Day 463 of the Invasion of Ukraine: According to Zelensky Ukraine is ready for NATO Membership
Day 463 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- A revolution on Russian TV: An opposition politician called from the screen for the replacement of Putin in 2024
- Zelensky: Ukraine is ready for NATO membership
- Kadyrov's right-hand man: Prigozhin, stop shouting. We know how many people you lost in Bakhmut
- A new missile attack on Kyiv with three victims, the US announced another military aid to Ukraine
- A child is among the victims of the Russian strikes against Kyiv
- The US announced a new package of military aid to Ukraine worth 300 million dollars
- "Pollution worse than Fukushima and Chernobyl": the situation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP is getting worse
- The Russians behind the attack in the Belgorod region announced a new operation in Russia
- Zelensky is on a visit to Moldova for the European Political Community meeting
- Stoltenberg: Russia cannot veto Ukraine's NATO membership
A revolution on Russian TV: An opposition politician called from the screen for the replacement of Putin in 2024
For the first time, the rule of Russian Vladimir Putin after the end of his current term as president was publicly questioned on the air of the NTV television channel.
В эфире НТВ Борис Надеждин предложил сменить руководство страны.— Ольга Комлева???????? #FreeNavalny #СвободуНавальному (@olgakomleva2) May 26, 2023
Предложил выбрать другого президента на выборах в следующем году.
Ветер перемен? pic.twitter.com/VKZiuJhXgb
The British Ministry of Defense draws attention to the precedent in its report from today. According to British intelligence, harsh nationalist rhetoric in Russia is encouraging the opposition to pick up on taboo subjects.
On the Island they comment, a television show from May 27 on the air of NTV, in which the Russian opposition politician Boris Nadezhdin appeared and called for the election of a new president in 2024 in order to restore normal relations with Europe. The British military notes that Nadezhdin has been among the critics of the war since its inception, but this is likely to be the first call on Russian television since the invasion of Ukraine to replace Vladimir Putin.
Zelensky: Ukraine is ready for NATO membership
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine is ready for NATO membership and expects a positive decision on Kyiv's accession to the European Union in the fall. Zelensky participated in the meeting of the European Political Community in Moldova.
"The calm and peace here is in stark contrast to the war that is being fought on our border, the biggest military conflict since World War II. A war that Russia has chosen to fight. A war that unites us in the desire to restore peace to our continent ", said Maia Sandu, President of Moldova.
"Every European country that borders Russia and does not want Russia to tear it apart should be a full member of the EU and NATO. And there are only two ways to do that: Either open war or a creeping Russian occupation. We see what is happening in Belarus. We see what is happening in Georgia. In July, at the NATO summit, Ukraine needs a clear invitation to join the Alliance and guarantees for its security on the way to NATO membership, along with our acceptance into the European Union." Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky added.
Zelensky has already met with the prime ministers of North Macedonia and Albania. More than 40 heads of state and government are participating in the forum, as well as the presidents of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, as well as of the European Council, Charles Michel. Bulgaria is represented by President Rumen Radev.
Kadyrov's right-hand man: Prigozhin, stop shouting. We know how many people you lost in Bakhmut
"Prigozhin, stop shouting. We know how many people you lost in Bakhmut".
This was announced by Adam Delimkhanov - a Chechen deputy from "United Russia" and a military commander (he was awarded the title "Hero of Russia" for the "cleansing of Mariupol"). He is often referred to as "Ramzan Kadyrov's right-hand man". In 2009, the dictator named Delimkhanov as his potential successor to power in Chechnya.
"I saw on Telegram an address by Yevgeny Prigozhin, in which he says that he is not very aware of what work the Akhmat division does. It is obvious, Zhenya, that you do not understand and there is no reason to understand. The Akhmat division, as always, performs all the tasks set by the Commander-in-Chief. If you can't understand, you can tell the place and time and we will explain what you don't understand."
Delimkhanov accuses Prigozhin of turning into a "blogger" who only complains about the problems in the Russian army and the lack of ammunition for "Wagner".
"We all know how many people you lost in Bakhmut in 7-8 months while you were the leader. Stop talking and shouting, tell me a place where we can meet. As Ramzan Kadyrov said - we can solve any issue face-to-face. Stop! We know during these 7-8 months how much the Ministry of Defense supported you. Today the 'Marinka' branch in the DPR is the most complicated, we all know that. But we do not shout like you that we lack this or that. You were given more, more than anyone else, nevertheless - so many victims, so many dead. So stop talking, say a place and we will solve the matter if something is not clear to you".
Chechen warlord Adam Delimkhanov responds to Wagner leader Prigozhin questioning the performance of the Akhmat unit, asks him to shut up about the lack of ammunition, and offers a face-to-face meeting to solve any questions. pic.twitter.com/77imLOHXzF— Dmitri (@wartranslated) June 1, 2023
Yesterday, Prigozhin doubted whether the Chechen "Akhmat" battalion, which is expected to replace "Wagner" on the front in Ukraine, will be able to capture the entire Donetsk region.
"As for the liberation of certain settlements, of course, I think that they have the strength to do it. They do not have the task of liberating the entire DNR. And Kadyrov, as far as I understand, did not talk about this. They will be engaged in certain areas in which they will operate," he said.
A new missile attack on Kyiv with three victims, the US announced another military aid to Ukraine
Three people were killed in Russian missile attacks on Kyiv last night. The United States announced new military aid to Ukraine.
The Ukrainian army specified that 10 Iskander missiles were used, launched from Russia's Bryansk region, and all were destroyed. 14 people were injured, 9 of them were admitted to the hospital for treatment, Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced.
In one of the districts of the Ukrainian capital, fragments of a rocket fell on a polyclinic and an apartment block.
On the Russian side, it is reported that five were injured in Ukrainian shelling of the city of Shebekino last night. Many buildings were damaged, the governor of the Belgorod region said.
Meanwhile, the White House announced another 0 million military aid package for Ukraine, which covers air defense systems, ammunition and other military equipment. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said:
"We will use this package that we are announcing to provide additional munitions for the Patriot air defense systems that Ukraine has quite actively deployed, as well as more Avenger defense systems, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, munitions for the HIMARS, artillery and armor-piercing systems that the United States continues to send to Ukraine."
“Washington has demonstrated indifference to Kyiv crimes by sending it a new package of military aid”, commented Russia's ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov.
Three people, including a child, died in Kyiv in the Russian missile attack last night.— Tymofiy Mylovanov (@Mylovanov) June 1, 2023
This is how it felt in my apartment.
I woke up around 2 something am because the sirens were going loud, and long.
Shortly after that, in 10 mins or so, there were loud noises. 1/ pic.twitter.com/nXTNLiDMIw
A child is among the victims of the Russian strikes against Kyiv
For another day, Russia carried out airstrikes in Kyiv.
Around 3:00 a.m., the air alert system in the Ukrainian capital was activated. Two districts of the city were hit - Desnyanski and Dnipropetrovsk. Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced that there were at least 3 victims, including an 11-year-old child.
At least 15 people were injured - some of them were hospitalized in critical condition. People are urged to hide in bomb shelters. Throughout the month of May, Moscow launched almost daily strikes against Kyiv, including in broad daylight.
The US announced a new package of military aid to Ukraine worth 300 million dollars
The White House announced another package of military aid to Ukraine worth 300 million dollars, including air defense systems, ammunition and other military equipment, Reuters reported, quoted by BTA.
This is the 39th consecutive delivery of military equipment from the stocks of the US Department of Defense, the Pentagon announced. The package includes Patriot air defense systems, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, tank ammunition and other military equipment, the ministry announced.
In total, under President Joe Biden, the US has provided Ukraine with more than .3 billion in military aid, including several packages worth more than .6 billion since the Russian invasion began in February 2022.
The US government does not know who was responsible for this week's drone attack on Moscow, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said, according to Reuters.
The US does not have "accurate information to show who is responsible", the spokesman explained, adding that Washington does not intend to investigate the case.
Kirby added that the incident with the US spy plane in the South China Sea shows the need to maintain communication between Washington and Beijing.
The US government has "no evidence" that Tara Reade, a former Biden aide who has accused him of sexual assault, was part of a Russian influence operation, the spokesman added.
In response to a reporter's question about Reade, who requested Russian citizenship from President Vladimir Putin during an interview in Moscow and whose allegations were dismissed by Biden, Kirby said:
"I have not seen any evidence or clues about this. I would let this future Russian citizen speak for herself about her intentions and motivations," added the spokesperson.
"Pollution worse than Fukushima and Chernobyl": the situation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP is getting worse
The situation at Zaporizhzhia NPP is getting worse.
This was reported to "Sky News" by two technicians from the nuclear power plant, who wished to remain anonymous. The publication states that if they are identified, they "will be tortured, arrested or worse."
The two employees talked about their impressions independently of each other. However, both confirmed that due to the actions of Russian troops in recent weeks, the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe is increasing. One of the men, named by Sky News as "Serhiy", warned that the fallout could wreak havoc across much of Europe, Russia and the Mediterranean.
"The level of radioactive contamination and most importantly the area of contamination will cover thousands of square kilometers of land and sea... it will be much, much worse than Fukushima and Chernobyl."
The Zaporizhzhia NPP was captured by the Russians in March 2022, shortly after the invasion began. Since then, there have been major security concerns at the power plant.
According to the sources of "Sky News", Russia deliberately cuts the power lines of the Zaporizhzhia NPP. They are essential for the safety of the power plant and the cooling mechanism of the reactors.
For 30 years, the Zaporizhzhia NPP was not disconnected from the electricity grid. Since Russian forces occupied it, this has happened seven times.
The other man, identified as "Mykola", claimed the back-up generators were not being properly maintained. This is due to staff shortages.
Before the war, the power plant had 11,000 employees, but now there may be as few as 3,500, he estimates.
"There is the same shortage of repair workers who can actually fix problems. The quality of the workers is lower because the qualified staff left. So overall, the situation here is getting worse," Mykola said.
Five of the six reactors are now in cold shutdown mode, but there are fears that Russia could use the power plant to stage a false flag operation. Ukraine's defense ministry says Moscow likely intends to fake a major accident to stop an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south of the country.
According to the two technicians, the level of military activity has increased significantly over the past few weeks, with more soldiers and military equipment at headquarters. The reason - the Russians are confident that Ukraine will not bomb the Zaporizhzhia NPP, believes Serhiy.
"The Armed Forces of Ukraine will not fire at the power plant. That is why they multiply the number of troops and vehicles here, because if they had done it elsewhere, they would definitely have been fired upon by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The thing is that a month ago and half there were few troops in the power plant, and now there are twice as many, which means that they are definitely preparing for the counteroffensive."
Mykola points out that technicians are routinely intimidated into silence. In his words, they are effectively being held hostage.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is carrying out inspections, but continues to express concern about the situation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP and calls for the area to be immediately demilitarized.
However, there are no signs that this will happen, Sky News notes.
The Russians behind the attack in the Belgorod region announced a new operation in Russia
The Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK) announced a new attack in Russia's Belgorod region a week after the last, leading to two days of fighting in the region bordering Ukraine.
Russian media reported a tank attack against the Shebekino border crossing, which was however repelled.
The governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, announced shelling of the area, which is under "continuous fire", including in the center of Shebekino. The operational headquarters, however, denies that forces from the corps have crossed the border.
During the night, according to him, eight people were injured in Shebekino (in each subsequent message in the last hours, he increases the number), there is damage to residential buildings. An evacuation of children in the district was announced last night.
The RDK fights on the side of Ukraine and is considered part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. An adviser to the Ukrainian president's chief of staff, Mykhailo Podolyak, named the organization as possibly connected to last week's attack, with the RDK subsequently claiming responsibility.
The promised second phase "has begun", says the RDK announcement. "Putin's army is hitting the squares again, but this time it's not peaceful Ukrainian cities, but Russian villages. Stay in your homes or go to shelters! The RDK is not at war with the peaceful population," he continues.
The other formation of Russians, Freedom of Russia Legion (LSR), also announced that it is "on the border of the motherland" and very soon will enter "the territory of Russia". "Grayvoron is just the beginning," he continues, referring to the Grayvoron region of Belgorod Oblast, where last week's attack took place.
Two days ago, the RDK published a manifesto in which it spoke of a struggle for a "Russian national state" with a "new, ethnic view of the world." The land should belong to "those born on it", and only "blood, abilities and personal achievements" should be decisive.
Zelensky is on a visit to Moldova for the European Political Community meeting
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Moldova's capital Chisinau for the summit of the European Political Community, where a meeting of more than 40 European leaders will discuss security issues, including Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, world agencies report.
"Today we are working in Moldova. Participating in the summit of the European political community," Volodymyr Zelensky pointed out in a post on social networks.
He said he would hold bilateral talks during the meeting and focus on securing Western fighter jets and more US-made Patriot air defense systems to protect his country's skies.
The discussions will also focus on the peaceful formula for ending the war, proposed by Zelensky, as well as Ukraine's plans for EU and NATO integration, according to Reuters.
Stoltenberg: Russia cannot veto Ukraine's NATO membership
Russia cannot veto Ukraine's NATO membership. This was stated by the Secretary General of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, Reuters reported.
"All allies agree that Moscow should not veto NATO expansion," Stoltenberg told reporters ahead of an informal meeting of the alliance's foreign ministers in Oslo. "We are moving forward, the allies agree that Ukraine will become a member," he added.
NATO must think about what security guarantees it can give to Ukraine, said the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna before the start of the meeting of the foreign ministers of the countries of the alliance.
The forum in Oslo will last two days.
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