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Only ‘diplomacy’ can end the conflict in Ukraine – Zelenskyy

Russia has claimed full control of the strategic southeastern city of Mariupol after all Ukrainian defenders surrendered at the Azovstal steelworks as the conflict enters its 87th day.

Kyiv’s chief negotiator said talks with Moscow were “on hold” after taking place in the early stages of the conflict without results. (AP)

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Zelensky says only ‘diplomacy’ can end conflict in Ukraine

The Ukrainian conflict can only be resolved through “diplomacy”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said amid a deadlock in talks between Kyiv and Moscow.

“The end will come through diplomacy,” he told a Ukrainian television channel. The war “will be bloody, there will be fighting but will only end definitively with diplomacy”.

“There are things that can only be achieved at the negotiating table,” he said. “We want everything to go back (as before)”, but “Russia does not want that”, he said, without further details.

Russian military says destroyed shipment of Western weapons in Ukraine

The Russian military said it destroyed a large shipment of Western weapons in Ukraine’s Zhytomyr region, west of kyiv, using sea-launched Kalibr cruise missiles.

The Ministry of Defense said in a statement that the strike took away “a significant batch of weapons and military equipment delivered from the United States and European countries” and intended for Ukrainian troops in the eastern region of Donbass where concentrate the fighting.

He also said Russian missiles hit fuel storage facilities near Odessa on the Black Sea coast and shot down two Ukrainian Su-25 planes and 14 drones.

Russia halts Finnish gas flows over payments dispute

Russia’s Gazprom has halted gas exports to neighboring Finland, the Finnish gas system operator said, in the latest escalation in a dispute over energy payments with Western countries.

“As of today, during the next summer season, Gasum will supply natural gas to its customers from other sources via the Balticconnector gas pipeline,” Gasgrid Finland said in a statement. Balticconnector connects Finland to the neighboring Estonian gas network.

Gazprom Export has demanded that European countries pay for Russian gas supplies in rubles due to sanctions imposed over Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine, but Finland refuses to do so.

Russia likely facing shortage of unmanned aerial vehicles: UK

Russia is likely experiencing a shortage of suitable reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which it has tried to use to identify targets to be hit by fighter jets or artillery, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said. Defense.

Russia is likely experiencing a shortage of suitable reconnaissance drones, which is exacerbated by limitations on its domestic manufacturing capacity resulting from sanctions, Britain said in a regular bulletin.

If Russia continues to lose drones at the current rate, the reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities of Russian forces will be further degraded, negatively impacting operational effectiveness, the ministry said.

US and others quit APEC talks on Russian invasion

Representatives of the United States and several other nations left a meeting of Asia-Pacific trade ministers in Bangkok to protest Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, officials said.

Representatives from Canada, New Zealand, Japan and Australia joined the Americans in leaving the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, two Thai officials and two international diplomats said.

The walkout came as the Russian representative delivered remarks at the opening of the two-day meeting of the Group of 21 economies.

The United Kingdom “wants” to arm Moldova to protect it from the Russian threat

Britain wants to send modern weapons to Moldova to protect it from the threat of invasion by Russia, The Telegraph reported, citing Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

She told the newspaper that Russian President Vladimir Putin was determined to create a “Greater Russia” even though his offensive in Ukraine did not succeed quickly.

Russia has called the offensive it launched on February 24 a “special military operation” aimed at disarming Ukraine and ridding it of radical anti-Russian nationalists. Ukraine and its allies dismissed this as a baseless pretext to attack.

Fall of Mariupol, Ukraine orders end of defense

Ukraine ordered its last troops holed up in Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks to lay down their arms, while Russia said its months-long operation to capture the strategic port city was now complete.

As Ukrainian forces repelled the Russian offensive around kyiv, aided by a steady infusion of Western weaponry, eastern Ukraine and Mariupol in the south bore the brunt of a ground and artillery attack. without remorse.

“The Russian occupation forces are conducting intense fire along the entire line of contact and are trying to drive artillery deep into the defenses of the Ukrainian troops,” the spokesman for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense told reporters. Oleksandr Motuzyanyk.

Russia should pay for the destruction – Zelenskyy

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dedicated his nightly video address to Ukraine’s demand that Russia be held financially responsible for the damage its forces are inflicting on Ukraine.

As recently as Friday, he noted, the Russian army fired a missile at the northeastern region of Kharkiv, destroying a cultural center in Lozova, and also hit the cities of Odessa in the south, Poltava to the east and Zhytomyr to the west.

Zelenskyy said Russia should be made to pay for every house, school, hospital and business it destroys. He said a legal mechanism should be created through which all those who suffered from Russia’s actions could receive compensation.

Turkey and UK work to open up routes for grain stocks

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan have agreed to work to unblock supply routes for Ukrainian grain stocks and mitigate rising global food prices, the Downing Street spokesman said.

Moody’s downgrades Ukraine outlook on debt uncertainty

Moody’s downgraded Ukraine’s debt rating for the second time in three months and lowered the outlook to negative due to the growing risk that the Russian offensive will affect the country’s debt sustainability.

The ratings agency downgraded the rating one notch to Caa3, after downgrading it two notches from B3 in early March, saying the country could face “a more protracted military conflict than originally anticipated by Moody’s “after the invasion at the end of February.

This “increases the likelihood that debt restructuring and losses will be imposed on private sector creditors,” the statement said.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies