Russian missiles hit port city of Odesa, killing one and injuring others
A rescue worker gestures in front of the shopping and entertainment center in the Ukrainian Black Sea city of Odessa on May 10, 2022, destroyed after Russian missiles strike late on May 9, 2022.
Oleksandr Gimanov | Afp | Getty Images
The major Ukrainian port city of Odesa was hit by Russian missiles on Monday, killing one person and injuring five others, according to Ukrainian armed forces.
In an update on Telegram, the operational command for the region said that the casualties occurred when seven missiles were fired at the city and hit a shopping center and a depot. The statement said that “rare Soviet-style missiles were clearly used.”
The attack came on the same day that the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, visited Odesa. Meanwhile in Russia, President Putin and senior Kremlin officials oversaw the “Victory Day” parade in Moscow. The event marks the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
— Holly Ellyatt
Russia has no plans to close the embassies of European countries, official says
London Metro Police officers stand on guard outside Russia’s embassy in London.
Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images
Russia has no plans to close the embassies of European countries despite the very poor state of relations between Russia and its neighbors, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko has said, according to state news agency Ria Novosti.
“This is not in our tradition,” Grushko said. “Therefore, we believe that the work of diplomatic missions is important,” Grushko said, in answer to the question of whether Russia could close European diplomatic missions in the region against the backdrop of Western sanctions.
“We did not start a diplomatic war, a campaign of expulsions,” the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry claimed.
Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 after months of building up over 100,000 troops along the shared border. Moscow has tried to justify its invasion by saying it’s protecting ethnic Russians in the country and has falsely claimed Kyiv’s leadership are “Nazis.”
Ukraine and geopolitical experts say Russia has created baseless justifications for the invasion as it wants to stop Ukraine’s pro-Western direction, and to re-assert its power and influence over the country.
— Holly Ellyatt
Russia’s underestimation of Ukraine led to ‘unsustainable losses,’ UK says
Russia’s underestimation of Ukrainian resistance and its “best case scenario” planning have led to demonstrable operational failings, the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday.
Those failings prevented President Vladimir Putin from announcing significant military success in Ukraine at the Victory Day parade in Moscow on Monday.
“Russia’s invasion plan is highly likely to have been based on the mistaken assumption that it would encounter limited resistance and would be able to encircle and bypass population centres rapidly,” the ministry said in its latest intelligence update on Twitter.
This assumption led Russian forces to attempt to carry out the opening phase of the operation “with a light, precise approach” intended to achieve a rapid victory with minimal cost.
“This miscalculation led to unsustainable losses and a subsequent reduction in Russia’s operational focus,” the ministry said.
— Holly Ellyatt
Russia’s economy to shrink 10% this year, Ukraine’s to contract 30%: Report
Damaged buildings are seen as Russian attacks continue in Mariupol, Ukraine on May 4, 2022.
Leon Klein | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
The war in Ukraine is hitting both Russia and Kyiv’s economy hard, with both expected to see sharp plunges in economic output, according to research from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) published Tuesday.
Russia’s economy, hit by international sanctions, is expected to contract 10% in 2022 while the Ukraine invasion — which has caused extensive damage to the agricultural producer’s economic hubs and output — is forecast to cause Ukraine’s economy to shrink by 30% this year, the EBRD said.
“With the 3.4 per cent GDP growth recorded in 2021 no more than a distant memory, the war is putting Ukraine’s economy under enormous stress, with the heavy devastation of infrastructure and production capacities,” the EBRD said. It’s estimated that between 30% and 50% of businesses have stopped their operations completely in Ukraine, causing about half of all employees to lose their jobs and income.
That latest gross domestic product forecast for Ukraine is a downward revision of ten percentage points compared with the bank’s projections released in March.
Ukraine’s GDP is forecast to bounce back to 25% next year, the EBRD said, but that’s assuming that substantial reconstruction work is by then already underway.
— Holly Ellyatt
At least 1 million Ukrainians were ‘forcibly relocated’ to Russia, says rights official
An elderly woman sits in Kharkiv after fleeing from a war-torn Kutuzivka village in Ukraine, April 29th, 2022. At least a million Ukrainians have been “forcible relocated” and sent to Russia, Ukraine’s ombudsman for human rights said, NBC News reported.
Narciso Contreras | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
At least a million Ukrainians have been “forcibly relocated” and sent to Russia, according to a Ukrainian human rights official cited by NBC News.
“Not only are the occupiers hiding their crimes, but also relocating everyone they deem unreliable,” said Lyudmyla Denisova, Ukraine’s ombudsman for human rights.
“We have proof that forceful deportation was prepared beforehand,” Denisova said, according to NBC News. “There are facts that confirm that Russia had directives for their districts on how many Ukrainians and where to deport them.”
NBC News and CNBC were not able to confirm those claims.
An estimated 20,000 Ukrainians are in “filtration camps,” with most being sent to Russia, while the fate of the rest remains unknown, Denisova added, NBC News said.
Last month, the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine documented about 109 cases of suspected detention or enforced disappearances among civilians since the invasion began.
However, local officials said the figure does not represent the tens of thousands of Ukrainians who have been deported via “filtration camps.”
— Chelsea Ong
Ukraine’s prime minister says the U.S. steel tariff suspension came together in a matter of weeks
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal speaks during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured) at State Department, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Washington, April 22, 2022.
Susan Walsh | Pool | Reuters
Just hours after the U.S. announced it would suspend tariffs on Ukrainian steel for a year, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal expressed his appreciation for the speed with which the Biden administration moved on the issue.
Shmyhal said he first spoke about the tariffs with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo when he visited Washington on April 21.
Less than 3 weeks later, the U.S. announced that the current 25% tariff would not be applied to steel from war-torn Ukraine for at least a year.
The tariff suspension is the latest example of the White House and federal agencies slashing bureaucratic red tape in Washington in order to get money, weapons and humanitarian supplies to Ukraine.
— Christina Wilkie
Biden shifts course, calls on Congress to pass standalone Ukraine aid with no Covid funds
U.S. President Joe Biden pauses while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Monday, May 9, 2022.
Samuel Corum | Bloomberg | Getty Images
President Joe Biden has very publicly shifted course in his quest to pass a $33 billion emergency funding package for Ukraine through Congress.
“Previously, I had recommended that Congress take overdue action on much needed funding for COVID treatments, vaccines and tests, as part of the Ukraine Supplemental bill,” Biden said in a statement.
Recently, however, Biden says he was informed that Republicans in Congress are not prepared to vote to pass a Covid bill anytime soon.
Given the reality of the situation, linking the two funding requests — as he had initially proposed — would have in practice meant slowing down the desperately needed money for Ukraine in order to give Congress time to debate the Covid funding.
“We cannot afford delay in this vital war effort,” Biden said. “Hence, I am prepared to accept that these two measures move separately, so that the Ukrainian aid bill can get to my desk right away.”
Biden’s change of strategy was also adopted by Democratic leaders in Congress, who have said they are prepared to move quickly on a standalone Ukraine bill. It is expected to be relatively easy to pass with bipartisan support.
— Christina Wilkie