Home Latest Russia-Ukraine crisis updates | May 12, 2022 – The Hindu

Russia-Ukraine crisis updates | May 12, 2022 – The Hindu

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Since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, tens of thousands of Russians have fled the country in protest over Putin’s policies and out of fear for their children’s future. | Photo Credit: AFP
Both countries have reported renewed fighting around Snake Island, which achieved worldwide fame in the conflict’s first hours when Ukrainian border guards stationed there rejected a Russian warship’s demand for their surrender.
The fightback by Ukraine for the island, located near its sea border with Romania and covering just 0.17 square kilometres (0.06 square miles), could decide if Russia is able to establish a defensive base there and thereby exercise dominance over the north-western Black Sea, the Ministry said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, speaking to French University Sciences Po, said the war with Russia would have been prevented if his country had been member of NATO beforehand.
Ukraine's natural gas pipeline operator said Wednesday it would stop Russian shipments through a key hub in the east of the country, while its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said Kyiv's military had made small gains, pushing Russian forces out of four villages near Kharkiv.
Read more news on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis here.
Here are the latest updates:
The European Commission said it would work with EU governments to help Ukraine export millions of tonnes of grain stuck in the country because the Russian navy is blocking Ukrainian ports.
Before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 90% of the grains and sunflower oil were shipped out through Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea – a route now closed off. Problems with getting the grain out of Ukraine threaten to cause a food crisis, especially in poorer regions like Africa. – Reuters
Russia said it would be forced to respond to Finland’s decision to join NATO. “Finland joining NATO is a radical change in the country’s foreign policy,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature, in order to stop threats to its national security arising.” – Reuters
The Kremlin said Finland’s move to join NATO was “definitely” a threat to Russia and that the expansion of the military bloc would not make Europe or the world more stable.
Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the steps taken by Finland to join NATO were a cause for regret and a reason to impose a symmetrical response. – Reuters
Top diplomats from the G7 wealthy nations are gathering in northern Germany to discuss the war in Ukraine, energy and food security, relations with China, and climate change during a three-day meeting starting on May 12.
The Foreign Ministers of Ukraine and neighboring Moldova, which fear becoming Russia‘s next target of aggression, have been invited to attend as guests. Indonesia’s Foreign Minister, whose country chairs the Group of 20 major economies this year, plans to take part remotely to discuss the global impacts of the war.
The meeting is taking place at the Baltic Sea resort of Weissenhaus northeast of Hamburg. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who is hosting her G7 counterparts, recently returned from a trip to Kyiv, Ukraine‘s capital. – AP
The UN Human Rights chief said that a thousand bodies had been recovered in the area of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in recent weeks, adding that many of the violations it is verifying since the Russian invasion may amount to war crimes.
The Human Rights Council will decide on Thursday whether to task investigators with an official probe into the events that occurred in Kyiv and other regions in February and March.- Reuters
Russia said its forces hit two ammunition depots in the Chernihiv region of Ukraine.
Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Russia had destroyed a Ukrainian S-300 air defence missile system in the Kharkiv region and a radar station near the city of Odesa.
Russia also said it shot down a Ukrainian drone near Snake Island, a remote outcrop taken by Russia on the first day of the invasion. – Reuters
One of President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies warned the West that the increasing military support given to Ukraine by the United States and its allies risked triggering a conflict between Russia and the NATO military alliance.
Former President Dmitry Medvedev, now Deputy Chairman of Russia’s security council, said such a conflict with NATO always carried the risk of turning into a full blown nuclear war. – Reuters
President Vladimir Putin has reaffirmed Russia’s determination to wrest separatist-held territory from Ukraine in a congratulatory message to the head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine.
Russia backed the separatists for years and recognized them as independent on the eve of invading Ukraine.
In a statement released by the Kremlin on May 12, Putin said: “I am sure that through our joint efforts we will defend the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the Luhansk republic. – AP
Ukraine wants a spot reserved for it in the European Union, even if obtaining full membership could take time, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in Berlin.
“It is not about the fastest possible membership for Ukraine in the EU. But what is very important for us is for this spot to be reserved for Ukraine,” he told German broadcaster ARD. – AFP
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on May 12 he did not see how there could be a normalisation of relations with President Vladimir Putin following Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine.
Asked during an interview on LBC Radio whether Putin could be welcomed back on the global stage if he were to repent, Johnson said: “Repentance is going to be very difficult for Vladimir Putin now… nothing is impossible, I suppose, but I just cannot see for the life of me how we can renormalise relations with Putin now.” – Reuters
Finland’s President and Prime Minister said they’re in favor of applying for NATO membership, paving the way for the alliance to expand amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The announcement by President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin means Finland is virtually certain to seek NATO membership though a few steps remain before the application process can begin. – AP
The Czech Republic is in talks with Germany on the supply of tanks that would allow the Czechs to send more of their Soviet-era tanks to Ukraine, Defence Minister Jana Cernochova said
The Czechs have 30 modernised T-72M4CZ tanks assigned to its tank unit and several dozen more in storage that have not been modernised.
The country has already sent some of its non-modernised tanks to Ukraine after Russia‘s invasion started on February 24.
The Czechs have also sent more heavy equipment to Ukraine, from army depots and private arms companies, including artillery, fighting vehicles, anti-aircraft equipment and multiple rocket launchers. – Reuters
Japan and the European Union agreed to step up their sanctions against Russia as leaders from the two sides raised concerns about the war’s impact in the Indo-Pacific, where they seek to strengthen their partnership and increase engagement amid China’s growing assertiveness.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who held talks in Tokyo with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, told a joint news conference that Japan supports tough sanctions against Russia and ample support for Ukraine because the war “shakes the foundation of the world order not only in Europe but also in Asia.” – AP
A Ukrainian circus troupe is performing a never-ending ‘Alice in Wonderland’ tour of Italy, caught in the real-world rabbit hole of having to create joyful performances on stage while their families at home are living through war.
Like many Ukrainian artists who were abroad when Russia invaded on February 24, the acrobats and dancers of the Theater Circus Elysium of Kyiv were opening a limited engagement in Italy. The tour, originally scheduled to end in mid-March, has now been extended at least through June as the performers seek to keep working to send money to relatives back home. – AP
Russian forces were continuing their airstrikes on the Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol and pressing their advance on towns in eastern Ukraine, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said May 12.
The bombardment came as Ukraine offered to release Russian prisoners of war in exchange for the safe evacuation of the badly injured fighters that remained trapped inside the mill in the ruined city.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that negotiations were underway to release the injured fighters who are holed up in the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol. She said there were different options, but “none of them is ideal.” – AP
Ukrainian forces are keeping up a counterattack to the north of the second largest city of Kharkiv and recapturing several towns and villages toward the Russian border, Britain said.
Russia has reportedly withdrawn units from the area and the forces are likely to redeploy after replenishing the losses to the eastern bank of the Siverskyi Donets river, the British Defence Ministry said in a regular Twitter bulletin. – Reuters
Ukraine offered to release Russian prisoners of war in exchange for the safe evacuation of the badly injured fighters trapped inside a steel mill in the ruined city of Mariupol, as Kyiv began preparing for its first war crimes trial of a captured Russian soldier.
While fighting raged in Ukraine's east and south, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said Wednesday that negotiations were underway to release the injured fighters who are holed up in the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol. She said there were different options, but “none of them is ideal.” – AP
The Ukrainian men's national team returned to action Wednesday for the first time since the invasion by Russia, beating German club Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 in a charity fundraiser.
The friendly was a chance for the Ukrainians to get back into form ahead of a World Cup qualifying playoff game against Scotland next month, but also just to show their team is still going, despite everything.
"We thank you all for your great help," former world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko, whose brother Vitali is mayor of Kyiv, said in a video message to the German club and fans. It felt as if "both (teams) are playing for us," he added. – PTI
Finland's president and prime minister will announce Thursday their highly awaited positions on whether to join NATO, the first step toward a formal decision after Russia's war in Ukraine triggered a swift turnaround in opinion.
They are widely expected to come out in favour of joining. – AFP
Ukraine will launch its first war crimes trial over Moscow's ongoing invasion, bringing a 21-year-old Russian soldier to the stand, Kyiv's top prosecutor announced Wednesday.
Vadim Shishimarin is accused of killing an unarmed 62-year-old civilian on February 28, firing an automatic rifle from a car window to prevent him from reporting a group of soldiers, according to a statement from Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova's office. – AFP
Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina has left Russia, she said in an interview, after disguising herself as a food delivery courier to escape police.
Ms. Alyokhina joins thousands of Russians who have fled their country since President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine on February 24. – AFP
Russia is the "most direct threat" to the international order because of its invasion of Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday in Tokyo.
Russia "is today the most direct threat to the world order with the barbaric war against Ukraine, and its worrying pact with China", she said after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida along with European Council President Charles Michel. – AFP
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on May 11 said he had agreed new deals with Sweden and Finland to bolster European security, pledging to support both countries’ armed forces should they come under attack.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced a rethink of how Sweden and neighbour Finland safeguard national security.
But the war in Ukraine has increased fears in Stockholm and Helsinki that bilateral agreements are no substitute for Article 5 of NATO’s charter, which guarantees that an attack on one member state would be considered as an attack on all. – Reuters
Ukraine’s natural gas pipeline operator said Wednesday it would stop Russian shipments through a key hub in the east of the country, while its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said Kyiv’s military had made small gains, pushing Russian forces out of four villages near Kharkiv. – AP

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Printable version | May 13, 2022 9:23:06 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/russia-ukraine-crisis-live-updates-ukraine-to-hold-first-war-crimes-trial-over-russian-invasion/article65406347.ece
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