Russia has suffered further losses during its offensive in the Donbas in eastern Ukraine.
It comes after Ukraine’s airborne command released photos and footage of what it said was a damaged Russian pontoon bridge over the Siversky Donets River and several destroyed or damaged Russian military vehicles nearby.
Ukrainian news reports said troops thwarted an attempt by Russian forces to cross the river earlier this week, leaving dozens of tanks and other military vehicles damaged or abandoned. The command said its troops “drowned the Russian occupiers”.
The UK’s Ministry of Defense said that Russia lost “significant armored manoeuvre elements” of at least one battalion tactical group as well as equipment used to deploy the makeshift floating bridge.
“Conducting river crossings in a contested environment is a highly risky maneuver and speaks to the pressure the Russian commanders are under to make progress in their operations in eastern Ukraine,” the MoD said in its daily intelligence update.
‘Russia loses almost 27,000 soldiers and 200 aircraft’ – Zelensky
Russia has lost nearly 27,000 troops and a total of 200 military aircraft in its war in Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky said.
In his nightly video address, the Ukrainian president said: “Today we can report on the 200th downed Russian military aircraft. Russia has not lost so many aircraft in any war in decades. And Russia has lost almost 27,000 soldiers, many of them young conscripts.”
He also said: “Russia has lost over three thousand tanks, armored combat vehicles, a large number of conventional military vehicles, helicopters, drones and all its prospects as a state.”
Mr Zelensky called on “countries of the whole free world” to exert “much more pressure on Russia” to help stop the conflict.
Russian soldier ‘admits to shooting POW for asking to use toilet’
A Russian soldier has told his mother that he shot a Ukrainian prisoner of war in the back for requesting permission to use the toilet, according to Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Security Service said it intercepted the conversation between the man and his mother who was shocked to hear his confession.
The soldier was quoted as saying: “He really wanted to go to the toilet. He was told, ‘You are going home now. Go, he says, go to the toilet, and you will go home’. That’s it, he went – we shot him in the back.”
The Ukrainian secret service said that his pro-Putin mother was so shocked that she tried to blame the incident on Ukrainians “shooting their own,” to which he allegedly replied: “No, we shot him.”
Russian shelling ‘kills one civilian in Donetsk’
One civilian was killed and twelve more people were injured in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region as a result of Russian shelling.
Regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on Telegram: “On May 13, the Russians killed one more civilian of Donbas – in (the city of) Avdiivka. 12 more people were injured today as a result of Russian shelling.”
He said that Russian troops were indiscriminately firing at communities in Donetsk.
Ukraine preparing 41 war crime cases against Russian troops
Ukraine is preparing 41 cases of alleged war crimes against Russian soldiers.
This is according to Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova.
She said during a live briefing on Ukrainian TV: “We have 41 suspects in cases with which we will be ready to go to court.
“All of them concern Article 438 of the [Ukrainian] Criminal code on war crimes, but different types of war crimes. There is the bombing of civilian infrastructure, the killing of civilians, rape and looting.”
It has not yet been revealed how many of the suspects would be tried in absentia.
Ukraine’s first prosecution of a Russian soldier was in Kyiv during the early stages of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
The 21-year-old went on trial for the killing of an unarmed Ukrainian civilian.
Ms Venediktova said that two more of the suspects, who are in Ukraine, are likely to face preliminary hearings next week.
Negotiations with Russia for Azovstal evacuation ‘very difficult’
Ukrainian deputy PM Iryna Vereshchuk said negotiations with Russia on getting defenders out of the besieged Azovstal plant in Mariupol were “very difficult” but did not give details.
“The result may not be to everyone’s liking, but our task is to evacuate our boys. All of them. Alive,” she said in an online post. “God willing we will rescue them all.”
Watch: Russian soldiers captured on CCTV shooting at unarmed civilians
UK sanctions Putin’s ‘shady’ friends and family including alleged mistress
Britain has announced more Russian sanctions, with President Vladimir Putin’s ex-wife, family members and inner circle hit in the latest tranche of measures designed to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.
Read the full story:
UK sanctions Putin’s ‘shady’ friends and family including alleged mistress
Former gymnast Alina Kabaeva is reported to have ‘a close personal relationship’ with the Russian president
G7 finance ministers eyeing 30 billion euros in Ukraine aid but opposition remains
The finance ministers of the G7 nations aim to agree on providing close to €30 bn euros (£25.56 bn) in financial support to Ukraine at their meeting in Germany next week, Spiegel magazine reported.
The aid, which is intended to cover the war-torn country’s financial needs up to the end of the year, would be provided in the form of loans and grants, meaning that Kyiv would not have to repay the entire sum, Spiegel reported, citing sources involved in the negotiations.
There is still opposition to the plan, the report said, adding that one European country has reportedly not yet agreed to participate.
In first since Ukraine invasion, Pentagon chief speaks with Russian counterpart
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine when he spoke by telephone to his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu for the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Pentagon said.
Mr Austin has tried multiple times to try and talk with Mr Shoigu since the invasion started nearly three months ago, but officials said Moscow had appeared uninterested.
Mr Austin stressed the importance of maintaining lines of communication, Pentagon John Kirby said in a statement.
A US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the call, which was requested by Mr Austin, lasted about an hour but did not solve any specific issues or lead to direct changes in what the Russians are doing in Ukraine.
The official described the tone of the call as “professional.”
Russia’s TASS news agency quoted the Russian defense ministry as saying that the call happened “at the initiative of the American side”.
“Topical issues of international security were discussed, including the situation in Ukraine,” TASS said, quoting the ministry.
The US and Russia have established a hotline since the invasion to prevent miscalculation and any widening of the conflict.
The “deconfliction” hotline is an open phone line based at the European Command’s headquarters and falls under Air Force General Tod Wolters, who leads all US forces in Europe.
Russia advises against travel to UK because of ‘unfriendly’ visa stance
Russia said it was recommending that its citizens not travel to Britain, complaining that authorities there were making it “virtually impossible” for Russians to obtain visas.
The Russian Foreign Ministry alleged Russian applications were being delayed because Britain was giving higher priority to Ukrainian refugees. It said Russians were also unable to pay on the British website via Mastercard and Visa, which have both suspended their operations in Russia.
“Taking into account the extremely unfriendly course of the UK towards our country, in order to avoid financial losses and other possible problems, we recommend that Russian citizens refrain, if possible, from traveling to the UK and trying to obtain British visas,” it said.
“Until the situation normalizes, we will act in the same way with respect to the British.”
The British actions were “a politically motivated infringement of the rights of Russian citizens,” the ministry said.
A spokesperson for the British interior ministry, the Home Office, said: “There are currently no restrictions or…
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /