Russia-Ukraine war latest news: Russia will not pause fighting for peace talks, Lavrov says | Ukraine


13:46

Russia will not pause military operation in Ukraine for peace talks, Lavrov says

Moscow will not pause its military operation in Ukraine before the next round of peace talks, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said.

Speaking in an interview with Russian state television, Lavrov said Vladimir Putin had ordered military actions to be suspended during the first round of talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators, Reuters reports.

Moscow’s position had changed since then, he said. Lavrov said he saw no reason not to continue talks with Ukraine but insisted Moscow would not halt its military operation when the sides convene again.

Lavrov said:

After we became convinced that the Ukrainians were not planning to reciprocate, a decision was made that during the next rounds of talks, there would be no pause so long as a final agreement is not reached.

The Russian FM last week accused Kyiv of presenting Moscow with an “unacceptable” draft peace deal that deviated from agreements the sides had previously reached. Kyiv dismissed Lavrov’s comments as a tactic to undermine Ukraine or divert attention from war crime accusations against Russian troops.

Also in the interview aired today, Lavrov said that calls by the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, for the bloc to continue arming Kyiv marked a “very serious U-turn” in European policy.

14:50

Russia claims to have destroyed several air defence systems in Ukraine over the weekend, the Associated Press reports, saying it appears to indicate a renewed push to gain air superiority and take out weapons Kyiv has described as crucial ahead of a broad new offensive in the east.

Moscow claims to have hit four S-300 launchers provided by a European country it didn’t name on Monday. Slovakia gave Ukraine such a system last week, but denies it has been destroyed. Russia has previously reported two strikes on similar systems in other places.

Moscow’s initial invasion has stalled on several fronts as it has met with stiff resistance from Ukrainian forces, who have prevented the Russians from taking the capital and other cities. The failure to win full control of Ukraine’s skies has hampered Moscow’s ability to provide air cover for troops on the ground, limiting their advances and likely exposing them to greater losses.

With their offensive in many parts of the country thwarted, Russian forces have relied increasingly on bombarding cities. The war has flattened many urban areas, killed thousands of people and left Russia politically and economically isolated.

Ukrainian authorities accuse Russian forces of committing atrocities; including a massacre in the town of Bucha, outside Kyiv, airstrikes on hospitals and a missile attack that killed at least 57 people at a train station.

14:31

Italy has seized properties worth about €105m (£87.79m, $114.45m) owned by the Russian former Formula One driver Nikita Dmitrievich Mazepin and his oligarch father, Reuters reports, citing two police sources.

The operation reportedly targeted a villa – known as Rocky Ram – in the northern Sardinia. It is part of broader efforts aimed at penalising wealthy Russians linked to Vladimir Putin after the 24 February invasion of Ukraine by Moscow. Reuters says the driver’s PR manager has not yet commented.

Mazepin – who was fired in March by the US-owned F1 team Haas – has been included in an EU sanctions list along with his father, Dmitry, who the European Union’s official journal described as a member of Putin’s closest circle.

In recent weeks, Italian police have sequestered villas and yachts worth over €900m from wealthy Russians who were placed on a European Union sanctions lists following the Ukraine conflict.

The most valuable asset seized so far is a superyacht owned by billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko, worth around €530m, which was impounded in the northern port of Trieste.

13:46

Russia will not pause military operation in Ukraine for peace talks, Lavrov says

Moscow will not pause its military operation in Ukraine before the next round of peace talks, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said.

Speaking in an interview with Russian state television, Lavrov said Vladimir Putin had ordered military actions to be suspended during the first round of talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators, Reuters reports.

Moscow’s position had changed since then, he said. Lavrov said he saw no reason not to continue talks with Ukraine but insisted Moscow would not halt its military operation when the sides convene again.

Lavrov said:

After we became convinced that the Ukrainians were not planning to reciprocate, a decision was made that during the next rounds of talks, there would be no pause so long as a final agreement is not reached.

The Russian FM last week accused Kyiv of presenting Moscow with an “unacceptable” draft peace deal that deviated from agreements the sides had previously reached. Kyiv dismissed Lavrov’s comments as a tactic to undermine Ukraine or divert attention from war crime accusations against Russian troops.

Also in the interview aired today, Lavrov said that calls by the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, for the bloc to continue arming Kyiv marked a “very serious U-turn” in European policy.

13:24

Croatia has expelled 24 Russian embassy staff over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and “brutal aggression”, the Croatian foreign ministry said.

In a statement, the ministry said the Russian ambassador was summoned in a protest over the “brutal aggression on Ukraine and numerous crimes committed (there)“.

It said:

The Russian party was informed about the reduction of administrative-technical staff of the Russian Federation’s embassy in Zagreb.

13:14

The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, travelled by car, helicopter, military plane and train for his surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday, Downing Street said.

On his arrival in the Ukrainian capital, Johnson held talks with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, for an hour, before they both went for a walk through the city including to Independence Square.

The two leaders returned for a full bilateral meeting over a dinner with their small teams, No 10 said.

From Times Radio’s Lucy Fisher:

Boris Johnson holds a ceramic rooster presented by local women, the same that were found and survived among debris of a residential building destroyed during Russia’s invasion, in Borodianka town, in central Kyiv, Ukraine April 9, 2022.
Boris Johnson holds a ceramic rooster presented by local women, the same that were found and survived among debris of a residential building destroyed during Russia’s invasion, in Borodianka town, in central Kyiv, Ukraine, 9 April 2022. Photograph: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Reuters

12:55

Here’s more from Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s address to the South Korean parliament earlier today, where he asked Seoul for any military aid it could provide just days after South Korea denied the request.

Speaking in a video address, Zelenskiy told South Korean lawmakers that “Ukraine needs support for its military, including planes and tanks”, adding:

South Korea can help Ukraine. South Korea has various defence systems that could defend against Russian tanks, ships, and missiles.

We would be grateful if South Korea could help us to fight Russia. If Ukraine can have these weapons, they will not only save the lives of ordinary people, but they’ll save Ukraine.

Tens of thousands of people have likely been killed in Russia’s assault on the south-eastern city of Mariupol, he also said.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses the South Korean parliament via video link
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses the South Korean parliament via video link. Photograph: Reuters

Earlier on Monday, South Korea’s defence ministry said it had rejected a request by the Ukrainian defence minister, Oleksii Reznikov, for anti-aircraft weapons, Reuters reports.

In a phone call on Friday, South Korea’s defence minister, Suh Wook, told Reznikov that any support of lethal weapons would be limited in light of South Korea’s security situation and its potential impact on military readiness, a ministry spokesperson said.

South Korea has consistently said it would not provide lethal weapons or deploy its military to support Ukraine.

It has provided humanitarian assistance worth $10m (£7.68m) to Ukraine and pledged last week to send another $30m (£23m). It has also provided non-lethal items including bulletproof helmets, medical kits and medicines.

12:35

Today will be ‘last battle’ for Mariupol as ammunition is ‘running out’, Ukraine says

Ukrainian forces say they are readying themselves for a “last battle” to control the besieged southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, AFP reports.

In a statement on Facebook, the 36th marine brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces said:

Today will probably be the last battle, as the ammunition is running out.

After defending the port for 47 days and doing “everything possible and impossible” to retain control of the city, the marines said it had been “pushed back” and “surrounded” by the Russian army, adding:

It’s death for some of us, and captivity for the rest.

Russian forces have said fighting has recently centred around Mariupol’s Azovstal iron and steel works and in the port.

The marines said that is where “the enemy gradually pushed us back” and “surrounded us with fire, and is now trying to destroy us”.

The mountain of wounded makes up almost half of the brigade. Those whose limbs are not torn off return to battle.

The infantry was all killed and the shooting battles are now conducted by artillerymen, anti-aircraft gunners, radio operators, drivers and cooks. Even the orchestra.

It complained that there was a lack of support from Ukraine’s military leadership “because we’ve been written off”.

The south-eastern city of Mariupol has seen the most intense fighting since Russia launched its assault on Ukraine. Earlier today, the Ukraininan president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said tens of thousands of people had likely been killed in the city.

Zelenskiy told the South Korean parliament via video link:

Mariupol has been destroyed, there are tens of thousands of dead, but even despite this, the Russians are not stopping their offensive.

12:11

German newspaper Die Welt has hired as a correspondent Marina Ovsyannikova, the Russian journalist who broke on to a live news broadcast on Russian state television in protest against the Ukraine war, its owner Axel Springer said.

Ovsyannikova, 43, will report for the newspaper as well as for Die Welt’s TV news channel, including from Ukraine and Russia, Springer said.

Marina Ovsyannikova broke on to a live news broadcast on Russian state television in protest against the Ukraine war,
Marina Ovsyannikova broke on to a live news broadcast on Russian state television in protest against the Ukraine war, Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

The former editor at Russia’s state Channel One “defended the most important journalistic ethics despite the threat of state repression” with her on-air protest, Welt Group editor-in-chief Ulf Poschardt said in a statement.

Ovsyannikova was fined 30,000 roubles (£215) for violating protest laws after her extraordinary demonstration against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month.

Marina Ovsyannikova
Marina Ovsyannikova was fined 30,000 rubles for breaching protest laws in Moscow. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Ovsyannikova burst on to the set of the live broadcast of the nightly news, shouting: “Stop the war. No to war.” She also held a sign saying: “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here.” It was signed in English: “Russians against the war.”

She also released a pre-recorded video in which she expressed her shame at working for Channel One and spreading “Kremlin propaganda”.

11:52

More than 20% of Russian soldiers confirmed dead during the war in Ukraine are officers, including 10 colonels, 20 lieutenant colonels, 31 majors and 155 junior officers, the BBC reports.

The BBC has been able to verify the identities of the 1,083 Russian servicemen killed in Ukraine, their deaths reported by local officials or Russian media.

The BBC World correspondent Olga Ivshina said evidence showed:

Russia has lost some of its best specialists, including elite spec. forces operators, highly skilled fighter pilots and some experienced commanders.

In addition, about 15% of all confirmed Russian losses in Ukraine are paratroopers from units “which are considered elite of the Russian army”, she said.

Preparation of a paratrooper in Russia demands more money and time compared to an infantryman. So these are sensitive losses.

Hello from London, I’m Léonie Chao-Fong and I’ll be bringing you all the latest news from the war in Ukraine. Feel free to drop me a message if you have anything to flag, you can reach me on Twitter or via email.

11:19
Damaged rows of seats on the stands of the Chernihiv Olympic Sports Training Centre (formerly Yuri Gagarin Stadium) destroyed as a result of shelling, Chernihiv, northern Ukraine.
Damaged rows of seats on the stands of the Chernihiv Olympic Sports Training Centre (formerly Yuri Gagarin Stadium) destroyed as a result of shelling, Chernihiv, northern Ukraine. Photograph: Ukrinform/Rex/Shutterstock
The building of the Hotel Ukraine shows damage caused as a result of shelling by Russian troops after the liberation of Chernihiv, northern Ukraine.
The building of the Hotel Ukraine shows damage caused as a result of shelling by Russian troops after the liberation of Chernihiv, northern Ukraine. Photograph: Ukrinform/Rex/Shutterstock
A woman outside a damaged apartment building after the liberation of the city from Russian invaders, Chernihiv, northern Ukraine.
A woman outside a damaged apartment building after the liberation of the city from Russian invaders, Chernihiv, northern Ukraine. Photograph: Ukrinform/Rex/Shutterstock

11:04

Today so far …

  • Austrian chancellor Karl Nehammer is set to meet Vladimir Putin on Monday, the first European leader to meet the Russian president since Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February. In a tweet, Nehammer said Austria was “militarily neutral” but that it had a “clear stance on Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine”.
  • Russia’s defence ministry claims it has destroyed a S-300 anti-aircraft missile system near Dnipro which had been supplied to Ukraine by an unspecified European country. The claim has been described as disinformation by Slovakia’s prime minister Eduard Heger, whose country donated an S-300 system last week.
  • In his nightly address to the nation on Sunday night, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy accused Russia of having “lost connection with reality to a degree that they accuse us of committing what Russian troops have obviously done”.
  • Tens of thousands of people have likely been killed in Russia’s assault on the south-eastern city of Mariupol, and over 300 Ukrainian hospitals have been destroyed, Zelenskiy told the South Korean parliament.
  • Russia is likely to continue strikes on transport infrastructure “in order to disrupt the supply of goods to the places of hostilities”, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces has said in its latest operational report.
  • In its latest intelligence update on Ukraine, the UK’s Ministry of Defence warns that Russia’s past use of phosphorus munitions in Donetsk “raised the possibility of their future employment in Mariupol as fighting for the city intensifies”.
  • Pro-Russian forces in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic have said they will intensify their fight in eastern Ukraine.
  • Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Russia’s republic of Chechnya, has said there will be an offensive by Russian forces not only on Mariupol, but also on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities
  • German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock says Germany has seen massive indications of war crimes in Ukraine.
  • Norway is to extend its deployment of 200 troops in Lithuania until August.
  • Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, has said the European Commission was working on details of an oil embargo on Russia as part of a possible next sanctions package
  • France’s ambassador to Ukraine, Etienne de Poncins, has posted a picture from Lviv showing teams of forensic gendarmes that have arrived from France to assist local authorities in investigating war crimes.
  • New Zealand will send a C-130H Hercules and 50-person team to Europe to distribute military aid to Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.

That is it from me, Martin Belam, for today. I am handing you over to Léonie Chao-Fong.

10:30

Pro-Russian forces in Donetsk have said they will intensify their fight in eastern Ukraine. Denis Pushilin, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, is quoted by the RIA news agency as saying:

Now the operation will be intensified. The more we delay, the more the civilian population simply suffers, being held hostage by the situation. We have identified areas where certain steps need to be accelerated.

09:53

Zelenskiy: tens of thousands likely killed in Mariupol; 300 hospitals destroyed in Ukraine

Tens of thousands of people have likely been killed in Russia’s assault on the south-eastern city of Mariupol, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the South Korean parliament this morning.

“Mariupol has been destroyed, there are tens of thousands of dead, but even despite this, the Russians are not stopping their offensive,” Reuters quotes him saying in a video address this morning.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses South Korean parliamentary via video link.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses South Korean parliamentary via video link. Photograph: Chung Sung-Jun/AFP/Getty Images

Other key lines from his address include Zelenskiy saying:

  • Russia threatens Europe, not just Ukraine, and will not stop unless it is forced to stop.
  • Russia has destroyed hundreds of pieces of Ukraine’s key infrastructure including at least 300 hospitals.
  • Tens of thousands of Russian soldiers are being amassed for the next offensive.
  • Ukraine needs more help if it is to survive the war.

09:32

German foreign minister: ‘massive indications of war crimes’ in Ukraine

German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock says Germany has seen massive indications of war crimes in Ukraine.

“We have massive indications of war crimes,” Reuters report she told reporters before a meeting with fellow European ministers in Luxembourg. “In the end, the courts will have to decide, but for us, it is central to secure all evidence.”

“As the German federal government, we have already made it clear that there will be a complete phase-out of fossil fuels, starting with coal, then oil and gas, and so that this can be implemented jointly in the European Union, we need a joint, coordinated plan to completely phase out fossil fuels to be able to withdraw as a European Union,” she added.





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