Here are the key events so far on Friday, May 27.
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- Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Moscow of carrying out a “genocide” in the eastern region of Donbas.
- Russia’s offensive in the Donbas could leave the eastern region “uninhabited” and Moscow’s forces want to turn cities such as Popasna, Lysychansk and Severodonetsk to ashes, Zelenskyy said.
- Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said his country will not be able to counter Russia’s offensive without more heavy weapons.
- The head of a Russia-backed separatist region in eastern Ukraine said there may be more Ukrainian fighters hiding at the sprawling Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol.
- The United States is considering supplying Kyiv with the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), which can have a range of hundreds of kilometres, US officials said.
- Russia’s shortage of combat-ready equipment is showing in the battle for Severodonetsk as its ground forces continue their attempt to surround it, the UK’s defence ministry said.
- A pro-Russian separatist leader in eastern Ukraine said more than 5,000 Ukrainian prisoners of war are being held in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
- Russian forces have made gains in the Luhansk region in past week, but their offensive operations remain slow, the Institute for the Study of War has said.
- Investigators in the Kharkiv region have started criminal proceedings into Russia’s shelling of Kharkiv city.
- Zelenskyy pleaded with the West to send multiple-launch rocket systems to Ukraine as soon as possible to give it a chance against the Russian offensive in the Donbas.
- Two Russian soldiers – accused of war crimes after firing rockets on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine – appeared at a second trial hearing in the northeastern town of Kotelva. Both pleaded guilty.
- Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he was forming a southern military command and sending a battalion-strength tactical group to an area that borders Ukraine.
- At least 1,500 people have been killed, 13,000 remain trapped and about 60 percent of residential buildings were destroyed in the eastern city of Severodonetsk, the mayor said.
- Shelling in Kharkiv killed nine people, including a five-month-old child, and wounded 19 others, Zelenskyy said.
- Investigators have started criminal proceedings into Russia’s shelling of a busy area of Kharkiv city.
- Four people were killed in Severodonetsk on Thursday, the governor of the Luhansk region said.
- In Russia, one woman died from wounds and a man was in critical condition after shelling by Ukraine forces of a village in the border region of Belgorod, the governor said.
- Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Russian President Vladimir Putin will not win the war in Ukraine and he “already failed in all his strategic aims”, adding NATO will not become an active party in the conflict.
- Putin said trying to isolate Russia is “impossible, utterly unrealistic in the modern world” and “those who try to do it primarily hurt themselves”.
- Zelenskyy urged the West “to stop playing around” with Russia and impose tougher sanctions on Moscow to end its “senseless war” in Ukraine.
- No more additional US forces will be required for Sweden and Finland after they join NATO, American General Christopher Cavoli said.
- Zelenskyy complained about division inside the European Union over more sanctions against Russia and asked why some nations are being allowed to block the plan, hinting at Hungary’s opposition.
- Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin visited Ukraine, and Zelenskyy thanked her for Finland’s weapons deliveries and support for sanctions against Russia.
- Putin said Moscow is ready to make a “significant contribution” to averting a looming food crisis if the West lifts sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine.
- Russia is solely to blame for the global food emergency because of its blockade of Ukrainian ports, Ukraine’s foreign minister Kuleba said.
- An official said Hungary needs four years to shift away from Russian crude and make investments to adjust its economy before it can back the EU’s proposed oil embargo.
- The US won the latest round of a legal battle to seize a $325m Russian-owned superyacht in Fiji, with the case now appearing headed for the Pacific nation’s top court.
- Ukraine has enough stored grain to meet domestic and global demand until at least the end of 2022, maybe into 2023, an economic adviser to Zelenskyy said.
- The White House said it expects minimal effects on the US and global economy from a potential Russian debt default after Washington decided to not extend a waiver that enabled Russia to pay US bondholders.
- Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland proposed to allow Russian oligarchs to buy their way out of sanctions and use the money to rebuild Ukraine.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies