Russia-Ukraine latest news: 'Belligerent' Liz Truss will 'prolong' conflict, says Russian ambassador




  • In World
  • 2022-05-29 22:25:06Z
  • By The Telegraph
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky looks over houses and other structures destroyed by Russians in the city of Kharkiv - Ukrainian Presidency
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky looks over houses and other structures destroyed by Russians in the city of Kharkiv - Ukrainian Presidency  
  • Russia dumps bodies in supermarket

  • Germany has not sent promised large arms to Ukraine

  • Comment: Putin has regained the military initiative in Ukraine

  • Watch: Ukrainian soldier's final stand against Russians in trench

  • Listen to the latest episode of our daily Ukraine podcast

Russia's ambassador to the UK has accused Liz Truss of being "very belligerent" and wanting to "prolong" the conflict in Ukraine.

Andrei Kelin claimed the Foreign Secretary wanted to "instigate the conflict" by pushing for the West to continue supplying Kyiv, a position he argued would be "no good for Ukraine".

Mr Kelin said Ms Truss's stance showed London was not interested in bringing about an end to the conflict.

Meanwhile, Russian shelling has destroyed all of the critical infrastructure in the city of Sievierodonetsk, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

"Taking Sievierodonetsk is the principal aim of the occupying contingents," Mr Zelensky said in a televised speech.

He stated in a Telegram post: "In this war, the occupiers are trying to squeeze out at least some result.

"But they should have understood long ago that we will defend our land to the last man."

Mr Zelensky is set to speak by video link on Monday to European Union leaders in Brussels as they seek to break a deadlock on a Russian oil embargo.

​​Follow the latest updates below.

02:55 AM

Germany agrees to 100 billion euro fund to modernise military

Germany's government and conservative opposition have agreed to a fund worth 100 billion euros that would modernise its army in the face of the Russian threat.

The government reached an agreement late on Sunday to create a special fund for military procurement that will also allow Berlin to achieve NATO's target of spending two percent of GDP on defence.

The deal, which involves amending budgetary rules in the national constitution, was struck after weeks of difficult negotiations between the parties in the governing coalition and the conservatives of former chancellor Angela Merkel.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged the special budget of 100 billion euros to rearm the German military and modernise its outdated equipment in February, three days after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

01:32 AM

EU to pledge support for Ukraine

European Union leaders will meet on Monday to declare continued support for Ukraine to help it fend off Russia's assault, but the talks will be overshadowed by their failure to agree on a new sanctions package against Moscow.

Leaders of the 27-nation bloc over two days will discuss how best to aid Ukraine four months into Russia's invasion and how to deal with the conflict's impacts,  including high energy prices, an impending food shortage and the EU's defence needs.

Draft conclusions of the meeting showed that while the EU will be generous with verbal support for the government in Kyiv, there will be little in terms of new decisions on any of the main topics.

"After Russia's attack on Ukraine, we saw what can happen when Europe stands united. With a view to the summit tomorrow, let's hope it continues like this. But it is already starting to crumble and crumble again," German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Sunday.

The most achievable will be support for a 9 billion euro package of EU loans, with a small grants component to cover part of the interest, so Ukraine can keep its government going and pay wages for around two months.

EU governments have not been able to agree on the sixth package of sanctions against Moscow because one of the elements - an embargo on buying Russian oil - is not acceptable to Hungary and a big problem for Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Firemen extinguish a fire at a Gypsum Manufactory plant after shelling in the city of Bakhmut at the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas - AFP
Firemen extinguish a fire at a Gypsum Manufactory plant after shelling in the city of Bakhmut at the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas - AFP  

12:16 AM

Zelensky fires Kharkiv's security chief

Volodymyr Zelensky visits the Kharkiv region for the first time since Russia
Volodymyr Zelensky visits the Kharkiv region for the first time since Russia's invasion of Ukraine - Ukrainian Presidency  

Volodymyr Zelensky has fired Kharkiv's security chief.

The dismissal came on Sunday after the Ukrainian President's first trip to the war-torn east since Moscow invaded in February.

After visiting Kharkiv, Mr Zelensky announced that he had fired the northeastern city's security chief in a rare public rebuke.

Mr Zelensky said the man was dismissed "for not working to defend the city from the first days of the full-scale war, but thinking only of himself".

While others had toiled "very effectively", the former chief had not.

Although the President did not name the official, Ukrainian media reports identified him as Roman Dudin, the head of the Kharkiv region's SBU security service.

11:37 PM

Nato has right to deploy in eastern Europe: deputy chief

A protester in Belgrade holds up a sign during a demonstration against Russia
A protester in Belgrade holds up a sign during a demonstration against Russia's military invasion in Ukraine - OLIVER BUNIC/AFP  

Nato is no longer bound by past commitments to hold back from deploying its forces in eastern Europe, the US-led alliance's deputy secretary general has said.

Moscow itself has "voided of any content" the Nato-Russia Founding Act, by attacking Ukraine and halting dialogue with the alliance, Mircea Geoana told AFP.

Under the 1997 Founding Act, intended to reset the relationship between Russia and the Alliance, both sides agreed to work to "prevent any potentially threatening build-up of conventional forces in agreed regions of Europe, to include Central and Eastern Europe".

"They took decisions, they made obligations there not to aggress neighbours, which they are doing, and to have regular consultations with Nato, which they don't," Mr Geoana said.

"So I think that in fact this founding act is basically not functioning because of Russia."

He said Russia had effectively moved away from the terms of the 1997 agreement: "Now we have no restrictions to have robust posture in the eastern flank and to ensure that every square inch of Nato's territory is protected by Article 5 and our allies."

Nato's article 5 refers to collective defence - an attack on one member is an attack on all of them.

Mr Geoana did not give details of any such planned deployment, but said he anticipated "a robust, flexible and sustainable presence".

11:24 PM

'Very strict' rules in use of nuclear weapons

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not use nuclear weapons in the conflict in Ukraine, Russia's ambassador to the UK claims.

Andrei Kelin told the BBC that there were "very strict" rules on their use, with nuclear missiles only allowed to be deployed "when the existence of the state is endangered".

"It has nothing to do with the current operation," he said.

11:20 PM

Russian official claims Britain's encouragement will delay peace

A Ukrainian woman prepares to evacuate her home as Russian attacks continue in Soledar - Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency
A Ukrainian woman prepares to evacuate her home as Russian attacks continue in Soledar - Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency  

Britain's encouragement of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his troops will only delay a peace deal, the Russian ambassador to the UK has claimed.

On the "stalemate" between Kyiv and Moscow over a ceasefire, Andrei Kelin told the BBC: "And what we have from London, it is not the desire to finalise it or to negotiate it.

"We hear every day new appeals to send more weapons to Ukraine, to fight until the last Ukrainian soldier, to continue the conflict. And no negotiation until Russia will be beaten."

The diplomat said Russian troops were involved in a "limited operation" and not a war in eastern Ukraine.

11:12 PM

Russia's ambassador says Truss's stance 'no good for Ukraine'

Andrei Kelin being interviewed by Clive Myrie, for the BBC1 current affairs programme Sunday Morning - Jeff Overs/BBC
Andrei Kelin being interviewed by Clive Myrie, for the BBC1 current affairs programme Sunday Morning - Jeff Overs/BBC  

Russia's ambassador to the UK has accused Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, of being very belligerent and wanting to prolong the conflict in Ukraine.

Andrei Kelin said Ms Truss wanted to "instigate the conflict" by pushing for the West to continue supplying Kyiv, a position he argued would be "no good for Ukraine".

Kelin said her stance showed that London was not interested in bringing about an end to the conflict.

A civilian inspects a projectile that struck a street during Russian attacks in Bakhmut, Ukraine - Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency
A civilian inspects a projectile that struck a street during Russian attacks in Bakhmut, Ukraine - Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency  

11:00 PM

Today's top stories

  • Russian soldiers have dumped the bodies of dozens of Ukrainian civilians in a supermarket in Mariupol and left them to rot

  • Watch: A lone Ukrainian soldier has been filmed making a last stand against a squad of Russian soldiers clearing out a trench system in the Donbas

  • Germany has failed to provide any heavy weapons to Ukrainian forces in recent weeks and appears to be scaling back its military support in a break from Western policy, leaked documents have revealed

  • Comment: A victory in Donbas - if he manages to secure it - is not the endgame for Vladimir Putin. He means to bend the entirety of Ukraine to his will and humiliate Nato and the US

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