Connect with us

World

Ukraine seeks evacuation of wounded fighters as war rages on

Published

on

2/2

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian servicemen carry bodies of Russian soldiers killed during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, before putting them in a refrigerated rail car, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 13, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

2/2

By Sergiy Karazy and Pavel Polityuk

KYIV (Reuters) -Very complex talks are underway to evacuate a large number of wounded soldiers from a besieged steelworks in the strategic southeastern port of Mariupol in return for the release of Russian prisoners of war, Ukraine’s president said.

Mariupol, which has seen the heaviest fighting in nearly three months of war, is now in Russian hands but hundreds of Ukrainian defenders are still holding out at the Azovstal steelworks despite weeks of heavy Russian bombardment.

Fierce Ukrainian resistance, which analysts say Russian President Vladimir Putin and his generals failed to anticipate when they launched the invasion on Feb. 24, has slowed and in some places reversed Russian advances elsewhere in Ukraine too.

As well as losing large numbers of men and much military equipment, Russia is also reeling from economic sanctions. The Group of Seven leading Western economies pledged in a statement on Saturday to “further increase economic and political pressure on Russia” and to supply more weapons to Ukraine.

In a late night address, Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addressed the plight of people trapped at the Azovstal site.

“At the moment very complex negotiations are under way on the next phase of the evacuation mission – the removal of the badly wounded, medics,” he said, adding that “influential” international intermediaries were involved in the talks.

Russia, which initially insisted the defenders in the sprawling Soviet-era bunkers beneath the steel works give themselves up, has said little publicly about the talks.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk told local TV on Saturday that efforts were now focused on evacuating about 60 people, comprising the most seriously wounded as well as medical personnel.

The wife of one of the steel works defenders, Natalka Zarytska, appealed to Chinese President Xi Jinping at a briefing in Kyiv on Saturday to “show … great concern for world values and great Eastern wisdom” and help end the siege of Azovstal.

Xi has aligned China with Russia, blaming the West for the war while calling for a diplomatic resolution of the crisis.

Many of those still in the plant are members of the Azov Regiment. Deputy commander Sviatoslav Palamar said his forces would continue to resist as long as they could.

“Our enemy, supported by planes and artillery … continue their assault on our positions but we continue to repel them,” he told an online forum on Friday streamed on YouTube.

DIPLOMATIC TREMORS

Moscow’s invasion, which it calls a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists, has jolted European security, prompting Finland – which shares a long border with Russia – and most likely Sweden to abandon their long-cherished military neutrality and seek NATO membership.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, quoted by Russian news agencies on Saturday, said Moscow had no hostile intentions towards the two Nordic countries but that it would take “adequate precautionary measures” if NATO deployed nuclear forces and infrastructure closer to Russia’s border.

Russian Su-27 fighter jets have taken part in drills to repel a mock air strike on Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave on the Baltic Sea that borders Poland and Lithuania, Interfax news agency reported on Saturday, citing the Baltic Sea fleet.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who spoke to Putin by phone on Friday, said he detected no sign of any change in the Russian leaders’s thinking on the conflict.

In an interview for the t-online news website published on Saturday, Scholz also said Western sanctions on Russia would remain in place until it reached an agreement with Ukraine, adding: “Our aim is for this invasion to fail.”

Meeting in Germany, foreign ministers from the G7 group of rich nations on Friday backed giving Ukraine more aid and arms.

In their statement on Saturday, the G7 ministers – from the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada – also pledged to “expedite our efforts to reduce and end reliance on Russian energy supplies”.

BODIES PILED UP

Despite Ukrainian resistance, Russian forces have made steady gains in southern Ukraine and the eastern Donbas region.

“We are entering a new, long phase of the war,” Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in a Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) post, predicting extremely tough weeks when Ukraine would largely be alone against an “enraged aggressor”.

In its latest bulletin, Russia’s defence ministry said its forces had hit Ukrainian command posts, ammunition depots and other military equipment in several regions, including the Donbas, killing at least 100 Ukrainian “nationalists”.

Reuters could not independently verify the report.

In a grim illustration of the toll on Russia’s own forces, Reuters footage on Friday showed the bodies of Russian soldiers being brought to a rail yard outside Kyiv and stacked with hundreds of others in a refrigerated train, waiting for the time when they can be sent back to their families.

“Most of them were brought from the Kyiv region, there are some from Chernihiv region and from some other regions too,” Volodymyr Lyamzin, the chief civil-military liaison officer, told Reuters as stretcher-bearers in white, head-to-toe protective suits lifted body bags into the box cars.

He said refrigerated trains stationed in other regions across Ukraine were being used for the same grim purpose.

Moscow has imposed a military-civilian administration in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region and plans to hold a referendum there on whether it wishes to join the Russian Federation, mirroring similar votes held in the adjacent Crimea peninsula in 2014 and in two Donbas regions.

Russia would almost certainly manipulate the results of such a vote, Britain’s defence ministry said.

Ukrainian forces have driven their enemies away from the second largest city, Kharkiv, near the Russian border, but Moscow was still bombarding nearby villages, including Dergachi, some 10 km (six miles) north of Kharkiv.

“I can’t call it anything but a terrorist act,” Dergachi Mayor Vyacheslav Zadorenko told Reuters after missiles struck a building used to distribute aid.

World

Massachusetts identifies first 2022 U.S. case of monkeypox infection

Published

on

2/2

© Reuters. An electron microscopic (EM) image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virus particles as well as crescents and spherical particles of immature virions, obtained from a clinical human skin sample associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak in this undated image obtained by Reuters on May 18, 2022. Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery/CDC/Handout via REUTERS

2/2

By Deena Beasley

(Reuters) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Wednesday said it had confirmed a single case of monkeypox virus infection in a man who had recently traveled to Canada.

The state agency said it was working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and relevant local boards of health to carry out contact tracing, adding that “the case poses no risk to the public, and the individual is hospitalized and in good condition.”

Monkeypox, which mostly occurs in west and central Africa, is a rare viral infection similar to human smallpox, though milder. It was first recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1970s. The number of cases in West Africa has increased in the last decade.

Symptoms include fever, headaches and skin rashes starting on the face and spreading to the rest of the body.

The Massachusetts agency said the virus does not spread easily between people, but transmission can occur through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, items such as bedding or clothing that have been contaminated with fluids or sores, or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.

It said no monkeypox cases had previously been identified in the United States this year. Texas and Maryland each reported a case in 2021 in people with recent travel to Nigeria.

The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A handful of cases of monkeypox have recently been reported or are suspected in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain.

Earlier on Wednesday, Portuguese authorities said they had identified five cases of the infection and Spain’s health services said they were testing 23 potential cases after Britain put Europe on alert for the virus.

European Health authorities are monitoring any outbreak of the disease since Britain reported its first case on May 7 and has found six more in the country since then.

Continue Reading

World

Turkey’s Erdogan links Sweden, Finland NATO bid to return of ‘terrorists’

Published

on


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan holds a news conference during the NATO summit at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium June 14, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool

By Nevzat Devranoglu, Ali Kucukgocmen and Humeyra Pamuk

ANKARA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday Sweden should not expect Turkey to approve its NATO bid without returning “terrorists”, and Swedish and Finnish delegations should not come to Turkey to convince it to back their membership in the alliance.

U.S. President Joe Biden and top officials from his administration repeated that they are confident Ankara’s objection will not be a roadblock for the accession process of the Nordic countries, even though they did not spell out how Turkey’s position could be changed.

Finland and Sweden formally applied on Wednesday to join U.S.-led NATO, a decision spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the accession process expected to take only a few weeks despite Turkey’s objections.

Ankara says Sweden and Finland harbour people linked to groups it deems terrorists, namely the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and followers of Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey accuses of orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016.

“We have such a sensitivity as protecting our borders from attacks by terrorists organizations,” Erdogan told lawmakers from his ruling AK Party in parliament.

Erdogan said NATO allies had never supported Turkey in its fight against Kurdish militant groups, including the Syrian Kurdish YPG, which Ankara also views as a terrorist group closely tied to the PKK.

“NATO expansion is only meaningful for us in proportion to the respect that will be shown to our sensitivities,” he said.

Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan in a briefing said he believed Finland and Sweden at the end of the day will have an “effective and efficient” accession process. He added that Turkey’s concerns “can be addressed”.

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, on a visit to the United States, also said he conveyed to his U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a meeting in New York that Ankara had “legitimate security concerns” that needed to be addressed.

“They (Blinken) said they will convey the necessary messages about overcoming Turkey’s concerns,” he said.

The meeting was “positive, constructive,” a U.S. State Department official said.

When asked about Turkey’s objection, Biden told reporters: “I’m not going to Turkey, but I think we’re gonna be okay.”

Biden will be hosting the leaders of Sweden and Finland at the White House on Thursday to discuss their NATO applications.

ERDOGAN’S OBJECTIONS

Turkish state broadcaster TRT Haber said on Monday Sweden and Finland had not granted approval for the repatriation of 33 people that Turkey requested.

“So you won’t give us back terrorists but you ask us for NATO membership? NATO is an entity for security, an organization for security. Therefore, we cannot say ‘yes’ to this security organization being deprived of security,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan’s chief foreign policy adviser Ibrahim Kalin has held phone calls with his counterparts from Finland, Sweden and the United States among others, the Turkish presidency said. Kalin said progress on the Nordic countries’ NATO bid will only be possible if solid steps are taken addressing Turkey’s national security concerns.

Erdogan also accused NATO allies of supporting terrorists, citing their arms deliveries for the YPG, a main source of disagreement between Ankara and Washington, as well as other Western countries. Cavusoglu said he told Blinken Washington should stop its support to the YPG.

In 2019, Ankara received little international backing for its plans to build a safe zone in northern Syria, including settling 1 million Syrians in part of northeast Syria that Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies seized from the YPG.

Erdogan has also said Turkey would oppose the NATO bids from those who imposed sanctions on Ankara. Sweden and Finland had banned arms exports to Turkey after its Syria incursion against the YPG in 2019.

Continue Reading

World

Russia uses new generation of laser weapons in Ukraine

Published

on

2/2

© Reuters. Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) summit at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia May 16, 2022. Sputnik/Sergei Guneev/Pool via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

2/2

By Guy Faulconbridge

LONDON (Reuters) -Russia on Wednesday said it was using a new generation of powerful laser weapons in Ukraine to burn up drones, deploying some of Moscow’s secret weapons to counter a flood of Western arms supplied to its former Soviet neighbour.

President Vladimir Putin in 2018 unveiled an array of new weapons including a new intercontinental ballistic missile, underwater nuclear drones, a supersonic weapon and a new laser weapon.

Little is known about the specifics of the new laser weapons. Putin mentioned one called Peresvet, named after a medieval Orthodox warrior monk Alexander Peresvet who perished in mortal combat.

Yury Borisov, the deputy prime minister in charge of military development, told a conference in Moscow that Peresvet was already being widely deployed and it could blind satellites up to 1,500 km above Earth.

He said, though, that there were already more powerful Russian systems than Peresvet that could burn up drones and other equipment. Borisov cited a test on Tuesday which he said had burned up a drone 5 km away within five seconds.

“If Peresvet blinds, then the new generation of laser weapons lead to the physical destruction of the target – thermal destruction, they burn up,” Borisov told Russian state television.

Asked if such weapons were being used in Ukraine, Borisov said: “Yes. The first prototypes are already being used there.” He said the weapon was called “Zadira”.

Almost nothing is publicly known about Zadira but in 2017 Russian media said Russia’s state nuclear corporation, Rosatom, helped develop it as part of a programme to create weapons-based new physical principles, known by the Russian acronym ONFP.

Putin’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine has illustrated the limits of Russia’s post-Soviet conventional armed forces, though he says the “special military operation” is going to plan and will achieve all of Moscow’s aims.

The United States has ruled out sending its own or NATO forces to Ukraine but Washington and its allies have supplied billions of dollars of weapons to Kyiv such as drones, Howitzer heavy artillery, anti-aircraft Stinger and anti-tank Javelin missiles.

Putin casts such large arms shipments as part of a broader plan by the United States to destroy Russia – and has promised that it will never succeed.

Borisov’s remarks indicate that Russia has made significant progress with laser weapons, a trend of considerable interest to other nuclear powers such as the United States and China.

Using lasers to blind satellites – or even burn them up – was once a fantasy from the realm of science fiction, but major powers such as the United States, China and Russia have been working on variants of such weapons for years.

Besides the benefits in conventional warfare of burning up drones, blinding reconnaissance systems has a strategic impact too as satellites are used to monitor intercontinental ballistic missiles which carry nuclear weapons.

Borisov said he had just returned from Sarov, a closed town in the Nizhny Novgorod region once known as Arzamas-16 because it was so secret, which is a centre of Russia’s nuclear weapons research.

He said a new generation of laser weapons using a wide electromagnetic band would ultimately replace conventional weapons.

“This is not some sort of exotic idea; it is the reality,” Borisov said.

Continue Reading

News

Stock Markets17 mins ago

Synopsys Shares Up 4% Following Q2 Beat, Upbeat Guidance

© Reuters. Synopsys Shares Up 4% Following Q2 Beat, Upbeat Guidance Synopsys (NASDAQ:SNPS) shares were trading more than 4% higher...

Stock Markets17 mins ago

Under Armour CEO Frisk Steps Down After 5 Tumultuous Years

© Reuters. Under Armour CEO Frisk Steps Down After 5 Tumultuous Years Under Armour, Inc. (NYSE:UA), announced that Patrik Frisk...

Coronavirus17 mins ago

Democrats warn abortion, voting rights at stake in Pennsylvania governor’s race

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano speaks at a protest against the state’s extended stay-at-home order to...

Cryptocurrency17 mins ago

Was Terra’s UST cataclysm the canary in the algorithmic stablecoin coal mine?

Was Terra’s UST cataclysm the canary in the algorithmic stablecoin coal mine? The past week has not been an easy...

World18 mins ago

Massachusetts identifies first 2022 U.S. case of monkeypox infection

2/2 © Reuters. An electron microscopic (EM) image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virus particles as well as crescents and spherical...

Stock Markets18 mins ago

U.S. lodges labor complaint against Panasonic in Mexico

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A logo of Panasonic Corp is pictured at the CEATEC JAPAN 2017 (Combined Exhibition of Advanced...

Cryptocurrency47 mins ago

Meta trademark filing hints at plans for crypto payments platform

Meta trademark filing hints at plans for crypto payments platform Social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)’s parent company, Meta, may be...

Stock Markets47 mins ago

Cisco Shares Plunge 17% on Q3 Revenue Miss and Disappointing Outlook

Cisco Shares Plunge 17% on Q3 Revenue Miss and Disappointing Outlook Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) shares dropped around 17% after-hours Wednesday...

Stock Markets47 mins ago

Cisco shares plunge after China lockdowns, Ukraine crisis hits outlook

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Cisco Systems logo is seen as part of a display at the Microsoft Ignite technology...

Stock Markets47 mins ago

NASA set for Boeing’s Starliner uncrewed space capsule test

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Atlas V rocket carrying Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner capsule is seen after the launch to the...

Stock Markets47 mins ago

Under Armour CEO Frisk to step down

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Under Armour clothing is seen for sale in a store in Manhattan, New York City, U.S.,...

World48 mins ago

Turkey’s Erdogan links Sweden, Finland NATO bid to return of ‘terrorists’

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan holds a news conference during the NATO summit at the Alliance’s headquarters...

Coronavirus48 mins ago

U.S. warns North Korea could greet Biden with nuclear, missile tests

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walks next to what state media reports is...

Uncategorized1 hour ago

Wall Street ends sharply lower as Target and growth stocks sink

Stock Markets1 hour ago

Tesla cut from S&P 500 ESG Index, and Elon Musk tweets his fury

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of car manufacturer Tesla is seen at a dealership in London, Britain, May 14,...

Stock Markets1 hour ago

U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 3.57%

© Reuters U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 3.57% Investing.com – U.S. stocks were...

Stock Markets1 hour ago

Cisco cuts results forecast on China lockdowns, Ukraine crisis; shares plunge

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Cisco Systems logo is seen as part of a display at the Microsoft Ignite technology...

Economy1 hour ago

Stocks pummeled by growth worries, U.S. dollar climbs

2/2 © Reuters. A passerby wearing a protective face mask walks past an electric screen displaying a graph showing Japan’s...

Cryptocurrency1 hour ago

Price analysis 5/18: BTC, ETH, BNB, XRP, ADA, SOL, DOGE, DOT, AVAX, SHIB

Price analysis 5/18: BTC, ETH, BNB, XRP, ADA, SOL, DOGE, DOT, AVAX, SHIB On May 17, United States Federal Reserve...

Economy1 hour ago

Fed’s Harker: soft landing possible, not forecasting recession

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A worker weighs meat at a butcher shop at Reading Terminal Market after the inflation rate...

Stock Markets1 hour ago

Under Armour CEO to Step Down

© Reuters. By Yasin Ebrahim Investing.com — Under Armour said Wednesday Patrik Frisk would be stepping as chief executive on June...

Cryptocurrency2 hours ago

Early polling from Terra vote indicates 91% are in favor of ‘rebirth’

Early polling from Terra vote indicates 91% are in favor of ‘rebirth’ Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon’s plan to create...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Stock Market Today: Dow in Biggest Slump Since 2020 on Turmoil in Target, Tech

© Reuters By Yasin Ebrahim Investing.com — The Dow slumped Wednesday, as a selloff in tech and a plunge in Target’s...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Wall Street ends sharply lower as Target and growth stocks sink

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Cisco Earnings Beat, Revenue Misses In Q3

© Reuters. Cisco Earnings Beat, Revenue Misses In Q3 Investing.com – Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) reported on Wednesday third quarter earnings that...

Coronavirus2 hours ago

U.S. health secretary tests positive for COVID on trip to Berlin

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and...

Sports & General2 hours ago

Can dogs be pets, N.Y. judge asks lawyer trying to free Happy the elephant

2/2 © Reuters. An elephant named Happy is pictured in the Bronx Zoo, in New York City, New York, U.S.,...

Economy2 hours ago

Fed’s Harker sees 50 bps rate hikes in June, July, then ‘measured’ hikes

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Shoppers are seen wearing masks while shopping at a Walmart store, in North Brunswick, New Jersey,...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Synopsys Earnings, Revenue Beat in Q2

© Reuters. Synopsys Earnings, Revenue Beat in Q2 Investing.com – Synopsys (NASDAQ:SNPS) reported on Wednesday second quarter earnings that beat...

Stock Markets2 hours ago

Tesla’s Musk says he ‘can no longer support’ Democrats, ‘will vote Republican’

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk attends the opening ceremony of the new Tesla Gigafactory for electric cars in Gruenheide,...

Trending