The Ukraine war comes to Belgorod, Russia……
China is working on trying to get the fight to stop between Russia and the Ukraine….
Russia does its daily attack, this time outside Dnipro and Kyiv….The ones at the capital where all shoot down
The Ukraine checks to make sure shelters are accessible ….
Zelensky says his country Spring military offense is about to jump off…..
His Western trained and equipped troops will led things….
Turkey’s leader (and Hungary) ain’t budging on NO Sweden NATO membership…..
Russia cracks down on support for the Ukraine protest’s….
German offical points out that a Russian victory over the Ukraine wcould have implications for other places (Taiwan…Hint…Hint….)
Over the last five days of May, Ruslan, an English teacher in a Russian town near the Ukrainian border, heard the distinct sound of a multiple rocket launcher strike for the first time. Shelling would begin around 3 a.m., sometimes shaking his house, and continue through the morning.
He had heard the thud of explosions in distant villages in the past, he said, and in October shelling damaged a nearby shopping mall. But nothing like this.
“Everything changed,” he said.
Fifteen months after Russian missiles first roared toward Kyiv, residents of the Russian border region of Belgorod are starting to understand the horror of having war on their doorstep.
Shebekino, a town of 40,000 six miles from the border, has effectively become a new part of the front line as Ukraine has intensified attacks inside Russia, including on residential areas near its own borders. The spate of assaults, most recently by militia groups aligned against Moscow, has sparked the largest military evacuation effort in Russia in decades….
Elsewhere in Russia, dozens of people have been detained during protests held in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who turned 47 years old Sunday, according to independent Russian media.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects around the globe.
- NASA images show numerous “fire” activities along the Russia-Ukraine border, where the Russian Defense Ministry reported an artillery strike Sunday. The images show fires near Novaya Tavolzhanka and Shebekino, both in the Belgorod region. Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Telegramthat it was attacking Ukrainian forces that were trying to cross a river near Novaya Tavolzhanka in Belgorod.
- A Russian opposition militia said the Belgorod governor skipped a meeting he’d offered Sunday. Vyacheslav Gladkov said earlier in the day that he would meet with the militants who had taken prisoners from his region, but according to the Russian Volunteer Corps, the governor did not show up. The Washington Post could not verify the group’s assertions. The Russian Volunteer Corps and the Freedom of Russia Legion have said they were in the area to disrupt Russia’s military operations and support Ukraine.
- About 100 people were detained in 20 Russian cities during demonstrations supporting Navalny, according to the independent OVD-Info news outlet. He was jailed in 2021 on charges widely viewed as trumped up because of his opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In a message thanking supporters before the detentions, Navalny said he was in high spirits. “I do not see my situation as a heavy burden or a yoke, but simply a job that must be done,” he said.
- Beijing is doing its best to mediate between Russia and Ukraine and is primarily focused on “promoting talks for peace,” China’s defense minister said. Speaking Sunday at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual defense gathering in Singapore, Gen. Li Shangfu said: “China has taken an objective and impartial stance based on the merits of the issue.” His comments come in the face of Western concerns that Beijing is aligning itself too closely with Moscow.
- A Russian attack on a residential area outside Dnipro, in central-eastern Ukraine, killed a toddler and injured at least 20 people, the regional governor said. Five children were among the injured, Serhii Lysak said on Telegram, and the girl who died had just celebrated her second birthday. Seventeen children have been killed in the region since Russia’s invasion last year, Lysak said.
- Officials are conducting an audit on air-raid shelters in Kyiv after residents struggled to enter some sites during attacks on the capital last week. Half of the 1,078 shelters checked so far were unusable or closed, officials said Sunday. Across the country, officials found hundreds of shelters in the same condition, the Ukrainian National Police said, citing Internal Affairs Minister Ihor Klymenko. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused local officials of negligence after families said they were unable to enter their nearest basement to shelter from an attack.
- Ukrainian air defenses repelled missiles aimed at Kyiv overnight, the head of the capital’s military administration said on Telegram. “According to preliminary information, not a single air target reached the capital,” Gen. Serhiy Popko said early Sunday.
- Ukraine is ready to launch its highly anticipated counteroffensive, Zelensky said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “I don’t know how long it will take,” he said of Ukraine’s heavily touted plan to recapture Russian-occupied territory. “But we are going to do it, and we are ready.” He said that while Russia’s superior air power may lead to a large number of casualties, Ukraine’s ground troops were “stronger and more motivated” than their Russian opponents.
- Ukraine’s counteroffensive “is not an exam,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday. “We’re not grading Ukraine’s counteroffensive and saying, you know, you did well based on what we gave you or you did poorly,” Sullivan said. “What we want to do is support Ukraine to make as much progress as possible on the battlefield, so that it is in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table.”
- Although “Sweden has fulfilled its obligations” for NATO membership, Turkey is impeding the European nation from joining the bloc, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday. Stoltenberg made the comment after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, a discussion that did not make a breakthrough on Sweden entering the defense alliance. Sweden has been trying to join NATO since the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The United States and Stoltenberg have urged Turkey and Hungary to withdraw their objections to Sweden joining the bloc. “Membership will make Sweden safer, but also NATO and Turkey stronger,” Stoltenberg said.
- NATO’s intentions are inherently defensive — not aggressive, as Russia alleges — Estonia’s leader said at the Shangri-La Dialogue. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, one of the transatlantic alliance’s most vocal supporters of Ukraine, compared NATO to a home-security system and said it was only a threat if a neighbor is thinking about breaking in.
- Tolerance is waning among Russian security officials for any perceived signs of internal dissent, including the display of blue and yellow, the colors that make up Ukraine’s flag, Britain’s Defense Ministry said Sunday. The ministry cited two cases in the past month of Russian civilians being arrested simply for wearing clothing in those colors, which it said shows Russian officials’ paranoia and uncertainty of what is and isn’t allowed “within an increasingly totalitarian system.”
- Germany’s defense minister said a Russian victory would encourage other powers to use force, including in the Asia-Pacific region. “If Russia wins, the message to revisionist powers around the world will be that aggression and the unprovoked use of military force are acceptable,” Boris Pistorius said at the Shangri-La Dialogue. Pistorius and Kallas are among the many European leaders in Singapore this weekend to rally support for Kyiv among Asian countries.
- Indonesia’s defense minister, Prabowo Subianto, was criticized for suggesting a peace plan that would include referendums in occupied Ukrainian territory. Russian officials and Kremlin proxy leaders organized staged referendums in four partially occupied regions last year before illegally claiming to annex them. Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine’s defense minister, said the proposal “sounds like a Russian plan,” the Financial Times reported.
NATO-trained units will serve as tip of spear in Ukraine’s counteroffensive: A special brigade of Ukrainian soldiers — trained at a NATO base in Germany — is awaiting orders to carry out the country’s counteroffensive…..