Ukraine live news: Russia claims full control of Mariupol | Russia-Ukraine war News


Moscow says it has taken management of metal plant, totally capturing port metropolis after months of Ukrainian resistance.

  • Washington says it’s “assured” that Turkey’s issues concerning the admission of Sweden and Finland into NATO will probably be addressed.
  • Russia’s defence ministry says the final group of Ukrainian forces holed up in Mariupol’s Azovstal metal works has surrendered.
  • A Russian missile hit a cultural centre within the Kharkiv area, the Ukrainian authorities says.
  • A US consular officer visited detained American basketball star Brittney Griner in Russia, the US State Division confirms.
Revised_INTERACTIVE_UKRAINE_CONTROL MAP DAY86_May20
(Al Jazeera)

Listed here are all the newest updates:

Russian missile hits cultural centre in Kharkiv area, Ukraine says

A Russian missile has struck a Ukrainian cultural centre within the Kharkiv area, injuring seven folks, together with an 11-year-old baby, Kyiv has mentioned.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s social media channel launched a video displaying a big explosion hitting the newly renovated Palace of Tradition in Lozova. The constructing was partly destroyed and the roof caught fireplace, Ukraine’s emergency companies reported.

“The occupiers recognized tradition, training and humanity as their enemies,” Zelenskyy wrote. “What’s within the minds of people that select such targets? Absolute evil, absolute stupidity.”


US says basketball begin detained in Russia acquired consular go to

A US consular official has visited detained basketball star Brittney Griner in Russia, US State Division has mentioned, whereas urging Moscow for extra common consular entry.

Griner, 31, a two-time Olympic champion and member of the Ladies’s Nationwide Basketball Affiliation (WNBA), was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in February on accusations of carrying vape cartridges that contained hashish oil in her baggage.

“I can verify {that a} Consular Officer visited Brittney Griner in detention yesterday on Thursday, Could nineteenth. The consular officer discovered her persevering with to do in addition to may very well be anticipated beneath these exceedingly difficult circumstances,” Worth mentioned in a briefing.

“However once more, our message is a transparent and easy one. We proceed to insist that Russia enable constant and well timed consular entry to all US citizen detainees. One-off visits are usually not enough.”

Brittney Griner
Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia since February [File: Rick Scuteri/AP Photo]

Germany to ship anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine: Report

German information company DPA has reported that the nation will ship the primary 15 Gepard anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine in July.

DPA reported that the supply, which incorporates coaching and virtually 60,000 rounds of ammunition, was agreed following talks between Germany’s defence minister and her Ukrainian counterpart.

Gepard — German for “cheetah” — is taken into account extremely efficient in opposition to low-flying plane and frivolously armoured floor targets. It was decommissioned by the German army in 2012 however some 50 mothballed items are being restored by producer KMW to be used by Ukraine.


US ‘assured’ Turkey’s issues on NATO enlargement will probably be addressed

The US State Division has mentioned Washington is “assured” that Turkey’s issues concerning the admission of Sweden and Finland into NATO will probably be addressed.

“Turkey is a longstanding, valued NATO ally,” mentioned spokesperson Ned Worth. “We perceive Turkey’s longstanding issues, and we’ll proceed to work collectively in our efforts to finish the scourge of terrorism.”

Turkey has accused Finland and Sweden of harbouring “terrorists”, referring to the Kurdistan Employees’ Occasion (PKK) and the Gulen motion, the latter of which Ankara accuses of being behind a 2016 failed coup in opposition to the federal government.


Final Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol metal mill give up: Russia

Russia’s defence ministry has mentioned the final group of Ukrainian forces holed up in Mariupol’s Azovstal metal works have surrendered, marking an finish to a weeks-long siege.

“The territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant … has been fully liberated,” the ministry mentioned in a press release.

A Russian soldier is seen on patrol in Mariupol
A Russian soldier patrolling a destroyed a part of the metal plant in Mariupol, Could 18 [AP Photo]

Hiya and welcome to Al Jazeera’s persevering with protection of the warfare in Ukraine.

Learn all of the updates from Friday, Could 20 right here.

How is Russia’s economy performing under Western sanctions? | Russia-Ukraine war


From: Inside Story

The Kremlin says the economic system is weathering the storm, however analysts warn of a steep future decline.

Western nations imposed a few of their strongest ever sanctions on Russia as punishment for invading Ukraine.

They embrace freezing the central financial institution’s overseas reserves, banning oil and fuel imports and suspending Russia’s banks from international monetary methods.

The measures have been designed to wreck its economic system, however the Russian rouble forex is buying and selling at a two-year excessive towards the US greenback.

Researchers in Finland discovered revenues from power gross sales to the EU have practically doubled since February, when the struggle started.

The American funding financial institution JP Morgan says Russia’s economic system is performing higher than anticipated.

Nonetheless, the IMFexpects the economic system to shrink by 8.5 p.c this 12 months.

So. what’s the actual image?

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra

Visitors:

Vyacheslav Mishchenko – Power markets skilled

Chris Weafer – Chief govt officer, Macro-Advisory, a strategic consultancy centered on Russia and Eurasia

Eric Chaney – Financial adviser to Institute Montaigne think-tank

Russia to cut gas supplies to Finland on Saturday: Gasum | Russia-Ukraine war News


Finnish state-owned gasoline firm says Russian cutoff, which follows software to affix NATO, is not going to have an effect on provide.

Russia will lower flows of pure gasoline to Finland on Saturday, Finnish state-owned vitality wholesaler Gasum has mentioned.

Gasum mentioned on Friday that it had been knowledgeable by Russia’s state-owned vitality company Gazprom that flows could be halted.

The Finnish firm mentioned the transfer by Russia wouldn’t trigger disruptions in provides.

The gasoline cutoff – which is scheduled to happen at 04:00 GMT on Saturday – comes within the wake of Finland and Sweden making use of to affix the NATO navy alliance amid safety considerations spurred by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“It’s extremely regrettable that pure gasoline provides underneath our provide contract will now be halted,” Gasum CEO Mika Wiljanen mentioned in a press release.

“Nevertheless, we now have been rigorously getting ready for this example and supplied that there shall be no disruptions within the gasoline transmission community, we will provide all our clients with gasoline within the coming months,” he mentioned.

Funds for Russian gasoline have turn into a difficulty since Moscow demanded that international consumers begin paying for provides in roubles, and Russia lower provides to Poland and Bulgaria for refusing to take action.

Gazprom Export demanded in April that future funds within the provide contract to Finland be made in roubles as an alternative of euros, however Gasum rejected the demand and introduced on Tuesday it was taking the problem to arbitration.

 

Gasum mentioned it can proceed to supply Finnish clients with pure gasoline by way of the Balticconnector pipeline that connects Finland with Estonia.

Earlier on Friday, Finland introduced a 10-year settlement with US-based Excelerate Power to lease a floating storage and supply vessel to supply liquefied pure gasoline to the area.

Whereas nearly all of gasoline utilized in Finland comes from Russia, the fossil gasoline solely accounts for between 5 to eight p.c of the nation’s annual vitality consumption.

‘Far-reaching penalties’

Gazprom didn’t instantly touch upon the reducing of gasoline provides to Finland, however Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned that whereas Moscow didn’t have detailed info relating to Gazprom’s provide contracts, “clearly nothing shall be equipped to anybody at no cost”.

On Sunday, RAO Nordic, a subsidiary of Russian state vitality holding Inter RAO, lower off electrical energy provide to Fingrid, Finland’s electrical energy grid operator, citing considerations over fee. Fingrid mentioned the lowered energy provide could be compensated for with elevated home output and imports from Sweden.

Finland and Sweden on Thursday broke their historic insurance policies of neutrality and formally utilized to affix NATO, though their joint software might want to overcome opposition from Turkey.

Moscow has repeatedly warned Finland, which shares a 1,340km (830 mile) border with Russia, of “far-reaching penalties” in response to its bid to affix the navy bloc.

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu introduced on Friday that Moscow would set up 12 new navy models and divisions within the western area of the nation, citing the doable enlargement of NATO and different rising navy threats.

As the Ukraine war rages, Montenegro’s juggling act gets harder | Russia-Ukraine war News


Podgorica, Montenegro – A bunch of sophisticated elements are pressuring the Adriatic nation of Montenegro to strike a fragile international coverage stability.

Since gaining independence from Serbia in 2006, Montenegro has largely performed a pro-Western international coverage.

Having joined NATO in 2017, the Balkan nation values its relationships with Washington, London, Brussels, and Berlin.

But on the identical time, Montenegro has been traditionally near Russia, which shares a Slavic and Orthodox heritage.

Montenegro becoming a member of NATO was essential to Western powers and at the moment they need Podgorica to toe the road in opposition to Moscow.

“Contemplating Russia’s base in Syria, rising its affect in Montenegro might facilitate [Moscow’s] connection from the Adriatic to the Mediterranean,” Dilek Kütük, a Skopje-based analyst, advised Al Jazeera.

“Along with Serbia, it might pose a menace in the midst of Europe. This was unacceptable to NATO.”

INTERACTIVE- NATO members military expenditure 2020
(Al Jazeera)

Russian vacationers and traders have been extraordinarily essential to Montenegro’s economic system.

However Podgorica supported Washington and Brussels’ sanctions on Russia in 2014, in response to occasions in Crimea and Donbas, which fuelled a level of friction in bilateral relations. So did the alleged Russian-backed coup try of 2016 and Montenegro’s entry into NATO the next yr.

Regardless of all that, Montenegrin-Russian financial relations remained robust. Russia, as the highest international investor in Montenegro, places a lot cash within the Balkan nation’s actual property and tourism sectors.

In 2019, Russia accounted for 26 p.c of international funding within the Montenegrin economic system. Lax international funding legal guidelines have made Montenegro an interesting nation to some – and such insurance policies have attracted no scarcity of questionable companies and oligarchs from Russia.

The motor yacht "Solaris", linked to Russian oligarch and politician Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich, is seen in the waters of Porto Montenegro in Tivat, Montenegro
Lax international funding legal guidelines have attracted no scarcity of shady companies and oligarchs from Russia to Montenegro [File: Stevo Vasiljevic/Reuters]

Since February 24, Montenegrins have been involved concerning the Russian-Ukrainian warfare’s affect on their nation’s economic system.

Extremely depending on vacationers from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, this battle and the sanctions imposed on Moscow are anticipated to hit tourism revenue this summer time whereas stopping, or a minimum of enormously limiting, additional Russian investments right here.

With a hospitality trade battered by two consecutive summers of COVID-19, Montenegrins had excessive hopes for travel-starved Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian guests.

Put merely, this warfare couldn’t have come at a worse time for Montenegro’s tourism sector.

Advanced home dynamics

Montenegrin identification politics and deep inner divisions complicate Podgorica’s stance on Ukraine.

On one hand, pro-Western politicians consider Podgorica ought to again Kyiv in alignment with NATO. But pro-Serbian teams within the nation, such because the Democratic Entrance, advocate neutrality, not wanting Montenegro to degrade its historic relationship with Moscow.

“The query of a pro-Russian or pro-Western alignment feeds right into a longstanding fissure in Montenegrin politics and identification. Montenegrins have demonstrated in assist of Ukraine whereas Serb nationalists in Montenegro have demonstrated in assist of Russia,” mentioned Marco Attila Hoare, a historian and affiliate professor on the Sarajevo College of Science and Know-how.

“With Montenegro’s inhabitants cut up between supporters of independence who establish as Montenegrin or who belong to ethnic minorities, and those that opposed independence and establish with Serbia, it’s primarily the previous which have emerged because the pro-Ukrainian and the latter because the pro-Russian camp.”

Nevertheless, not all within the pro-Belgrade camp assist Russia’s warfare in Ukraine.

Some favour neutrality, citing NATO’s bombing Podgorica in 1999 and their fears of turning into America’s “puppet state”. They’re additionally decided to protect Montenegro’s longstanding ties to Russia and Slavic international locations.

Others who again a impartial place contemplate NATO’s eastward enlargement as an element which fuelled the battle, whilst they criticise Russian President Vladimir Putin’s dealing with of the perceived Ukrainian menace to Russia.

But some hardline factions in Montenegro overtly again Russia’s warfare.

For instance, at a protest in Niksic, some Montenegrins expressed assist for Russia’s “makes an attempt to guard their individuals in Ukraine” whereas waving Russian and Serbian flags.

A slogan seen on one banner learn “Serbs in Montenegro – Russians in Ukraine.” Whereas driving in Montenegro not too long ago, this creator seen the pro-war Z image spray-painted in sure areas.

‘Fertile terrain for exterior affect’

In the meantime, the nation’s management has not been in a position to stability Montenegrin and Serbian identities and specialists say the governments in each Belgrade and Podgorica bear duty.

“The Serbian authorities nonetheless grapples with the concept the 2 are not a part of the identical union, and Montenegro’s international coverage won’t observe Serbia’s. The Montenegrin authorities additionally has not finished sufficient to accommodate the Serbian neighborhood, and as a substitute, the regime makes use of it as a scapegoat,” Vuk Vuksanovic, senior researcher on the Belgrade Heart for Safety Coverage, advised Al Jazeera.

“Within the divided society, the place one brother declares himself a Serb and the opposite a Montenegrin, the political ruptures are fertile terrain for exterior affect.”

The Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro is the “elephant within the room” as Dusica Tomovic, the managing editor at Balkan Perception, put it.

Intently tied to Russia, this spiritual establishment is politically influential in Montenegro.

“Whoever is supported by the Serbian Orthodox Church … will get big advantages from that assist,” mentioned Tomovic. “So now even the present authorities can not threat worsening relations with the Serbian Orthodox Church.”

Montenegrin Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic
Montenegrin Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic is pro-European Union and his authorities has taken motion in opposition to Russia over its invasion of Ukraine [File: Risto Bozovic/AP]

However Podgorica has taken concrete steps in opposition to Russia since February 24.

These embody cracking down on Russian media, ordering Russian diplomats to go away Montenegro, suspending flights, prohibiting transactions with Russia’s Central Financial institution, banning Russian overflight of Montenegrin airspace and pledging this month to affix all EU sanctions.

Nonetheless, even the brand new authorities of pro-European Union Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic can go solely up to now by way of strikes that might upset the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro.

The warfare in Ukraine has shrunk the room for geopolitical neutrality in Europe, leaving Montenegro in a tough spot.

The previous Yugoslav republic’s challenges vis-à-vis this battle underscore how rising bifurcation of the worldwide political economic system between East and West is worsening the Western Balkans’ longstanding fractures.

The longer the warfare continues, the harder it will likely be for Montenegro to navigate Europe’s gravest post-1945 safety disaster.

G7 countries to provide $19.8bn in economic aid to Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine war News


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine touched on nearly each matter of conferences this week.

The Group of Seven (G7) main economies agreed Friday to offer $19.8bn in financial assist to Ukraine to make sure its funds don’t hinder its capability to defend itself from Russia’s invasion.

German finance minister Christian Lindner advised reporters that $9.5bn of the entire quantity was mobilized at conferences of the G7 finance ministers in Koenigswinter, Germany, this week.

“We agreed that Ukraine’s monetary scenario should have no affect on Ukraine’s capability to defend itself efficiently,” he stated at a press convention to mark the top of the G7 finance ministers’ assembly. “We have to do our utmost to finish this warfare.”

Russia’s invasion touched on nearly each matter of conferences this week, from the necessity to cut back reliance on Russian power to reforming relationships between nations to take care of financial stability.

“Russia’s warfare of aggression is inflicting international financial disruptions, impacting the safety of world power provide, meals manufacturing and exports of meals and agricultural commodities, in addition to the functioning of world provide chains on the whole,” a G7 assertion stated.

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen and different leaders spoke this week concerning the want for allies to place collectively sufficient further assist to assist Ukraine “get via” the Russian invasion.

“All of us pledged to do what’s essential to fill the hole,” Yellen stated Thursday because the ministers completed their first of two days of talks. “We’re going to place collectively the assets that they want.”

The Worldwide Financial Fund’s newest world financial outlook says Ukraine’s economic system is projected to shrink by 35 % this yr and subsequent.

The finance ministers of the G7 — which incorporates Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US — additionally grappled with deepening inflation, meals safety considerations and different financial points throughout their talks.

A communique marking the top of the G7 finance ministers’ assembly addressed commitments to addressing debt misery in low-income nations, making an attempt to ease the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and staving off inflation charges “which have reached ranges not seen for many years”.

Because the finance ministers had been assembly in Germany, the US overwhelmingly permitted its personal $40bn infusion of navy and financial assist for Ukraine and its allies. The laws was backed by each voting Democrat and most Republicans.

Different problems with concern for G7 finance leaders touched on the necessity for nations to extend scrutiny and regulation of cryptocurrency and different digital belongings, in addition to streamlining pandemic responses.

German ex-Chancellor Schroeder leaves Russian oil firm | Russia-Ukraine war News


EU lawmakers have referred to as for sanctions on Gerhard Schroeder and different Europeans who refuse to surrender profitable board seats at Russian firms.

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will go away the board of administrators of Russian oil large Rosneft following public stress.

Rosneft mentioned on Friday that Schroeder and Nord Stream 2 CEO Matthias Warnig knowledgeable the corporate it was “not possible to increase their powers on the board of administrators”.

Rosneft praised their “strategic imaginative and prescient” and “vital contribution to the worldwide enterprise of the corporate”.

“Their function within the implementation of large-scale infrastructure tasks in Russia and Germany, geared toward growing the effectivity of the Germany financial system and its trade and the well-being of its residents, is invaluable,” Rosneft mentioned in a press release.

Germany on Thursday stripped Schroeder – chancellor from 1998 to 2005 – of official perks over ties with Russia. Lengthy the topic of fierce criticism in Germany for his ties to Russia, Schroeder had his proper to an workplace on the Bundestag eliminated.

The choice adopted a prolonged effort to get him to show his again on President Vladimir Putin, which intensified after Russia despatched troops into Ukraine.

European Union lawmakers individually referred to as in a non-binding decision on the bloc to slap sanctions on Schroeder and different Europeans who refuse to surrender profitable board seats at Russian firms.

Schroeder, 78, is because of be part of the supervisory board of Russian fuel large Gazprom in June.

After leaving workplace, Schroeder of the Social Democratic Celebration went on to work for Russian power giants Gazprom and Rosneft, amongst others.

INTERACTIVE_RefugeesDAY86- May20, 2022

PKK central to Turkish opposition to Sweden, Finland joining NATO | Russia-Ukraine war News


Whereas NATO leaders have tried to persuade Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to alter his nation’s stance on the acceptance of Sweden and Finland into the navy alliance, Erdogan has as an alternative chosen to double down, and insisted earlier this week that the 2 Nordic nations ought to “not trouble” to attempt to take away his objections.

The issue, as Erdogan places it, is centred round Sweden and Finland’s ties to teams thought of “terrorists” by Turkey.

Though restrictions on arms exports additionally type a part of Turkey’s misgivings over the 30-state alliance’s enlargement, it’s the presence of individuals linked to the Kurdistan Staff’ Celebration, or PKK, that kinds the spine of Turkish considerations.

Turkey, a NATO member since 1952, can veto new admissions.

The PKK has fought an insurgency since 1984 over higher autonomy for Turkey’s Kurds – a battle that has led to tens of hundreds of deaths.

Though the European Union, together with Sweden and Finland, lists the PKK as a terrorist organisation, attitudes to its Syrian department – the Folks’s Safety Items, or YPG – are extra fluid.

The YPG was essential in combating ISIL (ISIS) in Syria and its leaders have been hosted in European capitals. Sympathy with the YPG has been robust sufficient within the West for Turkey to be sanctioned for its navy operations towards the YPG in Syria, which critics labelled as a “conflict towards the Kurds”.

Turkey’s state-run media just lately highlighted conferences final 12 months between the Swedish international and defence ministers and Syrian Kurdish leaders who Ankara says have PKK hyperlinks.

“The PKK has been a safety menace towards Turkey since its basis,” mentioned Cigdem Ustun, secretary basic on the Istanbul-based Centre for Economics and International Coverage Research.

“Hundreds of individuals – each civilian and navy – misplaced their lives within the struggle towards the PKK. So the PKK, and any related component, could be thought of an important menace and Turkey expects its allies to know the safety considerations.

“After all, Western nations’ reluctance to see the PKK and YPG in the identical basket is an issue for Turkey.”

Ustun mentioned Turkey anticipated its allies to “see the shut hyperlink between [the PKK and YPG] by means of the similarities of their organisation, construction and monetary sources.”

Along with PKK sympathisers, Ankara says Sweden and Finland, like different EU nations, host supporters of a non secular sect that’s extensively believed to have been behind a 2016 coup try in Turkey.

Led by US-based Fethullah Gulen, the motion – labelled the “Fethullah Terrorist Organisation”, or FETO, by Ankara – infiltrated the Turkish state over many years and backed then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authorities till the early 2010s. Following the failed coup, many members fled overseas, though Gulen himself denies any involvement within the coup try.

Safety threats

Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, director of the German Marshall Fund in Ankara, mentioned the PKK “constitutes an existential menace to Turkey’s unity and subsequently it’s seen as the principle safety problem”.

Following the tried coup, he added, there’s “nonetheless the suspicion in Turkey that the [Gulenist] community continues to be alive inside the system” and so stays “an essential safety menace” for Turkey.

The refusal of Western states to sort out ‘terrorists’ inside their borders – the Turkish state broadcaster on Monday reported that Sweden and Finland have refused to extradite 33 individuals wished by Turkey – is seen as behaviour incompatible with pleasant ties.

“In Turkey’s case, there are individuals who might be straight linked to terrorist assaults who’re generally granted asylum in Europe, which isn’t acceptable to Turkey,” Unluhisarcikli mentioned.

The longevity and bloodshed of the PKK’s armed marketing campaign towards Turkey has led to it turning into the nation’s final nemesis. Alleged hyperlinks to the group have been used to imprison and smear opposition figures, significantly Kurdish politicians but additionally these from the centre-left.

Army conscription implies that many communities have been straight affected by the battle, whereas the PKK has carried out indiscriminate atrocities, such because the bombing of Ankara’s Kizilay Sq. in 2016 that killed 37 individuals, largely civilians.

The excellence between the PKK and the YPG is seen as naive at finest by most Turks or, extra possible, as extremely hypocritical.

Nihal Olcok, whose husband and 17-year-old son had been killed on the Bosphorus bridge on the night time of the 2016 coup try, mentioned Turkey’s view of terrorism appeared to vary tremendously from the West’s.

“It seems that the West solely sees terrorism in spiritual phrases,” she mentioned. “They solely care about what they name Islamic terrorism. The PKK and YPG don’t matter for them. Additionally, many FETO members ran off to Sweden, the place they dwell fortunately regardless of their assault on our nation.”

Olcok, an govt board member of the opposition Gelecek occasion, added: “Everybody in Turkey is aware of the PKK and the YPG are the identical, that they get their orders from the identical individuals. It’s hypocrisy to say there’s a distinction and Western nations solely do that as a result of it fits them.”

Turkey has launched three main navy operations into northern Syria which have focused the YPG since 2016 and has just lately staged quite a few assaults on the PKK in northern Iraq, the place the group has its foremost bases.

Whereas Turkey has lengthy complained of PKK actions in Europe, the truth that Russia doesn’t recognise the group as a “terrorist” organisation has not affected Ankara’s heat relationship with Moscow.

Russian forces work with the YPG in Syria and at the very least one Syrian Kurdish politician, whose contacts with Stockholm had been highlighted by Turkey, met Russian international minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow late final 12 months.

Ukraine war boosts Europeanism in border-wary Greece | Russia-Ukraine war News


Athens, Greece – The bonds between Greece and Russia run deep.

Greek monks transformed the Russians to Orthodox Christianity and gave them their alphabet within the ninth century. Russia’s navy helped safe Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire a thousand years later.

A mystical perception amongst some Greeks persists – that Russia will ultimately assist them reconquer Constantinople, immediately’s Istanbul, their former imperial capital, which fell to the Turks in 1453.

This background partly explains why Greece is among the least anti-Russian international locations within the Western camp, and why Russia is preventing fiercely for its allegiance.

A Eurobarometer ballot on Could 6 confirmed that 53 p.c of Greeks assist sanctions towards Russia, in contrast with a European Union common of 80 p.c.

Simply 40 p.c of Greeks supported financing weapons purchases for Ukraine, versus 67 p.c of Europeans.

A mid-March survey by Politico confirmed that 60 p.c of Greeks discovered Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “unacceptable”, in contrast with 88 p.c, 86 p.c, 82 p.c and 78 p.c within the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and France respectively.

Emmanuel Karagiannis, a reader in worldwide safety at King’s School London, drew parallels between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and its declaration of a Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus there.

“Each Moscow and Ankara have claimed that they search to guard compatriots who’ve supposedly suffered by the bulk ethnicity. In actuality, each Russia and Turkey have weaponised minorities to undermine the sovereignty of impartial states for geopolitical and ideological causes,” Karagiannis instructed Al Jazeera.

Following this logic, the Greek authorities has damaged with public opinion.

“We took sides. Unequivocally. We stand by Ukraine towards [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s aggression … He won’t succeed,” Greek premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis instructed a joint session of Congress on Could 17 to a standing ovation.

That event itself was a excessive watermark in Greek-United States relations.

Three-fifths of the Greek parliament not too long ago ratified a much-expanded defence settlement with the US, which permits Washington to make use of the Greek port of Alexandroupolis as a logistics hub for the availability of NATO allies Romania and Bulgaria.

From Alexandroupolis, it’s only a 750km drive to the Ukrainian and Moldovan borders, and far weaponry is rumoured to have been shipped to Ukraine through Greece.

Greece was additionally one of many first Western international locations to overtly ship Ukraine weapons in March.

It was not a lot – two C-130 transport planes loaded with Kalashnikov rifles, bullets and rocket-propelled grenades meant for Libya, which Greece had confiscated on the excessive seas as a part of an EU weapons embargo.

However Greece’s direct intervention with deadly materials was symbolic.

Russian overseas ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova referred to as the choice “deeply mistaken” and “prison”.

Two-thirds of Greek society reportedly agreed together with her, and the federal government didn’t repeat the transfer, however its pro-Ukraine coverage has not wavered.

Moscow accuses Athens of ‘deconstructing’ bilateral relations

In early April, some 200 Russian diplomats have been expelled from European capitals in protest towards the obvious conflict crimes dedicated in Bucha. Greece expelled 12 – a proportionally excessive quantity.

Russia is clearly aggravated.

Zakharova stated Greece was actively “deconstructing” bilateral relations.

“The Greek state, which was created with Russia’s assist and whose first chief was the Russian overseas minister, is successfully left with out diplomatic relations with our nation,” she stated.

Taking part in on these historic themes is deceptive, stated Alexander Kitroeff, a professor of historical past at Haverford School.

“Russian overseas coverage from the 1860s onwards is pan-Slavist, pro-Bulgaria, pro-Serbia – and Serbia and Bulgaria turned Greece’s rivals over Macedonia. So in impact, Russia is just not on Greece’s facet, it’s on the alternative facet,” he instructed Al Jazeera.

However “it’s not a lot a query of dropping Russian assist,” stated George Katrougalos, a former overseas minister with the left-wing Syriza occasion, as not being taken with no consideration by the allies one is appeasing.

“Even the US … has really diminished its assist for Greek positions,” he instructed Al Jazeera. “They withdrew assist for the East Med [gas pipeline], and even from the East Med Act of 2019 which offered for the US monitoring Turkish violations of Greek airspace.”

The East Med, a pipeline Greece has pledged to construct with Cyprus and Israel to move Israeli and Cypriot gasoline to the EU market, has been a serious irritant to Turkey.

And Turkey has been accused of violating Greek airspace as a means of displaying it disputes Greek sovereignty within the east Aegean. Turkey has additionally not too long ago claimed that Greece has entered its airspace.

Katrougalos’ wariness of the US isn’t just a left-wing place.

It permeates Greek society as a result of the administration of former US President Richard Nixon failed to stop the Cyprus invasion in 1974. Many Greeks consider then-secretary of state Henry Kissinger actively inspired it.

And NATO, which counts each Greece and Turkey as allies, does little to stop airspace rows.

“The Russians don’t have anything to supply Greece by way of controlling Turkey, and wouldn’t need to if they may,” stated Constantinos Filis, who directs the World Affairs Institute on the American School of Greece. “The pink line of the People [vis-à-vis Turkey] appears to be the avoidance of conflict [with Greece]. However that’s not sufficient for Greece. It means Turkey has a large scope for doing issues to Greece it shouldn’t do.”

Maybe unsurprisingly, Greeks have come to treat the US and Russia with nearly equal suspicion, and are as a substitute Europeanists.

A survey of Greek opinion carried out by the think-tank Dianeosis simply after the conflict in Ukraine broke out requested Greeks to choose a single reliable ally.

Solely 6.7 p.c picked the US, and simply 4.8 p.c picked Russia, however 65 p.c selected France, with which Greece signed a defensive alliance final 12 months.

Greece, NATO’s prime per capita defence spender, can be among the many EU’s prime supporters of a European military, however the Ukraine conflict is pushing that prospect additional into the longer term, say specialists.

“European defence is a dream for a few of us … the Ukraine conflict taught us that there isn’t a European safety with out the US and NATO. The [membership bids] by Finland and Sweden underline that,” Filis stated.

Katrougalos agrees. “If we would like Europe to be impartial on the worldwide stage, it should present strategic autonomy and European sovereignty … [we want] a Europe that might be a global participant with a balancing position,” he stated.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 86 | Russia-Ukraine war News


Because the Russia-Ukraine battle enters its 86th day, we check out the primary developments.

Listed below are the important thing occasions to date on Friday, Might 20.

Get the most recent updates right here.

Combating

  • Ukraine’s japanese Donbas area has been “accomplished destroyed” by Russian forces, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated.
  • The mission continues to be “underneath approach” on the Azovstal plant, the deputy commander of the Azov Regiment stated as he and different fighters are nonetheless contained in the steelworks. Greater than 1,700 fighters have now surrendered, based on Russia.
  • 13 individuals died and greater than 60 homes destroyed in Luhansk as Russian forces superior in the direction of the regional centre Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, the governor stated.
  • Russian-backed proxy authorities in now occupied Mariupol are usually not collaborating and combating with one another, which is probably going exacerbated by the evacuation of Ukrainian fighters from Azovstal, the Institute for the Examine of Struggle stated.
  • Russian forces are prone to shift focus to reinforcing their operations within the Donbas as soon as they’ve secured Mariupol, the UK’s defence ministry stated.
  • The White Home is working to place superior anti-ship missiles within the arms of Ukrainian fighters.
  • A Ukrainian state prosecutor requested a court docket to condemn a Russian soldier to life in jail for killing an unarmed civilian who pleaded responsible within the first battle crimes trial since Russia’s invasion.

Diplomacy

  • The West mustn’t anticipate Russia to proceed meals provides if it slaps Moscow with devastating sanctions, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stated.
  • Prime US Common Mark Milley spoke by phone together with his Russian counterpart Common Valery Gerasimov – their first dialogue since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February.
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated there could be “no shortcuts” to European Union membership for Ukraine. He’s the second EU chief to quash Kyiv’s hope of fast-tracked membership.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated he’s “decided” to dam Sweden and Finland’s bids to affix NATO, calling Stockholm specifically a “full terror haven”.
  • Kherson will “quickly grow to be half” of the Russian Federation, the Russian-appointed head of the Kherson area stated.
  • Russia will battle makes an attempt to steal its belongings overseas after discussions by EU leaders to make use of the frozen belongings of Russian oligarchs to fund the reconstruction of Ukraine after the battle.
  • Sweden and Finland becoming a member of NATO membership will “strengthen collective safety”, US President Joe Biden stated after assembly the leaders of each nations in Washington, DC.
  • Finland stated it opposes NATO deploying nuclear weapons or establishing navy bases on its territory even when it succeeds in its bid to affix the alliance, based on Prime Minister Sanna Marin.
  • Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi known as for an pressing ceasefire in Ukraine to allow a negotiated finish to the battle.

Support

  • Biden applauded US Congress for approving an almost $40bn navy and humanitarian support bundle for Ukraine.
  • Washington introduced an extra $100m in safety help to Ukraine together with artillery, radar, and different tools.
  • The UK has supplied greater than 4 million doses of painkillers and antibiotics, in addition to private protecting tools and respirators to Ukraine.

Economic system

  • China is quietly ramping up purchases of oil from Russia at discount costs, based on delivery knowledge and oil merchants who spoke to the Reuters information company.
  • Qatar hopes to begin sending liquefied pure gasoline to Germany in 2024, the Gulf state’s deputy prime minister informed the German every day Handelsblatt.
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia on the United Nations Safety Council of utilizing meals as a weapon in Ukraine by holding “hostage” the meals provide for tens of millions worldwide who depend on Ukrainian exports.
  • Moscow stated sanctions on Russia must be reviewed if it had been to open entry to Ukraine’s Black Sea ports so grain may very well be exported.
  • Ukraine’s agriculture ministry introduced grain exports are down 64 % to date in Might in contrast with the identical time final 12 months.
  • UN Secretary-Common António Guterres stated he’s in “intense contact” with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the US and the EU to revive Ukrainian grain exports.
  • The Worldwide Financial Fund’s deputy managing director stated this 12 months can be “difficult” for Asia amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the battle in Ukraine, and tighter international monetary circumstances.
  • The UN meals chief warned the battle in Ukraine has created “an unprecedented disaster” of escalating meals costs, with 49 million individuals in 43 nations already “knocking on famine’s door”.
  • McDonald’s struck a deal to promote Russia’s 850 eating places underneath a brand new identify to its current licensee Alexander Govor, who operates 25 eating places in Siberia.



Russia has turned Ukraine’s Donbas into ‘hell’, Zelenskyy says | Russia-Ukraine war News


Ukraine’s president says Russia’s intensifying offensive has ‘fully destroyed’ the jap area.

Russia’s renewed offensive in Ukraine’s Donbas has destroyed the jap area and turned it into “hell”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned, accusing Moscow of finishing up mindless bombardments.

After failing to take Ukraine’s capital since launching a full-scale invasion in February, Russia is utilizing massed artillery and armour to attempt to seize extra territory within the Donbas, comprised of the Donetsk and Luhansk areas, which Moscow claims on behalf of pro-Russian separatists.

“The occupiers try to exert much more stress. It’s hell there – and that isn’t an exaggeration,” Zelenskyy mentioned in a late handle on Thursday.

He mentioned 12 folks had been killed within the “brutal and completely mindless bombardment” of the town of Severodonetsk within the Luhansk area on Thursday.

“[There are] fixed strikes on the Odesa area, on the cities of central Ukraine. The Donbas is totally destroyed,” he mentioned.

“It is a deliberate and felony try to kill as many Ukrainians as potential, to destroy as many homes, social services and enterprises as potential.”

The defence ministry in Kyiv mentioned on Thursday that Russian forces had been stopping civilians in Donbas from fleeing to Ukrainian-controlled territory.

Severodonetsk and its sister metropolis Lysychansk make up the final pocket of Ukrainian resistance within the smaller of the 2 areas comprising the Donbas conflict zone.

Russian forces have surrounded the 2 – cut up by a river marking a central entrance of the conflict – and are bombarding them to try to put on down resistance and starve residents of provides.

The residents nonetheless within the now ghostly metropolis are afraid to take quite a lot of steps outdoors their entrance door.

Nella Kashkina sat in her basement subsequent to an oil lamp and prayed.

“I have no idea how lengthy we are able to final,” the 65-year-old instructed the AFP information company.

“We now have no drugs left and lots of sick folks – sick girls – want drugs. There’s merely no drugs left in any respect.”

Russia is more likely to reinforce its operations within the industrial Donbas area as soon as they safe the town of Mariupol, British navy intelligence mentioned early on Friday.

Al Jazeera’s Assed Baig, reporting from Bakhmut within the Donetsk area, mentioned emergency companies are struggling to take care of the dimensions of the casualties and the injury within the metropolis.

“Nowhere in Bakmut is secure and folks have turn into desensitised to the fixed sound of artillery and shelling,” he mentioned.

The mayor has instructed residents to evacuate the town because the Russian offensive continues to accentuate.

“People who stay have a alternative: evacuate from the city or hope to outlive the Russian navy onslaught,” Baig mentioned.