Russia-Ukraine crisis updates | May 13, 2022

Ukrainian service members stand next to a tank destroyed during Russia’s invasion, in the village of Termakhivka, in Kyiv region, Ukraine. File.

Ukrainian service members stand next to a tank destroyed during Russia’s invasion, in the village of Termakhivka, in Kyiv region, Ukraine. File. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Indian embassy in Ukraine which was “temporarily” working out of Polish capital Warsaw will return to Kyiv from May 17, the Ministry of External Affairs announced in New Delhi on Friday. 

The embassy which played a leading role in evacuation of Indian students from Ukraine during February and March, was shifted to Warsaw on March 13. India is one of the several leading nations that have ordered their diplomatic teams to return to Kyiv. Last month, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a tour to India had announced that U.K. would reopen its embassy in Kyiv.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian forces on Thursday night struck the Chernihiv region and hit schools. Mr. Zelensky also said that he’s ready to talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin and that “we must find an agreement,’’ but with no ultimatum as a condition.

A senior Russian U.N. envoy said Thursday that Finland and Sweden’s decision to join NATO would instantly turn them from neutral into hostile countries and potential targets for Russia.

The U.N.’s top human rights body has overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on its investigators to specifically look into possible rights abuses and violations in northern Ukraine shortly after Russia’s invasion.

The conflict began escalating on February 21, 2022, after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and deployed troops in a peacekeeping role.

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

Here are the latest updates:

India

Indian embassy returning to Kyiv

The Indian embassy in Ukraine which was “temporarily” working out of Polish capital Warsaw will return to Kyiv from May 17, the Ministry of External Affairs announced here on Friday. 

The embassy which played a leading role in evacuation of Indian students from Ukraine during February and March, was shifted to Warsaw on March 13. India is one of the several leading nations that have ordered their diplomatic teams to return to Kyiv. Last month, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a tour to India had announced that UK would reopen its embassy in Kyiv.

India appointed Harsh Kumar Jain as the new envoy of India to Ukraine after the embassy was temporarily shifted. Mr. Jain submitted his credentials to Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Senik on May 2. Mr. Jain replaced Partha Satpathy who had played a leading role in the evacuation of Indian students from Kharkiv, Kyiv and other major cities in Ukraine. - Kallol Bhattacharjee

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United Nations/Geneva

India abstains in UNHRC resolution on deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine due to Russian aggression

India abstained in the UN Human Rights Council on a resolution on the deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression, in which the Council reiterated its demand for an immediate cessation of military hostilities.

The Geneva-based Council on Thursday closed its 34th special session after adopting the resolution. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 33 in favour, China and Eritrea voting against and 12 abstentions, including India, Armenia, Bolivia, Cameroon, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Pakistan, Senegal, Sudan, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.

Since January this year, India has abstained on procedural votes and draft resolutions in the UN Security Council, the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council that deplored Russian aggression against Ukraine.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva, Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, at the session said that India’s position on the Ukraine conflict has been steadfast and consistent.

“We remain deeply concerned at the unfolding developments in Ukraine. We have constantly called for immediate cessation of violence and an urgent end to hostilities,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reiterated this in his interactions with global leaders, including the leaderships of Russia and Ukraine.

“India continues to believe that pursuing the path of dialogue and diplomacy is the only way out,” he said. - PTI

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European Union

EU to provide new 500 million euro military aid to Ukraine: Foreign Policy Chief

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Friday the bloc would provide a further 500 millions euros worth of military support to Ukraine and that he was confident a deal could be reached in the coming days to agree an embargo on Russian oil.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the G7 foreign ministers meeting in northern Germany, Mr. Borrell said the military support would be for heavy weapons such as tanks and artillery and take the bloc's aid to about 2 billion euros.

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Russia

Russia struck oil refinery in central Ukraine, defence ministry says

Russia’s defence ministry said on Friday that its forces struck the Kremenchug oil refinery in central Ukraine, destroying its production capacity and fuel tanks.

The ministry also said its forces shot down a Ukrainian Su-27 aircraft in Kharkiv region.- Reuters

Ukraine

Russian forces hit targets in eastern Ukraine

Ukraine’s military says that Russian forces staged assaults on multiple villages in eastern Ukraine as they try to expand control there, but not all were successful.

In its daily operational note on Friday, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said Russia’s military continued to launch artillery and air strikes on the embattled port of Mariupol, focusing on blocking Ukrainian fighters at their last holdout at the Azovstal steelworks.

In the Russian campaign in the east, villages were targeted near Donetsk, Lyman, Bakhmut and Kurakhiv, the Ukrainian military said.

It said Russian forces also fired artillery on Ukrainian troops in the direction of Novopavlovsk and Zaporizhzhia, a major industrial city that has become a haven for refugees fleeing Mariupol.

The Ukrainian military said Russian forces are transferring additional artillery units to border areas near Ukraine’s northern Chernihiv region, where deadly Russian strikes hit a school and dormitory Thursday.- Reuters

Ukraine

Ukraine says it damaged Russian ship, seeks evacuation of wounded Mariupol fighters

Ukraine said it had damaged a Russian navy logistics ship near Snake Island, a small but strategic outpost in the Black Sea, while relatives of Ukrainian soldiers holed up in Mariupol’s besieged steelworks pleaded for them to be saved.

Renewed fighting around Snake Island in recent days may become a battle for control of the western Black Sea coast, according to some defence officials, as Russian forces struggle to make headway in Ukraine’s north and east.- Reuters

Ukraine

Relatives of fighters in Ukraine steel plant plead for help, Kyiv working on rescue

Relatives and supporters of Ukrainian fighters in the Azovstal steel plant on Thursday called for fresh efforts to save them as Kyiv said new talks were underway with Moscow on a plan to rescue badly wounded servicemen.

Russian forces have been bombarding the steelworks in the southern port of Mariupol, the last bastion of Ukrainian defenders in a city almost completely controlled by Russia after more than two months of a siege.

Civilians had been trapped at the plant and Kyiv says they have all been evacuated. But there is no deal on allowing out hundreds of fighters, some of whom are wounded.

“We have started a new round of negotiations around a road map for an (evacuation) operation. And we will start with those who are badly wounded,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk told 1+1 television.- Reuters

Ukraine

Rocket attacks intensify on Poltava region

Rocket attacks on Ukraine’s central Poltava region on Thursday were “perhaps the most intense for the duration of the war,” the regional governor said that same day.

“Today’s shelling of the Poltava region is perhaps the largest during the course of this full-scale war,” Dmitry Lunin wrote in a Telegram post. “12 Russian missiles hit the infrastructure in (the city of) Kremenchuk; most of them hit an oil refinery that was not operational anyway.”

“Rescuers are putting out a fire at the refinery. Luckily, no one was hurt,” Lunin added.- AP

Ukraine

Ukraine crisis | Zelenskyy says he's ready to talk with Russian President Putin

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that he's ready to talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin and that “we must find an agreement,'' but with no ultimatum as a condition.

Mr. Zelenskyy also told Italian RAI state TV in an interview scheduled to be broadcast on Thursday night that Ukraine will never recognise Crimea as part of Russia, which annexed that part of southern Ukraine in 2014.

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Russia

Russia strikes Ukraine’s east as Finland inches closer to joining NATO

Russia pounded areas in Ukraine’s east on May 12, including the last pocket of resistance in besieged Mariupol, as the war pushed Finland closer to ending decades of neutrality and seeking NATO membership.

The conflict on the ground slogged on even as the globe-shaking repercussions of the invasion spread, with Ukraine’s military recapturing some towns and villages in the country’s northeast but acknowledging that Russian forces have seen “partial success” farther south in the eastern industrial heartland of the Donbas.

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Ukraine

Ukraine to hold first war crimes trial over Russian invasion

Ukraine will launch its first war crimes trial over Moscow's ongoing invasion, bringing a 21-year-old Russian soldier to the stand, Kyiv's top prosecutor announced Wednesday.

Vadim Shishimarin is accused of killing an unarmed 62-year-old civilian on February 28, firing an automatic rifle from a car window to prevent him from reporting a group of soldiers, according to a statement from Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova's office.

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Printable version | May 15, 2022 9:22:12 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/ukraine-russia-crisis-live-updates-may-13-2022/article65409801.ece