Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Italy submits peace plan for Ukraine to UN

Italy’s foreign minister said Italy had submitted a peace plan for Ukraine to UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres.

Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told a Council of Europe meeting in Turin, Italy that the plan submitted on Thursday calls for local ceasefires to evacuate civilians along the humanitarian corridors and creates the conditions for a general ceasefire leading to “a long-lasting peace.”

In Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he was aware of the plan, adding that the European Union was “making every effort to try to end this conflict”.

Borrell said it was up to Ukraine to decide the terms of any negotiations. He said he hoped that “when the time comes for negotiations, Ukraine will be able to negotiate from a position of strength.”

He called on all EU nations to remain united on all fronts of the war.

— Associated Press

The UN announces at least 3,838 dead in Ukraine since the start of the war

Servicemen carrying the coffin with the body of 95th Separate Air Assault Brigade officer Lt. Denys Antipov, who perished defending the territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine against Russian invaders near the Dovhenke village, Kharkiv region, follow a priest outside St. Nicholas Church in Askold’s Tomb Park, Kyiv, capital of Ukraine.

Evgen Kotenko | Edition of the future | Getty Images

The United Nations has confirmed 3,838 civilian deaths and 4,351 injuries in Ukraine since Russia invaded its former Soviet neighbor on February 24.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said the death toll in Ukraine is likely higher, as armed conflict may delay reporting.

The international body said most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including heavy artillery fire and multiple rocket launchers, as well as missiles and air strikes.

—Amanda Macias

G-7 raises $19.8 billion for Ukraine

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal is seen on a screen during the meeting of finance ministers and central bank chiefs of the Group of 7 (G7) most industrialized nations in Koenigswinter, near Bonn, Germany, May 19 2022. Federico Gambarini/Pool via REUTERS

Federico Gambarini | Reuters

G-7 finance ministers and central bank governors said they had mobilized $19.8 billion for Ukraine at the end of their meeting in Germany this week.

“In 2022, we have mobilized $19.8 billion in budget support, including $9.5 billion in recent commitments…to help Ukraine close its financing gap and continue to ensure the provision of basic services to the Ukrainian people,” the G-7 said in their statement.

“Furthermore, we welcome the ongoing work within the G7 and international financial institutions on substantial new financing to Ukraine, including the European Commission’s proposal for additional macro-financial assistance of up to €9 billion.” , the statement said.

“We will continue to support Ukraine throughout this war and beyond and stand ready to do more if needed,” the G-7 added.

—Reuters

Finnish gas supply from Russia will be cut from Saturday

A photo taken on May 12, 2022 shows pipes at Gasum’s factory in Raikkola, Imatra, Finland.

Vesa Moilanen | AFP | Getty Images

Gasum, Finland’s state-owned gas wholesaler, said in a statement that natural gas imports from Russia would be halted on Saturday.

“As of tomorrow, during the next summer season, Gasum will supply natural gas to its customers from other sources via the Balticconnector gas pipeline. Gasum’s gas filling stations in the gas network area will continue to operate as normal” , Gasum CEO Mika Wiljanen said in a statement. statement.

“It is very regrettable that deliveries of natural gas under our supply contract are now interrupted. However, we have prepared carefully for this situation and provided that there are no disruptions on the network gas transport, we will be able to supply all our customers with gas in the months to come.”

Gasum gave no reason for this decision, but Finland also reportedly refused to pay for Russian gas in rubles. It also comes just two days after Finland formally applied for NATO membership.

Read the full story here.

—Matt Clinch

Russian parliament considers bill allowing people over 40 to enlist in the army

Servicemen of pro-Russian troops stand guard on a road ahead of the planned evacuation of injured Ukrainian soldiers from the besieged Azovstal steelworks during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in Mariupol, Ukraine, May 16, 2022.

Alexander Ermoshenko | Reuters

The Russian parliament is said to have laid the groundwork for new legislation that would allow people over 40 to enlist in the army.

“For the use of high-precision weapons, the operation of weapons and military equipment, highly professional specialists are needed. Experience shows that they become such at the age of 40-45,” the Duma said. of state, according to a Reuters translation.

The move is seen as an attempt by Moscow to bolster its armed forces after multiple setbacks and losses in the war in Ukraine.

Foreigners over 30 would also be allowed to enlist in the military if the bill passes.

—Matt Clinch

War exposed Europe’s complacency on energy security, oil chief says

Meg O’Neill of Woodside Energy says Europe has become heavily dependent on Russian gas and must now scramble to find a way to wean itself off the country’s hydrocarbons.

12 dead in the Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, according to the governor of Lugansk

The governor of Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine said 12 people were killed in Severodonetsk as a result of Russian attacks, with more than 60 homes destroyed.

Serhii Haidai, head of the Luhansk regional military administration, said via Telegram that at least five high-rise buildings were destroyed in Severodonetsk.

—Sam Meredith

Russia likely to quickly redeploy troops from Mariupol to Donbass, UK says

An aerial view of damaged residential buildings and the Azovstal steel plant in the port city of Mariupol on May 18, 2022.

Andrei Borodulin | AFP | Getty Images

Once Russian forces secure Mariupol in Ukraine, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said it is likely the Kremlin will quickly move its forces to operations in the Donbass region.

The UK said up to 1,700 Ukrainian troops are likely to have surrendered from the Mariupol Azovstal steel plant, according to its daily intelligence update.

“Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol since the start of the war means that Russian forces in the region need to be re-equipped and refurbished before they can be redeployed effectively. This can be a lengthy process when done thoroughly,” the ministry said.

“Russian commanders, however, are under pressure to demonstrably achieve operational goals. This means that Russia is likely to redistribute its forces quickly without adequate preparation, risking further force attrition,” he added.

—Sam Meredith

Zelensky accuses Russia of committing genocide against Ukrainians

Zelenskyy accused Russian forces of committing genocide against the Ukrainian people.

Sopa Pictures | Light flare | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russian forces of committing genocide against the Ukrainian people, calling the current situation in the Donbass region “hell”.

Speaking during his overnight address, Zelenskyy said Ukrainian forces were continuing to liberate the northeast region of Kharkiv. “But in the Donbass, the occupiers are trying to turn up the heat. It’s hell, and that’s no exaggeration.”

“Donbass is completely destroyed – all this has not and cannot have a military explanation for Russia,” Zelenskyy said.

“This is a deliberate and criminal attempt to kill as many Ukrainians as possible. To destroy as many homes, social facilities and businesses as possible. This will be called genocide of the Ukrainian people and for which the occupiers will certainly be brought to justice,” he added.

The Russian Embassy in London was not immediately available for comment.

—Sam Meredith

Failure to reopen Ukrainian ports would be a declaration of war on global food security (World Food Programme)

An agricultural field on the coastline of the Sea of ​​Azov, on February 15, 2022, in Ukraine. The country is a major exporter of agricultural products, feeding around 400 million people worldwide, according to the World Food Programme.

Peter Crom | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Failure to open Ukrainian ports would be a declaration of war on world food security in this “unprecedented crisis”, warned the executive director of the World Food Programme, David Beasley.

“Food prices are our number one issue right now, coming off of this whole perfect storm for 2022,” Beasley said. “But by 2023 it will very much be a food availability issue.”

Ukraine is a major exporter of agricultural products, feeding around 400 million people worldwide, according to the WFP.

WFP’s analysis revealed that 276 million people in the world suffered from acute hunger at the beginning of 2022. If the war continues, this number could increase to 47 million.

Because Ukrainian ports have been blocked due to the war, millions of metric tons of grain cannot be shipped, the WFP said.

Ukrainian farmers will have nowhere to store the next harvest in July or August if ports are not reopened, meaning grain will go to waste as the world grapples with a global food crisis, WFP says .

Food prices have skyrocketed since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. Food prices are at the highest levels ever recorded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, up 34% compared to the same period last year.

—Chelsea Ong

U.S. approves 10th $100 million security assistance package for Ukraine

Ukrainian servicemen taking part in the armed conflict with Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk region attend the handover ceremony of heavy weapons and military equipment in Kyiv on November 15, 2018.

Sergei Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images

The Pentagon has announced the authorization of a tenth US security assistance program of up to $100 million for Ukraine.

“The capabilities of this package are designed to meet today’s critical Ukrainian combat needs as Russian forces continue their offensive in eastern Ukraine,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, during a daily press briefing.

The package includes:

  • 18 howitzers of 155 mm
  • 18 tactical vehicles to tow 155 mm howitzers
  • Three AN/TPQ-36 counter-artillery radars
  • Field equipment and spare parts

—Amanda Macias

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