Replay : Ukraine’s Zelensky gives a speech at Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia

Russia has “high likely” redeployed troops to the key battle town of Bakhmut after Ukraine forces made tactical gains there, Britain’s Ministry of Defence has said.

It comes amid doubts about the commitment of fighters in Bakhmut belonging to the Russian mercenary group Wagner, whose leader has become increasingly critical of the Kremlin.

Elsewhere, Volodymyr Zelensky has landed in Japan for the G7 summit, marking his first high-level visit to Asia since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year.

His visit comes after a massive boost for Ukraine’s war effort, with US President Joe Biden telling G7 leaders that Washington supports joint allied training programs for Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.

The Kremlin responded by saying any move by Western countries to supply Ukraine with the fighter jets would carry “colossal risks”.


Zelensky arrives in Japan

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy landed Saturday in Hiroshima for diplomatic talks with the leaders of the world’s most powerful democracies who have tightened sanctions meant to punish Moscow and change the course of its 15-month invasion of Ukraine.

Japan says Zelenskyy’s decision to visit Hiroshima stems from his “strong wish” to participate in talks that will influence his nation’s defense against Russia.

An EU official, speaking on condition of anonymity to brief reporters on the deliberations, said Zelenskyy will take part in two separate sessions Sunday. The first session will be with G7 members only and will focus on the war in Ukraine. The second session will include the G7 as well as the other nations invited to take part in the summit, and will focus on “peace and stability.”



Matt Mathers20 May 2023 08:15


G7 flags China’s ‘accelerating nuclear arsenal’ growth as Zelensky arrives in Hiroshima

The Group of Seven nations took to the world stage to warn against China’s “accelerating build-up of its nuclear arsenal” but added that the rich nations cohort is not turning inwards, as the biggest global leaders met in Hiroshima on Saturday with the war in Ukraine playing in the backdrop.

China’s “accelerating build-up of its nuclear arsenal without transparency (or) meaningful dialogue poses a concern to global and regional stability”, the G7 leaders said in a joint statement, taking aim at Beijing and Moscow separately.

“We are not decoupling or turning inwards. At the same time, we recognise that economic resilience requires de-risking and diversifying,” the statement said.

Matt Mathers20 May 2023 12:20


Sunak meets Zelensky at G7 summit as hopes rise of Ukraine getting fighter jets

Rishi Sunak has met Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 summit in Hiroshima after the Ukrainian president closed in on obtaining the F-16 fighter jets he wants to fight off Russia.

“Good to see you,” the Prime Minister said, slapping him on the back after they greeted each other with an embrace. “You made it.”

Asked by reporters if it was a good day for Ukraine, Mr Zelensky smiled, nodded and said “thank you so much”.

Sam Blewett has the full report:

Matt Mathers20 May 2023 11:49


Russia says supplying F-16 jets to Ukraine would carry ‘colossal’ risks for West – TASS

Western countries will be running “colossal risks” if they supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets, TASS news agency quoted Russian deputy foreign minister Alexander Grushko as saying on Saturday.

Grushko was responding to a question about the implications of providing the jets, which Ukraine has been requesting from NATO countries.

It has not yet won commitments to deliver the planes, but US President Joe Biden told G7 leaders on Friday that Washington supports joint allied training programs for Ukrainian pilots on F-16s, senior US officials said.

“We see that Western countries are still adhering to the escalation scenario. It involves colossal risks for themselves,” Grushko was quoted as saying.

“In any case, this will be taken into account in all our plans, and we have all the necessary means to achieve the goals we have set.”

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from Colorado Air National Guard’s 140th Wing takes off from Buckley Air Force Base

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Matt Mathers20 May 2023 11:23


A year after Mariupol’s fall, Azovstal survivor recalls surrender with pain and a sense of purpose

Mikhailo Vershinin was a shadow of the burly Mariupol policeman he was when he emerged after four months in Russian captivity.

The head of Mariupol’s Police Patrol, he was among hundreds to surrender from the Russian siege of the Azovstal steel mill on the orders of the Ukrainian president a year ago and was close to death on the day he was exchanged for Russian prisoners of war.

He experienced first-hand the day the final square of the besieged city fell and now recalls it with both deep sadness, but a sense of purpose for Ukraine’s future.

Mstyslav Chernov reports:

Matt Mathers20 May 2023 10:45


Sunak meets Zelensky at G7

Rishi Sunak met Volodymyr Zelensky with an embrace at the G7 summit in Hiroshima.

The prime minister said: “You made it.”

Asked if it was a good day, the Ukrainian president smiled, nodded and said “thank you”.

(Getty Images)

Matt Mathers20 May 2023 10:17


Independent editorial: As Zelensky flies in to the G7, oily Russia is once again slipping the net

The Russian economy has suffered from its isolation, and from the sudden withdrawal of Western trade and investment, but it has certainly not been ‘strangled’

Read the full editorial below:

Matt Mathers20 May 2023 10:15


Zelenksy holds meeting with Italy’s Meloni

Volodymyr Zelensky has held talks with Italy’s prime minister on the sidelines of the G7 summit.

The UK president spoke with Giorgia Meloni after arriving at the gathering in Hiroshima, Japan, earlier this morning.

Mr Zelensky is at the summit to drum up support from the world’s rich democracies and sound out “Global South” leaders with long ties to Russia.

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Matt Mathers20 May 2023 10:10


Sanctions against Russia and what the G7 may do to fortify them

The Group of Seven advanced economies are expected to announce a new set of sanctions against Russia to try to further hinder its war effort in Ukraine during their summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

In traveling to Japan, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will help to drive home the need to better enforce measures meant to stifle Moscow’s war machine.

Russia is now the most-sanctioned country in the world, but there are questions about their effectiveness. EU Council President Charles Michel said the plan was to close loopholes and ensure the sanctions are painful for Russia, not for the countries enforcing them.

Elaine Kurtenbach reports:

Matt Mathers20 May 2023 09:45


Watch live: Zelensky arrives in Japan for G7

Matt Mathers20 May 2023 09:15

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