Russia-Ukraine war: killing of two Ukrainians by Russian in southern Germany investigated for political motive, say prosecutors – as it happened (2024)

Key events

  • 20h agoClosing summary
  • 21h agoKilling of two Ukrainians by Russian in southern Germany investigated for political motive, say prosecutors
  • 22h ago'It's not too late for Ukraine to prevail', says Nato secretary general
  • 23h agoRussia exploiting delays in arms supplies from allies, says Zelenskiy
  • 1d agoRussian forces take control of village in Ukraine's Donetsk region
  • 1d agoPutin's 'designs' on Ukraine have 'failed', says US secretary of state
  • 1d agoPolish protesters lift months-long blockade at Ukraine border
  • 1d agoUkraine's farm minister welcomes end of Polish border blockade
  • 1d agoUkraine says resisting heavy attacks in east amid Russian advance
  • 1d agoOpening summary

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1d ago06.02EDT

Polish protesters lift months-long blockade at Ukraine border

Polish farmers stopped protesting at the last blocked border crossing with Ukraine on Monday, Kyiv and Warsaw said, suspending a blockade that has dragged on for months and soured bilateral relations, writes Reuters.

According to the news agency, Ukraine’s farm minister hailed “constructive work” by Poland to lift the blockade in a statement, saying negotiations with Warsaw and industry associations had not been easy but that “the main thing is that we have a result”.

“Fortunately, we have all directions on the border with Poland unblocked,” Ukrainian border guard spokesperson Andriy Demchenko said, adding that Polish farmers had freed access to the Rava-Ruska crossing. Trucks had started crossing the border in both directions on Monday morning, he said.

Polish border guard spokesperson Andrzej Juzwiak told Reuters access via all crossings to Ukraine was “without hindrance”.

Polish farmers and truckers have blocked border crossings with Ukraine since late autumn last year amid concerns over unfair competition. They have cited government inaction over a loss of business to foreign competitors since Russia’s war on Ukraine, with truckers from Ukraine exempt from seeking permits to cross the Polish border.

Russia-Ukraine war: killing of two Ukrainians by Russian in southern Germany investigated for political motive, say prosecutors – as it happened (1)

Trucks transporting grain products, the central issue that has angered Polish protesters, will still face some restrictions, the Ukrainian Border Service said.

“At the same time, trucks transporting grain crops will not be allowed to enter Poland. This type of cargo can only travel through Poland in transit mode,” the service said via Telegram messaging app, reports Reuters.

“I believe that such blockades are a thing of the past,” Ukraine’s ambassador to Poland Vasyl Zvarych wrote on Facebook. “Instead of blocking, we will cooperate even more closely.”

The protests drew sharp criticism from Ukrainian decision makers as the tensions on the border escalated in the winter.

Warsaw and Kyiv have been engaged in talks at different levels to try to find a solution, with Ukraine calling upon the European Union to intervene.

In March, Ukraine and Poland hailed progress on agricultural import talks but the deal remained elusive as the countries tried to close the gap between their positions on economic and security interests.

1d ago05.33EDT

Ukraine's farm minister welcomes end of Polish border blockade

Ukraine’s farm minister welcomed the ending of a months-long border blockade by Polish protesters, which he said followed productive talks with Poland, reports Reuters.

“The negotiations that took place were not easy, but the main thing is that we have a result,” Mykola Solsky was quoted as saying in a statement from the ministry.

1d ago04.41EDT

Polish protesters unblocked all border crossing points with Ukraine on Monday morning, a Ukraine border guard spokesperson said on a Ukrainian TV broadcast, reports Reuters news agency.

“Fortunately, we have unblocked all directions on the border with Poland,” the border guard spokesperson Andriy Demchenko said of Polish farmers ending the blockade.

He added that the trucks transporting grain products will still face restriction

1d ago04.36EDT

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has shared an update on a peace summit he is working on, which is to be hosted by Switzerland in June.

In a social media post on X, Zelenskiy wrote:

We are preparing for the first, inaugural peace summit in June. Our team works with the teams of our key partners to ensure that the summit is truly global.

We can certainly say that countries from all continents will be represented, from various parts of the world and with different perspectives on global development.

They are all, however, in agreement that the UN Charter and foundational international conventions are binding documents for all countries, including countries like Russia, where insanity reigns.

The global majority must force Russia to make peace, and it can do it. The path to just peace can start in June.”

We are preparing for the first, inaugural Peace Summit in June. Our team works with the teams of our key partners to ensure that the Summit is truly global.

We can certainly say that countries from all continents will be represented, from various parts of the world and with… pic.twitter.com/PQrLvUr4dc

— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) April 28, 2024

1d ago04.14EDT

Two Russian journalists were arrested by their government on “extremism” charges and ordered by courts there on Saturday to remain in custody pending investigation and trial on accusations of working for a group founded by the late Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

Konstantin Gabov and Sergey Karelin both denied the charges for which they will be detained for a minimum of two months before any trials begin, reports the Associated Press (AP). Each faces a minimum of two years in prison and a maximum of six years for alleged “participation in an extremist organization,” according to Russian courts.

Russia-Ukraine war: killing of two Ukrainians by Russian in southern Germany investigated for political motive, say prosecutors – as it happened (6)

They are just the latest journalists arrested amid a Russian government crackdown on dissent and independent media that intensified after its full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than two years ago.

The Russian government passed laws criminalizing what it deems false information about the military, or statements seen as discrediting the military, effectively outlawing any criticism of the war in Ukraine or speech that deviates from the official narrative, writes the AP.

According to the AP’s report, Gabov and Karelin are accused of preparing materials for a YouTube channel run by Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption, which has been outlawed by Russian authorities. Navalny died in an Arctic penal colony in February.

Gabov, who was detained in Moscow, is a freelance producer who has worked for multiple organisations, including Reuters, the court press service said. Reuters did not immediately comment on the ruling by the court.

Karelin, who has dual citizenship with Israel, was detained on Friday night in Russia’s northern Murmansk region. Karelin, 41, has worked for a number of outlets, including for the AP. He was a cameraman for German media outlet Deutsche Welle until the Kremlin banned the outlet from operating in Russia in February 2022.

“The Associated Press is very concerned by the detention of Russian video journalist Sergey Karelin,” the AP said in a statement. “We are seeking additional information.”

Additionaly, a journalist for the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, Sergei Mingazov, was detained on charges of spreading false information about the Russian military, his lawyer said on Friday.

1d ago03.59EDT

Chinese president Xi Jinping is due to make a state visit to France on 6 and 7 May, Paris announced on Monday, with war in Ukraine and the Middle East expected to be high on the agenda, reports Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The visit to France marks the Chinese leader’s first European tour since the coronavirus pandemic.

“Exchanges will focus on international crises, first and foremost the war in Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East, trade issues, scientific, cultural and sporting cooperation,” French president Emmanuel Macron’s office said in a statement.

China and Russia have ramped up economic cooperation and diplomatic contacts in recent years and their partnership has only grown closer since the invasion of Ukraine, writes AFP.

Beijing says it is a neutral party in the Ukraine conflict but has been criticised for refusing to condemn Moscow for its offensive.

1d ago03.47EDT

Luke Harding reporting from Kyiv:

Russia has consolidated recent battlefield gains in the east of Ukraine, and is attempting to break through Ukrainian defensive lines before a long-awaited package of US military assistance arrives at the frontline.

On Sunday Russian troops advanced near the city of Avdiivka. They seized two villages and expanded a narrow corridor around the rural settlement of Ocheretyne, which the Russians entered a week ago. Ukrainian security officials described the situation in the Donbas region where Russia is attacking on multiple fronts as “very difficult”. It was “not critical or catastrophic”, they added.

The fighting in Ocheretyne followed a surprise Russian attack. The manoeuvre enabled Russian combat units to bypass a network of Ukrainian trenches and to establish a salient. They have since overrun neighbouring hamlets – Solovyove and Novokalynove – and are attempting to push farther west.

Ukraine’s eastern command said its forces controlled two-thirds of Ocheretyne, where there was fierce fighting.

Guardian graphic. Source: the Institute for the Study of War with AEI’s Critical Threats Project. *Areas where ISW assesses Russian forces have operated or launched attacks but do not control. 27 Apr 2024.

You can read more of Luke Harding’s report here:

Russia makes more gains around Avdiivka as Ukraine awaits US aidRead more

1d ago03.33EDT

Ukraine says resisting heavy attacks in east amid Russian advance

Ukraine said on Monday it had foiled 55 Russian attacks in the eastern Donetsk region, a day after it admitted to a worsening situation on the frontline, according to a report by Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Moscow over the weekend claimed another eastern village, Novobakhmutivka, as struggling Ukrainian forces await the arrival of crucial US weapons.

The Ukrainian army said it had “repulsed 55 attacks” in several villages north and west of Novobakhmutivka. These included Ocheretyne, where heavy fighting was reported on Sunday.

Russia-Ukraine war: killing of two Ukrainians by Russian in southern Germany investigated for political motive, say prosecutors – as it happened (7)

The villages lie north of the hub of Adviivka, captured by Russian troops in February. Moscow’s forces have since pushed deeper into the Donetsk region.

According to the AFP report, Ukraine said its forces “continue to hold back the enemy” in several settlements west of the Moscow-held city of Donetsk, including the town of Krasnogorivka.

Ukraine said Russian forces had “with the support of aviation, tried 15 times to break through the defences of our troops.”

Krasnogorivka lies about 20 kilometres (32 miles) west of Donetsk and has served as a key stronghold for Kyiv.

It has become more vulnerable since the fall of nearby Marinka and Avdiivka, with reports of increased fighting in recent weeks, reports AFP.

Ukraine’s commander-in-chief Oleksandr Syrsky said on Sunday that his troops had retreated to new defensive lines further to the west in some areas.

Kyiv has also warned that Russia will try to bring home some victories ahead of its patriotic 9 May holiday, writes AFP.

1d ago03.23EDT

Opening summary

It has gone 10am in Kyiv and in Moscow. This is our latest Guardian blog covering all the latest developments over the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Ukraine said on Monday it had foiled 55 Russian attacks in the eastern Donetsk region, a day after it admitted to a worsening situation on the frontline, reports the Agence France-Presse news agency.

Moscow over the weekend claimed another eastern village, Novobakhmutivka, as struggling Ukrainian forces await the arrival of crucial US weapons.

According to AFP, the Ukrainian army said it had “repulsed 55 attacks” in several villages north and west of Novobakhmutivka. These included Ocheretyne, where heavy fighting was reported on Sunday.

More on that in a moment, but first, here are the other latest developments:

  • Ukraine’s troops have made a tactical retreat westwards from the villages of Berdychi, sem*nivka and Novomykhailivka on the war’s eastern front, according to Col Gen Oleksandr Syrskyi, Ukraine’s military commander in chief. “The most difficult situation is in the Pokrovsk and Kurakhove directions, where fierce battles continue,” Syrskyi said, referencing two Ukrainian-held cities in the Donetsk region.

  • “The enemy has engaged up to four brigades in these directions, is trying to develop an offensive west of Avdiivka and Marinka, making its way to Pokrovsk and Kurakhove,” Syrskyi said, adding the retreat’s purpose was “preserving the lives and health of our defenders”. Syrski said Ukraine’s position on the battlefield had worsened. “In some sectors the enemy had tactical success, and in some areas our troops managed to improve the tactical position.”

  • It comes as Russia has consolidated recent battlefield gains and is attempting to break through Ukrainian defensive lines before new US military assistance arrives, Luke Harding reports from Kyiv. Ukrainian security officials described the situation on the battlefront in the Donbas region as “very difficult” but “not critical or catastrophic”.

  • Despite the developments, US-based thinktank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has said Russia remains unlikely in the short term to make operationally significant gains west of Avdiivka. Ukrainian forces had so far reportedly been outnumbered three to one, but with limited resources had still prevented Russian forces from making the kinds of advances their greater combat power should allow. With Syrski having stated that refreshed Ukrainian units were being sent, this combined with additional weaponry would “force the Russian command to either accept that a near-term wider or deeper penetration is unlikely, or commit additional reserves to the area”, the ISW said.

  • There were unconfirmed reports that the Ukrainian military struck a Russian air defence unit at Cape Tarkhankut, on the western coast of occupied Crimea. Long-range Atacms missiles supplied this month by the US were used, Telegram channels said. Explosions were reported in the northern Crimean town of Dzhankoye after a previous attack there on an airfield and Russian missile launcher system.

  • Early on Sunday, Russian drones hit a hotel in the southern port city of Mykolaiv, said Vitaliy Kim, the region’s governor. A heat-generating plant was also damaged, he added.

  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine’s president, said on Sunday: “We are still waiting for the supplies Ukraine was promised. We are expecting those volumes and scope that can change the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine’s interests.”

  • After speaking with the US House minority leader, Hakeem Jeffries, about US aid approved last week, Zelenskiy said: “In my conversation with Mr Jeffries, I underscored that Patriot systems are needed, and as soon as possible.”

  • On entry to the European Union, Zelenskiy said Ukraine had met all conditions for accession talks to start, “and now the EU must meet its obligations”. On entry to the Nato military alliance – which the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has said Ukraine will join eventually – Zelenskiy said that every country that shares common values and is ready to defend them “deserves an invitation to the alliance”.

Russia-Ukraine war: killing of two Ukrainians by Russian in southern Germany investigated for political motive, say prosecutors – as it happened (2024)

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