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Russia Invades Ukraine Breaking News: Civilians trapped as fighting continues at Mariupol Steel Plant

UN aid workers help the first evacuees from the Mariupol steelworks

Scores of civilians remain trapped in underground bunkers at the Azovstal Steelworks, the last base in the devastated city Mariupol.

RussiaThe military vowed to halt its daytime activities in Azovstal on Thursday and the following two days to allow civilians to leave after Ukrainian militants in what they described as “bloody battles” prevented evacuations on Wednesday. The Kremlin said humanitarian corridors are in place from the facility.

A deputy Ukrainian commander fighting at the Azovstal Steel Plant has accused Russian troops of thwarting efforts to evacuate civilians.

In a video posted to Telegram, Captain Svyatoslav Palamar said: “It is day three since the enemy entered the Azovstal factory where heavy, bloody fighting is ongoing”.

“Once again, the Russians have broken their promise of a ceasefire and have not allowed the evacuation of civilians who continue to seek shelter from the shelling in the factory’s basements.”

Russia refuses access to the steel mill.

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The fight is blocking evacuation attempts at the Mariupol Steel Plant, the fighter says

A Ukrainian militant holed up in a huge steel plant in the southern city of Mariupol accused Russian forces of breaking a promise Thursday to allow a ceasefire to allow civilians to be evacuated.

Captain Svyatoslav Palamar, a deputy commander of Ukraine’s Azov regiment, posted online a video allegedly filmed at the Azovstal Steelworks, where the last defenders of Mariupol hold out with an estimated 200 civilians.

“It is the third day that the enemy entered the Azovstal Steelworks. Heavy, bloody fighting is taking place,” said Palamar.

“Once again, the Russians have not kept their promise of a ceasefire and have not given civilians sheltering in the plant’s basements an opportunity to evacuate.”

He appealed to the international community for help in evacuating civilians and urged President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to do everything possible to evacuate wounded fighters.

Aide to the President of Ukraine Oleksiy Arestovych also said fighting continued at the steel mills but gave no details.

Thomas KingsleyMay 5, 2022 3:23 p.m

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Ukraine has received “over $12 billion in arms and financial aid” since the start of the Russian invasion

Ukraine has received over $12 billion in arms and financial aid since the start of the full-scale invasion of Russia on February 24, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Thursday.

Speaking alongside leaders of Poland, Sweden and the head of the European Commission at a high-level donors’ conference in Warsaw, Shmyhal thanked them for their unwavering support for Ukraine throughout the war.

Russia-Ukraine War Western Weapons

(public domain)

Thomas KingsleyMay 5, 2022 2:45 p.m

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No Ukrainian counter-offensive expected before mid-June, says presidential adviser

Ukraine is unlikely to launch a counteroffensive in its war with Russia before mid-June if it hopes to obtain more arms from its allies, an aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday.

Political adviser Oleksiy Arestovych also said he does not expect Russia’s offensive in Ukraine to yield any “significant results” until May 9, when Russia celebrates victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

He said fighting continued at the Azovstal Steelworks, where Ukrainian militants and some civilians are holed up in the city of Mariupol, but gave no details.

Thomas KingsleyMay 5, 2022 2:30 p.m

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Lukashenko says “the West can sleep peacefully” amid fears of a Belarusian attack amid rising Nato tensions

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said Minsk does not seek a conflict with NATO given the growing tensions between Russia and the West.

That’s what the longtime Kremlin ally said Associated Press that Vladimir Putin does not want a war with NATO and called on the West to ensure that it does not come to that.

“He most likely does not want a global confrontation with NATO. Use it. Use it and do whatever it takes to keep that from happening. Otherwise, the military will react, even if Putin doesn’t want it,” said the Belarusian leader.

Read the full article below from our reporter, Thomas Kingsley

Thomas KingsleyMay 5, 2022 2:15 p.m

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Fiji seizes $300m yacht owned by Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov at US request

Authorities in Fiji have seized a $300 million yacht owned by Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov at the request of the United States, the US Justice Department said on Thursday, while Washington and its allies pressurize Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

A court in Fiji on Tuesday ruled that the United States can seize a Russian-owned superyacht weeks after it arrived and was seized by police.

Authorities in various countries have seized luxury ships and mansions belonging to Russian billionaires in response to sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which Russia describes as a special military operation.

Kerimov was sanctioned by the United States in 2014 and 2018 in response to Russia’s actions in Syria and Ukraine. He was also sanctioned by the European Union.

The US Department of Justice’s task force KleptoCapture has focused on seizing yachts and other luxury goods to drain Russian oligarchs’ finances in order to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin over the war in Ukraine.

The luxury liner Amadea arrived in Fiji last month after an 18-day voyage from Mexico across the Pacific.

(REUTERS)

Thomas KingsleyMay 5, 2022 1:51 p.m

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Ukraine has ‘crucial’ needs for multiple missile systems, Commander-in-Chief says

The commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces said Thursday his country needs multiple launch vehicle systems (MLRS) to defend against Russian cruise missiles.

General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, after briefing US General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the military situation in Ukraine, said Russia had resumed its cruise missile strikes.

“Therefore, the issue of equipping Ukraine with multi-launch missile systems such as M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) and M270 MLRS is crucial,” he said.

Thomas KingsleyMay 5, 2022 1:34 p.m

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Italy launches security probe as tempers squabble over Russians on TV

A panel in Italy’s parliament has launched an investigation into “disinformation” on TV amid a heated debate over the frequent appearances of Russian guests on the country’s news programs during the war in Ukraine.

The Parliamentary Committee for the Security of the Republic (Copasir), which oversees the intelligence services, said on Wednesday it had summoned the heads of Italy’s state television network, the state security agency and communications surveillance.

The panel said it was looking into “foreign interference and disinformation activities … with particular reference to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.”

Prime Minister Mario Draghi took a hard line on Moscow after invading Ukraine on February 24, but opinion polls show that, unlike the other G7 European countries Britain, France and Germany, there is little public support for arms shipments in Italy gives Ukraine.

Italy’s public broadcaster RAI and its four main commercial channels also regularly host Russian journalists on their talk shows to debate the war with their Italian counterparts, an approach that has deepened divisions in the country.

Thomas KingsleyMay 5, 2022 1:05 p.m

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Oil prices rise as Europe signals a ban on Russian imports

Oil prices rose on Wednesday after the European Union announced plans to ban all oil imports from Russia and said President Vladimir Putin “has to pay a heavy price” for his “brutal aggression” against Ukraine.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented proposals for a phased oil embargo and sanctions on Moscow’s top bank to deepen Russia’s isolation.

If implemented, the plan would mark a major escalation in European efforts to cut funding from Putin’s war machine.

Read the full story here.

Thomas KingsleyMay 5, 2022 12:46 p.m

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The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will be used domestically in Russia, Gazprom says

Russian gas giant Gazprom has announced it will use the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for Russia’s own needs after Germany suspended the project after Vladimir Putin officially recognized the independence of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

In a post on Telegram, the company said it decided to supply the north-western region of Russia as the pipeline is currently not operational.

Nord Stream 2 is a 745-mile pipeline stretching between Ust-Luga near western Russia’s border with Estonia and Greifswald in northeastern Germany, intended to deliver natural gas across the Baltic Sea to Central Europe.

Germany Russia Ukraine War Europe Energy

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Thomas KingsleyMay 5, 2022 12:30 p.m

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Japan wants to use nuclear power to reduce dependence on Russian energy

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday it would use nuclear reactors to help reduce its own and other countries’ dependence on Russian energy.

Since shutting down nuclear reactors after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, in which an earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown and devastated the northeastern region, Japan has become more dependent on Russian gas.

But with July’s general election and rising energy prices straining voters’ budgets, Mr Kishida said nuclear power is part of the country’s future energy policy.

He said Japan will address the “vulnerability of our own energy self-sufficiency” by expanding energy sources, promoting renewable energy and using nuclear power to diversify its generation sources.

“We will use nuclear reactors with safety guarantees to help reduce global dependence on Russian energy,” Kishida told an audience in London’s financial district.

“Restarting just one existing nuclear reactor would have the same effect as delivering 1 million tons of new LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) per year to the world market.”

(PA)

Thomas KingsleyMay 5, 2022 12:15 p.m

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-ukraine-war-nuclear-weapons-mariupol-latest-b2071939.html Russia Invades Ukraine Breaking News: Civilians trapped as fighting continues at Mariupol Steel Plant

Bobby Allyn

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