Ukraine latest updates: UN rights body to hold session on Ukraine

Ukraine news from May 9: Over 50 member states back Kyiv’s request for the meeting, which will address alleged Russian rights violations in Ukraine.

Debris is seen next to a partially collapsed building is seen, after a school building was hit as a result of shelling, in the village of Bilohorivka, Luhansk, Ukraine
Debris is seen next to a partially collapsed building is seen, after a school building was hit as a result of shelling, in the village of Bilohorivka, Luhansk, Ukraine [Reuters]
  • Ukraine’s defence ministry says Russian forces are attempting to “storm” Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks.
  • President Vladimir Putin tells a World War II Victory Day parade in Moscow’s Red Square that Russian troops in eastern Ukraine are fighting for “the motherland” as the Kremlin presses on with its offensive in the Donbas.
  • Putin also says Moscow’s invasion was a preemptive move to ward off aggression from the West.
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls for moves to open Ukrainian ports blockaded by Russia to allow for exports and prevent a global food crisis.

INTERACTIVE Russia Ukraine War Who controls what Day 75_May 9

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These were the updates on Wednesday, May 9:

Biden unhappy with intel leaks on Ukraine, says White House

President Joe Biden was not happy with leaks to news outlets in which US intelligence appeared to take credit for helping Ukraine target a Russian ship and Russian generals in Ukraine, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

“The president was displeased with the leaks. His view was that it was an overstatement of our role, an inaccurate statement and also an understatement of the Ukrainians’ role and their leadership and he did not feel they were constructive,” she said.


Macron offers Ukraine ‘full support’

French President Emmanuel Macron has offered Ukraine “full support” as he and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Berlin’s symbolically important Brandenburg Gate, illuminated in Ukraine’s national colours, AFP news agency saw.

Macron said “full support for Ukraine” as he and Scholz approached about 200 people gathered nearby, with some draped in Ukraine’s blue and yellow national colours and chanting “Mariupol”, an eastern Ukrainian city devastated by Russian strikes.


Ukrainians being taken ‘against their will’ into Russia: Pentagon

The Pentagon has seen indications that Ukrainians caught up in Russia’s invasion are being forcibly removed from their homeland and sent to Russia, a senior US defense official has said.

“I can’t speak to how many camps or what they look like,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters. “But we do have indications that Ukrainians are being taken against their will into Russia.”


EU’s von der Leyen sees progress in talks with Hungary on Russian oil ban

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said she had made progress in talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on a possible EU-wide ban on Russian fossil fuels.

“This evening’s discussion with PM Viktor Orban was helpful to clarify issues related to sanctions and energy security”, von der Leyen said in a tweet.

“We made progress, but further work is needed”, she added.

Von der Leyen said she would convene a video conference with other countries in the region to strengthen regional cooperation on oil infrastructure.


Ukrainians fleeing war try different ways to enter the US

Around 14,500 Ukrainians have filed for applications as of last week to come to the United States under a humanitarian parole programme that allows Ukrainians to stay with American sponsors.

Ukrainians are also coming to the US on tourist visas, through the southern border.

Read more here.


Ukraine loses $170m every day without port access, PM says

Ukraine loses $170m every day it is cut off from access to the sea and the national export capacity had been more than halved, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said.

“Ninety million tonnes of agricultural produce, which Ukraine planned to export to countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe, have been blocked,” Shmyhal said in the southern port city of Odesa, speaking alongside European Council President Charles Michel.

Shmyhal said some produce had been exported on road or rail, but some other reserves remained in areas under shelling, or had been captured by Russia.


US to suspend tariffs on Ukrainian steel for one year

The United States will suspend tariffs on Ukrainian steel for one year, the country’s Commerce Department says, citing the damage Moscow’s offensive has done to the industry.

“Some of Ukraine’s largest steel communities have been among those hardest hit by Putin’s barbarism, and the steel mill in Mariupol has become a lasting symbol of Ukraine’s determination to resist Russia’s aggression,” the department said in a statement, referring to the plant that became the last redoubt of government troops fighting Russians for their city.


UN chief Moldova visit ‘telling’ as fears of war spreading mount: AJE correspondent

Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting from the city of Lviv in western Ukraine, says UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s visit on Monday to Moldova’s capital is “very telling” amid mounting fears the country’s breakaway republic of Transnistria could be drawn into the war.

“There are increasing fears among Western analysts and Western European governments about potentially this war expanding further into Europe, or at least in Moldova’s case, European-Union aspiring countries,” Stratford said.

“Let’s not forget that it was a couple of weeks ago that a Russian general was quoted … as saying that this phase of Russia’s war could see its forces take control of all of southern Ukraine to the Transnistria region – a breakaway republic within Moldova,” he added.

“Transnistria is not even recognised by Russia but in the last week or so we have heard of explosions and shootings in that breakaway, self-declared republic.

“The Transnistrian authorities blamed the Ukrainians… but also what’s very telling is what the Russian general said about the oppression of Russian-speakers inside Transnistria, and it is that kind of language that was used by Putin in order to, in his words, legitimise protecting Russian speakers in the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk [in eastern Ukraine].”


UN’s top rights body to hold special session on Ukraine

The UN Human Rights Council has announced it will convene a special session on Thursday to address alleged Russian human rights violations in Ukraine.

More than 50 countries on Monday backed a request from Kyiv and demanded an extraordinary meeting of the UN’s top rights body to examine “the deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression”.

Thursday’s meeting will convene at 10am local time (08:00 GMT) in Geneva. It comes after Russia withdrew from the council last month in the wake of the UN General Assembly voting to suspend Moscow from the body and from sitting in judgement of other nations’ human rights records.


EU official warns ‘silos full’ of food stuck in Odesa

The president of the European Council has lamented that “silos full” of food ready for export is blocked in Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa.

Charles Michel’s remarks came as he visited the southwestern city, which has been the target of Russian missile attacks over recent days, in a surprise trip on Monday.

“I saw silos full of grain, wheat and corn ready for export,” Michel tweeted. “This badly needed food is stranded because of the Russian war and blockade of Black Sea ports. Causing dramatic consequences for vulnerable countries. We need a global response.”

Ukraine is a global grain exporter, and UN officials have warned that failure for those products to ship will hurt food security in importing countries, especially poorer ones in Africa and elsewhere.


Angolan diamond mine says Russia sanctions could hurt operations

Angola’s state-run diamond miner Endiama could face a hit to its operations as Western sanctions on Russia could delay supplies of parts and machinery, according to a government brochure.

Read more here.


Macron urges Europe against repeating WWI-era mistakes

Europe must learn from its past mistakes and make sure no side is humiliated when Russia and Ukraine negotiate for peace, French President Emmanuel Macron has said after describing Putin’s Victory Day speech as “intimidation” and “warlike”.

Speaking to reporters in the European Parliament, Macron said that while Europe was now helping Ukraine, there would come a point at which there would be peace and added that at that point neither side should be humiliated or excluded as had happened to Germany in 1918 at the end of World War I.

“We must have this standard because we know that the coming weeks and months will be very difficult,” Macron said, adding that the 27-nation European Union would continue to impose new sanctions on Russia.


‘Fascist murderer’: Russian envoy to Poland doused in red paint

Protesters in Poland have thrown red paint on Russia’s ambassador in protest against the war in Ukraine.

The incident on Monday occurred at a Warsaw cemetery dedicated to Red Army soldiers who died during World War II.

Read more here.


Kyiv calls for UN rights session, cites Mariupol ‘mass casualties’

Kyiv has called for the UN Human Rights Council to hold a special session on Ukraine, citing the need for the body to review the “continuously deteriorating” situation there including reports of mass casualties in Mariupol, the Reuters news agency reports, citing a letter it has seen.

“The current situation requires the urgent attention of the Council in view of the recent reports of war crimes and large-scale violations in the town of Bucha and other liberated areas of the country and ongoing reports of mass casualties in the city of Mariupol,” Yevheniia Filipenko, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN, wrote in a letter to the Council’s President dated May 9 and seen by Reuters.

The document was signed by 55 other countries.


Ukrainian president calls for moves to unblock ports

Zelenskyy has called for immediate moves to open Ukrainian ports blockaded by Russia to allow wheat exports and prevent a global food crisis.

“It is important to prevent a food crisis in the world caused by Russia’s aggressive actions,” he said in a Telegram post after speaking to the EU’s Michel.

“Immediate measures must be taken to unblock Ukrainian ports for wheat exports,” Zelenskyy added.


Ukraine says Russian forces are attempting to ‘storm’ Azovstal plant

Ukraine’s defence ministry says Russian forces backed by tanks and artillery are conducting “storming operations” on the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol where the city’s last defenders are holed up.

Defence Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk gave no further details but said, without providing evidence, that there could be future attacks by Russian bombers.

Russia has previously denied assertions by Ukrainian officials that it has tried to storm the sprawling, Soviet-era steelworks on the Sea of Azov where civilians have also been sheltering.

Interactive_Who controls what Mariupol Day 75_May9


Brussels to give ‘opinion’ on Ukraine EU membership bid in June

The president of the EU’s executive arm says it will respond next month to Ukraine’s bid to join the bloc, a key step before the issue is taken up by member states.

“The EU Commission will aim to deliver its opinion in June,” Ursula von der Leyen tweeted.

In April, von der Leyen visited Kyiv to show solidarity with Ukraine and agreed that Brussels would consider Ukraine’s longstanding ambition to join.

Formally adopting the country as a candidate would be a decision for the 27 EU member states acting on expert advice from the bloc’s commission, which would oversee the complex and potentially lengthy accession process.


Russian negotiator says talks with Ukraine continue

Moscow’s chief negotiator in talks with Kyiv over ending the war says that discussions have not stopped and are continuing remotely, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.

Vladimir Medinsky said Russia required “more specifics … in order to meet in person”, Interfax reported. The two sides have not held face-to-face peace talks since March 29, though they have met by video link.

Moscow has accused Kyiv of stalling the talks and using reports of atrocities committed by Russian troops in Ukraine to undermine negotiations.

Zelenskyy said last month that there was a high risk that the discussions would end, blaming public anger on what he said were the alleged Russian atrocities.


Photos: Russia marks World War II victory amid ongoing Ukraine war

As the war in Ukraine rages, Russia is celebrating Victory Day, marking the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s triumph over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Click here to see images of commemoration events from across the country.


Anti-war messages appear on Russian TVs

Russian satellite television menus have been altered to show viewers in Moscow messages about the war in Ukraine, the Reuters news agency reports, citing screenshots it has obtained.

The photographs showed Moscow satellite television menus on Victory Day.

“You have the blood of thousands of Ukrainians and hundreds of dead children on your hands,” said one slogan. “The TV and the authorities are lying. No to war.”

The slogans appeared just before Monday’s military parade on Moscow’s Red Square. Interfax reported the slogans appeared on cable television too after they were hacked.

A Russian news website also showed anti-war material that was deeply critical of Putin. It was not immediately clear how the negative articles, which were swiftly removed, had appeared.


In Putin’s words: What Russia’s leader said at Victory Day parade

Click here for a rundown of Putin’s key remarks during his speech in Moscow on Monday.


Russia says it destroyed US-made radar system in Ukraine

Russia’s defence ministry says its forces have destroyed a US-made counter-battery radar station near the eastern Ukrainian town of Zolote.

There was no immediate reaction to the claim from Washington, while Al Jazeera could not independently verify the report.

The US and other NATO allies have been supplying increasingly heavy weapons to Kyiv in recent weeks as it faces down Moscow’s refocused offensive in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.


Mariupol officials document new mass grave

Mariupol’s city council has posted a video on Telegram showing what it says is a mass grave where the bodies of “hundreds” of civilians killed by Russian forces are being buried.

Rows of hastily-dug graves and several body bags can be seen in the footage. The council said the mass grave was located near the village of Vynohradne, about 14km (8 miles) east of Mariupol, where Moscow-backed separatists staged a parade earlier on Monday.

“The occupiers celebrate Victory Day on the bones of Mariupol residents,” it said.

Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the footage.

Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv.


Australia looks to fill Asia’s energy gap amid the Ukraine crisis

As the Ukraine war upends global commodity markets and triggers a scramble for resources, the crisis is redrawing Asia-Pacific’s energy map.

While the picture is far from clear, the region’s emerging contours are already having an outsized effect on the resource juggernaut of Australia.

Read more here.

LNG
Australia ramped up shipping liquified natural gas to South Korea and Japan amid supply disruptions [File: Bloomberg]

Putin ‘mirroring fascism’ of Nazi Germany, UK minister says

The United Kingdom’s defence secretary has accused Putin and Russia’s military top brass of “mirroring [the] fascism and tyranny of 77 years ago” and “repeating the errors of the last century’s totalitarian regime” in Nazi Germany.

In a speech to coincide with Russia’s Victory Day parade, Ben Wallace said the Russian generals were as complicit as their president and should face court-martial.

Wallace added that it was “very possible that Ukraine will break the Russian army … He [Putin] must come to terms with how he’s lost in the long run, and he’s absolutely lost. Russia is not what it was,” he told an audience in the National Army Museum in London.


Separatist leader celebrates Victory Day in Mariupol

The leader of the Moscow-backed, self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine has taken part in Victory Day celebrations in the southeastern city of Mariupol.

Denis Pushilin was seen yelling “Hurrah!” and carrying a giant St George’s Ribbon – a symbol of Russia’s victory in WWII – in a video posted on Telegram.

Pushilin was seen wearing a jacket featuring the letter Z, which has become a prominent symbol of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv.

Mini map showing Mariupol's location within Ukraine


Putin focused on ‘justifications’ for invasion: AJE correspondent

Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari, reporting from Moscow, says Putin was quick to focus on Moscow’s “justifications” for sending Russian troops into Ukraine in late February.

“There were a lot of expectations here about what the Russian president would say and whether or not he would talk about what the people of Russia can expect in the coming days and weeks, but Putin kept his speech very short,” Jabbari said.

“It’s important that he did link what is happening now in Ukraine, and what has happened between Russia and Western countries, to what he believes to have happened during World War II,” she added.

“He said that they [the Russians] are fighting for its security and that they believe they are under threat. He even went so far as to say that he believed Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, was about to be attacked by NATO forces.


‘Unacceptable threat’: Putin blasts NATO moves

Russia’s president cited NATO’s expansion around its borders as an “absolutely unacceptable threat” and the reason for invading Ukraine.

Putin told thousands of troops gathered in Moscow’s Red Square that Russian forces in Ukraine were continuing the battle against “Nazism”, but it was important “to do everything so that the horror of a global war does not happen again”.

A T-34 Soviet-era tank drives in Red Square during a parade on Victory Day
The Victory Day parade marked the anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany [Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters]

Sweden’s ruling party to announce NATO stance on May 15

Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats said the party would announce on May 15 its position on whether the country should apply for NATO membership. A decision in favour of joining would in all likelihood pave the way for Sweden to submit a membership bid.

If the Social Democrats support joining, there would be a clear parliamentary majority for an application, especially if neighbouring Finland – where a decision is also expected in the coming days – were to apply.

Sweden and Finland have been militarily non-aligned for decades, but public opinion in both countries has shifted since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Putin doesn’t provide war assessment in Victory Day speech

Putin’s 11-minute speech on day 75 of the invasion offered no assessment of progress in the war on Ukraine and or how long it might continue.

He has repeatedly likened the war – which he casts as a battle against dangerous “Nazi”-inspired nationalists in Ukraine – to the challenge the Soviet Union faced when Adolf Hitler invaded Russia in 1941.

Zelenskyy has said it is Russia that is staging a “bloody re-enactment of Nazism” in Ukraine.


Ukraine won’t allow Russia to ‘appropriate’ WWII commemorations: Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy says Ukraine will not allow Russia to appropriate victory in WWII, speaking on the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany.

“Today we celebrate Victory Day over Nazism. We are proud of our ancestors who together with … the anti-Hitler coalition defeated Nazism. And we will not allow anyone to annex this victory. We will not allow it to be appropriated,” the Ukrainian leader said in a video address posted on Twitter.

“We won then. We will win now.”

In an earlier video address released on Sunday, Zelenskyy also accused Moscow of staging a “bloody re-enactment of Nazism” with its actions in Ukraine.


Putin says troops in Donbas fighting for ‘the Motherland’

At the Victory Day parade in Moscow, Putin has said Russian troops in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region are fighting for their “Motherland” and its future.

“Today, the volunteers of the Donbas, together with the soldiers of the Russian army, are fighting on their own lands,” Putin said.

“You are fighting for the Motherland, for its future, so that no one forgets the lessons of World War II – so there is no place in the world for executioners, punishers and Nazis,” he added.

The Russian leader said the “death of every soldier and officer” is painful for Moscow and pledged the state would “do everything to take care of” the families of military personnel who had been killed.

He also observed a minute of silence to honour the Russian troops who had died and finished his speech with a rallying cry to the assembled soldiers: “For Russia, For Victory, Hurrah!”


Putin says ‘West was preparing to invade our land’

Russia’s president says the intervention in Ukraine had been necessary because the West was “preparing for the invasion of our land, including Crimea”.

Putin was speaking at the annual Victory Day parade on Moscow’s Red Square marking the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in WWII.

The parade marking the event began with eight goose-stepping soldiers in dress uniform holding the Russian flag and red Soviet-era victory banner.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a military parade on Victory Day
Putin delivers a speech during a military parade on Victory Day on Monday [Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters]

226 Ukrainian children killed in Russian invasion: prosecutors

At least 226 children have been killed in Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, and another 415 have been wounded, according to the office of the country’s prosecutor general.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify the figures provided.

Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv. 


Ukraine military warns of ‘high probability of missile strikes’

Ukraine’s military says there is a “high probability of missile strikes” on the country before Russia’s planned Victory Day parade in Moscow.

The Ukrainian military’s general staff also said in Russian-controlled areas of Zaporizhzhia, Russian troops had begun the “seizure of personal documents from the local population without good reason”.

Ukraine said Russian troops seized the documents to force the local people to take part in Victory Day commemorations there.

Ukraine’s military also warned that Russia had located some 19 battalion tactical groups in Russia’s Belgorod region, just across the border. Those groups likely consist of some 15,200 soldiers with tanks, missile batteries and other weaponry.


Russia’s stock of precision-guided munitions heavily depleted: UK

The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence is warning that Russia is running out of precision-guided munitions, meaning that Moscow will increasingly turn to inaccurate rockets and bombs that can spread destruction even wider.

In its latest intelligence update, the ministry said although Russia claimed that “Ukrainian cities would therefore be safe from bombardment”, the unguided munitions posed an increasing risk.

“As the conflict continues beyond Russian pre-war expectations, Russia’s stockpile of precision-guided munitions has likely been heavily depleted,” the report said.

“This has forced the use of readily available but ageing munitions that are less reliable, less accurate and more easily intercepted.”

The ministry added that Russia “will likely struggle to replace the precision weaponry it has already expended”.


Canada to help Ukraine find options to export grain

The Canadian prime minister says his government will help Ukraine work out options on how to export stored grain to uphold global food security.

Nearly 25 million tonnes of grains are stuck in Ukraine and unable to leave the country due to infrastructure challenges and blocked Black Sea ports including Mariupol, according to the United Nations.

“We know people around the world are going to be starving because of the actions of Russia,” Trudeau told Reuters news agency in an interview.

“There is grain waiting to be shipped in Ukraine. We have to make sure that Russia doesn’t prevent the grain that the world needs from getting out to the world.”

Trudeau said Ukraine was looking at a number of options to export grain, including shipments via ports on the Danube River in the country’s south.

“We’re just looking to solve a very direct problem.”


‘Evil always loses’: Zelenskyy hails G7 support for Kyiv

Ukraine’s president has thanked G7 nations after they pledged to deepen Russia’s economic isolation over the war in his country.

“The main thing I felt today was the world’s even greater willingness to help us,” Zelenskyy said. “It is clear to the whole free world that Ukraine is the party of good in this war.

“And Russia will lose because evil always loses.”


‘Everything shook’: Evacuees recount Azovstal ordeal

Dozens of people evacuated from a steel mill in Mariupol have arrived in the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia.

Several of them recounted the ordeal of being holed up for weeks under heavy bombardment in Azovstal’s vast network of underground shelters.

“It was terrible in the bunkers,” said 69-year-old Lyubov Andropova, who had been in Azovstal since March 10. “Water would run down from the ceilings. There was mould everywhere. We were worried for the children, for their lungs.”

The shelling was constant, and there was fear “that our bunker would collapse,” she told The Associated Press news agency. “Everything shook, we didn’t go out.”

Yegor Chekhonadsky and his family had also sheltered at Azovstal since early March.

“I just want to live and start again … everything I have is here,” he told Reuters, pointing to a cluster of bags at his feet.

“Of course I’m overjoyed, and happy to be in Ukraine.”

Ukrainian refugees from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol are seen in a bus
Ukrainian refugees from Azovstal are seen in a bus as they arrive at a registration and humanitarian aid centre in Zaporizhzhia, May 8 [Gleb Garanich/Reuters]
Ukrainian refugees from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol are seen in a bus as they arrive in Zaporizhzhia
Ukrainian refugees from Azovstal are seen in a bus as they arrive at a registration and humanitarian aid centre for internally displaced people in Zaporizhzhia, May 8 [Gleb Garanich/Reuters]

Fiji pauses US seizure of Russia-linked superyacht

A court in Fiji has suspended the execution of a US warrant to seize a $300m superyacht that Washington claims is owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, according to prosecutors.

The court granted an “interim stay” after the company officially registered as the Amadea’s owners petitioned judges to stop its seizure.

Prosecutors said the case is scheduled to return to court on Thursday and that the yacht remains in Fiji police custody. It is also blocked from leaving the Pacific nation’s waters despite the warrant suspension.

Russia yacht
A screengrab from drone footage shows Amadea docked at Queens Wharf in Lautoka, May 3 [Reuters TV]

Putin to mark Soviet Union’s WWII victory

Putin is expected to lead anniversary celebrations of the Soviet Union’s second world war victory over Nazi Germany as the conflict in Ukraine grinds on with no end in sight.

Putin is expected to flaunt Russia’s military might during Monday’s symbolically important event.

Huge intercontinental ballistic missiles will be towed for official review through Moscow’s Red Square, and a planned flyover will feature supersonic fighters, strategic bombers and, for the first time since 2010, the Il-80 “doomsday” command plane, which would carry Russia’s top brass in the event of a nuclear war.


Zelenskyy awards medal to mine-sniffing dog

Ukraine’s president has presented the country’s famous mine-sniffing dog Patron and his owner, Civil Protection Service Major Myhailo Iliev a medal to recognise their dedicated service.

The pint-size Jack Russell Terrier has been credited with detecting more than 200 explosives and preventing their detonation since the start of Russia’s invasion on February 24.

At a news conference in Kyiv with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Zelenskyy said: “Today, I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines … [a]nd a wonderful little sapper – Patron – who helps not only to neutralize explosives but also to teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat,” Zelenskyy said in a statement.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy award service dog "Patron" during a news conference
Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and Ukrainian President Zelenskyy award service dog Patron during a news conference in Kyiv, May 8 [Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters]

Iran opposes war in Ukraine, calls for dialogue

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has called for dialogue between Moscow and Kyiv to bring an end to the war in Ukraine.

“We are against the war in Ukraine, just as we are against the war in Yemen, in Afghanistan, in Syria, in Iraq, or in any other part of the world,” Amir-Abdollahian told a joint news conference in Tehran on Sunday.

“We believe that the solution in Ukraine is political and that political negotiations between Russia and Ukraine must lead to an end to the war,” he added.


Lockheed Martin looks to nearly double Javelin missile production

US weapons maker Lockheed Martin plans to nearly double the production, to 4,000 per year from 2,100, of Javelin missiles, the antitank weapon that has helped Ukraine fight Russia’s invasion, according to its chief executive.

James Taiclet told CBS News on Sunday that the increase will take as long as two years, and that the firm is anticipating increased demand for “superior systems in large enough numbers”.

“We’re planning for the long run and not just in the Javelin,” he said, noting he expects to see increased demand beyond the Ukraine war due to threats from Russia and China.

The US has rushed $3.4bn worth of weapons to Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24, including Javelins, howitzers, anti-aircraft Stinger systems, ammunition and body armour.


Japan to ban Russian oil imports ‘in principle’

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says Tokyo will ban Russian crude oil imports “in principle”, as part of a Group of Seven campaign to counter Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“For a country heavily dependent on energy imports, it’s a very difficult decision. But G7 coordination is most important at a time like now,” Kishida said, according to a statement released by the Japanese government after an online meeting of G7 leaders on Sunday.

Russia is Japan’s fifth-biggest supplier of crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG).


Russia has ‘forgotten’ all that mattered to WWII victors: Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy says Russia has forgotten everything that mattered to the victors of WWII, that it “has forgotten everything that was important to the victors of World War II”.

Denouncing Russia’s heavy shelling in the east of the country, including an attack on a school he says killed 60 people, Zelenskyy said while Moscow prepares to commemorate the defeat of Nazi Germany in WWII, Russian troops are attacking civilians in Ukraine.

“Civilians who simply hid in the school from the shelling. It was a targeted blow to the school. Another crime of the occupiers,” he said in his nightly address.

Russian soldiers march during a dress rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on Saturday, May 7, 2022 [Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP]
Russian soldiers march on Saturday during a dress rehearsal for Monday’s Victory Day military parade in Moscow [Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Photo]

UK places fresh sanctions on Russia, Belarus

The United Kingdom is placing fresh sanctions on Russia and Belarus, including import tariffs on precious metals and export bans.

The import tariffs, including on platinum and palladium, will target trade worth 1.7 billion pounds ($2.10bn) while export bans worth 250 million pounds ($310m) will target Russia’s manufacturing and heavy industry, the UK’s Department for International Trade said.

“This far-reaching package of sanctions will inflict further damage on the Russian war machine,” Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan said.

The UK has slapped a range of sanctions on Russian companies and individuals since Russia invaded Ukraine with Belarusian help in February. The UK’s new sanctions bring the total value of products subjected to full or partial import and export sanctions to more than 4 billion pounds ($4.9bn).


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Read all the updates from Sunday, May 8 here.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies