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Vladimir Putin health LIVE – WW3 will DEFINITELY start if Russia’s invasion isn’t crushed, top Ukrainian official warns

- Why is Russia invading Ukraine?
- Will there be World War 3? 
- Will the UK go to war?
- Help support Ukraine by donating your clothes

UKRAINE must win the conflict against Russia or it could lead to a third world war, a Ukrainian negotiator has warned.

Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak warned that if Moscow does not lose then Russia's "revanchism and chauvinism will only swell".

He told Ukrainian TV that defeat against the invaders would lead to a third world war, something he says Western countries are aware of and will lead them to supply more weapons.

He said: "Itʼs very simple. If Russia does not lose, then Russian chauvinism and revanchism will only swell, they will become larger. And the war — the Third World War, which they [the Europeans] are so afraid of — will definitely happen," Podoliak explained.

"Russia will hate us much more... They will want revenge on us,"

It comes as Boris Johnson today called for advanced long-range weapons to be sent to Ukraine - stressing that Russian president Vladimir Putin's troops are making "palpable progress" in the Donbas region.

He said that it is "vital" to provide Ukraine with long-range rocket launchers as Russian forces slowly "chew through ground" in the east.

The Prime Minister also warned of the dangers in negotiating with the "crocodile" Russian tyrant, but said Mr Putin must accept that his so-called "de-Nazification" of Ukraine has finished so he can "withdraw with dignity and honour".

"I'm afraid that Putin at great cost to himself and Russian military is continuing to chew through ground in Donbas, he's continuing to make gradual, slow but I'm afraid palpable progress," Johnson told Bloomberg.  And therefore it is absolutely vital that we continue to support the Ukrainians militarily."

Read our Ukraine war blog below for the latest rolling news and updates...

  • Joseph Gamp

    Putin ‘ready to discuss prisoner swap with Ukraine’

    President Vladimir Putin is ready to discuss a prisoner swap with Ukraine, according to Austria’s Chancellor.

    Karl Nehammer said the aim of the call was to establish if potential humanitarian solutions could be found in Ukraine.

    He added that the call was important to confront Mr Putin with the realities of war in Ukraine.

    He said Moscow would meet its natural gas delivery commitments and was ready to discuss a prisoner swap with Ukraine.EditDelete

  • Joseph Gamp

    Ukrainian minister pleads for heavy weapons

    Ukraines foreign minister is pleading with Western nations to provide Kyiv with heavy weapons to enable it to push Russian forces back.

    Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday night tweeted a video of himself answering questions submitted on Twitter and said: “We need heavy weapons. The only position where Russia is better than us its the amount of heavy weapons they have. Without artillery, without multiple launch rocket systems we wont be able to push them back.”

    Kuleba said that the situation in the east of the country, where the Russian forces are on the offensive, is as dire as people say.

    He added: “I would even say its even worse than people say. We need weapons. If you really care for Ukraine, weapons, weapons and weapons again, the minister stressed.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Putin ready to help overcome food crisis if West lifts sanctions

    Moscow is ready to make a “significant contribution” to averting a looming food crisis if the West lifts sanctions over Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin told Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Thursday.

    Russia was slapped with unprecedented sanctions after Putin ordered troops into neighbouring Ukraine on February 24.

    The sanctions and military action have disrupted supplies of fertiliser, wheat and other commodities from both Russia and Ukraine. The two countries produce 30 percent of the global wheat supply.

    “Putin emphasises that the Russian Federation is ready to make a significant contribution to overcoming the food crisis through the export of grain and fertiliser, subject to the lifting of politically motivated restrictions by the West,” the Kremlin said in a statement following the call.

    It added that Putin also spoke about the “steps taken to ensure safety of navigation, including the daily opening of humanitarian corridors for the exit of civilian ships from the ports of the Azov and Black Sea, which is impeded by the Ukrainian side”.

    Putin also described as “unfounded” accusations that Russia was to blame for the problems with food supplies on the global market.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Boris warns Russia is 'chewing through ground in Eastern Ukraine' (2/2)

    Mr Johnson said: "I think it's very, very important that we do not get lulled because of the incredible heroism of the Ukrainians in pushing the Russians back from the gates of Kyiv.

    "I'm afraid that Putin at great cost to himself and Russian military is continuing to chew through ground in Donbas, he's continuing to make gradual, slow but I'm afraid palpable progress.

    "And therefore it is absolutely vital that we continue to support the Ukrainians militarily."

    In a phone call to Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban later on Friday, Mr Johnson said he "believed the Ukrainian forces would fight for as long as it took", according to Downing Street.

    Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, during a visit to Prague, said western allies needed to be "ready for the long haul" when it came to supporting Kyiv's resistance, with "no talk of ceasefires".

    Speaking at a press conference alongside her Czech Republic counterpart, foreign affairs minister Jan Lipavsky, Ms Truss said: "Now is not the time to be complacent.

    "There should be no talk of ceasefires or appeasing Putin.

    "We need to make sure that Ukraine wins and that Russia withdraws and that we never see this type of Russian aggression again."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Boris warns Russia is' chewing through ground in Eastern Ukraine' (1/2)

    Boris Johnson has stressed the "vital" need to provide Ukraine with fresh military support including long-range rocket launchers as Russian forces slowly "chew through ground" in the east.

    The Prime Minister warned Vladimir Putin's invading army is making "palpable progress" in the Donbas region after abandoning the attempt to encircle Kyiv.

    Mr Johnson argued, in an interview with Bloomberg, that more offensive weapons including long-range multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRSs) are needed.

    He warned of the dangers in negotiating with the "crocodile" Russian President but said Mr Putin must accept that his so-called "de-Nazification" of Ukraine has finished so he can "withdraw with dignity and honour".

    Mr Putin's invading troops have recently captured "several villages" as they attempt to surround Severodonetsk and Lysychansk in the Donbas region, according to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

    But it said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's defending forces are holding "multiple defended sectors" as Russia deploys 50-year-old Soviet-era T-62 tanks.

    These, the intelligence update said, "will almost certainly be particularly vulnerable" to anti-tank weapons and their use shows Russia's lack of "modern, combat-ready equipment".

  • Joseph Gamp

    Ukraine's Moscow-backed Orthodox Church says cuts ties with Russia

    The Moscow branch of Kyiv's Orthodox Church said Friday it was cutting ties with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, declaring "full independence" in a historic move against Russia's spiritual authorities.

    "We disagree with the position of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow... on the war," the church said in a statement after holding a council focused on Russia's "aggression" where it declared the "full independence and autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church".

    The Moscow branch of Ukraine's Orthodox Church has, until now, formally pledged allegiance to Russia's Patriarch Kirill, who has expressed clear support for President Vladimir Putin's offensive in Ukraine.

    "The Council condemns war as a violation of God's commandment 'You shall not kill!' and expresses condolences to all those who suffered in the war," it said.

    It said its relations with the Moscow leadership had been "complicated or absent" since martial law was declared in Ukraine.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Militant Chechnya leader Kadyrov warns Poland 'could be next'

    The Kremlin-backed leader of Russia's southern province of Chechnya has posted a video in which he warns that Poland could be next after Ukraine.

    Ramzan Kadyrov, who is famous for his bluster, said in the video he posted to his official Telegram page that Ukraine was "a done deal and that if an order is given after Ukraine, we'll show you (Poland) what you're made of in six seconds".

    Poland, which borders Ukraine, has provided its neighbor with weapons and other aid since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. It has also welcomed in millions of Ukrainian refugees.

    Kadyrov later urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to "finally come to his senses and accept the conditions offered by our president (Vladimir Putin)."

    Kadyrov has repeatedly used social media to boast about Chechen fighters alleged performance against Ukrainian troops and to make other unconfirmed statements about the war in Ukraine.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Putin 'ready to discuss prisoner swap with Ukraine'

    President Vladimir Putin is ready to discuss a prisoner swap with Ukraine, according to Austria’s Chancellor.

    Karl Nehammer said the aim of the call was to establish if potential humanitarian solutions could be found in Ukraine.

    He added that the call was important to confront Mr Putin with the realities of war in Ukraine.

    He said Moscow would meet its natural gas delivery commitments and was ready to discuss a prisoner swap with Ukraine.

  • Joseph Gamp

    UN: 2.9M Ukrainian refugees move on from border states

    The United Nations said today that, of the more than 6.6 million Ukrainian refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries, 2.9 million have moved on to other European nations.

    Refugees, the vast majority women and children, have poured across Ukraine’s borders since the Russian invasion on February 24.

    The figure from the UN refugee agency UNHCR gives a picture of how many have stayed in the first country they entered and how many have headed on elsewhere as the displacement crisis triggered by the war spreads across the continent.

    “According to the latest data we have available… 2.9 million refugees have moved beyond countries neighbouring Ukraine,” UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo told a briefing in Geneva.

    A UNHCR graphic showed the largest numbers of Ukrainian refugees in non-neighbouring countries were in Germany, the Czech Republic and Italy.

    A total of 6,659,220 Ukrainians have fled the country since the invasion, the agency’s figures show. Of those, more than 3.5 million have headed west into Poland.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ‘End military action in Black Sea for grain export’

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s economic adviser, Oleh Ustenko, has said that Ukraine has grain reserves to meet domestic and global demand until the end of 2022 provided all military actions in the Black Sea are called off.

    “Russia wanted to use food as a weapon, among other things,” he said.

    “They are playing different cards at the same time – energy, food, plus they are conducting their ‘military operation’ on our land and destroying infrastructure, as well as destroying all our food supplies,” he explained.

    Mr Ustenko added: “I believe that the only way to bring grain to world markets is to stop the war or at least stop all military action in the Black Sea.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Putin accuses Ukraine of 'sabotaging' negotiating process 

    Russia's President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of "sabotaging" the negotiating process between the two countries, the Kremlin said, citing comments he made to Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer in a phone call on Friday.

    Putin also informed Nehammer about actions that Russia was taking to secure safe passage for vessels in the Azov and Black Seas, the Kremlin said in a statement.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Ukraine and Belarus teams to be kept apart until further notice, UEFA announces

    Ukraine and Belarus will be kept apart in national team and club competitions until further notice, UEFA has announced.

    European football's governing body suspended Russia from its tournaments following the invasion of Ukraine, but has allowed Belarus to continue competing despite that country's support of the invasion.

    Belarus had already been ordered to play home matches behind closed doors on neutral territory, and now UEFA has said it will not permit any meetings between teams from Belarus and Ukraine to ensure the safety and security of everyone involved.

    The International Olympic Committee's executive board recommended in February, after the launch of the invasion, that Belarusian athletes and teams should not be allowed to take part in international competitions, along with those from Russia.

    "The UEFA executive committee will remain on standby to convene further meetings to reassess the legal and factual situation as it evolves and adopt further decisions as necessary," the confederation said in a statement issued on Friday.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russian lawmakers in hot water for urging Putin to end Ukraine conflict

    Two Communist lawmakers in Russia's far east on Friday urged President Vladimir Putin to put an end to Moscow's offensive in Ukraine in a rare public show of dissent.

    Despite thousands of people having been killed and wounded during Russia's three-month military campaign in Ukraine, Putin has largely enjoyed the public loyalty of the country's political parties and government officials.

    But a meeting of the legislative assembly of the Primorsky Krai region caused an uproar on Friday when a local lawmaker and member of the Communist faction in the legislature read out a statement urging the Kremlin chief to pull out Russian troops.

    "If our country does not halt the military operation then there will be even more orphans in our country," lawmaker Leonid Vasyukevich read from the statement, according to a video of the meeting.

    "During a military operation, people become disabled. These are young people who could be of great use to our country," he added. "We demand an immediate withdrawal of the Russian troops."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Zelensky to address EU summit as oil sanction plan stalls

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will speak via videolink with EU leaders on Monday as the bloc struggles to agree oil sanctions on Russia in the teeth of opposition from Hungary.

    EU chief Charles Michel said in a letter sent to leaders on Friday that Zelensky would virtually join the beginning of the two-day emergency summit taking place in Brussels.

    The gathering will tackle Ukraine's immediate need for cash, the energy and food crises ensuing from the war, and how to build up a coordinated European defence military industry, Michel's letter said.

    Much of the attention though will be on Brussels' stymied effort to impose an import embargo on Russian oil as part of stepped-up punishment on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

    Announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on May 4 as a plan to be phased in over this year, the oil ban has run aground on resolute refusal by Hungary to accept it.

    The government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban -- a longtime thorn in Brussels' side for his rolling back of democratic norms -- says it needs financial "solutions" from the European Union first, given the country's dependence on piped-in Russian oil.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Battle for Lyman rages on

    Ukrainian troops are fighting to keep control of the northwestern and southeastern parts of the town of Lyman, the country's defence ministry said on Friday, as Russia's offensive in east Ukraine gathers pace.

    Ukrainian troops were "counteracting attempts" by Russia to push its offensive towards the key Ukrainian town of Sloviansk, defence ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said at a briefing.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russia will need to find huge financial resources to fund operation

    Russia will need huge financial resources to fund its military operation in Ukraine, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Friday.

    Siluanov said Russia had earmarked 8 trillion roubles ($123 billion) of stimulus to support the economy in the current circumstances. "(These are) huge amounts of money. We need these resources to support the economy, to support our citizens," Siluanov told a university audience.

    Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, triggering a barrage of Western sanctions.

  • Milica Cosic

    'Fun and Tasty' among possible names for McDonald's Russian successor

    McDonald's in Russia has registered possible brand names for the firm taking over its fast-food restaurants there, including "Fun and Tasty" and "The Same One", patent filings showed today.

    The world's largest burger chain, with nearly 850 restaurants in Russia, is selling up to one of its local licensees in response to Russia's military campaign in Ukraine and the subsequent wave of Western outrage and sanctions.

    The company said today that the trademarks registered with Russia's Rospatent agency, from which it ultimately planned to choose one brand, also included "Just Like That" and "Open Checkout".

    McDonald's, which owns 84% of its restaurants in Russia, is one of the biggest international brands to leave since February.

  • Milica Cosic

    Estimates of Russia’s combat losses

    The Armed Forces Ukraine has today published the indicative estimates of Russia’s combat losses as of May 27.

    According to the forces, an approximation of nearly 30,000 of Vladimir Putin's troops have been lost.

    Alongside that, Russia has faced losses of 206 planes, 170 helicopters and over 1,300 tanks.

  • Milica Cosic

    UN: 2.9M Ukrainian refugees move on from border states

    The United Nations said today that, of the more than 6.6 million Ukrainian refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries, 2.9 million have moved on to other European nations.

    Refugees, the vast majority women and children, have poured across Ukraine's borders since the Russian invasion on February 24.

    The figure from the UN refugee agency UNHCR gives a picture of how many have stayed in the first country they entered and how many have headed on elsewhere as the displacement crisis triggered by the war spreads across the continent.

    "According to the latest data we have available... 2.9 million refugees have moved beyond countries neighbouring Ukraine," UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo told a briefing in Geneva.

    A UNHCR graphic showed the largest numbers of Ukrainian refugees in non-neighbouring countries were in Germany, the Czech Republic and Italy.

    A total of 6,659,220 Ukrainians have fled the country since the invasion, the agency's figures show. Of those, more than 3.5 million have headed west into Poland.

  • Milica Cosic

    Kremlin accuses Ukraine of "contradictory" statements on peace talks

    The Kremlin has today said that it blames Ukraine for the fact that peace talks between the two countries are frozen - saying it was unclear what Kyiv wanted.

    Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in a call with reporters: "The Ukrainian leadership constantly makes contradictory statements. This does not allow us to fully understand what the Ukrainian side wants."

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said earlier that he had tried repeatedly to organise a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the war, but that Russia did not appear to be ready yet for serious peace talks.

    "There are things to discuss with the Russian leader. I'm not telling you that ... our people are eager (for me) to talk to him, but we have to face the realities of what we are living through," Zelenskiy said in an address to an Indonesian think tank.

    "What do we want from this meeting? ... We want our lives back... We want to reclaim the life of a sovereign country within its own territory," he said.

    The last known face-to-face peace negotiations were on March 29.

  • Milica Cosic

    BREAKING: NATO scramble fighter jets to intercept two Russian aircraft near Finnish border

    NATO has scrambled jets to intercept Russian war planes off of a Norway region next to Finland.

    Several F-35 fighters intercepted a Russian aircraft on Thursday after the Norwegian Air Force identified two jets flying near the Finnish border.

    Tensions between Russia and the Nordic countries have increased since Finland and Sweden submitted their applications to join NATO on May 18.

    Norway said it identified a Russian Mikoyan MiG-31 "Foxhound" and a Sukhoi Su-24 "Fencer" jet.

    The Russian warplanes flew to the Norwegian Sea before returning east, the air force said.

    The Sørreisa Control and Reporting Centre, in the north of Norway, reported on the jets.

    Stine Barclay Gaasland, comms manager in the Norwegian Air Force, said two F35s are always on standby, in what's called the Quick Reaction Alert for NATO.

    "In 15 minutes they must be in the air and be ready at all times. It is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year," Gaasland told Norway's TV 2 Nyhetene.

  • Milica Cosic

    Russia looking to boost grain exports as food crisis looms

    Russia said today that it was looking to ramp up its production of grain to export in the coming season, amid a global food crisis exacerbated by Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine.

    The military action and sanctions imposed on Russia over the offensive have disrupted global supplies of grain, wheat and other commodities.

    Russia and Ukraine alone produce 30 percent of the global wheat supply.

    "In the current season (2021-2022) we have already exported over 35 million tonnes of grain, including 28.5 million tonnes of wheat," Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said at a Russian grain forum.

    He also added that before the end of the season on June 30, the export volume will exceed 37 million tonnes.

    "In the coming season (starting July 1, 2022) we estimate our export potential for grain at 50 million tonnes," Patrushev said.

  • Milica Cosic

    Pro-Russia separatists say have captured Ukraine's Lyman

    Moscow-backed separatist forces in Ukraine said Friday they had captured Lyman, a strategic town that sits on a road leading to key eastern cities still under Kyiv's control.

    Together with Russian troops, separatist forces have "liberated and taken full control of 220 settlements, including Krasny Liman," the breakaway region of Donetsk said on its Telegram channel, using an old name for the town.

    There was no immediate confirmation from Russia or Ukraine.

    Located in the north of the eastern Donetsk region, Lyman lies on the road to Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, the capital of the Ukrainian-controlled part of Donetsk.

  • Milica Cosic

    Ukrainian minister pleads for heavy weapons

    Ukraines foreign minister is pleading with Western nations to provide Kyiv with heavy weapons to enable it to push Russian forces back.

    Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday night tweeted a video of himself answering questions submitted on Twitter and said: "We need heavy weapons. The only position where Russia is better than us its the amount of heavy weapons they have. Without artillery, without multiple launch rocket systems we wont be able to push them back."

    Kuleba said that the situation in the east of the country, where the Russian forces are on the offensive, is as dire as people say.

    He added: "I would even say its even worse than people say. We need weapons. If you really care for Ukraine, weapons, weapons and weapons again, the minister stressed."

  • Milica Cosic

    Russia expels five Croatian diplomats in retaliatory move

    Russia's foreign ministry said today that it was expelling five staff members of the Croatian embassy in Moscow in response to Zagreb ordering out some of its staff.

    Croatia in April told 24 Russian embassy staff to leave over Moscow's actions in Ukraine.

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