Putin aide warns West of ‘missile with nuclear charge coming to them’

G7 summit: Zelensky and Fumio Kishida lay wreaths at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima

At least one person was killed and 15 wounded in a Russian missile strike on a clinic in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro on Friday, Volodymyr Zelensky has said.

The Ukrainian president denounced the attack as a crime against humanity, as the Ukrainian Defence Ministry called it a serious war crime under the Geneva Conventions, which set out how soldiers and civilians should be treated in war.

Pictures show a devastated building with smoke pouring out of it and rescue workers looking on. Much of the upper floor of what appeared to be a three-storey building had been badly damaged, as had cars parked nearby.

“Another (Russian) missile attack, another crime against humanity,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter.

“The buildings of a psychological clinic and a veterinary clinic in the city of Dnipro were destroyed. As of now, one person was killed and 15 were wounded.”

Russia has denied repeated accusations that its soldiers have committed war crimes in Ukraine.

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Ukraine conflict may last for decades, negotiation with ‘clown’ Zelensky impossible, says Medvedev

A senior ally of president Vladimir Putin said the conflict in Ukraine could last for decades and that negotiations with Ukraine were impossible as long as Western-backed president Volodymyr Zelensky was in power.

Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine triggered the deadliest European conflict since the Second World War and the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Thousands of people have been killed or seriously wounded in the conflict, whose roots date to 2014 after a pro-Russian president was toppled in Ukraine’s popular Maidan uprising. Russia also annexed the Crimea peninsula that year and Russian-backed separatists seized swathes of eastern Ukraine.

“This conflict will last for a very long time. For decades, probably. This is a new reality,” Russian security council deputy chairman Dmitry Medvedev was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

He said Russia could not trust any truce with the current rulers of Kyiv as the conflict would simply erupt again and so the very nature of the current government of Ukraine would have to be destroyed.

Negotiations, he said, with “the clown Zelensky”, were impossible.

“Everything always ends in negotiations, and this is inevitable, but as long as these people are in power, the situation for Russia will not change in terms of negotiations.”

Mr Medvedev, who cast himself as a liberal moderniser when he was president from 2008-12, now presents himself as a fiercely anti-Western Kremlin hawk. Diplomats said his views give an indication of thinking at the top levels of the Kremlin elite.

Namita Singh27 May 2023 05:15


Ukraine warns of Russian plan to ‘simulate accident’ at Zaporizhia nuclear power plant

Intelligence chiefs in Kyiv have issued an alert over what they claim are Russian plans to simulate an accident at the occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, in an attempt to halt the Ukrainian counteroffensive aimed at retaking territory.

An emergency leak of radioactive substances will be announced in the coming hours, the defence ministry claimed in an online statement on Friday evening, warning that Ukraine will “traditionally be blamed for the incident”.

“The occupiers are preparing large-scale provocations to create a centre of radiation danger,” the message read.

My colleague Jane Dalton has more:

Namita Singh27 May 2023 04:15


ICYMI: Russian attack on Ukrainian clinic kills two and wounds 30, Kyiv says

A Russian missile has hit a clinic in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro, killing two people and wounding 30 in an attack that President Volodymyr Zelensky called a crime against humanity.

Video footage showed a devastated building with smoke pouring out of it and rescue workers looking on. Much of the upper floor of what appeared to be a three-storey building had been badly damaged. A covered corpse lay in the road nearby.

“Another [Russian] missile attack, another crime against humanity,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter. He said a psychological clinic and a veterinary clinic had been hit, and added: “Only an evil state can fight against clinics. There can be no military purpose in this. It is pure Russian terror.”

Olena Harmash and Max Hunder report:

Martha Mchardy27 May 2023 03:15


In pictures: Destruction in Ukrainian town of Kupiansk

A destroyed building in the town of Kupiansk, Kharkiv region

(AFP via Getty Images)

A destroyed house in the town of Kupiansk, Kharkiv region

(AFP via Getty Images)

A destroyed building in the town of Kupiansk

(AFP via Getty Images)

Martha Mchardy27 May 2023 02:15


Watch: Water rushes over destroyed Ukrainian dam after Russian shelling

Water rushes over destroyed Ukrainian dam after Russian shelling

Martha Mchardy27 May 2023 01:15


Voices: Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine facade is crumbling – this week proves it

From nuclear threats to raids on Russian territory, Russia’s president has plenty on his mind, writes Chris Stevenson.

Martha Mchardy27 May 2023 00:15


Watch: Zelensky receives standing ovation after speech to Johns Hopkins University graduates

Zelensky receives standing ovation after speech to Johns Hopkins University graduates

Martha Mchardy26 May 2023 23:15


Ukraine war pensioner sweeps fields for mines to protect cows

A remarkable pensioner in Ukraine has been using a metal detector to comb her fields for mines and war detritus so she can put her cow out to pasture and plant vegetables.

Hanna Plishchynska, 67, returned several weeks ago to her home in Stepova Dolyna, southwesten Ukraine – a rural community of 150 people that emptied as fighting raged for months last year during Russia’s invasion.

The village on the edge of Kherson region found itself on the front lines and took heavy shelling from both sides. Plishchynska wanted to stick it out, but eventually fled with her cow, chickens and ducks.

The area is in ruins though the fighting moved away after Ukraine recaptured Kherson city last November.

She returned to find her house standing, albeit with smashed windows, and began scouring the area with a metal detector to check for mines and other dangers.

“What if my cow was killed by an explosion, what would I do?” she said.

Laura Sharman26 May 2023 22:15


Russia’s Foreign Minister thanks China for its “balanced position” on the war

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed gratitude for China’s “balanced position” and willingness to play a positive role, his ministry said.

Lavrov and Chinese special envoy Li Hui discussed prospects for resolving the war in Ukraine at a meeting in Moscow on Friday, it added.

Li, who spent 10 years as ambassador to Moscow, has been on a tour of European capitals, and last week visited Kyiv.

After those talks, China said it wanted to “form the greatest common denominator for resolving the Ukrainian crisis, and make its own efforts to stop the fighting and [establish a] ceasefire and restore peace as soon as possible”.

Laura Sharman26 May 2023 21:30


Black Sea grain deal slow to get moving after extension

A deal allowing the safe wartime export of grain and fertilizer from Ukrainian Black Sea ports has not yet resumed full operations, the United Nations said on Friday, having come to a halt before Russia’s decision last week to extend it.

The pact called the Black Sea Grain Initiative, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey last July with Russia and Ukraine to try to ease a global food crisis aggravated by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, covers three ports, but no ships have been authorized to travel to Pivdennyi (Yuzhny) port since April 29, the U.N. said.

The United Nations and Turkey “are working closely with the rest of the parties with the aim to resume full operations … and lift all impediments that obstruct operations and limit the scope of the Initiative,” the U.N. said in a statement.

Ukraine accused Russia on Tuesday of effectively cutting Pivdennyi port out of the Black Sea deal as Russia complained that it had been unable to export ammonia via a pipeline to Pivdennyi under the agreement.

The U.N. said on Friday that the Black Sea deal also provides for the exports of fertilizer, including ammonia, but “there have been no such exports so far.”

“Russia is ready without delay, in a matter of days, to launch the Togliatti-Odesa ammonia pipeline, while Kyiv has been stalling it for almost a year, imposing new conditions,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

A Ukrainian government source told Reuters last week that Kyiv would consider allowing Russian ammonia to transit its territory for export if the Black Sea grain deal was expanded to include more Ukrainian ports and a wider range of commodities.

Under the Black Sea grain export agreement a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul – made up of officials from the Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the U.N. – authorizes ships and conducts inbound and outbound inspections of the vessels.

“According to information shared by the Ukrainian delegation with the parties at the JCC, there are 54 vessels waiting to move to Ukrainian ports. Out of these, 11 applications have been shared with the JCC for registration,” the U.N. said.

Martha Mchardy26 May 2023 21:11

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