Day 449 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Ninth Russian attack on Kyiv since the beginning of May
Day 449 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- Ukraine said it had destroyed 29 of 30 missiles from successive Russian strikes
- Russia's nuclear energy and diamond trade will not be included in the 11th package of EU sanctions
- Air alert across Ukraine due to new Russian attacks
- One killed in a Russian missile strike on Odesa, missiles downed over Kyiv
- Beijing: China and Ukraine must work together and maintain cooperation
- Europe has created a Register of Damages in Ukraine
- A former commander from "Wagner", who sought asylum in Norway, wants to return to Russia
- A Russian regional governor reports that two were injured in a Ukrainian attack on a populated place in the Kursk region
- A Ukrainian was given a life sentence for aiding Russia
- "New York Times": US bans training of Ukrainian F-16 pilots in Europe
Ukraine said it had destroyed 29 of 30 missiles from successive Russian strikes
Ukraine said its air defenses had destroyed 29 of a total of 30 missiles in a series of massive Russian strikes. There was an air alert throughout the country.
The Ukrainian military announced explosions in the capital in the morning and that citizens should not leave bomb shelters. They reminded that debris from downed missiles also poses a threat. Fires broke out during the ninth airstrike on Kyiv since the beginning of the month. In addition to 29 out of 30 Russian missiles, four drones were also destroyed.
The military also claimed to have made new progress in heavy fighting around Bakhmut in the Donbas.
President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the allies for more weapons.
After the visit to Kyiv of the Chinese Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui from Beijing, they announced an agreement to continue the relations of mutual respect and cooperation. Ukraine has once again ruled out ceding territories as a path to peace with Russia.
The term of the agreement on the export of Ukrainian food through the Black Sea was extended by another two months shortly before the expiry of its regular term. Russia's ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, accused the United States of forgetting the package nature of the deal, which also includes Russian exports. In response to accusations that Moscow was using hunger as a weapon, it stressed that of the 30 million tons of cargo, only 2.5 percent reached the starving. Antonov described as a provocation the CIA's Telegram call to Russians to share information about their country's economy and leadership.
Russia's nuclear energy and diamond trade will not be included in the 11th package of EU sanctions
Russian nuclear energy will not be included in the 11th package of sanctions against Russia that the EU is preparing, a high-ranking diplomatic source told journalists in Brussels. This is done because countries like Bulgaria and Finland are still connected to the Russian nuclear sector. However, the two countries are taking serious steps to reduce this dependence, the diplomat said.
In the 11th package, there will also be no sanctions on the trade in Russian diamonds - a measure that is opposed mainly by Belgium.
However, both topics will be discussed at the G7 meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, which begins tomorrow. The topic of tracing Russian diamonds is expected to be mentioned in the conclusions of the meeting, which will be attended by Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel.
The ambassadors of the EU countries in Brussels are still discussing the 11th package of sanctions, which is aimed mostly at attempts to circumvent them by European companies and third countries. With no agreement yet reached on the package, EU foreign ministers are expected to continue discussions on sanctions at their meeting on Monday in Brussels.
Air alert across Ukraine due to new Russian attacks
An air alert was declared this morning across the territory of Ukraine due to new Russian attacks. Explosions and fires were reported in Kyiv. Heavy fighting continues for Bakhmut in the eastern part of the country.
The Ukrainian army reported several explosions in the capital and other parts of the country early this morning and urged people to stay out of bomb shelters. Falling debris during an airstrike caused fires in two Kyiv districts. This is the ninth such attack there since the beginning of the month.
One person was killed in a Russian missile attack on an industrial site in Odesa, local authorities said.
According to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the successive shellings prove that even stronger global unity is needed to pressure Russia and more weapons for Ukrainian soldiers.
The military says it has made new progress in heavy fighting near the Donbas city of Bakhmut, capturing about 20 square kilometers outside the city, and that Russia is sending new units there and continuing its assault on western neighborhoods.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told China's special envoy Li Hui that his country will not cede territory to Russia.
The term of the agreement on the export of Ukrainian food through the Black Sea was extended by another two months shortly before the expiry of its regular term.
Russia's ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, has accused the United States of waging a coordinated hybrid war campaign against his country. The diplomat's words were linked to a CIA video on a Telegram channel urging Russians to share information about Russia's economy and top leadership.
One killed in a Russian missile strike on Odesa, missiles downed over Kyiv
One person was killed when a Russian missile struck an industrial plant in the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa, and falling debris from an airstrike caused two fires in eastern districts of Kyiv, Reuters reported.
This is the ninth Russian attack on the Russian capital since the beginning of the month so far.
Two more people were injured in the attack on Odesa, the spokesman of the military administration Sergey Bratchuk wrote in Telegram.
Powerful explosions reported on the outskirts of Ukraine’s Odesa as Russian missiles arrived. pic.twitter.com/y5OV8ZfHHR— Clash Report (@clashreport) May 17, 2023
Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko informed that one fire broke out in a garage facility in the capital's “Darnitsa: distirct. Debris also fell in the Dnieper area of Kyiv.
According to him, there were no injuries in any of the incidents.
The head of Kyiv's military administration, Sergey Popko, reported that a fire had broken out in non-residential premises in the “Desnyan” district, east of the capital. He did not provide information on casualties. Popko stated that Kyiv was attacked with cruise missiles and that all of them were shot down by air defenses.
Beijing: China and Ukraine must work together and maintain cooperation
China and Ukraine agreed that they should work together to continue to treat each other with mutual respect and continue their mutually beneficial cooperation, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement, Reuters reported.
The statement was made after China's Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.
"China has always played a constructive role in alleviating the humanitarian situation in Ukraine in its own way and will continue to provide assistance to Ukraine within its capabilities," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
During his visit to Kyiv, Beijing's emissary noted that there is no universal remedy for the war in Ukraine, but called on all countries to create conditions for peace talks, the Chinese Foreign Ministry added.
The emissary was in the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday and Wednesday. There, in addition to President Zelensky, he talked with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and other Ukrainian representatives about ways to end the Ukrainian-Russian conflict through a political settlement, the foreign ministry statement also said.
"China wants to encourage the international community to form the largest possible common denominator to resolve the Ukraine crisis, and is also making its own efforts to end the fighting and restore peace as soon as possible," the statement added.
Yesterday, during the meeting with the Chinese emissary, the number one Ukrainian diplomat told him that Kyiv will never accept any proposal to end the war, which includes losing territories or freezing the conflict, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
Li Hui is Beijing's former ambassador to Russia. He will visit Poland, France, Germany and finally Russia. He is also the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion there in February 2022.
During Li's visit to Kyiv, the two sides also agreed that the recent telephone conversation between the Chinese and Ukrainian presidents has indicated the direction for the development of bilateral relations, the Chinese Foreign Ministry noted.
Europe has created a Register of Damages in Ukraine
The Council of Europe announced the creation of a Register of Damages as a result of Russian aggression against Ukraine.
This happened on the second day of the Council summit in Reykjavík. Iceland is currently the chairman of the organization.
43 countries and the EU have joined the Register. Bulgaria, Andorra and Switzerland have expressed their intention to join, according to a statement from the Council of Europe.
The headquarters of the institution will be in The Hague. There will also be a satellite office in Ukraine.
The register will help the victims to register their losses and is necessary for any compensation mechanism, believes the General Secretary of the CE Marija Pejčinović Burić. According to her, this is one of the first legally binding decisions to hold Russia accountable for its actions.
The register is created for an initial period of three years. It will serve to record evidence and information about claims for damages, losses or impairments caused by Russian aggression. It paves the way for a future international comprehensive compensation mechanism for the victims of this aggression.
Moscow will pay for its actions according to international law, including through its identified accounts abroad, assured Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
At the same time, Slovenia became the next EU member state to join the European Defense Agency (EDA) project for joint procurement of ammunition for Ukraine. Thus, 24 EU countries and Norway already participate in the project. Only three member states - Bulgaria, Ireland and Denmark - have not yet joined.
A former commander from "Wagner", who sought asylum in Norway, wants to return to Russia
A former commander of the Russian private military company Wagner, who sought asylum in Norway after crossing the Russian-Norwegian border in January, said today he wants to return to Russia, even though he believes it could put his life at risk, reported Reuters, quoted by BTA.
Andrei Medvedev, who has previously spoken about his time fighting in Ukraine, said in one of several videos posted on YouTube that he decided on his own that he wanted to return to his native country.
The 26-year-old said he felt like "some kind of boy in a grown-up game" that he no longer wanted to be a part of.
"I recently decided that I am ready to return to the Russian Federation. I contacted the Russian embassy in Oslo for help to facilitate my return," Medvedev said in one of five short videos, adding that he made the decision alone.
He fled Russia across its Arctic border with Norway in January. Medvedev said he ran through barbed wire fences and managed to avoid contact with border patrol dogs, hearing Russian guards firing as he ran through a forest and across a frozen river.
His story made headlines around the world as a rare example of a man defecting to a Western country claiming to have fought for the Wagner mercenary group in Ukraine.
At the time, Medvedev said he was seeking asylum in Norway because he feared for his life after witnessing the killing and abuse of Russian prisoners recruited by mercenaries to fight in Ukraine.
In a video released today, he said he would file documents tomorrow that he said would help facilitate his return.
"I hoped that I would find peace and tranquility here, that I would be able to leave all politics, war, the army behind, but I didn't succeed," Medvedev said in Russian.
"We'll see what happens in Russia. If they kill me, FINE. If they don't, thanks a lot. If I stay alive, even more thanks."
In April, Medvedev was convicted of taking part in a bar fight in Oslo and carrying an air pistol. At the time, he told Reuters he was looking to the future, studying Norwegian and hoping to be granted asylum.
A Russian regional governor reports that two were injured in a Ukrainian attack on a populated place in the Kursk region
Two people were injured in the explosion of an explosive device dropped by the Ukrainian Air Force on a health-treatment complex in the city of Glushkovo in Russia's Kursk region, TASS reported, citing local regional governor Roman Starovoit.
Glushkovo is located 6.5 kilometers from the border with Ukraine and is the administrative center of Glushkovo district, which since the beginning of the so-called special military operation by the Russian forces has repeatedly been subjected to Ukrainian shelling, the agency notes.
A Ukrainian was given a life sentence for aiding Russia
A man from western Ukraine was sentenced to life in prison for aiding Russia, Ukrainian intelligence reported, quoted by DPA.
He transmitted information about the location of Ukrainian troops and strategically important enterprises in the western part of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said.
He is also believed to have been involved in directing missile strikes on transport arteries and industrial sites, again in western Ukraine.
The resident of Lviv was recruited as a collaborator by the Russian secret services when, shortly after the beginning of the invasion, he was noticed by them on the Russian channels of the social network Telegram, where he attracted their attention with his activity.
The verdict is not final and is subject to appeal.
"New York Times": US bans training of Ukrainian F-16 pilots in Europe
American authorities do not allow Ukrainian pilots to undergo training with F-16 fighters in Europe, the New York Times reported, citing a high-ranking Ukrainian source who requested anonymity.
The publication comes two days after the governments of Britain and the Netherlands said they were forming an international coalition to buy F-16 fighter jets for Ukraine. However, the delivery would be impossible without the approval of the United States: its manufacturer is the American corporation Lockheed Martin.
The New York Times called the out-of-court fighter jet dispute "another rift between Western allies" over arming Ukraine in its war with Russia. The newspaper sees in the US position on the training a signal "how deep is Washington's skepticism" towards such a step. This reluctance will seriously hamper the plans of the "international coalition" to provide fighters.
Without US consent, Ukrainian pilots can only have tactical lessons and an introduction to the technical language - but without even touching the fighters.
Representatives of the US authorities have already stated that they consider such a step in arming Ukraine to be expensive and ineffective, and refuse to hand over their own fighter jets. The possibility of allowing the transfer of F-16 fighters from other countries has not yet been ruled out.
Ukraine has said it would need 180 modern fighter jets to counter Russia, but Kyiv currently wants 24 to 36.
At the same time, as the New York Times notes, this is not the first time the Biden administration has resisted the provision of specific weapons such as rocket launchers and tanks, but has subsequently backed down.
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