Arm other ‘vulnerable states’ at risk of Russia attack, UK urges


President Zelensky meets US officials

Ukraine’s neighbor Moldova should be “equipped to Nato standard” to guard it against possible Russian aggression, UK foreign secretary Liz Truss said.

There is a need to ensure that Ukraine is “permanently able to defend itself”, and this also applies to other “vulnerable states” such as Moldova, which is not a Nato member – she added.

Russia “absolutely” poses a security threat to Moldova, she said, as Vladimir Putin “has been clear about his ambitions to create a greater Russia.” She told The Telegraph: “What we’re working on at the moment is a joint commission with Ukraine and Poland on upgrading Ukrainian defenses to Nato standard.”

When asked whether she wants to see the West provide weaponry and intelligence to Moldova, Ms Truss said: “I would want to see Moldova equipped to Nato standard. This is a discussion we’re having with our allies.”

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Trade delegates walkout of meeting in protest against Russia

Five countries’ representatives walked out of an Asia-Pacific trade ministers meeting in Bangkok today to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, officials said – according to Reuters.

The walkout at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting involved representatives from the US, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and Australia.

They exited the room while the Russian representative was making a speech at the opening of the two-day meeting of the group of 21 economies.

Lamiat Sabin21 May 2022 09:30

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Russia trying to destroy Severodonetsk city, says local offical

Russia has apparently launched a major attack to seize the last remaining Ukrainian-held territory in Luhansk.

Luhansk, in southeastern Ukraine, is one of two provinces – together with Donetsk – that Moscow proclaims as independent states.

Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, said in a social media post early this morning that Russia was trying to destroy the city of Severodonetsk and that there has been fighting on the outskirts of the city.

(Google Maps)

“Shelling continues from morning to the evening and also throughout the night,” he said in a video post on the Telegram messaging app.

He added: “The enemy’s plans are to surround the region or set fire to it, as they did in Popasna. This is the difficult fate of the Luhansk region – to prevent the Russians from moving further.”

Capturing Luhansk and Donetsk provinces would allow Moscow to claim victory after announcing last month that this has been its current objective. Russia changed its plan after it had failed to capture Kyiv.

“This will be the critical next few weeks of the conflict,” said Mathieu Boulegue, an expert at London’s Chatham House think tank. “And it depends on how effective they are at conquering Severodonetsk and the lands across it.”

Lamiat Sabin21 May 2022 09:00

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Moldova should be armed to ‘Nato standard’, says Liz Truss

Ukraine’s neighbor Moldova should be “equipped to Nato standard” to guard it against possible Russian aggression, UK foreign secretary Liz Truss said.

There is a need to ensure that Ukraine is “permanently able to defend itself”, and this also applies to other “vulnerable states” such as Moldova, which is not a Nato member – she added.

Russia “absolutely” poses a security threat to Moldova, she said, as Vladimir Putin “has been clear about his ambitions to create a greater Russia.”

Read the full story here by Emily Atkinson

Lamiat Sabin21 May 2022 08:30

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Russia ‘could be experiencing shortage of drones’ – MoD

Russia is likely experiencing a shortage of appropriate reconnaissance Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.

The drones are used to identify targets to be struck by combat jets or artillery.

The Ministry of Defense in London

(Tim Ireland/PA)

The shortage is exacerbated by limitations in its domestic manufacturing capacity resulting from worldwide sanctions imposed in response to its invasion of Ukraine, the MoD’s report said.

If Russia continues to lose UAVs at current rate, Russian forces’ ability to garner intelligence and conduct surveillance reconnaissance will be further degraded, it adds.

Lamiat Sabin21 May 2022 08:00

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Finland cut-off from Russian gas supply, Gazprom confirms

Russia’s Gazprom has confirmed that it had cut-off gas exports to neighbouring Finland.

Earlier, Finnish system operator Gasgrid Finland said: “Gas imports through Imatra entry point have been stopped.”

Lakhta Centre, the headquarters of Russian gas monopoly Gazprom in St. Petersburg

(Dmitri Lovetsky/AP)

It came after Gazprom Export has demanded that European countries pay for Russian gas supplies in rubles because of sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine – which Finland has refused to do so.

Lamiat Sabin21 May 2022 07:30

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Moody’s cuts Ukraine’s debt rating

Moody’s on Friday downgraded Ukraine’s foreign currency sovereign credit rating to “Caa3” from “Caa2”.

The ratings agency cited increased risks to the government’s “debt sustainability” following Russia’s invasion.

“While Ukraine is benefiting from large commitments of international financial support, helping to mitigate immediate liquidity risks, the resulting significant rise in government debt is likely to prove unsustainable over the medium term,” it said in a statement.

It added that it expects the war in Ukraine to be more prolonged than initially assumed and forecasts that the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) would shrink by about 35 per cent in 2022.

Sravasti Dasgupta21 May 2022 06:49

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Russia halts gas flow to Finland

Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom has stopped exporting natural gas to Finland.

“Gas imports through Imatra entry point have been stopped,” Gasgrid Finland said in a statement.

The Finnish gas system operator said that the latest escalation comes amid an energy payments dispute with Western nations.

Moscow said it took the decision because Finland had refused to pay for gas in rubles, something the Putin regime demanded after western sanctions were imposed.

Sravasti Dasgupta21 May 2022 06:22

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Cannes: Woman protests against sexual violence in Ukraine

A woman ran onto the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday to protest against sexual violence in Ukraine.

She stripped off her coat to reveal the words “stop raping us” painted on her body, along with the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

Ukrainian authorities have noted that sexual violence has been reported in several parts of the country during the Russian invasion, which began on 24 February.

Sravasti Dasgupta21 May 2022 06:00

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Inside the recaptured Ukrainian village still under attack from retreating Russian forces

The first mortar rounds are outgoing, aimed at Russian forces beyond a ridge. But the ones that follow are incoming, heading for Ukrainian positions, and land near the troops in their basewrites Kim SenguptaThe Independent’s defense and security editor.

The exchanges take place at Ruska Lozova, a village set in a landscape of woodland, valleys, streams and fields, which was officially liberated at the end of last month by Ukrainian troops, driving away the Russian forces that had laid siege to nearby Kharkiv.

It is just six miles north of the city, and the presence of Russian forces here, with tanks, artillery and air support, is an illustration of the fragmented front line here in the northeast of Ukraine.

His dispatch can be read in full here:

Emily Atkinson21 May 2022 05:30

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36 Russian soldiers dead in last 24 hours, Ukraine says

Ukraine’s Operational Command said that Russia has lost at least 36 soldiers, three T-72 tanks, a Grad missile launcher, and a number of vehicles along Ukraine’s southern frontlines over the past 24 hours.

Sravasti Dasgupta21 May 2022 05:17

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