Ukraine war live: Vladimir Putin says ‘victory will be ours’

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Russian servicemen march during a dress rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 7, 2022.

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AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared that “as in 1945, victory will be ours”, drawing many comparisons between the Second World War and the conflict in Ukraine.

He made the comments on Sunday in a message to former Soviet-bloc countries and the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine.

Meanwhile Ukrainian authorities fear up to 60 people sheltering in a school in Luhansk region may have been killed in a Russian strike on the building. It comes as the World Health Organisation announced it was collecting evident in Ukraine of possible war crimes committed by Russian forces against medical facilities. 

The UK’s latest intelligence briefing confirms that Russia is sending more senior officers to the front lines to take command decisions, although it’s not clear whether this is having any impact to change battlefield strategies. 

And the leaders of the G7 group are due to hold a video conference with President Zelenskyy on Sunday. 

Follow events as they unfold in our Sunday live blog below, or click the video player above for the latest television news.

09:38

Sunday key points: 

    Ukrainian authorities say up to 60 people who were among a group of 90 villagers sheltering in the basement of a school in Luhansk region are feared dead after Russian forces bombed the building.Bono and The Edge from Irish rock band U2 have played a surprise concert in a Kyiv metro station. The duo traveled to Ukraine at the invitation of President Zelenskyy. Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared that “as in 1945, victory will be ours.” He made the comments on Sunday in a message to former Soviet-bloc countries and the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine.President Zelenskyy is due to meet with the leaders of G7 countries on Sunday via video link. The UK’s Ministry of Defence says Russia is increasingly sending more senior military leaders to the front lines to try and take better charge of the war effort — but that it’s not clear this has lead to any “refined or altered operational concept.” The World Health Organization is gathering evidence for a possible war crimes investigation into attacks it says it has documented by Russia on healthcare facilities in UkraineAll the civilian women, children and elderly people have now been evacuated from the sprawling Azovstal steel plant in the city of Mariupol but it is thought there are still Ukrainian military elements holding out against Russian forces. Russia has been putting its military might on display in Moscow, holding rehearsals ahead of Monday’s WWII Victory Day parade.

17:42

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visits Ukraine 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Irpin on Sunday, a city devastated by intense fighting between the Ukrainian and Russian armies before its occupation by the Russians in March, the city’s mayor announced.

“(Justin Trudeau) came to Irpin to see with his own eyes all the horrors that the Russian occupiers did to our city,” Oleksander Markushin wrote on Telegram, accompanying his message with photos taken with Mr Trudeau in the destroyed city.

Justin Trudeau’s visit to Ukraine had not been announced in advance.

“The Prime Minister is in Ukraine to meet with President Zelenskyy and reaffirm our unwavering support for the Ukrainian people,” his office said. 

Mayor Markushin said he “sincerely thanked” the Prime Minister for “Canada’s support for Ukraine today”.

“We believe in continued cooperation between our countries in the reconstruction of Ukrainian cities after our victory,” he said.

Irpin, on the northwestern outskirts of Kiev, was the scene of heavy fighting between Russians and Ukrainians in the early days of the Russian invasion in late February.

The Russian army quickly took control of the town, which had a population of 60,000 before the war, and occupied it throughout March. 

(AFP)

This image provided by the Irpin Mayor’s Office shows Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walking with mayor Oleksandr Markushyn, right, in Irpin, Ukraine, Sunday, May 8, 2022. (Irpin Mayor’s Office via AP)16:32

Ukrainian army video reportedly shows a strike on Snake Island

The Ukrainian military released a video on Sunday showing a Russian helicopter hit over Russian-held Snake Island.

Watch the video below:

A Ukrainian army video reportedly shows a strike on Snake Island.

16:06

US first lady Jill Biden makes surprise visit to Ukraine

US first lady Jill Biden made an unannounced visit to western Ukraine on Sunday, holding a surprise Mother’s Day meeting with Ukrainian first lady, Olena Zelenska. 

Biden traveled under the cloak of secrecy, becoming the latest high-profile American to enter Ukraine during its 10-week-old conflict with Russia.

“I wanted to come on Mother’s Day,” Biden told Zelenska. “I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop and this war has been brutal and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine.”

The first lady traveled by vehicle to the town of Uzhhorod, about a 10-minute drive from a Slovakian village that borders Ukraine. She spent about two hours in Ukraine.

The two came together in a small classroom, sitting across a table from one another and talking before reporters, before then meeting in private. Zelenska and her children have been at an undisclosed location for their safety.

Read more at our story here.

First lady Jill Biden greets Olena Zelenskyy, spouse of Ukrainian’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, outside of School 6, a public school that has taken in displaced students in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, Sunday, May 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)16:02

Ukraine: Grigory Skovoroda museum in ruins after bombing

A museum dedicated to the Ukrainian philosopher Grigory Skovoroda in Skovorodinovka, Kharkiv region, was destroyed by a Russian missile.

Watch video of the aftermath here: 

Ukraine: Grigory Skovoroda museum in ruins after bombing

15:34

U2 plays surprise Kyiv concert

Two of the members of Irish rock band U2 have made a surprise appearance in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, and played a concert in a metro station. 

Bono and The Edge sang some of their biggest hits to the audience who gathered to hear them, and also sang ‘Stand by Me’ with a member of the Ukrainian military. 

Writing on their official U2 Twitter account, the band said: “President Zelenskyy invited us to perform in Kyiv as a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and so that’s what we’ve come to do.”

14:25

Vladimir Putin says: ‘Victory will be ours’

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared that “as in 1945, victory will be ours”, drawing many comparisons between the Second World War and the conflict in Ukraine.

He made the comments on Sunday in a message to former Soviet-bloc countries and the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine.

“Today our soldiers, like their ancestors, are fighting shoulder to shoulder for the liberation of their homeland from Nazi filth, with the confidence that, as in 1945, victory will be ours,” Putin said in his greetings to former Soviet bloc countries and the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine on Sunday.

“Today, the common duty is to prevent the revival of Nazism, which caused so much suffering to the peoples of different countries,” he added, wishing “that the new generations be worthy of the memory of their fathers and grandfathers. 

In his greetings, Vladimir Putin also made numerous references not only to the soldiers, but also to the civilians of the “home front”, “who crushed Nazism at the cost of countless sacrifices”.

“Unfortunately, today, Nazism is raising its head again,” the Russian president said, in a passage addressed to Ukrainians. “Our sacred duty is to prevent the ideological heirs of those who were defeated” in what Moscow calls the “Great Patriotic War” from “taking their revenge”.

The president wished “all the people of Ukraine – a peaceful and just future”.

On Monday, Moscow will commemorate the victory against Nazi Germany with a military parade.

Russia justifies the war launched in Ukraine on 24 February by saying they want to “demilitarise” and “denazify” the country. 

(AFP)

13:46

Boris Johnson commits more military support for Ukraine

The British government will provide an extra £1.3 billion (€1.5 billion) in military support to Ukraine to help the country defend against Russian forces, officials said Sunday.

The funding, which comes from British government reserves, includes 300 million pounds of military kit promised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this week, such as radar systems to target Russian artillery, GPS jamming equipment and night vision devices.

Britain’s government said it is the highest rate of UK military spending on a conflict since Iraq and Afghanistan.

Officials said Johnson will meet with British arms companies later this month to discuss increasing production in response to the demand created by the conflict in Ukraine.

Johnson said Britain’s aid to Ukraine will also help boost the British defense economy.

Britain has already committed to about 1.5 billion pounds for Ukraine, including humanitarian aid and loan guarantees.

(AP)

12:47

British YouTuber detained by Russian authorities

A popular British YouTuber, who specialises in travels through Russia and the former Soviet Union, has been detained by Russian authorities. 

Rich Benjamin — more commonly known by his YouTube channel moniker ‘Bald and Bankrupt’ — and his Belarussian partner Alina Zelupa, were detained on Saturday at Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. 

“At 6:10 pm Moscow time, a report was received from the Space Centre [in Baikonur] about the detention of British citizen Rich Benjamin and Belarusian citizen Zelupa Alina,” The head of Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, wrote on Telegram. 

The arrests took place “in the area of launch pad 112,” he added.

“Both are in the Department of Internal Affairs of the city of Baikonur. Investigations are underway,” Rogozin added. 

“Relationships are being established” that these two people are “linked in the organisation of illegal actions”, he said.

Rogozin did not give further details on their identities or the nature of the charges against them.

Benjamin has attracted millions of followers — and tens of millions of views — for his videos where he explores unusual parts of the former Soviet Union like remote exclaves and conflict zones. 

(AFP / Euronews) 

11:54

EU negotiations on Russia oil ban continue

Diplomats from the EU’s 27 member states are continuing talks in Brussels on Sunday, to try and overcome the last obstacles to an embargo on Russian oil. 

On Friday, they had failed to reach an agreement on the implementation of the 6th package of sanctions against Moscow presented Wednesday by the European Commission. The plan calls for an embargo on Russian oil by the end of the year, which raises major problems for some member states.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose country is heavily dependent on Russia for its energy supplies, had hardened his tone on Friday morning, saying that the Brussels proposal was “damaging” to the unity of the European Union.

The unanimity of the EU-27 is required for the adoption of sanctions.

“There is no political blockage, but the need to guarantee alternative sources of supply to landlocked countries dependent on Russian oil by pipeline. And this is not an easy thing to do,” a European diplomat said.

“It involves new infrastructure and changes in technology, which require not only European funding, but agreements between several member states. We are making progress but it automatically takes a little time,” he added.

The proposal submitted to member states on Wednesday provides for a halt to Russian crude oil imports within six months and to refined products by the end of 2022.

(AFP)

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