Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine



EU prepares joint loan to help Ukraine, report says

Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing two EU officials, that the European Commission was considering a new joint debt issuance to fill Ukraine’s liquidity gap.

The idea would be for Ukraine to get very cheap loans from the EU, with member states providing guarantees that the common loan would be repaid.

The unnamed officials said the EU is expected to raise some 10 billion euros through the joint borrowing.

—Matt Clinch

Russian missiles hit the port city of Odessa, killing one man and injuring others

A rescue worker gestures in front of the shopping and entertainment center in Ukraine’s Black Sea city Odessa on May 10, 2022, destroyed after the Russian missile attack on May 9, 2022.

Oleksandr Gimanov | AFP | Getty Images

Ukraine’s main port city of Odessa was hit by Russian missiles on Monday, killing one person and injuring five others, according to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

In an update on Telegram, the region’s operational command said the casualties occurred when seven missiles were fired at the city and hit a shopping center and a depot. The statement said that “rare Soviet-type missiles were clearly used”.

The attack took place on the same day that the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, visited Odessa. Meanwhile, in Russia, President Putin and senior Kremlin officials oversaw the “Victory Day” parade in Moscow. The event marks the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Holly Ellyatt

Russia not considering closing embassies of European countries, official says

London Underground Police officers stand guard outside the Russian Embassy in London.

Sopa Pictures | Light flare | Getty Images

Russia does not plan to close the embassies of European countries despite the very poor state of relations between Russia and its neighbors, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said, according to the official Ria Novosti news agency.

“It’s not in our tradition,” Grushko said. “Therefore, we think the work of diplomatic missions is important,” Grushko said, in response to questions about whether Russia might close European diplomatic missions in the region amid Western sanctions.

“We did not start a diplomatic war, a campaign of expulsions,” said the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 after months of deploying more than 100,000 troops along the common border. Moscow tried to justify its invasion by saying it was protecting ethnic Russians in the country and falsely claimed that the rulers of kyiv were “Nazis”.

Ukraine and geopolitical experts say Russia has created baseless justifications for the invasion because it wants to stop Ukraine’s pro-Western leadership and reassert its power and influence over the country.

Holly Ellyatt

Russia’s undervaluation of Ukraine resulted in ‘unsustainable losses’, UK says

Russia’s underestimation of the Ukrainian resistance and its “best-case scenario” planning have led to demonstrable operational failures, the British Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday.

These failures prevented President Vladimir Putin from announcing a significant military success in Ukraine at the Victory Day parade in Moscow on Monday.

“Russia’s invasion plan is most likely based on the erroneous assumption that it would encounter limited resistance and be able to quickly encircle and bypass population centers,” the ministry said in its latest update. updated information on Twitter.

This assumption led Russian forces to attempt to carry out the opening phase of the operation “with a light and precise approach” intended to achieve a quick victory at minimal cost.

“This miscalculation resulted in unsustainable losses and a subsequent reduction in Russian operational focus,” the ministry said.

Holly Ellyatt

Russian economy to shrink 10% this year, Ukraine’s 30%: report

Damaged buildings are seen as Russian attacks continue in Mariupol, Ukraine, May 4, 2022.

Leon Klein | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The war in Ukraine is hitting the economy of Russia and Kyiv hard, both of which are expected to experience a sharp drop in economic output, according to a study by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) released on Tuesday.

The Russian economy, hit by international sanctions, is expected to contract by 10% in 2022 while the Ukrainian invasion – which has caused significant damage to the economic poles and the production of the agricultural producer – is expected to cause a contraction of the economy. Ukrainian economy by 30% this year, the EBRD said.

“With the 3.4% GDP growth recorded in 2021 now a distant memory, the war is putting a strain on the Ukrainian economy, with the heavy devastation of infrastructure and production capacities,” he said. said the EBRD. It is estimated that between 30% and 50% of companies have completely ceased operations in Ukraine, resulting in the loss of around half of all employees of their jobs and income.

This latest gross domestic product forecast for Ukraine is a downward revision of ten percentage points from the bank’s projections released in March.

Ukraine’s GDP is expected to rebound to 25% next year, the EBRD said, but that assumes significant reconstruction work is already underway.

Holly Ellyatt

At least 1 million Ukrainians ‘forcibly resettled’ to Russia, rights official says

An elderly woman sits in Kharkiv after fleeing a war-torn village of Kutuzivka in Ukraine, April 29, 2022. At least one million Ukrainians have been ‘forcibly displaced’ and sent to Russia, the Ukrainian mediator said for human rights, NBC News reported.

Narciso Contreras | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

At least one million Ukrainians have been “forcibly removed” and sent to Russia, according to a Ukrainian human rights official quoted by NBC News.

“The occupiers not only hide their crimes, but they also relocate anyone they deem unreliable,” said Lyudmyla Denisova, Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman.

“We have evidence that a forced eviction was prepared in advance,” Denisova said, according to NBC News. “There are facts that confirm that Russia had guidelines for their districts on the number of Ukrainians and where to deport them.”

NBC News and CNBC were unable to confirm these claims.

An estimated 20,000 Ukrainians are in “filtration camps”, with most being sent to Russia, while the fate of the rest remains unknown, Denisova added, NBC News reported.

Last month, the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine documented around 109 alleged cases of civilian detention or enforced disappearance since the start of the invasion.

However, local officials said that figure does not represent the tens of thousands of Ukrainians who were deported via “filtration camps”.

—Chelsea Ong

Ukraine’s prime minister says US steel tariff suspension materialized within weeks

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal speaks during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured) at the State Department amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Washington on 22 April 2022.

Suzanne Walsh | Swimming pool | Reuters

Just hours after the United States announced it would suspend tariffs on Ukrainian steel for a year, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal expressed appreciation for the speed with which the Biden administration acted on the question.

Shmyhal said he first spoke about tariffs with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo when she visited Washington on April 21.

Less than 3 weeks later, the United States announced that the current 25% tariff would not be applied to steel from war-torn Ukraine for at least a year.

The tariff suspension is the latest example of the White House and federal agencies cutting red tape in Washington to get money, weapons and humanitarian supplies to Ukraine.

—Christina Wilkie

Biden changes course, calls on Congress to pass stand-alone aid to Ukraine without Covid funds

US President Joe Biden pauses during his speech in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, Monday, May 9, 2022.

Samuel Corum | Bloomberg | Getty Images

President Joe Biden has very publicly changed course in his quest to get Congress to pass a $33 billion emergency funding package for Ukraine.

“Previously, I recommended that Congress take overdue action on much-needed funding for COVID treatments, vaccines and testing, as part of the Supplemental Ukraine Bill,” Biden said in a statement.

Recently, however, Biden says he was told Republicans in Congress aren’t ready to vote to pass a Covid bill any time soon.

Given the reality of the situation, linking the two funding requests – as he originally proposed – would have in practice meant slowing down the money Ukraine desperately needed in order to give Congress time to debate. Covid funding.

“We cannot afford to delay this vital war effort,” Biden said. “Therefore, I am ready to accept that these two measures evolve separately, so that the draft law on Ukrainian aid can arrive on my desk immediately.”

Biden’s shift in strategy was also embraced by Democratic congressional leaders, who said they were ready to act quickly on a standalone Ukrainian bill. It is expected to be relatively easy to pass with bipartisan support.

—Christina Wilkie

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