Latest Russia-Ukraine updates: Kyiv to halt some Russian gas flow

Russia-Ukraine news from May 10: Kyiv says it will suspend gas through a transit point which delivers almost a third of fuel from Russia to Europe.

A Ukrainian worker operates valves in a gas storage point in Bil 'che-Volicko-Ugerske underground gas storage facilities in Strij, outside Lviv, Ukraine
GTSOU, which operates Ukraine's gas system, said it would suspend flows via the Sokhranivka route from Wednesday [File: Sergei Chuzavkov/AP Photo]
  • Ukraine says it will suspend the flow of gas through a transit point which it said delivers almost a third of the fuel piped from Russia to Europe through Ukraine.
  • US director of national intelligence says Washington believes Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing for a long conflict in Ukraine and cautions a Russian victory in the country’s eastern Donbas region may not end the war.
  • The head of the United Nations human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine says that thousands more civilians have been killed in the country since the war began than the world body’s official death toll of 3,381.

INTERACTIVE_UKRAINE_CONTROL MAP DAY76_May 10_INTERACTIVE Russia Ukraine War Who controls what Day 76

The live blog is now closed, thank you for joining us. Here are the updates for Tuesday, May 10:

Ukraine pushes back Russian troops in counteroffensive near Kharkiv

Ukraine says its forces have recaptured villages from Russian troops north and northeast of Kharkiv, pressing a counteroffensive that could signal a shift in the war’s momentum and jeopardise Russia’s main advance.

Ukrainian troops in recent days recaptured the settlements of Cherkaski Tyshky, Ruski Tyshki, Borshchova and Slobozhanske, north of Ukraine’s second-largest city, said Tetiana Apatchenko, a press officer with the main Ukrainian force in the area.

Defence Ministry adviser Yuriy Saks said the Ukrainian successes were pushing Russian forces out of range of Kharkiv, located in the northeast, which has been under perpetual bombardment since the war began.

UN chief meets Ukrainian refugees in Moldova

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has met with refugees from Ukraine in Moldova, saying afterwards “it is impossible to meet refugees and not be deeply moved by their stories”.

“One couple was telling me of a bomb that fell in their yard. People that have abandoned everything, including parts of their families,” Guterres told reporters outside the refugee centre in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau.

He noted during his two-day visit to Moldova, where he met with Moldova’s leaders, that the small nation has absorbed the most refugees proportionate to its own population of about 2.6 million people.

Mariupol’s mayor calls for ceasefire at steel mill

Mariupol’s mayor has said a ceasefire is needed at the Azovstal steel mill to verify that no civilians remained trapped inside.

“Today we must understand that only if there is a stable implementation of a ceasefire [will] we and our brave fighters (Ukrainian soldiers at Azovstal) be able to find answers to these questions,” Vadym Boychenko said.

Ukrainian officials said around 100 civilians remained trapped at the mill despite earlier reports that all had been evacuated.

Why is Hungary not backing EU sanctions on Russian oil?

As the European Union tries to impose sanctions on Russian oil over the war in Ukraine, Hungary has emerged as one of the biggest obstacles to unanimous support needed from the bloc’s 27 member nations.

Read about it here.

Energy deals “must be left out of the sanctions issue, because otherwise we will pay the price of the war, and nobody wants that,” Orban recently told Hungarian media [File: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters]
Since taking power in 2010, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has deepened Hungary’s dependency on Russian energy and says its geography and energy infrastructure make a shutdown of Russian oil impossible [File: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters]

Russia’s invasion at ‘bit of a stalemate’: US intel official

Russia’s war in Ukraine is at a “bit of a stalemate” top US intelligence officials have said.

“The Russians aren’t winning and the Ukrainians aren’t winning and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here,” Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He said that so far, between eight and 10 Russian generals have been killed.

Baerbock, Hoekstra meet Kyiv’s mayor

German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock and her Dutch counterpart, Wopke Hoekstra, have met with the mayor of Kyiv.

During discussions with Vitali Klitschko, Baerbock said Germany “was on the side of Ukraine” and was “doing everything to ensure” life could go on in the country’s liberated cities.

After talks at the city’s town hall, Klitschko took both delegations on a tour of the capital. Earlier on Tuesday, Baerbock, the first German Cabinet member to visit Ukraine since the start of the war, reopened her country’s embassy in Kyiv.

US House to vote on $40bn Ukraine aid package on Tuesday: Pelosi

The US House of Representatives will vote on a $40bn military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine on Tuesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said.

The legislation is expected to pass the House and then the Senate within the coming days and go to the White House for Biden to sign into law, easing fears of an interruption in the supply of military assistance to Kyiv.

Partial gas transit flow suspension will not hit domestic market, Ukraine says

Ukraine’s suspension of Russian natural gas flows through the Sokhranivka route should not have an effect on the domestic Ukrainian market, state energy firm Naftogaz head Yuriy Vitrenko has told Reuters.

Biden hosts Italian PM for Ukraine talks

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Biden have stressed transatlantic unity on responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at a White House meeting.

“The ties between our two countries will always be strong and, if anything, this war in Ukraine has made them stronger,” Draghi said.

Putin “thought he could divide us. He failed,” Draghi told Biden. “We stand together.”

Ukraine: Gas flows to Europe could fall by a third if Russia does not change route

Gas flows to Europe via Ukraine could fall by a third unless Russia switches to using a different route after Kyiv said it would suspend the flow of natural gas through a transit point, state energy firm Naftogaz head Yuriy Vitrenko has said.

GTSOU, which operates Ukraine’s gas system, said earlier that it would suspend flows via the Sokhranivka route from Wednesday, declaring “force majeure,” a clause invoked when a business is hit by something beyond its control.

Ukraine says Russia taking transit gas, sending it to separatist regions

The head of Ukraine’s gas system operator has said Russian occupying forces have started taking gas transiting through Ukraine and sending it to two Russia-backed separatist regions in the country’s east, the Reuters news agency reported.

The operator’s CEO Sergiy Makogon made the comment, without citing evidence, after Ukraine said it would suspend the flow of gas through a transit point which it said delivers almost a third of the fuel piped from Russia to Europe through Ukraine.

First president of Ukraine dies: Kyiv mayor

Leonid Kravchuk, the first president of post-Soviet Ukraine, has died, the mayor of Kyiv has said.

“Today the first president of independent Ukraine passed away,” Vitali Klitschko wrote on Telegram, praising Kravchuk for “talent, a strong character and knowledge”.

Russia says Ukrainian attempts to recapture Snake Island fail

Russia says it has repelled Ukrainian efforts to reclaim Snake Island in the Black Sea.

The Russian defence ministry said Russian forces had inflicted heavy losses on Ukraine in terms of men, vessels and aircraft.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said earlier that Ukraine was not trying to retake the island.

Al Jazeera was unable to verify the claims.

Zelenskyy calls for more weapons deliveries

Zelenskyy has told Maltese lawmakers that despite pleas, Ukraine has not received the amount of weapons it would need to unblock the siege of Mariupol and free the city.

Zelenskyy said defenders “still continue their resistance in the plant of Azovstal. We are using all possible diplomatic instruments to rescue them, but Russia doesn’t allow for any of the proposed options. We have asked our partners to provide weapons in order to unblock Mariupol and rescue both civilians and military personnel”.

But he said the amount of weapons needed has not been provided. Zelenskyy said Ukrainian cities and towns have been hit by 2,250 missiles during the two-and-a-half-month invasion. “The bombardment doesn’t stop, neither during the day, nor the night,’’ he said.

EBRD says it will spend 1bn euros in Ukraine this year

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will spend one billion euros ($1.053bn) in Ukraine in 2022, the bank’s president Odile Renaud-Basso has said.

She said the package was aimed at helping the Ukrainian economy and added in comments on the sidelines of the bank’s annual meeting in Morocco that the lender was willing to do more.

Russia’s Gazprom says Ukrainian proposal to switch gas flows to new entry point is impossible

Russian energy giant Gazprom has said it is not technologically possible to switch gas transfers to Ukraine to a new entry point, as Ukraine’s gas system operator GTSOU was proposing.

GTSOU earlier said it would declare force majeure on the transportation of Russian gas through the Sokhranivka entry point, with flows stopping on May 11, and proposed transferring capacity to another location, Sudzha.

Russia two weeks behind schedule in Ukraine’s east and south: US official

Russia is about two weeks behind schedule in its invasion of Ukraine’s Donbas region along with the south of the country, a senior US defense official has said.

“We would assess that he’s easily two weeks or even maybe more behind … where he thought he wanted to be in the Donbas and in the south,” the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told reporters.

As Black Sea supplies fall, India sells record wheat

India has exported a record 1.4 million tonnes of wheat in April, four trade sources have said, providing some relief to grain markets as buyers scramble for alternatives to Black Sea supplies hit hard by the war in Ukraine.

April is the first month of the fiscal year. India, the world’s second-biggest wheat producer, exported a record seven million tonnes of the grain in fiscal 2021-22.

India is the only major supplier of wheat at this time of year, and its exports of the grain have surged since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

Portuguese police raid local body where Russians handled Ukrainian refugees

Portuguese police have raided a refugee support centre run by the municipality of Setubal near Lisbon over allegations that pro-Kremlin Russian attendants had collected personal data of dozens of newly arrived Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.

Police said in a statement they had searched the support centre, the municipality building and the Yedinstvo association of migrants from Eastern Europe, of which the Russian couple were members. They seized documents in an investigation of suspected crimes of data misuse and unauthorised access.

Newspaper Expresso reported on April 29 that the Russian couple with alleged links to Moscow, Igor Khashin and his wife Yulia, had photocopied refugees’ personal documents and questioned them about the whereabouts of their family members in Ukraine, which scared and unnerved many refugees.

INTERACTIVE_RefugeesDAY76- May10_INTERACTIVE Russia-Ukraine war Refugees DAY 76

Zelenskyy tells Malta to clamp down on Russian dual-nationals

Zelenskyy has urged Malta to stop Russians from abusing passports handed out as part of a lucrative citizenship scheme, and to prevent its ships from transporting Russian oil.

In his latest video address to a Western parliament, Zelenskyy urged the EU’s smallest member state to play its part, calling on the government to halt all Russian banking transactions and prevent Russians from hiding under “golden passport” schemes or dual citizenship.

“Please do not let yourself be abused, check which Russians are trying to hide using your passports,” he said.

Russia FM visits ally Algeria as EU seeks alternative gas

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has visited gas-producing ally Algeria for talks as Europe jockeys to secure alternative energy supplies.

Algeria is a major gas supplier to Europe, providing 11 percent of its imports, compared with 47 percent from Russia.

Algiers abstained when the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution in March demanding Russia immediately withdraw from Ukraine.

“We very much appreciate Algeria’s considered, objective and balanced position on the Ukrainian question,” Lavrov told journalists after meeting his counterpart Ramtane Lamamra and President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

INTERACTIVE - Russian gas reliance

Belarus to deploy special forces to southern border near Ukraine

Belarus will deploy special operations troops in three areas near its southern border with Ukraine, the armed forces have said as President Alexander Lukashenko talked up the role of Russian-made missiles in boosting the country’s defences.

A close ally of Russia, Belarus said in March that its armed forces were not taking part in what Moscow calls its “special operation” in Ukraine, but it did serve as a launchpad for Russia to send thousands of troops across the border on February 24.

Russia downed satellite internet in Ukraine: Western officials

Russia was behind a massive cyberattack against a satellite internet network which took tens of thousands of modems offline at the onset of Russia-Ukraine war, the US, UK, Canada and the EU have said.

The digital assault against Viasat’s KA-SAT network in late February took place just as Russian armour pushed into Ukraine. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the cyberattack was intended “to disrupt Ukrainian command and control during the invasion, and those actions had spillover impacts into other European countries”.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss called the satellite internet hack “deliberate and malicious” and the Council of the EU said it caused “indiscriminate communication outages” in Ukraine and several EU member states.

Read the full story here.

Ukraine operator to suspend Russian gas flow via Sokhranivka entry point

Ukraine’s gas system operator GTSOU has said it would declare force majeure on the transportation of gas through the Sokhranivka entry point, with flows stopping on May 11.

Ukraine has continued to be a major transit route for Russian gas to Europe even after Russia’s invasion of the country on February 24.

Ukraine war speeds Greece’s transition to EU energy gateway

As Europe attempts to abandon Russian energy imports, Greece is becoming a gateway for liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies.

Read more here.

Kyiv mayor says nearly two-thirds of residents have returned

The mayor of Kyiv says that nearly two-thirds of the Ukrainian capital’s residents have returned after a massive initial exodus following Russia’s invasion in late February.

“Before the war, 3.5 million people lived in Kyiv. Almost two-thirds of the capital’s residents have returned,” Vitali Klitschko told a media briefing.

Czech Republic elected to replace Russia on UN rights council

The United Nations General Assembly has elected the Czech Republic to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to replace Russia, which was suspended last month over its invasion of Ukraine and then immediately quit the 47-member body.

Russia had been in its second year of a three-year term. The Czech Republic will complete that term on the council, which cannot make legally binding decisions. Its decisions carry political weight, however, and it can authorise investigations.

The Czech Republic was elected with 157 votes in favour, while 23 countries abstained.

The council is due to hold a special session on Ukraine on Thursday, including on reports of mass casualties in Mariupol.

German foreign minister vows ‘justice’ for Bucha on Ukraine visit

Germany’s foreign minister has pledged to ensure accountability for alleged war crimes committed by Russian troops in Ukraine.

Speaking during a visit to war-torn areas around Kyiv, Annalena Baerbock said “no one can take away the pain … but we can ensure justice”.

Read more here.

Annalena Baerbock looks at photographs
Baerbock said ‘the worst crimes imaginable’ had occurred in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, where Russian forces are accused by Ukraine of killing hundreds of civilians [Carlos Barria/Reuters]

Donetsk separatists to open ’embassy’ in Moscow

A high-ranking official in the self-declared, separatist Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine says the breakaway region will open an embassy in Moscow next month.

“Its location in a comfortable district in Moscow has been determined,” Olga Makeeva, the DPR’s ambassador to Russia, told the Donetsk News Agency.

She did not give an exact date for the embassy’s opening, but said its future staff members had been trained at the diplomatic academy of the Russian foreign ministry.

Moscow recognised the DPR and another breakaway region in eastern Ukraine – the self-declared Luhansk People’s Republic – as “independent nations” on February 21, three days before it invaded Ukraine and more than eight years after they declared their independence.

Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv.

Putin preparing for prolonged war in Ukraine: US spy chief

The United States believes that Putin is preparing for a long conflict in Ukraine and that a Russian victory in the Donbas in the east of the country might not end the war, its director of national intelligence says.

“We assess President Putin is preparing for a prolonged conflict in Ukraine during which he still intends to achieve goals beyond the Donbas,” Avril Haines told lawmakers.

She added that Putin was counting on Western powers’ resolve to weaken over time.

Russian senator moots bill banning mention of dissident artists

A Russian senator has told the country’s RIA Novosti news agency that he is considering putting forward a bill that would forbid Russian media from mentioning the names of artists who fled overseas because of their anti-war stance.

“These are anti-Russian people, their names must be forever forgotten,” Sergey Tsekov, a former Ukrainian official who switched sides in 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea, said.

Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv.

UK PM Johnson to travel to Sweden and Finland on Wednesday

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will travel to Sweden and Finland on Wednesday, his spokesman says, as the two countries consider joining NATO.

“It is about not just Ukraine, but about the broader security of Europe,” Johnson’s spokesman said of the trip.

Sweden and Finland are expected to make a decision about whether to apply to join NATO this month.

China’s Xi warns of confrontations arising from Ukraine crisis

Confrontation between competing world powers resulting from the Ukraine crisis could become a bigger and more lasting threat to international peace than the crisis itself, China’s President Xi Jinping has warned his French counterpart during talks by phone, according to state media.

China has repeatedly urged European countries to exercise diplomatic autonomy instead of aligning with the US in what Beijing says is a “cold war mentality”. Beijing has also refused to condemn Russia for its invasion, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”.

Speaking to French President Emmanuel Macron on the phone, Xi said that China felt Europe should have full control of European security, Chinese state television reported.

Xi also said he hopes France will play an active role in promoting China-EU ties as it holds the rotating presidency of the EU.

Ukraine accuses Russia of listing killed troops as ‘missing’, dumping their bodies

Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) has alleged that Russia is listing troops killed in Ukraine as “missing” while secretly burying their bodies in order to hide the true extent of its losses.

The SBU said its claim was based on an intercepted phone call between a pro-Russian separatist fighter and his wife in the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, in eastern Ukraine.

The rebel allegedly said in the call that thousands of killed Russian troops were being dumped at a huge “junkyard” near the city of Donetsk.

“It’s not a morgue, it’s a landfill,” the SBU quoted the separatist fighter as saying. He reportedly added in the call that the site was “cordoned off” and the stacks of corpses there reach two metres in height.

There was no immediate reaction to the SBU’s claims from Moscow. Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the security service’s report.

Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv.

A pro-Russian troop is seen in Donetsk
Kyiv claims that about 25,000 Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine [Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters]

German foreign minister backs full EU membership for Ukraine

Germany’s foreign minister has said Ukraine should become a full member of the EU at some point, though added there could be no shortcut to membership.

Speaking alongside her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba during a visit to Ukraine, Annalena Baerbock also stressed that Germany would reduce its imports of Russian energy to zero, “and that will stay that way forever”.

Azovstal fighter calls for evacuation of wounded: Report

A Ukrainian fighter holed up in Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks has said that numerous wounded troops need to be evacuated from the site after Russian attacks there.

“There are plenty of wounded. They need evacuation. One can’t delay the process because the wounded need care … [and] drugs. They need normal food and fresh air,” Captain Sviatoslav Palamar, a deputy commander of Ukraine’s Azov Regiment, told the Ukrainska Pravda newspaper.

Hundreds of Ukrainian fighters are believed to be occupying the sprawling steelworks, their last holdout against Russian forces intent on capturing all of Mariupol.

Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv.

Moldova celebrates Soviet victory, but divisions deepen amid war

Soviet hymns blasted from speakers in the centre of the Moldovan capital on Monday, as the annual Victory Day march went ahead as war raged in Ukraine.

The commemoration of the end of World War II in 1945 came against the backdrop of deep societal divisions, with those who lean towards Russia and those who favour closer integration with the West at odds.

And now, many Moldovans live in fear that their country could get dragged into the conflict.

Read more here.

WHO’s Europe branch passes resolution against Russia

Members of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) European region have passed a resolution that could result in the closure of Russia’s regional office and the suspension of meetings in the country in response to its offensive.

The European branch of the world health body passed the resolution, supported by Ukraine and the EU, with 43 in favour and three against during a special session held virtually. There were two abstentions.

Russia’s envoy, Andrey Plutnitsky, opposed the resolution and said he was “extremely disappointed” by the move.

More than eight million people displaced in Ukraine: UN

More than eight million people have been internally displaced in Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion, the UN’s migration agency says.

A survey conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) also showed that nearly half of those people, or 44 percent, were considering further relocation due to the scale of the humanitarian crisis in the country.

Finnish Parliament’s defence committee recommends NATO membership

The Finnish Parliament’s defence committee has said that joining NATO is the best option for the country to guarantee its security before an expected official decision on whether to join the transatlantic military alliance in the coming days.

Finland’s membership in NATO would significantly increase the deterrent for becoming a target of Russia’s aggression, the defence committee concluded in a statement.

Finland, which shares a 1,300km (810 miles) border and a difficult past with neighbouring Russia, is reconsidering its long-standing position to refrain from joining NATO to maintain friendly relations with its eastern neighbour.

Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto is expected to announce on Thursday his stance on joining the US-led alliance, a move that would mean a major shift in security policy for the Nordic country in the wake of Russia’s invasion.


Ukrainian farming group says war has caused it big losses

Ukraine’s leading agricultural group, Ukrlandfarming, says Russia’s invasion has caused it losses totalling hundreds of millions of dollars, mainly because of the loss of access to land and the destruction of farms.

Ukrlandfarming, which produces grain, meat, eggs and sugar, said in a statement that it had lost control of 40 percent of its land portfolio. The territory had either been occupied by Russian forces or was located in areas where sowing was impossible because of fighting, it said.

It underlined the loss of access to more than 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine and to 6,500 hectares (16,000 acres) in the eastern region of Luhansk, territory that is part of its total land bank of 500,000 hectares (1.24 million acres).

Ukrlandfarming also blamed Russian forces for the deaths of four million adult laying hens and some 700,000 young pullets at the Chornobayivska poultry farm near Kherson, Europe’s largest. It accused them of ruining other farms in the Kyiv region and also a grain elevator in the Zhytomyr region west of the capital.

Zelenskyy urges sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia

Ukraine’s president has called for EU member states to approve a proposed sixth package of sanctions against Russia which includes an embargo on oil imports from the country.

“Now the sixth package of sanctions will be adopted, and it is certainly a package that we need, and also energy sanctions are needed,” Zelenskyy told Slovakia’s parliament in a video address.

The EU proposals are still being considered by its member states.

Kyiv announces new subway station names

Kyiv officials have announced the new names for five subway stations in the Ukrainian capital whose existing titles are linked to Russia or the former Soviet Union following a public vote.

The Leo Tolstoy Square station will become Vasyl Stus in a nod to the famed Ukrainian dissident and poet, who died in a Soviet jail in 1985, the Kyiv City Administration said in a post on Telegram.

The Beresteiska station, named after the city of Brest in Moscow-friendly Belarus, will be retitled Bucha. The three other new names are Heroes of Ukraine, Warsaw and Botanical.

Officials said more than 170,000 votes had been cast in the online poll on renaming the sites.

Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv.

Zelenskyy calls for help to end blockade of ports

Ukraine’s leader has called on the international community to take immediate steps to help end the Russian blockade of his country’s ports.

Zelenskyy’s plea came as fears rise over a possible global food crisis, with Kyiv currently prevented from exporting vast quantities of foodstuffs to global buyers.

Read more here.

Mykolaiv official says 15 civilians wounded by Russian attacks

At least 15 civilians have been wounded in the past 24 hours amid Russian attacks in Ukraine’s southern region of Mykolaiv, a local official says.

“Fortunately, there are no children among the victims,” Hanna Zamazeeva, chair of the Mykolaiv Regional Council, said in a Telegram post.

Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the report.

Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv.

Japan to decide Russia oil embargo timing based on economy

Tokyo has said it intends to phase out Russian oil in a way that “minimises adverse effects” after agreeing on such an embargo with other Group of Seven nations.

Read more here.

Which countries have the most oil

Ukraine death toll ‘thousands higher’ than reported: UN official

The head of the UN’s human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine says that thousands more civilians have been killed in the country since the war began than the world body’s official toll of 3,381.

“We have been working on estimates, but all I can say for now is that it is thousands higher than the numbers we have currently given to you,” Matilda Bogner told a media briefing in Geneva when asked about the total number of deaths and injuries.

“The big black hole is really Mariupol where it has been difficult for us to fully access and to get fully corroborated information,” she added.

The UN team, which includes 55 monitors in Ukraine, said most of the deaths had occurred from the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area.

Read more here.

German foreign minister visits Ukraine

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has arrived in Ukraine, becoming the highest-ranking German government official to visit the country since Russia’s invasion began on February 24.

Her first stop was in the town of Bucha, near Kyiv, where Russian forces are accused of having committed war crimes.

Moscow, which has repeatedly denied targeting civilians in Ukraine, has called allegations that its forces executed civilians in Bucha while they occupied the town a “monstrous forgery” aimed at denigrating the Russian army.

Ukraine’s central bank increases its domestic war portfolio

Ukraine’s central bank says it had increased its portfolio of domestic war bonds to 100 billion hryvnias ($3.3bn) after buying a further 30 billion to help the government finance the budget amid the war with Russia.

“Given the significant defence, humanitarian and social needs, the support of the budget by the National Bank remains a necessary measure in the context of the war unleashed by Russia,” it said in a statement.

Ukraine’s finance minister said tax revenues covered only 54 percent of budget expenditures.

Russia ‘changes its propaganda’: Ukrainian intelligence

Due to “catastrophic losses” in Ukraine, the Kremlin is changing the tone of its propaganda, Ukrainian intelligence has said.

To prepare average Russians for a possible defeat, Kremlin-controlled media started to present the war as Moscow’s confrontation with the EU and NATO members, the Chief Intelligence Department of Ukraine’s defence ministry said on Facebook.

“This will reduce the shame of losing to a more powerful opponent,” it said.

In his May 9 speech on Moscow’s Red Square, Putin said Ukraine received “regular deliveries of modern weapons” from NATO member states.

Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv.

Ukrainian official says 44 bodies discovered in collapsed building in Izyum

A Ukrainian official says the bodies of 44 civilians have been found in the rubble of a five-storey building that collapsed in March in Izyum, in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region.

“This is another horrible war crime of the Russian occupiers against the civilian population,” Oleh Synehubov, the region’s governor, said in a Telegram post.

Synehubov added that the bodies were discovered by local volunteers because Ukrainian emergency services no longer operate in Izyum after it was seized by Russians on April 1.

“This isn’t the only house of this kind there, unfortunately, and there is no specialised equipment to remove the debris, so everything is being done by hand,” he said.

Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the report.

At least 100 civilians still in Mariupol’s Azovstal plant: Mayor’s aide

At least 100 civilians remain holed up in Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks, an aide to the city’s mayor says.

“In addition to the military, at least 100 civilians remain in the [Azovstal] shelters. However, this does not reduce the density of attacks by the occupiers,” Petro Andryushchenko said in a post on Telegram.

Ukraine had previously indicated that all civilians had left Azovstal, and Russia has said the evacuation of civilians from the sprawling, Soviet-era plant was complete.

There was no immediate reaction to Andryushchenko’s remarks from Moscow.

Smoke rises above a plant of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol.
The Azovstal steel plant is the last part of Mariupol, which has endured the most destructive fighting of the war, still in the hands of Ukrainian fighters [Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters]

Russia lost 26,000 servicemen: Ukraine

Moscow’s losses amounted to 26,000 soldiers, including some 350 in the past 24 hours, Ukraine’s military has said.

Since the invasion began on February 24, Russian forces have also lost 1,170 tanks, 2,808 armoured vehicles, 199 planes and 158 helicopters, the General Staff of Armed Forces said on Facebook on Tuesday.

It said the figures are “being updated” because of ongoing hostilities.

Russia’s most recent official death toll in late March was more than 1,300 servicemen. Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify any of the figures provided.

Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv.

EU deal on Russian oil ban could be reached soon: French minister

French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune has said EU members could reach a deal this week on the European Commission’s proposal to ban all oil imports from Russia.

“I think we could strike a deal this week,” Beaune told LCI television, adding that French President Emmanuel Macron was due to talk to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban later in the day.

Hungary is the most vocal critic of the planned embargo on Russian oil. On Monday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she had made progress in talks with Orban over the issue.

Russia underestimated Ukraine’s resistance: UK

Russia’s underestimation of Ukraine’s resistance prevented Putin from announcing any military successes on Victory Day, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence has said.

“Russia’s invasion plan is highly likely to have been based on the mistaken assumption that it would encounter limited resistance and would be able to encircle and bypass population centres rapidly,” the ministry said in its latest intelligence briefing.

This “assumption” is why Russian forces used a “light, precise approach” in the invasion’s opening phase to try “to achieve a rapid victory with minimal cost”.

“This miscalculation led to unsustainable losses and a subsequent reduction in Russia’s operational focus,” the ministry said.

Civilian, policeman injured in shelling in Luhansk: Governor

Russian shelling has injured one civilian and one policeman in Luhansk, the region’s governor has said.

“Cities and villages in the region have been shelled 22 times over the past day. Houses are destroyed in Severodonetsk and Lysichansk,” Serhiy Haidai wrote on Telegram. He added that a shell hit and caused a fire at the region’s premises of the national police.

Meanwhile, in Shipilovo, Russians opened fire on police who were inspecting damage from previous days’ shelling. One employee was injured, Haidai said.

“A resident of Severodonetsk, who yesterday received shrapnel wounds to his limbs, was hospitalised and taken to a hospital in Poltava,” he added.

Ukraine repelled 15 Russian attacks in Donetsk, Luhansk: Army

Ukraine’s army has said it repelled 15 Russian attacks in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the past day.

The latest report from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said Moscow’s forces are preparing for offensives in the towns of Lyman and Severodonetsk. Fights continue for the settlements of Voevodovka and Toshkovka in the Severodonetsk district of the Luhansk region, as well as Kamenka in the Donetsk region, it added in a post on Facebook.

Russian forces are continuing to secure a section of the Ukrainian-Russian border near the Russian regions of Bryansk and Kursk, the army said. Multiple areas of the Sumy region were shelled, including the villages of Belopolye, Bolshaya Pisarevka, Krasnopolye and Yunakivka.

The post also said Ukraine’s forces destroyed one Russian anti-aircraft missile system, nine tanks, three artillery systems, 25 units of armoured combat vehicles, three units of special engineering equipment and three other vehicles.

Indonesian escapes Chernihiv after hiding in underground bunker

When Iskandar found himself caught in the middle of the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, the factory worker reckoned he had a 10 percent chance of survival.

“I had just a thin sliver of hope that I would live, of the line between life and death,” the 46-year-old Indonesian, who was working as a quality control officer at a plastic factory when the war started, told Al Jazeera from his home in the city of Binjai in North Sumatra, Indonesia.

Iskandar, who was based in the northern city of Chernihiv, first found out about the invasion on YouTube on the morning of February 24, when Putin announced a “special military operation” to “demilitarise and denazify” Ukraine.

Read more here.

Fighters in Azovstal still battling for Mariupol

One of the Ukrainian fighters holding out in the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol has said they were still defending the city.

Valeri Paditel, who heads the border guards in the Donetsk region, said the fighters were “doing everything to make those who defend the city in the future proud”.

In a video address, released by the national border guard service, Paditel said the fighters include border guards, soldiers, national police and members of the national guard.

Ukrainian servicemen carry an injured comrade on stretcher to the hospital after an attack by Russian forces in Donetsk region, Ukraine
Ukrainian servicemen carry an injured comrade on a stretcher to the hospital after an attack by Russian forces in Donetsk region, Ukraine, May 9, 2022 [Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo]

One dead, three injured in Mykolaiv: Mayor

Russian shelling over the past day killed one person and injured three others in the southern city of Mykolaiv, Ukraine’s Channel 24 has reported citing the city’s mayor.

Alexander Senkevich said the shelling was directed at residential areas.

He added that 95 people had died in Mykolaiv since Russia’s invasion on February 24, with one of them being a child. He said 412 people had been injured in the same timeframe, including four children.

Japan announces new Russia sanctions

Japan has announced new sanctions on Russia, Reuters reports.

The sanctions include freezing the assets of more individuals and banning exports of cutting-edge goods to some Russian groups, including scientific research institutions.

Putin’s speech shows he won’t use nuclear weapons: Ukraine official

An adviser to Zelenskyy has interpreted Putin’s Victory Day speech as indicating that Russia has no interest in escalating the war through the use of nuclear weapons or direct engagement with NATO, the Associated Press reports.

Oleksiy Arestovych pointed to Putin’s statement that Russia would honour the memory of those who fought in World War II by doing “everything so that the horror of a global war does not happen again”.

Translating from “Kremlin speak into Russian,” Arestovych said this means: “There will be no nuclear war. There will be no war with NATO. What will there be? There will be a sluggish attempt to solve three main problems,” which he identified as taking control of the entire Luhansk, Donetsk and Kherson regions.

Arestovych said in an online interview that Russia would drag out the war while bleeding the Ukrainian economy with the aim of getting Ukraine to agree to give up these territories.

Russia not planning to close Europe embassies: RIA

Russia is not planning to proactively close its embassies in Europe in response to sanctions and other unfriendly measures by the West, state news agency RIA has reported, citing Russia’s deputy foreign minister.

“This is not in our tradition,” Alexander Grushko told RIA.

“Therefore, we believe that the work of diplomatic representative offices is important.”

On Monday, Russia’s ambassador to Poland was doused in a red substance by people protesting against the war in Ukraine as he went to lay flowers at the Soviet Military Cemetery in Warsaw to mark the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Russian Ambassador to Poland, Sergey Andreev, is covered with red paint in Warsaw
Russian ambassador to Poland, Sergey Andreev, is covered with red paint in Warsaw, on Monday, May 9, 2022 [Maciek Luczniewski/AP]

Russia urgently needs more troops in Donbas: Think-tank

Members of the Kremlin-linked private military company, the Wagner Group, have reportedly requested hundreds of thousands of additional troops to reinforce Russian efforts in Donbas, the Institute for the Study of War has said.

In its latest campaign assessment, the institute cited intelligence reports that untrained Russian conscripts were still being sent into active combat despite the Kremlin denying this practice. It mentioned a prisoner of war from the Wagner Group saying that a “covert mobilisation” was under way in Russia to send conscripts to clean damage caused by combat in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics.

The institute also said US officials had reported that Russian forces deployed to the Zaporizhzhia area were experiencing “very low morale and psychological conditions”. They “complain about the ineffectiveness of operations in the area, frequently abuse alcohol, and shoot at their own vehicles in order to avoid going to the front line”, the institute added.

Biden worried Putin has no way out of Ukraine

US President Joe Biden has said he is worried that Putin does not have a way out of the Ukraine war.

Speaking at a political fundraiser in a Washington suburb on Monday, Biden said that Putin had mistakenly believed the invasion of Ukraine would break up NATO and the EU. Instead, the US and many European countries have rallied to Ukraine’s side.

Biden said Putin is a very calculating man and the problem he worries about now is that the Russian leader “doesn’t have a way out right now, and I’m trying to figure out what we do about that”.

Germany facing ‘deep recession’ if Russia cuts off gas: Economist

A halt to Russian gas supplies to Germany would trigger a deep recession and cost half a million jobs, a senior economist has said.

Achim Truger, a member of Germany’s Council of Economic Experts, told daily newspaper Rheinische Post that the country’s industry could suffer serious damage in the long term if the Russian president decides to cut gas exports.

Russian gas accounted for 55 percent of Germany’s imports last year, and Berlin has come under pressure to unwind a business relationship that critics says is helping fund Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Last month, Russia’s Gazprom cut Poland and Bulgaria off from its gas for refusing to pay in roubles, and threatened to do the same to others, raising fears that it could take similar action against Germany.

Ukraine completes second part of EU ‘candidate country’ questionnaire

Ukraine has filled in the second part of the EU’s questionnaire to gain candidate country status.

Zelenskyy wrote on his Telegram channel on Monday that he had shown the document to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a video call.

In his video address on Monday night, Zelenskyy said Ukraine expects “to receive a positive response in June regarding the acquisition of EU candidate status by our country”.

Austin and Blinken tell Congress Ukraine funding needed by May 19

The US secretaries of state and defence have urged Congress in a letter to pass the bill on supplementary Ukraine funding by May 19.

The letter, addressed to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and signed by Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin, said almost all of the $3.5bn in drawdown authority Congress provided this year for Ukraine has been exhausted. “As of today, only $100 million remains,” the letter said.

“We expect to exhaust that authority no later than May 19, 2022. We will need additional appropriations by that date – including authorisation for additional drawdown – if we are to continue our security assistance at the current pace,” the letter added.

One person dead in Odesa missile strikes: Army

One person has died as a result of Russian missile strikes in Odesa on Monday, Ukraine’s army says.

The military’s Operational Command South unit said that Russian forces fired seven missiles at the Black Sea port city, hitting a shopping centre and consumer goods warehouse.

“Unfortunately, one person died, five wounded were taken to the hospital … Firefighting continues,” it said in a Facebook post.

The missile attacks came at the same time the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, was visiting the city.

History to hold Russia responsible: Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy has said that history will hold Russia responsible for its invasion of Ukraine.

“And we, Ukrainians, will continue to work toward our defence, our victory and on restoring justice. Today, tomorrow and any other day that is necessary to free Ukraine from the occupiers,” the Ukrainian president said in his nightly address.

Soldier pays his last tribute to volunteer soldier Oleksandr Makhov, 36 – a well-known Ukrainian journalist killed by Russian troops – during his funeral at St Michael cathedral in Kyiv
A soldier pays tribute to volunteer soldier Oleksandr Makhov, 36 – a well-known Ukrainian journalist killed by Russian troops – during his funeral at St Michael’s cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Monday, May 9, 2022 [Efrem Lukatsky/AP]

US Republican leader says he is ‘focused’ on approving Ukraine aid

US Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said he is focused on passing additional aid to Ukraine “quickly”.

He also welcomed decoupling the Ukraine funds from COVID-19 domestic assistance, after advocating for a “clean” Ukraine bill repeatedly in speeches in the Senate.

“I’m focused on getting it done without extraneous matters on it, and getting it done quickly,” McConnell said of the latest proposal for additional US funding for Ukraine.

US promises to impose new sanctions on Russia as long as ‘aggression’ continues

The US has promised to continue piling sanctions on the Russian economy as long as the invasion of Ukraine continues.

The most recent US sanctions package had targeted three Russian television stations, banned Americans from providing accounting and consulting services to Russians, and sanctioned executives from Gazprombank.

“The United States will continue to execute new economic measures against Russia as long as the Russian Federation continues its aggression against Ukraine,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

War’s consequences ‘too frightening to contemplate’: UN chief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said during an official visit to non-NATO member Moldova that the consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine escalating are “too frightening to contemplate”.

Guterres said in a joint press conference with Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita that the effect of Russia’s war in neighbouring Ukraine “is profound and far-reaching”.

“I am deeply concerned about the continuation and possible spread of the war Russia is waging in Ukraine,” said Guterres, adding that Moldova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity “must not be threatened or undermined”.

US weapons legislation aims to ‘wipe away’ bureaucratic delays

Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan, reporting from Washington, DC, said US weapons exports typically involve a months-long process amid various agency reviews, but a law signed by Biden on Monday will help expedite the procedure.

“What this signing of the Lend-Lease Act does is essentially wipe away all of that bureaucracy,” Jordan said.

“This gives the administration the ability to give to the Ukrainians equipment that the US already owns and to get it there as quickly as possible.”

Missiles hit tourists sites in Odesa: City council

The city council in Ukraine’s southern port of Odesa has said missiles struck tourist sites, destroying five buildings and injuring two people.

Ukrainian media also reported that an Odesa shopping centre was ablaze after an attack. There was no immediate confirmation.

Biden calls on US Congress to ‘immediately’ approve Ukraine funding

Biden has called on the US Congress to “immediately” pass additional funding for Ukraine assistance, saying that he has “nearly exhausted” the aid resources previously approved by lawmakers.

The US president said the White House would agree to separating efforts to pass assistance for Ukraine and funds for COVID-19 relief to accelerate the process of approving the aid for Ukraine.

He said the Ukraine funding request enjoys “strong support” among US lawmakers. “So I call on Congress to pass the Ukrainian Supplemental funding bill immediately, and get it to my desk in the next few days,” Biden said in a statement.

Lithuania FM urges regime change in Russia

Lithuania’s top diplomat has said removing Putin from power is the only way to protect the West and its allies from future threats from Moscow, urging an even tougher stance against Russia than the US and many NATO allies have been willing to pursue.

“From our standpoint, up until the point the current regime is not in power, the countries surrounding it will be, to some extent, in danger,” Lithuanian foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said in an interview with The Associated Press in Washington.

“Not just Putin but the whole regime because, you know, one might change Putin and might change his inner circle but another Putin might rise into his place.”

US Democrats looking to pass $40bn in Ukraine aid funding: Report

Democratic Party legislators in the US Congress have agreed on a proposal to provide nearly $40bn in additional funding to Ukraine, the Reuters news agency has reported, citing two unidentified sources.

Biden asked Congress last month for $33bn to keep military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine flowing without interruption. The US president has been urging legislators to act on his request, warning that his administration is almost “out of money”.

The House of Representatives could vote on the plan as early as Tuesday, Reuters said.

France’s Macron offers ‘full support’ for Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged “full support” for Ukraine, as he stood alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz under the historic Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

The monument was illuminated in blue and white, the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

“Full support to Ukraine,” said Macron as he walked over to the gate, where about 200 people had gathered.

Macron and Scholz
Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) and France’s President Emmanuel Macron visit the Brandenburg Gate [Michele Tantussi/Reuters]

White House denounces Putin’s ‘Victory Day’ speech

The White House has slammed Putin’s Victory Day speech, accusing the Russian president of spreading “disinformation”.

In a speech marking the defeat of the Nazis during World War II, Putin had said the invasion of Ukraine was in response to an “unacceptable” Western threat to Russia.

“What we saw President Putin do is give a version of revisionist history that took the form of disinformation that we have seen too commonly as the Russian playbook,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

Pulitzer Prize board honours Ukrainian journalists

The Pulitzer Prize board has honoured Ukrainian journalists for their war coverage, awarding them with a special citation in recognition of their “courage, endurance and commitment to truth reporting” during the Russian invasion.

“Despite bombardment abductions, occupation and even deaths in their ranks, they have persisted in their effort to provide an accurate picture of a terrible reality, doing honour to Ukraine and to journalists around the world,” board member Marjorie Miller said as the prizes were announced.

Seven journalists, including three from Ukraine, have been killed since Russia launched a full-scale invasion in late February, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Read more here.

Zelenskyy thanks US legislators for passing WWII-era weapons legislation

Zelenskyy has thanked Biden and US legislators for passing legislation reviving a WWII-era weapons programme that will allow Washington to more easily export arms to Ukraine.

“Today’s signing of the law on Lend-Lease is a historic step,” Zelenskyy tweeted. “I am convinced that we will win together again. And we will defend democracy in Ukraine. And in Europe. Like 77 years ago.”

The measure revives a World War II-era arrangement that allowed the US to lend or lease military equipment to Great Britain and other allies at little cost. The new plan will help those affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including Poland and other Eastern European countries.

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

Read all the updates from Monday, May 9 here.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies