Ukraine news – live: Russian soldier faces court in conflict’s first war crimes trial

Wladimir Klitschko calls Bucha killings ‘genocide of Ukrainian population’

A Russian soldier charged with killing an elderly civilian in Ukraine is set to face a Kyiv court on Friday in the first war crimes trial since Russia launched its brutal invasion in February.

Sergeant Vadim Shyshimarin, 21, is accused of shooting the unarmed 62-year-old Ukrainian man while he was riding his bike in the northeastern village of Chupakhivka in the Sumy Oblast.

According to Ukrainian law, he could face up to life in prison.

“I was ordered to shoot,” the sergeant said of the incident, adding: “I shot one (round) at him. He falls. And we kept on going.”

Victor Ovsyanikov, defending, has acknowledged that the case against the alleged killer is strong, but said the final decision over what evidence to allow is yet to be made by the court.

Elsewhere, former Finnish foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja has warned that Kremlin will view Finland as “potential enemies”.

It comes as Finland’s leaders spoke in favour of joining the Nato alliance in order to strenthen their country’s security and defence.

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Moscow warns of retaliatory ‘military-technical’ steps in fresh threat over Finland’s Nato decision

Russia could be forced to take retaliatory “military-technical” steps that could risk “full-scale nuclear war” in the wake of Finland’s historic decision to apply for Nato membership, Moscow has warned.

It comes just one day after reports emerged that the Kremlin had told Finnish politicians they could be cut off from Russian gas as early as Friday following what Russia’s foreign ministry dubbed a “radical change” in its policy.

A statement from Russia’s foreign ministry said: “Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature, in order to stop threats to its national security arising.”

My colleague Emily Atkinson has more:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain13 May 2022 12:37

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‘Russia wants to see us all dead,’ Former Ukrainian ambassador says

The former Ukrainian ambassador the EU has spoken about the difficulty of finding a compromise with Russia.

He said: “Sooner or later all wars must be ended with a diplomatic solution,” but the “tragedy of the situation” is that Russia “wants to see us all dead and we want to survive”.

Watch the full clip here:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain13 May 2022 12:20

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Maryam Zakir-Hussain13 May 2022 12:08

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Biden looks to nudge ASEAN leaders to speak out on Russia

President Joe Biden is looking to nudge southeast Asian leaders to be more outspoken about Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine, but is so far facing a tough task.

Mr Biden welcomed leaders from Association of Southeast Asian Nations to the White House on Thursday night for an intimate dinner to kick off the two-day summit, the first meeting of the group to be held in Washington in its 45-year history.

The White House announced that the United States would commit to more than $150 million in new projects to bolster Southeast Asia’s climate, maritime and public health infrastructure.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday said Ukraine would be on the agenda for the leaders’ talks, but she couldn’t make a prediction on whether the group would touch on the Russian invasion in the summit’s communique.

“I will say that a number of the ASEAN participants have been important partners in calling out the aggressive action of Russia,” she said, and “in participating and in supporting sanctions and, certainly, abiding by them.”

Some ASEAN members – Vietnam, Myanmar, and Laos — for years have depended on Russia for military hardware. With the exception of Singapore – the only member of the 10-member group to impose direct sanctions against Moscow – the alliance has avoided criticising President Vladimir Putin or Russia‘s prosecution of the war.

Indonesia has been guarded in its public comments on invasion and, as has the Philippines, made clear it won’t impose sanctions against Russia. Thailand joined a United Nations vote against the invasion of Ukraine, but has maintained a position of neutrality in the war.

Leaders were scheduled to hold formal talks at the State Department on Friday, and Biden was scheduled to address the group.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain13 May 2022 11:51

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Maryam Zakir-Hussain13 May 2022 11:38

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UK says new sanctions hit Putin’s network including ex-wife and cousins

Britain’s latest round of sanctions are set to target Russian President Vladimir Putin’s financial network, including his ex-wife and cousins.

“We are exposing and targeting the shady network propping up Putin’s luxury lifestyle and tightening the vice on his inner circle,” foreign minister Liz Truss said in a statement.

“We will keep going with sanctions on all those aiding and abetting Putin’s aggression until Ukraine prevails.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain13 May 2022 11:23

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Relatives of Mariupol steel mill fighters plead for help: ‘They’re abandoning our soldiers’

Demonstrators marched across central Kyiv holding banners and shouting slogans such as “save defenders of Mariupol, save Azovstal”, “glory to the heroes of Mariupol”, and “save the military of Azovstal”.

My colleague, Sravasti Dasgupta, reports:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain13 May 2022 11:09

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Kremlin: report of possible gas cuts for Finland ‘most likely a hoax’

A report in a Finnish newspaper that Russia may cut gas supplies to Finland as soon as Friday seems to be fake, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.

“Most likely, this is another newspaper hoax,” he told a conference call, adding that Gazprom remained a reliable gas supplier.

Newspaper Iltalehti reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources, that Finnish politicians had been warned that Russia could halt gas supplies to its neighbour on Friday.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain13 May 2022 10:56

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‘Russia will see us as potential enemies,’ Finland’s former foreign minister says

Former Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja has warned that Kremlin will view Finland as “potential enemies”.

Mr Tuomioja adding that Russia will respond by increasing their “military presence on the border” but they do not expect an attack.

Watch the full clip on Sky News here:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain13 May 2022 10:43

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Ukraine: Russian soldier to go on first war crimes trial

A Russian soldier charged with killing an elderly civilian in Ukraine is set to face a Kyiv court on Friday in the first war crimes trial since Moscow launched its brutal invasion in February.

Sergeant Vadim Shyshimarin, 21, is accused of shooting the unarmed 62-year-old Ukrainian man in the northeastern village of Chupakhivka in the Sumy Oblast. According to Ukrainian law, he could face up to life in prison.

My colleague Emily Atkinson reports:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain13 May 2022 10:27

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