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

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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