Russia-Ukraine crisis live updates | Russia eases citizenship rules for residents of southern Ukraine

A self-propelled howitzer 2S1 Gvozdika of pro-Russian troops fires a leaflet shell in the direction of Sievierodonetsk to disperse information materials from their combat positions in the Luhansk region, Ukraine.

A self-propelled howitzer 2S1 Gvozdika of pro-Russian troops fires a leaflet shell in the direction of Sievierodonetsk to disperse information materials from their combat positions in the Luhansk region, Ukraine. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Russian troops advanced in eastern Ukraine on May 24, pounding key cities and aiming "to destroy everything there," President Volodymyr Zelensky said, as Moscow signalled it was digging in for a long war against its neighbour.

Three months to the day since Russia launched its invasion, Zelensky mourned the thousands of Ukrainian men and women who have perished and he renewed calls for heavy weapons from foreign partners saying arms for Kyiv were "the best investment in stability in the world."

Meanwhile, Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia was deliberately slowing its offensive in Ukraine to allow civilians to evacuate, while a top security official said Moscow was not "chasing deadlines" in the three-month-old war.

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

Moscow

Russia eases citizenship rules for residents of southern Ukraine

Residents of the southern Ukrainian regions of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson will be able to obtain a Russian passport via a “simplified” procedure, the Kremlin said in a decree published Wednesday.

The southern region of Kherson is under the full control of Russian troops, while the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia is partially controlled by Moscow. - AFP

MOSCOW

Moscow says sanctions need to be lifted to avoid food crisis

International sanctions imposed on Moscow over its military campaign in Ukraine need to be lifted to avoid a global food crisis, a Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said on Wednesday.

“Solving the food problem requires a comprehensive approach, including the removal of sanctions that have been imposed on Russian exports and financial transactions,” Andrey Rudenko said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies. - AFP

KYIV

6 civilians killed in Ukraine as Russia focuses fire in east

A regional governor in eastern Ukraine says that at least six civilians have been killed by the latest Russian shelling in a town at the epicentre of fighting three months into the war.

Luhansk region Gov. Serhiy Haidai said on Wednesday that another eight people have been wounded in the shelling of Sievierodonetsk over the past 24 hours. He accused the Russian troops of deliberately targeting shelters where civilians were hiding. - AP

MOSCOW

Russia ready to set up corridor for ships carrying food to leave Ukraine

Russia is ready to provide a humanitarian corridor for vessels carrying food to leave Ukraine, the Interfax news agency cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko as saying on Wednesday.

Russia will discuss the possibility of holding a prisoner exchange with Ukraine once prisoners who surrendered have been convicted, Rudenko also said. Russian and separatist officials have said some of those who surrendered should be put on trial for war crimes.

He added it was premature to establish a Russian military base in the Russian-controlled area of Ukraine‘s Kherson region. - Reuters

DAVOS

Ukraine’s Zelensky says will only talk directly to Russia’s Putin

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on May 25 that he was only willing to talk directly to Vladimir Putin and not via intermediators.

He added that if the Russian President “understands reality” there was the possibility of finding a diplomatic way out of the conflict.

Zelensky, speaking to an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, also said that Ukraine would fight until it recovered all of its territory. - Reuters

SLOVYANSK

Russia launches push on eastern Ukraine towns; several killed

Russian forces launched offensives on towns in eastern Ukraine on May 25 with constant mortar bombardment destroying several houses and killing civilians, Ukrainian officials said, as Russia focuses its attack on the industrial Donbas region.

Russia is attempting to seize the separatist-claimed Donbas’ two provinces, Donetsk and Luhansk, and trap Ukrainian forces in a pocket on the main eastern front.

In 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 a pivotal battlefield. Russian forces were advancing from three directions to encircle them. - Reuters

ANKARA

Sweden, Finland delegations in Turkey for NATO talks

Delegations from Sweden and Finland were scheduled on May 25 to hold talks in Ankara with senior Turkish officials in an effort to overcome Turkey’s objections to their historic bids to join the NATO alliance.

Sweden and Finland submitted their written applications to join NATO last week in a move that marks one of the biggest geopolitical ramifications of Russia’s war in Ukraine — and which could rewrite Europe’s security map. - AP

WASHINGTON

US to end Russia’s ability to pay international investors

The U.S. will close the last avenue for Russia to pay its billions in debt back to international investors on May 25, making a Russian default on its debts for the first time since the Bolshevik Revolution all but inevitable.

The Treasury Department said in a notification that it does not plan to renew the license that allowed Russia to keep paying its debtholders through American banks.

Since the first rounds of sanctions, the Treasury Department has given banks a license to process any dollar-denominated bond payments from Russia. That window expires at midnight May 25. - AP

DAVOS

Ukraine war may be beginning of third world war: Soros

Billionaire investor George Soros

Billionaire investor George Soros | Photo Credit: Reuters

Billionaire investor George Soros has warned that Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine may be the beginning of the third world war and that the civilisation may not survive this war.

He also said that China’s President Xi Jinping and Russia‘s Vladimir Putin are tied together in an alliance that has no limits.

In his annual speech in Davos on Tuesday, Soros said the world must mobilise all resources to bring the war to an early end and the best and perhaps only way to preserve the civilisation is to defeat Putin as soon as possible. - PTI

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MOSCOW

Russian lawmakers give initial approval to bill allowing foreign asset takeover

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday gave the first stamp of approval to a bill that would allow Russian entities to take over foreign companies that have left the market in opposition to Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, the government’s online portal showed.

Scores of foreign companies have announced temporary shutdowns of stores and factories in Russia or said they were leaving for good since Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24. - Reuters

MOSCOW

Saville says can’t go back to Russia after opposing Ukraine invasion

Australian tennis player Daria Saville says she can no longer return to Russia, the country of her birth, after protesting the military intervention in Ukraine.

Ms. Saville wore yellow and blue, the colours of Ukraine, at the Paris Open in March and urged Vladimir Putin to stop the war and the Russian army to return home in a post on social media.

“Already I can’t really go back to Russia, no,” she told Australian media at the French Open. - Reuters

KYIV

200 bodies found in basement in Mariupol’s ruins

Workers digging through the rubble of an apartment building in Mariupol found 200 bodies in the basement, Ukrainian authorities said on Tuesday, as more horrors come to light in the ruined city that has seen some of the worst suffering of the 3-month-old war.

The bodies were decomposing and the stench hung over the neighbourhood, said Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to the mayor. He did not say when they were discovered, but the sheer number of victims makes it one of the deadliest known attacks of the war. - AP

KYIV

Ukraine says Russia firing at border guards

The Ukrainian military said Russia has fired at Ukrainian border guards in the northeastern Sumy region in the latest of a series of alleged cross-border attacks over the past few weeks.

Military officials say observers on Tuesday night recorded seven shots from Russian territory toward the village of Boyaro-Lezhachi, most likely mortar fire.

The Ukrainian Operational Command North said on its Facebook post that eight other shots were heard Tuesday afternoon near a neighboring village. There were no reports of any deaths. - Reuters


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Printable version | May 25, 2022 5:27:01 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/russia-ukraine-live-updates-may-25-2022/article65459112.ece