Here are the key events so far on Thursday, May 12.
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- Ukrainian forces are keeping up a counterattack to the north of the second largest city of Kharkiv and recapturing several towns and villages towards the Russian border, the British defence ministry said.
- Ukrainian officials issued dire warnings about the fate of civilians and the last fighters in the southern port of Mariupol, after weeks of Russian bombardment which the city’s mayor said had turned it into a “medieval ghetto”.
- Ukraine’s army said 788 cruise and ballistic missiles have been launched on targets in Ukraine from the territories of Russia and Belarus since the start of the invasion.
Political and human impact
- The Russian-occupied region of Kherson in Ukraine plans to ask Russian President Putin to incorporate it into Russia, TASS news agency said, citing a Russian official. The deposed governor said the region’s people want to return to being part of Ukraine.
- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he is deeply concerned about hunger becoming widespread as the war in Ukraine threatens food security in different parts of the world.
- Kyiv’s top prosecutor has announced that Ukraine will launch its first war crimes trial over Moscow’s ongoing invasion, bringing a 21-year-old Russian soldier to the stand.
Energy and sanctions
- Russian gas flows to Europe via Ukraine fell by a quarter after Ukrainian forces halted the use of the Sokhranovka transit route.
- Moscow has slapped sanctions on the owner of the Polish part of the Yamal pipeline that brings Russian gas to Europe, as well as the former German unit of Russian gas producer Gazprom, whose subsidiaries service Europe.
- Germany is examining the Russian announcement of sanctions on parts of Gazprom Germania, an economy ministry spokesperson said.
- Japan will ramp up cooperation with the European Union in punishing Russia over its war in Ukraine, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.
- NATO allies expect Finland and Sweden to apply to join the alliance in the coming days and will grant membership quickly, diplomats and officials said, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forces a radical rethink of European security.
- Finnish President Sauli Niinisto is expected to give a green light on Thursday for Finland to join NATO.
- Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats called a parliamentary debate for Monday as the country prepares for an expected decision to join NATO, abandoning decades of military non-alignment.
- The president of the European Investment Bank said he supports a multi-trillion-euro “Marshall”-style plan to rebuild Ukraine, pledging the firepower of the EU’s lending arm.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies