Ukraine’s invasion of Russia – latest: UN chief urges end to ‘nuclear chatter’

Russian paratrooper condemns his country’s war in Ukraine

Countries must stop “making nuclear saber noises” as the situation at Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant is still “critical”, warned the UN secretary general.

Speaking on Monday, Antonio Guterres said the world was facing a “moment of maximum danger”, adding that “the future of humanity is in our hands today”.

His comments came as recent shelling around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant raised fears of a potential disaster there.

Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has previously said conditions at the site were “very alarming”. He urged Russia and Ukraine to allow IAEA experts to visit Zaporizhzhia.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, Kyiv this week banned public Independence Day celebrations over fears of Russian bombardment, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warning that the Kremlin may attempt “something particularly ugly” around the national holiday.

The United States has also hinted that Moscow may intensify its attacks on civilian buildings in Ukraine in the coming days. As the war approaches six months, Washington has urged its citizens to leave the Ukrainian capital if it is sure to do so.

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Russian tourists could be banned from neighboring countries, Lithuania says

European countries bordering Russia could block Russian tourists from entering their borders if the bloc does not introduce an EU-wide ban, Lithuania has said.

Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Finland all have a border with Russia.

“I spoke to the ministers of all these countries…I don’t see many differences politically,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said in Vilnius.

“Russian tourists should not be in the European Union… Their country is committing genocide,” he added.

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At least 374 children killed by Russian attacks, Kyiv says

At least 374 children have been killed in Russian attacks since the start of the war 6 months ago, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office has announced.

Another 723 children were injured by assaults by Kremlin forces, he added.

The office added that the true number of casualties is likely much higher, as the current total does not include casualties in Russian-controlled areas.

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Russia is trying to repair the river connection with Kherson

Russia is building a pontoon bridge over the Dnipro after Ukraine destroyed the river crossing, the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) has said.

In its latest update, the Defense Ministry said Moscow had moved barges into position next to the damaged Antonivsky road bridge. The passage connects the Russian city of Kherson to the east.

If successful, the move will “almost certainly increase the capacity of the crossing point relative to the ferry”, he added.

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Polish President in Kyiv to discuss increased support for Ukraine

Polish President Andrzej Duda is in Kyiv to discuss military and economic support for Ukraine.

He has already met his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky three times in Ukraine this year.

“The visit will include a meeting with President Zelensky and discussions on military support and defense of Ukraine in the economic, humanitarian and political sense,” Duda’s office said of the latest trip.

“The presidents will discuss what political support Poland could offer to convince other countries to continue helping Ukraine,” he added.

Poland has been one of Kyiv’s closest allies since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Polish President Andrzej Duda also visited his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on May 22, 2022

(via Reuters)

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Russian paratrooper says Putin’s justification for war in Ukraine ‘is a lie’

A Russian paratrooper who fought in Ukraine earlier this year has hit out at the Kremlin, saying the justification for his invasion is a “lie”.

Pavel Filatyev, who served in the 56th Air Assault Regiment, recently published a damning 141-page account of his experiences on the front lines.

Speaking from an undisclosed location, he told CNN: “We have been dragged into this serious conflict where we just destroy cities and don’t liberate anyone. This is all a lie. We are simply destroying peaceful lives.

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Russia ‘planning attacks’ on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, US says

The United States said the Kremlin planned to carry out attacks on civilian buildings in Ukraine in the coming days.

The alleged threat comes ahead of Ukraine’s Independence Day on Wednesday.

The US Embassy in Kyiv has warned its citizens to leave the capital if they can.

“The State Department has information that Russia is intensifying its efforts to launch strikes against civilian infrastructure and government installations in Ukraine in the coming days,” it said on its website.

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Nuclear risk at “highest level in decades”, warns UN boss

The threat of a nuclear disaster is at its “highest in decades”, said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

As the globe finds itself at a “moment of maximum danger”, countries should refrain from “making nuclear saber noises”, he added.

His warning comes amid continued fears over shelling near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is now in Russian-held territory.

Both sides blamed the other for threatening the security of the site.

Alexander Lifirenko, a resident of the nearby town of Enerhodar, voiced his community’s fears.

“Of course we are worried… It’s like sitting on a powder keg,” he said. Reuters.

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Hello and welcome to The Independents live coverage of the war in Ukraine.

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