Midday key information
- Kirillo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, believes in an interview with Sky News that the turning point in the war will occur “in the second half of August”, and that “most of the fighting will end in the end of the year.”
- He promised the G7 demand to expand economic “sanctions” targeting Moscow and urged China not to “undermine” those measures.
- The G7 also stressed that it would “never recognize” the limits that Russia wants to impose by force in its war in Ukraine.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that more than 1,000 towns had been seized by Ukrainians from Russia.
- Particularly intense fighting continues to rage in the Moscow-focused Donbass region without any tangible progress being made, while “very tough” negotiations are taking place in Mariupol.
- Russia has officially cut off power to Finland as the country prepares to announce its candidacy for NATO membership.
3:23 pm: G7 criticizes India’s decision to ban wheat exports
G7 agriculture ministers on Saturday criticized India’s decision to ban wheat exports after the latest heat wave, saying it would “only exacerbate the crisis” in grain supplies already strained by the war in Ukraine. “We call on India to assume its responsibilities as a member of the G20,” declared the German Minister of Agriculture.
2:51 pm: Sergei Lavrov says the West is waging a ‘hybrid and all-out’ war against Russia
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday that the West is waging a “hybrid and comprehensive” war against Russia, denouncing the “wave of fear against Russia” led by “civilized countries”, during a press conference.
“We must respond to the hostile attacks against us. There is work to be done,” he added.
2:07 pm: Putin thinks ending Finnish military neutrality would be a ‘mistake’
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a telephone conversation with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö, emphasized that “ending the traditional policy of military neutrality would be a mistake, since there is no threat to Finland’s security.” Helsinki’s candidacy for NATO membership is expected to be announced on Sunday, which Moscow sees as a very bleak outlook.
1:54 pm: Relatives of Azovstal fighters seek help from the Chinese president
Relatives of Ukrainian fighters trapped in steel mills in Azovstal, the last pocket of resistance for Russian forces in the strategic port of Mariupol, appealed for help to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday, asking him to help evacuate them.
There is one person in the world that Putin would find difficult to reject. We are confident that China, strong and noble, can make difficult decisions for the sake of a noble cause ”, which was launched, during a press conference in Kyiv, by Natalia Zaretska, the wife of one of the fighters.
1:05 pm: Finnish president calls Putin about NATO bid
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto phoned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Saturday about the Scandinavian country’s impending candidacy to join NATO, which has drawn hostility from Moscow.
“The conversation was direct and direct and went unhindered. Avoiding tensions was important,” the Finnish head of state said in a statement issued by the presidency.
12:14 pm: The G7 wants additional sanctions targeting sectors on which Russia “depends”.
The G7 foreign ministers pledged to “extend economic sanctions” targeting Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine to “the sectors on which Russia particularly depends” while urging China to “not undermine” those measures.
12:11 pm: Ukrainians seized more than 1,000 towns from Russia
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced Friday evening in his daily message that “the gradual liberation of the Kharkiv region proves that we will not leave anyone to the enemy,” declaring that the restoration of lands that fell into the hands of the Russians is still going on.
“As of today, 1,015 towns have been liberated, and six more in the past 24 hours,” the Ukrainian leader said.
12:08 pm: The G7 will ‘never recognize the borders’ that Russia is trying to change by force
The G7 foreign ministers said in a joint statement that the G7 would “never recognize” the limits that Russia wants to impose by force in its war in Ukraine.
They once again called on Belarus to “stop facilitating Russian interference and respect its international obligations.”
10:33 am: Russia officially halts electricity delivery to Finland
Electricity exports from Russia to Finland stopped overnight from Friday to Saturday. The company responsible for Russian electricity sales to Finland, RAO Nordic, announced on Friday its intention to halt deliveries at midnight, citing unpaid bills, as Finland prepares to announce its candidacy for NATO membership.
8:07 am: Turkey threatens to block Sweden and Finland from NATO
On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his rejection of Finland and Sweden joining NATO, risking derailing the entire process that requires the unanimity of NATO members. “We do not have a positive opinion,” declared Mr. Erdogan, saying he did not want to see “the same mistake repeated as that which was made at the time of Greece’s accession,” the neighbor with which Turkey has historically been a complex. relations. Le chef de l’Etat turc a notamment reproché à ces deux pays nordiques de servir d'”auberge aux terroristes du PKK”, le Parti des travailleurs du Kurdistan, considéré comme une organization terroriste par Ankara, mais aussi par l’Union européenne et United States of America.
8:05 am: Sweden’s NATO membership ‘will enhance national security’
Sweden’s membership in NATO will enhance national security and help stabilize the Nordic and Baltic regions, Sweden’s foreign minister said, a day after Finland said it would seek to join the US-led coalition.
7:52 am: Fighting rages in Donbass
Particularly fierce fighting is taking place in the Donbass region (eastern Ukraine), on which Moscow is concentrating without making much progress, while “very difficult” negotiations are taking place over the fate of the last defenders of the strategic city, the port of Mariupol. “There is heavy fighting on the border with the Donetsk region, near Popasna,” Sergey Gawdych, the Ukrainian governor of the Lugansk region, commented on Facebook Friday evening, reporting numerous losses of equipment and personnel on the Russian side. “It is terrifying but they are still trying to achieve their ends. But according to the objections (telephone calls), we understand that an entire battalion refused to attack because they see what is happening.”
It’s terrifying but they’re still trying to make their way
7 a.m.: First trial of a Russian soldier accused of war crimes
Un soldat russe accusé d’avoir tué un civil au cours de l’invasion de l’Ukraine par Moscou a comparu vendredi devant un tribunal à Kiev pour une audience préliminaire, avant un procès fixé mercredi 18 mai, le premier du genre depuis from the war. Vadim Chichimarin, 21, is accused of shooting a Kalashnikov out of the window of a car he was traveling in, killing a 62-year-old civilian who was unarmed. He faces life imprisonment for war crimes and premeditated murder.
6:50 am: Russia suspends electricity delivery to Finland
Russia suspends electricity delivery to Finland from Saturday due to unpaid bills. This announcement comes against the backdrop of escalating tensions between Moscow and Helsinki, which have announced their desire to join NATO “without delay”. An intention that the Kremlin saw with a very bad eye and already threatened a “military-technical” response.
The Finnish power grid operator has confirmed that he can do without Russian electricity, which accounts for about 10% of the electricity consumed in the Nordic country.
6:49 am: Eurovision is more political than ever on Saturday
The biggest singing competition in the world has its conclusion on Saturday evening in Turin. This music competition extends into the geopolitical sphere, even if it is officially prohibited. This year, Russia was excluded and Ukraine is of course among the candidates.
>> Find our full article by clicking here.
Between Macron and Zelensky, the tone rises
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has criticized Emmanuel Macron for wanting to provide an “exit door” for Vladimir Putin and is conservative about his project for a “European political community”. More information in this article.
6:46 am: Latest feature on Earth
Fighting continued in the east between the Russian forces and the Ukrainian army, especially in Mariupolthe major port city in the southeast where a thousand Ukrainian soldiers still resist, entrenched in the bowels of Azovstal’s steelworks.
The Russian Defense Ministry says that the Russian army fired sea-to-surface and air-to-ground missiles at an oil refinery In the Poltava regionas well as fuel depots.
On Friday, the governor of the Sumy region reported a night strike targeting it, with no casualties, and earlier warned the Ukrainian military that Russia would “intensify” its attacks. In the Chernigov (North) and Sumy . regions.
Two journalists from the Russian news channel RT were wounded in a shooting by Ukrainian forces In the Donetsk regionin eastern Ukraine.
What to remember from Friday
- On Friday, the European Union pledged an additional half a billion euros in aid to support the Ukraine war. The British have called for “more weapons” to be sent to Ukraine and tougher sanctions to keep pressure on Vladimir Putin.
- At a meeting of G7 members in Germany, Ukraine’s foreign minister called for the confiscation of Russian assets to aid the country’s reconstruction efforts, and called for a European embargo on Russian oil.
- President Volodymyr Zelensky said 101 hospitals had been destroyed and 570 damaged in the Russian strikes.
- 15,913 Ukrainian children are enrolled in schools, colleges and secondary schools in France.
- The authorities of the separatist, pro-Russian Georgian region of South Ossetia have announced that they will hold a referendum on July 17 on integrating into Russia.
6:45 a.m.: Hey everyone, welcome to this livestream where we’ll be following the situation around the conflict in Ukraine, this Saturday, May 14, the 80th day of the Russian invasion.