Ukraine war live updates: Russian shelling kills at least seven civilians in Kharkiv

President Zelensky meets US officials

Russian shelling has killed at least seven civilians and wounded 17 in the city of Kharkiv on Thursday, local authorities said.

The country’s second biggest city had been relatively quiet since Ukrainian forces regained territory around it and pushed back Russian troops this month. However Vladimir Putin’s forces appear to have halted their retreat.

“It’s too early to relax,” Kharkiv region governor Oleh Synehubov said, reporting heavy fighting to the north and northeast of the city. “The enemy is again insidiously hitting the civilian population, terrorizing them.”

Meanwhile, the possibility of new missile strikes on western Ukraine has been flagged by a senior Ukrainian military official today.

General Oleksiy Gromov said that Russia has been moving Iskander missile systems to Belarus’ western Brest region, which triggers this plausibility of new strikes.

Elsewhere, UK foreign secretary Liz Truss accused Putin of holding the world to ransom over food and that he is “weaponising hunger”.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the accusations and said Western countries have taken “a series of unlawful actions that has led to the blockade”.


Albania offers Soviet-built naval base to Nato ‘in these dangerous times’

Albania has offered Nato the use of a Soviet naval base “in these dangerous times,” country has announced.

Prime Minister Edi Rama said the Pashaliman naval base, 180 kilometers (110 miles) south of the capital Tirana, could have “added value” to the alliance and they had prepared a project on its renovation.

“In these dangerous times I believe the general may consider having a Nato’s naval base in Albania,” Rama said in a speech Wednesday.

Albania, which became a Nato member in 2009, has joined the United States and the European Union in denouncing Russia’s war in Ukraine.

joe middleton27 May 2022 03:00


joe middleton27 May 2022 02:00


Truss accuses Putin of ‘weaponising hunger’ with Ukrainian grain blockade

Truss accuses Putin of ‘weaponising hunger’ with Ukrainian grain blockade

joe middleton27 May 2022 01:00


Zelensky complains about EU divisions on further Russia sanctions

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday complained about divisions inside the EU over more sanctions against Russia and asked why some nations were being allowed to block the plan.

The EU is discussing a sixth round of punitive measures, including an embargo on Russian oil imports. Such a move requires unanimity but Hungary opposes the idea for now on the grounds its economy would suffer too much.

“How many more weeks will the European Union try to agree on a sixth package?” Zelensky said in a late night address, noting that Russia was receiving a billion euros a day from the 27-nation bloc for energy supplies.

“Of course I am grateful to those friends who are advocating new sanctions. But where do the people blocking this sixth package get their power from? Why are they allowed to hold such power? I have asked.

Berlin hopes talks on the new round of sanctions will be completed soon but it will not be a topic at a leaders’ summit next week, a German official said on Wednesday.

Zelensky’s comments mark the second day in a row that he has sharpened his criticism of the world’s approach to the war.

“Pressure on Russia is literally a matter of saving lives. And every day of procrastination, weakness, various disputes or proposals to ‘pacify’ the aggressor at the expense of the victim merely means more Ukrainians being killed,” he said.

On Wednesday he savaged suggestions that Kyiv make concessions to bring peace, saying the idea smacked of attempts to appease Nazi Germany in 1938.


Putin and Draghi hold talks on easing international food crisis

Vladimir Putin and Italy’s prime minister Mario Draghi on Thursday discussed ways to help ease the international food crisis, with the Kremlin saying this could be done only if the West lifts sanctions.

“Vladimir Putin emphasized that the Russian Federation is ready to make a significant contribution to overcoming the food crisis through the export of grain and fertilizers, provided that politically motivated restrictions from the West are lifted,” Moscow said in a statement.

Ukraine has described the Russian position as “blackmail”, and British foreign secretary Liz Truss said on Thursday that Putin was “trying to hold the world to ransom” by weaponizing the food crisis created by his war on Ukraine.

The White House said there were no talks being held about relaxing sanctions on Russia in order to secure grain exports.

In a news conference held on Thursday evening, Draghi said he took the initiative of calling the Russian leader.

“I felt it was my duty to take (this initiative) because of the gravity of the humanitarian crisis that may affect the world’s poorest,” he told reporters.

Draghi said the Russian president told him the food crisis was the fault of sanctions.

“I am interested in a more defined, smaller issue, which is to try to see if we can unblock these huge quantities of grain in Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea,” Draghi said.

He added he will hold a call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on this issue.

Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian has prevented shipments of grain, of which both countries are major ports exporters. Russia accuses Ukraine of mining the ports.

The conflict is fueling a global food crisis by sending prices for grains, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizer soaring.

joe middleton26 May 2022 22:26


Ukraine shares video meme of ‘suicide’ drone attacking Russian tank set to Star Wars theme

“A modern kamikaze drone, equipped with a powerful explosive, flew straight into the tank, causing irreparable damage to the enemy,” Ukrainian Special Operations Forces said in the Facebook post, sharing the video.

“According to our soldiers, the Russian occupiers were quietly drinking alcohol at one of the positions, sitting on the armor of their tank. However, the usual Russian occupation was abruptly interrupted by an unexpected attack from the air,” it added.

It was the first time Ukrainian officials have released video of the US-supplied Switchblade drones in action.

joe middleton26 May 2022 21:45


It’s time to be realistic about the war in Ukraine

Any resolution will proceed from facts on the ground as they are, not as we would wish they were, writes Mary Dejevsky.

joe middleton26 May 2022 21:15


Putin ‘holding the world to ransom’ over food, says Liz Truss

Vladimir Putin is holding “the world to ransom” over food, Britain’s foreign minister Liz Truss has claimed.

Speaking on a trip to Bosnia, she also accused the Russian leader of “weaponising hunger” across the world.

joe middleton26 May 2022 20:44


‘This is a critical time’: Ukrainian soldiers pay a heavy price as they fight Russian barrage in the Donbas

Kim Sengupta speaks to some of those injured on the front line, who make clear that more weaponry from the west will help them counter Russia’s firepower.

joe middleton26 May 2022 20:17


It’s time to be realistic about the war in Ukraine

Any resolution will proceed from facts on the ground as they are, not as we would wish they were, writes Mary Dejevsky.

joe middleton26 May 2022 20:15

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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