Last war in Ukraine: British troops 'to stop Russian invasion' of European country; businessman "positioning himself as a credible alternative to Putin" (2023)

Key points
  • US intelligence believes that Ukraine was probably behind the drone attack on the Kremlin
  • Prigozhin "positions himself as a credible alternative" to Putin
  • Pro-Russian actors 'probably' faked ship's data to create 'Z' symbol in Black Sea
  • Anti-Putin paramilitary group says there will be more airstrikes|Who are the militants behind the Belgorod raid?
  • Russia demands a warshipUkrainian drone target
  • The fighters of the Wagner Group begin to withdraw from Bakhmut
  • Your questions answered: Can Britain defend itself after sending arms to Ukraine?
  • Have a question about the war? Ask our experts
  • Live coverage hosted by Olive Enokido-Lineham (formerly) and James Robinson


'Time is the Most Valuable Resource': Zelensky Delivers Surprise Speech to US Graduates

Volodymyr Zelensky made a surprise speech to American graduates.

The President of Ukraine delivered a speech - via video link - to students at Johns Hopkins University today at a graduation ceremony.

"Time is the most valuable resource on the planet," he told them.

“Some people realize this beforehand and they are lucky.

"Others realize it too late when they lose someone or something."

Zelensky also described a recent visit by Ukrainian soldiers to the frontline, saying that many have similar dreams and aspirations as American students.

However, he said they are now focused on the tragedy of the war.

"You need to know exactly what you need today - and what you want your tomorrow to look like," he said.


Sweden could allow Ukrainian pilots to train on their own fighter jets - as it softens its position on sending planes

Sweden could allow Ukrainian pilots to test their own fighters - JAS-39 Gripen.

Defense Minister Pal Jonsson said the government was considering allowing Ukrainian pilots to test Swedish aircraft.

This is a significant easing of Swedish policy and comes after the US agreed to allow Western countries to export US-built F-16s to Ukraine.

The Nordic country has already ruled out sending any Gripen fighters, saying they are essential for its own territorial defense.

However, speaking to Swedish media, Jonsson said the country was looking at the Ukrainian request to allow pilots to test the Swedish plane with a "positive attitude".

"This could mean, for example, test flights, using simulators, learning about the vast Earth system that is part of the Gripen system," he says.

However, he reiterates that Sweden has no plans to hand over Gripens to Ukraine in the near future.

The Gripen is a single-engine aircraft designed to take off and land from dispersed bases and even highways, which some analysts believe would be a good solution for the Ukrainian Air Force, which currently relies on Soviet-era fighters.


A Russian fighter jet sent to stop two US bombers from "breaching" the border, state media reports

Russia says it deployed a fighter jet to stop two US bombers from "breaching" its border, Russian state media agency TASS reported.

For the second time this week, Russia's Defense Ministry launched a fighter jet over allegations of US activity near its borders.

On Tuesday, the ministry said that two American B-1 Lancer aircraft had been deployed towards its airspace over the Black Sea.

The Pentagon responded that the bombers were taking part in planned exercises in Europe, and that the Russian fighter's interaction with the planes was "safe and professional."


Residents in the vicinity of the reservoir fear a rise in the water level after the Russians damaged the sluices.

Residents living near a Ukrainian reservoir are at risk of losing their homes after Russian troops damaged nearby locks.

Those who live near the waters of the Kakhovka Reservoir in the south, near Zaporizhia, say their homes are threatened by rising water levels.

Russian forces destroyed the road and bridge deck of Nova Kakhovka last November, damaging some of the gates in the process.

According to data from Theia, a French geospatial organization, the water level in the reservoir has been steadily rising since mid-February.

The photos show homes perilously close to being flooded by rising water.

Ihor Mediunov, whose yard is now a small patch of waterlogged grass, said: “There is nowhere to go.

"Let's wait for a better time to rebuild, fix it. It's very painful."

David Helms, a retired meteorologist who monitored reservoir levels during the war, said the flooding was because the flow through the Dnieper dam system did not match the river's seasonal flow.

He said he was doing it intentionally or through negligence.

"The Russians just don't actively manage and balance the water flow," Helms said, likening it to a bucket with a small hole that is now being filled by a hose.


Tactical nuclear weapons are already on their way to Belarus a few hours after the deal, says Lukashenko

According to Alexander Lukashenko, Russia has already started the transfer of tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus.

This happened after the two countries announced an agreement on the deployment of weapons intended for use on the battlefield in Belarus.

According to the Russian state news agency TASS, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that the arms transfer had already started.

The missile deployment was first announced by Vladimir Putin in March - the president has repeatedly warned that Russia would be ready to use nuclear weapons if necessary to defend "territorial integrity".

Details about the start of the arms transfer have not been disclosed.

However, TASS reported today that an agreement has been reached to store the warheads in a special facility that is expected to be completed in just over a month.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the move was due to the "extremely rapid escalation of threats on the western borders of Russia and Belarus."

Shoigu said that Moscow would retain control over the weapons and any decisions regarding their use.

TASS quoted him as saying that the Iskander-M missiles, which can carry conventional or nuclear warheads, have been delivered to the Belarusian armed forces, and some Su-25 aircraft have been converted for possible use as nuclear weapons.

"The Belarusian military received the necessary training in Russian training centers," he said.

NATO said it saw no need to correct its own nuclear posture, although it said Putin's nuclear rhetoric was "dangerous and irresponsible."

Tactical nuclear weapons refer to low-yield weapons intended for use on the battlefield as opposed to strategic weapons capable of destroying entire cities.

Russia has not disclosed how many tactical nuclear weapons it has.


British troops ready to "stop the Russian invasion" of a European country

British troops are ready to defend Estonia against any potential Russian invasion, according to the country's prime minister.

Kaja Kallas told The Daily Telegraph that British troops along with NATO allies have learned to defend the country's forests.

She said this could help deter a possible Russian invasion as Vladimir Putin would know "you can't win here".

"For me, it is important that we can defend our country from the first minute," she told the newspaper.

“So NATO plans must work in practice. I can see this might work.

"If our opponent knows this too, it takes away our will to attack, because you can't win here."

Around 1,500 British soldiers are currently training in Estonia as part of the largest NATO exercise ever held in the country.

Estonia's entire eastern border runs through Russia - with the border town of Narva just 100 miles from Russia's second largest city, St. Petersburg.


Zelensky thanks Finland after announcing further military assistance

More on how Finland agreed to additional military aid to Ukraine.

Zelensky thanks Finland for additional equipment, including anti-aircraft weapons and ammunition.

In a Twitter post, he writes: "I personally thank Finland and President Niinisto for the swift implementation of our agreements reached in Helsinki.

“The 16th Defense Assistance Package for Ukraine, which will include anti-aircraft systems and ammunition, is urgently needed on the battlefield.

"Together for Victory!"


'We're on the right side of history': Cyprus president says country will abide by sanctions - but urges industry to support

Cyprus has pledged to uphold EU sanctions against Russia - but has asked for support for industries affected by the loss of trade.

President Nikos Christodoulides says Cyprus imposed sanctions "from the beginning" and will continue to do so because "it is on the right side of history."

But it also calls for support for sectors such as shipping, which it says have suffered indirectly from the sanctions.

Speaking after meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, he said: "Cyprus has implemented all the sanctions related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine from the beginning.

“We are on the right side of history and will continue in the same direction.

"Where European industries are suffering from the decisions we make - the right decisions we make - the European Union must step in to support these sectors."


Ukrainian defense chief confirms Russian troops are replacing Wagner forces in Bakhmut

More on our previous report on the Russian private military group Wagner apparently backing out of Bakhmut.

Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said that the intelligence suggests that the soldiers of the Russian armed forces are replacing Wagner's soldiers.

His statements seem to confirm - at least in part - the announcement of Wagner's founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, that his group has begun to withdraw from the city in eastern Ukraine.

Wagner was heavily involved in the Battle of Bakhmut, which was at the center of one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the war.

“On the outskirts of Bakhmut, the enemy replaced the Wagner units with regular armed forces.

"Wagner fighters remain in the city itself," Maliar wrote in comments on the Telegram app.

Prigozhin said in the video that the withdrawal of his units began on Thursday and that handing over the position to Wagner would last until June 1.


Finland will send more military equipment to Ukraine

It was announced that Finland would send more military equipment to Ukraine.

The country, which shares an eastern border with Russia, pledged equipment worth €109m (£94.6m).

The government said the equipment included anti-aircraft weapons and ammunition.

However, he declined to provide further details for "operational reasons and to ensure the safe delivery of aid."

Finland joined NATO in April in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

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