Monday, August 8

Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine


Pro-Russian forces say 50 more people evacuated from besieged Azovstal plant

Pro-Russian forces said 50 more people were evacuated on Saturday from the besieged Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, where scores of civilians have been trapped for weeks alongside Ukrainian fighters holed up in the Soviet-era plant.

The territorial defense headquarters of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Telegram that a total of 176 civilians had now been evacuated from the steelworks.

“Today, May 7, 50 people were evacuated from the territory of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol,” the DPR said.

Reuters could not immediately verify the report.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a late-night video address on Friday that Ukraine was working on a diplomatic effort to save defenders barricaded inside the steelworks. It was unclear how many Ukrainian fighters remained there.

“Influential intermediaries are involved, influential states,” he said, but provided no further details.

The defenders have vowed not to surrender. Ukrainian officials fear Russian forces want to wipe them out by Monday, in time for Moscow’s commemorations of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Reuters

Images show Moscow’s dress rehearsal of ‘Victory Day’ parade

The Kremlin’s preparations are underway for the country’s annual “Victory Day” commemorations on May 9.

The 77th anniversary of the then-Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II comes more than two months after the Kremlin launched its unprovoked onslaught on Ukraine.

Russian soldiers walk to Red Square during the rehearsal of a “Victory Day” military parade. The commemoration marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Russian Sukhoi Su-25 jets release smoke in the colours of the Russian flag while flying over Red Square during the general rehearsal of the “Victory Day” military parade in central Moscow on May 7, 2022.

Yuri Kadobnov | Afp | Getty Images

Russian soldiers walk to Red Square by passing through Tverskaya street during the rehearsal of the Kremlin’s “Victory Day” military parade.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

A Russian Yars intercontinental ballistic missile launcher parades through Red Square during the general rehearsal of the “Victory Day” military parade in central Moscow on May 7, 2022.

Kirill Kudryavtsev | Afp | Getty Images

Ukraine’s counteroffensive around Kharkiv enters decisive phase, think tank says

Ukrainian forces have secured further gains north and east of the city of Kharkiv in the last 24 hours, according to the U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War.

The respected think tank says the counteroffensive could soon see Ukrainian forces push Russian forces out of the artillery range of Kharkiv.

“This Ukrainian operation is developing into a successful, broader counteroffensive—as opposed to the more localized counterattacks that Ukrainian forces have conducted throughout the war to secure key terrain and disrupt Russian offensive operations,” the Institute for the Study of War said in an update.

— Sam Meredith

Russia claims it destroyed U.S., European military equipment in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region

A man rides his bicycle next to a destroyed bridge in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region on May 5, 2022.

Sergey Bobok | Afp | Getty Images

Russia’s Defense Ministry claims it destroyed a large stockpile of military equipment from the U.S. and European countries in Ukraine’s northeast Kharkiv region, according to Reuters.

The ministry reportedly said 18 military facilities had been struck overnight, including three ammunition depots.

CNBC has not been able to independently verify these claims.

— Sam Meredith

Ukraine conflict ‘taking a heavy toll’ on Russia’s most capable units, UK’s Defence Ministry says

The Ukraine conflict is heavily affecting some of Russia’s most capable units, said the U.K.’s Defence Ministry in its daily intelligence update.

“The conflict in Ukraine is taking a heavy toll on some of Russia’s most capable units and most advanced capabilities,” the ministry said in its update, posted on Twitter.

“It will take considerable time and expense for Russia to reconstitute its armed forces following this conflict,” it added.

At least one T-90M, Russia’s most advanced tank, has been destroyed in fighting, the update said.

“It will be particularly challenging to replace modernised and advanced equipment due to sanctions restricting Russia’s access to critical microelectronic components,” the ministry added.

— Weizhen Tan

Russia must pull back forces to pre-invasion position before any peace deal can happen, Zelenskyy says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told London think-tank Chatham House that any peace deal with Moscow would be dependent on Russian forces pulling back to their positions before the war, the BBC reported.

Zelenskyy said that was the minimum that Ukraine could accept, according to the report. He added that there could be no question of Russia holding on to territory it has taken since the invasion started.

“I was elected by the people of Ukraine as president of Ukraine, not as president of a mini Ukraine of some kind. This is a very important point,” he said, according to the BBC report.

— Weizhen Tan

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