Russia-Ukraine war: up to 100 Ukrainians dying every day in east, Zelenskiy says – live | World news


The World Health Organization mission in Ukraine has tweeted to say that it has “verified 30 additional attacks on health care” in the country. It says:

As of 23 May, 248 attacks on health care have been verified in Ukraine. These attacks took place between 24 February and 19 May & caused 75 deaths and 59 injuries. Health care should never be a target.

.@WHO has verified 30 additional attacks on health care in #Ukraine.

As of 23 May, 248 attacks on health care have been verified in Ukraine. These attacks took place between 24 February and 19 May & caused 75 deaths and 59 injuries.

Health care should never be a target. pic.twitter.com/7WvoAK3EdL

— WHO Ukraine (@WHOUkraine) May 23, 2022

Matthew Weaver

Matthew Weaver

A statue of Peter the Great in Deptford, south London, that Vladimir Putin’s government gifted to the UK has been damaged in an attempted robbery, leaving a diplomatically awkward repair bill of thousands of pounds.

Millennium Quay, the owners of the Thames-side housing estatethat surrounds the statue, suggested the Russian embassy could pick up the tab. The embassy has not responded to requests for comment.

The Deptford statue of Peter, by Mihail Chemiakin, one of Putin’s favourite artists, commemorates the young tsar’s 1698 trip to Deptford to study English shipbuilding.

Joel Coleman, Millennium Quay’s property manager, said: “We can get it restored if we can find out who owns it. In the last resort I’ll call the Russians. As it was a gift from the Russian people, we can see if the Russian embassy will pay for it.”

Read more here: Peter the Great statue, Vladimir Putin’s gift to Londoners, damaged in attempted robbery

Serhiy Haidai, Ukraine’s governor of Luhansk, has posted to Telegram to say that there will be a free evacuation train again at 4.30pm local time today to take people from Pokrovsk in Donetsk in the east of the country, out to Lviv in the west via Dnipro.

On Sky News in the UK, the former chief of the general staff of the British army, Gen Lord Richard Dannatt, has said that Vladimir Putin has not achieved very much so far in this war. While, he said, “Mariupol was always going to fall at some point”, he added:

The significance from the Ukrainian’s point of view was just how long the fighters within the steelworks managed to hold out and hold on, because that dragged in such large numbers of Russian troops who otherwise might have been deployed elsewhere.

[Putin] feels obviously very strongly he’s got to achieve something. And that something is, in his view, the complete control of the Donbas region. Elsewhere they’ve done really poorly. I think the Russians, according to reports, are making some small gains but frankly, small gains isn’t going to win this campaign for them.

The Ukrainians are still retaining the very well-prepared defensive positions that they’ve occupied for the last six, seven, eight years. With Ukrainian standing on the defence, it’s the Russians who have to throw their combat power against well-prepared Ukrainian positions. And that largely explains why the Russians are taking so many casualties.

On the blockade of Odesa, he said:

This is one of those major issues that doesn’t just affect the Ukrainian people. It affects all of us worldwide. From a military point of view it is a very interesting one to watch. Ukrainians will be desperate to hold on to Odesa, but they can’t use it as a port at the present moment. For defensive reasons they’ve heavily mined it. They are determined to prevent the Russians capturing Odessa and pushing up through to Transnistria in Moldova.

Maksym Kozytskyi, Ukraine’s governor of Lviv, has given his daily update on the situation there. He reports that more people returned to Ukraine than fled over the border in the last 24 hours, with 32,000 leaving and 44,000 coming back.

He reported there were two air alerts overnight, one for a suspected missile strike from the Black Sea, and another because “there was a danger from the territory of Belarus”.

Whoever is running the Russian foreign ministry social media accounts this morning has gone on a bit of a retweeting spree, distributing some inflammatory claims about the situation in Ukraine from Russian diplomats over the last twelve hours.

One message is from Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russian deputy ambassador to the UN, who says in a response to a message from Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba thanking Polish people for their help:

The Polish dream to have Ukrainian neighbours as cheap labor and control and exploit their land as they did in 1918-1939 has come closer.

They have also promoted a video clip from another diplomat, Alexander Alimov, which purports to show what he claims is the “Nazi Aidar battalion” mistreating civilians in the self-proclaimed republic in Luhansk.

The ministry has also shared a message from a third diplomat, Mikhail Ulyanov, challenging US secretary of state Antony Blinken’s statement about potential food shortages caused by the blockading of the export of Ukraine’s grain. Ulyanov says:

Russia expects a record-breaking harvest of wheat in 2022. We stand ready to offer to export 25m tons of grain … what the US is going to offer?

My colleague Graeme Wearden has launched our business blog for the day, which is coming from Davos. Ukraine will be high on the agenda, with a special address by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy scheduled for 11.15am local time (10.15am BST), and a discussion with Vitaliy and Wladimir Klitschko to follow that. I’ll pick up the key lines on this blog, but Graeme will have the full Davos coverage over here: Davos Day One – Ukrainian MPs call for more support as WEF begins

The RIA news agency reports that Russia’s defence ministry says its forces destroyed a Ukrainian unit of US-produced M777 howitzers, a type of artillery weapon.

The claim has not been independently verified.

Summary so far

Before I hand you over to my colleague Martin Belam, here are the latest lines from Ukraine this morning:

  • Ukraine has said it will not agree to any ceasefire deal that would involve handing over territory to Russia, as Moscow intensified its attack in the eastern Donbas region. “The war must end with the complete restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” said Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff, Andriy Yermak.
  • The comments came as Russia said it was willing to resume peace negotiations, its lead negotiator said on Sunday, but the initiative to continue them was with Kyiv. Kremlin aide Vladimir Medinsky claimed in an interview with Belarusian TV that “Russia has never refused talks”. “Freezing talks was entirely Ukraine’s initiative,” he said, adding that the “ball is completely in their court”.
  • Polish president Andrzej Duda became the first foreign leader to address the Ukrainian parliament in person since the invasion began, backing Ukraine’s stance on territorial concessions and warning the international community that ceding any territory to Russia would be a “huge blow” to the entire west. “After Bucha, Borodianka, Mariupol, there cannot be business as usual with Russia,” he said.
  • Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said 50 to 100 Ukrainians were dying every day on the war’s eastern front in what appeared to be a reference to military casualties. The heaviest fighting is focused around the twin cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk in Luhansk, one of the two regions that make up the Donbas. Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of Luhansk, said in a local television interview that Russia was using “scorched-earth” tactics in the region.
  • Russia’s death toll from its war on Ukraine is akin to the losses suffered in its war in Afghanistan, the UK Ministry of Defence has said. In the first three months since Russia invaded Ukraine, it is likely to have suffered a similar death toll to that experienced by the Soviet Union during its nine year war in Afghanistan, the MoD claimed. A combination of “poor low-level tactics, limited air cover, a lack of flexibility” and a command approach “prepared to reinforce failure and repeat mistakes” has led to the high casualty rate, British intelligence added.
  • Russia is “concentrating its efforts” on assaults on the eastern Ukrainian city of Siverodonetsk and the nearby town of Toshkivka, the Ukrainian military has said in its latest operational report.
  • Ukraine is set to top the agenda at the four-day World Economic Forum in Davos, which kicks off on Monday with a video address from Zelenskiy. This year Russia’s “house” at the event was transformed by Ukrainian artists into a “Russian war crimes house”, portraying images of misery and devastation.
  • Zelenskiy has extended Ukraine’s martial law for three months through to 23 August. Ukraine’s parliament also banned the symbols “Z” and “V”, used by Russia’s military to promote its war in Ukraine, but agreed to Zelenskiy’s call to allow their use for educational or historic purposes.
  • A verdict in the conflict’s first war crimes trial is due today with a panel of judges in Kyiv determining the fate of 21-year-old Russian sergeant Vadim Shishimarin.
  • New Zealand will deploy a further 30 defence force troops to the UK, to help train 230 Ukrainian soldiers in using a howitzer gun. The government will also provide 40 gun sights and a small quantity of ammunition for training purposes.

For a more comprehensive rundown please see our earlier summary.

Verdict expected in conflict’s first war crimes trial

A verdict in the conflict’s first war crimes trial is due today with a panel of judges in Kyiv determining the fate of Russian sergeant Vadim Shishimarin.

The shaven-headed 21-year-old from Siberia has admitted to killing an unarmed 62-year-old civilian in the early stages of the invasion, but earlier told the court he was pressured into an act for which he was “truly sorry”.

“I was nervous about what was going on. I didn’t want to kill,” he said from the glass defence box, wearing a grey and blue hoodie, as the trial concluded on Friday.

Russian Sergeant Vadim Shishimarin stands in the defendant’s box during his trial on charges of war crimes for having killed a civilian at the Court of Appeal in Kyiv.
Russian sergeant Vadim Shishimarin during his trial at the court of appeal in Kyiv on charges of war crimes for having killed a civilian. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Shysimarin added: “I’m truly and sincerely sorry. I didn’t want that to happen, I didn’t want to be there, but it happened. I would like to apologise once again. And I will accept all the measures of punishment that I will be offered.”

Shishimarin’s lawyer has argued for an acquittal, saying his client was carrying out what he perceived to be a direct order that he initially disobeyed.

Prosecutors, who have asked for a life sentence, said he was “well aware” he was executing a “criminal order”.

New Zealand to send army personnel to UK to train Ukrainian soldiers

Eva Corlett

New Zealand will deploy another 30 defence force troops to the UK, to help train 230 Ukrainian soldiers in using a howitzer gun.

The prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday the soldiers would be training their Ukrainian counterparts in operating a L119 105mm light field gun.

The deployment was another way New Zealand could support Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s invasion, Ardern said.

We have been clear throughout Russia’s assault on Ukraine, that such a blatant attack on innocent lives and the sovereignty of another country is wrong, and our response has not only included the condemnation of Russia, but practical support for Ukraine.”

Ukrainian soldiers ride on a self-propelled howitzer on a road in Kharkiv region in Ukraine.
Ukrainian soldiers ride on a self-propelled howitzer on a road in Kharkiv region in Ukraine. Photograph: Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images

The prime minister said the troops will be in the UK until the end of July and train 230 Ukrainians.

This new support comes in addition to the extensive assistance we have already provided to Ukraine, which encompasses the military, humanitarian, legal, and other aspects of the conflict.

There are very few armed forces that could provide this training right now, which is why New Zealand has been specifically called upon.”

The government will also provide 40 gun sights and a small quantity of ammunition for training purposes.

“The 30 NZDF personnel will in no way enter the Ukraine for this training,” Ardern added.

Johnson pens emotive letter to the children of Ukraine

British prime minister Boris Johnson has penned an emotive letter to the children of Ukraine, commending them for holding their heads high in the “toughest of times” and reassuring them they are not alone, according to a report from PA Media.

The prime minister said he was “very sad” to see youngsters absent from the streets and parks of Kyiv when he visited the Ukrainian capital last month, adding: “I cannot imagine how difficult this year must have been for you.”

When your president showed me around Kyiv last month, the absence of children and young people on the streets and in the parks made me feel very sad.

Since the invasion many of you have been forced to flee your homes. You have left behind family, friends, pets, toys and all that is familiar, seeking refuge in underground stations, distant cities, even other countries. I cannot imagine how difficult this year must have been for you.

British prime minister Boris Johnson penned an emotive letter to the children of Ukraine.
British prime minister Boris Johnson penned an emotive letter to the children of Ukraine. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Many of you have seen or experienced things no child should have to witness.

Yet, every day Ukrainian children are teaching all of us what it means to be strong and dignified, to hold your head high in even the toughest of times. I can think of no better role model for children and adults everywhere.”

Earlier, Johnson resolved to “redouble efforts” to provide vital food and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and ensure the country is able to export to the rest of the world.

In a call to Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday, Johnson said that Britons are “1000%” behind the people of Ukraine.

Russia’s death toll akin to war in Afghanistan, UK MoD says

In the first three months since Russia invaded Ukraine, it has likely suffered a similar death toll to that experienced by the Soviet Union during its nine year war in Afghanistan, the UK ministry of defence has claimed.

A combination of “poor low-level tactics, limited air cover, a lack of flexibility” and a command approach which is “prepared to reinforce failure and repeat mistakes” has led to the high casualty rate, British intelligence said in its latest report released this morning.

Casualties are continuing to rise in the Donbas offensive, the report added.

The Russian public has, in the past, proven sensitive to casualties suffered during wars of choice. As casualties suffered in Ukraine continue to rise they will become more apparent, and public dissatisfaction with the war and a willingness to voice it may grow.”

Russia is increasing assault on Siverodonetsk, Ukraine says

Russia is “concentrating its efforts” on assaults on the eastern Ukrainian city of Siverodonetsk and the nearby town of Toshkivka, the Ukrainian military has said.

Russian forces are also preparing to resume an offensive in the Slovyansk direction after its troops were repelled following a failed operation in the area of Dovhenke, Ukraine’s latest operational report reads.

In the Kharkiv region, Russian forces have set up checkpoints and fortifications on access roads near the settlements of Velykyi Burluk, Kapitolivka, Mykhailivka, Levkivka, Zabavne and Kupyansk, Oleksandr Shtupun, spokesman for the general staff of the armed forces of Ukraine said.

Meanwhile, in the Donetsk direction, Russian forces are reportedly attempting to break through the defences of Ukrainian troops and reach the administrative borders of Luhansk oblast.

Russia is focusing its main efforts on “maintaining occupied frontiers, conducting reconnaissance and engineering activities of positions”, Ukraine’s military claims adding its forced thwarted 11 Russian attacks in Donetsk and Luhansk over the past 24 hours.

Ukrainian soldiers continue to patrol the area following Russian attacks in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.
Ukrainian soldiers continue to patrol the area following Russian attacks in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Zelenskiy to address World Economic Forum in Davos

The conflict in Ukraine is making its mark at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Kyiv will continues its diplomatic counteroffensive by targeting the world’s business and political elite gathering in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos during a four-day meeting of global business leaders.

Talks will begin on Monday with a video address by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

This is the world’s most influential economic platform where Ukraine has something to say,” the Ukrainian president said in an earlier address.

Zelenskiy will also mark the opening of Ukraine House Davos, a forum for Kyiv and its international backers.

“Ukraine House Davos will host dialogue on security, sanctions, humanitarian aid, rebuilding and revitalising Ukraine, and more,” an official statement reads.

A woman stands in front of the Ukrainian House Davos, ahead of the upcoming World Economic Forum 2022, in the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland.
A woman stands in front of the Ukrainian House Davos, ahead of the upcoming World Economic Forum 2022, in the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland. Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg are among the leaders due to address the meeting.

In March, Davos organisers cut ties with Russian firms and officials, and announced that anyone under international sanctions would not be welcome at the event.

The main street in the town in Switzerland has been turned into a Russian War Crimes House by Ukrainian artists hoping to get their message across to world leaders, Reuters reports.

Visitors are confronted by images such as a badly burned man in Kharkiv after Russian shelling and a film made up of thousands of pictures of dead civilians and bombed houses.

“The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos this year will be the most timely and consequential annual meeting since the creation of the forum over 50 years ago,’’ WEF founder Klaus Schwab told reporters ahead of the meeting.

“The return of war, epidemics and the climate crisis, all those disruptive forces have derailed the global recovery,” Schwab said. “Those issues must be confronted in Davos; the global food crisis, in particular, needs our immediate attention.”

Up to 100 Ukrainians dying every day in east, Zelenskiy says

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said 50 to 100 Ukrainians are dying every day on the war’s eastern front in what appeared to be a reference to military casualties.

The heaviest fighting is focused around the twin cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk in Luhansk, one of the two regions that make up the Donbas.

Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of Luhansk, said in a local television interview that Russia was using “scorched-earth” tactics in the region and that Sievierodonetsk had been attacked from “four separate directions” though Russian forces had not succeeded in breaking into the city.

Ukraine has been somewhat opaque about the scale of its combat losses

The fact that Zelenskiy is being open about casualty rates equivalent to 3,000 Ukrainians giving their lives in a month is a sign of how brutal the fight is https://t.co/VxeeMIXkzQ

— Emma Graham-Harrison (@_EmmaGH) May 22, 2022

Russian airstrikes hit Ukrainian forces in the Mykolaiv and Donbas regions, targeting command centres, troops, and ammunition depots, the Russian defence ministry said on Sunday.

Maj Gen Igor Konashenkov, spokesperson for the defence ministry, said air-launched missiles hit three command points and four ammunition depots in the Donbas.

A British intelligence report released on Sunday claimed the city of Sievierodonetsk in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region is one of Russia’s “immediate tactical priorities” as its forces deploy terminator tanks to the area.

Summary and welcome

Hello and welcome back to the Guardian’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine.

I’m Samantha Lock and I will be bringing you all the latest developments for the next short while before my colleagues in London take the reins a little later in the day.

On today’s agenda, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy will continue his diplomatic counteroffensive by targeting the world’s business and political elite gathering in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos. Zelenskiy will kick off the four-day World Economic Forum of global business leaders with a video address.

Zelenskiy has also claimed that up to 100 Ukrainians are dying every day on the war’s eastern front in what appeared to be a reference to military casualties.

Here is everything you might have missed:

  • Ukraine has said it will not agree to any ceasefire deal that would involve handing over territory to Russia, as Moscow intensified its attack in the eastern Donbas region. “The war must end with the complete restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” said Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff, Andriy Yermak.
  • The comments came as Russia said it was willing to resume peace negotiations, its lead negotiator said Sunday, but the initiative to continue them was with Kyiv. Kremlin aide Vladimir Medinsky claimed in an interview with Belarusian TV that “Russia has never refused talks”. “Freezing talks was entirely Ukraine’s initiative,” he said, adding that the “ball is completely in their court”.
  • Polish president Andrzej Duda became the first foreign leader to address the Ukrainian parliament in person since the invasion began, backing Ukraine’s stance on territorial concessions and warning the international community that ceding any territory to Russia would be a “huge blow” to the entire west. “After Bucha, Borodianka, Mariupol, there cannot be business as usual with Russia,” he said.
  • Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said 50 to 100 Ukrainians were dying every day on the war’s eastern front in what appeared to be a reference to military casualties. The heaviest fighting is focused around the twin cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk in Luhansk, one of the two regions that make up the Donbas. Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of Luhansk, said in a local television interview that Russia was using “scorched-earth” tactics in the region.
  • Ukraine is set to top the agenda at the four-day World Economic Forum in Davos, which kicks off on Monday with a video address from Zelenskiy. This year Russia’s “house” at the event was transformed by Ukrainian artists into a “Russian war crimes house”, portraying images of misery and devastation.
  • The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, spoke with Zelenskiy on Sunday evening about Russia’s blockade of Odesa, Ukraine’s largest shipping port. The blockade of Ukraine’s ports has been a growing concern for world leaders as many continue to warn about global food security, in particular for developing countries.
  • The Moscow-installed mayor of Enerhodar, a southern city of Ukraine and the location of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, has been wounded in an explosion. Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that Andrey Shevchik was in intensive care.
  • A bid by Ukraine to join the European Union would not be finalised for “15 or 20 years”, France’s Europe minister said. “We have to be honest. If you say Ukraine is going to join the EU in six months, or a year or two, you’re lying,” Clément Beaune said. “It’s probably in 15 or 20 years. It takes a long time.”
  • Zelenskiy has extended Ukraine’s martial law for three months through to 23 August. Ukraine’s parliament also banned the symbols “Z” and “V”, used by Russia’s military to promote its war in Ukraine, but agreed to Zelenskiy’s call to allow their use for educational or historic purposes.
  • Olena Zelenska has given a rare interview with Zelenskiy, only their second public appearance together since Russia launched its invasion. She recounts the “anxiety and stupor” she felt on 24 February, and says that even though she has barely seen her husband since, “no one, not even the war, could take him away” from her.
  • Technicians linked to the Syrian military’s infamous barrel bombs that have wreaked devastation across much of the country have been deployed to Russia to help potentially prepare for a similar campaign in the Ukraine war, European officials believe. Intelligence officers say more than 50 specialists have been in Russia for several weeks working alongside officials from president Vladimir Putin’s military.
  • YouTube has taken down more than 70,000 videos and 9,000 channels related to the war in Ukraine for violating content guidelines, including removal of videos that referred to the invasion as a “liberation mission”.

As usual, please feel free to reach out to me with any feedback or tips via email or Twitter.

Service members of pro-Russian troops drive a tank in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. The writing on the tank reads: “Russia”.
Service members of pro-Russian troops drive a tank in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. The writing on the tank reads: “Russia”. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters





Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.