Last Russia-Ukraine war: Russian “atrocities” condemned by the G7; women and children asked to leave Dnipro – live | world news
The mayor of Dnipro, a city in central eastern Ukraine, has urged women, children and the elderly to leave as fighting with Russia is expected to intensify in eastern regions, reports Reuters.
Mayor Borys Filatov said in an online video address:
Everyone who has the ability, as I said before, should go.
This concerns women, children, the elderly, those who are not…. directly integrated into the economy.
Dnipro, which usually has a population of almost a million, has so far been spared the worst of the fighting which has devastated towns further east and south, such as Mariupol.
Filatov’s warnings follow similar calls from authorities in the Luhansk region, east of Dnipro. On Wednesday, the regional governor of Luhansk urged all residents to evacuate while they still could in relative safety.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks to the media after today’s meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels. He warned the war could drag on for years and said the key to a quick solution lay with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said:
The easiest way to end this war is for President Putin to withdraw all his troops, end the war, and sit down and engage in serious diplomatic efforts to find the solution.
But we have to be realistic, and there is no indication that President Putin has changed his overall goal, which is to control Ukraine and achieve significant military victories on the battlefield.
What we see is the Russians regrouping and repositioning their forces coming out of northern Ukraine, but at the same time moving those forces east and we expect a big battle in Donbass.
And that is why the allies today also underlined the urgency of providing more support to Ukraine.
This is why the allies are also imposing high costs on President Putin and Russia. But at the same time, we are ready for the long term. This war can last for weeks, but also for months, even years. And so we have to prepare for a lot more.
He also warned that as long as the war continues, there will be a risk of war escalation, saying:
If the war drags on, the risk is first and foremost for the Ukrainian people who will suffer more, we will see more damage, more deaths and more destruction.
But of course, as long as the war continues, there will be a risk of escalation beyond Ukraine. And that is exactly what NATO is focusing on, to prevent this escalation.
There are two areas where the Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg says he is unable to provide further details. First, it is about the exact nature of arms deliveries to Ukraine. He was keen to paint a picture of Ukraine’s continued support for NATO since 2014.
I fully understand that you ask specific questions about specific types of weapons. At the same time, I think it’s important to understand that I think it’s often best not to be specific about the type of systems, but rest assured that allies provide a wide range of different reference systems.
NATO has supported Ukraine for many years since the illegal annexation of Crimea and the first Russian invasion in 2014 also in Donbass. NATO allies and NATO have provided significant equipment support with the training of tens of thousands of troops. And then, when we saw the intelligence pointing to a highly probable invasion, we stepped up last fall.
He was then asked a specific question about a video that appears to show Ukrainian forces shooting a captured Russian soldier. Stoltenberg said he was unaware of the specific video, but said:
I will say that every report of potential violations of international law must be followed up or investigated, and of course any violation of international law and any war crime is always unacceptable.
Regarding the global and lasting impact of Russian aggression, Stoltenberg noted:
What happens in Ukraine is watched closely around the world. We have seen that China is unwilling to condemn Russia’s aggression. And Beijing has joined Moscow in questioning the right of nations to choose their own path. It is a serious challenge. The sanctions introduced by NATO allies and our partners are unprecedented, and they are damaging.
He said NATO’s new strategy would take this global change into account and “provide an answer on how we relate to Russia in the future”.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said part of the program to help “brave Ukrainians” to “defend their homes and country and repel invading forces” included “scaling up humanitarian aid and financial support.”
We discussed what more we will do, including cybersecurity assistance and providing equipment to help Ukraine protect against chemical and biological threats.
Jens Stoltenberg announced that NATO would take steps to provide more support to Georgia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
For Georgia, we could increase our support through NATO’s extensive package of measures for Georgia, including in areas such as situational awareness, secure communications and cyber.
For Bosnia and Herzegovina. We could develop a new defense capacity building programme, and the assistance will be tailored, demand-driven and provided with the full consent of the countries concerned.
He pointed out that countries such as Finland, Sweden, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Australia and Japan, all non-NATO members, were present at the meeting because Russia’s actions had a impact on global security.
Jens Stoltenberg speak now. The video feed should be available above. The NATO Secretary General began by saying that the organization would do more now, and in the medium and long term, to support Ukraine. I will bring you the main quotes and lines.
Turkey attempted to play a mediating role in the events. He hosted a series of face-to-face peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, and this morning also held a video call with countries bordering the Black Sea on the security situation there.
Now Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that he would be going to Washington. Reuters reports that he told the media after today’s NATO meeting that he had been invited by US Secretary Antoine Blinken to visit for interviews on May 18.
Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg will shortly give a press briefing. We will have a live video feed integrated into the blog. You may need to refresh the page and press play to see it.
Dmytro Kuleba also told the media that the discussion at NATO was not about the list of weapons Ukraine would get, but rather the timing of their handover. Ukraine’s foreign minister said he had no doubts that Ukraine has the necessary weapons to fight.
Reuters reports that he reiterates that sanctions inflict damage on Russia, but alone are not enough to stop the war.
Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba warned at today’s meeting in Brussels that the scale of any impending Russian assault on Donbass would remind NATO allies of World War II.
“Either you help us now – and I mean days, not weeks – or your help will come too late, and many people will die,” Reuters reports.
This statement by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrovreceived a dry response from the Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podoliak. He dismissed Lavrov’s comments that kyiv had presented Moscow with a draft peace deal that deviated from proposals the two sides had previously agreed to.
Podolyak told Reuters in a written statement that Lavrov was not directly involved in the negotiations and that his statements were “of purely propagandistic significance”.
Podolyak said Moscow wanted to distract from events in the town of Bucha, where Ukraine accuses Russian troops of killing civilians, and added: “This is how such statements should be viewed.”