Monday, May 16, 2022

Ukraine Launches Counteroffensive to Disrupt Russian Supply Lines; Russian forces retreat as Ukraine appears to win Battle of Kharkiv; Russians withdraw from around Kharkiv; Russia’s Vladimir Putin ‘very ill’ with blood cancer: secret recording, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

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Ukraine Launches Counteroffensive to Disrupt Russian Supply Lines:
Ukraine began a counteroffensive toward the eastern city of Izyum aimed at disrupting Russian supply lines into the Donbas region, officials said, as Ukrainian forces continued clearing villages north of Kharkiv and Russian President Vladimir Putin warned his Finnish counterpart that joining NATO would risk damaging relations with Moscow.
According to the Kremlin, Mr. Putin told Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö in a phone call Saturday that ending its decadeslong nonaligned defense policy by joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would be a mistake for Helsinki. The Finnish leader initiated the call to explain to Mr. Putin how his invasion of Ukraine had altered the security environment, prompting Finland to seek NATO membership in the coming days.
“The conversation was direct and straightforward and was conducted without aggravations. Avoiding tension was considered important,” Mr. Niinistö said.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, meanwhile, said that Moscow would need to take “adequate precautionary measures” if NATO were to deploy infrastructure for nuclear weapons near Russia’s borders, including in Finland.
On Saturday, Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, said the war in Ukraine is increasingly drawing Washington into conflict with Moscow.
“The situation today, is extremely, extremely dangerous. The U.S. is being drawn deeper and deeper into conflict with the most unpredictable consequences for relations between the two nuclear powers,” Mr. Antonov said on Russian television. --->READ MORE HERE
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Russian forces retreat as Ukraine appears to win Battle of Kharkiv: Ukraine “appears to have won the Battle of Kharkiv,” a US think tank said.
The Russian military has withdrawn from its positions around Ukraine’s second-largest city “in the face of Ukrainian counteroffensives and the limited availability of reinforcements,” said the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Russian units were unable to hold ground against the Ukrainian fighters over the past several days, the ISW said, and were prevented from encircling the city in northeast Ukraine.
As they retreated, however, they continued to bombard the eastern Donetsk province in order to “deplete Ukrainian forces and destroy fortifications,” the Ukrainian military said Saturday.
Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said the country was “entering a new – long-term – phase of the war.”
The comments came two days after a major Ukranian victory at the Siverskiy Donets River, an area about 25 miles east of Kharkiv which Russia previously controlled. The battle ended with Russian tanks and other destroyed equipment littering the area around the river. --->READ MORE HERE
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