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Russia Ukraine War (Putin's War) - Page 1

By Jonathan Landay

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine, Sept 30 (Reuters) - A defiant Vladimir Putin proclaimed Russia's annexation of a swathe of Ukraine in a pomp-filled Kremlin ceremony, promising Moscow would triumph in its "special military operation" against Kyiv even as some of his troops faced potential defeat. The Russian president's proclamation of Russian rule over 15% of Ukraine - the biggest annexation in Europe since World War Two - was roundly rejected by Western countries, with the United States and Britain announcing new sanctions.

It comes as Russian forces in one of the four regions being annexed face being encircled by Ukrainian troops after Putin ordered a massive mobilisation drive to get hundreds of thousands of Russian men to the front. In one of his toughest anti-American speeches in more than two decades in power, Putin signalled he was ready to continue what he called a battle for a "greater historical Russia", slammed the West as neo-colonial and as out to destroy his country, and without evidence accused Washington and its allies of blowing up the Nord Stream gas pipelines.

CNN

Sep 30, 2022  Russian President Vladimir Putin has formally announced the Kremlin’s intention to annex nearly a fifth of Ukraine in blatant violation of international law.

The mass exodus out of Russia shows no signs of easing as hundreds of thousands of Russians scramble to flee across Russia's borders. In Georgia, the mass exodus of men, alone or with their families or friends began shortly after President Vladimir Putin called for 300,000 more troops. Since then, cars have been forming long, snaking lines. The mass exodus comes on the heels of what the White House is calling a sham referendum in occupied parts of Ukraine. Putin is expected to use the results to declare the regions are now part of Russia as early as this Friday.

Reuters

Sept 27 (Reuters) - President Volodynyr Zelenskiy issued a fresh denunciation on Tuesday of Russian-staged votes in occupied parts of Ukraine approving proposals to become part of Russia, saying they were a "farce" and could never be described as legitimate referendums. "This farce in the occupied territories cannot even be called an imitation of a referendum," Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address. Zelenskiy said Ukraine would defend its people still living under occupation in the four areas where votes were held - Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions -- and in parts of Kharkiv region still under occupation.

By Zoe Strozewski | Newsweek

A recent series of explosions in Crimea has spurred Russia to shuffle some of its planes and Black Sea Fleet troops out of the occupied peninsula, according to a Ukrainian military intelligence official. Vadym Skibitsky, a representative for the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, told Krym.Realii in a report published Wednesday that the redeployed Black Sea Fleet personnel were sent to the Russian port city of Novorossiysk. Skibitsky said that those personnel "are not directly involved and have auxiliary functions" in the fleet.

The redeployed Russian aircraft were sent to airfields in Russian territory, he said. Skibitsky added that the directorate cannot rule out the possibility of some warships and supply vessels also being moved from Sevastopol, Crimea's largest city and a major Black Sea port, to Novorossiysk to "avoid getting hit." Ukraine's defense ministry has previously said that Russian planes and helicopters were being moved either deep into Crimea or into Russian territory in the wake of the explosions.

Reuters

Ballots were cast in occupied parts of Ukraine on Saturday, a day after Russia launched referendums aimed at annexing four occupied regions of the country. The move drew condemnation from Kyiv and Western nations, who dismissed the votes as a sham and pledged not to recognize their results. Ukrainian officials said people were banned from leaving some occupied areas until the four-day vote was over.

Adding that armed groups were going into homes, and employees were threatened with the sack if they did not participate. Reuters could not immediately verify reports of coercion. In Kyiv on Saturday, internally displaced people from Mariupol, like Oleh Sukhov, protested the vote. “Today a referendum is taking place in Mariupol. I am strongly against it. It is not needed. How, say, I, a native Mariupol resident, am now able to say 'no' in this ballot? I have no such right. I considered myself, I consider myself a Mariupol resident and I want Mariupol to be Ukraine.”

John Bacon, Jorge L. Ortiz | USA TODAY

The Ukraine military's stunning offensive gained momentum Monday, reclaiming several more northeastern villages and forcing the retreat of overwhelmed Russian troops from the region. A Russian-installed official in the Kharkiv region said Ukrainian forces outnumbered Russian troops by 8-to-1 and had broken through to the Russian border. Vitaly Ganchev told the state-owned Rossiya-24 television channel on Monday “the situation is becoming more difficult by the hour.” Kyiv’s sudden surge comes after months of little movement, save for Russia's small gains in the Donbas region. The encouraging counteroffensive has lifted Ukrainian morale and prompted criticism within Russia of President Vladimir Putin’s "special military operation."

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy marked 200 days since the war began by lauding the efforts of his military, which he said have liberated more than 3,700 square miles in the east and south in September. "The world is impressed. The enemy is panicking," Zelenskyy said. "Ukraine is proud of you, believes in you, prays for you, and is waiting for you."

Analysis by Brad Lendon, CNN

CNN — For Russia, the numbers are catastrophic. From Wednesday to Sunday, Vladimir Putin’s military forces saw at least 338 pieces of important military hardware – from fighter jets to tanks to trucks – destroyed, damaged or captured, according to numbers from the open source intelligence website Oryx, as Ukraine’s forces have bolted through Russian-held territory in an offensive that has stunned the Russians in its speed and breadth. Ukraine’s top military commander claimed on Sunday that more than 3,000 square kilometers (1,158 square miles) of territory had been retaken by his country’s forces since the beginning of September. And for more perspective, just “since Wednesday, Ukraine has recaptured territory at least twice the size of Greater London,” the British Defense Ministry said Monday.

Ukrainian reports say Putin’s troops are fleeing east to the Russian border in whatever transport they can find, even taking cars from the civilian population in the areas they had captured since the start of the war in February. In their wake they leave hundreds of pieces of the Russian war machine, which since Putin’s so-called “special military operation” commenced, has not come close to living up to its pre-war billing as one of the world’s great powers.  These Russian losses are the accumulation of a multitude of existing problems that are now colliding head-on with a Ukrainian military that has been patient, methodical and infused with billions of dollars of the Western military equipment that Russia cannot match. And without a drastic, and potentially unconventional intervention from Putin, the Ukrainian victories are likely to accelerate, analysts say. Many of Russia’s problems – poor and inflexible leadership, sour troop morale, inadequate logistics and hardware beset by maintenance issues – have been evident since the beginning stages of the war more than seven months ago.

Holly Ellyatt

Ukraine’s surprise counterattack in the northeast of the country has sent shock waves through the Russian army, with military strategists saying occupying forces have likely been forced to pull out of the entire region around Kharkiv. This crucial area is home to Ukraine’s second-largest city and lies close to the border with Russia. This should have made it easier for Russia to defend, but Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said Sunday that its forces had been able to recapture dozens of towns and villages in the area over the last few days. These include the strategically important town of Izyum, which Russia had used as a base for its forces in the region, and Kupiansk, a key railway hub in the area.

By KARL RITTER and HANNA ARHIROVA

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian troops on Sunday successfully pressed their swift counteroffensive in the northeastern part of the country, even as a nuclear power plant in the Russia-occupied south completely shut down in a bid to prevent a radiation disaster as fighting raged nearby. But Russia struck back at Ukraine’s infrastructure Sunday night, causing widespread blackouts, with the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions among those without power, officials said.

Kyiv’s action to reclaim Russia-occupied areas in the Kharkiv region forced Moscow to withdraw its troops to prevent them from being surrounded, leaving behind significant numbers of weapons and munitions in a hasty retreat as the war marked its 200th day on Sunday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mocked the Russians in a video address Saturday night, saying “the Russian army in these days is demonstrating the best that it can do — showing its back.”

Holly Ellyatt, Amanda Macias

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s mission has arrived at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after a delay lasting several hours due to shelling around Enerhodar, where the plant is located. Ahead of the visit, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said the mission was aware of “increased military activity in the area” but was determined to press ahead with its plan to visit the facility and meet personnel there. Earlier, the country’s state nuclear power company said the plant’s fifth reactor has been shut down as a result of the shelling. Meanwhile, Russian forces are concentrating their efforts on restoring supply lines and keeping a hold on captured territories in Ukraine, the country’s armed forces said in an operational update Thursday morning.

A series of explosions at military depots and airbases in Russian-annexed Crimea hint at a growing ability to strike deep behind enemy lines that could shift the dynamics of the war.
By Josh Lederman and Hyder Abbasi

DNIPRO, Ukraine — Pro-Ukrainian saboteurs were involved in the recent spate of explosions at Russian military sites in Crimea, a Ukrainian government official told NBC News. The series of blasts hit military depots and airbases in the annexed peninsula over the past week, hinting at a growing ability by Ukraine's military or its backers to strike deep behind enemy lines, a development that could shift the dynamics of the war. Kyiv has stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility for the explosions. The government official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to disclose information about the Crimea strikes to journalists.

Experts have speculated that guerrilla fighters, known colloquially as “partisans,” may have played a role, given the nature of the blasts. The official declined to say whether the Ukrainian military or special forces were also involved in the attacks. But he added, “Only thanks to the people who oppose Putin in the occupied territories and in Russia today, resistance is possible.” Explosions were reported near an airbase Thursday night in Crimea, on the southwest coast near the port city of Sevastopol, the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet. On the opposite end of the peninsula, the sky was also lit up at Kerch near a huge bridge to Russia, in what Russia said was fire from its air defenses. On Tuesday, large blasts and fires were reported at a military depot in Russian-annexed Crimea, forcing more than 3,000 people to flee the region.

Clyde Hughes

Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Explosions rocked a military depot and fires broke out in the area of Russia-annexed Crimea on Tuesday, prompting thousands of people to evacuate amid more fighting on the contested peninsula. The blasts and the fires were reported at an ammunition depot in Crimea, which is just the second attack on the Russian-occupied peninsula since the war began in February.

Moscow-controlled Crimea Administrator Sergei Aksyonov said the explosions injured at least two people in the village of Maiskoye. One report said that authorities evacuated about 2,000 people after the blasts. "The evacuation of residents is underway, people are taken out of the five-kilometer zone from the incident to ensure safety," Aksyonov said according to CNN. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak called the explosions at the Crimean ammo depot "demilitarization in action."

"Morning near Dzhankoi began with explosions," he said according to CNN. "A reminder: Crimea of the normal country is about the Black Sea, mountains, recreation and tourism, but Crimea occupied by Russians is about warehouses explosions and high risk of death for invaders and thieves." Russian officials said they are investigating the blasts, but reported no serious casualties. They initially said the explosions were caused by a fire in the area, but later blamed them on "sabotage."

IAEA warns of ‘grave hour’ amid fresh shelling of Zaporizhzhia plant, with region set to become new frontline
Jon Henley and Samantha Lock

Russia has rejected calls from the UN for a demilitarised zone around Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which has been occupied by Moscow’s forces since early March and lies in a region of Ukraine that is set to become a new frontline of the war. Russia’s permanent representative to the body, Vasily Nebenzya, told Interfax on Friday that Moscow must “protect” the Zaporizhzhia plant. A withdrawal of its troops would make the facility “vulnerable … to provocations and terrorist attacks”, he said.

The UN secretary general, António Guterres, had earlier called for all military personnel and equipment to be pulled out, saying the plant “should not be used as part of any military operations” and a demilitarised zone needed to be agreed. Both the US and France backed Guterres’ appeal. Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) nuclear watchdog, said officials must visit the plant as soon as possible. “This is a serious hour, a grave hour,” Grossi told the UN security council.

Tom Ambrose

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday told government officials to stop talking to reporters about Kyiv’s military tactics against Russia, saying such remarks were “frankly irresponsible”. In the wake of major blasts that wrecked a Russian air base in Crimea on Tuesday, the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers cited unidentified officials as saying Ukrainian forces were responsible. The government in Kyiv, on the other hand, declined to say whether it had been behind the explosions.

By Brad Lendon and Paul P. Murphy, CNN

CNN — At least seven Russian warplanes were destroyed after explosions rocked annexed Crimea on Tuesday, new satellite images show, in what CNN research found could be Moscow’s biggest loss of military aircraft in a single day since World War II. The destroyed warplanes appear to be Su-24 bombers and Su-30 multirole fighter jets, said Peter Layton, a fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute and a former Australian Air Force pilot, who examined Planet Lab satellite photos showing the Saki Air Base before and after the explosions. Two more warplanes appear to have been damaged, Layton said. On Wednesday, the Ukrainian armed forces added nine aircraft to the tally of Russian military hardware they say has been destroyed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February.

Reuters

MOSCOW, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Blasts rocked a Russian air base near seaside resorts in the annexed Crimean peninsula on Thursday, injuring five people according to local authorities in what Moscow attributed to detonations in ammunition stories. Local witnesses told Reuters they heard at least 12 explosions around 3:20 p.m. local time (1220 GMT) from the Saky air base near Novofedorivka on Crimea's western coast. They described a final blast around 30 minutes later as the loudest.

Crimea has so far been spared the intense bombardment and artillery combat that have taken place in other areas of eastern and southern Ukraine since Feb. 24, when President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian armed forces into Ukraine - including some based in the peninsula. Russia's defence ministry said the "detonation of several aviation ammunition stores" had caused an explosion, Russian news agencies reported, but that there had been no injuries.

John Bacon, Jeanine Santucci, Jorge L. Ortiz | USA TODAY

A drone attack at the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet wounded six people and shut down a festival marking Navy Day in the Crimean peninsula city of Sevastopol, the mayor said Sunday. "There were no fatalities, six people were injured, two in moderate condition, the rest are in stable condition," Mayor Mikhail Razvozhaev said on social media. The Black Sea Fleet’s press service said the drone appeared to be homemade and described the explosive device as “low-power." Crimean authorities raised the terrorism threat level for the region to “yellow,” the second-highest tier.

Pjotr Sauer

Russia has confirmed it carried out a missile strike on the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia, the latest in a string of deadly attacks on civilian areas, as worries in Ukraine grow that Russia is preparing a new assault in the east. The Russian defence ministry claimed in a military briefing on Friday that Thursday’s cruise missile attack was directed at a building where top officials from Ukraine’s air forces were meeting foreign arms suppliers. “The attack resulted in the elimination of the participants,” the ministry said. Ukraine has rejected Russian claims that any military target was hit, saying the attack, which took place hundreds of kilometres from the frontlines, killed at least 23 people – including three children – and struck a cultural centre used by retired veterans.

Michiel Willems

The Ukrainian military’s southern command said this morning that a rocket strike targeted a depot in Russian-held Nova Kakhovka, about 35 miles east of the important Black Sea port city of Kherson, which is also occupied by Russian forces. The Russian ammunition depot was apparently targeted by Ukrainian forces overnight, resulting in a massive blast captured on social media. The nature of the strike suggested that Ukrainian forces used US-supplied multiple-launch High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (Himars) to strike the area.

Russia’s Tass news agency offered a different account, saying the target was a mineral fertiliser storage facility that exploded, and that a market, hospital and houses were damaged. Some of the ingredients in fertiliser can be used for ammunition. Ukrainian authorities also said Russian fire struck the southern city of Mykolaiv on Tuesday morning, hitting two medical facilities and residential buildings. Four people were wounded in the shelling attack, Mykolaiv regional governor Vitaliy Kim said on Telegram.

By Tom Balmforth and Max Hunder

KYIV, July 4 (Reuters) - Russian forces in Ukraine will focus on trying to seize all of the Donetsk region, having forced Ukrainian troops to withdraw from the last major city under their control in the neighbouring Luhansk region, the governor of Luhansk said on Monday.

After abandoning an assault on Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, during the early weeks of the war, Russia concentrated its military operation on the industrial Donbas heartland that comprises the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, where Moscow-backed separatist proxies have been fighting Ukraine since 2014.

Russia said it had established full control over the Luhansk region after Ukrainian forces pulled out of the bombed-out city of Lysychansk. "In terms of the military, it is bad to leave positions, but there is nothing critical (in the loss of Lysychansk). We need to win the war, not the battle for Lysychansk," Governor Serhiy Gaidai told Reuters in an interview. "It hurts a lot, but it's not losing the war."

By FRANCESCA EBEL, Associated Press

BAKHMUT, Ukraine (AP) — Torched forests and cities burned to the ground. Colleagues with severed limbs. Bombardments so relentless the only option is to lie in a trench, wait and pray. Ukrainian soldiers returning from the front lines in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region — where Russia is waging a fierce offensive — describe life during what has turned into a grueling war of attrition as apocalyptic.

In interviews with The Associated Press, some complained of chaotic organization, desertions and mental health problems caused by relentless shelling. Others spoke of high morale, their colleagues’ heroism, and a commitment to keep fighting, even as the better-equipped Russians control more of the combat zone.

Lt. Volodymyr Nazarenko, 30, second-in-command of the Ukrainian National Guard’s Svoboda Battalion, was with troops who retreated from Sievierodonetsk under orders from military leaders. During a month-long battle, Russian tanks obliterated any potential defensive positions and turned a city with a prewar population of 101,000 into “a burnt-down desert,” he said.

By Ivana Kottasová, Yulia Kesaieva, Hannah Ritchie, Mariya Knight, Radina Gigova and Jonny Hallam, CNN

(CNN) Russia has taken control of Lysychansk, the last city in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine that was still under Ukrainian control. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin that the military had taken over Lysychansk and a number of nearby settlements on Sunday, according to the country's Ministry of Defense. Ukraine's military announced Sunday that it had been "forced to withdraw" from the critical city.

In his nightly televised address to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the retreat from Lysychansk was motivated to save the lives of Ukrainian troops. "We will rebuild the walls, we will win back the land, and people must be protected above all else," he said. Luhansk is one of the two regions that form Donbas, the eastern part of Ukraine where the conflict between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists started in 2014. The area has became the key centerpiece of Putin's military ambition in Ukraine after his troops failed to take over Kyiv earlier this year.

Reported attacks come a day after Russia announced it was withdrawing troops from Snake Island in the Black Sea.
By David Child, Federica Marsi and Sasha Petrova

Russian missile strikes on residential areas in Ukraine’s southwestern Odesa region have killed at least 18 people, including two children, Kyiv says. Moscow denies carrying out the attacks. Friday’s strikes come a day after Russia announced its troops had withdrawn from the Black Sea outpost of Snake Island as a “gesture of goodwill”. Ukraine has a “very clear European perspective”, the European Commission chief says, following the European Union’s decision to grant Kyiv candidacy status. Russian forces have captured part of an oil refinery in Lysychansk, according to a Ukrainian official, as Moscow presses for control of the eastern city.

By Max Hunder and Tom Balmforth

KYIV, June 30 (Reuters) - Russian forces abandoned the strategic Black Sea outpost of Snake Island on Thursday, in a major victory for Ukraine that could loosen a Russian grain export blockade threatening to worsen global hunger. Russia's defence ministry said it had decided to withdraw from the outcrop as a "gesture of goodwill" that showed Moscow was not obstructing U.N. efforts to open a humanitarian corridor allowing grains to be shipped from Ukraine's ports. Ukraine said it had driven the Russian forces out after a massive artillery and assault overnight. "KABOOM!" tweeted Andriy Yermak, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's chief of staff. "No Russian troops on the Snake Island anymore. Our Armed Forces did a great job."

By Josh Pennington, Irene Nasser and Jorge Engels, CNN

(CNN) Russian forces are now in control of most of Severodonetsk, the epicenter of the bloody battle for Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.
Street fighting continued to rage on Saturday in the eastern city, where Russian soldiers and Ukrainian troops are still locked in battle.
"The situation remains difficult. Fighting continues, but unfortunately, most of the city is under Russian control. Some positional battles are taking place in the streets," said Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Luhansk region, which makes up Donbas along with the neighboring Donetsk region. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the fight for the strategic city may dictate the outcome of the war in the east of the country.

Brendan Cole

ARussian mercenary—who is believed to have played a role in the killing of prisoners of war and civilians—has become the latest top military figure from Vladimir Putin's forces to be killed in the Ukraine war. Social media channels and Russian newspapers reported that Vladimir Andonov, 44, had been killed by a sniper in Ukraine's second city of Kharkiv. "He died at night during reconnaissance of the area, along with his comrade, presumably at the hands of a sniper," said the Peleng 03 telegram channel on Sunday, in a post reported by the mass circulation Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets. The Ukrainian-run "Peacemaker" database, which lists Russian military crimes, said that in February 2015, Andonov took part in the execution of prisoners of war of the Ukrainian army in Logvinova, Donbas in eastern Ukraine, where he had volunteered. The database describes him as a "Russian mercenary" and an "executioner."

Ukrainian officials say they have re-taken part of Severodonetsk, a key eastern city. Meanwhile, Russia is reportedly using unguided missiles in the Donbas region. CBS News foreign correspondent Imtiaz Tyab reports from Odesa.

By Natalia Zinets and Pavel Polityuk

KYIV, June 5 (Reuters) - Russia struck Ukraine's capital Kyiv with missiles early on Sunday for the first time in more than a month, while Ukrainian officials said a counter-attack on the main battlefield in the east had retaken half of the city of Sievierodonetsk. Dark smoke could be seen from many miles away after the attack on two outlying districts of Kyiv. Ukraine said the strike hit a rail car repair works; Moscow said it had destroyed tanks sent by Eastern European countries to Ukraine. Ukraine said Russia had carried out the strike using long-range air-launched missiles fired from heavy bombers as far away as the Caspian Sea - a weapon far more valuable than the tanks Russia claimed to have hit. Ukraine's nuclear power operator said a Russian cruise missile had flown "critically low" over the country's second largest nuclear power plant.

David Axe, Forbes Staff

Adramatic duel between a Russian “flamethrowing” rocket launcher and Ukrainian artillery somewhere in eastern Ukraine recently underscores a brutal truth about the fighting along that front, 100 days into Russia’s wider war on Ukraine. It’s an artillery fight. Big guns and rocket-launchers shooting at enemy troops while the enemy’s own big guns shoot back. Whoever shoots more, farther and faster should have the upper hand. The duel played out during a video shoot by Russian propagandists. The video’s host stood next to a TOS-1 thermobaric rocket launcher, bragging about the “demoralizing” effect of the 220-millimeter-diameter rockets. The TOS-1 is one of the more terrifying weapons in the Russian arsenal. Thermobaric munitions burst over their targets, spreading a fuel vapor before exploding and igniting the fuel—and creating a pressure wave that’s twice as powerful as that from a conventional artillery shell. “A fuel-air explosive can have the effect of a tactical nuclear weapon without residual radiation,” Lester Grau and Timothy Smith explained in a 2000 article in Marine Corps Gazette.

Ukraine says President Emmanuel Macron’s comments about not humiliating Russia ‘can only humiliate France’.

Ukraine has denounced French President Emmanuel Macron after he suggested it is imperative that Russia is not humiliated in its war to keep the door open for good diplomatic relations between the West and Moscow whenever the conflict ends. Macron’s comments raised the ire of Kyiv, which slammed the French president’s position. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said bluntly the comments “can only humiliate France”.

Ryan King

Leaders of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot are reportedly irate over an interview a former adviser conducted with CNN in which he disclosed details about the inquiry. David Buckley, the staff director of the panel, ripped into a CNN appearance by former Virginia GOP Rep. Denver Riggleman, the ex-adviser, and warned the committee members to adhere to their employment agreement, which stipulates that they must receive approval from Buckley before discussing the inquiry outside of work. “I want you to know that I am deeply disappointed in his decision to discuss the Select Committee’s work on television,” Buckley told staffers in a Wednesday email obtained by Politico. “His specific discussion about the content of subpoenaed records, our contracts, contractors and methodologies, and your hard work is unnerving." “That includes any conversation with Denver,” he continued. “Your commitment extends beyond your employment by the House as outlined in our handbook.”

By Kathryn Watson, Robert Legare

Former top Trump White House aide Peter Navarro has been indicted by a grand jury on two counts of contempt of Congress, according to court documents. But CBS News has learned former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino will not face prosecution, despite being referred for contempt for failing to appear in front of the Jan. 6 select committee. An official familiar with the matter confirmed to CBS News a letter was sent to the House committee telling them of the decision by the U.S. Attorney's office in D.C. "While today's indictment of Peter Navarro was the correct decision by the Justice Department, we find the decision to reward Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino for their continued attack on the rule of law puzzling. Mr. Meadows and Mr. Scavino unquestionably have relevant knowledge about President Trump's role in the efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the events of January 6th," said select committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, and Vice Chair Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, in a statement.

By Zoe Strozewski

An elite airborne Russian military unit has seen significant losses amid the war in Ukraine, so much so that one military analyst said that it was "absolutely annihilated" at one point in the offensive, according to The Moscow Times. The Times tracked and reconstructed the movements of the 31st Guards Air Assault Brigade over the past several months in a report released as the Russia-Ukraine War hit 100 days Friday. The unit was among those sent to help gain control of the Ukrainian town of Hostomel, a suburb of Kyiv, in early March, according to an assessment from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) cited by the Times. In the resulting conflict that saw Ukraine fighting to hold off Russia's advancement, "Russia's elite forces were absolutely annihilated," said Nick Reynolds, a military analyst at the British think tank Royal United Services Institute. The 100-day mark of the war is notable because when Russia initially invaded Ukraine on February 24 with its focus on the capital of Kyiv and surrounding areas, U.S. officials predicted a swift Russian victory. But Ukraine launched a passionate counteroffensive, eventually spurring Russia to switch its focus to the eastern Donbas region, home to the self-proclaimed People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, which Russia has recognized as independent. The reported heavy losses in the elite Russian airborne regiment reflect a larger deterioration of the country's image as a superior military power throughout these months of war.

By Ben Kesslen

Ukraine began evacuating its soldiers on Wednesday from the embattled city of Severodonetsk, the strategic eastern city that Russia has been battling to take over in a bid to control the Donbas region, local officials said. Ukrainian forces retreated after suffering big losses in the city that’s now about 80% controlled by Russian forces, Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai said Wednesday. “This is not a betrayal,” Haidai wrote in a post on Telegram. The governor said the retreat across the river to Severodonetsk’s twin city, Lysychansk, was part of their strategy to move to “more advantageous, pre-prepared positions” as they wait for shipments of Western weapons. Haidai said that as of Wednesday, about 70% of the city was under Russian control, while about 10 to 15% was in “a kind of gray zone” and the rest held by the Ukrainian defenders. Ukrainian military spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, however, declined to give an assessment of how much of the city had fallen to Moscow.

‘Sorry if I’ll be saying something that you don’t like’, said Ukraine’s leader to Newsmax
Gino Spocchia

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed the suggestion that Donald Trump could have stopped Russia from invading his country in an interview with Newsmax. Speaking on Tuesday with anchor Rob Schmitt, the Ukrainian leader said he “cannot predict” what would have happened if Mr Trump was still US president. Schmitt proposed: “There are many Americans that believe that if somebody like Donald Trump was still in the White House that this invasion would not have happened. What is your position?” “I am sorry if I’ll be saying something that you don’t like but for us as the country in war, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Democrats or Republicans,” Mr Zelensky replied.” It’s the people of the United States that support us”. Mr Zelensky continued by saying that “anybody could become the [US] president”, including those who did not like Ukraine and those who were empathetic towards Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.

Kate Buck·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK

Russia's army could be on the verge of collapse in the Ukraine, amid claims Vladimir Putin has seen the reported 30,000 dead troops as 'a price worth paying'. Putin ordered Kremlin troops into Ukraine on 24 February, but despite Western intelligence suggesting he anticipated an easy victory, has now spent almost 100 days waging war. Now a confidential report seen by The Mirror, written by a "top UK analyst on Russia" has claimed Putin still believes he can win a "partial victory" - despite those inside the Kremlin telling him the invasion has been a disaster. According to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as of 31 May, 30,500 Russian soldiers have so far been killed.

BY ISABEL VAN BRUGEN

The Russian command is holding hostage the families of troops who refuse to perform combat missions in Ukraine, according to Ukrainian intelligence. The Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, the military intelligence service of the Ukrainian government, said in a report Monday that Russian forces currently stationed in occupied areas in eastern Ukraine who refuse to fight are being issued with ultimatums. "If the occupiers refuse to perform combat missions, their wives and children are threatened with relocation to the depressed regions of the Far East," the subdivision of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said on the Telegram messaging app. The families of Russian forces in the country's western military district are also barred from leaving the country, the ministry said.

Anton Troianovski

Natalia Abiyeva is a real estate agent specializing in rental apartments in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, east of Moscow. But lately, she has been learning a lot about battlefield medicine. Packets of hemostatic granules, she found out, can stop catastrophic bleeding; decompression needles can relieve pressure in a punctured chest. At a military hospital, a wounded commander told her that a comrade died in his arms because there were no airway tubes available to keep him breathing. Abiyeva, 37, has decided to take matters into her own hands. On Wednesday, she and two friends set out in a van for the Ukrainian border for the seventh time since the war began in February, bringing onions, potatoes, two-way radios, binoculars, first-aid gear and even a mobile dentistry set. Since the start of the war, she said, she has raised more than $60,000 to buy food, clothes and equipment for Russian soldiers serving in Ukraine.

kcorcoran@businessinsider.com (Kieran Corcoran)

Two regional officials in Russia were branded traitors and ordered to leave a legislative meeting after calling on Vladimir Putin to end the invasion of Ukraine. Deputies Leonid Vasyukevich and Gennady Shulga spoke at a meeting on Friday of the legislative assembly of Primorsky Krai in far eastern Russia. Both are part of Russia's Communist Party. Video of the meeting shows Vasyukevich unexpectedly calling on Putin to end the war, which he said is failing and costing many Russian lives. Shulga later speaks in his support. Vasyukevich starts speaking about 1 hour 59 minutes into the clip:

Lee Bullen, Zenger News

A released video purportedly shows the moment pro-Russian troops shelled hidden Ukrainian positions, inflicting "heavy losses." The People's Militia of the the so-called Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) claim they inflicted heavy losses on the Ukrainian forces with the support of high-tech drones. The DPR militia said on May 26: "Ukrainian nationalists suffer losses in the area of Novomikhailovsky. "Soldiers of the People's Militia of the DPR, with the support of modern UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles], conduct accurate mortar fire on Ukrainian nationalists. As a result, the enemy suffered heavy losses." In other developments, Ukrainian officials said Russian forces have attacked more than 40 towns in the eastern Donbas region. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Donbas could be left uninhabited by the invasion and accused Russia of carrying out a genocide in the region.

Isabel van Brugen

ARussian official who demanded that President Vladimir Putin end the war against Ukraine was branded a traitor, escorted out of a high-level meeting and denied the right to vote, according to local media reports. During a meeting of the Legislative Assembly of Russia's Primorsky Krai in the far east of the country, a member of Russia's Communist Party faction, Leonid Vasyukevich, appealed to Putin to stop the months-long war in Ukraine and to withdraw his troops from the country. Speaking on behalf of four party members in a rare critique of what Putin describes a "special military operation," Vasyukevich said he and his colleagues had signed an appeal to the president. "We understand that if our country does not stop the military operation, there will be even more orphans in our country," said Vasyukevich. "During the military operation, young people who could bring great benefit to our country die and become disabled." He added, "We demand the immediate withdrawal of the troops of the Russian Federation."

Advancing Russian forces have come closer to surrounding Ukrainian troops in the eastern Donbas region, gaining ground as they press forward with their assault. But Kyiv says it is not prepared to give up any territory to appease Moscow.

Lee Bullen, Zenger News

The Russian Armed Forces apparently blasted Ukrainian positions with thermobaric warheads as Ukraine's Defense Ministry called on NATO to urgently supply the country with similar weapons. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said the Russians used a TOS-1 multiple rocket launcher to strike at Ukrainian targets near Novomykhailivka in the eastern region of Donetsk Oblast. The 30-barrel or 24-barrel multiple rocket launcher, mounted on a T-72 tank chassis, is capable of firing thermobaric warheads, a type of explosive that uses oxygen in the surrounding area to generate a high-temperature blast. Ukraine also called Russia's invasion the "largest and most horrific war of the 21st century" and appealed to NATO to supply Ukrainians with similar Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) as soon as possible. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Thursday: "Russian TOS-1s shelling Ukrainian positions near Novomykhailivka, Donetsk region. "This is what the largest and most horrific war of the 21st century looks like. Ukraine is ready to strike back. To do this, we need NATO-style MLRS [Multiple Launch Rocket Systems]. Immediately!"

CBS News

Ukraine's Ministry of Defense on Thursday posted aerial video of what it said was Russian rockets hitting Ukrainian positions in the eastern part of the country as the 3-month-old war rages on. The ministry said the video shows a series of rocket blasts hitting targets near Novomykhailivka, in the Donetsk region, triggering shockwaves and large plumes of smoke. "This is what largest and most horrific war of the 21st century looks like," the Ministry of Defense said. The ministry added that "Ukraine is ready to strike back" — but can only do so it gets NATO-style multiple launch rocket systems "immediately."

Emma Helfrich

Videos have surfaced showing the terrifying detonation of what are likely rounds from Russia’s TOS-1A multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) during an attack in Ukraine. The clips may serve as some of the first recorded footage of the TOS-1A Solntsepek, or Sunshine, striking Ukrainian positions. The blasts are said to have occurred near Novomykhailivka and Lyman, both in the Donetsk region in Donbas. In the footage, the massive shockwaves that the thermobaric rounds cause can clearly be seen, with multiple explosions occurring at once during the attack. The phenomenon you are seeing, which thermobaric weapons are especially prone to produce, is called a condensation cloud, or Wilson cloud. A sufficiently large explosion in high-humidity conditions like those that we appear to see in the video will cause a drop in density in the air around it, which in turn temporarily cools the air and causes some of the water vapor therein to condense. This creates the ominous bubble-like clouds seen in the clip.

John Bacon, Celina Tebor | USA TODAY

The decomposing bodies of 200 people were found in the basement of a bombed-out apartment building in battered Mariupol, authorities said Tuesday, marking the latest in a series of dismal discoveries since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began three months ago. Mayoral adviser Petro Andryushchenk said local residents had refused Russian demands to collect the bodies of the dead, so Russia's Ministry of Emergencies left the bodies amid the rubble. Mariupol has been left in ruins by weeks of missile attacks. Last week the last Ukrainian fighters surrendered, giving Russia complete control of the city that was home to 450,000 people before the war. An estimated 100,000 remain. Mayor Vadym Boychenko claims the Russian bombardment of the city killed thousands of civilians.

Daniel Michaels

Bridging a river under enemy fire is one of the toughest tasks any land force can face. Russia is offering the world lessons in how not to do it, say Western combat veterans. Since launching its large-scale invasion of Ukraine three months ago, Russia has sought to cross several rivers using temporary floating bridges so its troops could advance. Many of the attempts went badly. Early in the war, Russian forces deployed pontoons to cross the Irpin River near Kyiv, seeking to seize the village of Moshchun and attack the capital. Ukrainian artillery destroyed several of the bridges, some with Russian vehicles on them. Moscow got a number of men and vehicles across to engage in heavy fighting, but not enough to seize the village, contributing to Russia’s subsequent failure to take Kyiv. Russian forces have recently tried repeatedly to cross the Siverskyi Donets River in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, in one attempt losing more than 80 vehicles during intense fighting, according to open-source estimates, or roughly equivalent to a battalion tactical group.

By ELENA BECATOROS, OLEKSANDR STASHEVSKYI and RICARDO MAZALAN

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A Russian soldier who pleaded guilty to killing a Ukrainian civilian was sentenced to life in prison on Monday in the first war crimes trial since Moscow invaded three months ago, unleashing a brutal conflict that has led to accusations of atrocities, left thousands dead, driven millions from their homes and flattened whole swaths of cities. In a rare public expression of opposition to the war from the ranks of the Russian elite, a veteran diplomat resigned and sent a letter to foreign colleagues in which he said he had never been so ashamed as on the day Moscow invaded. Since then, a stiff Ukrainian resistance has bogged Russian troops down, thwarting their attempt to take the capital, and the two sides are now fighting village by village in the eastern Donbas region. As the war rages on, judicial authorities worked to hold one low-level soldier to account in a speedy trial.

The Associated Press

HELSINKI — Russia halted gas exports to neighboring Finland on Saturday, a highly symbolic move that came just days after the Nordic country announced it wanted to join NATO and marked a likely end to Finland's nearly 50 years of importing natural gas from Russia. The measure taken by the Russian energy giant Gazprom was in line with an earlier announcement following Helsinki's refusal to pay for the gas in rubles as Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded European countries do since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. The Finnish state-owned gas company Gasum said that "natural gas supplies to Finland under Gasum's supply contract have been cut off" by Russia on Saturday morning at 7 a.m. local time (0400 GMT). The announcement follows Moscow's decision to cut off electricity exports to Finland earlier this month and an earlier decision by the Finnish state-controlled oil company Neste to replace imports of Russian crude oil with crude oil from elsewhere. After decades of energy cooperation that was seen beneficial for both Helsinki — particularly in the case of inexpensive Russian crude oil — and Moscow, Finland's energy ties with Russia are now all but gone.

Valentyna Romanenko | Ukrayinska Pravda

Strike aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force destroyed over a dozen pieces of Russian military equipment, including 2 Solntsepek thermobaric multiple rocket launchers, on Saturday, 21 May. [Solntsepek, or TOS-1A is a multi-barrel rocket launch system. The system is equipped with a rack of incendiary or thermobaric rockets and has high destructive capacity. The Soviets called this a "heavy flamethrower." - ed.]

Source: Air Force Command spokesman, Yurii Ihnat, on Facebook

Quote: "The Air Force’s strike aircraft successfully completed its operation on 21 May. At least 12 pieces of the aggressor’s military equipment have been destroyed, including 2 Solntsepek heavy flamethrower systems."

Lee Bullen, Zenger News

Ukrainian special ops troops destroyed a Russian missile system that had just received new ammo to launch an offensive against them, Ukraine military officials say. The Special Operations Forces (SSO) said they saw the enemy receiving new ammo for their anti-tank missile systems, and managed to strike the first – and only – blow. The Ukrainian military claimed that they killed the Russian "anti-tank fighters" and the new gear they had just received. The Command of the SSO of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said Friday: "In the duel of the 'birdwatchers', operators of the SSO of Ukraine won.

David Axe, Forbes Staff

With a thunderous artillery barrage, the Russian army on Thursday launched its latest offensive in Ukraine. Much of what’s left of the Russian army—106 or so under-strength battalion tactical groups, down from 125 full-strength BTGs at the start of the war in late February—attacked north and west from Popasna in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region. The ultimate target is obvious. “Russian troops are attempting to siege and destroy Severodonetsk,” the Ukrainian armed forces tweeted on Thursday. Popasna is the locus of Russian forces on the southern side of the Severodonetsk pocket, an area under Ukrainian control that extends west from the city—pre-war population, 100,000—and is surrounded on the north, east and south by areas under Russian and separatist control. The three or so Ukrainian brigades in and around Severodonetsk include 5,000 or more troops. They’ve dug in and blown bridges leading into the city. Still, they’re vulnerable. Just one main road threads across the pocket through the town of Bakhmut to Severodonetsk. It’s along this route that the main Ukrainian army pushes supplies to the city’s garrison.

Ret. Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling joins Ana Cabrera to discuss reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin is making tactical military decisions in Russia's months-long war in Ukraine.

Holly Ellyatt

In a country where independent media and commentary has all but disappeared from public view, it’s rare to hear dissenting voices on the many state-controlled TV networks in Russia — particularly now with the country at war with Ukraine. But one well-known military analyst and veteran has stood out this week after he appeared on state TV and gave a damning assessment of the Ukraine invasion, or what Russia calls its “special military operation.” “The situation, frankly speaking, will get worse for us,” Mikhail Khodaryonok, a retired Russian army colonel, told the “60 Minutes” talk show on Rossiya-1 TV program hosted by Olga Skabeyeva, who’s renowned for her pro-Kremlin stance.

Ukrayinska Pravda

Russian military personnel are refusing to approach Bilohorivka (Luhansk Oblast) and they are no longer attempting to force their way across the Siverskyi Donets river, because it is "scary" for them.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A 21-year-old Russian soldier facing the first war crimes trial since Moscow invaded Ukraine pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing an unarmed civilian. Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin could get life in prison for shooting a a 62-year-old Ukrainian man in the head through an open car window in the northeastern Sumy region on Feb. 28, four days into the invasion. Shishimarin, a captured member of a Russian tank unit, was prosecuted under a section of the Ukrainian criminal code that addresses the laws and customs of war. Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova previously said her office was readying war crimes cases against 41 Russian soldiers for offenses that included bombing civilian infrastructure, killing civilians, rape and looting. It was not immediately clear how many of the suspects are in Ukrainian hands and how many would be tried in absentia. Prosecutors plan to continue presenting evidence against Shishimarin following his guilty plea, although the trial is like to be shorter.

William McGee, Zenger News

Footage released by the Russian military reportedly shows a Russian vessel launching a salvo of missiles into the night sky and plumes of smoke rising from a field after enemy targets are hit. The video also shows a missile being fired into the sky from a vehicle daubed with a "Z" and another rocket being propelled at a target, which is then seen exploding. The missiles fired from the Black Sea vessel reportedly wiped out weapons and military equipment received from abroad, in addition to killing enemy troops. Ukrainian command posts and ammo dumps were also among the targets reportedly destroyed in the latest wave of Russian strikes. Zenger News obtained the footage from the Ministry of Defense (MoD) of the Russian Federation on Tuesday. The Russian MoD said (in English): "The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation in Ukraine. "The surrender of fighters from the Azov nationalist unit and Ukrainian servicemen blocked at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol began yesterday. "Over the past 24 hours, 265 militants have laid down arms and surrendered, including 51 seriously wounded. All those in need of medical assistance were sent for treatment to a hospital in Novoazovsk, Donetsk People's Republic.

By Natalie Colarossi

Several contracted soldiers in Russia have been sent to fight in Ukraine against their will and told that they could face criminal charges if they attempt to quit, according to a new report. Relatives of contract soldiers told Meduza, an independent Russian news outlet that operates out of Latvia, that it is nearly impossible for them to resign from the military service. According to the news outlet, Russians can enlist as a contract soldier instead of carrying out compulsory military service if they have received higher education or vocational training. Newsweek could not independently verify these claims and has contacted Russia's Defense Ministry for comment.

Commanders of Ukrainian units stationed in Mariupol's massive Azovstal steelworks plant have been ordered "to save the lives of their personnel," according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as they announced the end of their "combat mission" in the besieged southern city.

By Jason Lemon

Russian mini-bloggers are "shocked" at their military's "incompetence" as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to push his internationally condemned invasion of Ukraine, a new report said. Moscow began the full-scale unprovoked assault on its Eastern European neighbor on February 24, drawing rapid backlash from the majority of United Nations General Assembly countries. Although the Kremlin reportedly believed that Russian troops could easily take control of much of Ukraine's territory and topple Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's government, they have largely failed to achieve their objectives. After reports surfaced Wednesday that Ukraine had destroyed a Russian unit attempting to traverse the strategically significant Siversky Donets river in Ukraine's southeastern Donbas region, a number of Russian observers of the conflict reportedly became alarmed. Drone footage has since confirmed the reports of the Russian unit's destruction, the Atlantic Council reported Friday. In a Saturday report, the Institute for the Study of War explained that the tone coming from Russian mini-bloggers shifted after news of the unit's destruction emerged.

By Tim Lister, Veronica Stracqualursi and Hira Humayun, CNN

(CNN) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with a congressional delegation led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kyiv Saturday, and called for Russia to officially be recognized as a "terrorist state," he said Saturday in his nightly address. McConnell said in a statement Saturday evening after the delegation had "just left" Ukraine that it was an "honor" to meet with Zelensky and his senior advisers. McConnell was joined on the unannounced trip by Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Cornyn of Texas. McConnell and the other senators became the latest US officials to visit Ukraine since Russia invaded the eastern European nation in late February.

Reuters

May 15 (Reuters) - A missile strike hit some military infrastructure in the western Ukrainian region of Lviv early on Sunday, the region's Governor Maxim Kozitsky said in a post on the Telegram messaging app.

Emma Helfrich

An image has emerged online reportedly showing that Russian forces are now using 2S4 Tyulpan 240mm mortars, the largest weapons of this general type in service anywhere in the world, to fire laser-guided rounds at the Azovstal steel plant in the southern port city of Mariupol. The news comes just days after Ukrainian fighters inside the complex insisted surrender was not an option.

Jackson Cooper

The Drive reports that the Ukrainian military has been using UTVs, thought to be Polaris Rangers and Polaris MRZR Alphas, armed with Stugna-P antitank guided missiles to combat Russian tanks. These antitank guided missiles, or ATGMs, can be mounted on vehicles, shoulder fired, or launched from the ground. There have been reports of Ukraine’s military using UTVs as far back as 2019, before the current conflict with Russia. Some of these have been seen with ATGMs mounted on them while others seem to just be used as transportation. The guided missiles have been extremely important for Ukraine in the war, and have been one of the most popular methods of combating Russian tanks, along with US-made Javelin missiles.

Lawrence Richard

Russia said it would cut off electricity to Finland starting Saturday as it claims the country has not paid, a state-owned power company said. RAO Nordic, a subsidiary of Inter ROA, said it will stop exporting electricity to Finland without providing specifics amid larger tensions across Europe beset by the Russia-Ukraine War, Reuters reported. "This situation is exceptional and happened for the first time in over twenty years of our trading history," RAO Nordic said in a statement, per the report. Electrical services, which account for 10% of the country’s total consumption, were discontinued "for the time being" at 1 a.m. local time, Finnish grid operator Fingrid said, according to the report. "Missing imports can be replaced in the electricity market by importing more electricity from Sweden and also by domestic production," the company added, Reuters reported. According to the report, Fingrid is not involved in the dispute. "Nord Pool is the one paying for them. Fingrid is not a party in this electricity trade. We provide the transfer connection from Russia to Finland," Reima Paivinen, Fingrid's senior-vice president for operations told the outlet.

By Matthew Chapman | Raw Story

On Thursday, the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol issued subpoenas to five GOP members of the House, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), after the members refused to comply with voluntary cooperation. The move raises the question of whether GOP lawmakers will comply with the subpoena. But according to Guardian reporter Hugo Lowell, committee insiders believe they have sprung a trap for Republicans should they refuse to do so. Specifically, wrote Lowell on Twitter, Democrats believe that the GOP refusing to comply with the subpoenas would set a precedent that Democratic members of Congress could also refuse to comply with subpoenas if Republicans win control of the House this fall and open investigations into their side. Several of these Republicans had contact with former President Donald Trump on the day of the Capitol attack, and have been cagey about what exactly happened in those exchanges. POLITICO has noted that Republicans seem prepared to risk that eventuality, with members planning to invoke the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution to declare themselves immune from such litigation in their duty as lawmakers.

By Matt Egan, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business) David Beasley, head of the United Nations World Food Programme, is pleading with Russian President Vladimir Putin to reopen Ukraine's Black Sea ports before global calamity strikes. "Millions of people around the world will die because these ports are being blocked," Beasley told CNN during a conference on Thursday. Asked what he would say directly to Putin, the UN official said: "If you have any heart at all for the rest of the world, regardless of how you feel about Ukraine, you need to open up those ports." Vital shipments of agriculture from Ukraine, known as the breadbasket of the world, are stuck in the war-torn nation because the port of Odessa and neighboring ports have been blocked by Russian officials.

Reuters

KYIV, May 12 (Reuters) - One of the fighters holed up in a steelworks besieged by Russian forces in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol has appealed to SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk to help evacuate them. Many civilians were rescued from the sprawling Azovstal plant last week under an agreement with Russia, but no deal has been reached with Moscow on allowing out hundreds of fighters, some of whom are wounded, after weeks of bombardment.

By Michael Wasiura in Tbilisi, Georgia

Since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the world has been shocked by scenes of massacred civilians and flattened residential blocks. Even in Kremlin-controlled media, the images have not been censored — they have been spun. As a result, many Russians still believe in the version of events presented to them by their televisions: that Russia is fighting to liberate Ukraine from Nazism. In many cases, not even the first-hand accounts of their Ukrainian relatives can convince Russians that the Kremlin's made-for-TV narrative does not correspond to the reality on the ground. Until March, Guran, a mechanic, and Yulia, a doctor, lived in the northern city of Kharkiv. Since the start of the war, the city has come under almost daily Russian bombardment.

Ukrainians from the Black Sea coast fled to Odesa in hopes of finding safety. The renewed Russian missile campaign against the port city has robbed them of a feeling of security.
By Phil McCausland

ODESA, Ukraine — Much of Ukraine remained quiet on Russia’s Victory Day and after, despite rampant speculation that the Kremlin would target its cities with missile strikes and bombardments. Odesa, however, was not so lucky. Its residents were ordered to stay home Monday, and European Council President Charles Michel had to take cover during a visit with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal as seven Russian missiles struck the southern port city, Ukraine’s Operational Command South said, killing at least one person and injuring several others. As Russian forces have attempted to push west along the Black Sea, Odesa is one of Ukraine’s final strongholds on the country’s southern coast, but increasing missile strikes in recent weeks have placed additional strain on those who live or have fled here.

EXCLUSIVE by Sara Sidner, Sandi Sidhu, Vasco Cotovio, Kostyantyn Gak and Oleksandra Titorova, CNN

Kyiv, Ukraine (CNN) Russian soldiers shot two unarmed civilians as they walked away after an encounter in the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. CNN has obtained surveillance video of what is now being investigated as a war crime by Ukrainian prosecutors. Both civilians died after the heartless shooting that goes against the so-called rules of war that outlaw the targeting of civilians. CNN has identified the victims. One was the owner of the vehicle dealership that was looted, whose family does not want to be named. The other was Leonid Oleksiyovych Plyats, a 68-year-old grandfather who worked as a guard there.

By VANESSA GERA

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A man in a Russian military uniform stood at the entrance of a large home improvement store in Poland’s capital, saluting shoppers and thanking them for funding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. His chest bedecked with medals, Polish activist Arkadiusz Szczurek was protesting at a French-owned retailer Leroy Merlin store in Warsaw as shoppers flocked to buy plants and gardening equipment with spring’s arrival. Some shoppers turned around to go elsewhere. Others were indifferent or irritated. “Millions of Ukrainians are forced to flee the bombs and shooting, (and) people are dying,” Ukrainian activist Natalia Panchenko said at the rally last weekend. “But they keep doing business and see no problem with financing the war.”

By Tim Lister and Sanyo Fylyppov, CNN

(CNN) A Russian merchant ship loaded with grain stolen in Ukraine has been turned away from at least one Mediterranean port and is now in the Syrian port of Latakia, according to shipping sources and Ukrainian officials.
CNN has identified the vessel as the bulk carrier Matros Pozynich. On April 27, the ship weighed anchor off the coast of Crimea, and turned off its transponder. The next day it was seen at the port of Sevastopol, the main port in Crimea, according to photographs and satellite images. The Matros Pozynich is one of three ships involved in the trade of stolen grain, according to open source research and Ukrainian officials. Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, produces little wheat because of a lack of irrigation. But the Ukrainian regions to its north, occupied by Russian forces since early March, produce millions of tons of grain every year. Ukrainian officials say thousands of tons are now being trucked into Crimea.

By Isabel van Brugen

Russia said Thursday one person was killed and seven people were injured as a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces in a village in its Belgorod region bordering Ukraine. Ukraine was accused a day earlier of shelling the village of Solokhi in the southwest of the Belgorod region, near the border with Ukraine. Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of the Russian province, said earlier that one person had been killed and six were wounded, but provided a casualty update on his Telegram channel Thursday morning. "Seven wounded, another victim was brought late at night. Everyone is provided with qualified medical care, medicines are available in full. One person died. We will provide material assistance to all the victims and the family of the deceased," Gladkov said. The governor said gas supply in the village that had been disrupted was restored.

Giulia Carbonaro

The Ukrainian counteroffensive appears to have pushed Russian troops past the Ukrainian village of Ternova and back to the Russian border, according to unverified reports in both Forbes and the Daily Mail. If confirmed, a retreat of the Russian troops from the area around Kharkiv would be a significant success for Ukraine, freeing up troops to fight in the south of the country and giving respite to the devastated city of Kharkiv. On the other hand, a Russian retreat would be a terrible humiliation for Moscow and yet another setback in the invasion of Ukraine, merely weeks after troops retreated from the areas surrounding Kyiv in early April under the Kremlin's order.

wbostock@businessinsider.com (Bill Bostock)

Russia is having to use computer chips intended for home appliances to repair its military hardware due to the impact of US sanctions, according to a US official. "We have reports from Ukrainians that when they find Russian military equipment on the ground, it's filled with semiconductors that they took out of dishwashers and refrigerators," commerce secretary Gina Raimondo told the Senate Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday. Raimondo recently met with Ukrainian officials who told her that they found parts from refrigerators and commercial and industrial machines when searching captured or abandoned Russian tanks, The Washington Post reported. Raimondo told the committee that exports of US technology to Russia have fallen by just under 70% as a result of sanctions, the first of which were imposed in late February.

David Axe, Forbes Staff

The better part of a Russian army battalion—50 or so vehicles and up to a thousand troops—in recent days tried to cross a pontoon bridge spanning the Siverskyi Donets River, running west to east between the separatist provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian artillery caught them at the river bank—and destroyed them. The rapid destruction of around three dozen tanks and other armored vehicles, along with the bridge itself, underscores Russia’s deepening woes as its troops try, and fail, to make meaningful gains in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region. “We still assess Russian ground force in the Donbas to be slow and uneven,” an unnamed U.S. Defense Department official told reporters on Tuesday. The Russians’ inability to cross rivers might explain their sloth. The Siverskyi Donets, which threads from southern Russia into eastern Ukraine then back into Russia, is just one of several water barriers Russian battalions must cross in order to advance west into Ukrainian-held territory. According to the Ukrainian armed forces’ general staff, the battalion that got caught at the pontoon bridge apparently was trying to strike at Lyman, a city of 20,000 that lies 17 miles west of the doomed pontoon bridge.

British intelligence says Russian forces are likely to redeploy to eastern bank of Siverskyi Donets river
Shweta Sharma

The Russian army has suffered heavy losses including the destruction of around three dozen tanks after the Ukrainian army blew up a pontoon bridge over the Siverskyi Donets river in the Luhansk region, according to reports. Satellite images collected by geospatial intelligence firm BlackSky show that a pontoon bridge – used primarily but not invariably for military purposes – was destroyed on 10 May after Ukrainian artillery struck the bridge and surrounding area. The images show smoke emanating from the half-sunken bridge with destroyed armoured vehicles lying on the shores of the Siverskyi Donets river, running west to east between Russian rebels-controlled provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine. On Wednesday, the Ukrainian defence ministry shared the same images, saying Ukrainian ground forces, artillerymen of the 17th tank brigade, “have opened the holiday season for ruscists”, referring to Russian soldiers.

Lee Bullen, Zenger News

Russian released video Wednesday of its Ka-52 'Alligator' helicopters taking to the sky and reportedly destroying Ukrainian ammo depots and armored vehicles. The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said pilots of the Ka-52 Alligator reconnaissance and attack helicopters destroyed Ukrainian ammunition depots and armored vehicles in an unspecified region of Ukraine. The combat helicopter is capable of stealthily "sneaking up" on a target outside the range of enemy air defense systems, destroying it, and quickly avoiding possible return fire at maximum speed. The "Alligator" can attack and defend, providing cover for military columns on the ground and reliable rear support for transport helicopters in the air. Crew commander Boris said: "We carried out operations to destroy enemy strongholds. We carried out a flight and worked in two pairs, hitting the targets and returning to base. "Everyone is alive and well. In these conditions, the helicopter is proven to be effective. It allowed us to emerge in front of the forest without alerting the enemy."

By Mark Thompson and Anna Cooban, CNN Business

London (CNN Business) Ukraine suspended the flow of some Russian natural gas to Europe on Wednesday, blaming Moscow for diverting supplies from the vital pipeline network. Russian gas, a key source of energy for Germany and many other EU economies, had continued to flow uninterrupted through pipelines across Ukraine since President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to invade in February. But in a statement late Tuesday, the Ukrainian gas transmission system operator said it had decided to suspend operations at a major transit point because of "interference by the occupying forces." The Sokhranivka measuring station handles as much as 32.6 million cubic meters per day, or about a third of the Russian gas that flows via Ukraine to Europe, the operator said. It said Russian interference, including the unauthorized diversion of gas, had "endangered the stability and safety" of the system.

By Henry Klapper, CNN

(CNN Business) Two Russian reporters appeared to post at least 30 articles on Monday that criticized President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. CNN reviewed the articles, which were taken down almost immediately after they were published on a pro-Kremlin news site. Some were pegged to the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union's defeat of Nazi Germany, while others criticized Putin for using Russia's Victory Day to justify his violent onslaught in Ukraine. Reporters Egor Polyakov and Alexandra Miroshnikova made several claims in their articles, including that Russian defense officials were "lying to relatives" of those killed on the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet flagship. They directly accused Putin of launching one of the "bloodiest wars of the 21st century." "Putin and his circle are doomed to face a tribunal after the end of the war," Polyakov and Miroshnikova published to the news site Lenta.ru. "Putin and his associates won't be able to justify themselves or flee after losing this war."

Giulia Carbonaro

Russian troops in Ukraine appear to be rapidly retreating from the areas around Kharkiv while Ukrainian armed forces make significant advances north and northwest of the city, as shown by unverified maps tracking Moscow's invasion of the neighboring country.

By Max Bearak and Isabelle Khurshudyan Washington Post

BUCHA, Ukraine — The mere sight of a child here - wearing sunglasses, pulling a scooter, bugging his mother to buy him candy — was enough to impress Petro Trotsenko, a stall owner at a market in Bucha that reopened this past week. Just over a month ago, the market lay bare, looted of all its wares, cut up by shrapnel. The nearby glass factory where Trotsenko, 74, worked in his younger years was being used as a torture chamber by Russian soldiers occupying this suburb of Kyiv. The bodies of 22 people from his neighborhood, summarily executed over the course of March, lay where they had fallen in the streets. Nearly every yard was filled with rubble, burned-out vehicles and makeshift graves. Nearly every family with children had fled. Trotsenko and his wife, who hid for weeks in their basement, burned wood from the fence that surrounded their house to boil rainwater. That's how they cooked the gruel that kept them alive. But in about the same amount of time as the Russians occupied Bucha, the city has remade itself. The market is open, and Trotsenko has restocked. Huge divots in roads where the shells fell have been paved over. The suburban train to Kyiv is running again. Water and electricity have been largely restored. Families are returning.

David AxeForbes Staff

H.I. Sutton, an independent journalist focusing on naval warfare, has spotted more than a dozen of the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s remaining warships, intact and underway. They include Admiral Makarov, one of the fleet’s three frigates and arguably the top target for Ukraine’s drones and anti-ship missile batteries. Sutton’s analysis of new commercial satellite imagery seems to confirm that last week’s rumors about a successful Ukrainian attack on Admiral Makarov were just that—rumors. The frigate survives. But it’s worth noting where Sutton found Admiral Makarov on or before Monday: sailing near Sevastopol in the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula. In other words, close to home.

By James Pearson

NEWPORT, Wales (Reuters) -Russia was behind a massive cyberattack against a satellite internet network which took tens of thousands of modems offline at the onset of Russia-Ukraine war, the United States, Britain, Canada, Estonia and the European Union said on Tuesday. The digital assault against Viasat's KA-SAT network in late February took place just as Russian armour pushed into Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the cyberattack was intended "to disrupt Ukrainian command and control during the invasion, and those actions had spillover impacts into other European countries."

By ELENA BECATOROS and JON GAMBRELL | Associated Press

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (AP) — Russian troops pounded the vital port of Odesa, Ukrainian officials said Tuesday, an apparent effort to disrupt the supply lines and Western weapons shipments critical to Kyiv’s defense. Ukraine’s ability to stymie a larger, better-armed Russian military has surprised many who had anticipated a much quicker conflict. With the war now in its 11th week and Kyiv bogging Russian forces down and even staging a counteroffensive, Ukraine’s foreign minister appeared to suggest the country could expand its aims beyond merely pushing Russia back to areas it or its allies held on the day of the Feb. 24 invasion. One of the most dramatic examples of Ukraine’s ability to deny Moscow easy victories has been Mariupol, where Ukrainian fighters remained holed up at a steel plant, denying Russia’s full control of the city. The regiment defending the plant said Tuesday that Russian warplanes continued pounding it. In recent days, the United Nations and Red Cross organized a rescue of what some officials said were the last civilians trapped at the plant. But on Tuesday, two officials said about 100 were believed to still be in the complex’s underground tunnels. Others said that was impossible to confirm.

Lexi Lonas

Chinese tech firms are leaving Russia amid crippling sanctions the international community has put on the region, people familiar with the issue told The Wall Street Journal. Tech companies such as Lenovo Group Ltd. and Xiaomi Corp. are restricting shipments to Russia as sanctions have made it difficult to operate financially in the country, sources told the outlet. A number of Chinese companies have avoided publicly announcing why they are pulling business from Russia after the Chinese government said businesses had to fight against Western sanctions. China’s Ministry of Commerce told companies in April “not to submit to external coercion and make improper external statements,” according to the Journal.

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