Ukraine-Russia war LIVE – Coup to oust Vladimir Putin ‘already under way’ as Zelensky says he’s ‘ready to talk’

UKRAINIAN President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that he’s ready to talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He said “we must find an agreement,’’ – but with no ultimatum as a condition.

Zelensky told Italian RAI state TV in an interview: “We want the Russian army to leave our land, we aren’t on Russian soil“.

“We won’t save Putin’s face by paying with our territory. That would be unjust.”

In another comment, Zelensky said of the future: “We have to think of the future of Russia. I, as president of Ukraine, say these are our neighbours. There will be other presidents, other presidents and other generations” of Russia.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s spy chief last night claimed that a coup to remove Vladimir Putin is already under way and that Russia would lose the war by the end of this year.

Major General Kyrylo Budanov, 36, said he believed a turning point in the conflict will come later this summer and will eventually see Putin ousted from office.

“The breaking point will be in the second part of August,” General Budanov told Sky News. 

“Most of the active combat will have finished by the end of this year. It will eventually lead to the change of leadership of the Russian Federation. This process has already been launched.

“As a result, we will renew Ukrainian power in all our territories.”

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

  • Putin sparks claims his head is ‘PHOTOSHOPPED’ 

    VLADIMIR Putin’s bizarre latest appearance has sparked rumours that footage of the Russian president has been edited while he undergoes treatment for cancer.

    Putin‘s head appeared “bloated” according to some commenters during Friday’s virtual meeting of Russia‘s security council.

    Some even claimed his head had been artificially attached to his body in manipulated footage.

    The video has sparked further speculation about his condition, and whether the Kremlin is keeping the Russian people in the dark about 69-year-old mad Vlad.

    One comment under the clip read: “His face and head look so bloated, especially his cheeks and around the back of his head.

    “He looks photoshopped onto his body. It’s clearly him, but what a strange look.”

    Another wrote: “Either his clothing is too tight around the neck, or he sits in an unfortunate position.”

    It comes amid widespread rumours about Putin’s health, with some claiming he is due to have cancer surgery any day now.

  • Moscow will respond if NATO moves nuclear forces closer to Russia’s border

    Moscow will take adequate precautionary measures if NATO deploys nuclear forces and infrastructure closer to Russia’s border, RIA news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko as saying today.

    Moscow has no hostile intentions towards Finland and Sweden and does not see “real” reasons for those two countries to be joining the NATO alliance, Grushko added.

  • More than 700,000 Ukrainian refugees recorded in Germany

    More than 700,000 people fleeing the war in Ukraine have been recorded in Germany thus far, Welt am Sonntag newspaper has reported, citing Interior Ministry data.

    Around 40% of Ukrainian refugees were minors and women make 81% of the adult refugees registered, Welt added.

    The Russian invasion has triggered a massive displacement of people, including more than 8 million Ukrainians within the country, according to the latest International Organization for Migration (IOM) report.

  • Two Russa Today journalists injured in rocket attack

    Two journalists for Kremlin-backed television channel RT were injured Friday during a rocket attack in eastern Ukraine the channel blamed on Ukrainian forces.

    A TV crew of RT’s correspondent Valentin Gorshenin came under Ukrainian troops’ rocket fire near the town of Dokuchaevsk in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, the channel said in a statement on messaging app Telegram.

    “Cameramen Vladimir Batalin and Viktor Miroshnikov received shrapnel wounds to their legs and back,” the statement said. “They are being taken to the hospital now.”

    The correspondent himself was not injured.

    There was no immediate comment from Ukrainian authorities.

  • What happened last night?

    Here’s a recap of all the main events that happened last night:

    • Breakthrough talks have taken place between Russia’s defence minister and the US defence secretary
    • More than 700,000 Ukrainian refugees have registered in Germany, according to Welt am Sonntag newspaper
    • The Ukrainian military has claimed to have destroyed at least 73 Russian tanks
      • Alongside this, other equipment was also destroyed during a battle over a river in the Donbas region
    • Russian state media reported the country’s senior lawmaker had visited Kherson in Ukraine to discuss social and healthcare needs
  • UK: Russia to include Ukraine’s Kherson in its territory

    The military-civilian administration imposed by Russia in Kherson is set to include the southern city Kherson into its fold, the British defence ministry claimed today.

    “The Russian-imposed military-civilian administration in Kherson announced they will ask Russia to include Kherson Region in the Russian Federation. A central part of Russia’s original invasion plan was highly likely to use rigged referendums to place the majority of Ukraine’s regions under long-term pro-Russian authority,” the ministry said in its latest intelligence update.

    It added: “The fact that Russia has only succeeded in imposing a pro-Russian local leadership in Kherson highlights the failure of Russia’s invasion to make progress towards its political objectives in Ukraine.”

  • Russia to suspend electricity supplies to Finland this weekend

    Russia will suspend electricity supplies to Finland this weekend, a supplier said on Friday as tensions rise over Helsinki’s NATO bid amid Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine.

    “We are forced to suspend the electricity import starting from May 14,” said RAO Nordic, a subsidiary of Russian state energy holding Inter RAO.

    It added: “RAO Nordic is not able to make payments for the imported electricity from Russia.”

  • Coup to remove Putin already under way

    Ukraine’s spy chief last night claimed that a coup to remove Vladimir Putin is already under way and that Russia would lose the war by the end of this year.

    Major General Kyrylo Budanov, 36, said he believed a turning point in the conflict will come later this summer and will eventually see Putin ousted from office.

    “The breaking point will be in the second part of August,” General Budanov told Sky News. 

    “Most of the active combat will have finished by the end of this year. It will eventually lead to the change of leadership of the Russian Federation. This process has already been launched.

    “As a result, we will renew Ukrainian power in all our territories.”

  • Zelensky ‘ready to talk’ with Putin

    UKRAINIAN President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that he’s ready to talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    He said “we must find an agreement,’’ – but with no ultimatum as a condition.

    Zelensky told Italian RAI state TV in an interview: “We want the Russian army to leave our land, we aren’t on Russian soil“.

    “We won’t save Putin’s face by paying with our territory. That would be unjust.”

    In another comment, Zelensky said of the future: “We have to think of the future of Russia. I, as president of Ukraine, say these are our neighbours. There will be other presidents, other presidents and other generations” of Russia.

  • Good morning, Milica Cosic with you until 2pm today. I’ll be bringing you the latest news and updates on the Russia-Ukriane war.

  • Russia suffers heavy losses in failed river crossing, say officials

    Russia suffered heavy losses when Ukrainian forces destroyed the pontoon bridge enemy troops were using to try to cross a river in the east, Ukrainian and British officials said in another sign of Moscow’s struggle to salvage a war gone awry.

    Ukrainian authorities, meanwhile, opened the first war crimes trial of the conflict. The defendant, a captured Russian soldier, stands accused of shooting to death a 62-year-old civilian in the early days of the war.

    The trial got underway as Russia’s campaign in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland of the Donbas made faltering progress.

    Ukraine’s airborne command released photos and video of what it said was a damaged Russian pontoon bridge over the Siversky Donets River and several destroyed or damaged Russian military vehicles nearby.

    Ukrainian news reports said troops thwarted an attempt by Russian forces to cross the river earlier this week, leaving dozens of tanks and other military vehicles damaged or abandoned.

    The command said its troops drowned the Russian occupiers.

    Britains Defense Ministry said that Russia lost significant armored maneuver elements” of at least one battalion tactical group as well as equipment used to deploy the makeshift floating bridge.

  • Putin’s ex-wife & family members slapped with UK sanctions

    The mistress, ex-wife and family members of Russian president Vladimir Putin have been added to the ever-growing UK sanctions list as Liz Truss looks to target the “shady network propping” up the leader.

    The Foreign Office said Friday’s announcement of further measures would see members of Mr Putin’s close and inner circle hit as the UK Government continues to seek new ways of punishing Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

    Mr Putin’s official assets are modest, according to the Foreign Office, with his lifestyle “funded by a cabal of family, friends and elites”.

    Foreign Secretary Ms Truss said: “We are exposing and targeting the shady network propping up Putin’s luxury lifestyle and tightening the vice on his inner circle.

    “We will keep going with sanctions on all those aiding and abetting Putin’s aggression until Ukraine prevails.”

    One of the most high-profile figures on the list is Alina Kabaeva, a retired Olympic gymnast who is widely reported to be Mr Putin’s mistress.

    A UK official described her as having a “close personal relationship” with the former KGB officer.

    Unconfirmed reports suggest the 2004 Athens gold medallist has been engaged to the Russian leader and has had his children.

  • Russia advises against UK travel because of ‘unfriendly’ visa stance

    Russia said on Friday it was recommending its citizens not to travel to Britain, complaining that authorities there were making it “virtually impossible” for Russians to obtain visas.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry alleged Russian applications were being delayed because Britain was giving higher priority to Ukrainian refugees. It said Russians were also unable to pay on the British website via Mastercard and Visa, which have both suspended their operations in Russia.

    “Taking into account the extremely unfriendly course of the UK towards our country, in order to avoid financial losses and other possible problems, we recommend that Russian citizens refrain, if possible, from travelling to the UK and trying to obtain British visas,” it said.

    “Until the situation normalises, we will act in the same way with respect to the British.”

    The British actions were “a politically motivated infringement of the rights of Russian citizens”, the ministry said.

  • Russia poses the ‘most direct threat’ to ‘world order’

    RUSSIA is the ‘most direct threat to world order’, says EU’s Ursula Von der Leyen.

    The European Commission President met with meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, along with European Council President Charles Michel today.

    Von der leyen said that Russia “is today the most direct threat to the world order with the barbaric war against Ukraine, and its worrying pact with China”.

    Kishida, whose government has joined tough sanctions on Moscow, also said: “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not just a matter for Europe, but it shakes the core of the international order including Asia. This must not be tolerated”.

  • Swedish review: NATO membership would deter conflict

    Swedish membership in NATO would reduce the risk of conflict in northern Europe, a security policy review by parties in Sweden’s parliament said Friday.

    “Swedish NATO membership would raise the threshold for military conflicts and thus have a deterrent effect in northern Europe,” the report presented at a press conference in Stockholm said.

  • Help those fleeing conflict with The Sun’s Ukraine Fund

    Many of you want to help the five million caught in the chaos — and now you can, by donating to The Sun’s Ukraine Fund.

    Give as little as £3 or as much as you can afford and every penny will be donated to the Red Cross on the ground helping women, children, the old, the infirm and the wounded.

    Donate here to help The Sun’s fund

    Or text to 70141 from UK mobiles

    £3 — text SUN£3
    £5 — text SUN£5
    £10 — text SUN£10

    Texts cost your chosen donation amount (e.g. £5) +1 standard message (we receive 100%). For full T&Cs visit redcross.org.uk/mobile

    For more information visit https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/disaster-fund

  • Putin ‘very ill with blood cancer’ claims oligarch

    VLADIMIR Putin is “very ill with blood cancer,” a top oligarch has allegedly claimed, in the latest rumours about the Russian president’s health.

    The Russian business leader that features in the audio recording, who is close to the Kremlin, also accuses Putin of “ruining” Russia’s economy through his doomed war in Ukraine.

    In the recording, obtained by New Lines Magazine and reportedly made in mid-March, the oligarch describes Putin as “very ill with blood cancer,” although it isn’t clear exactly what type of cancer he has.

    He goes on: “He [Putin] absolutely ruined Russia’s economy, Ukraine’s economy, and many other economies – ruined absolutely.

    “The problem is with his head… One crazy guy can turn the world upside down.”

    A Western venture capitalist who works with the oligarch secretly recorded the conversation and shared it on the condition that he remain anonymous.

    He said he went behind his Russian colleague’s back because of his disgust at Putin’s war in Ukraine.

  • Azov commander says troops ‘will resist as long as they can’ amid battle for Mariupol

    The deputy commander of the Azov Regiment, the last Ukrainian army unit holding out in the ruined port of Mariupol, said on Friday that his troops will resist Moscow’s forces as long as they can, despite shortages of ammunition, food, water and medicine.

    Speaking during an online session of the Kyiv Security Forum, Sviatoslav Palamar said Russian forces continued to storm the Azovstal steelworks, the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol, where his forces are hunkered down.

    We continue to resist and follow the order of our senior political leaders to hold the defense. We are holding the defense and continue fighting despite everything, he said.

    Speaking to a panel including U.S. generals Philip M. Breedlove and Wesley K. Clark, Palamar appealed to the U.S. to help evacuate around 600 wounded soldiers from the Azovstal plant, and help extract the rest of the Ukrainian force.

    Members of the Azov Regiment holed up at the plant have repeatedly refused to surrender to Moscow, citing fears of being killed or tortured.

  • Russian shelling in Donetsk kills one and injures 12

    One civilian was killed and twelve more people were injured in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region as a result of Russian shelling, the regional governor said Friday.

    The Donetsk region, one of two that make up the Donbas, has seen some of the war’s fiercest fighting in recent weeks, as Moscow mounts an offensive to capture Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland.

  • Putin insists Russia fighting ‘Nazi ideology’ in Ukraine

    President Vladimir Putin has today insisted that Russia was fighting “Nazi ideology” in Ukraine in a phone call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz .

    The Russian president sent troops to the pro-Western country on February 24, saying Ukraine needed to be “demilitarised” and “de-Nazified.”

    “Attention has been drawn to the continued violations of international humanitarian law by militants advocating Nazi ideology and using terrorist methods,” the Kremlin said in a readout after the call.

    Putin reiterated that Moscow’s military operation was aimed at protecting the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine.

    Putin also accused Kyiv of “blocking” peace talks.

    Scholz has come under fire for arms deliveries to Ukraine deemed insufficient and Germany’s reliance on Russian energy imports.

    Germany’s economy is now racing to wean itself off Russian energy and has already almost completely phased out Russian coal.

  • Ukraine will fight for Snake Island

    Ukraine will fight for the remote Zmiinyi Island (Snake Island) in the Black Sea “for as long as is needed”, the head of Ukrainian military intelligence said today.

    “Whoever controls the island can at any time block the movement of civilian ships in all directions to the south of Ukraine,” Kyrylo Budanov said in televised comments.

  • Russia advises against UK travel because of ‘unfriendly’ visa stance

    Russia said on Friday it was recommending its citizens not to travel to Britain, complaining that authorities there were making it “virtually impossible” for Russians to obtain visas.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry alleged Russian applications were being delayed because Britain was giving higher priority to Ukrainian refugees. It said Russians were also unable to pay on the British website via Mastercard and Visa, which have both suspended their operations in Russia.

    “Taking into account the extremely unfriendly course of the UK towards our country, in order to avoid financial losses and other possible problems, we recommend that Russian citizens refrain, if possible, from travelling to the UK and trying to obtain British visas,” it said.

    “Until the situation normalises, we will act in the same way with respect to the British.”

    The British actions were “a politically motivated infringement of the rights of Russian citizens”, the ministry said.

  • WARNING – Horrifying moment Russian soldiers shoot Ukrainian civilians in the BACK

    THIS is the barbaric moment Putin’s butchers slaughtered two Ukrainian civilians in cold blood as they walk away thinking they had been freed.

    Chilling CCTV footage from a car dealership outside Kyiv show how the evil soldiers shot the owner and a guard in the back following a short conversation.

    The killings – which have been branded “a possible war crime” – took place on March 16 when Russia made an initial attempt to take the city.

    The heart-breaking footage shared with CNN shows how the meeting between the invaders and the civilians at the dealership on the main road into Kyiv appears calm.

    One of the victims even puts a cigarette in his mouth in the moments after the chat, suggesting there was nothing untoward.

  • Former Ukrainian ambassador says: ‘Russia wants to see us all dead’

    The former Ukrainian ambassador the EU has spoken about the difficulty of finding a compromise with Russia.

    He said: “Sooner or later all wars must be ended with a diplomatic solution,” but the “tragedy of the situation” is that Russia “wants to see us all dead and we want to survive”.

  • Two Russa Today journalists injured in rocket attack

    Two journalists for Kremlin-backed television channel RT were injured Friday during a rocket attack in eastern Ukraine the channel blamed on Ukrainian forces.

    A TV crew of RT’s correspondent Valentin Gorshenin came under Ukrainian troops’ rocket fire near the town of Dokuchaevsk in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, the channel said in a statement on messaging app Telegram.

    “Cameramen Vladimir Batalin and Viktor Miroshnikov received shrapnel wounds to their legs and back,” the statement said. “They are being taken to the hospital now.”

    The correspondent himself was not injured.

    There was no immediate comment from Ukrainian authorities.

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