Putin sends message to West as he is sworn in for fifth term as Russian president

Russia and Ukraine were engaged in a fierce fight for the northeastern town of Vovchansk on Tuesday, a new flashpoint in the war after Vladimir Putin’s forces began attacking the Kharkiv region.

Kharkiv governor Oleh Syniehubov confirmed ground had been lost to the Russian advance, describing the situation as “difficult”.

“The enemy is trying to deliberately stretch it (the frontline), attacking in small groups, but in new directions, so to speak,” he said in televised comments.

Ukrainian military officials said their units have “pushed the enemy back” from the northern outskirts of Vovchansk, claiming “tactical successes” in several areas and that old positions were being restored.

Russian troops broke through Ukraine’s defence on Friday and entered the country near Kharkiv, opening a new, northeastern front in a war that has largely been raging in the east and south so far.

Kyiv is being forced to draw some of its already stretched forces away from other parts of the frontline, where Russia is still continuously pounding its defensive positions.

This comes as the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reached Kyiv today to show solidarity with Ukraine at a critical stage in fighting.


Ukraine says it destroyed all 18 drones that Russia launched

Air defence systems destroyed all 18 attack drones that Russia launched overnight at Ukrainian territory, Ukraine’s air force said today.

The drones were downed over several regions, including Kyiv and a number of frontline regions, the air force said.

The air force also said that Russia launched one Iskander-M ballistic missile. It was not clear what happened to the missile.

Arpan Rai14 May 2024 08:02


Houses hit as Russia’s Belgorod again comes under attack

A fresh wave of Ukrainian air attacks on Russia’s Belgorod damaged a power line and nearly two dozen houses in the early hours today, Russian officials said.

Russia’s defence ministry claimed it destroyed over 25 missiles over the border region.

“There is one casualty – a woman has received a shrapnel wound to her spine,” Belgorod governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on his Telegram channel.

He said that about 24 houses and a power line were damaged.

The defence ministry confirmed the attack and said its air defence systems destroyed 25 missiles launched by Ukraine from the RM-70 Vampire (MLRS) multiple launch rocket systems.

This comes after an attack on Belgorod where 15 people were killed and scores injured on Sunday when parts of an apartment block collapsed after being struck by falling missile debris, Russian officials said.

Arpan Rai14 May 2024 07:54


Thousands of civilians evacuated from northeast Ukraine as Russia presses renewed border assault

Thousands more civilians have fled Russia’s renewed ground offensive in Ukraine’s northeast that has targeted towns and villages with a barrage of artillery and mortar fire, officials said.

The intense battles have forced at least one Ukrainian unit to withdraw in the Kharkiv region, capitulating more land to Russian forces across less defended settlements in the so-called contested “grey zone” along the Russian border.

At least 4,000 civilians have fled the Kharkiv region since Friday, when Moscow’s forces launched the operation, governor Oleh Syniehubov said in a social media statement. Heavy fighting raged on Sunday along the northeast front line, where Russian forces attacked 27 settlements in the past 24 hours, he said.

Arpan Rai14 May 2024 07:42


Fresh shelling in Kharkiv injures four, Ukrainian officials say

Four people were injured in fresh Russian attacks on the battered city of Kharkiv in Ukraine’s northeast, Ukrainian officials said today.

The injured include a man and three women, said Oleh Sinehubov, governor of the broader Kharkiv region of which Kharkiv city is the administrative centre.

Mr Sinehubov said that Russia attacked Ukraine’s second largest city with its new UMPB D-30 bombs, Soviet-era retrofitted high-precision guided bombs that behave like a cruise missile.

Arpan Rai14 May 2024 07:30


Ukraine pushes Russian forces from Vovchansk

Ukraine says its forces have managed to prevent invading Russian troops from gaining a foothold in the town of Vovchansk near Kharkiv.

Russia claimed its soldiers had entered the border town on Monday, and Ukraine is asking volunteers to speed up evacuation of civilians in the town that has become the latest flashpoint in the war.

The Ukrainian military, in its Monday evening update, said it “had pushed the enemy back” from the northern outskirts of the town.

It added it had “tactical successes” in several areas and was restoring its old positions.

Volodymyr Zelensky, in his nightly video message, said Vovchansk town and other border areas had been reinforced. Ukraine’s military, he said, understood “how the enemy operates and… the intention to divert our forces”.

Ukraine has sent volunteers from house to house, pounding on doors to persuade residents still in the town to prepare for evacuation.

Vovchansk police chief Maksym Stetsyna said the town had been shelled repeatedly by artillery and mortar. “Some Vovchansk neighbourhoods are not easy to get to due to constant shelling,” Stetsyna told Reuters. “However, the situation is stable and under the control, we are evacuating people, it is fine.”

On Sunday, Russia claimed it had captured nine villages in the Kharkiv region and yesterday, it said its troops had improved their positions and inflicted losses on Ukraine’s defence forces.

Arpan Rai14 May 2024 07:10


Putin’s surprise decision to replace his defence minister raises as many questions as it answers

From beyond the grave, Yevgeny Prigozhin has had one of the main aims of his attempted coup fulfilled.

Shoigu’s sacking was greeted with elation by Russia’s warhawks, the “Z-Patriots”, with Konstantin Malofeyev, describing it as pure “Easter joy” (Orthodox Easter took place last week) and declaring that the move showed that, for president Putin, defence was “becoming the absolute priority of all state policy”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Sergei Shoigu, who is set to be replaced as defence minister in a surprise reshuffle announced by the Kremlin (EPA)

Kim Sengupta14 May 2024 06:30


Sunak says UK position on Ukraine unchanged amid reports of brokering attempts with Trump

Rishi Sunak says Britain’s position on a Ukrainian peace deal has not changed, after reports emerged that foreign secretary David Cameron spoke to Donald Trump about the prospect of an agreement with Russia.

Lord Cameron met with Mr Trump in April at his Mar-a-Lago estate in an attempt to seek his cooperation to endorse more military aid for Ukraine.

According to The Sunday Times, Lord Cameron told the US presidential contender that fresh aid will help Ukraine hold its front lines and offered the Republican leader the “best possible conditions” to try and secure a deal between the warring sides.

He is said to have asked Mr Trump: “What are the best conditions in which you as president can make a deal in January? It’s both sides holding their lines and paying a price for that.”

The reports of Lord Cameron’s remarks are in sharp contrast with the official line long maintained by the Sunak administration, which states that the conditions for a peace deal are to be set by Ukraine and not agreed by other parties.

A spokesperson for Mr Sunak rejected the suggestion that the UK policy had shifted. “I don’t recognise those reports… our position has not changed. Putin must fail,” the spokesperson said yesterday.

The spokesperson added: “It is crucial, now more than ever in this conflict, that Putin is sent a very clear message that we will support Ukraine for as long as is necessary.”

Mr Sunak also said he has not seen the article carried by the Sunday Times but added: “… What I can tell you is that we have led when it comes to Ukraine.

“Investment in Ukraine’s security is investment in our security. Our Nato allies are already worried about the prospect of if Putin succeeds, that they’ll be next — with all the consequences that would bring,” he said.

Arpan Rai14 May 2024 05:57


Fifteen bodies pulled from Belgorod rubble

Russian emergency services on Monday finished clearing the rubble in the region’s capital city of Belgorod, where a section of a residential building collapsed following what authorities said was Ukrainian shelling.

Fifteen bodies were pulled from the rubble, Belgorod regional Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov said, and 27 other people were wounded.

Another three people in the city of Belgorod were killed by shelling late Sunday, he said.

Yevgeny Poddubny, a usually well-connected military correspondent for Russia’s state TV corporation VGTRK, said in a recent Telegram post that the Kharkiv assault marked the beginning of “a new phase.”

“We’re pushing the enemy back from the border, destroying the enemy in order to deprive the Kyiv regime of the opportunity to use relatively cheap rockets to attack Belgorod,” he said.

Russian apartment block collapses in Belgorod explosion as rescuers search rubble for survivors (AP)

Sam Rkaina14 May 2024 05:27


US and Ukraine speak about frontline situation over phone

Ukraine’s commander in chief and its defence minister spoke to senior US officials last night as the two sides discussed the war-hit nation’s military aid and the frontline situation, Ukrainian commander Oleksander Syrskyi said.

He said the Ukrainian officials spoke to the US national security advisor Jake Sullivan, defence secretary Lloyd Austin and Charles Q Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“We spoke about the situation at the front, as well the assistance that Ukraine needs on the battlefield,” the top commander wrote on his Telegram channel.

The call came as equipment and munitions began arriving in Ukraine from a $61bn aid package approved last month after months of delays owing to congressional wrangling.

Arpan Rai14 May 2024 05:08


Antony Blinken reaches Kyiv to demonstrate ‘unwavering support’

Arpan Rai14 May 2024 04:57

Source link