Ukraine news — live: Finland to apply to join Nato ‘without delay’

Russia’s most-advanced £4 million tank destroyed by Ukraine

Finland’s president and prime minister have said they are in favor of applying for Nato membership.

Since Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine in February, Finland and Sweden have been pondering whether to abandon their historic, decades-old neutrality and join the 30-member alliance.

President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin in a joint statement: “As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance,” they said. “Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay. We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days.”

In a press conference this morning, Mr Niinisto said the Russian president was responsible for the move, saying: “You caused this. Look in the mirror.”

Boris Johnson has offered to provide Finland with assistance — including military support — if the European country set to join Nato comes under attack.

Elsewhere, around 2,500 Ukrainian troops, 700 of whom are wounded, are believed to still be holed up in the Azovstal steel plant, much of which has been bombarded into rubble.


Over 7000 civilian casualties in Ukraine, UN says

According to the UN’s human rights agency, as of midnight on May 10, Russia’s war against Ukraine has killed 3,496 civilians and wounded 3,760 resulting in a total of 7,256 since Feb. 24.

The agency believes the actual figures are much higher and it is working to corroborate every single incident.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain12 May 2022 09:27


Ukrainian fighter trapped in Mariupol steel plant asks Elon Musk for help

One of the fighters holed up in a steelworks besieged by Russian forces in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol has appealed to SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk to help evacuate them.

Many civilians were rescued from the sprawling Azovstal plant last week under an agreement with Russia, but no deal has been reached with Moscow on allowing out hundreds of fighters, some of whom are wounded, after weeks of bombardment.

“@elonmusk people say you come from another planet to teach people to believe in the impossible. Our planets are next to each other, as I live where it is nearly impossible to survive,” marine commander Serhiy Volina wrote on Twitter.

“Help us get out of Azovstal to a mediating country. If not you, then who? Give me a hint.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain12 May 2022 09:15


Putin sends message to Moscow-backed rebels

President Vladimir Putin has reaffirmed Russia‘s determination to wrest separatist-held territory from Ukraine in a congratulatory message to the head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine.

Russia backed the separatists for years and recognized them as independent on the eve of invading Ukraine.In a statement released by the Kremlin on Thursday, Putin said: “I am sure that through our joint efforts we will defend the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the Luhansk republic.

Meanwhile, the head of the Luhansk self-proclaimed republic, Leonid Pasechnik, said Thursday that it would never return to Ukrainian control and that most of its residents want it to become part of Russia.

Russian migration authorities also reported that 15,000 people had crossed from Ukraine‘s Donbas region to Russia‘s Rostov region in 24 hours, according to Russian state news agency Tass.

The number couldn’t be verified and the circumstances of the crossings were unclear.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain12 May 2022 09:05


Finland’s plan to join Nato is an ‘incredibly important alliance’

Shadow levelling up secretary has said Finland’s application to join Nato would be an “incredibly important alliance”.

Lisa Nandy said that Vladmir Putin’s aggression has brought the Western world “much closer together” and resulted in a “determination to stand together in a way that we haven’t seen for a long time.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain12 May 2022 08:56


Finland’s leaders in favor of applying for NATO membership

Finland’s president and prime minister have said they’re in favor of applying for NATO membership.

Since Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Finland and Sweden have been pondering whether to abandon their historic, decades-old neutrality and join the 30-member NATO.

Recently, support for joining Nato has grown significantly in Finland and neighbouring Sweden.

President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin in a joint statement: “Now that the moment of decision-making is near, we state our equal views, also for information to the parliamentary groups and parties.

“NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security.

“As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance,” they said. “Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay. We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain12 May 2022 08:46


Ukrainian refugees will not be sent to Rwanda, Johnson confirms

Boris Johnson has said Ukrainian refugees would not be sent to Rwanda, despite the Home Office’s new deal to send asylum seekers to the East African country.

Speaking to LBC presenter Nick Ferrari, he said the prospect of Ukrainian refugees being deported to Rwanda is “simply not going to happen”.

“There’s two totally different things, so what’s happening with the Ukrainian schemes, there are two of them,” the prime minister said, referring to the Ukrainian community in the UK who want to bring relatives back home to Britain, and also the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

He said: “They’re both uncapped. They’re both incredibly generous and they’re intended to help people who have relatives in Ukraine that want to bring them over.”

Mr Johnson added that he is proud of the numbers of refugees fleeing persecution and war that the UK is processing, saying no country has done more.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain12 May 2022 08:36


‘Is Putin worse than Hitler, prime minister?’

When asked by LBC presenter Nick Ferrari if Vladmir Putin is worse than Hitler, Boris Johnson said: “You just have to see what he is doing.

“This is an act of absolutely barbaric aggression against a country that has done absolutely nothing to offend him, done nothing wrong. People who were simply trying to live their lives in peace.

The prime minister added: “What the UK is trying to do is give Ukarine every possible military assistance to protect themselves and that is what we are going to continue to do.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain12 May 2022 08:26


Ukraine forces push back in Kharviv

Ukraine’s forces are continuing to counter-attack to the north of Kharviv, recapturing several towns and villages towards the Russian border.

The country’s push-back could signal a shift in the momentum of the war and shut gas flow on a route through Russian-held territory.

According to the UK’s Defence Ministry, Russia’s prioritisation of operations in the Donbas has left elements deployed in the Kharviv Oblast vulerable to Ukraine’s troops.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain12 May 2022 08:16


First war crime trial of Russian soldier who killed an unarmed civilian riding a bike

Kyiv has been preparing for its first war crimes trial of a captured Russian soldier, who is alleged to have gunned down an unarmed civilian riding a bicycle.

Ukraine‘s top prosecutor said her office charged Russian Sgt. Vadin Shyshimarin, 21, in the killing of an unarmed 62-year-old civilian who was gunned down while riding a bicycle in February, four days into the war.

Mr Shyshimarin, who served with a tank unit, was accused of firing through a car window on the man in the northeastern village of Chupakhivka. Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said the soldier could get up to 15 years in prison.

She did not say when his trial would start. Venediktova’s office has said it has been investigating more than 10,700 allegations of war crimes committed by Russian forces and has identified over 600 suspects.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain12 May 2022 08:05


Russia continues Mariupol steel mill airstrikes as Ukraine seeks deal

Russian forces were continuing their airstrikes on the Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol and pressing their advance on towns in eastern Ukraine, the general staff of Ukraine‘s armed forces said Thursday. The bombardment came as Ukraine offered to release Russian prisoners of war in exchange for the safe evacuation of the badly injured fighters that remained trapped inside the mill in the ruined city.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that negotiations were underway to release the injured fighters who are holed up in the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol. She said there were different options, but “none of them is ideal.” An adviser to the Mariupol mayor said Russian forces have blocked all evacuation routes out of the city. Petro Andriushchenko said there are few apartment buildings fit to live in and little food or drinking water. He said some remaining residents are cooperating with occupying Russian forces in exchange for food.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain12 May 2022 07:55


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