President Zelensky meets US officials
Vladimir Putin is considering a fresh attack on Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and planning for victory in the country by the autumn, according to an independent Latvian news website.
Sources close to the Kremlin have told Meduza that Russia’s top leadership was expecting to win a war of attrition, even though Moscow’s first attack on the capital failed.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson says it is vital that the West send more heavy weaponry, including long-range multiple-launch rocket systems, to Ukraine because Russia’s army is making “palpable progress” in the east of the country.
The prime minister said’s troops have “chewed through ground” in the Donbas region after their repeated failures to capture Kyiv and Kharkiv.
Mr Johnson warned of the dangers of negotiating with Mr Putin, saying: “How can you deal with a crocodile when it’s in the middle of eating your left leg? The guy’s completely not to be trusted.”
But, he told Bloomberg, the Russian president must accept that his “de-Nazification” of Ukraine had finished so he could “withdraw with dignity and honour”.
At least 4,000 Ukrainians killed in the war – UN’s rights office
More than 4,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine during the Russian invasion, according to the UN’s rights office (OHCHR).
But, it said, the true death toll is likely to be much higher.
In total, 4,031 people have been killed, including nearly 200 children, according to OHCHR, which has dozens of monitors in the country. Most were killed by explosive weapons with a wide impact such as shelling from heavy artillery or airstrikes.
It did not attribute blame for the deaths. Russia has denied targeting civilians in the conflict.
Lamiat Sabin27 May 2022 14:00
EU could delay sanctions on pipeline deliveries of Russian oil
The European Union said it’s negotiating a deal that would impose sanctions on Russian oil shipments but delay sanctions on oil delivered by pipeline.
The move is being considered to appease Hungary and a number of other landlocked EU member states.
The countries’ resistance to oil sanctions has held up the implementation of the sixth package of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
One official said: “The idea is to split the oil embargo into pipeline and seaborne deliveries.
“Pipeline would get an exemption for some time to organise a replacement.”
An agreement could be reached by EU member states’ ambassadors in Brussels on Sunday, in time for their leaders to agree at a May 30-31 summit, another official said.
Lamiat Sabin27 May 2022 13:40
Up to 1,500 people killed in Donbas war
As many as 1,500 people have been killed in fighting in the separatist-controlled province of Donbas during the war, officials say.
Up to 13,000 people remain in the city of Sievierodonetsk – down from a pre-war population of about 100,000 – and 60 per cent of residential buildings have been destroyed, said Sievierodonetsk’s mayor.
Kyiv has made an urgent plea for more weapons from western allies. David Harding reports:
Jane Dalton27 May 2022 13:03
Occupied regions switch to Russian phone codes
Two southeastern Ukrainian regions seized by Russian troops have switched to Russian area codes, state-owned media says.
Kremlin-controlled news agency Ria Novosti reported that occupied parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia were changing codes, and a new mobile operator had begun working there.
Jane Dalton27 May 2022 12:50
Putin’s forces kill four people as they bombard stronghold cities
Russian forces have pounded the last Ukrainian strongholds in a separatist-controlled eastern province, including a city where authorities said 1,500 people have been killed and 60 per cent of residential buildings destroyed.
Ukraine‘s foreign minister warned that without a new injection of foreign weapons, Ukrainian forces would not be able to stop Russia from seizing Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, which are crucial to Russia’s goal of capturing all of the Donbas region.
The cities are the last areas under Ukrainian control in Luhansk, one of two provinces that make up the region.
“The Russians are pounding residential neighborhoods relentlessly,” regional governor Serhiy Haidai wrote in a Telegram post.
“The residents of Sievierodonetsk have forgotten when was the last time there was silence in the city for at least half an hour.”
Russian shelling killed four people in the city over the past 24 hours, he said.
Jane Dalton27 May 2022 12:36
Use of US long-range rockets would cross red line, warns Russia
If Ukraine uses long-range rocket systems sent by President Biden, it will amount to the US “crossing a red line”, Russian state television claims.
It will be “an attempt to provoke a very harsh response from Russia”, the official channel announcer said.
The US is set to agree to requests from Ukrainian officials to step up the weaponry it is offering the country’s armed forces: advanced, long-range rocket systems.
Jane Dalton27 May 2022 12:13
Kremlin blames Ukraine for stalled peace talks
Russia said it blames Ukraine for the stalled peace talks between the two countries.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in a call with reporters: “The Ukrainian leadership constantly makes contradictory statements. This does not allow us to fully understand what the Ukrainian side wants.”
It comes as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine has to face the reality that it will likely be necessary to engage with Vladimir Putin to end the war.
But Russia does not appear to be ready yet for serious peace talks, Mr Zelensky said.
Lamiat Sabin27 May 2022 12:00
Zelensky: Ukraine has to ‘face reality’ and talk to Putin
Ukraine has to face the reality that it will likely be necessary to engage with Vladimir Putin to end the war, Volodymyr Zelensky said.
But Russia does not appear to be ready yet for serious peace talks, the Ukrainian president said.
Mr Zelensky said in an address to an Indonesian think tank: “There are things to discuss with the Russian leader.
“I’m not telling you that to me our people are eager to talk to him, but we have to face the realities of what we are living through.
“What do we want from this meeting… We want our lives back… We want to reclaim the life of a sovereign country within its own territory.”
Lamiat Sabin27 May 2022 11:40
West should send Ukraine more heavy artillery, UK PM says
Boris Johnson told Bloomberg that the West should send Ukraine more offensive weapons such as Multiple Launch Rocket Systems that can strike targets from much further away.
The prime minister played down the prospect of meaningful peace talks with Vladimir Putin, saying: “How can you deal with a crocodile when it’s in the middle of eating your left leg? The guy’s completely not to be trusted.”
Lamiat Sabin27 May 2022 11:20
Putin’s troops making ‘palpable progress’ in Donbas – Johnson
Boris Johnson has struck a gloomy note on the war in Ukraine, warning that Russia’s president Vladimir Putin is making “palpable progress” in his bid to seize the eastern Donbas region.
The prime minister said Western states should not be “lulled” by the early Ukrainian successes around capital Kyiv into thinking that the threat from Russia had been overcome.
He said it was “absolutely vital” for countries like the UK to keep supporting president Volodymyr Zelensky’s regime with military supplies.
Speaking to Bloomberg TV, Mr Johnson said: “I think it’s very, very important that we do not get lulled, because of the incredible heroism of the Ukrainians pushing the Russians back from the gates of Kyiv.
“I’m afraid that Putin – at great cost to himself and to the Russian military – is continuing to chew through ground in Donbas. He’s continuing to make gradual, slow, but I’m afraid palpable progress.
“Therefore, it is absolutely vital that we continue to support the Ukrainians militarily.”
Andrew Woodwock27 May 2022 11:00