Sun, 22 May 2022

Live: Ukrainian forces advance in Kharkiv region

14 May 2022, 20:37 GMT+10

Russia's hopes of swift gains in northeastern Ukraine appeared to have stalled as Ukrainian troops managed to push Russian troops out of Kharkiv, the region's largest city, according to Ukrainian authorities. Follow FRANCE 24's live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

12:10 pm: G7 foreign ministers vow to continue economic pressure on Russia, 'will never recognise' borders changed by force

Foreign ministers from the G7 group of nations have vowed to reinforce Russia's economic and political isolation, continue supplying weapons and work to ease global food shortages stemming from the war in Ukraine in a joint statement on Saturday.

"We reaffirm our determination to further increase economic and political pressure on Russia, continuing to act in unity," the foreign ministers said in a statement after meeting in northern Germany.

The Group of Seven industrialised nations also said they would never recognise the borders Russia is trying to shift in its war against Ukraine.

"We will never recognise borders Russia has attempted to change by military aggression, and will uphold our engagement in the support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea, and all states," the G7 foreign ministers said in a statement.

11:07am: Russia suspends electricity to Finland: Finnish grid operator

Russia suspended electricity supplies to Finland overnight after its energy firm RAO Nordic threatened to cut off supplies over payment arrears, according to an official for Finland's grid operator.

The supplies "are zero since midnight," Timo Kaukonen told AFP.

RAO Nordic had said it would suspend supplies, citing problems with payments, as Helsinki prepares to announce its application for NATO membership in the wake of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

9:15am: Erdogan's 'opportunistic' opposition to Finland, Sweden NATO bid

Reporting from Ankara, FRANCE 24's Jasper Mortimer says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's expressed opposition to Finland and Sweden joining NATO "appears to be opportunistic".

Erdogan on Friday accused Finland and Sweden of harbouring "terrorist organisations" and said Turkey did not have a "positive opinion" on the Nordic nations' NATO membership bid.

Mortimer explains that the "terrorist organisations" Erdogan referred to appeared to be the Kurdish PKK and DHDKP-C groups, and the Gulenists, a group accused of masterminding a failed 2016 coup attempt. "These groups are present in other European countries as well," explained Mortimer. "Erdogan's picking on Finland and Sweden appears to be opportunistic. I think what's going on here is Erdogan is saying a big "no" in order to gain concessions, to get the governments in Helsinki and Stockholm to promise to crack down on the PKK."

8:05am: Moscow-administered Kherson to ask to be included in Russia: UK

The Russian-imposed military-civilian administration in Ukraine's Kherson region said it will ask Russia to include it in the Russian federation, according to the British defence ministry.

If Russia carries out an accession referendum in Kherson, it will almost certainly manipulate the results to show a clear majority in favour of leaving Ukraine, Britain said in a regular Twitter bulletin.

7:43am: Duma deputy head visits Ukraine's Russian-occupied Kherson: reports

Senior Russian lawmaker Anna Kuznetsova visited the Russian-occupied region of Kherson in Ukraine to discuss social and healthcare needs of the local population, the state RIA news agency reported on Saturday.

The report could not be independently confirmed.

Kherson is the first region set to be annexed after Moscow said in April it had gained full control of the region, which has seen sporadic anti-Russian protests.

Kuznetsova, deputy head of Russia's Duma or lower house of parliament, discussed the supply of foodstuffs as well as medical and other products needed for children, RIA reported.

4:33am: Heavy fighting in Donbas region

Intense fighting is raging in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, according to a local officials.

"There is heavy fighting on the border with the Donetsk region, near Popasna," said Lugansk regional governor Sergei Gaidai in a Facebook post late Friday. There were heavy losses in personnel and equipment on the Russian side, he added.

The British ministry of defence on Friday said Ukrainian forces had "successfully" repelled a Russian attempt to cross the Siverskyi Donets river west of Severodonetsk.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and REUTERS)

Originally published on France24

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