From neutral to Nato: Finland announces bid to join alliance
Ukrainian forces have set a Russian navy logistics ship on fire in the Black Sea, it has been claimed.
The reported strike is said to have occurred near Snake Island, which was made famous earlier in the war when a Ukrainian soldier stationed there told a Russian warship to “go f*** yourself”.
The claim about the Vsevolod Bobrov was made by Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesperson for the Odesa regional military administration. The Independent has been unable to independently verify the report.
The development comes as the Kremlin threatened to take “retaliatory steps” if Finland joins Nato, following Helsinki’s announcement on Thursday that it wants to join the alliance.
“As a member of Nato, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance,” president Sauli Niinisto and prime minister Sanna Marin said in a joint statement.
“Finland must apply for Nato membership without delay. We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days,” they added.
Russia’s oil revenue up by 50% despite sanctions
Russia’s oil revenues have shot up 50 per cent in 2022 despite the sweeping sanctions imposed by the west following Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the International Energy Agency said.
The Paris-based agency in its report said that Moscow earned roughly $20bn (£16.2bn) each month in 2022 from combined sales of crude and products amounting to about 8 million barrels a day.
The Europen Union remained the largest market for Russian exports in April, which amounts to 43 per cent of the country’s export, the report said.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar13 May 2022 05:01
Russians forced to use household appliances in military gear
Russian troops are being forced to use computer chips from dishwashers and refrigerators in some of its military equipment due to sanctions imposed on Moscow, the Biden administration has claimed.
Secretary of commerce Gina Raimondo told a senate hearing this week that a ban on technology exports to Russia was now hampering its military on the ground as its unprovoked attack on Ukraine draws on.
“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,” Ms Raimondo told the hearing.
Since Vladimir Putin’s declaration of war on 24 February, US technology exports to Russia have fallen by 70 per cent.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar13 May 2022 04:44
Ukrainians demand evacuation of injured Mariupol fighters
In Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv, wives and relatives of Ukrainian fighters holed up in the Azovstal steel plant in the besieged port of Mariupol took out a march demanding their rescue.
Russian forces have been bombarding the steelworks, the last bastion of Ukrainian defenders in a city almost completely controlled by Russia following a two-month-long siege.
“I want all the defenders who are there to return home so that they can live a normal life with their children and relatives,” Maria Zimareva, whose brother works at the plant, told Reuters.
“They have earned it. Why the others can walk in the streets with their loved ones and they cannot? Why nobody helps them?”
Deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said they have started a new round of negotiations around a road map for a rescue operation.“We will start with those who are badly wounded,” she said.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar13 May 2022 04:32
Footage from Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant
Rare footage claiming to show the battle for the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol has appeared online.
Here it is, courtesy of the Ukrainian journalist Illia Ponomarenko:
Rory Sullivan13 May 2022 03:00
Germany welcomes Finland’s desire to join Nato
German chancellor Olaf Scholz has backed Finland’s desire to join Nato, saying Helsinki has his full support.
Finland announced on Thursday that it wanted to apply for Nato membership “without delay”.
Rory Sullivan13 May 2022 02:00
Russian helicopter shot down over Luhansk, Ukraine claims
The Ukrainian air force has claimed to have shot down a Russian Mi-24 helicopter over Luhansk on Thursday.
“Ukraine detected a group of four enemy helicopters and shot down the leader of the second pair,” a Ukrainian commander wrote on Facebook.
The claim has not been independently verified.
Rory Sullivan13 May 2022 01:00
Truss calls on G7 to bring more sanctions against Putin
Liz Truss has urged other G7 foreign ministers to implement more sanctions in an attempt to curb Vladimir Putin’s aggression.
At a meeting in Germany on Thursday, the British foreign minister said: “Putin is humiliating himself on the world stage. We must ensure he faces a defeat in Ukraine that denies him any benefit and ultimately constrains further aggression.”
“The best long-term security for Ukraine will come from it being able to defend itself. That means providing Ukraine with a clear pathway to Nato-standard equipment,” she added.
Rory Sullivan12 May 2022 23:59
Canada to send general and staff to new Nato unit in Latvia
Canada will send more high-ranking military staff to a new Nato unit in Latvia, prime minister Justin Trudeau has said.
The general and six staff officers will work to support regional military activities, Mr Trudeau said.
“It’ll serve as a continued important part of our enhancements to Nato’s defense and deterrence capabilities,” he added.
Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins called the move a “step in the right direction”.
“It’s primarily a message to Moscow and to (President Vladimir) Putin that we are dead serious about defending ourselves,” he said.
Rory Sullivan12 May 2022 23:00
Ukraine welcomes UN probe into alleged Russian war crimes
Ukraine has welcome the UN Human Rights Council’s decision to launch an inquiry into potential war crimes committed by Russian troops.
Dmytro Kuleba, the country’s foreign minister, said guilty people “will be brought to justice”.
Rory Sullivan12 May 2022 22:05
UN votes to start Russian war crimes probe
Following my earlier post on the subject, here’s the breakdown of today’s successful vote to launch a UN inquiry into alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine:
Rory Sullivan12 May 2022 21:40