Putin to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus as Wagner evacuates Bakhmut – live (2023)

G7 summit: Zelensky and Fumio Kishida lay wreaths at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima

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Russia’s Vladimir Putin has signed a deal with its ally Belarus to store tactical nuclear weapons at a special facility whose construction should be completed in a matter of weeks.

While it will mark the first time that Moscow's warheads have been stationed outside Russia's borders since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States has already such weapons stationed with five of its Nato partners.

The move came as the leader of Russian mercenary group Wagner claimed Mr Putin could face a revolution similar to those of 1917 and lose the war in Ukraine unless the elite got serious about fighting the war, as his mercenaries handed Bakhmut over to Russian troops and began to withdraw.

Ukraine is preparing a counter-offensive aimed at pushing Moscow’s forces back to the borders of before 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea, Yevgeny Prigozhin said. Ukraine would try to encircle Bakhmut and attack Crimea, he added.

(Video) Wagner Starts Exiting Bakhmut, Russia-Belarus Nuke Deployment Deal, Ukraine Downs 36 Shahed Drones

“Most likely of all, this scenario will not be good for Russia so we need to prepare for an arduous war,” he said.


  • Wagner chief launches scathing new attack on Putin’s war strategy
  • Nato chief says Ukraine should not join alliance until Russia’s invasion is over
  • Nobel peace laureate transferred to brutal prison in Belarus, his wife says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers surprise commencement speech to Johns Hopkins

During a surprise commencement address to graduates of Johns Hopkins University on Thursday morning, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky told them to take advantage of the time and resources they have to pursue their passions and uphold the democratic values at stake in his country’s war against Russia.

He spoke via livestream from Ukraine, where the ongoing conflict has impacted the futures of countless young Ukrainians, robbing them of opportunities and loved ones, Mr Zelensky said.

He told Hopkins graduates to make the most of every moment.

“Time is the most valuable resource on the planet,” he said. “Some people realize this sooner, and these are the lucky ones.

Others realize it too late, when they lose someone or something.”

He also thanked US leaders for their support since the Russian invasion, including significant investments in humanitarian and military aid.

William Mata26 May 2023 03:00


Leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan speak of peace progress while arguing in front of Putin

The leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia on Thursday both spoke of progress towards ending their decades-old conflict over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, even as they argued openly in front of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-populated enclave inside Azerbaijan, has been a source of conflict between the two Caucasus neighbours since the years leading up to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and between ethnic Armenians and Turkic Azeris for well over a century.

In 2020, Azerbaijan seized control of areas that had been controlled by ethnic Armenians in and around the mountain enclave, and since then it has periodically restricted access to the only access road linking Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia, on which the enclave relies for financial and military support.

At a meeting in Moscow, Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan accused Azerbaijan of causing a humanitarian crisis by blocking the only land route from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh.

He called it a “direct violation” of a 2020 ceasefire that ended the six-week war between the two countries, and called for an international mission to be sent to evaluate the situation.

Reuters26 May 2023 02:00


US senator hopes Serbia adopts Russia sanctions as Serb spy chief travels to Moscow

A US senator on Thursday said he hopes Serbia would adopt Western sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, telling the Balkan country that "there is no future" in an alliance with Moscow.

“Russia's invasion has been an absolute disaster and my belief is that Russia is ultimately going to lose this conflict," Senator Chris Murphy told reporters in the Serbian capital Belgrade. Serbia is the only country in Europe that has not imposed any sanctions on Russia.

(Video) Russia-Ukraine war: Wagner Chief wants elite to participate in war | English News | WION

“The future for Serbia is with the European Union and with the United States not with Russia," Mr Murphy said. “There is no future with Russia. They (Russia) are going to be devastated, a permanent pariah internationally after this invasion.”

Though Serbia is formally seeking EU membership and has condemned the invasion at the United Nations, Belgrade has maintained its historically friendly relations with Moscow.

AP26 May 2023 01:00


Swedish minister for defence tweets about visit

Pål Jonson, Sweden’s minister for defence, has been in talks with Ukraine counterparts over what support the Scandinavian country can bring.

Mr Jonson was joined by his party colleague Carl-Oskar Bohlin for the visit on Thursday.

The minister for defence tweeted: “Impressed by the performance of the Ukrainian armed forces and the resilience of the Ukrainian people.”

William Mata26 May 2023 00:00


Ukraine secures release of 106 'hero' soldiers in swap with Russia - Kyiv

Ukraine secured the release of 106 captured soldiers in a prisoner exchange with Russia on Thursday, president Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff said.

The soldiers, including eight officers, were captured fighting in the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut that Russia says it has captured, but where Kyiv’s forces say they still have a small foothold.

“Every one of them is a hero of our state. Many of the ones we are returning from captivity were considered missing. The relatives of these people have gone through a difficult time,” the senior official, Andriy Yermak, said.

Tatiana Moskalkova, Russia’s human rights ombudsman, confirmed Russia’s Wagner private military unit took part in an exchange of fighters on Thursday, but gave no further details.

Wagner played a key role in Russia’s months-long onslaught on the city of Bakhmut where both sides likened the ferocious fighting to a “meatgrinder”.

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of its neighbour in February 2022. Ukrainian military intelligence says that 2,430 Ukrainians have been freed in prisoner swaps, including 139 civilians.

William Mata25 May 2023 23:00


Ukraine to open more embassies in Africa

Ukraine leaders said on Thursday they would consider opening more embassies in Africa and hold a summit between the country and continent.

The Guardian reported Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, said: “We have recently adopted our first African strategy and intensified our political dialogue with many countries on the continent.

“This year, we are going to establish new embassies in different parts of the continent and plan to hold the first Ukraine-Africa Summit.”

William Mata25 May 2023 22:00

(Video) A look at the man running mercenary Wagner Group in Russia's war against Ukraine

Sweden considers letting Ukrainian pilots try out Gripen fighter jets

Sweden’s defense minister says the Nordic country is considering whether to let Ukrainian pilots test its JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets.

So far, Sweden has ruled out sending any Gripen fighters to Ukraine, saying it needs them for its own territorial defense.

But defence minister Pål Jonsson told Swedish broadcaster TV4 that Sweden was looking with a “positive spirit” on a Ukrainian request to allow its pilots to try out the Swedish plane.

“That could, for example, mean test flights, using simulators, learning more about the extensive ground system that is part of the Gripen system,” he said.

Ukraine has long asked for Western fighter jets to help it resist the full-scale Russian invasion, now in its second year.

Initially reluctant, the U.S. and other NATO countries recently agreed to allow Ukrainian pilots to receive training to fly F-16 fighters, though none has yet committed to hand over any planes.

William Mata25 May 2023 21:00


MPs vote to recognise famine as genocide

MPs have voted in favour of recognising a famine that engulfed Ukraine in the 1930s as a genocide against the country’s people.

The House of Commons unanimously supported a motion to recognise the Holodomor as a genocide.

The famine is widely agreed to be man-made, and occurred between 1932 and 1933, killing millions of Ukrainians.

A growing number of countries have recognised the Holodomor as a genocide, as they consider it a purposeful attempt by the Soviet government to kill Ukrainians.

The backbench motion, tabled by Conservative MP Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire), is non-binding.

But Ms Latham urged MPs to support it as a means of sending a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin about his invasion of Ukraine.

William Mata25 May 2023 20:00


Sweden could allow Ukrainian pilots to test fly its Gripen fighter jets

Sweden may allow a few Ukrainian fighter jet pilots to test fly the Nordic country’s Gripen aircraft, Stockholm’s defence minister has said.

But in his comments to broadcaster TV4 on Thursday, Pal Jonson repeated earlier insistences that Sweden has no plans to send any of its Gripen to Ukraine, as all six divisions are required for the defence of Sweden’s territory.

“This concerns the Ukrainians putting in inquiries about various kinds of aviation systems – it can be Tornados, F-16s or Gripens – so that they can test the kinds of platforms and systems that we and other countries operate,” Jonson said.

“We are now looking at the possibility that the Ukrainians can test the Gripen.”

(Video) Ukrainian commander: Russian Wagner fighters ran away in Bakhmut

Such an initiative could involve test flights, trying simulators and learning about the fighter jet’s ground support system that, he said, adding: “Some decisions remain, both on the Ukrainian and the Swedish side.”

Andy Gregory25 May 2023 18:50


Russian prosecutor asks court to recognise Nazi crimes around Moscow as genocide

Russian prosecutors have asked a court to recognise crimes committed by Nazi Germany in the Moscow region as genocide and claim to believe that around 6.4 trillion roubles (£66.8 trillion) in damage was caused.

It was unclear whether the move was a prelude to a new financial compensation claim from Russia to modern Germany, with which relations have soured badly over Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

But the statement, which cited the need to defend Russia’s national interests while restoring historical justice, appeared part of a wider effort by Russia to gird its citizens for what it says is an existential war with the West, which some Russian officials have likened to the one fought by the Soviet Union against the Nazis.

The prosecutors asked a Moscow regional court “to recognise as war crimes and crimes against humanity, and as genocide against the Soviet people, the established and newly revealed crimes committed by the German fascist invaders” in the Moscow region between October 1941 and January 1942.

More than 26,000 people were killed in the region during that time, they said in a statement, with Soviet citizens subjected to torture, robbery, forced labour and expulsions. It was not clear how soon the court would rule on the request.

Reuters25 May 2023 18:14



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1. Russia's Wagner group starts withdrawing units from Bakhmut: Prigozhin | Russia-Ukraine War | WION
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4. Wagner Gets Bakhmut “Combat Order” | Russia Foils Airfield "Sabotage" | Ukraine Attack on Crimea
5. Putin's Endgame? Russia Moves Nukes to Belarus Amid Ukraine War | Vantage on Firstpost
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