Azovstal plant in Mariupol - Sputnik International

LIVE UPDATES: Russian Troops Continue to Block Azovstal Plant, Humanitarian Corridors Operational

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Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine in February, amid intensifying attacks of Kiev's troops against the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR). President Putin stressed that the op was started to stop the eight-year-long war in Donbass, noting that Russia's goal is "demilitarisation and denazification".
Russian forces and Donbass militias are advancing amid the special op in Ukraine. In the meantime, mass evacuations from the frontline continue: according to the Russian defence ministry, 1.1 mln people have been evacuated from Ukraine and Donbass to Russia since the beginning of the op.
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21:34 GMT 05.05.2022
Accusations Against Russia of "Aggressive Nuclear Rhetoric" Baseless, Kiev Initiated Unhealthy Speculations About Unleashing Nuclear War - Antonov
20:40 GMT 05.05.2022
EU Countries Ask to Change New Package of Sanctions Against Russia - Reports
Berlin asks to tighten measures against Russia’s Sberbank and to limit cooperation with Russia in the nuclear field. However, the agency did not specify which measures were proposed by Berlin, while noting that the EC does not plan to ban deals with Sberbank and freeze its assets.

In addition, disputes reportedly continue on the topic of the oil embargo. Hungary and Slovakia, which were granted an exemption and can buy Russian oil for 20 months as compared to other countries that are allowed to buy oil only for the next six months, consider these exceptions insufficient, while the Czech Republic and Bulgaria want the same exceptions for themselves. Cyprus, Malta, and Greece also express concerns about an oil embargo, as they believe that their shipping companies will suffer from this measure, according to the news agency.

Netherlands and Germany also asked to find justifications for the ban on the Russian broadcasters Rossiya 24, RTR Planet, and TV Center so that the EU cannot be reproached for limiting freedom of speech, the news agency said. The two countries insisted that "it must be clear that these broadcasters are propaganda channels."
20:13 GMT 05.05.2022
NATO's Repeated Eastward Expansion Has Failed to Make Europe Any Safer But Also Sowed Seeds of Conflict - Chinese Envoy to UN
"NATO's repeated eastward expansion after the Cold War has not only failed to make Europe any safer but also sowed the seeds of conflict," Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun said during a UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine. "NATO wantonly launches wars against sovereign countries, causing colossal casualties and humanitarian disasters."
19:09 GMT 05.05.2022
US Does Not Provide Intel on Location of Russian Military Leaders – Pentagon
"We do not provide intelligence on the location of senior military leaders on the battlefield or participate in the targeting decisions of the Ukrainian military," Kirby told a press briefing. "Ukrainians have, quite frankly, a lot more information than we do. This is their country, their territory, and they have capable intelligence collection abilities of their own."
On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that Washington has provided Kiev with intelligence that led to the killing of "many" Russian generals. The United States prohibits itself from providing intelligence about Russia's "most senior" military leaders, the report said.
18:33 GMT 05.05.2022
US to Provide Ukraine With Additional $387Mln in Humanitarian Aid
The United States will provide Ukraine with an additional $387 million in humanitarian aid, State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Thursday.
"Through the US Agency for International Development, we are providing and pledged nearly $387 million in additional humanitarian assistance to Ukraine," Price told a press briefing.
17:35 GMT 05.05.2022
German Foreign Minister Baerbock to Visit Ukraine in Near Future
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will visit Ukraine in near future, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday, adding that the recent phone conversation between President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, was a good sign.
"This is a good event. Before and after [this conversation], I had intensive conversations with the federal president. And we have established that the result of the conversation will be that the foreign minister will be in Ukraine in the near future," Scholz said after his meeting with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala.
16:39 GMT 05.05.2022
US Attorney General Discusses Alleged Russian War Crimes With Ukraine Prosecutor
"US Attorney General Merrick Garland met virtually [on Wednesday] with Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Iryna Venediktova, together with the Attorneys General of the Five Eyes countries: the United Kingdom (UK)’s Attorney General, Suella Braverman; Australia’s Attorney General, Michaelia Cash; Canada’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General, David Lametti; and New Zealand’s Attorney General, David Parker," the Justice Department said in a press release on Thursday.
The leaders received an update from Venediktova, affirmed their solidarity with the Ukrainian people amid Russia's special military operation and discussed their coordinated efforts to hold accountable individuals whose criminal actions were enabling war crimes in Ukraine, the release said.
The participants in the meeting committed to continued close consultation and coordination, the release said.
Garland pointed out that the United States was "continuing to surge security, humanitarian, economic and legal assistance to Ukraine" and updated the partners on "the actions the Justice Department is taking in coordination with international partners to further raise the costs on Russia, including through the Justice Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture."
Garland also discussed the $33 billion supplemental budget request to support Ukraine and package of legislative proposals that President Joe Biden sent to Congress on 28 April that would enhance the Justice Department’s ability to hold Russia accountable for the ongoing special military operation in Ukraine, the release added.
16:31 GMT 05.05.2022
International Donors’ Conference Pledge $6.5Bln to Ukraine
Member states of the International Donors’ Conference for Ukraine, hosted by Poland and Sweden, will donate $6.5 billion in humanitarian aid to Ukraine amid Russia’s military operation in the country, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday.
"I am very glad to announce that all of us managed to mobilize $6.5 billion," Morawiecki said during the conference, adding that the donor countries will make necessary efforts to ensure funds will reach Ukraine as fast as possible.
16:30 GMT 05.05.2022
Medvedchuk's Ally Arrested on Suspicion of Treason
One of the leaders of Viktor Medvedchuk's Ukrainian Choice party has been arrested on suspicion of preparing to overthrow the country's constitutional order, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) said on Thursday.
"The counterintelligence of the SBU arrested one of the leaders of Medvedchuk's Ukrainian Choice party. According to the investigation, he was preparing to overthrow the constitutional order in Ukraine, coordinating his actions with the Russian special services," the SBU said on Telegram.
Ukrainian media outlet Strana.ua said, citing sources, that the SBU arrested Alexander Tarnashinsky, head of the Ukrainian public organization Slavic movement "Russia Revived."
Last May, Medvedchuk, a longtime supporter of Ukraine's rapprochement with Russia and an opponent of joining the European Union, was accused of high treason and illegal exploitation of natural resources in Crimea and placed under house arrest.
Shortly after Russia launched its military operation in February, Medvedchuk allegedly escaped and remained in hiding until April, when the SBU announced that he had been arrested on President Zelensky's order.
16:29 GMT 05.05.2022
UK Imposes Sanctions Against Evraz Steel Manufacturer
The United Kingdom has imposed sanctions against the Russian steel manufacturing company Evraz, the Foreign Office said on Thursday.
"Today (Thursday 5 May) the UK Government has announced that Evraz plc has been sanctioned. The steel manufacturing and mining company operates in sectors of strategic significance to the Government of Russia," the office said in a statement.
16:01 GMT 05.05.2022
EU Coreper to Discuss New Package of Sanctions Against Russia on Friday
15:18 GMT 05.05.2022
Putin, Bennett Discuss Situation in Ukraine, Evacuation of Civilians From Mariupol's Azovstal Plant
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett discussed the situation in Ukraine, including the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, during a phone conversation on Thursday, the Kremlin said.
"A thorough exchange of views on the situation in Ukraine continued. Particular attention was paid to humanitarian issues, including the evacuation of civilians held by militants of nationalist groups from the territory of the Azovstal plant in cooperation with representatives of the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross," the Kremlin said in a statement.
14:18 GMT 05.05.2022
Lavrov, Makei Discuss Special Operation in Ukraine During Phone Talk
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a phone conversation on Thursday with Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, during which the counterparts discussed the progress of the special operation in Ukraine, and agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation on coutering the Western efforts against the two countries, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"The ministers exchanged assessments of current international and regional problems, discussed the progress of the special military operation in Ukraine. It was agreed to strengthen coordination of work at international sites, including to jointly counter the efforts of Western countries directed against the interests of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus," the ministry said in a press release.
13:31 GMT 05.05.2022
Ukrainian Border Guard Says Over 4Mln People Fled Country Since 24 February
Over 4 million people have left Ukraine through checkpoints controlled by Kiev since 24 February, Ukrainian border guard spokesman Andriy Demchenko said on Thursday.

"In total, since 24 February, about 6 million people have crossed the border in both directions. This is in those areas where checkpoints have been preserved. Of this total, 4.1 million people, with the majority of them being Ukrainian citizens, proceeded to leave Ukraine. At the same time, 1.5 million of our citizens have returned," Demchenko told the Ukraine 24 broadcaster.

He said the numbers are given for the checkpoints on the border of Ukraine with the EU countries and Moldova, excluding Transnistria. The Ukrainian authorities blocked communication with the breakaway region of Transnistria from the first hours of the start of the Russian special military operation, according to Demchenko.
13:09 GMT 05.05.2022
German President Holds Phone Talks With Zelensky After Diplomatic Scandal - Reports
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier held a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which the counterparts discussed "misunderstandings of the past," media reported on Thursday, citing the German president's office.
It was a first phone conversation between the presidents since a series of political and diplomatic scandals broke out between Berlin and Kiev after the Ukrainian authorities refused Steinmeier a visit in April. After that, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that he was not yet planning visits to Ukraine.
Steinmeier and Zelensky discussed "misunderstandings of the past" during the conversation, and Zelensky personally invited Scholz and the entire German leadership to visit Kiev, the DPA news agency said.
According to Spiegel, the conversation lasted 45 minutes, and Steinmeier assured Zelensky of Germany's full support for Ukraine.
12:41 GMT 05.05.2022
Shell Loses Nearly $4Bln in Q1 Due to Withdrawal From Russian Oil, Gas Projects, Report Says
Shell, a British-Dutch oil and gas company, has lost $3.9 billion after withdrawing from its Russian operations, the company said in a quarterly report.

"For the first quarter 2022, we have taken post-tax charges of around $3.9 billion in relation to Russian oil and gas activities", Shell's Chief Financial Officer Sinead Gorman said in a video commentary to the report.

At the end of February, Shell announced its intent to exit from joint ventures with Russian energy giant Gazprom, its oil-producing subsidiary Gazprom Neft and other related entities due to Moscow's military operation in Ukraine. Shell has cut its involvement in the Sakhalin-II liquefied natural gas project, the Gydan energy project and the Salym Petroleum Development and terminated its participation in Nord Stream 2.
At the beginning of April, the projected losses from this decision were estimated at up to five billion dollars.

The company also announced considerable shifts in the Sakhalin-2 management, where Shell had a 27.5% interest.

"Significant influence over the Sakhalin-2 investment has been lost from April 1, 2022 with the resignation of Shell's executive directors and withdrawal of managerial and technical staff", the report said.

12:34 GMT 05.05.2022
POW in Ukraine: 'Overpraised' Western-Supplied Javelin and NLAW Expired and Often Misfired
09:54 GMT 05.05.2022
Russian Troops Continue to Block Azovstal Plant, Humanitarian Corridors Operational
09:52 GMT 05.05.2022
Kremlin: US Giving Intel to Ukraine Won't Stop Russian Special Military Op

"Our military is well aware that the US, the UK, NATO as a whole, are constantly transmitting intelligence and other parameters to the Ukrainian armed forces. This is well known, and of course, coupled with the flow of weapons that these same countries and the alliance send to Ukraine, these are all actions that, let's say, do not contribute to the quick completion of the operation, but at the same time, are not capable of hindering the achievement of the goals set during the special military operation", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

09:47 GMT 05.05.2022
Russia Expels Seven Danish Diplomats in Tit-for-Tat Move
Russia has declared seven employees of the Danish Embassy in Moscow personae non gratae, the diplomats have two weeks to leave the country, the Russian foreign ministry said on Thursday.

"The [Danish] ambassador was informed that, as a response measure, seven employees of the Danish Embassy in Russia were declared personae non gratae. They must leave the country within two weeks. A diplomat of the Danish diplomatic mission was also denied visa", the ministry said in a statement.

Russia also reserves the right to take additional steps in response to the unfriendly actions of Copenhagen, which will be communicated to the Danish side later, the statement added.
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