Day 451 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Biden to announce New Military Aid to Kyiv for $375 MillionUkraine | May 20, 2023, Saturday // 11:06| views
Day 451 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- Zelensky arrived in Hiroshima for the G-7 meeting
- Biden to announce new military aid to Ukraine for $375 million
- Kyiv again became the target of a Russian air attack
- Prigozhin escapes from the meat grinder in Bakhmut, moves "Wagner" to Sudan
- Kyiv rejects any mediation that implies loss of territories or freezing of the conflict in Ukraine, Kuleba said
- Biden will discuss Ukraine with Brazilian President Lula and Indian Prime Minister Modi
- Russia has declared wanted the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
- Greenpeace's Russian branch says it will shut down after being declared an 'undesirable organization' by authorities
Zelensky arrived in Hiroshima for the G-7 meeting
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived today in the Japanese city of Hiroshima for the meeting of the G-7 leaders, which ends tomorrow, a diplomatic source said, quoted by AFP.
The plane of the French Republic, with which Zelensky arrived yesterday in Saudi Arabia for the meeting of the leaders of the Arab League, landed at Hiroshima airport, journalists from AFP reported.
The Ukrainian leader was originally scheduled to participate in the meeting via video conference, but he later expressed his strong desire to attend the meeting in person, the Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement, as quoted by Japan's Kyodo news agency.
"After carefully planning the meeting's agenda and schedules, we decided that we will hold a panel dedicated to Ukraine with the participation of the G7 leaders and President Zelensky on the last day of the meeting," the Japanese ministry said in a statement.
Zelensky will participate as a guest in the panel dedicated to "peace and stability". He is also scheduled to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who is hosting this year's G-7 meeting.
According to sources familiar with Zelensky's plans, the Ukrainian leader is also expected to visit the Hiroshima Museum, which documents the destruction caused by the atomic bombing of the city in 1945, and lay a wreath at a memorial to the victims of the bombing.
Recently, Zelensky visited Italy, Germany, France and Great Britain for talks with the leaders of these countries, and yesterday he also visited Saudi Arabia, where he took part in the meeting of the leaders of the Arab League. According to a French diplomatic source, Zelensky arrived in Japan on a French government plane, Kyodo notes.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida invited Zelensky to participate in the G7 meeting during his visit to Ukraine on March 21, and at that time the Ukrainian leader's participation was planned to be via video conference, according to the statement of the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
Zelensky last visited Japan in October 2019 to attend the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Naruhito in Tokyo and to speak with then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Kyodo recalled.
Biden to announce new military aid to Ukraine for $375 million
The meeting of the G-7 leaders in the Japanese city of Hiroshima continues for a second day. The focus is on assistance to Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression, cooperation with international partners, nuclear weapons control, economic sustainability and security, energy, climate and environment, health care.
Yesterday, the leaders agreed on tightening sanctions against Russia and additional financial support for Ukraine.
US President Joe Biden will announce in Hiroshima a new military aid package for Kyiv worth 375 million dollars, Reuters reported. The agency refers to a US representative. Washington will support the provision of fighter jets, including the F-16.
According to US and Ukrainian sources, the aid will include artillery shells, armored vehicles and anti-tank weapons.
Earlier, Joe Biden said he would support training Ukrainian F-16 pilots, which was taken as a sign that agreement would also be given for the transfer of this type of fighter to Ukraine.
So far, no country has committed to delivering the rumored jets to Ukraine, but countries such as Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands, which have long had the model in service, have expressed willingness to participate in the pilot training program .
It is noted that NATO countries are switching to the newer F-35 fighters and are using the opportunity to sell their old F-16s to third countries, such as Romania for example.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to arrive in Hiroshima today and hold bilateral meetings with G7 leaders. He will join the G7 forum tomorrow, taking part in a session dedicated to peace and security.
Kyiv again became the target of a Russian air attack
Kyiv again came under Russian airstrikes last night, amid ongoing fighting for control of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.
Shortly after midnight, the Ukrainian army reported that drones were heading towards the Kyiv region. The capital administration announced that all attacking drones had been destroyed.
Debris caused a fire on the roof of a nine-story building in one of the residential complexes. It was later extinguished. Pieces of drones fell on the streets in two other districts of Kyiv.
The authorities reported explosions in Chernihiv region as well.
Ukrainian forces have repelled attempts by Russian units to regain lost positions around Bakhmut. The head of the private military organization "Wagner" Yevgeny Prigozhin said that the heavy fighting for the city continues.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said during his visit to Lisbon that Portugal has also expressed its willingness to train Ukrainian pilots to fly Western-type fighter jets. He added that Ukraine refuses any mediation for peace, which does not exclude the loss of territories for Kyiv or the cessation of fighting.
Prigozhin escapes from the meat grinder in Bakhmut, moves "Wagner" to Sudan
Yevgeny Prigozhin has begun to withdraw from Ukraine the most experienced personnel of his private army "Wagner" and move them to Sudan. This is reported by the website "Unian".
"In Sudan, Wagner has a contract with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and recruitment of mercenaries has begun in that country. Including those who participated in the battles of Bakhmut. Not only mercenaries are being recruited, but also weapons, for the shortage to which Prigozhin complained many times," the publication says.
A new civil war has recently broken out in Sudan. According to unofficial sources, the country may become the official base of Prigozhin's people. The division that will operate there will be called "The Orchestra" or "The Musicians" to distinguish them from "Wagner".
"And ‘Wagner’ will remain with the unnecessary soldiers, who will be something like cannon fodder in the meat grinder in Ukraine," the publication says.
Prigozhin’s "Wagner" bears the brunt of the fighting in Bakhmut, while the regular army operates outside the city. In recent days, the army of Ukraine has carried out successful actions on the outskirts of the city, while “Wagner” fighters are suffocating inside it. The military in Ukraine defines the situation as a "mouse trap for the Wagnerites". Predictions are that they will soon be finally broken.
Kyiv rejects any mediation that implies loss of territories or freezing of the conflict in Ukraine, Kuleba said
Ukraine refuses any peaceful mediation in the conflict with Russia, which does not exclude the initial loss of territories for Kyiv or an end to the fighting, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said yesterday in Lisbon, as quoted by AFP.
"No peace plan or initiative, no mediation should involve the legal or real loss of Ukrainian territories," the minister said after a meeting with his Portuguese counterpart, João Gomes Cravinho.
"No initiative, no mediation should be based on the premise that we have to freeze the conflict and then see what happens," Kuleba added, speaking to journalists in English.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met yesterday in Jeddah with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and thanked him for his support for Ukraine's sovereignty.
Back in March 2022, a week after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the de facto leader of the Gulf monarchy called for a "political solution" to the conflict and offered to mediate its resolution in a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Any mediation must lead to the full restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity," the Ukrainian foreign minister said yesterday.
Kuleba arrived in Lisbon to participate in a meeting of the "Bilderberg" group, which this year is being held in the Portuguese capital and will end tomorrow.
Ukraine, Russia, NATO and transnational threats are among the topics discussed at this informal conference, which brings together key figures from European and North American politics and economics to discuss global issues.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and European foreign policy chief Josep Borrell are also on the list of around 130 participants.
Biden will discuss Ukraine with Brazilian President Lula and Indian Prime Minister Modi
US President Joe Biden plans to discuss the Ukrainian issue with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said today, quoted by Reuters.
Lula and Modi are participating in the meeting of G7 leaders in the Japanese city of Hiroshima at the invitation of Japan.
Asked whether Biden would pressure or urge the two leaders to take a tougher approach toward China and Russia, Sullivan said, "I don't think 'pressure' is the right word. I mean, President Biden has deep relations with these key leaders such as President Lula and Prime Minister Modi".
Biden plans to take "the opportunity to talk with the two of them about the constructive role that their countries can play" on the Ukrainian issue, Sullivan told reporters in Hiroshima.
Brazil and India have been trying for years to play the role of a bridge between the US, on the one hand, and Russia and China, on the other. Both countries have maintained economic and political ties with Moscow since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February last year, Reuters noted.
Russia has declared wanted the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia announced that the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC), Karim Khan, is wanted, Mediazona reported, referring to the database of searches of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. This happened two months after the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin.
On March 17, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia's Commissioner for Children's Rights. The court considers them responsible for the illegal transfer and deportation of children from Ukraine and the occupied territories to Russia during the war.
Three days later, the Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case under Articles for bringing an innocent person to criminal responsibility, as well as for preparing an attack on a representative of a foreign country enjoying international protection in order to complicate international relations.
The accused are the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim Khan and judges Tomoko Akane, Rosario Salvatore Aitala and Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez. "Mediazona" has not yet found judges in the wanted database.
Greenpeace's Russian branch says it will shut down after being declared an 'undesirable organization' by authorities
The Russian branch of the environmental organization Greenpeace said it will cease its activities after the Russian Prosecutor General's Office declared it an "undesirable organization", Reuters reported.
Determining an organization as undesirable under Russian law is tantamount to criminalizing its activities, Reuters notes.
"We strongly disagree with the decision of the Prosecutor General's Office. This decision outlaws the further activities of Greenpeace in Russia. For this reason, the Russian branch of Greenpeace is forced to cease its activities," the branch said in a statement on "Telegram".
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