A senior Russian lawmaker who was reportedly critical of the invasion of Ukraine died over the weekend, the Russian government confirmed, in the latest unexpected fatality of a prominent figure since the war began.
In a statement, Russia’s Ministry of Science and Higher Education confirmed that Deputy Science Minister Pyotr Kucherenko, 46, died on Saturday. The ministry said he “became ill” while on board a plane carrying Russian delegates home after a business trip to Cuba. The flight made an emergency landing in southern Russia but doctors couldn’t save him, the ministry added.
This summer will be a crisis point for the Russian president, as demands for action intensify
‘Putin and his cabal now know they are persona non grata in most continents of the world and liable to be arrested if they travel outside Russia.’
A new grassroots campaign calling for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, to be tried for war crimes represents an escalation in the demand for justice for the people of Ukraine. Already 2 million have signed a petition calling for Putin’s indictment.
Now, in the run-up to August’s Brics summit (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to be held in Johannesburg, more than half a million have already called for the South African authorities to put him in prison if he flies in to their country. This public pressure comes as European leaders meeting in Reykjavík have intensified their call for coordinated intergovernmental action to find a way to punish Putin for his crimes.
This week the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, used the meeting of the Council of Europe to intensify her call for a “dedicated tribunal to bring Russia’s crime of aggression to trial”, citing two options: a tribunal based on a multilateral treaty under which a group of countries like the council of Europe agree to act in unison; or a special hybrid court founded on both Ukraine’s own domestic crime of aggression and international law.
Such a tribunal, which would be vetoed by Russia at the United Nations security council, could be mandated by a majority vote of the 193 members of the UN general assembly which could charge Putin with planning to invade Ukraine starting in 2014 when his troops descended on Crimea.
Whatever happens, August will represent a fork in the road. Either Putin attends the Brics summit, risking arrest, or by staying away he exposes his fear of being arrested. Whichever outcome, a line will be crossed.
The next stage of the campaign to put Putin behind bars will then require upfront American engagement. Joe Biden has said he favours Putin’s arrest but the US still shies away from bringing a special tribunal into being. We have to remind them that it is not enough to will the ends: we have to will the means.
Members of militias, however, insist their operations in Belgorod are ongoing
The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, announced on Tuesday evening that he was cancelling a “counter-terrorism regime” that introduced restrictions tantamount to martial law, while claiming Russia’s defence ministry and security agencies were still engaged in a “mopping up” campaign.
Hundreds of Belgorod residents were evacuated from their homes on Monday and placed in temporary housing after fighting broke out. On Tuesday, amid continued fighting, the governor warned people not to return to their homes.
Following a closed-door meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Lukashenko was swiftly transported to a Moscow hospital in critical condition.
“Blood purification procedures have been conducted, and Lukashenko’s condition has been deemed non-transportable. The orchestrated efforts to save the Belarusian dictator aimed to dispel speculations regarding Kremlin’s alleged involvement in his poisoning,” Tsepkalo wrote on Twitter.
Lukashenko himself addressed his absence from public life on May 23, attributing it to an illness.
Russia’s Interior Ministry on Monday issued an arrest warrant for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham following his comments related to the fighting in Ukraine.
In an edited video of his meeting on Friday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that was released by Zelenskyy’s office, Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, noted that “the Russians are dying” and described the U.S. military assistance to the country as “the best money we’ve ever spent.”
While Graham appeared to have made the remarks in different parts of the conversation, the short video by Ukraine’s presidential office put them next to each other, causing outrage in Russia.
'The Walls Collapsed': Elderly Couple Finally Evacuates From Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya Region
Civilians caught near the front line in Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya region continue to be evacuated. Serhiy Siryak and his wife, Tamara, from the town of Stepnohirsk, finally decided to leave when their house was destroyed by Russian shelling.
Ukrainian Medics Treating Soldiers Near Bakhmut Say High Morale Is Crucial
Ukrainian medics who treated soldiers wounded in the battle for Bakhmut say they were stretched thin during one the bloodiest battles of the war but managed to keep their spirits up. Russia claims to have taken control of Bakhmut but Ukraine insists it still holds a small part of the ruined city.
Kyiv's Mayor: New Air Strikes Spark More 'Anger, Hatred' Of Russia
Kyiv's mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said Russia's latest missile attacks on the Ukrainian capital failed to "sow panic" among the population but instead created more "anger" and "hatred" against Moscow. Klitschko made the comments to Current Time on May 29 as Russian forces carried out daytime strikes.
President Joe Biden has approved a new package of military aid for Ukraine that totals up to $300 million and includes additional munitions for drones and an array of other weapons. t comes as Russia has continued to pummel Ukraine’s capital and unmanned aircraft have targeted Moscow. U.S...
The new aid package provides munitions to boost Ukraine’s air defense capabilities to fend off Russia’s air assaults on Kyiv. It provides munitions for Patriot missile batteries and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), as well Avenger and Stinger air defense systems, mine-clearing equipment, anti-armor rounds, unguided Zuni aircraft rockets, night vision goggles, and about 30 million rounds of small arms ammunition and an undisclosed amount of other artillery rounds.
Russia launched a pre-dawn missile barrage at the Ukrainian capital, killing three people, including a 9-year-old and her mother. It was the highest toll from a single attack on Kyiv over the past month. Officials say the barrage also damaged apartment buildings, schools and a children’s...
Russia launched a pre-dawn missile barrage at the Ukrainian capital Thursday, killing three people, including a 9-year-old and her mother, and damaging apartment buildings, schools and a children’s hospital, officials said. It was the highest toll from a single attack on Kyiv over the past month.
A 33-year-old woman died as she and others waited to enter a locked air-raid shelter, which left the group at the mercy of falling missile fragments, according to her husband. Officials ordered an investigation.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s unrelenting quest for more political support and security backing from NATO got a warm welcome during a sprawling summit where nearly every European leader had assembled to condemn Russia and Belarus. Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to neighboring...
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s unrelenting quest for more political support and security backing from NATO got a warm welcome but no concrete commitments Thursday during a sprawling summit where nearly every European leader had assembled to condemn non-invitees Russia and Belarus.
Almost hoarse from drumming up support for his nation week after week, Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to neighboring Moldova that ended up as the focal point of an event designed to quell regional conflicts and to shore up Europe’s unity in the face of Russia’s war.
After a day of talks at a stately winery in the countryside, Zelenskyy said the best security guarantee for Ukraine was membership in NATO and the European Union, and that any proposed peace plans to end the 15-month-old war in his country could not take into account Russian concerns.
Defenders of Ukraine's city of Bakhmut are keeping up the pressure even though Russian forces declared victory there after the longest, deadliest battle of the war so far.
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said Russia sought to create the impression of calm around Bakhmut, but in fact, artillery shelling still goes on at levels similar to those at the height of the battle to take the city. The fight, she said, is evolving into a new phase.
“The battle for the Bakhmut area hasn’t stopped; it is ongoing, just taking different forms,” said Maliar, dressed in her characteristic fatigues in an interview from a military media center in Kyiv. Russian forces are now trying — but failing — to oust Ukrainian fighters from the “dominant heights” overlooking Bakhmut.
While Kyiv is silent about the start of any counteroffensive, fighting is raging in several sections of the front line, signaling that the long-expected campaign could finally be getting underway.
In recent weeks, Ukraine has intensified the shelling of Russian positions and successfully pushed back against Russia’s attempts to extend its gains outside the eastern city of Bakhmut that it reclaimed last month in the war’s longest and bloodiest battle.
Pro-Kyiv paramilitary groups of Russians who have been fighting alongside Ukrainian armed forces also launched forays over the border into Russian territory, attacking the Belgorod region.
The Ukrainian shelling and the cross-border incursions ravaged several towns and villages near the frontier and forced the evacuation of thousands of residents, angering Russian hawks who criticized the Kremlin for failing to strike back resolutely.
Ukrainian forces are making a major effort to punch through Russian defensive lines in southeast Ukraine for a second day in what may be the start of a counteroffensive.
Ukrainian forces were making a major effort to end a battlefield stalemate and punch through Russian defensive lines in southeast Ukraine for a second day Monday, in what may herald the start of a long-anticipated counteroffensive after 15 months of war.
Russian officials seemed to be trying to portray the Ukrainian attacks as the start of the counteroffensive, saying that Moscow’s forces foiled at least one assault. While not explicitly confirming such a large-scale effort, Kyiv authorities said their forces were indeed increasing offensive operations and making gains, but suggested some of the Russian announcements were misinformation.