Latest news on the war in Ukraine: Macron and Scholz call on Putin to conduct “serious negotiations” with Zelensky


President Zelensky meets with US officials

European leaders have urged Vladimir Putin to enter into “serious negotiations” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have also called on Mr Putin to release the 2,500 Ukrainian defenders of the Azovstal steelworks currently being held by Russian forces.

In a joint phone call with Mr. Putin, the two European leaders asked Mr. Putin to carry out “serious direct negotiations” with Mr. Zelensky. They “insisted on an immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian troops,” the German chancellery said.

It comes as Russia claims to have taken control of Lyman after days of fighting for the Ukrainian town. The claimed success is seen as key to the next phase of Moscow’s assault on the Donbass region.

In his late Friday evening speech, Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky said: “If the occupiers think that Lyman and Sievierodonetsk will be theirs, they are mistaken. Donbass will be Ukrainian.

But the British Ministry of Defense said it was ‘likely’ Vladimir Putin’s forces had captured most of the town of Lyman, ‘in what is likely a preliminary operation for the next stage of the offensive. Russian Donbass”.


Thank you for following our coverage of the invasion of Ukraine today.

We are suspending coverage on the blog and will resume coverage tomorrow morning.

Here is a summary of everything that happened today:

Holly BancroftMay 28, 2022 9:23 p.m.


Today’s Highlights: Putin urged to hold ‘serious negotiations’ with Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have called on Mr Putin for an “immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops” as the assault on Ukraine’s Donbass region intensifies.

In an 80-minute three-way phone call, the leaders also urged Mr Putin to release 2,500 Ukrainian fighters taken prisoner of war at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, according to a reading from Mr Scholz’s office.

The Russian president warned Mr. Macron and Mr. Scholz that Western arms supplies to Ukraine were “dangerous”, according to the Kremlin.

It comes after Russia claimed to have taken control of Lyman after days of fighting for the Ukrainian town. The claimed success is seen as key to the next phase of Moscow’s assault on the Donbass region.

Holly BancroftMay 28, 2022 9:22 p.m.


West trying to break Russian blockade and ‘avoid global food crisis’, says PM

The West is working to break the Russian blockade on Ukrainian ports to “avoid a global food crisis” by releasing millions of tonnes of grain, Boris Johnson has said.

The Prime Minister spoke with President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday morning about international efforts to end the “despicable blockade” of Odessa, southern Ukraine’s main port on the Black Sea.

The conversation between the leaders comes after Mr Johnson revealed this week that the West was supporting the Ukrainians to clear the Black Sea and reopen international shipping lanes.

Holly BancroftMay 28, 2022 8:02 p.m.


European leaders call for ‘serious negotiations’ between Putin and Zelensky

Vladimir Putin has been invited to hold “serious direct negotiations” with Volodymyr Zelensky to try to end Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Macron and Scholz urged the Russian president to “find a diplomatic solution to the conflict”, while also calling for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops from Ukraine.

Ukraine, however, doubts the negotiations will be successful, saying no deal with Russia is trustworthy.

“Any deal with Russia is not worth a broke penny. Is it possible to negotiate with a country that always lies with cynicism and propaganda?” peace talks negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Telegram.

Zaina AlibhaiMay 28, 2022 8:02 p.m.


Macron and Scholz demand the release of the Ukrainian in the steelworks

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Schloz have urged Vladimir Putin to release Ukrainians detained at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol.

Some 2,500 fighters have been taken prisoner by Russian forces after surrendering after months of relentless shelling in the besieged city.

Hundreds were reportedly taken to a former penal colony while others were treated in hospital.

Zaina AlibhaiMay 28, 2022 7:31 p.m.


ICYMI – British MP’s son in Ukraine ‘filmed destroying Russian armored vehicle’

The son of a Tory MP was filmed helping to blow up a Russian armored vehicle during an operation in Ukraine, according to footage obtained by the I.

Ben Grant was reportedly heard shouting “shoot it now” and “watch out for the rear explosion” before an anti-tank missile was launched at a Russian BTR in a forest in northeast Ukraine.

Mr Grant, 30, the son of former minister Helen Grant, Conservative MP for Maidstone and The Weald, is part of a group of Western volunteer fighters supporting Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

My colleague Emily Atkinson has more details here:

Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 28, 2022 7:00 p.m.


Russia takes small towns, aims to expand eastern Ukraine battle

Russia claimed on Saturday that its troops and separatist fighters had captured a key railroad junction in eastern Ukraine, the second small town to fall to Moscow forces this week as they fight to seize the entire contested region of Donbass.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the town of Lyman had been “completely liberated” by a joint force of Russian soldiers and Kremlin-backed separatists who waged war in the area eastern border of Russia for eight years. #

Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 28, 2022 6:30 p.m.


Ukraine War: Today’s Economy Updates

Russian President Vladimir Putin told French and German leaders in a phone call that Russia was willing to discuss ways to allow Ukraine to resume grain shipments from Black Sea ports, the report said. Kremlin.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that international partners are working intensively to find ways to resume the export of grain from Ukraine to avert a global food crisis.

A ship has entered the Ukrainian port of Mariupol for the first time since Russia completed its capture of the city to load metal and ship it east to Russia, TASS news agency reported. in a move Kyiv called looting.

The EU is seeking an agreement this weekend to ban deliveries of Russian oil by sea but not by pipeline to reach Hungary. Zelenskiy accused the EU of dithering.

Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 28, 2022 6:00 p.m.


The war devastates Norway’s oil and gas profits. Now it is asked to help

Europe’s frantic search for alternatives to Russian energy has dramatically increased the demand – and the price – for Norwegian oil and gas.

As the money pours in, Europe’s second-largest natural gas supplier is pushing back against accusations that it is profiting from the war in Ukraine.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who is counting on the Scandinavian country to replace some of the gas Poland was getting from Russia, said Norway’s “gigantic” oil and gas profits “feed indirectly from the war”. He urged Norway to use this windfall to support the hardest hit countries, primarily Ukraine.

Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 28, 2022 5:30 p.m.


Macron and Scholz urge Putin to release Azovstal fighters – Elysée Palace

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to release the 2,500 Ukrainian defenders of the Azovstal steelworks held by Russian forces, the Elysee Palace said.

The two European leaders, in a joint appeal, also urged Putin to agree to a direct exchange with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the palace said.

Russia said this month that nearly 2,000 Ukrainians had surrendered after making a last stand in the ruins of Mariupol, where they had held out for weeks in bunkers and tunnels under the vast Azovstal steelworks. .

Macron and Scholz also stressed the urgency of lifting the Russian blockade of the port of Odessa to allow Ukrainian grain exports, the palace said.

The Kremlin said Putin told Macron and Scholz on the call that Russia was willing to discuss ways to allow Ukraine to resume grain shipments from Black Sea ports.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what it called a “special operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” its southern neighbor. Ukraine and Western nations dismissed this as a baseless pretext for war.

Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 28, 2022 5:00 p.m.


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