Moment brawl erupts between Russian and Ukrainian delegates in Turkey
Vladimir Putin’s Russia unleashed a series of missile strikes on Ukraine overnight as Moscow prepares to celebrate Victory Day. Ukraine issued a nationwide air alert just hours after the strikes hit.
Capital Kyiv was among the locations targeted by the Kremlin with Iranain-made suicide drones and missiles used to hit targets.
Officials said Ukraine’s air defences destroyed all 35 Iranian-made Shahed drones Russia had launched.
Kyiv’s mayor said at least five people were wounded in the capital amid damage to a fuel depot, cars, buildings and infrastructure.
A food warehouse was set ablaze by a missile in the Black Sea city of Odesa, where officials reported three people wounded.
Earlier, the top commander of Ukraine’s ground forces says Vladimir Putin is pushing to try and capture Bakhmut before tomorrow’s Victory Day celebrations in Russia, with an increase of shelling in the frontline city.
“Today, it is important to make decisions as quickly as possible and predict the actions of the enemy,” Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi said on his Telegram channel.
“The Russians still hope to capture the city by 9 May. Our task is to prevent this,” he said.
Ukraine issues nationwide air alert amid attacks
Air raid sirens wailed across the whole of Ukraine on Monday just hours after Russia conducted massive overnight drone and missile strikes on the country.
Ukrainian military bloggers said the air alerts could have been triggered by a Russian warplane armed with Moscow’s Kinzhal hypersonic weapons taking off.
The claim could not be immediately verified.
Russia launched a wave of drone, missile and air strikes on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, officials said on Monday, as Moscow stepped up attacks while preparing for its cherished Victory Day holiday celebrating the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.
As many as 16 missile strikes had targeted the cities of Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Odesa regions, in addition to 61 airstrikes and 52 rocket salvos on Ukrainian positions and populated areas, the General Staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said in its morning update on the fighting.
Ukrainian air defences destroyed all 35 Iranian-made Shahed drones Russia had launched, the military said.
Matt Mathers8 May 2023 10:35
Breakaway Moldovan region suggests Russia deploy more peacekeepers -RIA
Moldova’s unrecognised breakaway region of Transdniestria said on Monday it wanted Moscow to bulk up its small contingent of peacekeepers because of what it called growing security risks, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.
Though Moldova does not allow Russia to deploy new troops in Transdniestria, Russia has had hundreds of peacekeepers in the region since a bloody war between pro-Russian separatists and Moldovan government forces after the 1991 Soviet break-up.
“As long as Russia’s peacekeeping mission continues, Moldova is constrained in any military plans and preparations against Trandsniestria,” Leonid Manakov, the region’s envoy to Moscow, was cited as saying by RIA.
“Transnistria has repeatedly applied for an increase in the number of Russian peacekeepers …there is such an option, and it is justified in terms of the worsening security risks…,” he was quoted as saying.
Moldova’s ties with Russia are currently badly strained and have deteriorated rapidly over the course of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, which Chisinau has repeatedly condemned.
Matt Mathers8 May 2023 16:10
ICYMI: Zelensky congratulates King Charles on ‘historic’ coronation
The president of Ukraine described the new monarch and his wife, Queen Camilla, as “true friends of Ukraine” as he addressed the royal family.
“On behalf of the entire Ukrainian people, I congratulate Their Majesties, true friends of Ukraine, on this historic event that begins a new era of the British monarchy,” Mr Zelensky said.
“I wish King Charles III many years of successful reign.”
Watch: Zelensky congratulates King Charles on ‘historic’ coronation
Volodymyr Zelensky has congratulated King Charles III on his coronation. The president of Ukraine described the new monarch and his wife, Queen Camilla, as “true friends of Ukraine” as he addressed the royal family. “On behalf of the entire Ukrainian people, I congratulate Their Majesties, true friends of Ukraine, on this historic event that begins a new era of the British monarchy,” Mr Zelensky said. “I wish King Charles III many years of successful reign.” Click here to sign up for our newsletters.
Matt Mathers8 May 2023 15:40
Bank apologises after mortgage refused over Ukrainian refugees
A bank has issued an apology after rejecting a homeowner’s mortgage application due to them hosting two Ukrainian refugees.
A mother and her young daughter have been staying in an annexe at Dominik Zaum’s family home since June 2022.
Fixed-rate mortgage deals leapt up in the wake of last autumn’s disastrous mini-budget, with many predicting they will continue to edge up even further as the Bank of England looks set to hike interest rates.
Matt Mathers8 May 2023 15:05
Denmark, Sweden sign solidarity agreement on gas supply
Denmark and Sweden have signed an agreement on mutual support in case of gas shortages, the energy authorities of the two countries said on Monday.
In the case of gas shortages or disruptions, Denmark will help secure supply to Swedish customers protected by the agreement, including about 30,000 households, hospitals and emergency services, Sweden’s energy authority said.
“The agreement we have signed today reflects the great work and cooperation that has taken place in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the director of the Danish Energy Authority, Kristoffer Bottzauw, said in a separate statement.
“No country in the EU or the Nordic region can solve the energy supply crisis alone,” Bottzauw added.
The majority of the natural gas used in Sweden comes via a pipeline from Denmark.
Matt Mathers8 May 2023 14:43
Ukraine moves day to mark Nazi surrender in shift towards West
President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday moved to formalise the day that Ukraine marks the allied victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two as May 8, aligning it with Western nations in a repudiation of the Soviet past quickly condemned by Moscow.
Speaking to Ukrainians on a hill overlooking Kyiv, Zelensky said “the old evil” had returned, this time waged by a “modern Russia” pursuing the same goal as the Nazis of “enslavement and destruction” – but that it would not succeed.
Zelensky said he had submitted a bill to parliament officially making May 8 Ukraine’s day of remembrance and victory, while May 9 would become Europe Day. Zelensky wants Ukraine one day, after the war, to join the European Union.
“We are returning to our state an honest history without ideological influences. It is on May 8 that most nations of the world remember the greatness of the victory over the Nazis,” he said in a video posted on the president’s Telegram channel.
Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender came into force at 11:01 p.m. on May 8, 1945, which was already May 9 in Moscow.
Matt Mathers8 May 2023 14:20
Russia bans jet skis, ride-hailing ahead of WWII tributes
Russia enacted a major security clampdown ahead of Tuesday’s annual commemorations marking the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, curbing the use of drones, jet skis and car-sharing services in its largest cities amid its 14-month war with Ukraine.
At least 21 Russian cities canceled May 9 military parades — the staple of Victory Day celebrations across Russia — for the first time in years, Russian media said.
Regional officials blamed unspecified “security concerns” or vaguely referred to “the current situation” for the restrictions and cancellations. It was not clear whether their decisions were taken in coordination with the Kremlin.
Last week, Russia — which hasn’t witnessed the carnage endured by Ukraine during the invasion — was rattled by ambiguous official reports that two Ukrainian drones flew into the heart of Moscow under the cover of darkness and reached the Kremlin before being shot down.
Media and local officials have blamed other sporadic drone attacks, especially targeting oil depots near the two countries’ border, on the Ukrainian military. Kyiv officials decline to comment on such claims.
Matt Mathers8 May 2023 14:00
Ukraine says Russia has effectively stopped Black Sea grain deal
Russia has effectively stopped the Black sea grain deal by refusing to register incoming vessels, Ukraine’s reconstruction ministry said on Monday.
Ukrainian Black Sea ports were blockaded after Russia’s invasion last year, but access to three of them was cleared last July under a deal between Moscow and Kyiv that was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.
“The Russian Federation once again effectively stopped the Grain Initiative by refusing to register incoming vessels and carry out their inspections. This approach contradicts the terms of the current agreement,” the ministry said in a statement.
It said that 90 ships, including 62 vessels for loading, were waiting in Turkey’s territorial waters for approval to go to Ukrainian ports.
The deal expires on May 18. Moscow has threatened to quit the agreement intended to help ease a global food crisis. Turkey and the United Nations are working to extend the deal.
Matt Mathers8 May 2023 13:40
Watch: Moment shell explodes in Bakhmut amid heavy fighting
Footage shows a Ukrainian military drone capturing the moment a shell explodes in the western part of Bakhmut
The footage shows damaged buildings and heavy plumes of smoke rising over the city, which has been the focus of heavy fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces.
Reuters news agency verified the location from the buildings, road layout, and field, which matched satellite photography of the area.
Moscow has increased attacks on Ukraine in recent days as it gears up for its Victory Day celebrations on Tuesday, 9 May.
Moment shell explodes in Bakhmut amid heavy fighting
Footage shows a Ukrainian military drone capturing the moment a shell explodes in the western part of Bakhmut. The footage shows damaged buildings and heavy plumes of smoke rising over the city, which has been the focus of heavy fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces. Reuters news agency verified the location from the buildings, road layout, and field, which matched satellite photography of the area. Moscow has increased attacks on Ukraine in recent days as it gears up for its Victory Day celebrations on Tuesday, 9 May. Click here to sign up for our newsletters.
Matt Mathers8 May 2023 13:20
ICYMI: Ukraine says whole of Russia will ‘panic’ when counteroffensive begins
Success for Ukraine in its long-awaited counteroffensive against Russia could spell the complete “collapse” of Vladimir Putin’s military or even the Russian economy, a senior minister in Volodymyr Zelensky’s government has said.
In an interview with The Independent, deputy defence minister Volodymyr Havrylov was deliberately vague about the timing of the counteroffensive, which is expected imminently as the mud and rains of spring give way to more favourable fighting conditions.