Ukraine news – live: Pentagon says Kyiv ‘mounting stiff and effective resistance’ to Russia

Wladimir Klitschko calls Bucha killings ‘genocide of Ukrainian population’

Ukraine is “holding its own against the Russian force” and “mounting stiff and effective resistance” to the Kremlin, US officials in the Pentagon said on Friday.

John Kirby, spokesperson for the Pentagon said that both sides have taken casualties and lost their capabilities. However, the US is “trying so hard to make sure that Ukraine continues to have available to it, the materials, the systems, the weapons to continue to defend themselves.”

The resistance displayed by Ukraine has stopped Russian troops from “achieving virtually any of their strategic objectives thus far in the war,” he said.

Starting today, Russia will snap electricity supplies to Nordic nation Finland amid difficulties in payment. Rao Nordic, Russian state energy holder Inter RAO’s subsidiary, said that it was “forced to suspend the electricity import” from 1am.

It added that the energy firm is “not able to make payments for the imported electricity from Russia”.

“This situation is exceptional and happened for the first time in over 20 years of our trading history,” the statement added.

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Russian and US defence ministers speak for first time since invasion

Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu spoke with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday after months of refusing direct contact with his American counterpart. But officials said the call didn’t appear to signal any change in Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

A senior Defence Department official said while Mr Austin believes the hour-long conversation was important in the effort to keep lines of communication open, it didn’t resolve any “acute issues” or lead to any change in what the Russian are doing or saying as the war enters its 12th week.

The call – initiated by Mr Austin – marked the highest level American contact with a Russian official since the war began in late February. Over the past several months, Pentagon officials have repeatedly said that Russian leaders declined to take calls from Austin and Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

This is the first conversation between Mr Austin and Mr Shoigu since 18 February, a week before the war started. Another senior official said Friday that Mr Milley is expected to also reach out to his counterpart, General Valery Gerasimov, Russian chief of the general staff.

In a statement, the Pentagon said Mr Austin “urged an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and emphasised the importance of maintaining lines of communication.”

Liam James14 May 2022 07:38

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US seeks to clarify Turkey’s stance on Nordic Nato accession

The US will seek to clarify Turkey’s position on Sweden and Finland joining Nato at a meeting this weekend after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested his country would use its veto on membership to block their admission.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken is scheduled to meet his Nato counterparts, including the Turkish foreign minister, this weekend in Germany and White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Washington was trying to establish the basis of Turkey’s attitude.

The Turkish president earlier explained his opposition by citing Sweden and other Scandinavian countries’ alleged support for Kurdish militants and others considered by Turkey to be terrorists.

He said he also did not want to repeat Turkey’s past “mistake” when it agreed to readmit Greece into Nato’s military wing in 1980. He claimed the action had allowed Greece “to take an attitude against Turkey” with Nato’s backing.

Liam James14 May 2022 07:22

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Russia to include Ukraine’s Kherson in its territory, claims UK

The military-civilian administration imposed by Russia in Kherson is set to include the southern city Kherson into its fold, claimed the British defence ministry on Saturday, warning that the Kremlim planned on using rigged referendums.

“The Russian-imposed military-civilian administration in Kherson announced they will ask Russia to include Kherson Region in the Russian Federation. A central part of Russia’s original invasion plan was highly likely to use rigged referendums to place the majority of Ukraine’s regions under long-term pro-Russian authority,” the ministry said in its latest intelligence update.

It added: “The fact that Russia has only succeeded in imposing a pro-Russian local leadership in Kherson highlights the failure of Russia’s invasion to make progress towards its political objectives in Ukraine.”

The defence ministry said that in the event Russia carries out an accession referendum in Kherson, “it will almost certainly manipulate the results to show a clear majority in favour of leaving Ukraine.”

Citizens in the Kherson region are likely to continue to demonstrate their opposition to Russian occupation, the ministry said.

Arpan Rai14 May 2022 07:00

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India bans exports of wheat over threat to food security

India will not be sending out wheat outside its borders effective immediately, officials announced on late Friday, citing a threat to its food security.

“Export will be allowed in case of shipments where an irrevocable letter of credit is issued on or before the date of notification. Export will be allowed on the basis of permission granted by the government of India to other countries to meet their food security needs and based on the request of the governments,” the official order from Directorate of Foreign Trade said.

It added that a surge in global prices of wheat has sparked a threat to food security of India and neighbouring vulnerable countries.

India is the second biggest wheat producer globally was eyeing to ship out a historic 10 million tonnes this year as war started by Russia gripped Ukraine paralysed the wheat exports. Both the countries account for a third of wheat and barley exports.

The ripple effect of shutting down wheat exports from India is likely to lead to sharp rise in global prices, experts have warned.

Arpan Rai14 May 2022 06:48

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Russia to cut power supply to Finland from 1am today

Officials at the Russian state energy said the Kremlin will end electricity supplies to Finland starting 1am on Saturday citing payment difficulties.

Rao Nordic, Russian state energy holder Inter RAO’s subsidiary, said that it was “forced to suspend the electricity import” from 14 May.

It added that the energy firm is “not able to make payments for the imported electricity from Russia.

“This situation is exceptional and happened for the first time in over 20 years of our trading history,” the statement added.

Fingrid, Finnish grid company, confirmed the slashing of imports in electricity “for the time being” as it was facing problems in receiving payments for selling electricity in the market but added that “there is not threat to the adequacy of electricity in Finland.

Arpan Rai14 May 2022 06:36

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Ukraine war has changed, says country’s lawmaker

The situation on Ukraine’s battlefield against Russian offensive is “far worse” than what the country saw when the war began in February, Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksandra Ustinova said.

Calling the situation “hell” on the frontlines right now, Ms Ustinova said that Ukraine is “losing many more men now than it was at the beginning of the war” while addressing reporters at German Marshall Fund roundtable in Washington on Friday.

She added that Ukraine does not need Soviet-era MiG fighter jets because the “war has changed”.

Arpan Rai14 May 2022 06:08

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Russian shelling kills one, injures 12 in Donetsk

At least one person was killed and 12 other civilians were injured after Russian shelling struck the region on Friday, officials said.

The shelling hit Illinka, Bakhmutske, and Zalizne settlements in the Donetsk oblast, governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said.

Arpan Rai14 May 2022 05:33

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White House, Asean leaders underline “sovereignty, political independence” over Ukraine

In a historic summit, the White House and Asean leaders on Friday called for compliance with the United Nations charter and international law over the war in Ukraine.

“With regard to Ukraine, as for all nations, we continue to reaffirm our respect for sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity. We reiterate our call for compliance with the UN Charter and international law,” the White House said in a statement.

The statement added: “We underline the importance of an immediate cessation of hostilities and creating an enabling environment for peaceful resolution.”

“We support the efforts of the UN Secretary-General in the search for a peaceful solution. We also call for the facilitation of rapid, safe and unhindered access to humanitarian assistance for those in need in Ukraine, and for the protection of civilians, humanitarian personnel, and persons in vulnerable situations,” the officials said in a statement.

Arpan Rai14 May 2022 05:17

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First war trial against Russian soldier begins

Ukraine held its first war trial against a 21-year-old Russian soldier who has been held for murdering an unarmed civilian, marking the first ever-such proceedings since Russia invaded the country in February.

The small courtroom in Kyiv was filled with journalists as the soldier Vadim Shyshimarin, who was a commander of the Kantemirovskaya tank division, was seen entering the room in a grey and blue tracksuit flanked by security officials.

If convicted, Shishimarin faces life imprisonment.

State prosecutor said that after this first case of trial against invading Russian soldiers, there will be “a lot of these cases”.

The sergeant, according to the prosecutors, was driving a stolen vehicle with other Russian troops in Sumy when they saw a 62-year-old man.

He shot down the man on an order, which was to prevent the Ukrainian civilians from revealing their location in the region.

Shishimarin confirmed basic details like his name in the court and is yet to contest the charges against him.

The hearing will resume on Wednesday.

Arpan Rai14 May 2022 04:56

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Ukraine ‘mounting a stiff and effective resistance’ to Russia – Pentagon

The Ukrainian military is “holding its own against the Russian force”, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said on late Friday, highlighting that both sides — Ukraine and Russia — have lost their capabilities.

“The Ukrainians continue to resist the Russian invaders in the Donbas region — Russia’s major push in the region now. They have prevented the Russians from achieving virtually any of their strategic objectives thus far in the war,” Mr Kirby said.

The Pentagon spokesperson added: “Now, both sides have taken casualties. Both sides have lost capabilities, whether that’s actual hardware or defensive systems. That’s why we’re trying so hard to make sure that Ukraine continues to have available to it, the materials, the systems, the weapons to continue to defend themselves.”

He added that there are “roughly 105 Russian battalion tactical groups in Ukraine” as of today.

But the Ukrainians absolutely are mounting a stiff and an effective resistance to the Russians, he added.

Arpan Rai14 May 2022 04:42

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