SubscribeBeing updatedUkrainian officials are frustrated that their calls for the United States to arm them with long-range MLRS are being resisted by the White House, Politico said in a report on Wednesday, citing a congressional staffer with knowledge of recent talks on arming Ukraine.The Biden administration remains in active discussions about whether to deliver MLRS to Ukraine, with worries persisting at the White House that the Kremlin could view the shipment of such systems as escalatory, the report said.Analysts recently told Sputnik that US weapons flowing into Ukraine will still fall into the hands of terrorists and end up threatening the United States and its allies even if proposals to boost oversight are implemented.In February, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine to help the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics (DPR and LPR) fend off intensifying attacks by Ukrainian forces. Russia’s Defence Ministry said the operation, which targets Ukraine’s military infrastructure, aims to “demilitarise and de-Nazify” Ukraine.Follow Sputnik’s live feed to find out more.15:22 GMT 19.05.2022Russian MoD: Russian Chief of General Staff Gerasimov Spoke With US Counterpart Milley by Phone15:11 GMT 19.05.2022Blinken Attends UN Security Council Meeting on Ukraine
14:49 GMT 19.05.2022Italy to Send Extra 1,000 Troops to NATO’s Eastern FlankItalian Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced on Thursday that his government planned to deploy a further 1,000 troops to eastern Europe in a bid to bolster NATO presence.”As part of an allied response, we are ready to further strengthen our contribution in Hungary and Bulgaria in the medium term by respectively 250 troops and 750 troops,” he said in parliament.Italy has pledged to contribute a total 2,500 troops as NATO continues its build-up on the Russian border. Eastern-bound Italian personnel reportedly served in Afghanistan and Kosovo.14:48 GMT 19.05.2022UNWFP Calls for Establishment of Resilient Food Systems Amid Ukrainian, Global CrisesThe United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Thursday called for expansion of solutions to tackle food crisis, including the countries affected by land degradation, which is aggravating global food insecurity amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and economic crises.”The steeply rising food, fuel and fertilizer costs linked the crisis in Ukraine further compound already fragile situations across the world,” WFP’s Director of Resilience and Food Systems Volli Carucci said. “That is why it is more urgent than ever to tackle the root causes of food crises alongside responding to immediate needs. We must help create more resilient food systems and build the resilience of communities affected by land degradation.”The WFP also said that the Ukrainian crisis may cause an increase in the number of food insecure people, forcing about 46 million individuals to current 276 million food insecure people as many of them inhabit degraded areas, prompting tensions over limited resources.”Changing food systems starts with land and how we use it. Healthy soils are a key part of the foundations to build and sustain our food security and resilience. Now is the time to multiply our efforts,” Carucci added.The WFP’s proposed scheme to support the food systems includes rehabilitation of degraded lands, establishment of local production and job opportunities, as well as manufacturing of organic fertilizers, crop losses reduction, and introducing drought-resistant crops.In the course of the last three years, the WFP rehabilitated about 272,000 acres of barren land in the Sahel region, providing over 2.5 million people with food.14:48 GMT 19.05.2022EU Parliament Adopts Resolution Against EU Citizens in Leading Positions in Russian FirmsThe European Parliament on Thursday adopted a resolution demanding that former EU politicians resign from posts in Russian enterprises and calling on the European Commission to sanction EU citizens in leadership positions in Russian entities or receiving money from Russia.”[The European Parliament] notes that former politicians such as Esko Aho, Francois Fillon and Wolfgang Schussel have recently resigned from their positions in Russian firms and strongly demands that others, such as Karin Kneissl and Gerhard Schröder, do the same; further calls on the Council to extend the list of individuals targeted by EU sanctions to the European members of the boards of major Russian companies and to politicians who continue to receive Russian money,” the text of the resolution read.The parliament’s resolutions on foreign affairs issues are not mandatory for the implementation by other EU institutions. However, EU institutions must be receptive to European lawmakers.14:28 GMT 19.05.2022Erdogan Says Will Continue ‘Telephone Diplomacy’ With Putin, ZelenskyTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that he is not intending to sever ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and will continue to contribute to peace talks between the parties.”I have no intentions of severing ties neither with Mr. Putin nor with Mr. Zelenskyy. I am continuing telephone diplomacy with both Mr. Putin and Mr. Zelensky. I have sent my special representative to both Moscow and Kiev. We will continue our policy. No one will benefit from a new world war,” Erdogan told a meeting with youth, the video of which was published on his Twitter.14:18 GMT 19.05.2022US Reportedly Considering Series of Additional Measures to Deprive Russia of Oil ProfitsThe US government is considering undertaking a number of additional measures to deprive Russia of profits from the sale of oil, including introducing a price ceiling or cutting off Russia from accessing payments for energy exports, the New York Times reported on Thursday.One of the measures being discussed would require foreign companies to pay below market value for Russian oil or face US sanctions, the report said.The US government would set the price for Russian oil well below market value and the price ceiling will reduce the profit for Russia without increasing world prices for energy resources, the report said.The US government may also cut off a significant part of Russia’s access to payments for oil, the report also said. Washington intends to do this by issuing a requirement for foreign banks to transfer funds for Russian oil to escrow accounts in order not to fall under sanctions, the report added.On Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the so-called REPowerEU initiative – the bloc’s plan to phase out Russian energy resources that provide for gas imports from other countries and increase the bloc’s share of renewable energy.14:02 GMT 19.05.2022McDonald’s Says to Sell Russian Business to Licensee, Chain to Operate Under New BrandMcDonald’s Corporation said on Thursday that it is selling its business in Russia to current licensee Alexander Govor following the decision to exit Russian market due to the Ukraine crisis.”Following its announcement that it will exit the Russian market and has initiated a process to sell its Russian business, McDonald’s Corporation announced today that it has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with its existing licensee Alexander Govor,” the company said in a press release.Govor will acquire the entire restaurant portfolio of the company and operate the restaurants under a new brand, the release added.Current McDonald’s employees in Russia will be retained on equivalent terms for at least two years. Govor has also agreed to pay salaries to corporate employees in 45 regions of the country until closing.In March, McDonald’s suspended the work of all its restaurants in Russia, continuing to pay salaries to its employees in Russia.McDonald’s is operating more than 850 restaurants in Russia with 62,000 employees.12:53 GMT 19.05.2022Moscow Demands Slovenia Shed Four Diplomatic Staff in Moscow Embassy Within 10 Days – Russian Foreign Ministry11:03 GMT 19.05.2022Kremlin Says Not Aware Yet of Details of Plan for Ukraine Proposed by Italy, Welcomes HelpMoscow does not know yet the details of the plan for a settlement in Ukraine proposed by Rome, but welcomes the participation of anyone who can contribute to the political solution of the situation, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.
“The participation of everyone who can contribute to the settlement is welcome, no one rejects such sincere efforts. While we, unfortunately, do not know the details of this plan, I do not know if this was somehow brought through diplomatic channels, we learned this from media. For now, I cannot give a more specific comment,” Peskov told reporters.Earlier this week, la Repubblica newspaper reported that Italy had proposed a plan to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, consisting of four stages. The document drawn up by the Italian foreign ministry with the participation of the government, was handed over to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.10:15 GMT 19.05.2022Russia Expects Israel to Take More Objective Stance on Conflict in Ukraine – DiplomatRussia expects that Israel will take a more objective position on the conflict in Ukraine, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Thursday.
Moscow was disappointed by the anti-Russian statements of a number of Israeli officials, the diplomat said, noting that this does not correspond to the nature of friendly relations between the two countries.
“We expect our Israeli partners to take a more balanced, objective position in the context of the situation in Ukraine,” Bogdanov told reporters.09:38 GMT 19.05.2022Five Employees of Portuguese Embassy in Russia Declared Persona Non Grata As Retaliation, Must Leave in 14 Days – Russian Foreign MinistryRussia has declared five employees of the Portuguese Embassy in Russia personae non gratae in retaliation of a similar move by Lisbon, the Russian foreign ministry said on Thursday.
“As a response, five employees of the Portuguese Embassy in Russia were declared personae non gratae. They must leave the territory of the country within 14 days from the date of delivery of the corresponding note to the ambassador,” the ministry said in a statement.Earlier in the day, the ministry summoned Portuguese Ambassador to Russia Madalena Fischer to hand her a protest note over the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats from the European country.09:12 GMT 19.05.2022UK Freezes Assets of Russian Airlines Aeroflot, Rossiya and Ural Airlines – DocumentThe United Kingdom has introduced new sanctions against Russia, targeting the country’s major airlines, including flag carrier Aeroflot, the UK Foreign Office said on Thursday.
“The UK Government has announced today (Thursday 19 May 2022) that it is introducing new sanctions against the Russian airline sector. State-owned Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline, Ural Airlines and Rossiya Airlines will now be unable to sell their unused, lucrative landing slots at UK airports – preventing Russia from cashing in on an estimated £50 million,” the ministry said in a statement.08:59 GMT 19.05.2022Russia Remains Reliable Grain Supplier, Including to ‘Unfriendly’ CountriesRussia remains a reliable grain supplier, and has increased deliveries in March-April, including to countries that have imposed sanctions on Moscow, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov said on Thursday.
“Last year, despite the global decline in food supplies to international markets, Russia became the largest exporter of grain, shipping 30 million tonnes to 100 countries, most of all to Turkey, Egypt, and South Asian countries. We remain a reliable supplier in the current environment. In March-April, wheat exports to neutral countries have increased, and even to those countries, that have imposed sanctions on us,” the minister said at the plenary session of the Russia-Islamic World: Kazansummit 2022 forum.08:22 GMT 19.05.2022Russian MoD Published New Footage of Defeated Mercenaries From Azovstal Plant in Mariupol07:51 GMT 19.05.2022Poland Ready to Build Permanent NATO Bases to Accommodate Small Units – Prime Minister07:47 GMT 19.05.20221,730 Militants From Azovstal Surrendered, Including 80 Wounded Since Monday – MoDA total of 771 Ukrainian militants from the Azov neo-Nazi battalion (under criminal investigation in Russia), who had been blocked in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol for the past weeks, have surrendered over the past day, Russian defence ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday.
“Over the past 24 hours, 771 militants of the nationalist Azov battalion blocked at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol have surrendered. In total, 1,730 militants have surrendered since May 16, including 80 injured,” Konashenkov told reporters.04:14 GMT 19.05.2022At Least One Killed in Ukrainian Strikes on Village in Russia’s Kursk Region – GovernorThe governor of Russia’s Kursk Region, Roman Starovoit, said at least one man was killed in Ukrainian strikes on the village of Tyotkino.
“Another enemy attack on Tyotkino, which took place at dawn, unfortunately ended in tragedy. At the moment, at least one civilian is known to have been killed. According to preliminary data, this was a truck driver who brought raw materials to a distillery. The enemy delivered several strikes on this facility. Some people were also wounded. They are being provided with first aid,” Starovoit wrote on Telegram.22:53 GMT 18.05.2022US Senate to Vote on $40Bln Ukraine Aid Bill Thursday Despite Objections – Schumer“Tomorrow, I expect the Senate will finish the critical task of approving another round of military, humanitarian and economic aid to the people of Ukraine,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor on Wednesday evening.
Shucmer pointed out that the vote should have already taken place, but Republican Senator Rand Paul "chose to make a show and obstruct Ukraine funding knowing full well he couldn’t actually stop its passage.”
22:52 GMT 18.05.2022Russia to Ensure National Security After Swedish, Finnish Accession to NATO – Upper House Speaker”Primarily, the Russian military response will be proportionate and adequate to the NATO presence in these countries, to which weapons will be deployed there. But I can assure that the Russian security will be undoubtedly ensured,” Matviyenko said.