Prigozhin: Wagner mercenaries control all of Bakhmut

Day 451 since the beginning of the war: Wagner mercenaries are supposed to control all of Bachmut. There have been explosions at the airport in Mariupol. All information in the news blog.


Ukraine denies Wagner's conquest of Bachmut

3:41 p.m .: Ukraine contradicts statements by the Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin about a complete capture of the city of Bakhmut by Russian forces Ukrainian soldiers continued to fight in Bakhmut, the senior staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces responsible for eastern Ukraine said.

Prigozhin: Wagner controls all of Bakhmut

3:08 p.m .: The Russian mercenary group Wagner says it has taken full control of the embattled Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin shares this in a video on his Telegram channel. His statements cannot be independently verified.

In addition, the head of the Wagner mercenaries announced that Bakhmut would be handed over to the Russian military . The Wagner forces withdrew from May 25 from the city.


Modi assures Zelenskyy: Do everything to end the war

2:13 p.m .: At his first meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy since the Russian invasion began, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his help to end the war. "India and I will do everything we can to end the war," Modi said at the meeting on the sidelines of the Great Industrialized Nations (G7) summit in Hiroshima, Japan, according to the Indian news agency ANI.

Zelenskyy thanked him for Indian support for his country's territorial integrity and sovereignty. As the Ukrainian President further announced on Telegram, he also described to Modi his country's need for demining and mobile hospitals. Zelenskyy invited the Indian Prime Minister to take part in the implementation of the Ukrainian peace plan.

India has good relations with Russia , from which it purchases armaments and energy.

Russia can apparently reproduce numerous missiles

1:47 p.m .: Russia apparently keeps producing missiles despite Western sanctions. The wreckage of the missiles deployed by Russia suggests that they "just came off the assembly line," Deputy Chief of Ukraine's Military Intelligence Service Vadym Skibitsky told Ukrainian broadcaster RBC.

According to him, Russia is capable of producing 67 missiles per month - 35 Kh-101 cruise missiles, 25 Kalibr missiles, five 9M723 ballistic missiles for the Iskander-M system and two Kinzhal missiles. Despite international sanctions, Russia is succeeding in importing components for the production of missiles.

Rocket from the Russian Iskander system (archive image): Russia is said to be able to reproduce rockets.

Rocket from the Russian Iskander system (archive image): Russia is said to be able to reproduce rockets. (Source: Russian Defense Ministry/imago images)

Russia apparently reinforces troops at Bakhmut

9.42 a.m .: In the battle for the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, according to British intelligence, Russia has strengthened its troops in the area. "In the past four days, Russia has very likely deployed several battalions to reinforce the Bakhmut Front," the Defense Ministry said. This was a reaction to tactical gains by the Ukrainian defenders on the flanks of the embattled city and to public threats by the Wagner group of mercenaries to stop fighting there, it said.

Presumably only a few Russian units are available in Ukraine. Therefore, the transfer to the Bakhmut area represents a remarkable commitment by the Russian command, the British ministry emphasized. "The Russian leadership is likely to continue to regard the capture of Bakhmut as the most important immediate war objective that would allow them to achieve some degree of success in the conflict."


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Russian soldier at the front near Bakhmut: "The Russian leadership probably regards the capture of Bakhmut as the most important immediate war objective." (Source: Russian Defense Ministry/imago images)

G7 countries urge China: "Put pressure on Russia"

9:04 a.m .: The G7 states reaffirm their demands on China : the country should put pressure on Russia. The heads of state and government also reject attempts to change Taiwan's status. Here you can read more about it.

Zelenskyy arrived at G7 summit


8.51 a.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has arrived in Japan for the G7 summit. Zelenskyi landed at Hiroshima Airport on Saturday , according to pictures provided by state broadcaster NHK.

A French government plane flew him from Saudi Arabia to Japan. Zelenskyi attended the Arab League summit there to campaign for his country's support against Russia's war of aggression. He wants to take part in the deliberations of the G7 countries on Sunday.

G7 summit: Talks on fighter jet alliance

7.01 a.m .: On the second day of their meeting, the G7 heads of state and government will discuss, among other things, further military and financial aid for Ukraine. US President Joe Biden yesterday in principle cleared the way for the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine – as part of a coalition of several allies. First, pilots should be trained. According to US information, it will then be decided when and how many aircraft will be delivered by whom.

European allies like the Netherlands and Great Britain are pushing the fighter jet alliance. Belgium, Denmark , Portugal and France are also supporting the project.

Zelenskyj welcomed US support as a "historic decision". "This will significantly strengthen our army in the sky," Zelenskyy tweeted. "I look forward to discussing the practical implementation of this decision during the G7 summit in Hiroshima."


Biden wants to meet with Zelenskyj at the G7 summit

4.55 a.m .: According to the White House, there will be a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan. "It's a safe bet that President Biden will meet him," US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in Hiroshima on Saturday, without giving details on when the meeting would take place.


Klingbeil against delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine

3.04 a.m .: SPD leader Lars Klingbeil continues to reject Germany’s participation in the delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine. "Everyone has different military skills. The fighter jets are not one of them for us," said Klingbeil of the Düsseldorf "Rheinische Post" (Saturday edition). The statement by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) "applies here," he emphasized.

Germany is concentrating "on training, tanks and missile defense," added the SPD politician. In addition, Germany is the second largest donor to Ukraine after the USA. And the new 2.7 billion package for Ukraine has "another impact in the long term".

Ukraine has been pushing for a delivery of Western fighter jets in the war against Russia for some time. The leadership in Kiev is particularly interested in US F-16 fighter jets, which are used by numerous armed forces around the world.

Report: USA put together new package for military aid

2.30 a.m.: US President Biden will announce new military aid to Ukraine on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, according to a person familiar with the matter. The $375 million in support included ammunition, guns and Himars rocket launchers, according to the insider, who asked to remain anonymous.

How Zelenskyj caresses the world

9:46 p.m .: In his distress, Volodymyr Selenskyj has to split himself in two: At home he is needed to start the counter-offensive. He has to advertise his Ukraine course abroad Read more about the background here.

Surprise visit of the Ukrainian: Volodymyr Zelenskyj in Saudi Arabia.

Surprise visit of the Ukrainian: Volodymyr Zelenskyj in Saudi Arabia. (Source: IMAGO/Saudi Press Agency)

Series of explosions at Mariupol airport

A screenshot of a video uploaded to the Mariupol Exile Administration.  It should show explosions at the airport.

A screenshot of a video uploaded by the Mariupol Administration in Exile. It should show explosions at the airport.

9:37 p.m .: The airport in the port city of Mariupol in southeastern Russia, which is occupied by Russian troops, was shaken by a series of explosions on Friday evening. This was reported by the Russian state agency Tass, citing the local authorities. Video recordings of explosions circulated on social networks, the cause and effects of which were not known for the time being. Neither the Russian nor the Ukrainian military commented on the incident.

Russian troops had captured the port city on the Sea of ​​Azov last year after months of heavy fighting. Large parts of the city were destroyed.


Adviser: Zelenskyy attends the G7 summit

9:10 p.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will attend the summit of the seven leading democratic economic powers (G7) in Hiroshima this weekend. This was confirmed by the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Andriy Yermak, on Ukrainian television on Friday evening. "Yes, I can confirm that," Yermak replied to a corresponding question.

Japan has also officially confirmed the participation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj at the G7 summit in Hiroshima. The government announced on Saturday that he would take part in the consultations of the leading democratic economic powers on site on Sunday.

Selenskyj wants to meet US President Joe Biden in Hiroshima, among others. First and foremost, the Ukrainian President wanted to talk to the US colleague about the participation of the United States in the so-called fighter jet coalition, which he announced. "Today I can officially speak about the formation of the aviation coalition, and that means that very soon Ukraine will have everything to protect its skies, cities and citizens," Yermak said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy: "Unfortunately, some in the world and here in your circle are turning a blind eye."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy: "Unfortunately, some in the world and here in your circle are turning a blind eye." (Source: Kay Nietfeld/dpa)

Ukraine reports land gains near Bakhmut

7:53 p.m .: According to their own account, the Ukrainian troops have won terrain in counterattacks around the city of Bakhmut in the east of the country. "The enemy is continuing its assault attacks inside the city," spokesman for the Ukrainian Army Group East, Serhiy Cherevatyy, said on state television on Friday. The Ukrainian units, on the other hand, put pressure on the Russian troops outside the city and continued to advance there.

"The situation in Bakhmut is difficult, but under control," said Cherevaty. "We can see the enemy's intentions, anticipate them, anticipate them." Gradually, the Russian troops lost the initiative.

According to Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maljar, the Russian military moved several thousand soldiers to Bakhmut as reinforcements. "The enemy can't win with quality so they try with quantity," she wrote on Facebook . "Russian troops continue to attack at heavy casualties, disproportionately exceeding our losses." The information provided by both sides could not be checked independently.

Russian forces have been attempting to capture Bakhmut for months. So far they control larger parts of the almost completely destroyed city - but Ukrainian units have pushed north and east of the city in recent days to encircle the Russians.

Moscow imposes an entry ban on 500 US citizens – including Barack Obama

7:15 p.m .: In response to a new US sanctions package against Russia, Moscow has imposed an entry ban on 500 US citizens. This is the response to the "regular anti-Russian sanctions" of the government of US President Joe Biden, whose intention is to inflict maximum damage on Russia, the State Department in Moscow said on Friday. Former US President Barack Obama is also included in the list at position 268 , alongside other current and former politicians. The list also includes "heads of companies of the military-industrial complex that supply arms to the regime in Kiev".


Just ahead of the start of the G7 summit in Japan, the US announced a new package of sanctions against Russia over the war of aggression against Ukraine. Among other things, the plan is to cut off about 70 companies and organizations from Russia and other countries from US exports, said a senior US government official. In addition, more than 300 individuals, companies and organizations, ships and planes are to be subject to other punitive measures.

Biden agrees to fighter jet training for Ukrainian soldiers

5:14 p.m .: Now everything seems to be going very quickly: the US reportedly wants to train Ukrainian soldiers on F-16 jets. Read more here.

Zelenskyy at Arab League: "Some here turn a blind eye"

4:24 p.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has accused some leaders in the Arab world of a lack of support for his country against the Russian invaders. “Unfortunately, some in the world and here in your circle are turning a blind eye,” said Zelenskyj on Friday in Saudi Arabia at the Arab League Summit. That applies to Ukrainians in Russian prisons and "illegal annexations". Some participants at the Arab summit "have a different view of the war in our country and call it a conflict," said Zelenskyy.

Zelenskyj spoke as the guest of honor at the annual summit of the league and its 22 members and made a surprise trip to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia on Friday. The Arab world must help protect the Ukrainian people, including the Muslim community living there, Zelenskyy said. "I'm here so that everyone can have an honest look - no matter how much the Russians try to influence." The Ukrainians would never have chosen this war. "We are pushing the occupiers out of our areas," said Zelenskyj.

According to diplomatic circles, Saudi King Salman had invited Zelenskyj as a guest of honor to the League's annual summit. The Gulf States mostly maintain good relations with Russia and strive for neutrality in the Ukraine war.


Russia classifies Greenpeace as an "undesirable" organization

4:18 p.m.: Russia has declared Greenpeace an "undesirable" organization, which means a de facto ban on the environmental group's activities. Greenpeace is a "threat to the foundations of the constitutional order and security," the office of the Russian Attorney General said in a statement in Moscow on Friday. The organization based in the Netherlands is also striving for an "unconstitutional overthrow". Accordingly, the activities of the international non-governmental organization were classified as "undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation".

According to the statement, Greenpeace has also been accused of inciting interference in Russia's internal affairs, undermining the country's economic foundations and funding Russian organizations it has labeled "foreign agents". In addition, Greenpeace regularly campaigns against the implementation of "profitable infrastructure and energy projects" for Russia.

In addition, the Attorney General's Office accused the environmental organization of "anti-Russian propaganda". Greenpeace has also called for tightening sanctions against Russia since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine.

Scholz welcomes the G7's "broad consensus" on the Ukraine war

3:59 p.m .: Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) welcomed the decisions of the G7 summit to support Ukraine. A "broad consensus" was found to support Ukraine in humanitarian and financial terms, but also with arms deliveries, "as long as this is necessary," said Scholz after the first day of consultations in Hiroshima, Japan. The message to Russia is that "a fair peace is only possible if Russia understands that it must end this war and withdraw troops."

The G7 countries had previously agreed to expand their sanctions against Moscow. The aim is to "deprive Russia of the G7 technologies, industrial equipment and services that support its war machine". The circumvention of existing sanctions was also targeted in particular. The G7 also announced their intention to restrict trade in Russian rough diamonds. In addition, the intention to reduce dependence on products and raw materials from Russia for the production of nuclear energy is declared.

With a view to the consultations on China, Scholz confirmed that it was not about a so-called decoupling from the People's Republic, "that is, excluding China from world trade". No one in the G7 round is striving for this. But it is a matter of seeing that China is acting within the framework of the international order. Scholz pointed out that the G7 countries had discussed the situation in the Indo-Pacific "in great detail" and will continue to keep a close eye on it.

The G7 heads of state and government meet in Hiroshima.

The G7 heads of state and government meet in Hiroshima. (Source: KYODO)

Tikhanovskaya: Five Belarusian militants killed in eastern Ukraine

3:22 p.m .: According to the Belarusian opposition, five voluntary Belarusian fighters died in battle against Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. "It breaks my heart that five members of the Belarusian volunteer regiment Kastus Kalinowski are dead after fighting near Bakhmut," Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya announced on Twitter on Friday. A commander was killed trying to get injured to safety.

According to Tikhanovskaya, four bodies have not yet been recovered from the rubble of the building, which was attacked by Russian artillery. "Fighting continues," she wrote. The opposition paid tribute to the "true heroes" who sacrificed themselves for the freedom of Ukraine and Belarus. The information could not be independently verified.

The Kastus-Kalinovsky regiment, named after a 19th-century Polish-Belarusian poet and revolutionary, was formed at the start of the Russian offensive against Ukraine in late February 2022. It includes opponents of the authoritarian Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko, who is one of the closest allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Lukashenko, who made Belarus available to Russian troops as a staging area and who had anti-government protests suppressed in 2020, regularly accuses the Kastus Kalinovsky regiment of planning an armed uprising against him in Belarus.

Mann allegedly fled from the Wagner group – now he wants to go back

2:47 p.m .: The story of the alleged Wagner deserter Andrei Medvedev went around the world. Now he wants to go back to Russia - experts have a suspicion. Read more about it here.

Does this German company supply war parts to Russia?

2.43 p.m .: Research by “Spiegel” puts a Stuttgart company under pressure: it is said to have indirectly sent components essential to the war to the aggressor Russia. Read more here.