Russia-Ukraine war: Putin wants to strengthen ties with China amid sanctions, Lavrov says

President Zelensky meets US officials

Russia has said it will strengthen its economic ties with China amid Western sanctions over its war in Ukraine.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the country’s ties with Beijing “will grow even faster” after it was ostracized by other countries.

Mr Lavrov added that the Kremlin would consider re-establishing ties with the West if the opportunity arose.

“If they want to offer anything in terms of resuming relations, we will seriously consider whether we need it or not,” he said.

His comments come as Russian troops attempt to encircle Ukrainian forces near the Donbass region city of Severodonetsk.

“The capture of the Severodonetsk pocket by Russia would place the entire Lugansk Oblast under Russian occupation,” Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Tuesday.

In other developments, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for international support to force Russia to liberate Azovstal militants who surrendered to Russian forces in Mariupol last week.

Ukraine’s leader said his country was ready for a prisoner swap.


Almost 30,000 Russian soldiers dead, Ukraine claims

According to the Ukrainian army, nearly 30,000 Russian soldiers were killed in the first three months of the war.

Earlier this week, the British government said Russia had lost around 15,000 troops, the same as during the decades-long Soviet-Afghan war.

Rory SullivanMay 24, 2022 08:10


Britain warns of famine caused by Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports

Britain has warned that “there could be much hunger and even famine around the world” if millions of tons of Ukrainian grain cannot pass the Russian blockades.

Grant Shapps, Britain’s transport secretary, said Britain was working with Ukraine to export the grain. He spoke to Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure, Oleksander Kubrakov, on the subject last week.

“We discussed details that I can’t go into but how the infrastructure might be in place to ensure the grain goes off,” he said Sky news.

“We’re looking at all the different options…there are a lot of different ways to get grain and other goods out of the country,” he said. “We absolutely have to do that, otherwise there could be a lot of hunger and even starvation.”

Rory SullivanMay 24, 2022 07:54


‘Strong views’ on Russia were voiced at Quad meeting, Australian Prime Minister says

“Strong views” on Russia were expressed at a “Quad” meeting, Australia’s new prime minister said.

Following talks between the leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the US, Antony Albanese said: “Russia’s unilateral, illegal and immoral attack on the people of Ukraine is an outrage and the atrocities being committed against innocent civilians are something we could. I would not have expected that in the 21st century.”

“There were certainly strong views expressed at the meeting,” he said.

Rory SullivanMay 24, 2022 07:37


Biden says democracies must be defended amid Ukraine war

US President Joe Biden has expressed his desire for a free and open Indo-Pacific region, saying the war in Ukraine has shown the importance of international order and territorial integrity.

Discussing the situation in Ukraine at a “Quad” meeting with his Australian, Indian and Japanese counterparts in Tokyo, Mr Biden said: “This is more than just a European problem. It’s a global problem.”

“International law, human rights must always be defended, no matter where in the world they are violated,” he added.

Rory SullivanMay 24, 2022 07:29


Russian ships are loading Ukrainian grain in Crimea, satellite images allegedly show

Russian transport ships likely stockpiling grain stolen from Ukraine have been spotted in the latest satellite imagery revealed by Maxar Technologies.

Two Russian-flagged bulk carriers – the Matros Pozynich and the Matros Koshka – are seen docked next to grain elevators while supplies are loaded onto the ship, pictures taken May 19 and 21 show.

The ships have now left port with the former Beirut en route across the Aegean, while the Matros Koshka is still sighted in the Black Sea, ship-tracking site showed.

Ukraine has claimed that Russia is stealing “several hundred thousand tons” of grain while blockading the besieged country’s port cities and threatening global wheat supplies.

Arpan RaiMay 24, 2022 07:07


Russia faces Ukrainian resistance in Donbass, UK MoD says

Britain’s Defense Ministry said Russia is stepping up operations in Donbass — its target region in Ukraine to capture more territory — and has met staunch opposition from defending Ukrainian soldiers.

“Russia has increased the intensity of its operations in Donbass as it seeks to encircle Severodonetsk, Lyshansk and Rubishne. At present, the northern and southern axes of this operation are separated from Ukrainian territory by about 25 km,” the ministry said in its latest update on Tuesday.

It added: “There was strong Ukrainian resistance with forces occupying well-entrenched defensive positions. Ukraine’s long-established Joint Force Operation is likely to retain effective command and control of this frontline.”

However, Russia has had some local successes, in part due to the concentration of artillery units, the ministry added.

“The capture of the Severodonetsk pocket by Russia would result in the entire Luhansk Oblast being placed under Russian occupation. While this operation is currently Russia’s main effort, it is only part of Russia’s campaign to conquer Donbass,” the defense ministry said.

If the Donbass front shifts further west, it will widen Russian lines of communication and likely mean that its forces will face further logistical supply difficulties, she added.

Arpan RaiMay 24, 2022 06:32


Russian soldiers demand bribes from Ukrainians leaving Melitopol

Civilians leaving Melitopol have been asked to pay bribes by the Russian soldiers occupying the area, officials in the region said.

Russian soldiers have asked residents trying to leave the conflict-ravaged city to pay HRR 3,000-5,000 (£80-134), the Zaporizhia Regional Military Administration said on Monday, the reported The Kiev Independent.

Arpan RaiMay 24, 2022 06:21


Zelenskyj calls for political pressure on the exchange of prisoners of war: “Ready tomorrow too”

Ukraine is ready for a prisoner swap with Russia “even tomorrow,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Monday after Moscow arrested hundreds of trapped soldiers at Azovstal Steel Plant in Mariupol.

“The exchange of people – today this is a humanitarian issue and a very political decision that depends on the support of many states,” said Zelenskyj in a question and answer session from the audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Asking for help from his allies, he said: “It is important … to exert political pressure at all levels, through powerful corporations, through business closures, oil embargo … and through these threats, to actively intensify our people’s exchanges for Russian soldiers. “

“We don’t need Russian soldiers, we only need ours,” said Zelenskyy. “We are also ready for an exchange tomorrow.”

He added that several allies such as the United Nations, Switzerland, Israel and “many, many countries” were involved, but the process was very complicated.

Arpan RaiMay 24, 2022 5:44 am


Zelenskyy warns that the war will be difficult in the coming weeks

Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russian troops are advancing in Kharkiv and will not give up the region, which could lead to difficult weeks of the war.

“Russian occupiers are trying very hard to show that they allegedly will not give up the occupied territories of Kharkiv Krai, Kherson Krai, occupied territory of Zaporizhia Krai and Donbass,” Zelenskyi said, adding that Russian fighters are on their way on the offensive in some areas.

“In some places, reserves are built up. Somewhere they are trying to strengthen their positions,” he said.

“The coming weeks of war will be difficult. And we have to be aware of that. But we have no choice but to fight. Fight and win. Liberate our country and our people. Because the occupiers don’t just want to take something away from us, they want to take everything we have. Including the right to life for Ukrainians,” Zelenskyy said in a late-night speech.

Arpan RaiMay 24, 2022 05:07


Russia could use Kherson as a military base, official claims

Russia is likely to set up a military base in Ukraine’s Kherson as officials from the Russian-appointed administration there will ask the Kremlin to move, a local government official was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency on Tuesday.

“There should be a Russian military base in the Kherson region,” said Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-anointed Kherson “regional civil-military administration”.

He added: “We’re going to ask for it and that’s what the whole population wants. This is essential and a guarantee of security for the region and its residents.”

The southern city of Kherson, some 400 miles from the capital Kyiv, fell to Russia shortly after the invasion began.

Russia has now installed a new government in the region and replaced the Ukrainian currency with the Russian ruble.

Arpan RaiMay 24, 2022 4:56 am Russia-Ukraine war: Putin wants to strengthen ties with China amid sanctions, Lavrov says

Bobby Allyn

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