G7 summit: Zelensky and Fumio Kishida lay wreaths at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima
The West is seriously underestimating the risk of nuclear war, a top Vladimir Putin aide has warned.
Dmitry Medvedev, who is Russia’s security council deputy chairman, alleged the West was “not fully realising” the threat of nuclear war. Russia has repeatedly accused the West of waging a proxy war with it over Ukraine.
“There are irreversible laws of war. If it comes to nuclear weapons, there will have to be a pre-emptive strike,” said Mr Medvedev.
Allowing Ukraine nuclear weapons – a step no Western country has publicly proposed – would mean “a missile with a nuclear charge coming to them”, he was quoted as saying.
“The Anglo-Saxons do not fully realise this and believe that it will not come to this. It will under certain conditions,” he said.
He also said the Ukraine invasion could go on for decades and accused Volodymyr Zelensky of being impossible to negotiate with and called him a “clown”.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian president said at least one person was killed and 15 were injured in a Russian missile strike on a clinic in Dnipro on Friday.
Ukraine conflict may last for decades, negotiation with ‘clown’ Zelensky impossible, says Medvedev
A senior ally of president Vladimir Putin said the conflict in Ukraine could last for decades and that negotiations with Ukraine were impossible as long as Western-backed president Volodymyr Zelensky was in power.
Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine triggered the deadliest European conflict since the Second World War and the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Thousands of people have been killed or seriously wounded in the conflict, whose roots date to 2014 after a pro-Russian president was toppled in Ukraine’s popular Maidan uprising. Russia also annexed the Crimea peninsula that year and Russian-backed separatists seized swathes of eastern Ukraine.
“This conflict will last for a very long time. For decades, probably. This is a new reality,” Russian security council deputy chairman Dmitry Medvedev was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.
He said Russia could not trust any truce with the current rulers of Kyiv as the conflict would simply erupt again and so the very nature of the current government of Ukraine would have to be destroyed.
Negotiations, he said, with “the clown Zelensky”, were impossible.
“Everything always ends in negotiations, and this is inevitable, but as long as these people are in power, the situation for Russia will not change in terms of negotiations.”
Mr Medvedev, who cast himself as a liberal moderniser when he was president from 2008-12, now presents himself as a fiercely anti-Western Kremlin hawk. Diplomats said his views give an indication of thinking at the top levels of the Kremlin elite.
Namita Singh27 May 2023 05:15
Ukraine soccer league set for a title-deciding game in a remarkable, war-hit season
Two soccer teams exiled from cities in war-battered eastern Ukraine play each other Sunday in the safer western part of the country with the league title at stake.
The showdown between competition leader Shakhtar Donetsk and second-place Dnipro-1 at Arena Lviv can be decisive in a soccer season that is finishing on schedule in remarkable circumstances. The stadium was one of four in Ukraine, including Shakhtar’s home in Donetsk, secure enough in 2012 from Russian aggression to co-host that year’s European Championship with Poland.
Shakhtar leads by five points and needs just a draw this weekend to secure the title ahead of the last scheduled round on June 4.
“I think it will maybe be one of our best matches ever,” Ukrainian league chief executive Ievgen Dykyi told the Associated Press this week in a call from Kyiv. “Because the situation now is really hard and all the players understand about this.”
Namita Singh27 May 2023 07:00
Zelensky says one killed in Russian attack on Dnipro clinic
One person was killed and 15 wounded in a Russian missile strike on a clinic in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro on Friday, president Volodymyr Zelensky said.
Namita Singh27 May 2023 06:28
Analysis: ‘Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine facade is crumbling’ – this week proves it
From nuclear threats to raids on Russian territory, Russia’s president has plenty on his mind, writes our International editor Chris Stevenson.
Namita Singh27 May 2023 06:19
Ukraine struck southern Russia with rocket and drone, country’s officials and media say
Ukraine struck two regions in southern Russia with a rocket and a drone, though the missile was shot down by air defences, according to Russian officials and media reports.
In the southern Russian city of Krasnodar, a blast damaged a residential and office building, officials said.
They did not state what caused the blast, though Russian media said it was a drone attack. Unverified videos on social media showed a drone flying over the city.
“All emergency services are working at the scene. The cause of the incident is being investigated. Residents are asked to stay calm,” Krasnodar mayor Yevgeny Naumov wrote on Telegram.
In the neighbouring Rostov region, the local governor said a Ukrainian missile had been shot down by air defences on Thursday near Morozovsk, where there is a Russian air base.
“In the area of Morozovsk, an air defence system went off, shooting down a Ukrainian missile,” Rostov governor Vasily Golubev said. “The military is doing its job. Stay calm.”
Namita Singh27 May 2023 06:18
Medvedev warns against underestimating risk of nuclear war
Russian security council deputy chairman Dmitry Medvedev has warned that the West is seriously underestimating the risk of a nuclear war over Ukraine, cautioning that Russia would launch a pre-emptive strike if Ukraine gets nuclear weapons.
Russia, which has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, has repeatedly accused the West of waging a proxy war with Russia over Ukraine that could mushroom into a much bigger conflict.
“There are irreversible laws of war. If it comes to nuclear weapons, there will have to be a pre-emptive strike,” Mr Medvedev said.
Allowing Ukraine nuclear weapons – a step no Western country has publicly proposed – would mean “a missile with a nuclear charge coming to them”, Mr Medvedev was quoted as saying.
“The Anglo-Saxons do not fully realise this and believe that it will not come to this. It will under certain conditions.”
Namita Singh27 May 2023 06:15
Scarred by war, Ukrainian children carry on after losing parents, homes and innocence
Two children squinted to see through the thick smoke that hung in the air after a deafening blast shook their small home in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region.The children, aged 9 and 10, called out for their father.
But only eerie silence followed.
Then Olha Hinkina and her brother Andrii rushed to the bomb shelter as they had been taught. When the booms stopped and the smoke cleared, they found their father on the porch — motionless and covered in blood after being struck by a Russian projectile.
“Father was killed at seven in the morning,” said Andrii, who now lives in the safer western city of Lviv, near the border with Poland.The two siblings join a generation of Ukrainian children whose lives have been upended by the war. Russia’s full-scale invasion has subjected them to constant bombardment, uprooted millions from their homes and turned many into orphans.
Namita Singh27 May 2023 06:11
Ukraine shoots down 10 missiles, over 20 drones in Russian attacks
Ukraine shot down 10 missiles and over 20 drones launched by Russia in overnight attacks on capital Kyiv, the eastern city of Dnipro and other eastern areas, Ukrainian officials said on Friday.
Russia has intensified missile and drone attacks on Ukraine this month, mainly attacking logistics and infrastructure facilities before an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive.
The Ukrainian air force said it shot down 10 missiles fired from the Caspian Sea, 23 Iranian-made Shahed drones and two reconnaissance drones.
It said a total of 17 missiles and 31 drones had been launched during the attacks, which started at around 10pm on Thursday and continued until 5am on Friday.
Several drones and several missiles hit targets in the Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions, officials said.
There was no immediate word of any deaths.
“It was a very difficult night. It was loud – the enemy launched a mass attack on the region with missiles and drones,” Serhiy Lysak, the Dnipropetrovsk regional governor, said on the Telegram messaging app. “Dnipro has suffered.”
Mr Lysak said several houses, cars, and private companies, including a transport company and a gas station, had been damaged.
Officials in Kyiv said the roof of a shopping mall, a private house and several cars had been damaged. The governor of the Kharkiv region also reported damage to several private houses and industrial facilities.
Russia, which began its full-scale invasion 15 months ago, has launched hundreds of missile attacks since last October, seeking to destroy critical infrastructure and power facilities.
It has shifted the focus of its missile strikes to try to disrupt preparation for a Ukrainian counterattack, military officials have said.
Namita Singh27 May 2023 06:00
Russia’s Medvedev says pre-emptive strike needed if Ukraine receives nuclear weapons
Russia will have to launch a pre-emptive strike if the West gives Ukraine nuclear weapons, Russian news agencies quoted former Russian president and current security council deputy chairman Dmitry Medvedev as saying on Friday.
“There are irreversible laws of war. If it comes to nuclear weapons, there will have to be a pre-emptive strike,” he said.
Namita Singh27 May 2023 05:56
Ukraine warns of Russian plan to ‘simulate accident’ at Zaporizhia nuclear power plant
Intelligence chiefs in Kyiv have issued an alert over what they claim are Russian plans to simulate an accident at the occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, in an attempt to halt the Ukrainian counteroffensive aimed at retaking territory.
An emergency leak of radioactive substances will be announced in the coming hours, the defence ministry claimed in an online statement on Friday evening, warning that Ukraine will “traditionally be blamed for the incident”.
“The occupiers are preparing large-scale provocations to create a centre of radiation danger,” the message read.
My colleague Jane Dalton has more:
Namita Singh27 May 2023 04:15