Russia-Ukraine crisis updates | UN chief to meet with Putin, Zelenskyy to press for peace


Russia’s chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky confirmed a news report that “several long conversations” took place on Friday with the head of Ukraine’s delegation at the peace talks between the two countries but gave no further details.

Russia said Friday it would fight to take control over all east and south of Ukraine, but Kyiv pledged to save the country, as the UN documented dozens of civilians killed in one town.

New satellite images have revealed possible mass graves in a town outside Mariupol, where Ukrainian officials believe the Russian military has buried around 9,000 Ukrainian civilians killed in the fighting. Another mass grave has been found outside Mariupol, the city council and an adviser to the mayor said Friday.

The Pentagon says U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will convene a meeting next week in Germany of defence officials and military leaders from more than 20 countries to discuss Ukraine’s immediate and long-term defence needs. 

Here are the latest updates


Russia says one died and 27 were left missing in Moskva fire

Russia says one serviceman was killed and 27 others were left missing after the fire on board the warship Moskva, which sank a week ago following what the Ukrainians boasted was a missile attack.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Friday that 396 others were rescued.


UN chief to meet Zelensky in Ukraine

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine next week after a stop in Moscow to confer with President Vladimir Putin about the war, the UN said Friday.

Guterres will see Zelensky and Ukraine’s foreign minister on Thursday, two days after visiting Moscow, the United Nations said in a statement.

The Kremlin confirmed Friday that Putin would meet Guterres on Tuesday. – AFP


Kremlin critic jailed over denouncing Ukraine war

Russian authorities have opened a criminal case against a prominent opposition activist and remanded him in pre-trial detention Friday for allegedly spreading “false information” about the country’s armed forces.

A court in Moscow ordered Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr. held in detention until June 12. Lawyer Vadim Prokhorov told reporters that the false information case against Kara-Murza cited a March 15 speech to the Arizona House of Representatives, in which he denounced the war in Ukraine, as the basis for the latest charges. The activist rejects the accusations. -AP


Canada says it has provided heavy artillery to Ukraine forces

Canada said on Friday it has provided heavy artillery to Ukrainian security forces, following up on a pledge by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this week to send more artillery weaponry to Ukraine in the face of a Russian assault on its East. -Reuters


U.S. will “absolutely” re-open embassy in Ukraine at some point, Ukrainian PM says

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Friday that he “absolutely” expected the United States would eventually re-open its embassy in Ukraine but stopped short of predicting when that would happen.

“It will happen, absolutely, but we will wait,” Mr. Shmyhal told reporters at a conclusion of a visit to Washington when asked whether he had received assurances from the United States that it would re-open its embassy. -Reuters

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