Ukraine-Russia war LIVE – Zelensky warns Putin's invasion is the BEGINNING & Moscow aim to 'capture other countries'

ZELENSKY has issued a stark warning that President Vladimir Putin's invasion is only the 'beginning' as he claims Moscow want to 'capture other countries'.

The Ukrainian President has flagged comments by a Russian commander, who said Moscow wants to take control of southern Ukraine as it would give access to the separatist region of Transnistria in Moldova.

Zelensky claims that this remark shows that Russia wants to invade other countries.

In Zelensky's nightly address he said: "Well, this only confirms what I have said many times: the Russian invasion of Ukraine was intended only as a beginning, then they want to capture other countries.

"Of course, we will defend ourselves as long as necessary to break this ambition of the Russian Federation. But all nations that, like us, believe in the victory of life over death must fight with us. They have to help us, because we are the first on this path. And who is next?

"If anyone who can become next wants to stay neutral today so as not to lose anything, this is the riskiest bet. Because you will lose everything."

Moldova has summoned the Russian ambassador in response to Maj Gen Rustam Minnekayev's comments.

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

  • Louis Allwood

    It has sent a clear message – but not the one he was hoping for

    AN EXPERT has claimed that a ‘revealing’ conversation between Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, and his defence minister has sent a clear message – but not the one he was hoping for.

    Russian media broadcast a painfully staged conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Sergei Shoigu, his defence minister where the pair discussed and reflected on concerns about the conflict.

    Putin told Shoigu: “We must always think, but even more so in this case – about preserving the life and health of our soldiers and officers”.

    Adding to his 'supposed' concern about the welfare of his troops on the ground the President said: “Please submit proposals for awarding our distinguished soldiers for state awards.

    “It is clear that in such cases it cannot be otherwise, these are different awards, but I want them all to know: in our understanding, they are all heroes, in the understanding of all of Russia.”

    Speaking to The Telegraph, Leonid Volkov, chief of staff to the jailed Russian opposition activist Alexey Navalny, has said the broadcast is a “revealing moment”.

    Volkov added that Putin's public pronouncements are always only what they want to hear.

    “When Putin says something in public, it is almost always the result of the fact that the presidential administration took measurements of public opinion and came to the conclusion that now it is necessary to speak in order to earn political points.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russian court jails opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza

    A Russian court on Friday ordered pre-trial detention for opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza for allegedly spreading false information about the Russian army, his lawyer said.

    Moscow’s Basmanny district court ordered that the 40-year-old Kremlin opponent be held in pre-trial detention until June 12, lawyer Vadim Prokhorov said on Facebook.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Australia targets Putin’s daughters with more sanctions

    The Australian government on Friday imposed sanctions and travel bans on two daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s daughter, it said in a statement today.

    It follows similar measures undertaken by other Western nations including the United States and Britain, and takes the total number of people and entities in Russia subject to Australian sanctions to nearly 750.

    The fresh round of sanctions also targets 144 Russian senators who provided support to President Putin by approving the “illegitimate” recognition as independent the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine on Feb. 22, Australia’s foreign ministry said in its statement.

    Foreign Minister Marisa Payne added that Australia will continue to increase costs on Russia by targeting those who bear responsibility for the “unjustified and unprovoked aggression in Ukraine”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ‘UK needed to plan for the long-term implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’

    Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, who is chair of the defence select committee in the UK parliament, told Sky News that the UK government needed to plan for the long-term implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    Ellwood said: “Our policy in Ukraine began back in 2014, under a very different prime minister, who sought to arm and train the Ukrainian forces. That’s been upgraded today. We’re moving even further than that.

    “And there is going to be a lull around the corner where Ukraine activities will die down, for us to then look at domestic affairs. The security in Europe is about to decay over the next decade. We’re still absent of a strategy.

    “You know, what does all this weapon systems that we’re giving to Ukraine, where does it lead to? Are we content with seeing part of Donbas remain in Russians hands? Or are we going to go back to 2000, pre-2014 borders, and push Russia out?

    “This is where I would like to go. Otherwise, Putin will simply do all this again, because he’ll survive, and then he’ll attack another country in a couple of years time.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Sweden to help repair Ukraine’s power network

    Sweden is helping Ukraine to rebuild a secure electricity supply by sending equipment to repair electricity networks destroyed during the war.

    Swedish Energy Minister Khashayar Farmanbar said a secure electricity supply is necessary to maintain socially important activities in Ukraine.

  • Joseph Gamp

    50,000 remain trapped in Mariupol

    Ukraine’s deputy prime minister yesterday told Sky News that 50,000 remain trapped in Mariupol.

    Iryna Vereshchuk, speaking from a reception centre in the eastern city of Zaporizhia, said: “At least 50,000 people who want to leave Mariupol.”

    “The mission is not accomplished. We opened the green corridor for thousands of people. And we expected at least 5000 people. But we have only 79 people. This is what Russia does.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    FINA suspends Olympic champion Rylov over Putin rally

    Swimming’s world governing body FINA said today it had suspended Russian Olympic gold medallist Evgeny Rylov for nine months after he attended a rally in Moscow in support of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.

    Rylov, who won gold in 100 and 200 metres backstroke events at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, was among several athletes who attended a massive rally at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium last month hosted by President Vladimir Putin.

    Rylov and other athletes wore the letter “Z” on their outfit, an identifying symbol used by supporters of what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

    FINA said the suspension came “following Mr. Rylov’s attendance and conduct at an event held at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow”.

    There was no immediate reaction from Rylov, who also lost his sponsorship deal with swimwear maker Speedo over his presence at the rally.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Mayor of Mariupol issues new appeal for full evacuation of civilians

    The mayor of Mariupol yesterday issued a new appeal for the “full evacuation” of civilians in the southern Ukrainian city.

    Russia now claims the city has fallen into its hands apart from the Azovstal metalworks, which President Vladimir Putin has ordered to be blockaded.

    “We need only one thing – the full evacuation of the population. About 100,000 people remain in Mariupol,” Reuters reports mayor Vadym Boichenko saying on national television.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Belarus Federation: Wimbledon ban will ‘incite hatred and intolerance’

    The decision to on Wednesday bar Russian and Belarusian players from participating in Wimbledon will incite “hatred and intolerance”, said the Belarus Tennis Federation.

    “The Belarusian Tennis Federation categorically condemns the decision of the Wimbledon organizers to suspend the Belarusian and Russian tennis players,” BTF said in a statement on Thursday, adding that they are seeking legal opinion over the ban.

    It added that the “unlawful decision of the international tennis organisations concerning our tennis players undermine… the reputation of these organisations.”

    “BTF management is still consulting with international law firms on sports law and developing a strategy that is aimed primarily at protecting the Belarusian tennis players around the world and tennis in the Republic of Belarus”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Putin’s ‘lover’ reappears in Moscow

    Vladimir Putin’s ‘lover’ Alina Kabaeva, 38, has reappeared in Moscow.

    Vladimir Putin’s alleged mistress has reappeared with a “new look” following rumours she was hiding in a Swiss bolthole or a Siberian nuclear bunker.

    Olympic gold-medal winning Alina Kabaeva, 38, surfaced at a junior rhythmic gymnastics rehearsal in Moscow.

    Pictures evidently showed her at the city’s VTB Arena this week ahead of the annual Alina Festival charitable event scheduled for tomorrow (SAT).

    Russian Cosmopolitan, avoiding linking her to Putin, reported of a woman widely believed to be Russia’s unofficial first lady: “Alina Kabaeva is one of the most mysterious and secretive women in our country.

    “The gymnast almost never appears in public, does not [appear in] social networks, and it is not possible to accidentally see her on the street or in shopping centres.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russia grants Belarus one-year grace period for $1bn of loans

    Russia has granted Belarus a one-year grace period for more than $1 billion worth of loans, RIA news agency cited the Belarus finance ministry as saying on Friday.

    It did not give more details.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russia confirms 1 dead & 27 missing after Moskva warship attack

    Russia has confirmed one crew member died and 27 went missing after the Moskva missile cruiser sank last week – the Kremlin's first admission of the losses following the tragedy.

    "As a result of a fire on April 13, the Moskva missile cruiser was seriously damaged due to the detonation of ammunition," the defence ministry said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

    "One serviceman was killed, another 27 crew members went missing," the ministry said, adding that "the remaining 396 members" had been evacuated.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Security guarantees will make Ukraine 'impregnable' to Russian attack

    Western allies are preparing to offer Ukraine a series of "security guarantees" which should make the country "impregnable" to a future Russian invasion, Boris Johnson has said.

    The Prime Minister said it is essential to step up immediate military support to Kyiv, as he warned there is a "realistic possibility" that the conflict could drag on for a "long period".

    He said Britain is looking to send tanks to "backfill" in Poland so Soviet-era T-72s – with which Ukrainian crews are familiar – can be released to the government in Kyiv.

    A defence source said sending Challenger 2 battle tanks to Poland was being "looked at".

    The Ministry of Defence later confirmed that Britain is "exploring" sending the tanks to Poland, tweeting: "While no decisions have been taken, these would be deployed on a short-term basis and operated by UK personnel to bridge the gap between Poland donating tanks to Ukraine and replacements arriving."

    Speaking in the Indian capital, New Delhi, Mr Johnson said a long-term vision for Ukraine's place in the future "security architecture" of Europe also needs to be developed.

    While he said it will not be the same as the Nato Article 5 guarantee – in which an attack on one member state is considered to an attack on all – he hoped it would offer "deterrence by denial".

    "What the Ukrainians want – and I think are now going to get – is a collection of guarantees from like-minded countries about what we can do to back them up with weaponry, with training and with intelligence-sharing," he said.

    "It will, I hope, enable the Ukrainians to offer deterrence by denial and make sure their territory is so fortified as to be impregnable to further attack from Russia. That is what we need to do."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russian court jails opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza

    A Russian court on Friday ordered pre-trial detention for opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza for allegedly spreading false information about the Russian army, his lawyer said.

    Moscow's Basmanny district court ordered that the 40-year-old Kremlin opponent be held in pre-trial detention until June 12, lawyer Vadim Prokhorov said on Facebook.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russia says Ukrainian fighters 'securely blockaded' at Mariupol steel plant

    Russia's defence ministry said on Friday that Ukrainian fighters and foreign mercenaries had been "securely blockaded" at the Azovstal steel plant where they have been holding out in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

    President Vladimir Putin had ordered his defence minister on Thursday to block off the vast Azovstal complex rather than try to storm it.

    The defence ministry also reported hitting dozens of targets in the Donetsk and Kharkiv regions of Ukraine on Friday.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Putin to meet UN chief next week – report

    Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Moscow next week, Interfax quoted the Kremlin as saying.

    Guterres on Wednesday separately asked Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to receive him to discuss steps to bring about peace.

    Russia had previously complained Guterres had not tried to contact the Kremlin leader since the start of what Russia calls its special military operation in Ukraine.

  • Joseph Gamp

    UN: Russian actions in Ukraine may amount to war crimes

    Russian actions in Ukraine, which have included summary executions of civilians and levelling of civilian infrastructure, may amount to war crimes, the UN said on Friday.

    “Our work to date has detailed a horror story of violations perpetrated against civilians,” United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on Friday.

    “Over these eight weeks, international humanitarian law has not merely been ignored but seemingly tossed aside,” she said.

    “Russian armed forces have indiscriminately shelled and bombed populated areas, killing civilians and wrecking hospitals, schools and other civilian infrastructure, actions that may amount to war crimes,” said spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani.

    In the town of Bucha, near Kyiv, a UN rights monitoring mission has documented that 50 civilians had been killed there, including by summary execution, Shamdasani said.

    “Almost every resident in Bucha our colleagues spoke to told us about the death of a relative, a neighbour or even a stranger. We know much more needs to be done to uncover what happened there and we also know Bucha is not an isolated incident,” Bachelet said.

    The UN mission has received more than 300 allegations of killings of civilians in areas around Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy that were under Russian control until early March.

  • Joseph Gamp

    More about Putin’s deadly ‘Satan-2’ missile

    The terrifying ‘Satan-2’ nuclear missile – launched on Wednesday from Plesetsk spaceport in northern Russia – landed at Kura Missile Test Range on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the far east of the country, according to Russian defence sources.

    Most worryingly, the separate warheads in the Satan 2 missile are capable of detaching from the main 100-tonne missile before travelling towards their target at hypersonic speeds.

    Russia’s defence ministry bragged the Sarmat ICBM is able to overcome any missile defence systems.

    “Thanks to the energy-mass characteristics of the missile, the range of its combat equipment has fundamentally expanded both in terms of the number of warheads and types, including hypersonic gliders,” the ministry said in a statement.

    It added: “This launch is the first in the state test program. After the completion of the test program, the Sarmat missile system will go into service with the Strategic Missile Forces.”

    Following the launch, Dmitry Rogozin, the director of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, claimed on Twitter that the weapon was a “present to NATO and all sponsors of Ukronazism”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russia – Ukraine peace talks have stalled, says Kremlin

    Talks between Moscow and Kyiv to put an end to nearly two months of Russia's military campaign in pro-Western Ukraine have stalled, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

    "They (negotiations) have stalled now," Lavrov said after talks with his Kazakh counterpart, adding that Moscow has still had not received an answer to its latest proposal sent around five days ago.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Putin’s forces attempt to storm Mariupol plant

    VLADIMIR Putin’s Russian forces have attempted to storm the base of the last Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol, the Ukrainian military said.

    Troops were said to have attacked the Azovstal steel plant, despite an order from President Putin demanding the contrary.

    Most of Mariupol is under Russian control and the city’s mayor Vadym Boychenko said around 100,000 residents remained trapped in the conflict zone.

  • Joseph Gamp

    PM fails to apply pressure on Indian PM over Putin

    Boris Johnson achieved progress on a post-Brexit trade deal with India but failed to apply pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to condemn Vladimir Putin.

    The Prime Minister told negotiators to get a free trade agreement (FTA) done by Diwali, in October, as he celebrated a "massive push" during the their meeting in New Delhi on Friday.

    But he indicated at a press conference that he did not try to encourage Mr Modi to go further in dropping India's neutrality over the Russian President's invasion of Ukraine.

    Mr Johnson's two-day trip was dogged by questions over the deepening partygate scandal, with a Tory rebellion leading to a Commons investigation being opened into his alleged lying.

    But he insisted he would still be Prime Minister by the festival of lights, on October 24, which he set as a date for trade deal negotiators working with one of the world's largest economies to "get it done".

    Mr Modi appeared more relaxed about the timeframe, instead saying he wanted "good progress… by the end of this year", but both sides applauded progress.

    However, there were acknowledgements that the four chapters agreed so far were just the foothills of around 16 more to come.

    Mr Johnson conceded there would be "difficult issues" ahead, including on tariffs, particularly whisky. He was also open to accepting higher levels of migration from India to take skilled jobs in Britain.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Kremlin fury over Wimbledon banning Russian tennis players

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov is furious at the decision and has criticised the ban which has been put in place by the AELTC.

    The Russian said: “Given that Russia is a strong tennis country and our athletes possess top lines of the world rating, the tournament itself would suffer because of this ban.

    “It is unacceptable to make the athletes once again hostages of certain political prejudice intrigues and hostile actions towards our country.

  • Milica Cosic

    Thank you for reading my coverage this morning. Joe Gamp will now be looking after the blog until 10pm tonight.

  • Milica Cosic

    PM: 'Realistic possibility' Russia could win war

    Speaking during a news conference in New Delhi, India, Prime Minister Boris Johnson today acknowledged there was a "realistic possibility" Russian forces could win in their invasion of Ukraine.

    Johnson said: "The sad thing is that is a realistic possibility. Of course. 

    "Putin has a huge army. He has a very difficult political position because he has made a catastrophic blunder.

    "The only option he now has is to continue to try to use his appalling grinding approach, led by artillery, to try to grind the Ukrainians down.

    "He is very close to securing a landbridge in Mariupol now. The situations is I'm afraid unpredictable at this stage. We have got to be realistic about that".

  • Milica Cosic

    Wizz Air opens ticket sales to Kyiv

    It has been reported that Wizz Air will resume selling tickets to Ukraine's capital of Kyiv this summer.

    Editor of the news website ZN.UA, Alexander Khreb, reported the ticket sales on social media.

    He Tweeted that flights to the city had been opened for the month of July.

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