G7 summit: Zelensky and Fumio Kishida lay wreaths at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima

Ukraine has denied claims by Russia that it has captured Bakhmut.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has congratulated his troops after the Wagner Group claimed its mercenaries seized the key battle city in Ukraine’s east on Saturday afternoon. Kyiv has denied the city had been captured.

There was confusion on Sunday morning amid reports Volodymyr Zelensky appeared to confirm that the city had been captured by Russia while speaking at the G7 summit. But his spokesman later clarified that the Ukrainian president had not said the city had fallen.

Speaking alongside US president Joe Biden in Hiroshima, Japan, Mr Zelensky said the Russians had destroyed “everything” in Bakhmut.

“You have to understand that there is nothing,” he said. “For today, Bakhmut is only in our hearts. There is nothing in this place.”

Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin posed with fighters on Saturday after claiming to have captured the city. Ukraine denied the city had been taken but said the situation was “critical”.


‘Putin will not break our resolve’ – Biden

Vladimir Putin will not break the revolve of the West in its support for Ukraine, US president Joe Biden has said.

He made the remarks in a speech at the G7 summit in Japan which has been dominated by Russia’s illegal invasion of its neighbour.

“Russia started this war and Russia can end it today by withdrawing its troops from internationally recognised borders,” Mr Biden said.

“This morning I once more shared and assured President Zelensky … that we will not waver.

“Putin will not break our resolve, as he thought he could two years ago, almost three years ago.”

(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Matt Mathers21 May 2023 11:28


Kyiv – Ukrainian troops have partly encircled Bakhmut, still control part of city

Ukrainian forces have partly encircled the besieged eastern city of Bakhmut along the flanks and still control a part of the city, deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar said on Sunday.

Russian president Vladimir Putin earlier on Sunday congratulated the Wagner mercenary force and the Russian army a day after Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said his group had captured the city.

But Maliar said Ukrainian troops are continuing their advances along Bakhmut’s outskirts and have claimed part of the heights overlooking the city.

“Our forces have taken the city in a semi-encirclement, which gives us the opportunity to destroy the enemy,” she wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“Therefore, the enemy has to defend himself in the part of the city he controls.”

Maliar added that Ukrainian troops are still defending industrial and infrastructure facilities in Bakhmut as well as a private sector of the city.

Matt Mathers21 May 2023 10:52


Russian parliament chief proposes Polish truck ban, says Warsaw owes Moscow billions

Russia’s top lawmaker on Sunday called for a ban on Polish trucks transiting Russian territory and for Poland to compensate Moscow financially for what he said was the Soviet rebuilding of the east European country after World War Two.

In a statement, Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, said that Poland needed to be punished for having “betrayed the historical memory” of the Soviet Union’s liberation of the country from Nazi Germany with a series of hostile acts against Moscow.

In comments certain to deepen a feud with Warsaw, Volodin said Poland existed as a state only “thanks to our country”, said Warsaw should pay Russia over $750 bn to compensate it for Soviet investment in the country after World War Two.

He said Poland should also hand back territory it received after the war.

There was no immediate reaction to his comments from Warsaw.

(The State Duma, The Federal Assembly of The Russian Federation)

Matt Mathers21 May 2023 10:20


UN chief says it’s time to reform Security Council and Bretton Woods

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres said on Sunday that it was time to reform both the Security Council and Bretton Woods to align with the “realities of today’s world”.

Speaking at a press conference in Hiroshima, Japan, where the G7 summit meeting had been held, Guterres said both institutions reflected the power relations of 1945 and needed to be updated.

“The global financial architecture is outdated, dysfunctional and unfair,” he said. “In the face of the economic shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it has failed to fulfil its core function as a global safety net.”

(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Matt Mathers21 May 2023 10:15


Company linked to Wager shares photo of troops raising Russian flag in Bakhmut

This video grab is taken from handout footage posted on 20 May, 2023 on the Telegram account of the press service of Concord –a company linked to the chief of Russian mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin .

It purports to show members of Wagner Group waving a Russian national flag and Wagner Group’s flag on the rooftop of a damaged building in Bakhmut, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Prigozhin says Wager has claimed control of Bakhmut – Ukraine denies this.


Matt Mathers21 May 2023 09:45


UK support for Ukraine will ‘never waver’, Rishi Sunak tells Zelensky

The prime minister said he was glad the group of allies have agreed on the importance of providing the Ukrainian president with the advanced military equipment he needs as he pushes for F-16 fighter jets.

Matt Mathers21 May 2023 09:14


Zelensky seeks G7 support for Kyiv’s ‘peace formula’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sought global support on Sunday for Kyiv’s plan to end Russia’s war in Ukraine, telling G7 leaders it was “an obvious expression of rationality”.

Zelensky, who is attending the G7 summit in Japan in person, has in recent months been promoting what his administration has billed as a “peace formula”.

“We’re united by one more principle of rationality,” he said in a speech to the leaders, the text of which was posted to the president’s website.

“We always act practically protecting our values. And the Ukrainian Peace Formula is an obvious expression of rationality. I thank you for supporting our Formula.”

In a separate social media post, Zelensky said he had presented the plan to G7 leaders at the Hiroshima summit.

“We have developed the Peace Formula in a way that ensures each of its points is backed by UN resolutions,” he wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“And in a way that everyone in the world can choose the track they can contribute to. From Japan to the Arab countries, from Europe to Latin America, we find support for our Formula.”

Matt Mathers21 May 2023 08:43


Zelensky appears to confirm Russia has taken Bakhmut

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky appears to have confirmed that Russia has taken control of the city of Bakhmut after a bloody eight-month battle by Moscow’s Wagner private army.

Mr Zelensky said he thought Ukraine had lost the city, but added, “You have to understand that there is nothing,” saying of the Russians, “They destroyed everything.”

“For today, Bakhmut is only in our hearts,” he said. “There is nothing in this place.”

Mr Zelensky was speaking alongside President Joe Biden at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

Zelensky with Biden at G7 summit in Japan

(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Matt Mathers21 May 2023 07:53


Russia takes control of Bakhmut – Wager Group

Russia claimed on Saturday to have fully captured the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, which would mark an end to the longest and bloodiest battle of the 15-month war.

The assault on the largely levelled city was led by troops from the Wagner Group of mercenaries, whose leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said earlier in the day that his troops had finally pushed the Ukrainians out of the last built-up area inside the city.

Taking Bakhmut – which Russia refers to by its Soviet-era name of Artyomovsk – would represent Moscow’s first big victory in the conflict in more than 10 months.

“As a result of offensive actions by Wagner assault units, supported by artillery and aviation of the Southern Group of Forces, the liberation of Artyomovsk has been completed,” the Russian defence ministry said in a one-line statement.

Russian media reported that President Putin had congratulated his troops.

Matt Mathers21 May 2023 07:50


Russia using long-strikes for more timely battle damage assessment – UK MoD

Russia has restarted frequent long-range missile strikes deep into Ukraine. They are likely primarily aimed at degrading Ukrainian air defences since early this month, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) said today.

“Innovating on earlier waves of deep strikes, Russia has started more frequently integrating unarmed, surveillance uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) into operations. These have included Russian-produced SuperCam UAVs which are relatively cheap and have sufficient range to fly over the cruise missiles’ targets,” it said in its latest intelligence update.

Moscow has “highly likely adopted this tactic in an attempt to obtain more timely battle damage assessment and improve its targeting cycle”, the ministry added.

“The Russian military’s slow and inefficient targeting process has been a major weakness in its performance in Ukraine. However, slow surveillance UAVs are highly vulnerable to Ukrainian air defences,” it said.

Arpan Rai21 May 2023 07:11

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