Latest news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

UK says Belarus’ deployment along Ukraine’s border could ‘fix’ Kyiv’s forces

Belarus’ announcement last week that it will deploy special operations forces along the Ukrainian border – as well as air defense, artillery and missile units to training ranges in western Belarus – is likely designed to drive Ukrainian forces out of eastern Ukraine, where they are fierce. The British army said the fighting is taking place with Russia.

“The presence of Belarusian forces close to the border is likely to reform Ukrainian forces, so that they cannot deploy in support of operations in Donbass,” Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence update on Twitter on Monday.

The ministry noted that despite early speculation, Belarusian forces had not yet directly participated in the conflict, but Belarusian territory had been used as a springboard for Russia’s initial advance on Kyiv and Chernihiv, and added that Russia had also launched sorties and missile strikes. from Belarus.

“Belarus President Lukashenko is likely balancing support for the Russian invasion with the desire to avoid direct military involvement with the risks of Western sanctions, Ukrainian retaliation, and potential dissatisfaction in the Belarusian military,” the ministry said.

Holly Eliat

Ex-army chief says Finland and Sweden will bring ‘real military capability’ to NATO

Both Finland and Sweden would bring “real military capability” if they became members of NATO, according to Ben Hodges, a former commander in the US Army in Europe.

He told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” that the two countries have strong, liberal, democratic governments and resilient societies.

“They will be providers of security, not consumers,” he added, noting that the move would change the security environment for the North Atlantic Alliance.

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“This is very good for the alliance, but it is also good for both countries and for the whole of Europe,” he said.

Hodges said Russia’s attack on Ukraine made Finland and Sweden feel the need to join a powerful 30-nation military alliance. “This will be included in the list of grave mistakes made by President Putin and the Kremlin,” he said.

Ultimately, besides threats and complaints, Hodges added, there is nothing the Russian president can do because his military is currently tied up.

– Abigail Ng

Ukraine says it is launching a counterattack in the east, prompting Russian forces to retreat

Ukrainian forces said they pushed back the Russian army in the area around the city of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, and near the border with Russia.

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine published on the site Facebook On Monday morning.

Ukrainian forces have carried out a successful counterattack north of Kharkiv towards the border with Russia over the past week, while heavy fighting also continues in the eastern Donbass region.

Ukrainian Air Defense Forces and Anti-Aircraft Missile Forces Said on Facebook Sunday They had shot down 11 enemy targets in the past 24 hours, including two helicopters, seven drones and two cruise missiles.

On Sunday, the Ukrainian military said it was preparing for more Russian attacks around the city of Izyum, south of Kharkiv that has become an epicenter of fighting in recent days.

Reuters reported that Russian forces are trying to force their way south from Izyum as part of a pincer movement aimed at encircling Ukrainian forces that have been dug to defend the eastern frontline.

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Holly Eliat

NATO chief said Ukraine can win this war

On Sunday, the NATO Secretary General said Ukraine could win the war against Russia, adding that the Russian invasion “will not go as planned by Moscow.”

Speaking practically after an informal NATO meeting in Berlin, Jens Stoltenberg said, “Ukraine can win this war.”

“The Russian war in Ukraine will not go as planned by Moscow,” he said at a press conference. “They failed to take Kyiv. They are withdrawing from the vicinity of Kharkiv. Their main offensive in the Donbass has stopped,” and “Russia is not achieving its strategic goals,” he added.

Holly Eliat

McConnell expects the Senate to vote Wednesday on $40 billion to help Ukraine

US Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell

Evelyn Hochstein | Reuters

US Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said he expects the Senate to vote on $40 billion in proposed aid to Ukraine on Wednesday after a related procedural vote was held on Monday.

“We expect to invoke a stroke – hopefully by a large margin – on the proposal going forward on Monday, which would set us up for approval of the supplement on Wednesday,” McConnell told reporters on a conference call from Stockholm after visiting the Ukrainian capital on Saturday. . He was referring to a procedural “stroke” vote that puts an end to further discussion of an issue for 30 hours.

– Reuters

Sweden’s ruling party supports joining NATO

With neighboring Finland already ready to submit its application, it is now certain that Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson will launch a formal application within days.

– Reuters

Official says Ukraine is not ‘overly optimistic’ despite Russian troop withdrawal near Kharkiv

Ukrainian soldiers stand on a multipurpose light armored tow vehicle near Bakhmut, eastern Ukraine, on May 15, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Yasuyoshi Chiba | AFP | Getty Images

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olga Stevanishina, said she sees “a cautious amount of good news” in the country’s defense against Russia. She noted in particular the withdrawal of Russian forces from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, in recent days.

“But we’re not overly optimistic about that,” she said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week”. “We see that Putin has readjusted his strategy, the only possible scenario for him is a protracted war, which is not the case for us and for the democratic world … Unconditional victory remains the way forward.”

Stefanishina said the Russian Navy remains “fully prepared to continue the bombing,” adding that “the bombing of the eastern part of Ukraine, which is the main supply chains for humanitarian and defense aid, came under attack during these nights.”

Kevin Stankovic

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