Russia-Ukraine crisis updates | May 7, 2022

A Ukrainian service member walks in a front of an Antonov An-225 Mriya cargo plane, the world’s biggest aircraft, destroyed by Russian troops as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, at an airfield in the town of Hostomel, in Kyiv region, Ukraine on May 5, 2022. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Russian forces unleashed new bombardments across the country ahead of Victory Day festivities in Moscow on Saturday. Ukraine’s defence minister said Russian forces had resumed their assault on the Azovstal steel mill site, despite earlier talk of a truce to allow trapped civilians to flee the complex.

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted its first statement since Russia’s military action began Feb. 24, expressing “strong support” for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ efforts to find a peaceful solution to the “dispute” in Ukraine.

Ukraine and its western allies say that after failing to seize the capital Kyiv, Russian forces have made slow progress in their revised aim of capturing the country’s east and south, but may also plan to involve Ukraine’s western neighbour, Moldova.

U.S. President Joe Biden signed a $150 million weapons package for Ukraine on Friday, providing additional artillery munitions, radar and other equipment in the latest in a series of transfers to help Kyiv repel 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:


Ukraine says sank Russian landing craft at Snake Island

Kyiv said Saturday it has destroyed another Russian warship near the Black Sea’s Snake Island, where Ukrainian forces were awarded for heroism after rebuffing Russian demands to surrender.

Ukraine’s defence ministry said in a statement an armed drone had destroyed a Serna-class landing craft and an missile defence system at the small island under Russian control.

It released grainy over-head footage on social media showing in black and white what appeared to be an explosion over a light craft with debris spilling outwards.

“The traditional parade of the Russian Black Sea fleet on May 9 this year will be held near Snake Island -- at the bottom of the sea,” the defence ministry added.

The military said in a separate statement on social media that the Bayraktar drone strike had also destroyed Tor-M2 anti-aircraft system being delivered to the island.

There was no immediate confirmation of the strike from the Russian defence ministry.— AFP

Russian assault increases

Russia steps up Ukraine assaults ahead of Victory Day parades

Ukraine hoped to evacuate more civilians from a besieged Mariupol steel plant on Saturday as Russian forces unleashed new bombardments across the country ahead of Victory Day festivities in Moscow.

The Azovstal steel mill is the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance in the devastated port city and its fate has taken on a symbolic value in the broader battle unleashed by Russia’s invasion.

Ukraine’s defence minister said Russian forces had resumed their assault on the site, despite earlier talk of a truce to allow trapped civilians to flee the complex.— AFP

Diplomacy in conflict

Deputy Head of the Office of Ukrainian President meets delegation from E.U.

Deputy Head of the Office of Ukrainian President Ihor Zhovkva met a delegation of deputies from the parliament of E.U. member states and other member states part of the recently conceived ‘United 4 Ukraine’ international framework on Saturday.

The Deputy Head stressed on the urgent need to receive heavy weapons from international partners to stop the Russian aggression.

With respect to Ukraine’s progress towards becoming a member of the E.U., the imperativeness of granting the country ‘candidate status’ in the near future was discussed. “There are very high expectations in Ukrainian society in this regard,” the official statement noted.

Civilian casualities

3,309 people killed since the beginning of conflict: UN Human Rights Office

United Nation’s Human Rights Office informed on Friday that 3,309 people, including 234 children have been killed since the beginning of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. Additionally, 3,493 people are reported to be injured including 350 children. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal had earlier stated that 95% of all buildings in Mariupol have been destroyed since Russian initiated the conflict in its territory.

United Kingdom

U.K. donates additional 287 mobile generators to Ukraine

The UK government said on Saturday it would give Ukraine 287 mobile generators in addition to 569 generators it has donated earlier.

The new generators, which are enough to power nearly 8,000 homes, will be used for hospitals, shelters and other essential services in the face of ongoing destruction in eastern Ukraine, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said in a statement.

The government has also relaxed rules on support for overseas fossil fuels to boost supply of vital energy to Ukraine, the statement added.- Reuters


Dozens more civilians rescued from Ukrainian steel plant

Dozens more civilians were rescued Friday from the tunnels under the besieged steel mill where Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol have been making their last stand to prevent Moscow’s complete takeover of the strategically important port city.

Russian and Ukrainian officials said 50 people were evacuated from the Azovstal plant and handed over to representatives of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Russian military said the group included 11 children.

Russian officials and Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said evacuation efforts would continue Saturday. The latest evacuees were in addition to roughly 500 other civilians who got out of the plant and city in recent days.- AP


Diplomatic efforts seek to save Ukraine fighters in Mariupol - Zelensky

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said diplomatic efforts were underway to save the remaining fighters holed up inside the Azovstal steelworks in the city of Mariupol, as more civilians were evacuated from the bombed-out plant.

The defenders have vowed not to surrender. Ukrainian officials fears Russian forces want to wipe them out by Monday in time for Moscow’s commemorations of the former Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two.

Ukraine said 50 civilians were evacuated on Friday, accusing Russia of violating a truce intended to allow dozens more still trapped underground to depart after weeks under siege.

Mariupol has endured the most destructive bombardment of the 10-week-old war, and the sprawling Soviet-era Azovstal plant is the last part of the city - a strategic southern port on the Azov Sea - still in the hands of Ukrainian fighters.- Reuters


Joe Biden says U.S. sending another military aid worth $150 million for Ukraine

President Joe Biden has authorised the shipment of another $150 million in military assistance for Ukraine for artillery rounds and radar systems in its fight against Russia's invading forces.

President Biden on Friday said the latest spending means his administration has "nearly exhausted" what Congress authorised for Ukraine in March and called on lawmakers to swiftly approve a more than $33 billion spending package that will last through the end of September.

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In 1st unanimous statement since Russia’s Ukraine invasion, UNSC expresses deep concern

The United Nations Security Council, including permanent member Russia, on Friday adopted a presidential statement that “expresses deep concern regarding the maintenance of peace and security in Ukraine”, the first unanimous statement on the war over two months after the Russian invasion.

The 15-nation U.N. Security Council, under the current monthly Presidency of the United States, unanimously adopted the brief Presidential Statement.

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European Union

EU tweaks Russia oil sanctions plan in bid to win over reluctant states

The European Commission has proposed changes to its planned embargo on Russian oil in a bid to win over reluctant states, three EU sources told Reuters on Friday.

The tweaked proposal, which EU envoys were discussing at a meeting on Friday morning, includes giving Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic more time to adapt to the embargo, and help with upgrading their own oil infrastructure, the sources said.

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Printable version | May 9, 2022 9:05:12 am |