Particularly intense fighting is raging in the Donbass region, on which Moscow is concentrating without significant progress, while “very difficult” negotiations are taking place over the fate of the last defenders of the strategic port city of Mariupol.
Here is all the news on this 80th day of war in Ukraine.
4:24 p.m. | Zelensky meets with the leader of the US Republican senators
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed a delegation of US parliamentarians to Kyiv led by Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican minority in the US Senate, according to a statement released Saturday by the Ukrainian presidency.
2:43 p.m. | NATO: Finland informs Putin of its membership project, a “mistake” for Moscow
Trying to “avoid tensions”, the Finnish president informed his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Saturday of his country’s imminent candidacy for NATO, a historic shift described as “error” by the master of the Kremlin.
1:05 p.m. | Kyiv renames Soviet monument ‘Ukrainian People’s Ark of Freedom’
The Arch of Friendship of Peoples, an emblematic Soviet monument in downtown kyiv, became the Arch of Freedom of the Ukrainian People on Saturday, following a decision to that effect by the city council.
8:59 am | At Eurovision, Ukraine hopes for victory… by singing
Victory by singing? Nothing is certain but the Ukrainians, favorites of the competition, should benefit from a large vote of solidarity during the Eurovision final on Saturday evening in Turin.
7:50 am | IN PICTURES | Smoldering ruins and abandoned civilians in the heart of the Battle of Donbass
Under the rubble of what was the school of Bilogorivka, in the Donbass, the cellar still smokes.
Only three soot-covered corners of the one-story building remain, a week after an airstrike that kyiv touts as one of the most serious crimes committed by Russian forces since they began their invasion of Ukraine February 24. Sixty civilians died on May 7 in the school of this village, according to the Ukrainian authorities.
8:04 am | For Putin, the end of Finnish military neutrality would be a “mistake”
The end of Finland’s military neutrality would be a “mistake”, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday during a telephone interview with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö, according to a statement from the Kremlin.
7:50 am | Relatives of Azovstal fighters appeal to Chinese president for help
Relatives of Ukrainian fighters trapped in the Azovstal steelworks, the last pocket of resistance to Russian forces in the strategic port of Mariupol, appealed for help to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday, asking him to help their evacuation.
7:36 | NATO: President of Finland called Putin on membership project
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Saturday about the Nordic country’s imminent candidacy for NATO denounced by Moscow, Helsinki announced.
6:16 am | G7 urges China ‘not to undermine’ sanctions, wants to target vital Russian sectors
G7 foreign ministers promised on Saturday to “extend economic sanctions” aimed at Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine to “sectors on which Russia is particularly dependent” while urging China “not to undermine” these measures.
6:11 am | The G7 will “never recognize the borders” that Russia is trying to change by force
The G7 will “never recognize” the borders that Russia wants to impose by force with its war in Ukraine, the foreign ministers of the group of seven major powers said on Saturday.
5:07 | Ukraine will win the war ‘before the end of the year’
The war in Ukraine will experience a “turning point” in August and Russia will be defeated “before the end of the year”, predicted the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, assuring that Kiv will succeed in reconquering all of its territory.
4:31 | Russia has stopped electricity deliveries to Finland
Electricity exports from Russia to Finland ceased overnight from Friday to Saturday after an announcement to that effect by a Russian supplier, an official from the Finnish electricity grid operator told AFP.