Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that Russia’s invasion of his homeland was “only the beginnning” and the Kremlin wanted “to invade other countries,” in a video address late Friday.
Calling for other countries to “fight alongside” Ukraine, Zelenskyy, in the message posted to his Telegram channel, said that nations who wanted to remain neutral were making “the riskiest bet, because you will lose everything.”
His comments came before what appeared to be another mass grave was discovered in the village of Vynohradne near Mariupol, according to Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the besieged southern city’s mayor.
Satellite images from U.S. defense contractor Maxar appeared to show what the firm described in a statement as several long, parallel trenches that “are/will likely become” new gravesites. Each trench is roughly 131 feet, the company said, adding that they began to appear in late March. Russian officials did not immediately comment on the allegations.
Moscow’s attempts to fully capture Mariupol have been slowed by Ukrainian resistance, according to an intelligence briefing from the U.K.’s defense ministry early Saturday. It said that Ukrainian counterattacks had prevented its forces from making any major gains in the last 24 hours.
Ukrainian counterattacks stymie Russian progress, U.K. says
Russia has not made major gains in the last 24 hours due to Ukrainian counterattacks, according to the U.K.’s defense ministry.
Ukraine’s defense of air and sea has reduced Russia’s ability to gain control over either domain, the ministry said in a Saturday morning update.
Their resistance has also slowed Russian attempts to fully capture the battered port city of Mariupol, the ministry said.
“Despite their stated conquest of Mariupol, heavy fighting continues to take place frustrating Russian attempts to capture the city thus further slowing their desired progress in the Donbas,” the ministry stated.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed “success” over Mariupol, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has insisted that Russia does not control the city.
Defense officials, military leaders from more than 20 countries to convene for Ukraine defense talks
The Pentagon says U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will convene a meeting next week in Germany of defense officials and military leaders from more than 20 countries to discuss Ukraine’s immediate and long-term defense needs.
The Pentagon press secretary, John Kirby, said Friday that about 40 nations, including NATO members, were invited and that responses are still arriving for the session to be held Tuesday at Ramstein air base. He did not identify the nations that have agreed to attend but said more details will be provided in coming days.
The meeting comes as Russia gears up for what is expected to be a major offensive in eastern Ukraine.
The agenda will include an updated assessment of the Ukraine battlefield as well as discussion of efforts to continue a steady flow of weapons and other military aid, Kirby said. It will include consultations on Ukraine’s post-war defense needs but is not expected to consider changes in the U.S. military posture in Europe, he said.
Russia says 1 dead, 27 missing, nearly 400 rescued after ship’s sinking
The Russian Defense Ministry said Friday that one serviceman died, 27 more went missing and 396 were rescued after a fire on the flagship missile cruiser Moskva last week.
The statement comes a week after the vessel sunk.
Shortly after the incident, the ministry said the entire crew of the ship, which was presumed by the media to be about 500 people, had been rescued. The ministry did not offer an explanation for the contradicting reports.
Ukraine said it hit the cruiser with a missile strike.