G7 summit: Zelensky and Fumio Kishida lay wreaths at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima
Pro-Ukraine fighters are believed to have used US-made armoured vehicles in one of the biggest incursions across the Russian border, according to pictures and videos verified by New York Times.
At least three US-made MRAPs (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles) were used in the attacks in Russia’s Belgorod oblast, with two of those captured by Russian forces, the report said.
One civilian was killed following the attacks by two purported anti-Kremlin armed groups employing Russians based abroad.
Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of the Belgorod region, said they have begun evacuation from nine Russian villages in the Belgorod region as a counter-terrorism operation continued in full force.
“Do not yet return to your homes,” he told local residents who had been evacuated on Monday.
The US State Department denied that it would “encourage or enable strikes inside of Russia” but said, “it is up to Ukraine to decide how to conduct this war”.
Russia has said its forces crushed the attack, killing more than 70 “Ukrainian nationalists” and pushing the remainder back into Ukraine.
Anti-Russia fighters using US-made armoured vehicles for incursion into Russia – Report
Anti-Russian fighters appeared to have used US-made armoured vehicles in the Belgorod Oblast incursion, according to pictures and videos verified by New York Times.
At least three such US-made vehicles were used with two of those captured by Russian forces.
The group behind the incursion that has sparked evacuations in Belgorod used MRAPs, known as Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected, which were first built by the US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and Washington has sent several to Ukraine.
The two groups that have claimed responsibility for the incursion are the Freedom of Russia Legion – a Ukraine-based Russian militia led by Russian opposition figure Ilya Ponomarev that says it is working inside Russia for Vladimir Putin’s overthrow – and the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC).
One of the photos of a seized MRAP showed a Russian soldier standing next to a vehicle which had a white spray-painted marking of an upward-pointing arrow. A vehicle with a similar symbol was seen in a video just hours before the incursion into Russia.
Shweta Sharma24 May 2023 04:30
Russia ‘forcefully mobilising’ AWOL soldiers in Ukraine, British intelligence says
In today’s intelligence update, the British ministry of defence has said Russian military courts dealt with 1,053 cases of personnel going absent without leave (AWOL), citing a credible search by a Russian journalist.
It said Russia’s struggle to enforce discipline in its ranks throughout its operations in Ukraine has likely worsened following the forced mobilisation of reservists since October 2022.
Shweta Sharma24 May 2023 07:21
Russian PM says relations with China at ‘unprecedented’ high level
Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin who arrived in Beijing today said the ties with China are at an “unprecedented” high level, characterised by mutual respect for each other’s interests and the desire to jointly respond to challenges.
“As our Chinese friends say, unity makes it possible to move mountains,” Mr Mishustin told Chinese premier Li Qiang during a meeting in Beijing.
Mr Li said that China was willing to work with Russia to promote their pragmatic cooperation in various fields and take it to a “new level”.
Pragmatic cooperation between China and Russia has shown a “good” development trend, and the scale of investment between the two is also continuously seeing an upgrade, Mr Li told Mr Mishustin during a meeting in Beijing.
Shweta Sharma24 May 2023 07:08
Kyiv denies EU’s Josep Borrell’s claim that Ukrainian pilots training on F-16 jets
Ukraine’s Air Force has denied EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell’s comments that its pilots are training on US-made F-16 jets in several European countries.
Preparations for the training program are “still ongoing”, Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat said, according to Kyiv Independent, adding that Ukrainian representatives have been sent to the countries providing the training to “study how the process will go.”
“For a long time, unfortunately, I’ve had to refute (claims) that ‘pilots study in the US, (and) Europe,” Mr Ihnat said in a televised interview on 23 May. “There is no need to give any extra hope.”
Shweta Sharma24 May 2023 06:59
Pictures: Russian prime minister arrives in Beijing
Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin arrived in Beijing for a state visit during which he will meet Xi Jinping and ink a series of deals on infrastructure and trade.
He is the highest-ranking Russian official to visit Beijing since Moscow sent thousands of its troops to Ukraine in February 2022.
Shweta Sharma24 May 2023 06:38
Drone drops explosive device on a car in Belgorod, governor says
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) dropped an explosive device on a car in Russia’s Belgorod Region, Tass reported, adding that the car was damaged.
Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on his Telegram channel today that no one was injured in the attack and a bomb squad was rushed to the scene.
Later, the drone was shot down in the region’s airspace but it is not clear if it was the same drone that dropped explosives.
“Air defences have shot down a drone above the Belgorod Region. According to preliminary information, there were no deaths or injuries,” he said.
Shweta Sharma24 May 2023 06:30
Russia will achieve goals of its operation in Ukraine by any means, Kremlin says
Russia has denied the possibility of freezing the Ukrainian conflict, saying it will pursue its goals through special military operation or by other available means, Kremlin spokespersons said.
“Russia is taking under consideration only the completion of its special military operation: ensuring its interests, achieving Russia’s goals either through the special military operation, or by other available means,” Dmitry Peskov told TASS.
When about the reconciliation plans put forward by other countries, he said: “It is too early to speak about it. No prerequisites for a peace process are yet in place, evidently”.
He added negotiations are “hardly possible, because any negotiations with Russia are prohibited [in Ukraine]”.
Shweta Sharma24 May 2023 06:15
Russia scrambled fighter jets after intercepting two US Air Force strategic bombers over Baltic
Russia said it scrambled a Su-27 fighter jet after it intercepted two US Air Force strategic bombers flying over the Baltic Sea yesterday night.
“After removing the foreign military aircraft from the Russian state border, the Russian fighter went back to its air base,” the Russian defence ministry said.
The Russian army flew its jet to “prevent violations of the state border”, adding that “the flight of the Russian fighter was carried out in strict accordance with international rules for the use of airspace.”
Confirming that US aircraft were intercepted by Russia, Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said B-1 bombers were taking part in a “long-planned exercise in Europe”.
Shweta Sharma24 May 2023 06:00
Russia says its military ‘crushed’ Ukraine incursion
Russia said it had crushed one of the biggest incursions by Ukraine, including several armoured vehicles, into its border region.
In what appeared to be one of the biggest incursions from Ukraine since the war began 15 months ago, two purported anti-Kremlin armed groups employing Russians based abroad said they were responsible for the attack in Russia’s Belgorod region.
The Russian defence ministry, which blamed the Ukrainian authorities, said its forces had surrounded the enemy fighters and defeated them with “air strikes, artillery fire and active action by border units”.
“The remnants of the nationalists were pushed back to Ukrainian territory, where they continued to be hit by gunfire until they were completely eliminated,” the ministry said.
The Belgorod regional governor said one civilian had been killed “at the hands of the Ukrainian armed forces”.
Shweta Sharma24 May 2023 05:45
Russia set to ink bilateral agreements with China amid Western criticism
The Russian prime minister is visiting Beijing to sign a set of bilateral agreements on Wednesday with China in a show of their “no limits” partnership amid the war in Ukraine.
Prime minister Mikhail Mishustin – the highest-ranking Russian official to visit Beijing since Moscow sent thousands of its troops to Ukraine in February 2022 – was holding talks with Chinese president Xi Jinping and premier Li Qiang, according to the Russian government.
“As a result of the talks, a number of bilateral agreements is planned to be signed,” the Russian news agency Interfax reported, without elaborating.
It comes as Russia and China furiously objected to G7 declaration that singled them out on a range of issues, including Ukraine, nuclear arms and economic coercion.
Deepening of ties with China is a strategic course for Moscow, said the secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, who held talks on Monday with Chen Wenqing, member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo who oversees police, legal affairs and intelligence.
Shweta Sharma24 May 2023 05:30