in 87 deaths.

Besides Russia’s bombing strike at a movie theater in Mariupol, Desna may be one of the largest death tolls of any single strike during the war.

Desna is 55 kilometres (34 miles) north of Kyiv. Zelenskyy said the debris removal in Desna, in the Chernihiv region, has been completed and the deaths and destruction was caused by only four missiles. - AP

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Printable version | May 24, 2022 2:26:20 pm |