Wed. May 18th, 2022

UKRAINE have made the decision to reject a Russian demand to lay down arms and give up the city of Mariupol this morning, saying there was “no question of any surrender”.

It is understood that around 300,000 people are believed to be trapped with dwindling supplies within the city.

Russia had offered that upon surrender two humanitarian corridors would remain open, however this was never guaranteed.

Russian military had given Ukraine until 05:00 Moscow time (02:00 GMT) on Monday to announce the city’s surrender.

Ukraine’s deputy Prime Minister was quoted by Ukrainska Pravda news outlet as saying: “There can be no question of any surrender, laying down of arms,”

The consequences of this decision are not yet known as Moscow did not specify what its troops would do if the surrender ultimatum was rejected.

The news comes as Vladimir Putin’s Russian forces have sent yet ANOTHER deadly hypersonic missile at Ukraine, sparking WW3 fears.

The Kalibr weapon, which can travel at up to five times the speed of sound, is so powerful that it has been dubbed ‘The Sizzler’ by NATO.

It comes a day after Russia launched a ‘Kinzhal’ (Dagger) hypersonic missile on Friday, the first time such a weapon has been used since the start of the Ukraine war.

Follow our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up-to-the-minute updates…

  • Surrender ultimatum rejected

    UKRAINE have made the decision to reject a Russian demand to lay down arms and give up the city of Mariupol this morning, saying there was “no question of any surrender”.

    It is understood that around 300,000 people are believed to be trapped with dwindling supplies within the city.

    Russia had offered that upon surrender two humanitarian corridors would remain open, however this was never guaranteed.

    Russian military had given Ukraine until 05:00 Moscow time (02:00 GMT) on Monday to announce the city’s surrender.

    Ukraine’s deputy Prime Minister was quoted by Ukrainska Pravda news outlet as saying: “There can be no question of any surrender, laying down of arms,”

    The consequences of this decision are not yet known as Moscow did not specify what its troops would do if the surrender ultimatum was rejected.

  • Negotiation is only way out of war, Zelensky says

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ton Sunday renewed his plea for talks with Vladimir Putin, saying negotiations were the only way to “end this war.”

    “I’m ready for negotiations with him,” Zelensky told CNN show Fareed Zakaria GPS.

    “I think without negotiations we cannot end this war,” the Ukrainian leader said through a translator.

    Zelensky continued to say: “If there is just one percent chance for us to stop this war, I think that we need to take this chance… to have the possibility of negotiating, the possibility of talking to Putin.

    “Dialogue is the only way out,” and “I think it’s just the two of us, me and Putin, who can make an agreement on this.

    “If these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third world war.”

  • PM pledges continued military support in Zelensky call

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to continue military support for Ukraine in a call with Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday afternoon.

    “The Prime Minister outlined the UK’s ongoing commitment to work alongside international partners to coordinate support to strengthen Ukraine’s self-defence,” Downing Street said in a statement.

    “Both leaders stressed the continued importance of sanctions in exerting pressure on Putin, and they condemned the abhorrent attacks on innocent civilians, following the appalling bombings in Mariupol,” it said.

  • Some Chernobyl workers FINALLY able to leave

    After being effectively held hostage by Russian troops for more than three weeks, 64 workers at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine were able to leave on Sunday evening.

    They have been replaced by 46 employees who volunteered to travel to the plant.

    Around 200 shift workers and members of the Ukrainian National Guard were stuck at the power plant since 24 February.

    According to reports, the workers were trapped with food and medicines in short supply. They were forced to sleep on whatever they could find – the floor, tables, and a few small camp beds.

  • Failure on Putin to talk ‘will mean WWIII’

    Ukraine is ready to negotiate with Vladimir Putin, president Volodymyr Zelensky.

    He also gave a stark warning that Russian failure to engage in talks could result in the Third World War.

    In an interview with CNN, Zelensky said: “I am ready to negotiate with him. I have been ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations we will not be able to end this war.

    “I think that we should use any format, any chance, to be able to negotiate, an opportunity to talk to Putin. But if these attempts fail, it will mean that this is the Third World War.”

  • Zelensky compares Russian invasion to WW2

    President Zelensky has compared the Russian invasion of Ukraine to World War Two.

    He says the invasion is “not a military operation”.

    “It’s a full scale war aimed at the destruction of our people, the destruction of our children, families, statehood, cities, cultures and everything that makes them Ukrainian.”

    “That’s why I have the right to draw this parallel in history. Our wars for survival and the Second World War.”

  • Chelsea ‘face administration & point deduction’

    CHELSEA owner Roman Abramovich could plunge his crisis-gripped club into administration – if he ‘refuses’ to flog it to a country that has sanctioned Russian oligarchs, it has been claimed.

    The billionaire could influence the club’s sale despite having had all his assets seized by the British Government, according to The Mail on Sunday.

    If Chelsea were forced into administration it would see them hit with a nine-point deduction, putting their top four and Champions League hopes in jeopardy.

    Abramovich – who has owned Chelsea since 2003 – has hired The Raine Group to flog the West London club.

    He reportedly has the power to veto bids from potential buyers in the United States and Britain, the sources claimed.

    The Sun Online have approached The Raine Group, the office of Mr Abramovich and Chelsea FC for comment.

  • DRAMATIC Call Of Duty-style footage shows the dramatic moment Ukrainian forces blast a Russian tank.

    Vladimir Putin’s troops can be seen running for cover after the Russian tank – with a distinctive Z marking on it – is shelled.

    The shocking video, reportedly from the notorious far-right Azov Regiment in Ukraine, shows an amphibious BTR-4 fire on two Russian vehicles in Mariupol, southern Ukraine.

    A BTR-4 is a Ukrainian amphibious armoured personnel carrier, first used in the previous Russia-Ukraine war in 2014.

    It comes equipped with a 30mm cannon as standard.

    The Russian vehicles struck in the latest video are reportedly a BTR-82A armoured personnel carrier and a T-72B3 tank.

    In the video, taken from inside the BTR-4, the gunner follows the tracks of the Russian tank on camera, striking first the Russian armoured personnel carrier concealed behind a wall of tyres and boxes.

    The BTR-4’s 30mm cannon is operated by remote control. A photoelectric camera system projects the outside image onto a screen inside the vehicle.

    All of the other aiming work is carried out by the computer, making the shooting reaction speed extremely fast.

  • David Beckham uses his Instagram account to speak up

    David Beckham handed control of his social media accounts to Iryna, the head of the regional perinatal centre in Kharkiv, north-east Ukraine.

    “It was a terrible three hours that we spent together”, she said. “The first days were the most difficult. We had to learn how to work with bombings and strikes.”

    Iryna then introduced Mr Beckham’s followers to Yana, whose home was destroyed after her son Mykhailo was born on the second day of war.

    “We are probably risking our lives, but we don’t think about it at all. We love our work,” she said. “Doctors and nurses here, we worry, we cry, but none of us will give up.”

  • Milica Cosic now signing off. Thank you for reading my coverage today. My colleague Louis Allwood will be back with you from 8am tomorrow.

  • Eleven ‘pro-Russia’ parties banned in Ukraine

    Eleven Ukrainian political parties have been suspended because of their alleged links with Russia.

    Volodymyr Zelensky said: “The activities of those politicians aimed at division or collusion will not succeed, but will receive a harsh response.

    “Therefore, the national security and defence council decided, given the full-scale war unleashed by Russia, and the political ties that a number of political structures have with this state, to suspend any activity of a number of political parties for the period of martial law.”

    The parties are: Opposition Platform for Life, Shariy’s Party, Nashi, Opposition Bloc, Left Opposition, Union of Left Forces, Derzhava, Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, Socialist Party of Ukraine, the Socialists, and Volodymyr Saldo’s Bloc.

  • Russia offers humanitarian corridors from Mariupol

    Russia’s defence ministry has offered to open humanitarian corridors from Mariupol starting tomorrow.

    They will be going east and west out of the besieged city.

    In a statement, Gen Mikhail Mizintsev proposed opening the corridors from 10am Moscow time (07:00 GMT).

    Then from 12pm, humanitarian convoys with food, medicine and other supplies would be granted safe passage into the city from both directions, he said.

  • ‘Putin must not win this war’

    “Putin must not win this war,” Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas told CNN’s Jake Tapper today, adding that it was “heartbreaking” to see what Russia is doing in Ukraine.

    “There are some capabilities that are too expensive for any individual state, but if we do them together here in Europe to protect our territories, we are stronger,” she said, nations should move to isolate Russia “at all the political levels that is possible.”

    Kallas also added: “We can only have a peacekeeping mission if we have peace, but you know, if you look at what is happening in Ukraine, peace is nothing that we see there.

    “It’s a war that is going on, and I don’t see that Russia has any intention of doing anything to achieve peace. So first we should have peace, then, to keep it”.

    “Sometimes in order to achieve peace, we have to have the willingness to use military power.”

  • Turkey: Russia and Ukraine are nearing agreement

    Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, says Russia and Ukraine are nearing agreement on critical issues, reports Reuters.

    He believes a ceasefire could be soon.

  • Russia says humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Mariupol

    Russia has today called on Ukrainian forces to lay down their arms in Mariupol where Moscow said a “terrible humanitarian catastrophe” was unfolding.

    “Lay down your arms,” Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, the director of the Russian National Center for Defense Management, said in a briefing distributed by the defence ministry.

    “A terrible humanitarian catastrophe has developed,” Mizintsev said. “All who lay down their arms are guaranteed safe passage out of Mariupol.”

    Mizintsev said humanitarian corridors would be opened out of Mariupol at 1000 Moscow time (0700 GMT) on March 21.

  • Fortnite to give proceeds in support of Ukraine

    Epic Games has announced that between 20 March and 3 April it will give all proceeds from Fortnite to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

    In a statement, the gaming giant said Xbox-owner Microsoft would also be doing the same, and proceeds would be going to charity Direct Relief, as well as three UN agencies, including the World Food Programme.

    All gamers will be able to use their real-money Fortnite purchases to support the system, including V-Buck packs and gifted Battle Passes.

  • Negotiation is only way out of war, Zelensky says

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today renewed his plea for talks with Vladimir Putin, saying negotiations were the only way to “end this war.”

    “I’m ready for negotiations with him,” Zelensky told CNN show Fareed Zakaria GPS.

    “I think without negotiations we cannot end this war,” the Ukrainian leader said through a translator.

    Zelensky continued to say: “If there is just one percent chance for us to stop this war, I think that we need to take this chance… to have the possibility of negotiating, the possibility of talking to Putin.

    “Dialogue is the only way out,” and “I think it’s just the two of us, me and Putin, who can make an agreement on this.

    “If these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third world war.”

  • ‘No let-up in bombardment of Mariupol’

    The intense Russian bombardment of Mariupol is continuing, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko says.

    “They keep attacking. [The] bombardment, air strikes, and shooting in the city are constant. Now there is fighting, shooting, going on right in the city,” he said.

    “Today we received information that some people – I won’t give their names – who were involved in getting information and helping evacuate people, they found themselves under fire, there are casualties among them unfortunately. They were evacuating people.

    “[They were] people who need to move around, volunteers… that the occupiers know well are civilians, unarmed people – but they look for whatever pretext they can find to shoot at peaceful people.”

  • PM pledges continued military support in Zelensky call

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to continue military support for Ukraine in a call with Volodymyr Zelensky this afternoon.

    “The Prime Minister outlined the UK’s ongoing commitment to work alongside international partners to coordinate support to strengthen Ukraine’s self-defence,” Downing Street said in a statement.

    “Both leaders stressed the continued importance of sanctions in exerting pressure on Putin, and they condemned the abhorrent attacks on innocent civilians, following the appalling bombings in Mariupol,” it said.

  • Russia’s Black Sea fleet commander confirmed as dead

    Russia’s deputy Black Sea fleet commander, Andrey Paliy, has been killed in Ukraine, Russia has confirmed. He is said to have died during the fighting in the Mariupol region.

    Paliy was about to be promoted to rear admiral.

  • Survivors of besieged Mariupol ride to safety

    Ukrainian survivors of one of the most brutal sieges in modern history were in the final minutes of their train ride to relative safety.

    Even as the citizens finally fled Mariupol, aiming to reach trains heading west to safety, Russian soldiers at checkpoints made a chilling suggestion: It would be better to go to the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol or the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula instead.

    Mariupol authorities say nearly 10% of the city’s population of 430,000 have fled over the past week.

    Credit: Getty
    Credit: Getty
  • Some Chernobyl workers FINALLY able to leave

    After being effectively held hostage by Russian troops for more than three weeks, 64 workers at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine have been able to leave.

    They have been replaced by 46 employees who volunteered to travel to the plant.

    Around 200 shift workers and members of the Ukrainian National Guard were stuck at the power plant since 24 February.

    According to reports, the workers were trapped with food and medicines in short supply. They were forced to sleep on whatever they could find – the floor, tables, and a few small camp beds.

  • Latest developments

    If you’re joining the blog this evening, here’s the latest:

    • Turkey’s foreign minister, who is mediating peace talks between Ukraine and Russia, has said the two sides are close to an agreement
    • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has addressed the Israeli parliament (Knesset) and urged lawmakers to abandon Israel’s neutrality following Russia’s invasion
    • Authorities in Mariupol in southern Ukraine say Russia has destroyed a school with 400 women, children and elderly people sheltering inside.
      • There are no details about casualties.
    • The United Nations estimates that the conflict has driven 10 million Ukrainians from their homes.
      • The UN said they had either been displaced within the country, or fled abroad
  • Zelenskyy: Why hasn’t Israel introduced strong sanctions against Russia?

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, earlier this afternoon.

    President Zelenskyy told the Knesset: “You can be an intermediary between countries but you can’t be an intermediary between good and evil.”

    He claimed that the Russian invasion was being justified as a “final solution” to Moscow’s security concerns, with Kremlin officials using the same term that Hitler used for the Nazi plans to exterminate Jews.

    “Everyone knows that your missile defence systems are the best,” he told said.

    “Everyone knows that you can stand up and defend your national interests. And you can help us to protect our lives, the lives of Ukrainians and of Jewish people living in Ukraine.

    “We ask why we can’t receive weapons from you, why Israel has not imposed powerful sanctions on Russia or is not putting pressure on Russian business.

    “Either way, the choice is yours to make, brothers and sisters, and you must then live with your answer, the people of Israel.”

  • Truss ‘appalled’ by attacks on Mariupol

    The Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, has taken to Twitter to describe the “Russian atrocities in Mariupol”.

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