Russia-Ukraine war live: Beijing and Moscow to cooperate at ‘new level’; West prepared to support Kyiv ‘for years’, says Sunak | Ukraine


Beijing and Moscow to cooperate at ‘new level’

Chinese Premier Li Qiang said on Wednesday that China was willing to work with Russia to promote their pragmatic cooperation in various fields and take it to a “new level” Reuters reports.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin (L) and Chinese Premier Li Qiang attend a welcoming ceremony in Beijing, China, 24 May 2023.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin (L) and Chinese Premier Li Qiang attend a welcoming ceremony in Beijing, China, 24 May 2023. Photograph: Thomas Peter/EPA

Pragmatic cooperation between China and Russia has shown a “good” development trend, and the scale of investment between the two is also continuously seeing an upgrade, Li told Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin during a meeting in Beijing.

Mishustin was the highest ranking Russian official to visit the Chinese capital since Moscow sent thousands of its troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

Key events

Russia’s state-owned news agency Tass is reporting some quotes from Denis Pushilin, who has said that the situation for Russian forces on the flanks of Bakhmut has stabilised.

Pushilin, the Russian-imposed leader in occupied Donetsk, which the Russian Federation claims to have annexed, is quoted as saying on the Solovyov Live TV channel:

The peak of anxiety, when there was the most active phase, when the enemy tried to attack on the flanks and surround the guys in Bakhmut itself, has passed, according to my information.

I was talking with the guys who are there, including with Wagner, and they also say that combat-ready units have approached there, and this work is being done.

Pushilin also said that from today the ministry of internal affairs of the Russian-imposed local occupying authority would be present in Bakhmut, and that employees of the ministry of emergency situations would be arriving to assess the volume of demining, and the materials and personnel needed to carry it out. He said every building and “every metre of the territory” needs to be checked.

Nine people remain in hospital, utility supplies continue to be disrupted, and over 500 people remain displaced after the incursion into Belgorod on Monday, according to a new status update from Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of the Russian region.

In a message posted to Telegram, he said:

The night was not entirely peaceful. There have been a large number of drone attacks. Most of the air defence systems coped, but there are damages in Belgorod: cars, private houses, office buildings. The most important thing is that there are no casualties at all.

A gas pipeline was damaged in the Grayvoron District, a small fire is going on. Also, the restoration of electrical networks, which were damaged during the entry of the sabotage and reconnaissance group, is under way. All work to restore power supply in the Grayvoron district will be completed today. After that, water supply and cellular communications will be restored.

There are nine people in hospitals: three people are in intensive care in a serious condition.

There are more than 550 people in temporary accommodation centres. I also hope that as soon as the security forces complete the cleansing of the territory and allow it, you will be able to return to your homes. The overall calculation of damage over the past few days in the Grayvoron district has not been completed.⠀

I also received additional information from the Yakovlevsky district. At night, explosive devices were dropped twice from drones in the village of Tomarovka on two administrative buildings. There were no fires, deaths or injuries.

The claims have not been independently verified.

This handout image released by Belgorod’s governor purports to show damage caused during the cross-border raid.
This handout image released by Belgorod’s governor purports to show damage caused during the cross-border raid. Photograph: Governor Of Belgorod Region/Reuters

Suspilne, Ukraine’s state broadcaster, citing the regional authority head, has reported that a Shahad drone strike on a village in the Kharkiv region has left “a school building, a cultural centre and office premises on fire”.

The claims have not been independently verified.

Russian PM says relations between China and Russia at ‘unprecedented high level’

Russia’s prime minister, Mikhail Mishustin, is in Beijing, where, ahead of signing bilateral agreements with China, he said: “Today, relations between Russia and china are at an unprecedented high level.”

Reuters reports that he said Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia in March was further evidence of the “special” nature of bilateral relations between the two countries.

US popular support for Washington’s backing of Ukraine has faded a little but remains widespread, a survey by the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and Norc shows.

The Associated Press reports that the survey found half of the people in the US support the Pentagon’s ongoing supply of weapons to Ukraine for its defence against Russian forces. That level is nearly unchanged in the past year, while about a quarter are opposed to sustaining the military lifeline that has now topped $37bn.

Big majorities among both Democrats and Republicans believe Russia’s attack on Ukraine was unjustified, according to the poll, taken last month.

And about three out of four people in the US support the United States playing at least some role in the conflict, the survey found.

Mark Galeotti, head of the London-based Mayak Intelligence consultancy and author of several books on the Russian military, has told Reuters that the two groups involved in the fighting in Belgorod are made up of anti-Kremlin Russians ranging from liberals and anarchists to neo-Nazis. The Guardian has not verified this claim independently.

“They’re hoping that in some small way they can contribute to the downfall of the Putin regime. But at the same time, we have to realise that these are not independent forces … They are controlled by Ukrainian military intelligence,” he said.

Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak repeated Kyiv’s position that it had nothing to do with the operation.

The United States says it does not “enable or encourage” Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory, but that it is up to Kyiv to decide how it conducts military operations.

Reuters has put together interesting analysis of what Belgorod means for Russia’s military operations.

A two-day incursion from Ukraine into Russia’s western borderlands could force the Kremlin to divert troops from front lines as Kyiv prepares a major counteroffensive, and deal Moscow a psychological blow, according to military analysts interviewed or quoted by the agency.

Though Kyiv has denied any role, the biggest cross-border raid from Ukraine since Russia invaded 15 months ago was almost certainly coordinated with Ukraine’s armed forces as it prepares to attempt to recapture territory, the experts said. The Guardian has not verified this.

“The Ukrainians are trying to pull the Russians in different directions to open up gaps. The Russians are forced to send reinforcements,” said Neil Melvin, an analyst at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

Russian servicemen are pictured in front of one of the Kremlin's towers topped with a ruby star in central Moscow on 23 May 2023. The Kremlin said on May 23, 2023 that Moscow needed to concentrate its military efforts to avoid another Ukrainian incursion into Russia and voiced "deep concern" over recent skirmishes in the Belgorod region.
Russian servicemen are pictured in front of one of the Kremlin’s towers topped with a ruby star in central Moscow on 23 May 2023. The Kremlin said on May 23, 2023 that Moscow needed to concentrate its military efforts to avoid another Ukrainian incursion into Russia and voiced “deep concern” over recent skirmishes in the Belgorod region. Photograph: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

Ukraine says it plans to conduct a major counteroffensive to seize back occupied territory, but Russia has built sprawling fortifications in its neighbour’s east and south in readiness, Reuters reports.

The incursion took place far from the epicentre of fighting in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region and around 100 miles (160 km) from the front lines in the northern Kharkiv region.

“They’ll have to respond to this and put troops there and then have lots of troops all along the border area, even though that may not be the way the Ukrainians are coming,” Melvin said.

Russia’s military said on Tuesday it had routed militants who attacked its western Belgorod region with armoured vehicles the previous day, killing more than 70 “Ukrainian nationalists” and pushing the remainder back into Ukraine.

West prepared to support Kyiv ‘for years’, says Sunak

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has told a defence conference in London that Ukraine’s Western allies are prepared to support the country in the war “for years”, the FT reports.

He added that Russia’s strategy of “waiting it out . . . for people [in the west] to get tired, bored . . . is not going to work”, the paper reported.

“We are now leading a conversation with allies about what longer-term multilateral and bilateral security agreements we can put in place with Ukraine.”

Beijing and Moscow to cooperate at ‘new level’

Chinese Premier Li Qiang said on Wednesday that China was willing to work with Russia to promote their pragmatic cooperation in various fields and take it to a “new level” Reuters reports.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin (L) and Chinese Premier Li Qiang attend a welcoming ceremony in Beijing, China, 24 May 2023.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin (L) and Chinese Premier Li Qiang attend a welcoming ceremony in Beijing, China, 24 May 2023. Photograph: Thomas Peter/EPA

Pragmatic cooperation between China and Russia has shown a “good” development trend, and the scale of investment between the two is also continuously seeing an upgrade, Li told Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin during a meeting in Beijing.

Mishustin was the highest ranking Russian official to visit the Chinese capital since Moscow sent thousands of its troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

Opening summary

Welcome back to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine with me, Helen Sullivan.

Our top stories this morning: Chinese Premier Li Qiang said on Wednesday that China was willing to work with Russia to promote their pragmatic cooperation in various fields and take it to a “new level”.

His comments come as Russia’s Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin, visits Moscow, where he is expected today to sign bilateral agreements with China.

And UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has told a conference in London that Ukraine’s western allies are prepared to support the country “for years”, the FT reports. Sunak also said that Russia’s strategy of “waiting it out . . . for people [in the west] to get tired, bored . . . is not going to work” and that the UK was “leading a conversation with allies about what longer-term multilateral and bilateral security agreements we can put in place with Ukraine.”

We’ll have more on these stories shortly.

Here are the other key recent developments in the war:

  • Moscow claims to have repelled an attack led by Ukraine-aligned militias that led to a series of chaotic battles in Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, over the past two days. The governor of Belgorod, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said late Tuesday measures put in place to stop terrorism after the crossborder attack had been lifted. It came only a few hours after Moscow claimed to have pushed the fighters back over the border. Gadkov said Russia’s defence ministry and security agencies were still engaged in a “mopping up” campaign.

  • Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin has arrived in China, Moscow’s foreign ministry said, for a visit in which he will meet president Xi Jinping and ink a series of deals on infrastructure and trade.

  • The training of Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 jets has begun in Poland, the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said. He told a meeting of EU defence ministers in Brussels: “I am happy that finally the training of the pilots for the F-16 has started in several countries. It will take time, but the sooner the better … For example, in Poland.”

  • Borrell also said EU countries had provided 220,000 artillery shells and 1,300 missiles to Ukraine since March. Member states are discussing raising Europe’s military budget by another €3.5bn, €1bn of which would be earmarked for Ukraine.

  • The Ukrainian port of Pivdennyi has halted operations because Russia is not allowing ships to enter it, in effect cutting it out of a deal allowing safe Black Sea grain exports, a Ukrainian official said.

  • A Moscow court extended the detention of the Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, detained in Russia on espionage charges at the end of March. During a brief hearing, the court ordered that Gershkovich should remain in jail until 30 August, Russian news agencies reported. The US called for Gershkovich’s immediate release.

  • US president Joe Biden has chosen a new leader for the National Security Agency and US Cyber Command, a joint position that oversees much of America’s cyber warfare and defence. If confirmed, air force Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh will take charge of highly influential US efforts to bolster Ukraine’s cybersecurity and share information with Ukrainian forces fighting Russia’s invasion.

  • Ukrainian forces still controlled the south-western edge of the city of Bakhmut and fighting in the city itself has decreased, deputy Ukrainian defence minister Hanna Maliar claimed on Tuesday. She wrote on the Telegram messaging app that Kyiv’s forces had made some progress “on the flanks to the north and south of Bakhmut” and that Russian forces, which say they have taken the city itself, were continuing to clear areas they control.

  • Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy visited marines on the Vuhledar-Maryinka defence line in the Donetsk region, as part of celebrations for the national day of Ukrainian marines.

  • Ukraine’s general staff said that on Monday Russia carried out 20 missile strikes against Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kharkiv oblasts, using cruise missiles, Iskander-M ballistic missiles, and S-300 anti-aircraft missiles over the past day. It also claimed that Russia launched 48 airstrikes using Shahed drones, and targeted both civilian and military targets with up to 90 strikes using multiple-launch rocket systems.

  • A top Russian official who faces sanctions in the west over Moscow’s war on Ukraine has visited Saudi Arabia and held talks with his counterpart in the kingdom. Russian interior minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev’s visit to Riyadh came days after Zelenskiy addressed an Arab League summit held in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea port city of Jeddah.

  • Germany is looking into options to support a coalition of countries that plan to train Ukrainian pilots in flying F-16 fighter jets, German defence minister Boris Pistorius said. He added that any potential German contribution could be minor only, as Germany itself does not own any of the US-built jets.

  • Ukraine is investigating the alleged role of Belarus in the forced transfer of children from Russian-occupied territories, the office of the Ukrainian prosecutor general told Reuters. The announcement came in response to a report by the exiled Belarusian opposition alleging that 2,150 Ukrainian children, including orphans aged six to 15, were taken to so-called recreation camps and sanatoriums on Belarusian territory.

Related Posts

Bir cevap yazın

E-posta hesabınız yayımlanmayacak. Gerekli alanlar * ile işaretlenmişlerdir