From neutral to Nato: Finland announces bid to join alliance
Ukrainian forces have set a Russian navy logistics ship on fire in the Black Sea, it has been claimed.
The reported strike is said to have occurred near Snake Island, which was made famous earlier in the war when a Ukrainian soldier stationed there told a Russian warship to “go f*** yourself”.
The claim about the Vsevolod Bobrov was made by Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesperson for the Odesa regional military administration. The Independent has been unable to independently verify the report.
The development comes as the Kremlin threatened to take “retaliatory steps” if Finland joins Nato, following Helsinki’s announcement on Thursday that it wants to join the alliance.
“As a member of Nato, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance,” president Sauli Niinisto and prime minister Sanna Marin said in a joint statement.
“Finland must apply for Nato membership without delay. We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days,” they added.
Ukraine’s Armed Forces shoot down 7 Russian aerial targets
According to Ukraine’s General Staff, Russia lost five Orlan-10 UAVs, one Ka-52 attack helicopter, and a missile on May 12 as reported by The Kyiv Independent.
Maryam Zakir-Hussain13 May 2022 07:45
ICYMI: Russians forced to use household appliances in military gear because of sanctions, US says
US sanctions against Russia are working so well that Vladimir Putin’s troops are being forced to use computer chips from dishwashers and refrigerators in some of its military equipment, the Biden administration has claimed.
Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, told a Senate hearing this week that a ban on technology exports to Russia was now hampering its military on the ground as its unprovoked attack on Ukraine draws on.
“We have reports from Ukrainians that when they find Russian military equipment on the ground, it’s filled with semiconductors that they took out of dishwashers and refrigerators,” Ms Raimondo told the hearing.
My colleague Abe Asher reports:
Maryam Zakir-Hussain13 May 2022 07:35
Liz Truss tells G7 to keep sanctions until Russia withdraws from Ukraine
The foreign secretary has urged a meeting of G7 foreign ministers to maintain sanctions against Russia until it has fully withdrawn from Ukraine.
Liz Truss used the meeting in Germany to urge for rolling sanctions until all troops have left the country.
Ms Truss implored for more help to be provided militarily, saying: “(Vladimir) Putin is humiliating himself on the world stage. We must ensure he faces a defeat in Ukraine that denies him any benefit and ultimately constrains further aggression.”
“The best long-term security for Ukraine will come from it being able to defend itself. That means providing Ukraine with a clear pathway to Nato-standard equipment.”
It comes after Finland’s leaders announced they support the country joining Nato, less than 24 hours after signing a new security pact with Britain.
Maryam Zakir-Hussain13 May 2022 07:23
Ukraine thwarted Russian attempt to cross river in Donbas, UK says
Ukrainian forces have “successfully prevented” an attempted Russian river crossing in Donbas, the British defence ministry said.
“Images indicate that during the crossing of the Siverskyi Donets river west of Severodonetsk, Russia lost significant armoured manoeuvre elements of at least one Battalion Tactical Group as well as the deployed pontoon bridging equipment,” the ministry said in its regular bulletin on Friday.
The Independent had earlier reported that the Russian army suffered heavy losses, including the destruction of around three dozen tanks, after the Ukrainian army blew up a pontoon bridge over the Siverskyi Donets river in the Luhansk region.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar13 May 2022 07:00
Ukraine diverts $8.3bn to military spending due to war
Ukraine has been forced to spend $8.3bn (£6.7bn) on its war with Russia instead of development, finance minister Serhiy Marchenko said on Thursday.
The spending has been drawn from funds that were budgeted for development. However, it was used for everything from buying and repairing weapons to emergency support for internally displaced people.
The Ukrainian government only collected 60 per cent of its planned tax revenue for April, Mr Marchenko told Reuters.
He said that the war-torn country has received nearly $2bn (£1.6bn) in external funding in April, of which $719m (£588m) were from grants.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar13 May 2022 06:45
Russia begins transfer of troops from Syria to Ukraine
Russian president Vladimir Putin has begun moving troops from Syria to Ukraine to help in the battle for Donbas.
These troops are being stationed at three airports in Ukraine before being transferred to the frontline to increase Russia’s presence as fighting in the southeast increases, The Moscow Times reported.
Troops are being moved from Syria where the Kremlin had thousands of its men stationed since 2015 when Mr Putin ordered his fighters to support president Bashar al-Assad.
Moscow claims it had deployed more than 63,000 Russian military personnel in Syria between 2015 and 2018.
Thomas Kingsley has more.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar13 May 2022 06:32
Ukraine war is ‘child rights crisis’, says UN
The war in Ukraine is a “child rights crisis” which has killed hundreds of youngsters and forced millions to flee, the UN children’s agency said on Thursday.
Omar Abdi, deputy executive director of Unicef, told the UN Security Council that children are paying “an unconscionably high price” in the war, with 239 confirmed killed and 355 wounded since the invasion in February.
“These attacks must stop. Ultimately, children need an end to this war, with their futures hanging in the balance,” he said.
“Hundreds of schools across the country are reported to have been hit by heavy artillery, airstrikes and other explosive weapons in populated areas, while other schools are being used as information centres, shelters, supply hubs, or for military purposes — with long-term impact on children’s return to education,” Mr Abdi said.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar13 May 2022 06:05
Russian forces opened fire on civilians in Kharkiv, says Ukrainian minister
Russian troops opened fire on civilians from a tank in a village in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine’s first deputy minister of internal affairs Yevhen Yenin has said.
“In one of the villages of Kharkiv region, the police established the fact that Russian servicemen, think about it, opened fire on civilians from a tank,” he said via the Telegram messaging app.
“That’s why we don’t have to talk about any moral framework of the Russian military,” he said, according to Ukrayinska Pravda.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar13 May 2022 05:33
G7 to discuss food security and Moldova on Friday
Foreign ministers of the G7 nations are expected to meet on Friday in Germany to hold talks on food security concerns and the situation in Moldova in light of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The annual meeting running until Saturday brings together top diplomats from Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Japan the United States and the European Union, to the Baltic Sea resort of Weissenhaus.
The Ukrainian and Moldovan foreign ministers are likely to be part of the Friday talks, with the western nations reaffirming their support for the two countries.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar13 May 2022 05:16
Russia’s oil revenue up by 50% despite sanctions
Russia’s oil revenues have shot up 50 per cent in 2022 despite the sweeping sanctions imposed by the west following Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the International Energy Agency said.
The Paris-based agency in its report said that Moscow earned roughly $20bn (£16.2bn) each month in 2022 from combined sales of crude and products amounting to about 8 million barrels a day.
The Europen Union remained the largest market for Russian exports in April, which amounts to 43 per cent of the country’s export, the report said.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar13 May 2022 05:01