- 24 May 2023 - 20:24(20:24 GMT)
EU discussed plan to send profits of frozen Russian assets to Ukraine: Report
The European Union has discussed sending Ukraine the profits from 196.6 billion euros of Russian assets that are stuck inside the plumbing of global financial markets, the Financial Times has reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
- 24 May 2023 - 20:00(20:00 GMT)
The Wagner Group explained
The Wagner Group and its leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, provide guns for hire in a murky global operation with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian state.
Who are they? What do they do? And how has the war in Ukraine shifted things for the group?
- 24 May 2023 - 19:40(19:40 GMT)
Zelenskyy: Supplying F-16s is a signal that Russia will lose
Supplying F-16 fighter aircraft to Ukraine will deal a big blow to Russia, and the faster a decision is implemented on the planes the better, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says.
“The very first Ukrainian F-16 will be one of the strongest signals from the world that Russia will only lose because of its aggression. It will be weaker and further isolated,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.
“The main thing is the speed in training and in supply, meaning the time between decisions in real protection for our skies.”
- 24 May 2023 - 19:22(19:22 GMT)
Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 455
Click here for a roundup of the war’s key events from day 455.
- 24 May 2023 - 18:48(18:48 GMT)
Raids into Belgorod aim to stretch forces thin: Analysts
Security experts say incursions from Ukraine into Russia seek to pull Russian troops away from key battlegrounds as Ukraine plans to launch a major counterattack.
Though Kyiv has denied any role, the biggest cross-border raid was almost certainly coordinated with Ukraine’s armed forces as it prepares to attempt to recapture territory, security experts said.
Read more here.
- 24 May 2023 - 18:05(18:05 GMT)
US ‘concerned’ over UN official’s meeting with Russian wanted by ICC
The United States is “deeply concerned” by a meeting between a leading United Nations official for children and Russia’s ombudsman for children’s rights, who is wanted by the world’s permanent war crimes court, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller says.
Maria Lvova-Belova, who is accused by the International Criminal Court’s (ICC’s) prosecutor of the war crime of deporting hundreds of Ukrainian children to Russia, said on her website last week that she held a working meeting with Virginia Gamba, the special representative of the UN secretary general for children and armed conflict.
“We are deeply concerned that a senior UN diplomat met with a fugitive subject to an ICC arrest warrant for committing war crimes against children,” Miller said at a press briefing. “Such conduct undermines our shared commitment to protecting children in conflict zones.”
- 24 May 2023 - 17:50(17:50 GMT)
Russia: US equipment used in raid shows growing Western role
The Kremlin has said the use of US-made military hardware by pro-Ukrainian fighters who conducted a raid on a Russian border region this week was testament to the West’s growing involvement in the Ukraine conflict.
Footage of some of the destroyed vehicles released by the Russian defence ministry showed US-made military hardware such as Humvee military trucks.
“It is no secret for us that more and more equipment is being delivered to Ukraine’s armed forces,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked about the fighters’ use of US-made hardware.
“It is no secret that this equipment is being used against our own military. And it is no secret for us that the direct and indirect involvement of Western countries in this conflict is growing by the day. We are drawing the appropriate conclusions.”
- 24 May 2023 - 17:32(17:32 GMT)
Leader of cross-border raid tells Russia to expect more incursions
The Russian commander of a militia that claimed responsibility for a raid on a Russian border region this week says his group would soon launch more incursions into Russian territory.
Denis Kapustin, who described himself as the commander of the Russian Volunteer Corps, spoke to reporters on the Ukrainian side of the border.
He said his fighters had taken a Russian armoured vehicle and anti-drone gun as trophies.
“I think you will see us again on that side,” said Kapustin, who introduced himself by his call sign, White Rex. “I cannot reveal those upcoming things. I cannot even reveal the direction. The … border is pretty long. Yet again there will be a spot where things will get hot.”
“Our future plans are new territories of the Russian Federation, which we will definitely enter,” Kapustin said. “… You should be just a little bit patient and wait just a couple of days.”
- 24 May 2023 - 17:02(17:02 GMT)
Ukraine FM urges African nations to ditch neutrality in Russia war
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has urged African countries to abandon their stances of neutrality towards Ukraine’s war with Russia.
Speaking in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, Kuleba said Ukraine was “very upset that some African countries chose to abstain” and called them to lend Ukraine diplomatic support “in the face of Russian aggression”.
“Neutrality is not the answer,” he told reporters. “By being neutral towards Russian aggression against Ukraine, you project neutrality to the violations of borders and mass crimes that may occur very close to you.”
Russia has built a substantial presence in several parts of Africa, where Russian private military contractor Wagner is active, and recently held joint military drills with South Africa. Russia plans to hold an Africa-Russia summit in July.
- 24 May 2023 - 16:43(16:43 GMT)
Russia promises ‘extremely’ harsh response to incursions
Russia has threatened Kyiv with an “extremely” harsh response to all future incursions after Moscow deployed jets and artillery this week to fight off an armed group that crossed the border from Ukraine.
“We will continue to respond promptly and extremely harshly to such actions by Ukrainian militants,” Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told military officials after two days of fighting in the southern region of Belgorod.
Ukraine has denied that it was involved in the operation.
- 24 May 2023 - 15:54(15:54 GMT)
White House slams Russia over extending WSJ journalist’s detention
White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters in Washington, DC that it was “unacceptable” and “irresponsible” of Russia to extend the detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.
The Wall Street Journal reporter, who reported on the Ukraine war from Russia, is the first correspondent from the United States since the Cold War to be detained in Russia on spying allegations. Gershkovich and the US government vehemently deny the allegations.
He will now remain in detention until August.
- 24 May 2023 - 15:49(15:49 GMT)
Latvian PM says ‘for lasting peace’ Ukraine needs to be a part of NATO
At a joint news conference with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, Latvia’s Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said that to have “lasting peace”, Ukraine needs to be free and liberated and become a part of NATO.
Earlier, Stoltenberg said that Kyiv joining the military alliance amid war was “not on the agenda”.
- 24 May 2023 - 15:42(15:42 GMT)
The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development expects to spend 1.5 billion euros on Ukraine
The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) expects to spend 1.5 billion euros to support Ukraine’s reconstruction next year.
The bank said that while Ukraine’s economy remains resilient, these funds will be used to continue helping the country’s economy, in the face of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
- 24 May 2023 - 15:18(15:18 GMT)
Latvia pledges 2 million euros to support reconstruction of Ukraine’s Chernihiv
Latvia has pledged 2 million euros ($2.15m) to support the reconstruction of Chernihiv, a city in northern Ukraine, according to its City Council.
The funds will be used in many reconstruction projects, including buying school equipment and restoring water and sewage systems, the council said.
- 24 May 2023 - 14:59(14:59 GMT)
Ukraine’s Orthodox Church switches calendar as a result of ‘Russian aggression’
Ukraine’s Orthodox Church says it will switch to the “revised” Julian calendar from September 1, in an effort to distance itself from Russia’s Orthodox Church.
“This question arose with new impetus as a result of Russian aggression,” the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) said in a post on Facebook post.
“Nowadays, the [old] Julian calendar is perceived as connected with Russian church culture,” it added.
This means after September, festivals like Christmas, will now be celebrated on December 25 instead of January 7 in Ukraine.
- 24 May 2023 - 14:45(14:45 GMT)
What the cross-border raids in Russia’s Belgorod looked like
- 24 May 2023 - 14:39(14:39 GMT)
Russia says Su-27 jet sent to prevent US planes violating border
Russia says it scrambled an Su-27 fighter jet to “prevent violations of the state border” by two United States Air Force strategic bombers flying over the Baltic Sea.
- 24 May 2023 - 14:27(14:27 GMT)
Putin says Ukraine still receiving money for Russian energy transit
Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukraine is still receiving transit fees for shipments of Russian energy even though Kyiv has called Russia an “aggressor”.
According to a Reuters news agency report, Putin also said energy prices were reaching “economically justified” levels and Moscow was continuing to meet its commitments on energy supplies.
- 24 May 2023 - 14:18(14:18 GMT)
Kremlin says Ukraine made ‘unsuccessful attack’ on Russian Black Sea fleet
Russia’s defence ministry says Ukrainian drones have been unsuccessful in attacking one of its ships in the Black Sea.
“The Ukrainian armed forces made an unsuccessful attempt to attack the Ivan Khurs ship of the Black Sea fleet with three unmanned speedboats,” the ministry said in a statement.
According to the ministry, the reconnaissance ship “is performing tasks to ensure the safety of the operation of the Turkish Stream and Blue Stream gas pipelines in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Turkey”.
- 24 May 2023 - 13:47(13:47 GMT)
Ukraine says Russia plans to abduct more children in Lukhansk
Russia plans to abduct more children under the false pretext of “medical examinations” in Ukraine’s Luhansk Oblast, according to the country’s National Resistance Centre.
“The so-called ‘medical examinations’ in the temporarily occupied territories are just a fiction, which the Russians use as a pretext for further deportation of children to the Russian Federation,” the Centre said in a statement.
“No medical examinations are actually carried out, but children are given fictitious diagnoses and this is used to take them ‘for treatment’ in medical institutions of the Russian Federation.”
- 24 May 2023 - 13:27(13:27 GMT)
Ukraine joining NATO amid war ‘not on the agenda’: Stoltenberg
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says that Ukraine will not be able to join the military alliance amid a war.
“I think that everyone realised that, to become a member in the midst of a war, is not on the agenda,” he said at an event organised by the German Marshall Fund of The United States in Brussels.
“The issue is what happens when the war ends,” he added.
- 24 May 2023 - 13:25(13:25 GMT)
Wagner chief says more than 20,000 of his troops died in Bakhmut
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Russia’s paramilitary group Wagner, says that more than 20,000 fighters from his group died while fighting in Bakhmut.
In an interview published late Tuesday with pro-Kremlin political strategist Konstantin Dolgov, Prigozhin also added that Kremlin’s forces have killed civilians during the war.
- 24 May 2023 - 12:49(12:49 GMT)
Imposing sanctions on Russia would ‘damage’ interests: Georgia PM
Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili says that while Tiblisi supports Ukraine, imposing further sanctions on Russia would destroy the economy and damage the interests of people in his country.
“When it comes to the economic situation, Georgia’s trade union with Russia is less than $1bn compared to the EU’s trade with Russia,” he said at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha.
“We do not have any money,” he said, adding that the country is already in an “extremely difficult situation” because of its geography and history with Russia.
- 24 May 2023 - 12:39(12:39 GMT)
Russia, China sign new agreements, defying Western criticism
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has said that “sensational pressure” from the West was taking Russia-China ties to an “unprecedented high” as officials from the two countries signed a set of agreements on trade and sports cooperation.
- 24 May 2023 - 12:19(12:19 GMT)
Anti-Kremlin group says it captures weapons ‘during fighting’
Ilya Ponomarev, a representative of the Liberty of Russia Legion group accused of the Belgorod raids, tells Al Jazeera that its fighters received some support from the Ukrainian armed forces.
“The basic military equipment, like the rifles and machine guns, they obviously are part of the regular fighters in Ukraine, because both of those groups are part of the international legion, which is a part of the Ukrainian armed forces. So just regular equipment is coming from there,” he said.
“Heavy equipment, for example like tanks, they were captured during fights over the Kharkiv region where the Russian army was retreating, and we captured those tanks from there and now we’re using them in the Belgorod region,” he added.
The group was one of two which claimed responsibility for one of the most daring incursions in Russia this week.
- 24 May 2023 - 12:01(12:01 GMT)
Russia using units of Zaporizhzhia plant as military base: Ukraine
Ukraine’s defence ministry’s intelligence unit says Russian troops are still using three units of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) as a military base.
“Currently, the territory of power units No. 1, 2, 4 is actually used as a logistics and military base,” Ukrainian intelligence officials said in a statement.
“The actions of the occupiers have already led to a number of emergency situations during which the ZNPP was disconnected from the power supply,” they added.
- 24 May 2023 - 11:50(11:50 GMT)
Photos: Attacks in Russia’s Belgorod
- 24 May 2023 - 11:39(11:39 GMT)
Russia is the ‘junior partner’ in China relations: AJ correspondent
Al Jazeera’s Katrina Yu says Russia is the “junior partner” in relations with China, since Western sanctions are making Moscow increasingly dependent on Beijing to keep its economy afloat.
“Since the West has shunned Russia, China has also had more access and much needed cheap oil and gas from Moscow,” she said, reporting from Beijing.
The Kremlin has also agreed to carry out more transactions in the Chinese Yuan, she said.
For Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russia is an important partner in supporting Beijing’s strategic global interests, she added.
- 24 May 2023 - 11:23(11:23 GMT)
UN criticises Russia for civilian deaths in Ukraine and other countries
The number of civilians killed in armed conflict and their humanitarian aftershocks has skyrocketed, with the United Nations calculating nearly 17,000 recorded deaths last year in warzones — including almost 8,000 people killed in Ukraine alone — marking a steep 53 percent increase in civilian killings compared with 2021.
The meeting of the UN Security Council saw condemnation traded between Ukraine’s Western supporters and Russia, a dynamic which has played out regularly at council sessions since Moscow’s invasion of its neighbour last year.
French Ambassador to the UN Nicolas de Riviere singled out alleged rights violations committed by Russia in Ukraine and by the Russian mercenary Wagner force in the Central African Republic and Mali.
- 24 May 2023 - 11:08(11:08 GMT)
UK’s defence minister Ben Wallace visits Kyiv
UK Defence Minister Ben Wallace made a surprise visit to Kyiv to meet his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov.
“We discussed Ukraine’s NATO perspective in the context of the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius. Including the vision of Ukraine regarding the stabilization of peace in Europe, using the peace formula of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi,” Reznikov said according to a statement from Ukraine’s defence ministry.
- 24 May 2023 - 10:45(10:45 GMT)
Russia will respond harshly to Belgorod attacks: Shoigu
Russia’s defence minister says the Kremlin’s troops will respond to the “terrorist actions” of armed groups in Belgorod.
According to Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti, “Russian troops will continue to respond promptly and extremely harshly to the terrorist actions of Ukrainian militants, similar to the attack in the Belgorod region.”
- 24 May 2023 - 10:37(10:37 GMT)
UK says Russian military ‘struggles to enforce discipline in its ranks’
UK’s defence ministry says Russia’s military “has struggled to enforce discipline in its ranks throughout its operations in Ukraine, but its issues have highly likely worsened following the forced mobilisation of reservists since October 2022.”
“Court data suggests that most of those found guilty of going AWOL are now punished with suspended sentences, meaning they can be redeployed to the ‘special military operation’,” the ministry said in a tweet and added that Moscow’s efforts to enforce discipline have not focused on the root causes of soldiers’ disillusionment.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 24 May 2023.
Find out more about Defence Intelligence's use of language: https://t.co/3FQPPhWTjK
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/dCyKAP8ANi
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) May 24, 2023
- 24 May 2023 - 10:24(10:24 GMT)
Belgorod attackers used Western-made weapons: Russia
Kremlin spokesperson Dimitry Peskov says that pro-Ukrainian fighters who crossed into Russia earlier this week, using Western-made military hardware was consistent with the West’s growing involvement in the Ukraine conflict.
“The military and border guards are doing their job,” Peskov said according to Russia’s TASS news agency.
- 24 May 2023 - 10:12(10:12 GMT)
Beijing, Moscow should upgrade cooperation: China’s Xi
Chinese President Xi Jinping says Beijing and Moscow should upgrade their economic, trade and investment cooperation, according to Chinese state media reports.
His comments come after a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in Beijing.
Xi also said that China will continue supporting “core interests” Beijing shares with Moscow.
- 24 May 2023 - 10:06(10:06 GMT)
Russia’s Ryabkov says F-16s supplied to Ukraine would be ‘legitimate target’: RIA
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says any US-built F-16 jets supplied to Ukraine would be a “legitimate target” to Moscow, according to Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti.
Earlier, other officials in Russia have also expressed similar sentiments and said the West delivering more F-16s to Ukraine is a “colossal risk”.
- 24 May 2023 - 09:53(09:53 GMT)
Russia says ‘not considering’ takeover of other foreign company assets: Reuters
Russia’s first deputy economy minister Ilya Torosov tells Reuters that Moscow is not considering taking over other foreign companies’ Russian assets after placing those of Finland’s Fortum and Germany’s Uniper under temporary management.
Speaking on the sidelines of an economic forum in Moscow, he said the Kremlin’s government commission that monitors foreign investment was not looking at that possibility.
- 24 May 2023 - 09:46(09:46 GMT)
Satellite images show scale of destruction in Bakhmut
Bakhmut has been the scene of the longest and bloodiest battle of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Maxar Technologies has shared satellite images of Bakhmut one year apart from May 2022 to May 2023, showing the scale of destruction in the city.
The satellite below shows School 12 and apartment buildings in Bakhmut on May 8, 2022, compared with May 15, 2023.
- 24 May 2023 - 09:43(09:43 GMT)
Russia claims 70 attackers killed in cross-border Belgorod raid
Russia says its forces have killed 70 anti-Kremlin attackers who tried to enter Russia’s Belgorod from Ukraine.
“In total, more than 70 militants, four armoured vehicles and five pickups were destroyed. Today, the [counter-terrorist operation] has been cancelled in the Belgorod region,” Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported, referring to the attackers as a “Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group”.
- 24 May 2023 - 09:42(09:42 GMT)
West prepared to support Kyiv ‘for years’: UK’s Sunak
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says the West is prepared to support Ukraine “for years”.
According to a report by the Financial Times, speaking at a defence conference in London, Sunak said: “We are now leading a conversation with allies about what longer-term multilateral and bilateral security agreements we can put in place with Ukraine.”
His comments come as the US and other EU nations have also pledged to bolster Ukraine’s air defence system and train Ukrainian pilots in flying F-16 jets.
- 24 May 2023 - 09:41(09:41 GMT)
WSJ reporter’s detention in Russia extended until August
A court in Russia has extended the detention of Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter Evan Gershkovich by three months, until August 30.
While on a reporting trip in Russia earlier this year, Gershkovich was arrested in March and formally detained in April on espionage charges. He, his employer and the US government have denied the charges.
The US embassy in Moscow was quoted by WSJ as saying it was “deeply concerned” by the Russian court decision.
- 24 May 2023 - 09:39(09:39 GMT)
West sees Russia, China as ‘adversaries’: Lavrov
Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, says the West saw Russia and China as “adversaries” who threaten its dominance.
“As evidenced by statements made at the recently concluded G7 summit in Japan, the West views Russia and China as strategic adversaries posing almost an existential threat to its dominance,” Lavrov said.
- 24 May 2023 - 09:37(09:37 GMT)
Crimea bridge closed due to drills: Russian-backed chief
The bridge that connects the Crimean Peninsula to the Russian region of Krasnodar has been closed due to drills, according to Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-appointed governor of Crimea said.
“The Crimean Bridge is closed due to ongoing exercises in the area. Traffic will be restored in a few hours,” he said in a statement on Telegram.
- 24 May 2023 - 09:33(09:33 GMT)
Russia’s Rosatum chief discusses Zaporizhzhia plant with UN nuclear chief
Russia’s Rosatom CEO Alexey Likhachev has discussed security at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant with International Atomic Energy Agency director Rafael Grossi at a meeting in Beijing, the Russian state nuclear company said.
Earlier, Grossi had said the current situation at the plant “can’t continue”.
According to the Washington Post, Grossi also plans to submit a five-point proposal to the UN Security Council later this month in order to avert nuclear disasters.
- 24 May 2023 - 09:32(09:32 GMT)
Relations with China at ‘unprecedented high’: Russian PM
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin says Moscow’s relations with Beijing are at an “unprecedented high” as the two countries sign new economic agreements in Beijing.
Mishustin is the highest-ranking Russian official to visit China since the war in Ukraine began.
After meeting Chinese Premier Li Qiang, the Russian prime minister met Chinese President Xi Jinping.
According to Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti, Mishustin also told Xi that Moscow would work together with Beijing to push back against sanctions imposed by the West.
Ukraine updates: ‘20,000’ Wagner fighters killed in Bakhmut
The private army led Russia’s fight for the city, the longest and bloodiest battle of the Ukraine war.
This blog is now closed, thank you for joining us. These were the updates on the Russia-Ukraine war on Wednesday, May 24:
- About 20,000 Wagner fighters were killed in the drawn-out battle for the eastern Ukrainian city Bakhmut, says Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of the Russian mercenary force.
- In an interview with a pro-Kremlin strategist, Prigozhin also says regular Russian forces have killed civilians during the war, something Moscow has repeatedly and vehemently denied.
- Ukraine will not be able to join NATO as long as the war is going on, according to Jens Stoltenberg, leader of the world’s largest military alliance.
- Ilya Ponomarev, a representative of the Liberty of Russia Legion group accused of the Belgorod raids, tells Al Jazeera that its fighters receive some support from the Ukrainian armed forces.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies