Russia has said it will act if NATO moves nuclear weapons near its borders. Ukraine acquires territory

Ukrainian general says war will end by the end of this year

Ukraine’s Major General Kyrylo Budanov said he believed the war with Russia would be over by the end of the year.

“The breakpoint will be in the second half of August,” he said. Sky News Exclusive Interview. “Most active combat activities will be completed by the end of this year.”

“As a result, we will restore Ukraine’s power in all territories we lost, including Donbas and Crimea,” he added.

This commentary is the most accurate prediction of the end of the war by a senior Ukrainian official.

Ukrainian military intelligence chief Budanov also said a coup d’état was already underway in Russia to overthrow President Vladimir Putin.

He said Russia’s defeat in Ukraine “will eventually lead to a leadership change in the Russian Federation”. This process has already begun and is heading in that direction.”

— Katrina Bishop

Withdrawal of Russian troops from Kharkiv, Ukraine

Civilians pass through an old checkpoint in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on May 12, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Russian troops are withdrawing from the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, an operational update said on Saturday.

“The Russian Red Army did not engage in active hostilities in the direction of Kharkiv,” said Oleksandr Shtupun, spokesman for the Chief of Staff. According to NBC News translation, the Ukrainian military said in a speech on YouTube:

Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, has witnessed significant bombing since Russia launched an all-out invasion in late February.

However, resistance in Ukraine has been moving rapidly in recent days, gaining territory and driving Russians out of the city.

The Pentagon said on Friday that Ukraine continues to make progress in reclaiming villages and villages around Kharkiv.

“We’ve made some progress as they push the Russian military away from the border and away from Kharkiv,” an official, who declined to be named, told reporters.

— Katrina Bishop

Moscow will respond if NATO moves nuclear weapons closer to Russian borders

Russian news agency Russian news agency Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grusiko said on Saturday that Moscow would take appropriate precautions if NATO deploys nuclear weapons and infrastructure closer to the Russian border.

The Interfax agency, citing Grushko, said, “We will have to respond by taking appropriate precautions to ensure deterrence.”

Moscow has no hostile intentions towards Finland and Sweden, and Grushko added that the two countries are not finding a “real” reason to join the NATO alliance.

He also reiterated the Kremlin’s previous statement that Moscow’s response to NATO’s scalability will depend on how close the alliance will move military assets to Russia and what infrastructure it will deploy.

Finland’s plan to apply for NATO accession announced Thursday and hopes that Sweden will follow will lead to the expansion of the Western military alliance that Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to block.


Manipulated referendums are ‘central part’ of Russian strategy in Ukraine, UK minister says

A soldier inspects a damaged classroom in Kherson Oblast, Ukraine, on May 8, 2022. Most of this area remains occupied by Russia.

John Moore | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Ukrainian Kherson authorities’ request to join the Russian Federation is part of Moscow’s strategy to place Ukraine territories under Russian control through a rigged vote, the British defense ministry said on Saturday.

“The essence of Russia’s original invasion plan is to place much of Ukraine under pro-Russian authority through a rigged referendum,” the Ministry of Defense said in a regular report. intelligence update.

The Kherson administration, imposed by Russia after Russian troops occupied the city in March, this week officially called for the Kherson region to become part of Russia.

“The fact that Russia has only succeeded in giving Kherson pro-Russian regional leadership shows that the Russian invasion has not made progress towards its political goals in Ukraine,” the British Foreign Ministry said.

Russia will “almost certainly” falsify the results of any referendum held in Kherson to decide whether to leave Ukraine, the defense ministry said.

The Russian Ministry of Defense was unable to comment immediately.

Kherson lies on the Dnipro River near the Black Sea, just 97 km from the Crimean peninsula, which was occupied by Russia when it last invaded Ukraine in 2014.

At the beginning of the current war, Russian forces invaded Kherson, but the Ukrainians living there public protests against the occupation Regardless.

The Ukrainian military said in March that Russian troops used stun grenades and gunfire to quell at least one protest.

Moscow insists that it does not target civilians, despite overwhelming evidence that its military has targeted civilians in Ukraine.

— Ted Kemp

Zelenskyy says the war in Ukraine is about the ‘future’ of Western countries.

Ukrainian infantry soldiers train in the northern part of Kherson province, mostly Russian-controlled, on May 9.

John Moore | Getty Images News | Getty Images

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine is doing its best to expel the Russians, but “today no one can predict how long this war will last.”

“Unfortunately, this doesn’t just depend on our people, who are already pouring their maximum out,” he said in a nightly video address to the country. “It depends on our partners, on European countries, on the whole free world.”

He thanked all those who are working to strengthen sanctions against Russia and increase military and financial aid to Ukraine. “This is the only way to protect freedom in the face of a Russian invasion. And for Western countries, this is not just a cost. It is not about accounting, it is about the future.”

Zelenskyy said on Friday that Ukraine had shot down the 200th Russian aircraft of the war, noting Russia’s heavy losses in tanks, armored vehicles, helicopters and drones.

“And for what? So that the statue of Lenin can stand a little longer in the temporarily occupied Zhenicesk? There are different consequences in Russia, and there cannot be.”

The Russian military restored a statue of Lenin in Zenicesk in the southern Kherson region in April.

Zelensky said Ukraine was engaged in “very difficult negotiations” to evacuate the wounded from the Mariupol Works. “We’re talking about a lot of people. Of course, we’re doing everything we can to evacuate everyone else, their respective defenders. We’ve already brought everyone in the world who can be the most influential arbiter. “

Zelensky said Ukrainian forces had retaken villages and villages from Russian forces. He said work is underway to restore electricity, tap water, telephony and social services.

– AP communication

Russia halts electricity exports to Finland

Russian state utility company Inter RAO will stop exporting electricity to Finland starting Saturday, the company’s Finnish subsidiary said.

RAO Nordic, a subsidiary that imports electricity from its Russian parent company, recently said it would stop supplying Finnish power because it was not receiving payments from the Finnish supplier.

“It should be noted that funds have not yet been deposited into our bank account for volumes sold on the node pool exchange after May 6,” the company said in a statement. “This situation is exceptional, and for the first time in more than 20 years of trading history.”

Finnish grid operator Fingrid said in a separate statement citing RAO Nordic that electricity imports to Finland would be halted “for the time being”, starting at 1:00 am local time on Saturday.

Reima Päivinen, Senior Vice President of Power Systems Operations at Fingrid, said: “The power shortage from Russia will be compensated by importing more power from Sweden and generating more power from Finland.”

State-owned company Fingrid said electricity imported from Russia accounts for about 10% of Finland’s total consumption. The strike came as Finnish leaders warmed up the idea of ​​joining NATO in response to a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Thomas Frank

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here.


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