President Zelensky meets with US officials
Boris Johnson said it was “vital” the West sent more heavy weapons to Ukraine as the Russian invasion made “palpable progress” in the east of the country.
The British Prime Minister said that Vladimir Putin’s troops had “chewed[ed] through the ground” in the Donbass region after their repeated failures to capture Kyiv and Kharkiv.
Mr Johnson argued in an interview with Bloomberg that more offensive weapons, including long-range multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), are needed in Ukraine.
He warned of the dangers of negotiating with Putin, saying: “How can you face a crocodile when it is eating your left leg? The guy is completely untrustworthy.
But Mr Johnson said the Russian president must accept that his so-called ‘denazification’ of Ukraine is over so he can ‘step down with dignity and honour’.
“Majority of Severodonetsk surrounded by Russian forces”
Ukrainian forces are said to be engaged in a “fierce defence” of the eastern city of Severodonetsk, which is two-thirds surrounded by Russian forces.
That’s according to Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of the Lugansk region – which is controlled by Moscow-backed separatists.
He quoted Oleksandr Stryuk, the head of the administration of Severodonetsk, who also said that “very heavy” shelling had damaged 90% of housing in the city.
Lamiat SabinMay 27, 2022 3:00 p.m.
‘Legit’ for the West to send arms to Ukraine – Liz Truss
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said it was legitimate for Western countries to send tanks and planes to Ukraine.
She told a press conference: “We are very clear that it is completely legitimate to support Ukraine with tanks, with planes and we strongly support the work that the Czech Republic has made to send tanks to Ukraine.”
It comes after Boris Johnson told Bloomberg that the West should send Ukraine more offensive weapons such as multiple rocket launch systems that can hit targets from much further away.
Lamiat SabinMay 27, 2022 2:40 p.m.
“The bombardments make evacuations in Kherson almost impossible”
Russian forces are shelling Ukrainian-controlled areas in the Kherson region – just north of Crimea – and making evacuations difficult, according to a local official.
The troops are strengthening their defensive positions at the same time, said Ukrainian governor of the region, Hennadiy Laguta.
Mr Laguta told a press briefing that the humanitarian situation was critical and that it was almost impossible for people to leave the areas occupied by Vladimir Putin’s troops.
He said the only exception was a 200-car convoy that left on Wednesday.
Lamiat SabinMay 27, 2022 2:20 p.m.
At least 4,000 Ukrainians killed in war – UN Human Rights Office
More than 4,000 civilians were killed in Ukraine during the Russian invasion, according to the UN human rights office (OHCHR).
But, he said, the true death toll is likely much higher.
A total of 4,031 people were killed, including nearly 200 children, according to the OHCHR, which has dozens of observers in the country. Most were killed by high impact explosive weapons such as heavy artillery bombardment or airstrikes.
He did not assign blame for the deaths. Russia has denied targeting civilians in the conflict.
Lamiat SabinMay 27, 2022 2:00 p.m.
EU may delay sanctions on pipeline deliveries of Russian oil
The European Union said it was negotiating a deal that would impose sanctions on Russian oil shipments but delay sanctions on oil delivered by pipeline.
The move is being considered to appease Hungary and a number of other landlocked EU member states.
Countries’ resistance to oil sanctions has delayed the implementation of the sixth sanctions package against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
An official said: “The idea is to split the oil embargo into pipeline and sea deliveries.
“Pipeline would get a bye for a period of time to arrange a replacement.”
A deal could be struck by EU member states’ ambassadors in Brussels on Sunday, in time for their leaders to agree at a summit on May 30-31, another official said.
Lamiat SabinMay 27, 2022 1:40 p.m.
Up to 1,500 people killed in the Donbass war
As many as 1,500 people were killed in fighting in separatist-controlled Donbass province during the war, officials say.
Up to 13,000 people remain in the city of Sievierodonetsk – compared to a population of around 100,000 before the war – and 60% of residential buildings have been destroyed, the mayor of Sievierodonetsk said.
Kyiv has issued an urgent appeal for more weapons from Western allies. David Harding reports:
Jane DaltonMay 27, 2022 1:03 p.m.
Occupied regions switch to Russian phone codes
Two regions in southeastern Ukraine seized by Russian troops have switched to Russian area codes, according to state media.
The Kremlin-controlled news agency Ria Novosti reported that occupied parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia were changing codes and a new mobile operator had started working there.
Jane DaltonMay 27, 2022 12:50 p.m.
Putin’s forces kill four as they bombard city fortresses
Russian forces pounded the last Ukrainian strongholds in a separatist-controlled eastern province, including a town where authorities said 1,500 people had been killed and 60% of residential buildings destroyed.
Ukraine’s foreign minister has warned that without a further injection of foreign weapons, Ukrainian forces would not be able to prevent Russia from seizing Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, which are crucial to Russia’s goal to capture the entire Donbass region.
The towns are the last areas under Ukrainian control in Luhansk, one of the two provinces that make up the region.
“The Russians are relentlessly hammering residential neighborhoods,” regional governor Serhiy Haidai wrote in a Telegram post.
“The people of Sievierodonetsk have forgotten when was the last time there was silence in the city for at least half an hour.”
Russian shelling has killed four people in the city in the past 24 hours, he said.
Jane DaltonMay 27, 2022 12:36 p.m.
Use of long-range US rockets would cross red line, Russia warns
If Ukraine uses long-range rocket systems sent by President Biden, it will amount to the United States “crossing a red line”, Russian state television claims.
It will be “an attempt to provoke a very harsh response from Russia,” the official channel announcer said.
The United States is on the verge of agreeing to requests from Ukrainian officials to strengthen the weaponry it offers to the country’s armed forces: advanced long-range rocket systems.
Jane DaltonMay 27, 2022 12:13 p.m.
Kremlin accuses Ukraine of blocking peace talks
Russia said it blamed Ukraine for stalling peace talks between the two countries.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a call to reporters: “Ukrainian leaders constantly make contradictory statements. This does not allow us to fully understand what the Ukrainian side wants.
It comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine must face the reality that engaging with Vladimir Putin will likely be necessary to end the war.
But Russia does not yet appear ready for serious peace talks, Zelensky said.
Lamiat Sabin27 May 2022 12:00