After Defying Fears It Would Capitulate Quickly To Russia, Ukraine Faces A ‘long’ Period That Demands New Strategies, Ukraine Defense Chief Says

After Defying Fears It Would Capitulate Quickly To Russia, Ukraine Faces A ‘long’ Period That Demands New Strategies, Ukraine Defense Chief Says

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4 hr 34 min agoUkraine is entering a “long” phase of war, defense minister saysFrom CNN’s Katharina Krebs in London 

Ukraine forced Russia to reduce its targets to an operational and tactical level and is entering a “long” phase of war, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in a statement posted on Facebook on Friday.  

“In order to win it now, we must carefully plan resources, avoid mistakes, project our strength so that the enemy, in the end, cannot stand up to us,” the defense minister said.   

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov attends a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Kyiv, Ukraine, on April 24. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Reuters)Reznikov said that after the initial Russian attack on Feb. 24, Moscow was expecting that Ukraine would capitulate in couple of days and the Kremlin would establish a new Russian system in Ukraine.   

However, Reznikov said, the “Ukrainian army and the entire Ukrainian population repulsed the occupiers and thwarted their plans.” 

According to Reznikov, an important change also took place at the international level. 

“In a month, Ukraine achieved integration in the field of defense, which could not be achieved for 30 years. We receive heavy weapons from our partners. In particular, American 155 mm M777 howitzers are already deployed at the front. Three months ago, this was considered impossible,” Reznikov said. 

4 hr 50 min agoPutin discusses Finland NATO bid and war in Ukraine with Russia’s Security Council, Kremlin tells state mediaFrom CNN’s Anna Chernova

Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed Finland and Sweden potentially joining NATO, as well as the course of the war in Ukraine, with members of Russia’s Security Council on Friday, the Kremlin told state news agency RIA Novosti.

“Defense Minister [Sergei] Shoigu informed the meeting participants about the progress of the special military operation [in Ukraine],” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told RIA Novosti, commenting on the meeting.

Peskov went on to say, “An exchange of views took place on the topic of the decision of Finland and Sweden to join NATO and the potential threats to Russia’s security arising in this regard.” 

A number of issues in the context of the upcoming Collective Security Treaty Organization summit on Monday were also discussed, Peskov added.

4 hr 45 min agoRenewed bombardment of Azovstal plant as talks continue on evacuating the woundedFrom CNN’s Tim Lister, Julia Kesaieva and Olga Voitovych 

A satellite view of the damage to the eastern end of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 12. (Maxar Technologies)Ukrainian officials say that the besieged soldiers at the Azovstal steel plant have again come under Russian bombardment.

Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to Mariupol’s mayor, said that aircraft had dropped heavy bombs on the plant, “because very powerful explosions are being heard. People also saw pillars of smoke. 

“As far as I understand, after the bombing is over, the Russians may try to start ground attacks,” he said.

“The territory of the plant is huge, they [the Russians] are trying to break through the facility, gain a foothold and find entrances and exits to the underground areas — where the field hospital is, where our defenders are,” Andriushcheko said.

So far their efforts to penetrate the plant had not been very successful. “And this is what provokes the new shelling, the new artillery cover for these ground operations,” Andriushchenko said.

He also said that more people were returning to Mariupol because the Russians were not allowing them into Ukrainian-held territory.

“People are returning due to the actual closure of all green corridors by the Russian Federation. People who have settled in Mariupol district, Nikolske district, Berdiansk district, who cannot get to Zaporizhzhia, are forced to move back to the city, to their homes. At the same time we haven’t seen an increase in food supplies,” he said.

The International Red Cross is discussing with Russian officials the fate of those badly wounded and still trapped at Azovstal, according to Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s deputy Prime Minister.

“We have started a new round of negotiations around the road map of the special operation. Let’s start with the severely wounded,” she said.

“We want a document to be signed: how exactly the evacuation from Azovstal will take place, we are preparing to sign it.”

Vereshchuk said Turkey has agreed to act as a mediator in the current round of talks.

4 hr 50 min agoSweden says NATO membership would increase regional deterrence in security policy reviewFrom Amy Cassidy in London and Chris Liakos in Helsinki

Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist, left, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ann Linde present a security policy analysis during a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, Friday, on May 13. (Henrik Montgomery/TT News Agency/AP)Joining NATO would enhance deterrence across northern Europe, according to a cross-party review published by the government on Friday. 

The review assessed the changed security environment following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and what NATO membership would mean for the Nordic country. It concluded that “Swedish NATO membership would raise the threshold for military conflicts and thus have a deterrent effect in northern Europe.”

Sweden is expected to decide on whether it intends to join NATO soon, after the leaders of neighboring Finland announced its support for membership on Thursday.

The report, presented in Stockholm by Foreign Minister Ann Linde and Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist alongside party representatives, states that “Russian provocation and retaliatory measures against Sweden cannot be ruled out during a transition period in connection with a Swedish application for NATO membership.”

“There is a readiness to respond to Russian threats, but it is not possible to eliminate with certainty all the risks of Russian retaliatory measures,” it added.The report added: “If both Sweden and Finland were NATO members, all Nordic and Baltic countries would be covered by collective defence guarantees. The current uncertainty as to what form collective action would take if a security crisis or armed attack occurred would decrease.”

4 hr 49 min agoPutin’s reputed girlfriend and ex-wife sanctioned by UK government From CNN’s George Ramsey and Niamh Kennedy

Russian politician and former Olympic Champion, Alina Kabaeva, smiles as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin delivers a speech at the congress of the United Russia Party, on November, 27, 2011 in Moscow, Russia. (Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)Alina Kabaeva, a woman who has been romantically linked to Vladimir Putin, and the Russian leader’s ex-wife Lyudmila Ocheretnaya have been included in the latest list of UK government sanctions against Russia.

In a press release published on Friday, the UK government said the sanctions were intended to target “Putin’s financial network, tightening the vice on the President and his inner circle.”

The UK has now sanctioned more than 1,000 individuals and 100 entities from Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, according to the r

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After defying fears it would capitulate quickly to Russia, Ukraine faces a ‘long’ period that demands new strategies, Ukraine defense chief says

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