Russia-Ukraine live news: Ukraine has won ‘Battle of Kharkiv’

  • Ukraine’s deputy prime minister says negotiations with Russia on getting fighters out of the besieged Azovstal plant in Mariupol are “very difficult”.
  • The White House says it is “working to clarify Turkey’s position” after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed opposition to Finland and Sweden joining NATO.
  • Russia will suspend electricity supplies to Finland as of Saturday, a supplier says, amid tensions over the European nation’s expected NATO bid.
  • Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin has urged an “immediate ceasefire” in Ukraine in the first talks with his Russian counterpart since the war began.
INTERACTIVE_UKRAINE_CONTROL MAP DAY79_May 13_Who controls what in Donbas DAY 79
(Al Jazeera)

Here are all the latest updates:

2 mins ago (05:50 GMT)

Hungary holds up EU plan to ban Russian oil

The European Union’s hopes to quickly impose a ban on Russian oil imports could be dashed after Hungary demanded expensive guarantees for its own fuel supplies, diplomats say.

“I am sure we will have an agreement, we need this agreement, and we will have it,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters Friday in Germany as G7 ministers met.

But he added if EU diplomats could not overcome resistance among certain member states, then foreign ministers meeting Monday in Brussels would need to “provide the political impetus”.

Oil pumping jacks
Oil pumping jacks, also known as “nodding donkeys”, operate in an oilfield near Neftekamsk, in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia, on Thursday [File: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg]

43 mins ago (05:09 GMT)

More than 700,000 Ukrainian war refugees in Germany: Report

Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper says more than 700,000 people fleeing the war in Ukraine have been recorded in Germany so far.

Since the start of the war on February 24 until May 11, 727,205 people have registered in Germany’s Central Register of Foreigners (AZR), 93 percent of them with Ukrainian citizenship, the newspaper said.

About 40 percent of the war refugees were below the age of 18, while women make up 81 percent of all the adult refugees registered, Welt added.

48 mins ago (05:04 GMT)

Mariupol defenders will hold out ‘as long as they can’

The deputy commander of the Azov Regiment has said his soldiers – holed up in the Azovstal steelworks – will hold out “as long as they can” despite shortages of ammunition, food, water and medicine.

Speaking during an online session of the Kyiv Security Forum, Sviatoslav Palamar said Russian forces continued to attack the plant, the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in the southern city.

“We continue to resist and follow the order of our senior political leaders to hold the defence. We are holding the defence and continue fighting despite everything,” he said, according to The Associated Press news agency.

Speaking to a panel that included a number of senior US generals, Palamar appealed for the United States to help evacuate about 600 wounded soldiers from the plant.

2 hours ago (04:08 GMT)

Ukraine appears to have ‘won the Battle of Kharkiv’: IOW

The Institute for the Study of War (IOW) says it appears that Ukraine has “won the Battle of Kharkiv”, with evidence suggesting Russia has “likely decided” to withdraw fully from its positions around the city because of the strength of Ukrainian counterattacks and a lack of reinforcements.

In its latest assessment of the position on the ground, IOW says Russia looks to be “conducting an orderly withdrawal and prioritizing getting Russians back home”.

In other areas, it says:

  • Russian troops tried to advance from Izyum but made little progress
  • Russian military appears focused on encircling Severodonetsk and Lysychansk from the north and south
  • Ukrainian forces trying to regain control of Snake Island

Kharkiv map

2 hours ago (03:56 GMT)

Former Ukraine presidents urge help for Azovstal fighters

Three former presidents of Ukraine have issued a letter calling for international assistance “by all available diplomatic means” for the fighters trapped in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

Leonid Kuchma, Viktor Yushchenko and Petro Poroshenko made the appeal in a signed letter on Friday, according to Euromaidan Press.

2 hours ago (03:31 GMT)

India bans all wheat exports with immediate effect

India has banned all wheat exports with immediate effect.

India is the world’s second-biggest wheat exporter after Ukraine and many had been banking on it to fill the gap caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The government announced its decision late on Friday and said shipments of wheat for letters of credit that had already been issued would be allowed to proceed.

(Al Jazeera)

3 hours ago (03:17 GMT)

Ukraine leads table in Olympics for the deaf

The Ukrainian team is raking in the medals at the Olympics for the deaf, which are currently under way in Brazil according to the AFP news agency.

The so-called Deaflympics opened on May 1 and with two days left to go Ukraine is leading the medal table with a total of 116 medals, more than double the tally of the US which is in second place.

“In this event, we show the world we exist: we are Ukraine, a real powerful, independent and democratic country,” Valeriy Sushkevych, president of the Ukraine Paralympic Committee, told AFP.

“One soldier called us and said: in between battles, we support you on TV. Your fighting spirit in sports is very important for us.”

4 hours ago (01:28 GMT)

US, ASEAN leaders pledge respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty

The US and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have affirmed their “respect for sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity” in relation to Ukraine.

The statement followed a key summit at the White House – the first in 45 years.

Singapore is the only country in the 10-member grouping to have joined US-led sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, although most – with the exceptions of Laos and Vietnam – voted to condemn the invasion at the United Nations General Assembly.

The eight ASEAN leaders stand with US President Joe Biden for a formal photograph with the White House behind them
ASEAN secretary-general and leaders from the member nations pose for a formal photograph with US President Joe Biden outside the White House [Susan Walsh/AP Photo]

7 hours ago (22:42 GMT)

No one can predict length of war, Zelenskyy says

Zelenskyy has said although Ukrainians are doing everything they can to drive out Russian forces, “no one today can predict how long this war will last”.

“This will depend, unfortunately, not only on our people, who are already giving their maximum,” he said in his nightly video address to the nation. “This will depend on our partners, on European countries, on the entire free world.”

He added that he was thankful to all those who are working to strengthen sanctions on Russia and increase military and financial support to Ukraine.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a news conference at a metro station in Kyiv
Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy says Ukrainians are ‘already giving their maximum’ [File: Gleb Garanic/Reuters]

8 hours ago (22:02 GMT)

Russia is provoking ‘large-scale food crisis’: Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Russia is provoking a “large-scale food crisis” by blocking Ukraine’s ports.

“The world has already recognised that Russia’s blockade of our ports and this war are provoking a large-scale food crisis,” Zelenskyy said.

“Russian officials are also openly threatening the world that there will be famine in dozens of countries. And what could be the consequences of such a famine? What political instability and migration flows will this lead to? How much will you have to spend then to overcome the consequences?”

8 hours ago (21:32 GMT)

Ukraine ready to return bodies of Russian soldiers: Official

Ukrainian military authorities have loaded the bodies of Russian soldiers collected after fighting in the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions onto refrigerated rail cars.

Volodymyr Lyamzin, the head of Ukraine’s civil-military cooperation, said his country was acting in accordance with international law and was ready to return the bodies to Russia.

“According to the norms of international humanitarian law, and Ukraine is strictly following them, after the active phase of the conflict is over, sides have to return the bodies of the military of another country,” he said.

“Ukraine is ready to return the bodies to the aggressor.”

9 hours ago (21:06 GMT)

Russian shelling kills civilian in Donetsk: Governor

One civilian was killed and 12 more people were injured in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region as a result of Russian shelling, the regional governor has said.

“On May 13, the Russians killed one more civilian of Donbas — in [the city of] Avdiivka. Twelve more people were injured today as a result of Russian shelling,” Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on Telegram.

The Donetsk region, one of two that make up the Donbas, has seen some of the war’s fiercest fighting in recent weeks.

9 hours ago (20:43 GMT)

Ukraine readying war crimes cases against Russian soldiers: Prosecutor

Ukraine’s prosecutor general has said her office is readying 41 war crimes cases against Russian soldiers.

“We have 41 suspects in cases with which we will be ready to go to court,” Iryna Venediktova said in a live briefing on Ukrainian TV. “All of them concern Article 438 of the [Ukrainian] criminal code on war crimes, but different types of war crimes. There is the bombing of civilian infrastructure, the killing of civilians, rape and looting.”

It was not immediately clear how many of the suspects would be tried in absentia.

Ukraine has held the first war crimes prosecution of a member of the Russian military in Kyiv, as a 21-year-old Russian soldier went on trial for the killing of an unarmed Ukrainian civilian in the early days of the war. Venediktova said that two more of the suspects, who are physically in Ukraine, are likely to face preliminary hearings next week.

Ukrainians stand near grave of victim at cemetery in Bucha
The grave of Ruslan Nechyporenko, a father who was killed in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv [File: Petros Giannakouris/AP Photo]

9 hours ago (20:41 GMT)

Talks with Russia on Azovstal evacuation ‘very difficult’: Ukrainian official

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said negotiations with Russia on getting fighters out of the besieged Azovstal plant in Mariupol were “very difficult”.

Vereshchuk also stressed that Ukraine wanted to rescue them all.

9 hours ago (20:32 GMT)

Russian electricity supplier says it will suspend supplies to Finland

Russia will suspend electricity supplies to Finland this weekend, a supplier has said, as tensions increase over Helsinki’s NATO bid.

“We are forced to suspend the electricity import starting from May 14,” said RAO Nordic, a subsidiary of Russian state energy holding Inter RAO. “RAO Nordic is not able to make payments for the imported electricity from Russia.”

Finland’s electricity network operator said it would be able to make do without Russian electricity.

10 hours ago (20:11 GMT)

Iran sees protests over rising bread prices

Soaring bread prices have triggered protests in Iran, the official IRNA news agency has reported, with an estimated 300 people gathering in the largest demonstration in Dezful in the oil-rich southwestern province of Khuzestan.

IRNA said 15 people were arrested for “trying to create chaos” in the city.

The protests were triggered by a cut in government subsidies for imported wheat that caused price hikes as high as 300 percent for a variety of flour-based staples.

Wheat prices have drastically increased globally since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, adding to the cost of subsidies in Iran.

10 hours ago (20:04 GMT)

US ‘looking to clarify’ Turkish position on NATO enlargement: White House

Washington is “working to clarify Turkey’s position” after President Erdogan expressed opposition to Finland and Sweden joining NATO amid the war in Ukraine, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki has said.

The idea of the two nations becoming members of the US-led alliance had received “broad support from NATO member countries”, Psaki said.

But Erdogan said earlier that NATO member Turkey did not have “positive views” on the European countries’ expected efforts to seek membership, accusing them of being “guesthouses for terrorist organisations”.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Read all the updates from Friday, May 13 here.

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