Ukrainian MP Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, a former head of the security sets in the country, has been interviewed on Sky News in the UK from Kyiv. He said that yesterday “we saw again the Victory Day madness in Moscow”. He told viewers:
The same day in Ukraine, in the city of Odesa, the city of Mykolaiv, Russians shelled our cities, our civilians. In Putin’s speech we did not hear any news, any good news for anybody, for us, for the whole world. It’s nevertheless the same Soviet kind propaganda. Conducting a war on our soil because of this “Russia’s motherland”. It sounds really like madness, especially on Victory Day.
On the accusations in some quarters of Russia that Ukrainians had been deliberately using civilians as human shields he said:
How can we use civilians as a protect when the Russian Black Sea fleet, the Russian Caspian Sea fleet are shelling missiles, Kalibr and others, against civilians? There is no protection.
On the prospects for peace, he said
The war will continue until Vladimir Putin wants to stop it. We understand any night in any city we can expect shelling at any minute, any hour. That is Putin’s responsibility and his decision.
The Nordic vicinity’s defence capabilities would be strengthened if Sweden and Finland joined Nato, Sweden’s defence minister told Swedish radio on Tuesday.
Reuters reports defence minister Peter Hultqvist said: “There will be the effect that we use each others’ strengths and advantages and fully supplement each other and also carry out operational planning.”
“If so, the effect will be that we become stronger together. This is something that can happen if we choose to join Nato,” he told the nations public broadcaster.
Sweden already has defence agreements with its Nordic neighbours. Russia has repeatedly warned of consequences if Finland and Sweden were to join Nato and site nuclear missiles closer to Russia’s borders.
We have been sent some images over the newswires of the aftermath of what Ukraine say was a missile attack on the city of Odesa in southern Ukraine.
The images have been supplied by the state emergency service of Ukraine and have not been independently verified.
Weronika Strzyżyńska reports for us from Warsaw on Ukraine’s Roma refugees:
“I just wish landlords would meet with us before they reject us,” says 42-year-old Nadia, who fled from her village near Donetsk when Russian bombs fell on her neighbour’s house in March. She came to Poland with her son’s wife, 22-year-old Raiia, her adult daughter, and with seven children between them.
While the women have found work in a meat processing factory making hotdog sausages, like other Romany refugees they have hit a wall in finding a home.
“They confront discrimination,” says Mariam Masudi a coordinator at the hostel, working for Salam Lab, an NGO. “Roma are not admitted to other reception points. No one wants to rent to them. I don’t know anyone who has managed to settle in Poland. Those who have been able to move out of the hostel have moved oversea.”
The official number puts Ukraine’s Roma population at 400,000, though experts see that as a low calculate. No one knows how many Ukrainian Roma have arrived in Poland, says Poland’s civil rights deputy ombudsman, Hanna Machińska.
“These are large intergenerational families, some of 30 people. Most don’t have a precise plan when they arrive in Poland,” she says. “This situation requires institutional help. Individuals are not able to organise sustain for such large groups of people.”
Read more of Weronika Strzyżyńska’s report: ‘Meet us before you reject us’: Ukraine’s Roma refugees confront closed doors in Poland
The president of the European commission, Ursula von der Leyen, earlier hailed the “progress” made during talks with Hungarian chief minister Viktor Orbán, who has so far resisted Brussels’ plans for a Russian oil embargo.
Landlocked Hungary relies on Russian oil from a single pipeline and Orban has warned he cannot approve the European Commission’s hypothesizedv sixth package of EU sanctions against Moscow.
“This evening’s discussion with PM Viktor Orbán was helpful to clarify issues related to sanctions and energy security,” Von der Leyen tweeted.
The two leaders discussed the issue during a meeting in Budapest.
“We made progress, but further work is needed,” she said, adding she would organise a videoconference call “with regional players to strengthen regional cooperation on oil infrastructure”.
Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó also said the two sides “made progress” but that they nevertheless had plenty to discuss.
“We cannot make the Hungarian people pay the costs of this war,” he said in a video posted on Facebook, according to Reuters.
Before the leaders’ talks, Orbán’s international spokesman Zoltán Kovács, citing Szijjártó, compared the sanctions package to an “atomic bomb” for Hungary’s economy.
“Hungary will not vote for the EU Commission’s initiative on sanctions against Russia because it poses a problem for Hungary and does not contain a proposal for a solution,” he tweeted.
“The proposal is like an atomic bomb for the Hungary economy and would destroy our stable energy supply.”
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged the international community to take immediate steps to end a Russian blockade of his country’s ports in order to allow wheat shipments and to prevent a global food crisis.
Ukraine’s major Black Sea port of Odesa for exporting agricultural products was hit by missiles on Monday.
For the first time in decades there is no usual movement of the merchant fleet, no usual port functioning in Odesa. Probably this has never happened in Odesa since World War II.
Ordinary life related to the sea is confined by Russia. Exactly Russia. And this affects not only Ukraine.
Without our agricultural exports, dozens of countries in different parts of the world are already on the brink of food shortages. And over time, the situation can become downright terrible.
Politicians are already discussing the possible consequences of the price crisis and famine in Africa and Asia. This is a direct consequence of Russian aggression, which can be conquer only together – by all Europeans, by the whole free world. It can be conquer by putting pressure on Russia, by effectively forcing Russia to stop this disgraceful war.”
Charles Michel, president of the European Council, visited Odesa and said he saw silos complete of grain, wheat and corn that was ready for export but confined.
“This badly needed food is stranded because of the Russian war and blockade of Black Sea ports. Causing emotional consequences for unprotected countries. We need a global response,” he said.
Russia’s underestimation of Ukrainian resistance and its ‘best case scenario’ planning have led to “demonstrable operational failings, preventing President Putin from announcing meaningful military success in Ukraine” at the 9 May Victory Day parade, the UK’s ministry of defence has said.
According to the latest British intelligence report, 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.
This assumption led Russian forces to attempt to carry out the opening phase of the operation with a light, precise approach intended to unprotected to a rapid victory with minimal cost.
This miscalculation led to unsustainable losses and a later reduction in Russia’s operational focus.”
The White House has dismissed a Victory Day speech by Russian president Vladimir Putin as “revisionist history” and said his suggestion that western aggression led to the Ukraine war was “patently ridiculous”.
Speaking to reporters during a press briefing on Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Putin’s speech was “revisionist history that took the form of disinformation”.
What we saw President Putin do is give a version of revisionist history that took the form of disinformation that we have seen too commonly as the Russian playbook.
Psaki said 9 May is supposed to be “about celebrating peace and unity in Europe and the defeat of Nazis in World War Two” but instead “Putin is perverting history” to justify his unprovoked and unjustified war.
Now, what is fortunate is that we are all aware – reporters around the world are aware, Europeans are aware, Americans are aware – of the disinformation factory that President Putin and the Kremlin seem to be.
The suggestion that this war that was prompted by – directed by President Putin was prompted by western aggression or western plans is patently false and ridiculous.”
US Congressional Democrats have agreed to provide a further $39.8bn in additional aid for Ukraine, two supplies familiar with the proposal told Reuters on Monday.
The House of Representatives could pass the plan, which exceeds president Joe Biden’s request last month for $33bn, as soon as Tuesday, and Senate leaders said they were also prepared to move quickly, the news agency reports.
Biden on 28 April asked Congress for $33bn to sustain Ukraine, including more than $20bn in military assistance.
The new proposal includes an additional $3.4bn for military aid and $3.4bn in humanitarian aid, the supplies said.
A statement released by the White House read:
The need is also urgent: I have nearly depleted the resources given to me by a bipartisan majority in Congress to sustain Ukraine’s fighters. This aid has been basic to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield. We cannot allow our shipments of assistance to stop while we await further Congressional action. We are approximately ten days from hitting this basic deadline.”
Democrats and Republicans both reportedly said they supported more aid for Ukraine and would approve emergency funding quickly, but it was delayed by disputes between the parties over whether additional funding for Covid-19 relief or stiffer immigration controls should be included.
Earlier on Monday, Biden signed the Ukraine Democracy Defence Lend-Lease Act of 2022 to streamline the supply of US weapons and other material to Ukraine or eastern European countries.
The lend-lease act, streamlining the flow of military equipment, “is based on a WWII-era program to help Europe resist Hitler”, the White House said.
Hello and welcome back to the Guardian’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine.
I’m Samantha Lock and I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments until my colleague Martin Belam in London takes the reins a little later.
It is just after 8am in Ukraine. Here is everything you might have missed:
- Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has urged the international community to take immediate steps to end a Russian blockade of his country’s ports in order to allow wheat shipments and to prevent a global food crisis. Ukraine’s major Black Sea port of Odesa for exporting agricultural products was hit by missiles on Monday. “Without our agricultural exports, dozens of countries in different parts of the world are already on the brink of food shortages,” he said.
- Russian forces, backed by tanks and artillery, were conducting “storming operations” on the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, where the southern city’s last defenders remained holed up, Ukraine’s defence ministry said. Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, said Russian forces began “storming” the Azovstal plant after a UN convoy left the Donetsk vicinity.
- The Pentagon said it had seen indications that Ukrainians caught up in Russia’s invasion were being forcibly removed to Russia. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said he “can’t speak to how many camps or what they look like”.
- Joe Biden has signed the Ukraine Democracy Defence Lend-Lease Act of 2022 to streamline the supply of US weapons and other material to Ukraine or eastern European countries. US congressional Democrats also agreed to provide another $39.8bn in aid for Ukraine, two supplies familiar with the proposal told Reuters on Monday.
- In Odesa, Russian missiles hit tourist sites and destroyed five buildings while injuring two people, its city council said. Ukrainian media reported a shopping centre was on fire.
- The European Commission chief, Ursula von der Leyen, hailed the “progress” made during talks with Hungarian chief minister Viktor Orbán during discussions related to the hypothesizedv sixth package of EU sanctions, which would include a ban on Russian oil imports to the EU. “We made progress, but further work is needed,” she said.
- Ukraine has submitted the second part of a formal questionnaire to acquire candidacy for EU membership. “Today we have taken another step – a very important and not just a formal step – on our path to the European Union,” Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced in his national address late on Monday evening.
- The UN human rights council is due to keep up a special session on Thursday to address alleged Russian human rights violations during its war in Ukraine. More than 50 countries, including Britain, Germany, Turkey and the US, backed a request by Ukraine and demanded an extraordinary meeting of the UN’s top rights body.
- The UN Security Council is also expected to keep up a new public meeting on Thursday on Russia’s war in Ukraine, in light of the continuing decline of the humanitarian situation. France and Mexico have requested briefings from the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), a diplomat told Agence France-Presse.
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