UPDATE 21:00 – Rumor – “The armed forces of Ukraine are conducting an operation to encircle the city of Bakhmut”
“The Armed Forces of Ukraine are conducting an operation to encircle Bakhmut” — Cherevaty
— MAKS 22🇺🇦🔜 (@Maks_NAFO_FELLA) May 20, 2023
UPDATE 20:00 – Governor: A Russian bombardment injured five people in Toretsk
Russian forces attacked the city of Toretsk in the Donetsk region with Grad rockets, injuring five people, including an 11-year-old child, Donetsk region governor Pavlo Kyrylenko reported on May 20.
UPDATE 19:00 – The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said today that the decisions taken by the G7 at its summit in Japan are aimed at the “double isolation” of Russia and China.
Addressing a televised conference, Lavrov reiterated Russia’s claim that the West is using Ukraine as a tool to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia.
Reuters reports that Lavrov said:
“The task has been set loudly – to defeat Russia on the battlefield, but not to stop there, but to eliminate it as a geopolitical competitor,” Lavrov said.
In an earlier statement, the G7 agreed to tighten sanctions against Moscow and reduce Chinese militarization of the Asia-Pacific region.
The group of world leaders also called on China to pressure Russia to stop its military aggression and immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine.
UPDATE 18:00 – Volodymyr Zelenskiy posted a video on social networks
The president informs that he is at the G7 summit, which is taking place in Hiroshima.
He also said that he had productive meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
UPDATE 16:00 – THE WAR OF STATEMENTS
The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, claimed full control of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, the center of the war’s longest and bloodiest battle, on Saturday.
Reuters could not independently confirm the claim. Prigozhin made the statement in a video in which he appeared in combat gear in front of a line of fighters holding Russian flags and Wagner banners.
„Today, at 12 o’clock, Bakhmut was completely taken,” Prigogine said.
He said his forces would withdraw from Bakhmut from May 25 for rest and retraining.
“We completely took the whole town, house to house,” he said.
Distant explosions could be heard in the background as Prigozhin spoke during the video.
Ukraine denies that Russia’s Wagner captured Bakhmut
Ukraine’s military denied on Saturday that Russia’s private military unit Wagner had taken full control of the ruined eastern town of Bakhmut and said its troops were still fighting there.
“Not true. Our units are fighting in Bakhmut”army spokesman Serhiy Cherevatyi told Reuters after the head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group said his forces had taken full control of the city.
Western countries that will deliver F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine will face “colossal risks”, a Russian official said.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko answered a question on Saturday about the effects of the supply of aircraft, which Ukraine requested from NATO countries, TASS news agency reported.
“In any case, this will be taken into account in all our plans and we have all the necessary means to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves.” LATEST NEWS
UPDATE 14:30 Ukrainian Ombudsman: Citizens who took Russian passports under pressure will not be punished
The Ukrainian authorities will not persecute people from the occupied territories who have accepted Russian passports under duress.
UPDATE 13:10 British Ministry of Defence: Russia has sent several battalions to Bakhmut
UPDATE 11:00 Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Hiroshima, Japan, for the G7 summit, reports Reuters
“Japan. G7. Important meetings with partners and friends of Ukraine. Enhanced security and cooperation for our victory. Peace will be closer today,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter upon arrival in Hiroshima.
UPDATE 9:50 Ukrainian General Staff: Russia lost 202,430 soldiers in the war
UPDATE 8:00am Russia has launched its 11th airstrike on Ukraine this month, targeting Kiev
UPDATE 05:00 Kyiv air defense shot down all Russian drones launched overnight
Anti-aircraft defense in Kiev intercepted all Iranian-made Shahed drones launched by the Russians during the night.
UPDATE 04:00 Russia places the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on the blacklist
The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs has placed International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan on a wanted list because of an ICC arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin accused of forcibly deporting Ukrainian children.
UPDATE 03:00 Hungary blocks the EU sanctions adopted for the imprisonment of the dissident Kara-Murza
Hungary is blocking EU sanctions against those deemed responsible for jailing Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza, a day after it said it would not support the EU’s 11th sanctions package against Russia over a banking dispute with Ukraine.
UPDATE 02:00 Russia evades sanctions through Kazakhstan
Despite Western sanctions aimed at preventing the import of drones and other technology into Russia, key parts continue to find their way to the Russian military through newly established Russian companies in Kazakhstan.
UPDATE 01:00 Mariupol, shaken by explosions
The Russians hit Mariupol with surface-to-air missiles in three separate rounds. The anti-aircraft alert was given throughout Ukraine
UPDATE 00:00 Denmark and Portugal will train Ukrainian pilots on the F-16
Denmark will train Ukrainian pilots with US-built F-16 fighter jets and is open to discussions about their possible transfer, Acting Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said. Poulsen’s initiative was welcomed by Portuguese officials, who will do the same.
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