Russia Ukraine war live: Kyiv repositions troops in Kharkiv amid ‘intense’ bombardment from Putin’s forces

Russia Ukraine war live Kyiv repositions troops in Kharkiv amid intense bombardment from Putins forces
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Putin sends message to West as he is sworn in for fifth term as Russian president

Ukrainian military officials said they have repositioned some troops in eastern Kharkiv due to heavy enemy fire in the region, where they reported an “intense” bombardment from Russian forces.

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Heavy fighting has engulfed Kupiansk, to the east of Kharkiv city, which was occupied by Russian troops in the first weeks of the February 2022 invasion but recaptured by Ukrainian forces later in the year.

This comes as Ukraine said it has “partially pushed back” Russian forces in the key frontier town of Vovchansk just a few miles from the border.

Vovchansk is Ukraine’s primary defensive line against Russia’s advancing forces in the Kharkiv region since the Kremlin launched an assault last Friday, opening up a second front after more than two years of war.

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In its latest update, Ukraine’s general staff claimed on Facebook that their forces had fought back against the Kremlin’s troops, who recently entered the north and northwest sectors of the town.

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The claim came after a local police official from Vovchansk said Russia was “taking positions on the streets” of the town.

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Xi lauds China-Russia ties as Putin arrives in Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to work with counterpart Vladimir Putin to “rejuvenate” their countries as the pair started a day of talks in Beijing, saying China would “always be a good partner” of Russia, according to Chinese state media.

Putin arrived on Thursday for a two-day state visit that will include detailed talks on Ukraine, Asia, energy and trade with Xi, his most powerful political backer and fellow geopolitical rival of the United States.

“The China-Russia relationship today is hard-earned, and the two sides need to cherish and nurture it,” Xi told Putin as they met in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

“China is willing to … jointly achieve the development and rejuvenation of our respective countries, and work together to uphold fairness and justice in the world.”

China and Russia declared a “no limits” partnership in February 2022 when Putin visited Beijing just days before he sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine, triggering the deadliest land war in Europe since World War Two.

Tom Watling16 May 2024 08:48

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What’s the latest in Ukraine and Russia? Day 813

Intense fighting has continued in the northeast Kharkiv region in what British Defence Minister Grant Shapps said should be a “wake up call” to Ukraine’s allies who have become “distracted” from the war.

“We must back [the Ukrainians] all the time, not just periodically,” Mr Shapps said, adding that a $60bn US military package “took too long to get through Congress”. It was blocked for seven months by Donald Trump-supporting Republicans keen to shore up more funds for securing their border with Mexico.

Ukrainian war tracker DeepState said Russian forces had advanced into a stretch of land between the villages of Hlyboke and Lyptsi, which is less than 20 miles from the region’s capital Kharkiv, home to some 1.3 million civilians.

An aid worker in Kharkiv city running a shelter for evacuees from Lyptsi told me on Wednesday that the civilians could hear the bombs “coming closer and closer” as they fled the village.

In the fight next-door, a local Ukrainian official said Russian forces had entered the streets of Vovchansk, a town some 35 miles from Kharkiv city.

In southern Ukraine, Russia fired three deadly glide bombs, nicknamed “building destroyers”, at the centre of Kherson city, injuring at least 19 people and destroying several homes.

“The city centre of Kherson. In the middle of the day, three Russian aerial bombs hit a residential area,” regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on Telegram yesterday.

In China, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, where the Russian leader said he was “grateful” to China for its efforts to end the war in Ukraine, referring to their peace proposal that was dismissed by Ukraine as simply a recital of the Kremlin’s demands.

Ukrainian evacuees wait to register at the evacuation center which receives people who had to leave territories close to the Russian border in Kharkiv (EPA)
A destroyed apartment is seen at the site of a Russian army attack with guided aerial bombs in Kherson, southern Ukraine (AP)
Vladimir Putin (R) and China’s President Xi Jinping shake hands during an official welcoming ceremony in front of the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square in Beijing (RUSSIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS OFFIC)

Tom Watling16 May 2024 08:31

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Putin says he is ‘grateful to China’ for peace efforts on Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin said he spoke to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping about Russian invasion of Ukraine after he reached Beijing for a two-day visit.

“We are grateful to China for its efforts to resolve the Ukraine crisis,” he said. The Russian president said he would brief the Chinese leader on the situation in Ukraine where Russian forces are advancing on several fronts.

China had issued a proposal for peace in Ukraine last year but the bid did not conclude and Kyiv has put forth its own peace agreement, seeking ejection of Russian troops from its territory.

Mr Putin’s visit to Beijing comes as Moscow presses forward on a new offensive in Ukraine.

Arpan Rai16 May 2024 08:06

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Ukrainian military moves out troops due to ‘intensive’ enemy fire’

Heavy enemy fire has prompted Ukraine’s military to reposition some troops in the Kupiansk direction to the east of the country’s second largest city, Kharkiv, the General Staff said today.

“In certain districts, as a result of intensive enemy fire, our units regrouped to more advantages positions,” the late-night report said.

Kupiansk was occupied by Russian troops in the first weeks of the February 2022 invasion, but recaptured by Ukrainian forces later in the year. The area has seen heavy fighting in recent months.

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Arpan Rai16 May 2024 07:05

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Russia’s Putin arrives in China for state visit in a show of unity between the authoritarian allies

Vladimir Putin landed in Beijing on Thursday for a two-day state visit to China in a show of unity between the authoritarian allies.

Putin‘s visit comes as Russia has become more economically dependent on China following Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than two years ago.

On the eve of the visit, Putin said in an interview with Chinese media that the Kremlin is prepared to negotiate over the conflict in Ukraine. “We are open to a dialogue on Ukraine, but such negotiations must take into account the interests of all countries involved in the conflict, including ours,” Putin was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.

The Russian leader’s two-day trip comes as his country’s forces have pressed an offensive in northeastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv region that began last week in the most significant border incursion since the full-scale invasion began, forcing almost 8,000 people to flee their homes.

Along with Moscow’s efforts to build on its gains in the nearby Donetsk region, the 2-year-old war has entered a critical stage for Ukraine’s depleted military that is awaiting new supplies of anti-aircraft missiles and artillery shells from the United States.

“We have never refused to negotiate,” Putin was quoted as saying by Xinhua. “We are seeking a comprehensive, sustainable and just settlement of this conflict through peaceful means. We are open to a dialogue on Ukraine, but such negotiations must take into account the interests of all countries involved in the conflict, including ours.”

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinpin pictured in 2022 (AP)

Sam Rkaina16 May 2024 07:00

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Fighting rages in Kharkiv’s villages

Ukrainian troops have repelled four Russia attacks along the border, but fighting was raging near a string of villages, a late-night report issued by Ukraine’s General Staff said.

Kyiv says fighting is also ongoing in the northeastern border town of Vovchansk. The capture of the town, 5km (3 miles) from the border, would be Russia’s most significant gain since it launched an incursion into the Kharkiv region on Friday, opening a new front in its invasion and forcing Kyiv to rush in reinforcements.

Ukraine’s ground forces “continued to carry out stabilising moves” near Vovchansk, the report added.

Officials said heavy fire had prompted the military to reposition some troops near Kupiansk to the southeast, an area that has seen heavy fighting in recent months.

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s General Staff said troops had pulled back to new positions in the Vovchansk and Lukyantsi areas due to “a consequence of enemy fire and storming action”.

Arpan Rai16 May 2024 06:45

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Russia opening up new fronts to stretch Ukraine army

Russia is opening new fronts in order to stretch Ukraine‘s army, which is short of ammunition and manpower, along the about 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) front line, hoping defenses will crumble. Russian artillery and sabotage raids have also been menacing Ukraine‘s northern Chernihiv and Sumy regions.

The Russian Defense Ministry also claimed that its troops have retaken the village of Robotnye in the southern Zaporizhzhia region. Ukrainian forces had gained control of the village last August in what was seen as an important advance in a counteroffensive that eventually petered out.

Elsewhere in Ukraine‘s southern regions, an aerial attack on the central district of Kherson wounded 17 civilians, the regional prosecutor’s office said. And a Russian missile attack injured six people in Mykolaiv, according to Ukraine‘s rescue service.

Sam Rkaina16 May 2024 06:00

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Putin arrives in China to deepen strategic ties with Xi

Vladimir Putin reached Beijing early today for talks with Xi Jinping that the Kremlin hopes will deepen a strategic partnership between the two nations, as the Russian invasion plays out in the backdrop.

The two leaders will sit down for informal chats, and a key dinner on Thursday, expected to be the highlight of the Russian leader’s two-day trip.

Kremlin foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov said those talks would range over Ukraine, Asia, energy and trade.

Mr Putin’s newly appointed defence minister, Andrei Belousov, as well as foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, security council secretary Sergei Shoigu and Ushakov will also attend, along with Russia’s most powerful CEOs.

China and Russia declared a “no limits” partnership in February 2022 when Mr Putin visited Beijing just days before he sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine, triggering the deadliest land war in Europe since the second World War.

Ahead of his visit, Mr Putin spoke to China’s Xinhua news agency and praised the Chinese leader for helping to build a “strategic partnership” with Russia based on national interests and deep mutual trust.

“It was the unprecedentedly high level of the strategic partnership between our countries that determined my choice of China as the first state that I would visit after taking office as president,” Mr Putin said.

“We will try to establish closer co-operation in the fields of industry and high technology, space and peaceful nuclear energy, artificial intelligence, renewable energy sources and other innovative sectors,” he said.

Arpan Rai16 May 2024 05:43

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It’s time we gave Ukraine the tools it needs to finish the job

Were they being undiplomatically honest, however, the Ukrainians would admit that they would far rather have received a bumper consignment of Patriot missile defence systems, F-16 fighters and Abrams armoured vehicles than the distinguished statesman. That way, they might have a better chance of preventing the Russians from destroying their second city, Kharkiv. Such a denouement is unlikely – but the possibility of it cannot be dismissed.

Like Mr Blinken, Joe Biden has obviously been preoccupied with the Middle East in recent months – and, while a superpower has more than sufficient political and diplomatic “bandwidth” to cope with multiple crises, the decision to send America’s most senior diplomat to Ukraine is an important visible signal that the West is not entirely distracted by the war in Gaza.

Read our full editorial here:

Arpan Rai16 May 2024 05:22

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Blinken says US understands urgency for more air defences

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Ukraine to highlight U.S. support, though most of the money he announced Wednesday, about $1.6 billion, comes from the $60 billion allotted to Ukraine in the supplemental foreign assistance legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden, officials said.

He said the money would be used for three purposes: to provide weapons in the short term, to invest in Ukraine‘s defense-industrial base and to allow Ukraine to buy military supplies from other countries.

At a news conference with Blinken, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said of the aid: “This is a very powerful message to both our friends and our enemies.”

Blinken said Washington understands the urgency of Ukraine‘s need for additional air defences to protect against the Russian onslaught and was prioritizing them in its assistance.

He added that the U.S. has “not encouraged or enabled strikes outside of Ukraine“ using American-supplied long-range weapons. That decision is up to Kyiv authorities, he said.

Sam Rkaina16 May 2024 05:00



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