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Russia Ukraine war latest: Putin ‘ready to freeze war’ but says Zelensky has no legitimacy after term expiry

Putin will be made to pay to rebuild Ukraine, says US secretary of state

Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky had no legitimacy following the expiry of his five-year term and this would raise a legal obstacle if Russia and Ukraine were to hold peace talks.

Mr Putin said he is ready to halt the war in Ukraine with a negotiated ceasefire that recognises the current battlefield lines, Reuters reported on Friday, citing four Russian sources, but is ready to fight on if Kyiv and the West do not respond.

“But who to negotiate with? That’s not an idle question…Of course, we realise the legitimacy of the incumbent head of state is over,” he said in press conference.

Ruslan Stefanchuk, the speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, said this week that anyone questioning the president’s legitimacy was an “enemy of Ukraine” spreading false information.

It came as a Russian attack destroyed trains and tracks Kharkiv region, officials said on Friday. Children were being evacuated from the area as it is pummeled by the Kremlin’s forces in a powerful new offensive.

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Zelensky visits Kharkiv region amid Russian attack

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has visited the northeast region of Kharkiv amid Russia’s fresh assault in the area.

The Ukrainian leader said he discussed the frontline situation, particularly in the town of Vovchansk, which has become a primary defensive position near the border with Russia.

The governor of the region, Oleh Syniehubov, and the mayor of the region’s namesake capital, Igor Terekhov, were both in attendance.

Matt Mathers25 May 2024 07:00

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Ukraine attacks Russian military complex in Crimea with US missiles

Ukraine attacked a Russian military complex in Crimea with long-range missiles provided by the US on Thursday night, The Wall Street Journal reported.

A Ukrainian defence official told the newspaper said the missile landed on a communications centre of Russian air defense forces in the city of Alushta.

Crimean social media channels reported several explosions in the coastal city, with one video showing a large blast, but the extent of the damage is not yet known.

The strike is the latest targeting Russian military infrastructure in the region.

Stuti Mishra25 May 2024 06:30

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ICYMI: US pushes for Ukraine aid, united front against China’s trade practices at G7 finance meeting

The US sought to build support for squeezing more money for Ukraine out of frozen Russian assets and for uniting against China’s trade practices as finance ministers from the Group of Seven rich democracies opened a two-day meeting on Friday on the shores of northern Italy’s scenic Lago Maggiore.

Treasury secretary Janet Yellen is pushing at the meeting in Stresa for “more ambitious options” to unlock money from some $260 billion in Russian central bank reserves frozen in Europe and the US  after the 24 Feb invasion.

Matt Mathers25 May 2024 06:00

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Putin says Zelensky has no legitimacy after expiry of presidential term

Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky had no legitimacy following the expiry of his five-year term and this would raise a legal obstacle if Russia and Ukraine were to hold peace talks.

With Ukraine under martial law in the third year of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Zelensky has not faced elections despite the expiry of his five-year term this week – something that he and Ukraine’s allies deem the right decision in wartime.

Mr Putin said he is ready to halt the war in Ukraine with a negotiated ceasefire that recognises the current battlefield lines, Reuters reported on Friday, citing four Russian sources, but is ready to fight on if Kyiv and the West do not respond.

In a televised press conference during a visit to Belarus, Putin said Mr Zelensky’s status was problematic.

“But who to negotiate with? That’s not an idle question…Of course we realise the legitimacy of the incumbent head of state is over,” he said.

Ukrainian officials dismiss any notion of Mr Zelensky lacking legitimacy in a time of war. Ruslan Stefanchuk, speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, said this week that anyone questioning the president’s legitimacy was an “enemy of Ukraine” spreading false information.

Stuti Mishra25 May 2024 05:30

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Ukrainian forces now control area where Russia pushed into Kharkiv region, says Zelensky

Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that Ukrainian forces had secured “combat control” of areas where Russian troops staged an incursion this month in northern parts of Kharkiv region.

“Our soldiers have now managed to take combat control of the border area where the Russian occupiers entered,” Mr Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.

His comments, after holding a meeting of military and regional officials in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, appeared to be at variance with comments by Russian officials.

Russian forces pushed into border regions of Ukraine‘s Kharkiv region this month and Russia’s Defence Ministry said they had secured control of about 12 settlements.

Stuti Mishra25 May 2024 05:00

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Why are top Russian military officials being arrested

It began last month with the arrest of a Russian deputy defense minister. Then the head of the ministry’s personnel directorate was hauled into court.

This week, two more senior military officials were detained. All face charges of corruption, which they have denied.

The arrests began after president Vladimir Putin began his fifth term and shuffled his ally, longtime defence minister Sergei Shoigu, into a new post.

Matt Mathers25 May 2024 04:00

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ICYMI: Putin’s military purge ramps up as another Russian general arrested

The arrest of lieutenant-general Vadim Shamarin is the fourth detention of a high-ranking defence figure within a month, starting on 23 April when deputy defence minister Timur Ivanov was placed in pre-trial detention for suspected bribe-taking.

Matt Mathers25 May 2024 03:00

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ICYMI: Putin arrives in neighboring Belarus for a two-day visit with a key ally

Russian president Vladimir Putin arrived Thursday in Belarus for a two-day visit as part of several foreign tours to kick off his fifth term in office, underscoring close ties with a neighboring ally that has been instrumental in Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.

Putin traveled to China earlier this month, and is expected in Uzbekistan on Sunday. Earlier on Thursday, the Russian president hosted Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in the Kremlin.

Matt Mathers25 May 2024 02:00

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ICYMI: At least seven killed in Russian strike on Kharkiv as Zelensky pleads for more weapons

At least seven people have been killed and two dozen injured after Russia launched a second massive airstrike on Ukraine’s Kharkiv region in as many days.

The attack came after a Russian glide bomb, a deadly explosive nicknamed the “building destroyer” by pro-Kremlin military bloggers, obliterated a cafe and injured 10 people in the middle of the day on Wednesday.

Matt Mathers25 May 2024 01:30

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Russian missiles kill 6 in Ukraine’s second-largest city where Moscow’s troops are pressing

Russian missiles slammed into Ukraine’s second-largest city in the northeast of the country and killed at least six civilians early Thursday, officials said, as Kyiv’s army labored to hold off an intense cross-border offensive by the Kremlin’s larger and better-equipped forces.

At least 16 people were injured as S-300 missiles struck the city of Kharkiv, regional governor Oleh Syniehubov said. The sound of 15 explosions reverberated around the city of some 1 million people.

Matt Mathers25 May 2024 01:00


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