Russian-Ukrainian War Live: ‘Absurd and Destructive’ for Russia to Chair Security Council, Says Zelenskiy | Ukraine
Welcome back to our continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine. We’ll bring you the latest developments as they happen.
Our top story this morning:
Russia took the helm of the UN Security Council on Saturday – sparking fury inside Ukraine with its president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, calling the situation “absurd and destructive… It’s hard to imagine anything that further proves the utter bankruptcy of such institutions.”
In his daily video address, Zelenskiy pointed out that Russian bombing had killed a five-month-old boy on Friday, and said it was time for a general overhaul of global institutions.
Earlier, a senior Ukrainian official criticized Russia’s “symbolic blow” in assuming the rotating presidency. Andriy Yermak, Chief of Staff to the President of Ukraine, wrote: “It’s not just a shame. This is another symbolic blow to the rules-based system of international relations.
The Kremlin said it would “exercise all its rights” in the role.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will chair the meeting when Russia assumes the presidency of the Council. “Since April 1, they have taken the level of absurdity to a new level,” said Sergiy Kyslytsya, Kyiv’s permanent representative.
There is more to come on this story. In the meantime, here are the main recent developments:
An intelligence update from the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) indicates that the the performance of the Russian Chief of Staff, General Valery Gerasimov, “pushes the limits of the ability of Russian political leaders to tolerate failure”. He adds: “Gerasimov’s tenure was characterized by an effort to launch a general winter offensive with the aim of extending Russian control over the entire Donbass region. Eighty days later, it is increasingly clear that this project has failed.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has promised to increase the supply of ammunition to Russian forces during a visit to the headquarters of Moscow troops fighting in Ukraine, according to images released by the Ministry of Defense.
The board of the International Monetary Fund has approved a four-year, $15.6 billion loan program for Ukraine, part of a $115 billion global economic support package. The decision paves the way for an immediate disbursement of around $2.7 billion to Kyiv and obliges Ukraine to carry out ambitious reforms, particularly in the energy sector, the fund said.
US Chief General Mark Milley said Ukraine is unlikely to expel all Russian troops from its territory this year, reports Kyiv Independent, citing an interview with Defense One. Milley said: “I don’t think it will happen in the short term for this year.”
At least five people, including a baby, have been killed in Ukraine in the past 24 hoursaccording to the Kyiv Independent.
Prosecutors have asked a court to place the abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Monastery, Metropolitan Pavel, under house arrest. He is accused of supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and inciting religious hatred. Pavel denies any wrongdoing.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy wrote online that he had held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss “defence interaction” and “additional steps to be implemented”. #PeaceFormula”.
Russia has lost at least six Zoopark-1M counter-battery radars and will struggle to regenerate them due to sanctions, said the British Ministry of Defense (MoD). The Ministry of Defense added: “The regeneration of counter-battery radar fleets is likely a key priority for both sides, but Russia will likely struggle because the systems rely on high-tech electronics supplies. who have been disrupted by the sanctions.”
Vladimir Putin has signed a new Russian foreign policy strategy to reduce Western “domination” and identify China and India as key partners for the future. The document cements the deep Cold War-style rift between Russia and the West over Moscow’s war on Ukraine.
North Korea Kim Yo-jong, chief’s sister Kim Jong Un, accused Ukraine of having nuclear ambitions, reported state media KCNA – basing its claim on an online petition with less than 1,000 signatures.
Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, said he had intensified talks with Russia over the deployment of nuclear weapons in Belarus, alleging that there were plans to invade neighboring Poland. There is no evidence that Poland plans to invade.