Ukraine-Russia invasion live: Putin “deploys several thousand Chechen fighters”

Senate GOP delegation meets with Zelensky in Ukraine

Russia has deployed several thousand Chechen fighters to Mariupol and Luhansk in a bid to crush Ukrainian resistance, the UK Ministry of Defense said.

According to the latest update from British intelligence, the Kremlin has started using “auxiliary personnel” to bolster its bid to capture a key port city in a battle that has already inflicted costly casualties on Russian forces.

“These [Chechen] the forces are likely to consist of both individual volunteers and National Guard units, which are regularly dedicated to securing the power of the leader of the Chechen Republic, Ramazan Kadyrov.

The update adds that these measures show that Vladimir Putin’s invasion is hampered by a “disunited command”.

The assessment comes as Ukraine prepares to hold its first war crimes trial. The soldier, Vadim Shishimarin, 21, was charged with the premeditated murder of a 62-year-old man days after Russia invaded Sumy. If convicted, he could face a life sentence.

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Russia to deploy ‘several thousand Chechen fighters’

Russia has deployed several thousand Chechen fighters to Mariupol and Luhansk in a bid to crush Ukrainian resistance, the UK Ministry of Defense said.

According to the latest update from British intelligence, the Kremlin has started using “auxiliary personnel” to bolster its bid to capture a key port city in a battle that has already inflicted costly casualties on Russian forces.

“In an attempt to overcome Russian resistance, Russia made extensive use of auxiliary personnel. This includes the deployment of Chechen forces,” the update said.

“These [Chechen] the forces are likely to consist of both individual volunteers and National Guard units, which are regularly dedicated to securing the power of the leader of the Chechen Republic, Ramazan Kadyrov.

Thomas KingleyMay 18, 2022 11:37 am

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First war crimes trial since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine opens in Kyiv

Ukrainian authorities are set to open the first-ever war crimes trial against a Russian soldier accused of shooting dead an unarmed civilian.

Captured Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin will be presented to the Solomyansky District Court in Kyiv at 2 p.m. (12 p.m. BST) on Wednesday. More similar trials are expected to follow in the coming days as war rages in the European country for the third month.

Mr Shishimarin was leading the Kantemirovskaya Tank Division as the unit commander on February 28 when he fired through a car window in the village of Chupakhivka in Sumy Oblast.

Read the full story below:

Thomas KingleyMay 18, 2022 11:14 a.m.

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ICYMI: Volodymyr Zelensky receives a standing ovation as he addresses the Cannes Film Festival

Volodymyr Zelensky receives a standing ovation as he addresses the Cannes Film Festival

Thomas KingleyMay 18, 2022 10:55 a.m.

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Belarus ‘deploys special forces soldiers to Ukrainian border’, Defense Ministry says

Belarus has deployed special forces soldiers along the Ukrainian border, the UK Ministry of Defense said.

In an update on Monday, the Defense Ministry said the presence of President Alexander Lukashenko’s forces would “probably fix Ukrainian troops, so they cannot deploy in support of operations in Donbass.”

“Following exercises earlier this month, Belarus announced the deployment of special operations forces along the Ukrainian border, as well as air defense, artillery and missile units on military fields. training in the west of the country,” the defense ministry said.

“The presence of Belarusian forces near the border is likely to pin down Ukrainian troops, so they cannot deploy in support of operations in Donbass.”

(MINISTRY OF DEFENSE REPUBLIC OF)

Thomas KingleyMay 18, 2022 10:40 a.m.

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Austria’s neutral status is here to stay, says foreign minister

Austria’s foreign minister said his country would retain its neutral status even as EU allies Sweden and Finland revised their decades-old foreign policy stances to seek NATO membership in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The situation for us looks a bit different,” Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg told German radio. Deutschlandfunk on Wednesday, highlighting “overwhelming” public support for neutrality in Austria.

Schallenberg said the country, which gets 80% of its natural gas from Russia, would continue to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine rather than lethal weapons.

“We are helping on a large scale, but not with war ammunition and I think that aid to Ukraine cannot be reduced to war ammunition only,” he told the television channel.

Thomas KingleyMay 18, 2022 10:23 a.m.

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Mary Dejevsky to host “Ask Me Anything” about the war in Ukraine

It has been over 80 days since Russia invaded Ukraine and as the war nears three months, The Independent columnist Mary Dejevsky will be on hand to answer your questions.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian officials claimed the Mariupol steel plant’s mission had been “fully accomplished”, while a former Russian colonel conceded in an extraordinary interview on state television that Moscow was “geopolitically ” isolated following its invasion.

So how are things for Russia and Ukraine now? How could Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO candidacies affect Russia? What will happen next?

See more information below on how to register to register for the event:

Thomas Kingley18 May 2022 10:00

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Israel delivers helmets and vests to emergency and civilian groups in Ukraine

Israel has delivered 2,000 helmets and 500 protective vests for emergency and civilian organizations in Ukraine, the Israeli Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said last month that he would allow the delivery of helmets and vests, signaling a change in Israel’s stance on providing such equipment. It follows a request from Ukraine for supplies.

Mediator in the Ukrainian-Russian crisis, Israel condemned the Russian invasion but limited itself to humanitarian aid. He has been wary of strained relations with Moscow, a power broker in neighboring Syria where Israel coordinates strikes against Iranian deployments.

Ukraine has previously expressed frustration over Israel’s refusal to provide what it sees as defensive aid against Russia

Thomas KingleyMay 18, 2022 9:45 a.m.

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Ukrainian refugees homeless in UK ‘after arguing with hosts’

Refugees from Ukraine are left homeless as relationships with host families in the UK break down, community groups have warned.

Problems have been reported with the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which allows Britons to sponsor and house those fleeing the war zone in Eastern Europe.

According toThe Guardian. Others would include conflicts caused by communication problems, a lack of proper house rules, and personality clashes.

Our reporter, Zoe Tidmanhas the full story below:

Thomas KingleyMay 18, 2022 9:30 a.m.

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28,300 Russian soldiers dead, according to the Ukrainian army

More than 28,000 Russian soldiers have died in 12 weeks of war, according to the Ukrainian army.

Here are his latest estimates of Russian military casualties:

RorySullivanMay 18, 2022 9:10 a.m.

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The Battle of Kharkiv

Earlier this week kyiv announced that a group of Ukrainian soldiers defending the city of Kharkiv had managed to reach the Russian border 30 miles away.

Moscow’s failure to capture the country’s second-largest city was a blow to the Kremlin.

Kim Sengupta reports from Kharkiv:

RorySullivanMay 18, 2022 8:49 a.m.

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