Ukraine-Russia war live updates: Putin two weeks behind in Donbas, says US official

Russia’s most-advanced £4 million tank destroyed by Ukraine

Russia is about two weeks behind schedule in its invasion of Ukraine’s Donbas region and the south of the country, a senior US defence official said on Tuesday.

At the end of April, a US defence official said Russia was only “several days” behind schedule. But on Tuesday an official said: “We would assess that he’s easily two weeks or even maybe more behind … where he thought he wanted to be in the Donbas and in the south”.

On the south coast on Tuesday, Russia fired three hypersonic missiles at Odesa as part of a barrage on the major Black Sea port city, according to the Centre for Defence Strategies, a Ukrainian think tank tracking the war.

One person was killed and five were hurt in the barrage, which hit a shopping centre and a warehouse on Monday. The centre identified the weapons used as Kinzhal, or “Dagger”, hypersonic air-to-surface missiles.

Earlier, Mr Putin was reported to have lost his 40 colonel of the war so far.


State Department says Russian cyber war against Ukraine began in January

The Biden administration on Tuesday formally blamed the Russian government for a series of cyberattacks targeting Ukraine’s government and private sector that occurred in the days leading up to and amid the ongoing invasion (John Bowden writes).

A statement from Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Moscow of conducting “denial-of-service attacks, and cyber attacks to delete data from computers belonging to government and private entities”.

And according to the secretary, Russia’s actions had “spillover” effects into other countries around Europe.

According to the State Department the attacks began in January, weeks before Russian forces began surging into Ukrainian-held territory on 24 February.

Liam James11 May 2022 03:00


Boris Johnson to visit Finland and Sweden today

Boris Johnson is set to visit Sweden and Finland today to discuss the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

He is scheduled to meet leaders of both countries before returning to Britain tonight

With Queen’s Speech debates in the Commons meaning there is no Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Mr Johnson will take the opportunity to refocus the spotlight on Europe’s response to the war in the east of the continent.

The visit comes as Sweden and Finland consider whether to apply for Nato membership in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

No 10 said it was “disinformation” to suggest Mr Johnson was seeking to put pressure on them to join the western military alliance.

Liam James11 May 2022 02:00


Italy’s Draghi meets with Biden

Italian prime minister Mario Draghi, in a meeting with Joe Biden on Tuesday, said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had made ties between the United States and Italy stronger, a sentiment Mr Biden said he agreed with.

Sitting down with Biden in the Oval Office, Mr Draghi told reporters the two leaders would discuss energy and food security during their White House meeting.

Liam James11 May 2022 01:00


Putin preparing for a long war, say US officials

Vladimir Putin appears to be preparing for a long war in Ukraine, top US intelligence officials said.

“The Russians aren’t winning and the Ukrainians aren’t winning and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here,” Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, the head of the Defence Intelligence Agency, said before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Russia, which calls the invasion “a special military operation,” poured more troops into Ukraine for a huge offensive last month in the eastern part of the country but its gains have been slow.

US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, also appearing before the Armed Services Committee, said: “We assess President Putin is preparing for a prolonged conflict in Ukraine during which he still intends to achieve goals beyond the Donbas.”

She added that Mr Putin was counting on the Western resolve to weaken over time and as the conflict continued, there was concern about how it would develop in the coming months.

“Combined with the reality that Putin faces a mismatch between his ambitions and Russia’s current conventional military capabilities, likely means the next few months could see us moving along a more unpredictable and potentially escalatory trajectory,” she added.

Liam James11 May 2022 00:00


European development bank to spend £1bn in Ukraine this year

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will spend €1bn euros in Ukraine in 2022, the bank’s president Odile Renaud-Basso said today.

She said the package was aimed at helping the Ukrainian economy and added in comments on the sidelines of the bank’s annual meeting in Morocco that the lender was willing to do more.

The EBRD spent more than €1bn last year in Ukraine, having spent €4.1bn in the country since 2016. The bulk of bank investment is spent on infrastructure.

Ukraine has suffered heavy infrastructure losses in the war so far. Ukrainian officials said as much as 30 per cent of infrastructure had been damaged or destroyed at a cost of $100bn.

Liam James10 May 2022 23:00


Finland and Sweden get ready to announce Nato bids as Europe prepares for a reaction from Russia

Nato could soon have two new members as Finland and Sweden ready themselves to announce whether they intend to join the alliance, in a move that experts say will see further sabre rattling from Russia (Sofia Barbarani writes).

The two Nordic countries are expected to announce their intentions in a matter of days, bringing weeks of speculation to a head, with Finland set to make an announcement on Thursday followed by Sweden a few days later.

The public declarations will be followed by Finnish president Sauli Niinisto’s visit to Sweden next week, where it is widely believed the two countries will announce their decisions in a joint statement and formally kick off the membership process.

Finland and Sweden get ready to announce Nato bids

Helsinki and Stockholm are expected to declare their decisions to apply for Nato membership in the next few days and experts have warned there will be an immediate response from Russia, writes Sofia Barbarani

Liam James10 May 2022 22:00


Russia’s most-advanced £4 million tank destroyed by Ukraine

Near Kharkiv, Ukraine’s military forces have eliminated another new Russia’s T-90M “Breakthrough” tank.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said Russia’s ability to fight with modern equipment was being damaged by losses in Ukraine, along with the impact of sanctions.

The MoD said at least one of Russia’s most advanced T-90M tanks had been destroyed in fighting, while sanctions were restricting access to microelectronic components for sophisticated equipment.

Russia’s most-advanced £4 million tank destroyed by Ukraine

Liam James10 May 2022 21:30


Russia ‘hit 222 flat blocks in Kyiv’

Russian attacks on Kyiv have damaged 390 buildings since the beginning of the war, according to mayor of the capital Vitali Klitschko.

Of these, 222 were flat blocks, 75 were schools, 17 were health care institutions and 11 were cultural institutions, Mr Klitschko said.

Cities across Ukraine have suffered heavy damage to buildings and infrastructure. Estimates for the price of repair go upwards of £100bn.

An investigation by The Economist last week found that in Mariupol, the worst-hit city, almost half of buildings had been severely damaged. The paper said it was likely at least one-third of Mariupol’s pre-war inhabitants no longer have homes to which they can return.

Liam James10 May 2022 21:00


Ukraine says it has pushed Russia out of villages near Kharkiv

Ukraine said its forces had recaptured villages from Russian troops north and northeast of Kharkiv, pressing a counteroffensive that could signal a shift in the war’s momentum and jeopardise Russia’s main advance.

Tetiana Apatchenko, press officer for the 92nd Separate Mechanised Brigade, the main Ukrainian force in the area, confirmed that Ukrainian troops had in recent days recaptured the settlements of Cherkaski Tyshky, Ruski Tyshki, Borshchova and Slobozhanske – which run north of one another north of Kharkiv.

Two miles to the left of Ruski Tyshki is Ruska Lozova, which Ukraine claimed to have retaken on 29 April.

Defence ministry adviser Yuriy Saks said the successes were pushing Russian forces out of range of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city and located in the northeast, which has been under perpetual bombardment since the war began.

“The military operations of the Ukrainian armed forces around Kharkiv, especially north and northeast of Kharkiv, are sort of a success story,” Mr Saks told Reuters. “The Ukrainian army was able to push these war criminals to a line beyond the reach of their artillery.”

Liam James10 May 2022 20:40


Russia two weeks behind in Donbas, says US official

Russia is about two weeks behind schedule in its invasion of Ukraine’s Donbas region along with the south of the country, a senior US defence official said on Tuesday.

“We would assess that he’s easily two weeks or even maybe more behind … where he thought he wanted to be in the Donbas and in the south,” the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told reporters.

Russian forces turned their attention to the Donbas at the end of March after failing to take any major cities in the north of Ukraine.

At the end of April, a US defence official said Russia was “several days” behind schedule.

Liam James10 May 2022 20:20

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